Tag Archives: Warner Bros

Annabelle: Creation (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


downloadIt’s the prequel to the spin-off that left a sour taste in fan’s mouths when ‘Annabelle‘ released in late 2014. As ‘The Conjuring‘ took the horror genre by storm it was also the start of what would become a world building franchise. The Annabelle doll story was so famously remembered that Warner Bros. ran with the hype and began the project not so long after ‘The Conjuring’ release. Its release was met with lukewarm reactions by fans and critics that it felt more like a cash grab than a full on attempt in making a truly terrifying experience. Which leads us now to ‘Annabelle: Creation‘ and bringing the story full circle.

When Samuel and Esther Mullins lose their daughter in a tragic accident, years later they welcome a nun and foster children to live in their home. But when one of the children, Linda, discovers a doll in a locked room she unwittingly releases an unspeakable evil. As the family begins to take notice of the changes in Linda’s behavior they must gather together to save her soul.

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The interest in another Annabelle film was not something I anticipated or expected seeing as how the last one had ended. Yet the studio had other plans and sought out the director of David F. Sandberg’s  with ‘Lights Out‘. A first time success built confidence in not only the director but in producer James Wan as well. Their collaboration together could make for great cinema. And after watching ‘Annabelle: Creation‘ it can easily be said that the film has put fear back into the cinematic audience.

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What starts as a bright movie about a loving family is suddenly transformed into a moment of tragedy. The tone of the movie easily shifts from moment to moment with ease which eventually leads to nothing but terror by the end. Young actress, Talitha Bateman, plays a paraplegic orphan who goes to forbidden places and the rest is history. One thing that the Conjuring series has done right is by focusing on young talent and their vulnerability to evil. Speaking of which, we should mention a supporting role in Lulu Wilson who plays the friend of Janice. Wilson played the lead in ‘Ouija: Origin of Evil‘ (2016) as a young girl who gets possessed by a demonic spirit after playing with a ouija board. She’s an easy fit for a franchise that has benefited by young actors.

David Sandberg did an amazing job in building suspense with a creepy house and a menacing doll. What benefited Sandberg and what was lacking in the original ‘Annabelle‘ was the proper build up of fear. The use of lights and shadows played effectively here with moments of hair raising fright. Even though the setup may be familiar it certainly was more entertaining to watch. If audiences play close enough attention they’ll also get an easter egg for a cinematic building universe.

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Though the film does a better job at telling a story it does suffer from a lack of major character development. It was even more surprising when a certain character departs after revealing something of importance to one of the children. The movie basically tries to shift between the children characters that we can never get close to any of them. Ultimately it’s the doll that wins and this time it has the proper screen time to prove it. As we get to the ending it makes the connection to the first film. My only gripe would be that the events that precedes this film is a reminder of how much it let me down in the first place.

With that said, ‘Annabelle: Creation‘ is a vast improvement in story-telling with compelling characters and a little something called passion. David Sandberg has succeeded again with the help of James Wan in his corner. Fans of the Conjuring series will rejoice and can only look forward to what the franchise will bring next. If James Wan were to move on from the franchise we can be rest-assured that it will be in good hands with the likes of an up and coming director.

Rating: 7/10

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What do you guys think? Are you planning on watching ‘Annabelle: Creation‘? Is Annabelle a compelling character that needs to be further explored? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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Wonder Woman (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


wwposter5The road for DC has been nothing but a bumpy start to their cinematic universe. With both ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘ getting mixed to negative reviews things have been looking grim for Warner Bros. The tide may be turning however as Gal Gadot takes on the amazon warrior’s mantle in ‘Wonder Woman‘. In what is considered a must win situation for not only the studio but especially weary fans of the DC universe the trick may be the film’s new director in Patty Jenkins.

A strong and determined warrior in Diana Prince, Princess of Themyscira, befriends a German spy in Steve Trevor. After a confrontation that leaves her home in fear of the outside world, Diana flees with Steve to end the Great War in Germany. It is through belief that Diana fights side by side with the human race in believing there is more good then there is evil.

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Getting this out of the way, Warner Bros. has created a winner with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. What’s filled with action and adventure we get a good look at the character that has been the idol of many women around the world through decades past. The negative reaction first hand when Gadot was cast as the Amazon warrior was later silenced in her cameo appearance in ‘Batman v. Superman‘ alongside Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. It continues in this film that not only does she prove the naysayers wrong but doing so with heart and determination.

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One of the things that stood out to me was how great of a job they were able to flesh out her character. Giving us a glimpse into not only her family heritage but also struggling to make understanding of the outside world with her relationship with Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine. While we’re mentioning Chris Pine, it’s safe to say he has great chemistry with Gal Gadot and it was without a doubt a plus for the film. It’s unfortunate of the circumstances towards the end of the movie but with that said Pine was a great choice to play alongside Gadot as they fought Ludendorff to the nail.

If we had to make a comparison I would say the writers did a better job in fleshing out Diana Prince as compared to how the writers for ‘Man of Steel‘ did with Clark Kent. With only being one of highlights it demonstrates a much improved script and in how to tell a cohesive narrative. There were even times where I made a comparison to Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The First Avenger‘ as in how they used a World War setting for their respective properties. Just imagine if we were to get a crossover of both characters and how amazing that could be.

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A well put together effort by Director Patty Jenkins puts this DC movie as one of the best films in the cinematic universe. And it also manages to balance tone and action without falling victim to being dreary and dire as in past attempts. It’s almost night and day from where we were last Summer as many were wondering if DC was in turbulent times. Could this mean we can look forward to a much brighter future for the upcoming DC properties and the eventual ‘Justice League‘ film? Let’s not jump the gun just yet but definitely ‘Wonder Woman‘ is a gigantic step in the right direction.

Rating: 7.8/10

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What do you guys think? Do you plan on watching ‘Wonder Woman‘? Comment below and share your thoughts about the movie.

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


mv5bmtcynteyoty0m15bml5banbnxkftztgwotaynzu3mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_One of the most renowned comic book characters in the DC cinematic universe is brought to life in Lego form. Directed by Chris McKay and taken from the highly acclaimed ‘The LEGO Movie‘ (2014) with its own spin-off by Warner Bros. sees the caped crusader in the tiniest of ways. In what is a tribute to one of the most universal superheroes in all of comics is a movie made with love and understanding of the Batman character. The film sees the voice-over work played by Will Arnett as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Cera as Robin/Dick Grayson, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Zack Galifianakis as The Joker.

After seeing ‘The LEGO Movie‘ there was a fast response by the studio to announce a spin-off for the LEGO Batman movie. The character of Batman is so iconic and in many ways stole the show in Warner Bros. success with the LEGO property that it was a no brainer that the studio would give fans something they would want to see. And having seen the film I have got to say that not only do the writers and director nail the character but we get to see homage to the character that has spanned television, comic, and cinemas for nearly 75 years. We also get references to many of the villains from years past but all the while staying true to Batman’s truly dark and testy villain of all, The Joker.

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As for the premise, Gotham City is about to usher in a new Commissioner in Barbara Gordon who wants to do away with the masked Vigilante. All the while Batman receives notice that he is now the caretaker of Dick Grayson and has to face his fears of accepting people into his life that over the years has kept him in darkness. And with the sudden emergence of The Joker’s plan to destroy Gotham using the help of the Phantom Zone, Batman must work with his allies and enemies in stopping the city from being destroyed.

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There’s a lot to take away from this movie and is not only for kids to enjoy but for parents as well. If you’re a fan of Batman you’ll not only enjoy the movie but also receive life lessons as Bruce Wayne tries to mend the wounds that have plagued him from not allowing people into his life. From the opening credits you get a hilarious monologue by Batman that pokes fun in and of itself. From references to the Justice League and even the most divisive movie of 2016 in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘, Warner Bros. is not afraid to own up to their missteps. We even get a glimpse into the possibility of seeing Superman or even the Justice League getting their own spin-offs somewhere down the line.

Warner Bros. and those behind the LEGO property are doing great things with the DC universe. From the graphics and storytelling elements there is a tremendous amount of care being put into these properties that in many ways outshines the live action takes we’ve seen with ‘Batman v. Superman‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘. But as far as ‘The LEGO Batman Movie‘, Chris McKay delivers and everyone who goes out to watch the film will not only be impressed but may even be moved in ways you didn’t expect to be.

Rating: 7.5/10

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What do you think of ‘The LEGO Batman Movie‘? Do you plan on watching it? And do you think WB is having more success with the LEGO films compared to live action? Comment below and share your thoughts.

War Dogs (2016) Review

war-dogs-posterFrom Warner Bros. and the director of the Hangover trilogy, Todd Phillips, is a comedy about a couple of friends who become arm’s dealers while aiding the U.S. overseas. David Packouz is tired of his career and is about to usher in a new baby with his girlfriend Iz. An old-time friend, Efraim Divoreli, convinces David in joining him in his business AEY, Inc as an opportunity to raking in the big bucks. But when lies soon turns to betrayal, David must make a decision that will clear his name once and for all. The film stars Miles Teller and Jonah Hill.

There wasn’t a lot of marketing for ‘War Dogs‘ but with a formidable cast in Teller and Hill one would think it could be for some fun. As the premise indicates it’s about a couple of guys who get into the business of selling arms deals overseas without any knowledge of international laws and economic restrictions when it comes to trade. And with that much information is what the whole movie is about. The movie was okay as it wasn’t memorable or terrible but rather it had potential to be more then what I had expected. There were moments that made me laugh and much of that came from Jonah Hill who’s the one that influences his friend, David, to joining in his business. 635941649200081557-AATD-FP-035

What I had trouble with had more to do with the pacing and direction of the film as it progressed. The movie started off taking its time as David runs into his long-time friend Efraim as they catch up after so many years. Then it takes its time as we get into the details of the operation and how arms deals work. By the end of the movie we get a very disappointing conclusion that was building up to something that at least for me should’ve been more. Instead, the conclusion falls flat and doesn’t feel like there was any resolve or a confrontation that should’ve taken place. So as for the editing it really struggled. We then get into whether the movie is supposed to be a drama or a comedy but rather ends up being a combination of both which didn’t always work.

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The chemistry between the actors was fine as there were moments that had me laughing. Without getting into spoiler territory, once we see both David and Efraim head to Iraq while trying to transport weapons to a military base is when the laughter really begins. There is even a surprise appearance, to whom will not be told, that has some involvement between David and Efraim. From an acting standpoint there weren’t a lot of problems because both Jonah Hill and Miles Teller did great together. This leads us to Ana de Armas who plays as David’s girlfriend, Iz. As we get to know her and then find out of her pregnancy we get to build a little bit of compassion for her when the secrecy of the business starts to slip and becomes more frustrated as time goes on. For what she did, Armas did great and nothing could be said otherwise.

Overall, ‘War Dogs‘ suffers from an identity as it tries to cater to being either a comedy or an action drama. Most of it stems from the script and there being way too much of the details that had to be spelled out to the audience. Both Miles Teller and Jonah Hill did a fine job while shaking things up a bit as the movie trudged along. If you’re going in expecting a straight up comedy then you may be left disappointed but it’s not to say the movie doesn’t entertain.

Rating: 6.3/10

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What do you guys think of ‘War Dog‘? Do you plan on seeing it? Which are your favorite Jonah Hill and/or Miles Teller films? Comment below and share your thoughts.

DC still has hope with the upcoming ‘Justice League’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ films even after another disappointing reception from ‘Suicide Squad’…

3098626-wwThe fallout of David Ayer’s most anticipated movie of the Summer ‘Suicide Squad‘ (Read review here) hit theaters with similar yet better reception compared to Warner Bros. last outing. Many criticized Ayer’s feature of a thin plot with questionable editing that felt as if some holes needed to be filled. The bright spots came from Jared Leto and Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn and The Joker when seen together on screen. We also got a great character in Deadshot played by Will Smith who was the centerpiece of the squad when they teamed together to fend off a dangerous witch in Enchantress. However, after all was said and done and with a $267 million* opening world-wide audiences showed up in droves.

Warner Bros. is trying to match the momentum of Marvel at a rapid pace which is evident in how we’re introduced to so many characters in both ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ and ‘Suicide Squad‘. Trying to build a cinematic universe with backgrounds being crammed in such a short amount of time has really cheated DC from fleshing out their characters in a way that gives the respect their fanbase really deserves. Marvel started their universe building by introducing us to solo properties before getting to the first Avengers in 2012. WB had a different approach by reverse engineering the formula that had us be acquainted with DC characters in two films and then branch out into their individual properties. The approach hasn’t benefited the cause for a promising cinematic universe thus far but having been introduced to many of the characters, we now may be getting the films we are clamoring for.

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Yes it’s been a rocky start but sometimes these things work out for the best and we just have to trust in the system. It’s a different approach and can be ballsy at times with the creative decisions such as killing off Superman in ‘BvS‘ or attaching a post credit to ‘Suicide Squad‘ that can leave audiences scratching their heads. There has to be a method to their madness and DC may be righting the ship when ‘Wonder Woman‘ releases in 2017. As Patty Jenkins takes the reigns in telling the tale of the god’s fiercest female warrior, fans of the comics or of Wonder Woman herself should be excited for what’s to come. This year’s Comic Con in San Diego was a true indicator of the excitement for Wonder Woman as the first trailer debuted.

Soon after Wonder Woman we’ll be getting the ‘Justice League‘ in November that will see Zack Snyder returning to direct. The difference this time is that we’ve already got introduced to the main three of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in ‘Man of Steel‘ and ‘BvS‘ respectively, so going into ‘Justice League‘ we can get more of a narrative and focus on the most important thing that has been lacking for much of the universe, FUN! This is where Flash (Ezra Miller), Aqua Man (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), can all make their mark as they are assembled by Bruce Wayne to face the next threat on humanity. If the teaser trailer was any indication we can be in for a treat when justice comes Fall of 2017.

What do you guys think? Are you still optimistic that DC can deliver the goods? Comment below and share your thoughts.

*Source: BoxOfficeMojo

Suicide Squad (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Suicide_Squad_(film)_PosterIt’s the most anticipated movie of the summer as Warner Bros. rolls out David Ayer’sSuicide Squad‘ into cineplexes. As the story goes, a group of the baddest criminals alive are banded together by the CIA to undergo a secret mission to stop a powerful metahuman that plans to end the world as we know it. With their lives on the line they can only complete their duties and failure is not an option. The movie stars Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Jai Courtney as DC introduces the next chapter in the growing cinematic universe.

There’s a lot going for ‘Suicide Squad‘ considering the reaction of Zack Snyder’sBatman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ that opened last May. Many complained the movie was too dark and suffered from a lack of a narrative that gave any understanding for the characters motivations. The biggest complaint was the fact that the movie was no fun and disappointed many of the DC loyalists. It’s not to say there weren’t any fans of the movie but overall there was a consensus that ‘BvS‘ could have been so much better. So we head into ‘Suicide Squad‘ where it’s a little different this time around as villains take center stage and hopes to turn things around for the studio.

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My initial reaction to ‘Suicide Squad‘ is that it was entertaining and fun, which was lacking sorely in ‘BvS‘, so that’s definitely a bright spot. The introduction of Jared Leto’s Joker was even a surprise because they went a different direction with his character that worked. His chemistry with Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, was to me the best in the whole movie and makes me want to see more of them together. Now as it’s been reported the studio made cuts to the movie involving the Joker and may be saving them for an extended edition, if and when that should happen. On the one hand it’s a shame because Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker was awesome but on the other hand it may work to its advantage by not revealing too much and will give us something to look forward to in Ben Affleck’s Batman solo film.

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That brings us to where Batman makes appearances in the film and for what he does isn’t crucial nor forgettable. All that can be said is that it was cool to see Batman in the movie and whom he may run up against in his solo outing. We even get to see another DC hero for a brief second but that’s all that needs to be said. One man who certainly takes a commanding role in the film is Will Smith as Deadshot. Even as a villain and after everyone he’s killed that led him to prison is the relationship he has with his daughter. Deadshot can even be considered the leader of the team as they work with CIA in stopping the world from getting destroyed. For Will Smith I’m looking forward to seeing more of him and hope he’ll have some involvement with Batman somewhere down the line.

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Where the movie makes strides in being fun and watching these villains team up with all their own unique powers to save the world, it does suffer from the storytelling and trying to cram every character’s backstory. For a good part of the movie we get a lot of backstory into their characters while also trying to introduce the threat that ends up in Mid City. Because so much attention was put on the villains we got very little into Enchantress and what her motivations were. This even hurt some of the other members like Jai Courtney’s Boomerang or even Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc who didn’t have much to do. I would’ve liked to have seen more of them be involved in some way but ultimately it wasn’t  meant to be.

Coming off of the studio’s reaction to ‘BvS‘ the studio decided in having reshoots to lighten the mood per say. This becomes evident as the movie looked like it had trouble balancing between being dark and having that edge factor with levity. For instance, some of the character’s backstories like Deadshot and Diablo, played by Jay Hernandez, dealt with some heavy material that almost didn’t fit with the tone of the movie. Tone is what threw the movie off and makes you wonder what David Ayer’s version of the film was before the reshoots. The editing was choppy where at one moment your introduced to Enchantress as the main threat and then some 30 minutes later you see the city in chaos without seeing it come to be.

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There’s a lot to admire of Director David Ayer’s take on ‘Suicide Squad‘ with Jared Leto as the Joker. The world we’re introduced to with these villains gives us a good indication of what we can expect when Ben Affleck dones the black cape. Visually the movie grabs you; especially from the opening and end credits. And speaking of the end credits don’t leave too soon or else you’ll miss the tidbit that may lead into future films. But it has to be said, you can’t help but overlook the choppy editing, lack of storytelling, and a desire to see more of Jared Leto and Margot Robbie together as the dark prince and princess of Gotham tearing the streets. This movie is surely better then ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ and entertaining for everyone who watches it. If Warner Bros. is hoping to win over their fans, they best listen to the criticisms and not interfere with the directors who make their movies because their hopes of building a DC cinematic universe is as tender as it gets.

Rating: 6/10

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What do you guys think? Are you looking forward to ‘Suicide Squad‘? If you’ve seen the movie share your thoughts below and if DC can right the ship.

After Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, where does Warner Bros. & DC go next?

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Batman_v_Superman_posterWhat has been certainly an unexpected and surprising response by Critics and movie-goers to Zack Snyder’s epic showdown in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ has Warner Bros. and DC scrambling to retain the loyalty to it’s world building franchise. Only making $872 million* at the global box office with a $25o million budget was not the success the studio was looking for. Where does the finger pointing begin? Certainly blame can be attributed to the director and studio but where in fact lies the problem for a movie that was supposed to lay the groundwork for a DC cinematic universe. And with an extended cut of the film being released with additional footage not seen in theaters has left many to question why Snyder’s original vision wasn’t realized by the fear of studios showcasing a 3-hour long motion picture.

The overwhelming responses are in as ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ was muddled with plot devices, plot holes, choppy editing between scenes, and the overall dourness of the characters that left the word fun at the door. Even if the Ultimate Edition helped to clean up some of the criticisms that plagued the theatrical release, and gave more of a motivation to Lex Luthor’s master plan, it still leaves a sour taste to those who didn’t like the original cut and only adds to the experience for those who enjoyed the film. In what should have been a clear victory for the studio ends up leaving more questions then answers. Now we look into how everything led up to this point and where the future of the franchise may lead.

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Going back all the way to when ‘Man of Steel‘ was announced and the casting of Henry Cavill as the next Superman, Warner Bros. was banking on this film’s success to jumpstart the DC universe. After it’s initial release with mixed reactions by critics and audience goers, it led to Zack Snyder announcing at the 2014 Comic Con of Batman v. Superman. Snyder considered it the next step into building towards the Justice League and introducing everyone to a new Batman. The initial reaction to the casting of Ben Affleck as the new Bruce Wayne led the airwaves in blasting the studio for their decision. We also saw the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman which too saw skepticism upon being announced as the new goddess warrior. Everything was heading into the right direction until the decision to delay the film’s release from 2015 to the Spring of 2016 as script issues came up.

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An additional year was necessary for Zack Snyder as he proclaimed that they (Warner Bros.) wanted to flesh out the script and get it right. This then leads to the first trailer to leak online and a slew of other trailers hitting the web that were hit and miss as to the overcrowding of plot points drew red flags. With the film heading into its week of release, critics responses were mostly negative with an 11% tomato-meter score on Rotten Tomatoes. This caught the attention of movie-goers early on and with the bad word of mouth after release it would just all go down hill from there. In what should have been a $1 billion grossing event would lead to a less then stellar opening and doubt over whether the DC universe will weather the storm.

Even with criticisms abound, Warner Bros. continues on with keeping Zack Snyder at the helm for his next chapter in ‘Justice League: Part 1‘ (2017). However, before that we’ll be seeing David Ayer’s much anticipated ‘Suicide Squad‘ starring Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Will Smith as villains are forced to come together in Black Ops missions in exchange for mercy. Having dealt with the criticisms of it’s last outing has the studio banking on ‘Suicide Squad‘ to being a massive hit. With David Ayer’s success in war dramas, he most certainly has confidence by the studio that he will turn the tide and make things right. However, if the film is a dud and leaves a mark as it did in ‘Batman v. Superman‘ we can most certainly see a slow down by the studio with future projects scheduled down the pipeline. maxresdefault

It just seems like Warner Bros. and DC are playing catchup with Marvel as each film has been pressured to succeed. First with ‘Man of Steel‘ and the most recent ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice‘, the obvious is present as they are starting to look desperate for answers into making the franchise a success. The studio shouldn’t be playing catch-up but rather taking it’s time as did Marvel in setting up their universe. After the first ‘Iron Man‘ in 2008 and the subsequent releases that followed, the quality and feel to the films just flowed. We’re not seeing that with DC as each film feels like it has a lot to lose with the stakes being so high. Typically the quality of a franchise goes down hill after it’s been around for a while but isn’t the case with DC as they’re already struggling from the start.

The studio needs to give itself time to flesh out the story arcs when building its properties. Warner Bros. still has a chance to head into the right direction and become the success it’s looking for. Against the argument that people want to see DC fail, it’s actually the opposite for fans of comic books as a whole as we live in a generation where superheroes and comic-book fandom has finally arrived at the cinemas. It just takes one film to turn things around and to re-instill confidence back to DC comic readers. All is not lost.

*SourceBox Office Mojo

What do you guys think? Will Suicide Squad make or break an already fragile DC Universe? Comment below and share your thoughts.