Midnight Showing: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Zack Snyder
Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Michael Shannon

Selected By
The Bit Players


Aired Friday, April 1, 2016

The guys don their capes and masks once again and head to the cinema for Zack Snyder's behemoth superhero flick Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's been a polarizing film since its inception, and that certainly didn't change when the film was finally released. They discuss just what the DC Cinematic Universe has in store with this "dawn," what exactly these super hero films must do to be successful, the nature of subjectivity in art and whether this could even be classified as art. Just kidding! They talk about flying and explosions.

Episode 47: Batman Begins (2005)

To the Bit Cave we go this week as the guys break down Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins, the first installment in the Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale. They discuss how well (or poorly) Bale works as Batman/Bruce Wayne, the wonder of Liam Neesons, and how the film expertly navigates the world of Gotham baddies by putting forth more of a conglomerate of evil than a single prolific villain. They also pick what would make for the best Batman Begins action figure as well as their personal favorite Batman villains.

Batman Begins (2005)
Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Watanabe, Mark Boone Junior

Selected By


what movies are

Aired Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To the Bit Cave we go this week as the guys break down Christopher Nolan's 2005 Batman Begins, the first installment in the Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale. They discuss how well (or poorly) Bale works as Batman/Bruce Wayne, the wonder of Liam Neesons, and how the film expertly navigates the world of Gotham baddies by putting forth more of a conglomerate of evil than a single prolific villain. They also pick what would make for the best Batman Begins action figure as well as their personal favorite Batman villains.

The Trailer Park, Volume 1 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fantastic Four, Jurassic World, Ant-Man

The Trailer Park will be The Bit Players’ periodic haven for discussing all of the biggest trailers of the moment. We take to YouTube and push a a group text to its reasonable limits to hash out our excitements and concerns based on the trailers alone, from those with a connoisseur-level appreciation for the art of trailers to others with a milder approach to the short clips that get us pumped for the movies we love. Enjoy our back-and-forth as we see these trailers for the first time and react to them together.

The Trailer Park will be The Bit Players' periodic haven for discussing all of the biggest trailers of the moment. We take to YouTube and push a a group text to its reasonable limits to hash out our excitements and concerns based on the trailers alone, from those with a connoisseur-level appreciation for the art of trailers to others with a milder approach to the short clips that get us pumped for the movies we love. Enjoy our back-and-forth as we see these trailers for the first time and react to them together.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Jeff Pearson: That "Force Theme" though.

Anders Oster: Is that what the actual song is called? I found a video of the trailer, audio only. Pretty awesome.

JP: That's what my minimal effort Googling the song yielded. Either way, perfect way to start the trailer. The music is half the battle, at least, with Star Wars, and that got me instantly amped.

AO: Highlights of the trailer for me:

  • The opening shot of the crashed Star Destroyer.
  • Young Mark Hamill voiceover.
  • Realistic looking battle scene with the Storm Troopers.
  • Millennium Falcon old-school chase scene.
  • The music (I'm about as excited for the soundtrack as I am for the movie).

JP: I love the concept that this film seems to be humanizing the Storm Troopers more. I'm not very well-versed in Star Wars lore but I can't recall a time other than in both of the teasers for Episode VII that we really even see a Storm Trooper's face, and this one seems to be a central character. All about stripping that henchman mentality.

AO: Yeah, it's interesting too because up until this installment it's been a clone army, so every Storm Trooper is based off of Jango Fett (Boba Fett's father). Supposedly they have run out of clones and are recruiting nowadays.

JP: "Nowadays."

Brian Urrutia: The preferred adverb of Star Wars fans everywhere. Isn't there a Fett in the trailer? Boba... maybe?

AO: I don't remember seeing him in the trailer but hardcore Star Wars fans will apparently tell you you're not a real fan if you don't know he's still alive.

JP: I like how Anders says "apparently" like he hasn't seen that very thing happening on the boards.

BU: Damn, I'm confusing the movie trailer with the recent trailer for the new Star Wars video game. That's really saying something for that Battlefront trailer though...

AO: The boards are the number one place to go for movie plot research. That trailer is amazing too.

BU: So Anders, are we supposed to understand that one of these main characters is a Skywalker?

AO: I think it teases at that thought without saying for sure. I personally think Daisy Ridley will be a Skywalker from either Luke or Leia. Some people think that the voiceover is actually Luke's or Leia's son talking.

BU: So we're dealing with autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance for the Force?

JP: *Falls asleep.*

AO: Either only dominant or only recessive alleles present.

Clark Carmichael: The Force has always been something that favors some genetic lineages over others. Annakin, Luke. Even though Leia didn't use the Force to my knowledge.

AO: Only once that I can think of in Empire when she hears Luke calling out to her.

CC: Yeah. But I think that might have been Luke's Force, not hers.

AO: Newton's third law holds true even for the Star Wars version of force.

CC: The more I see of this movie the more I am realizing this is Spielberg-in-his-prime-gets-to-make-a-Star Wars-movie movie. The last trailer, this one.

I'm excited.

BU: Yeah, Abrams is pretty similar to Spielberg in his vision of a blockbuster. I'd love to hear what Spielberg thought of Super 8.

CC: I also don't mean that as a slight to Abrams. I think he does some things better than Spielberg.

BU: Yeah, I like Abrams' villains better than Spielberg's, which I think include Hook, a shark, and Nazis.

CC: Yeah, definitely. Nazis, Dinosaurs and a Big Shark: A Dissection of Spielberg's Villains.

BU: Does anyone have any idea who this villain in Star Wars is supposed to be? I feel bad for him. It looks like he has some kind respiratory issues like Darth. #wheezy

CC: He needs an inhaler for sure. He needs to sign up for the Intergalactic ACA. From what little I have seen it seems like Adam Driver is maybe a fighter pilot who is shot down on a planet with some Sith relics and he has some injuries and resentments to the Federation and he gets reeeeal dark.

Darth Weezy

Darth Weezy.

CC: It looks like the back of his head is sort of blown up a bit.

AO: Oh, that reminds me of another highlight for me. Oscar Isaac's scream. Great excitement scream.

CC: Oh yeah. He definitely made my heart race a bit with his palpable excitement. I love the cast as we see more. They seem to really fit perfect with the original trilogy.

BU: They don't call him Oscar for nothing, right, Jeff?

JP: I'm going to be honest. I didn't recognize a single actor. I don't think I was paying much attention.

BU: *I'm going to be honest: I'm the villain; I'm a Sith Lord.

CC: I didn't either until the trailers started. But we still haven't seen Domnhall Gleeson. 3/5.

JP: I mean I wasn't even paying attention during the trailer. Having said that, 5/5, amazing trailer.

CC: It's really good. Maybe my rating system is different though. I'll give it a 4/5 revision.

BU: 5/5 for me. the music and chase scenes were the perfect reminder of why I love Star Wars.

JP: There were chase scenes? I honestly don't think I even watched it now that I think about it. 6/5.

AO: I couldn't possibly give this any less than a 5/5. And now, knowing that 6/5 is an option, I don't think I could give it anything less than a 12/5.

Jarryd Baxter: 4/5.

JP: Welcome to the fray, Geri.

JB: What's the word, turds?

Anders: 12
Brian: 5
Clark: 4
Jarryd: 4
Jeff: 6

Overall: 6.2/5

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

BU: Man I'm so worried about Batman v Superman. I was rewatching Man Of Steel this morning and didn't feel encouraged that a lot of the same hands are on deck for Batman v Superman. One of the writers is new and it's Chris Terrio, who wrote Argo. Maybe there's hope....

JP: Brian, allow me to ease your worried mind regarding Batman v Superman. The last thing I want is for you to be anxious and worried all year thinking about whether it will be any good, and I'm here to help. It's going to be awful. You can rest easy.

JB: This trailer has some serious work cut out for it if it wants to be better than the Man of Steel trailer.

CC: For real. That was the best trailer ever. You mentioning it makes me crave an all-time list.

JP: If I was Zack Snyder I'd be more worried about making the movie itself better than Batman & Robin. Which, judging from this trailer, doesn't seem like much of a possibility.

CC: Damn hater Jeff! To me the trailer exudes a much darker tone than we were left with after Man of Steel.

JP: The more I think about my statement the less it seems like a put-down. It's hard for any film to compete with Mr. Freeze.

CC: Arnold!

JB: Cool off!

If Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the ultimate authority on superheroes in this universe, I have faith in this movie.

CC: Is he a consultant on this?

JB: He's in the voice over at the beginning.

CC: Okay, that makes sense.

JB: Speaking of voices, I really like Affleck's Batman voice.

CC: Definitely. Maybe this will be a failure of a movie with a great Batman voice, the exact opposite of the Nolan/Bale trilogy.

JP: Is there an inverse relationship between quality of the film and quality of the Batman voice? I can't remember if Keaton even disguised his, which would be a directly opposing type of absurdity than Bale's.

Just Michael Keaton's voice as the Batman voice.

CC: Absolutely. I will make an infographic about Batman voices in the near future.

I can't believe George Clooney and Val Kilmer were Batman. I need to rewatch those.

JP: Dieter von Wayne.

CC: He was sort of fat as Bruce Wayne too. Definitely not his thinnest.

JP: Oh, they're great. In a lot of ways I prefer them over the Keaton Batman films. No stakes.

CC: Yeah, totally. Hidden gems, those.

JP: You don't have to engage your mind at all. They're perfect.

CC: Did Michael Bay do one of those? He must have.

Joel Schumacher! The thinking man's Michael Bay, I've always said.

JP: I haven't really read the responses to the trailer but are Batman's blue light-up eyes the new Batman's nipples?

BU: What is ol' Joel Schumacher up to? Anyways, all this poo-pooing the Batman v Superman trailer is...valid i fear. There are tons of heroes and villains in this movie and that's what submarined the Batman franchise and Schumacher's career. I mean even Aquaman is in this new movie!

All that said, I think Batman v Superman can be extraordinary if they lean heavily on this villainize Superman. But even that's risky because villainous Superman wouldn't be as good as villainous Batman. I kind of feel that all these superhero movies are only as good as their villains. Le sigh, I'm left wishing Snyder just adapted the Dark Knight Returns comic. Sideways Smiley.

JB: I can buy JC as a villain. At least from that trailer. Devils come from the sky, Holmes.

BU: It's true. I hope they don't develop that point because I had a line similar to that in my Satan origin story.

I just hope that Snyder uses more sets/models rather than rely on CGI. That seems to be Abrams' approach with Star Wars and I think movies somehow end up better that way.

JP: Sets and models are what movies are all about.

JB: I'm not sure that even a well developed villain would have saved Schumacher's career, Joe.

JP: I think Batman was the well-developed villain in Schumacher's career.

At this point can we just talk about Batman & Robin at length? That might be my next pick.

CC: The Batman movies have always been cash cows. I'm sure this will be no different, though it might be the 4th or 5th best selling movie of the year. This year is going to break a lot of records. Shit, look at Furious 7. This trailer has people talking and less skeptical than they were a few months ago about this project. It's not the best trailer but it does its job. 3/5.

And Jeff, if you pick Batman & Robin I will suck your fucking diiiick (all of our listeners have seen MacGruber by now?)

AO: Man I'm so excited about Batman v Superman. I was rewatching Man Of Steel this morning and I felt very encouraged that a lot of the same hands are on deck for Batman v Superman. One of the writers is new and it's Chris Terrio, who wrote Argo. Maybe they're going in the wrong direction with him....

I'm excited for this movie and I think it's a good trailer but it's just totally overshadowed by the Star Wars trailer, like all the other trailers. I agree with Clark, I think. Nothing all too special about the trailer but it brings me a step further on my journey of gradual excitement. 3/5.

JP: I'm going to give it a 2/5 simply because I need to save my gold standards of shittiness for the much worse trailers we are about to discuss. Sorry, Anders. I still love you.

AO: I'm starting to like this guy. Just kidding! I still hate you!

JB: 3/5. This is too short to get any more stars or even be considered a trailer, but it certainly accomplishes its main goals of creating interest, suspense, and getting me excited for the movie.

BU: I give it the coveted 12/5 stars. Finally a good Batman voice and I think Ben Affleck and his Batman will be the closest thing to the Batman: The Animated Series look and feel.

Anders: 3
Brian: 12
Clark: 3
Jarryd: 3
Jeff: 2

Overall: 4.6/5

Fantastic Four

AO: The Fantastic Four trailer is not great for me. The best part is that it looks visually cool to me. I like how they've visualized the characters and their powers. Dr. Doom looks pretty comic booky as opposed to realistic which I like (from one shot of him, he looks to be in DK mode).

JB: I may be in the minority but I am actually pretty excited about this Fantastic Four trailer. Two great actors are coming off of Oscar-worthy performances and have a lot at stake. We don't see much from Jordan in the trailer but how can you not love Teller? He may carry this movie. I thought we all loved origin stories, Anders?

For the record, I have a history of getting duped into excitement over superhero movies only to be extremely let down. (See The Amazing Spider-Man films). Having said that, this movie will be incredible.

JP: First of all, I'll never see the Amazing Spider-Man films.

Second of all, you couldn't be more wrong. This thing looks like a series on the WB or something.

JB: You didn't like Dawson's Creek?

JP: I immediately regretted that statement. I was literally grasping at the air in front of me hoping to pull it back to my fingertips. Gilmore Girls, Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed? I'm ashamed.

CC: Finally, some discord! I agree with Bax that it looks great.

JP: What about it looks great? Legitimately curious. I want to look out for it when I watch it again.

CC: This trailer isn't great, but it's good enough. I like the players, though I can't tell if Trank is in post production isolation or meltdown mode by missing that Star Wars panel a few days ago.

JP: I thought their leader was Fernando ViƱa for a second.

CC: I love the actors. I loved Chronicle. I think this could be the surprise hit of the year.

JB: Just like Charmed was the surprise hit of the WB lineup. Great analogy, Clark.

CC: Yes, defintiely the same.

I also love that with this franchise you have to be so comic book-y. The powers all happen at once to all of them and it is awesome. One of their characters is permanently made of rocks.

BU: I'm with Jeff on Fantastic Four. Looks like the team from The Vampire Diaries is helping out with production. Fantastic Four, as a group/stable, cut me deep with Rise of the Silver Surfer back in 2007. I'm glad the franchise is having another go at Dr. Doom (who weirdly seems to head up the Marvel bad guy conglomerates every time) but come on, no more Silver Surfer?! This is a man who can rearrange matter and surfs around the galaxy.

JP: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's not bring The Vampire Diaries into this. Next thing I know you're going to be going in on my girls on Pretty Little Liars.

BU: The original Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) was actually on Charmed... These roots run deep.

To be permanently made of rocks is maybe the worst trade off for a super power

AO: "I'm afraid it's irreversible. You're going to be made of rocks...forever.

BU: "But I can change back to normal for, like, sex and dumps, right?"

"No. No, there won't be any of that, I'm afraid.

AO: Sex and dumps.

BU: "Oh, god. What am I supposed to do to blend into society?"

"We made this extra large trench coat and fedora."

CC: He's also lucky he got strength too. I have to imagine of the possible mutations that can occur that just being a rock without strength is way more likely than being a rock with strength.

Gotta be.

Just a normal sack of rocks.

One of these days a comic really needs to come out with a just terrible mutation. Pretty sure that, statistically, most of these gamma ray accident chambers would be making like thousands of horrific freaks for every Bruce Banner.

JP: I definitely see the appeal of a super hero whose power is to be rocks. Not going to bump this trailer up from a 1/5 for me, though. The fedora got it close, but not close enough.

CC: I'll give it the Fantastic Four trailer 2/5 because I believe the film will be better than the trailer leads us to believe. Bad job, trailer.

AO: I give this one a 3/5. Leaves them room to improve on this trailer which was not great. Though I can't wait to see this. I really enjoyed Chronicle too.

BU: I give this one 3/5 too. I have faith in Teller but not much else. It looks a bit like Green Lantern and I haven't recovered from how awful that movie was.

JP: You guys are liberal with those stars, man.

JB: Teller makes it a 3/5. Every line he offers in the trailer is great. I can't wait to see the rest.

Anders: 3
Brian: 3
Clark: 2
Jarryd: 3
Jeff: 1

Overall: 2.4/5

Jurassic World

BU: Sigh again. I don't feel good about this at all. Not even Chris Pratt with his limitless wit and charm can save this movie.

But of course I'll see it at midnight.

CC: Okay, we are all Jurassic Park kids. All I have to say about this trailer is I wish they showed us way less and built the tension way more. It's just a let down to see all this stuff before the director is given a chance to bring you into the world on the big screen. Yes it all looks silly. But I love the banter from Chris Pratt in everything. He's just great on camera. I too will be seeing this at midnight without any doubt.

Also it sucks that we are not more excited. There's something amiss I'm afraid.

BU: I would have loved to hear the Jurassic Park score as the encore for the John Williams concert.

JP: I agree that the problems with this seem to be mainly trailer-related and not necessarily film-related. I doubt it will be very good but it will certainly be entertaining. Can't say I'm very excited about it though. Save me a seat at midnight, Brian, would ya?

*Hours later*

After watching it more I think I was wrong. This movie's going to blow. A trailer is like a cupcake is to a movie's cake. If you're making a cupcake using the same ingredients as the cake and the cupcake sucks, so too will the cake.

BU: An analogy that uses cupcakes and trailers? I defer to Anders.

JB: I couldn't agree more, guys. This movie will be terrible and that makes me very sad. You're right. They showed their cards too early and only have a pair of sixes. They even showed the re-creation of the kids in the car scene.

It looks like just another run of the mill action/monster flick (not necessarily a bad thing), but with the Jurassic Park moniker attached to it, we are not wrong to expect much, much more.

Tasteless cupcakes.

CC: I also just pull for Chris Pratt as a person but I fear he can't make this movie NOT a colossal disappointment. See y'all at midnight! 1/5

JB: 1/5.

AO: I keep watching this trailer hoping it will inspire some level of excitement in me but I've got nothing so far. I agree with Geri. Bad trailer. 1/5. Unsubscribe. See you guys at midnight.

And I love the cupcake trailer analogy. The third Man of Steel trailer must have just been the ice cream cupcake that managed to steal all the ice cream from a still delicious chocolate cake.

JB: What the heck is an ice cream cupcake?

AO: It's a mini ice cream cake. Just like a cupcake is a mini cake.

BU: Haven't seen that on the menu before, Geri?

1/5 for Jurassic World. I'll save ya'll seats at midnight.

JB: Do not save me a seat.

I will go to sleep and see it the next day, alone.

CC: Bitter.

JP: 1/5. Save me a seat, but only because I never pass up an opportunity for cake. Even gross, over-iced cake.

Maybe we could actually bring in a cake. Counteracting agent.

Anders: 1
Brian: 1
Clark: 1
Jarryd: 1
Jeff: 1

Overall: 1/5


JP: For as charming and likeable as Chris Pratt is, Paul Rudd is tenfold more charming and likeable to me. I've been all in since Clueless. We are only four years away from Blade Runner; I think we could easily revamp the Voight-Kampff test to just be showing clips of Paul Rudd movies, and if they don't swoon, they're a replicant.

CC: I can't think of anything he's done that wasn't awesome, but then he's never been a superhero. I was extremely skeptical at first, but this trailer has me wondering why I ever was. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Kate from Lost and U.S. Representative Peter Russo? Consider me fully on board. I only wonder how Ant-Man will fit into the Avengers: Infinity Wars story arc.

JP: My only concern is the whole Edgar Wright saga. I was so psyched to see he was going to write it and direct it, and when he dropped from the project, the skepticism started to build. Just to pour salt in the wounds, Joss Whedon recently said he "thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script [he'd] read." I just hope there's enough of Wright's screenplay buried in there in the finished product.

CC: He's still a credited writer. Though I guess he wouldn't have left if they were going to keep his script.

JP: From what I gather, they sliced up his script pretty much beyond recognition. I'm still excited, but with Wright at the helm it couldn't have been anything but a classic. I'm still super excited though, just mildly concerned.

I can't wait to see Rudd go on Conan with his clip from Ant-Man, too.

AO: It's brilliant every time he does it. I'd say Paul Rudd is number two for me as a charming and likeable lead man. He's so funny in Our Idiot Brother, Knocked Up, This Is 40, Wanderlust, and some others I can't think of right now. Although Rudd is not usually the leading man in a movie like this one, this trailer gives me a lot of hope. Highlights of the trailer for me are the opening scene buildup to that initial joke (not the funniest thing ever but sets up the tone of the movie perfectly), Corey Stoll as the villain (I've been a fan of his ever since he played Hemingway in Midnight in Paris), and the train crash scene at the end. Not up to Star Wars level for sure but a solid trailer that gives me an idea about a movie I couldn't picture working. 4/5.

JP: Best part of the trailer is definitely the wide shot of the toy train crashing, and then zooming back in on the ant-sized action with the standard action trailer music playing. I hope there are lots of self-reflexive moments like that in the film (which I'm sure would be leftover moments from Wright, who does that self-deprecating genre reflexivity so, so well).

The worst thing this film could do would be to take itself too seriously, and that moment has me feeling pretty good about its awareness to that fact. If they just make this thing fun, it'll be a hit.

CC: Yeah, this looks like it's snuggling up nice next to the Iron Man trilogy and Guardians of the Galaxy as a little more of a humor-centric Marvel Cinematic Universe installment. Love that. 4/5.

Thor was quite funny too, and I consider that an underrated member of the MCU.

JP: Going with a 4/5 as well. This trailer shows a lot of promise that I hope ends up fulfilled. Mostly I'm just #rootingforRudd.

BU: 3/5 from me. From the looks of this trailer, the movie knows that people will have little to no knowledge of Ant-Man before seeing the movie, something that Guardians had to face too. Guardians had Pratt and company, and Ant-Man has Rudd. If anyone can bring an audience to Ant-Man, it's him. Good spot on the villain, Andie. I would have been just as happy if Ant-Man had a time machine and had to go back and beat Hemmingway's ass too.

JP: Oh my god, Hemingway would have hated Paul Rudd. Maybe he was a replicant.

BU: Oh yeah, is Chris Pratt going to star in a Blade Runner remake?

JB: 3/5. Looks like a fun time.

CC: Why does chris Pratt get associated with all Harrison Ford roles? I mean, I can see it with the sarcasm, but they are not very similar other than that.

JP: Harrison Ford would play a killer Burt Macklin, coming out of retirement for one last case.

BU: I'm with you, man. You really wonder what kind of outside the box thinking goes on at these studios when they prepare to reboot a series.

"Get Pratt's people on the phone."
"Chris Pratt? For Harrison's role?"
"Yep. He's a dead ringer."
"But how?"
"He's sarcastic and has the face of a man."
"My god. You're right!"

CC: No doubt Hollywood is plagued with tunnel vision.

Anders: 4
Brian: 3
Clark: 4
Jarryd: 3
Jeff: 4

Overall: 3.6/5