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Suicide Squad Review!

david ayer, suicide squad, dc, wb, will smith, viola davis, margot robbie, Karen Fukuhara, jay hernandez, adewale akinnuoye-agba, ben affleck, zack snyder, chad posey, film monster, review

Directed by David Ayer, Suicide Squad, follows Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) in a post Superman world as a agent so deep within the U.S. government that she has the ability to pull together a team of DC villains (Deadshot, Harley Quinn, El Diablo, Killer Croc, & Captain Boomerang, just to name a few) by planting a exploding device in their heads and force them to be the black ops answer to all the potential meta-human threats now that the Man of Steel is currently taking a dirt nap.  Waller is forced to activate the Suicide Squad to evacuate an important figurehead from a nearby city that is being overrun by a new magical force intent on destroying the world.

For the most part Suicide Squad looks to deliver on what DC promised in it’s rather brilliant marketing plan until you the film starts to unfold.  Will Smith, who plays the can’t miss assassin Deadshot, is a return to his prior form of movie star, as he really takes a hold of this character and runs with it.  While some people were complaining about the race of the character (Deadshot is actually white) I was more worried if Smith could actually pull off playing a man who murders people for money but he did more then pull his weight and I would be up to a Deadshot movie now.

Everything you thought about Margot Robbie is true, there are times she stumbles with the character, her accent goes in and out, but for the most part Robbie really owns the role of Harley Quinn and it will be interesting to watch her grow with the character in future movies as she was the real heart behind the film.  As for the rest of the cast everyone showed up to work.  Jay Hernandez is unrecognizable as El Diablo and is one of the cooler characters, Karen Fukuhara as Katana is a real bad ass, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agba makes Killer Croc into a really menacing creature, I believed that Joel Kinnman could really control and lead the worst of the worst as Rick Flag, even Jai Courtney was entertaining.

david ayer, suicide squad, dc, wb, will smith, viola davis, margot robbie, Karen Fukuhara, jay hernandez, adewale akinnuoye-agba, ben affleck, zack snyder, chad posey, film monster, review

Cara Delevingne was pretty amazing as Dr. Moon/The Enchantress until they did something with her character and she started to remind me the fairy godmother from Cinderella and gave her best bippity boppity boo impression.  The biggest disappointment comes in Jared Leto as The Joker.  When the stills and screen shots were released I was confident that Leto would be able to supersede Heath Ledger but as of right now it’s safe to say Ledger is still the reigning champ.

I’m willing to cut some slack since he’s hardly in the movie, now that we know most of his scenes were cut out, but there were some glaring problems in this incarnation which I noticed by the way Leto would growl in every scene and it was clear he was having a hard time talking through the grill he had in his mouth the entire film.  I would like to see just how crazy he can get in future installments, mainly in the Ben Affleck directed Batman flick which is coming down the pipeline especially since Batman is one of the best thing about this film and he has less screen time then Leto.  The entire film reeks of too many hands trying to make the family dinner and it’s at this point WB/DC really needs to wake up.david ayer, suicide squad, dc, wb, will smith, viola davis, margot robbie, Karen Fukuhara, jay hernandez, adewale akinnuoye-agba, ben affleck, zack snyder, chad posey, film monster, review

It’s at this point you start to zero on the real problem of this film.  What started out as a fun ride with some of DC’s classic villains takes a complete and very quick nose dive as it enters it’s final act because it has too much going on and feels very bloated in scope and I found myself wondering whey didn’t they scale it down and have this non-super powered villains go against a terrorist group.  Batman is supposed to be out searching for the meta-humans so why not have them have to stop someone like Black Mask from trying to take over a section of Gotham, or maybe stop him from trying to take over Arkham Asylum which would have been a good place to have Leto’s Joker and create the right conflict for Harley.

After watching Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and now Suicide Squad I’ve come to the conclusion, in order to salvage something from these films, is to look at them as a means to study and show exactly what not to do when making a comic book movie. Man of Steel is a lesson on not hiring a director that doesn’t get/like the character you’re making a movie about.  BvS would be a perfect example in demonstrating the failures of not keeping your script simple and do not mash too much into your movie to the point that you end up cutting out important scenes that completely alter characters behavior and motivations, only to add them back in to have your film make sense.  Finally, we have Suicide Squad, which is a perfect example of how editing can make or break your film.

If you’re dead set on watching this film no matter what like I was, then nothing is going to stop you, go to the theater, see it for yourself, but if you’re on the fence I would recommend to just wait and rent it.  It’s not a complete waste of time but this is not film WB/DC needed right now.

 

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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Cut)

batman v superman: dawn of justice, henry cavill, ben affleck, gal gadot, zack snyder, jessie eisenberg, dc, wb, action, film monster, chad posey, ultimate cut, amy adams, jeremy irons, laurence fishburne

Possible Spoilers, Obviously.

It’s rare that a movie can actually be better with a more footage added in, most of the time a film can be bogged down and forced to be trimmed to make  more coherent movie but the Ultimate Cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a much more coherent film then it’s theatrical predecessor.  I was not a fan of the original version when it hit theaters.  Superman was a horrible person in how he seemed to just neglect people who needed help, Batman just came across as a complete sociopath, and the populated world was so stupid to believe that a man who could fly, shoot heated rays from his eyes, and juggle planets would use a gun to kill anyone, which is  a major plot point of Lex Luthor’s plan to get the world to turn against Superman and for the much anticipated throw down between the two DC titans.

Why does the world believe Superman shot those people?  Why is Batman terrorizing the port area in Gotham?  How come Superman didn’t realize a bomb was about to go off during a Capitol hearing?  All of these questions and much more are answered which not only help the overall flow of the film but also flesh out Henry Cavill’s Superman and alter ego Clark Kent as he investigates who The Batman is.  Lois Lane (Amy Adams) gets more to do as she begins to pull the threads of the mystery surrounding the murders that seem to follow Superman wherever he goes.  It’s a nice little mystery we are actually following along with that held my attention despite a few dumb moments sprinkled in just to move the plot along.

Henry Cavill shines a lot more as Superman given the added footage and Ben Affleck is still an amazing Batman, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne everyone is pretty much bringing their A-game except the main villain of the film.

batman v superman: dawn of justice, henry cavill, ben affleck, gal gadot, zack snyder, jessie eisenberg, dc, wb, action, film monster, chad posey, ultimate cut, amy adams, jeremy irons, laurence fishburne

Despite all the good, the film is still plagued with problems, namely Jessie Eisenberg, who continues to be awful as Lex Luthor.  I did enjoy him more when he begins to lay out his plan to Superman just before the main event fight, but his performance will go down on future list as “Worst Villain Ever” for years to come.  The fight between Batman and Superman now takes even longer to get to given the added footage and is still really short compared to all the build-up.  Then you have Doomsday.  The CGI looks better and I could tell what was going better then I could in theaters, but I still stand that they should have waited to bring Doomsday in and kill Superman until WB had built up the DC Universe a bit more.  It would have been nice to see the members of the Justice League walking behind his casket in Metropolis in tandem with a select few at the actual funeral in Smallville.

batman v superman: dawn of justice, henry cavill, ben affleck, gal gadot, zack snyder, jessie eisenberg, dc, wb, action, film monster, chad posey, ultimate cut, amy adams, jeremy irons, laurence fishburne

Originally I hated the first half of the theatrical cut because it was boring and confusing but with the Ultimate Cut I am able to enjoy the film much more as a whole.  Usually when someone releases a “Director’s Cut” with added footed it’s usually a cash grab with footage that doesn’t help the movie slightly *coughGreenLanterncough* if at all but in this case, the thirty extra minutes does bring a lot to the film but it still has the same problems with the useless dream sequences, the bloated final third of the film when Snyder wants to just conveniently drop hints of the future members of the Justice League.  It still doesn’t work, feels really crow barred in and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is still useless until she’s called upon to be the warrior she is.

With the added footage you are now forced to sit through a three hour cut which is really taxing to sit through on anyone who have a thousand things to do every day and it comes with an R rating which it earns with a lot of CGI blood added into the fight scenes and a character dropping the F-bomb.  If you are interested,  I do recommend giving the film another look, it’s definitely worth it checking out if you want to see a better, yet exhausting, version but if you completely hated the original theactial released film then you’re better off skipping it all together.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits shelves today!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Review/Rant!

ben affleck, batman v superman: dawn of justice, henry cavill, lex luthor, jessie eisenburg, gal gadot, dc, wb, film monster

I’m just going to say right now that there is a possibility that the film could be spoiled for you here.  I’m not going go through every aspect of the film, but in order to discuss my issues thoroughly, I really have to divulge into the larger problems, so you’ve been warned.

It’s surprising that after all these years that WB still hasn’t figured out how to market any of their large line-up of rich characters except Batman.  We seem to go through the same routine every few years where they put all their chips on Batman, and don’t really use logic when it comes to their other characters.  Superman Returns and Man of Steel were both troubled yet enjoyable films.  Green Lantern was a horrible mess, and yet Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has gone down as one of the greatest live action interpretations of Batman we’ve ever seen, at least until now.  It seems that WB has once again shifted the focus into their new Batman while leaving Superman off on the sidelines.

While I did enjoy, even largely defend defend 2013’s Man of Steel, the problems the film had were more in the writing then the direction.   The film had the action many Superman fans had been craving for ever since we’ve seen what CGI was capable of but a weak script had the characters saying and doing things that didn’t make much sense.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was WB/Snyder’s chance to correct those problems and issues Man of Steel created and would reverberate throughout the future movies and they have failed more then they succeeded.

While BvS promises to address the destruction, character motivations, and the fact that Superman doesn’t really act like Superman it tosses all of this to the side to show you a bunch of cool stuff.  I always defended Superman’s actions in Man of Steel because it was literally his first day on the job, I was willing to overlook that he didn’t start out as the Superman we know and love because he hasn’t yet learned how to be THAT Superman.  I am willing to watch him grow over a couple movies before becoming the leader of the Justice League and becoming that beacon of hope he’s been promised to be, but this did not happen.

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I felt like I was sitting next to Zack Snyder and every time I had a question, he’s dangle some platinum diamond keys (or in other words something pretty from the movie) to distract me from anything that didn’t make sense.  “Zack Snyder, why did Lex Luthor hate Superman so much?” I asked.  “Well, he just does.”,  Zack replied.  “He hates him in the comic.”  “Yes, but we know he hates him in the comic, but in this film, why?”  Zack suddenly whipped out a cool action scene or something pretty for me to look at in hopes that I would forget my questions.

How did Batman know to dream, in such detail, about the Omega sign and Darkseid if he never met or heard of him before?  Why didn’t he just dream of Superman going nuts and destroying the city like any normal nightmare?  Well because Snyder and company wanted to show you something really cool and make a Batman figure to sell to kids.  There is a weird moment where, at first, we’re lead to believe that the Flash (Ezra Miller) had ran back through time to warn Batman about Superman, only to have Batman wake up again like it was a dream.  Leaving the audience to wonder if this really happened or if it was really a dream.  We’re lead to wonder about Lex, as he keeps mentioning his father.  Perhaps this isn’t the real Lex Luthor  because it wouldn’t take anything for Snyder and company to go, “Oh, no, he wasn’t the real one, his dad is the real Lex Luthor.”, and here goes my underlying problem with BvS is it doesn’t commit to anything.

The film carries enough good stuff to keep it from dropping into Green Lantern level of horrible but, and this is putting it bluntly, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a cluster fuck of a film.  Don’t ask for a plot because there really isn’t one.  BvS feels more like Snyder wanted to direct a Batman movie more then a sequel to his Superman as the Cavill is left without anything to really do except be a punching bag for Batman during their inevitable match-up and serve as a plot point later in the film.  There was a moment in this film where I felt that Cavill was going to deliver a strong speech about helping mankind and how he was going to be a better hero and who we need him to be when he’s called to Washington to answer for all the problems he has been causing but just when he’s about to speak there is a giant explosion before Henry Cavill has a chance to utter a single word.

Which leads me to my biggest complaint and yet a small compliment is Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, or Lex Luthor’s son because the movie left it open so the film makers could very easily change gears and say he isn’t the real Lex and his father could show up later on as the real Lex Luthor in later films.  It’s not so much that he played Lex Luthor, but how he played him.  Superman’s greatest villain has changed his backstory and motivations many times over the years but Eisenberg’s performance is kind of all over the place except near the end when he turns out to be really psychotic which I loved it’s just that the two performances just didn’t mesh well together so it’s jarring when Luthor switches.
batman v superman: dawn of justice, bvs, zack snyder, chad posey, film monster, ben affleck, henry cavill, dc, wb, amy adams, diane lane

BvS is nothing but a bunch of cool moments strung together in some vague attempt at a story, even the fight, which the entire movie is being touted around, is a lie when it gets down to the real reason they’re fighting which is extremely disappointing.  Iron Man 2 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron caught major complaints from fans when they turned out to be basically trailers for what was coming later in the MCU and DC should not be left off the hook.  There is no reason that WB/DC can’t make movies of the same caliber or better then the MCU but for whatever reason they seem content walking the line of mediocre.

Now that I’ve railed against this film, you should know I didn’t exactly hate it, in fact I enjoyed many things about it.  It’s ironic that people did nothing but complain about the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman and he turns out to be the best thing about it.  This is THE best live-action Batman we’ve ever had.  He fights and moves just like Batman should, he uses his gadgets and environments to pretty amazing results and I can’t wait to see what Affleck does with the character in his solo outing which he is directing and writing.  Gal Gadot is pretty amazing as Wonder Woman, once again silencing the critics over her body type as she melds very well with Superman and Batman and it is great that anyone who has a daughter finally has a female superhero they can cheer on because Gadot really breathes new life into a character who has never appeared on a movie screen before.

batman v superman: dawn of justice, bvs, zack snyder, chad posey, film monster, ben affleck, henry cavill, dc, wb, amy adams, diane lane

BvS is a beautiful disaster, a film that hurts so much because of all the things it gets right is wrapped in mediocrity and it’s frustrating to see.  This isn’t just a Marvel thing, or a chance to jump on the idiotic fanboy argument of which is better, Marvel or DC.  Twenty years ago we would have been happy with whatever comic book movie we could get because no one was taking them seriously but times have changed and the power has shifted.  The fans are now in charge of creating these films and the bar has been raised thanks to The Dark Knight Trilogy, the Marvel Films, Deadpool, the whole comic book movie craze kicked off with the small budgeted Blade, something no one really thought had a chance to do anything.

If you are a DC lover and you’ve been waiting for this movie and you’re going in with the mentality that you’re going to love it regardless, then by all means go and I hope you enjoy the film.  There is enough here that you can nerd out on but let’s not kid ourselves here, there are major problems with BvS and it has me worried for Justice League because Zack Snyder couldn’t handle this simple story line how is he going to handle seven other main characters?  This worries me because WB/DC is coming so late into the comic book movie game that they can’t afford to reboot this again and hope to start churning out their roaster of hero’s, they need to buckle down and start utilizing every tool they have to make a good film and start gaining some control over these film makers so we don’t get anymore Green Lantern’s or another film with so much wasted potential.

 

Zack Snyder Lays Out DC’s Cinematic Universe!

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When The Avengers took in 1.4 Billion dollars during its theatrical run all DC fans reverted their eyes to Warner Bros who has been sitting quietly in the corner for years living off of Batman.  They quickly put plans into effect to jump start their shared universe.  It should be said that, unlike Marvel, WB owns ALL the DC characters and could have started this shared universe idea years ago, but that’s in the past and DC silenced it’s large list of doubters when it released the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer that was shown at Comic-Con.

“What we are doing is ground up all the way. It is one giant story,” Zack Snyder told Empire Magazine. “The first thing we had was the Justice League concept. The other movies, in a way, have to support that. That is our Wonder Woman, our Aquaman. They have their own creative concepts that supports them, but they do serve Justice League in the coming together of those heroes.”

And while the interconnected nature of DC’s cinematic universe will obviously put some parameters on projects like Suicide Squad and the after-mentioned solo films, Snyder—who’s essentially godfathering the entire universe—is giving each team as much creative freedom as possible.

zack snyder, batman v superman: dawn of justice, wb, dc, comic book, wonder woman, suicide squad, charles roven, henry cavill, ben affleck, screenhall

“I want all the other directors of the other films to be able to stretch their legs and do what they want, but at the same time there is a big interconnected universe,” he said. “I have given everyone amazing access to our story, to me, and what we are doing. All the films have like minded conceptual jumping on points.”

In fact, DC producer Charles Roven even has an official name for his structure: The sandbox.

“We call it the sandbox. It has borders around it, but everybody gets to play in the sandbox. On Suicide Squad, David Ayer has a lot of specific control over his area of the sandbox. Even if he crosses the line a little bit, we see if we can push our boundaries back a little bit.”

I’ll be the first to admit it, I wasn’t behind what DC was doing, I even had an entire article written was was ready to post about how WB/DC just didn’t seem like they cared about their characters but that trailer shut me up.  I like the difference in tone between DC and Marvel, and like Marvel is doing with their Netflix shows, I hope WB will branch out and make some of their future properties lighter in tone and play some in that giant sandbox they are creating.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 25, 2016!

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Comic-Con Trailer!

The new official trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice – In UK cinemas March 25, 2016 – directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter.

Ben Affleck Talks Batman!

When Ben Affleck was cast the world was suddenly divided, yet again, with believers and doubters.  I for one am a believer, I’ve always been a supporter of Ben Affleck, even through his crap movies and I’ve always thought he looked just like a reiteration of Bruce Wayne.  So when he was cast I thought, great, he’s been on quite a hot streak with his last three films and starred in two of them. Despite winning an Oscar even Ben Affleck had his doubts when he was given the call.
“My first reaction was, ‘Are you sure?’” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “At the time I was 40, 41, and had just finished Argo, and I felt like ‘This seems like a strange way to get to Batman.’ But Zack convinced me.” Reiterating that this version of Batman is a little older, Affleck added that Bruce Wayne will still very much be keeping up the playboy facade from the comics.  “He really keeps up the image of the playboy, actively. So you have more of a dichotomy which I thought was really fun, and a little sad, like the aging playboy.”

Affleck also confirmed that the reason Batman  decides to go after the Man of Steel is that Superman destroyed more than just one of Bruce Wayne’s satellites. “One of the things I liked was Zack’s idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings,” he revealed. “And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne’s building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event.”

While I will defend Man of Steel I also won’t say it doesn’t have problems.  They showed such destruction but then quickly brushed it off with the whole “You’ll never find where I hang my cape” scene and nothing will convince me that Zack Snyder and company completely thought about that when then made the movie.  They never thought anyone would have an issue with it but we did which I’m sure molded how they constructed the sequel, it’s good they are going to address this because while I’ll defend the destruction between characters that could juggle planets, I can’t defend how they handled it.

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Now that it’s confirmed they are going to address the issues Man of Steel had, it appears that DC is finally starting to solidify their shared universe plans, although it’s been shaky ground, there is good news.  Affleck has long been rumored to directing many comic book movies.  Justice League being one of the bigger ones and while directing duties for that one has fallen upon Zack Snyder and Affleck has gone to great lengths to counter the rumors that he will direct a comic book movie, it appears that is no longer the case.  “I thought if I was going to direct a movie like this, which I would like to do at some point, I need to have something of a refresher course of how these movies are done.”

It has been rumored that WB is going to give him the reigns to direct his own character in the upcoming solo Batman film, possibly titled, The Batman.  With the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, we now have a gateway to what could be one of the greatest comic book movies let alone a Batman one.  We’ll just have to wait and see how things unfold, but I am really looking forward to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

James Wan To Direct Aquaman!

Furious 7 director James Wan has been hired by Warner Bros. to direct Jason Momoa’s Aquaman solo film.

Charles Roven, the films producer, talked about hiring the Australian director.

aquaman, gambitcon, james wan, dc, wb, zack snyder, deborah snyder, charles roven“James, first on New Line’s ‘The Conjuring’ and now on their upcoming ‘The Conjuring 2,’ and are thrilled to have him on board as we continue to expand our DC slate. The Aquaman film will be a major tent-pole picture for us and James’s span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material.”

“James is not only a great storyteller but can make action truly explode on the big screen, and Jason has a dynamic presence that commands your attention. Together, they will bring an undeniable vitality and energy to this character as he headlines his first feature film.”

Wan will also be supervising the script by Kurt Johnstad (“300,” “300: Rise of an Empire”). The film is being produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder and Zack Snyder.

I think this is an awesome idea.  Wan is one of my favorite directors, starting out in horror with Saw and two of my favorites The Conjuring and Insidious, the man hit it really big with Furious 7, which I felt he was using as a demo reel for his chance to direct a comic book movie anyway, has grossed over a billion dollars.

Aquaman is scheduled to hit theaters July 27, 2018.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Official Teaser Trailer!

Been waiting to release the actual good version, so here we go!

Do you bleed?

Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson Talks About Ben Affleck’s Batman Suit!

For those of us who live vicariously through our super hero’s there is one thing we never really think of and that’s how they put on their costumes.  It’s clear it would take some time to  to squeeze into some tights, and Batman’s armor, it has to take some time, plus Alfred would help him out right?

“It does involve multiple costumers,” admitted costume designer Michael Wilkinson, adding that turning the actor into the DC Entertainment superhero is “not the sort of thing that I could just sit in Ben’s trailer and he gets into it himself. It’s a six-handed operation.”

Creating the new Batsuit was one of the hot topics when Snyder and company decided to introduce Batman into this universe.  Snyder wanted to tackled a common problem that nearly ever Batman has had to deal with, the Dark Knight’s inability to turn his head.

“It’s a very important thing to Zack that the Batsuit would be comfortable and very flexible but then would be able to perform in a very natural and forceful way,” said Wilkinson, adding that the rigidity of the cowl and neck-pieces was “one of the first things that Snyder mentioned to me in one of our initial meetings.”  This time around, promised Wilkinson, “a lot of incredible engineering went into the development of the new black cowl.”

ben affleck, batman, batman v superman: dawn of justice, henry cavill, gambitcon

The designer is ready for fans to pass judgment on his work when they get a good look at the new Batman, he said. In fact, he’s looking forward to it. “It’s no longer a designer in his workroom pushing a costume out into the world and that’s it,” he said. “There’s a real sense of conversation and engaging in a dialogue about this stuff.”

The suit looks pretty amazing and I for one can’t wait to see it in action.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters March 16, 2016!

Patton Oswalt & Patrick Wilson Talk Watchmen!

I’ve grown to love Patton Oswalt more and more with his take on comic book movies and such, but one thing I found really intriging is his take on the film Watchmen.   While I don’t completely agree with his take and I fall more along with Wilson, I do agree that Snyder felt like he had appease everyone who ever loved that book that he was a bit of a slave to the original source material so much that it hindered what he was able to do with it.  Check out the video below, it’s pretty interesting.

“I think that the one thing he [Snyder] did wrong in that movie was when any work, comic book, any book, [inaudible], you have to adapt it. And there were some scenes where he shot it so slavishly to the comic that it didn’t work on film.  It’s a 50-50 film for me. I really appreciate the effort, but I wish he had did more stuff like the prison break sequence or the way that he filmed the ending.”

What many people don’t realize is many very prominent filmmakers were going to adapt the popular graphic novel and were going to severely “update” it and by  update I mean screw it up.  Seriously, do some research, if you thought Watchmen was bad it was going to be a lot worse.