2016 is not exactly going to plan for DC so far. After watching Marvel conquer the world with their cinematic universe, the other venerable home for superheroes decided to get in on the act. For the second time this year they’ve received a critical kicking. There’s more than just superhero films to watch though. Alongside one DC effort in the cinema and another on DVD, we also have a thoughtful documentary and a cult classic to enjoy this week.
After Batman v Superman (see below) earlier in the year, it’s now the turn of the DC villains in Suicide Squad. They seem to be disappointing as well. Director/writer David Ayer is on the defensive and fans are out complaining of bias against DC. Maybe this film, with the likes of Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jarod Leto joining the team of supervillains, has been harshly treated. But the same accusations were thrown around when Batman Vs Superman came out, and that was awful. Only one way to find out for sure.
Away from the world of superheroes comes a documentary much closer to home. In 1981, IRA activist Bobby Sands died at the age of 27 after 66 days on hunger strike. Various aspects of his life have been explored over the years, most notably of late in the 2008 Steve McQueen film Hunger. Bobby Sands: 66 Days, part of the BBC Storyville series, finds several fresh angles, placing Sands’ actions in the broader context of the time. It’s a remarkably even-handed and thoughtful approach to a fraught topic.
We stay in the past for a re-release. 30 years after first appearing, cult classic Sid and Nancy returns to screens. Alex Cox’s biopic focusses on the turbulent relationship between Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. It’s a story that ends tragically, the film re-telling ruffling a few feathers at the time. There’s a reason for its enduring popularity as well so don’t miss the chance while it’s there.
After starting with Suicide Squad, we end with the DVD release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s an unwieldy title befitting an unwieldy film as Ben Affleck dons the Batcape alongside Henry Cavill’s returning Superman. They get to scrap for a bit as the title suggests, but the real villain is Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Wonder Woman is wandering around in there somewhere as well. Much of the attention beforehand focused, often negatively, on Affleck. He’s fine; it’s the nonsense story, poor villain and overbearing sense of self-importance that weigh everything down.
That’s should be enough to keep you occupied for now. I’ll see you again next week for a wedding.