Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Review

PG-13  |  151 min  |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Review - Matt Mungle

**In theaters March 25th 2016**

SynopsisFearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. 

Review: In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice no one wins. If anyone comes out on top it is the die hard DC fans who have the chance to see new characters pop up on screen; momentarily.  The rest of us are left with a hodge-podge of muddled plot lines. confusing character arcs, and a dark story that is neither intriguing nor entertaining. 

Everyone is still reeling from the devastation that Superman (Henry Cavill) brought upon Metropolis when he battled his home planet. Many fear that left to his own devices he may become more a hinderance than a hero. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is licking his wounds and skulking around as well. He well remembers the destruction and the loss of many of his friends. So Bruce is just itching for a reason to take out the man of steel. Enter Lex Luther (Jesse Eisenberg); another cog in the wheel of haters. This young and slightly psychotic wonderkin has a plan - why is not important obviously - to use some recently found kryptonite to bring down the chiseled messiah. So bottom line, things are about to get crazy. 

Early on in the films process everyone was up in arms about Affleck playing Batman. Now that the film is finished it is obvious that Ben is the strongest element. He is a fantastic Wayne/Batman. There is no doubt that he was the right choice. Granted the script is such a mess that he ends up being sort of a jerk trying to keep his bat ears above water. Batman comes across as such a tool that he should be hanging from his own belt. His decision making is obscure and makes very little sense. The fact that he has held this grudge for so long that he is willing to take on Superman makes no sense. Added to a long list of things that didn't make sense.

Superman is caught in the middle and has a lot of soul searching to do. But he comes across as whiney and wishy washy. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and his mother Martha (Diane Lane) have to keep setting him back on course. Luther is the most confusing character. Love or hate Eisenberg in the role (I liked him) the problem is that none of his reasons are merited for hating Superman. The back story is fuzzy and with everything else going on the dialogue is lost is a sea of nonsensical verbiage. 

There are a few other side characters that muddy the water even more. Zack Snyder is a great director but the amount of story lines and piles of plot points are unruly and impossible to manage. It is like a freight train derailing at breakneck speed. He simply can't keep it on a solid mental track. Fans of Marvel movies who have come accustomed to humor and light hearted banter will be depressed by the very dark overtones that permeate the entire film. You actually have no one to root for which in a film like this is uncommon. 

Wonder Woman makes her Justice League debut here and is met with cheers and applause. Other than a few classic poses though she doesn't get to shine much. It would have been better to have her show up much earlier, get all this childish behavior out of the way, and get to the meat of what the two super heroes were meant for. The movie would have been shorter and could have purged much of the dead weight. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is rated PG - 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality. The main parental issue is how dark the films themes are. The violence feels more malevolent because of the characters personalities and mind sets. Many young kids will certainly want to see it but I would caution parents that this is not your typical Saturday morning super hero production. I give it 2.5 out of 5 bat brands. Hard to pinpoint one problem, it simply gets lost in its own vastness. 




Tickets and more info can be found here 

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Country: Ireland/Cuba, Running Time: 100min
Jesus is a hairdresser for a troupe of drag performers in Havana, but dreams of being a
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has been absent from his life for 15 years. As father and son clash over their opposing
expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand
one another and become a family again.


Director: Pedro Severien
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 71min
Iris lives alone in a spacious apartment by the sea. The green horizon seems to distance
it from the city in comfortable isolation. At nightfall, the place hosts known and unknown
in a frantic party flow. Iris is the main attraction. But on a hung over morning, she finds a
corpse in the living room. As in the distorted reflection of a crooked mirror, Iris feels
repeating steps of her childhood friend, Tiara, a medical student involved in an accident
that resulted in death in the past. Tiara plunges into a spiral of self-pity, sentimental
emptying and violence. The case is well known in town and Iris does not want to become
another ghost in this dark repertoire of stories. In ALL THE COLORS OF THE NIGHT,
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Director: Julio Hernández Cordón
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 88min
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honest and committed performances as young lovers Miguel and Johnny. They skate with
their friends through the chaotic neighborhoods of Mexico City, they revel in their blissful
sexuality, and they make a bit of cash in the illegal blood trade. A contact hooks them up
with some narcos—drug traffickers who need black-market blood, since they can’t go to
hospitals—and it seems like a perfect way to make a lot of money. But the scheme goes
off the rails, and Miguel and Johnny are in over their heads, their eyes opened too late to
the truly disturbing underground network of clinics servicing those injured in the drug

Director: Salvador del Solar
Country: Peru/Colombia/Argentina/Spain, Running Time: 109min
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and frail, but he was once a much-feared colonel in the Peruvian military during its
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subordinate. One day a woman enters Magallanes' cab. Celina (Magaly Solier) doesn't
recognize Magallanes, but he remembers her very well. Many years ago, Celina was a
sexual plaything for the Colonel, who kidnapped the young indigenous girl and held her
captive in a hotel room for an entire year. Magallanes has a photograph to prove this —
a photo he can use to blackmail the Colonel's affluent son (Christian Meier). But can this
aging cabbie suddenly transform himself into an extortionist? Or is Magallanes, still in
love with Celina after all these years, in over his head?

Director: Joel Núñez
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 90min
A romantic comedy in which a male writer who writes under a female pseudonym falls for
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takes us by surprise and nobody can object.


Director: Jim Henson
Country: USA, Running Time: 101min
Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother
(Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David Bowie).

Director: Stuart McDonald
Country: Australia, Running Time: 95min
The true story about an eccentric chicken farmer (Shane Jacobson) who, with the help of
his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a wild penguin sanctuary
from fox attacks and in the process tries to reunite his family and save their seaside town.


Director: Shaun M. Colón
Country: USA, Running Time: 85min
A FAT WRECK tells the story of founders Fat Mike (of the legendary punk band NOFX)
and his ex-wife Erin Kelly-Burkett, spanning the birth, growth, struggles, and survival of
the Fat Wreck Chords label. Half inspirational story of chosen family and community, half
debauchery and occasionally involuntary drug use, the film blazes exciting new ground in
the cinematic genre of puppet-driven punk rock music documentary filmmaking. Arguably
the best film in the history of American cinema featuring a dominatrix spanking a puppet.

Director: Barbara Kopple
Country: USA, Running Time: 93min
Dreams never expire, but sometimes they are deferred. MISS SHARON JONES! tracks
the talented and gregarious soul singer of the Grammy-nominated R&B band Sharon
Jones & the Dap Kings during the most challenging year of her life. Confronting a cancer
diagnosis and her own self doubts, she works to again find her voice and salvage the
career that once eluded her for 50 years.

Director: Ido Haar
Country: Israel, Running Time: 80min
The true story of the incredible Princess Shaw and the enigmatic composer Kutiman, who
discovers her from the other side of the world. By day, Samantha Montgomery cares for
the elderly in one of New Orleans’s toughest neighborhoods. By night, she writes and
sings her own songs as Princess Shaw on her confessional YouTube channel. Raw and
vulnerable, her voice is a diamond in the rough. Across the globe, Ophir Kutiel creates
video mash ups of amateur Youtube performers. Known as Kutiman, he is a composer,
a musician, and a pioneering video artist embraced by the world of fine art. Kutiman
“transforms sampling into a multimedia art”, whether at his home on a kibbutz in Israel or
at a live performance at the Guggenheim in New York. Two strangers, almost 7,000 miles
apart, begin to build a song. The film unfolds as Kutiman pairs Princess Shaw’s emotional
performances in a beautiful expression of generosity and compassion, revealing the
bonafide star underneath and her fight to never give up on her dreams.

Director: Keith Maitland
Country: USA, Running Time: 97min
Packed wall to wall with the greatest music from Texas and beyond, with performances
from Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ray Charles, Beck, Alabama Shakes, and
Radiohead, A SONG FOR YOU: THE AUSTIN CITY LIMITS STORY is music to the ears
of fans everywhere. This film highlights the PBS series’ evolution, proving that after 40
years, ACL is more relevant now than ever before. Featuring interviews with dozens of
artists and fans, and untold insights from long-time producer Terry Lickona, A SONG FOR
YOU transcends the TV show and gives audiences a front-row seat and backstage pass
to the greatest performances of the longest running music show in television history.

Directors: Lily Baldwin, Frances Bodomo, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Josephine Decker,
Lauren Wolkstein
Concept by: Dan Schoenbrun
Country: USA, Running Time: 81min
Five of independent film’s most adventurous filmmakers adapt each other's dreams for
the screen. A man and his grandmother hide out from an ominous broadcast. The Grim
Reaper hosts a TV show. The formerly incarcerated recount and reinterpret their first days
of freedom. A suburban mom's life is upturned by the beast growing inside of her. And a
high school gym teacher runs drills from inside a volcano.

Directors: Livia Ungur, Sherng-Lee Huang
Country: USA/Romania, Running Time: 74min
Playfully mixing fiction and documentary, HOTEL DALLAS is a surreal parable of
capitalism, communism, and the power of art. In the 80s, in the twilight of communist
Romania, “Dallas” is the only American show allowed on TV. Its vision of wealth and
glamour captures the imagination of millions. Among them are Ilie and his daughter Livia.
He is a small-time criminal and aspiring capitalist; she is in love with the show’s leading
man, Patrick Duffy. After communism falls, Ilie builds the Hotel Dallas, a life-size copy of
the “Dallas” mansion. Livia immigrates to America, becomes an artist, and directs a film
starring Patrick Duffy, as a soap opera character who dies in Texas and wakes up in
Romania, in a hotel that looks just like home.

Director: Asiel Norton
Country: USA, Running Time: 110min
In a future dark age, after civilization has collapsed, there are rumors and prophecies of
a savior to come. A hunter fights to save a maiden from a cannibal shaman and searches
for the world's last city. The film stars David Arquette and Lily Cole

Director: Steven Spielberg
Country: USA, Running Time: 115min
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to
his home-world.
Defrost – second episode
Director: Randal Kleiser
Country: USA, Running Time: 10min
After being cryogenically frozen for 30 years, Joan Garrison awakens to meet her aged
family. The VR series stars Tanna Frederick, Bruce Davison, Harry Hamlin, Christopher
Atkins, and Carl Weathers.

Director: Todd Haynes
Country: USA, Running Time: 108min
The story - which crosses both sexual and racial lines - revolves around a privileged
suburban family whose lives are filled with daily family etiquette, social events at the club,
and an overall desire to keep up with the Joneses. The family is turned upside down when
both husband and wife are faced with choices that not only create a gossip mill for the
entire community but also change their entire lives forever.

Director: Julia Dyer
Country: USA, Running Time: 107min
Who would’ve thought a little one-on-one could get a girl in so much trouble? When high
school basketball coach Dinah Groshardt falls for school secretary Carly Lumpkin, the
uproar reverberates from classroom to locker room, from the principal’s office to the PTA.
A film about true love, tolerance, and naked basketball, LATE BLOOMERS redefines
family values. A movie for everyone who believes it’s never too late to fall in love.
Director: Cassie Bryant
Country: USA, Running Time: 75min
Medieval art treasures seized by the Nazis go missing at the end of World War II. Were
they destroyed in the chaos of the final battles? Or were these thousand-year-old
masterpieces stolen by advancing American troops? For over forty years, the mystery
remained unsolved. A true detective story, THE LIBERATORS follows a dogged German
art detective through the New York art world and military archives to the unlikeliest of
destinations: a small town on the Texas prairie. The film raises intriguing questions as to
the motivations of the art thief and the whereabouts of the items that, to this day, remain
waiting to be discovered.

Directors: Willie Baronet, Tim Chumley
Country: USA, Running Time: 90min
Signs of Humanity is a documentary film that explores the inter-related themes of home,
homelessness, compassion and humanity. Artist and professor Willie Baronet has
purchased more than 1,000 homeless signs over the past 22 years, and he uses this
collection to create installations to raise awareness about homelessness. During the
month of July, 2014, Willie and three companions drove across the country, connecting
with more than 100 people on the streets and purchasing more than 275 signs. Signs of
Humanity is a film about that trip.

Director: Mike Nichols
Country: USA, Running Time: 131min
History professor George (Richard Burton) and his boozy wife, Martha (Elizabeth Taylor),
return late one Saturday night from a cocktail party at the home of the college president,
Martha's father. Martha announces that she invited another couple, newly appointed
instructor Nick (George Segal) and his timid wife, Honey (Sandy Dennis), over for a
nightcap. When the younger couple arrive, the night erupts into a no-holds-barred torrent
of marital angst and verbal tirades.


Director: Danny Perez
Country: USA/Canada, Running Time: 94min
In a desolate community full of drug-addled marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wildeyed
stoner named Lou wakes up after a crazy night of partying with symptoms of a
strange illness and recurring visions. Without being able to remember anything from the
night before, she struggles to get a grip on the reality of her situation as unusual
conspiracy theories begin to arise.