BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE [PG-13] D
Every red-blooded geek in the world – even, I would argue, those with only a passing interest in comic books – has probably engaged in a debate about the iconic clash of the titans, which is supposed to take center stage in Zack Snyder’s follow to his Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” It is an idea that splits us down the middle more decisively than politics or any other such dichotomy: Team Batman (the logical, practical human) versus Team Superman (the irresistible superhuman alien). But what Snyder gets so very wrong in his realization of this classic argument is that the whole point of it hinges on it being fun. Serious, sure, but at its core, we should enjoy watching it unfold. And sadly there isn’t a single ounce of joy in “Dawn of Justice.” Just doom and gloom and a whole lot of sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing.
KNIGHT OF CUPS [R] A
I entered “Knight of Cups,” the latest release from Terrence Malick with great trepidation. I have loved the enigmatic filmmaker from the moment the final frame of “Badlands” unspooled during one of my college film classes up until the dull thud that accompanied “To the Wonder,” the seemingly tone-deaf visual tone poem he released in 2012. Always more catch up in the rapture of the scene than the narrative, “To the Wonder” felt like Malick had surrendered to wandering around in his frames, leaving us lost and alone forever. But in “Knight of Cups,” he reaches out from what is now a frenetic cavalcade of images, grabbing us in a firm grip and pulls us inside the existential quest of a writer (Christian Bale) seeking the righteous path he has strayed from. Some will argue that Malick is at it again, spinning without the benefit of an anchoring narrative, but they are so wrong. “Knight of Cups” might be the most tightly focused and plotted journey he has embarked on since “Badlands” and it transforms the modern world into a beautiful mythic dreamscape.