Showing posts with label Bruce Wayne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruce Wayne. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Batwoman Pilot Episode - Plot Recap and Review

batwoman tv show wallpaper image picture poster screensaver

If Superman's cousin can have her own TV show, how can Batman's not?

So we have Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) donning the cape and cowl. The episode starts off with a voice over by Kate. She is handcuffed and has to make her escape from being drowned in icy waters. This reminded me of Bruce Wayne's training scene with Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) in Batman Begins.

Back in Gotham, Jacob Kane (Dougray Scott) runs Crow Security and has taken the role of protecting Gotham. Where is Batman? - you might ask: As per the writers, Batman has been missing in action for about three years. Of course, no one observes that Bruce Wayne is gone too. But, I digress..

Jacob is in charge of a public ceremony, being presided over by the Mayor Akins (Chris Shields). He wants to shut down the Bat signal. But disaster strikes and Crow's Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) is abducted. Sophie also happens to be Kate's former lover.

batwoman lesbian superhero wallpaper image picture poster screensaver

Kate's step-sister Mary Hamilton (Nicole Kang) informs her about the situation. Using her deductive skills and the footage from Bruce Wayne's security, Kate deduces that the gang has taken Sophie to the Burnside Orphanage.

We run into Luke Fox (Camrus Johnson), the son of Lucius Fox. And just like his dad, he becomes the Q to our soon-to-be self-anointed superheroine.

The movie charts the steady descent of Arthur into madness and perhaps unsurprisingly, we get to see Joaquin Phoenix in literally each frame. 

Kate rushes head first to rescue instead of listening to her father. After a showdown with the gang members, Kate is overpowered and taken to their leader, Alice (Rachel Skarsten). 

Alice knows much more about Kate and her family than a stranger would. It is also revealed that her primary target is not Gotham or Crow Security, but Kate's dad himself. But instead of killing Kate, Alice has her deposited somewhere else..

batwoman luke fox wallpaper image picture poster screensaver

Kate decides to take things into her own hand and re-visits Wayne Manor. This time, she hits the jackpot and discovers the Batcave. She also learns that Bruce Wayne/Batman has spent years trying to figure out why he could not save her sister and mother from the fatal car crash which was supposed to have killed them.

Kate has Luke re-design the Bat costume to fit her. Donning the new suit, Kate aka Batwoman takes on Alice and her gang and rescues Sophie.

Despite her successful debut, Kate is still disturbed with the fact that Batman could not help save Beth, her sister. Finally, it dawns on her that Beth is still alive and is in fact Alice.

The episode also sets up another plot line - Sophie is now married to Tyler (Greyston Holt). But clearly, she is still deeply in love with Kate.

batwoman sister beth villain wallpaper image picture poster screensaver

This was an ok pilot episode. The acting was passable from every one except the lead actress. Ruby Rose seems to be overacting. She is not alone though. Rachel Skarsten as Alice/Beth also chews the scenery as an over-the-top villain.

Dougray Scott and Camrus Johnson do their best with their roles of caring father and the nervous geek respectively. So does Nicole Kang and Elizabeth Anweis in their roles as the naive daughter and status conscious wife.

The only actor to make an impression is Meagan Tandy as Sophie Moore. She manages to convey the intimate connection that her character shares with Kate.

The series is heavily influenced by the Chris Nolan movies. As I mentioned before, the training montage was similar to the one in Batman Begins. The Wayne Tower itself too has been lifted from the same movie. Plus, the night time shots of Gotham also reminded me of those from The Dark Knight.

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On the other hand, the only scene featuring Batman looked to be shot on a shoestring budget. Granted this was the pilot episode.. still that scene could have been shot better.

Recommended watch to fans of DC Comics.

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Image Sources: Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Justice League Comic Con Trailer - Review/Reaction

justice league alex ross new poster wallpaper screensaver image picture

Warner Bros. has released a sneak peek of the upcoming movie that unites the DC Comics superheroes.

Directed by Zack Snyder (Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), the movie stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as  Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg.

Newcomers include Amber Heard as Mera, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West.

Check out the trailer below:

This trailer is not much of an improvement over the previous trailer that debuted a few months ago. Since then, we have had rumors about Ben Affleck wanting to leave the franchise completely. He has officially stepped down as the director and Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) has taken over the duties. Zack Snyder lost his daughter and has moved away from the production.

Joss Whedon (Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Avengers) is currently overseeing the post production work and has also reportedly done extensive reshoots. Joss was originally hired by the studio to write, direct and produce Batgirl.

Snyder had already completed shooting by the time Whedon took over. We all know Snyder's capacity to deliver a good superhero movie based on his previous two attempts. Snyder's movies boast of great visuals (specifically 300) but severely lack good character development, plot and dialogues. This movie also looks to suffer from the same drawbacks.

The actors strike all types of action figure poses and give reaction shots. The comedy looks forced, which is a surprise given Whedon's natural talent for writing witty dialogues/quips in his movies especially The Avengers. But Even Whedon can only do so much with this sub-standard material that has been forced on him. 

The special effects in this trailer look better than what we saw in the earlier one. Still some do look like taken straight out of a video game. No wonder the movie characters are also two dimensional.

Perhaps, the future of DC Films lies in female superhero led movies. Wonder Woman has been a hit both critically and commercially. Provided the studio does not interfere too much, Whedon will knock it out of the park with Batgirl.

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Image Sources: DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment (as RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC), Lensbern Productions, Warner Bros.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Justice League (2017) Trailer - Review/Reaction

justice league movie poster wallpaper screensaver image picture

The first trailer for the long awaited movie has finally been released.

Directed by Zack Snyder (Man of SteelBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), the movie stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as  Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/ The Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg.

Newcomers include Amber Heard as Mera, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Kiersey Clemons as Iris West.

Check out the trailer below:

From what I have seen in the trailer, I am guessing that this movie is based on story Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. That story features an invasion of earth by Darkseid and the heroes forming a team to stop him.

The DC animated movie Justice League: War is itself an adaptation the same story. I am quite sure that this live action movie will not measure up to the animated version.

The trailer is not as exciting as the trailer for BvS: Dawn of Justice was. Considering the quality of BvS, this does not bode well for the movie. The movie seems to suffer from the same shortcomings as the previous two Snyder movies: weak character development, weak dialogues and the most damning of all - special effects that are not worthy for a video game.

Even video games have better detailed locations than this movie does. Like BvS, this one too has been shot extensively in the studio against green screens. Instead of filling the background with details, the lazy director and his crew have just opted for darkened visuals to hide the fact that they have zero imagination.

Considering that this is a superhero movie, at least the special effects must be good if not excellent.

Even the great J K Simmons looks bored. He was on fire as J Jonah Jameson in the Sam Raimi Spiderman movies. Here he just looks lost. I think this has to do with the general lack of vision and direction about the DC Films at Warner Bros. The standalone Flash movie lost not one but two directors and is now headed for a complete script rewrite.

The Batman standalone movie is in a slightly better situation: after Ben Affleck quit as director, the studio managed to hire Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). The movie is also undergoing a complete script rewrite after the previous script credited to Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns was discarded.

If the rumors are to be believed, Affleck completely wants out of the role. It is understandable that his retirement from the role will be officially announced after this Justice League movie will be released. Given this state of affairs, it is obvious as to why he too looks bored in the trailer.

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The rest of the cast do their best with the weak lines. But none of the so-called humor works. The actors just strike action figure poses and have minimal dialogues. Further it does not help that some of the footage are reused from the character spots the studio has been releasing for the past couple of days. I think the best shots in the movie are in this trailer.

But not all hope is lost for DC Films. In addition to hiring Matt Reeves, the studio is reportedly in talks with Mathew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) to direct the sequel to Man of Steel. That does raise my hopes. Point of interest - Vaughn's Kick-Ass had a Batman knockoff character in the form of Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage in one of his better performances in the recent past).

Clearly, Warner Bros have acknowledged the negative feedback about Snyder's “vision”. If only they had not hired him in the first place....

Coming back to this movie, I am predicting that it will earn around the same amount of money as BvS: Dawn of Justice did. Just as that movie had the novelty factor of the two heroes appearing first time onscreen, this one too has the famed DC team coming to life. Once the opening weekend is over and the hardcore fans are done with the movie, the movie should drop like a rock. Yes, pretty much the same trajectory as what BvS took before falling well short of the coveted 1 Billion USD benchmark.

The critics will no doubt be tough on the movie and I expect the Rotten tomatoes rating to fall below 30%. The hardcore DC fans will take up arms and demand the site to be closed. They will be interested to know that Warner Bros. owns the Rotten Tomatoes site.

Ben Affleck's Batman says at one point in the trailer: “My turn. To see the same line delivered by an actor invested in his character, check out this scene from V for Vendetta:

Unless Zack Snyder has improved his sensibilities and directorial skills dramatically, I would expect this movie to be another missed opportunity.

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Image Sources: DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment (as RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC), Lensbern Productions, Warner Bros.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 "The Balloonman" - Recap and Review

Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon in Fox Gotham TV Show Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

A vigilante is killing off rich and powerful wrongdoers, whom the law refuses to touch. He is nicknamed “The Balloonman because of his modus operandi of killing: the victim is tied to a Weather balloon and is lifted off. When the person inevitably drops back to Earth, he/she is killed.

The first victim is a businessman, Arnold Danzer (Clark Middleton) who has conned many people through a Ponzi scheme. Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) is reluctant to take up the case, since he perceives that the victim deserved what he got. Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), as can be expected, wants to solve the case and capture the killer.

As was seen in the last episode, gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), was warned by mafia kingpin Don Carmine Falcone (John Doman) by having her boy toy, Lazlo (Michelangelo Milano) beaten up. Fish can't wait to take her revenge on the aging don.

Victoria Cartagena and Andrew Stewart-Jones as Major Crimes Unit detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

Major Crime Unit detectives Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) and Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) question Mooney about her involvement in the killing of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor). Seizing this opportunity, she indirectly points the finger at Falcone.

In the meantime, the Ballonman has acquired his second victim, a corrupt Police Lieutenant Bill Cranston (James Colby). The public support for the vigilante killer swells. Jim and Harvey come under pressure from Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) to catch the serial killer, before he strikes again.

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As a result of their investigation, Jim and Harvey zero in on one Carl Smikers (Jonesy), who has stolen some balloons from his ex- employer. Carl reveals that he sold four of them to an unknown buyer.

Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot The Penquin working in a restaurant in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

Following his return to Gotham, Oswald is desperate for cash and applies for a job in a restaurant. He is turned down. Always cunning and resourceful, Oswald kills a worker and takes his position.

The Balloonman's next victim is Cardinal Quinn. The body of the second victim, Cranston crashes back to Earth on top of an elderly woman. Jim deduces the identity of the killer.

Lazlo is losing his confidence and this causes Fish to order his execution. She also asks her henchman to ensure that  Falcone's sweetheart Natalia meets with an accident. To ensure that she does not come under suspicion, she casually asks the Don about Natalia and he casts his suspicion on rival gangster Maroni (David Zayas) as the person responsible.

Jada Pinkett Smith as gang boss Fish Mooney in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

I liked this episode better than the second episode “Selina Kyle. The acting shows a significant improvement. There is far more humor and levity.

I especially liked Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney. Her taunting of Renee Montoya was amusing and hilarious. Robin Lord Taylor is good as always, but this episode belonged to Jada.

While the bad guys continue to steal the show, the good guys also are coming into their own. This is specifically true of Sean Pertwee and David Mazouz as Alfred Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne respectively. After being all serious for the past couple of episodes, the actors finally lighten up as Bruce practices his stick fighting skills with Alfred at the Wayne Manor.

Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue as Detectives James Gordon and Harvey Bullock at the Gotham Police Department building in Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

The episode showcased the positive effect Jim's idealistic attitude can have on even a cynical person like Harvey Bullock. Initially he refuses to show any sympathy for the Balloonman's victims or Mario Pepper. When Jim and Harvey go to arrest the Balloonman, Davis Lamond (Dan Bakkedahl), Davis holds Harvey at gunpoint. Harvey overpowers him and Davis inadvertently gets tied to a Weather balloon.

Harvey refuses to save Davis. But Jim risks his own life and holds on to Davis in a desperate attempt to save his life. This forces Harvey to shoot down the balloon and save the lives of his partner and the criminal.

The Balloonman also has a significant effect on the young and impressionable Bruce Wayne. David takes to vigilantism as a result of his frustration with what he perceives as widespread corruption and apathy on the part of the concerned authorities to set things right in Gotham.

We can see the youngster taking notes as he observes the vigilante's story in the press. Bruce is also working on clues to solve the murder of his parents.

Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot The Penquin in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 3 The Balloonman

The show also indicates a physical intimacy in the past between Jim's fiancee, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and Renee Montoya. Renee is still convinced of Jim's wrongful involvement in the murder of Oswald Cobblepot. She warns Barbara about Jim.

Whatever doubts, Barbara might have harbored are put to rest when Oswald himself appears before her as he pays a visit to Jim in the closing scene.

The show is improving with each episode and I hope that this trend will continue.

Recommended watch for fans of the Dark Knight/DC Comics.

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Image Sources: Warner Bros. Television, Fox Network

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 “Selina Kyle” - Recap & Review

Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue as Detective James Gordon and Harvey Bullock with Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney in Fox Gotham TV Show Episode 2 Selina Kyle

Patti (Lili Taylor) and Doug (Frank Whaley) are two henchmen of Dollmaker. They approach homeless children, claiming to be members of the Homeless Outreach Program.

After entreating the children with treats, the thugs inject some medicine that makes them unconscious. 

Selina Kyle (Cat to her friends) witnesses one such kidnapping incident. The shrewd Selina does not fall prey and flees.

Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot The Penquin returns to Gotham in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 Selina Kyle

Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) hitchhikes his way back to Gotham city. As readers might remember, he was supposed to be executed by Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Jim of course let him go, after warning him never to come back.

The guys who give Oswald his free ride are not so lucky. Oswald kills one of them and kidnaps the other for ransom.

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Jim and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are working on the case of the missing street children. They zero in on one Morry Quillan (Wayne Duvall) based on the substance used by the kidnappers to inject the street children.

Patti and Doug are already in Morry's office, when Jim and Harvey arrive to question him. A shootout ensues and the two kidnappers make their escape. The detectives arrest Morry.

Morry provides the tip that he remembers a depiction of fork on the van used by the kidnappers.

Richard Kind as Mayor Aubrey James with Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen and Detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock in Fox Gotham

Meanwhile, Mayor Aubrey James (Richard Kind) announces a program that will take all the homeless children off the street and send them to an institution.

Selina finds herself being forcefully packed into a bus that purports to serve the official machinery. Selina is horrified to find Patti to be in charge of the situation.

Patti intends to ship all the children to foreign shores. Jim correctly figures out the name of the company using the trident symbol (mistakenly thought to be a fork by Morry) as Trident International Shipping”.

Guest star Frank Whaley as child kidnapper Doug is caught by Donal Logue as Detective Harvey Bullock in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 Selina Kyle

He arrives just in time to save Selina just as Patti is about to shoot her. Harvey arrests Doug.

Selina tells Jim that she might have information about the man who murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne.

At the request of Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), Jim visits Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) at the Wayne Manor. Bruce has been testing himself by doing things like burning his hand deliberately.

On learning about the developments about the rescued homeless children, Bruce offers to donate clothes for them.
Jada Pinkett Smith as gang boss Fish Mooney in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 Selina Kyle

Another subplot involved Don Carmine Falcone (John Doman) checking up with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) about her intentions to replace him as the head of Gotham underworld. Don informs her that he got this information from Oswald. Mooney reassures the Don about her loyalty and seemingly convinces him.

Privately, she regrets the fact that she did not punish Oswald more for his treachery.

For an episode titled Selina Kyle”, we did not get to see much of the lass destined to be Catwoman. We don't know any more about Selina than what we did from the pilot episode.

Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle the future Catwoman in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 Selina Kyle

We already know that she is a spunky kid with lot of street smarts to boot. This episode did not forward her character development or delved deeply into her background to justify the decision to name it after her.

On the acting front, Robin Lord Taylor continues to the best of the bunch. The reason is simple: he offers a healthy dose of humor in his performance. This factor combined with the villainy of Oswald Cobblepot naturally makes him the standout performer.

Jada Pinkett Smith continues to chew the scenery as gang boss Fish Mooney.

Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth with Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon in Fox Gotham Season 1 Episode 2 Selina Kyle

As I mentioned in the review of the pilot episode, Ben McKenzie could inject some humor into his performance. Granted that his character is a straight shooter and an idealist and is very frustrated with the prevalent corruption. Still his character could use some levity.

Same goes for Sean Pertwee - he also leans towards the all-serious school of acting as Alfred Pennyworth.

Casting such talented actors as Lili Taylor and Frank Whaley in what amount to one-off roles clearly shows the dedication of the show makers to deliver a product of the highest possible quality. Hats off to them.

Lili Taylor is a blast as Patti. She mixes black humor effectively and gives one of the best guest appearances in a long time.  

Recommended watch for fans of the Dark Knight/DC Comics.

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Image Sources: Warner Bros. Television, Fox Network

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