FIRST LOOK: Justice League: The Snyder Cut!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

There’ve been few things in recent popular culture that have been more divisive than Zack Snyder‘s foray into the DCEU. Personally, I’m a big Zack Snyder defender. I think, with the exception of Sucker Punch, he’s never truly made a bad movie.

   Man of Steel is easily my favorite live-action Superman movie. Henry Cavill is much better in the role than people give him credit for and the movie is underrated in general. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a very flawed film, but I love it. Particularly the R-Rated Ultimate Edition. It’s sad that the films reception and his personal issues forced Ben Affleck to walk away from the character because he was arguably our best live action Batman to date. The only thing in that movie that was truly terrible was the decision to cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and his god awful subsequent performance. I understand that, as fans we all have our own beliefs about how beloved character should be portrayed on screen, but I was pleasantly surprised by Batman V Superman, especially because the film was getting such mixed reviews at the time. 

I don’t count Justice League because at the end of the day that wasn’t really Snyder’s film. Almost everything with Superman in that movie was shot after he left the film, for personal reasons. Henry Cavill was well into filming Mission: Impossible Fallout, where he sported a thick mustache. You can tell that all of Superman’s scenes were shot after Zack Snyder left the film, because Paramount, the film studio that was making Mission Impossible, wouldn’t let Warner Bros. shave Cavill’s mustache for JL reshoots. So, instead of choosing the much simpler, cheaper, and smarter option of shaving his mustache and having Cavill wear a fake for the remainder of shooting Mission Impossible, Warner Bros. had to remove the mustache digitally. The god awful result is that the whole bottom half of Superman’s face in JL looks like a creepy mannequin come to life. Of course none of that is Zack Snyder‘s fault because he already left the movie at that point, but it’s a funny story if you haven’t already heard it.

Now, Zack Snyder is finally getting a chance to give us his vision of his Justice League film, or at least something pretty close to it. Justice League: The Snyder Cut is premiering on HBOMax next year, sometime in 2021. It might not be much, but HBO released a brief teaser for the project that you can watch below. Of course, you can’t judge a movie after only seeing less than 60 seconds of footage, but I already dig the darker tone. We’re only shown two quick scenes, one involving Diana played by Gal Gadot that was not in the theatrical cut at all and a quick look at a alternate version of the ancient battle sequence that opens the film where Steppenwolf has been replaced by… Well, I won’t spoil it, but it’s someone much scarier and much more interesting. The thing that both of these scenes have in common is that they’re extremely ominous and they both serve to focus on the appearance of a certain iconic DC villain, not featured in the theatrical cut. Take a look below, I’d love to hear what you guys think:

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

NEW TRAILERS: Marvel’s Black Widow & Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s Movie Trailer Tuesday here at World’s Best Media! We have some new trailers and featurettes from 2 very different, but very cool upcoming superhero movies: Marvel’s Black Widow and the new film from DC Animation, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

First up, we have the final trailer for Marvel’s Black Widow, opening May 1st. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie for years and early projections have this film doing big numbers for Marvel.

Personally, I’m most excited to see Taskmaster make his big screen debut. Taskmaster is a mercenary and assassin who can perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any combatant he encounters. It was especially cool to see Taskmaster studying the surveillance videos of Natasha’s big fight with the guards at Hammer Industries during the climax of Iron Man 2 (her first appearance in The MCU). We also see Taskmaster breakout moves mimicking the some of the best hand to hand fighters in The MCU, like Captain America, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. I think this is going to be a blast, but check out the trailer for yourself right here…

    DC Animation just released their adaptation of Superman: Red Son, arguably one of the most beloved Superman stories ever told. I loved the film, it was a return to the glory days of fantastic DC Animated Movies. Even though I love the DCAU, lately they have not been on par with the amazing work they’ve done in the past. However, it looks like they may be back on track. While Red Son was excellent, I found myself even more excited by the sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. 

      This is the culmination of at least a dozen or more movies that began with Justice League: War, which was about how the Justice League was formed to repel the forces of Darkseid and his invading armies. DCA puts out at least 3 or 4 movies every year and at least 1 or 2 of these films have taken place in this shared DC Animated Universe that started with Justice League: War (The other films released each year tend to be their own standalone stories like Superman: Red Son, Batman Gotham by Gaslight, or The Killing Joke). This new film looks like the DCAU version of Avengers: Endgame. This video was previewed as a feturette on the special features of Superman: Red Son, just give it a watch and you’ll see how cool this movie looks…

If that wasn’t enough, DC Animation also released a trailer for the new film as well which you can watch right here…

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be available digitally on iTunes on May 5th and on Blu-Ray/4K on May 19th.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul,

PODCAST: DC’s Crisis Finale & Star Wars:The Clone Wars!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, i talks about the upcoming final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, premiering on Disney+ next month. Since Disney bought Lucasfilm, the TV content like Star Wars: Rebels and The Mandalorian, as well as in continuity comic books have been a much better at telling amazing Star Wars tales than the films of late. Let’s be honest; when I say the movies have dropped the ball, I’m really talking about The Rise Of Skywalker. I love The Force Awakens and I really like The Last Jedi. Hell, despite all of my complaining before it was released, I ended up really digging Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

    Still, Lucasfilm and Disney have been putting out some spectacular Star Wars story content, like the aforementioned TV shows, the comics, books, and video games. Marvel Comics (also owned by Disney) doesn’t get enough credit for the consistently excellent Star Wars graphic novels they’ve been publishing over the last several years. Whether you loved or hated The Rise of Skywalker (I lean towards the latter, personally), in my opinion it’s still a pretty great time to be a Star Wars fan. As I mentioned a moment ago, Marvel has been consistently cranking out fantastic Star Wars comics, Jedi Fallen Order on PS4 (or Xbox, pick your poison) was a total blast, and The Mandalorian, which was one of 2019’s best series did, one hell of a job bringing us our first live-action Star Wars TV show. Which brings me to one of the subjects I’ll be covering on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast. The all new, final season of the beloved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will premiere on Disney+ next month. In this episode, I discuss the previous seasons of the show and what we should expect going into homestretch of this highly anticipated final season.

  After covering The Clone Wars, we do a deep dive into the second part of The CW’s DC Crossover Event: Crisis On Infinite Earths! The first 3 installments of the 5-Part crossover aired in December and, after the holiday hiatus, returned for the EPIC 2-Part finale last week! The final 2 hours of Crisis did not disappoint and had massive ramifications for The Arrowverse and it’s characters moving forward! On this episode I give my take on the biggest moments from Crisis, how the Crossover Event fundamentally changed The Arrowverse forever, and I speculate about the possible future directions The Arrowverse could take. In many ways, the slate has been wiped clean for all of The CW‘s DC shows. So this is the perfect jumping on point for new viewers or lapsed fans looking to return to the franchise. With Arrow having just aired it’s Series Finale earlier this week (Don’t worry. I’ll get to that in another article very soon), I think Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow have become my favorite Arrowverse shows. Either series would be a good place to jump back into The Arrowverse.      

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/22115044 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000463773072

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=64371445&autoplay=1

Thanks for reading and listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

PODCAST: Post-CRISIS Reaction Part One!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Cool fan made poster

Part-1 of the 5-Part DC Mega-Crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths has arrived! Superhero Scholars and Comic Book Experts, Paul Sr. and I sat down to give you our immediate reaction to the first installment of this superhero extravaganza! Worlds will live, worlds will die! Heroes will live, heroes will die! What did we think of the first chapter of Crisis? What were our favorite scenes? What shocked and surprised these two superhero super-fans? Listen and find out! Because we love a good comic book epic, this is the first of several reaction podcasts we’ll be recording, with the next “Post-Crisis” podcast dropping Tuesday night, after the guys watch Part-3 of Crisis On Infinite Earths! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20591792

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000459056098

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65862551&autoplay=1

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

New Photos & Teasers: Crisis On Infinite Earths! *UPDATED*

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

UPDATE: New pictures including our first look at Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne! The rumor has been since his casting announcement that he’d be playing a version of Bruce Wayne from the future, specifically some version of Batman Beyond Bruce Wayne. In this photo, you can see Bruce is wear some kind of exo-skeleton suit around his clothes, which is how Bruce Wayne appears in Kingdom Come. Which makes a lot of sense because Brandon Routh will be playing the Kingdom Come version of Superman in the crossover. We also get a look at Tom Welling returning to the role of Clark Kent. Take a look at the new pics right here!

Kevin Conroy as “Kingdom Come” Bruce Wayne
“Kingdom Come” Superman
Tom Welling returning as Clark Kent, at The Kent Family Farm

The CW‘s epic superhero crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths is almost here. With the first installment just a few short weeks away, anticipation is building! This without a doubt, one of the most ambitious television projects in recent memory especially for basic cable network. Sure, you see this kinds of epic storytelling on HBO, Netflix, as well as other cable networks and streaming services, but The CW is a whole different animal. They don’t have the budget that some of these other networks do and you have to respect the sheer amount of balls it takes to attempt adapting one of the biggest stories in comic book history to the small screen. 

Now The CW/Warner Bros have revealed some of the first official images from Crisis. The pictures all appear to be from the first installment of crisis which will be on Supergirl, Sunday, December 8. The CW has also released some brief teasers for Crisis. They’re all pretty short and they all entail Lyla Michaels (Diggle from Arrow’s wife and head of A.R.G.U.S., which is basically The Arrowverse version of SHIELD) who goes by Harbinger on missions. Lyla, or Harbinger, has been working with The Monitor to prepare for the coming disaster. Each short teaser sees Lyla (and sometimes a few other heroes) Approaching each of the major heroes in the our overs to ask them for their help in stopping The Anti-Monitor and the death and destruction he brings with him. Fortunately, all of the short teasers have been put together in one compilation so you can watch them all in one video. Below are all the official photos for the first installment of crisis released so far and after the photos you can check out the Crisis compilation teaser video below the photos.

It all begins with the first 3 Parts of the 5-Part crossover, with Supergirl on Sunday, Dec. 8, followed by Batwoman on Monday, Dec. 9 and The Flash on Tuesday, Dec. 10. When the show’s return from the annual winter break, the final 2 chapters of the crossover will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with Arrow at 8 p.m., and conclude with Legends of Tomorrow at 9 p.m.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

MOVIE REVIEW – Batman: Hush

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the direct to Blu-Ray and Digital DC Animated Movies. There’ve been some real classics to come out of these projects. Movies like Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns: The Deluxe Edition, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Batman: Under The Red Hood, just to name a few. While there have been some enjoyable standouts, there hasn’t been a real homerun from these films in a while. Though Batman: Hush may not knock it out of the park, it comes damn near close. Based on the classic Batman run by writer Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween) with art by the legendary Jim Lee (Justice League, X-Men), Batman: Hush does a great job of adapting this seminal Batman tale while still fitting the movie into the animated continuity (or DCAU) that DC created beginning with Justice League: War. The result is a pretty damn good movie that is less of a mystery and more of a tragic romance. Which may irk some fans, but I’ll get into more of that in a moment.

  I’ve heard some people complain about the animation in these films lately. Critics say that copying the general aesthetic of The New 52 and attempting to adhere to a visual continuity, makes each of these movies feel overly similar and blocky. Well, that issue isn’t completely absent from this film, but there are some notable efforts to step up to quality of the animation. Some shots feature fantastic little details that immediately draw your eyes. How someone’s eyes and face move before something dramatic is about to happen, the way a fight move is pulled off, small moments scattered throughout the film that make it feel as if the animators were going the extra mile and it shows.

   The real highlight of the movie is the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. It’s so rare to see Batman in a successful and a functioning relationship. I should mention that Selina doesn’t know that Bruce is Batman at the beginning of the story.

It’s only when things begin to get serious that he reveals himself to be Bruce Wayne. In fact, there is a funny scene when he brings her to the Batcave for the first time and she’s enthusiastically greeted by Dick in the Nightwing uniform without his mask and Alfred attempting to serve her tea. When she‘s surprised to realize that Dick and Alfred know that she’s Selina Kyle. She even half jokingly asks “Does everyone know who I am?“ Dick blurts out “No, just us and Damian.” Selena asks “Who’s Damian?”, “Oh he’s Bruce’s son… He’s Robin.” Replies Dick with an awkward look on his face. It’s easy to see how being an intimate part of Bruce’s life isn’t so simple, which is why he and Selena are so perfect for one another. He is drawn to Selina as both Batman and Bruce Wayne and that’s where the key to their success of the relationship lies. 

     If Bruce and Selina are out on a date and The Bat Signal appears in the sky, Bruce doesn’t have to make up some bullshit excuse. She’s more than capable of coming along with him to stop whatever threat he’s facing and it even feels like a natural part of their “date night” that they both seem to get off on. Catwoman may have been staying on the straight and narrow, but she loves this world, she loves being part of a good fight. In fact, I think if she was dating Bruce and he didn’t have the Batman aspect to his life, the relationship wouldn’t work. Selina needs those kind of thrills.The film is mature enough to acknowledge that this relationship wouldn’t have worked if it began when they were younger. Maybe there would’ve been an intense fling, but nothing more. They’ve both matured, changed, and they both want different things than they did years before. It’s at this point in their lives that they’re ready to be together as both Bruce Wayne/Batman and Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

   When comparing the graphic novel to the film, it’s important to remember that the  Batman: Hush graphic novel is a mystery at it’s heart. Who is Hush? Why are they doing this? Well the movie managed to do a great job with staying relatively faithful to the source material, while still managing to surprising fans of the graphic novel. Love it or hate it. Many of the iconic moments from the comic book are present in the film. Some are even slightly improved upon. However, there is one classic scene from Batman: Hush that was adapted to the film, but (without going into SPOILERS) the scene felt like it needed to be a little bit longer. I was impressed how Hush managed to both surprise those of us who’ve read the comic book, while still being faithful to the source material in a unique way. To say much more would be a SPOILER, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. You may think you know where the story is going, you may think you know the identity of Hush (and maybe you’re right), but things play out just different enough to make things fun, interesting, and surprising.

   The final fight between Batman and Hush is particularly well animated, well choreographed, and thrilling. The animation of the fight has a very dynamic quality. Batman employs one of my favorite tactics of his, that we’ve seen in animation and comics many times, but almost never in live-action: He gets in the villains head to gain the upper hand. He plays mind games with his opponents and that’s used here to great effect. Batman use his genius, his ability to manipulate the psychosis of the villain he’s facing, to exploit their fears, insecurities, and weaknesses to give him that extra edge for the win. Batman’s greatest weapon is his intellect. 

       The combination of the surprising reveal of Hush’s identity, the fantastic animation, and Batman using his intellect to exploit the mental and emotional weaknesses of his opponent, make this for a pretty memorable final battle.

   It should be noted that Selina Kyle/Catwoman is a notorious criminal and accomplished superhero in her own right. However, Batman can be such a larger than life figure, that it would be easy to make even the strongest of women look like a damsel in distress in one of his stories. The film does a great job of avoiding problems like this. Selina is her own woman. Her choices are not defined by Bruce’s choices. She doesn’t necessarily need his help to get out of some of the most serious jams she finds herself in throughout the movie. Particularly in the climax of the film, Selina finds herself in a very precarious life and death situation. I’m fairly certain she would’ve been fine, whether Batman showed up or not. The storytellers did a phenomenal job making her an interesting capable character.

    At the end of the day this is still a love story between Batman and Catwoman. The sad realization of how, at least in this point in their lives, that love story is also a tragedy. Bruce lets Selina in, in a way we rarely see from this character. There comes a point in the story, when Bruce makes a decision that looks like madness to Selina. In fact, it would look like madness too many of us in the audience. Once the threat has been neutralized and the villain dealt with, Selina has an epiphany. She realizes that no matter how much she loves Bruce, no matter how much she changes for him, no matter how much more she’s willingto change for him, he won’t change himself.

     There are things he will not become. There are lines he cannot cross. Because of that Selina will always come in second place to Bruce. She willing to let herself evolve with this relationship, but she realizes that in the end, Bruce is an immovable object she’ll break herself against. It’s profound, it’s sad, and it’s veryBatman.

  Batman: Hush is a flawed, but solid Batman mystery/adventure with a fantastic romance story, great fight scenes, some stand out bits of animation, and some surprisingly thought-provoking character and story elements. Some things land better than others and I think the film may have benefited from another 20 minutes or so of storytelling to help flesh out some of it’s more interesting ideas. The climax in particular feels like it comes out of nowhere, when there should’ve been a bit more tension and build up to Batman‘s final confrontation with Hush. Whether you’ve read the original graphic novel or not, this movie will still keep you guessing. 

      While not the complete return to form I was hoping for from Warner Bros/DC Animation after the strong combination of The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen, I’d say this is still a MUST WATCH for any Batman fan!

Thanks for reading!

Batman: Hush – 8/10

Reviewed by Paul J. Wright

MUST WATCH: Supergirl “The House Of L” or Holy S#$t We Actually Have A Good Live Action Lex Luthor!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

I wanted to take a minute to talk about Supergirl on the CW. Before I get into the show, I want to put something in context first. Lex Luthor is by far one of my favorite comic book characters. I think different generations have their own definitive superman. To many people of a certain age Richard Donner’s Superman with Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel, is the standard by which all other portrayals of the character are judged. 

   For a lot of people in my generation, Superman The Animated Series is THEIR Superman in the same way Christopher Reeves was for previous generations. Superman The Animated Series ( or STAS or brevity’s sake) is by far my favorite interpretation of the Superman mythos. However, the show doesn’t only have what is, in my opinion, the best on screen Superman that we’ve had it also has the best Lex Luthor. Anytime a new Superman film is being made I’m always hoping to see the filmmakers will portray Lex Luthor as the incredibly interesting and complex character that he is. Unfortunately, my hopes are never realized. When Lex inevitably gets fucked up, I always find myself saying why the fuck don’t they just do the Lex Luthor from the animated series? Clancy Brown, who did the voice of Lex are on STAS  is my iconic Luthor. 

     I’ve said this many times, but Lex Luthor for at least the last 30 years has been portrayed in the comic books as what I describe as a slightly more amoral Tony Stark. In fact, the argument could be made that Tony Stark is more dangerous than Lex Luthor in many ways. Yet I keep seeing these goofy, stupid portrayals of Lex on the big screen. Have these people even bothered to pick up a Superman comic book from the past three decades besides The Death of Superman? 

     Kevin Spacey was just playing Gene Hackman as Lex. In Superman Returns, Lex has what is without a doubt the stupidest master plan from a super villain in a comic book movie. The master plan involving real estate is another example of a generation that is so overly reverent towards the Christopher Reeves Superman that it actually hurts the film. Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was an abortion for the eyes (I REFUSE to even include a photograph of him as the character in this article). It’s was a fucking disgrace and everyone involved in the decisions that resulted that version of ”Lex”. * A quick side note: I’ve heard a few people insist that Jesse Eisenberg‘s Lex Luthor is actually supposed to be the son of the real, more traditional Lex Luthor, that would’ve been introduced down the line. I never took that from BvS at any point. I could be wrong, but I’m almost 100% sure that this was supposed to be straight up Lex Luthor, not Lex Jr. I’m not sure of people where people are getting that one from and if anyone could clarify in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts. The only live action take on the character that I thought was done well, was Michael Rosenbaum on Smallville. Smallville was a silly and sometimes campy show, but Lex was always one of the show’s strongest aspects. 

     To my surprise, it was announced that this season of Supergirl would be introducing Lex Luthor for the first time. It was it wasn’t going to be a one off either, he was going to be on the show for a good while. For some reason Warner Bros. and DC have had this weird rule for a long time, that they seem to be bending now for some reason, that prohibits character’s like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and some other big characters like Lex Luthor from appearing in a live action television show and a film at the same time. The reasoning that they seem to give is that the audience will just be baffled at the idea of two different people portraying this character, which tells you everything you really need to know about how the creative intelligence off Hollywood executives.

In Supergirl’s second season, the two part premiere episodes introduced Tyler Hoechlin as Superman. He did a fantastic job and there’s an argument to be made that he’s the best live-action Superman right now. I like this version of the character so much that I’d like to see more of him, but I’m happy they didn’t make his appearance a one off.  He appeared on Supergirl later in season two and has popped up a few more times on the series in the last couple of years. Even cooler was when Superman was a big part of this year‘s excellent Arrowverse Crossover Elseworlds, where they also introduced Lois Lane for the first time. Like I said, it always seems like those characters were off-limits, so I was pleasantly surprised that we’ve seen as much of Superman as we have.

    The same thing happened when they announced Lex was going to be on Supergirl. Then they announced Jon cryer would be playing Lex Luthor. At first glance this would seem like a terrible idea because he seem like just another skinny geek and that’s the last thing we want to see after Jesse Eisenberg‘s portrayal. But I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I figured this guy is so incredibly loaded from his years on Two and a Half Men that he does not have to do any project he doesn’t want to do. So there must’ve been something he saw in this character that would allow him to stretch his acting muscles in a completely different way. He just spent over a decade doing comedy, I figured maybe he’s up for a darker role. 

    We are now two episodes in to Lex’s stint on Supergirl and goddamnit if he is not fantastic in this role. So far he’s been pretty close to what I’ve been looking for with this character. He’s a genius, manipulative, he has his cool battle armor. It’s much more in line with the Lex Luthor we see in modern comics. 

His second episode really impressed me because we saw how he had been behind (in one way or another) much what has happened on the show in the last few years. It was established early on in the series that Lex Luthor was in prison when Supergirl began. Using flashbacks, this weeks episode showed what Lex has been up to since he’d been convicted of Crimes Against Humanity. It was fantastic it showcase for John Cryer is in this role.

 I’ve always been a huge Arrowverse fan, even though it’s best days are behind it in many ways. Despite my love of the Arrowverse, I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Supergirl (the series not the character). I think the series has done an excellent job with their portrayal of the character. Mellissa Benoist is great as The Girl of Steel, for some reason I find her at her most charming and entertaining in the crossover episodes. She’s a very interesting contrast to Barry Allen and especially Oliver Queen.

   However, in my opinion the show really excels at using characters and stories from Superman‘s mythology. For example, they did an episode that was an adaptation for the classic Alan Moore Superman story For The Man Who Has Everything. This season also saw the introduction of Manchester Black and The Elite who were first introduced in another iconic Superman story What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way?. Even in the first season, they reveal about halfway through that one of the main characters was actually J’onn J’onnz; The Martian Manhunter. That blew my fucking mind. He’s been a fixture in the Arrowverse ever since and I love seeing him shape shift into his classic Martian form. Most of the time he appears as a human man because he’s a shape shifter and it would be way too expensive for the show to have him in full Martian Manhunter mode all the time.

I even loved how they’ve used classic Superman villains like Metallo, Parasite, White Martians and the Kryptonian villain Non, one of the general Zod’s right hand men. He is usually portrayed as muscle for General Zod, just a big, dumb, strong antagonist for Superman to fight. But he actually has a pretty tragic backstory. He was lobotomized by The Kryptonian Council as punishment for crimes he committed. There was a time that he was a mentor to Jor-El, one of Krypton‘s most brilliant scientists. 

    All of this has just been a very long winded way of saying how great it is to see a fantastic live action Lex Luthor. The season in general has been strong even though I have problems with some of their heavy handed attempts at making the story a real world to allegory. Despite that big flaw, there have been some very cool and exciting stories and characters being used on Supergirl that make a fan like me pay attention. I would definitely recommend going to iTunes or on-demand and checking out the last two episodes of Supergirl, the first one with Lex Luthor’s appearance is O’ Brother Where Art Thou. Cryer had a great start in that installment, but I was even more impressed with how good he is in this role in his second episode. I wouldn’t say I’m that big enough fan of Supergirl to recommend diving into the series as a whole, but I definitely think if you’re a big DC fan and you finally want to see a solid Lex Luthor,  check out these episodes. I’d also recommend checking out any of the episodes where Superman makes an appearance and this year’s crossover with Arrow and The Flash: Elseworlds. While I’m on the subject of crossovers, with the most ambitious and thrilling crossover the Arrowverse has ever attempted, Crisis on Infinite Earths, debuting this fall, Lex being a major player in the Arrowverse now makes that already exciting crossover even more interesting.

With Lex seemingly not going anywhere for the rest of the season, I cannot wait to see what else the show’s writers and John Cryer do with this extremely interesting take on Lex Luthor. As always thank you for reading!

-Paul

MOVIE REVIEW: Reign of The Supermen

Hey Everyone,

Paul here… 

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  This month DC Animation is releasing the second movie in their two part Death of Superman saga, Reign of The Supermen. Reign of The Supermen begins roughly 6 months after The Death of Superman. The world is still in morning, but none more so than Lois Lane. Shortly before his death, due to his injuries sustained saving the city from Doomsday in the previous film, Clark and Lois’ relationship had reached the point where they were deeply in love with each other. Which makes Clark’s death all the more tragic, but more on that in a moment.

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    Even with the fantastic action sequences we come to expect, I’ve really enjoyed the small character moments in both of these movies that give the films some heart. For example, the developing friendship between Lois Lane and Wonder Woman added a nice layer to the film. Superhero comics are often so male focused, we don’t get to see enough positive female friendships. Even though it’s Clark’s death that brings them together in this film, it’s great to see their bond develop throughout the film. Even though they are very different people in many ways, it makes a lot of sense that they would like each other, that they’d hit it off. 

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Lois and Diana just chillin’

   A problem DC characters face that most Marvel characters don’t, is the fact that the Justice League are almost a modern day pantheon of gods. Which can make them seem distant, inhuman and unrelatable. Seeing Lois and Diana together in civilian attire bonding at a local pub is a great scene that humanizes these larger than life characters. It’s a small moment, but I hope the writers take the opportunity to grow this relationship. There’s great dramatic and comedic potential in pairing Lois and Diana in this and future films.

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   As, I touched upon earlier, when that film began, Lois and Clark have been dating long enough that they both knew some serious choices needed to be made in their relationship. Was this just a fun office romance? Or is it something real? They love one another, but Clark struggles with how and if he should tell Lois that he is Superman. Their love story is a key story aspect of that film.

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   I think the decision to make this story into two films really works and you see that decision pay off here. Considering the ambition of the story they were telling, this does feel like one film, cut in two, instead of two separate movies. I hope they put out a deluxe edition with both films together like they did with The Dark Knight Returns Part One and Two. There are so many callbacks and little moments connected to the first film, that if you haven’t seen The Death of Superman, you may not understand the emotional impact of certain moments.

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   Following Superman’s death, four new “Superman themed” heroes appear. The question to some is, if somehow one of them could be the real deal. First there’s Steel, a scientist named John Henry Irons we’d met in a few previous DCAU films. Irons has essentially built Superman-themed Iron Man armor. He has a particularly cool mechanized hammer, almost like a high tech version of Thor’s new ax/hammer in Infinity War. With his flowing red cape and the S on his armor, he cant quite reach the power level of the original Man of Steel, but he certainly holds his own.

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  Then there’s the teenage Superboy, a LexCorp sponsored hero reveling in his celebrity and all too eager to prove himself to be the hero that Superman was and so much more. Unfortunately, he finds out the hard way that a cocky attitude and bravado can’t compete with the years of experience the original Superman had under his belt. His origin is pretty dark and I won’t spoil it here, if you don’t know it already. Some may find his character to be a little bit annoying, but I found there to be an underlying tragedy to the character and I thought his relationship with Lex Luthor was particularly interesting.

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Superboy and his complicated relationship with Lex Luthor

  I don’t want to go into full spoilers, but there are 2 other contenders for the title of the new Man of Steel: The dangerous Eradicator and Cyborg-Superman. Both are much darker figures than Steel and Superboy. Strangely, it seems that if any of these new “heroes” are Kal-El of Krypton reborn, Cyborg-Superman seems like the best bet, but like all of the new Superman figures there is more to him than meets the eye.

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The Eradicator

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Cyborg-Superman

  When the shit really starts to hit the fan, the movie finds a particularly clever way to take of the Justice League out of the equation for the big final battle at the end of the film. Had the Justice League been present, it definitely would’ve created major story problems, so it was nice to see that was handled well. The absence of the Justice League forces some unpredictable and surprising figures to step up and act more heroically than you may expect, including Lex Luthor.

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     Rainn Wilson returns to the role of Lex Luthor in this film after first playing him in The Death of Superman. I really like how Lex is portrayed in both of these movies. He is undoubtably self-serving, amoral, and even a flat out piece of shit at times. However, he doesn’t want to see mankind destroyed or brought low. He genuinely wants to help the human race and at times, under the right circumstances, he can even act heroically. The film leaves him in a particularly interesting place in this regard and I‘m very much looking forward to see where they take the character from here.

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Lex Luthor himself

In my review for last year’s The Death of Superman (Read it here:  https://best-media-world.com/2018/07/29/movie-review-the-death-of-superman/   ), I mention how the film feels very much like a story about Clark Kent “the man” first and foremost. Not Superman, just Clark Kent. The Death of Superman is about the young man who grew up on a Kansas farm raised by wonderful parents. 

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If The Death of Superman was about Clark Kent, Reign of The Supermen is all about Lois Lane.  She’s the lead in this film. Sure, we have four new Superman “replacements/Wannabes/psychos” running around that are crucial to the story, But make no mistake this is Lois’s film. We get to see you Lois in action playing the hero on a level I don’t think we’ve ever seen her before outside of the comics. Even without the costume and the powers she almost feels like the superhero of the film. I mentioned before that at some point in the film the Justice League are taken out of the equation and there are people seriously fighting out of their weight class. Lois Lane is of course one of these people. She manages to hold her own in against one of the most dangerous super villains in the DC Universe and the movie makes it work. Almost like Batman, Lois uses her cunning and what weapons she has at her disposal to take on some real heavy hitters. Lois and Lex Luthor, as characters are probably some of the strongest parts of this film

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  I don’t really want to get into the method in which a Superman is resurrected. I mean, c’mon! We all knew he was coming back. No one thought he going to stay dead. But the events surrounding his resurrection, put Superman at a slight disadvantage. Which was another creative way to up the stakes for the characters, especially when Superman is often labeled as being too powerful in his stories.

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He’s got the black suit! And the beard! AND THE MULLET!! FUCK YEAH!!!

  There are some really great action sequences in the climax. Some of the animation in particular is very dynamic, fluid, almost anime  . That turns some people off, but I think it looks really cool and I thought it especially worked for this film. 

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SOME SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH 

Beware…

 

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     The Death Of Superman strongly hinted at the mastermind behind the events in both of these films. It won’t be too hard to guess the individual’s identity. SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR FUTURE POSSIBLE FILMS: I really like how the story leaves  Superman and the rest of the Justice League contemplating how to deal with the threat of Darkseid. This was his revenge for his failed invasion of Earth in Justice League: War (Though it seems he blames Superman for that defeat more than the other heroes for some reason). The JL knows that Darkseid is going to keep coming and they’re going to have to do something about him. I’m really excited for the story possibilities this set up for future movies. I hope the folks at DC animation take full advantage of the storytelling potential. Oh, and stay for the post-credits scene! Not only is it important to some potential future films but it’s also just really fun and funny. Don’t  miss it

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It looks like we may be getting an adaptation of The Darkseid War

 

 

END SPOILERS 

 All in all, I loved The Death of Superman, I don’t think Reign of The Supermen quite reached the heights of the previous film. However, it still has a lot going for it that makes it absolutely worth a watch. For a fun and exciting superhero movie with some above average character work and thrilling action sequences, you can’t go wrong with Reign of The Supermen. I definitely recommend you check it out.

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Reign of The Supermen: B-

Thanks for reading!

Review by Paul J. Wright

Superman: Afternoon Delight

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Superman is mostly portrayed as such a wholesome, pure character. A lot of people mentally associate him with classic Americana, like apple pie and Norman Rockwell. However, the best writers understand that the key to writing Superman is to highlight his humanity. Take the recent Superman #7 written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Ivan Reis, for example. Something I’ve enjoyed in some of the recent Superman comics, especially Bendis’ Superman comics is, without being gratuitous, it’s clear that Clark and Lois have a healthy sex life. Yet Clark is still a big old Kansas farm boy, raised to be a respectful and decent son. 

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   So I loved a small moment in Issue #7, during a scene involving Clark and Lois’ adolescent son Jonathan. Jon who’s about 12 or 13, has been out traveling the cosmos with his grandfather, in what I guess is the Kryptonian version of backpacking through Europe. An unexpected problem presents itself When Clark quickly realizes that his son who is only been gone for a month or so has aged at least three years. At first he thinks this has something to do with one of those weird colored Kryptonites. You know, the yellow Kryptonite or the pink Kryptonite or … something like that. What was supposed to be a summer vacation has turned, through the weirdness of space travel (think the movie Interstellar) into Clark and Lois missing a pretty large portion of their sons life and development. It comes as no surprise that it’s quite a shock. 

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   After Clark’s emotional, but joyous reunion with his son, they of course go to see his mother, Lois whose been living out of a hotel in Metropolis for awhile now as she puts the finishing touches on her latest book. It’s implied that it is not uncommon for Clark to fly on by for a little afternoon delight semi-frequently, which is where the fun begins. 

 

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Clark flies up to her balcony and Lois is at her computer, writing, in nothing but a fluffy white hotel bathrobe and black underwear. Lois sees Clark before she realizes Jonathan is there, she begins to undo her bathrobe with a sultry little smirk, just as their son peaks around from behind Clark. It’s such a perfect moment seeing the absolute embarrassment on Clark’s face is he quickly shoots his arm up to cover his sons eyes and Lois’ mortified expression as she attempts to cover up and make herself look a bit more modest in front of her son. The small scene is a good example of how you can take a god and tell a story about a man.

What’s more human then those million little moments that make up life? Some good, some bad, and some, like this one, hilariously embarrassing. Writers often complain that Superman is a difficult character to write, I just think many of them don’t understand him. Like I said at the beginning, the key to any great Superman story is his humanity and this small scene illustrates that perfectly.

TV REVIEW: Elseworlds (Part 1)!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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Tonight, Part 1 of the 3-part DC superhero crossover event Elseworlds aired on The CW. As I’ve often said, these annual crossovers are always a delight for me to watch. They’re always wildly entertaining and they seem to get more ambitious year after year. After watching the first episode of Elseworlds, I came away from the episode thinking of one word: Fun. This episode was fun as all hell.

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 All of the Arrowverse crossovers have been really fun, but compared to something like last year’s epic Crisis on EarthX, Elseworlds feels more exuberant and joyful. Don’t get me wrong, Crisis on EarthX was an absolute blast. However, watching Elseworlds, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this cast looking like they’re having more fun and It’s easy to see why.

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  Barry and Oliver are very different characters and the episode gets a lot of entertainment mileage and comedy out of them switching lives and abilities. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more watching an episode of an Arrowverse show. It’s really funny seeing Oliver’s bewilderment at suddenly waking up with superspeed and the world believing that he is Barry Allen. While Oliver immediately feels out of his element, Barry seems to be getting much more of a kick out of suddenly having all of Green Arrow’s skills and fighting ability. 

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  For the purposes of this review, I’m not really going to touch on the overarching threat and the circumstances that altered reality. This episode focuses more on the “What do we do now?” than “How did this happen?”. Though we briefly see how this was set in motion, it’s a very minor part of the episode. I’m sure they’ll be covering much more of that territory in the next 2 installments.

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   I only have one real criticism of the episode. Considering all of the insane things that Team Flash have seen and been through over the years, I found their reluctance to believe that Barry and Oliver had somehow switched powers and identities a little odd and out of character for the team. It really only exists in the story to give Barry and Oliver an excuse to go to Supergirl’s Earth and seek out Kara’s help. They figure that if something is wrong with their reality, another universe like Supergirl’s may not be affected. Of course they’re right and Supergirl recognizes them for who they are right away.

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  To my utter delight, Kara just so happens to be visiting her cousin, Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane, on The Kent Family Farm when Barry and Oliver pop up in her universe. In a nice Easter Egg that will make many long time superhero TV show fans happy, The Kent Farm where they filmed this episode is the same Kent Farm that was used on the TV series Smallville. When we see the farm for the first time “Save Me” by Remy Zero, the them song to Smallville, kicks in and I’ll admit that had me grinning ear to ear. It was a hot mess at times, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Smallville.

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  As a long time DC Comics fan, it was so much fun seeing Barry, Oliver, and Kara interacting with Clark Kent and Lois Lane on The Kent Family Farm. In what I think was my favorite moment of the episode, as soon as Oliver meets Clark, he immediately starts puffing up his chest and Barry instantly calls him out on it. It’s great. 

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  Though we’ve seen relatively little of him over the last few years, Tyler Hoechlin is probably my favorite the live action Superman right now. Anytime he shows up in the Arrowverse is cause for celebration and his inclusion here does not disappoint. While it seems like he may be out of the picture at the end of the episode, I know for a fact we’ll be seeing him again throughout the crossover. I was equally impressed with Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane. In what little screen time she has, she instantly embodies Lois Lane. She’s tough, funny, smart, and likable. As much as I like Amy Adams’ Lois Lane, Tulloch seemed really dialed in to the character and I can’t wait to see more of her as the crossover progresses.

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  Another very pleasant surprise was the inclusion of an iconic DC villain that’s the perfect enemy to have a Superman, Supergirl, The Flash, and Green Arrow go up against. Apparently in this new altered reality, Professor Ivo, the psychopathic scientist responsible for torturing Oliver and his fellow castaways on Lian Yu, killing Shado, and indirectly creating Deathstroke in Arrow Season 2, somehow got off the island alive. He opened his own lab in Central City and created the iconic, ultra powerful android A.M.A.Z.O. using advanced robotics, computer programming, and the Mirakuru super soldier serum that was such an intricate plot point in Arrow Season 2. A.M.A.Z.O. has the ability to immediately replicate the powers of any meta-human it comes into contact with. In the comics, it’s so powerful that even the Justice League have a difficult time handling this thing. So this was the perfect bad guy for the heroes to go up against in the climax of the episode.

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  Elseworlds only has three episodes, unlike last year which had four episodes and a much bigger cast. Legends of Tomorrow isn’t officially part of the crossover this year (part of me thinks that’s a shame because I would have loved seeing someone like John Constantine interact with the characters featured in Elseworlds ). This year has a much tighter focus so far on Barry, Oliver, and Kara. As a result more money went into these 3 episodes and it really shows on screen. More money means better special effects. You can really see how well that money was spent because A.M.A.Z.O. looks incredible and his final fight with our heroes is really, really fucking cool. The Arrowverse in general and The Flash In particular, has always had excellent special effects considering they’re on The CW. Which makes the fight with A.M.A.Z.O. all the more impressive.

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Last year the 4-part Crisis on EarthX aired over two night, with each night featuring two episodes of the crossover. This year we’re getting 3 episodes spread out over 3 nights. So it definitely felt like the whole thing was over way too fast. Which is really a testament to how well Part 1 of Elseworlds was executed, because it leaves the audience wanting to see the next installment immediately. I know I certainly did.

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  Part 1 leaves you with one hell of a set up for Part 2. The episode wraps up with our heroes heading off to the legendary Gotham City in search for answers. We catch a glimpse of Wayne Tower and a quick glance at Batwoman looking out over the Gotham City skyline. After seeing how good this episode was and how so many amazing characters and pieces of DC lore show up, the promise of seeing iconic places like Arkham Asylum and Gotham City leaves me incredibly excited for the next installment of Elseworlds. I don’t want to speak too soon, but at the rate Elseworlds is going it’s shaping up to possibly be the best Arrowverse crossover yet.

Elseworlds (Part 1):  9/10

Thanks for reading!

-Paul