We seem to live in a time where movies exist as spectacle as much as they do as entertainment, when the sheer mass of money and bodies and green screen and canon tossed into a cauldron of special effects is a sight to behold. Yet, can you imagine we live in a world where a movie is coming out tomorrow where BATMAN fights SUPERMAN and not only are people pretty meh about it, it has been savaged by critics and shuffled off to a release date in the dead zone before the official summer movie season starts? Recall even this past summer, when Jurassic World at least held the promise of childlike summer movie glee (it didn’t deliver but at least there was a chance). We are susceptible to the suggestion that big commercial messes can still have value, and we so desperately hope they’ll validate our money we invest in them that we dig for the sparkles of salvageable good among the brown muck of the trash bag.
Reader, don’t go for it. Movies that are bad are bad and life is too short to waste time on things with little redeeming value, even if they’ve coopted two of our nation’s most important heroes for some sort of dour fanboy Ayn Randian dark twisted fantasy. At Brokelyn we always like to suggest better ways to spend your money so instead, here is the real Batman vs. Superman movie you should watch this weekend, and it’s much cheaper.
For the record, a ticket to a 3D showing of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2 Furious the Scorch Trials at UA Court Street will run you $20; IMAX ticket will run you $21 (wait, IMAX is basically the same price as 3D? More evidence that 3D movies are a SCAM). That’s a big investment for junk.
Instead, rent the actual best Batman/Superman movie that will probably ever be made, called simply The Batman/Superman Movie (a better title than BVS Department of Justice too). It’s just $2.99 to rent on Amazon.
Take a peek at the scene when they meet for a taste of the real tension at work here:
This 1997 team up was the first official crossover of the also excellent Batman and Superman animated series that were staples of after-school TV in the 90s (man with those, Tiny Toons, Animaniacs and Freakazoid, WB was kinda crushing it there for a bit, huh?).
It is everything a Batman and Superman movie should be. Forever badass Batman and forever boy scout Superman exist in stark contrast in this version, the shadows vs the light, brains vs. brawn, subtlety vs. shock and awe, and Batman actually gets in a few good licks on Supes too. There is the inevitable team up, but it feels earned, and reluctant. And the plot is simple, not over inflated with hatchlings of a new extended universe (as Synder’s movie is).
On top of all that you have a love quintangle: Lois Lane, who fell for Superman but not Clark Kent, falls for Bruce Wayne but not the Batman. Drama! Intrigue! Smart storytelling, all in what is ostensibly a kids show. And to top it all off, you have Mark Hamill as the Joker and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, who puts the snivelling twerp version Jesse Eisenberg is apparently doing to shame.
These shows were clever and arty: they understood what made the characters work and how to port them over to television without just doing Gideon bible scenes from comics’ history. And they added to the canon: the Batman animated series created Harley Quinn, who will star in the next DC movie, Suicide Squad. Don’t hold out much hope for that, but you’ll catch her in this animated movie too.
Here are some other things worth spending your movie money on instead of lining Zack Snyder’s cargo shorts:
Watch the actual best Batman movie ever made (YOU HEARD ME, NOLAN), The Mask of the Phantasm: $2.99
Watch the actual best live-action Batman movie and probably one of the best movies of all time, The Dark Knight: $3.99
-Buy a set of LEGOs and get ready for this LEGO Batman movie which looks way better tbh: $12.34
-Watch the entire Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series on Netflix (seriously they’re so goddamn good and involve a romance between Batman and Wonder Woman and the finale of Unlimited shows you what the climax of an actual Superman movie should look like when Superman gives his “world of cardboard” speech unleashes ALL his power): Free with Netflix
-Watch Superman: The Animated Series, which is the only good version of Superman: Also free with Prime membership.
-Watch prime early Aflleck in Mallrats, where he plays the proprietor of the Fashionable Male, because we hear Batfleck is actually the best part of this movie (#teamaffleck): $2.99
-Get incredibly, college-freshman on a weekend, Broad City-on-4/20-in-Amsterdam levels of high and watch Batman & Robin for the ice puns alone.: $2.99
-If you MUST see it, consider buying a ticket for Deadpool instead and sneaking in. That movie has jokes in it. I heard someone cracked a joke on the set of Batman V Superman and Zack Snyder had them torn apart by horses.
Follow Tim, a noted hypocrite who is probably going to see the movie tomorrow: @timdonnelly.