Being a big fan of comic books since childhood, one of the biggest disadvantages of living outside the US has been that I have never been able to attend any Comic-con or any similar fan event in the past. And I have always have been DC boy over a Marvel boy, tough I kinda like both. So when it was announced a couple months back that DC was hosting their own first-ever virtual fan event online, it is needless to say that I was pumped. I cleared out my schedule for the whole and pulled off an all-nighter, just to watch the entire event live. And oh boy, it turned out to be one of best experiences I have had (certainly the best this summer).
The event was perfectly coordinated and each segment edited perfectly to make it all smooth – the people at in-charge at DC can pat themselves at the back for conducting a true fan experience. And not not just the big movie panels where all the big reveals came from, even the smaller panels and so much good content that kept me entertained throughout. But talking of the big panels and reveals – yes, they were amazing! And the last panel with Matt Reeves talking about the movie and The Batman trailer, it just brought the house down.
I was so happy with this event and would want DC to make this into an annual global experiences. I would be covering some of my favorite trailers and reveals from DC FanDome this week, so make sure to check in!
Michael Keaton is possibly reprising his iconic role as the caped crusader from Tim Burton’s Batman movies, in the upcoming Flash movie starring Ezra Miller according to several reports. Earlier reports stated that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is being eyed to return to his role of Thomas Wayne as Flashpoint Batman in the Flash movie, but it seems like they are not doing that right now. It is said WB will adapt the Flashpoint storyline to some extent and Keaton’s Batman will be part of the Burton-verse where Flash land up. But whatever the case, one thing is for sure – Multiverse is the future of DC, and in my opinion, that’s the best way to go about it. Here’s me telling you why.
The Flash is a very Multiverse Friendly character
The inclusion of Flash leads itself to the possibility to tell stories involving the multiverse. The Flash comics delve deep into the ideas of dimension hopping and alternate realities. Flashpoint, the comic storyline this Flash movie is said to be based on, is particularly a story where The Flash runs back in time to save his mother from dying but in doing creates a dystopian alternate reality. If you watch the CW Flash series you should be familiar with the idea of Flashpoint. And not just Grant Gustin, Ezra Miller’s Flash has already traveled to alternate dimensions in two occasion. Once in that brief bat-cave scene in BvS, and second in CW’s Crisis of Infite Earth event, where two versions of Flash famously crossed paths. And WB specially requested CW to put that cameo in, so they may have some bigger multiverse plans for Flash in the future.
All versions of Batman can be canon
Michael Keaton will return as Batman, taking up his role from the Burton films 30 years on. It would mean the Burton films are officially canon in the current DC Movies and as sources as reporting WB are trying to make Keaton’s old Bruce Wayne into a Nick Fury type of mentor figure in multiple upcoming DC projects. So we can have multiple actors playing different version of the same character at the same time. It would mean everything is canon, and all Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson and Michael are Batman.
The Snyder-verse can still continue in some capacity
DC has been trying to reboot their movie universe and step away from Zack Snyder’s version of the Justice League, but with the release of Snyder Cut on HBO Max makes things seem a little muddled right now. With the introduction multiverse, Snyder’s version of the characters can continue in some capacity in future DC Movies and TV shows.
Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman both retcon events of Synder-verse.
Both Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman, deacon the events of the Snyderverse completely and start fresh with their characters. This is very confusing considering it the same actor playing the same characters, but the multiverse will be a really convenient way to explain the changes.
DC can continue their success with standalone movies
After a rocky start and a couple false beginnings DC has finally found their footing in the movie market alongside Marvel. The success Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam, and Joker shows that strong standalone films are what’s really working for DC. Their upcoming slate is filled all standalone movies with no sight of a Justice League movie in a near future. The multiverse with allow the writers and directors to take artistic liberties by focusing on their own corner of the DC universe.
The Batman and Joker are in their own separate universe.
Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman staring Robert Pattinson is currently under production and it is said to be it’s own thing, much like the Joker movie from last year. This allows filmmaker’s to tell more dark high brow stories with this iconic characters as they don’t have to worry about connecting the films together. But existence of multiverse will open the door to characters from The Batman, Joker or any other DC black label movie potentially crossing over with the DCEU films in future.
The Future of DC movies
In short, the possibilities for DC movies in the future are endless right now. So it seems like multiverse is surely the way to go for DC in future. We can have have fun and bright kids movies, Big budget blockbusters, Dark Fantasies, high brow dramas and more at same time coming out of DC. It also separates them from their competition Marvel and gives them the edge over the company. It could also lead to more crossovers between DC TV shows and movies, and make the multiverse even rich with characters. And who knows, maybe five years from now, flash could run through a bunch of alternate dimensions and we could have a big Justice League movie with all the different versions of the DC characters coming together. All I can say right now is –
“Exciting times in the world right now, my friend. Exciting times.”
Artemis fowl feels like some parent gave an infant a brand new toy set featuring random action figures to play with, but the kid pooped his pants before he could finish the story, so now we are just left with whatever game the toddler designed in the limited time before he pooped his pants. But no, this isn’t some fantasy a 9-year-old cooked up in his bedroom, this 125 million dollar budget Disney production starring big names and directed by a well experienced director, who has made good movies in the past – how this movie turned out to be such an epic disaster, is a total mystery to me.
To call Artemis Fowl a movie would be giving it too much praise, it doesn’t qualify as a movie. It’s a series of random footage stitched together to form something that barely emulates a feature-length movie. It doesn’t even have a story, it’s the type of movie where nothing really happens. A bunch of characters are introduced, they get together in the third act, some random shit happens I guess and the movie just ends there. There are no character arcs, no plot, no journey, no adventure – basically anything that has something to do with a story is lacking from this movie.
Sitting through the one and half hours of which movie (which definitely felt much much longer) was a torture to say the least, the movie was so boring I dozed off twice. I would not be able to tell you anything about the plot of this movie, even if I were to try, because it is fucking nonexistent. In the first few minutes we are like told how smart Artemis Fowl, and then his whole backstory and family background is explained in very exposition heavy dialogues by a counselor of sorts. It is like if in Batman Begins, Batman just straight up showed up in the first act and Alfred explained to him how his parents died and then about all the ninja training he did, in a single monologue, so that the audience gets to know who Bruce Wayne is. What’s worse is, none of those details matter, because the character of Artemis Fowl himself doesn’t matter and I really don’t know why they had to make such a big point about him being smart, it’s not like they use it in the story, because he barely does anything. Yeah, the titular character of the movie doesn’t do anything in story except just existing in the frame.
I know this an adaptation, so maybe the character is just boring even in the books. But no, I know that’s not true because I have some friends who are real fans of the book and really love Artemis Fowl. From what I’ve heard, Artemis is supposed to be this grey character who’s a criminal mastermind and he’s supposed to have this big redemptive arc over the course of the books. It’s as if the writers of the movie didn’t even read the books , they just heard what the books were about – a smart kid, fairies, dwarfs,trolls, etc, and then sort of build a plot around it that they thought would print money. But then the script supervisor came in and told the writers that he was supposed to be a criminal mastermind, so they just randomly add line at the end of the movie where Artemis says, “I’m Artemis Fowl, the criminal mastermind.”They took all the elements from the books and stripped them of anything that makes it interesting, even down to it’s protagonist. Also, I don’t really wanna be too harsh on kid, but the guy (Fardia Shaw) they cast as Artemis Fowl sucked so bad. He was s such an un-charismatic and dull presence, that even in this awful movie, he stood out as wooden.
Now, if we are talking about acting, let’s get to the two biggest names in the cast. Josh Gad plays this giant dwarf character, who also narrates the entire movie from a prison cell. He looks like someone trying to pull off a cheap Hagrid cosplay in comic-con while putting on a Batman. And yes, the whole movie is narrated in a Batman voice, and I honestly don’t get the point of the narration, it’s not like anything happens in the money. Josh Gad is not that bad technically, but his costume, voice and CGI face make it tough for me to say he was good. Also putting on a Batman voice, is Dame Judi Dench who sort of plays the fairy version of M from the Bond movies. She also has her own centaur version of Q in the movie named Foaly, which I know because he’s introduced like this – “Hi there, this is Foaly!”. Between this and Cats, Judi Dench really needs to fire her agent, or maybe she’s just gotten to the point in her career where she doesn’t care anymore, and is just building some bank for her kids.
There are also other characters introduced in the story but none of them matters in the end. There’s a side quest with this fairy who’s father is believed to be a traitor, so she wants to clear his name. She’s like supposed be the best friend that Artemis Fowl makes in this misadventure, and they try to have these friendship moments between them but it all just comes off as so cheesy and cory that you don’t even take it seriously for one second. But Artemis Fowl is supposed have this great relationship with his Butler and his niece, but don’t give two shits about them cause neither does the movie, they just exist in the background somewhere.
This definitely feels like a movie that was botched in the edit room. I mean, I don’t believe there’s a cut of this movie that’s any good, but the editing seems so sloppy and the plot doesn’t really flow from one place to another, which makes me wonder who’s fault is this that this movie tuned out so bad. Everything about this movie is bad, from writing to acting and visual effects, it’s almost as if everyone working on this movie wanted it to fail. Disney surely did, because they didn’t try to do any re-shoots, get any good editors involved or pay any money for post production and good visual effects. Instead they took this opportunity to quietly dump the movie on their own streaming, but I’m not sure what it says about their brand. It feels like Disney is saying Disney Plus is the place where we’re gonna dump all our bad movies and the good ones will be coming in theaters, and I don’t think that’s the look they want. I don’t think this movie is gonna bring any new subscribers to Disney Plus, and in case you are already subscribed, I’d suggest you skip it.
So, did you watch Artemis Fowl (if so, why?) and what did you think of it?
With HBO Max launching tomorrow, a lot of you maybe be wondering whether you should spend your valuable bucks on the brand new premium streaming service. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the AT&T and Warner Media owned streaming service, so that you can decide for yourself if its worth the monthly subscription.
In this article:
HBO Max vs. HBO GO vs. HBO NOW
The Crown Jewels of HBO Max
HBO Max Originals
The Criterion Collection
Studio Ghibli and Crunchyroll Anime Collection
Extensive Movie Library
Why you should get HBO Max
HBO Max vs. HBO Go vs. HBO Now
Since 2015, HBO NOW has been HBO’s standalone streaming service. For $15/mo., you get access to everything HBO’s ever made, plus a rotating collection of around more than a thousand movies. HBO Max will include everything that HBO NOW has for the same price, and so much more. Not only do you get everything that already available, but a whole bunch other big shows, movies and HBO Max Originals. If you’re already a HBO NOW subscriber, you’ll automatically be upgraded to HBO Max without any extra cost.
But for HBO GO subscribers, things are a little complicated. HBO GO is a streaming service included in HBO cable subscriptions and TV packages. It essentially allows HBO cable subscribers to stream the HBO content they’re already paying for, facilitating on-the-go viewing. If you get HBO through AT&T TV, DIRECTV, Hulu or Spectrum, you’ll automatically get an HBO Max subscription at no extra cost as soon as it launches. If you however don’t get HBO through the following service providers, you’ll need to pay the bucks for HBO Max.
To me, HBO Max is clearly the superior streaming platform, since you get so much more at practically the same price point. So, if you’re a HBO NOW or HBO GO subscriber, I would advice you to upgrade to HBO Max at launch without a doubt.
The Crown Jewels of Streaming
Even tough every streaming service is hungry for new content, most people just wanna watch the good old stuff and have a good time. HBO Max reportedly paid over 1.5 Billion dollars for 3 big shows alone. Let’s have a look at these shows.
Friends is arguably THE crowning jewel of the streaming wars – drawing more viewers than any other show in the world. The popular 90’s American sit-com about the tumultuous lives of a group of friends living in New York is still hit with fans among both the old and new generation. The Friends reunion was supposed to be the thing that would make people sign up for HBO Max, but due the corona-virus pandemic, the show has now been delayed. Still, Friends remains one of the most popular shows on the platform and with it’s high re-watch-ability, it sure gonna be there for you.
The Big Bang Theory
WarnerMedia’s nascent streaming platform will have exclusive rights to 12 seasons of the show from Warner Bros. Television and co-creators/executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. All 279 episodes of “Big Bang” will be available on HBO Max when it launches.
South Park, the long-running animated comedy hit, will have a new streaming home on HBO Max. The upcoming streaming platform from WarnerMedia scheduled to launch in May of 2020 will have exclusive streaming rights to the iconic series beginning in June of 2020.
Personally for me, the biggest draw of HBO Max is all the DC content they will be serving up.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
After years of fans petitions and online wars, Warner Brothers finally announced last week that Zack Snyder’s version of the justice league will be release exclusively on HBO Max in 2021. It is said to either in the form of a four hour movie or a six episode miniseries. Whatever be the case, excitement for the Snyder Cut among fans is high and it is expected to fetch HBO Max a lot of subscribers.
A live-action Green Lantern TV series is currently in the works for the HBO Max streaming service, with Greg Berlanti producing.
Justice League Dark
Abrams’ Bad Robot company is working on a number of projects for HBO Max, including a Justice League Dark series. The line is not official yet, but expect Constantine and Zatanna to appear.
Other HBO Max Original DC shows
The CW Shows
All the new CW shows will be available on HBO Max including the season of Batwoman and the new Stargirl show.
DC Universe Shows
Doom Patrol season 2 will release on HBO Max along with the first season. However, the fate of other DC Universe shows like Titans, Harley Quinn is still unknown.
The DC movie Library
The complete DC movie library will available on HBO Max – From The Dark Knight to Joker, Wonder Woman to Aquaman and Man of Steel to Batman Returns.
HBO Max ORIGINALS
Dune: The Sisterhood
Dennis Villeneuve will accompany his star-studded film adaptation of Dune with a companion series on HBO Max, titled Dune: The Sisterhood. The series will center on on the women of Bene Gesserit as they navigate the political framework of The Imperium to make way for the planet Arrakis.
This Stephen King-inspired genre piece will feature characters from The Shining and will tell stories from the most famous haunted hotel in fiction. It’s produced by J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot, who are also behind Hulu’s Castle Rock.
Raised by Wolves
Ridley Scott will executive-produce the sci-fi series from Aaron Guzikowski about two androids raising human children on a mysterious planet. As the growing colony of humans almost falls apart due to religious differences, the androids realize how dangerous and difficult their task really is.
There are literally tons more, these are just what I’m most excited about.
THE CRITERION COLLECTION
The Criterion Collection, Inc. is an American home video distribution company which focuses on licensing “important classic and contemporary films” and selling them to film aficionados. Honestly, I’d pay 15$ just for this.
Studio Ghibli, Inc. is a Japanese animation film studio based in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The studio is best known for its animated feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film.
Crunchyroll is an American distributor, publisher, and licensing company focused on streaming anime, manga, and dorama. Founded in 2006 by a group of University of California, Berkeley graduates, Crunchyroll’s distribution channel and partnership program delivers content to 50 million registered users worldwide.
Well, this is a given but all shows and movies will be available on HBO Max. They are know for their prestige dramas and they have some huge shows coming up too like Lovecraft Country and Game of Throne’s prequel House of the Dragon.
As the parent company of Cartoon Network and Looney Tunes, WarnerMedia has an impressive collection of children’s content that will also hit a nostalgia nerve for their parents. Many of HBO Max’s original series are also aimed at children and families. Also cartoons from Cartoon Network and Adult swim will be available on HBO max.
Extensive Movie Library
The movie library on HBO Max is so big, that I’m not even gonna try to list them all. Apart from the great Warner Library, they also have several classic films from other big studios available on their service. Also, HBO Max will be producing original movies for their service. Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle will be the first original movie to release on HBO Max.
Why you should get HBO Max.
Now let’s get to business. I honestly think you should get HBO Max, even though it’s costlier than other service like Disney+ and Netflix. But see it this way, you were most probably already paying for HBO, you just get all the extra stuff free. And even if you never subscribed to HBO, there’s just so much content here that I believe it’s absolutely worth the 15$/mo price point. It’s literally so much content that I probably didn’t even consider 5% of all that is available in the service. And it’s not like they are just putting anything on there – it’s all premium content, made by some of the biggest names in Hollywood and with some of the biggest pop culture properties. Just like the tagline of HBO Max goes – “Where HBO meets so much more.”
Rating – //stream it once it’s free// (Or you know, purchase on VOD for your kids!)
Scoob! is set on it’s way to create history one way or another. It is the first movie set for a theatrical release, to completely skip theaters and release on digital VOD due too the current corona-virus pandemic. What kinda business it does is yet to be seen, but either ways it’s going to shift some gears in the Hollywood release model. Anyways we’re not here to talk about that, let’s discuss if the movie is any good. Is it? Well, it’s a both yes and a no.
While Scoob is a nice fun pastime for the family, it no ‘The Lego Movie’ which both kids and adults can appreciate together The jokes here are mostly written for kids and read as if it’s some middle aged man trying to write what he thinks kids these days find funny. Yes the Scooby Dooby franchise has been adapted to modern times and all characters are now millennials (Or GenZ, I’m not sure. Also the plot and the messaging in the film is not nearly as smart or innovative as the LEGO movies, which the scooby doo mystery mystery formula being revamped to fit into the superhero genre. Because again, what do kids love these days? Superhero movies.
But I’m not gonna be too harsh on it for that, after all this movie IS made for kids. And honestly I think kids will love this movie – with all the bright colors, funny gags and entertaining action. That’s why I couldn’t help but think of how much better it all would be on the big screen. Kids out of school, going to the theaters and having a blast with Scooby and gang, as they slurp on cola and much on popcorn. This movie really had the potential be some like a minions. But alas, that not the kind of time we live in right now.
Also if you’re a genuine Scooby fan, I think there’s enough in Scoob! to please you too. Shaggy and Scooby are the stars of the film and I think the voice actors did a good job here. But the real show stealers in the voice acting department are Zac Efron as Fred and Mark Wahlberg as The Blue Falcon. What you don’t get much of is – enough time with the gang together as they are separated right at the beginning. But to compensate for that, you get a slew of Hanna-Barbera characters in the movie. There are a ton of references in this movie! This is essentially an origin story for a planned hanna-barbera universe by the Warner Brothers. So if you’re like me and spent your childhood watching hanna-barbera cartoons on Cartoon Network, that’s plenty reason to get excited.
How good Scoob! would’ve done if it were released in the theaters? I can’t possibly tell that, but the last act of this movie would definitely have been a blast to watch on the big screen. So, I would recommended you to watch this film – kids will love it, and chances are you will too.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War; Dir – Christina Sotta
Rating – /Must see if you’re a fan/
It started in 2013, when Flash ran through the barrier of space and time in Justice “League: The Flashpoint Paradox” to save his mom, and kickstarted this animated VOD franchise. Now seven years and 15 movies later, the DCAMU comes to an end, or at least this version does (WB has already released new images from “Superman: Man of War” with a complete redesign). Though the franchise had a great start from Flashpoint. it had a pretty uneven track record. There have been few very entertaining movies and there have some complete duds, fortunately, “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” one best movies to come out of WB Animation Studio.
For the most part the DCAMU has been a testing ground for Warner Bros, to see what characters and story-lines are appreciated by the fans. The Suicide Squad movie got made because of the popularity of its animated counterpart, and it looks like the Justice League Dark animated movie had a huge effect on WB green-lighting the Bad Robot produced Justice League Dark HBOmax series. In that regard, this movie can act as a huge template for WB moving forward with any live-action Justice League movie. Now, before I go ahead, I should clarify that there are going to minor spoilers in this review. So, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, go watch it and then come back.
First of all, I don’t know why this movie is called “Justice League Dark”, it should just be called Constantine with the Justice League. But they are not the only ones here, this movie features almost every character that has appeared so far in the DCAMU movie with teams like Suicide Squad and Teen Titans, so if you’re a DC comics fan you’ll have fun just by pointing out your favorite characters. It also helps that all the characters are kept true to their nature in the comics unlike most adaptations. What isn’t kept true to nature is the New-52 comic series that this movie is adapted from, the story is changed a lot in order to serve what they’re trying to do. And I’m not complaining either, the story here is really good, it is definitely one of the most plot-heavy DC animated movie ventures. The script does a great job of juggling all these characters and giving each team a worthy agenda to fulfill, which truly makes it feel epic.
The story is told from John Constantine’s perspective, and he definitely has the best story arc. The story begins with the Justice League preparing an attack on Apokolips, which turns out to be a trap set by Darkseid. The League loses terribly and a lot of people die including Zatanna, which causes Constantine to flee and he spends the next two years hiding and drinking in guilt. Until one day Clark Kent and Raven pay a visit to him, so Constantine can track down Damian Wayne for them. Superman is powerless in this reality as Darkseid has fused liquid Kryptonite in his blood, while the rest of the league has become Darkseid’s mind-controlled minions with Batman as their boss. Clark Kent, Raven, Constantine, and Damian together unite the rest of the surviving heroes on Earth, to fight back on Apokolips one last time.
The animation certainly captures the scope and finality of the story, from devastated landscapes to the hellish expanse of Apokolips. This definitely feels like an Endgame type story. Speaking of Endgame, the MCU influence is very clearly evident here. After decades of fighting over their difference and trying to stand apart, looks like we are finally entering a time when both the companies are owning up their similarities. From plot similarities with Infinity War and Endgame to Constantine being made into an edgier version of Doctor strange and King Shark saying only one thing like Groot, it feels like DC is trying to see if they can pass on these successful formulas into the big screen.
The movie also really owns up to the “Dark” in it’s title as it’s probably the bleakest entry into the DCAU yet, with some of our favorite heroes being slaughtered like they’re nothing. The violence is graphic and their implication are real, which you’re gonna love if you are a DC fan like but for kids, the darkness can be a little too much. But it’s not all grim, there are great jokes and funny moments in between all the action and mayhem from characters like Etrigan and Harley Quinn.
What really surprised me about the movie was how well it fleshed out the relationships and characters in this movie in a runtime of just 90 minutes. I didn’t expect to get emotional watching this, but kudos to the writer E.J. Altbacker for being able to deliver such powerful emotional moments in a movie where so much else is going on. Constantine and Superman both have a sort of redemption story arc which I really got behind and the Damian-Raven relationship was one of my favorite things. Also, there is a scene in the latter half of the movie involving Batman and Damian which really got me emotional. The voice acting is top notch here, with Matt Ryan’s Constantine being the standout, whose 7 year reign as the Hellblazer character.
“Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” is a really well-made entertaining ride that manages to give its heroes a worthy finale as we say goodbye to them one last time. In the end as Flash runs towards Flashpoint one more time, ending this universe just the way he started it, we feel both saddened by the loss of our current heroes as our heart starts beating in excitement. thinking about the countless possibilities the new DC animated universe holds.