Superman: Red Son – Review (Spoiler Free)

Superman: Red Son which is directed by Sam Liu adapts the famous work of Mark Millar and is the latest entry into the DC Animated Universe. Being a fan of Liu’s previous DC work with titles such as Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay and The Death and Return of Superman I was going into this with high expectations. Not only due to Sam Liu’s involvement, but because Superman: Red Son just happens to be one of my favourite graphic novels ever. And I’m happy to report that for the most part Superman: Red Son met those expectations. Is it perfect? No, it definitely has its issues which I will get into later on. But throughout the 80+ minute runtime, even though I knew what was going to happen I found myself invested every step of the way until the climax.

For this review I will not be going into details about the comic itself or what happens in the movie because I want to try keep this as spoiler-free as possible. If you haven’t read the comic I would highly recommend you pick it up either before or after watching this adaptation.

Story

Superman: Red Son can only be described as the ultimate ‘what if?’ story. Instead of superman’s pod landing in a farm in Kanas. This time it lands on the other side of the world…in Russia. So not only is this Superman raised by different parents, he’s also raised up in a totally different environment and this helps shape him as an entirely different Superman than the one we’re so used to seeing. This is why I love the comic so much. I find twists like these to iconic characters so fascinating and Superman: Red Son is no different.

Seeing how Superman operates in 1950s Russia is refreshing when it comes to the character because part of what makes this setting so different is the political climate of the country at the time. And while he tries his best to help the people judging by what side of the fence you’re on you can actually see this Superman as either the hero or villain of the story. What I liked about this adaption of the story is how it tries to humanise Superman more than in the comic. I could still sense the essence of Superman in version of the character with how he dealt with issues. Whether you agree with him or not you could always see that he was trying his best to better the lives of others.

Action

The action in Superman: Red Son is definitely its strongest aspect. Fight scenes are shot well and are straight up brutal at times. This is certainly the case when Batman gets involved. Batman is another depiction of a character which I love when it comes to this movie. Plus, I don’t care how many times it happens or what iterations of the characters they are. I will never get tired of watching Superman and Batman go toe-to-toe for a couple of minutes. The inclusion of the Green Lantern Corps was much needed too as with their Lantern Rings they bring an entirely different dynamic which helped bring some variety to the fight scenes.

Animation

One of the major complaints when it comes to the DC Animated movies is the quality of the animation. Now, usually it doesn’t bother me that much. But with Superman: Red Son it actually did. For a story that was set in the 1950s of Russia it sure didn’t look or feel like it. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it felt like I was just watching another DC Animated movie and a lot of that has to do with the animation style. This might be because I’ve spent the last week watching all of the DC Animated movies in preparation for Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. But those movies should look and feel the same because they are part of the same universe. I just wish the studio changed up their animation style when it came to the Elseworlds movies to further help differentiate them from the current timeline.

Ending

I haven’t gone into much detail about the changes and similarities from the source materials. Going into the movie like with previous adaptions I wasn’t expecting a full adaption. I knew there was going to be a few changes. And for the most part I was happy with those changes. However, when it comes to the ending of the movie this is where I have my biggest issue. Not that anything was changed, something was left out. A major twist in the final panels of the comic which I love. Honestly, it’s my favourite part of the story. I still remember that jaw-dropping moment as I was turning those final pages. I just don’t see what was gained by leaving out that final twist from the comic. Once again, if you haven’t picked up the comic I highly recommend you do for that twist alone.

Closing thoughts

Overall, while Superman: Red Son is far from perfect I still believe that it is a solid and warranted adaptation of the source material. Regardless of my issues with the ending and some other changes from the source material there is still enough here that should keep you entertained especially, when it comes to the story and the action. I would also say that there are parts of the movie which are done better here than in the comic itself. That’s why I’m always open to adaptations like this. I love to see a creators take on a fellow creators work and with Superman: Red Son Sam Liu does a solid job at adapting one of the greatest comics stories ever made while adding his own touch to it.

Superman: Red Son – 4/5

Superman: Red Son is available on Digital Download now, and Blu-ray& DVD on March 16, 2020.

Click here for a chance to win a copy of Superman: Red Son on Blu-ray™

Avengers: Endgame Review (Spoilers)

Where the hell do I start with this review? I guess I’ll start with my initial thoughts after I saw Avengers: Endgame for the first time at a midnight screening on opening night. To be honest I wasn’t sure how to feel about the movie. Part of me left the theatres unsatisfied and borderline disappointed with what I got. As I started to play the movie over in my head again nothing changed. My feelings towards it got worse. But I felt like it was my duty to watch it again before I gave my entire thoughts. Maybe some things would change the second time round. Or maybe my initial thoughts would become solidified with that second viewing.

Honestly, viewing Avengers: Endgame a second time made all the difference for me. Just the personal viewing experience alone. I sat through that midnight screening tense and constantly on edge. My mind was going a million miles per hour with all the theories I had going into the movie. I can only speak for myself, but going in more relaxed with no pressure made me enjoy the movie a whole lot more. And even though I still have my issues with it. I found myself slowing falling in love with the movie. As I finished my second viewing I started asking myself “What the hell were you thinking when you tweeted out “the movie is just fine? Is this not everything you wanted from it?” And I hold my hands up. I’m happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong about Avengers: Endgame.

Given there is so much that goes on in this film it would be impossible for me to touch on every aspect. So, what I’m doing with this review is splitting it up in to three main sections which are dedicated to each act of the movie.

Act 1: Aftermath of the snap

Oddly enough, this is what I was looking forward to the most going into Endgame. We only caught a glimpse of how the Avengers reacted to the snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. But how would they feel/change once time had passed? For such a huge moment in the universe were they going to let the snap sit there and sink in? And boy did they. Seeing Tony like that after he returned to Earth was rough. I thought it was a great character moment. For someone that always has the answers it was heartbreaking to see him so defeated. Then I started to get concerned when the remaining Avengers went into space to kill Thanos. Although it was satisfying watching the Avengers show up to Thanos’ garden and straight up kill him I was so happy when I saw that ‘5 years later’ title appear shortly afterwards. I’ve seen a lot of people say the first act was too slow, but it was so important to me.

Seeing the Avengers lose AGAIN and hit rock bottom was needed for this movie to work. And I love how the snap impacted everyone differently. Tony gave up and focused on his family, Thor went into hiding, Cap was trying his hardest not to accept defeat and Black Widow was left to pick up the pieces with the rest of the Avengers. Oh, and Clint was in Tokyo being a straight badass. Then you have your everyday people. I really appreciated the scene of Scott Lang looking through the countless names at the memorial park. It just reinforced the impact of the snap for me. We have all witnessed this universe grow and expand over the past 20+ movies and throughout that opening act it just felt…empty.

Act 2: Quantum Realm

I remember Infinity War being described as a ‘heist movie’, but I felt that even more here with how the Quantum Realm was used to go back in time and collect the stones before Thanos. And even though I knew they were going to be revisiting major events in past movies I didn’t expect them to be interacting with previous versions of themselves. I thought it was a nice twist as it added to the already huge stakes. I loved this concept with Cap especially. As soon as he walked into that elevator I said “Oh, they’re about to do it aren’t they?!”. I didn’t get what I wanted, but the “Hail Hydra” line was a nice touch. However, for as much as I enjoyed the time travel aspect of the movie it did come with its issues. For me this is where the movie started to get muddy and kind of drag for me. It got to the point where it felt like they were trying to do too much. You start to jump from one timeline to another and one side plot to another with Thanos plotting in the background. On a second viewing it does start to make more sense, but I still felt overwhelmed by the end of the act. The whole time travel aspect has created some debate online since the release of the movie. So, I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only who has issues with it.

Act 3: Assemble

With all of the stones collected and Hulk doing the snap it was all leading to this. What a third act! It did not disappoint at all. This might be my favourite final act of any comic book movie. Captain America, Iron Man and Thor teaming up against Thanos was enough for me. And you add in Cap using Mjolnir for the first time. Oh, I was more than content. Then they took it to the next level by introducing the “dead” characters. I was blown away by the shot of Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Black Panther running at the end of the Infinity War trailer. The Russos really just put that shot on steroids here. Seeing every single character in the MCU charging at Thanos and his army, I was just in awe the whole time. I just noticed I haven’t spoken about Thanos much in this review so far. It just shows how crucial the gauntlet was to him. Because throughout the movie he got his ass beat. I would’ve liked to have seen him put up a better fight. Maybe take out one of the Avengers during the final conflict. But that could’ve been too much now that I think about it, because we needed to sit with Tony’s death. Plus it was so satisfying watching Scarlet Witch nearly kill him all by herself. I came to the conclusion that Infinity War was Thanos’ movie and Endgame is the Avengers’ movie.

Goodbyes

This whole time I thought it was a given that Captain America would die in the final battle. I was so sure that Cap would die and Tony would eventually retire. I honestly didn’t think they had it in them to kill off the face of the franchise. And the way he went out was perfect too. Even when the snap happened and you see Tony laying there burnt up and barely conscious. I still didn’t think they were going to kill him. Knowing Tony I was just waiting for him to say a joke or something to break the tension. When Friday said his condition was “critical” it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is why I admire the first act so much. I loved seeing Tony as a father and for him give it all up to save everyone was beautiful. Also, Cap has questioned his selfishness since the first Avengers and for him to make the ultimate sacrifice was perfect for the character’s arc.

Now on to Captain America. If you didn’t know Captain America is my favourite MCU character. In terms of my all time favourite comic book characters he’s fourth on the list after Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. Once Tony died I thought was Cap going to stick around? Was he going to lead the next Avengers? Then I saw him preparing to go back into the Quantum Realm to put all the stones back. I knew he wasn’t coming back straight away. Again, like with Tony I thought Cap’s ending was beautiful too. He finally went and enjoyed his life for once. I know he’s a fictional character, but I was so happy for him in that moment. However, I didn’t see this movie as an ending for just Captain America and Iron Man. This was an ending for the Avengers as a whole. Or at least the original members. Tony’s dead, Cap’s retired, Black Widow’s dead and Thor gave ownership of Asgard to Valkyrie. I honestly have no complaints about any of these decisions. Nor would I change them if I had the chance. I just know then when we get that next Avengers movie way down the line, the line-up is going to look a whole lot different.

Closing thoughts

There you have it! This might be my longest review ever. If any movie deserved this much of my time it was probably Avengers: Endgame. I just had so many thoughts running through my head especially after the first viewing. Thankfully, I went for another viewing because I found myself appreciating the movie a lot more. Do I put it over Infinity War? I’m not sure yet. I might have to watch it one more time before I decide. Both Avengers Infinity war and Endgame are at the top of my MCU list. In fact they both have a spot on my all time favourite comic book movies list. Bringing in the Russo Brothers was one of the best decisions Marvel Studios has ever made. I just want to thank them for picking up the torch and giving me a beautiful ending to this saga that I have grown up with.

Avengers: Endgame 9/10

*BONUS*

Favourite characters:

  • Iron Man
  • Captain America
  • Rocket
  • Hawkeye/Ant Man

Least favourite characters:

  • Thor – I understand what they were trying to do with the character and how he dealt with grief/guilt. I understand people put on a brave face and laugh their way through pain, but I felt like they were being too comedic with it.
  • Hulk

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:

The Shazam! Trailer Is Finally Here

The marketing for DC’s upcoming Shazam! movie is finally picking up steam. Over the past couple of weeks the studio has slowly been putting out more TV spots. And with the movie set to be released next month it was time for the big one! Another full trailer to hold us over for the next couple of weeks.

As for the trailer itself I thought it was really well done. The thing I liked about it the most is how they actually didn’t show much which is a good thing to me. For example, with Mark Strong unless you’ve read the comics we don’t know much about him from this trailer and the one they showed last year at SDCC. Warner Bros. in particular, has been guilty of showing too much of the story/footage with their trailers in the past. But not with Shazam! this time. They seem to be learning from their mistakes and taking a more laid back approach. Granted, the movie’s budgets isn’t in the same realms as the likes of Man of Steel/BvS and Aquaman. Shazam’s budget is much lower and is fully expected to make back its budget and much more.

When the trailer wasn’t showing us footage we had already seen the new material was a welcome sight. I must say the tone of this movie feels perfect. I love the chemistry between Freddy and Shazam! I do believe Freddy will steal the movie for me. How can you not love him? He’s basically acting like how anyone of us would act if we found out our best friend was a superhero. His performance comes across as so genuine and pure. As for Shazam himself, it’s going to be great to see how his journey evolves. While he’s having all of this fun at one point it’s going to get serious because Dr. Sivana does pose a genuine threat to him and his foster family.

The special effects for the movie look fine. There’s nothing that I have seen so far that has taken my breath way. There also hasn’t been anything that I think looks terrible. You can tell the film is on a smaller budget. And honestly, I know it might sound like I’m being too much of a DC fan, but the visuals don’t really bother me. With Shazam! I’m not looking for this overly complex story or a cinematic masterpiece. I’m just looking to have fun. And with everything I’ve seen so far I think I’m going to have a great time watching this movie.

What did you think of the trailer? Let me know your thoughts down below.

Shazam! is set to be released on April 5th

The Batman Gets Release Date As Affleck Hangs Up Cape

Information about Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman movie has slowly been surfacing in the past 24 hours. Earlier today, we got an interview with Matt Reeves talking about what direction he’s going to be taking the movie in, along with a potential release date. Well, several hours later we now have a release date for the movie confirmed. But it comes as a bittersweet moment as it has finally been confirmed Ben Affleck will not be returning to the cowl. Starting with the good. We finally have a release date! Deadline with an exclusive confirmed Matt Reeves’ Batman movie is set to be released on June 25, 2021.

Ben Affleck – Batman no more…

Now for the bad news…well for me since Ben Affleck’s Batman is my favourite portrayal of the character so far. Deadline, in the same report also claimed that Affleck is going to hang up the cowl as the movie is set to be focused on a much younger Batman. At first when reading this report it felt like the same old stuff that has come out about Affleck leaving the role in the past.

Then Affleck took to Twitter and retweeted the article and stating how he was looking forward to seeing where director Matt Reeves takes the project. We all know this was most likely going to happen, but it still sucks to get the confirmation. Throughout the past couple of years it’s been tough watching Affleck going from directing, writing and starring in the Batman movie to ending up doing none of them at all now.

Regardless, no actor will be bigger than the actor for me and I’ll be there on opening night in June 2021. While I’m kinda fed up that I never got my Batfleck solo movie I can’t lie I’m still excited about the future of Batman without Ben Affleck. I can’t wait to see who takes on the cowl next.

Thanks for everything Ben!

Matt Reeves Batman is set to be released on 25 June, 2021

Matt Reeves Details His ‘Noir’ Driven Batman Movie

Information on Matt Reeves’ upcoming Batman movie has been scarce. Matt Reeves has been fairly quite since he came onto the project. He’s keeping things a mystery and keeping the fans guessing. Granted, he has done interviews in the past where he’s given us little snippets on his Batman film, but not enough as of yet. Today, he sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and actually gave us quite a detailed look into his Batman film from the potential villains, the story and the most important thing, the release date.

He are the key points to take away from this interview:

A Noir driven story

Lesley Goldberg:“So, Batman. Tell us your take”

Matt Reeves “It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

Confirmation there will be more than one villain in the movie:

Lesley Goldberg: “Have you begun the casting process?”

Matt Reeves:There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan. I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things. 

Potential 2021 release date

Lesley Goldberg: “What’s your goal as far as a release date?”

Matt Reeves: “We haven’t been dated. I wouldn’t commit to this, but we’re thinking the movie would probably be for 2021, late spring or summer. Warner Bros. has been incredibly supportive and given me a lot of time and shared the same passion that I do for this story.”

Overall, there were three key things to take away from this interview. The first being how the story is going to be noir driven. Now he’s already told us this like five times already. But, it’s great to hear it again anyway. It looks like he’s going to be taking the character back to his roots. The second thing to take away is the use of multiple villains who will link in with this noir driven story. We all know Batman has one of the greatest rogues gallery. Given the type of story he’s going for my best guess would be that the Riddler is going to be one of the villains.

And now for the most important part of the interview. The release date. 2021 feels like a realistic release date since the project hasn’t even started filming yet. Keep in mind, we still haven’t had confirmation on if Ben Affleck is going to return to the role. Either way Matt Reeves has been saying all of the right things about his Batman movie. As a huge Batman fan this sounds like the movie of my dreams.

Let me know your thoughts on the details dropped in this interview down below

Check out the full interview with The Hollywood Reporter

First Birds of Prey Teaser Released

Earlier today, Margot Robbie provided us with our first look at Harley Quinn in the upcoming Birds of Prey movie. Hours later the studio have now released an early teaser for the upcoming project which started shooting a couple of weeks ago. This is more of a production teaser with the cast going through their costume tests. What this teaser did give us was our first look at the whole gang in their costumes.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary
Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress

The teaser also gave us a look at Black Mask and Zsasz who were not in their costumes:

Chris Messina to play Victor Zsasz
Ewan McGregor as Black Mask

Feel free to check out the teaser below and let me know your thoughts on it:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) is set to be released on February 7, 2020

First look at Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey Revealed

Margot Robbie’s girl-gang movie Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) has been shooting since the start of the year. Unlike when previous DC movies have started shooting we haven’t seen any set photos leak yet. One has to think it will only be a matter of time before they start filming in the public. However, Margot Robbie gave us something on her Instagram this morning which should hold us over until then. With the film currently in production Margot Robbie, decided to give us our first look at Harley Quinn in the upcoming movie.

Closer look at the dog tag which clearly states ‘Bruce’

Granted, it isn’t an official first look. It’s more of a selfie of her just waiting around on set. Therefore, it’s hard to see how much of her look has changed since the last time we saw her in Suicide Squad. One thing that has caught the attention of many comic book fans like myself is the dog tag Harley’s wearing. If you look closely you can see it says ‘Bruce’ on it. What does this mean? Just an Easter Egg or acknowledgement that Bruce exists in this universe. Could he possibly play a small role in the movie? Or is this just part of Harley’s crazy personality. After all, she would name her dog after Bruce Wayne.

Let me know your thoughts on our first look

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) is set to be released on February 7, 2020

Early Social Media Reactions To Aquaman

DC’s biggest movie of the year is only a couple of weeks away from its release. We’ve gone a whole year without a live-action DC movie (minus Teen Titans Go!). It doesn’t feel like that for some reason. It feels like Justice League was only released a couple of months ago. Speaking of Justice League, some would say James Wan’s Aquaman, is an opportunity to take Warner Bros. back into the right direction. There’s a lot of pressure James Wan’s shoulders with this film. Just the scale of the film alone is something that very few people in the industry can pull off. And today, we’ll get to see what the media thought of the film and whether James Wan’s Aquaman lives up to the hype.

As with all major releases the film was screened early to the press. A couple of weeks ago members of the press were shown the film and here are their thoughts:

Paul Shirey (Joblo)

Umberto Gonzalez (The Wrap)

Sean O’Connell (CinemaBlend)

Digital Spy 

Andrew Dyce (ScreenRant) 

Brandon Davis 

Jim Vejvoda (IGN)

Sean Gerber (SuperheroNewsCB)

Mike Cecchini (DenOfGeeksUS) 

Jenna Busch

Carly Lane (SYFYFANGRRLS/SYFYWIRE) 

Ben Mekler

There you have it. These are most the early reactions to Aquaman. You can clearly see it’s mostly positive for Aquaman. As always I will judge the movie for myself. Roll on December!

 

Release Dates For Spider-Man Spin-off movies revealed (Venom 2 & Morbius?)

After a number of attempts it may finally look like Sony’s Spider-Man universe is going to be taking off after all. Or, should I say Spider-Man-less universe as the web-slinger is yet to make an appearance. With Tom Holland’s Spider-Man flourishing in the MCU it was left up to Tom Hardy’s controversial Venom movie to take the reins. Now, regardless of what you think about Venom, the movie is a hit. The film has only been out for more than a month and it has already made up to $800m at the box office. Did the studio just strike lucky with Venom? Well, it looks like we’re going to find out in the next couple of years as Sony have revealed two release dates in 2020 for further spin-off movies.

The first of these dates is July 10, 2020. And going by what we know about the films in development so far. My best guess would be that Jared Leto’s Morbius movie is going to be released on this date. Of all the Sony movies in development this is actually the closest to going in production. It has been reported that the studio are looking to shoot the project early next year. Also, a couple of weeks ago Morbius himself (Jared Leto) posted a video on his Twitter teasing the potential look of the character.

The second date that has been added to the slate is October 2, 2020. This would have to be the Venom sequel. It’s a no brainer. The film was highly successful and the studio already laid the groundwork for the sequel with the post credit scene in Venom.

Let me know your thoughts on this news down below.

Are you looking forward to Sony’s spin-off universe?

Feel free to check out my review for Venom!