San Diego Comic-Con is all around us, and with it comes the torrential downpour of new glances and first peeks into the litany of movies and TV shows we’re going to spend the next year or so of our lives probably complaining about.
Ready Player One will be the mishmash of disparate intellectual properties that only Spielberg’s clout could realistically wrangle, while at the same time feeling like the wrong movie for him. The story worships at Spielberg’s altar; he shouldn’t be the one to make it.
I’m still not sure why the world needed Blade Runner 2049, but there’s no harm in letting Harrison Ford continue to work. Maybe it’ll be great, but frankly, I’m still waiting for those ultimate entries in the line of HFord reboots, the CGI-laden Witness: Revisited, or the Netflix animated series “Fugitive Babies”.
I can’t muster more of a reaction to Disney’s Marvel’s Netflix’s The Defenders* other than to accept there will soon be a show that is actually a brand new season of four different shows, none of which I’m caught up on.
In the few hours that have passed since I wrote those preceding paragraphs, even more new trailers have dropped, covering Thor: Ragnarok, the second season of “Stranger Things”, and a much fuller trailer for the upcoming new Star Trek series, “Discovery”**. But these are topics of discussion for blogs at a different time.
The big surprise—so far—out of Hall H is the trailer for Justice League, due out this November:
I’ve been as down on the DC Extended Universe as the next person. I kind of liked Man of Steel (2013) despite itself. I thought Suicide Squad (2016) likely suffered from studio meddling in post-production that left the editing disjointed and sloppy***.
Then there’s Batman v Superman: We Didn’t Market Test This Title (2016). The bloated, incomprehensibly plotted introduction to the larger DC world suffers from some bad casting (primarily Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor as if he were Mark Zuckerberg on a sugar rush), a preoccupation with setting up future movies****, and the single worst third-act turn in a major motion picture. Yes, that would be the whole “Martha” debacle.
There are more than a few things to like about the movie. Affleck is genuinely good in the role of the Dark Knight, and his interactions with Alfred (Jeremy Irons) proved to be the highlight of the film.
Indeed, whatever form Affleck’s solo turn at the Batmobile, The Batman, ends up taking, I think it’ll still be a good movie that has plenty of room to explore parts of the bat-mythos that the previous ten live-action films depicting the character haven’t approached. That being said, the seemingly inevitable Justice League has failed to elicit any sort of enthusiasm from me. Indeed, for the first time in my life a forthcoming film would feature Batman as a character (with or without LEGOs) that I’m not ravenously excited about.
With the one two-punch of the actually watchable Wonder Woman and the trailer linked above, I’m just beginning to believe that Batman can be great again.
I want to believe that.
Just, seriously, Warner Bros.? If the plot of the whole movie hinges on people’s mother having the same name, please, please re-work the movie. You have time before November.
*Feels like their should be another apostrophe here, but alas…
**Please be good. Please be good. Please be good. You’ll be good. I know you will. It’s fine. You’re going to be fine.
***Oh, and Jared Leto is the worst. The worst. I don’t care if you liked him in “My So Called Life” ninety-thousand years ago. He’s a douchebag. The Joker is many things; he is not a douchebag.
****Which is the common thread of the least-enjoyable Marvel equivalents Iron Man 2 (2010) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).