Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review – Batman v Superman is an American superhero movie released in 2016. The movie is based on superheroes from the DC Comics. Superman’s fight with Zod results in large scale massacre that destroys Bruce Wayne’s (Batman) office and casualties in his company. Batman decides to fight Superman to keep him in check while Lex Luthor adds fuel to their fire.
First of all, I would like mention that I am neither DC nor a Marvel fan. Rather I like all superheroes from both the universe. It helps to read this review in an unbiased fashion.
It has been a long due for the DC universe to bring their superheroes together. Thanks to Nolan’s Batman trilogy that had set up the foundation for the movies. Although Zack Snyder did not impress much with the Man of Steel he has definitely justified his efforts with the edition of Dawn of Justice. This may not be the epic start for the Justice League DC fans would have expected but nevertheless, it serves as a good appetizer for the upcoming main course.
The movie has a sluggish start and you tend to wait for those brilliant moments restlessly. Just when you feel that this might turn out to be a half-baked effort the movie picks up and keeps you engaged till the end. Ben Affleck is very convincing as Batman and definitely carries on the legacy putting the sarcastic comments on him to rest. His performance is a standout. The icing on the cake for the movie is Wonder woman. Her entry is the best part of the movie. Lex Luthor’s characterization is good and his dialog delivery reminds of Sharukh Khan. Some portions of the movie even look like the old school Bollywood movies and look like a decorated extravagant Karan Arjun 🙂
High Points: The fight night between superman and batman, Wonder woman’s entry, Lex Luthor’s characterization, Hans Zimmerman’s background score.
Low Points: Sluggish screenplay in the first half, some of the dialogues are cheesy and cliched takes away the impact of the good ones
Overall Zack Snyder doesn’t disappoint this time and in fact, has created a good start to the Justice League. Hope DC is able to be successful with the upcoming movies. If you love superhero movies don’t miss this one when it is in the theaters.
In the previous Friday Fundas section I mentioned Cinema is a magical medium and how optical illusion can create perceived reality with techniques like Forced Perspective. One of the readers had asked an interesting question on how scenes similar to Kumbakarna and the tiny soldiers, Gulliver and Lilliputs are made. While some of the scenes may be forced perspective but the scenes which involve the Lilliputs walk over the giant body of Gulliver is covered by what is known as the Chroma Key Compositing or Chroma Keying Technique. This also popularly called as the Green Screen effect or the Blue screen effect.
The basic of Chroma Key is overlapping two images and make them merge with each other. Let us consider the flying action of Superman and the image of sky behind him. As images are built of pixels you would want to replace the background from the image of superman in flying action with that of the image of the sky. In order to achieve it you would want to make any pixels around Superman transparent. Well Chroma Keying is the technique to do that. The technique involves choosing certain color range of pixels and making it transparent.
In the initial days this was done using a blue screen at the background and then blue color was made transparent to merge with another frame to make it look like they are happening in the same space. It should be noted that no other character or object in the first scene should have blue color. As Superman has a blue costume instead of a blue screen a green screen could be used. In the modern days a green screen is used prevalently as the image sensors in digital video cameras are more sensitive to green there by allocating more pixels to green channel.
Prior to the digital era Chroma Key was also performed on the films. It was popularly referred to as Matte technique. The technique is as old as 1930s. The scene comprises of two scenes one the foreground shot and the other the background shot. The background of the foreground shot when taken would be a blue screen. Now the camera color negative of this shot was printed onto a high contrast black and white film using either a filter or the black and white film to limit the blue color. The resultant film produced transparent color wherever it found blue. The end result is the foreground object with a transparent background. This is called the “Female matte”. This was now copied onto the high contrast negative of the background scene which is called the “Male matte”. The end result is the negative of the film with both these scenes merged with each other.
One of the key challenges in this technique was camera movement. The camera movement used when shooting the foreground should be used exactly the same way while shooting the background scene. Later techniques were developed to automate this process to move the camera exactly the same way.
Well next time you see Superman fly or Batman jump across buildings you would remember there is always a Chroma Key behind it.
Man of Steel – The most expected superhero movie of the year brings the rebooted Superman to the silver screen. As it is a reboot the movie is all about the origin of Superman and establishing his identity as Superman. As a boy Clark Kent is worried about the superhuman abilities he has and is confused if he would be accepted by the society and live a normal life as a human. He goes on a long journey covering his path and identity. But the circumstances and his super human abilities would not let him be in the dark for too long. Soon he is faced with the challenge to save the earth and the only way he could do is by revealing his identity. Did he reveal his identity? Did the human race accept him? forms the rest of the plot.
The movie had a load of expectations on itself with names like Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner in the credits. DC delivering a phenomenal reboot for the Batman just raised the expectation of this movie much higher. In comparison with the expectations the movie works in parts. There is a newer side of Superman’s childhood and the emotional turmoil he goes through which is taken very well. However once he takes the superhuman form it just becomes an average film. There is overdose of visual effects, which makes you bit exhausted in the end of it. Henry Cavill looks good as a superman however he has just limited expressions which becomes a bit monotonous through the movie. The movie does promise a good beginning for some promising sequels to come. If we were to take off the overloaded expectations of the movie it is a good watch.
Its a Bird, Its a Plane, Its Superman go for the red cape hero you had been inspired for decades.