The upcoming week’s blockbuster will be outshined by three lower budgeted efforts.
BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – There are a lot of well staged scenes in this huge superhero flick but it just doesn’t gel as a whole. The film is basically an hour and a half of set up in which we are reintroduced to Superman and Batman(now played by Ben Affleck). Batman gets more screen time as he ponders whether or not the world is safer with Superman in it. His anxiety gets a boost from Lex Luthor (here interpreted as a boy genius /dot.com millionaire).
The movie feels disjointed until you finally get to the titular fight which is ,admittedly, awesome. Sadly director Zack Snyder tries to incorporate ideas from too many different sources(The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman )and can’t give enough time to any of them. The appearance of Wonder Woman is phenomenal but a little too late to salvage this over long melodrama.
ELVIS AND NIXON – The historic ,and slightly daffy , meeting between these two icons makes for some funny moments as this mismatched couple try to find a common language. It works thanks to the inspired casting of Michael Shannon as Presley and Kevin Spacey as tricky Dickey.
A PERFECT DAY – The confusing atmosphere of the turbulent Balkans takes center stage in this sharp story about aid workers struggling with local politics as they try to rescue a child from a well. A mostly unknown cast gets solid leadership from Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robins in this well observed story of the challenges facing aid workers in war torn areas.
THE DEFENDERS – THE FIRST SEASON – This excellent legal dram was the 60’s alternative to the slick Perry Mason as it observed a father and son team of defense attorneys who often clashed over their socially relevant cases. Well conceived by Reginald Rose(Twelve Angry Men) . This marks the first time this series has been available and the extras, from the good folks at Shout Factory, are solid. You get the live drama which served as a pilot and featured Ralph Bellamy and William Shatner(to be replaced by E. G. Marshall and Robert Reed when it went to series) defending a young Steve McQueen. You also get a vintage interview with the late Marshall later starred in several cable TV films as the character alongside Beau Bridges.
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.