By: Justin Hopkins
My intrigue level was rivaling my excitement going into the newest installment of Batman. Beyond the point of getting upset over casting of the Dark Knight. Proving the doubters wrong over and over when it comes to who wears the cape and cowl and willing to see what Robert can do with the character Liked the idea of this being an inexperienced Batman who is learning the ropes. Throw in Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman and they had the making of something good. Now, that it is in the books, let’s discuss.
Movie kicks off, with Riddler watching the Mayor. Who after sees his family off, they are going trick-or-treating, turns on the debate. Talking to someone on the phone. Not happy his opponent is in a dead heap with him. Riddler attacks him when he gets off the phone, and begins to set the scene. From there, we jump to various ongoing crimes and a voice over from Bruce. Talking about how he has been doing this for two years and isn’t sure what kind of impact, if any, he has been having. That when Bat Signal comes on, it is not just a call, but spreads fear in those, that at any moment, he will seep out of the shadows and get them. And we see, most of the criminals flee at the sight. Staying clear of the dark, except for a gang at the train station, and sure enough, Batman comes out of the shadows. Taking the fight to them and putting the fear of god, in the guy they were attacking. Making his way to the Mayors. Being let into the crime scene, by Gordon. To the chagrin of most of the cops on the scene. Evaluating the scene. Seeing that a card had been left behind for him specifically, before the commissioner chases him out. Back at the cave, Bruce has removed the contact with the camera inside. Going back through what he saw at the scene. Printing out images of the riddle and sypher. Writing in his journal everything that transpired during the night. When we met Alfred. Where they get into an argument over Alfred needing Bruce to be Bruce and do things for the company and Bruce having no time for any of that. Telling him he is not his Dad, as he walks away. Catching back up with Alfred after a shower. Who has been working on the sypher. Together they come up with the word drive. With Gordon, they go to the Mayor’s Garage. Finding a thumb drive in one, with the Mayors thumb attached to it. Inside, were pictures of the Mayor, with another woman outside of the Iceberg Lounge. A mafia club run by the Penguin. Batman makes his way over and brawls his way to a conversation. Penguin denies knowing anything about knowing the girl, but the bartender, Selina takes interest in it. Batman noticing her watching and when he recognizes her boots from a pair in the photo. Follows her out of the club and back to her apartment. Finding the girl there. Only he doesn’t go in. Watching Selina get into gear of her own and sneak out. Following her to the Mayor’s where he catches he busting in the safe. Stealing a passport. After a brief scuffle, learns that the Mayor had stolen the women’s passport and she is to traumatized to say what she knows, but he gets her to agree to take her back so he could talk to her. Only, when they get back. Find the apartment is trashed and she is gone. On the TV, the news is reporting the body of Commissioner had been found. Video had gone viral of The Riddler introducing himself, with Commissioner strapped to a rat maze. Adding to the mystery that would only get deeper from here, but where I leave it for now.
I adored the story so much. The mystery was laid out exactly right. Pacing and rising tension was perfect and climax that was well told and seeing the aftermath of everything after, was chef’s kiss. How a mistranslation was able to create so much confusion. Misleading you to consider Penguin, Batman and then finally, Falcone.
Riddler’s motivation was well told. Growing up in dilapidated orphanages with promises never kept. Showing how a corrupt Gotham create this villain and even how from his perspective, Thomas Wayne would appear guilty. Since he never got to explain what happened with the reporter and it was his foundation that was being pillaged by the corrupt officials.
Loved how the Batman was used here. Being early into his Crime Fighting, he had tech and detective abilities, but hasn’t quite put it all together. But did have the reputation, of something to be feared. When the Bat signal came out and everything would get tense and people were afraid. How he would rush into fights and tank damage, but would overwhelm his opponents with overall brutality. Putting the fear into not just bad guys but those he is trying to save as well, and all of this brutality and anger is starting to bleed through to when he was Bruce.
As much as I loved the portrayal as Batman, think Robert Pattinson may have shined his brightest as Bruce Wayne. Spending all his time, as Batman. Being around the violence and misery. All the while not seeing the positive impact he set out for, was making him miserable. Making him want to put on the mask and get back to it, and miserable even having to pretend to care about anything related to Bruce. By the end, learning that he was in fact making an impact just not the one he wanted. That the lesson he was preaching was one of vengeance and people gluing to that. That he would have to change and be better and I am really looking forward to seeing where they go from here on that note.
The fight scenes were great and cinematography was gorgeous. The score they had for batman was interesting in a good way. While The Batmobile was incredible.
Had already droned on about Robert Pattinson, he was great at the role. Lets take a moment to shine a light on the rest. Jeffery Wright was the perfect choice for Gordon. Him and Robert had some really good chemistry together. A lot of fun seeing them working together on the screen. Same with Andy Serkis’s Alfred, who I want to see much more of in the sequel. Paul Dano was incredible as Riddler. Bringing out the arrogance in the highly intelligent villain. Who seemed like someone who you’d encounter in the real world. Collin Farrell was perfect on making Penguin an interesting character. John Turturro was a surprise to see as Falcone, and knocked it out of the park, especially with Zoe Kravitz’s Selina Kyle. Who played a good Catwoman. She had the moves, looked great, and left me wanting to see more of her in this world as well.
This is very much a mixed aspect of the movie. While I loved the cinematography. There were a few rough spots, where things were to dark for their own. Example, is toward the end at Falcone’s, when Batman was fighting through the hall. Only light from gun flashes. Which, is great, but the flashes were so rapid, that I was pretty much blind through most of it. This might have just been a my eyes kind of deal or might not be there when I watch at home, but for now. It’s in the mixed category.
But that is all I got for you. This was a thrilling, psychological ride, with a ton of good action and horror themed moments. Actors and actresses did a ton to flesh their characters out and left them with places to grow and move forward from here. Go forth and check it out. Keep the Joker in the asylum and bring me the Court of Owls. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
I have a lot of love for Deck Builders. Ever since I started picking up the hobby. Gravitated toward them right away cause of my love of cards in general and lead me to buy my first deck builder, Resident Evil Alliance and had a blast with it. Adored the cards and way the gameplay was. So, much so, that I was quick to pick up a new one, in the form of DC Forever Evil. A game where you play as one of many DC Rogue Gallery to take down the Justice League. About all it took to sell me on it. With us in a brand new year and desire to mix up what I talk about. Couldn’t think of anything more that I wanted to then this, so with that said, let’s dive in shall we.
The game starts up with you picking your oversized Supervillain and passing out the cards to 2 to 4 players. Consisting of 7 punch cards and 3 Invulnerability one. That is your deck. In the middle of the table, with the top five spread out in a line, making up the lime-up. With a vertical stack next to it. Stack of Kick cards on top, weaknesses on the bottom, and stack on Superhero Cards in the center. Should have at least 8, but can add any up to 12, or more in some cases. Shuffle them up and put them facedown, except for The Flash. He always lines up first and face up. From there you are ready to begin. Shuffle your deck of ten, and draw five. Count up how much power in your hand. Total being how much you can spent one the line-up, buy a kick, or if you have enough, take out a superhero. You can spend up to the number of power or less in your hand. Say if you have 9. Can spend up to or less than nine. Once your turn is over, any cards you used, acquired or still in your hand goes into discard pile. Replacing any empty spot in the Line-up that you took, so as to always have at least 5. If you beat a Superhero, that card goes to your discard as well. Keeping the next one in line, until the end of your turn and everyone resolves their First Appearance attack and move on to the next person in line. Play continues till there are no more Superhero cards left or you cannot make a Line-up consisting of five. Collect all of your cards and count the Victory points in the bottom left side of each card. Along with any Victory Point Tokens you have acquired along the way. Highest number wins. In case of a tie, the players who has the most Superhero cards is the winner.
I have had such a blast playing Forever Evil. At this point, my favorite Deck Builders and top three favorite games in general. It can start off a bit slow, as Deck Builders do, but things pick up very quickly, because this game gives you so much to do. Setting up on-going cards, location cards, destruction cards to get rid of negative ones and Vulnerabilities and defensive cards. You still need to collect Power, because once Superheroes start falling it can go quick from there, but these cards early on, will not only go a long way to help in that cause, but also protect your stuff from your friends.
One of my favorite aspects of this game is how much it values being on offense. Not just with going after Superheroes, but messing with other players around the table. Being a general nuisance and screwing up what they have built and have in there hand. Freezing cards in The line-up that you know they need, sending ongoing cards back to their discard to a card that will allow you to commander any ongoing cards they have and use them for yourself for a turn. As trolly as all of this sounds, and it can be, there is legitimate strategies to run with this style. If you don’t have enough power to take a Superhero down, and you are worried they might. Any one of these moves can buy you another round to try and get the cards you need.
Forever Evil almost welcomes expansion packs to be added and I have added more then a few. The likes of Birds of Prey, Arrow and a few others to make a bit of a chaotic deck. Adding new ways to play, dynamics, cards to play as, and go against. A long with a rather tricky Rotation Mechanic. Really making each game feel unique and different from one another because of the way you chose or character you are playing as.
Forever Evil is a fantastic game, with some beautiful cards, and a ton of replay value. It is a game with a lot of different strategies to play around with, and never feels like you are sitting around waiting for what you need to start making progress. Easily lends itself to add expansion packs to flesh out the game more. Definitely makes me want to check out bigger box sets like Teen Titans and Heroes Unite. As far as Forever Evil goes though. Would gladly suggest picking it up yourselves and giving it a shot.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
Had some excitement going into Birds Of Prey. Suicide Squad was a let down, but Margot Robbie was a standout, and was looking forward to seeing her play the character again. This was about the time where I stopped watching multiple trailers for movies, but the one I did watch looked good. Liked the fact they were bringing in newer characters into the fold and wondered what they had in store for this movie. So, lets jump in and see if they were able to live up to the hype.
Movie starts out, with a cartoon style opening, narrated by Harley. Taking us back to her troubled childhood. Showing us everything that lead up to her and Joker breaking up. We follow along with her trying to get over him. See her get an apartment, her hyena, and joining the Roller Derby. Along with a lot of drinking and just causing general chaos. Getting away with the fact that she hasn’t told a lot of people about the break up. Riding the security of being The Joker’s Girlfriend brings her. Until, she heard her derby team talking down about it. Since she was still wearing the necklace and that she can’t stand on her own feet. That she would go right back to him the moment he said to. So, she runs out. Going to the Ace Chemical and steals a truck. Throwing away her necklace, and crashes the truck into the building. Causing it to blow up. As a sign that the relationship was over. We then jump back a few minutes, to Renee Montoya investigating a murder, by the Crossbow Killer (Huntress) She is kind of overlooked for her age and crazy lone killer theory. When they were interrupted by the explosion, and she puts it together by the necklace. Pointing out how bad of a move this was on Harley’s part, and we see it go into effect the next morning, but first, we get our first look at Roman and Victor, and just how brutal and lethal these two are. Than we get to the morning, Harley’s breakfast is interrupted by Renee. During the chase, she is confronted by all of these people she has wronged, and are now gunning for her. About to get away, with assistance from Huntress, but is caught by Roman’s men. We follow Renee back to the precinct. She is trying to open a case against Roman, but her Captain and D.A both hold grudges against her, and take the case off her. She tries to fight it, but a call comes in. Warning that she has to get Cassandra Cain to safety and Harley attacks. Looking for Cassandra as well, and everything gets crazy from here, and a good place to stop talking about it.
There is almost too many pros to cover and don’t know where to start. At heart, this was Harley’s Movie. Story revolved around her. She even narrated during the movie, but they gave each character a fair amount of time for us to get to know them. We got to feel Renee’s struggle in the Precinct, with the Co-Worker stealing her work, and the D.A who was her Ex that was still angry over what happened in their relationship. We got to see Dinah struggling between wanting to avoid getting involved and her upbringing and Mother’s Heritage, and Helena being a powerhouse, but awkward at the same time. Practicing how to introduce herself as Huntress in the mirror, which was a nice touch. Then you get the extreme charismatic, psychotic nature of Roman and the even more creepy, evil Zsasz. This may have been Harley’s Movie, but everyone got a chance to shine.
I loved the colors that they used throughout. From the multiple explosions from the Chemical Plant. Later when her and Cassandra were walking and they had this purple hue on the road behind them, I get that is weird to point out, but it stood out for me. You get the colorful outfits of Harley, but the suits worn by Roman were just tremendous. They were so over the top, but fit his personality so well.
The fight scenes were intense and brutal and so many leg breaks that made me cringe every time (Broken Bones always gets me) Harley’s unorthodox style was entertaining, due to never really knowing what she was about to do, and I nearly jumped out of my seat when she fired off a confetti packed grenade during the raid on the Police Department. Don’t know if she used that in the comics, but she did in Injustice 2 and love that ability, and love the fact she used it in the movie. During the end siege, we get everyone fighting waves of enemies. Keeping Cassandra between them, and everyone felt special and unique.
On smaller notes, appreciated the little nods to the comic. Sure there was more, but having the Hyena and Bernie the Beaver were nice touches. Can’t wait to watch again to pick up on what else I missed. Then you get Grievances, anytime someone attacked Harley, they would stop, show their name and what she did to them. It was a fun way to explain their appearance and added a little laugh.
Margot Robbie has really made this role her own. She shined in Suicide Squad, and blew it away here. She just know how to bring Harley to life. She would respond to something she said in Narration. Bringing out so many layers. Her pain of the breaks up. Unsure of where to go from here, and that she was facing an impasse. Balancing out the crazy, violent, humorous Harley and the intelligent, good nature of Dr. Harleen. Mary Elizabeth Winstead really sold it for me, when Harley pointed out why Roman was coming for her, and she grinned over the memory, and was awesome in the final fight scene and the end. Rosie Perez was good as Renee. Felt like a cop, in a room full of characters. She didn’t have hitman training, or Super Hero lineage, or the insanity of Harley. Just a cop trying to do the right thing, and nothing more, and helped her stand out. As much as a challenge Margot had, bringing the character back. Thought Jurnee Smollett-Bell had a much harder one. Having to follow several talented Black Canaries in the Arrowverse, and to her credit, she did a good job. Could have let her use her Cry sooner, but she handled herself very well with the emotional conflict over where she stands in all of this.
On the villain side, Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina were excellent as the Black Mask and Victor Zsasz. Ewan really brought out the viscous nature along with the spoiled child that lay within the Black Mask. He grew up with money, but had to work for his own wealth, and carried that anger inside. Looking at people as his things, and can do what he wants, and Ewan did that justice. Then you had the disturbing performance from Chris. Generally coming off as creepy and how much he loved killing people. Often egging Roman on to continue humiliating other, or worse. Both knocked it out of the park.
This is normally reserved for negatives, and yes, this would be considered a negative, but not an out right one, and that is Cassandra Cain. It is difficult to explain.. I thought Ella Jay Basco played her really well, and the character works well with what they were going for, but why did it have to be Cassandra. I get that they not want to use the human weapon, able to beat anyone, Cassandra. Due to Huntress being raised an assassin and would have felt to similar, but could have been just given her random a name, and if I am getting Cassandra’s mixed up. I am sorry, but when I heard Cassandra and we don’t get Batgirl or Orphan. It sets itself up for a little bit of disappointment.
And that has been my review of Birds of Prey. It was a crazy, fun, wild movie that I enjoyed from start to finish. Everyone really did a fantastic job. The comedy was good, the action was solid, and I would strongly suggest going out and checking it out for yourself. Know I will probably check it out again. Final Grade: S
I hope you enjoyed and as always..
Thank you for reading.
By Paul Anthony
Welcome to another exciting addition of Friday Roundabout where we look at some stories that we didn’t cover during the week. So why waste time let’s look at some stories, now this one actually came out last Friday and that is That on November 15th 1989 a little channel launched and that was Comedy Central. We know that this channel launched some famous shows that we fell in love with. These shows includes South Park which is currently still going strong, then you had the very popular The Man Show, Reno 911, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. these shows no doubt made Comedy Central a hit and even though the torch has been passed today shows will never live up tp the first thirty years but Congrats to Comedy Central.
Back in May HBO’s Hit show Game Of Thrones ended and many people were not happy with season 8 though the writing was on the wall to see twist that was coming but now it is being revealed that the crew did film an alternate ending that they did for fun. Now Kristofer Hivju revealed this news but said he couldn’t say anymore about it. There is no doubt I believe him but there is a good chance that we will never see this unless the demand is so overwhelming when the box set comes out.
We now have our first R rated billion dollar film and it was nice to see history happen however when you make a billion dollar off a 60 million dollar budget no matter what the story is you know a sequel will happen. Right now Joker 2 is so called now in the works but the details are still up in the air because Todd Philips who directed Joker actually got access to film two origin films of D.C. villains one of course was Joker now there no doubt that Warner Bros might want both another Origin film and a Joker 2 film but time will tell as to what we will actually get.
Now Here is something that is truly funny and that we all know we are entering the streaming war where everyone has their own streaming service now PornHub has announced they want to get in the act of streaming as well, which isn’t a bad idea but outside of just more porn which a lot of people get for free what else can they do?
Apple is now making more then just phones and computers, we know they have their own streaming service as well and as they march towards having their own movies and shows they did encounter a setback and have suspended the release of their movie the banker because there are sexual abuse allegations surrounding one of the producers of this film which sounds pretty good and it stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson and Nicholas Hoult. Until this situation clears up, we wont be able to see this film sadly.
Of one the famous Star Wars characters is Darth Maul who at first seem to died in Episode 1 when he was introduce but people loved the character back that Star Wars shows found ways to bring him back even though his stories seem to have skipped all around the timeline but now many are saying it is time for him to have his own movie or show which now with Disney plus it would most likely to be a show and finally give us his full story which we know he dies in rebels. This still just a rumor and nothing has been confirm just yet.
by Paul Anthony
Can you believe its been just over ten years since the Dark Knight came out and created a whole bunch of storylines. Most people thought this movie was ground breaking for the Comic book film genre. Some will even credit this film putting this genre of films on the next level, regardless what people will say we can again say this film was in a league of it’s own. The Story was different, the action was on point and so was the actually acting. With all of these elements and story lines, one thing it could not do was get Nominated for best picture at the Academy award and yet Black Panther was.
Sure The Dark Knight won a bunch of other awards including the academy award for best supporting Actor which Health Ledger won but sadly this was after he passed away which may have had a part in it which said to say but it is also true, yet it wasn’t even in their mind to nominate them for best picture. Now ten years later we another film making a big splash in the award season and that is of course Black Panther. Now in my eyes at a quick glance Black Panther was far below the greatness that The Dark Knight was and still is. Now don’t get it twisted I think Black Panther was a good film with some good acting and actors but nothing truly stood out compared to what the genre is putting out there. But yet they are nominated for best picture which even being nominated is such a high honor. Now Black Panther did change the culture of sorts in Hollywood. This film came out in a time where Hollywood is under fire a lot for White Washing which is a term they used when white people are cast in a non white role. SO yes it did make a impact big time but films are not rewarded for being a culture impact because then you would have to change everything about the award process.
What if Black Panther wins? This would be a billion dollar question and I am very curious to find out because if it does it would be the first comic book film to do so, which is such an high honor and I don’t think it deserves that. Many people will still hold The Dark Knight in high honors and still will call it the best even if Black Panther wins. I am big Marvel fan and would love to see this win go to them, so good luck to Black Panther!