The DCEU Movies Ranked

Written by Nick Staniforth

Braving the waters of the comic book universe once again this week, Warner Bros have supposedly turned back the tide and managed to deliver a superhero story that is getting unanimous praise for embracing its bonkers premise and surfing it to the shore of success. If you haven’t twigged yet, what with all the water puns, I am of course referring to Aquaman, the latest chapter of the DC universe starring Jason Momoa, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Ludi Lin, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Randall Park.

As of today, the man born of land and sea has made his way into cinemas, but following his release, where does the half-Atlantean sit among  Warner Bros. other highly debated efforts? Here be the rankin’ of the entire DCEU films so far that’ll no doubt cause some waves.


 

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Suicide Squad

It’s almost fitting that James Gunn has been tasked with a sequel to the film Warner Bros were keen to make their own Guardians of the Galaxy. Rough around the edges and filled with its own team of misfits, Suicide Squad had all the potential to be the outside contender that could straighten up the impending array of entries that were in the pipeline – instead, it almost ran the damn thing off the road.

A slung-together script, reshoots aiming to lighten the mood following the near-fatal feedback of Dawn of Justice (more on that later), and one of the shortest performances of The Joker ever caught on film, Suicide Squad was a slog of a viewing experience if it wasn’t for some key players that saved the day.

Margot Robbie and Will Smith as Harley Quinn and Deadshot reignite the chemistry they had in Focus, with the likes of Jay Hernandez’s El Diablo, Karen Fukuhara’s Katana and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang conjuring some compelling performances, but the outcome is still a visually murky slog that even with an impending sequel, is an instalment that rarely gets revisited.

 

 

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Justice League

Die-hard DC fans can hashtag the crap out of a campaign to release the Snyder Cut until the Parademons come home, but there’s no denying that the finished product of the Justice League was far from complete. The second that light touches the synthetic upper lip of Henry Cavill, things roll off to an uneven start for the film that should’ve been a team-up for the ages. Instead, we’re treated to a CGI-tastic tone tornado that was another close call for the end of the DCEU.

Snyder’s eyegasmic vision and Whedon’s wit colliding should’ve made for the perfect comic book film, but like Suicide Squad before it, Justice League ends up a drab and forgetful outing. There are glimmers of hope, with Jason Momoa’s Aquaman making his debut, Gal Gadot Gadoing what she’s great at, and that hair-raising moment Superman returns for real, but it’s just not enough.

That chase scene on Themyiscara still holds up but besides that, the rest of the film, for the most part, is a union of DC’s finest stuck together with PVA glue in front of an undeniably bland CGI backdrop. They should’ve entered a league of their own, but instead served as a grave injustice.

 

 

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Aquaman

A well-known horror director and a former horse lord are easily one of Warner Bros. bravest bargaining chips when it came to Aquaman and his solo film. Appearing as an undeniable redirection from the dark and sombre scope the DCEU has been focussed on for some time, Jason Mamoa’s standalone entry as the king beneath the ocean is one of the most refreshing instalments thus far, though not without its own issues.

Demonstrating that same flair he had with high-octane sequences in Fast & Furious 7, director James Wan gets his feet wet again in an at times visually impressive affair and tackles them to a degree, with Nicole Kidman as an ass-kicking Queen Atlanna being a standout moment. Sadly, these aren’t enough to wash over what is a fairly dull story that feels worn down. Plucking plot points from Thor, Black Panther and Wonder Woman, it avoids being a complete wipeout thanks to Momoa who is once again not giving a fork and having an absolute ball, which pushes the film along. Ultimately, it’s a good effort for DC to steady the ship but still not a patch on the best entry so far.

 

 

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Tearing friendships apart as much as The Last Jedi, or when Ross and Rachel went on a break, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the film we never thought we’d see, and ultimately the film fans will never, ever agree on. Considered to be the stuff of dreams and I Am Legend Easter eggs, the sought-after showdown between The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel is a battle on so many levels. For every hit it lands, there’s another counter swing that puts it on the backfoot, which is why its slap bang in the middle of this list.

Forming a bond in the opening act to the previous film amid the rubble and chaos left behind in Man of Steel, Snyder does a great job at building up the motivations for both fighters in this epic bout. Cavill once again slips into the super suit with ease as the still tortured Superman trying to find his place in the world, while Ben Affleck delivers one of the best iterations of Bruce Wayne and Batman ever captured on screen. Fearful of this stranger beyond the stars and being a figure worth dreading himself, it helps a great deal for when these two finally do go toe to toe. It’s the time spent getting to and following from the final fight that is the films biggest issue.

The Martha motive is still frustrating to even recall, as is Jesse Eisenberg’s weedy, tick-induced Lex Luthor. It’s a lengthy lost opportunity that we may never get back but thankfully gave the world Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, the films most undeniable redeeming factor. If your chest doesn’t swell the second she flies in on Hans Zimmer’s score, then you really need to seek medical attention.

 

 

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Man of Steel

Ah yes, back when it all looked so promising. Snyder’s debut venture into the world of DC’s greatest heroes may have had its issues, but Henry Cavill’s first turn as the man with the big red cape is undoubtedly one of the strongest of the bunch.  Retelling the origin story of the most iconic superheroes ever for the modern era is a tough task but even more so when that beloved tale is tweaked to significant levels.

It all works, for the most part, aided by a strong cast that solidifies this world, and provides realism in a way that even Marvel still hasn’t done. From Amy Adams’ sharp Lois Lane to Michael Shannon’s tyrannical iteration of General Zod, every box is checked for the players involved in this effort to get Superman soaring to new heights. Most notably are the parents that mould Clark into the hero he becomes. Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner bring varied but vital fatherly roles as Jor-El and Jonathan Kent, respectively, while Diane Lane as keeps her son grounded as widowed mother MARTHA (sorry, old habit).

There are flecks of kryptonite littered through the film of course, most notably in that films final building breaking scuffle between Cavill’s Superman and Shannon’s Zod. Turning the shining Metropolis into an abandoned car park by the film’s end may well have been Snyder’s plan, but he once again spends too much time on something that should’ve zipped by faster than a speeding bullet. Not a bad first try – if only they’d been this good, though.

 

 

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Wonder Woman

There was only one place for Gal Gadot’s solo gig as the Amazonian princess to go and that’s right at the very front. Putting aside all the convoluted, reconstructed world-building that has been tried and tested, Diana’s first adventure is the closest to perfect Warner Bros. has been. Patty Jenkin’s take on the most well-known female superhero is an absolute treat from beginning to end, distancing itself from all the other entries by decades and finally giving audiences a film they could all agree on as being an absolute belter.

A fish out of water tale with added oomph, braving the era of World War I to bring Diana’s story to life is a refreshing chapter in an uneven series of instalments. Already demonstrating she could wield the headgear and lasso in Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot gets time to really fit into the role of Wonder Woman and make it her own. Strong, graceful and an undeniable presence of good, she elevates every frame she’s in and makes the walk through No Man’s Land as iconic as Christopher Reeve circling the earth.

Taking the lead behind an equally charismatic Chris Pine who is in awe of his co-star as much as we are, she’s a breath of fresh air in a world that up until then was lost in its own self-manufactured smog. So the familiar final act may suffer some crash, bang and CGI wallop, but it’s redeemed by Diana’s heartwrenching goodbye to Steve Trevor that conjures the more emotion than any of the films that came before it. It’s a wonder we even got this, far but thank the gods we did.

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Competition: Win A ‘4 Jokers’ Print From Our New Partner, ShanesArtworks!

We have some exciting news to share tonight with you all, and that is that we have now officially partnered up with incredibly talented Shane of ShanesArtworks – and partnership that will open up new and exciting opportunities for both JUMPCUT and Shane!

To kick this partnership off in style, Shane has kindly offered up a print to run a competition! You can enter on both Facebook and Twitter following the conditions in the below posts.

Keep your eyes peeled on our social media for more awesome work from Shane!

Our competition closes Friday 15th June and is open to UK residents only. 

 

David Ayer Will Direct Gotham City Sirens Film

Hollywood Reporter just announced that David Ayer is returning to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) to direct a ‘Gotham City Sirens’ film.  Also returning is Margot Robbie, whose role as Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad’ was one of the stand-out performances in the film, and as well as returning as Harley for the film, she has signed on as en executive producer. 

‘Gotham City Sirens’ is a comic book series that focuses on popular female villains that reside in Gotham City, namely Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. It will be very exciting to see who Warner Brother’s decide to cast in these highly popular roles, if they do indeed decide to include Ivy and Selina, which let’s be honest is a must! But we shouldn’t expect any news on this casting for some time, as the film is in the very very early stages.

David Ayer’s return seems to have divided opinions on Twitter, much like ‘Suicide Squad’ divided opinions of fans and critics alike. Some people have expressed the fact they’d have preferred a female director to direct the female-led film, whilst others have a lack of faith in Ayer after the mixed reception ‘Suicide Squad’ received. Some people seem to forget Ayer’s CV doesn’t start or stop with that film and he shouldn’t be judged based off of one film. 

Also confirmed in the same report is that a solo ‘Deadshot’ movie is also on the cards. Who in the SKWAD would you like to see get their own solo outing?

Written by Tom Sheffield

Fans v Critics: Dawn Of Hypocrisy

Written by Chris Winterbottom

A great chasm has opened between critics and film fans. Upon the release of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, critics gave the film a monumental kicking whereas fans seemed to be a lot more forgiving. With the release of ‘Suicide Squad’, audiences and critics were split once again. The cracks have re-emerged and the debate about the use of critics and fan-boy (and fan-girl) reactions is back at the forefront. Why is this? Why are there such differences of opinion when it comes to films? In particular, those films in which there is already a huge built-in fan base. From the outset, I want to make it clear that I have not seen ‘Suicide Squad’, so this article is not to pass judgement on the film, but to raise questions about the (almost) extreme reactions of those who are connected with it.

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Suicide Squad – Blitz Trailer

This is arguably the least exciting of all the ‘Suicide Squad’ trailers yet. That doesn’t change my opinion about this being one of the most anticipated movies of 2016. David Ayer is one of the top action directors to emerge lately, with great works like ‘Fury’ and ‘End of Watch’ under his belt. However, I am still concerned that the plan for ‘Suicide Squad’ involves a PG-13 rating; I’m not alone in thinking the DC Villain group would suit a more violent and dark film to work in, but whatever, I’ll still see it. I still love that Bohemian Rhapsody trailer the most, and the only thing this new trailer really offers up is a little tie-in to the new DCEU, involving the criticism of Superman being too powerful and some extended footage of Batfleck in action. I also think this could be the redemption film for some actors, namely Will Smith. And, of course, Jared Leto could be the new Joker everyone goes crazy for.

‘Suicide Squad’ is set to take UK cinemas by storm on 5th August 2016

Top 10 Most Anticipated Blockbusters of 2016

Written by Daniel Chadwick

Big event movies aren’t dead yet…Sure, we live in a Golden Age of television right now; stretching from ‘Fargo’ to ‘The People vs O.J. Simpson’ through to the recently finished, iconic ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Mad Men’. But let’s not count out the blockbuster yet. There are so many exciting and thrilling movies on the horizon.

 2016 alone has six superhero movies that stand out, alongside dozens of other big-budget extravaganzas. But this self-described movie nerd is here to highlight the best and brightest blockbusters of 2016.


10. Sausage Party

It’s been a while since we got an R-Rated animated movie (unless you count the likes of Anomalisa and South Park) and Seth Rogen’s latest venture looks like it might be a standout hit. I personally have loved some of the TV-MA shows on Netflix such as ‘Archer’ and ‘Bojack Horseman’ so I’m quite excited for this. After seeing that NSFW trailer count me in.


 

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Many will find it shocking to find a Star Wars movie at the lower end of my top 10, but I’m still not convinced. Yes, ‘The Force Awakens’ was a step in the right direction, and far better than any of the prequel trilogy, but Star Wars still doesn’t have my complete trust back, especially considering this movie is rumoured to include no Jedi and is a spin off. For now I’m reservedly excited.


 

8. Finding Dory

The only kids movie on this list, ‘Finding Dory’ is the only sequel I’ve wanted from Pixar besides the follow up to ‘The Incredibles’. Dory is voiced brilliantly by Ellen Degeneres and seeing all the band back together for this sequel only gets me more excited. Finally we’ll get some insight into the standout star of ‘Finding Nemo’.


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7. Assassin’s Creed

This, in my mind, will be the definitive video game to movie adaptation. Justin Kurzel has proven himself as a visually astounding director (see Macbeth, also with Fassbender and Cotillard) and he also knows his action set pieces. This franchise is rich for interpretation and Michael Fassbender can do no wrong in my book. Bring Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons in and I’m fully on board.


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6. Suicide Squad

After the disappointment (for some) of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Suicide Squad’ carries huge responsibility for the DC Cinematic Universe now, and I think it will be a big winner for Warner Bros. The trailers have been fantastic and it looks like it could be the anti-hero movie that comic book fans have been waiting for. It also could be Jai Courtney’s first good role… ever, so that in itself makes this movie one to watch.


 

5. Star Trek: Beyond

I’m a massive fan of the new ‘Star Trek’ movie series and this new addition looks to be in the spirit of the rest of the series. ‘Star Trek’ used cool music from the 80’s long before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ did, so screw the haters of the music in the ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ trailer. Bring on the man, the myth, the legend Idris Elba as the main antagonist of the movie. I can’t wait to get back together with the crew of the Enterprise.


 

4. Doctor Strange

Marvel’s first attempt at handling magic looks to be very unique, and the first origin story to come out of Marvel since ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. It also dives deeper into the Quantum Realm which we were introduced to in ‘Ant-Man’. Throw in Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejifor, and this movie promises to be one of the best Marvel ensembles seen in a standalone character film.


 Bourne 5

 3. Jason Bourne

The return of Jason Bourne, the most bad-ass spy that has ever graced the silver screen. Matt Damon is back alongside Bourne extraordinaire Paul Greengrass to present the life of Jason Bourne years after the events of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’. This offers a potentially interesting look into domestic surveillance and the big role surveillance now plays in spying on people. Will Bourne be out for justice? Does he finally remember everything as he said in the trailer? I can’t wait to find out!


2. Passengers

Two of Hollywood’s biggest stars get together in this sci-fi epic about a man (Chris Pratt) who wakes up from cryosleep 60 years early on a trip to a distant colony. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone he wakes up another crew member (Jennifer Lawrence). Directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), this movie takes a unique look at space, this time offering us a romance in space. We haven’t even seen a picture yet, never mind a trailer but looks like a potential Oscar contender while being a movie with a huge budget.


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1. Captain America: Civil War

There really couldn’t be any other. As a huge Marvel fan, this movie has been on my radar for years and after seeing the countless trailers I’m counting down the days. It’s been called ‘The Godfather’ of superhero movies and I believe that 100%. This movie is going to make me laugh, jump up and down and cry. Introducing us to Spider-Man and Black Panther, it wouldn’t be a surprise if ‘Civil War’ turns out to be Marvel’s best movie yet.


What do you think? Let’s start the debate in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter 

Watch This Space: July 13 – 19

Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

It’s been nearly three months since Marvel last graced the silver screen, so it’s about time they brought us something new. ‘Ant-Man’ promises to bring a unique and fresh edge to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and should entertain cinemagoers of all ages.

I saw the trailer for ‘Self/Less’ recently and I have to say that, despite a reasonably strong cast of Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley, it looks like a flop. And judging from various reviews dotted around the web, that hypothesis seems to be correct. Feel free to take the risk though.

ON TELEVISION

Monday 21:00 GMT: Splitting the polls, ‘Bad Teacher’ is a relatively crude, adult and comedic film. Cameron Diaz stars as the detestable, yet hilarious educator on Film4.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: This year’s ‘Furious 7’ was an absolute monster hit at the box-office. See where all the action began with ‘The Fast & The Furious’ on ITV2.

Friday 22:45 GMT: Surely we don’t need to tell you how great ‘Gladiator’ is. Winning 5 Academy Awards and finding itself in the IMDb top 50 films of all time, this is a must-see on ITV1.

Saturday 21:00 GMT: Way back in 2000, Ben Stiller graced our screens in ‘Meet The Parents’. Still as awkward and funny as ever, you can find it on BBC3.

Sunday 20:00 GMT: A family-fave due to its obvious youngster appeal and added wit, sarcasm and emotional reach for the adults, ‘Shrek’ is deservedly the winner of the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Catch the loveable ogre on BBC3.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Batman: Our news feed was absolutely dominated by San Diego Comic Con last week, most notably the emergence of a trailer for ‘Batman v Superman’, which we LOVE by the way!! The signs suggest that Batfleck might just be a success after all, but until March 2016 we have to make do with the caped crusaders of the past. Tim Burton’s 1989 classic should calm your impatience for a while.

American Psycho: Almost as exciting as the footage of Bats and Supes, was the ‘leaked’ trailer for ‘Suicide Squad’. The man everyone wanted to see – Jared Leto’s Joker of course. He may only play a bit part in ‘American Psycho’, but we don’t need much of an excuse to advocate this gruesome great of modern cinema. Plus, Christian Bale is Batman too, so there’s another link if you weren’t already satisfied.

Grease: This week, the people of Greece united and stood their ground against a harsh and unfair austerity plan, a slap in the face for greed worldwide. Tedious, but phonetically correct, our link comes in the form of 1978 classic musical, ‘Grease’. Both John Travolta and Olivia Newton John will forever be known for their roles as high school lovebirds Danny and Sandy. Complete with “gang” rivalry (gang being used in the loosest sense of the word), adult-scale drama and musical hits a-plenty, it’s a must-see if you haven’t already.

Catch Me If You Can: Based on a real life wonder, this biographical crime drama depicts the fascinating and surreal life of fraudster Frank Abagnale Jr. JumpCut favourite Leonardo DiCaprio leads, successfully demonstrating Abagnale’s tenacity and charm when battling with the law, in the form of Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty. Working as a doctor, lawyer and co-pilot before his 18th birthday, Abagnale’s journey is a riveting one.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Molly Dolan

Watch This Space: April 27 – May 3

 Welcome to our newest feature – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

Nothing new to report on the cinema releases this week, for the UK anyway. If you haven’t already, get yourself to a screening of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ and treat yourself to IMAX and 3D. If you’re over in the USA, you’ll have to wait until the end of the week to finally see Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but it’s worth it.

Last week, the UK became the last country to catch the release of ‘Stonehearst Asylum’, which ironically seems to be a British like-for-like version of  Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’. Ben Kingsley heads a stellar cast in this eerie thriller, but don’t expect anything special from this version of a familiar story.

‘Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck’ was released a fortnight ago, without the media hype that one might have expected. But nonetheless, this documentary film presents an intriguing balance of art and fact, a must-see film for those remotely interested in the legacy of Cobain, and indeed Nirvana.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 18:15 GMT: Continuing the Han Solo buzz from last week, you can catch Harrison Ford in ‘Clear And Present Danger’ on Film4, another classic from his catalogue of fantastic films.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: Whilst it may not particularly be our cup of tea, ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ has its fair share of admirers. With the second film released earlier this year, Film4 give you the chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Thursday 21:00 GMT: Now THIS is more like it! On 5*, go back to school with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill for ‘21 Jump Street’. We promise you will laugh out loud and be thoroughly entertained all the way through.

Friday 22:40pm GMT: From the director of the upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, comes ‘Senna’. Catch the award-winning story of legendary Formula One driver Ayrton Senna on ITV.

Saturday 17:10 GMT: Keep the kids (and yourself) entertained this Saturday night, with ‘Wall-E’ on BBC1. This Pixar film won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature back in 2009, and deservedly so; a real treat for the whole family.

Sunday 19:10 GMT: Strictly for the females with this pick, Channel 5 bring us ‘Legally Blonde’ on Sunday evening, an entertaining film packed with girl power and feel-good vibes to help you prepare for the doldrums of Monday morning.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

Dallas Buyers Club: August 2016 will see Jared Leto adopt the iconic role of The Joker for ‘Suicide Squad’. Arguably Leto’s best character to date is that of Transgender AIDS patient Rayon in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. Based on a true story, the tale is moving, humorous and harrowing.

The Help: Picking back up with our giveaway competition, this week will see the newly released ‘Birdman’ up for grabs. Best Supporting Actress nominee Emma Stone truly shines in 1960s drama ‘The Help’, challenging racism in the Deep South.

The Social Network: This week, details were revealed for the following two instalments of the ‘Fifty Shades’ series. Dakota Johnson made her first notable silver screen appearance in ‘The Social Network’, a fascinating insight into the story behind the phenomenal worldwide success of Facebook.

Napoleon Dynamite: It’s that time of year when revision is the hot word on everyone’s lips, or at least it should be. Maintaining the scholastic theme, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is an independent comedy film focusing on the weird and wonderful ways of Napoleon as he progresses through high school.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Molly Dolan