1

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It is weird.  If the chaos behind the scenes of the Han Solo movie had been for a DC movie, I think it'd be out of control.  But since it's Star Wars, it seems like the bad news is tempered a bit.

Does Disney pay off people to give them better press?  It wouldn't surprise me.  But I think the most likely case is that people want to hear about chaos at DC.  I think the public persona is that those movies are failures and the Marvel movies are successes.  So people will click to read a story about "behind the scenes problems at DC" or "will Affleck leave?  who will replace him?"  Right now, superhero films are the height of clickbait, and I think these sites are just playing to the crowd.

If DC films were more beloved and Marvel films more chaotic, I think it'd be swapped....Disney or no.

2

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't know...I think the DCEU was behind the 8-ball even without the press.  I know, considering everything political, you're anti-media right now (and that's a discussion for another date and time), but the DCEU has been a mixed bag for a majority of people.

When you're talking about comic movies, you have to remember that the vast majority of the audience doesn't know most of these characters.  Most people know Superman and Batman, but even 1/3 of the DC Trinity (Wonder Woman) is a virtual unknown.  There was the show in the 70s, but that's about her biggest touch with mainstream America.  I'd guess most people would assume she's just a female Superman.

I'd say just about no one outside of the comic community knows who Cyborg is.  The Flash might have some extra reach because of the CW show, but I'm sure most people know he "runs fast."  Aquaman is a joke.

So here's where we get back into Marvel/DC.  The MCU has literally made billions of dollars on characters that are even less popular.  No one knew Iron Man, and now he might be one of the most popular/known superheroes out there.  People now know all about Captain America and Ant-Man and Dr. Strange.  Hell, Marvel has turned Rocket Raccoon into a household name.

And whether you like the movies or not, they play to a larger audience because they're simple premises with bright colors and lighthearted comedy.  From a box office standpoint, a mid-level MCU movie can compete with a DC movie for two reasons:

1. Children can go and see them.  Which means that parents go, and it often means that children and parents go multiple times.
2. Non-comic fans find it easier to go because they're more welcoming.

I dragged my fiancee to Dr. Strange because I wanted to see it.  Even though she'd never heard of it (and definitely not him), she ended up having a good time.  I did the same with Suicide Squad, and she couldn't get into it.  One was a fairly straightforward movie with the girl from the Notebook and a love story, and the other was a CGI explosionfest with a bunch of characters she didn't recognize. 

She's not a movie person, and she's definitely not a comic person.  She's one of those people who thinks that all comic characters exist in the same universe and wonders why Iron Man and Superman don't show up in a movie together.  And because Marvel makes movies for children and non-fans, she was able to understand and enjoy what was going on.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the DCEU movie that was the most successful was a) the story that was the most paint-by-numbers origin story and b) the one that you liked the least.  As far as a) is concerned, it made Wonder Woman the most approachable DC movie.

Because you can go see Wonder Woman without seeing anything else.  You can go see Spider-Man: Homecoming without seeing any previous MCU movies.  You might not know who Iron Man is, but the movie plays it pretty safe with his character.  Tony is a mentor character named Iron Man in an iron suit who leads a group called the Avengers that Spider-Man wants to be a part of.

The DCEU is much more stream-lined.  A lot of the character moments require you to understand and know each movie.  Man of Steel plays a huge part in Bruce Wayne's motivations in Batman v Superman (the movie shows that Superman was involved in the fight but it doesn't go into who Superman was fighting or why the collateral damage was explainable).  The scene with Kevin Costner could be confusing if you have no idea who he is, that he's dead, that he died tragically, etc.  The movie plays like a direct sequel to Man of Steel at times, but even team-up Avengers movies usually treat the audience like children when it comes to "this is (hero), this is who they are and this is what their powers are"

Then there's the tone.  The movies are too dark and too scary for young kids to go.  In BvS (the theatrical cut), neither Superman nor Batman are all that heroic or all that likable.  It ends up being a little like Batman Returns where it ends up scaring kids away.  And while Marvel movies are fun and exciting and funny, DC movies are more serious and real and dour.  So, again, you lose casual viewers who like the escapism of lighter movies.  My fiancee would be much more likely to watch a Pixar/Disney movie than a darker, action-thriller.  So she's more excited for me to drag her to Dr. Strange than a Suicide Squad.

(And, honestly, the same applies to Star Wars - those movies are safe and made for anyone to enjoy, regardless of age or awareness of the source material)

So the audience for Justice League shrinks.  BvS wasn't well-received, and Justice League looked like more of the same.  Kids weren't going to go, and they'd already lost a lot of the casual audience because of tone and story. 

Media probably didn't help, but decisions that the DCEU made had already cut out a large part of the audience.

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(787 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

Does Iris manage to stay out of danger now? smile

Well that's the thing.  In a city where a guy can have a meta power that turns him into a nuclear bomb, is Iris really *ever* safe?

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well, I don't know if I love it myself...but I watched the Red Letter Media review on Last Jedi and a lot of the complaints seem to be that nothing is really accomplished.  The film's theme about failure is just not getting through to people.

They also had a problem with Kylo "turning good" and then immediately undercutting that twist by becoming the cliche bad guy again.  In watching Kylo's character, I don't think he wants anything to do with ruling the galaxy.  He and Rey have similar goals - they want to understand their place in the galaxy.  Having them leave suits their interests.

And people seem to want there to be more mystery.  I injected a ton of that stuff in there.

So it's not about whether it'd make the movie better (because I liked it just fine) - would it have been better received by the people who hated it?

5

(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I wonder how The Last Jedi would've been received if these changes were made:

- Rose and Finn sneak onto Snoke's ship.  Evil BB8 does not notice them.

- The throne room sequence from Rey's entrance to the death of the imperial guards is the same

- The rebels escape is the same

- When Kylo asks Rey to go with him, we don't see her answer.  It cuts away with Kylo holding his hand out and her looking at him.

- Rose and Finn work on the tracking computer.  They look back and DJ is gone.

- Hux enters the throne room to find Snoke and the imperial guards dead.  No one else is there.  No sign of Kylo or Rey.  Hux assumes command just as the final Resistance ship runs out of fuel. 

- Rose finishes her work and Finn radios to Poe to jump to light speed.  No one answers.  They look out a nearby window to see the ship explode.  As far as they know, the Resistance was just ended.

- Movie ends with the Resistance (the whole group that escaped) on the same red planet.  Their escape worked.  Hux never finds out that they got away.  Finn and Rose are stuck on the big destroyer, thinking they're alone now.  Kylo and Rey are gone.  Hux is in command of the First Order but also thinks the war is over.  Luke's story is still incomplete.

Ways I think it works:

1. It's a shorter movie.  The extra scenes on Ahch-To don't happen.

2. There's less failure (but still enough for the theme to work).  Finn and Rose accomplish their goals - it's just too late to save the ship (and Holdo, I guess).  The Resistance makes a full escape - their plan works perfectly.  Perhaps Rey got through to Kylo.

3. Luke is still an option to use for Episode IX (especially since Leia essentially says goodbye in this movie).

4. The galaxy is in a really interesting place.  The First Order is led by an incompetent fool who thinks the war is over.  The Resistance is small but not too small.  Help could still be coming.  And completely outside of the First Order/Resistance fight is Kylo and Rey, who have disappeared from the playing board.  Are they going to find the Knights of Ren?  Are they on the good side?  Or the bad side?  What will Finn and Rose do now, especially since Finn thinks all his friends are dead?

5. It leaves a lot of mysteries alive (which people seem to love).

What do we think?

6

(787 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Telling the city Barry's secret might actually cause some...good storytelling.  It might be a little too similar to how Arrow's season is playing out, but I think it'd be a bigger deal for Barry.

I just don't think that many villains would go after Iris.  If someone wanted revenge on Flash....maybe.  But most villains have a specific plan and want to *avoid* dealing with Barry.  Bringing Iris in would guarantee that the Flash would get involved.  If I were a villain, I wouldn't go anywhere near her.

7

(173 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Psych is one of the shows I completely missed when it was on.  I've never seen more than 5 minutes of it.  Seems like something I'd like, but I've never seen it.

8

(787 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Also....why can't Barry reveal his secret?  Literally every one of his big bads has known his secret before Team Flash knew the bad's secret.  It wouldn't affect Cisco/Caitlin because they already openly work with the Flash, right?  If not, they can defend themselves.  Joe is a cop and fights metas anyway.

The only person it'd affect would be Iris, and she's in danger all the time anyway.  Plus, most of Flash's villains don't have any particular problem with Flash until he interferes with their plan.  Iris would just need some sort of way to signal Barry or anyone on Team Flash, and he could literally be there in a....flash.

9

(173 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Anyone watched Black Mirror Season 4 yet?

I really liked it.  I found this year's stories to be less dark, especially the endings.  Even when there are episodes where people do really horrible things (episodes 1 and 3, for example), justice is served by the end.

Slight spoilers for the final episode - I'm really hoping that it takes place in some weird continuity and isn't actually an attempted to tie the whole series together.  To me, Black Mirror functions the best when they're showing us a different world each week.  I don't want it to be one universe and I don't want it to be our world.  Just close enough to scare us but just far enough away that we can steer away smile

10

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Yeah, after reading your "This" post, I can buy that logic.  So my casual watching of the show works fine because it isn't important to understand what came before smile

11

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

In my continuing "casual X-Files fan" mode of watching this show, I was confused - I thought Mulder and Scully were actively a couple.  Weren't they living together and snuggling on the couch last episode?

(I just read irreactions' "This" review so maybe that was a simulation or an individual's vision of Mulder and Scully?)

12

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I mean if the US government was cool paying out $1 trillion because it owned up to Superman's actions, then great.  And if Superman was willing to work to rebuild (saving billions of dollars), then I'll stand corrected.

******

Changing gears a little bit.

The Ultimate Edition has really got my mind going regarding Bruce Wayne.  Because we get almost no context of what his character was pre-Superman, I have to wonder about what he was like before.

There are so many things about the character that are contradictory or confusing.  Was the Bat-branding something new, or is it only new that people are getting killed for it in prison?  The movie implies that it's new (with the newspaper coverage of it), but neither Bruce nor Alfred ever mentions it.  If it's new, it's something you'd think Alfred would be upset about.  But, again, he seems almost more upset about Bruce not having a girlfriend or a social life than any new parts of Bruce's behavior as Batman (he mutters something about Bruce's love/social life 2-3 times).

If the Bat-branding is new, why is Bruce so nonchalant about people getting killed?  Or does he not care?  Superman spends a lot of time investigating the branding, but the World's Greatest Detective doesn't even seem to notice it.

Speaking of newspaper coverage, Clark treats Batman like he's a brand-new thing.  "This Bat vigilante" is what he keeps calling him.  Batman is stated to have been active for 20 years - has Clark never heard of him in 20 years?  Or is Clark just being dismissive of him, thinking that if he calls him "Batman", he's legitimizing him?

Or is it something else?  Has Batman worked way under the radar for the entire time, and is the emergence of the Bat-branding a thing that has forced the media to finally acknowledge him as real?  Alfred mentions "exploding penguins" at one point so I'm assuming there was a time when the Penguin attacked Gotham with exploding penguins and Batman saved the day.  Did this all happen outside of the media's coverage?

But there's a Bat-signal?  And Gordon seems pretty chummy with Batman.  So he can't have been *that* underground.  Plus, Suicide Squad shows that Batman has no problem jumping on cars in the middle of active streets and driving his Batmobile all over town.  He's not exactly being overly stealthy.

Then there's the killing.  Is that new?  Has this version of Batman always been okay with casualties in his war on crime?  Even after the "Martha" scene, Bruce kills a handful of people without thinking.  He's in a hurry and against a clock, but he definitely uses lethal force a lot.  Alfred doesn't mention the killing either (at the docks or at the warehouse, where he leaves multiple bodies each) so I have to assume it's not new either.  Did he start killing after the death of Robin?  That's the kind of thing that would make Bruce go dark, I'd assume.  If the killing and branding has been around since the death of Robin, Alfred would probably be used to it by now and might not mention it.

Which brings me to my idea.  The DCEU seems to be content on doing smaller, less connected movies.  Aquaman is standalone.  Patty Jenkins says that Wonder Woman 2 isn't dependent on Justice League.  There's no indication that Shazam will involve anyone else in the DCEU.  The Harley/Joker stuff might involve Batman but doesn't need to.  And there's no Justice League 2 in development.  Whenever Matt Reeves talks about The Batman, he says it stands alone.  With Ben Affleck wavering on playing Batman again.....what if they decided to take the opportunity to answer some of my questions, while also getting a chance to re-cast.

What if The Batman is a prequel?

Cast a younger actor that looks enough like Ben Affleck to make it work.  Or, if Ben Affleck wants to do it, de-age him a bit (either with makeup and hair dye or slight CGI).  Show me what Batman was like before.  Either tell the Bat-Family story or the death of Robin story.  If there's a Nightwing or a Batgirl out there, explain what happened to them and why they don't talk to Bruce anymore.  If he didn't kill before, explain why he's okay with it now.  If the branding isn't new, explain what happened there.  Bring back JK Simmons and show his relationship with Gordon.  Show his relationship with the media. 

If you cast a new actor and it works, then you can bring the new actor into the world with Flashpoint.  If you cast a new actor and it doesn't work, Affleck can take back over as the older Batman.

Batman is crucial to this universe, but we have such a little understanding to how his character works.  Fill in the gaps for us, DC.

13

(196 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

What is Discovery?

In watching the show, it's decidedly not-Trek.  I know it's set in the regular Trek universe, but it feels a lot more like the Abrams universe.  Even with tie-in novels that try to connect this to 1960s Trek, it just doesn't feel like Shatner and Nimoy are out there (even if they aren't working on the Enterprise together, yet).

It's busy for Trek, but that's because it's the first show that's really serialized.  But at the same time, I think it's busy even for a modern show.  Is the show about the war with the Klingons?  Is it about what a good man will do to win a bad war?  Is it about a woman torn between two worlds trying to make up for a very costly mistake she once made?  Is it about a man torn between two worlds and two women he claims to love?  Is it about trying to stay good in a world gone insane?  Or is it about exploring a new way to travel?

None of these things are really Star Trek.  And in a year when the Orville decided to be a modern (less Roddenberry) version of Star Trek: the Next Generation, it feels even less like Star Trek.

The show is good.  But I struggle to really identify what it is or where it's going.  Is it too late to go the anthology route?

14

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

It is impossible to write a sequel to MAN OF STEEL where Superman is charged for the attack on Metropolis. He worked with the army to fight Zod. It's a matter of public record.

He worked with the army, but people sue other people all the time for all kinds of reasons.  People could easily argue that he used excessive force.  Insurance companies would probably go after him as the reason why the buildings were knocked down and lives were lost.  "Superman is liable for the destruction of the Claremont building, as he is clearly shown to be throwing General Zod into that building.  He is not responsible for the destruction of the Bakerfield building, as Zod's heat vision clearly caused that building to be destroyed."

I mean, hell, if Bruce really wanted to make Clark's life a living hell, he could go after him for the destruction of the Wayne Building.

I mean, we're talking about an incident where thousands (a ridiculously low number) of people were killed and billions (trillions?) of dollars in property damage.  It would bankrupt the city and put enormous strain on the nation to rebuild it as quickly as they did (the city looks normal 18 months later).  You don't think there'd be hearings where people would try to hold him financially responsible? 

Then there's the fact that there would need to be an investigation into Zod.  Where did the Kryptonians come from?  Are there more of them?  Are more coming?  The public would have a billion questions, and the only reliable witness is Superman.

It's also silly to think that Superman would be instantly cleared for Man of Steel but quickly roped into a hearing because a handful of people were clearly shot and then burned smile

15

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

I see where you're coming from with the Africa storyline, but I disagree. If the movie was about Snyder defending Man of Steel, it wouldn't have served the story well, and it would have looked like a petty response to criticism (even if I kinda think that criticism was petty to begin with).

Well, there's still a lot of him responding.  The movie goes out of its way to talk about how there are no civilians anywhere at night in either Metropolis or Gotham.

In our world, there are hearings on everything.  I mean, look at how involved the Benghazi stuff got with only four people dying.  Having the Senate hearings be about Metropolis would make a ton of sense.  I mean, imagine how many lawsuits Superman would be involved in?  Even if he was completely blame-free, he'd be involved in so much red tape.

I think Lex took advantage of the fact that Bruce was already at the end of his rope, suffering from what appears to be some sort of PTSD, combined with his desire to bring justice. Bruce was broken when Robin died, and he wanted to destroy the bad guys at that point. Lex just redirected Bruce's focus.

They could have made things more personal for Bruce, but that wouldn't have furthered other aspects of Lex's plans, like gaining access to the Kryptonian ship.

But here's the thing....the movie still doesn't give us enough context to understand Bruce Wayne.  Is he suffering from PTSD?  There's a lot of clues, but the movie never comes out and says it.  Alfred seems irritated by his revenge plot, but he seems just as irritated by the fact that Bruce doesn't have a social life.  If Bruce was a completely different person, the movie needed an "Alfred confronts Bruce" (sorta like a similar scene in The Dark Knight Rises) where they could drop some crucial information.

Is the mere presence of Superman enough to drive Batman to criminal insanity?  The movie fills in a lot of the plot holes in Lex's plan, but Bruce is still branding criminals and doesn't seem to care that they're getting killed in prison.  He's still willing to kill people to further his goals.  I don't know if the movie gives us enough to believe that Bruce would turn into Lex. 

In my opinion, it still needed a personal touch.  In The Killing Joke, it took attacking Jim Gordon's daughter to break him.  Killing "Jack" shouldn't been enough to break Bruce.  IMHO.

16

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Edition

You guys are right.  It's way more rounded.  I'd say it's better....there are still problems, but it's better.

Some of the cuts they make are, frankly, insane.  The parts after the Capitol attack are criminal to Superman's character.  The part where he flies off immediately after standing, blank-faced, in a room full of scorched bodies showed that Superman didn't care.  Cutting the scene where he's trying to help but doesn't really have any ability to help shows how powerless he feels.  There are a few other moments of humanity that were lost, and I honestly don't understand what the edits were going for.  The movie is bloated in other ways, and they could've found a better way to cut it.

Where I would've started was the Africa sequence.  The Ultimate Edition fills a lot of plot holes.  It makes it clearer that Lex has been setting things up for the whole time - he knows who Batman is and knows who Superman is.  He knows how to manipulate them, and he's covered all of his bases.  While the theatrical version rushed through a lot, the ultimate edition really lets it sink in.  The Africa sequence feeds into the Capitol sequence and turns the public mood against Superman enough.

The problem is....it's not really enough.  I maintain that the Capitol hearing should've been about Metropolis.  It could've been Zach Snyder's forum to defend Man of Steel through Clark, and it could've shown his humanity.  "I didn't do anything wrong.  I did my best to save as many people as I could." Clark would think.  But he'd go because he won't rest until humanity trusts him.

To me, there's still not enough of a reason for Batman to want to kill him.  To get the weapons, yes.  That's very Batman.  But the problem with the Ultimate Edition making Clark more human is that it, by association, makes Bruce crazier.  Yes, a lot of people died.  But Bruce, Lex Luthor, and Wally are the only ones in the world, it seems, who can't get passed it to see the good that Superman did.  That he continued to do.  Bruce didn't lose anyone.  He lost....Jack?  Some guy?  Not even Lucius Fox?

I'd have lost the Africa sequence and replaced it with something that relates to Bruce specifically.  Metropolis made Bruce suspicious and then you see the public's understanding.  You see the news clips and the commentators debating whether Superman is good or bad.  And then break Batman's mind with something that hits home.  Not just some guy.  Wally didn't mean much to Bruce because he didn't even know about the checks.  Either make Wally a character that Bruce really has cared about the last 18 months or do something drastic.

What if there's an incident where Alfred dies?  I think that's how you do it.  I love this version of Alfred, but replace the Africa sequence with something that causes Alfred to die.  Now Bruce, already suspicious after Metropolis, is alone in his grief.  His father died anew. 

Because, even in 3 hours, we don't get enough of Bruce to understand why he's so angry.  It's not a fit of rage...at times, he's calm and decisive.  He's lucid and he's still caring.  He's not a bad guy....but the movie has him act like the bad guys.  The only problem with Bruce's plan is that Lex's plan is better.  Otherwise, it's the exact same plan.

I know killing Alfred would be a big step, but they kill Jimmy Olson with a lot less regard.  And if not, put him in a coma or something.  Batman would still be alone, and that could put it over the top.

*****

Some other random thoughts:

1. Man I hate Jesse Eisenberg as Lex.  It's a terrible, terrible performance.  Lex is crazy the entire time, and he's still respected for some reason?  I don't understand it at all.  His company would've been taken away from him years before.

2. The dream sequence is cool, but it's a problem for so many reasons.  First, does Barry come back?  It happens in a dream within a dream, but I think we're supposed to accept it as some sort of vision?  And why does Barry say "You were right about him, you were always right about him?"  I thought maybe this would be referenced in Justice League, and some say it was ("Lois is the key!").  But Barry's basically telling Bruce that he's right to want to kill Superman.  I don't understand it.

It becomes an even bigger problem with Justice League.  Bruce does a 180 with his logic in Justice League, saying they 100% have to bring Superman back.  But even after talking about how Superman might not come back as the same person, Bruce doesn't consider that they could be *causing* his nightmare by bringing Superman back.....with an army of parademons...that are already on Earth.

3. Clark was dead.  He wasn't in a "healing coma" or anything.  Why did the dirt float at the end?

4. I still don't buy that so much hope rested on Superman.  Justice League wants us to believe that everything fell apart because Superman died, but he was only active for 18 months.  This wasn't a world that was held together by Superman - there wasn't enough time for us to adjust to it.  There's no indication that he stopped any wars or that he prevented anything catastrophic.  Yeah it was cool to have a Superman, I'm sure Metropolis would be extra sad, and a lot of his more-culty people might've gone off the deep end....but was he really that instrumental?

5. Bruce mentions that they buried an empty box.  Even if the public was told that his body was buried....what's the in-government explanation?  Did they know his secret identity following his death and let him bury the body in Kansas?

I know I've been negative, but I did have a good time.  I think it's a lot better, and like I said, they filled in a lot of plot holes.  I don't remember the "bat brand" getting explained, and they explained that.  They covered a ton of plot holes.

Informant is right...it's the complete movie.  The only problem is....how did they create a movie that had to be 3 hours to make sense?  And when they realized that....did they need to break it into two movies?  Is releasing two movies better than releasing a 3-hour movie? 

(If you want ideas on how to make the movie an hour longer so that it can be two 2-hour movies, I'd add some more Bruce backstory and add some sort of extended Superman rescue sequence - a la the plane rescue in Superman Returns.  This movie desperately needed a Superman heroic moment, and the movie is surprisingly short on them)

17

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I hadn't thought about the Disney side, but I wonder if that's a brand they even want to cultivate.  I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't shelve a lot of the "FOX" stuff and try and build a softer image for the network.  There's a ton of wiggle room between being not as edgy as FOX used to be and being edgier than ABC.

I just have a feeling that, as soon as the purchase is done, Disney is gonna toss a lot of older/flailing properties in the trash.  This is a potential one, especially if viewership isn't strong and costs are.

18

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

They didn't buy the network, but they did buy a lot of the properties (including the Simpsons, Family Guy, etc).  Fairly certain X-Files would've been in that box.

19

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well doesn't Disney own it now?  Wouldn't it be up to them if they want to bring it back or not?

20

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

At the end of the day, I feel like the Ultimate Edition is the movie that we're supposed to watch when we go back to rewatch the movie.

Yeah, but that's the thing....it's a special edition.  This isn't the Star Wars special editions - it doesn't override all versions.  If you watch BvS on HBO or HBO Go (where the movie is currently streaming), it's the theatrical version.  I recently moved and got rid of almost my entire video collection - I have subscriptions to the streaming services so I can see just about anything.  Combine that with the fact that I don't have a DVD player, and it doesn't make any sense for me to run out and buy the blu-ray.

If I can stream the ultimate edition on amazon prime, I can do that.  But in today's unplugged environment, asking someone to buy a specific version of the blu-ray so that you can enjoy a movie you've already paid to see in theaters is a little much.

(You guys know how I feel about having to buy tie-in material to understand the primary movie).

21

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I actually have quite a bit of time this weekend.  Is there a way to stream the Ultimate Edition?  I don't have a blu-ray player, nor (currently) any way to watch a DVD. 

I knew that Superman wasn't on trial for the Metropolis incident, but the way I remember, he was being accused of killing the people in the village.

The problem with the Ultimate Edition is.....is it canon?  Is Justice League a sequel to one or the other?  Or....both?  Are deleted scenes generally regarded as canon?  This is more of a philosophical question than anything.  I suppose the world's love for Superman is canon, since it's said in the movies. 

I also don't doubt, watching either edition, that Superman is heroic and cares about people.  What I don't understand, mostly because it's painted as being controversial in BvS, how everyone in the world has decided, by Justice League, that he was really great.  He was being protested pretty heavily outside the Capitol Building, and this was *after* he'd saved the world from invading aliens.  Was dying during another attack enough to turn the tide completely?

22

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

However, I think that you end up sacrificing the central theme of Justice League in favor of creating a movie where a bunch of people just come together because the movie needs them to come together. As it stands now, their coming together is what drives them to be better apart. And if you try to keep that emotional center in a JL movie after having each of them in a solo movie, you'd have to water down the solo movie and create an incomplete character arc for them.

Yeah, I just don't agree with this.  You're saying that nothing happened in any of Flash's/Cyborg's/Aquaman's lives that was worthy of a solo movie?  I just don't see that.

I think you're thinking it's going to be a paint-by-numbers origin movie, but it could be literally anything.  It could be the story of how Arthur found that fishing village and started being their protector.  It could've been a story of Barry growing up with his dad in jail, coming to terms with autism, etc, and then getting these insane powers.

Even if we got stories from all three that *don't involve superheroics*, then we'd know who these folks are.  And if we know who these folks are:

1. More time can be used telling the story because we don't have to be told who they are.
2. All the character moments have more impact.

23

(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

Then again, the Batgirl movie might be about Barbara joining Bruce as his first and only partner since Robin died. If this happens, it will be a continuation of his arc through his last two movies.

See, I can get into this.  Let's say that Dick was the only Robin and he died....that clears Bruce from any wrongdoing (and the filmmakers from touching on a *very* important part of Bruce's life).  If Batgirl is about a grown-up Barbara Gordon returning to Gotham for the first time since her childhood and working with her father....and meeting Batman, I think that could be cool.  It's sorta Barbara's arc in the Lego Batman movie, when I think about it.

The way I see it, if Dick is alive out there and Bruce didn't call him, Bruce is a terrible person.  If Bruce was trying to kill Superman, and Dick didn't call him, Dick is a terrible person.  And if Alfred didn't call Dick or tell Bruce to call them, then he's a terrible person.  So for the sake of the characters, I'd just prefer for there to be no Dick (Jason Todd was the only Robin) or for him to be dead.  It's the only way to clear everyone of, in my eyes, terrible wrongdoing.

If you're right and the call might've happened offscreen, then the writers are awful for cutting out a part that could've easily been Bruce's entire emotional crux of the movie.

*******

Everything else is sorta in that whole "personal preference" thing.  I get what you're saying about cutting off Flash/Aquaman/Cyborg's stories.  And I can see some merit in using Justice League as a launching pad so that they can hit the ground running in their own movies.  Barry now has the confidence to be the hero he wants to be - his life is starting anew.  Aquaman knows the value of trusting others and working as a team - that will drive him to face his Atlantean roots.

Victor......well, Victor was the worst part of the movie....which wasn't really his fault because it seems like the emotional core of his story might've been lost in edits.  And he's the one who's least likely to get a solo film at this point so there's that.

But I think if you carve out the stories in Justice League and create solo films from them....your story in Justice League can grow exponentially.

FLASH - I actually like a Barry that's a timid version of Clark from Smallville.  He has these powers, but his primary advantage is just being able to move so fast that people can't see him.  So he shows up, saves the day, and no one even knows he's there.  It can play into the fact that he's so fast that he doesn't really feel like he's on the Earth with anyone else.  Maybe it physically affects him (he stays sorta one half/step from the rest of the world so that he can speed up immediately if anyone is in danger).  The only time he slows down is to talk to his dad.

Over the course of the movie, he learns to control the speed, gets the courage to talk to Iris, and through his dad, decides to become a forensic scientist.

In Justice League, now he's his own man.  He's built the suit, he's taken down some criminals and he's made a name for himself.  But now he's standing beside these literal gods, and it knocks him back down.  How can he stand with these guys?  He wants to, but how can he?  He has this doubt because he still doesn't know how to fight.  And maybe, when Superman comes back, there's a scene where Barry thinks, "I'm the Fastest Man Alive.  It's what defines me.  If this guy is as fast as me but can also fly and punch steel and shoot lasers from his eyes, then what am I anymore?)

Instead of his solo movie being an extension of his journey, Justice League becomes an extension of his own movie.

AQUAMAN - You can do a lot of the same stuff.  Arthur starts in the same village, but now an Atlantean scout comes to find him to bring him home.  Maybe tie it to the World Engine in Man of Steel - it's destroying Atlantis.  So he has to face these two sides to himself and his mother and feeling abandoned and all that. And the movie ends with him in command of Atlantis and feeling good about his connection to the Earth.

Now in Justice League, he's not this lone wolf who decides to help.  He's a man torn between two worlds.  He has to fight Steppenwolf to defend Atlantis, but he also has this moment where he realizes that he's about to abandon the people he just spent a movie fighting to earn the trust of.  Can he do that?  Does he even want to?  And you can tie him in with Superman, who's in a similar situation.  He identifies with everyone else, but he has this destiny that seems so alien to him.

*****

The Superman stuff we are never going to agree on smile

*****

I started thinking about Steppenwolf and the villains, and I wonder if, in hindsight, they got the villains backwards.  What if the villain of Man of Steel was Steppenwolf?  You have to change some of the Krypton stuff around, but maybe Jor-El faught against Steppenwolf back on Krypton.  Maybe a war with Darkseid is what destroyed Krypton.  I don't know how you make it tie emotionally but let's say that's how they did it.

Steppenwolf shows up, tries to destroy the world, and Clark stops him.

BvS plays similarly.  Lex re-animates Steppenwolf instead of Zod.  And in the final fight, Clark still uses the Kryptonite spear, either because it's the strongest weapon available to him or because zombie-Steppenwolf was raised with Kryptonian tech. 

So in Justice League....Zod breaks out of the Phantom Zone (maybe there's still a scene in Man of Steel where Zod, having tried something illegal to try and win the war against Darkseid, gets sentenced there) and shows up on Earth to get revenge on Jor-El's son.  Only Jor El's son is already dead.  So he just decides to try and enslave the Earth.

Now now Batman's looking at a situation where there are three evil Supermen and no good one.  Diana maybe could fight one of them, but they're still outnumbered.  Bruce starts the team, but they realize they need Superman back.  They resurrect him, and how Clark can fight Zod.  You get this big payoff from the start of the movies that's been years in the making, and you get bad guys that are truly worth the risk of bringing Clark back.

Plus, with Zod's subcommanders, you get some fun fan stuff.  You get Flash vs. the speed of a Kryptonian.  You get Batman v Superman rematch with Bruce fighting a Kryptonian with no one holding back.  You get Wonder Woman vs. a Kryptonian.  You get Aquaman vs. a Kryptonian.  All these chances for the League to show how powerful they are up against these military-trained Supermen.

Could've been a whole lot of fun.

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(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I'd be okay with it being David Duchovny as a mentor to younger agents.  I don't really see any point in the show continuing as it is now without Gillian Anderson.  I'm also not sure the story would make sense, as things stand now, with Mulder but no Scully.

I'd end it.

I also think Carter is on record as saying that he's going to end the season on a cliffhanger either way. So look forward to that.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Okay instead of using quotes, I'm just going to put stuff in bold and hope you get the idea.

On the Avengers model vs. the Justice League model

I still think there's some disagreement here on what I mean.  I completely understand where you're coming from, but you're still talking about "how the Avengers did it" vs. "the Avengers model."  The Avengers model is simply "Do a movie for all the main characters, and then do a movie where they team up."  Man of Steel, in effect, followed the Avengers model.  So did Wonder Woman.  So did Iron Man.  I know you don't actually like Wonder Woman, but they all followed the model of "tell a story about these people."

I agree that Avengers gets bogged down in setting up sequels, but that's not really what I'm talking about.  The First Avenger doing too much to set up the Avengers isn't a problem with the model itself - it's a problem with the movie itself.  If they'd done a "Man of Steel" film for Aquaman/Flash/Cyborg, you'd agree that that's better, right?  Because that's what I'm talking about.  If we knew these characters before we came in, we'd be more invested in what's happening.  Wonder Woman drops Steve Trevor's name without an extended flashback sequence because we know who he is.  The Atlantis/Barry prison/Victor and his dad scenes would've had a lot more weight if we weren't learning who they all were on the fly.

I feel like, because I watch the Flash, I pulled some of my emotion from that for the Henry Allen stuff.  For the Victor stuff....well, I just had to look up Silas Stone's first name so that's one problem.  I also know they cut a lot of the Cyborg stuff out, but you don't think he was in desperate need of a movie?

I said a long time ago, but I think WB could've made a cool movie where they introduced all three new heroes.  Sorta like a grindhouse movie.  Three 30-45 minute adventures setting everyone up.  It'd be super-unconventional, but at least we'd know. Even if they did an in-universe animated movie like "Gotham Knight" (before The Dark Knight was released).  Give us something.

It's like the Atlantis scene - you make a couple different theories on why the air bubble is used.  Imagine if, in Avengers, there had to be an extended sequence in Asgard so that we could understand where Thor was coming from, where he lives part of the time, who Odin is, how he can send Thor to Earth, what Loki and Thor's relationship is.....it'd bog down the movie.  They can explain certain things because we've been to Asgard.  We've seen Thor and Loki, how they grew up, and how they fell apart.  We've met Odin and know about his magic.  You can just catch us up with a line of dialogue.

The Flash

I'd completely forgotten about the Suicide Squad cameo, but looking back, it feels out of place now.  Barry seems, at least to me, like early Clark on Smallville.  The convenience store robbery seems more his style (and he was able to do that without his clothes burning off).  I rewatched the cameo, and it feels like a post-Justice League Barry.  Someone who's proved himself and has more confidence.

I know there's a difference between fighting a regular guy with a boomerang and alien monsters, but Barry (in Justice League) really flips out at the idea of even being on-location for the fight with the parademons.  He doesn't seem like the kind of guy who's been a hero long enough that he does quippy one-liners when he's with Digger Harkness. 

Again, if we'd had a Flash movie before, we'd know more about his character big_smile

Steppenwolf

He's not as bad as everyone is saying, but he was completely one-dimensional villain.  Another gray CGI person with no personality.  The only thing he brought to the table was that he was good enough to fight the heroes on his own.

This is another problem with having to spend so much time introducing characters - your villains suffer.  I don't even know if the movie would've had time for a character with any sort of backstory.

I don't think the movie was necessarily hurt by a bad villain (I like tons of movies without charismatic or interesting villains) because he was simply a catalyst to get these guys to work together....so, in that sense, he "fit the story" - but I can't imagine you're actually saying that Steppenwolf is a good villain by any means.

Bat-Family

The problem with "it might've happened off screen" is a huge problem for this character.  This is Bruce's family.  We got to meet Aquaman's family and Barry's family and Victor's family.  A huge part of this movie is about how Diana closed herself off because she lost her family.  A huge part of her story is about how desperate she is to get that back.  Superman is brought back because he has connections to other people.

If Dick Grayson is alive, Bruce has to make that call on screen.  Commissioner Gordon is in this movie.  Bruce has to call the man's daughter, if she's alive, and tell her that the end could be coming.  Same with Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain...all of them.  Again, Bruce goes on a suicide mission in this movie.  He expects to die.  Calling his family, on screen, is *crucial* to rounding out his character.

There's a moment in Max Landis' retelling of the Death and Return of Superman (I know he's got his own problems now and is probably a garbage human but get passed it for this point) where Bruce is about to go on a suicide mission, and Dick realizes that his father is about to die.  Dick swoops in to save Bruce before he does something stupid, fighting Bruce to make sure that he doesn't get himself killed.  When Dick looks down and says...."Dad....", it makes me tear up every time.  Imagine if Bruce had called Dick as he was driving toward certain death.  It would've added emotional weight.

No one called Bruce when he was fighting the darkness in BvS.  Bruce doesn't call anyone when he's confident he's about to die.  If there's a surviving Bat-Family, they're too torn apart to ever come back together and don't need to be mentioned again.  It's going to do irreparable damage to the characters.

On BvS Revisionist History

Its hard to really explain because I think the movie wants to treat BvS like it happened....the way you saw it.  The only problem is that it didn't happen that way for me.  Bruce keeps talking like Superman was a beacon for hope, but he was literally on trial for murdering civilians.  He was hated by many for what happened in Metropolis.  Bruce literally tried to murder him in the previous movie.

Superman's heroism and sacrifice might've been what eventually saved Batman, but it wasn't Superman's "beacon" that brought him out of the darkness - it was a coincidence.

I think BvS did revisionist history too.  We've talked for pages about how I can't imagine that Superman did enough to be universally loved in Metropolis after what happened at the end of Man of Steel.  it seems crazy to me that he'd have a statue that wasn't constantly being protested at.

Justice League wanted us to think that Superman was a loving, charismatic hero who was universally beloved when, on screen, he should, at the very least, be a very controversial figure who *tons* of people would be happy was dead.

Zack Snyder, at least to me, is showing me one thing and telling me another.

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(787 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

True.  I think about it like it's a standard job.  I don't consider things like Stephen Amell working on Ninja Turtles or anything.  But I imagine the "Arrowverse" show idea could give the actors whatever freedom they want.  If Stephen Amell was going to be the new Green Lantern or something, Oliver could not show up on the show for months and he could fit in his 20 episodes in some other way.  You could have long stretches where Grant Gustin carries the show while everyone is off filming movies, and then he's relieved by Melissa Benoist.

It's a crazy format, but it could work.  The 4-show, 13-episode, year-round format probably works the best.

Jan-Mar - Arrow
Apr-Jun - Flash
Jul-Sept - Supergirl
Oct-Dec - Legends

You could still sign people to 20+ episode contracts and it'd free up Gustin/Amell/Benoist for 7+ guest appearances on the other shows.  If it works out, you get a mini-crossover event.

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(196 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Discovery returned last night.  Pretty exciting episode if you ask me.

But people were very upset about the (SPOILER) of (SPOILER).

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(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It's pretty fun being an outsider in the X-Files fandom.  I just sorta watch the "My Struggle" episodes with a child-like "Okay! I guess this is happening now!" way.  Jeffrey Spender shows up and I think "Oh man, I thought he died at some point.  Maybe I'll look that up on the X-Files wiki".  And so I do that and Jeffrey Spender's page is convoluted and it looks like he did die but then was horribly scarred but now is back to normal and I just go "Okay, I guess this is happening now!"

Cigarette Smoking Man is back and seems alive and healthy and has a new name now and I thought he'd died like five times before but I just smile and go "Okay, I guess this is happening now!"

I watched My Struggle III having not seen a good chunk of the beginning of the series, a good chunk of the end of the series, and having forgotten huge blocks of the time when I watched the show religiously.  I watched Season 10 but couldn't remember what the cliffhanger was.  I just smiled like Sammy Jankis and went with the flow.

There are no continuity errors when I watch the X-Files because I don't remember enough and I'm not invested enough to worry about what's a continuity error.  It ends up making the show a lot more watchable.

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(787 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I wonder how much the 4-part crossover really screwed with everything.  But I sorta agree with the idea of limiting the number of superhero shows that run at any certain time.  I like TF's idea of cycling them throughout the year - you could even drop each show down to 13 episodes and run them one at a time with no breaks on one specific night/time.

I mean, heck, what if they got really crazy and did one show that ran 52 episodes a year called "Arrowverse" - sign each actor to a 20-something episode commitment and do it Justice League Unlimited style.  One episode, it's Barry and Cisco and Diggle.  One episode it's Black Canary and Killer Frost and Supergirl.  One episode it's Green Arrow and White Canary and Martian Manhunter.  Could be cool.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I mean, maybe.  But if you're going to go with the Avengers "model" vs. the Justice League one*, I'd rather have solo movies for everyone before they meet.  Every scene could've had more meaning if we understood where people were coming from.  The Mera/Arthur scene could've been better if we knew anything about them.  Heck, the Steppenwolf/Atlanteans fight might've meant as much as the Steppenwolf/Amazons fight if we had any idea who those guys were (or what their power level was).  The Barry/Henry scene would've had more value if we were catching up with them (instead of meeting them both).

I mean, even small stuff....when Barry trips running, it'd either be a huge shock ("BARRY NEVER TRIPS, HE MUST BE TERRIFIED") or something we're used to ("Damn!  Just like his fight against the Reverse Flash").  Arthur getting the Trident.  Victor taking command of the Tank.  These could've all been cooler moments if we had any context for what we're getting.

Granted, this could all still happen....just, in reverse.  So maybe Barry *doesn't* trip against Reverse Flash because he's already fought against frickin' Superman.  But if we're talking about elevating Justice League, I think I'd rather know these characters going in.

* Not talking about quality of Marvel or DC....just the way their leads were brought together.  If we're being fair, Barry/Arthur/Victor are the equivalent of Hawkeye/Black Widow/Coulson/Fury in Justice League - we know them, but they're side characters more than stars.  Maybe that's how it should be for the first-ever Justice League movie (the Trinity is the stars and the others are supporting), but that's how it felt to me.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Was Barry supposed to be on the autism spectrum?  I couldn't tell if they were going for that or him just being awkward.

I think the characters were good, but since these characters were just being introduced, I think they fell behind because we didn't get a full picture of them.  We got some parent drama with all three new characters, but it wasn't half what we knew about Clark or Diana because we got full movies with them.  You felt more when Diana mentioned Steve Trevor than you did when Arthur was talking about his mother because we have no idea what happened there.  We knew Steve Trevor and cared when he died.

So while we know Diana, we only sorta know Barry/Arthur/Victor.  I feel like we got the clearest picture of Barry.  I don't know if we really know much about Arthur except that he has a good time, he likes saying "my man", and that he doesn't feel like he belongs in Atlantis.  I know we'll get more of him in Aquaman, but if we're talking about *this movie*, then I still say that the three new characters were "guest stars" as opposed to stars

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

I was more distracted by Cavill's accent just after he was resurrected.

Yeah, I meant to comment on that.  What was up with that?

(Although I think that fight is the highlight for me.  Especially the Flash/Superman stuff).

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

I've seen Justice League.


I have thoughts.


But you'll have to sit through seventeen other half-assed posts that build up to my underwhelming comments about my thoughts... nah, I'm just joking. My posts aren't Marvel movies. But I don't have time to type them all now, so I will be back later.

Sounds like you want to talk to me about the Avengers' initiative.

Or should we just form a league of our own?

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Star Wars has never been about mysteries, and I think the bigger sin is setting up the mysteries at all.  I think Rian Johnson agreed with that, and he's stated as much.  He said if Star Wars is going to survive, it has to become something more than what it was.

The Last Jedi is divisive because it's a hard reset to what JJ Abrams did.  Which is why it's going to be such a problem when JJ comes back.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Something I've been thinking about since I saw the movie a second time?  Does Rian Johnson hate the Force Awakens?  I feel like he took a lot of stuff from that movie and either openly made fun of it or snuffed it out.  Is it pretty consistent that people that liked TFA didn't like TLJ and vice versa?

Things I've noticed:

The Rey/Luke scene:
TFA - Treated like a huge deal/cliffhanger.
TLJ - Treated like a joke.  Luke throws the lightsaber away and walks off.

Anakin's Lightsaber
TFA -This is the key.  Why is it back after so long?  How did it get here?  Now that Luke has it, what will happen?!?
TLJ - Luke doesn't care about it.  Ends up destroyed.

Kylo Ren's Costume:
TFA - "Here's your new Vader!"
TLJ - Treated like a joke.  Snoke specifically says that the helmet and the costume is dumb, and it seems like Kylo did it on his own because he thought it looked cool.  Kylo destroys the helmet and never wears it again.

Rey's Parents:
TFA - A huge mystery.  Maybe *the* mystery of the entire new trilogy.
TLJ - They were no one.  Doesn't matter.

Maz:
TFA - This character knows everything.  Knows everyone.  She holds all the secrets if you know how to ask.
TLJ - She doesn't have time for this movie.  Get your deus ex machina somewhere else.

Hux:
TFA - Here's your new Tarkin.
TLJ - Except he's a total idiot.

Phasma:
TFA - She's a badass.  You'll see.
TLJ - Not really.  Maybe dead?

Snoke:
TFA - This dude is the ultimate evil.  Very mysterious.  Fear him.
TLJ - Wears a dumb-looking gold robe.  Cut in half.  He doesn't matter.

Rey:
TFA - Everyone loves Rey, and she's great at everything.  Always rescues herself.
TLJ - Luke wants nothing to do with her.  Suspects she might be evil.  She struggles with her training.  Has to be rescued by Kylo in the Throne Room.

Finn and Poe:
TFA - Finn is an insider with so much knowledge of the First Order.  Can use that to take them down, and Poe is the only guy daring enough to help him do it.
TLJ - Finn's plan is ridiculous and doesn't work at all.  Nearly gets everyone killed.  Poe's plans are reckless and gets tons of people killed.

Nostalgia:
TFA - Star Wars is the best!  Here's a reference!  And another!  Look, a bigger Death Star!  The Millennium Falcon!  Anakin's Lightsaber!
TLJ - "Let the past die.  Kill it if you have to."

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

One thing about DC - they put out amazing trailers.  Since seeing Justice League, I've watched a couple of their trailers multiple times.  The Suicide Squad's trailer was so good that it, for some, ended up ruining the film (because the trailer folks were asked to edit the final film).  And I still watch the final Man of Steel to this day.

I can't say the same for any of the Marvel/X-Men/other superhero films.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

TemporalFlux wrote:

or the finale of Man of Steel lifted from the death-free Action Comics Annual 11 by Geoff Johns.

I've never heard this comparison before and googling it didn't give me much.  What happened in the comic version?

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

https://screenrant.com/justice-league-r … rner-bros/

Take it with a grain of salt, but this is potentially one reason why they didn't move the release date back.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I listened to the Weekly Planet review.  Mason hated it but James said he had a lot of fun.  Even after all their breakdowns, I still agree with James.  It isn't a great movie, but it's a lot of fun.  Informant might not like this, but there's a Marvel quality to it.  You can tear apart something like Civil War, but at the end of the day, if you have fun...you don't want to. 

A lot of Mason's complaints were about the weird tonal shifts of the movies.  His complaints about Justice League were really complaints about the whole DCEU - which I think is fair in some ways and unfair to the movie itself.  I think some will disagree, but I think Justice League wants us to remember BvS happening differently that it did.  And once you accept that, the ride is a lot of fun and the universe makes more sense.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well, I was wrong.  Maybe very wrong.  The scene is pretty clear - Luke is reaching out (like Xavier) into Kylo's mind.  He definitely says it was on instinct that he drew his saber, and he's immediately filled with shame at the idea.

It's crazy, though.  Maybe it's sorta like the Mandela Effect, but I could've sworn it played out a little different.  Either way, I think it plays out in a pretty fair way to all the characters.  Presented as it is, it's very Rashomon.  To Luke, he was just sitting there peacefully when the boy attacked.  To Kylo, he was about to strike and he had to defend himself.  And the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The only question I have is about some of Luke's wording.  He says he was going to "confront" Ben - I don't really know what he means by that.  It's obviously late at night and Ben is asleep - why was the confrontation not done during the day?  What was the confrontation about?  What was Luke hoping would happen by confronting him?

And if he went there to confront him and found him asleep, was it there that he decided to reach into his mind?  And with all we know about Ben being torn between the light and the dark (as Rey sees), then how was Luke so horrified by what he saw?  Did he misread it?  Did he read Snoke's darkness and not Ben's?  Or, since there were no dark side users after Luke became a Jedi Master, was this simply Luke's first experience with a true dark side user and it was overwhelming?

I'm also wondering about Kylo's abilities.  Luke says that he slaughters the children and took some of them with him.  He also said that there were only 13 students at first.  So.....how'd that really go down?  Remember that we've seen Kylo in a handful of lightsaber battles, and none of them have been all that decisive.  He barely beats Finn, loses to Rey, defeats a couple of Imperial guards but needs Rey's help with the last one, and sorta draws with Luke.  So did the "dark" students overwhelm the good ones, and that's why they were slaughtered?  Were the other students, comparatively speaking, just weaker/younger?

Was Snoke in the minds of the other "dark" students as well?  Or did they join Kylo out of fear?  How is it possible that at least 25% of Luke's school was under Snoke's influence and he didn't realize it?  Or even if they weren't, was Luke such a bad teacher that the students were *very* easily convinced to slaughter each other and join Kylo?

****************

All that being said, I really appreciated the movie a lot more than I did the first time.  It flows a lot better when you know the pacing, and I think a lot of the characterization is really well done.  I might actually rank it above Return of the Jedi.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Seeing this again today.  Gonna focus on the Luke stuff and see how it comes across.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well, it was a $4 matinee so maybe people were taking advantage of that.  Still Christmas vacation - there were some kids.

It was still top 5 as of last week, but I think the drop-off is starting.  The main problem is that the budget was so bloated (mostly due to reshoots) that it's going to be hard to make enough money on this.  Word of mouth might help (it being more kid-friendly than BvS helps), but it's such a steep cliff to climb starting so far behind.

I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see another Justice League for a while.  I'd love to do a couple team-ups.  Maybe Flash and Superman.  Maybe Batman and Diana in some sort of mystery film.  Maybe a literal fish out of water story with Aquaman and Green Lantern?  But they should try and do smaller stories with less flaming wreckage.  In an inconsistent cinematic universe, that's the most consistent thing about it and it needs to change smile

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

No! I really, really want to see it and love it (though I have my concerns with it). It isn't a decision to not see it. It's just that I have the entire family in town, a book about to be published, an audiobook in production, work on a movie coming up, and I've spent the past month trying to get all of these plans in order.

Timing, not decision!

Note on this: I saw it yesterday in the middle of the day on a weekday, and there were a couple dozen people in there.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but the movie has been out over a month.  I 100% expected it to be completely empty.

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I've had some time to think about it, and I still don't really understand what people's problems with it were.  I don't even feel like ti felt like two different directors were working on it.  There was some comedy that could've been Whedon, but I went back and watched the first trailer for the movie (which would've definitely been Snyder footage), and it has the "Dressed like a bat.  I dig it." line - which is the same line of humor the film uses throughout.  I think this was going to be lighter either way.

I'm going to listen to the Weekly Planet's review in the next couple days - I already know that one of them hated it - to try and get some perspective on what they think went wrong.  But I feel like I'm not going to change my mind.

Few more notes:

1. Even though it doesn't feel choppy or two spliced-together movies, I do feel like a TON of stuff was cut out.  If you watch the first trailer, a lot of it isn't in the final film.

2. I know it's hard to judge this movie without comparing it to the previous ones - but on it's own merit, I think it's well done and fun.  I think if BvS had been this way, I think it would've been fine.  And BvS being so gloomy does help sell this universe's message.  I didn't love the road to get here, but now that we're here, I think it's set up pretty nicely.

3. Bruce's age and lack of powers is a major point in this movie - I wonder if they could sell Affleck on a mentor role?  They already alluded to a Hall of Justice.  What if Bruce became Oracle?  If all his scenes are on one set and most of them are behind a computer monitor or voiceover, would he be more likely to stick around?

4. Are we SURE that there's still Bat-Family around?  I get that Bruce might not call up Dick or Barbara when he's throwing a fit in BvS, but the world is in complete danger and he doesn't even mention them.  Not in passing, not to warn them...nothing.  Dick is literally a son to him in some cases, and he literally goes on a suicide mission in this movie.  At this point, I think it's counterproductive to have any of the Bat-Family in these movies.  There was a Robin, and he's dead.

5. I thought it was really weird that there were two no-name criminals at the start of the movie (one that Batman fights and one that Wonder Woman fights).  There are hundreds of actual DC villains that they could've used that will *never* be the main villain in any film.  I mean, make them Hush or Black Mask or someone.  Especially Batman villains - there should be a million of them, and they'd all be established by now.

6. Man, they are fast and loose with their superhero identities in this one.  I know we want them to all be friends, but they are *always* referring to themselves by their first names.  Bruce outs himself as Batman to Aquaman's village, Lois outs Clark in front of several Metropolis PD, and they call Barry by his first name when in the suit.  I don't know if Wonder Woman or Flash or Cyborg are even mentioned by name in this (or any other) film, but we know that Bruce and Clark want their identities to be a secret.  I'm not sure how they're going to resurrect Clark at the same time they resurrected Superman for people not to notice, but Clark is wearing the glasses and runs to change into the suit in the shadows at the end.  I guess they're trusting that none of those cops will spill the beans?  That the villagers are too remote to let anyone know that Bruce is Batman?

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(755 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Okay I saw it.

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Its early but I think it was well done.  It was fun, and I think they did a pretty good job juggling everything.  Scattershot opinions.

- The mustache thing only bothered me because I was always looking for it.  I don't know if I would've noticed it otherwise.  I still can't believe they did that, but they did an okay job with it.

- It was short, but I liked the slight adjustments to Superman.  He wasn't as jokey as I was led to believe, but he seemed like a Superman without the weight of the world on him.  I wish they'd done the black suit, but the way they did it, the regular suit was better.

- The Marvel model is simply better.  When the Avengers got together, they were four protagonists joining forces.  In this movie, it feels like three protagonists (BvS is a Batman movie) with the three new folks as guest stars.  It was Bart/Victor/AC on Smallville....big-time heroes in Clark's show.  Nothing about the quality of either set of movies, and I'm sure DC would've done the same thing if they'd had more time.

- On that same note, they did feel like they were a part of a team and not individual heroes.  I realize that they're using this movie as a leaping point for Victor/Arthur/Barry, but I can't picture this version of Barry fighting, say, the Reverse Flash.  Again, I understand that that was sort of the point of Barry's character, but why'd he even bother with a suit if he's doing anything more than just nudging and running away?  I almost think Bruce should've made the suit if Barry was going to be this green.

- I know DC already has a lot on slot, but I'd watch an Amazon/Atlantean War movie.  I know part of that is in Flashpoint, but I'm talking a whole movie.

- Atlantis was also more bizarre than I would've thought.  Is the whole Aquaman movie going to be done underwater, and does Mera have to make one of those "talking bubbles" every time they communicate?  Or was that chamber underwater and the rest of Atlantis is open-aired?

- It was cool that we got a pretty good feel for all the heroes.  The stuff with Mera, Barry's dad, and Victor's dad was cool.

- Wonder Woman continued to steal the show.

- I don't know if Affleck was sleep-walking through the role, like I'd heard.  I think he did a fine job.  But he looked weird in several parts of the movie - I don't even know how to describe it - he looked doughy maybe? 

- It felt like a soft reboot at times.  Bruce was almost a completely different character than he was in BvS.  Superman too.

- It's weird that we got a Legion of Doom tease but not a Darkseid tease.  It was cool to see the Green Lantern in the flashback, but a cameo during the Steppenwolf fight would've been better.

- I liked that they had some parademon fight scenes, but the final battle was just the team vs. the villain.  Although I thought the villain was weak.

- All in all, I thought it was done well.  The most fun of the new films and on par with Wonder Woman.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

Luke specifically says he felt Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind and the dark side and saw all the people Kylo Ren would kill, hence his igniting the blade. If you didn't understand that Force users are Professor Xavier-level telepathic, you may have misunderstood the scene and the dialogue.

No doubt about it.  I understand the Xavier reference better than the Force one so that helps smile

(For the record, I'm not one of the people who didn't like Last Jedi.  I liked it significantly better than Force Awakens and more than Rogue One.  I don't think the movie ruined Luke, but I'm simply speaking as someone who understands where they're coming from because of my fondness for the character.)

My only rebuttal for Luke feeling Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind is this:

1. Visually, I think it might've helped if Snoke had appeared to Luke in Kylo's room.  Especially since this is something that Luke sees with Kylo and Rey.  In fact, I think (again, visually), it would have been a nice parallel that confirms Luke's greatest fears.  It also would've given Luke a bit of an excuse for some people because it could be explained that Luke thought he physically saw Snoke as opposed to Force-feel him (I don't know if Luke could immediately tell the difference or not).

2. There's a disconnect between Luke's unending patience with Vader and his seeming lack of patience with Kylo.  I understand that you affirm that Luke never intended on killing Ben, and that he simply ignited his lightsaber out of instinct.  But I'm still not 100% sure that's clearly played (and we're another night's sleep from my viewing of the movie and my memory is continuing to fuzz on specific dialogue) - because I do remember Luke feeling ashamed at the idea that, for a second, he was going to kill a child.

Now there's definitely a time, in Jedi, when Luke wants to kill Vader.  And, like in Last Jedi, he comes to his senses and doesn't do it.  But I think people (and like you said, a blank-slate character) see Luke as a person who will always see the best in people.  That Luke was the only one in the galaxy that saw humanity in Vader, and that his willingness to see the best in people is what people love about him.  So to have him, even for a moment, think "this kid is going to be a monster, and I have to destroy him" goes against the character (in their eyes).

I don't necessarily buy that because 1) Luke definitely could've killed Vader in RotJ and 2) Luke didn't kill (or even try to kill) Ben.

***************

I'm seeing a couple of really weird criticisms of this movie from people who liked the Force Awakens.

1. Luke throwing away the lightsaber at the beginning was a slap in the face because of all the buildup from Force Awakens.  Because of how that movie ended, we were led to believe that something epic was going to happen, and it was played off as a joke.

Well, yes.  It was played off as a joke because there was no way that they could've done anything as epic as JJ Abrams wanted us to believe that we could've done.  Any line of dialogue (I'm Luke Skywalker, and I'll train you to be a Jedi....like my father before me) or action (Luke ignites a red lightsaber, signifying his fall to the Dark Side, and starts an epic lightsaber battle) would have disappointed someone. 

JJ Abrams created a ton of buzz with all his mysteries, but knowing him, he didn't really have any ideas to pay them off.  He's great at setting up a cliffhanger (oh no, all our protagonists are on a boat!  And the boat is on fire!  And sinking!  And there's a hydrophobic bomb that will blow up if it touches water!  And the president's daughter has been kidnapped!) without really worrying about a way to resolve it (that character you thought was dead flies in to save everyone with the helicopter you thought was destroyed, and the daughter saved herself because she's been taking secret karate lessons).

Sam Esmail (writer/director/creator of Mr. Robot) wrote a fun little twist into season 2 of the show (no spoilers to the twist).  He expected that some people would figure it out before the reveal halfway through the season, but he was wrong.  They figured it out the night the premiere aired.  The fans crowdsourced the answer, the answer went to bloggers and reviewers, and all the loyal fans knew the twist for weeks before the reveal.

Esmail said he wrote the twist so that it didn't matter whether or not people figured it out - the twist wasn't the point of the season and was a bigger shock to the main character than the audience - but that he was still surprised at how quickly they figured it out.  But when you have hundreds/thousands/millions of people working to solve the same equation, eventually someone's going to crack it.  And that's why twists are so dangerous in movies (and why I felt Force Awakens' incompleteness was a major issue) - because TV shows can do a cliffhanger and resolve it in a week (normal episode) or maybe a few months (season finale).  But if you treat a movie like a TV show, you're giving your fans years to work out the puzzle.

So when you set up "WHO ARE REY'S PARENTS" and then give people years to write articles about how her parents could be Kenobis or Skywalkers or Solos or whoever.....people are going to be disappointed when their favorite answer isn't the correct one.  Same thing with "WHO IS SNOKE" and "HOW DID THE LIGHTSABER GET THERE"

I know Abrams wanted to remake Star Wars and he did a pretty good job doing that.  And he wanted to set up some potential "I am your father" moments in his trilogy's Empire.  But "I am your father" was special because 1. it sorta came out of left field, even for the people making the movie and 2. there wasn't Reddit to create a thousand theories about Luke's parentage.  I'm sure there were Star Wars fans who figured out Vader was Luke's father, but there wasn't any way to get that across to people.  Now, there is.

2. People are mad about Rey's training being short.  But these are the same people who didn't seem to care that Rey was already pretty powerful in Force Awakens.  She learned to use a lightsaber on her own - she learned to defend her mind on her own - she learned the Jedi Mind Trick on her own - she was essentially a Jedi by the end of Force Awakens.  She didn't need training.

Luke took a pretty powerful blade, sharpened it a tad, and pointed it in the direction of the light.  That's all he really had to do.  It took 3 lessons because that's all that was left.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

Everyone aboard the Death Star was a willing, complicit staff member on a planet destroying genocide machine that had blown up an unarmed and defenseless world just earlier that afternoon.

I keep thinking about the scene from Clerks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQdDRrcAOjA

Does the canon have an explanation for this?  Or does their acceptance of the job take away their innocence?  Were there any families on the Death Star?  Were there any rebel scouts or spies?  I agree that Stormtroopers are probably not innocent (although there could easily be people like Finn that didn't use their weapons and didn't agree with the cause), but some people probably didn't work on that station (slaves, indentured servants, people like chefs/janitors/service people that needed to earn a living).

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

... once again, I don't think you understand how the Force works. Luke crept into Kylo Ren's room and telepathically scanned him. He sensed the dark side, could feel Snoke's mentally projected influence inside Kylo Ren's mind. Instinctively, he triggered the lightsaber, reacting to the presence of the dark side and Snoke within the boy's psyche. Luke didn't walk into that room with the intention to kill his student.

Ha, well having just admitted to only seeing the OT movies a handful of times (and the prequels less) and admitting to not being a big fan, I'm not surprised that I don't understand how the Force works. smile

The problem with that scene is a lack of clarity and context.  I definitely don't remember exact details, but my memory tells me that Kylo was asleep.  Maybe they could've shown Kylo to be awake and having a discussion with Snoke (like he does when he catches Rey and Kylo talking).  Or maybe they could've shown flashbacks to show more of what other dark side stuff Kylo was dealing with.  I think I remember Luke saying that he had darkness inside him, but I don't remember him saying anything specific.  Maybe there's more flashbacks in the deleted scenes - it sounds like there were plenty.  And since the movie was already too long, I think it's probably a bad idea to recommend adding more.

Whether or not he intended on killing Kylo, it does seem that Luke thinks he did.  And I think people are feeding off that in their complaints.

What's funny, to me, is that Luke raising a new school is actually a very interesting premise.  And since the movie's plot amounts to "the Resistance goes a little distance and ends up escaping on the Falcon", I might've enjoyed an entire movie focusing on Luke/Rey and flashbacks of Luke/Kylo.  It would've been an even more unusual Star Wars movie, but I think it could've been great.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

I think Mark Hamill doesn't quite understand the Luke Skywalker character.

Really great analysis, but that seems to also apply to Star Wars fans as a whole.

What's funny to me is my idea of Luke as a fringe fan of Star Wars.  I've seen every movie, and I appreciate them all.  But they're not movies I've seen a ton of.  I've seen A New Hope a couple dozen times, but I'm not sure I've seen Empire or Jedi more than a couple times each all the way through (I've seen pieces of them a lot since they're always on TV).  In a recent discussion about the quality of the prequels, I realized that I think I've only seen episodes II and III once each (again, aside from scenes here and there on TV).

But, for some reason, Luke holds a place in my heart.  And as Episode VIII approached, I started to worry that Luke could die.  Or, possibly even worse, go to the dark side.  I felt that, in some way, my heart would break a little for him to not be alive.  After all, he'd been alive and young my whole life.

The movie actually handles Luke, for the most part, in a way where I was okay with him going.  After all, we know Luke will live on in the Force so he's not really gone.  And even as someone who's a fan of Luke, I wasn't really bothered by the Luke stuff in the moment.  I was surprised, but I wasn't offended.

I agree with everything you said.  Luke is, on paper, a cold-blooded killer.  I watched "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" the other night, and Robert Downey Jr. gives a great performance when his character shoots and kills a bad guy in the middle of the movie.  He breaks down at the idea of shooting someone....even as a career criminal who killed a truly bad guy in self defense.  As you said, Luke killed millions of innocent people but doesn't really seem bothered by it.

And yet....killing a child in his sleep?  At least Anakin did it to the younglings when they were awake and could, at least theoretically, defend themselves.

The only thing I can really think is that they wanted Kylo to have this tragic backstory.  And it really does make him a truly interesting character.  Kylo is this kid who romanticizes his grandfather (who had his own tragic backstory) and feels this pull to the Dark Side.  He has this mother who cares so much about her Rebellion and a father who's not really built for fatherhood.  Then his parents sent him away to live with his cooky uncle, while this other dude is pouring propaganda in his ear from across the galaxy.

Then, one night as he's as conflicted as ever, his uncle tries to kill him.  Whether or not Luke meant to do it or not, that's Kylo's backstory.  He truly believes his uncle tried to kill him.  And then he starts to wonder....wait, did my parents send me to die?  Is all the love I had as a child a lie?  Is the only one who has truly cared about me....Snoke?

It happens all the time.  Kid gets betrayed by his/her family and falls into the arms of an abusive relationship.

The problem with the Last Jedi is that it doesn't really excuse any of it.  Even with all the talking from Kylo and Luke, there's still not enough context to understand what really happened.  What did Kylo really do that scared Luke so much?  What did he do where Luke would even consider that Kylo couldn't be saved?

You say that Luke was working off instinct, but that's not really what Luke says.  If he'd explained it that way, I think there's a chance they could've sold it.  When I watched it, it seemed like Luke was saying that he *did* want to kill him, but it was just for a moment.  Because he definitely walks in, thinks about it, and then ignites the saber.  It didn't seem, at least to me, that he got caught up in the moment.

So to me, and to a lot of people in the audience....they turned Luke into a guy who'd consider murdering kids.  And, yes, I agree that he's probably killed kids in the past (you'd gotta think that some families were on the Death Star).  But this was so much different that that that, I think, it really bothers people.  Thus the hate.

And so I wondered, was there a way to give Kylo this cool backstory without harming Luke's legacy?  Some ideas:

1. I like the idea that he's working off instinct.  I also love the idea that Luke, flat out disagrees with the teachings of the Jedi.  So what if you combined those two things?  Luke goes to the Jedi Temple and learns an old Jedi technique for defeating evil - Force Meditation (name can be workshopped).  As a Jedi Master, Luke can meditate and enter a sort of trance where he becomes one with the light side of the Force and can seek out true evil.

Luke enters one of these trances in an attempt to find Snoke.  And in a sleepwalking state, he finds a strong Dark Side presence, and the Force Meditation draws him to it.  And draws him to destroy it.  Maybe it's Ben himself or maybe it's Snoke's Force projection.....but either way, Luke (still "sleepwalking") ignites his lightsaber.  Ben wakes up....and so does Luke.

So Luke isn't doing it...this flawed Jedi artifact did it.  The Jedi aren't interested in saving people - they're interested in killing bad people.  If the Jedi had been around to fight Vader and Palpatine in A New Hope, they'd have killed Vader and then lost to Palpatine.  It took seeing the good in Vader to save the galaxy, and that's why the Jedi are flawed.

2. Do the twin brothers.  I know in the (abandoned) expanded universe, the Solos had twins.  So maybe you bring that back.  Ben and Lando Solo are twins that are sent to train with Luke.  Ben is a quiet boy with a strong love for his family.  Lando is a wild and rebellious son with an obsession with his grandfather Anakin.  At the Jedi Temple, Lando keeps asking about the Dark Side.  He starts experimenting.  He builds a....red lightsaber.  Ben tries to talk to him, but he loves his brother.  He wants to save him from these dark thoughts.  Lando is drawn away from Ben to a new father figure - Snoke.  And through Lando, Snoke starts telling Ben that their family abandoned them.  Han and Leia don't love them.   And, one day, Luke will try and kill them.

At training, there's a tragic accident.  Lando is sparring with another student and accidentally maims/kills him.  Ben is horrified - Lando doesn't seem bothered by it.  Luke keeps an eye on him....and, yet, it happens again.  So Luke, in the middle of the night, goes to take Lando away from the Academy.  Lando defends himself with his lightsaber.  Ben wakes up, Luke loses his concentration, and Luke slices through Lando.

Luke has no time to explain.  Ben simply sees Luke kill his brother, and Snoke's prophecy is coming true.

Luke does kill a Solo twin - but it was one who was definitely a Dark Side user.  But it still drives him to exile, and it still drives Ben to become Kylo.

3. Just make it the Dark Side.  What if Snoke was influencing them both?  What if Luke starts seeing all the students turning evil....not just Ben?  Meanwhile, Ben is getting the same sort of influence?  Luke doesn't sense it, but Snoke starts feeding the lies to Luke.  "Your nephew is evil."  "Your uncle will try and kill you."

And Luke falls for it.  He lets his hate and his fear and his jealousy turn him to the Dark Side....and he tries to kill his nephew.

Mark Hamill wanted this as far back as Episode VI.  He thought it was where the saga was going and pitched it to George Lucas - so it would've been interesting to see that come true on the screen.  It wouldn't be a full Dark Luke - just enough Dark Luke to try and kill Ben.

Luke snaps out of it, but it's too late.  So he does go into isolation and close himself off from the Force - he can't trust it again, and it keeps him safe from Snoke's influence.

I think if you do something like that, you protect Hamill's vision of Luke.  Which, it seems, is a lot of Star Wars' fans visions of Luke.

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(155 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I mean, I get some of it.  Luke Skywalker, as much as almost any character made in the last 100 years, means something to people.  And he almost murdered a child in his sleep.  Luke saw so much good in his father when no one else did, and Luke couldn't see any good in his nephew.

It's a really weird part in the movie, using the series' ultimate good guy to make a new character's motivations work.  When I first watched it, I thought it might've been a Rashomon situation and a complete misunderstanding.  While it was that, in a sense, Luke fully admits he was going to murder the kid in his sleep.

It's a betrayal of the character, and even Mark Hamill has been forced to admit it.  At the same time, it's a much more human universe than we'd seen in Star Wars.  Even if he was never going to go through with it, even good guys have bad thoughts.