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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1040 on: March 05, 2022, 04:41:16 AM »
I've seen The Batman, more like The Badman, am I right? No, just kidding, it's actually really good! A few minor details that aren't really critical to the quality of the film to begin with - I'm delighted to report that we don't see the Waynes being murdered for the millionth time here. Their murders are mentioned at the beginning of the movie, and that's literally all the reminder anyone needed. Also, while I'm not 100% sure on this, I don't believe that Batman causes anyone's death either directly or indirectly in this movie, which would make this the first Batman movie since 1997's Batman and Robin to have him not be a killer, which itself was the first Batman movie since 1966's Batman to have him not be a killer. On the negative side, I'm sorry to say that the scene of Batman casually wading through a stream of concentrated gunfire entirely unfazed is not a dream, a hallucination, or an unreliable narrator's account of fighting him. It's presented entirely as-is, meaning that this Batman is essentially bulletproof. And it's not even consistent, because when Batman fights in hand-to-hand combat, he visibly reacts whenever he does take a hit. How in the world does a punch hurt this guy when a hundred bullets at once don't even make him twitch?

But like I said, none of those are really substantive strengths or weaknesses of the film. The soundtrack is nice and portentous without going into Hans Zimmer "BWAAAAA" territory. The action is fast-paced and appropriately brutal - this Batman has a rough, scrappy fighting style that I really like, and the one big Batmobile scene is a joy to watch. The movie looks fantastic; I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the best-looking capeshit movies ever. The cast is great, and Pattinson in particular shines in the lead role, making his gloomy emo version of Batman compelling where a lesser actor would have just made him thoroughly unlikable. The story is a bit different to what we've seen in previous Batman movies, as this time our hero is primarily trying to solve a mystery. The inspiration - the very, very obvious inspiration, to the degree that one might even call this movie an homage to it - is the film Se7en, and just like with Joker and its riffs on Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, I'm not sure if leaning so heavily on this inspiration will really invite many positive comparisons. Is "it's like [insert classic here], but with capeshit!" really a good selling point? In any event, it's good to see Batman do something different every once in a while.

I do still wish that Reeves had decided to go in another direction than gritty realism. We had more than enough of that angle with three Nolan movies, and in general it feels like such a dull, "safe" route to go down with the franchise after Snyder's movies crashed and burned. "Oh shit, guys, our attempt at a Batman who lives in a world of magic and aliens didn't work out! Let's go back to what Nolan did; everyone loved those movies!" I say this knowing perfectly well that it wasn't a studio mandate to go with this take on Batman, but something that Reeves wanted and fought for. It was a genuine artistic decision, but it feels like a boring corporate decision, you know? I'd love to see a good filmmaker one day take on a Batman who isn't strictly realistic, one who lives in a world where he might one day have to fight the likes of Clayface or Poison Ivy, but it looks like that won't be happening any time soon. Speaking of tone, though, the movie isn't really as grimdark as the marketing and reviews have played it up as. It's about as dark as the Nolan movies, certainly nowhere near as miserable or cynical as the Snyder ones.

One more criticism, and it's a minor one - this movie really could have done without the extended Joker tease at the end. Personally, I'm a little burned out on the Joker in general, but I get that he's a big moneymaker, so they want to use him in the inevitable sequel, and so they tease him in the first movie. Okay, but don't show him! Have the Riddler be slipped a note from him or something. And if they insisted on showing him - don't show him for so long! Have him just appear for a second, or say just one line. But no, the scene he's in goes on for over a minute, and he has several lines. It's way too early to be doing this. Wait until the fucking movie he actually has a substantial role in comes out! Giving him an inflated cameo like this just reeks of desperation. Talk about shooting their load early.

So yeah, I liked the movie! Go see it!
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1041 on: March 10, 2022, 03:30:47 AM »
I just saw it and mostly agree with everything you said except for a few points. The score was a little relentless in using the feel of the Nirvana song. It worked for the tone of the movie but the movie also became a bit of a slog in the third act. I also, over three hours, hoped to see a bit more of a soft spot from Pattinson, maybe when he talks to Falcone? I don’t know. It feels like a bit of a nitpick because the rest was pretty great.  Great script (the Riddler was fucking diabolical), great acting (the Riddler was fucking diabolical). I loved how they used so many extreme close ups with Batman, like Reeves tried to give you a feeling of being in the suit. The sound editing, especially in the batmobile scene, pulled you through the story. Yeah, really well done. I can’t wait to see what the next reboot does.
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Offline junker

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1042 on: March 12, 2022, 04:50:04 AM »
I've seen The Batman

holy shit why was this movie so long and why did i not check the runtime before going

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1043 on: March 12, 2022, 11:14:30 AM »
I've seen The Batman

holy shit why was this movie so long and why did i not check the runtime before going

They could have cut Catwoman and made the movie better and shorter.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1044 on: March 13, 2022, 04:28:45 AM »
The movie is definitely far too long. There's no reason any capeshit movie should ever be three hours long, and I honestly suspect that a lot of this trend comes down to filmmakers who want people to think of the movie they've made as being suitably "epic." They're regularly cheered on by the worst kind of fanboys online, so I don't think it's ending any time soon. I certainly wouldn't have cut Catwoman from this movie, though. I guess you'll explain to us why you didn't like her, Rama.

I have more thoughts on the overall story, and seeing how the movie has been out for a week by now, I'm going to drop the spoiler tags. Here comes an official

spoiler waddling
I didn't care for the Riddler's ultimate plan of flooding Gotham and arranging a mass shooting. The thematic clash between him and Batman up to that point was a really strong one, with Batman's frantic struggle to distance himself from someone who ultimately was just another vigilante like himself, albeit with far harsher methods. The contrast between them essentially goes out the window when the Riddler decides he just wants to kill tons and tons of innocent people out of a rationale that's largely nonsensical. He's not a foil for Batman anymore, he's just another terrorist trying to spread as much chaos and destruction as he can. If that sounds familiar to you, it's because the central conflict in all three of Nolan's Batman movies lay with villains who were terrorists trying to spread as much chaos and destruction as they could. And undoubtedly due to the influence of Nolan's Batman movies (particularly TDK), we've seen plenty of villains in genre movies being reinterpreted as seemingly motivationless terrorists, like Lex Luthor in BvS, or even non-capeshit villains like Khan in Star Trek: Into Dumbness. I get the appeal for filmmakers. It's easy to write villains who just want to kill people and cause chaos in a general sense rather than ones who actually have specific goals and take specific actions to reach them. But it's been done, entirely played out, and we're really past due to be seeing something new.

Speaking of trends kicked off by TDK, I like that this movie kind of plays with the "getting caught was part of the plan!" villain twist that so many movies have done. The Riddler anticipated being caught, so his arrest was technically part of his plan, but it wasn't a means to an end, or something that was critical to the rest of his plan moving forward. There's an appreciable difference there that I found refreshing. I also enjoyed the twist of him being a fringe social media personality. The bit will probably be dated in a few years' time, but for what it is right now, it's a clever piece of satire. If only it had been used to set up something less tired and worn-out than a plan to kill as many people as possible. Maybe if the plan had been for his followers to storm a fancy ball or party for the new mayor, and kill the elite members of society who show up as guests? I think that might have worked better. And a final point about the Riddler - I really liked the fake-out about him possibly knowing who Batman is. It's very cleverly written, Pattinson really sells the tension and fear in his face while he confronts the Riddler, and looking back on it now, it would have been pretty stupid for the Riddler to have just "figured out" who Batman is offscreen. I feel like this happens in a lot of Batman adaptations. A villain just sort of figures out who Batman is offscreen and we're supposed to take that as proof of how smart they are. It's dumb.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 06:20:13 PM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1045 on: March 15, 2022, 05:55:57 AM »
Okay, spoilers.

I enjoyed the Riddler confronting Batman about being Bruce Wayne because it's a fun nod to the Hush storyline in the comics. I saw it coming and it gave me chills when it happened.

Overall I really enjoyed it. I loved that it played up the detective aspect of his character and that it kept true to the no-kill aspect of his character. How hard was that?

I wasn't a fan of emo Bruce Wayne. I guess I always thought it was an integral part of his character that he put on the playboy facade as a way to differentiate Batman from Bruce Wayne, something Christian Bale and even Ben Affleck put across well. There are like one and a half emotions from Robert Pattinson in this movie.

Okay, he wasn't bad. He served.

Dano was chilling, that monologue was amazing. But better than Heath Ledger's Joker? Come on.

I agree that the Riddler flooding Gotham story came out of nowhere and made little to no sense in context. The only thing, I guess, is that Riddler always has been a bit of a psychopath, and he probably felt a lot of power from all those followers ready terrorize the city at his behest, so maybe? It was a fun set piece, anyway.

Is it just me or has the "I am because of you, hero" trope, and the general anxiety that the hero is actually making things worse, been a bit overused? It was effective here, don't get me wrong, it just felt old.

I also think they nailed Batman's relationships with both Gordon and Alfred, as well as the general atmosphere of Gotham City. And I don't know why anyone would dislike Catwoman's part in this? That was something else that was done well. For the most part they really nailed the relationships between the main characters.

I also liked Turtorro as Carmine Falcone. They're setting up a nice little side plot about Gotham's underworld. I'm sure the Penguin series will continue that. We'll see how that is. I thought Penguin was kind of the weakest of the main characters in this.

Overall, considering it stars a former sparkly vampire, it was surprisingly really good, probably truer to the comics overall than Batman Begins.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1046 on: March 15, 2022, 10:32:05 AM »
I thought making Bruce Wayne socially inept was good actually. He has been so obsessed with the Batman that he has no life outside it, and his dark side is overwhelming him. It leaves room to develop the playboy, if Reeves gets to do another movie.

I thought the Catwoman story was good, but I think it was a really long movie and you could have cut that story and made the movie better. I’m not sure if it brought anything integral to the movie.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1047 on: March 27, 2022, 04:13:19 AM »


I can see why they cut this. It doesn't really add anything new to the story, and including this scene would arguably have overshadowed everything else in the film in the minds of many fans. Aside from that, eh...I don't think I really like this Joker. Maybe it's just me, but I almost think that Keoghan is trying to imitate Heath Ledger's Joker, at least in part. The voice sounds awfully similar, and he smacks his lips like Ledger's Joker did too. I don't think there was a mandate from the studio to have him try to recreate Ledger's performance or anything, but much like the general emphasis on grittiness and realism in the overall film, it feels - not necessarily is, but feels - like a very conservative, corporate-minded attempt at overcorrecting from the missteps of the early DCEU movies to be more like the Nolan ones. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but the problem with the early DCEU movies wasn't that directors like Snyder and Ayer chose to embrace the fantasy/sci-fi elements of the DC universe instead of keeping everything gritty and realistic, and the problem with Jared Leto's portrayal of the Joker wasn't that Ayer and Leto chose to interpret the character differently to how Nolan and Ledger did. As much as I liked The Batman, I'm worried that this new series has locked itself into a path of very well-worn and inherently very limited territory.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1048 on: March 27, 2022, 09:46:48 AM »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1049 on: March 27, 2022, 01:03:10 PM »
But what do you think, though? This is a very important subject.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1050 on: March 27, 2022, 03:56:34 PM »

I can see why they cut this.

They should have cut another 30-45 minutes...

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1051 on: April 22, 2022, 03:15:44 AM »
04/11: Tangentially related to capeshit:

https://gizmodo.com/jurassic-world-dominion-colin-trevorrow-giga-dinosaur-1848773708

I'm not sure if I can ever forgive Spielberg and Brad Bird for unleashing Colin Trevorrow on the world. Of all the bad directors out there who owe their careers almost entirely to their privilege and connections rather than to any real merit of their own, Trevorrow is probably the worst.

...

In other news, Ezra Miller has apparently lost their mind:

https://www.avclub.com/the-flash-ezra-miller-arrested-second-degree-assault-1848818555

Who knows what this will mean for the upcoming Flash movie?
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1052 on: April 22, 2022, 03:49:50 AM »
Maybe they'll get Grant Gustin to play him. There seems to be some demand for it.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1053 on: April 24, 2022, 03:14:28 PM »
https://cosmicbook.news/batman-destroys-zack-snyder-justice-league-hbo-max

More evidence that the popularity of the Snyder Cut is vastly overrated and was just amplified by an extremely vocal minority.

For anyone hoping that the popularity of the Snyder Cut would result in HBO Max releasing an "Ayers Cut" of the original Suicide Squad, I wouldn't hold my breath.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 03:16:44 PM by Roundy »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1054 on: June 09, 2022, 05:24:14 AM »
04/25: Grace Randolph isn't exactly a reliable source, and I question if she actually qualifies as an "insider" rather than just a prominent and vocal fangirl - I mean, come on, anyone who watched the Oscars could have told you that the whole "fan favorite" segment was an awkward and embarrassing moment for everyone present. No inside information was needed to figure that one out. Nevertheless, the Samba TV information seems legit, and it makes sense. It's a vocal minority that somehow bluffed WB's new owners into thinking that Snyder was a widely beloved director, and given Snyder's lucrative new deal with Netflix where he's now once again making expensive blockbusters with what appears to be his usual full creative freedom, it looks like Netflix fell for it too. I'll admit that I'm a little annoyed by it. In a perfect world, everyone would be free to make all the movies they like exactly the way they want to and all that, but this is a world with limited resources, there are only so many seats at the table, and the opportunities that Snyder continues to receive must necessarily come at the expense of someone else. Private companies can do what they want with their own money, of course, but I think it's a shame that the guy with half a dozen major critical and commercial failures (or at the very least, underperformances) to his name is being given yet another chance when there are so many aspiring directors and writers out there who never even get one chance.

https://gizmodo.com/joker-2-script-todd-phillips-joaquin-phoenix-dc-films-b-1849031772

We live in a society. I wasn't a fan of Joker, and I really doubt that a sequel from the same creative team won't just be more of what I disliked, but I guess I'll watch it when it comes out anyway. I have to, right? I can't just not watch it. Like the article discusses, the title indicates shared madness, which has led to speculation that the story will introduce Harley Quinn. I have to admit, going down that route is a good idea if they want to spark controversy and grab everyone's attention once again. A story about a ruthless criminal who manipulates, bullies, and brainwashes an innocent, professional young woman into becoming a criminal herself as well as his girlfriend - but you know, he's sympathetic, and maybe this is more society's fault than his? I can already see the outraged headlines.

In other news, even more legal problems seem to be piling up for Ezra Miller:

https://www.avclub.com/ezra-miller-protective-order-filing-parents-of-tokata-i-1849039302

https://www.avclub.com/ezra-miller-now-accused-of-housing-3-kids-on-farm-fille-1849102751

Oh, and there's a trailer for Black Adam:



Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate is inspired casting, but I don't know if the rest of it looks all that promising. It feels like it's trying too hard to be all cool and edgy, especially with details like the exchange about killing people.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 01:45:19 AM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1055 on: July 16, 2022, 11:16:57 PM »
The Batshit Odyssey has returned to us! This time, we're discussing The Dark Knight!

https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=700.msg266897#msg266897

I think this assessment of Harvey Dent's downfall, and in particular likening the Joker's philosophy and worldview to an attitude of teenage rebellion, is a little unfair. Nolan isn't shy about having his characters explicitly spell out their motivations, and Dent is no exception. He replaces the laws and systems he's followed to his detriment all his life with what he believes to be a simpler, fairer method of determining justice, and one that can't be twisted by the corruption of others - the toss of a coin. He certainly doesn't ignore or overlook the Joker's culpability in what happened, either, as the Joker is literally the very first person he confronts and "judges," right there in the hospital. None of this is to say that what Dent does is reasonable or rational, but you're never going to tell a story about a district attorney who bases their decision on whether or not to murder people on a coin toss and still comes across as reasonable or rational. For the purposes of this movie, which underneath its grittiness and semi-realism is still capeshit, I don't think it's that much of a stretch to buy that Dent's trauma, rage, guilt, vulnerable state of mind, and a few unconscious elements like his unease at being labeled "two-faced" and the defacing of his lucky coin pushed him over the edge and set him on his fatal path.

"For the purposes of this movie" is a phrase that does a lot of heavy lifting. This might just be my own take on the movie and not something that a lot of people agree with me on, but I've never tried to interpret the Joker's "philosophy" seriously, and I think that the people who do - both critics and enthusiastic fans of the movie - are overthinking something that isn't really all that deep. Underneath the Joker's charisma and intelligence, he's really just a crazy guy who wants to spread chaos and destruction throughout Gotham, and also for its citizens to join him in doing so. And for a capeshit movie, that's a perfectly fine motivation. On paper, the Joker is a decent antagonist, but it's Ledger's terrific performance that elevates him to being one of the greatest capeshit villains of all time. It's certainly not his goofy philosophy, and I swear I die a little from the cringe every time I see another dumb edgelord on the Internet say something like, "Childhood is idolizing Batman. Adulthood is realizing the Joker makes more sense."

This inability to recognize that Ledger's charisma is the main reason why his Joker was so memorable and compelling has predictably led to Hollywood giving villains in later genre movies some of his more superficial characteristics in an attempt to recreate the magic. I've complained about this tendency in this thread before, but I couldn't possibly let a discussion of TDK go by without bringing it up once more. Villains are now more chaotic and less focused, simply causing destruction and chaos randomly rather than actually pursuing specific goals. Villains now seem to be more concerned with proving some sort of philosophical point to the hero or utterly breaking their spirit rather than just killing them when they have the chance. Villains are now often apparently irrational to the point of insanity, sabotaging their own schemes and engaging in other pointless, self-destructive behavior whenever it's convenient to the plot. And the one that I find most galling, probably because it's the most obvious, is the rise of villains who get captured and then dramatically reveal that they meant to get captured for whatever reason and then escape. Moriarty from Sherlock, Lex Luthor from BvS, and the Riddler from The Batman, to give three examples, all owe a tremendous debt to the Joker. Silva from Skyfall and Khan from Into Dumbness show plenty of influence too. I'm sick of movies and TV shows mining influence from TDK rather than doing something different.

Oddly enough, this influence never seemed to extend to other versions of the Joker. Other villains became more Joker-like, but other Jokers didn't become more Ledger-like. For all the cringe surrounding Jared Leto's turn as the Joker and the marketing thereof, he at least didn't try to copy Ledger's performance. Certainly neither did Joaquin Phoenix. And in the realm of animation and video games, it's Mark Hamill's decades-spanning interpretation of the character that most voice actors eagerly emulate. I just hope that if and when Barry Keoghan's Joker gets a bigger role, he makes the character his own, as the deleted scene of him I linked above does seem to me to be the exception to the rule, with his cadence and lip-smacking feeling very reminiscent of Ledger.

But perhaps the most influential thing associated with Ledger's performance is the mythification of his subsequent death. To be clear, there is no evidence that playing the Joker had an especially negative impact on Ledger - at least no more than putting a lot of effort into trying to nail down a tough role would be for a dedicated actor - let alone that it caused his death. But the fanboys out there couldn't let the facts get in the way of a good story, and soon the legend spread. As Crudblud put it:

Quote
There is a temptation to read in, to blur the lines of fantasy and reality, professional and personal, to give in to the romantic notion of the method actor, who inhabits their role and temporarily loses their own being, sacrifices it to their art, maybe even relinquishes some small part of it forever. Few are more keen to have this notion accepted than the ones who do it, what some call “love me” acting, wherein the Method, originally a far more humble, “pure” craft-oriented conception of acting through deep empathy, gives way to the spectacle of the actor, of a performance beyond the performance. The desire to conflate events occurring around a film with the film itself is a curious one. It seems in some ways a mirror to the desire for (typically) science fiction and fantasy media to expand infinitely, so that the adventure, the escape, never comes to an end. Here the fictional spills out into the real, the artifice loses its boundaries; Heath Ledger becomes the Joker becomes Heath Ledger.

The most obvious example of an actor who took this all to heart is Jared Leto. I don't know if it was his Oscar win for his role in Dallas Buyers Club or his casting as the Joker in Suicide Squad that broke his brain, but ever since that general time period, whatever acting talent Leto may have ever had has been entirely buried by his frantic efforts at self-aggrandizement and desperate flailing about for attention. But other, more respectable actors have capitalized on the respect that award ceremonies have for these kinds of roles that apparently rely on actors suffering for their art or physically punishing themselves. Joaquin Phoenix had received multiple Oscar nominations in the past, but didn't win one until he too played the Joker in the movie of the same name - where he attracted plenty of media attention by losing a dangerous amount of weight. Leonardo DiCaprio famously spent several years actively courting the Oscars, but he didn't win until his lead role in The Revenant, a movie where much of the marketing revolved on just how difficult it was physically for DiCaprio to be diving into cold water or really biting into steaming animal organs and all that. I can't say I agree with the notion that the best acting is always of the transformative or traumatizing kind, and award ceremonies so consistently rewarding actors who buy into it doesn't fill me with hope for the future of cinema.

But back to the movie itself. I think it's great! Ledger's Joker is great, Two-Face is a good foil for Batman, although I will agree that his villainous turn might have been better saved for a sequel, there's some interesting exploration of Batman as a character, and while the hand-to-hand combat in these movies was never much good, the car chases and hostage rescue scenes are done extraordinarily well. There's almost nothing about this movie that I'd call mediocre or middle of the road. The worst thing I could really say about it is that it's a particularly aggressive example of the kind of capeshit that's essentially embarrassed to be capeshit, but that was largely the preferred style of most live-action capeshit back then, and only seems out of touch nowadays because Marvel has seen such enormous success in movies that embrace their colorful capeshit roots. In short, Crudblud is a hipster.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2022, 05:12:31 AM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1056 on: August 03, 2022, 03:41:03 PM »
The Mastery.

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1057 on: August 03, 2022, 08:14:46 PM »
According to Variety and the other Hollywood trade magazines, this was entirely a financial decision based on the movie's lack of true blockbuster status, and just one of the many canceled projects being left in the wake of new Warner Bros. Discovery (yes, that's the company's new name) CEO David Zaslav. Only the NYP are saying that it was because of how bad the movie was. Ordinarily, I'd be more inclined to believe that the motive was to avoid (further) tarnishing the DC brand by releasing a shitty movie that won't even make money from theaters than some weird philosophical objection to mid-budget action movies, but it would be naïve not to take the NYP's reputation into account here. They originally broke the story, so they're clearly talking to someone at WBD, but I think it's very likely that their source, knowing it was what they wanted to hear, embellished the accounts of the movie being terrible so as to push a get-woke-go-broke narrative.

If it's true that the movie was too bad to be released, though, then WBD aren't doing themselves any favors by pretending its quality had nothing to do with it. beardo might be pleased by this news, but tons of people on social media aren't, and abruptly canceling a movie that was already being widely hailed as a positive step forward for representation, as well as the return of Michael Keaton's Batman after thirty years, is really bad PR. They would have been better off just saying nice and diplomatically that while the cast and crew were fantastic and did their jobs perfectly, the movie just wasn't where they needed it to be and they would rather do Batgirl justice at a later date than underwhelm the fans now with a disappointing movie. Not that hard, right?

Actually, here's another article from Variety saying the plan is to just write it off in their taxes. How boring.
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