It’s DC Fandome week, so here’s a list of great DC films that you might’ve forgotten about or you maybe haven’t seen. They’re all great movies that dive into the psychology of the main characters with style.
So let’s get to it!
V for Vendetta (2005)
Available on Netflix
Starring: Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving
Directed by: James McTeigue
I first saw “V for Vendetta” when it came out in theaters. I was 16 years old and I totally missed the whole point of the film and its deep political and social message. I disliked the movie because it didn’t have enough action, and it took me a few years to understand that this was not an action movie, and it never intended to be – no matter how much the trailers were trying to make it seem like it was one.
Right now, the film is one of my favorites. It has everything you could hope for in a movie: a social and political message mixed with satire that respects the audience enough so that it’s not pandering or too on-the-nose; a pair of extremely charismatic lead characters; the feeling that this is the vision of the artists that created it, full and complete; and, um, John Hurt yelling his lines from a giant screen.
Maybe it was because of everything that’s happening in the world today (yes, THE WORLD – not just the United States), but rewatching “V for Vendetta” this week really stuck with me. It’s one of those films that will always resonate with people, and I can’t recommend it enough. Go watch it and let’s acknowledge that every single one of the films made by the Wachowskis (here, they’re screenwriters) has an undeniable sense of significance. Good or bad, these two know exactly how to make a film that feels different and unique, and “V for Vendetta” is living proof of that.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
Available on HBO Max
Starring: Kevin Conroy as Batman
Directed by: Several
“Batman: Gotham Knight” is a series of 6 short films released as a form of prequel to Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” (2008), and, by extension, they could be said to be set in the same Batman continuity as Nolan’s films.
Rewatching not only made me remember why I love Batman so much, but also what it is about this character that’s so immediately compelling and why he has survived all these years in the spotlight of pop culture. Unlike other projects about the character, “Batman: Gotham Knight” really goes deep into Batman’s status as an icon for the people of Gotham City, his responsibilities as a superhero, and, more importantly, his psyche – which directly relates to his approach to fighting crime.
I wrote a more in-depth analysis of this collection in my own site, which you can find here. However, overall, all of the short films in this collection have a specific value for fans, especially to anyone that liked the themes as explored by Nolan in his trilogy. This is the perfect companion to those films, so don’t miss out on watching or rewatching “Batman: Gotham Knight”. You won’t be disappointed.
Superman: Red Son (2020)
Available on DC Universe
Starring: Jason Isaacs and Roger Craig Smith
Directed by: Sam Liu
This film is an adaptation of the famous comic book of the same name, created by Mark Millar in 2003. I never read the comic book, so I was excited to watch the film adaptation and getting to know the story that was based on a concept that I always found interesting: what if Superman was born in the Soviet Union instead of the United States?
“Superman: Red Son” is an entertaining film with a very interesting character arc for Superman, where he is put on a journey that challenges his own sense of what it means to save the world. This is a difficult challenge for him, because his perspective is directly affected by his upbringing in a different country and with different people. A lot of other superheroes appear in the film, such as Wonder Woman and Batman, and it’s an interesting way to look at them in a completely alternative reality.
The animation was, in my opinion, somewhat poor, but it was complemented by an amazing score that even makes you forget how cringe-worthy it is when you notice that the screenplay tried to make the story resonant to our times with some extremely on-the-nose dialogue (with some evil characters directly quoting Donald Trump, for example).
In a world packed with superhero content, “Superman: Red Son” stands out, even for someone like me that isn’t the biggest fan of animated DC films. So it’s a recommendation from me.