Film News – Marc Maron On Joker

One of the movies coming out in 2019 that has a lot of buzz is Joker, a standalone DC film that stars Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker, Batman’s greatest enemy. Marc Maron has a supporting role in this comic book movie and, in an interview in NME, he had the chance to discuss Joker.

Joker

Here is what Marc Maron had to say on filming Joker, what the movie focuses on and working with Robert De Niro:

I finished that a while ago, we’d just finished wrapping the third season of Glow, I did a week in New York and did a scene with Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix. I couldn’t believe it was happening, but once I got there I was like ‘Here we go. Let’s do the job’.”

I think it’s a very interesting approach to this world, I’ve been somewhat judgemental when it comes to comic book movies and I’ve got a little pushback in the press for being a hypocrite. Whatever I think, if you get a call and someone says, ‘Hey do you wanna do a scene with Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix?’ your principals fall to the wayside.”

If it’s relative to what I think of Marvel movies then it’s like, ‘Yeah, of course I’m gonna do that’. Oddly, it’s not that kind of movie. The approach that Todd Phillips has taken is more of an origin story and a character study of a mentally ill person that becomes The Joker.”

It’s more of an intimate and gritty movie with a very specific scope. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it comes out.”

It was great to meet him [Robert De Niro] and it was great to see him work […] He’s a nice guy and kinda shy, but it was a great experience and not too much of a mindfuck.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

TV News – Matt Bomer On Doom Patrol

DC and Marvel will compete with each other yet again in the near future. They already do this in the film industry and now, thanks to the launch of DC Universe and the imminent release of Disney+, they will compete in the television industry too.

One of the new superhero TV shows on DC Universe is Doom Patrol and Matt Bomer is part of the ensemble cast for this comic book television series. At a Q&A, Matt Bomer talked about Doom Patrol.

Doom Patrol

Matt Bomer had this to say on how familiar he was with the Doom Patrol comic book before he joined the cast:

I wasn’t familiar with (these comics), at all. I grew up with pretty standard comic book fare, as a kid. I was definitely more of a DC kid, but I did not know about Grant Morrison’s comics, or even the ones that predated that.”

“(Executive Producers) Greg Berlanti and Jeremy Carver called me and described this character to me, who they felt, on the outside, was this all-American, Chuck Yeager, golden boy, but on the inside, was one part the Elephant Man and one part Montgomery Clift. I thought, ‘Oh, wow, that’s a really interesting dichotomy to get to play.’ He’s this golden boy on the outside, but inside, he’s always felt like a monster.”

It’s the great allegory of the role that Jeremy so brilliantly came up with. Through this accident, he ultimately becomes what he always felt he was inside. So, his journey over the course of the season is finding a dialogue with himself, where he can learn to accept all of the parts of himself that he felt were unlovable or unacceptable, in the past.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Justice League (Film Review) – An Abomination

Justice League is a superhero film directed by Zack Snyder (yeah, sure it was) and it is the fifth instalment in the DC Expanded Universe (DCEU). The film features an ensemble cast that includes Ray Fisher, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, J. K. Simmons, Connie Nielsen, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck.

Justice League takes place after the events of Batman vs. Superman. We see a world devoid of hope after the death of Superman (Henry Cavill). Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) seek to continue the legacy of Superman by forming a team of superheroes, i.e. the Justice League. This team have to combat the apocalyptic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Justice League

To say that I was buzzing for Justice League is a lie. Despite how much I liked Wonder Woman, everything I was seeing and hearing about Justice League did not fill me with confidence. Truly, the DCEU has been divisive and this has caused a reactionary nature at Warner Bros. to fester. Consequently, the production for Justice League was tumultuous.

Ben Affleck as Batman Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman Ray Fisher as Cyborg Ezra Miller as The Flash and Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Justice League

Zack Snyder had to step down from the film after a tragic family loss. Joss Whedon then stepped in to finish the film. From that point, all we heard was how the film went through massive re-shoots. Clear evidence of this is apparent when we see the trailers for the film. To me, the trailers for Justice League were inconsistent when it came to showcasing the tone and look of the film.

Then, when the reviews came out, Justice League seemed as though it was another divisive film in the DCEU. Going into the film, my expectations were low. Very low. Still, despite its mixed critical reception, the consensus I was seeing about the film is that it was fun. So, at the very least, I hoped that I would be entertained by Justice League.

My Thoughts on Justice League

Do people have a different definition of fun to me? Seriously, this is the worst cinema experience I have had in years. Justice League is awful. Sure, it is lighter in tone (the darker tone in the DCEU was never an issue for me) but it is not fun to watch. By far, it is the worst DCEU film I have seen (I have not seen Suicide Squad). This film is a gigantic mess. It is quite clear that Zack Snyder’s influence on Justice League is not mixed well with Joss Whedon’s. It is a massive step backwards for the DCEU, so much so that I see no other option but to reboot this clusterfuck.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman Ben Affleck as Batman and Ezra Miller as The Flash in Justice League

Clearly, despite the love towards Wonder Woman, the audience is not responding well to the DCEU. We need to look no further than the fact that Justice League had the lowest box office opening for a DCEU film yet. Moreover, it is not going to make $700 million at the worldwide box office. This is staggering. Justice League was supposed to be DC’s The Avengers and it is not even going to make $1 billion worldwide.

After seeing Justice League, it is easy to understand why the audience is abandoning the DCEU because the film sucks. For one, the story is awful. The plot of Justice League is thin, generic and completely lacking any reason to get emotionally invested. I did not care about what happened to any of the superheroes in the film.

Steppenwolf

The main reason why I did not care about the fate of the protagonists was because of Steppenwolf. For me, most great superhero films have compelling villains. Just look at The Dark Knight. It has a villain in Heath Ledger’s The Joker that, for me, is second to Darth Vader as the greatest villain of all time. Steppenwolf is one of the worst villains I have ever seen. Aside from the awful CGI that was used for him, the reason why I detested Steppenwolf in Justice League is because he is just another villain who wants to destroy the world.

Steppenwolf in Justice League

We have seen this time and time again and it is really boring to keep seeing this type of villain. They have no depth or interesting qualities about them. I will say that the voice-work for Steppenwolf by Ciarán Hinds was good. Still, we get no meaningful, interesting reason as to why Steppenwolf has the aims that he has. When the superheroes are fighting a villain that you do not get invested in then you have no reason to care about the story and what unfolds in a film. Sadly, Justice League suffers that fate.

The introduction for Steppenwolf was also quite rushed and the same goes for the protagonists in Justice League. Honestly, a lot of the film just felt like cut-scenes put together with no connecting tissue. The formation of the Justice League was very rushed and it was not executed well. No time was given to delve into the characters and no character in the film really had any development.

Batman

In fact, I would argue that someone like Batman regressed as a character. Undoubtedly, Ben Affleck’s Batman was the best thing about Batman vs. Superman. I loved how Batman was portrayed as though Bruce Wayne was the mask and Batman was his real identity. For me, Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman vs. Superman had a lot of depth.

Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League

All of that great work was completely undone in Justice League. In this film, the character was portrayed as though Batman was the mask and Bruce Wayne was the true man. I hated this and it made Batman one of the worst parts of this film. Additionally, it does not help when you clearly notice how bored and disinterested Ben Affleck looks throughout Justice League. It is no secret that Affleck wants out of the DCEU. After seeing Justice League, I think it is the best thing for all parties that this happens.

Additionally, they tried to give Batman some comedic moments in an effort to make Justice League more fun. Some of the comedy in the film does work but it is not with Batman. It is when Flash (Ezra Miller) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) were involved that the film had some laughs. Still, even then, it was mixed. For instance, Flash’s line about blood sugar made me chuckle but his whole brunch thing felt very forced.

Seeing Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth influence Aquaman to spill his deepest thoughts was also funny. Yet, the whole surfer dude shtick started to grain on me. Still, despite some funny moments with Flash and Aquaman, the comedy in Justice League does not work for Batman. One scene in particular where he is with Superman has an attempt at humour which is awful.

Ezra Miller as The Flash in Justice League

The Worst Things About Justice League

That leads me into what I believe is one of the worst elements of Justice League. We knew that Superman would come back from the dead in Justice League. Even though the marketing for the film left Henry Cavill out completely, we knew it was coming. It was something I was actually interested to see in Justice League.

The execution of Superman’s resurrection is terrible. It is the definition of anti-climactic. While I have never had much affinity for the character, Superman is an icon to many DC fans. Moreover, he is essentially a God within the universe he lives in. His return should have been an epic, unforgettable moment that is the emotional crux of the film. It was none of those things. I was very unsatisfied with the way he came back to life in Justice League.

Another element of Justice League that was be terrible were the visual effects. I already mentioned how bad the CGI was for Steppenwolf. However, the general visual effects that are on show in the final act of the film look like something out of a PlayStation 2 game. Additionally, the CGI used to digitally remove Henry Cavill’s moustache is very noticeable. All of this just cemented my belief that Justice League was rushed to make its November release date.

Henry Cavill as Superman in Justice League

My Final Thoughts on Justice League

For me, apart from some humour working, the only thing that I did not think was awful was Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot embodies that character very well. If the DCEU is rebooted, then it is unfortunate that it will probably mean the end of that incarnation of the character.

Still, Warner Bros. are just setting themselves up for more failure if they do not radically change something with the DCEU. I truly believe that Justice League is the final nail in the coffin for this franchise, at least in its current form. If you want to waste two hours of your life, then go ahead and watch Justice League. I never want to even think about it again.

Wonder Woman (Film Review) – The DCEU Delivers

Wonder Woman is a superhero film directed by Patty Jenkins and it is based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film stars Chris PineRobin WrightDanny HustonDavid Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Ewen Bremner, Elena Anaya and Gal Gadot. Gadot stars as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and the story is set during World War I (WW1). Diana, with the help of American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), leaves the island of Themyscira and embarks on a mission to end WW1 and defeat Ares, the God of War.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Wonder Woman

Honestly, I had little interest in Wonder Woman after the disappointment of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In fact, because those films were so underwhelming for me, I did not even bother to watch Suicide Squad. My desire to see Wonder Woman, therefore, was entirely dependent on the reaction it received from film fans, pundits and critics.

Happily, Wonder Woman was lauded with praise and is now considered by many to be the best film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Going into the film, I was excited but I was trying my best to keep my expectations grounded. Obviously, when a film gets praised as much as Wonder Woman has, you are in danger of getting over-hyped for the film.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince in Wonder Woman

My Thoughts on Wonder Woman

The hype is real. For me, Wonder Woman is the best DCEU film that I have seen and the best DC film since The Dark Knight Rises. While the villains are not the strongest, the film is a huge step in the right direction for the DCEU and there is a lot to love in Wonder Woman. For one, Gal Gadot silenced her critics by giving a very commanding performance.

Gadot embodied the character of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and the physical aspect of her performance impressed me. Additionally, the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine was very good. The relationship between their respective characters was believable. You could connect to these characters and this gave Wonder Woman an emotional core. I also thought that Robin Wright was tremendous in the small role that she had in the film.

Patty Jenkins

I must give a lot of credit to Patty Jenkins for making this film as good as it was. The way she directed and shot Wonder Woman gave the film a unique feel to it. While Jenkins was clearly inspired by other superhero films such as Captain America: The First Avenger, she imprinted her own style and vision on the film and did a great job in the process.

Themyscira in Wonder Woman

Shockingly, the last feature film that she directed was Monster which came out in 2003! After seeing Wonder Woman, I do not understand how this could happen. Hopefully, Patty Jenkins will get the chance to direct more films and I also hope that her work in this film will break down the barriers which prevent more female directors from getting the chances they deserve as well.

The colour palette and the cinematography in Wonder Woman was beautiful too. This was particularly evident in the scenes that took place at the island of Themyscira and these scenes were some of my favourite in the film. I loved the lore of Themyscira and the impact that Gods such as Zeus and Ares had on both the island and mankind.

The score in Wonder Woman was another element of the film that I absolutely loved. It was composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams and, if you read my review of Hacksaw Ridge, you will know that I loved that score too. He has impressed me with his work in both films and I hope that trend continues in the future.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince in No Man's Land in Wonder Woman

Overall, Wonder Woman delivered and, to some extent, it has renewed my faith in the DCEU which I thought would never happen after recent entries in this franchise. Good performances, interesting lore and the stellar job that Patty Jenkins did in directing Wonder Woman make it one of the best films that has come out this summer and even this year. More importantly, it is a very important and relevant film to see and you must see this film as soon as you can.

The Lego Batman Movie (Film Review) – Fast-Paced, Vibrant and Fun

The Lego Batman Movie is an animated film directed by Chris McKay and is a spin-off/sequel to The Lego Movie with the story focusing on Batman and his attempt to overcome his greatest fears in order to stop his greatest villain, The Joker. Will Arnett reprises his role of voicing Batman with Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes also providing voices to The Joker, Robin, Barbara Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth respectively.

My Knowledge and Expectation of The Lego Batman Movie

This film has had a really good marketing campaign which is necessary to let the wider public know about its release. Still, for those who really loved The Lego Movie, this sequel/spin-off has been highly anticipated, especially as it focuses on Batman who, in my opinion, was one of the best things about The Lego Movie. Plus, he is probably the most popular superhero ever and certainly the greatest within DC. Hence, it made sense that the next instalment in the Lego film franchise would be about Batman.

Batman and Barbara Gordon in The Lego Batman Movie

My Thoughts on The Lego Batman Movie

I am really pleased that the franchise went in this direction because The Lego Batman Movie is a really good film that continues the fun-filled nature of The Lego Movie. Truly, the film is enjoyable throughout thanks to a great script full of snappy jokes and clever pop-culture references/call-backs which really do come and go in the blink of an eye. You are never bored while watching The Lego Batman Movie but you can also miss some jokes so you do have to pay attention. Then again, this makes the film really re-watchable as you will pick up on things you missed before when you watch it again.

The animation in The Lego Batman Movie is also tremendous. It is vibrant, gorgeous to look at and makes the film feel really fluid which complements its fast-pacing and just adds to how people of all ages can enjoy this film. The voice work by the cast is great as well. Will Arnett continues where he left off in The Lego Movie as Batman and I thought Ralph Fiennes was a perfect choice as Alfred. Still, the whole cast gave good performances and they had great chemistry.

Batman in The Lego Batman Movie

One thing that I was pleasantly surprised about was how emotional this film was at times. There is a really heartfelt story running throughout this film about overcoming fears and the importance of relationships/family. It really gave The Lego Batman Movie some depth which enhanced a film that I have no major problems with. There are a lot of great things in this film which anyone can appreciate. If you are a fan of The Lego Movie or animation, then you have to see this film while you can because I will be shocked if you do not enjoy it.