Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think Warner is still suffering from the same problem it has for decades - the studio bosses just absolutely don't get this super-hero thing.   And this article about David Goyer probably sums it up:

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/03/25/ … ecade-ago/

This movie was Warner execs throwing their hands up in the air saying they didn't know what else to do.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I can't judge a film based on how much it cost to make. The audience was there. It made a lot of money. The general audience reaction to it has been good. The studio spent a lot of money, but that is really their problem. We don't know what deals they struck or how they balanced it all out. It really isn't for us to try to guess their happiness with how much return they got on their investment. We can judge the audience side of it, and in audience terms, it doesn't matter if the film's budget was huge or small. The audience went, and I think that anyone expecting it to be the biggest movie success ever was dreaming (and I may be guilty there too). It is the sequel to a movie that did well, bit not great. And it is about the billionth time these characters have been on screen. Add to that the fact that young kids can't go... Why would this movie be the highest grossing movie of all time? To comic book fans, it is huge to see these characters together. To random people who don't care, it might as well be Alien vs Predator.

I still say that the bad publicity pushed a lot of casual viewers away, and that had nothing to do with the quality of the movie. The press was out to kill this movie for a long time. It didn't work entirely, bit they left a mark.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

TF, that article misrepresented some of the quotes. Snyder wasn't diminishing Goyer's work. He was talking about the process in developing the BvS idea and opening up that universe. I don't remember where I read the original quote, but it is way out of context there.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

I still say that the bad publicity pushed a lot of casual viewers away, and that had nothing to do with the quality of the movie. The press was out to kill this movie for a long time. It didn't work entirely, bit they left a mark.

Yeah, possibly, but word of mouth usually corrects that.  If casual people loved BvS, they would've told their friends and they would've seen it.  I don't buy that critics have that much power.  I listen to my friends more than I listen to critics.

They can fix a lot of this with Justice League.  I just don't know if I trust Snyder to fix it.  The script can be lighter than BvS, but I don't know if Snyder is the guy to film it.  And even if he is, I wonder if he's already burned through most of his goodwill.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Word of mouth can help, and I don't think that the critics destroyed the movie's chances. But the negative news articles in the months leading up to the release, coupled with the reduced overall audience because the young kids can't go probably drove some numbers down.

These things are usually a machine that runs on excitement. Star Wars is not a great movie and none of the prequels were good. Yet the level of excitement in the press definitely built the audience. I have no idea how the movie turned out because I had to get past my annoyance with the marketing before I could think about seeing it. But the trailer revealed pretty much nothing about the plot, so it isn't like people were excited about that element.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Speaking of wasting money, did you guys see that James Cameron and 20th Century Fox are making FOUR Avatar sequels at the same time.  Did anyone ask for that???

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

That is such a big mistake. They're looking for a new Star Wars. I haven't heard anyone talk about Avatar in years though. I never even bothered to see it, because it looked like some thinly veiled "lesson" movie. Blah blah big oil whatever.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well it was a huge movie.  Made a ton of money.  But had zero cultural impact.  I'd want to see the first sequel succeed before I committed to FOUR.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Exactly. A lot of the success had to do with the technology involved. 3D isn't as big as it was when that movie came out. More of the sequel success will revolve around creating a good movie. Was the first one actually good?

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

That is such a big mistake. They're looking for a new Star Wars. I haven't heard anyone talk about Avatar in years though. I never even bothered to see it, because it looked like some thinly veiled "lesson" movie. Blah blah big oil whatever.

You ever see the story of Pocahontas?  Then you pretty much saw Avatar.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Was the first one actually good?

It's the most overrated movie of all time.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, that's what I figured (one response to two separate posts!).

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

With JK Simmons and now Willem Defoe being cast in Justice League, I'm starting to suspect that we might get Spider-Man showing up at the end of this film's trailer too!

Apparently, Defoe will be a good guy. Beyond that, we don't have much info. Any guesses?

The film definitely has a solid cast. I wonder if they're going right for Darkseid or if they're saving that for Justice League 2? They've been hitting all of the super powerful Superman villains so far. I hope we get another Superman stand alone movie, just so we can see him take down someone like Metallo, who isn't necessarily a "destroy the world!" type of villain.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, if it's anything like BvS, it'll be the KnightFall storyline, the Kingdom Come storyline, the Flashpoint storyline, the formation of the Teen Titans, and a lot more of Dark Knight returns all in one wink

In all seriousness, they've said it will be lighter in tone.  Hopefully it's actually one villain and not some sort of obscure alien/robot invasion like Avengers.  What I'd like is for the first part of the movie to establish these guys and their powers.  I want to see what each of these guys can do.  Have a scene where they come together but get defeated because they can't work together.  Then team them up properly to take whoever down.

Maybe Mongul first?  And save Darkseid for the second movie?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

No one betting against Jim Cameron's ginormously budgeted gambles has ever won. That said, past performance is not necessarily indicative for future results.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The Jungle Book...

Budget: $175 million (plus marketing)
Total domestic take thus far: $191,477,426   
Total Foreign take thus far: $341,300,000   
Equaling: $532,777,426

Pretty good, right?


Batman v Superman (after it's second week, assuming my numbers are right):

Budget: $250 (plus marketing)
Domestic: $260,408,047
Foreign: $422,500,000
Total: $682,908,047


I'm not going to compare movies. I'm going to compare media reactions... For the Jungle Book, I've seen a lot of stories about its huge success and how much people love the movie. Nothing about not fining an audience. Nothing about how much they need to make in order to make up for the cost of marketing. I could just be missing those articles, but I haven't seen them.

So, why the difference? The Jungle Book is a family friendly movie which people will probably see multiple times. It didn't bring in as much money in terms of product tie-ins (based on what I've seen in stores, it's just not as visible as BvS). So if all things are equal, shouldn't the articles be written about how disappointing this big budget movie with a lot of A-list names behind it is?


I'm fascinated by the media portrayal of Batman v Superman. I can't help it. I have nothing against The Jungle Book. It's doing well. But the overall narrative is that BvS failed to connect to an audience and that it was a failure, despite the fact that it did pretty well at the box office (especially for a movie that kids can't see) and actual audience reactions have been favorable. Where is the media coming from? What is their angle? Is a flop a better story?

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Per Box Office Mojo

Batman v Superman
3/25-3/27 - $166,007,347
4/1-4/3 - $51,335,254 (-69%)
4/8-4/10 - $23,363,079 (-54%)
4/15-4/17 - $9,028,356 (-61%)

Jungle Book
4/15-4/17 - $103,261,464
4/22-4/24 - $61,538,821 (-44%)

Deadpool
2/12-2/14 - $132,434,639
2/19-2/21 - $56,470,167 (-57%)
2/26-2/28 - $31,115,195 (-44%)
3/4-3/6 - $16,725,929 (-46%)

I don't think the actual numbers are the problem.  It's the drop off, implying that people didn't go back.  Everyone went and saw it week 1, and that was it.  By week three, it wasn't in first.  Last weekend, it was 6th.  It was dethroned by a comedy - The Boss - and has yet to beat it.

Being a success is one thing.  I think everyone thinks it was a success.  But it hasn't really "found an audience" - people saw Daredevil multiple times.  People are seeing Jungle Book multiple times.  And in both cases, people are telling their friends to go see it, and they are.  That isn't happening with BvS.  Everyone went and saw it, and the people that waited didn't go.

Now did the press hurt it before those people could go see it?  Maybe.  But if the media tells me that a movie is terrible but my buddies tell me that it's great, I'll see it.  That's why I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane.  So the media might affect the first week, but the first week was fine.  It's the second week, which I think is a based more on word of mouth, that is the problem.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

That doesn't explain the fascination with including their (rumored) marketing budget in with the movie's budget while failing to include product tie-ins with the profits. They're inflating the cost of the movie while deflating the earnings, just so they can make the story sound more grim.

One thing that I think may have hurt return viewing was the announcement of the extended cut so close to the theatrical release. If I see that, I'm not going to bother going to see it in the theater again. I'm going to save my money and wait for the extended "real" version of the movie. I think the movie will do well when it comes to home video.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't see how you can avoid bringing up the cost of marketing to explain why BATMAN VS SUPERMAN cost more than its $250 million budget. THE JUNGLE BOOK, with half a billion after two weeks and a 44 per cent drop, won't struggle to turn a strong profit even with a theoretically BVS level marketing and production budget by the end of its theatrical run.

BVS, in contrast, is reported to need to earn $925 million to be considered profitable and it's currently at $850 million after four weeks. This is most definitely not what Warner Bros. was hoping for; the expectation was that this film would earn half a million domestic and half a million foreign by its second weekend and reach 2 billion by week three or four.

I don't think BVS is a failure, but it's not the runaway success that one would have expected a Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman film to be. If the budget had been lower, it would have been superbly successful; as it stands, it's making moderate money.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It's also not really a movie that lends itself to be seen multiple times, I don't think.  I'm pretty sure I've seen every Zach Snyder film, but the only one I've watched repeatedly is, oddly enough, Dawn of the Dead.  I also think, while that movie is certainly grim, that it's his most fun movie.

(I found his filmography, and I saw that he did Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, which I bet is both less grim and more fun than any of Snyder's other films put together.  I don't know.  I haven't seen it.  Leaving in my mistake for reference sake)

When 300 or Watchmen or even Man of Steel come on, I watch a little of it and then I find something else.  It isn't that I didn't like those movies, but they're always so heavy and you sorta have to watch the whole thing to get any enjoyment of it.

(SPOILERS FOR EVERY SNYDER FILM COMING UP).

Yeah, everyone dies in Dawn of the Dead....but you only know that if you watch the post-credit stuff.  And it's a zombie flick.
Everyone dies in 300.
In Watchmen, the bad guy wins and the good guys are okay with it.  The only good guy that isn't is murdered.  And then, possibly, ruins everything by exposing it.
Sucker Punch, most of the girls die, right?  The main girl survives, but she's now by herself and alone.
And in Man of Steel, Superman comes into his own, but he had to murder a guy and be a party to hundreds of thousands of deaths for it to happen.
And in BvS, Superman dies and there's this ominous threat that something is coming and it's up to Batman, Wonder Woman, and three guys we saw on video to save the day.

I saw every one of those movies except 300 in theaters.  I didn't walk out of any of those movies depressed or anything, but they're not the kind of movie that puts a smile on your face.  Most of them are sepia-toned, dark, with this shroud of death covering the ending to each of them.

And so I think they're the type of movie that people watch, a lot of people like, and then that's it.  And while that's fine...it isn't the type of movie (like Deadpool or Avengers) that lends itself to making a ton of money.  And, of course, you don't have little kids begging to go see a movie again because no kids went to see this.

And if Snyder directs Justice League, I think you have to expect the same.  A lot of people will see it opening weekend, and there will be a sharp decline.  At the end of the first month in theaters, it'll be an afterthought.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I still say that we should be asking whether it is successful from a box office perspective, not based on internal numbers at WB.

That said, when did the billion dollar expectation go up to two billion? That was never going to happen.

Once you factor in various product tie-ins, the movie is probably much closer to a billion, if not over a billion. If we are talking about things like the marketing budget, we have to include how much they made from tie-ins because it is part of how it all balances out. But again, that is getting into internal Warner Bros. business, which we couldn't really figure out even if we wanted to. And it is not something that is being done with every movie out there.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

There are reports that JUSTICE LEAGUE will be more lighthearted. And I will say this -- regardless of our issues with Snyder, he's a good director. I was not entirely on board with some of BVS, but it was certainly a memorable and striking film. ("Did your parents teach you that you mean something -- that you're here for a reason? My parents taught me a different lesson -- dying in the gutter for no reason at all.") Snyder wanted to be grim and downbeat and he does grim and downbeat very well. And I think that if he wants to be lighthearted and uplifting, he can do that as well.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't doubt that.  I think he is a good director.  I actually liked each one of his films, which is hard to say for any director.  I'd have to see the Legend of the Guardians movie to see how he handles lighter material, but I don't think that's gonna happen smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

As for the money -- nobody would spend $500 million dollars if the expectation was to do a touch better than break even. BVS is estimated to need to earn $920 million to be moderately profitable/not a disaster; surely Warner Bros. was hoping to do better than be moderately successful when they invested half a billion.

A lot of the media reports on BVS seem to be drawing on past history, specifically SUPERMAN RETURNS and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN II. Both films had high budgets with extremely optimistic projections. Both films were thought to be the starting point for multiple spin-offs and sequels that were approved well in advance of completion. Both films would, on the surface of it, seem to have been successful at box office.

But both films eventually turned out to be below the studio's needs and expectations; SUPERMAN RETURNS' modest profit and the likelihood that a sequel would earn about the same or less given the mixed reception made WB decide to wait out Brandon Routh's contract and shut down Bryan Singer's sequel. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN II, like BVS, was estimated to need to make $1 billion in order to be considered successful; $770 million and mixed reception likely meaning similar or less earnings for a sequel made Sony decide to shut down all the spin-offs and follow-ups.

And now we have BVS, which would appear to be following the ASM2 track of multiple sequels and spin-offs matched with a massive budget and the need for a near $1 billion dollar earning to be considered a success -- and basically limping its way there with massive drops in ticket sales every week. ASM2 also suffered from a lack of repeat viewings. History appears to be repeating itself --

Except WB is in too deep to cancel their spin-offs, so...

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The Spider-Man situation seems to have had a lot of internal politics working against it as well. I think that was about more than money.

Yes, Warner Bros. needs to learn how to use their money more wisely. They need to improve their business model. In that regard, they are not succeeding.

However, if you want to get into the internal numbers and all of that, we need to know how much money the movie made on tie-ins, etc. We need to know every deal that was struck in regards to the movie.

Since I can't audit the company, I can look at the box office. To me, it looks like the movie made about as much as any movie that kids can't go to see.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

One thing that I think may have hurt return viewing was the announcement of the extended cut so close to the theatrical release. If I see that, I'm not going to bother going to see it in the theater again. I'm going to save my money and wait for the extended "real" version of the movie. I think the movie will do well when it comes to home video.

One question that has been bugging me:

Why didn't WB release the "extended" version?  And why not "re-release" the extended version in theaters?

I'm serious.  Releasing an incomplete, lesser version of the movie seems confusing now that I think about it.  Most movies choose to avoid the R rating, but Deadpool showed that an R-rated film can make just as much (and, so far, more) money than a PG-13 film.  It's true that BvS was able to, for lack of a better term, "trick" some parents into taking their kids to their movie.  If a dad took his three kids to see BvS, that's $30-$45 that they probably wouldn't have gotten if they'd released an R-rated film.

There's also the teenagers who can handle the violence/darkness that couldn't legally pay for tickets to go see the movie with an R-rating.  They might sneak in to see it, but that gross wouldn't go to the studio unless they happened to buy tickets to another Fox film to sneak in.

But if the extended version reviews better, would that scare less people away from the theater?  Would it improve word of mouth?

Because this movie isn't for kids.  So the rating shouldn't be that big of an issue.  The length is a problem (181 minutes) but Interstellar 169 minutes.  The Revenant was 156.  The theatrical version of BvS is 153.  It'd be long, but the theatrical version never really dragged.  I complained it was much too long, but if it fixes some of the major flaws of the film?  If the extra 30 minutes makes Superman more likable?  Or helps with plot holes?

And even if they wanted to take advantage of PG-13, why not theatrically release the extended version now?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

There is a rumor that the extended cut may get a theatrical release before the home video release. I guess we will see.

I don't think that it will change anything about Superman though. The perspectives will be largely the same. Unless they edited out Superman POV scenes, but I don't know how much I would expect that.

I think the studio probably wanted cuts for time and rating purposes. While I don't think it would change the tone of the movie, I'm sure that there is some good stuff that was cut. Personally,  I'd love to see the four hour version!

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

http://www.superherohype.com/news/37289 … ifferences
http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/04/29/ … or-to-exit

Not to pile on the DC movies, but this is why I think DC needs a Kevin Feige.  If one person is in charge of the vision, then there's no confusion when hiring a director.  I know this has happened with Marvel (notably Ant-Man), but two directors leaving in one day is a sign that there's some issues at the top.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Wonder Woman lost its original director too... And you could say that Man of Steel lost about a thousand directors before it was eventually made.

If it were closer to filming those movies, I might be more worried. As it is, they announced a lot of that stuff a long time ago, before there were scripts and real plan in place. It's not like a whole concept is being scrapped, like with the various versions of Superman that never got made.

It's not great, for sure. I just don't think that it's a sign of doom, and I doubt that it has anything to do with the critic reviews of Batman v Superman. This is a big deal. The DC movies don't cheap out on directing style. I'm surprised that a first time director had the job in the first place.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well this is why I'd want to get someone in charge now.  Suicide Squad is done.  Wonder Woman is almost done.  So with Flash and Aquaman possibly needing new directors, get someone in there now who can be in charge during filming of Justice League and preproduction of the other movies. 

I mean, hiring someone to oversee this stuff isn't exactly a sign of surrender, is it?  And there'd be a million people who'd love to do it, and a thousand who'd be great at it.  This is a monumental thing they're attempting, and if DC wants to make bigger, smarter, stronger, films I'd think they'd need a Feige WAY more than Marvel does.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

You're assuming that there is no such oversight. I've seen no indication that they have a hole that needs filling.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I've read the same thing you've read.  That there's a bunch of people filling that role.  That it's sorta Geoff Johns and sorta Zach Snyder and sorta some other people.  But Geoff Johns plate is way too full, Snyder can't be directing everything and also in charge of other stuff.  Also, I think he's the wrong guy tongue

I'm not hating on DC.  I like those characters better so my hopes are higher for it.  And I just think DC/WB is kind of a mess.  Just like Fox is kind of a mess with X-Men and Fantastic Four.  I think Marvel has the advantage of having everything in house (with a monster like Disney backing them) so all they have to worry about is this stuff.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't think that the Marvel method works. They aren't cohesive. Characterization, plotting and continuity are weak. If that is because they have one guy leading the show, then it is smarter for DC to have a few people reading the scripts and talking to each other to keep things in line.

The fact is, none of this is really new ground. TV shows have had different writers and different directors for decades. Different shows have different methods of breaking stories or writing them. We don't really know which method DC is using yet, or how well it will work. So far, we only have Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to work with, and those are the same team, because BvS was a sequel (ish). We will know more once Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman come out.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think the Marvel movies are as successful as they can in presenting the Marvel Universe as a single reality given that all the characters are from completely different genres that would ideally exist in their own world. As for DC -- stepping back from my personal opinions, I think we could all agree that creatively, DC is quite happy with their approach to their universe. WB executives stood up and applauded at the first screening of BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. They didn't cancel any upcoming movies. They are looking to add a bit more humour. Aside from that, however, they're continuing as planned.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I'm still not sure why it has to be so black and white.  The Marvel way or the DC way.  I think there can be middle ground on all this stuff.  DC could take bits and pieces of Marvel's strategy without admitting that Marvel is better than them.  Just because Feige isn't doing a good job doesn't mean that it's a bad idea or that it would harm DC in any way.

Of course, if that person is ever Zack Snyder....a group of voices would be way better.  Let's at least have non Justice League movies be fun wink

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I mean... I agree that there needs to be some person or people who are in charge of these projects, if that's what you mean. Like the Executive Producer of a TV series would do.

But whether that's one person or more, I can't really say which would be better.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/the-final- … 33263.html

I agree with the one guy who was quoted, saying that the movie was a box office success. I think that the driving force behind the perceived failure of the movie are the critic reactions, which other articles use as the basis for their viewpoint. The actual audience reaction has been far more favorable than what the press has portrayed. I'm not saying that everyone loved it, but it hasn't been the type of hatred that the critics have had.

And the critics probably hate it because they have no clue who these characters are or what type of stories they're capable of, outside of the movies that have come out prior to this one.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

BvS was a box office success but didn't perform up to WB's expectations. The initial weekend was extremely strong, but the fall-off in ticket sales was huge.

Right now, between Flash losing its director, Aqua Man's director not sure if he wants to continue, the entirety of Batman's rogues gallery being in the stand-alone film the DC 'franchise' looks like a dumpster fire. WB let the wrong guy create their universe, and now they're desperately flailing about trying to save it. No, you don't have to copy Marvel to be successful (and I'm a long-time DC guy), but you do need to have someone somewhere who loves the source material. Someone has to be able to say, "let's get things going before we 'deconstruct' the universe."

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think Snyder has shown that he has a love of the source material. Everyone is making more drama here than there really is.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think that while BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was Informant's favourite movie of the year, the miserable reviews, crashing downfall in ticket sales after the first week and overall negativity towards the film can hardly be dismissed from a historical standpoint even if one disagrees with it from a personal standpoint.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Nor can its box office success, the vast difference between critic reviews and audience reviews, and the overwhelmingly slanted reporting on the film in the media. The fact is that the movie is basically divided in the same way as a comic book would be. The Marvel fan hate the DC stuff. The readers are divided on what they did like and didn't like. The plot and characters are being debated. And the mainstream people who don't like comic books don't get it one way or the other.

I never said that it was my favorite movie of the year (though, I've only seen one in a theater and whatever other movies I've watched were probably released in 2015 at the latest, so I guess it may win by default). I've never even said that I don't have any issues with the movie. There are things that I would have liked to have seen differently. I wanted a Man of Steel sequel that showed the progress of Superman. What we got was a Batman movie where Superman is used as a symbol in the minds of others rather than a character of his own for most of the movie. It doesn't take away from what the movie was, but it did leave me feeling like I didn't get the movie that I've been waiting for. Yes, I wanted what you guys wanted... the scenes of Superman being Superman. The only difference in opinion between us is that I acknowledge that that isn't the perspective of this movie and what we saw wasn't a reflection on his character, it was a reflection of how others saw him. So when they eventually make another Superman movie and he isn't grim and angry, or acting like a god that hovers over people, everyone will say that they are responding to criticism of this movie, when the truth is that it will just be the first time that we're actually seeing him in context since Man of Steel.

I didn't like what they did with Jimmy Olsen. They thought it'd be fun to do something really out there with a character that they had no plans to use in the future. The only thing saving that scene from being a serious ding against the movie in my book is the fact that they didn't name Jimmy in the finished product... but they probably will in the extended cut. Which leaves me unhappy. It was just pointless and did not honor an iconic character in any way.

I think that the "Save Martha" thing works, but it could have been smoothed out a little bit. Mostly, because a lot of people didn't get what was happening there and they thought that it was all about the name itself.

I think that the footage of Aquaman could have been done better. Same with Cyborg. But they pushed too hard to make Aquaman very visible, when he could have remained a blur or a silhouette. The footage was too well framed.

I think that there are a lot of little things that could have been done differently or better, but ultimately I liked the movie for what it was. It's not perfection. I don't think that it's as good as Man of Steel, but I think that it set things up nicely. I wasn't disappointed by it.

The only reason that I seem to obsessively defend the film is because the reporting on it is so incredibly biased and comments made about it based on those reports are frustrating to me. Today, I saw an article that claimed that Snyder would have had Batman prison raped if he were in charge of the Nolan movies. This was based on a comment that was taken out of context, where the writer of the article deliberately misrepresented what he was saying, just because it fit the idea that Snyder doesn't care about story, he is only interested in making things as dark and angry as possible.

THAT annoys the crap out of me. Suddenly changing the methods by which we measure a box office success annoys me. Ignoring the audience reaction, which has skewed far more favorably than critic reactions, annoys me. You know I'm willing to admit when something I like loses its shine. I don't do blind loyalty to anything. I think the anti-publicity campaign for this film is unlike anything I've seen since The Passion of the Christ though, and it annoys me to no end that there isn't more of an issue being raised about it. The reporting is flat-out dishonest.



Anyway, at this point I'm just repeating myself over and over again. There's probably nothing new to say about the movie, at least until it comes out on home video. So... whatever. smile


Suicide Squad!!!!

I saw an article talking about the sexism in the movie, because Harley Quinn is wearing hot pants and they're sexualizing the character. It went on to talk about how they're marketing toward the horny young men at the expense of women. Then they went on to rationalize the skin tight outfits on unrealistically fit men by saying that it's all about the male ego.

Which led me to believe that the article had nothing to do with the movies themselves, or seriously discussing the issues, but was using the popular Harley Quinn character and her skimpy outfit to attract attention to their article. Which makes their whole feminist slant pointless. smile


Three months until the movie comes out. Woohoo!!!

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, I do feel sorry for Informant.  If you looked at the movie when I first saw it, I liked it a fair bit more than I do now.  It's only after I've really sorta tore at the movie that the flaws really bothered me.  It's an autopsy of the film that I don't usually do for many films.  And as I've said a couple of times, it's unfair to the movie but it also comes from a place of love.

Will Smith's I Am Legend is a pretty forgettable film, but it's relevant for a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with the movie itself.  The first is that I Am Legend was the movie that WB attached the prologue (the bank scene) to The Dark Knight in IMAX to.  If you went and saw the movie in IMAX, you got to see the opening scene to The Dark Knight.  That's why I saw the movie in theaters.  The second is an easter egg.  The movie takes place in the future, and there's a billboard in Times Square for a Batman/Superman movie.  That one easter egg is probably the most famous shot in the movie.

When Schumacher did his Batman films, he makes reference to Metropolis (in Batman Forever) and Superman himself (in Batman & Robin).  Those movies were horrible Batman films, but they hinted at a bigger universe and we loved it.

Bruce Timm made the Batman Animated Series and then the Superman Animated Series.  Then he brought them together in "World's Finest" (one of their finest episodes) and renamed the whole thing the "Batman/Superman Adventures."  One of the best episodes is when Superman comes to impersonate Batman.  One of the best episodes of Batman Beyond features an aged Superman.  Justice League ran for 5 seasons under two titles based around the adventures of Batman and Superman.

People have wanted to see BvS for decades.  Batman and Superman on the same screen.  How would it work?  What would it look like?  Who would play them?  Could they get Routh and Bale together?  Tom Welling?  Keaton/Kilmer/Clooney?  Would it be goofy?  Dark?  Funny?  Serious?  Who could possibly make that work.

And unlike any comic book movie ever, people wrote the movie in their heads.  What they wanted to see, how they wanted it to work, what villains they'd use, how the fight would look, who would be manipulating everyone.  Every line of the movie was written in everyone's heads years ago.

So when the movie came out, it had to compete with everyone's expectations.  Not only that, it had to compete with a Marvel Cinematic Universe that was almost a decade in.  And this was Batman and Superman, the two most beloved heroes in comic history.  Expectations were through the roof.

But the problems started before the movie was announced.  Man of Steel's ending had problems, and we were promised that a sequel would solve them.  Then came the casting of Ben Affleck (a controversial hire) to replace the was-never-going-to-happen-fan-casting-of Christian Bale.  And the odd choice of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.  Then we heard that the cast was bloating to include Flash and Aquaman and Cyborg.  That Wonder Woman would be heavily featured.  Man of Steel 2 was turning into a Justice League movie, and none of us knew how any of it would work.

There might've been Marvel folks who wanted the movie to fail.  And maybe some people who wanted to see a billion dollar franchise crash and burn.  I'm sure there were people that saw this as a desperate move to capitalize on the Superhero craze and wanted it to fail so these movies would just go away.

But I honestly don't think anyone went into this movie wanting to hate it.  People definitely went in with their biases, whether they hated Man of Steel or don't like Zach Snyder or Ben Affleck or the casting or the tone or whatever.  But people don't spend $166 million on a movie they aren't excited about.  For a movie they expect to hate.  And while this is a movie that I think most people liked, I don't think it's a movie that most people loved.  It's a controversial success at best and a mess at worst.

And, honestly, I think it was set up for failure because it could never be what everyone wanted it to be.

And, yeah, I think we've said everything about the movie but I just want to harp on one last thing:

I wanted a Man of Steel sequel that showed the progress of Superman. What we got was a Batman movie where Superman is used as a symbol in the minds of others rather than a character of his own for most of the movie.

You've mentioned this a bunch and I'm really having trouble connecting those dots.  It's almost like you're making the movie a bit like Rashomon, where we're seeing a skewed version of Superman because we're seeing him from the perspective of Batman.  And I don't get that idea from this film at all.  I understand that it is from Batman's perspective, but I don't get the idea that we're getting a distorted version of Superman that looks evil because Batman wants him to look evil.  I see a version of Superman that looks evil because the director needed him to look evil for his protagonist to get *any* benefit of the doubt from the audience.

Ironically, Man of Steel is on TV right now, and I just watched the interrogation scene with Lois.  Superman shows more personality when he's talking to Stanwick through the one-way mirror than he does for any public scene in BvS.  Cavill is able to show Clark's personality in intimate moments with Lois, Martha, and even Lex.  But every. Single. Public. Scene. Clark either looks angry, emo, or depressed.  When he's allowing a building to burn down as he allows people to worship him, scowling as he saves a rocket, creepily floating over begging flood victims or standing around doing nothing while the US Capitol burns.....he shows no emotion.  And if all of that is Batman's distorted perspective, that's fine.  If they did some clever trick where TV footage shows Clark putting out a fire, quickly saving the flood victims, and frantically saving two dozen senators, I totally missed it.  Because what I saw wasn't distorted Superman - it was just Zach Snyder's version of Superman.  A Superman I didn't like at all.  Clark is fine.  He's a good character that Zach Snyder cares about.  He's vulnerable and human and the best cinematic Clark Kent.

But Superman is a cold, distant, terrifying alien character without an ounce of humanity in him.  And I think Henry Cavill plays him that way.  And, again, unless I missed it, I saw no indication of Rashomoning.

And no matter how good the action is or how much you enjoy Affleck's Batman....if you get 1/2 of the title characters so incredibly wrong that they're the worst part of the movie for a huge chunk of your audience....that's a problem you just can't overcome for some people.  It'd be like if they nailed Superman but had a 60s Adam West - style Batman to face him up against.  It'd just ruin the movie, no matter how good they did Superman.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Feel sorry for Informant? Quite frankly, **** Informant. Informant can **** right off. Informant was looking forward to BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN and he enjoyed BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN and while we can debate its creative merits and earnings endlessly, it's set the direction that the DC Cinematic Universe is going to follow AND he's going to get an extended cut that will likely be in theatres. The only winner here when it comes to BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN is Informant.

And we should be pleased for that. It's a bit like how the Sliders Rewatch podcasters enjoyed "The Exodus" Parts 1 - 2. We despise those episodes, but I'm glad they enjoyed watching John Rhys-Davies get shot and blown up after getting his brain sucked out -- because we should never want anyone to have a bad time.

This was a rather caustic way of saying that I'm happy Informant's happy.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well just that he's getting dogpiled.  I don't feel too sorry for him, or I wouldn't have continued to poke at the perspective comment big_smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Happy?! HAPPY?! Do you have any idea what it's like for me to watch a piece of crap movie like The Avengers, with plot holes that you could drive a Dyson's Sphere through, horribly direction, poor editing and a solid cast that's made to recite generic dialogue, and to have EVERYONE go on an on about what a great movie it is?! For that movie to be held up as the example of what all "superhero" movies are supposed to be from that point forward?!

Do you know what it's like to FINALLY get the type of Superman movie that you've been dreaming about since you were a little kid, only to have people slam it relentlessly for the very reasons that you think it works in the first place?

Do you know what it's like to get a movie like Batman v Superman, where there is actually some thought and consideration put into the story, the directing, the characters, the themes and perspectives, and then have everyone complain that it's not the f***ing AVENGERS?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!111


Just once in my life, I would like to get to enjoy a movie with the type of ease that Marvel fans or Star Wars fans get. No matter how much crap those franchises put out, the media loves them. They get a free pass on every f***ing thing that they do wrong. People are allowed to be excited about them without being smacked down at every turn. People are allowed to have a stupid, childish geekiness about them without constantly having to defend their very existence. Without having to deal with people who will not understand what you're saying about the movies, no matter how many f***ing times you repeat yourself!!!

I don't get to be happy. I get to be driven insane by the f***ing media who is constantly shifting their requirements of this movie, because they cannot allow it to be anything less than miserable failure in every sense. The same people who started slamming it months before it even came out and never had any intention of giving it a chance. Those same people are nothing but perky when it comes to the latest Star Wars piece of crap, or the latest Marvel piece of crap. Probably because they're getting paid to be excited about them.

I get to have conversation after conversation with people who, at the end of the day, really just wanted the Christopher Reeve movie re-released, with it's horribly casting, it's stupid primary colors and it's absurd script.

People keep making me out to be a super negative person, but I'm not. I want to be able to enjoy things in life, but I don't get that luxury unless I'm willing to give myself just enough brain damage to smile through the next f***ing Thor movie.

No, my favorite Shyamalan movie can't be The Sixth Sense, because that would be too easy. My favorite Hitchcock movie can't be Psycho, because that would be too easy. My favorite book can't be Harry f***ing Potter, because that would be too easy.


Do I sound happy to you?!

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

For the record, I think Batman v Superman is a better movie than Avengers.  I was never a huge fan of Avengers - I just thought it was fun to get those characters together.  I didn't love Age of Ultron either.

Outside of the reasons I gave, I don't know why the media is harder on DC than Marvel.  I think it's a matter of expectations and effort.  But I still think the entire movie changes if you make a few tweaks here and there.  And I'm choosing to blame Snyder for creative choices (because I know Cavill can make Clark have personality).  I look at it like the Star Wars prequels (which, by the way, were ripped apart just as much as this if not way worse - some people probably really liked them) - Hayden Christiansen and Natalie Portman are good actors who acted wooden because Lucas made them.  Snyder had Cavill act a certain way, and I think it made the movie worse as a result. 

But if the media is really upsetting you and taking the movie away from you, don't let them.  You're still going to get your extended version that should be an improvement over a movie you already liked, and you're still going to get Snyder's Justice League.  The media isn't gonna be able to do anything about that.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

From my perspective, Informant, you have plenty of reason to be happy. You got MAN OF STEEL, which you liked, followed by BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, which you liked, which earned enough money that you're going to get SUICIDE SQUAD, WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN, THE FLASH, JUSTICE LEAGUE, SHAZAM, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, JUSTICE LEAGUE II and THE BATMAN from the same creators. If the fact that other people disliked BVS diminishes your enjoyment of a film clearly tailored to your obsessions, then the problem is on your end; you have put entirely too much of your mental territory into the hands of strangers.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I'm sure I'll live. But I have a habit of reading entertainment news, so it is annoying. Even now, they're trying to kill the excitement over Suicide Squad, which has had nothing but positive reactions from the general audience. Why?

Argh

Anyway, when BvS comes out on home video, we should all watch it and comment at the same time. That way we can explain what we are talking about.

Or at least take more detailed notes. It's hard to be specific about a movie I saw once. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Haha, I'm willing to do that.  It's only fair.

250 (edited by Informant 2016-05-06 15:14:07)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Looks like the disc could be out in July.
http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/batman- … s-revealed

Screw it. I'm going to get geeky excited over it. I want to watch the movie again and analyze every little detail of it. Whoo!


Also, it looks like Affleck has been upped to Executive Producer status on Justice League.
https://www.yahoo.com/tv/ben-affleck-el … 24121.html

It makes sense, actually. If the studio was worried about the tone of the franchise for some reason, they could be pushing to add another voice to the mix. Rather than create tension between them and Snyder, they turn to Affleck who has a good relationship with both parties, and is already part of the DCEU family, working on his own Batman movies. He was probably already voicing his opinions and being heard anyway. This gets the studio off of Snyder's back, gets the studio another set of eyes on set, and will undoubtedly help smooth the transition into those Batman movies.

I'm not usually a fan of Affleck's acting, but his directing/writing work has been pretty solid.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So, I replied to a comment that someone made in a Facebook group that I belong to. The typical stuff about Marvel being better than DC or whatever. I just said that they're not really the same thing, so we shouldn't compare. Then people started to reply, bashing DC's movies.

And I kindly stepped away before it got heated! I save the good conversations for you guys.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think Affleck will be a good voice in the room.  Hopefully Snyder listens to him and doesn't fight him too much because I agree - I think Affleck is getting pretty good at behind the scenes stuff.  And, honestly, he's much better as an actor than he was a decade ago.

I'm looking forward to the full movie.  I'm really interested in seeing the Jena Malone stuff.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

http://www.polygon.com/2016/5/16/116860 … er-bros-dc

Normally, I think that movies that are aimed at one specific audience would be a bad idea,  but this just sounds like a Birds of Prey movie. If that is the case, I think it could be really cool. As long as they don't go super awkward feminist, like Supergirl.

Is this why Black Canary died on Arrow?

If they are going to use Black Canary, I've always thought that Yvonne Strahovski would be a good choice.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, I imagine it's DC trying to beat Marvel to the "women" punch.  Marvel announced a Black Widow movie, and Captain Marvel will be out in a couple of years.  Could be a smart move by DC to get the leg up on the female market.

(And I think it's so weird that DC is so afraid of TV/movies intersecting.  Waller dying is another example).

I don't have a link (and I'm too tired to pull one), but I heard that Affleck is pretty upset that BvS got panned the way that it did.  It could be the reason why he's taking a bigger role in the Justice League movie(s).  I also heard that Snyder isn't super happy that he's losing control, but that guy probably doesn't have a ton of rope left. 

It's crazy, but I trust Affleck way more than Snyder.  I think less Snyder and more Affleck will be great for the movie.  Same with Johns/Affleck working together on the Batman movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

There is definitely a market for female superheroes, which Marvel has failed to target. A Black Widow movie, at this point, is a day late and a dollar short. She has been in how many movies now, and they have mostly failed at giving her a real backstory. She has been a token female on the team, passed around from guy to guy because they can't make up their minds about whose live interest she has to be, but they know that she has to be one.

Captain Marvel, I don't know anything about. I think DC has some really strong female heroes who would make great leads without being token females. Birds of Prey would be the natural and best option. Wonder Woman looks surprisingly good so far too.

I've seen the stories about Affleck being upset. Most of them are baseless and include the Sad Affleck video. It is hard to say which rumors are true and which aren't at this point. But his being named Producer isn't surprising. Since he is on the DC team as a writer/director and will be working on so many of the movies, it makes sense. Margot Robbie getting the title would be a bit more surprising.

Whatever is or is not happening behind the scenes, I just hope that the movies are good. At this point, The Flash being lighter in tone than BvS is going to be reported as a response to backlash. There is no good press to be had, so I'm not taking any of it too seriously (the content of the reports, that is. I'm still fascinated by the biased reporting itself). We shall see how the movies turn out.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Captain Marvel, I don't know anything about.

To relate it to the cinematic / television universe, Carol Danvers is basically the answer to what would happen if the experiments that brought Agent Coulson back to life were a complete success.  She's a complete Kree / human hybrid due to an accident involving the original Captain Marvel; and she has Superman-esque powers sometimes with added energy projection ability (i.e. hand blasts).

For most of her time in comics, Carol has been more associated with the X-men (the mutant Rogue holding on too long and permanently absorbing Carol's powers and memories); but about 16 years ago, they brought Carol back as an Avenger.  A couple of years ago, Captain America basically just came out and asked why she wasn't calling herself Captain Marvel since the original was long dead, so she just started calling herself Captain Marvel.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Interesting.

It is amazing how many old characters there are in comics which I know nothing about.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, regardless of who's in charge, something is going to have to change for these movies to resonate with large audiences.  I know that audience reaction (67%) was higher than critical reaction (27%), but both those numbers are still too low.  If you maintain that Superman was angry and cold because of perception/perspective (like Rashomon, I suppose) then they can't play that card again because most people (myself included) didn't get that.

My fear with Justice League and future movies is that damage has been done that's not easily corrected.

- Superman *does* appear cold and alien.  If he comes back with a personality (in his Superman persona), then we're going to need a scene explaining why he's friendlier. 
- Batman *does* gun down and kill many people in BvS.  Whether he's abandoned his "no killing" code or not, we're going to need an explanation for that as well.  Otherwise, if Joker is robbing a bank and people are at risk, why wouldn't Batman simply kill him?  If he's willing to kill a random mercenary working at LexCorp who may or may not be a bad person, why would he even hesitate to murder someone who he's *certain* is a truly evil person?

From my perspective, Snyder's Superman is cold and alien.  His Batman is a brutal murderer.  His Clark Kent might be more human and warmer, but Snyder has also shown that he'd rather make a Batman movie than a Superman one, so Clark Kent might only get a couple scenes here or there to show his personality.  The more people involved, making decisions, that understand that Batman has to be more than Lex in a Batman suit, the better.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Marvel has pushed back the Captain Marvel movie in favor of films with male leads twice already and probably will do so more times.  They don't appear particularly eager to make movies with female leads.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, and Marvel also allegedly changed the gender of Killian in Iron Man 3 because they didn't think a female Killian would sell as many toys.

Disney/Marvel seems out of touch.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, and then they didn't make any solo Killian toys anyway, so being female wouldn't have mattered in terms of toy sales.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Didn't they also release a toy that recreated a scene from an Avengers movie, but replaced Black Widow with Captain America?

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

pilight wrote:

Marvel has pushed back the Captain Marvel movie in favor of films with male leads twice already and probably will do so more times.  They don't appear particularly eager to make movies with female leads.

Marvel may have reason to push it forward now.   With DC planning a Shazam movie, Marvel has to do something to retain the Captain Marvel trademark with regard to movies and other merchandise.

Marvel swiped the name while DC was asleep at the wheel in the 60's, and as a result Marvel has to publish a comic with the Captain Marvel masthead at least once every ten years to keep the trademark (which is why we get the odd Captain Marvel one-shot or mini-series every so often).   Marvel hasn't been worried about movies and tv for a long time because DC didn't seem to care about doing anything with Shazam, but DC appears to be forcing the issue now.

The Captain Marvel name has been a bitter piece of business between Marvel and DC for decades, and you can bet it's on their minds.

As an aside, this trademark stuff is probably part of the reason we keep seeing these spread out releases of Sliders on DVD.   Since it's related to film, Universal is doing that to hold onto the Sliders trademark.  However, they've obviously let it lapse on books, clothing, etc.  it's one of the reasons I've been surprised we haven't seen a Sliders comic even as just a one shot - it's worth it just to protect their trademark.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Informant wrote:

Didn't they also release a toy that recreated a scene from an Avengers movie, but replaced Black Widow with Captain America?

Yeah it was the scene where Black Widow drops out of a Quinjet on a motorcycle.  The toy was of Cap, but the irony is that, in the scene, she's *chasing* Cap.

The toy issue is really dumb, but I can't imagine it's stupidity or misogyny.  At the end of the day, these toys are meant to make money.  And I can't imagine that any toy company would ignore a market that is there.  And even if the big toy companies decided to ignore the "girl" market for any reason, I gotta think the market would produce an alternative that would take those customers' money.  I think the "female action figure" market has to be too small to capitalize on.  I'm guessing there just aren't enough girls that want action figures to make up the cost.

Now, there's two counter-arguments to make.  First, they must be sure that boys wouldn't buy female action figures.  I'm not sure that's the case.  Second, they must be unwilling to invest in young girls with the hopes that girls would eventually get into action figures.  Because if that happened, it'd double their market size.

But the idea that Disney is sexist is a bit silly to me.  Because money is money.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Superman *does* appear cold and alien.  If he comes back with a personality (in his Superman persona), then we're going to need a scene explaining why he's friendlier.

Not really. Man of Steel wasn't about an angry or cold person.  It's just about the area that they need to get back to. So the character is already established. They just need to get back to that. Some people were still calling him broody or whatever, but Superman is not a comedic character. I don't think that he should be all smiles and fun any more than I think he should be all angry.

Batman *does* gun down and kill many people in BvS.  Whether he's abandoned his "no killing" code or not, we're going to need an explanation for that as well.  Otherwise, if Joker is robbing a bank and people are at risk, why wouldn't Batman simply kill him?  If he's willing to kill a random mercenary working at LexCorp who may or may not be a bad person, why would he even hesitate to murder someone who he's *certain* is a truly evil person?

This is something that would be interesting to address. Arrow got silly when he decided to stop killing people, because it makes no sense for someone claiming to fight a war, yet holding back. The Batman in BvS was shown to be at the end of his rope. I doubt that he resembled the Batman that he started out to be, or the Batman that worked with Dick Grayson. He was a Batman who had witnessed pure, unrelenting evil for decades, and at the cost of at least one sidekick. So his mentality makes sense. The question is, where does he go from here?


I don't have the article in front of me, but it looks like Warner/DC has named two men to run the movies in development and provide the continuity that you were looking for (though I hope that the movie tones fit the characters, rather than try to all look and feel the same). I know that Geoff Johns is one of them, and then there is a studio guy. The report says that the studio is trying to wrangle the projects after the BvS backlash, but there's no official statement about that. So hopefully you'll get more of what you're looking for in the movies that are coming up. But hopefully they won't become Marvel clones, because I really like the different angle that the movies have come from thus far.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, in regards to all the movies looking the same....I was actually more worried about getting a Zach Snyder-like Flash than anything else.  I think Affleck and Johns are going to make Justice League great.  I'm 200% more excited about that movie than I was two weeks ago, and I'm going to go in with higher expectations than I went in for BvS (which, again, I liked more than I thought I would).

I'm prepared to give DC the benefit of the doubt and throw all the blame at Snyder's feet.  I've liked his movies less and less the more power he's gotten - so if we can get back to Dawn of the Dead Snyder, I'll be happy smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I don't think The Flash was ever going to look or feel like BvS. Even Man of Steel was different. Wonder Woman looks pretty different too. Suicide Squad is a little dark, so it may not be extremely different, but it seems like a different director and a different angle on that world.

If you like BvS, ultimately, that was Snyder's fault. I have issues with the Marvel universe as as a whole, but ultimately the weaknesses come down to the names on the credits. But either way, the other movies would feel different, I think. Though Justice League might not be to your liking. Even in the comics, the big events can be weird and dark, and sometimes not entirely coherent. Even lighter characters can be dragged into dark plots.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well, the reason why I blame Snyder over anyone else is that I was swayed by the article ireactions (I think) posted about the script-to-film changes.  I'm not certain why I'm so trusting of that author, but so many things in my mind clicked that I think that's what happened.  The script that Goyer/Terrio wrote sounds like (I haven't read it but I've read a few script reviews) a Superman movie where Batman is the villain.  That Superman has to redeem himself by saving Batman, who's completely lost his way. 

And it's driven by a couple of mistakes by Superman (in the desert with the terrorists, in the Capitol).  But I think that movie would've had a very human Superman with a Batman who is clearly unhinged.  And a lot of my problems with that are fixed.  If Clark is warmer when he's rescuing people, then I can understand why everyone would've bought in.  There's some cool parallels between Batman and Lex.  And the Alfred role is tragic because he sees Bruce going down this dark path and can't save him.  And it'd honestly be a cool take on Batman to make him the freakin' bad guy in a movie.

But I believe Snyder took the script and twisted it because he wanted a Batman movie.  So Batman can't be completely unhinged.  Superman can't be a shining light.  They can't do a direct parallel between Lex and Bruce because Lex is a psychopath and Bruce is a hero.  And so much of that can be done with direction alone.  Henry Cavill was way better in Man of Steel so we know he can be warm as Clark, but I think Snyder told him to act that way. 

Then there's stuff that I'm speculating on.  I think Snyder was basically making fun of dissenters by all the references to "no civilians in the area", "the island is abandoned" etc.  And I have a feeling it was his decision that the government hearing be about some random foreign incident and not the Battle of Metropolis.  Both of those echo comments where Snyder thought it was stupid that people were freaking out about all the death.  So he's basically making fun by commenting that no one died in the movie, and confirming in-movie that no one was really all that upset about what happened in Metropolis.

The good news is that if I throw all this on Snyder and Snyder is getting reigned in, then I'm free to be less hard on Justice League smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Is there actually a script to read though? I've seen some fake scripts and some fake synopses that came out before the movie, but I haven't seen an actual script. So talking about how the script was one thing and it was destroyed by Snyder doesn't sit well with me

I'd love to read the script though.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Again, I haven't read it.  Could be completely unfair to put it on Snyder, but reading the script reviews I've read (I actually have three scripts I want to read but haven't yet) just clicked for me.  Some of the things I thought were odd about the movie (mostly characterizations of Batman and Superman) suddenly made a lot of sense.  Batman was killing people and acting un-Batmanly because he'd snapped.  People trust Superman because he has spent 18 months winning them back.  These are things that absolutely make sense on retrospect but weren't set up by the movie.

Maybe it wasn't Snyder.  Maybe it was Johns or someone else at DC saying "YOU CAN'T MAKE BATMAN A BAD GUY!" but instead Batman is still a bad guy - just not the bad guy.  And the act of saving Batman by having him save Martha just comes across as a "well, you go save Martha and I'll deal with Lex" even though that doesn't really make any sense.  Superman could save Martha and deal with Lex before Batman could get either place.

And, hell, maybe it wasn't in the script.  But in that case, everyone got things wrong.  The writers were wrong, the director was wrong, and DC was wrong for letting it all happen.  Because while you see one thing, all I see is a homicidal Batman who only vaguely admits that he needs to change, and a Superman who never smiles and shouldn't have been forgiven by anyone.

I'd like to believe that there's a *great* (and I'm not kidding.  Dark Knight Trilogy - level greatness) movie just under the surface in BvS and Snyder messed it up for cool points.  Otherwise, BvS was a good movie that ended up being a bit of a mess for various reasons.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Like I said, I'm really interested in the script. I'm curious to see what is on the page versus the screen. Maybe you're right.

Then again, if M. Night Shyamalan came out and said that Signs was not the movie I see when I watch it, would it change anything? Ultimately, a movie is what it is. Once it is out of the hands of the creators, it becomes whatever the audience sees when they watch it. So if BvS was meant to be something else, does that really change anything?

Is it weird that I really didn't have a huge problem with Batman in the movie? He was pretty irrational when it came to Superman, but when he was fighting other people, I didn't see anything wrong. Then I read people talking about him being a murderer and I had to stop and think about what they were talking about.

I think it's just my mindset. If I reach a point where I am fighting bad guys who have guns, my goal would be to put them down. No leg shots or whatever. It is more distracting for me to watch movies where the hero refuses to kill someone who is willing to kill him.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Well I'm with you on the death thing.  It's stupid for Oliver on Arrow or Batman or Superman to have a definitive "no killing" rule because a) there's always the potential for collateral damage and b) some men just want to watch the world burn. 

What I think every superhero's rule should be "save as many lives as possible."  And that seemed to be Clark's goal in Man of Steel.  As Max Landis famously said, in the MoS scenario, Clark would realistically try and kill Zod as quickly as possible if the alternative is thousands of dead innocents.  So if killing Zod saves one person  three people / a million people, then it's worth it.

The problem is that Batman in BvS isn't killing to save - he's killing to kill - both when he's marking criminals to be killed in jail and when he's blowing up cars full of mercenaries with the Batmobile.  In that chase, Batman kills a bunch of people when he really doesn't have to.  And I think that's what most people have the problem with.

Because if Batman can just kill a random person who wasn't endangering anyone, then he shouldn't have a problem killing the Joker or Two-Face or the Riddler or anyone in the next movie.  His first play should be to kill them as quickly as possible.  Which makes for a pretty bad Batman movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think that BvS was a very specific point in Batman's life. I don't think that a prequel would feature the same mindset, nor would a sequel.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah but if he's a hugely different person in BvS, shouldn't a solo movie deal almost entirely with Bruce feeling *horrible* for going down such a dark path?

I think that's one of BvS' failings.  Since Bruce was still the hero, I don't think enough time was spent on how far he'd fallen.  I would've liked some line from Alfred saying "so you're just killing people now?"  That implies that Bruce didn't used to kill and has gone so far off-mission.  In fact, we still don't know nearly enough about this Batman to make a judgment on whether or not Batman was different before.

275 (edited by ireactions 2016-05-26 15:59:02)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Very interesting comic came out this week: DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. It's written by Geoff Johns, who has taken over as the Kevin Feige equivalent of the DC Cinematic Universe and has written a lot of mythically unifying superhero comics over the years. I think it's the mission statement for the DC movies going forward.

Johns wrote GREEN LANTERN, HAWKMAN and THE FLASH and he started writing them at a time when Green Lantern had become a mass-murdering supervillain who'd killed all his comrades and died, Hawkman had become a confused mess of conflicting timelines and the Flash was dead and had been replaced by his nephew.

With Green Lantern, Johns resurrected the character and all his friends and found a way to reveal that the villainous GL had been mind-controlled and that all the dead friends were in stasis and alive. With Hawkman, Johns used the character's reincarnation-backstory to justify all the contradictory continuity. With the Flash, Johns used the idea of the character having been suspended in the Speed Force to justify his return. With Green Lantern, Johns re-established that GL is part of an intergalactic police force. With Hawkman, Johns focused on the extended lifespan of the character and his historical experience. With the Flash, Johns focused on the character as a forensic police scientist.

Ever since the 2011 reboot, the DC superheroes have been hit and miss. Establishing that superheroes have only been in play for five years eliminated a lot of history. The comics also had a hyperviolent and angry tone that was often at odds with the series. A lot of the continuity was contradictory; how can Batman have a 10-year-old son? How can there have been past generations of Teen Titans? Also, the BATMAN and GREEN LANTERN titles continued their pre-reboot plotlines but in the post-reboot universe, except those plots depended on past events that had now been erased.

REBIRTH has Wally West, the third Flash (the redhaired one), unstuck in time. He was erased in the 2011 reboot. Here, he's drifting from moment to moment, witnessing the new history of this rebooted DC Universe and comparing it to the history he knows. He notes that this is a world where Green Arrow and Black Canary barely know each other -- and they live with a constant emptiness and sense of loss they can't explain. He sees Johnny Thunder of the Justice Society in an asylum, having gone mad from searching for the JSA which never existed in this new timeline. Superman and Batman aren't friends.

This rebooted timeline is described as corrupted. Cynical and grim. Love and hope are broken concepts in this damaged reality. The heroes are angry. Disturbed. Violent. Detached. Their lack of family and friendship makes them weak and alone. Wally, drifting and decaying into the Speed Force, seeks a familiar friend to anchor him to this reality. He sees the other Wally West -- the African American one, a cousin of Wally's. They were both named after the same grandfather. But his cousin never met him and cannot be his anchor. Wally seeks out Batman, but Batman doesn't remember him. He finds Linda, but she has no memory of him.

And then, losing cohesion, he visits Barry Allen -- the second Flash -- the only Flash in this corrupted timeline. Wally thanks his uncle for everything despite knowing Barry doesn't remember him. Wally says good-bye, surrendering to the Speed Force, knowing his individuality and memory will be lost.

But then Barry remembers Wally and rips him out of the Speed Force. Uncle and nephew hug, Barry crying, "How could I ever forget you?" Wally says that someone outside of time reached in and turned the heroes dark and grim, made them detached and lost.

But now that Wally's back, they can begin to restore what was taken away. Even now, says Wally, they're being watched by some malevolent being plotting war.

On the surface of the planet Mars, we find out who this figure is who created this corrupted timeline and stole history from our heroes. It's Dr. Manhattan. Yes, the character from WATCHMEN, last seen declaring his intention to create new life based on his interests, has removed what he deemed inefficient and distracting and unnecessary from the DC Universe -- history, family, legacy and hope. Wally believes a war is coming. A war against apathy, despair, indifference and cynicism.

So -- this comic is very clearly a rejection of a lot of the comics and films that DC and WB have been releasing as of late, and an outright condemnation of WATCHMEN and its effect on comic books and films -- and written by the man in charge of the films now.

At least that's how it seems to me. I'm sure Informant will have his own spin?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

No idea! smile

I haven't been able to follow the comics in years, so anything that's happened over the last five or six years is completely unfamiliar to me. Sounds interesting though.


Which version of Wally is it? Original recipe or 2.0?

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

It's the original Wally. Sorry, I thought that was clear from saying he was erased in 2011 and that he tries to find Linda. I've edited the post.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Woohoo! The real Wally is back!

Sounds like it'd be a cool story to read. I might think about doing that.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

With DC Rebirth, it looks like they're going back to the legacy idea (something that had been part of DC's fabric since the first JSA crossover back in the 60's).  Legacy was really the defining characteristic of DC, and it's the right move to reclaim it.  As you read over the decades, the DC characters kind of became part of the family.  You watched them grow; you watched the baton pass from one generation to the next.  Certainly Batman and Superman never changed, but it was easy to forgive when the rest of the universe was so rich.

The New 52 was half-baked in my opinion.  Most of that is Dan Didio's fault as he notoriously micromanaged everything (to the point that he was changing scripts and having pages redrawn 4 and 5 times on tight deadlines before printing).  Didio was all over the place never seeming to know what he wanted to do, and it showed.  Geoff Johns shares some responsibility (he's the one who could not let go of the pre-Crisis past to let DC continuing growing), but Johns obviously had little say in the New 52 until now.

I've read some accounts and speculation the Rebirth is a veiled commentary on the behind he scenes at DC.  Dr. Manhattan is Dan Didio; the cold, calculating figure who re-made the universe and continues to fiddle with it through destruction (such as with Pandora).  Manhattan holds the broken watch he can't fix.  On the other hand, Wally is Geoff Johns.  He remembers how great things were, but he has been locked away as a spectator unable to effect change until now.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if DC can be salvaged at this point.  The question mark is whether Didio can truly be reigned in or will he assert himself and tear things apart all over again.  I think it is a true behind the scenes battle that mirrors the comic in many ways.  Who will win?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

The weird thing is that the legacy aspects of the DC Universe are part of why I never liked the DC Universe that much. While Superman and Batman are great, I dislike the scorched earth approach DC took to the Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, the JLA where DC would frequently kill off the most iconic version of these characters and replace them with a new one -- as though the fans' loyalty were to the codename and the costume. It seems really arrogant to expect FLASH fans to be okay with liking Wally over Barry, GL fans to happily take Kyle Rayner over Hal Jordan, GA fans to accept Connor Hawke over Oliver Queen, BB fans to embrace Jaime Reyes over Ted Kord, etc..

There's also the fact that the previous incarnation of the character would always be written out in a bloody and horrific fashion. Barry melted, Hal went insane, Oliver blew himself up, Ted Kord got shot through the head. There seemed to be a shock value oriented contempt for the characters and DC would eventually engage in some truly absurd methods of resurrecting the dead characters. The idea that Hal Jordan went insane because he was possessed by a yellow fear monster is just stupid, albeit executed with such love and grace and style that I didn't mind.

On one level, I am fascinated by how DC mutilated its characters and then repaired them -- because it inspires me to do the same for Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. On another, it makes me vastly prefer the Marvel approach where their signature characters are not the costumes and codenames for Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil and the X-Men -- their investment is in Peter, Tony, Steve and Charles and they know that's what readers come for. They come for the characters. They are our friends. Even when Peter and Steve and Charles weren't around for some time, their absences were played in a way that deepened what those characters meant.

In contrast, DC blows up its own fictional universe and continuity constantly and it's impossible to feel connected to the characters. Since 2011, Superman has been rebooted as a new Clark Kent and readers followed his adventures -- except the pre-2011 Superman returned, the post-2011 Superman has been killed off and readers are now expected to transfer their loyalty back to the pre-2011 Superman again. Wonder Woman got a new origin in 2010, essentially replacing the character with an alternate universe version, who was promptly deleted with another new origin in 2011. It's schizophrenic and it doesn't serve the characters because they're ripped away and replaced so abruptly and suddenly, it's difficult to connect to them -- especially when DC is so casual about wiping them out and acting like it's just the costume and the codename that matter.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

That's a fair opinion to have, but at the same time, I have always liked the way DC will grow characters like Dick Grayson or Wally West. When Barry dies and Wally takes over, it's not just some random new character, it is someone who fought beside the original and who has earned the title. There is loyalty built in.

Some of the characters aren't like that though and they do introduce new characters. With Green Lantern, it's pretty much the nature of the beast. One dies and the ring moves on. But it's harder for the audience to make that transition and it's not as safe as using an established character. The Jason Todd thing comes to mind. People wanted him to die. Obviously, the character wasn't working out. However, if he had been established earlier and promoted to that role later on, there would have been a chance to see how the audience responded to the character, and a smoother transition once the Robin title was handed off.

The problem with Wally West is that people did embrace him as The Flash, but most people knew that it was only a matter of time before Barry returned (even though it turned out to be a long time, it always seemed like the door was open). That makes things awkward when Barry does come back and you have two Flashes that people love for different reasons. The is no Flash Corps, so it's a difficult situation.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Interesting article about Stephen Amell addressing the negative fan reactions to season 4:
http://screenrant.com/arrow-stephen-ame … -response/

I have a few thoughts:

1. The internet does provide people with a bit of reckless freedom when it comes to commenting, but no more than critics have always had. The difference is that now more people have a way of putting their opinions out there and discussing, which isn't a bad thing. People tend to be more passionate about negatives, because they care. When things are good, they don't feel a need to be heard as much.

I don't think that internet handles make people cowardly in any way. We use them here because this community goes back to a time when we were taught not to give out much (or any) personal information online, and handles were the norm. Today, people put their names, faces, addresses and phone numbers out there, which I think is ridiculous. I use my real name sometimes, my pen name other times and my old handle other times. I've seen people making unnecessary personal comments about people without hiding who they are.

2. I agree that the internet tends to make small groups look bigger than they are, and the comments online can't be taken too seriously by the people making these shows. The problem is, the Arrow writers read the comments and got it into their heads that one small crazed group represented the majority of the fandom. As a result, way too much energy was put into the Oliver/Felicity pairing, and turning Felicity into an unstoppable goddess character, at the expense of the story and the other characters. After Laurel died, one of the producers made a comment about Laurel/Black Canary fan being a vocal minority. They don't get that they let a vocal minority dictate the series for the past two years and most of the people who criticized the decision to kill Laurel were upset because it didn't respect the comic book origins.

Simply put, the writers didn't keep their eye on the ball. The same thing happened with Supernatural, resulting in the deaths of Ellen and Jo, who were great characters that shouldn't have been booted from the show. And the same thing happened with Willow on Buffy, when her sexual orientation started getting media attention.

Writers shouldn't be taking orders from fans. It's one thing to keep your finger on the pulse of what people are responding to and what isn't working, but ultimately, you have to create the story yourself. A writer's job isn't about giving the people what they want, it's about being honest to the story. At the end of the day, no matter what people may want to happen, they will usually appreciate an honest ending more than a forced happy ending.


3. After saying all of that, I really do hope that the writers of Arrow step back and look at what has happened to the show. In the first two seasons, the show was getting great press and the fan reaction was mostly positive. Now, even fans of the show are having a hard time sticking with it. There is a very real problem with the core of the show right now and the writers need to figure out how to fix that. Saying that the fans who complain aren't real fan anyway isn't going to help anything, because these are the real fans. These are the people who have been watching since season one. These are the people who care enough to comment (I'm not talking about the ones making personal comments about actors or making death threats).

The problem is that the writing is lazy. It seems a whole lot like the writers are the ones who don't care. They destroy a totem in one episode and it's back a few weeks later, like nothing ever happened. Curtis literally stumbled into the super secret Arrow lair on a whim (as does everyone else who feels like it, it seems). They paralyze a character and then brush aside every ounce of legitimate story that comes from that decision. They keep Malcolm around because they like the actor. They stab the main character through the chest and throw him off a cliff, and he walks it off! And I still have no clue if Wildcat is alive or dead!!!

These are not valid storytelling options. This is not "I don't like Felicity! Wah!" type feedback. This is the very core of their production, and none of them seem to care. That is a serious problem. There are problems with The Flash, no doubt. But at least the writers seem to care about what they're putting out there.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Good thoughts!

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Thanks. I think I posted it to the wrong threat by mistake, but I still mean every word! smile

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Sweet! The new stuff looks really interesting.

http://collider.com/batman-v-superman-u … r-blu-ray/

Jena Malone looks like Cat Grant in the trailer, but with Cat on Supergirl, I doubt it's her.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Man, what if the Ultimate Edition is great, and it fills in all the holes from the original movie.  Will it matter to the masses? 

Because I honestly think the Daredevil Directors Cut makes that movie so much better, and it hasn't really improved the reputation of that movie.  Has any director's cut actually improved the reputation of any movie?

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think the Watchmen extended cut developed a following of its own. And Blade Runner had a well known director's cut, didn't it?

I wouldn't expect the deleted scenes to make it a new movie though. It will expand on the ideas that are already present, but if you didn't like the movie before, I doubt you will now.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think there is a good chance that Slider_Quinn21 and I will like the extended cut more than the theatrical cut -- although I base this on the hypothetical that the script for BVS was truncated severely in the theatrical version with key Superman scenes lost (such as Clark not getting involved in wars and hotspots and more sequences of Clark saving people) as well as Batman scenes (such as Bruce revealing why he went from hopeful to a burnt out wreck of a man, presumably because Robin was murdered).

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I really do hope that you guys can like the movie more and see what I see in it. I'm just not getting my hopes up.

Though I do think that a second viewing will help, even without new footage. It is becoming a mythical beast in the retellings smile

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I liked a lot of the stuff that was in there.  Looked like there's a more human Clark, more characterization for Bruce, more motivation for Lex. 

I've said before that there could've been some minor tweaks to take the movie from "good" to "great" - if the movie has more of that, then that's all the better.  But it'd make me mad that they didn't just include the "Ultimate Cut" in theaters.  By the time the movie is released on DVD, the damage might be done with general audiences.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

This cut should have been in theaters. The studio was stupid for trying to get the PG-13 rating and limit the minutes instead of telling the story properly. I hate when they do that.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah, especially after Deadpool did so well.  And especially after knowing that kids *could not* see this movie.  It'd be suicide for the MCU to ever do an R-rated film (or, heck, even a mainstream X-Men movie), but if kids basically can't see the movie anyway, go all out.

The only question would be length - would audiences be okay with a 3-hour superhero movie?  Maybe not, but the Nolan Batman movies and Civil War were both pretty long. I know this is a hypocritical argument from me since I started my review with "it's way too long" but if it makes the movie better, it makes the movie better smile

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Exactly. If the movie is good, people won't care if it's a half hour longer. I could see holding off on the 4 hour version, but a three hour movie isn't horribly long.

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294 (edited by Informant 2016-06-08 17:39:33)

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I was watching Girl Meets World today (give me a break, okay? I like the nostalgia  and the show is kinda funny) and came up to an episode in season 2 where a new teacher comes in and teaches the kids Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns as an introduction to good vs evil and the complexities of the concept.

At first, I chuckled because it is a Disney show, going to Batman vs Superman to tell their story. But it was actually an interesting question, for a kid show. Is it valid to teach graphic novels as literature and to use comic book characters to explore the spectrum of good vs evil?

The episode reminded me of the debate over the movie, though the episode aired last July.

The episode before it was horrible though. It was all about politics and getting kids involved, but it is a kid show so they never explained why their big political ideas (like "provide everything for everyone!") would actually destroy our way of life. But that is a different discussion.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

GIRL MEETS WORLD is one of my favourite shows although I don't see it as a TV series as much as a junior high stageplay that for some reason has a professional crew and soundstage. Therefore, my standards for it are extremely low.

I don't think that Marvel has ever produced anything that is sold in bookstores with the same cache and cultural penetration as THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or WATCHMEN. I mean, I love NEW X-MEN and Matt Fraction's IRON MAN and J. Michael Straczynski's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and Mark Waid's FANTASTIC FOUR and NEW AVENGERS and CIVIL WAR and SPIDER-ISLAND, and I do think you could analyze all of them deeply and meaningfully, but DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is renowned and famous in a way most comics and Marvel's arent.

That said, I think THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS sucks. I think it completely fails to understand Batman at all and was just significant because it was such a well-promoted contrast to the sixties TV show. A far better portrayal of Batman in old age is BATMAN BEYOND.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I think Uncle Eric would agree. smile

I prefer Batman Beyond too. TDKR was an okay read, using known characters in a completely unrelated story and context. But in terms of the characters we know and follow regularly, it isn't great. But The Watchmen would probably not be a good book for seventh graders. smile

I do think that there are many graphic novels that are as valid as any novel. There is a weird idea that novels are all smart, and comic books, movies and tv shows can't be. It is a weird notion to me.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

For me, the character of Batman is fundamentally optimistic, declaring that our traumas and tragedies will not overwhelm and destroy us but in fact inspire us to do good. In contrast, Frank Miller subsumed Batman into his own miserably self-loathing personality, using Batman to personify Miller's own mindset -- Miller's fetishism for prostitutes, Miller's obsession with violence, Miller's addictions.

The real Batman would not become a bitter old drunk who gets off on violence and dominating others in some pointless fight. The real Batman would accept that he had gotten old and find a successor, a new generation of heroes to inspire and tutor with his knowledge, experience and wisdom. I don't dispute that Miller is a talented visual storyteller, but he doesn't tell Batman stories, he tells Frank Miller stories and the world at large doesn't really know the difference. Sadly.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

True. I think TDKR is a good alternate universe story, showing what Batman could have been. It just isn't a good story about what Batman is.

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Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

So, on the subject of how big changes to iconic characters always get rolled back --

There are two weird exceptions: Dick Grayson and Superman. Having gone on a long explanation of why replacing cultural icons never works (movies and TV will use the most popular default) -- the world at large knows Dick Grayson to be Robin, yet he's been Nightwing for decades and we've cycled through Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne.

Why is that? I suspect that, very simply, BATMAN comics have generally sold really well. With comics like GREEN LANTERN, THE FLASH and SPIDER-MAN, sales initially jumped when Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Oliver Queen and Peter Parker were replaced, but sales eventually hit a catastrophically low point where drastic action was needed and the course of action chosen was to hit the reset button HARD.

I guess BATMAN comics have never been in that sort of sales crisis. Even people who don't like superhero comics tend to find something in BATMAN to enjoy.

Kyle Rayner and Wally West actually sold quite well, Kyle for a decade and Wally for two -- but they were hit by the gradual softening of the comics market over time and the need to make an event of Hal and Barry return and give sales a jolt. I don't remember where Oliver Queen's sales were when he was killed off and replaced with Connor Hawke, but anecdotally, GREEN ARROW was barely on anyone's radar until Kevin Smith resurrected Oliver and turned GREEN ARROW into a big hit again. (Take the last one with a grain of salt.)

For Batman, there's never been a desperate need to go back to basics because none of the changes to Batman's mythos prevented writers from having Batman solve murders in Gotham City. Also, any writers who wanted to write Bruce and Dick stories could do so because he was still around.

It's weird because Dick Grayson himself is not the most interesting character, and I say that as someone who reads NIGHTWING religiously. Dick's been written by brilliant writers and drawn by superb artists who created hyperkinetic experiences of John Woo-esque ballet using Dick's acrobatic skills to showcase his circus background.

He's been put in interesting situations like when he became Batman and had to mentor a homicidal 10-year-old as the new Robin and found himself struggling to impersonate his mentor. But the character is so well-adjusted, so stable, so confident that he needs to be written by a writer with a vivid and distinct style to make up for Dick's lack of vivid distinctiveness.

With Superman -- I have no idea why the rollback was rolled back where the late-thirties, married Superman, post-reboot, become a mid-twenties bachelor.

ACTION COMICS retells the origin of Superman in 18 issues -- but with a ridiculous EIGHT different artists, all with completely opposing styles within the same individual issues -- so the art shifts from loose cartoonism to crisp photo-realism to motion-oriented exaggeration and back and forth and back and forth, often within the same scenes.

There's a decent script underneath the visual confusion of an urban vigilante Superman and a slum-dwelling Clark Kent growing in power and responsibility, but it's unreadable.

SUPERMAN, set five years after the origin story, has five different writers over the course of its first 31 issues and is a mess of directions that start and then abruptly disappear in the confusion of a rotating door of writers each of whom start stories they can't seem to finish. Clark becomes disenchanted with journalism, quits the Daily Planet, becomes a blogger -- but that plot gets sidetracked with alien invasions and crossovers with SUPERGIRL and SUPERBOY.

The crossovers themselves are halfway intriguing -- a Kryptonian seeks to destroy the Earth to create fuel for a time machine to undo the destruction of Krypton. Superman is infected by a virus that transforms him into the Doomsday monster. But with five or six writers writing each crossover, the stories become an exercise in each writer writing some variant on almost indistinguishible action sequences over and over again until it's around 25 - 30 issues of motionless stalling.

It's quite clear that SUPERMAN editorial could not get their act together: hiring creators to make bold choices, second-guessing those choices, creators quitting, eventually resorting to clumsy crossovers to boost sales. There is no sense of what Superman represents or any noteworthy style, voice, perspective, insight or deeper meaning -- any writer who brought any to the table got frustrated and took it away with them.

The best that can be said of the later crossovers is that the SUPERMAN editorial office worked out how to get multi-artist books to look good. They hired artists within the same range -- mostly loose-lined, motion-oriented exaggeration -- and made sure that the colourists could keep the pages consistent enough that it wasn't jarring. Why this skillful planning was missing from ACTION COMICS is beyond me.

That said, JUSTICE LEAGUE, after an incoherent opening arc, seemed to find its feet with the distinct personalities of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg bouncing off each other. Superman was a strong presence and his romance with Wonder Woman -- a sheltered farmboy falling for an Amazonian goddess -- was rather sweet.

JUSTICE LEAGUE also had a delightful and still ongoing arc where Luthor decides that the best way to win the acclaim and fame and wealth and regard and power he wants is to renounce Evil, become a superhero and join the League.

The SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN title was also excellent, featuring strong writing that explored a very complex relationship of two people who will always feel like outsiders. There was the nine-issue SUPERMAN UNCHAINED where Superman was forced to struggle with his unwillingness to interfere in global conflicts outside of relief work.

It was baffling how the people writing the outlier SUPERMAN titles without full control over the character were the ones doing their best work while the core SUPERMAN office seemed incapable of releasing a single coherent storyline without an exasperated writer quitting without finishing.

Outside of the Superman/Wonder Woman romance, the SUPERMAN office was unwilling to take any chances in committing to any creative vision whatsoever.

And then suddenly it was. Writer Greg Pak came aboard ACTION COMICS and plunged Superman into fantasy sci-fi with Superman discovering an underground population of monsters, creating civil rights allegories while keeping the book full of absurd visuals and showcasing Superman's empathy for all. DC seemed to step back and let a great team do great stories.

Then there was Geoff Johns taking over SUPERMAN for a brief arc of widescreen action matched with Superman battling an alien invasion that sought to use Superman's public persona against him. This led into Superman developing a new superpower: emitting a burst of solar energy that was highly destructive and would leave him powerless for 24 hours.

Johns was succeeded by new writer Gene Luen Yang who began having Superman deal with the delight and fragility of being human (got drunk for the first time) and the psychological mayhem of going back and forth between godlike powers and being normal. With SUPERMAN in excellent state, ACTION COMICS doing well and SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN a monthly delight, one wondered what had taken so long and why the writers could suddenly take chances.

The next storyline was TRUTH -- a strange story in that it was told out of order. But looking at it chronologically, it's an amazing storyline: Superman going from powered up to only human means he gets injured more often and while he heals, he begins to get sloppy in concealing his secret identity.

In BEFORE TRUTH, a villain finds out he's Clark Kent and begins blackmailing Superman into giving them bursts of his charged solar energy -- and Lois, having found out the secret as well, decides to put a stop  to it by revealing Clark's secret to the world.

Villains start attacking Superman's friends. Clark Kent is wanted by the police, the Daily Planet wants to sue him for fraud, and Perry White feels betrayed by Superman masquerading as a normal person and knocks the glasses off his face.

And problematically, Clark discovers that the villains draining him via his solar flare power have somehow damaged his ability to store solar energy: his strength is reduced to lifting a truck; he can no longer fly; his supersenses are diminished and he's down to a few thousand in cash.

In SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN, Clark discovers that the power imbalance between himself and Wonder Woman has left him feeling crippled and inadequate. Watching her fly off to cosmic threats is heartrending. Worse, she interferes when Clark attempts to pilot a shuttle into the sun in a failed attempt to repower himself and steps into Clark's dealings with the CIA and the DHS when Clark asked her to stay out of it. Feeling betrayed by both Lois and Wonder Woman, Clark severs ties with both of them and sets off on his motorcycle.

Returning to Metropolis, Clark finds that his former neighbours declared his district to be Superman's town and began public protests demanding Superman be acquitted of all charges, resulting in brutal police officers storming on the protests and a weakened Superman chaining himself up with his neighbours.

This whole thing is a terrific storyline. Superman loses all the things that make him Superman -- and then keeps going anyway. He gives himself a buzz-cut, buys a Superman T-shirt and a motorcycle and carries on trying to do his job -- defending the city, fighting alien invaders, tracking down who has stolen his powers, teaming up with the JLA, battling monsters -- all the while getting beaten to a bloody pulp and dragging himself back to his feet.

At one point, in a reference to George Reeves' career, Clark spends his last $20 on tacos and is reduced to fighting in boxing matches for money. At first ashamed and humiliated, Clark begins to enjoy the show and the friendships he develops with other boxers.

Throughout this arc, Superman is homeless, depowered, weak, outmatched -- but he doesn't stop trying to be Superman, partially out of ego, partially due to his inability to stop getting involved in any trouble he comes across whether it's criminal, supernatural or paranormal even when he is completely out of his league.

At times, he struggles to keep himself on the level of a fireman and paramedic while the Justice League is handling the big threats. It's a beautiful examination of what it means to be Superman -- and you wonder how DC can go to these lengths with this character, taking big chances where before, they seemed incapable of even small chances.

Even more curiously, a mini-series, SUPERMAN: LOIS & CLARK, reveals that the Superman we followed from 1985 - 2011 who married Lois -- is not the Superman whom we've been reading about since 2011. The assumption was that Clark was de-aged and his life altered by the Flashpoint reboot into the NEW 52 version -- except it turns out the 1985 - 2011 Superman has been living in the NEW 52 universe all along -- living with Lois Lane under the false identity of the Whites and raising their 10-year-old, Jon.

Furthermore, it's revealed that the 1985 Superman has been secretly interfering in all major NEW 52 events, but always hiding, always letting the Superman of this universe live his life.

And then comes THE FINAL DAYS OF SUPERMAN where Clark (NEW 52 version) uses Kryptonite to burn away the damaged cells preventing him from recharging his powers, learns that Vandal Savage is behind his depowering -- and that it's too late. The damage to his cells is irreversible; while his powers return, his body is failing. Clark is dying. Worse, the solar energy released by his body has come under the control of a madman who believes himself Superman. In a final battle, Clark just barely manages to stop the false Superman with the help of the 1985 Superman -- who brings Clark's dying body back to the JLA just in time for Wonder Woman to tell her lover good-bye.

So why did DC take such crazy chances with the NEW 52 Superman all of a sudden? Because they were going to kill him.

TRUTH is a magnificent storyline. Beautifully illustrated. Splendidly coordinated -- except for the fact that it was inexplicably released out of order. First, we get the comics with Superman depowered (why?) with his identity public (because?) and then after that, the storyline explaining how this came to pass was released. Utterly baffling. I stayed far, far away from TRUTH until it was all done and I could read it in order.

It was great. Brilliantly edited: one writer handled Superman being exposed; one writer handled a depowered Clark struggling with Wonder Woman; one writer handled Clark struggling to earn money and carry on being Superman even when diminished. And the finale -- he dies saving lives. Beautiful.

But I wondered: what now?

ACTION COMICS #952 has Luthor publicly mourning Superman's death and declaring that he will be the new Superman -- only to be confronted by the 1985 Superman flying in to reclaim his name and shield. Superman is dead. Superman has returned.

... I don't even know what to make of that last one, but I will say that the SUPERMAN titles really found their feet after two years of screwing around. It's kind of horrifying to me, however, that DC had to be willing to kill this incarnation of SUPERMAN before they could bring themselves to tell worthwhile stories with him.

I cannot fathom why they went to the trouble to make Clark in his mid-20s instead of his mid-30s only to go and bring the mid-30s version back and have him as a father. But still. This was an awkward run that suddenly became a brilliant run and leaves me eager to see what's next.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Sounds interesting. Thanks for the recap/review.

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