Monday, May 23, 2016

I Have Seen It's True Face

It's a weird time to be a DC Comics fan. The movies based on those comics aren't all that great; the constant albatross that keeps hanging around the company's neck is bad for their PR image; the majority of the stories told in those New 52 comics aren't compelling; and doing line-wide reboots every few years keeps fans confused about which timeline to invest their money, time, and energy on (though DC is not calling this a reboot).

But the big secret behind this Rebirth reboot-not-a-reboot is that Dr. Manhattan (from Watchman) was behind the creation of the New 52 DC Universe. This means that Watchman is now canon in the DC universe. 

So the entirety of New 52 universe stories are a huge giant sequel to Watchman?

Does this mean grim-gritty-grimdark New 52 DC universe?

Will the Joker be the Comedian in disguise? 

Will Owlman in Earth-3 secretly be Nite Owl?

Will Silk Spectre kill Wonder Woman and take her place?

Will Rorshach fight Batman (and win)?

Or will DC Comics come up with stories far more stupid than the ones I just came up with (smart money says this will be the route they take).

This is the kind of idiocy that keeps me buying Knights of the Dinner Table comics.


The accumulated filth of all their reboots and price increases will foam up around their waists and all the DC comics executives and stockholders will look up at the fans and shout "Save us!" And they will whisper "no".


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Still On About This

I sit here, wondering why I'm so angry over Batman v Superman (hereafter called BvS). You see, I saw Captain America: Civil War (hereafter called CA:CW), and I thought it was a great film. I began to wonder, how could BvS be so bad, but CA:CW be so good?

It's not like Warner Bros. set out to make a terrible film. I'm sure nobody there sat down and thought "I am going to greenlight this movie, spend money on this project, and produce a bad film that will insult not only the intelligence of the fanbase, but general audiences everywhere! This will produce a profit for us!" No sane person thinks this. But BvS comes out, then CA:CW comes out, and suddenly we have a basis for comparison that either amplifies the goodness of CA:CW, or amplifies the badness of BvS, or both. 

How could this happen? A few theories come to mind. It may be any, all, or none of these theories. Pick whichever one that fits your worldview. Please note that I have no special knowledge or insight that explains these theories. Most of them actually reflect what I believe about business & human behavior. I reserve the right to be wrong, and to be called out on my bullshit.

1. Philosophy. Warner Bros. makes movies to make money. Marvel makes movies to EARN money. Notice the priorities inherent in those philosophies. Warner Bros. doesn't care how the movie is made, as long as it makes money. Marvel cares about how the movie is made so they can earn the money. This may be why CA:CW has earned more money in 10 days than what BvS made in the past month and a half.

2. Careless Hiring Practices. As a corollary to the Philosophy theory, Warner Bros. looked at Zack Snyder's resume, saw that he did well not only with adaptations (300 & Watchman) but in a film involving superheroes fighting each other (Watchman again). So they hired him for BvS. Then they looked at David S. Goyer, who wrote the screenplays for all three Batman films made by Christopher Nolan. Those movies made money, so of course Warner Bros. hired him for BvS. Not once did it ever cross their minds that almost all the movies Snyder & Goyer worked on were grimdark in tone, which fits when adapting Watchman and Batman, but doesn't fit with someone like Superman. And Snyder & Goyer tried the grimdark Superman gimmick twice (Man of Steel was the first attempt). 

3. Ego. I write my thoughts on this blog, but that doesn't make me Shakespere. I have no illusions about being a great writer (or even a good one). I know I have a lot to learn, so I keep writing to hone my craft. I wonder if Zack & Goyer let their egos run wild, since they pretty much had a free hand when it came to making BvS. They probably felt they could write and film any scene and it would fit. This is probably why BvS has one of the weirdest scenes in any movie, ever.

4. Corporate Directive. Warner Bros. wanted Avengers money, but didn't want to do the work necessary to attain that goal (making multiple movies to introduce different characters over a 10 year period) so instead they told Snyder & Goyer to fit the other planned heroes into BvS somehow. Maybe this is why Wonder Woman gets a bunch of youtube videos hacked from Luthor's database showing herself, Aquaman, Flash & Cyborg. Oddly enough, there are no videos on Batman or Superman, which would have went a long way to explaining how Luthor knew Batman was Bruce Wayne and Superman was Clark Kent. 

5. Stupidity or Willful Blindness. Mistakes happen. Even otherwise smart people can make mistakes. That I could understand. What I can't understand is why they released BvS in that state. A film goes through many screenings before it's released to critics or the general public. That means Warner Bros. executives had to see the finished product beforehand. What did they think when they saw the Jolly Rancher scene? Or the Luthor in prison scene? Or the Knightmare sequences? Did they think to themselves "This is the worst movie we ever saw." Or did they not care? If they did care, the least they would have done was told Snyder to reshoot scenes or edit out those scenes that didn't fit. If they didn't care, that makes them either stupid or willfully blind to the film's flaws. 

I know that I've written a lot of posts concerning BvS. This is one of those films that sticks in my mind. I hope this post finally frees me from the mental tyranny of this movie, and you, the reader, from my mad ramblings about this subject.






Maybe not.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Redemption

It's amazing, in this current age of superhero movies, how many people who sucked in one superhero movie would be great in another. Just off the top of my head, here's some examples:

Chris Evans
Anybody remember him in the first 2 Fantastic Four movies made by 20th Century Fox, when he was the Human Torch? No, because everyone remembers him as being the awesome Captain America.

Ryan Reynolds
Wasn't he in that dumb Green Lantern movie? I don't know. I can't recognize him in his amazing Deadpool movie (currently the 2nd top grossing R-rated movie ever).

Ben Affleck
Say what you will about Batman v Superman (I know I have) but everyone now pictures Ben Affleck as cool-as-fuck Batman and not dumb-as-hell Daredevil.

Amazing how good an actor can be when he has a good director bringing out a good performance from him. Or when the actor is reading from a script written by writers who know what a good story is. If all these actors did was their first superhero roles and quit immediately afterward because they were bad experiences, would we get a good Captain America: Civil War movie? Would we get a good Deadpool movie? Would we get a good Batman in an otherwise terrible Batman v Superman movie? I'm glad we don't live in a world where we had to find out.  

Bonus: Elizabeth Olsen was in the latest Godzilla movie that was awesome only when Godzilla showed up. But here she is, Scarlet Witch, in Avengers: Age of Ultron & Captain America: Civil War, both great movies. 

Know other great examples of actors & actresses in terrible movies but redeemed themselves in awesome movies? Let me know in the comments.