“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
The general consensus is critics hated this movie, and comic book fans liked it. The video release offers even more of it to either like or hate. If you’re a comics fan, you’ll probably get all the unexplained references. If you’re not, you’ll probably get lost. Writer David Goyer has put his imprint all over comic book adaptations – “The Blade Trilogy,” “The Dark Knight Trilogy,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” the TV show “Constantine,” and he worked with director Zack Snyder of this film’s prequel, “Man of Steel.” Snyder is no fanboy slouch, having directed “300,” “Watchmen” and is scheduled to helm the next two DC Film sequels for “Justice League.” What about the Justice League? Henry Cavill returns to demigod form as Superman. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot were unlikely choices for Batman and Wonder Woman, but they wear the bat-belt and lasso of truth with ease, respectively. Another unlikely pick – Jesse Eisenberg slides effectively into the sleazy role of villain Lex Luthor. Amy Adams and Jeremy Irons are both sturdy sidekicks. It’s big and blustery, and not as good as a Marvel movie, but still worth a watch.
“The Family Fang”
Passion projects can be a tricky job for actors. Usually they have to wear at least two hats, and juggle duties that result in tattered performances or spotty direction, but Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman have been around the Hollywood block a few times. In this dark comedy, the duo champion Kevin Wilson’s novel about a family of conceptual artists, famous for public displays of weirdness. Kidman produces, and Bateman produces and directs. They play the sister and brother of the title family as we deal with relationship psychosis and trauma – the gooey stuff of comedy. It’s a far cry from Bateman’s last directorial effort – “Bad Words.” The real scene stealer is Christopher Walken, proving he can still bring the dramatic tension, even when Batemen uses levity to undercut him. It’s not bombastic, but it’s got teeth and it’s worth a watch.
An ode to the hitman flick – it takes so much to do the trick. Sam Rockwell is such a great killer, let’s do the math. They got him to play every whacko in “Seven Psychopaths.” Max Landis (son of John) is only 31 years old, and he’s already written two movies of this type. This is Anna Kendrick’s first, but don’t listen to the hype. Her cuteness only adds to the violent pleasures. And we forgot that Tim Roth was such a ’90’s treasure. Okay, so there are some throwaways with the plot. And rapper RZA still cannot act worth snot. But what “Mr. Right” got right was having fun, and with hitman flicks that’s easy to botch. But lay back and relax because this one is worth a watch.