Tag Archives: Zack Snyder

Army of Thieves (Matthias Schweighöfer, 2021)

A non-horror prequel to a horror movie, where zombies are relegated to news reports and dreams, Army of Thieves is a film where the logic behind its existence is ultimately more interesting to think about than anything presented on screen. That said, this spinoff of Army of the Dead is somewhat fascinating as an example of playing in the Zack Snyder sandbox without the same stylistic imprint…

Full review for SciFiNow

Thieves like us: Zack Snyder and co. on their Army of the Dead prequel

It’s unusual enough for a prequel to arrive barely five months after the original film, yet alone for it to be in a different genre. Such is the case with Army of Thieves, a non-horror spin-off of Zack Snyder’s zombie action movie Army of the Dead, greenlit and shot before the first film was even released by Netflix. “Because it’s a different genre than Army of the Dead,” producer Snyder tells SciFiNow, “it gave the film a freshness and uniqueness I think transcends the normal traps you can get into with a sequel or prequel…”

Full interview for SciFiNow

In praise of the visionary Gore Verbinski

For the best part of a decade now, Hollywood marketers has shown a penchant for promoting the ‘visionary’ – you’ll be familiar with trailers claiming the latest film hitting your multiplex as being from ‘visionary director [INSERT NAME HERE]’. Our research suggests the trend started around the time of Watchmen’s first trailer in 2008, which featured the line ‘From the visionary director of 300.’ This credit provoked some questioning; that comic book adaptation’s director, Zack Snyder, only had two prior feature credits to his name before being awarded this lofty title: fellow faithful comic adaptation 300, and a remake of Dawn of the Dead. Was it premature to label this figure a visionary based on little evidence of his own originality?

Further ‘visionaries’ have been cited in trailers since, some of which have made more sense, but the latest example to get some pundits a-tweeting was the initial trailer for asylum horror A Cure for Wellness, which attributed the status to director Gore Verbinski. The Verbinski who helmed much of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that went so stale? The man whose last film, The Lone Ranger, was a notable box office bomb?

Is Gore Verbinski a visionary director? Our verdict: a resounding yes, actually…

Full feature for The Skinny

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)

Of the numerous problems with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, one of them is quite succinctly illustrated by one scene in the film’s back half. It sees Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck, aka Batfleck) browsing some top secret files, many of which concern the mysterious Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) who’s been popping up throughout the film, mostly being all cipher-like because her solo movie isn’t out until next year. This scene includes what may be a cinematic first: a character in a film literally looking at a promo still for a real film that’s yet to come out, in this case a picture of Gadot’s Wonder Woman in her forthcoming film’s 1918 period setting, posing with various recognisable faces (Chris Pine, Ewen Bremner) that will presumably make up her posse – not just a picture of her, but a glance at the supporting cast.

The need to shoehorn any and all set-up references to future entries in the DC ‘extended universe’ that this movie is properly kicking off – Man of Steel didn’t seem like a primer for anything but another solo Superman tale – isn’t the only major issue with the film (and it’s not like Disney’s Marvel efforts are any less guilty of it), but it ties in well with another complaint: Dawn of Justice is a needlessly byzantine mess. A lot of stuff happens, and very loudly at that, but so little of it ultimately coheres. It’s overstuffed to the point that Superman (Henry Cavill, asked to stick to scowling this time) is practically relegated to the status of glorified supporting role…

Full review for The Skinny