Justice League

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Rated: MJustice League

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Screenplay Written by: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon

Story by: Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns

DC Super Heroes: Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg

Also starring: Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta and Joe Morton as Silas Stone, and expands the universe by introducing J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, and Amber Heard as Mera.

Based on characters from DC comics, Justice League is a team of superheroes brought together by Wonder Woman and Batman to fight against the world’s old nemesis, Steppenwolf.

Previously conquered in the ancient past by the Amazons, the inhabitants of Atlantis before the city sunk into the sea, and even the gods; they all fought side-by-side to stop the warlord from Apokolips from taking over the world.

Now, Steppenwolf has returned with an army of parademons (think a cross between an insect and vampire) to claim what he believes is rightfully his.

After seeing Wonder Woman in the recent film set during World War I, Justice League is present day – depicting an, approaching-middle-aged Batman and the ageless yet, powers-unseen-by-the-public, Wonder Woman.Justice League

Now that Superman is dead, the population is grieving and unable to see any hope for the future – chaos is gaining power as the people sink into darkness with newspaper headlines asking, Why are all the superheroes disappearing?  With Prince and David Bowie pictured alongside Superman.  Which I thought was quite clever, but also depressing, right?

I was also beginning to think the film was going to be a history lesson into each character.

Yet, the introduction of: Aquaman, shown to be just as strong on land as under water; Flash, the hero in training and Cyborg, a biomechanic meta human (and a new addition and update in the current techi-driven world), was necessary and brief.  And somewhat offset by the antics of Flash, adding some light humour to the mix.

The story could have gotten messy trying to give weight to each hero, but it worked.

Each character had their own personal conflict to conquer, giving the film layers beyond action.  And I could feel the humanity of Batman, not quite metahuman, his self-professed only super power being rich.

The need for this super-powered Justice League team fighting together stems from the power of Steppenwolf – the super villain.

The film flashes back to the past, giving Steppenwolf backstory, yet I wanted more grit, more than just another villain wanting to conquer worlds.  I would have also liked to have seen more of his home world of Apokolips…  But I had fun watching this film.

Gal Gadot has continued to shine as Wonder Woman and the sparks of humour from Ezra Miller as Flash were funny.

I wasn’t blown away, but Justice League was a fun ride – more of Aquaman in the water next time!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Director: David YatesFANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Script Written By: J. K. Rowling

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan, Fogler, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Jenn Murray, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jon Voight, Ronan Raftery; Josh Cowdery.

‘Worrying means you suffer twice,’ says Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne).  Which is another way of saying, Why worry, when there’s no point.  If something bad is going to happen, suffer through it once, not twice!  What a gorgeous way of treating life, the sentiment setting the tone of the film.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is J. K. Rowling’s debut as a screenwriter.  The inspiration from the Hogwarts textbook of the same name, written by her character, Newt Scamander.

It’s difficult not to compare Fantastic Beasts and the previous Harry Potter films as there’s a similarity in vision; not only writer, Rowling, being the creator of both worlds but David Yates returning after directing the previous 4 ‘Harry Potter’ films.

But this is America, not England.  There’s a new language where Muggles are now called No-Maj (humans without magic).   Where the American’s have the Second Salemers – fanatical No-Maj’s who want to get rid of wizardry for good.

Terrified of exposure, Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA), Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) makes short work of anyone who threatens the fragile hidden world of magic.  Until Newt arrives with his suitcase full of fantastic beasts.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Instead of Harry Potter and his young friends battling their way into adulthood, with an exploration into all the dark corners of life in magic and life as neglected children, we have adults running through 1920s New York trying to re-capture cute magical creatures.  Instead of a darker adult outlook, I found Fantastic Beasts to be more childish in its tone.

There was a lack of depth, the feeling of a beginning, a building of a story rather than a whole which was disappointing after the Harry Potter introduction of J. K. Rowling’s magical world.

But what lacked in story was somewhat off-set by the magical creatures, the Niffler, reminding me of a platypus with a keen eye for all that glitters and all that’s gold.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

I couldn’t help but grin and giggle at the behaviour of these creatures, and that brings me back to the childish tone of the film.

Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist, Newt, was likeable and I could relate to his awkwardness, which was essential as I felt if you liked Newt, you liked the film.

But I admit I wanted more from this film, from this story.

The characters were likeable, the creatures adorable, but the story didn’t have that darkness that make the Harry Potter films such a surprise.

Fantastic Beasts is a PG-13 film that I’d take my nephews to watch for some fun entertainment.  Which doesn’t make it a bad film just not thought-provoking.  The Harry Potter films were an adaptation with more thought to the themes like good versus evil and all the inbetween.  Whereas Fantastic Beasts felt more like a glossing over of the story.

I’m expecting a series here.  A series that will get deeper and darker as the story progresses.