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Batman v Superman: It’s Time To Stop The Hate

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And it’s amazing to me that the hate continues, in fact it can be said that a lot of the negativity comes from people who haven’t even seen the movie. I mean let’s be honest how can you really make an informed opinion on anything if the only reference you have is ‘Somebody else’s opinion’ Yes Batman v Superman is a divisive film, yes it does remake the Superhero movie in a new and completely different direction (more Watchmen than Avengers) but that’s exactly what this genre of film fiction needs. It needs the creativity and diversion from the norm, it presents the viewer with a film that doesn’t conform to what has gone before. This is an intelligent and realistic approach to how man would react to a godlike being amongst them, its former saviour, The Batman, though often seen as superhuman is for all intense and purpose, just a man, flawed and emotionally culpable. And with the coming of a Superman, he feels powerless and frustrated.

If what you want from a comic-book movie is just action, jokes and a light hearted tale then that’s great, there are plenty of Marvel movies out there that are tailored just for you, and I applaud that take on the Superhero theme, it is a staple of its genre. But if you’re looking for something a lot deeper, with a more mature and less linear approach, then Batman v Superman is what you’re looking for.

The movie explores many themes, from religious context to conspiracy theories, its depth is what really divides the critics, the true comic book fan understands  what Snyder has achieved with this movie, but that also does not cut it off from the casual fan, every detail needed to enjoy a rollicking good movie is here, and it is FUN, contrary to the critics… fun does not necessarily mean light hearted, I mean, horror movies are fun, right?… why else would you watch them if you weren’t being entertained. Batman v Superman is a very important film in this genre, the most important… because it does things differently and that’s what keeps things fresh and exciting. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I implore that you do, it is a fantastically rendered dystopian look at Superheroes, ripped straight out of the greatest and most inventive decade of comics (the 1980’s.)

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DC and Marvel are different beasts, each with their own take on the staple Superhero, and their movies reflect this beautifully, do not allow yourself to be swayed from watching an amazingly intense take on modern mythology.This post was once again written to help counterbalance the ridiculous amount of negativity that still abounds in media, the box office takings have proven that no matter what some random internet critic says, ultimately it’s the fans who decide if something is worthy of success, and in the case of Batman v Superman that success has been assured.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review

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God vs Man, Day vs Night… Fan vs Critic

Fearing the actions of an almost godlike alien super being, Gotham’s guardian, The Batman decides to take action against what he perceives as a threat to Mankind. But whilst the planet’s two greatest saviours battle it out amongst themselves, an even greater threat emerges that may ultimately cause the extinction of all life as we know it.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Holly Hunter. Written by: Chris Terrio and David S.Goyer. Directed by: Zack Snyder.

Take my hand dear reader, as I transport you back to a time when a wide eyed six year old child first discovered a character who would ultimately have a major impact in his life. It is the late seventies and a young boy is given an issue of Detective Comics #466 by his Mum as a gift. This was his first ever foray not just into the wonderful world of The Batman, but comic books themselves, and after devouring the issue a half dozen times in a row, he would go on to be one of the staunchest supporters of DC Comics and would conclusively tailor his life around these characters not just at home but also in the workplace.

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Dreams can come true folks!

The young boy I refer to is obviously yours truly, and it didn’t stop with the Caped Crusader, at nine I discovered the other character who would go on to be a life long obsession, the amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman. Since that time all those years ago, the one thing that I have longed to see were my favourite heroes united together on the silver screen, and finally that young lad’s dream has been fulfilled, with Zack Snyder’s astonishing adaptation of DC Comic’s original Trinity. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman finally stand united on the big screen for the first time… and it’s awe inspiring!

bvs 11This will be a mostly spoiler free zone, so don’t fret if you haven’t yet managed to watch the film. There are minor details that have to be written about in the course of the review but none of them will spoil your enjoyment of the film.

Before we start with our review, let’s quickly address the response of the ‘professional’ critics, who have been generally unfavourable in their opinions. I refer you to a piece we wrote about this earlier in the week (right here).

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Stand aside Christian Bale, Ben Affleck IS the Batman!

Let’s begin with the character that most people are (let’s be honest) going to see the movie for… The Batman, and there just aren’t enough superlatives we can commit for Ben Affleck’s truly astounding performance as not just the Dark Knight, but also his alter ego Bruce Wayne. Affleck’s rendition of the World’s most popular Superhero is peerless, effortlessly eclipsing previous versions of the character with an emotional and staggering portrayal of an older, conflicted crimefighter, on the edge of losing himself to the very darkness that he has spent his adult life fighting against.

This IS The Batman, ripped straight out of the comic books themselves, brutal, calculating and unforgiving, yet also calm, collected and compassionate to those who deserve it. Affleck’s Batman is world weary after twenty years spent tangling with criminals and lowlifes, and ultimately feeling powerless as age encroaches, and a new breed of super powered hero slowly appear on the horizon. Distrustful of such immense power, Batman decides that, for the safety of human kind, he should rein in these heroes before another tragedy like the calamitous Metropolis incident two years earlier happens again. Not only does Affleck play the Batman to the Nth degree, his depiction of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is also fantastic, contrasting the two sides of the same coin superbly. Credit where credit is due folks, this is a career defining performance from Mr Affleck.

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Henry Cavill produces another solid performance as the Man of Steel

Henry Cavill once again steps into the red cape and boots of Superman, following on from his promising performance in the 2013 Batman v Superman prequel – Man of Steel. Haunted by the demons of his recent past, after the traumatic events just two years previous when he had to use lethal force to stop a rampaging General Zod from completely destroying the city and people that he has sworn to protect. Held up on a pedestal by many and seen as a godlike saviour, there are those though who still blame him for the catastrophic loss of life in Metropolis and feel he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

Cavill’s Superman is that of a grounded and humble saviour, cognisant of the damage wrought by his defence of Metropolis, and anguished over his inability to halt the vast loss of life brought on by his Kryptonian kin. Continuing his crusade to protect the people of his adopted planet, he eventually casts his gaze across the bay to the festering city of Gotham and it’s ruthless protector Batman, believing him to be as amoral as the criminals he hunts and vowing to put an end to his actions.

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The amazing Amazon is superbly brought to life by Gal Gadot’s outstanding performance

Rounding out our terrific trinity is Gal Gadot’s impressive entrance as Wonder Woman, stepping onto the big screen for the first time, this is a stand-out and crowd pleasing performance that kicks open the door for her solo performance in the 2017 dated Wonder Woman movie. Gal perfectly embodies the strength, beauty and compassion of the World’s premier female Superhero, easily holding her own alongside the two main leads. Though her role in the film is rather minor in comparison to the other characters, her performance is intensely memorable and she ultimately saves the day towards the end of the film. 

Finally seeing Wonder Woman on the silver screen kicking all kinds of arse is rewarding enough, but nothing can prepare you for how well implemented she is into the story itself, at first an almost shadowy figure glimpsed at a socialite party by a beguiled yet wary Bruce Wayne, before shedding her Diana Prince alter ego to embrace her warrior’s way as she goes toe to toe with the film’s big bad, Doomsday in the breathtaking climax. 

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Alfred is played by Jeremy Irons and puts in a memorable performance as Bruce Wayne’s long time confidante and friend

Alongside the big three is a talented and capable cast of extras that help flesh out the world, especially notable is the performance by Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s guardian and confidante Alfred Pennyworth. Irons is a consummate professional, and his portrayal of Alfred is taken almost completely from the comic book and animated versions of the character. The dry sense of humour, constant quipping and chastising of Bruce are all present, as good as the other versions of Alfred have been in previous films, Jeremy Irons nails the absolute core of the character beautifully.

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Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been divisive amongst the fans, but I loved his alternate take on the mad genius sociopath

This brings us to the main villain of the piece, Superman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor, played effervescently by Jesse Eisenberg. A divisive choice amongst fans, Eisenberg’s Luthor is a million miles from previous versions of the enigmatic criminal genius. This is a younger, crazier Luthor, though he still manages to retain all the characteristics that make up DC’s iconic Supervillain, a power hungry, psychopathic narcissist. No longer the centre of attention in Metropolis since Superman appeared, he uses his vast intellect and fortune to engineer the fight between Batman and Superman, so he can continue uninterrupted with his deadly scheme for ultimate knowledge and power.

Reprising their roles from Man of Steel are, Laurence Fishburne as the Daily Planet’s Perry White, Amy Adams as star reporter and Superman’s love interest Lois Lane, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. Plus Kevin Costner makes a small cameo appearance as Jonathan Kent, Clark’s erstwhile adopted father.

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The main event: Batman & Superman throwdown!

The main event of the film comes at about the half way point, as our two leads finally face off on a rain sodden rooftop in Gotham City. This is an epic showdown lifted straight out of the comics, especially Frank Miller’s ground-breaking ‘Dark Knight Returns’. The build up to this fracas really hypes up viewer expectation and the ultimate confrontation is brutal, inventive and exciting, you will not be disappointed by their brawl, it more than delivers on the hype.

Of course this is just one of many action sequences in the film, others include an amazing chase sequence involving the new Batmobile and a heart pumping warehouse scene where Batman faces off against an almost impossible amount of Russian mercenaries, which may very well be my favourite movie fight sequence of all time. This scene showcases Batman’s skill and ferocity better than any previous movie, finally we have a version of the character worthy of the Batman legend.

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Haunted by past demons, and unsure of his immediate future, Bruce Wayne soldiers on… even though it may ultimately mean his demise!

Once again Zack Snyder delivers the goods with yet another outstanding comic book interpretation, following hot on the heels of his popular adaptations of 300 and Watchmen, Snyder is a comic fan, and it shows. He always successfully manages to encapsulate everything that is important about the chosen characters, every small nuance, every minute detail, cramming in as much lore as he can. His films are a delight to fans of the source material, but are epic and action packed enough to also appeal to the non comic fans.

Batman v Superman is the greatest comic book movie of all time, and I don’t say that lightly. A spectacular love letter to the DC Universe, I never actually thought a Superhero film would ever come along to topple the mighty Watchmen from its lofty perch, but this film has done just that. Ignore the critics, you will be kicking yourself if you allow some random internet review deny you from seeing this astounding film on the big screen. Big, brash and beautiful, Batman v Superman is a modern classic.

Precinct1313 Rating: 5 Anguished Bat Souls Out Of 5

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of The Critics…

 

 

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Well it’s finally here, after close to three years of (indescribably torturous) waiting, Batman v Superman finally releases, to rapturous applause from the fans (currently sitting at 8.0 0n IMDB) but (surprise, surprise) hated on by many movie critics.

Now then, before we start on this (ever so slight) rant, let’s get some perspective on the matter. 1. It does not matter what other people think, all that really matters is what YOU think, if you find the movie enjoyable then… awesome. 2. A critic is literally just giving their opinion, in the great scheme of things their opinion does not affect your ability to love something, and in no way are critics right (or wrong) in their opinion… it is still just that, their opinion.

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DC Comics invented the female Superhero, Wonder Woman’s inclusion in Batman v Superman is extremely important to the genre because not only is she able to match the male heroes, she can easily surpass them. Gal Gadot’s almost flawless appearance as the Amazing Amazon will help propel the industry to create more movies with strong female leads, which is fantastic and long overdue. Diversity is a good thing folks, so hurrah for DC and Zack Snyder… but are the critics applauding this? no, because… DC!

Ok, let’s get this out of the way right now… yes I am a DC fanatic, and no I don’t read Marvel comics (well that’s not completely true, I do actually occasionally buy ‘The Punisher’) but I don’t hate Marvel, I just grew up loving DC’s characters and worlds and never personally found Marvel’s heroes and villains anywhere near as engaging (apart from the aforementioned Frank Castle, of course) But I do not actively bash others for their love of something, I have no right to do that… to each their own is my mantra friends.

Now then, with all that said, I have noticed over the past few years since the mountainous onslaught of cinematic comic-book adaptations, an inherent bias in the reviewing industry. There are now several websites that I avoid because of their actively transparent anti DC and Zack Snyder bias (allow me to clarify this point, this does not include any WordPressers, I am talking about corporate websites) of course, they have every right to bash, criticise and hate on something as much as they want (and I dutifully uphold that right) but I also have the right to not visit, read or subject myself to their opinions.

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Movie critics are actively bashing Batman v Superman for being “too dark and gritty!” but applauded the (awesome) Dark Knight trilogy for the same thing!…  Mmmmm!?

Right now you may be thinking – “but, ArcaneHalloween, are you not a critic yourself seeing as you run a comic-book review website” and it’s a logical thought. The thing is though, I never, ever, review things I don’t love, Precinct1313 is dedicated to the appreciation of DC Comics and Cult movies not criticising, disparaging or belittling other people’s passions in life. In fact it’s thanks to the diversity of one person to another that we have so many distinct choices open to us when it comes to comic books, movies, music, et al…

The majority of featured reviews on aggregate websites such as – Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes have been almost uniformly scathing. And once again I do reserve their right to their opinion, but it seems that a lot of the critics either don’t seem to understand what makes a great comic-book or character adaptation, or have not really put a great deal of time and effort into maybe doing some research on the subject matter at hand before giving their opinion. “Too dark and gritty” is a common theme amongst many of these negative reviews, there is a reason for this Mr Critic, the comic-book storylines this particular movie are based upon are just that… Dark and Gritty (see here for details on that one friends) The same reviewers actively applauded Christopher Nolan for doing exactly this with his Dark Knight Trilogy.

It is definitely the case that a lot of critics went in with the preconceived notion of disliking the movie, based upon the trailers (which were mostly fantastic) plus a lack of inherent knowledge of the comics and the history of the main characters, and a dislike of its director’s previous films. One review in particular called out the film because, and I quote “Since when did Batman and Superman ever fight each other anyway, what a ridiculous premise they made up for this movie” I once again refer them to this piece here. Research reaps rewards Mr Critic.

One of the better reviews of the movie is ComicBookMovie.Com, which you can read right here a well informed non biased view of the film at hand, a great read.

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Don’t be sad Bats, we still love ya!

“It’s not like the Marvel movies” is another favourite, and thank Zeus for that, not because I think the Marvel movies are bad, but because (as mentioned earlier) diversity is a good thing… variety is the spice of life folks.

And don’t get me started on the whole “Zack Snyder is untalented” nonsense, I refer you to this line… ‘Those who can, do… those who can’t, criticise.’  Snyder is a wonderful film maker, a visual auteur who loves the medium he works in, and this shines through in his fantastic movies. Remember this is the man who gave us the tremendous “300” and the (supposedly unfilmable) masterpiece that is “Watchmen” I guarantee, you sit any film critic down in a director’s chair and they would be bewildered by the amount of skill that is needed to create a movie, or craft a world through which millions of people will be breathlessly transported and lost to for two plus hours of their lives. Making movies is not easy Mr Critic, please stop trivialising it.

Now please understand I am not denigrating critics for their opinion on films or even saying they’re wrong, they have every right to them, but so do I and the millions of fans who just want to enjoy their chosen piece of fantasy mayhem. I think that since the inception of internet media, a lot more people put way too much in stock in what some random online critic says about a movie rather than just taking the time to judge it for themselves.

Critics criticise it’s what they do. Ignore the backlash, head to the cinema and judge the film on it’s own merits, and I guarantee you will have one hell of a good time for the two and a half hour run time, I mean who doesn’t want to see the two biggest Superheroes of all time throwdown in an intense battle royale! batman

Please feel free to agree or disagree about this in the comments, I would love to hear your reactions on not just this post, but also the film itself. 

Batman v Superman: Grudge Match

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In just two short weeks the greatest cinematic Superhero event ever will take place, when the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel square up for a royal rumble that will shake the very foundations of the DC Universe. Comic’s two most iconic characters will go head to head in a grudge match that, even though this will be their first live action brawl, has been enacted throughout the decades in both comic book and animated forms.

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Though, usually touted as friends and allies, no other comic book duo has fought as many times as Bats and Supes over the decades. They are literally opposite ends of the Superhero spectrum; one is a vengeance driven manhunter, bringing his own brand of justice to a corrupt and dystopian city. dark and brooding, driven on by the tragic deaths of his parents, Batman has given his life over to his mission.

The other is a virtual god, a being from another planet who arrived on Earth as a child after his home was catastrophically destroyed. Brought up in the farm belt of the USA, Kal El uses his almost limitless power to help his adopted kin, fundamentally a force of good and a symbol of hope amongst his many supporters. Batman and Superman literally are Night and Day, completely antithetical and divergent in both motivation and execution of their chosen lifestyles.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice director – Zack Snyder has drawn heavily from these past confrontations for his upcoming blockbuster movie, but the one story that has had the most influence on the film (and the character of Batman himself) is Frank Miller’s classic, genre defying eighties series ‘The Dark Knight Returns’

Dark Knight is Frank Miller‘s opus, and almost single handedly responsible for a dramatic and significant change in the way Superheroes are portrayed. Taking the well loved character and plunging him even deeper into his own psychosis and despair, allowing him to really embrace the darkness that was brought on by the devastating loss of his parents, and use it to deliver a whirlwind of brutal justice on the many corrupting forces that prey on Gothamites on a daily basis. Miller’s Batman is a schizophrenic and driven crime-fighter, an unequivocal force of nature that does not suffer fools gladly, and will allow absolutely nothing and no-one to stand in the way of his war on crime.

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Ben Affleck’s armoured Bat-suit is heavily inspired by Frank Miller’s original design

The Dark Knight Returns shows us a future Gotham City where crime runs rampant, and its one true protector who used to hold back the tide of criminality and lawlessness has long since retired as age and injuries slowly caught up with him. Bruce Wayne now holds back his raging inner demons through the use of alcohol and death defying stunts (when we first see the aged Bruce, he is crashing his race car over a finish line with suicidal abandon.) Unable to cope without his alter ego, and feeling powerless in the face of an encroaching enemy that is seeping into his beloved city and gradually altering its substructure into that of complete anarchy and transgression.

Superheroes have long since been outlawed, and the only one still active is the Government sponsored Superman, who covertly works for the President and keeps the peace with as little media exposure as possible. Brought back from his almost catatonic state, after the demons raging inside him can no longer be contained, Bruce Wayne gives himself over to the one true personality that has always been dominant in his life since that one fateful night… The Batman. Waging a war on crime like never before with unstinting and remorseless abandon, yet his age and a decade of inactivity might make this last heroic struggle, his final denouement.

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With Batman rampaging his way through the underbelly of Gotham City and dividing opinion amongst the Police and citizens, Superman is despatched by the President to put a stop to his vigilante actions… and thus ensues the paradigmatic battle between the two titans, that is reflected heavily in the many trailers for the forthcoming movie.

Director Zack Snyder is a huge comic book fan, especially of the darker and more mature style of story-telling, just witness his previous movie incarnations – the utterly astounding recreation of Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ (still our fave comic to film adaptation) and Frank Miller’s ‘300’. The influence of Miller’s Dark Knight is tangible, and there really could be no better material for him to draw upon for this colossal showdown.

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The many, many instances of Batman v Superman throughout the years

Of course lest we forget, there will be one tempering influence in the film who has also acted as a mediator to the feuding heroes in comics and animation over the years. She is also the character who has soundly beaten both Bats and Supes in one on one combat on several occassions. So before either hero gets too overconfident and supercilious in their own powers and skills, they should really factor in that comic-book’s first lady, Wonder Woman can kick both their arses without even breaking a sweat… just saying!

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New52 Wonder Woman Gives Supes A Lesson In How To Kick Arse The Amazon Way!

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Batman Always Wins… Unless He’s Fighting Diana, Of Course!

The titanic twosome will be knocking heads when ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ hits the cinemas on March 25. Best prepare your utility belts and red capes in readiness for what will incontestably be the ‘Greatest Comic Book Movie Ever!’

“Great Hera”… Full Size Wonder Woman Statue Is Amazing!

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Hot Toys Amazing Gal Gadot Statue Is Wondy-ful!

The amazing Hong Kong based production company ‘Hot Toys’ who specialise in building lifelike one sixth scale collectable figures of comic book and film characters have outdone themselves with full size figures of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman and the Batmobile from the incoming blockbuster ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ movie, and they are incredible!

These full scale figures are unbelievably detailed and uncanny in their realistic representation of the three main stars from the upcoming Superhero movie. The armoured Batman figure stands at an impressive seven feet in height, the film accurate figure has light up eyes and base and an astonishing attention to even the minutest detail.

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The Wonder Woman and Superman figures also are an impressive sight to behold, but if you’re thinking of investing in one of these stunning sculptures (let alone the complete trinity) you may need a rather hefty bank loan, as each individual figure weighs in at about £5,000 ($7,000.)

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 Hot Toys will begin selling these astounding effigies in extremely limited numbers from May. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits the big screen on March 25.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Detective Comics #50

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Detective Comics #50 – Full colour Variant

Welcome back my comic collecting cohorts to an extra special instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’ that triumphantly celebrates the incoming cinematic showdown between the two biggest titans of the comic book world – The Dark Knight Detective versus The Man Of Steel.

With the highly anticipated confrontation just mere weeks away, DC are celebrating this epic super-power beatdown by releasing a cadre of alternate covers on ten of their biggest titles this month. These poly-bagged variants will come in three different forms, from full colour to partial pencil and inked editions similar to the recent Harley Quinn alternate cover run.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is now only a tantalising three weeks away, and as you can probably imagine, being the DC Comics fanatics that we are, there is a lot of excitement and eagerness for the cinematic excursion here in the hallowed halls of Precinct1313.

This is the movie I have personally been waiting for since that time I first abandoned myself to the fantastic worlds and alternate universes of DC Comics as an unknowing six year old. Since then not only has my love and admiration of these iconic characters grown exponentially, but also has my longing for a live action movie featuring the big three from DC. And finally in three weeks it all comes true… so stay with us fellow fans of fantastic fiction as we head towards the biggest comic book event in cinematic history… it’s gonna rock, trust me!

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Detective Comics #50 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Peter J. Tomasi. Art by: Matt Ryan, Fernando Pasarin. Cover by: Tyler Kirkham. Variant Covers by: Rafael Grampa.

Batman v Superman: Final Trailer Released

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Ok so this is it, the final trailer for the ultimate comic-book showdown – “Bat of Gotham versus Son of Krypton.” What I love the most about this new trailer is the portrayal of the Dark Knight, this is how I have always imagined the Batman in a live action movie. As much as I love the previous cinematic incarnations of the Caped Crusader, they have never quite lived up to my expectations of the actual comic book character himself. Zack Snyder’s version is darker, edgier and a lot more physical than previous personifications, and is thus more akin to the comic book original, the opening sequence of the new trailer alone was enough to convince me that this is the Batman we have been waiting for… and the one we deserve!  Enjoy…

Batman v Superman: Prequel Comic Chapter 1 – Batman

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In preparation for the biggest showdown in comic book history, Warner Bros have released five prequel comics to the March 25 dated Batman v Superman movie. The comics primarily focus upon – Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Senator Finch, and disclose some interesting revelations in the run up to the highly anticipated gladiatorial bout between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. Below you will find in its entirety, Chapter 1: Batman. 

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The above images are courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com, where you can find the other four chapters of the prequel comics. Written by: Christos Gage. Art by: Joe Bennet.

Amazon Unleashed…

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Well what can we say but… “Great Hera!” last nights CW documentary special ‘Dawn Of The Justice League’ not only furnished us with yet more peeks at the upcoming ‘Batman v Superman’ movie and a new trailer for the villainous ‘Suicide Squad’ film (Which you can watch right here… and it’s mind-blowingly good!) but most exciting for us was the official Wonder Woman footage. This very brief, but awesome look at Gal Gadot as the world’s most famous female Superhero shows Diana in full Wonder Woman regalia, and also includes some action sequences and a longer look at the early 1900’s World War 1 setting. Enjoy…

Wonder Woman Featurette.

Precinct1313’s End Of The Year Geekstravaganza!

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The space year of 2015 comes to a close, fellow agents of Precinct1313, and with its inevitable demise comes our 13 favourite moments from across the comic-book, movie and videogame spectrum.

No.13: The Dark Knight Returns!

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‘Dark and brooding’… but enough about me, let’s talk Batman!

After a 14 year hiatus, veteran comic book creator Frank Miller returned to his genre bending masterpiece Dark Knight saga with a third instalment, titled DKIII: The Master Race. This final (maybe) chapter takes place chronologically three years after 2001 mini-series “The Dark Knight Strikes Again,”  and continues to chronicle an ageing Caped Crusader and his allies in an increasingly violent and turbulent Gotham.

Thematically this series picks up from the ‘Strikes Again’, but this time Miller has brought along some fellow superstar creators for the intense and dark ride, as he is joined by, writer Brian Azzarello and artists, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and original collaborator Klaus Janson. Like its previous instalments, DKIII concentrates on the Batman as a symbol, an almost mythological character of inspiration and a catalyst for the weak and oppressed of Gotham.

No.12: Resident Evil Games Are… Good Again!!

"It's not the zombies that scare me Claire, it's the idea of playing through Resident Evil 6 again!"

“It’s not the zombies that scare me Claire, it’s the idea of playing through Resident Evil 6 again!”

2015 is the year that survival-horror veteran Resident Evil became great once more, as Capcom released not one, but two terrifyingly awesome instalments in the long running zombie franchise. After the awfulness of Resident Evil 6, even die-hard fans weren’t necessarily looking forward to whatever would come next in the once predominant horror gaming series. The sixth game in the franchise took a downward spiral into bland third person action/shooter territory, leaving behind most of what made the earlier games so much fun to play, namely the tension, spookiness and survival aspects.

Then in early 2015, an HD remake of the original game digitally graced home consoles, with the same intense and creepy vibe of the original, but with much improved visuals, soundtrack and most definitely improved in the acting department (though Jill still, humorously remained – “The Master Of Unlocking” .) And less than a month later Resident Evil Revelations 2 was released episodically across all formats, initially digitally only, though later on disc. This 4 part series was a hark back to classic Resi , tense and horrific with much more limited supplies and the difficulty switched up a notch from the mediocrity that was Resi 6. Capcom redeemed themselves in my eyes after the Resi 6 debacle, and I look forward to their next game with bated breath, the much touted remake of most fans favourite in the series, Resident Evil 2… can’t wait.

No.11: Starfire Goes Solo…

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“My own series you say, by Conner and Palmiotti you say? I think I feel a little faint”

Everyone’s favourite flame haired, orange skinned alien princess finally flies solo in her own, rather marvellous, monthly series. Tamaranean native Koriand’r most recently starred alongside one time Robin, Jason Todd now known as violent masked vigilante The Red Hood, and former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper, aka Arsenal, in the highly recommended series “Red Hood and the Outlaws.” With the shake-up of DC recently with “DC You” Koriand’r was finally deemed a character strong enough to hold her own monthly series, and the creative reins were handed to the married, dynamic duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, to great effect.

The series has been a joy to read so far, we are huge fans of Starfire here in the Precinct and could think of no better team than Conner and Palmiotti to be given control of the series, but what has really drawn us into the series the most are the sublime visuals rendered by Emanuela Lupacchino, each panel is a masterpiece and the book is worth reading for just this alone. This has been standout my favourite comic series so far in 2015, and I’ll just say it’s been a great year of comics, which makes Kori’s solo debut even more impressive.

No.10: Jared Leto Cast As The Joker…

J Leto, Mr J

Well dye my hair green, bleach my skin and call me “puddin” if this isn’t just a superlative casting choice, Jared Leto as the Clown Prince Of Crime!?… oh hell yes! The term “Method Actor” could of been created for Mr Leto, as he is one of the most dedicated character actors you could ever come across, his casting in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie as the Joker, has me very excited indeed.

No.09: Mad Max – Fury Road…

MM F Road

Now then, I know that this is going to appear on a lot of end of the year lists, but if you had told me a year ago it would be on mine, I’d have thought you were the mad one himself! You see, as much as I like the director George Miller, and the acting duo of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, not to mention, I adore the original Mad Max trilogy, what I don’t like are lazy remakes of classic films from my youth, and for a long time that’s what I thought this was, I was sooooo wrong.

The film is a marvel to behold, an almost perfect blend of real time practical effects, mixed with limited but extremely well implemented CGI. Tom Hardy gives a good performance as the antipodean crazy ex-cop, Charlize Theron is fantastic as Furiosa, but it really is the crazy action and fantastic directing style of George Miller that are the stars here. Shiny and Chrome indeed!

No.08: New X-Files Series Begins Filming…

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I love the X-Files, I have been a super fan since it first began way back in 1993, my interest in the unknown and supernatural initially drew me into the show but it was the performances by the leads, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the increasingly emotional and complex relationship of their characters – Mulder and Scully that kept me coming back to the show time and time again.

Of course the writing was top notch, the episodes were always extremely well made and directed, but ultimately it was that relationship between the main players that drove the series to the cult and beyond status that it now has. Let’s hope the magic is still there over 13 years later, when the much anticipated tenth season finally appears in January 2016.

No.07: Supergirl Soars Once More…

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Kara Zor-El is awesome, one of the most iconic female Superheroes of all time, Superman‘s cousin has been with us now since her initial introduction in 1959, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino. Originally hailing from Argo city, a fragment of the planet Krypton that had managed to survive destruction.

She is one of the few female comic book characters who has appeared on the big and small screen several times in the past few decades (only Catwoman has had more live action appearances.) Played by Helen Slater in the 1984 movie, by actress Laura Vandervoort in TV series Smallville (strangely enough, Laura was born the same year the original movie was released) And now as of 2015, we have a new girl of steel, Melissa Benoist has taken up the cape and red boots of the seminal character in what has become a fantastic and fun interpretation, another quality Superhero show that stands tall amongst its peers.

No.06: Margot Robbie Brings Harley Quinn To Life…

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Mistress of Mayhem, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that everyone loves, but have always believed would be almost impossible to bring to live action successfully. There have been attempts, the short lived Birds Of Prey series had a version of the character played by Mia Sara, who, while okay in the role, didn’t really capture Harley’s perfect blend of crazy cool and sociopathic tendency. 

Then we got a glimpse at actress Margot Robbie in the Suicide Squad trailers, everything about her portrayal seems to scream Harley, she looks perfect and I have high hopes for the character, she is definitely the most anticipated of all the Suicide Squad members so her portrayal will be of paramount importance to the film itself (along with her ‘puddin’, the Joker of course.)

No.05: Twin Peaks Season 3 Announced…

Twin Peaks Return...

The coffee is great, let’s hope season 3 is also…

I’ll admit, I am both elated and worried at the idea of Twin Peaks returning for a third series, I love Twin Peaks, it is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite TV show of all time, but the perfection of the originals will be very hard to recapture I believe. Though this is David Lynch we’re talking about, a ‘mad genius’ of a director and film maker and I have adored virtually everything he has ever put out, so there is hope. Please be good… please!!

No.04: Convergence Was… Awesome!

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DC Comics are the master of the epic crossover series, their “Crisis” stories have always been bombastic reads of monumental proportions. The more recent Blackest Night maxi-series was also phenomenal, but for me, it was this year’s “Convergence” that really blew my veritable bat-socks off!

Convergence was a limited series that released weekly and ran between April and May. The story span out of two earlier mini-series – “New 52 – Futures End” and “Earth 2 – World’s End.” The storyline follows Braniac as he gathers Cities and their inhabitants from across different timelines and alternate Earths.  Really there aren’t enough superlatives to sum up this fantastic mini-series, all I’ll say is buy it, read it, thank me later…

No.03: Suicide Squad Trailer…

Suicide Squad- the girls

DC Comics‘ ultimate team of anti-hero badasses finally achieve cinematic glory in 2016, courtesy of David Ayer (director of Sabotage and Fury) in what looks to be a gritty, violent adaptation of the comic book classic. Where this movie differs from all other Superhero films of recent years is the fact that it offers up a different perspective on the comic book adaptation, it focuses solely on the bad guys, the Supervillains and the crazies.

Director David Ayer is well known for his dark and gritty cop thrillers, and is the perfect choice for this live action version of the popular comic series. Peruse the trailer below and bask in the glory of seminal DC characters that include – Harley Quinn, Katana, Enchantress and Deadshot, and lest we forget, what may turn out to be the biggest draw of the film… Jared Leto’s Joker.

No.02: Wonder Woman Solo Movie Begins Production…

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It may of come to your attention that we quite like Wonder Woman here in the Precinct, so we are rather excited that her long awaited silver screen appearance has finally begun production, and in the UK no less. Gal Gadot will make her first appearance as the amazing Amazon in March 2016 “Batman v Superman” movie before her 2017 solo film. Seriously it is about bloody time that the most iconic female comic book character of all time got her own movie, and with director Patty Jenkins at the helm and actress Gal looking every bit the Amazon Princess, I for one, cannot wait.

No.01: Batman v Superman Trailers Finally Released…

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Well this is it, with the trailers finally released, and the epic nature revealed, you just have to prepare yourself for two things. 1. What could be, quite possibly, The Greatest Superhero Movie Of All Time and… 2. The cinematic debut of the original, and still greatest female Superhero. With these two imperatives in mind watch the trailer below, and then weep for the fact that the biggest cinematic event in DC Comics… nay, in history, is still three months away…

Happy New Year everyone…

A Sneak Peek Inside The New Batcave

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New images have appeared today that takes fans on a short tour of Ben Affleck’s Batcave from the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” movie, the rather low res images give us an exclusive glimpse of the Caped Crusader’s base of operations, hidden deep beneath Wayne Manor. 

Bruce Wayne and loyal butler Alfred.

Bruce Wayne and loyal butler Alfred

Loyal manservant Alfred Pennyworth also appears in the above pic, played by English actor Jeremy Irons, whose version of the classic character will apparently be a lot more hands on than previous live action variants, bringing him more in line with the comic-book version.

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Where’s the giant penny and T-Rex then?

The pictures come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, Ben Affleck also had this to say on his version of the Dark Knight:

“Batman represents human beings, mortal men, in a world of Flashes, Aquamen and Supermen, there really needs to be that guy. It’s interesting that he became the leader of the Justice League in the books, I’m not sure how that will play out here, but his humanity is an asset.”

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“Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” will be released on 25 March 2016, directed by Zack Snyder and is the foundation block for DC Comics’ extended universe of interconnected movies that began with 2013’s “Man Of Steel.”

Pictures and interview excerpt courtesy of ‘Entertainment weekly’

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to “The Week In Geek,” where we list our favourite comic book, video-game and cult movie news from the past seven days for your perusal and pleasure.

Batman v Superman – Trinity Film Posters Revealed:

BvS Trinity posters

DC Comics and Warner Bros have released a trinity of awesome posters for the upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.” The big three star in their very own character posters that superbly encapsulates the tense and gritty tone of Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated Superhero film. The posters have the characters’ respective logo embellished across the middle in striking crimson, and are, overall, bloody marvellous indeed! 

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is due on March 25 2016, and will be the foundation block of DC’s planned extended universe of movies, documenting the rise of the Justice League. Fellow leaguers, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash will also make their cinematic debut in Snyder’s movie.

J’onn J’onzz Debuts On Supergirl TV Series:

SG MM

And while we are speaking of core Justice League members, the Martian Manhunter made his debut this week on Supergirl. If you haven’t seen the episode yet we won’t spoil the identity of the character who revealed himself to ultimately be the green skinned extra-terrestrial, but let’s just say ‘bloody hell’ we weren’t expecting that! 

Though this isn’t the first time the shape shifting Last Martian has appeared on the small screen, he appeared in Smallville played by Phil Morris, and in the long forgotten CBS pilot for a proposed (and abandoned) Justice League series, where he was played by David Ogden Stiers, though neither portrayal came anywhere near the epic cool of this new version… can’t wait to see what other classic DC heroes and villains will be introduced as this rather wonderful series continues.

Riddick Returns:

Riddick returns

Vin Diesel will apparently be returning to the character who made him an action mega-star, the badass anti-hero, with the ability to see in the dark; Richard B. Riddick. The merc fugitive has already been the star of three great movies, and will at some point in the near future make his premiere on the small screen, after Diesel recently signed a deal with Universal TV. According to the Fast and Furious star, the series will actually act as a complement to the films, and will mainly follow the mercs and bounty hunters of Riddick’s universe… though I’m sure the shiny eyed one will eventually scowl his way onto the series at some point. 

This is fantastic news, Pitch Black and Chronicles Of Riddick were amazing movies, and the more recent “Riddick” was also rather good (but not quite as great as the previous instalments, in my humble opinion of course) More news as we hear it fellow Furyans.

Join us again next time for more “Week In Geek.”

Awesome New Batman v Superman Trailer…

And here it is fellow fans of fantastic fiction, the hot new trailer for next years highly anticipated “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” movie. This new look takes us deeper inside DC Comic’s extended universe, and showcases not just the resentment between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, but also a sneak peek at the film’s main Supervillain, plus Wonder Woman… lots of awesome Wonder Woman… enjoy;

“Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” will be released in March 2016.

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Sneak Peek Trailer

Welcome fellow fans of DC to another awe inspiring trailer showcasing next year’s highly anticipated “Batman v Superman” movie. This sneak peek trailer has been released just ahead of the new full trailer, which will debut on Wednesday December 2nd. Enjoy…

Plus, the new film will be the first time that Batman co-creator Bill Finger is finally credited with his input as co-architect of not just the character himself, but also of the development of the series as a whole. Previous to this, Bob Kane was solely credited as the creator, it wasn’t until years after the death of Finger that Kane finally acknowledged his important contributions to the inception of the Caped Crusader. It was Finger that first saw Kane‘s initial sketches of an early Batman, and then redesigned the character, adding the iconic cape and cowl. Bill Finger was also responsible for writing the original script for Batman‘s debut in Detective Comics #27, which released in May 1939.

Bill Finger finally gets credit as Batman co-creator

Bill Finger finally gets credit as Batman co-creator

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to “The Week In Geek,” where we list our favourite comic-book, video-game and cult movie news from the past 7 days for your perusal and pleasure.

New Wonder Woman set photos;

Gal Gadot and Chris Pine visit the 1930's in latest shots from the Wonder Woman solo movie

Gal Gadot and Chris Pine visit the 1930’s in latest shots from the Wonder Woman solo movie

With filming currently underway in the UK, for Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman movie which stars Gal Gadot as the amazing Amazon, more photos have emerged showing Gal and her co-star Chris Pine (who is playing Steve Trevor… twice!) on set in Southend, Essex. The pictures show the actors in the first half of the film, which is (now confirmed) set during World War One, with the latter half of the film set in modern day. The Themysciran demi-goddess will be gracing the silver screen some time in 2017, but can be seen first in next years highly anticipated (especially by us!) “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice.”

Become Ben Affleck in new Arkham Knight DLC;

BvS Ben Bat

Game developer Rocksteady released a new trailer for some rather interesting extra content for Batman: Arkham Knight. The DLC will feature the Batmobile and costume from next years Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice movie, giving the player a chance to play as Affleck’s version of the iconic crime-fighter a full four months before his big screen debut.

The DLC also includes two new missions that feature, Catwoman sneaking through a deadly toy shop that houses Edward Nigma‘s automated robot factory in “Catwoman’s Revenge”, and we follow Robin as he tracks down the duplicitous Two Face in “Robin: A Flip Of The Coin.”

Teen Titans Movie a possibility;

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And lastly let’s finish on a little bit of rumour and speculation as a new post on JoBlo.com postulates that the planned 2020 “Cyborg” movie may actually be scrapped in favour of a Teen Titans flick. The 2020 Cyborg film is set to star Ray Fisher as the cybernetically enhanced Superhero, with the character making his initial silver screen debut in the 2017 planned Justice League film.

The much loved team of teens have already been stars of several animated series, and have a pilot in the works for a live action series at TNT. If this turns out to be true, it will be fantastic to finally see live action versions of classic characters such as Starfire, Donna Troy and of course one time Boy Wonder, Nightwing… fingers crossed on this one fellow Titans fans.

Join us again next time friends, for more “Week In Geek.”