Tag Archives: Superman

The New DC movie universe and why I hate it.

26 Dec

Sooo…

I am gonna jump on the bandwagon of hate for the new DC movie universe or “DC Extended Universe” as its called. Why? To establish the problems, so future installments, and unavoidable reboots, may avoid these issues.

I will first point out what I belive to be the flaws of the DC Extended Universe, then I will compare DC movies with Marvel movies, and then I will give suggestions for improvement and damage control. Just so I just dont become a complainer, but also a constructive problem solver. We can all bitch, but that won´t fix.

NB! There will be spoilers, mostly from DC Extended Universe.

The problems of the new DC cinematic universe

The main problem I have with the new DC movie universe is that they took all the parts of the established DC world, put it in a box then, threw it out again to change it up. Change is all well and good, but they changed it up BADLY. In the prossess of whatever idea they had, they removed the charm of the established characters and they removed the sympathy.

This is Jimmy Olsen in BvS (2016). Why? Because he is called Jimmy Olsen.

This is Jimmy Olsen in BvS (2016). Why? Because he is called Jimmy Olsen.

An example of this can come from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Why did they choose to make Jimmy Olsen a CIA spy that they killed off? Why?

Fine, “everybody loves” the “anyone can die” fad that came with Game of Thrones (2011) (I hate it), then why couldnt they just have killed of the original Jimmy? The good naive photographer. BAM, dead.

No they had to make him completely new, with a untold backstory. What happens then is that I dont care. I dont know this Jimmy Olsen. I know the original one, not whomever that guy was.

I have observed a reaction by the people wanting to like the DC Extended Universe on this. They try to say “That wasnt really Jimmy Olsen” or “That wasnt really Lex Luthor. Its his son”. But it probably was both those characters, cuz everything is different in this new DC Extended Universe. And its not for the better.

Same with the Man of Steel (2013) thing. They changed up the elements. Everything happens in strange new ways. The result is, we dont know them, but they think we will like them cuz they are named after the original ones. But I dont care for the new Lane. I dont care for the new Superman. One can´t just change characters characteristics and backstory and expect us to still know them.

Another problem with these DC Extended Universe movies are that they try to cram in too many things in one film. They cant keep focus.

Best example may be Batman vs Superman. It wasnt really Batman vs Superman – Dawn of Justice, but more like Batman vs Superman vs Lex Luthor vs GiantOrc – the Death of Superman with special guest star EVERYONE IN DC COMICS.

BVS

And I am amazed that there are fanboys out there claiming its “smart”. Its not smart, its mind numbing. You can see they tried to be smart… I guess.

Too much is going on, and the “complexity” that the DC movies wants to have is but a percentage between over the top action scenes. Here I would like to mention Man of Steel.

Remeber this scene from Man of Steel? Classic Superman, right there. Avoiding conflict, but then destroying the truck in a passive aggressive way. You are my hero!

Remeber this scene from Man of Steel? Classic Superman, right there. Avoiding conflict, but then destroying the truck in a passive aggressive way. You are my hero!

Man of Steel (2013) wanted to portray Clark Kent/Superman has this dark character. But all we got was a mopey guy, with some real anger issues. For most of the movie is goes around like a drifter, doing nothing heroic. Not even random “save the cat” moments is seen. Just him looking gloomly at things, trying to find himself.

That would have been okay, if we still felt that he was good. But not only is there no scenes of kindness and understand, but we do see the polar opposite. An almost psychopathic Superman destroying an assholes truck just because he can.

We needed to see Superman do some good, but I guess that wouldnt be “dark” enough? “Complex” enough? Yes, it would! As Man of Steel is portrayed he is an unsympathetic emo asshole we (at least I) feel nothing for. That´s not complex. Complexed would be him struggling by both doing good and bad things. Saving a cat and destroying a truck. Not really knowing what to do. As I remember he did one good deed. That was to save a busload of children in a memory from his childhood. The rest of the time he glooms and destroys. He destroys trucks and he destroys cities.

That is one of the things Batman vs Superman does a hell of a lot better. It shows Superman being Superman. He saves people. He does good.

But then New DC movie universe fans may say
But that is the point! To show how a god can be indifferent. To show the destruction that such power could bring. You are just too dumb to understand it.

Well there already is a character like that. He is called Mr Manhattan. And I did not see enough full frontal nudity to belive Superman was him.

Let´s compare DC Extended Universe with Marvel Cinematic Universe

(or; Is AndyAce83 a Marvel fan boy?)

You may think I am a marvel “fan boy” just because I prefer the marvel movies? Hell no! I love Batman (1989) Batman Returns (1992), even Batman Forever (1995) and I dont hate Batman and Robin (1997). I love The Dark Knight (2008). I love the Reeve´s Superman movies. In retrospect (after watching Man of Steel) I can appreciate Superman Returns (2006) too.

Its not a DC vs Marvel thing. Its just BAD movies. They are. They really, really are.

I am amazed that people defend those movies. They lack charm, they lack plot, characters, any sense really. In fact I loved BvS compared to Man of Steel cuz Superman did at least to do some good there. The plot still made no sense but at least Superman was SUPERMAN.

The argument I often get when I talk about the problems with this new DC franchise is that DC is darker than Marvel. And darker always equals smarter, to some. But DC isnt always dark.

Although I prefer the darker versions of DC there has been lots of campy DC versions to. Like the Batman TV show from 1960s. The movie is awful, in my opinion. Campy nonsense. Batman fighting a shark bomb from a helicopter is what I remember.

This is an iconographic scene from the Batman (1966 film)

This is an iconographic scene from the Batman (1966 film)

We also have the Batman: Brave and the Bold show. And the old Reeve Superman movies were colorful, with lots of comedy.

Same goes with Marvel. Although they have been very lighthearted, there has been lots of dark elements too. Like the death of Gwen Stacey in Spiderman. I still remeber that from reading it as a kid. Gwen died, and Spiderman becomes angry. He goes to his friend, and the son of the man who killed Gwen, who I think had a drug habit. The friend is on his feet begging Peter Parker for help, but Peter Parker turns a could shoulder.

Amazing! I wish THAT would have been the story from the new Spiderman movies. But no… “Just bland, lets cram, all we can”– type movie.

BvS is far better than Man of Steel. And it has its moments. I saw elements I liked, but then I also saw a giant orc thing and a plot that didnt make sense.

Its better that a movie sucks completely than a movie that taunts with great moments combined with utter idiocy. BvS should have been rewritten LOTS. I dont know how hard it could be to do that? Writing is the cheap part.

Why don´t the scriptwriters do a better job? Perhaps I should find the BvS script and see how it was? Perhaps it would have been better than whatever I saw.

I liked Afflecks Bruce Wayne. I didnt mind the eccentric (again) Lex Luthor. What I minded was the stupidity of the plot.

I am not a “fanboy”, I just stat my opinion. I voice a very real concern that for the next decade we are gonna get sub-par DC related movies cuz they decided (come hell and high tides) to continue a DC film universe that is very flawed.

One can compare any movie with any other movie based on certain elements. One can also compare certain movies with other certain movies based on genre.

Although one can´t compare DC Superhero movies with Marvel Superhero on style alone (which I dont) and say “DC is dark therefor boring. Marvel is colorful therefor fun”. That is not what I am saying.

But as superhero movies go, we can compare them on certain elements. I.e Plot. The plot of the DC movies do not make sense. Characters motivation is unexplained, they do stuff for no reason. Take BvS. The core of the movie was suppose to be Batman fighting Superman, right? This is the “main story”. And what were their motivation for doing this?

Superman gets this “elaborate” (but not smart) staging from Luthor and Batman… For some reason? He had a axe to grind? It was very unclear. And then the BIG resolution is that Superman says his mothers name. That isnt clever. And then the giant orc comes, right? Why? Why was doomsday there? Luthor created him, right? Why? Reason?

I think Lex says something like “If man can´t kill God then the devil may”. Fine, but didnt he create Doomsday, during the battle between B and S? I think so. I cant remember, I only seen the movie once. Then WHY? Why did he create Doomsday, while his first plot still where in action?

Here is the problem: BvS crams TOO many things into the same movie. The doomsday or “death of Superman” plot should have been its OWN SEPARATE MOVIE. But no… Cram it in at the end.

Then we can compare it to Marvel movies. I would perhaps use The Avengers: Age of Ultron. A movie I also just seen once.

That movie, to me, didnt either make much sense. Ultron appears and then he wants to destroy humanity. He has a monolog, and then he goes on a killing-spree.

And then the avengers start battling him in grandiose battle sequences. I didnt like Age of Ultron much… But, unlike BvS… Its lighthearted tone makes it more entertaining. The style of the movie, makes the nonsensical plot easier to swallow.

So this in an example of how the style of Marvel movies works better as a superhero movie, than this new series of DC movies.

Since DC movies are more “dark”, “serious”, “heavily themed” then it also DEMANDS better SCRIPTS, PLOTS, CHARACTERS etc.
But they dont. And that is the problem. Nolan´s Batman, was good, not just because it was dark and heavily themed alone, but because they were WRITTEN WELL.

I prefer the campyness of Marvel. At best I get depressed by DC, at worst I get bored and suicidal. I remember watching Man of Steel and wishing I was in one of those 1000 crumbling buildings. hahahahoooo… But seriously… New DC movies suck. I still have hopes for Suicide Squad though. Not watched it yet… Gonna wait for the 4 hour edition 😉

How can we fix this?

If I was creatively in charge of this new film series, I would have decided to do a soft reboot. Ignore Man of Steel, and perhaps also BvS. How? I dont know.

Make a Sandman cameo and reveal it was “all a dream”. This is how the DC universe would have been if a emo dreamed it. Perhaps add that there may have been some real prophetic parts in those dream (have the events reoccur in the new movies, only better.

Keep the stupid parts away (like giant orcs and lex luthor being an idiot) and keep the great parts (like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent having a real problem with each others philosophies).

Yeah! That sounds brilliant. Have Dream come in and retcon. Being that the character is a DC character it could work. REBOOT. Superman lives. He is not a emo. Lane is not a cardbord box character, but a bitchy besserwisser journalist fighting to get her voice across in this new media landscape where important voices are drowned by PEWDIEPIE.

So it was all a dream. It was Bruce Wayne´s dream based on events before. That is that Superman really fought Zod. But he took the fight to the nevada dessert (as he should). But Zod destroyed metropolis, but NOT with the help of Superman.

So the evidence of how kryptonians could destroy the earth is still in the continuity. And Bruce Wayne can still be afraid of Supermans power.

Zod may have gotten killed, but NOT directly by superman or atleast superman had to do it for the sake of humanity, not a family in a corner.

Lex Luthor is a megalomaniac but NOT a joker without the makeup. He did not create a orc thing. He just stays in the background, paving way for criminals all over the world. He only cares about money and power. On the surface he is nice. Very concerned about nature, and wants to help in nature disasters he created etc. He wants to rule the world as he feels he is entitled. “He is the smartest man on earth, why do only stupid people rule”, he thinks.

So we want Superman to be dark. Fine. But lets make him completely good non the less. But lets explore that he cant be many places at once. He has god like powers, but he isnt every present. He is bound by is body and time.

I have this scene where he is with Lane. She knows he is Superman, but since Man of Steel is a dream, she learned this over some time.

They have an argument as she smokes. Cuz she should smoke. She is stressed out constantly. Daily Planet is not doing well, and her latest piece… perhaps on Lex Luthor was refused as she didnt have the evidence or something. She bitches to him about something mundane. Could it be he didnt do the dishes?

As she does that Superman hears 3 pleads for help 2 children are in mortal danger in Metropolis. She bitches, he knows he cant save them. He just knows they need help. So in a fit of frustration he does what many would do, and would usually be harmless. He hits is hand on the table. But since he has super strength the entire table gets smashed. Lane gets scared, but so does Superman.

Yeah… It was aaaaalll a dream. Thanks Sandman. You saved the DC universe. He is the true hero.

Conclusion

I would describe the new DC movies as having “prosopagnosia*”. Its the disorder where you see the familiar faces, but the emotions are not awoken by it. Like seeing your daughter but not feeling that she is your daughter. Its a real condition. Same her. I know its suppose to be Superman, but I dont feel anything. I dont know him. Its not really Superman.

Less is MORE! It should be written on the door of the scriptwriter room of DC film universe.

 

(*Blog update 29 of april 2017 – Its called capgras syndrome when one recognize someone but there is no emotions towards it. I knew it was wrong when I called it prosopagnosia I just couldnt find what it was really called.).

Blog 2.0 -  I should be the scriptwriter/ show-runner for DC.

Blog 2.0 – I should be the scriptwriter/ show-runner for DC.

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When the suspension of disbelief becomes disbelief in the suspense. Part 2

17 Apr

So this is part 2. In part 1 I said: “There is this magical moment in cinema where a fantastical plot flops because the extreme becomes a steam of you-know-what.[…]Today I want to point out some great moments in film when they “jumped the shark” or “nuked the fridge” or “surfed the giant villains wave”.

This is the plan for this entry to. New movies, same plot fault; To find that part of a movie when it completely loses me because of being too far fetched and/or too stupid.

Outbreak – Time is of the essence, but they still got plenty of it.

In almost every movie worth watching there is a “clock of doom“. Something terrible is going to happen sometime in the future if the hero do not do something heroic. In scriptwriting circles (an exclusive circle I am a part of *smirk*) this is often called a “call to action”. The time constraint works as both an exciting plot development, but also a great motivation for the protagonist.

The laws of time in real life is rigid. If you are one minute late for the buss, it will probably have left. In movies, one minute can last at least 2-3 minutes and we often accept that. The time, due to adrenaline, seemed long for the characters so we watch 30 seconds of diffusing a time bomb that last for 40-60 seconds. No problem. “Subjective time” etc. But some movies state clearly that time is short, but somehow time was not as short as it seemed because they got to do a whole lot more than is plausible in that time constraint.

Outbreak (1995) is one of those movies. From the get go we are introduced to a very aggressive virus that kills anybody within 48 hours. Character after character get killed from this virus without mercy, but when the love-interest of the hero is infected suddenly everything is possible in that limited timeframe. They can chase an unknown contamination source across country, find how it looks like, bring it to a network, find and capture the monkey, have a great chase scene, fight the american military and the powers that be, find a laboratory and create a cure for an agressive virus to save her. To bad the protagonist didn´t show that same passion when one of his co-workers, played by Kevin Spacey, got infected. Not that the movie bothered confirming that the Spacey character was killed off, ofcourse.

Friday the 13th part 3-12 and remake – “Don´t go into that room, or anywhere because he is everywhere”.

I have seen ALL the Friday the 13th movies (except that one movie with the psychic) so I am kind of an expert on that slasher-franchise *smirk*. At one part, I think around the third movie (or was it the first?) Jason Voorhees (the killer) becomes an all present being, who is everywhere. It´s sort of okay in the 6 through 10 of the sequels as in those movies it get´s established he is some kind of Frankenstein monster (being awaken by lightning in the 6th movie). But in the movies before that he is just a regular “next cabin stalker killer with moma´s boy complexes“.

Sometimes it´s sort of nightmarish and surreal when “Jason is in the closet” and we all know he is there. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it´s just annoying. When the 8th teen has been slayed “just because” it get´s sort of old. One can only scream “don´t go into that room” with passion for that long.

I don´t know when Friday the 13th film series got really stupid, but I would guess around the 5th movie. After that, his godlike killing skills is to stupid to care and to brain dead to even scare teens in EXTREME weed noia. Then again, it´s very subject. Some may arguye that Friday the 13th became really stupid after first minute of the first movie to. Some people!

Who am I kidding! I have basically pointed out the flaw of every single slasher movie out there. Jason, his mother, Freddy, Michael Myers, that gasmask wearing killer of that Valentine killer etc. All those movies have an everpresent killer. I think it may be their point. To show how danger is everywhere all the time. But when these movies think they can do everything, all the time. It just gets annoying. It would be nice if they at least tried to make it feasible.

Star Trek – The Retcon who conned everyone

There sometimes is an unpronounced deal between the fans of a series and the creators. Somethings is as it is.

Let´s say we removed the force in Star Wars for some reason (i.e George Lucas felt like it) what would have happened then? Well, we would have Star Trek. Star Wars is Star Trek with the Force. The empire of Star Wars is the empire of the Klingon’s or Vulcan’s or whatever. Warp speed = hyperspeed. Alien creatures in both universes are humanoids with random stuff in their faces. They are basically the same, except Star Wars is “theistic” and Star Trek is “atheistic” (haven´t thought of that, have you? That´s why I have a college degree in movie analysis and you don´t. *smirk*). So the deal with Star Wars is DON´T REMOVE THE FORCE.

So what deal was broken in Star Trek (2009)?
In short: everything. By having one event in the beginning of the film change time and space and all continium, so that this movie, if seen as cannon, makes all the other movies, series, comics, books, fan-fics, EVERYTHING obsolete (except, perhaps Enterprise).

This one event changed the main characters and the great villain race of the Vulcans was blown away by themselves. Thank you J.J. Abrams. It works in YOUR UNIVERSE (that is Fringe) but now you are playing in someone else´s sandbox and basically spat everyone in their faces.

Star Wars – episode one: The Force explained.

Let´s science it down abit in the masterpice Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999). This movie has a lot of faults to hate. One thing is the annoyingly clumsy creature Jar-Jar. Child heroes who can by luck blow up space-stations. Annoyingly mis-en-scene with too many things going on in the background and disturbingly CG places that is strenuous to the eyes.

But to me, the unforgiving element in the Phantom Menace was giving scientific explanation for magic. The explanation that midichlorians is the biological basis for Force sensitivity, or what not. It doesn´t work at all!

The force´s explained is:

The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” (Star Wars (1977)).

It´s God or something. I dunno. The point is that the force has nothing to do with cells or protein synthesis or RNA or DNA or anything scientific. The Star Wars universe is a fairytale universe, unlike the Star Trek universe that is a humanist-utopia of the future. One is based on fantasy, the other on the lack there of. When one tries to explain too much it just becomes too obvious that it isn´t real. Somethings lose its magic when one tries to show it into the blender of SCIENCE! That´s why we call it magic or miracles and not science or placebo.

Wouldn´t this have been a great explanation for the force:The force is what gives a Jedi its powers. It´s basically placebo and mass-suggestion. We use the illusion of the force to make those stupid people in Anchorhead give us MONEY. LOTs and LOTs of MONEY! And when we have brainwashed them we tell them how evil the empire is, when in fact its the empire that binds the galaxy together. Stupid dessert wampas! .” Yeah. That would be a great and plausibel explanation for the new “freethinker” generation. Keep science away from mystery, adventure and miracles. The terms and symbols do not match.

 

Superman 5 – Now with three times more Super

 

Superman Returns (2006) brakes one rule, unfortunately that is the only rule of Superman. The acheelis heel of the superhero turns out to be a mild allergic reaction.

In every movie, comic, cartoon tv-series of Superman it has been established that nothing can stop him apart from Krytonite. Superman is immortal to almost everything except that one green substance that light like a Chemiluminescence stick.

But in 2006 Superman turned out to inexplicably be resilient to it. In the movie there is a constant “Superman says no to smoking” message, also there is some… I really can´t remember what happened in that movie. But at some time, Lex Luthor (played by Kevin Spacey) makes an island made out entirely of kryptonite, because that is THE ONE THING that can stop Superman. THE ONE THING. That was the point of making that kryptonite-island. So that Superman would be powerless. “Superman will never…” “WRONG!”

Ofcourse our hero saves the day, because as it turned out: all he had to do was fly the Island into space. Superman got a little tired, if I remember correctly. I mean there were Kryptonite all over, so he was tired. Yes, giant plot of a great master mind played by great actor solved by doing what Superman ALWAYS DOES!!! The problem was huge, the solution was “do something because it´s soon time for the credits“.

Fine, I can accept that Superman goes underground, and picks up a giant piece of land. I can accept that that island most have weighed 100000 tons, but when bleeping giant pieces of kryptonite are a few feet away while he is doing it… COME ON!!!

IT´s the one effing rule. ONE! ONE RULE. Nothing more. ONE! He can´t stand kryptonite. And then someone in Hollywood thinks. “Hey, wouldn´t it be like cool if we like made Suppahman do something unbelievable while having kryptonit beside him? Because that´s the one thing he can be not take. Sorry, be relly high now. Rilly. O´reilly. Fox News is so retarded.

Here´s the scene:

In conclusion:

Creative people in Hollywood smoke to much weed and are way to left wing and PC. That said… We can only stand so much mombo jumbo in movies, but bad writing and/or way too much weed and CG can make a movie too far fetch to watch. We can accept a certain amount and then suddenly the illusion of the movie´s plausibility dissaperes. There are some unwritten rules I will now write™ that could sum it up pretty good.

#1) The laws of physics and time applies if not stated a reason not too.
#2) Don´t express a hurry if you ae not gonna stress it,
#3) In sequel world certain things should not be messed with,
#4) If expressing boundless fantasy is your aim, don mix science into it,
#5) Don´t create impossible scenarios that the hero then triumphs over too easily.

Blog 2.0 – You probably thinking now: “If Blog 2.0 is so good at spotting implausibility in plots, how come it ain´t writing big picture blockbusters in Hollywood?” and to that Blog 2.0 answers “SHUT UP!