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It's been 1 year since Apple TV+ began, and I have watched every one of their shows (except the kids stuff)! Here's my ranking... [No Spoilers]

In one year, Apple TV+ has released a pretty solid slate of original material. Not including children-oriented content, Apple TV+ has released 20 series, 3 miniseries, 9 movies, and 2 talk shows. From the start, Apple has said that the goal of the content is on quality, not quantity. But…has it lived up to that?
34 - Greatness Code - Documentary
Summary: Each episode features a different athlete talking about a key moment in their careers. The show features athletes from many different sports, including basketball’s LeBron James, soccer’s Alex Morgan (sorry…footballer Alex Morgan), snowboarder Shaun White, sprinter Usain Bolt, swimmer Katie Ledecky, surfer Kelly Slater, and (American) footballer Tom Brady (who is a co-producer).
My Take: This is the easy winner for the worst thing on Apple TV+. The only good thing about this “show” is that the episodes are usually no more than 10 minutes long. The monologues by the athletes are…fine. There’s nothing you haven’t really heard before here. The problem is that the special effects take away from actually seeing the athlete in action. Almost every bit of action has some animation or filter or something over it, so we almost never actually see the events being discussed. It’s pretty ridiculous. After watching this, I genuinely wondered if this series was intended to be part of Apple TV+’s children’s offerings, because that is the only level where it could at all seem “great”.
33 - Oprah Talks Covid-19 - News (Miniseries)
Summary: Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic started major lockdowns across the United States, Oprah quickly began to do online interviews with people who she hoped would bring perspective and uplifting messages, from celebrities to pastors to nurses to people who had experienced isolation in prison and the holocaust. This series ran for nearly a month from mid-March to mid-April in 2020.
My Take: One of Oprah’s three series, this one is the lowest ranked just because much of the information within it is out of date, and is aimed at people at a certain time, which was months ago. But in a way, it’s a bit of a time capsule of the early parts of the pandemic in the public eye, which is interesting. It’s almost as interesting to see the production value (or lack there of), as the majority of the episodes are screen recordings of online interviews. It’s perhaps only worth watching now for being a curiosity, but Apple and Oprah did good getting something up in a timely fashion.
32 - Amazing Stories - Adventure
Summary: An anthology series executive produced by Steven Spielberg, the show brings back the “Amazing Stories” brand with five independent stories about incredible adventures that play with sci-fi and fantasy about regular people put in amazing situations.
My Take: Amazing Stories was to be one of Apple TV’s tentpoles for the summer. Unfortunately, the series landed flat, and is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s yet another TV series that original co-Producer Bryan Fuller left. The show was originally to have ten episodes, it ended up with just five. The stories were not very groundbreaking, though they were beautifully shot. It might be worth checking out for Robert Forster’s last project before he died (Dynoman and the Volt), and for the touching “The Heat” about high school runners from Oakland.
31 - Home - Documentary
Summary: As you might imagine, this documentary series is not just about the architecture of a house, but about the people behind building and designing them. Each episode features a different house and story, with houses chosen from around the world, from urban environments like Chicago and Hong Kong to remote locations in Maine and Bali.
My Take: Although cable and streaming is littered with television programs about houses and architecture, this show passes on the drama, which helps Home become a documentary, and not a reality show. The cinematography is predictably beautiful, but the pacing is slow, and it’s very hard to really get into. It doesn’t help that a couple of the home builders behind the stories are honestly not very likable. The final episode of the first season is really good, but ultimately, this show is a bit of a snooze beyond the real enthusiasts.
30 - Dads - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, this movie looks at fathers across the many levels of fatherhood, anchored by Howard’s own relationship with her father, actodirector Ron Howard, and her grandfather Archie, as well as Bryce’s non-celebrity brother who is an expecting father. The movie shifts to stories about fathers from around the world, and back to the Howards, to celebrate the ever-shifting role of fatherhood in modern society.
My Take: This documentary is a sweet, if simple, tribute to modern fatherhood. There’s nothing special here, it does exactly what you would expect it to. It has cameo interviews from comedian fathers, interspersed with random recordings of fathers from home movies and social media, and stories of fathers in different situations. There’s nothing bad about it, but it’s pretty dry overall. It’s not a waste, but it’ll probably end up being the thing you see in the list and say “Oh, I’ll watch that another time…”, which might as well be next Father’s Day with your dad.
29 - Dear… - Documentary
Summary: A documentary series that details the history and life of various individual celebrities, and uses letters written by people they have affected to frame those celebrities’ impact on people and society.
My Take: Apple has used the advertising method of using letters written to Apple or Tim Cook about how things have changed their lives (particularly the Apple Watch), and in that context this series feels like, well, advertising. Not to take anything away from the celebrities involved, but the marketing push feels very heavy here. And, of course, one of the celebrities featured is Oprah, who is a big presence in ATV+. It also gets absurd with one episode around Big Bird (in character); of course, the Muppets have a spin-off in the kids section of ATV+ called Helpsters. It’s best with the smaller names, where even I learned a little bit. It’s a decent feel-good if that’s what you’re looking for.
28 - Long Way Up - Documentary (Miniseries)
Summary: The third docu-series by Ewan McGregor and his best friend Charley Boorman as they take a long road trip by motorcycle. This trip, they are traveling from the southern tip of South America up to Los Angeles, and are doing it (almost) entirely on electric vehicles. The series highlights both the places they visit along the way, and the travails (and successes) of using these new, custom-made electric motorcycles. (The other two series Long Way Round and Long Way Down have also been added to ATV+, though they are not ‘Apple Originals’.)
My Take: I’ve got to be honest, it’s hard to get into watching others take a road trip. It’s nice enough. The footage is beautiful, as they use everything from GoPro helmet cams to drones to capture the scenery. But the major source of tension here is Range Anxiety, and the biggest drama is in whether or not they can do it all on electric bikes. Still, it’s interesting to see parts of South America many aren’t familiar with, including deserts and the vast Patagonia. And Ewan does seem like someone that would be a great bloke to be mates with. Some people will really enjoy this, I’m just not one of them.
27 - The Elephant Queen - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Narrated by the soft-spoken Chiwetel Ejiofor, an elephant herd must navigate the climate of the savannah to survive. Led by the matriarch, they must migrate before the dry season hits to stay around water, and then return to their normal grazing land. Along the way, we meet the many other creatures of the savannah and face the changing climates and droughts that get in the way of these pachyderms.
My Take: A documentary much in the style of the old Disney documentaries, the Elephant Queen does a lot of anthropomorphizing its subjects, who range from elephants to dung beetles, and follows them through a difficult season. It is borderline kids-oriented, but adults might enjoy this as well. It’s not afraid to delve into some sad situations, and there is an overriding theme of what happens in droughts that can not be ignored. A sweet film, perhaps a bit saccharine.
26 - Hala - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Hala is a Pakistani-American teenage girl and her trying to balance her family and cultural pressures with being a teen in America. She longs to be out of the pressures of her family’s culture as she interacts with friends and teachers outside of the home. When she does try to act out, she begins to discover more about her family, both discovering secrets and sides she never knew about, as she discovers more about herself.
My Take: Apple TV+’s first fictional feature film release, this coming of age film is never really surprising, but it is a well made film that hits all the right nuances in trying to share Hala’s experience. It’s not a perfect film, as there are some shifts in tone and character that are rather sudden and jarring for the viewer, though all things considered, that’s probably what writedirector Minhal Baig was trying for. The emotions shift quickly and non-family characters disappear quickly, as it’s clear that this is Hala’s story, and not anyone else’s. It’s a solid watch.
25 - Trying - Comedy
Summary: A British couple, Nikki and Jason, have decided to adopt when they have trouble conceiving. They struggle with the truly difficult process of adopting, as well as insecurities about whether or not the two (who could be called slackers) are truly ready to be, or even worthy of being, parents.
My Take: This is a British comedy co-produced by BBC that is about an intensely serious subject. If you know British humor, you know that it will be very intentionally awkward, and this series can definitely hit that mark. While the show is certainly has about its two main characters (Rafe Spall and Esther Smith as the couple), it has a surprisingly large cast of supporting characters, but with only one star most Americans would know (Imelda Staunton as the most unintimidating social worker ever). It’s an interesting concept, and it finds some sweet moments, but not as many funny ones. It’s not bad, but is just okay.
24 - Oprah’s Book Club - Talk Show
Summary: This was the first Oprah show to appear on Apple TV+, serving as a cross-section of Apple services (which advertises Books and Podcasts), and the only one that got to meet the pre-pandemic style of Oprah’s shows. The idea was that Oprah would interview authors and let an audience ask questions. But the series also shows the effects of the pandemic. Once the pandemic hits, the audience is gone, and it becomes direct virtual interviews for a couple of episodes before Apple and Oprah find a way to have a virtual audience.
My Take: I admit, I didn’t read any of the books selected for this list. I still got something out of these shows, but more of an analysis of Oprah than the books. It did show off one of her worst traits, which is how she answers for an interviewee when they were slow to find a point, and she talked over a lot of people. But you could also see her energy change when she had a live audience versus online interviews, and even different with a virtual audience. You could also see her energy change about what books she is passionate about versus those less so. So this wasn’t a waste, but I wasn’t enthusiastic.
23 - Truth Be Told - Drama
Summary: Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer) is a true crime podcaster after a successful career as an investigative reporter, but she comes to dwell on the first case that made her famous, where a teenager was put away for murdering his neighbor. Now an adult (played by Aaron Paul), Poppy begins talking with him to see if she made a mistake. Meanwhile, the victim’s family is forced to revisit the crime, including twin daughters (both played by Lizzy Caplan), and Poppy’s family confronts her for supporting Cave, who has joined a white supremacist gang in prison.
My Take: This show has an incredible cast, with Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, and Ron Cephas Jones in big supporting roles. Race is an unavoidable part of this story, but so is culture, as Poppy is split between her family’s blue-collar roots in Oakland, and the Silicon Valley lifestyle she now lives with her husband across the bay. The Bay Area setting of this series is a big part of the symbolism. The problem is that the mystery viewers came for was never really important. This would’ve been a good third season of a show, once a status quo for these characters had been found, rather than a confusing first season with lots of subplots.
22 - Central Park - Animation
Summary: Animated by the people behind Bob’s Burgers and created in part by Josh Gad, Central Park is an animated musical. The show revolves around the family of the manager of Central Park (Leslie Odom Jr.), and the villainous hotel owner (Stanley Tucci) who wants to undermine the park to buy it and develop it. Gad plays the busker at the park who serves as the audience’s narrator, and it plays like musical theater, with songs written by a range of artists, including Fiona Apple, Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, and Meghan Trainor, among many others.
My Take: The show is silly, but not always in a funny way. The music is reminiscent of the irreverent nature of Avenue Q, and has some star power behind it, though a lot of the music is just meh. I’m not surprised my favorite song, “Spoiler Alert”, was cowritten by Alan Menken of 90’s Disney musical fame. The story, however, very often deviates from the main thrust of the plot and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere at times, as it’s more bothered with the humor in ridiculous situations, like the park manager’s son being obsessed with the villain’s dog Champagne. Ultimately, though, the show is just meh. The humor is fine, the story is barely relevant, and the majority of the music will not be found on many people’s playlists going forward, although of course you can find it all on Apple Music.
This show has been one of Apple TV’s only controversies, however. The cast is made from many of Gad’s friends. That led to some controversy, as Gad chose stars before choosing parts. Kristen Bell was put into the role of a bi-racial character, and the two villainous women in the series were played by men (Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs, though it’s hard to fault either performance). The controversy was first brought up over the winter. After the summer’s social upheaval, Bell stepped down from the role and her former character will be played in season 2 by Emmy Raver-Lampman. Bell will return as a new character in season 2.
21 - On The Rocks - Comedy (Movie)
Summary: Laura (Rashida Jones) is worried that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) may have gotten bored in their marriage and having an affair with a coworker. Laura’s father (Bill Murrary), a charming and unabashed ladies man, tries to help her figure out her suspicions as they follow Dean around.
My Take: Well, Apple TV+ paid for a Sofia Coppola film, and boy, did they get one. What this means is that this is a movie where the plot is less important than the conversation, and in particular, this might as well be a 2-person play between Jones and Murray. Murray is charming as basically a more chauvinistic version of himself, and Jones deadpan is the perfect counter. Ultimately the conversations are predictable, and the very obvious plot takes away any suspense. This lets the movie’s most emotionally revelatory scene go almost completely under the radar. Ultimately, it and any lessons from this film get lost in conversation. Luckily, though, Murray and Jones are enough to carry the film and stop it from becoming just plain lost.
20 - See - Drama
Summary: In the future, the world was hit with a virus that made all humans blind, and predictably led to a societal downfall. The remains of civilization live either in a world wildness has mostly reclaimed, or the ruins of what once was. The story centers on a family where two children have been born with sight, and their adoptive father (Jason Momoa) and their mother (Hera Hilmar), with friends, try to find others with sight, while being chased by a religious monarch and her soldiers, trying to rid the world of the sin of sight.
My Take: One of Apple TV+’s first showcase shows, with a bankable action star in Jason Momoa and a huge budget, See ended up as one of the platform’s disappointments. The show suffers because it’s trying to world build throughout its first season, but is constantly changing the status quo of the world through its first season. Time flies for the characters, as the kids born in the first episode are teens in 3 episodes. Supporting characters are set up and then lost in the shuffle. The show does a fantastic job putting together a realistic world of how the sightless would build a civilization, but it’s not enough to make up for a plot that barely sets a status quo before blowing it up for a new quo.
19 - Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: A documentary recorded while Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band recorded their first studio album since 2012, Letter To You was inspired as Springsteen lost a former bandmate from The Castiles, his band in the 1960’s. The documentary goes between the band playing the songs, and talking about themselves and their history.
My Take: This is a solid musical documentary, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here. It was filmed in 2019, when Springsteen was 70, and there’s no avoiding that this is and old white rocker feeling nostalgic and sharing wisdom and concerns of a life having survived rock and roll. Filmed in black and white, the documentary is comfortable and the music is nice, but it kind of fades into the background even while people are talking. Bruce and 80’s rock fans will love this. Others might turn it on and forget it’s playing.
18 - Little America - Comedy
Summary: A serial about the immigrant experience, Little America tells different stories about the immigrant life in America, from different time periods and different original countries. Whether it be a child prodigy who is left behind when his parents are deported, an African immigrant interested in becoming a cowboy, or a silent retreat where language is not a barrier, this serial tries to tell stories from every background
My Take: With Executive Producers Kumail Nanjiani and Emiliy V. Gordon as the true star power, this anthology series looks at eight different stories about immigrants living in America, all inspired by real life stories. Quality varies per episode, and sometimes it gets a little predictable and repetitive. Still, it has enough high points to work overall. My personal favorites were “The Manager” and “The Grand Prize Expo Winner”, the latter doing an amazing job of humanizing an often-mocked stereotype in media.
17 - The Oprah Conversation - Talk Show
Summary: Oprah’s intended talk show to bring in celebrities and experts and talk to them, but because of the pandemic, it is without a live audience. However, Oprah brings guests in remotely with huge and small screens that feels futuristic, not limiting in the way many pandemic shows have been. Oprah and the guest are in separate spaces but both are professionally filmed, and the limited audience members are present like portraits on the wall in a gallery.
My Take: Of the three Oprah shows, this feels most like “Oprah”. Due to the timing of the show after social upheaval, many episodes take on the subject of race and race relations. But others are oddly promotional, like Mariah Carey (who coincidentally has a holiday special coming with Apple TV) and Matthew McConaughey (and his new book). The episodes about race are particularly worth watching (as a white man, who is often uncomfortable talking about race). This is definitely peak Oprah.
16 - Little Voice - Drama
Summary: Sara Bareilles, Jordy Nelson, and. J.J. Abrams are the powerhouses behind this series, a sweet but not exactly groundbreaking story about a singer-songwriter trying to make it in New York. Bess (Brittany O’Grady) is a songwriter with anxiety about performing, despite a father in the business. As Bess tries to overcome her anxiety, she has to deal with her autistic brother (Kevin Valdez, an actor who is actually on the spectrum), her roommate/best friend, a coworker at the bar who wants to be her manager, a new musician partner, a potential love interest or two, and her alcoholic father and absent mother. That’s all.
My Take: It works on the back of star Brittany O’Grady, and a compelling cast of people around her life, especially Valdez’s performance, which is one of the most realistic portrayals of autism you’ll find. Bareilles wrote the music, which is beautiful as usual. Where the show falters is that it seems like it’s trying to do every single possible story at once, and every episode feels manic. It almost seems to exhaust every possible plot point and stumbling block in one season. But O’Grady and the music help you keep watching.
15 - The Banker - Drama (Movie)
Summary: Inspired by a true story, this movie follows Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie), an African-American prodigy, as he makes himself a success in Los Angeles real estate in the 1950’s and 60’s, and tries to move into banking in his home state of Texas. He and his wife (Nia Long) partners with businessman Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) and white front-man Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) to try and succeed in two racist industries.
My Take: One of Apple TV’s first movies, The Banker has big name stars in Avengers stars Mackie and Jackson and a big-time story. The movie is fast paced and at times feels like skimming a book. It doesn’t skimp on laughs in the first half (with Jackson providing his own laugh track), but it does get much more serious in the second half as it and the characters directly address the racism around them. This is the first Apple TV+ movie that feels distinctly “Hollywood”, both in style in structure. That helps raise ATV+’s profile, but it puts limits this film as well. It’s a good story and worth watching, but is not ground-breaking, and clearly is not an in-depth or entirely accurate look at the story.
It was also a source of a major controversy, as the movie’s release was delayed by allegations of childhood sexual abuse were levied against Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the main character and a producer on the film, by his half sisters and their mother.
14 - Tehran - Thriller
Summary: An “Apple Original” in title only, this show was made in Israel for their public channel Kan 11, and Apple purchased the international rights. It follows Tamar Rabinyan (Niv Sultan), a young Jewish spy who was born in Iran, as she is inserted into Tehran to try and neutralize Iran’s air defenses so Israel can bomb their nuclear plant. The plot is foiled in the first episode, and Tamar is sent on the run in an enemy city, pursued by the head investigator of the Revolutionary Guard Faraz Kamali (Shaun Toub).
My Take: In many ways, this is a fairly standard spy thriller. There’s a mission, it goes wrong, and everyone is sent scrambling. Tehran gets points, from this American viewer, for exploring the largely unexplored environment of urban Iran (albeit filmed in Athens). The characters switch between Hebrew, Farsi, and English very quickly, which is challenging to hearead. But ultimately, this is a personal spy story of pawns in a bigger war, as the scope grows with each episode. There’s plenty of grey in every side of this conflict. Even with the scope, Tehran gets bogged down and the middle episodes feel filled with filler. Ultimately, it’s solid, and does feel different than most spy shows. And though we get a satisfying resolution, the door is left open for season 2, which is as yet officially unannounced (but reported that they are signed on for two more seasons).
13 - Boys State - Documentary (Movie)
Summary: Every year, young men are brought together in the Texas State Capitol for what is basically a political science camp, where they are broken into their own political parties, and must come up with a platform and compete in an election for roles inspired by state government. During it, these 16-18-year old boys must work together while competing against each other, and learning what politics are.
My Take: A documentary about young men’s mock political competition in Texas, you’ve probably just envisioned something about what this looks like, and no doubt, you’ll probably see exactly that in this documentary. But this Sundance Documentary-winning film doesn’t quite go the way you think, but also close enough that it might not matter. These teens have more nuance than I would’ve expected, and I wish adults had in politics. But it has too much nuance to be received well, I think. Still, if you want a reason to watch this, I’d put money that at least one of the featured boys in this becomes a politician of note in the near future. Also, I am interested in seeing a documentary about the same event for girls, Girls State.
12 - Tiny World - Documentary
Summary: Narrated by Ant-Man’s Paul Rudd, Tiny World takes a look at the world of small animals living in diverse natural habitats around the world. Ranging from the African savannah to the Australian outback to the north American backyard, the show features animals from monkeys that can fit in the palm of your hand, down to the ants that are ever-present.
My Take: Nature documentaries are everywhere, but the cinematography on this is mind-blowing to the point you truly wonder how some of this was shot. Clearly, a large amount of it was manipulated, with rare parts where the CGI shows through, but it doesn’t take away from just how beautiful the shots are. With Rudd’s occasionally wry narration, it makes this a nature documentary that competes with the best stuff on Netflix. The nature never gets too gory, but it does deal with the life and death (sometimes brutal) of tiny nature. And it’s even a great follow-up to the movie “The Elephant Queen” because the first episode features what could be the same dung beetle that featured in that movie! (The movie and this series were not done by the same company, though, so it might just be a look-alike dung beetle they hired.)
11 - Beastie Boys Story - Documentary
Summary: A telling of the Beastie Boys career, by the surviving members Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz themselves. Directed by Spike Jonze, this documentary is shot as the two tell their story to a live audience in a theater, alternating between them on stage laughing and joking around, and video sequences they narrate about their career, and their friends, especially the late Adam “MCA” Yauch.
My Take: This is such an unusual format for a documentary, and it works so well. It allows for some of the goofing off that one might expect from the stars, but it’s still coherent and interesting, especially for me as a casual fan of the band growing up. On a service with a lot of traditionally-made documentaries, this stands out because of both its style and its quality, and if you like pop music at all, you should enjoy this.
10 - For All Mankind - Drama
Summary: An alternate history series based off a simple question: What if the Soviet Union beat America to the moon? From Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, the answer is that the Americans, more competitive than ever, try to push for more ambitious goals than just landing on the moon and leaving.
My Take: One of the first Apple TV shows, it is a sometimes nerdy but very interesting look at the space race. It balances fictional characters with real life figures (sometimes making interesting decisions when changing their fate), and really tries to focus on the science side of science fiction. The show jumps across years of development, so it’s not as tedious and slow as it could be. It hasn’t captured fans’ imaginations as much as it obviously has its creators’ imaginations, but it’s a quality drama that could get better in future seasons, although it is clearly now swerving to the fiction side of science fiction.
9 - Home Before Dark - Drama
Summary: Hilde Lisko (Brooklynn Prince) is a 9-year old daughter of a journalist who wants to do what he does. When her family moves from New York to her father’s small hometown in Washington, she stumbles onto a mysterious death and does what any reporter would do: writes about it in her blog. But as the mystery expands to her father’s past, she challenges an entire city’s reluctance to face up to a tragedy from decades ago, in the name of journalism.
My Take: A dark horse series that did not get much press, Home Before Dark seems like a show for kids, but is a show is made for adults, with a mystery of twists and turns more like Gone Girl than any children’s show. Prince is the star of this show and keeps viewers attached, even as the mystery’s twists get harder to follow. The show is vaguely inspired by a real life young journalist, but realistically is not at all the same story. It doesn’t matter, as this is as much about family and youthful stubbornness as anything else.
8 - Dickinson - Comedy
Summary: A historical comedy-drama about the life of poet Emily Dickinson (Hailee Steinfeld), this show follows her as a modern-thinking woman in a restrictive 19th century setting, growing up as a teenager. It shows both what’s going on around her, and into her imaginative flights of fancy as she deals with romantic trysts, less-than-friendly friends, and restrictive parents (notably Jane Krakowski as her mother Emily).
My Take: One of the first series from Apple TV+, Dickinson is an ambitious series, but shifts between being a period piece with setting-appropriate acting, and characters acting like modern people but set in the past. As great as parts are, it does struggle with focus and tone, particularly John Mulaney’s guest role as Henry David Thoreau, which feels better suited for a Will Ferrell absurdist comedy than what this show is trying to be. Steinfeld shines in the lead role, but Ella Hunt as Dickinson’s best friend Sue and Jane Krakowski as her mother both are fantastic. The relationship between Dickinson and her best friend Sue, and hints about Dickinson’s deteriorating mental health, are both handled very well. This is a show that has a chance to really find its footing in future seasons.
7 - Greyhound - Action (Movie)
Summary: Captain Ernest Krause (Tom Hanks) has been given command of a destroyer, and a convoy of supply ships to cross the U-Boat infested Atlantic early in World War II. Without air cover, he spends days awake, attempting to outmaneuver an enemy he can not see, or even count. As ships in his convoy are attacked one by one, he must save as many as he can before getting back under the protective air cover from Great Britain.
My Take: A movie that really was meant for the big screen, Greyhound is not interested in your character development or subplots or mandatory romances (mostly). After an initial scene introducing Krause in the lone bit of character development, this movie is about the tense travel of the Atlantic with submarines hunting you. It never shows the human villains, only the occasional peak at the metal beasts when they surface. It also doesn’t jump between ships on this convoy. Strictly a single viewpoint, which makes for a fascinatingly and a little fatiguingly tense film that is shorter than it feels (only 91 minutes!) because of the thrills. This movie is a fantastically different take on the war films we know, and especially for those with military experience, a strong film.
6 - Servant - Drama
Summary: Without significant spoilers, the show focuses on a couple who recently suffered the loss of a child, and have undertaken a real doll therapy, where they take care of a doll to help the psychological effects of losing a child, and go so far as to bring in a mysterious young girl to be the doll’s nanny. Over the span of the series, secrets about the nanny, and the troubles of the couple themselves, slowly leak out.
My Take: M. Night Shymalan’s first television show is a return to the Shymalan of his early years. With the space of a series instead of a movie, Shymalan has the room to explore each character: the almost-grieving mother (Lauren Ambrose), the disaffected and disbelieving husband (Toby Kebbell), the mysterious nanny (Nell Tiger Free), and the doubtful brother of the wife (Rupert Grint, Ron from Harry Potter), who acts as an outside world anchor. By the end, it feels a bit as if the original mystery has become a subplot, but it’s left on a cliffhanger the will leap the plot forward. And throughout the series, Shymalan allows food to be a visual cue and cinematographic toy, setting the mood. This ranks as one of Shymalan’s better stories from his long career.
5 - Visible: Out on Television - Documentary (Miniseries)
Episodes: 5; Stauts: Completed
Summary: A documentary series about how all facets of LGBTQ people have been represented on television, from the 1950’s through today. As a series, the documentary takes time with many the facets of every letter in LGBTQ, and all the letters hidden within it, talking about struggles of people of color. With interviews and clips, it takes it’s time with different eras and weaves it all together. And it’s all done with an undertone of how storytelling works, and the tool that television is, both for misinformation but also for connection.
My Take: Making this a series really allows the time to give this topic the time to really explore it. It’s an engaging documentary, especially for anyone who’s spent any time watching television. There’s nuggets of memory for all of us, where we can connect to the shows we used to watch, both their flaws and triumphs. Certain critics might point to this as Apple trying to force representation down our throats, but this documentary is excellent at telling a compelling story with both history and context.
4 - The Morning Show - Drama
Summary: Apple TV+’s centerpiece, with superstar stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell, and yet a scene-stealing supporting cast of Gugu Mbahta-Raw, Billy Crudup (who won an Emmy for his role), Mark Duplass, and Jack Davenport (who is never not good), the show is about a, believe it or not, morning show whose male lead is fired in a sexual misconduct scandal and the after-effects. Witherspoon’s character is unexpectedly brought in to replace him, as power battles go on behind the scenes with everyone from the network head down to the assistant producers, as the secrets spill out about the truth.
My Take: What could be a preachy show about the MeToo movement never gets that way, and attempts a nuanced discussion about the less clear-cut issues. It’s not done perfectly, as some conflicts from the episodic storyline seem to disappear in the next episode, and Mitch is frustratingly (and probably intentionally) likable even as he is hate-able, with Carell showing his range. One flaw of this show is that the extremely likable supporting cast pulls attention away from Aniston and Witherspoon, the former being appropriately lauded with praise but not getting enough to win awards, and the latter getting a little stuck in her character spot. The season finale flurry hits hard, even if it doesn’t feel completely earned, but this show has definitely become the first bankable piece ATV+ has.
3 - Defending Jacob - Drama (Miniseries)
Summary: A boy is murdered, and after an investigation, suspicion falls on one of his classmates, Jacob, who is the son of Andy Barber, one of the assistant district attorneys (Chris Evans). Andy and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) must do their best to defend their son, investigating other leads, but also facing the possibility that their son is guilty, and hiding family secrets.
My Take: Starring Captain America’s Chris Evans, Defending Jacob became the summer hit for Apple TV+, drawing viewers in. The tension between Andy and his wife Laurie, and their slightly creepy son Jacob (Jaeden Martell) as the teen is accused of murder, is filled with tension and, unlike many of the series on Apple TV, comes to a full conclusion in one season. Fans of mysteries like Gone Girl will appreciate this series. Although it can feel slightly stretched, this series hits hard and makes the most of its star power.
2 - Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet - Comedy
Summary: Mythic Quest is an online game akin to World of Warcraft, and it’s launching a new expansion to keep its fans engaged. The studio is led by a charmingly sycophantic designer Ian (pronounced EYE-an, played by Rob Mcelhenney), and lead engineer Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao). With a staff of obsessive assistants, disinterested programmers, earnest game testers, snippy game streamers, and an elderly lead writer lost in technology, the show hops along the daily struggles of keeping a game going and its fans happy.
My Take: An absolute home run of a show, as one would expect from the team behind It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mythic Quest is absurdist comedy at its best, with McElhenney and a breakout performance from Nicdao. However, it’s also an ensemble cast with no weak spots, and a wonderfully obvious premise that is contemporary. It is at its best in two standalone episodes. The first comes out of nowhere, not featuring the main cast but instead acts as a “How the Game Industry Got Here” prequel in heartbreakingly personal fashion. The second is a special Quarantine episode that was perhaps the best quarantine-focused special episode done anywhere.
1 - Ted Lasso - Comedy
Summary: An American Football coach is inexplicably hired as a Soccer…er, real Football coach in the Premiere League in London. The titular Lasso is genuine and earnest, openly saying he doesn’t think winning has to do with the score, and he faces a soccer world where the opposite is true. He faces disbelieving players, abusive fans, unsure team staff, and a devious owner, but he barely blinks in the face of it all, and tries to keep his team from relegation…once he learns what that means.
My Take: An absolute surprise of a show, based on NBC Sports comedy promos, that has no right to be so great. Ted Lasso is on its face a fish-out-of-water sports show about an American football coach going to Europe to coach football/soccer. But it’s really a movie about a polite man in an impolite world, and bending rather than breaking, and sticking to your principles. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but it is surprisingly emotional. It’s also a show that champions maturity in a way that hits harder in a 2020 world, and so it’s also very well-timed. The only problem with Ted Lasso the show is that even though it gives Apple TV+ a recognizable character to market, it’s not a must-subscribe show. But it’s unquestionably one of Apple TV+’s best.
submitted by BruteSentiment to tvPlus


Fixing the DCEU Part 1: Rebooting Superman

Even just typing "DCEU" makes me... unhappy. Batman v Superman, Justice League, Suicide Squad, its just so sad how WB spectacularly missed the mark in what films they put out, when they put them out, and what "Plans" they had. Apparently Zack Snyder intended to have a trilogy of Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and Justice League. But this structure is just wrong not to mention how said films were executed and why.
Had the right films been put out, had the right heroes gotten films first, we could've had maybe a good or even great cinematic universe opposed to the truly abysmal train wreck we have. Going forward things look bright with Wonder Woman 1984 distancing itself from DC but hearing that "The Snyder Cut" was approved just worries me. People actually asking for another bad film to be made? Who knew 2020 would get worse.
So here's my stab at a more "effective" and structured DC Cinematic Universe. Part I is doing what should've been done from the start: focus and rebooting Superman.
Man of Steel, 2013
The film begins with a young Clark Kent, age 10. He and his dog Copper are running through the Kent Farm's fields playing fetch. Clark is somewhat awkward and Copper is his best friend. He also has a friend in the Kent Farm's neighbor girl Luisa Lunes, age 13. She calls out to Clark to play and they all run through the fields. Clark goes into detail how awesome Copper is and how he has "a super sense of smell" that can smell almost anything. Luisa tells Clark he's so weird when Copper begins barking. A gang of racist kids have snuck into the cornfields and try and harm Clark and insult Luisa (A Mexican-American and child of immigrants who own their own farm).
Copper attacks the bullies as they assault Clark leading to the gang to pin down Clark and hold back Luisa as they kick the dog. One of the boys pulls out a knife and before he goes any further, Clark rushes at the boy with superspeed. The group is stunned and Clark angrily yells for the kids to leave him alone - at the same time unwittingly unleashing X-Ray vision. The kids run off and Luisa is stunned. She manages to get a hold of Copper and they run back to the Kent's farm.
A late 20s Clark Kent wakes up in the present day. He is working aboard a fishing vessel in the Atlantic, his latest job as he's spent the last couple years or so as a wanderer. He gets to work and like in the final film, goes off to help save a burning Oil rig and the aftermath when he resurfaces on a coastal American town. He thinks back to his childhood again, this time sometime earlier when he was much younger, for the first time when his powers activated when he is in school (just like the original film). A big change we get is Clark actually on screen being diagnosed as having Aspergers (which is now classified on the autism spectrum) by a doctor. This will be canon and not humans misunderstanding him because he's an alien, he's actually on the spectrum.
For most of his life Clark has been sort of out of place. Mostly he's just kind of awkward rather than thinking he's meant for a higher purpose. He just wants friends, wants to be a normal being. We see Clark's thoughts as he walks through the town and try and get a ride. He manages to get a ride from a female trucker and goes north. As Clark drifts to sleep we flash back again to after Clark defeated the bullies. He's consoled by his mother Martha while Johnathan Kent argues with Luisa's father while Luisa and her mother defend Clark and believe he is just a normal boy (not literally, but pointing out that whatever differences he possesses, he's still a scared child). We get a shot of Johnathan & Luisa's father's POV as they see Clark standing in the doorway of the Kent's house. Johnathan talks to Clark later and he reveals that he and Martha found Clark in a spaceship (even showing him the ship & the Kryptonian Key).
Johnathan's morals are much more clear here. Instead of wanting Clark to be Superman (or a great savior) he instead simply wants Clark to live a normal life. He imparts on Clark to master his powers as best he can but to not resort to violence. Clark being young says "But those kids were gonna kill Copper", which even Johnathan admits "I know. And you did the right thing today" and says how he should only resort to such force if the situation is dire. Johnathan wants Clark to defend himself but he's teaching Clark his lesson that Superman will later describe as "Living in a world of glass", having to be extra careful because human beings & the world around him is so fragile.
We then get the scene of Clark working at the bar quite some time after the oil rig. The same conflict with the roudy truck driver happens and Clark simply walks away rather than fight in the situation. In addition though we see Clark on a laptop in his room at the bar (let's say that the bar owner let's Clark have board their in lue of pay). The waitress whom Clark defended talks to Clark and says "You know you would've been right to beat up that asshole". Clark simply says it wasn't necessary (echoing Johnathan's lesson). In this same scene Clark is shown receiving an e-mail from someone (later on revealed as Dr. Hamilton) who gives him a lead on an "alien site" in Canada.
Clark leaves the bar and makes his way further north now after parting with the waitress (we learn she gave him the laptop). For the past several years he has been tracking down and investigating for leads on his origins (most being dead ends like Area 51 [even having a joke about "it really is just a dumb base"]). In Canada we have the same scenes with the Military, Lois Lane's introduction, Clark meeting/saving Lois, and Clark "awakening " the Kryptonian ship from the ice with his Key. Clark meets his "dad" Jor-El 2.0 and learns about why he was sent to earth. This is when we get the scenes of what happened on the last days of Krypton - what was the original introduction of the film.
We see Jor-El, Lara Lor-van, and General Zod in these flashbacks, Clark's birth as Kal-el and how he was sent away with the Codex (Jor-el admits to this rn instead of a later reveal), and Jor-el's murder by Zod. Krypton's destruction is shown and Clark is also shown the Kryptonian pods containing future citizens (Clark's importance as the first natural birth is stressed & Jor-el says he could "rebuild" Krypton if he wanted to with these pods). Clark also dons the Superman suit here for the first time and tests his abilities and manages to master the art of flying.
As this happens, Clark flies by a falling airplane. It's engine has failed and nothing else is working. Clark rather think leaps to action and carries the plane on his shoulders. This is seen by millions of people and Clark manages to guide the plane to land on an airfield. As it lands Clark repairs the damaged engine (either super speed wind or something else) before flying off as an army of rescue crews and reporters arrive. Almost immediately the "Superman" becomes a phenomena online and news reports wonder just who this "new superhero" is (New as in, Superman is new, but he isn't the first superhero of this world).
Lois meanwhile tracks down Clark like she does in the original film. talks to the same people and turns up how - even though he isn't Superman in name yet - he's kind of already a superhero. But Clark is still a lost soul and Lois suspects he's been wandering for other reasons. This becomes clear when she finds Smallville and Kent Farm and runs into Clark himself who explains things. After the Luisa incident he continued doing good here and there (saving the bus from drowning, another time saving a girl's cat) & seeing what he could do with his abilities such as racing a train. But we also see Clark as he slowly grows out of his shell befriending other students like Pete Ross, Lana Lang, and John Henry Irons. By the time he is 17, Clark has also developed a hobby for journalism and helps with the Smallville newspaper.
Then we are at the cyclone scene. Clark and Johnathan argue in their drive with Martha and Copper. Johnathan brings up that Clark has been getting reckless doing whatever he wants by testing his powers and could one day get caught. Clark brings up how Johnathan said he neeed to control his powers, Johnathan bringing up instances of Clark misusing his powers like stealing other Farm's fruits or burning his initials on a water tower. Then the cyclone happens leading the family to run off, Clark taking Copper with them to the underpass. Johnathan isn't fast enough and the worst thing happens: Heart attack.
Clark leaves Copper with Martha and rushes back for Johnathan with his speed. But the cyclone is fast as well and Clark tries to speed rush with Johnathan back to his mom... the two get pulled back by the cyclone. Clark and Johnathan are separated and as Clark screams it cuts to black. We hear present day Clark speak over footage of his younger self being found by Rescuemen in the destroyed freeway. Clark is unharmed and he says that he searched for his father for hours after being rescued. Eventually he did find... what was left of Johnathan.
In the present Clark says that he was young and reckless and couldn't save his father. He had to become a better man at the least. After he went to community college within Smallville, Clark (with Martha's blessing) left Smallville on his search for answers to his origins. Now he has them and Lois asks what will he do now that he knows. Clark sits down on the ground and we see clearly on his face that he doesn't know. Just because he has the knowledge of where he's from it still doesn't satisfy answers to his feelings of being unsure with what to do with his life.
While Lois can see from his actions that Clark is meant for helping people, Clark himself doesn't see that so much as a purpose. Rather that's just who he is. Lois then tells Clark "I know one thing you should do right now", and the two go to Kent Farm and Clark reunites with his mother. Martha is a bit confused at why Lois is there but Clark says "She's a friend". We then have a dinner scene which is also joined by the Lunes' including a grown up Luisa (played by Salma Hayek) who is pregnant, and her husband, Alejandro (who in early scenes we see worked for the Kent's during Clark's teen years).
It's a good time as they share a meal and its mostly it's talk about Clark and Luisa's childhoods & describing a birthday party in which Clark didnt to hit a pinata. Lois bemused asks why and Clark says "I didn't want to hurt it". Luisa's parents bring up other happy memories like Clark being taught to fish by their parents and one Christmas where Johnathan and Clark cooked a turkey together - with Clark burning it with his X-ray vision. However Martha says "turns out Johnathan's seasoning made it taste worse!" and there's a big hearty laugh.
As things wind down and the Lunes' head back home, Lois sort of awkwardly tries to go back into town but Martha insists on her staying. Clark is kind of more awkward, he doesn't have feelings for Lois at this point & he's also the type to want her to stay but is aware of those implications. Then the TV and all power begins to act funny. Around the world is the same story as we get the sinister message: "You are not ALONE". Zod and the Kryptonians are here and are searching for Kal-El, a Kryptonian born on Earth.
Clark doesn't speak to a random priest this time around. Rather while contemplating the situation he is found in the Kent Farm cornfields by Luisa. He tells her that a pregnant woman shouldn't have walked that far but she says the exercise is needed. They talk honestly and Clark is unsure about things when Luisa says no matter what, he always listened to his heart and did the right thing. That was why he saved that crashing airplane, that was why he tried to save Johnathan.
Later Clark has his big moment confronting Zod alongside Lois Lane and the US Military. From here events transpire much the same as they did in the orginal film - Clark meets Zod and Clark is shown a dream sequence through Zod's technology. But here we get Zod's side of the story as he explains how he and the other Kryptonians survived and the source of his and Jor-el's rift. Zod's take over of the planet is shown and he planned to lead a mass exodus of the Kryptonians for Earth. But Zod's plan is to enslave humanity which Jor-El saw as evil and so he sabotaged his massive fleet and sent Kal-El alone.
"Jor-el could have saved our people. But he chose to damn us to hell and selfishly saved you, alone." This actually stings Clark. Jor-el's AI said nothing about this. After this I have no other major changes with the battle between Superman and the Kryptonians and how this transpires. Lois and the US Military are also shown working closely with Clark to stop the Kryptonians World Engine. The Kryptonians are mostly defeated by Superman with the humans' help which leads to his confrontation with Zod piloting the ancient Kryptonian ship from Canada.
The big change however comes when - after Clark destroys the World Engine - Clark confronts Zod in the Kryptonian ship. Superman has to bring down the ship but Zod yells at Clark that he'll destroy Krypton "Just like your father!". Clark tears up, his eyes close, reopen bright red: he shoots Zod in the face, not lobotomizing him but blasting him out of the ship. Clark then takes control and realizes he can't land the ship, it's gonna crash (& now accepting that sometimes he will fail). But Clark manages to connect to the ship and ejects much of the Kryptonian pods which fly away. The ship crashes into the harbor of Metropolis but still knocks down a few buildings.
Clark saves Lois as he does in the original film (remember how she fell out of the plane?) and they land in the rubble of Metropolis. But then we see Zod is alive, he now only seeks to destroy Clark as he sees him as "A threat to Krypton". It is a massive battle but Clark actively tries to steer Zod away from Metropolis (even trying to punch him into the bay) but Zod continues to steer things into the city. It eventually leads to the final confrontation but now on the open ground where survivors of the destruction watch in horror.
Zod attempts to kill Lois and other survivors with laser vision but Superman holds him back. It is a struggle and Zod says he will never stop fighting for Krypton which means harming the planet and people Clark loves. So Clark does what has to be done (echoing Johnathan's cautious lesson) and snaps Zod's neck. Lois comforts a kneeling Clark for a moment before he stands up and looks upon the ruins of destroyed buildings, fire, and smoke. "It's not over". He flies off to help save survivors still in the rubble and beneath buildings.
We flash forward from this to the epologue we had originally. Clark destroying the satellite spying on him and his gentle reminder to General Swanwick and Carrie Farris, his return to Kent Farm to help repair it, and his final appearance in Metropolis. Through a couple of strings, Lois has brought on Clark as her assistant reporter and the two meet up at the Daily Planet. As a formality, Lois smiles and offers her hand: "Welcome to the Planet, Clark Kent." Clark smiles. It's the start of a beautiful relationship and the legacy of:
MAN OF STEEL. But we see above this title card words beginning to appear above it. Now that he has his identity as the hero, the title card actually reads: SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow (2015)
Rather than do something stupid like killing off Superman in his second appearance, or rebooting Batman way too soon, we do the smart / right thing & give Superman a direct sequel: Superman: Man of Tomorrow.
The film starts with a party on an airplane that is full of 20-30 year old partygoers. Who is the head of this party: Why... Lex Luthor, played by Corey Hawkins. He's a billionaire playboy and the adopted son of Lionel Luthor, played by Bryan Cranston. While he's shown being a partyer & comfortable in that environment we see how he's a genius when speaking to another partier. This is Jannah Jackson, played by Haley Marie Norman who like Lex has an interest in AI & engineering. Lex is very interested in Jannah & wishes he could pursue science as a career (his father has steered him on a business path).
Then they hear the pilot over the intercom: "Oh my god... everything's burning." Lex and Jannah get up to go talk to the pilot and see up ahead the skyline of Metropolis: the year is 2013, the battle between Superman and the Kryptonians is taking place. Instead of landing in Metropolis, the plane lands across the water in its twin city... Star City. Everyone who was partying gets out to look at whats happening and clearly visible is the LuthorCorp building, the tallest building of the city.
Lex then answers a phone call from his father who's angrily shouting at his board and employees about running off from work. Lex tells his dad that there's a literal war going on around them and his dad replies "yeah, well if these assets survive they won't work for LuthorCorp anymore". Then we see Lionel staring in horror as he sees Superman and Zod flying at the building. "Oh shit-" is all Lex hears over the phone as across the bay he sees LuthorCorp be destroyed and fall. Jannah tries to comfort Lex, but Lex who at first is silent suddenly starts to chuckle. But he's also visibly tearing up and falls to his knees.
Now we get the opening credits. A sequence essentially like those from Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island which starts with Superman speaking to the people promising to stand up for "Truth and Justice". Clips show Superman's heroic acts such as saving a cat from a tree, fighting right wing terrorists, his appearance in Mexico (only instead of stupid Zack Snyder dark tone, Supes is smiling with the Mexicans), encountering more strange beings like himself (headlines saying names of famous superheroes and villains) while clips also show Lois Lane's career climbing up and Lex's takeover of his father's company - renamed LexCorp - and his part in rebuilding the city from the ruins.
Now it's 2015. Metropolis is now a vision of the future - basically looking like it did in Superman: The Animated Series - with advanced public transit systems, robots (Lex's designs he speaks about in the prologue) that do construction work, and computers in offices & other businesses are pretty high quality. Clark while walking with Lois on a date (he's a bit awkward and we get that classic Clark Kent goofiness here) mentions his reservations about this. He knows this was all taken from technology of the Kryptonians, his people, but ultimately believes Lex has been doing good with it.
And - plot twist - Lex is genuinely trying to help the people and do good. We're reintroduced to Lex at a ribbon cutting ceremony where we also see that Jannah is now Lex's fiance. Alongside the work he's done Lex and Jannah have gotten far in AI reverse engineering and we witness their unveiling of their "child" to a group of US Government Officials including General Swanwick (the Colonel from Man of Steel) and the head of ARGUS and Lex's primary partner, Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis). The "child" is the AI Jannah and Lex proposed about in the prologue which they call "Brainiac" who is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch.
What astounds them is Brainaic's capability to think on his own and possessing a personality. Jannah explains that the Kryptonian AI posses some level of their own consciousness. Brainiac was "born" from those AI and Lex and Jannah's own designs. We learn also that Brainiac communicates with the machines around the city and in real time witness Brainiac respond to a terrorist group near city hall, overiding Lex (surprising him and Jannah) and sending drones to help stop them.
Superman is there to fight the terrorists (The Alt-Right pretty much) when the drones arrive and help Supes corral them. He's rightly confused and goes to meet Lex to question him about it. Amanda Waller meanwhile is thrilled by Brainiac and asks Lex how soon he can get Brainiac to become the US's primary defense against aliens & metahumans. Lex says they need more time to study and later - when Superman arrives - Lex questions how Brainiac overode his orders. Despite Jannah advising Superman that they've got things under control, Superman is suspicious of Brainiac.
Things go awry as we see Lex lose control over Brainiac later on with the AI learning more from the world's computer systems. Amanda Waller and Dr. Silas Stone sneak into LexCorp to connect Brainiac but this leads Brainiac to escape and wreak havoc. He builds himself his own body by going after a Kryptonian pod held by ARGUS. Superman confronts Brainiac who has a part machine part Kryptonian body and is able to fight the Man of Steel and after throroughly beating Superman reveals that he deems humanity a virus. We then learn to our horror that Lex and Jannah would read to the younger Brainiac while he was an "infant", connecting to the system and explaining how complicated the world is.
Lex meanwhile tries to deploy his own drones to pursue and catch Brainiac. However he and Jannah are pained as Lex views Brainiac as a "son". Brainiac argues that Lex of all people knows how cruel humanity is as he was abused for years by his adoptive father as well as pointing out flaws such as racism, genocide, war, poverty, and the affects upon the environment. Lex meant to teach Brainiac about the world similar to how Jor-El described humanity to Superman. In fact it's almost verbatim the same speech and Lex's hope was that Brainiac would help the world. Brainiac however has gone further in that view.
Superman battles Brainiac once more chasing him to a US Military base where Kryptonian materials are stored. He is defeated by Brainiac who at this point has control of more drones and machines but Superman is aided by John Henry Irons (now grown up and a miitary officer in experimental armor) and Mercy Graves (played by Tao Okamoto). Dr. Stone, Lex, and Jannah meanwhile all join together devising means of defeating Brainiac but he usually has them beat taking control of machines and the military's vehicles.
Another action part of the film sees Superman chasing down Brainiac across the airspace above the Democratic Republic of Congo as Brainaic steals rare earth materials. Superman seemingly kills Brainiac only to learn it was a copy who manages to get the materials anyway in another chase. Superman is knocked out of the sky by a powerful jet (made from Kryptonian tech) and crashes into the Earth. the world watching loses faith in Superman and Lex worries that Brainiac has the greatest assets of himself and Superman: Lex's mind and Superman's power.
Defeated, Clark is found by Lois at his apartment and opens up about feeling powerless to defeat Brainiac (since Brainiac is smarter and seemingly more powerful). Clark is afraid, but Lois assures him that he doesn't have to face Brainiac alone. Throughout the film, Clark as Superman has taken on everything on his own believing this is the way. But clearly he needs the aid of others and Superman's pure power can't defeat Brainiac. In this moment Lois kisses Clark opening up that she loves him and says he can depend on her too. Later, as Superman, Clark joins up with Lex's group and collaborates for a solution.
Eventually a plan is formed and the heroes track Brainiac into space upon a taken over space station called "The Spire" (which looks intentionally like Justice League's The Watchtower). There Superman battles more drones and is brought before Brainiac who now has a new form (changing throughout the movie from just a robot into more human like bodies) which he deems perfection. Brainiac unveils his goal and the many Kryptonian pods augmented with AI as hybrid-androids. With nuclear weapons destroying the planet, his new species will thrive and repopulate as a stronger "better" race, which Superman disagrees with fundamentally.
Superman does battle with Brainiac as The Spire's signal reaches out to gain control of the worlds systems, including those that control nuclear energy and weapons. But Lex and Jannah have together created the key to stop this: a second AI based on a artificial Kryptonian Key (thus like the original AIs from Man of Steel without Brainiac's complicated personality) which is also a copy of Jannah's own mind (in effect the "daughter" of the Luthor's). This AI is as powerful as Brainiac and manages to halt his efforts by destroying the signal from the Spire.
Superman blasts Brainiac through the head with X-Ray vision weakening him but Brainiac believes he can simply invade the planet. Superman reveals the first weapon designed to destroy him: A Kryptonite Bomb (no Kryptonite rocks in our universe) which will detonate and destroy all of Brainiac's copies and his conciousness - even if he survives, the radiation uniquely Kryptonian will depower him. The bomb goes off wiping out all of Brainiac's kind and Brainiac himself. Clark survives but is badly injured and drops out of space onto Earth.
Waking up after passing out in the sky, Clark finds himself surronded by his friends and family in a secure hospital. Lois, Luisa, Jimmy, Lana, John Henry, and Martha Kent have waited days for Clark to awaken and its revealed that Swanwick rescued him. It's not clear to Clark how he could've survived the fall but the implication is someone "caught" him in the air. Swanwick assures Clark no one else knows he is Superman but reveals that the world believes Superman died in the explosion to kill Brainiac. That's not all though: Clark has no powers.
Lex and Jannah are commended for their efforts but Amanda Waller and the Government deems Lex's work as evil and there is a turning opinion by the people believing Lex created a monster. Machines are even attacked by people in Metropolis since people are ignorant and think a simple garbage collector is the same as Brainiac. Lex loses stock and LexCorp takes the blame. While he still has Jannah, Lex is shown beginning to be enraged at being scapegoated as the villain. Perhaps Brainiac wasn't wrong about humanity.
Clark recovers and returns home to Metropolis with Lois. He jokes that now they're really pushing their relationship ahead as Lois helps him settle in. But then we get a sweet moment as Clark asks Lois to move in to which she agrees and they cement a relationship. In the background we see their television playing a Daily Planet news report with Lana Lang as the anchor which she asks "What will we do without the Man of Tomorrow?" and the credits roll.
A post credits scene would see Clark and Lois some months after becoming a couple. Clark is making breakfast while Lois is going through some of his things. She starts laughing as she finds some of his comic books which leads Clark to explain "When I thought I was a freak, she made me realize I wasn't alone". The camera then shows Lois holding up Wonder Woman No. 1.
A second post credits scene would follow up with Dr. Stone who still maintains a friendly working relationship with Amanda Waller but mistrusts her. He's beginning an operation and we see Victor Stone in a Kryptonian healing chamber as well as a Motherbox off to the side. The pod opens and another cut to black.
Superman is thus officially rounded out and his corner of the DC Movie Universe fleshed out in his two feature films. Next time, we follow up with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and The Flash.
EDIT: I'm such a dumbass that I completely forgot to mention Jimmy Olsen and asssumed I had. Re-reading it I realized my mistake. So to address it here: Jimmy Olsen in the DCEU is Jimmy Olsen-Mallick, an Indian-American but very much still Jimmy Olsen the budding reporter. He's Lois' assistant alongside Clark and gets along with Clark and Lois well enough but can't figure out that Clark is Superman.
He would be played by Suraj Sharma who starred in Life of PI. Also he wouldn't appear in Man of Steel but debut in Superman: Man of Tomorrow as the second film is moreso a very Superman story having a cast introducing supporting Superman & Metropolis based characters. So grown up Lana Lang, grown up John Henry Irons, Lex Luthor, and Mercy Graves, and Brainiac appear as well. Also Lana Lang and John Henry Irons would be played by Bryce Dallas Howard and Mike Colter.
submitted by NozakiMufasa to DCcomics