Wonder Woman: Bloodlines – Review

This review will contain mild spoilers

The DC Animated universe is back with its latest installment, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. It’s about time the Amazon warrior got the attention she deserves. Wonder Woman: Bloodlines marks the second animated movie based on Wonder Woman since 2009. And while Wonder Woman: Bloodlines retreads a lot of the steps seen in both the 2009 animated movie and most recently Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman (2017) it does it with a fresh twist leeaving you wanting more at the end.

Story

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is described as an origin story, but I honestly don’t see it as that. The origin aspect of the story only takes up the first 10 minutes of the movie. After that you get a time jump where Wonder Woman has become accustomed to life outside of Themyscira. But she eventually finds herself having to go back home to fight against potential world ending invasion. So the origin aspect of the movie isn’t as bad as some people have been making it out to be. As someone who considers themselves as a casual Wonder Woman fan I didn’t mind the retelling of her origin. After all, when it comes to characters like Batman I feel like I’ve seen his origin over a hundred times. With Wonder Woman: Bloodlines I like the way her origin is handled. Not much is changed about it making her story easy to follow. It’s great for people who are new to the character and once the story moves along it feels like its own separate graphic novel/arc which should appease most fans who love the character.

Voice acting

The movie is well-acted throughout as Rosario Dawson plays a kind, but powerful Diana Prince at the same time. Her chemistry with Jeffrey Donovan who plays Steve Trevor was one of my favourite aspects of the movie. You get a sense that their relationship is genuine and it’s one where you actually want to see them together because they play-off each other so well. Every one else is the movie is fine, but these two as to be expected, do most of the heavy lifting. In general, the voice acting is something I find myself always praising when it comes to these DC Animated movies, it’s become one of their staples. They have yet to disappoint me when it comes to this department in their movies.

Great action

The action in Wonder Woman: Bloodlines was one of the strongest elements of the movies. As it should be with a character like Wonder Woman. It shows just how powerful and brutal she can be in combat compared to her male counterparts such as Batman and Superman. It caught me off-guard in certain situations, especially during the final act. It definitely pushes the boundaries of the ’12’ rating and it’s refreshing to see. Although it was short, I really liked the fight between Diana and Cheetah. It just made me more excited about what their showdown is going to look like in live-action next year in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984.

One issue I did find during the fight scenes (especially the ones in the city) is that they kind of felt lifeless. This wasn’t the fault of the action itself, but more to do with how the environment was portrayed. The cities for the most part outside of the scenes in Themyscira are empty. You don’t see any civilians or cars driving past while Wonder Woman is fighting on the streets. It would have been nice to have seen a populated city in potential danger as Wonder Woman was fighting. I think it would have added a lot more stakes to the fights.

Overall, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is another solid entry into the DC Animated universe. Not only is it a great standalone movie but it just shows how much potential this character has. Rather than see her team up with the rest of the Justice League in future animated movies I would love to see Wonder Woman receive her own trilogy of animated movies instead. As for Wonder Woman: Bloodlines being an origin story it’s a great reintroduction for both new and old fans. But they only scratched the surface here. There are so many more stories that they can tell and I cannot wait to see where they go next with Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines 8/10

Huge thank you to amazing people at Warner Bros UK for providing me with an early copy to review.

Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is out on both digital and Blu-ray today

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Official: Robert Pattinson to Play Batman

FINALLY! After months on speculation we finally have our new Batman. Earlier this month Deadline reported that the search for the new Caped Crusader had dwindled down to Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult. Yesterday, it was reported by The Wrap that both actors were doing screen tests for the role. And today, it looks like we got the results of those screen tests with Pattinson winning the role. This is amazing news, but the thing that got me most excited about this story is how Deadline in their report confirmed Pattinson will be the face of Matt Reeves’ trilogy. What a time to be a Batman fan! To have a trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves is truly a blessing. I also want to spare a thought for Nicholas Hoult for missing out because this is a role of a lifetime. However, since he done screen tests I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up playing a different role in the movie. Clearly Matt Reeves and the studio think highly of him. Either way I’m finally happy we got confirmation. It was also reported the project is set to start filming at the start of next year. So keep your eyes peeled this summer. I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more casting news for The Batman

The Batman is set to be released on 25 June, 2021

Robert Pattinson to Play Batman in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’?

Just an hour ago social media exploded when Variety dropped a bombshell on us. They finally gave us what we have been waiting for. Who will be taking over the mantle from Ben Affleck as the caped crusader? Variety are pretty confident Robert Pattinson will be stepping into the iconic role. They claim a deal hasn’t been made yet, but Matt Reeves had him in mind while writing the script. While I was just taking in this news Deadline also released their own report on the potential casting. Both outlets agree that a deal hasn’t been made final yet. But where they differ is Deadline claiming that Robert Pattinson isn’t the only person in contention for the role. Deadline states that both Robert Pattinson and Nicholas Hoult are at the top of Warner Bros. list. However, Deadline’s report does seem to imply that Pattinson is the favourite for the role by claiming “the bat suit isn’t filled yet and that they like both guys, with Pattinson holding the edge”. This is a bit frustrating isn’t it? We finally get the news we wanted, but nothing has been confirmed yet. I guess we gotta sit tight and be patient, as if we haven’t already been doing that for several months. I have a feeling it will end up Robert Pattinson taking the role. But you never know with Hollywood.

Let me know what you think of these potential castings

Shazam! Sequel Already in The Works

It looks like Warner Bros./New Line Cinema already new they had a winner on their hands with Shazam! before the movie’s release. Yesterday the movie made a strong debut at the box office by making over $53M in its opening weekend. Now, it seems Warner Bros. are pushing already planning ahead for the sequel. The Wrap reported earlier today that writer of the movie Henry Gayden, will be returning to pen the script for the sequel. This is great news for me because I personally thought the script was the strongest aspect of the movie. And why change something that isn’t broken? Hopefully, this also means director David F. Sandberg will also be returning for the sequel. Warner Bros. seem to be on a role now. Earlier in the year they gave us a release date for an Aquaman sequel and now the wheels are being put in motion for the Shazam! sequel. It’s nice to see the universe growing without the likes of Superman and Batman at the forefront. Each character is big enough to hold their own.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below.

Shazam! Tops Box Office as The Rock Teases Showdown With Black Adam

Another entry into the DC Universe, another number one at the box office. The latest DC movie Shazam! follows the likes of Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Aquaman and BvS by making a strong debut at the Box Office. Forbes are reporting that Shazam! has made over $53M during its opening weekend. This combined with the numbers overseas means the movie has already made over $150M at the box office. Given the budget of the movie is only $90M, if this is any indication Shazam! is set to be a major success going for.

While fans were celebrating this early success someone else was quick to share his delight with the movie’s performance. The Rock, originally set to play Shazam!, now Black Adam shared his thoughts on this news. In case you didn’t know The Rock and his movie production company serve as producers for Shazam!

Here’s what The Rock said on his Instagram:

By the end of this video The Rock goes on confirm that the Black Adam movie will be starting production next year. Not only that, but he also hinted at the inventible showdown between Black Adam and Shazam. And possibly with some other DC characters as he claimed “That day of reckoning is coming for EVERYONE”. Could we see Superman and Shazam! vs Black Adam? I hope we do. The Rock, Zachary Levi and Henry Cavill all on the screen at the same time together would be amazing.

Shazam! is currently in theatres, go check it out now!

Check out my review for Shazam!

Shazam! – Review (non-spoiler)

Shazam! is the latest entry into the DCEU. After the recent success of Aquaman all eyes turned to Billy Batson, a kid who can turn into a superhero by saying the word Shazam! Tasked with bringing Shazam to the big screen for the first time is David F. Sandberg. Most known for his horror background this would seem like an odd choice given Shazam’s character. But just like James Wan, David F. Sandberg proved he can adapt his style and produce a great superhero movie. Because that’s what Shazam! is at the end of the day. I had such a great time while watching this movie. My cheeks started to hurt because I found myself smiling so much. Shazam! is a movie full of heart that grabs you from minute one and takes you even further once Billy discovers his powers.

Family

One of the main reasons why this film resonated with me so much is the use of family as its theme. Billy from a young age not only struggles to fit in, but he has an even harder time trying to find a place he can call home. And throughout the movie it has him going back to his past to look for answers. I won’t spoil it, but I found some of these scenes really emotional. By the end of the movie it’s really nice to see how things turn out for him. You see how Billy changes over time, especially with how he treats people. Because at the beginning of the movie he’s not the nicest kid, but given his upbringing you can kind of sympathise with him. It’s just so satisfying once his character makes that change.

Perfect casting

I cannot praise the movie any further if I don’t give a special shoutout to the cast here. The movie works because of them. And you know what’s the best part about it? The majority of the main cast are kids! They’re going places after this movie. As for the main star Zachary Levi he’s just perfect in the role. I knew he was going to nail the role from the first trailer. He not only embodies this version of the character so well, but he makes if feel so realistic to me if that makes sense. I would totally be acting the same way he does in the movie if I found out I could become a superhero. He and Jack Dylan Grazer play off each other so well. Every time it was just them two on the screen together I wanted more. My favourite part in movie is once Billy gets his powers he takes Freddy along with him to discover what powers he actually has. This whole 10-15 minutes section of testing Shazam’s abilities is amazing and it works so well because of the chemistry between the actors. The rest of the kids who make up the foster family are great too. Faithe Herman as Darla was a standout too. Every time she was on the screen she got a positive reaction from the audience.

Dr. Sivana

Speaking of great casting Mark Strong as Dr. Sivana provides for an interesting main villain. Surprisingly, Dr. Sivana is actually given a lot of screen time compared to other villains in superhero movies. The movie actually opens with him. So not only are we following Billy’s journey we’re also following Dr. Sivana’s arc at the same time too. He’s isn’t a throwaway villain. The writers made sure that we understand why he took this route and the impact his upbringing had on him, just like with Billy. What I liked the most about Dr. Sivana is how he’s a genuine threat to Billy and the public. One of the best scenes in the movie involves Dr. Sivana in a boardroom. It’s straight up terrifying, clearly David F. Sandberg was channeling his horror roots in this scene. This scene really stands-out in the movie and it helps solidify Dr. Sivana as a formidable opponent for Shazam.

A lack of punch

With all the praise I’ve given to this movie so far it’s only right for me to bring up what I didn’t like about it because it’s not a perfect movie. Personally, I thought the action was just average. Not that it looked bad because given the lower budget I thought the CGI was fine throughout the movie. But the action scenes/fighting didn’t show me anything different. I was expecting more to be honest. And this ties in with another issue I have with the movie which is the third act/final fight. I thought it could have been a lot better. My main issues with it are that it had the same type of action as we saw throughout the movie and I felt like it went on for too long. Other than the action, humour is a major aspect of the movie. And while for the majority of the movie it worked there were times where a joke would take me out of the moment. At this point I might be nitpicking because 90% of the jokes landed for me. Plus there genuinely were some laugh out loud moments throughout.

Closing thoughts

Overall, even the flaws aren’t enough from stopping Shazam! being a special movie. It may not make a billion dollars like Aquaman, but I think Shazam! will win the hearts of many people. It won my heart. I love this movie and I can’t wait to see it again, along with a couple of sequels in the future. At a time where it may feel like we’re getting too many superhero movies and there may be some fatigue. Shazam! is a breath of fresh air to the genre. Do yourself a favour, go out and see this movie!

Shazam! will be released on April 5

Zack Snyder’s Original Justice League Plan

Over the past couple of days director Zack Snyder held a directors cut event for fans in California. The first two days consisted of watching the directors cuts for Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen. And for the last day Batman V Superman was screened as the event came to an end. Just like the previous two screenings this was also followed by a Q&A session and this is where things got kind of crazy. Of course the elephant in the room was addressed which is Justice League. Now the audience member didn’t ask something like “When are we going to see the Snyder Cut?”. But she questioned Zack’s original plans for the Justice League movie(s). Before we get into his response this is what we knew before about his Justice League arc thanks to Kevin Smith.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League Trilogy

Art by @datrinti
  • Justice League Part 1: Justice League defeats Steppenwolf with appearance of Darkseid
  • Justice League Part 2: Justice League take the fight to Darkseid on Apokolips and they LOSE
  • Justice League Part 3: Takes place after Darkseid wins and is set in the Knightmare universe from BvS.

Last night Snyder went into more detail about the third movie which is set in the Knightmare timeline. We were under the impression from the Knightmare scene in BvS that Superman turned evil because he lost Lois Lane. But how did he lose Lois Lane? In the scene he clearly blames bruce as he says to him “She was my world and you took her from me”. Yesterday Snyder explained how Darkseid was the one who was going to kill Lois Lane in the Batcave, turing Superman’s world upside down. And this would lead to him blaming Bruce for everything that happened. It wasn’t specified but my guess would be that Superman became an agent for Darkseid with the Anti-Life equation playing a major role.

So the main thing to take away is Darkseid killing Lois triggers the whole post apocalyptic world. Snyder also went on to state that some of the Justice League members would have fallen in the process and it’s left up to Cyborg, Flash and Batman to correct everything. Cyborg and Batman help send Flash back in time to warn Bruce just like we saw in Batman v Superman. And what happens next? I guess we’ll never know. I hope the script for the original Justice League movie leaks one day. I know some people aren’t a fan of Snyder’s style, but one thing I admire about his movies is how he pushes the envelope. He doesn’t just go out to make ‘safe’ movies, he really tries to go above and beyond and I appreciate that. I would’ve loved to have seen how his whole vision played out.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below.

P.S. If things went according to plan we probably would of had an Avengers movie and a Justice League movie use time travel in the same year. Crazy right?

If you want to hear Kevin Smith go into more detail about Zack Snyder’s three Justice League movies check out the video down below:

Aquaman: The First DCEU Movie to Make $1 Billion

After destroying all of its competition at the box office last month James Wan’s Aquaman hasn’t lost any steam at all. Looking at the numbers during the past couple of weeks it was only a matter of time before it would reach the $1 billion mark. I’ll be honest, I thought the movie was going to be a success. Just not this type of success. There aren’t too many films in that $1 billion bracket. And for Aquaman’s name to be up there with the likes of The Dark Knight, The Avengers and Star Wars is crazy. What an achievement! Fully deserved too in my opinion. Not only is Aquaman one of the few comic book movies to make the $1 billion, it’s actually the first in the DCEU to do it. Keep in mind the movie hasn’t even been out for a full month yet in certain countries. This number is only going to rise. As for James Wan, he now has two $1 billion dollar movies in his filmography as Aquaman joins his 2015 hit, Furious 7. It’s only a matter of when, not if we get an Aquaman sequel now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio after this success look at Wan for the next Justice League movie in the future.

Congratulations to the cast and crew involved!

P.S. It’s also nice to show the studio that not only Batman can make money at the box office.

Feel free to check out my review for Aquaman 

Let me know your thoughts on Aquaman’s success down below

Here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers (yet to be updated via. boxofficemojo)

Aquaman officially hits $1 Billion worldwide
In comparison to the rest of the DCEU
The statistics haven’t update yet, but it has now overtaken ‘The Dark Knight’
Aquaman breaks into the top 10 for most highest grossing superhero origin movie

My Thoughts On The Shazam! Trailer

Now I can’t lie although I thought the Aquaman trailer was amazing I found myself enjoying the Shazam! trailer a lot more. This is not a knock to the Aquaman trailer or James Wan, I just find myself replaying the Shazam! trailer more than the Aquaman one. To be honest I was already sold on Aquaman before the trailer was even released. I know what James Wan is capable of and the horror elements he would bring to Aquaman. Now Shazam! is an entirely different case to me. A kid who turns into a superhero with the mention of a single word sounds great on paper (hence the popularity of the character). But how would that work on the big screen? Especially in 2019? This was one of the biggest questions I had going into this trailer. And Sandberg along with the cast look go have got it spot on. I love everything about this trailer. The tone, humour and even the way its shot given its much smaller budget compared to the previous DCEU films. Now I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest Shazam/Captain Marvel fan ever but from what I know of the character they have done a good job at both respecting the past of the character while embracing the more recent iterations of Shazam with the New 52 run.

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Zachary Levi looks great in the suit and plays the whole inner-child aspect of the character really well. Granted we can see that the suit is padded and Zachary Levi clearly isn’t that big but it feels like they did it on purpose, it fits the tone of the movie. While Zachary Levi will play the most important role in the movie the child actors that were picked here are the real stars of the trailer for me. Asher makes a great Billy Batson in my opinion and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman was involved in my favourite moments from the trailer. I just feel like he does a great job at representing us comic fans and how we would react if we find out our foster brother had superpowers.

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I’ve seen people complain about the trailer potentially showing too much of the movie already. I’m guessing the majority of what they showed in the trailer takes place within the first 30/45 minutes of the movie. While I want to see Billy running around using his powers I also want to see the struggles he goes through as he’s trying to find that family structure in his life. But when he does discover his powers in the trailer that’s when the fun begins. Those training montages are great I can’t wait to see more of them. My favourite part of the trailer is the robbery scene where Shazam finds out he’s bulletproof. Freddy’s reaction in this scene makes it for me, you can tell him and Zachary have great chemistry on screen. We only caught a glimpse of Mark Strong’s Doctor Sivana and I’m expecting us to see a lot more of him in the second trailer. This just shows how they haven’t given away too much with this trailer.

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Overall while the character of Shazam is familiar to me this trailer makes me want to go back and start reading through his comics. I think New Line Cinema could potentially have a gem on their hands with this movie. They really need to go full force with the marketing of the film. If done right and this trailer is a great start I think Shazam could reach the same level of popularity as the rest of the Justice League members in the cinematic universe. Speaking of cinematic universes I love how both Aquaman and Shazam! are completely movies in terms of style and tone but they still exist in the same universe. One day I hope we get to see Billy and Freddy interact with the Justice League in the future.

Let me know your thoughts on the trailer

First Official Look At ‘Shazam!’

With SDCC right around the corner I was expecting us to get our first official look at Shazam! during the Warner Bros. panel. However, the studio are looking to start the hype train early by giving us our first look at Shazam! After months of behind the scenes shots and leaked promotional images we finally have our first look at the character. Entertainment Weekly has provided us with a still from the upcoming movie which features both Shazam! and Freddy Freeman (Billy Batson’s best friend). Comparing this shot the ones that leaked from the set I straightaway noticed some changes that they made to the suit. Firstly, the boots are completely different, the gauntlets look more detailed along with the belt.

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Director David Sandberg talking to Entertainment Weekly went into detail about the suit:

“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman,”

Just like with every comic book movie directors try their best to respect the past while embracing the present and David Sandberg has shown that with the addition of the hood on the suit which is influenced by the Golden Age comics:

“It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”

Personally I love this image, it really captures the tone of the film. Shazam! will be a much lighter film compared to the previous entries in the DCEU. Everyone involved in the project seemed to have a lot of fun shooting this movie and I can’t wait to see what they bring with them to SDCC. My prediction is that we’ll get a teaser trailer next week along with some more official images. Mind you we still haven’t seen what Shazam! will look like when all the VFX are applied to the character.

Synopsis for Shazam!

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).”

Shazam is set to be released 5 April 2019