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Friday, September 30, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

If you're expecting the light, non-complicated plots with non-stop fight/action scenes that one's come to expect from watching Marvel movies, you may be disappointed with BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Even though the majority of critics didn't like the movie, I strongly disagree with those who trashed it.

This Superman—as in MAN OF STEEL—is not the same one we're used to seeing--the boy-scout who's capable of saving everyone at any given time. Even though this is fiction, we're faced with the reality that someone who's as powerful as Kal-El can still make mistakes. As a result—casualties will happen under his watch. We see an example of this after a major terrorist bomb rocks Washington, DC, and how Superman confesses his guilt to Lois Lane as to not being able to spot the IED, even though it was only a few feet away from where he stood. This is a rare occasion where we see a Superman whose flaws extend beyond his exposure to kryptonite.

The conflicts that Superman faced weren't only personal, but were also political--as some politicians used his failures (from the previous movie) against him in order to score political points. His failures also impacted Bruce Wayne, who suffered personal losses as a result of Kal-El's fight with General Zod. Compounded with his fragile state after what was referenced to be the death of an ally after his latest skirmish with The Joker, Bruce Wayne saw Superman more of a threat than an ally. Despite his anger towards the Kryptonian, he didn't allow it to distract him from being the excellent detective that he is.

With all the hype surrounding Batman and Superman, I was glad that there was still room for Lois Lane, who played an essential role with regards to the plot development by being the fearless investigative reporter we've always loved.

I've always stated that villains always make or break a movie, and Lex Luthor was not only an excellent antagonist, but the best Lex Luthor we've seen yet. All I can say is that it takes a real sociopath to pull off the things he did.

However the most exciting moment of the film (And I actually screamed out: YES) was when Wonder Woman made her grand entrance. Her presence as Diana Prince during most of the film was kept to a minimal—maintaining the mystery of her character so as not to take away from Batman and Superman, yet introducing her with a bang at the right moment. Her most memorable quote: "I've killed beings from other worlds," as she responded to Superman while staring down Doomsday, demonstrated that she was a much more experienced fighter than both Superman and Batman. As an added touch, I loved that she spoke with a foreign accent—reminding us that immigrants can also be superheroes.

4 Stars

Russell Brooks is the author of The Demeter Code, available now.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder.

Guilty Minds is the third novel in the Nick Heller series by Joseph Finder, as the private investigative operative is hired by a Supreme Court Justice to disprove a story about another Justice having an affair with a prostitute before a powerful gossip website publishes the story. What's worse is that Heller has less than forty-eight hours to do so. However, after the prostitute is murdered, the investigation is further complicated as Heller unravels an even bigger conspiracy behind the alleged scandal.

As with Finder's previous novels, there's a lot of suspense, well-researched subject and high-tech matter. Nick Heller, in my opinion, is a lot tougher than he was in the previous novels. This may be due to the fact that he's facing off against a group of antagonists with police/military training. Heller's employee, Dorothy, has once again proven how invaluable she is as his tech wiz. Every character was well developed and distinct—even the minor ones such as the wealthy socialite who added some comic relief. And of course, it wouldn't be a Joseph Finder supense novel unless it had his trademark plot twist near the end.

5 Stars

Russell Brooks is the author of The Demeter Code, available now.