Let’s take a second to recognize that last weekend was a busy stretch in the entertainment world. The Elite Eight games were played in the NCAA Basketball Tournament giving us our Final Four group of teams (with Syracuse obviously being the most worthy and laudable team left). Last weekend also saw the release of one of this year’s most anticipated films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a worldwide box office take of $460 million and counting (per Box Office Mojo). I was able to see that newest entry in the DC Extended Universe of films on Sunday and hope to write a review sometime this week.
Now, in the spirit of March Madness and in the wake of “Sad Affleck,” the Elite Eight of our DC Movie Tournament begins. Last round we highlighted how the tournament had quickly become a mini-“Batman v Superman” with twelve of the sixteen films hailing from either Batman or Superman franchises. With the tournament halved again, this Batman v Superman theme continues but the rest of the field had a strong round as well.
Of the remaining eight films, three are from “Other” titles that are not always thought of as DC films. None of the characters in V for Vendetta (#2 seed), Watchmen (#3), Constantine (#4) are the typical caped superheroes (although the titular V and a few of the Watchmen do wear capes or cape-like outerwear) we often associate with the genre but those five films have done well in a tournament and universe dominated by two characters. With the DCEU moving forward by focusing on its Justice League characters it is interesting to see (in this limited sample size) that some of people’s favorite DC films have nothing to do with these popular franchises. Maybe that’s a reflection of the terrible handling of popular characters like Catwoman and Green Lantern in their solo films. Or maybe we all just secretly love Keanu (or openly. I’m pulling for Constantine as Champion. That’s right, over The Dark Knight).
The other five films left in the tournament hail from only two franchises. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all three of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy advanced with relative ease. These three films are divided in a way which makes it very possible that we see a Final Four with Nolan films occupying three of the four slots.
Rounding out the list are the two oldest films in the tournament. Richard Donner’s Superman and its sequel Superman II (reviewed HERE by Lebeau’s Le Blog in our ongoing Sequelthon series) have proved that voting has not been dominated by our crisper memories of more recently released films. The matchup between Superman and Batman Begins offers an interesting matchup between first films in a trilogy.
(1) The Dark Knight
(2) Batman Begins
(2) The Dark Knight Rises
(1) Superman II