Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Big Justice League information dump today.  I don't know if any of this is actually spoilers but here ya go.

- It's just one movie.
- It's moved up to November 17, 2017.  Star Wars Episode VIII comes out a month later
- Willem Defoe is playing an Aquaman character named Vulko
- Steppenwolf is confirmed as the primary villain
- They're promising the tone will be "lighter" and "more fun" - but it's still Zach Snyder so we'll see about that.  Much of the comedy will come from the Flash so at least they understand that smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The thing about the DC movies is that they're embracing different styles of telling stories. Wonder Woman won't necessarily look or feel like Man of Steel. Aquaman won't look like Suicide Squad. Whereas the Marvel movies mostly have an overall look and feel, these movies are unique movies of their own.

What this means is that when the next movie comes along and it's not as moody as Batman v Superman, people are going to go on about how the studio freaked out and made changes. We've already seen that happen. Basically, there is no way for the DC movies to win, because the media covering them has been so Marvel-focused (and depending on who you ask, possibly Disney-funded) that they're going to look for any way to jab DC that they can get. The possible exception will be Wonder Woman, which is why it was smart for them to come out with it so quickly. Wonder Woman might defy the media spin, because the feminism overrules all.

Then again, I've already seen some people complaining that Gal Gadot is Israeli, so there is also that to take into consideration.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, my big fear with Snyder is how he comes off when he's criticized.  When people complained about the deaths in Metropolis, he threw in a dozen references to how few died in Metropolis (outside estimates said it'd be a quarter million - in BvS it's "dozens" in the newspaper clip) and how every part of Metropolis and Gotham were evacuated or empty or abandoned even when a lot of that didn't make any sense.

If he takes the same approach to humor, he's going to sarcastically throw in a bunch of fart jokes to make it "funny" and then get mad when people don't like that.

I'm happy with each movie having their own feel.  Flash needs to be bright and colorful and funny.  Green Lantern needs to be epic and fun and crazy.  Aquaman needs to be the most unique superhero film we've ever seen.

The problem is that Snyder's "tone" is grim and dark and lifeless.  Whether he's actually depressed or just never smiles because of Batman, we have an entire movie with a lifeless/depressed/angry Superman.  BvS might be a well-made movie, but it's just not any fun.  And I'm worried Snyder doesn't know how to do it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Shall we start debating again smile

Anyway, I think I'm going to hold out for the blu-ray set for BvS. The digital version will be out sooner, but I don't see why I'd pay about as much for the digital version as I would for the blu-ray, dvd, digital combo pack. So I might be a bit behind in viewing the movie again.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Haha no reason to debate BvS anymore. tongue

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Aquaman needs to be the most unique superhero film we've ever seen.

I expect the direction to rely on the Peter David in the mid 90's, and that would basically make it Conan under the sea.  That's not necessarily a bad thing when you remember how many far out fantasy elements were in Conan, and the David run had that (most notably the alien invasion that culminated with a moon crashing toward earth that had a giant skull carved into it).

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

People are giving their thoughts on the Ultimate Edition now. I haven't read spoilers for all of the new stuff, but the reviews seem to be positive. Some people who weren't fans of the theatrical cut say that the ultimate edition is much better, giving more time to Clark and explaining some things.

Others say that if you didn't like the theatrical cut, you won't like this one. Either way, I'm probably going to have fun watching it! smile

Still waiting for the blu-ray set though.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Batman v Superman should be here today! I may watch it tonight. If I don't get to it tonight, it might be a week or two, since I have family coming to visit tomorrow.

309 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2016-07-19 21:09:39)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I've been meaning to watch it.  Haven't yet.  The guys on the Weekly Planet podcast said that if you liked the version the first time, you'll like this one better.  If you didn't, it's way too long and there's not enough spaces filled in. 

I have heard there's some good stuff after the Capitol explosion, which corrected a big criticism of the film.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I've heard some people who didn't like the theatrical version say that the extended version completely turned things around. Then again, I've seen some who say that they still don't like it. I haven't seen anyone say that it is worse than the theatrical version, so there is little risk for me. smile

I do see a lot of people using the Martha thing as a big joke... but those people usually don't get the purpose or meaning, so they really just make themselves look bad.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, I can't defend the Martha thing just because I think it was done really awkwardly.  Batman humanizing Clark because his mother's name is the same as his own is fine.  But it was weird that Clark called her "Martha" - not something like Mom.  I thought it was weird that it caught him so off guard.  Batman is a determined guy who had the villain in his crosshairs.  Would he have been caught similarly off guard if the Joker had said "Martha?"  Would Batman be distracted if he heard "Martha" while he was saving, say, a busload of kids?

And I get all the next-level symbolism we were supposed to be getting.  Man of Steel was about fathers, and BvS was about mothers.  They're tying Bruce's humanity to Clark's.  But I just didn't connect with that moment emotionally at the time.

Maybe the whole picture will let me connect better.  We'll see.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I will get deeper into it in a week or so, since I have family visiting and not a lot of free time, but I watched the Ultimate Edition tonight and it was really good. You should definitely watch it. I think you will feel better about Clark's role in the movie. I don't think that the added material made me understand anything more than before, but it definitely filled out the story. This should have been the theatrical release.

Long, yes. Almost like two movies in one. But in an age where we routinely binge watch entire seasons of a tv show, I don't think this is a bad thing.

I always liked this movie, but the extended version brings it up a few notches closer to Man of Steel.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The Ultimate Edition is reversing my negative opinions of this film -- I thought the theatrical version was a mixed bag of incoherence, but this Ultimate Edition is revealing all of the theatrical cut problems to have resulted almost entirely from missing scenes that were absolutely essential. I'm starting to think the problem was less Zack Snyder and more Warner Bros. refusing to release a three hour movie despite the fact that they commissioned and approved a script that couldn't work as anything else.

I'm also seeing why the WB executives applauded when they first saw the rough cut of this movie and why the reaction to the theatrical cut was so very, very different. All my issues with the film -- the muddy lack of clarity over what Superman does all day; the aloof and alienating distance from Clark Kent; the character's selfish disregard for innocent life; the baffling tangents and dead ends of the plot; it's all fixed now.

More later, but I'm going to have to completely re-review this movie now. It's amazing how just a few shots and some revised sequences can add a completely new emotional context and a much clearer plot structure to things I found baffling in the theatrical release.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I still have a lot of time, but the biggest difference was in turning Superman into an actual POV character, rather than the subject of everyone else's point of view.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So, a re-review where I will focus on the director's cut differences that made a strong impact on me.

I thought BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was terrific in its director's cut version. The theatrical cut had me saying, "I've seen worse!" This new version still isn't quite what I'm looking for in a superhero movie, but it's a very good piece of work. Aside from a few profanities and a few shots of a gun to Martha Wayne's head, this could have been released to theatres with a PG13 rating.

The main problems with the theatrical cut -- Superman being a cold and inscrutable figure who doesn't seem heroic and the plot being incredibly confusing -- both are addressed. Quite interestingly, it's the missing plot pieces that convey Superman's compassion and heroism.

In the theatrical cut, Lois is threatened while interviewing an African warlord and Superman rescues her -- but this somehow leads to the village being massacred and Superman blamed and accused of killing all these people -- leading to incredible confusion. Why didn't Superman save the villagers; why only Lois? Why is Superman being accused of murdering civilians? What did or didn't he do, exactly? Because we don't know where Superman stands on interfering and intervening, we have no idea who Superman saves or doesn't save. We have no idea if he cares about people or if he's just getting involved when it suits him -- so Superman trying to intimidate Batman into stopping his crimefighting feels more like Superman marking territory rather than trying to help anyone. Superman saving the little girl from the factory fire had a cold and distant face when people were thanking him; Superman hovering over a flooded town seemed dismissive and uncaring.

But the director's cut irons this out completely. A slightly extended sequence where it's shown that Lex's mercenaries killed the people in the village and burned the corpses before Superman arrived on the scene.

However, a witness mis-reports this, claiming the massacre took place after Superman came on the scene. Clark is shown to be horrified and confused by how his actions are being construed, which is reiterated later on in added scenes where Clark reacts to news coverage of Superman, uncomfortable with being accused of choosing who lives and dies -- which leads to him investigating Batman, who is making that choice by branding criminals who are always targeted for death in prison. Clark's investigation and his managing to find compassion for a rapist sex trafficker makes it very clear: Superman isn't here to fight or impose his values or create a public persona. He just wants to save lives.

It's not really that much extra material. A few short scenes here and there of Clark investigating the jailhouse murder of a Batman-branded convict. A few brief shots of Clark watching debates on Superman. Absent from the film, this material made Superman inhuman and removed. Restored, Superman becomes a hero -- and when we see him rescue a child but be solemn as people reach out to touch him, it's clear that he is uncertain about being a figure of such regard and concern. When we see him hovering over a flooded town, it feels like Superman is simply plotting the best course of action to determine how to save as many lives as possible.

This massive improvement is also especially vital later on -- when the Senate explodes. In the theatrical cut, there's an explosion, we see Superman look around blankly -- then there's news footage of Superman flying away from Washington like he didn't care to do anything to help. In the director's cut, we see victims being treated by paramedics and Superman flying another person down to the first responders -- and then looking at the body bags with grief.

With a Superman worth caring about, the rest of the film works: Batman gunning for Superman has real tension and danger to it now, Superman being pummeled and pulped by Batman and stabbed through the heart by Doomsday is a heartbreaking turn of events, and Batman's regret over misjudging Superman has weight as Superman truly does represent a decency of character Batman no longer believed in.

The clarity of the plot also makes the movie flow much, much better. In the theatrical version, it was unclear what Luthor's plan was. The broad strokes were obvious -- to manipulate Batman into killing Superman in order to act out Luthor's mistrust of anyone more powerful than himself -- but there were too many details without a clear context such as Clark and Bruce receiving letters and photos to manipulate them, the confusing incident in Africa, blowing up the Senate, etc..

Luthor then revealed he was behind all of it, but so much of the film was spent wondering what the point was of all these disconnected events and the theatrical film assigns blame without offering purpose. As a result, the theatrical film suffered from a sense of directionless randomness -- Lois' investigations and Clark's meanderings don't seem to amount to anything.

The director's cut, however, makes it absolutely clear from Africa-onwards that Superman and Batman are being manipulated against each other. Every development from Clark receiving photos of Batman's victims and being assigned to cover Lex's party to Bruce receiving clues about the Kryptonite and the Senate being bombed on the same day Bruce is made aware of his former employee's grief while eliminating evidence that Luthor created a false witness to the massacre -- it's all been to put Batman and Superman in each other's crosshairs and create a mounting enmity between the two.

And because I wasn't constantly doubting my interpretation of onscreen events or unsure of what the characters were doing or why, I was able to really enjoy this individual vision of Batman and Superman. Because I was so involved and compelled, the Martha-climax feels really well-earned.

While there isn't any additional backstory to why Batman has lost his way, the clarity of Lex masterminding Batman's madness is sufficient and there is a terrible sense of unease in this version with a now extremely heroic Superman fighting a noble but wayward Batman. The Doomsday attack, which in the theatrical cut was quite boring for me, was now a gripping sequence because now that I was invested in Superman, I felt every blow and blast he experienced and I was on the verge of tears when he died.

This is a good movie. It may not be the version of Superman that everyone wants, but it's exciting, thought-provoking, compelling and it makes strong choices that draw attention and engagement. This should have been the version released to theatres. It's not a fun, lightweight Marvel movie, but I think that if this version had been shown in cinemas, it would have made 800 million dollars easily in its first couple weeks. I can't imagine anyone going back to rewatch it for fun, but I can imagine people rewatching it to experience an epic journey again and to see how Luthor's plans fit together in such insidious and calculated fashion and to spend more time with Superman.

I think it's a real shame that Warner Bros. had so much faith in this film only to choke when they decided to rip half an hour out of it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think strong reaction to Batman in early screenings pushed the studio away from a Batman/Superman movie and toward a Batman movie with Superman. The theatrical version kept Superman as a question, and different characters saw him differently. I think that there is legitimacy in that direction, because that is the Superman that the world would realistically see. But this was also a movie where he died and we are supposed to care, and so much of getting to that point was cut out in the theatrical cut. Batman's line about him not being a hero didn't cut as deeply, and his proving otherwise wasn't as fulfilling.

I did like the theatrical version, but as a fan of this Superman, I am happy to see more.

The Martha thing... did people not pick up on the way the name was used in Bruce's vision dreams? I think he reacted so strongly to it because it was a part of that bigger mystery. The dreams, as well as Lex, were driving him crazy.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Also, rewatching factory fire scene where Superman saves the girl, I noticed that he is actually smiling at her and has a warm expression as he brings her back to the crowd. It only turns more serious after he is surrounded by people and looks back at the fire that's still burning.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I'm glad to hear that you both liked it.  I imagine that I'll also feel better about it, especially if Superman feels more like a person.  Again, my question is why anyone would trust Superman in-universe.  And yet the movie, outside of a couple of news clippings, seems to show near-universal acceptance of Superman as a hero.  The movie wants us to think that the Battle of Metropolis only affected Wally and Bruce - and everyone else pretty much was okay with it.  Lex doesn't even seem particularly troubled by what happened in Metropolis.

If they wanted to make Superman a troubled God who never really figured out the hero he wanted to me, that's a great way of doing it.  But I absolutely think/thought that needed to be clearer in the in-universe world - there needed to be massive protests in around any time Superman showed up.  Or, at the very least, at his statue.  Even a passive protest when Wally spray-painted the statue would've been nice.

I agree with Informant - they needed Superman to be cold and uncaring in certain scenes to show us what Batman saw.  But in my opinion, their world-building didn't express that.  I never got the idea that anyone outside of Wally and Bruce really feared Superman.  Even Lex didn't really fear him - he just wanted to show that he was superior to even this god.  And without having seen the ultimate version yet, I can't imagine being a citizen in that world and not be absolutely terrified of this man.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

All that being said, I think things are going in the right direction.  The Wonder Woman footage looks fun and exciting and way less dour than MoS or BvS.  I'm psyched about seeing Suicide Squad in a couple weeks (I already have tickets).  And even the Justice League footage looks way more fun/exciting/human than BvS was to me.

Although I thought it was odd that Bruce sorta used his Batman voice while recruiting.  It even seemed a little odd that he did his recruiting as Bruce.  I would've thought, at least with Barry, that he'd try and use the Batman costume to intimidate him.  Since he throws a batarang anyway, it's not like he's afraid of being too aggressive or giving away his secret.

But it's definitely moving in the right direction.  They can still take the material seriously without either being too light (Avengers) or too dark (BvS).  IMO, of course.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The Wonder Woman trailer looks great

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The more I think about it, the more I find myself downgrading the theatrical cut from "I've seen worse" to "absolutely terrible." However, Slider_Quinn21's criticisms still hold weight in many areas. Only Batman and his former employee seem to blame Superman for the Metropolis attack; the lines about Metropolis' downtown core, Stryker's Island and Gotham's harbour being nearly empty seem clumsy, and there's still no backstory to why Batman has lost faith after 20 years in Gotham. These are flaws -- but the director's cut is so well-paced and compelling and driven and purposeful that I find myself accepting its choices whereas the theatrical cut was too confused and fragmented for me to go along with it.

Watching it in theatres, I kept getting pulled out of a very disjointed narrative. Why does Lois spend so much time investigating a mysterious bullet when that doesn't lead anywhere? Why does Lex blow up the Senate? Why does Lex send Clark photos of Batman's victims? Why doesn't Lex just give Wayne the Kryptonite? How is any of his this crap necessary when all Lex needed to do was (a) give Batman a Kryptonite weapon and (b) kidnap Martha to force Superman to fight Batman? There comes a point when I and many viewers despaired of any of these plot threads adding up to anything and the movie became incredibly dull.

Then there's the incredible vagueness of Superman's character. What happened in Africa? Is he responsible for the massacre described? Why, with so many global issues, does Superman fixate on a municipal-level vigilante? Why the hell is Superman just watching a flooded town? Why does Superman fly away from the Senate explosion without doing anything to help and leaving people to see a government building blow up at a superhuman flying away without explanation? How willing is he to kill Batman in the fight?

All this was clearly laid out in the script, and it seems like the cutting was done in a shockingly careless manner. At the very least, the Africa sequence needed to stay intact -- not necessarily with all the extra dialogue, but to make it clear: Lex's mercs murder most of the village and incinerate the corpses, Lois is threatened, the US Army activates a drone attack, Superman flies in and manages to save Lois and some survivors by stopping the drone strike -- but a witness from the village declares that Superman murdered the civilians as part of Lex's plan to frame Superman and build him up as a threat in Batman's view.

If that were intact, all the subsequent material -- Lois' investigation, Clark being manipulated into investigating Batman further, Bruce receiving letters heightening his anger, the Senate exploison -- they would all be part of Lex's psychological mind game with Superman so disturbed by Batman that he might actually be willing to trade Batman's life for his mother's. Every incident was meant to be a step leading towards a titantic clash between Superman and Batman -- except the theatrical cut removed the context and the result was a very confused film.

Superman looks as demonic and frightening in the director's cut as he does in the theatrical cut -- but the film has spent some time with Clark Kent so that while the audience understands why Batman would hate and fear him, the audience knows that Batman is wrong about him and Henry Cavill's cold expressions now have context; he's not uncaring, he's uncertain.

This film is very much like CIVIL WAR -- it's about two people who should be friends instead becoming enemies and being maneuvered into destroying each other. But the cuts eliminated Superman's character to the point where this was completely absent in the cinema.

I am oddly impressed that Informant saw the theatrical cut and somehow saw the director's cut in there somewhere -- because a lot of his views on how Superman and Batman and Lex came off in the story struck me as Informant reviewing what should have been in the film as opposed to what was actually onscreen -- except it's all there now.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Wonder Woman and Justice League both look really good. I am impressed with what I'm seeing with Wonder Woman, since I usually find that character so boring.

The tricky part is Barry Allen. It is impossible for me to watch that character on screen without thinking of Grant Gustin right now. Now they have to make him so good in the movie that I won't be thinking of Grant the whole time.

Ezra did bring some fun energy to the role, from what I've seen, but who will be the definitive Barry Allen of this generation?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Is it weird that it really bothered me that Barry's "lightning" was blue?

And I think ireactions has it correct.  The movie, to casual audiences, just didn't connect.  There was way too many moving pieces and without the extra scenes, the gears didn't all connect to each other.  And what's funny is that it's a movie that I seemed to like a lot in the theater....then as time went on, I liked less and less.  I think, at the end of the day, it was rushed.  And not necessarily development but I think they wanted to be at a certain point and I think they bit off more than they could chew.  Bruce and Lex and Doomsday and Death of Superman and introducing Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League. 

I think a movie could've been done where Superman is trying to clean up his image from Metropolis and Bruce doesn't buy it.  Instead of retelling the death of the Waynes, tell the story of Batman's fall during the course of the movie.  You have a detective and a journalist.  Clark could investigate what happened with Bruce and Bruce could just be blinded by rage.  Maybe we find out that Jason/Dick died right before, and Bruce is unhinged.  And over the course of the movie, we'd really get to know these characters.  We'd know why Batman lost his way.  We'd know why Superman acts the way he does.  There'd be scenes where Alfred is desperately trying to pull Bruce out of his tailspin, and there'd be scenes were Superman is struggling with the fact that he keeps saving people and they still hate him. 

It could've been a nice, somewhat-intimate character study.  But I also know how that kind of movie ends up turning into BvS.  Snyder doesn't think Metropolis is a big deal so he adds the Africa stuff.  You have to add Lex because Bruce can't be the bad guy - he has to be manipulated.  And because Bruce has to be a good guy, Clark has to look menacing.  And the movie can't end with Batman fighting Superman because the good guys have to get over their issues and fight something - it'd be even crazier to introduce Darkseid in a third act so you throw in Doomsday.  And at that point, throwing in Wonder Woman and the Justice League isn't crazy.

But if you do the smaller film with a tease to Wonder Woman, you're getting her film.  I might do a "Bruce gathers the Justice League" movie.  I was thinking about it earlier and I might do it Pulp Fiction or Sin City style.  Where it's three separate stories.  Bruce tracks down Aquaman.  Bruce tracks down Barry.  Bruce tracks down Cyborg.  In all three stories, there's action and intrigue and character, but it's written like Pulp Fiction or Sin City where they don't have to all get together.  It's three separate stories that sorta cross over at times.

Then you do Justice League.  You can either still do Suicide Squad or make the Bruce movie instead and save Suicide Squad for later.  I've basically gotten the DCCU in the same place without going batshit crazy (pun intended) with BvS.

All that being said, I agree - Informant saw the Ultimate Edition when the rest of us saw the regular version.  Pretty cool.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't know that BVS in its director's cut is uncluttered. There is still a lot going on: introducing the Justice League, Batman having a nervous breakdown, Superman's global reputation, Lois' investigation into the Africa gun battle, Clark's investigation into Batman, the Flash travelling back in time to warn Batman of something, Batman having a vision of a future where it looks like Darkseid is somehow controlling Superman, Lex delving into the Kryptonian archives and making contact with an alien intelligence, the Lexcorp files on Wally West and Diana Prince and Arthur Curry and Victor Stone -- there's a lot here. Maybe too much. All that combined with the theatrical cut's failure to show whether Superman cares about people or not made the film seem poorly structured. Confusion is fundamentally alienating and everytime Superman was onscreen, he created confusion.

However, the director's cut has the throughline that everything on screen relates in at least some way to Lex's manipulation, that everything part of his design to engineer anger and hatred in Batman alongside Superman's horror and moral outrage towards Batman.

BVS's take on Superman is that he's a global fireman and paramedic but keeps being viewed by others as a soldier. This was scripted in a very nuanced, subtle fashion and conveyed not through Superman's dialogue but through his actions and silent reactions. When Snyder was forced to trim all these little moments, he inadvertently made Superman seem uncaring, indifferent and inhuman and it eliminated the precise nature of Superman's issues with Batman: Superman thinks that superheroes should be like field medics in a battlefield as opposed to armies declaring war.

I find that when you like characters and care about what they're doing in each scene, you can either accept or ignore any mysteries around them so long as you're clear on who they are and wehre they stand. The director's cut is clear. The theatrical cut is vague and confusing.

Dan Harmon actually talks about this sort of plotting in the Season 6 paintball episode commentary, where Harmon said that he thought the plot of City College funding paintball and the silver paintball assassin was incoherently communicated and makes no sense whatsoever. Then he notes (and I'm paraphrasing): "But whatever. Our favourite characters are onscreen having a good time! So long as the people we like are onscreen doing what they do, the rest doesn't matter."

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, I just think they could've gotten the same place at the same time without the bloating.  I don't necessarily think the movie needed to go to Africa.  Congress could've (and should've - it's unknown if they did) held hearings on what happened in Metropolis where American citizens did die.  I don't think Lex and Doomsday necessarily needed to be in the film.  I don't necessarily think Wonder Woman needed to be in the film.  And whether you liked any of that stuff (I thought Diana was great in her limited time - Lex not so much), those elements took away from time that could've been used elsewhere. 

Superman didn't need a controversial inciting incident - he had one in Man of Steel.  Any time spent on Diana could've been spent on Superman.  Any time spent on Lex could've been spent on Bruce.  What if the cameos by Flash/Cyborg/Aquaman (and heck, Diana) were Bruce putting together pieces to make an Amazo-like android who could finish the job if Batman failed? 

So the movie opens with Batman on patrol with Jason Todd.  A villain gets the better of them, and Batman is a step slow in saving Jason.  He's older and doesn't have it anymore.  He snaps and kills the villain.  He gives up the cape and the cowl, and he goes full Bruce Wayne businessman.  And yet Batman calls to him - getting revenge didn't make the pain go away.  Flash forward X months/years and the Battle of Metropolis happens.  And all the feelings come back.  Bruce knows he only has a short amount of time and *this* revenge will make things better.  It will make everything matter again.

Superman is doing is best to make up for Metropolis.  Some people are scared, some people think he's great.  Some *hate* him - some *worship* him.  It's a mess.  The government wants to hold hearings about it.  Clark doesn't know what to think.  He just wants to save people.

Batman comes up with a three-pronged plan.  Find out who Superman is (detective), find out what hurts him (detective), and kill him.  The first and second act is Bruce implementing this plan as Batman.  He's brutal and scary.  While Clark is trying to find common ground with Superman, he gets interested in the Batman story.  This was a hero who Clark grew up loving.  He went as Batman for Halloween at one point.  This new guy can't be Batman.  Something is wrong.

Batman finds out Clark is Superman.  Clark catches Batman snooping and finds out Batman is Bruce.  Clark (journalism) finds out about Jason Todd.  Dick Grayson.  Barbara Gordon.  The Waynes.  All the death.  How it impacts people.  And he starts to look into all the pain caused by what happened in Metropolis.

He goes to Congress and basically admits that he was responsible.  He should've been better.  He will be better.  Some of the congressmen want to see him taken away.  Some don't.  Superman leaves before it's resolved - Batman sees this as him being a fugitive.  He starts on phase three of his plan.  He's found out about Kryptonite, but he's not sure it's enough.  He starts his backup plan.

Clark goes back to trying to save Bruce.  But Bruce is gone.  Batman is gone.  No one can find either.  That's because Bruce is around the world.  He's found an android built by Silas Stone.  He's found a powerful Amazon warrior.  An Atlantean king.  The fastest man alive. 

Batman attacks Superman.  They fight.  Batman is brutal but Superman is trying to get through to Bruce.  It doesn't work.  Superman has to fight back or he's going to die.  *whatever Martha moment you want* They find common ground.  Superman saves Batman.  Then Amazo shows up - it's as fast and strong as Superman but can fight like Batman.  Batman helps Superman defeat it.

They form an alliance.  Bruce says he knows others that can help.  End of movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't know why the filmmakers created an inciting incident in Africa outside of the need for the Lexcorp bullet to give Lois a path to unravelling the conspiracy against Superman and Batman. As Slider_Quinn21 notes, the battle of Metropolis was the only incident needed. The Senate hearings could have easily been about the event and Lex's falsified witness could've been one of his employees.

The only difficulty with this plot is that Superman worked with the US Army against Zod's forces, so Superman's role throughout would be known to the government; there'd be nothing to uncover or decipher. I guess you could say that the records facilities were hit and that the majority of the soldiers Superman worked with were killed, but there were still a couple officers left by the end. I wonder if the filmmakers were simply reluctant to criticize their own previous installment.

I really liked Slider_Quinn21's idea of Superman having been a fan of Batman only to be repulsed by the bat-branding. Just my redraft of SQ21's redraft:

SUPERMAN: "What are you doing? Your tank here just killed six people; you've started giving death sentences to criminals already in jail -- "
BATMAN: "I don't shed tears for sex traffickers and rapists --"
SUPERMAN: "I've been reading about you since I was a child. You defended the innocent, you weren't out to execute the guilty. What happened to you?"
BATMAN: "You happened. You want to talk about the innocent, tell it to the two hundred thousand you killed in Metropolis."
SUPERMAN: "I tried to stop it -- "
BATMAN: "YOU WERE THE REASON IT STARTED!!!"

Superman is stunned. He retreats. He begins to float away, shaking his head.

SUPERMAN: "I don't want to hurt you, but I can't let this go on. The Batman is done. The next time they shine your light in the sky, don't answer it."
BATMAN: "All that blood dripping off your hands and none of it yours -- not yet.  Do you bleed? You will."

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I love that.  DC needs to hire the Holy Trinity of the Sliders BBoard to write Justice League 2 big_smile

If they were going to do "older Batman" (which, the dead horse says, I wasn't in favor of), I *love* the idea that Superman was a fan of Batman.  Because how couldn't he have been?  Batman is supposedly in his 40s in BvS.  So he would've been active for 10-15 years?  Superman is supposed to be in his early 30s.  So even if Clark wasn't young enough to be Batman for Halloween, he was a teenager when Batman was just getting started.  As I've said before, I think it could be a really cool DCCU Elseworld to have a story where Clark becomes the first Robin.  Maybe after the death of Pa Kent?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The final SLIDERS REBORN script is going to be the sliders doing a Marvel movie. I think a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie from us would be just like that.

**

WORLD'S FINEST #172 has an imaginary story where Jonathan and Martha Kent adopt Bruce Wayne and raise him with Clark. Could be others.

**

Has anyone been watching the DC Animated films? I thought it was neat how, after adapting the story where Batman discovers he has a homicidal 10-year-old son who becomes the new Robin, they've started having continuity with three sequels. However, I found SON OF BATMAN and BATMAN VS. ROBIN to be aggressively mediocre and BATMAN: BAD BLOOD was so bland I couldn't finish it.

There's a lot of heart to the material, but the films never seem to find it -- there's a certain artlessness to the direction, editing, blocking and a lifeless lack of style. The dialogue is also very stilted in its delivery -- it's like the actors are being recorded separately and with such poor direction that all the characters feel like they're in completely different rooms. There is no sense of timing or pacing at all to these films.

**

Wouldn't it be hilarious if after all this, Slider_Quinn21 watches the Ultimate Edition and hates it?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

About the Africa thing... I think that it shows the aftermath of the Metropolis event, while moving the story forward. It gives Lois a new story to work with as well. I think it works because it shows that after what happened in Metropolis, it doesn't matter what Superman does. A lot of people are ready to believe that he is evil, no matter how many lives he saves. It was a great way to use the press in the movie (and not entirely unlike what I've done in some of my recent books). There is manipulation of the public opinion.

I don't know that staying on Metropolis would have built that story or that world in the same way that moving forward did.




Moving on...


Reviews are coming in for Suicide Squad. Critics hate it, which makes me oddly more excited to see it. Especially since some of their comments prove how little they get the source material. They say that Harley is written in a sexist way. Well... duh. She was Joker's puppy dog, chasing him around in skimpy outfits, shaking her ass and trying to get in his pants while he really didn't care for her that much. But on the flip side was this smart, well educated, classy woman who didn't so much go crazy as she just decided to stop being sane.

There is no way to do Harley right without being sexist. But that is just one part of a larger, deeper, complex character.

But the weird thing about the reviews is that I'm seeing similar wording across different reviews (I was skimming reviews earlier and there were examples, but it was hours ago and right now I can only remember the word "machismo" being used to criticize the movie). That always strikes me as odd. You'll usually see it from politicians, when they're repeating the party memo for the day, or in news reports that are trying to skew the story. I wouldn't expect to see it in movie reviews.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

I don't know that staying on Metropolis would have built that story or that world in the same way that moving forward did.

Yeah, but we talked about this after MoS.  In my opinion, the movie never moved on.  And people (not you, others) told me that the aftermath of Metropolis was going to be a huge part of the whole DCEU.  That it would all build off that moment. 

And I could see that.  Maybe that's what would inspire Batman and Flash and Wonder Woman and Aquaman and Cyborg to come out into the light.  Maybe Batman would be frightened, but maybe Barry would be inspired.  Aquaman and Diana would show up to protect their worlds from this new threat.

I saw trailers where it looks like Superman is standing trial for what happened.  He was being held accountable.  He was forced to defend what he did.

Then the movie came out.....and nope.  Man of Steel skipped over the aftermath of Metropolis, and BvS made it a side story.  That's not really Zack Snyder's fault because he showed at the end of MoS that the world didn't really think it was his fault.  It's joking about how hot Superman is and going to a basketball game in an already-rebuilt Metropolis.  Not sure why I expected more from BvS.

Reviews are coming in for Suicide Squad. Critics hate it, which makes me oddly more excited to see it.

Yeah.  I'm really looking forward to it.  One of my girlfriends is a huge Harley fan, and she got us all tickets a couple weeks ago.  The non-spoiler review I read said that it was fun but didn't make much sense.  And also mentioned that it could've been a fun Guardians-like movie, but it gets sorta bogged down by the world Snyder created.

I don't know.  I'm excited about it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think the problem is that people want and expect Guardians of the Galaxy, where the heroes are criminals, but ultimately good. This is not that. I don't get the comparisons to Guardians.

Going back to BvS, I see a lot of that movie as being about the ripples of the Metropolis attack. I don't see it as a healed world that had moved on, or Superman not having to answer for his role in it. It all feels very connected to me.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I read that one of the issues with Suicide Squad is a disagreement about what it should be.  The studio wanted a lighter/fun movie about some bad guys doing good, and Ayer wanted to do a more somber movie about the motivations for these characters.  And the result is something sorta in the middle that doesn't really accomplish either of those.

Apparently the studio loved the first teaser trailer and even hired the company that made the teaser to do their own cut of the movie opposite of Ayer.  Which is a bizarre decision to say the least.

Again, this is why I think there needs to be a single person who can make decisions on this stuff.  Say what you want about Marvel movies, but they feel connected.  Even something like Guardians feels like an MCU film.  If someone like Geoff Johns was overseeing these movies (and, yes, I know he is now) then there wouldn't be so much discussion about what these movies are supposed to be because all this stuff would be planned out.

On this, apparently they had a release date before they even had a script, and Ayer had to write the movie in something like six weeks.  Marvel has the same sort of stuff (Ant-Man is the best example) but at least they had 10 movies under their belt by the time that came out.  If Guardians or Ant-Man had failed, it wouldn't derail the MCU.

If Suicide Squad isn't successful, that'll be mixed/rough reception for their first three movies.  And even if Wonder Woman looks amazing, people are going to be skeptical.  This stuff builds on itself - people overrate MCU movies because so many of them have been "fun."  It's going to be the opposite for DCCU movies if they aren't careful.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't think there will be any DC movies that get solid good receptions. Most critics think that comic book movies should be cartoonish, which is why they love Marvel and the older Superman movies. Most of them think that comic book stories shouldn't be dark or gritty, which is going to be a problem. Criticizing Harley Quinn because it's a sexist portrayal, or dinging the movie because of its machismo... it sounds like they're more upset that the movie doesn't live up to their political standards than they are about the actual movie.

It could be a mess. I don't know. But the critics are so out of the loop on these movies, I can't take them seriously. And their "inside information" has been proven false in the past.

Wonder Woman might get better reviews, since the character is a feminist icon and critics won't want to bash the first female superhero movie like this. But overall, the critics are a joke. They keep expecting DC to put out Marvel movies, and DC isn't doing that. So DC gets criticized for not being Marvel. It's no-win. Guardians is about lovable rogues. Suicide Squad is about genuinely bad people. Killer Croc is not Groot.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, I've used Guardians a couple of times just because I think it's a movie that exists on pure fun.  I could've easily used something like Fast and the Furious, but that has a negative connotation (although I've only seen the most recent one and I liked it).

I agree that these aren't the same types of characters, but I think them being genuine bad guys should make the movie more fun.  Just a darker fun.  These are people who would get delight out of causing mayhem and destruction.  When Superman destroys Metropolis, we get a deeper moment because he feels bad that all that destruction happens.  When Harley Quinn defeats the bad guy and 50 civilians die, she celebrates.  The point is that she won, and the collateral damage is insignificant or irrelevant.

Now could they do a movie where that type of stuff happens and the protagonist is callous about it....and the movie end up being "fun" for the audience?  I don't know.  But it's a movie where big action pieces could happen with collateral damage but instead of it simply being an issue where the movie doesn't care about what happened to the nameless people who in the wrong place at the wrong time, they can actually build it into the story because the characters don't care.

If Ayer is doing what I think he's doing, I don't think these will be genuinely bad people.  They'll be conflicted people who've done genuinely evil things but now want, on some level, redemption.  And characters like the Joker are going to exist in the movie as a contrast.  He's the truly evil one - they can find good in themselves to differentiate themselves.

That's just a guess.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I guess we will find out after the movie is released. I'm hoping to see it next week, but my schedule is always difficult, so we'll see.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Y'know, people can say that I'm insane for thinking that there's something fishy about the media/critic reaction to DC movies, but I'm seeing headlines today, linking Donald Trump to Suicide Squad. I've yet to see the list of Marvel movie political ties. So you can say that I'm crazy, but someone's trying to sink that ship.


Meanwhile, despite the negative reviews (and being banned in China), Suicide Squad is knocking it out of the park in terms of box office numbers. I think it's the highest opening ever in Russia. I'll be interested in seeing how people respond to it. The movie has really become a lot bigger than I thought it would. When it was announced, I thought it would be a quiet little side project for the DC universe, but cool for comic book fans. Now it's this huge thing. Kinda cool.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, on the Weekly Planet (a comics podcast I love) they were talking about Suicide Squad and said it's the movie most people were talking about.  I'm a week behind so they were talking about it before seeing it, and they were both really excited. 

For reference, neither thought it was particularly a great movie.  I didn't listen to his review yet, but his short twitter non-spoiler review said it was good but not great.  Going in, he expected it to be great.

So I'm sure it'll make money.  The question will be whether it has any traction for more than a week or two.  BvS made a ton of movie the first week and then died out due to word of mouth.  Suicide Squad needs to at least win this week and stay competitive the next couple weeks.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Like I said, I'm surprised that the movie is as big a deal as it is. We will see if the critics hurt this one.

While it's true that BvS didn't perform as well as some expected at the box office(a point that I think keeps getting exaggerated with time), it seems to be holding steady in home video sales. I just checked Amazon and the blu-ray is ranked at number 3 in overall video sales. Also, a lot of critics stepped back from their reviews of the movie once the Ultimate Edition was released. I do kinda wish that there was a separate Rotten Tomatoes page for the two versions.

Anyway, I'm still excited to see it. I don't expect it to blow my mind or change the way I see film. I think it will be a fun comic booky movie, filled with a lot of characters that I never expected to see on the big screen.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

For reference:
https://www.yahoo.com/movies/batman-v-s … 26119.html

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, I'm excited too.  BvS was a movie I was wanting to see for a long time and got bogged down by a *ton* of expectations.  Suicide Squad is a movie that's sorta free of that.  People might be a little leery of a new Joker, but we've now had 3 Jokers in 30 years so we're sorta getting to the point where we expect a new look.  People also might have expectations for Harley, but it looks like they have her down pretty well.

I still think it's really bizarre that they're already doing the weird sorta spinoff movie this early.  I still think this is a bit of a risky movie at this point, just because it doesn't really fit in the overall story (again, like Guardians).  I still like the idea of doing an Aquaman/Flash/Cyborg movie (almost exactly like the trailer for Justice League) as the post-BvS movie.

But I'm seeing it tomorrow night.  I'll hopefully be able to put a review up Sunday.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

SPOILERS

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Okay, so I saw it.  I'm not really sure why the movie is getting such bad reviews.  It's a bit of a mess, but I thought it was fun.  I thought it was sorta like a more serious Marvel film - much more fun than BvS or even MoS.  And it still sorta felt like the DC universe even though it was brighter and people were smiling.

I thought Margot Robbie was good as Harley, although I really didn't think they played up the tragedy of her character that much.  Even Batman: The Animated Series devoted more time to Harley's fall, and since she was such a central character, I would've liked to have seen her downfall to madness more than we got.  One of the problems of the movie is that it gets bogged down, but I think I only really understood her backstory because I've seen it elsewhere.

Will Smith was good as Deadshot.  But again, I don't really think I understood where his character was coming from.  Was he always a character who wanted to be better, or did having a daughter change him?  Did he truly like killing, or was it a means to an end?  It was hard to say.

El Diablo was a pretty great character, actually.  Maybe my favorite.  I think I understood his character the best, which was odd.

The rest were just sorta there.  I thought Katana was oddly added, and there wasn't much to her character.  Killer Croc and Captain Boomerang were forgettable in the background, and I thought Rick Flagg was pretty forgettable in the foreground.

Then there's the Joker.  I really didn't like this version of the Joker, and I'm a little upset about it.  And my main problem is that he didn't feel like the Joker to me.  Not at all.  He just seemed like a sorta-psychopathic gangster to me.  Nothing about any of his exploits really screamed "Joker" to me, and he wasn't even laughing all that much.  I know Heath Ledger's Joker wasn't really using "Joker" weapons or props, but I got the idea that he was at least an agent of chaos.  I really just didn't get a Joker vibe from him the entire time.

Amanda Waller was pretty well done, but I also wasn't really sure where her character was coming from.  The scene where she kills a room full of agents was bizarre, and I never really understood her motivations.  Was she just out for herself?  If so, why didn't she give Enchantress what she wanted when she was captured?  Why didn't she try and make some sort of deal?

I thought Batman's part was a bit weird.  I liked the mid-credits scene quite a bit(*), but I thought the two flashback scenes were sorta bizarre.  Batman gets the drop on Deadshot with this daughter, but would Deadshot have killed him if his daughter hadn't stepped in?  Did a little girl save Batman's life?  Deadshot basically beat him in the fight.  I know it's not a Batman movie, but it was a little odd to me.  And the Joker scene was really quick for how much it was prominently featured in the promo materials.  Flash's brief cameo capturing Boomerang was almost better than the two Batman cameos.

* I really liked the interaction between Bruce and Waller, but I had a few questions about it.  I know Waller knows everything, but is Bruce too old to care that much about his secret identity?  Including the Justice League trailer, Bruce is basically working as Batman in his Bruce Wayne persona a lot.  These are scenes that I expect Bruce to have in costume.  Instead of meeting with Amanda in a suit in a restaurant, I'd imagine that scene would take place on a rooftop as Batman.  It just feels a bit weird for Bruce to be doing so much of the work. 

* continued - And I'm still confused about why Bruce needs *more* information on Aquaman/Flash/etc.  The dossiers didn't seem that long, and he already has the information from Lex.  It just seems a bit of a retread.  Maybe Bruce just wants to be thorough.

All in all, I thought it was fun.  The first half of the movie is better than the second, but I didn't hate the second.  The action was pretty fun, and I liked the characters.  One thing that surprised me is that the movie really isn't very funny.  I can't think of any times, really, where I (or, really, anyone in the theater) laughed out loud.  There's comedy, sure, but I was surprised at how few genuinely funny scenes there were.

Oh and one last thing.  Just like Katana was tacked on, I thought there was some lazy writing with Slipknot.  His death was so telegraphed.  After every character (even Enchantress) gets an introduction with a flashback and a scene at Belle Reve....right before their first mission, "Oh, and here's Slipknot.  His power is whatever."  He gets one brief scene where you see that he's a bad guy and then he's simply a prop to show that Waller/Flagg can really kill them if they want.  They should've either pretended he was a real character (so we care whether he lives or dies) or use him to show how ruthless Waller is (maybe have a scene where she tricks him into thinking he can escape so he'll try - to basically sacrifice him to show that she's serious).  I just thought it was really lazy.

I'm disappointed that it's getting bad reviews, but I can see why people might not like it.  It's two different movies (setting up the characters and then going on a mission), and the characterization is definitely unbalanced.  What they get right (Harley, Deadshot) is good, what they get wrong (Joker) is bad., and then there are just a bunch of characters that are just there.  And I barely mentioned the plot, but there was a lot about it that didn't make a ton of sense (no one seemed to know what the mission was, I don't really know whether or not they were actually trying to kill Enchantress or not, a lot of time seems to pass between the initial attack and the Suicide Squad showing up - where were the other heroes?, etc).

So, yeah, there were issues.  But for what it is (and it knew what it was), I though it was enjoyable.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I didn't really read your comments because of spoilers, but the movie seems to be doing well. I've been following comments on Twitter and it seems like the overall buzz is pretty good, despite some people listening to critics and holding off on seeing it.

Box office numbers are really good too.

Which begs the question... Why are all of the news articles still talking about how Warner Bros. needs to recover from this, and the black cloud of reshoot rumors (reshoot are not unusual)? All signs seem positive, but  news reports are still negative (even referring to negative buzz around the movie, which I've seen none of). It's weird.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, to be fair, I don't know anyone (on a personal level) who has said the movie was great, but I almost everyone I've talked to (who is even remotely interested in comic book movies) has either seen it or is planning on it.  There was a great deal of interest in it, but most people I've spoken to (friends and acquaintances, not reviewers) have either been disappointed in it or said something like "I'm surprised that the reviews were so bad, I thought it was fine."

When you read my review, I think you'll see that it's very easy to fall into a review going either way.  No spoilers, but the characterization is uneven (which you'd expect from an ensemble film but it's worse than most) and the plot doesn't make much sense.  At the same time, I was never bored, I enjoyed a few of the characters very much, and it was pretty cool to be watching Harley Quinn on the big screen.

So if you wanted to write a negative review, you ignore some of the fun and focus on what's bad (and there's enough).  If you wanted to write a positive review, you ignore some of the issues and focus on what's fun and good (and there's enough).  I'm not going to say there's a movement against DC because I don't really see how reviewers would benefit from taking down DC and/or propping up Marvel (and I don't think Disney is paying reviewers to give bad reviews), but I do think people are (overall) disappointed in the DC universe as a whole.  So that might make "average to good" reviews into "average to bad."

It's hard for me because I haven't loved any of the three DCEU films.  So I can't say anyone is saying a "great" movie is bad.  They're pointing out flaws in the movies that really exist.  But some movies (Episode 7) are universally loved despite their flaws, and the DC movies are getting the opposite treatment.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think Star Wars explains some of the reaction. The Force Awakens was a mish-mash of elements from the original movies, essentially making it a high budget fan film that offered nothing fresh and profiting by giving people a "new" movie that was essentially one of the old movies. When Man of Steel came out, a lot of the negativity toward it from critics was due to its not being the same as the old Superman movie, which is the only Superman that most of the critics know. Despite debate among actual geeky fans, the same is true of the critics' reaction to Batman v Superman. "It isn't the Batman that I grew up with" was a common phrase, as we're comments on how dark and un-Marvel-like the movie was. With some critics, I think that they're just not into these characters and their idea of what a comic book movie should be is influenced by their general disinterest in comic books.


That said, I do think that there is a negative PR campaign going on here. Whether Disney is directly paying people or media outlets are just trying to stay in Disney's good graces because losing interviews and exclusives for Marvel movies, Star Wars movies and Disney animated movies would be a huge blow... I don't know. But when I start seeing different reviewers using the same weird terminology to ding a film, or see articles talking about the horrific state of DC's slate, despite this movie performing incredibly well and even BvS holding its own to this day, despite the negative critic reviews, something just seems off to me. Watched these patterns on the news for years, usually with political stories. The tactics are the same here.

Look at this article: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/avengers/ … nd-a105731

It is all about Marvel reshoots and how it's all good and normal. The article is written to ease audience fears when they hear about reshoots, because it is a pretty normal practice.

Whereas articles about DC reshoots are usually painted as panic and worry ( http://www.comicbookmovie.com/suicide_s … la-a133142 ). They go so far as to second guess Jai Courtney's comments on the reshoot because he made it sound like no big deal.

These news outlets make their money on news and interviews. Even if Disney isn't paying them directly to spin DC stories, there is a lot of incentive for them to stay on Disney's good side.

I'm not saying that any negative comment toward DC movies is part of a massive conspiracy. I'm just saying that the approach to discussing these movies has been coming from negative, long before Batman v Superman ever came out. A lot of the articles take good news and spin it to bad, or take a report on a successful weekend and spend several paragraphs discussing how horrible things are for the DCEU. It is disproportionately negative.

Look at the Rotten Tomatoes scores for some otheotheries. Thor 2 is at 66%. Age of Ultron, 75%. Iron Man 3,
79%. New Ghostbusters, 73%... And not one of the movies that Matt Damon has started in has ranked as low as the last two DC movies. MATT DAMON!

Sorry, but some of those movies are inexcusably low quality. Not fun. Not a few weak spots in an overall good movie. Just bad. There is no convincing me that there's not something wrong here, especially with such huge differences between critics and the general audience.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I get that.  But, like I've said in the past, I think these movies are aiming higher and get judged on a higher standard.  I don't think it's really fair that Thor the Dark World and Suicide Squad are measured against each other just like I don't think The Secret Life of Pets and Sausage Party should be measured against each other.  They have things in common, but they have completely different goals.

When you have Thor punching a giant rock monster and your primary villain gallivanting as Captain America in a humorous cameo, you're telling your audience that they don't have to be emotionally invested.  But in Suicide Squad, the "heroes" are told that if they step out of line, they explode (I hope that's not a spoiler).  And unlike Loki, if you die, you don't come back. 

So for Thor, the movie is judged on "did you have a good time?"  And yeah it was stupid and I don't think I'll watch it again, but I had a good time for two hours.

With Suicide Squad, just being fun isn't enough because the movie made it clear it was trying to do more.  So I have to judge on whether or not character motivations make sense.  I have to judge it on plot details.  I have to judge it on characterization.  When something doesn't make sense in Avengers, they make a joke and move on.  DC can't aspire to be better and do that.  It's why we care when Metropolis is destroyed but not when New York is.

If you want to be better, you're judged more harshly. 

It's also weird to me that you bunched in Iron Man 3 with Thor 2 and Avengers 2.  Iron Man 3 failed in some areas, but it was the most un-Marvel of the entire MCU.  It tried things that no other Marvel movie ever tried.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

That could be true enough for some critics (though most critics only see "comic book movie" and don't differentiate. Ant Man and Watchmen are the same to them). But it doesn't explain the huge difference in critic response vs. audience response. It doesn't explain why good news reports are spun into bad news. It doesn't explain why they'll report the same topic for both, but with Marvel it is sunny and business as usual, but for DC it is the end of the world. It doesn't explain trying to tie Suicide Squad to the Trump campaign before it's released. It isn't just that they don't like the movies, it's that they spend months trying to bring the movies down. It doesn't make sense to me.


Elysium has a 67% rating on RT. It's a movie that wanted to mean something. Tomorrowland is at 50%. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is 72% (shudders). How bad does a movie actually have to be in order to hit 26%, and is Suicide Squad *that* bad?

I guess I will find out, probably Tuesday or Wednesday.


I just thought Iron Man 3 was horrible. There really wasn't anything about the movie worth remembering or revisiting.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, there's also flaws in Rotten Tomatoes' system.  It's a binary system but what if a movie doesn't really fit in either category?  What if it's not good, not great - just average?  Rotten Tomatoes makes reviews go one way or the other so an average movie could potentially go either way.

And this is one of those movies.  There are problems with plot and characterization.  To enjoy it, you are going to have to look passed some things.  I don't think this is a movie that's being unfairly treated - it truly could go either way.

I did discuss it with a friend of mine who's a hardcore DC defender, and we did come up with some ideas on how it could've been better.  I'll discuss once you've seen it.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, I'm definitely open to that side of it. I don't have high demands for this movie, but I hope it is at least good. I can't really comment on the criticism of the movie itself yet. I can only comment on other media coverage of the franchise, which has been strange.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The more I think about it, the more I really think this movie just needed one more rewrite to be really great.  Mini spoiler alert, but in my rewrite, I would've eliminated two characters from the lineup.  I thought back, and with only one minor plot point, both characters are basically Rogue from Days of Future Past - they could be eliminated from the plot entirely with no plot holes.  So I'd get rid of them.

With those characters gone and no additional scenes needed to fix any errors (just one character doing something significant instead of another), there's three scenes I'd like to add.  It'd probably end up being slightly longer than the original cut, but it wouldn't be super-noticeable (and there's a scene or two that could be cut to keep it at a certain length.

And this is why I really like the idea of someone like Feige or Johns who is overseeing everything.  Because if it was me, I'd ask the screenwriter two questions about each character: 1) does the audience have enough to care about this character and 2) does this character serve the story?  For the two characters I'm talking about, the answer is "no" to each. 

And if the writer says "well, they serve a purpose down the road" then I'd either include them as a cameo or move their introduction to another movie.  Allegedly, the Batman solo film is going to take place in Arkham, and any character from Suicide Squad could be introduced in that movie and included in a Suicide Squad sequel.  I know the Batman stuff hasn't been confirmed so it definitely wasn't confirmed when Suicide Squad was being written....but, again, if there was a bit more planning, that might've been known before things started getting written and shot.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I will comment on that stuff after seeing the movie. smile

In the meantime... New Superman movie in development! Yay!
http://screenrant.com/man-steel-2-sequel-development/

I am a big fan of Man of Steel, as you know, so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with this. I hope that they don't take Superman back several steps, based on what critics have said about him.