Was Batman Vs. Superman 'Really That Bad'? This YouTuber says yes...

With Justice League looking set to bomb, viral YouTuber MovieBob takes a look back and reminds us of the fundamental problems with the movie that started it all

Do you hate Batman Vs. Superman?

Well, you're probably aware that you're not alone. The vast consensus is that this tentpole project for the DCEU was a failure. However, with the passage of time, hate fatigues. The fire of rage can only burn so long, and with it ebbing down to embers we have to look back and wonder… was it really that bad? One YouTuber says hell yes. In his three-part, feature length video-essay series, Bob "MovieBob" Chipman is explaining in unremitting detail why Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is Really That Bad. If you don't know why this should excite you, then settle in.

You may recall two years ago when the Adam Sandler movie Pixels came out, how a review of it went viral, which said (among other things) "This is the kind of movie that shouldn't be "reviewed" so much as fed through a malfunctioning industrial shredder." That review was the brainchild of MovieBob. He's a Boston based reviewer who has been an online film critic since 2005, and a prolifically visible personality since about 2009. His matter-of-fact delivery, plain-stated honesty, and academic frame of nerd-reference (combined with occasional bursts of disbelieving hyperbolic outrage) have carried him from his platform on The Escapist, through independent YouTube production, to his now regular review spot at

As part of his output he produces a series called Really That Good. In it he reviews movies that are generally held to be classics (GhostbustersTitanic, The Matrix), and re-examines them to ascertain exactly why they continue to inspire and entertain. His latest piece on Batman vs Superman is the flip side of this. He takes a scalpel and rib-spreader, and explains, in exquisite detail, why this film is as bad as you think it is.

His approach is all encompassing, there's no other word for it. Not only is he acutely aware of the passive negativity that surrounds this film, he has also been profoundly exposed to the vehemence that the film inspires in its defenders. To that end he addresses minute detail after minute detail, making addendum after addendum to name check (and then body check) common and uncommon defenses of the movie. It is exhaustive, and occasionally exhausting, but always damn fascinating. He discusses the film as (among other things) a product of a conflict between three-act and five-act structure, compares it beat-by-beat to The Avengers, looks at execution versus intent, and hammers home death-blow after death-blow to any pretense at acceptability this move has.

Now, while this is an experience of the negative, it's worth noting that Bob gives credit where it is due. He praises director Zack Snyder's abilities (he is one of very few people who gave a positive review to Snyder's Sucker Punch), and takes time to say nice things about a few choice parts of the film. Of course, given the title, the vast majority of this is searing indictment, but as a long time viewer of Chipman's work, it's important to remind newcomers that with him positivity always comes first. This is, after all, a one-time spin-off of a show dedicated to praise over hypercriticism.

Though when he lays into a property… boy howdy does Chipman know how find the jugular. Really That Bad: Batman Vs Superman is a brilliant post-mortem/living dismemberment. With references to film theory and classical structure, criticisms that range from the broad to the discrete, and plenty of choice hyperbole, he picks apart this film in the same manner that the meat industry picks apart a dead animal. He makes use of every part, leaves nothing on the bone, and then grinds up the bone. If you need a cathartic release pre/post Justice League(baring in mind its hugely troubled production process, and initial poor reviews), this is definitely it. The first part of the series is now live, the second and third parts will be following in due course. If you've ever had an argument over this movie, then this is a show for you.

Follow Bob "MovieBob" Chipman

YouTube | Twitter | Web | Patreon

Thomas Burns Scully is a PopDust contributor, and also an award-winning actor, playwright, and musician. In his spare time he writes and designs escape rooms. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

POP⚡ DUST | Read More…

'Wonder Woman', 'Beauty and the Beast' and outrage film marketing

Eddie Izzard: transgender, hilarious, and heartbreaking

'Pop Punk High', a pop punk musical comedy? Um... yes please!


If Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman made a Klezmer musical... this would be it

Frank London, noted Klezmer composer, performs his new macabre musical in concert

In an old marketplace, a story unfolds. Of a bride who threw herself down a well. Of the gargoyle who guards that well. Of the Badkhn who told jokes at her wedding. Of the man she was to marry. Of the man who she truly loved. In this story, the world of the supernatural and the world of the living intertwine for a night, as one man attempts to raise an army of the dead and turn the earth upside down. Spirits fly out of people's bodies. Giants appear. It seems that anything is possible in A Night in the Old Marketplace.

Photos by Victor Nechay

This is the new musical being developed by Alexandra Aron, Frank London, and Glen Berger (Creator/director, composer, and lyricist/book, respectively). It is an intriguing new piece, based on I. L. Peretz's Bay Nakht Oyfn Altn Mark, and performed in concert as part of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. Blending traditional Klezmer structures with a mixture of more modern musical modes, Frank London's work is astounding. The thought of an evening of traditional Yiddish tunes might sound dull to many, but any doubts are quickly cast asunder by London's intense overture. A tuba (Ron Caswell), percussion (Aaron Alexander), trumpet (Frank London), and accordion (Art Bailey) are accompanied by blistering electric guitar licks (Brandon Seabrook). They come together to create a musical world that feels rooted in tradition, and, at the same time, apocalyptically modern and supernatural.

Lending their vocals to the cause are Judith Berkson, Steven Hrycelak, Manu Narayan, Sofia Rei, and Lorin Sklamberg. Each is a formidable talent as a soloist, and as a unit they are indistinguishable from a full Broadway chorus. As they sing of bridal woes and the specters of regret, the watcher is transported to a Tim Burton-like world of dark wonder. All of this is woven together by Edgar Oliver and his intriguing storyteller's baritone. Glen Berger's text is that written by a man with a complete mastery of macabre tone. As performed here (accompanied by gorgeous claymation visuals), it is a brilliant tale of the melancholic and subtly sadistic.

Photos by Victor Nechay

Of all the work presented so far this year by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, A Night in the Old Marketplace is likely the standout. It is evocative, moody, and occasionally explosive. In its current concert form it is a formidable piece of work. One can only dream twisted dreams about what this might look like as a full production. Aron, London and Berger have built the foundation of something that deserves the right to move on to the next stage of evolution. With notes of Neil Gaiman, old wives tales, Yiddish heritage and Hot Topic psychedelia, this is a show in the making that demands your attention. Its short concert run has now concluded, however, the soundtrack can be purchased here, and more details about its development can be read here. Happy listening.