Fans hoping to convince Warner Bros. to release an extended cut of Justice League as envisioned by director Zack Snyder have taken out a billboard in San Diego to greet fans during Comic Con International, marking the latest in a series of highly visible requests from the fans.
Fans supporting the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag will descend on San Diego wearing t-shirts, paying for billboards and, if past behavior is any indicator, probably asking questions about the cut at DC and Warner Bros. events. The campaign has become long enough and visible enough to compare to the efforts by fans to pressure Warner Bros. into releasing Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II — which they eventually did, but it took about 20 years.
Bill Maher, noted iconoclastic and increasingly misanthropic host of Real Time on HBO, announced about ten days ago that he was taking July off because, after six months of President Trump, he really needed it. I sympathize. Not before he took what I regard as some ill-informed and gratuitous swipes at comics, comic book movies, sci-fi/fantasy books, movies and TV and anything else I assume that he considers intellectually lowbrow.
Among his gripes that the stupid summer movies were increasingly infiltrating into fall, the time for more serious, adult movies. His biggest gripe is that they make us, the unwashed public, stupider because it makes us want a savior, someone who will descend from on high and rescue us instead of getting off our duffs and doing what needs to be done (i.e. deal with Trump) ourselves.
Except they’re not.
What bothers me about Maher’s criticisms is that he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I have severe doubts Mr. Maher has seen any of the superhero films, let alone read a comic book. It reminds me of the people who used to criticize Harry Potter films and books (which Maher also dislikes) as Satanic without ever having seen a film or read a word of the books. Somebody told them they were Satanic and that’s all they needed.
I can’t entirely blame Maher for thinking that films such as Man of Steel present the superhero as a godlike being descending to save the masses. The director, Zack Snyder, appeared to make the same mistake, presenting Supes in various Jesus like images. However, Superman is more like Moses than Jesus. Moses comes as a baby in a basket floating down the Nile to the Egyptian princess; baby Kal-El comes to Earth in a small rocket to the Kents in Kansas. Moses grows up as an Egyptian; Kal-El grows up as part of the Midwestern farming community.
However, Superman is neither. One of the key moments in the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie is the first time he takes off his glasses and opens his shirt to reveal the iconic S.
Not only does he become Superman: we become Superman.
That’s one of the big keys to the success of Superman over the decades. It’s part of the myth. Yes, we may seem meek and mild-mannered like Clark Kent but, if we took off our glasses and opened our shirts, people would see we were Superman.
It’s the same thing in the Wonder Woman movie, the first time Princess Diana shows up in the Wonder Woman regalia. [SPOILER ALERT!] It’s a great moment as she climbs out of the trench and starts determinedly to stride across No-Man’s Land. She deflects the murderous gunfire of the Germans. She has been outraged by the suffering of innocents and she’s going to do something about it. The Allied troops, inspired, join her and drive the Germans from the suffering village.
At that moment, Wonder Woman is us. Male and female, we identify with her. We become her. That’s the power, not only of the movies but of the story in general. We identify with that hero. They can inspire us to become our best selves.
That is what Bill Maher doesn’t get.
I don’t dislike Maher. He speaks up on topics and takes positions with which I agree – such as climate change. In doing that, he speaks for many people. It’s why I listen; to hear what I think and feel put into words. That’s why it’s frustrating to hear Maher denigrate the field in which I work and that so many worldwide really enjoy. The global revenues on these films are greater than the U.S. take. This suggests that the films speak to people outside our shores and, I suspect, for much the same reasons. It’s not simply the special effects; it’s how they make us feel.
It does make me question. If Maher is so blind on this, how much else is he blind about and that I ignore because they fall into my own prejudices and beliefs.
I hope Maher comes back from his time off refreshed and ready to do battle again. I don’t expect him to backtrack from his previous statements. I’d just like to see him leave comics alone.
Because, Bill, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.
Variety reports that Zack Snyder is stepping away from Justice League in order to deal with the death of his daughter. Joss Whedon, director of Marvel’s The Avengers who recently announced to direct Batgirl, will oversee the remainder of the film.
Snyder’s daughter died of suicide in March and the director, along with his wife Deborah, who is also a producer on the film, have decided to take a break from the film in order to deal with the sudden tragedy.
Filming on “Justice League” had already finished, and Snyder was in the throes of post-production in order to meet the film’s Nov. 17 release date. Whedon will now oversee a handful of reshoots that had already been scheduled prior to Synder’s daughter’s death, as well as the post-production process.
There are no plans to push the release date at this time. The film stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.
Autumn Snyder died by suicide in March at age 20. Her death has been kept private, even as the movie was put on a two-week break for the Snyder family to deal with the tragedy.
This week is a mish-mash featuring my reactions and thoughts to some of my fellow ComicMix columnists and two reader’s thoughts on my column from last week.
In response to my column last week, which I wrote while watching the New York Giants/Green Bay Packers wild card playoff game, Mark Belktron wrote:
Johnny O (the O is for Ostrander) talked about the King, a.k.a. Jack Kirby, yesterday, and his first encounter with the “mild-mannered” genius of the four-color page. Hey, John, did you read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon? If not, you really must! In fact, as I once mentioned long ago and far away (but not in another galaxy – at least, I think not), anyone who claims to be a comics fan must – im-not-so-ho, of course – read this, uh, amazing semi-fictionalized and semi-biographical novel of the birth of the comics industry in Depression-era America.
On Friday (January 14), Marc Alan Fishman did a “Tim Gun” critique of the DC film version of Justice League PR picture, which accompanied an article about the film in USA Today. I don’t read that paper, so Marc’s column was the first time I saw this pix. I think Marc has it correct, for the most part.
Batfleck does look fitting (as in, it fits the character), although I have always wondered, going all the way back to Michael Keaton’s turn as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s original Batman (1989), just how weighty and cumbersome the… costume? uniform?… let’s go with “outfit”… and how the athletic and martial-arts empowered Gotham Knight is able to move so swiftly and ably wearing that thing – hmm…have any of the cinema Batmen been able to even turn their head to talk to someone or espy something without having to turn the whole body? (Yes, unwieldy sentence, but so is the suit. Isn’t it?)
Also love, love, love Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (as I’ve mentioned numerous times before), but, unlike Marc, I don’t care that the colors of her armament are subdued. Of all the characters’, um, outfits, hers is the most realistic and closest, im-not-so-ho, to what Amazon warriors would wear to battle over 2000 years ago. The others don’t bother me one way or another. Cyborg is just another variation on a, well, cyborg. The Flash and Aquaman are pretty much what I would expect from a Zack Snyder film – and I don’t think that the orange-and-green “look” of the comic would ever translate well to the big screen, and barely to the small screen, for that matter. Anyway, it makes sense that the colors of the deep, dark sea, down so far that sunlight is an unknown (think views of the wreck of the Titanic, lit by mini-submarine) would be reflected in what the “King of the Sea” wears.
My only question about Flash continues to be – why hire a new actor (Ezra Miller) to play Barry Allen when Grant Gustin is just so damn excellent in the role? Yeah, yeah, I know…the televerse and the cineverse are alternate realities, or something. But here, once again, Marvel does it better, blending their ‘verses into one smooth reality.
“That game not only got away from the Giants, but the backlash in the media against OBJ [that’s Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. for you non-football people] the next day is killing me as a fan. Have you watched OA yet?”
Sorry, Mark, but im-not-so-ho, a player with the vaunted ability of OBJ should have caught both of Eli’s passes early in the first quarter…especially that wide-open beauty in the end zone. I don’t really care what the players do off the field – well, barring domestic violence and any other behavior which can lead to some serious injury to themselves and/or others (New York defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blowing his hand up real good with a firecracker, for instance) – if they show up on the field. My brother thinks OBJ is overrated, and I do tend to agree with him, if only because the wide receiver is too damn inconsistent to be placed with the other great wide receivers of the game. The players of the NFL apparently get it – OBJ was named to the All-Pro second team this year.
Regarding that same column, in which I wondered if the new 24 will be “worth it,” ReneCat said:
“Mindy, you hit the nail on the head! 24 without Jack (especially) and Chloe is just 24 Lite.”
Perhaps I’m just a big, bitter grump, ReneCat. (Reference Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One, Episode Eight: “Miri.”) I just watched the last three episodes of last season’s Homeland before watching the sixth season of the show on Showtime last night; Miranda Otto was so remarkable as Russian double-agent Allison Carr, and she (Miranda, not Allison) – who ended up “dead real good,” riddled with bullets in the trunk of the car that was getting her out of Germany – is playing Rebecca Ingram, the former head of the CTU who is apparently now regretting leaving the intelligence agency. It is, according to the Fox Network, one of the leading parts. So I will definitely being turning in to watch, at the very least, the premiere of 24: Legacy.
Mike Gold’s column on River Song, the “remarkably capable, strong and intelligent archaeologist/con artist/warrior-protector with a great sense of humor and about 92% of all the sexuality ever expressed in the 54-year history of the program, she has been, is, and/or will be married to the Doctor” was right on the mark, for my money. Very coincidentally, I just ordered The Diary of River Song before reading Mike’s column, although since I hadn’t read Mike’s column I got the more expensive set on Amazon instead of at Big Finish. I would have cancelled the Amazon order and gone over to Big Finish, but my package has already shipped, to be delivered tomorrow. Oh, well. As Mike said:
“I hope to see River return sometime this season as it is Steven Moffat’s last as writer/showrunner. I hope to see River Song return anywhere at any time, if that latter phrase has any real meaning in a world where time travel exists.
“But, hey, I’ll settle for Alex Kingston returning damn well anywhere.”
Me, too, Mike!
Well, that’s about it for this week, folks. My column, as usual, is running late – unusually so this week, as between my full-time job and my parents’ ill health I haven’t had the time or the “mood” to write. Apologies to my fellow columnists whom I haven’t mentioned, except to say that, in regards to graphic novels and comic shops, Martha Thomases and Ed Catto, I am guilty of buying the collected issues in one volume. And also, Arthur Tebbel, the only movies that I saw on your list of the Worst Movies of 2016 were Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Independence Day: Resurgence, and that I couldn’t even get past the first half-hour of the later (which I tried to watch on Netflix) and that the former was a travesty of great proportion, except for, once again, Gal Gadot’s Diana, Princess of Themyscira.
Addendum: By the time of next week’s column, we will have had one full weekend of President Donald J. Trump. Will we all still be here? Will there even be a column? Will America be…Amerika?
DC released the image that precedes this week’s via a puff piece in USA Today. In it, we see the Aveng-err-Justice League being scowly amidst steam and metal and stuff. It’s really striking, ain’t it?
As the image made its way across the social media networks I frequent, a common theme rose to the surface: Vomit. While I typically love to play devil’s advocate in situations like this, offering a nice counterpoint to typical rantings in lieu of some of my own delicious snark, I honest to Rao can only pile on. Let’s carve this screencap into a thousand angry pieces, shall we?
First off, I’m fine with Batfleck. He’s grumpy and gray. Which is exactly what I expect Batman to be. I think the one fine thing to come out of Batman v Superman was the portrayal of Bruce Wayne and his emo counterpart. He’s weary. He’s underpowered. He’s overcompensating for a lot. The actual look of the armor is good. Flat, simple, thick. The added Oakley shades over his eye holes make me think he’s got some gadgets on this suit. I like the look, as it’s basically Frank-Miller-Meets-the-Arkham-City-Games. Fishman’s Tim Gunn Grade: A-
And then we come to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Diana here is actually pretty comic accurate, no? While someone forgot to saturate her suit with any actual color, the basic forms here are as we’d hope. Her corset-like top over a weird armor-skirt, bifurcated by an ab-piecing belt reads wholly to her pulpy counterpart. In the shot we also see her shield, sword, and lasso. She’s even got her tiara and gauntlets in place. While she doesn’t feel Amazonian to me — she’s clearly not smaller than all save for Flash — everything else is checked off the list. If someone could add 33% more saturation, I’d be in love. Fishman’s Tim Gunn Grade: A-
Cyborg is depicted as a Michael Bay Transformer nightmare. As someone denoted to me on Facebook, his crotch literally looks like Megatron’s maw from Bay’s atrocities. Vic Stone here is a mangled mess of wires and tubes. It’s as if the CGI department just couldn’t help but scream “look what we done did!”
Look, I get it. The tragic accident that left Stone a small meat pile being grafted onto a T-1000 frame is a nice idea. But the look here is severely unfetch. From a practical standpoint, one would think maybe Batman would tell Cyborg to add layers of protective plating over the exposed machinery? Or perhaps not declare boldly “look at my lights. They show you where to start shooting and punching”? For Rao’s sake… the AI Bots in I, Robot had better armor. Fishman’s Tim Gunn Grade: F
Flash. Oh, Flash. This picture clearly is of a team that prepared a bit before battle. See Batman’s shades, Wonder Woman’s armament, and that trident. Flash clearly found some leftover maroon gym mats and Bungie cords and decided to try his best at a Pinterest costume tab. I pray that Mr. Allen figures he’ll move so fast people won’t notice the mélange of oddly shaped armor bits held together by string and sheer force of will. The only smart move he made: his helmet covers a good part of his face. It’s a shame when the CW’s Flash is better appointed to fight crime than a Flash with several hundred million dollars more in the coffers. Fishman’s Tim Gunn Grade: Whatever constitutes something worse than an F
Last in our assemblage of angst is Artie “Aquaman” Curry. This shark of a man is a big ole’ brute, ain’t he? The Snyderverse version of the once orange-adorned aquatic superman is clearly kin of WWE’s Roman Reigns. It’s a bold take. And we get it by now, don’t we? No one will make fun of him now! We can hear DC’s movie investors chortle. While Aquaman is shrouded in plumes of hate-smoke, there’s enough to go on here: He’s scale-armored. He’s got a bitchin trident. He’s got a massive beard. And he stole some shoulder pads from the set of Spartacus. Good on him. The look is different. But it’s intriguing. It looks stiff. But I’ll hold out hope it looks good in motion. Fishman’s Tim Gunn Grade: C+
So, what say you of this new League of Justice? Or perhaps the better question to answer… Who wore it better?
At the San Diego Comic Con, the United States Post Office announced that, in honor of her 75th anniversary, it was issuing a series of Wonder Woman stamps. This makes me very happy, since I just ran out of Batman stamps.
Also at SDCC, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for the Wonder Woman movie, due out in February. There were other trailers from Warners and other studios, but Wonder Woman is what everybody was talking about, at least on my feed.
While Supergirl was the first super heroine I loved, I also always adored Wonder Woman. When I first read her stories, they were as silly as many other comics with guest stars who included mermen and bird men. I didn’t know about her kinky origin, but I did notice that every story involved someone getting tied up. That didn’t bother child-me because I was too enthralled with her daring escapes and triumphs.
There is a lot that is wonderful about this trailer. Gal Godot looks fantastic, in costume and in civilian clothes. Her training in the Israeli army is obvious in the way she moves, and I completely believe she has the skills to be a super-powered warrior princess. I like the armor. It looks like it moves in battle, which is what armor is supposed to do.
Robin Wright is appropriately regal as Hippolyte. Chris Pine manages to convey Steve Trevor without undue camp.
On the minus side, there is also a lot of slow-motion fighting, which makes it look, to me, like Zack Snyder might have had too much influence. I remember thinking the Batman vs. Superman trailer didn’t look horrible, and then it broke my heart. Please don’t let that happen this time.
Still, I have hope. There is a scene where Steve Trevor is trying to stop Wonder Woman from going to a fight, and she says, “What I do is not up to you.”
That’s my Wonder Woman…
…Which brings me to the Democratic National Convention.
There were women who spoke at last week’s Republican convention, and I’m not questioning their sincerity nor their passion for public service. To me, however, their words defending their party were belied by the platform it approved. And the women who got the featured time slots in network broadcast were, for the most part, relatives of the candidate.
As I write this, the Democrats are just starting. Michelle Obama, wife of the president, had a prime time slot. But so did Sarah Silverman and Elizabeth Warren and non-famous women who spoke about their own, unique realities. The schedule for the rest of the week includes Bill and Chelsea, who are Clinton family members, but also many other women with professions and missions that show their personal commitment to this country, and to their candidate.
And then, later in the week as I write this but last Tuesday as this gets posted, Hillary will be nominated. She doesn’t have her husband’s charm as a speaker but she is intelligent and determined and she does her homework. I expect to be quite moved as she is/was the first woman to be nominated for president by one of our major political parties.
The other day at work I met a young man who is a surgical technician. Since I’m an operating room nurse, that’s an everyday occurrence. But what caught my eye was his scrub hat, which was a pattern of Batman’s insignia. So of course I immediately said, (duh) “So I’m guessing you’re into Batman.” And everything else was forgotten for a little while as he and I shared tales of our membership in Club Geek.
I bring this up because this Batman – that’s his actual nickname at work – absolutely loved Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. He has seen it three times, he told me, and wouldn’t mind going back for a fourth viewing. Being that this was the first time I was meeting him, I was polite and didn’t scoff or tell him that he’s an idiot. I did say that I hadn’t seen it yet, that I hate what Zack Snyder had done to the Man of Steel (pun intended) and that speaking I’m not a Snyder fan, that people I know with whom I work with and respect here at ComicMix have seen it pretty much hated it (see Mike Goldand Marc Alan Fishman’s columns, as well as Arthur Tebbel’s (review), and that I had decided to wait until the movie hits the streaming and cable markets.
“And I especially don’t like the idea of Batman using a gun. He’s not the Punisher,” I said. “The whole thing with Batman is that he operates, he lives, on that line between justice and vigilantism. It’s a tightrope between good and evil.”
Well, scrub tech Batman explained to me that Robin’s death (“by the Joker,” I interceded, to which he said, “Yeah, but the movie doesn’t show that,” to which I said, “Well, we know about it because of Dark Knight, but from what I understand his killing rampage comes out of nowhere, and don’t you think it should have at least mentioned the Joker for those not in the know?”) has driven Batman over the edge and that it makes perfect sense. “And it’s cool,” he said. “It’s really cool.”
Which got me to thinking later on – I didn’t ask scrub tech Batman how old he is, but he’s definitely a Millennial, and that’s the generation that’s come to adulthood in a world in which “death by bullet” is an everyday occurrence; in a world in which “guilt” and “innocence” doesn’t mean a thing; in a world in which fucked up wing-nuts use AK-47’s to settle arguments; in a world where police kill kids and beat up drivers for not signaling a lane switch; in a world where campaign rallies become Nazi Beer Hall Putsches; and in a world where Islamic fundamentalists fly passenger jets into buildings, kidnap and behead reporters, and burn enemies alive – all brought to them in living color courtesy of the news and the Internet.
So it’s not really all that surprising, if you think about it, that scrub tech Batman accepts the new paradigm of brutality, ugliness, rage, and “gangsta-ism” in their fictional heroes.
It’s easy to kick a studio while they’re down, and a little of that seems to be happening with the reactions to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros. has struggled mightily in bringing their heroes to the screen in recent years (recent decades if we don’t count Christopher Nolan’s work) and there’s an attempt to pile on. If Batman v Superman were a Marvel Studios film I suspect it would be getting more positive coverage as people dug to find the good things and used them to redeem the things that don’t work; instead people are endlessly picking at the numerous mistakes. Don’t get confused, Batman v Superman is an awful movie and Zack Snyder should be stopped at all costs but in the hands of literally any other director I could believe there was a salvageable property here and there’s time to right this ship.
Superman as depicted in Batman v Superman isn’t fun to watch, nor does he feel faithful to the character. I’ll be honest: I stopped reading comics on a weekly basis in the winter of 2012 and I haven’t been keeping up since then, so maybe Superman has become an extremely violent, petulant baby in that time— but I sort of doubt it. The Superman in this film is terrifying to consider. He’s quick to anger and never particularly nice to anyone that isn’t Lois Lane; more like Miracleman than Superman. The only never ending battle on display in this film is the one Warner Bros. fights for Superman to appear cool, but they’ve succeeded in creating a character that would only seem cool to an edgy teenager or the 90s comics industry. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be rooting for Batman or Superman when they come to blows, but I’m almost certainly not supposed to be thinking Lex Luthor is right about everything— and yet that’s just where I was for 80% of this movie.
The non-Superman characters were mostly pretty good. Ben Affleck should release a video where he makes it very clear he’s addressing all the people who doubted he could be a credible Batman, drop the mic, and then walk away. He’s a great Batman; I’m ready to put him in the upper echelon with Bale and Keaton (and Kilmer but let’s not get sidetracked) after seeing this movie. He’s believable physically, and he captures that kind of arrogant paranoia that I think Batman should embody. The scenes with Wonder Woman in costume are a giddy rush, and they represent her so well in the fight scenes without any clunky exposition or holding anybody’s hand. We all know who Wonder Woman is, we’ve been alive in the world. The scenes before she puts on the costume are less good; they kind of play her like an off-brand Selina Kyle, but they might have been going for an air of mystery and were betrayed by the PR team. Jesse Eisenberg has the most off-beat take of any established character, and while there isn’t a strong comic book foundation to what he’s doing, it does feel like what a billionaire megalomaniacal industrialist would look like in the modern start-up culture and he’s so unsettlingly creepy that I’m going to give him a pass.
I generally find Zack Snyder’s work to be unappealing visually, and Batman v Superman is no exception. Things are too slick, slow motion is used too much, only a handful of scenes take place in daylight. Gotham City and Metropolis look the same because there’s no room for points of contrast. I suppose Gotham’s abandoned docks are supposed to feel seedy and give the city a dilapidated edge but Metropolis has a crashed alien ship taking up a huge part of their downtown so there’s no contrast there. The contrast between Superman and Batman should be reflected in every part of their environment and instead everything takes place on the same dreary streets and rooftops.
The common refrain after seeing a movie like this is that it “destroys their childhood” of the viewer, and that’s always nonsense. No one from Warner is going to break down my door and set any of my trade paperbacks on fire or draw a bunch of bloodstains in the margins or anything like that. However, superhero movies are trading on nostalgia. If they can’t get a dyed in the wool DC Comics person like me to feel a connection to this film (and if you go back and read paragraph three of this review I desperately want to feel this connection) then I can’t imagine who does. They’ve made a misanthropic film, an ugly film, and worst of all they made a Zack Snyder film.
That’s a line from the end of Man Of Steel, which I watched again last night. And the captain who says it is right. Henry Cavill is – im-not-so-ho – hot. Extremely so. Perhaps more importantly, the man can act. Given a script that does not serve Mr. Cavill, in its, let’s say, frugality of characterization, exploration, and screen time of Kal-El alias Clark Kent actually being Kal-El alias Clark Kent, Mr. Cavill does a helluva job in conveying the confusion, loneliness, guilt, anger, and prickly emptiness inside this alien immigrant from Krypton.
The first time I saw it, I thought it sucked. This time, I thought, well, it doesn’t so much suck as it does come up empty, running on fumes instead of a full tank. And, no, it’s not because *gasp* Superman Kills Zod! *gasp* – which is what got so many bowels, including mine, in an uproar. Given the (truncated) emotional journey that Kal-El alias Clark Kent is on in the film, it’s – im-no-so-ho – the right action at the right time, for not only is Kal-El alias Clark Kent killing the warlord, he is also killing Kal-El the Kryptonian (and by inference, finally laying to rest the planet of Krypton) inside of him, killing the “otherness” that has haunted him all of his life. In that moment of final brutality, he transforms into Clark Kent alias Superman, born and raised in Kansas, U.S.A., and citizen of the planet Earth. As Clark Kent he will love Lois Lane; as Superman he will love Earth.
The problem with the film as I watched it the second time was that I had trouble staying awake to watch the very, very, very protracted battle scenes. Frankly, it got B-O-R-I-N-G. Director Zack Snyder, like George Lucas before him, is not interested in “what makes people tick.” He’s the toddler who knocks down his building blocks because it makes a big noise. He’s the kid with the Erector set building a giant John Deere crane that can knock down his Legos Empire State Building. He’s the adult ultimate SFX and CGI geek that is given a zillion dollars to play with.
And so in Man Of Steel we got an eternity of destruction played out before our eyes. We got IHOP and SEARS demolished real good. We got shockwaves of roiling dust clouds rolling across the Kansas plains. We got tidal waves sweeping across the Indian Ocean. We got F-16s and alien ships crashing to the ground. We got skyscrapers collapsing. We got pummeling and we got blood-and-guts – only there was very little blood and there was absolutely no guts. We got death without bodies.
It’s not really Zack Snyder’s fault. Nor is it the fault of so many young adults, mostly men, who have said to me, “Man Of Steel was so cool! The best part was the fight between Superman and Zod, and when Superman killed him, that was the best!” For they are all part of a generation that, as kids, saw the real towers fall down on television. Too young to really understand what was happening, too young to think about the political implications, too young to grasp the murky history of the Middle East and how it led to that moment, 9/11 and its aftermath, the televised “Shock and Awe,” was the ultimate video game, with explosions and lights, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.
They did not know that it was a tale told by an idiot.
And now Superman has a new power. An incredibly destructive and unstable power, to quote writer Geoff Johns. Because heat vision and telescopic vision and super-duper strength and invulnerability and x-ray vision and the ability to fly at super-sonic speeds and across space and into suns and to cross the time barrier just isn’t enough anymore.
Because, you know, all that stuff can get so B-O-R-I-N-G.
Burbank, CA, May 9, 2014 – Vengeance is sought when 300: Rise of an Empire arrives onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD Special Edition and Digital HD on June 24 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Producer Zack Snyder teams up with Director Noam Murro to create the follow up to the 2007 hit “300” in the same visually stunning style as the original. The stylized epic follows two warring nations that fight for glory amidst a raging sea.
Adapted from a screenplay by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad, and based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel “Xerxes,” Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise of an Empire was directed by Noam Murro. Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann produced the film, with Thomas Tull, Frank Miller, Stephen Jones, Craig J. Flores and Jon Jashni serving as executive producers.
The film stars Sullivan Stapleton (“Gangster Squad”) as Themistokles and Eva Green (“Dark Shadows”) as Artemisia, alongside Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) as the Spartan Queen, Gorgo; David Wenham (“Better Man”) as Dilios; Andrew Tiernan (“Ripper Street”) as Ephialtes; Andrew Pleavin (“The Borgias”) as Daxos; and Rodrigo Santoro (“The Last Stand”) returns in the role of the Persian God-King, Xerxes. The main cast also includes Hans Matheson (“The Christmas Candle”) as Themistokles’ closest friend and advisor, Aeskylos; Callan Mulvey (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Jack O’Connell (“Skins”) as father and son soldiers, Scyllias and Calisto; and Igal Naor (“Ambassadors”) as the Persian King Darius.
300: Rise of an Empire will be available on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99. Both include a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own 300: Rise of an Empire in Digital HD on June 24 via purchase from digital retailers.
300: Rise of an Empire, told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” is a new chapter of the epic saga, which takes the action to a new battlefield—the sea.
The story pits the Greek general Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces, ruled by the mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and led by Artemisia, the vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
Knowing his only hope of defeating the overwhelming Persian armada will be to unite all of Greece, Themistokles ultimately leads the charge that will change the course of the war.
BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS
300: Rise of an Empire Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 2-Disc Standard Definition DVD Special Edition contain the following special features:
The 300 Effect
o 3 Days in Hell
o Brutal Artistry
o A New Breed of Hero
o Taking the Battle to the Sea
Real Leaders & Legends
Becoming a Warrior
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
300: Rise of an Empire will be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on their favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, CinemaNow, Flixster, iTunes, PlayStation, Target Ticket, Vudu, Xbox and others. Starting June 24, 300: Rise of an Empire will also be available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.
Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack $44.95
Blu-ray Combo Pack $35.99
DVD 2-disc Special Edition (WS) $28.98
Street Date: June 24, 2014
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French
BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 103 minutes
Rating: R for strong sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some language