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Offline Og4real

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1080 on: January 19, 2023, 01:54:21 PM »
I love superhero movies! Since childhood, I remember how my mother bought notebooks with Batman, a diary with Spiderman, a pencil case with Iron Man. I was so happy! Even now I continue to watch films on dodgywebsite.com with their participation. But Batman is definitely cooler because he doesn't have any superpowers, huh, his superpower is money. Always admired how he saved people and beat the villains. In my opinion, the coolest movie with him is The "Dark Knight"!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2023, 11:11:33 AM by Pete Svarrior »

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Offline beardo

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1081 on: January 19, 2023, 02:27:02 PM »
I think i just died a little
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1082 on: February 01, 2023, 05:45:21 AM »
Capeshit news! Capeshit news!

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/james-gunn-unveils-dc-slate-batman-superman-1235314176/

And there are a few more details in this interview:

https://gizmodo.com/james-gunn-dc-slate-info-flash-aquaman-justice-league-1850051467

There are a few head-scratchers here (Does anyone really want a show all about Amanda Waller?), but on the whole, this looks interesting. We've got more Batman, guys! And they're basing it on something other than Frank Miller's work!

Quote
The Brave and the Bold: “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman,” said Gunn, “of Bruce Wayne, and also introduces our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch.” The movie will take inspiration from the now-classic Batman run written by Grant Morrison that introduced Batman to a son he never knew existed: a murderous tween raised by assassins. “It’s a very strange father-and-son story.”

I hope the mention of possibly letting Ezra Miller return as the Flash was just PR for the upcoming movie's release, but unfortunately, this isn't the first we're hearing about that possibility, as you can see in this article. Of course I'm hopelessly biased on this subject because of how obnoxious I found Miller in JL, but they're being awfully optimistic if they really think that there won't be any more violence or criminal activity in Miller's future. And speaking of The Flash, that movie had better be as good as everyone involved with WBD has been hyping it up to be.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2023, 09:47:56 PM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1083 on: February 01, 2023, 02:04:21 PM »
I guess they are trying to push Waller as a Nick Fury type character? Viola Davis is awesome so with the right script it could be a sleeper hit.

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1084 on: February 13, 2023, 06:10:18 AM »
It just seems like a waste of a slot to me. Waller is by design an extraordinarily unlikable character, and one that we've already seen a lot of. I'd much rather see something new instead. Anyway, here's the trailer for the latest big upcoming capeshit movie:



Everyone seems to be praising this, but I can't really say that I like it. For one thing, in stark contrast to how Patty Jenkins reinterpreted how Diana would move and fight in her solo movies, this portrayal of the Flash and his powers still feels beholden to Zack Snyder's effects-heavy depiction of him as a walking pyrotechnics show. The constant visual chaos whenever the Flash was moving in JL was ugly and incoherent, and it's a real disappointment to see that apparently nothing about it has been changed. Hell, they've even included another (at least one!) slow-motion scene so we can see a close-up of Miller once more spazzing out while trying and failing to imitate running. I also don't care for the suit, which is way too busy, but that's a minor point.

It looks like a big part of the movie is going to involve revisiting the climax of MoS. Do people really want to see this? Is there really that much nostalgia for MoS? I know it was nowhere near as hated as BvS, and does have its fans, but it was still a very divisive movie that a lot of people really disliked. And, yeah, I'm one of them. I'm not keen on seeing more of MoS, and I'm definitely not looking forward to seeing more of Michael Shannon's Zod. He was a one-dimensional blowhard, and in my view Shannon simply didn't have the charisma or gravitas to make his role resonate more. Maybe this all ties into the semi-reboot of the DCEU that this movie will herald? We obviously see Supergirl here, so maybe what happens is that she shows up instead of Superman and then the timeline dramatically changes. It's just a guess at this point.

But the elephant in the room is of course the return of Michael Keaton's Batman. It's great to see him back, but his delivery of "Yeah...I'm Batman" sounds kind of snarky, like he's exasperated that Barry is pointing out the obvious. Granted, I have no idea what the relationship between him and Barry is going to be, but I feel like such an iconic line should have been delivered sincerely, even if nothing else he said was. He is Batman, and he takes that seriously. A more serious problem I have is the fact that he then promptly turns into CGI Rubber Man and begins engaging in generic CGI capeshit action that not only looks fake as hell, but is also completely unlike how this version of Batman moves and fights. I don't think any version of Batman should be moving and fighting like that, frankly. Batman is for all intents and purposes a normal man. He can't fly or break the laws of physics, and my view of how Batman movies should handle action beats is that if you can't bring a scene to life with actors and stunt work and need to rely on CGI, then you shouldn't be doing that scene to begin with. If they couldn't give Keaton's Batman any action scenes without turning him into a blob of CGI, then I'd much prefer him not to have any action scenes at all.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2023, 04:45:20 AM by honk »
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1085 on: March 18, 2023, 12:53:21 AM »
https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/news/the-sandman-season-2-netflix-casting-four-characters-from-comics/

The writer jumps to a false conclusion based on a mistake. He says that Destruction first appears in "Brief Lies", virtually assuring that they are moving that storyline up in the series. But he first appears in "Orpheus", a one-shot that came out before "A Game of You", and a crucial story to the mythos that will definitely be adapted.

And it would change the whole story if "Brief Lives" was presented earlier than it takes place in the comics. The reason Dream agrees to go on the quest with Delirium to find Destruction is to take his mind off his breakup with Thessaly, who he meets in "A Game of You"; and that breakup is crucial to the events in the final real storyline in the series, "The Kindly Ones" ("The Wake" was more of an epilogue). So I sincerely hope the writer of this article is wrong, because it would fuck everything up.

At any rate Sandman was one of my favorite things from last year and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they proceed with it.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1086 on: March 25, 2023, 01:33:33 AM »
I never watched that show, maybe because it's been so long since I read the comic that I might want to refresh myself on it first. More importantly, though, what about the movies? The continuity? The Batman?

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/james-gunn-to-direct-superman-legacy-movie-1235347753/

Interesting, but I really hope Gunn is a lot more sincere in this movie than he has been with, well, pretty much his entire career up to now. Superman needs a wholesome touch.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/tom-cruise-has-seen-the-flash-movie-1235355326/

Look, I hope the movie is great. I hope every movie I see is great. But I know desperation when I see it, and the fact that they're now wheeling out Tom Cruise, of all people, to add to the chorus of WBD executives jumping up and down yelling, "The Flash is awesome, it's fantastic, it's the best movie ever! (No, really, it's incredible! [I mean it, it's outstanding!])!!!" does not bode well. This is not how studios typically promote movies that they're genuinely very confident in. I suspect that it's critical for the franchise going forward that The Flash be a huge hit and very well-received, and that's why WBD are pulling out all the stops in their attempts to essentially "control the narrative" before its release.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/zachary-levi-blames-dwayne-johnson-post-credit-scene-shazam-1235357847/

In the wake of the sequel to Shazam! doing poorly both critically and commercially, Zachary Levi is now picking a fight with Dwayne Johnson. To be fair, yes, it does seem clear now that Johnson never actually gave a shit about Black Adam or DC except as a way to further his own brand; but on the other hand, it makes for a very funny story.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-features/ben-affleck-air-production-company-grammys-memes-justice-league-1235353301/

The capeshit-relevant stuff here is basically that Affleck hated his experience with Justice League, thinks he's perfected his performance as Batman for The Flash, isn't interested in directing anything for the franchise in the future, and feels gratified by the rapturous response to the Snyder cut.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1087 on: April 30, 2023, 01:37:55 AM »


These effects are awful. Everything looks so weightless, so fake. This isn't in the MCU with its ten projects a year; they should have had plenty of time to make this look good. What happened? What changed between five years ago and now to apparently make almost all capeshit movies suddenly start looking like ass? Apart from that, well, my misgivings about this movie haven't really changed. They're really counting on people being nostalgic for MoS, even though that movie's biggest fans will almost certainly be hostile towards this one for "replacing" Cavill's Superman with Supergirl. I hope Keaton has more to do in this movie than just repeat his most famous lines and appear in ludicrous all-CGI setpieces. Sorry, I still can't get over the CGI Rubber Man thing.



Maybe it's just the general lack of hype or expectations, but I kind of like this one. The joke at the start made me laugh.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1088 on: June 08, 2023, 02:54:52 AM »
Rama Set's account suicide has led to this thread growing drastically lonelier. :( But I'll still post here from time to time, even if I'm just talking to myself. Zack Snyder has once more popped up in capeshit news by talking about his vision of the DCEU, and he's as dumb and pretentious as ever:

https://thedirect.com/article/zack-snyder-batman-v-superman-negative-reception

Quote
I think, and maybe I’m wrong. but I feel like a lot of people went into the movies for going like, ‘Oh, it’s the superhero romp, right? Let’s have fun with it.’ And we gave them this sort of hardcore deconstructivist, heavily layered, experiential modern mythological superhero movie that needs…that you really need to pay attention to. That was not cool [for them]. That’s not something anyone wanted to do. They were like, ‘What? No! That’s exhausting. How about, why do they fight at night?’ I hate that.

To hear Snyder and his fans talk, you would think that nobody other than him has ever tried to make a capeshit movie that had some ambition behind it and wasn't pure escapism. The Dark Knight did pretty well at that, didn't it? So did Logan, released just a year after BvS, and most recently, we've had The Batman. It's almost as if audiences aren't automatically hostile towards ambitious and thoughtful capeshit, but simply dislike movies that are poorly written and directed.

Also, I watched Shazam! Fury of the Gods. It's not great. It's hard to put my finger on what it is exactly about it that falls short of the first one, but it feels kind of generic in comparison. One of the biggest strengths of the first movie was that the emphasis was on the characters and the personal stakes of how a teenager who's had a rough life finally finds a home and a family where he belongs. That's a hard act to follow, and the movie does at least try to keep us invested in this family and their bond, but this is fatally undermined by the fact that in stark contrast to the first one, this movie is very heavily plot-driven. We're very quickly introduced to our antagonists, and they very quickly plunge the world into great danger. There are not one, but two MacGuffins the antagonists are after, and they largely drive the plot. The movie even indulges in the cliché of capeshit/genre movies that I hate the most - the villain who gets captured and then reveals that it was part of their plan all along. I couldn't believe it when I saw that they were dusting that old trick off yet again.

Another issue with the movie is the clash between Zachary Levi as Shazam and Asher Angel as Billy. This was already kind of an issue with the first movie, but in this one, with Asher visibly so much older, the overall effect is far worse. Levi plays the character as if he's a twelve year-old kid in the body of an adult, but Billy is supposed to be turning eighteen, and Asher (in his limited screen time) both looks and acts like he's eighteen. It's not a good look for the character. A child behaving in a childish way can be charming, but an adult behaving in a childish way is just obnoxious. Also, I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that Gal Gadot cameos in this movie, and her role is to be nothing less than a figurative and literal deus ex machina. It's surreal, like a How It Should Have Ended video playing out at the end of an actual movie. It's not helped by the fact that Gadot sounds like she's bored out of her mind.

Finally, while The Flash has yet to come out, the review embargo has ended, and here it is on RT. Astonishingly, this movie appears to not have been rapturously acclaimed as one of the greatest capeshit films of all time. Go figure.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2023, 06:53:53 PM by honk »
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1089 on: June 08, 2023, 03:49:38 AM »
Rama Set's account suicide has led to this thread growing drastically lonelier. :( But I'll still post here from time to time, even if I'm just talking to myself. Zack Snyder has once more popped up in capeshit news by talking about his vision of the DCEU, and he's as dumb and pretentious as ever:

https://thedirect.com/article/zack-snyder-batman-v-superman-negative-reception

Quote
I think, and maybe I’m wrong. but I feel like a lot of people went into the movies for going like, ‘Oh, it’s the superhero romp, right? Let’s have fun with it.’ And we gave them this sort of hardcore deconstructivist, heavily layered, experiential modern mythological superhero movie that needs…that you really need to pay attention to. That was not cool [for them]. That’s not something anyone wanted to do. They were like, ‘What? No! That’s exhausting. How about, why do they fight at night?’ I hate that.

To hear Snyder and his fans talk, you would think that nobody other than him has ever tried to make a capeshit movie that had some ambition behind it and wasn't pure escapism. The Dark Knight did pretty well at that, didn't it? So did Logan, released just a year after BvS, and most recently, we've had The Batman. It's almost as if audiences aren't automatically hostile towards ambitious and thoughtful capeshit, but simply dislike movies that are poorly written and directed.

"The world just wasn't ready for my genius!" Lol, what a douchebag.

Did he forget that he had already made a cerebral deconstruction of superhero stories that was at least moderately successful (hello, Watchmen anybody)? And even that paled in comparison with the source material. The guy's not good with the self-reflection, is he?

His problem wasn't that the movies were too smart (Martha, lol, how cerebral), it was that he had the tone all wrong. Batman does not wantonly murder people. Superman does not have a permanent scowl on his face. He had no respect for the characters as they have been established. That's why his movies sucked. I mean, that and the fact that they were boring and poorly written. Does he really think that including an extended commercial for Justice League in the middle of BvS was cerebral? Or in any way compelling?

When his big inspiration The Dark Knight Returns came out it was breaking down decades of tropes. It was legitimately shocking, and that's why it worked. Maybe, like, build up a universe before trying to deconstruct it?

Seriously, fuck Zack Snyder.

P.S. By the way, a "fun superhero romp" should have been exactly what DC wanted and expected. They were trying to compete with the MCU. I'm not saying it had to be a carbon copy but they should have at least been striving to make fun popcorn flicks. The few DC projects that have worked so far worked because they weren't all dour and brooding. I sincerely hope James Gunn and Peter Safran can right the ship.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2023, 06:59:35 AM by Roundy »
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Offline juner

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1090 on: June 08, 2023, 04:48:33 PM »
spoderverse 2 is v good

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1091 on: June 14, 2023, 05:11:25 AM »
"The world just wasn't ready for my genius!" Lol, what a douchebag.

Did he forget that he had already made a cerebral deconstruction of superhero stories that was at least moderately successful (hello, Watchmen anybody)? And even that paled in comparison with the source material. The guy's not good with the self-reflection, is he?

His problem wasn't that the movies were too smart (Martha, lol, how cerebral), it was that he had the tone all wrong. Batman does not wantonly murder people. Superman does not have a permanent scowl on his face. He had no respect for the characters as they have been established. That's why his movies sucked. I mean, that and the fact that they were boring and poorly written. Does he really think that including an extended commercial for Justice League in the middle of BvS was cerebral? Or in any way compelling?

When his big inspiration The Dark Knight Returns came out it was breaking down decades of tropes. It was legitimately shocking, and that's why it worked. Maybe, like, build up a universe before trying to deconstruct it?

Seriously, fuck Zack Snyder.

P.S. By the way, a "fun superhero romp" should have been exactly what DC wanted and expected. They were trying to compete with the MCU. I'm not saying it had to be a carbon copy but they should have at least been striving to make fun popcorn flicks. The few DC projects that have worked so far worked because they weren't all dour and brooding. I sincerely hope James Gunn and Peter Safran can right the ship.

Snyder likes to use the term "deconstruction" a lot, but I don't think he actually knows what it means. He seems to think it just means being dark and edgy. Granted, there are a lot of ideas about what deconstruction actually refers to, some of which can get incredibly dense and academic, but in this kind of context you'd assume that he's referring to works that take apart the usual capeshit tropes or examine iconic superheroes and try to look at them in a new way, just like Watchmen and TDKR did. But for whatever reason, Snyder interpreted those works at face value and played them entirely straight in his adaptations. Presumably he genuinely thinks that it's cool when Rorschach mumbles bigoted threats at innocent people, that it's badass when Doctor Manhattan messily slaughters screaming, fleeing Vietnamese soldiers who never stood a chance against him, and that it's awesome when Batman in a ridiculous-looking suit of power armor and his close friend Superman beat the shit out of each other for stupid reasons. I commented on this a few years ago when Snyder made a similar complaint about the reception of his movies, and I stand by my claim that this more or less confirms that Snyder never understood Watchmen. Moore's message wasn't "No, they do this," it was "They should never do this; look at how awful it is."

And if Snyder simply disagrees with that opinion and just wants to make dumb edgelord capeshit movies where the superheroes are edgy and kill people or whatever, that's fine. I mean, it's not ideal from my perspective, but it's clear by now that the film industry simply will not stop treating Snyder like he's a successful auteur blockbuster director, so I might as well just hope that he pursues projects that might actually suit his (very limited) directing skills. The Snyder cut of JL is not a good movie, but it's at least considerably better than MoS and BvS simply because it's not up its own ass about how deep and thoughtful it supposedly is. But at the rate things are going, Snyder will probably be tapped to direct an adaptation of Miracleman in the future.

Once more on the notion of The Flash:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/the-flash-warner-bros-ezra-miller-1235509432/

Quote
Instead of touting its star, the studio has put the focus on the film itself, hyping it to perhaps unrealistic levels. CEO David Zaslav and DC Studios co-head James Gunn have publicly said the feature is among the greatest superhero movies of all time. This has sparked bemused head-shaking from some at Warners who question the wisdom of setting such high expectations.

“It can’t be the studio telling you it’s good; your friends have to tell you it’s good,” says one insider.

Yeah, no shit. I could have told you that. In fact, I did tell you that, just a few posts ago. What were they thinking? I have no doubt that the Tom Cruise story was bullshit, too. He might have seen the movie, but there's no way he was so screamingly enthusiastic about it. Oh, and this is kind of tangential, but you'd have to be an extremely gullible idiot to think that this exchange between Spielberg and Cruise was a private, candid moment that the cameras just happened to catch, and wasn't it sweet. Spielberg may genuinely believe what he said, but he was one hundred percent saying it for the benefit of the media. And THR guilelessly framed the story just how he wanted it. ::)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2024, 11:41:59 PM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1092 on: June 19, 2023, 04:27:51 AM »
I've seen The Flash a little earlier than I expected I would. I didn't like it. This is probably the first movie where I'd say that the biggest flaw is the poor CGI. These effects are absolutely awful, and for my money, probably the worst in any mainstream capeshit movie released in the last ten years. Every action beat is entirely or almost entirely CGI that wouldn't look out of place in a PS2 cutscene. Even Batman (both versions of the character), a character with a long history of action scenes brought to life with actors, stunt work, and practical effects, is reduced to being a rubber doll bouncing between obstacles in a sea of digital nonsense. Many of the film's artistic ideas for otherworldly visual effects are also really bad and wouldn't have looked good even if the CGI had been done well. The Speed Force is represented as Barry floating in a bubble with a piss-colored filter, and it's gross. Time travel is represented as standing in the middle of a weird sort of coliseum while images of past events form grotesque statues in the "stands" looming over him. These aren't good ideas, and I don't know why anyone ever thought they were.

Speaking of the coliseum, the movie's big climax involves a "nostalgic" (::)) montage of former DC actors, some of whom are dead, and in at least one instance are brought to life in a very tacky CGI recreation. They couldn't have just showed an old picture or played an old clip; they had to use CGI to reconstruct a dead man and animate him. It's creepy, but I'm bothered more by the fact that this whole scene, the climax of the movie, the moment that was intended to drive audience excitement to a maximum, is just the hero looking at a bunch of random-ass cameos. How does this make the film better? Does it mean something for the characters? Does it mean something for the story? By contrast, while I wasn't a fan of No Way Home, at least there the nostalgia was tied to characters who actually appeared in the movie properly and played a role in the story. This, however, is really lazy fanservice, and it's depressing that we're at a stage where film studios will design climaxes all around the hero watching a slideshow entirely for the benefit of certain audience members who can then eagerly point at the screen as they see the thing they recognize.

Like the trailers warned us, this movie gives us not one, but two Ezra Millers to play the hero, and this time, one of them is intentionally written to be obnoxious! Now, I know that sounds terrible, but Miller, while never impressive, is honestly not that bad. They can deliver a joke as long as it isn't too long-winded, and they're capable of reining in some of the "quirkiness" of their cadence and unusually expressive face to present a Barry who's sympathetic at times, if not quite likable. The most annoying part of their performance is their continued exaggerated flailing about whenever they're supposed to be running. It was one thing to imagine for JL that the weird running was an accidental product of a chaotic shoot and Miller's general overacting, but in this movie, with the movements being even more exaggerated and ridiculous, there's no doubt that it's being done on purpose. Is it supposed to be a joke or something? It's not really funny if it's so obviously deliberate. The Flash as a character does lend himself well to slapstick, but that should come from silly and creative uses of his speed, not from something as simple and mundane as running.

The basic premise of the story, taking influence from the famous comic crossover Flashpoint, is that Barry travels into the past to save his mother from being murdered when he was a child, only to find himself trapped in an alternate timeline that's unprepared for the alien invasion that took place during the events of MoS. I'll give the movie credit for not giving Zod and his henchmen a ton of screen time overall, and keeping them mainly in the background until the final act, but there's no getting around the fact that people who disliked MoS aren't going to be happy that the movie is being revisited. It really feels like the thought process behind it was nothing more than the filmmakers having watched Endgame and figuring that they should do something similar, not realizing that a) the first Avengers movie was broadly popular and an enormous success, and b) the heroes in Endgame were doing something far more interesting than just fighting the main conflict of the first Avengers all over again. Also, I won't go into specifics while I'm avoiding spoilers, but the arc that Barry goes through and the ultimate conclusion of the movie feels deeply cynical, even nihilistic, but given the overall upbeat tone of the movie, I don't think it was intentional. There's something about that that really bugs me. I'd much prefer a movie that's upfront about having an unpleasant message than one that plays coy about it.

The best part of the movie is Michael Keaton, for obvious reasons, but that comes with some reservations. He's not given a lot to work with. The writing for the film isn't great overall, and it doesn't suddenly become better whenever Keaton is on screen. His Batman just feels like a generic older Batman to act as a sort of mentor to the two Barrys, with almost no real hint of the unique character that Keaton and Burton brought to him in their movies, and certainly no attempt at recreating any part of the style of those movies. I get that this is Barry's movie and not Batman's, but by casting Keaton in the first place, the filmmakers must have known that they'd be creating certain expectations for the character. If they weren't willing to properly honor Burtman, then why bother casting Keaton? From an artistic perspective, I mean, not simply a commercial one. And don't get me started on his fucking action scenes. They don't even try to make them believable. Keaton looks great for his age, but he's obviously still an older dude, and you've got to take something like that into account when you're blocking fight scenes. When Burtman isn't gliding around as a poorly-rendered special effect, he's kicking, punching, and throwing guys with the strength and agility of a man who's clearly decades younger than Keaton. And just like in The Batman, Batman on more than one occasion tanks sustained gunfire from multiple assault rifles all at once without so much as a shudder. I hate that. That's not the character. That's not his appeal. Batman isn't cool because he endures being shot; Batman is cool because he avoids being shot.

I also like Sasha Calle as Supergirl, but contrary to what the trailers and general marketing have been hinting at, she isn't really in that much of the movie, and in no way is she positioned as being a "replacement" for Superman or a new regular character whom we'll logically see popping up in later DC movies. In fact, the vague promises of certain executives that this movie would function as a "reboot" or "reset" of the DCEU were pretty much complete bullshit. Like, they might in a later movie pull a new thing out of their asses and say, "This was the result of Barry dicking around in time!" but the movie itself doesn't indicate any of that, not really. The one sort-of exception is the final joke the movie closes on, and while I'm sure it's something they can and will ignore in later movies (probably with a director or screenwriter later saying in an interview that Barry must have fixed the timeline once again), I honestly love it for being a deliberate thumb in the eye to toxic Batman fans. That's about all I've got for this one. I think it's shit, and I think WBD and Gunn were deliberately blowing smoke up our asses about how incredible it supposedly was. Another dud for the DCEU.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2023, 03:32:33 AM by honk »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1093 on: July 01, 2023, 04:08:29 AM »
A lot has happened over the past week or so. The Flash is currently bombing at the box office. Is it because of the backlash to Ezra Miller and their legal problems? Maybe, but I honestly doubt that many people in general audiences know much about that, or even much about Miller at all. I've also heard arguments that people have been put off from seeing it because they feel it won't matter now that the DCEU is (supposedly) being rebooted, but again, I don't think that general audiences know much about that, and even if they did, do people really base their decisions on whether or not to see a movie based on its potential canonicity to a shared universe that doesn't even exist yet? I think it's more likely that audiences have grown tired of this particular franchise and now associate it with bad movies (perhaps seeing Batfleck in a trailer is enough for some people to make the connection) and that this movie in particular is getting bad word of mouth. Opinions can always vary widely when it comes to these kinds of movies, but with its atrocious CGI and bleak, cynical ending, it's not hard to imagine that a lot of general audiences are walking out of this one dissatisfied. This is also the sixth DCEU movie in a row to underperform at the box office, which might also be a sign of this franchise's general unpopularity. And there are two more DCEU movies to go this year! The sequel to Aquaman might buck the trend because the original was such a huge hit, but Blue Beetle is probably dead on arrival at this point. That's all we'll have until Gunn's new Superman movie, which has now cast its leads:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/superman-legacy-cast-david-corenswet-rachel-brosnahan-1235358907/

I don't really know their work, but they look their respective parts, so it seems good so far. But I'm still kind of annoyed by Gunn deliberately overhyping The Flash, which I'm convinced he was doing. Yes, I know he's the producer of the DC film department, and it's his job to promote these movies. That doesn't mean he needs to be bullshitting us about a deeply-flawed movie actually being one of the greatest capeshit films of all time. It's not like Kevin Feige goes around claiming that that any given Thor or Doctor Strange movie is one of the greatest capeshit films of all time. And while I know that, yes, The Flash has gotten plenty of positive reviews, I don't think even its biggest fans would call it a superlative example of the genre. It's simply far too flawed for that. I'm also not keen on its director, Andy Muschietti, being tapped for the upcoming Batman movie. As I think I've made abundantly clear by now, I'm not impressed by his directing skills, and particularly not by his treatment of Batman. Batman shouldn't be a weightless special effect bouncing off other weightless special effects, nor should he be a bulletproof walking tank. If you're not interested in portraying Batman as his own unique character and would rather just treat him like a generic superpowered capeshitter, then why bother doing a Batman movie at all? But maybe I'm being unfair and Muschietti's hands were tied when it came to portraying the action scenes and special effects in The Flash. We'll see what happens.

Finally, because I don't know any better, I've decided to rank by quality all the canonical DCEU movies according to me:

1. The Suicide Squad
2. Wonder Woman
3. Shazam!
4. Birds of Prey (A-tier, genuinely good movies)
5. Aquaman
6. Wonder Woman 84 (B-tier, enjoyable despite their flaws)
7. Shazam! Fury of the Gods
8. Black Adam
9. Man of Steel
10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (C-tier, bad movies with some redeeming elements)
11. The Flash
12. Justice League
13. Suicide Squad (D-tier, utter shit)

If I were including the Snyder cut on this list, I'd probably put it just above Fury of the Gods, at the top of the C-tier.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2023, 03:31:21 AM by honk »
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Offline juner

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1094 on: July 05, 2023, 06:50:36 PM »
13 should be 1 unironically. that is how bad dceu is, again, unironically.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1095 on: July 31, 2023, 01:25:53 PM »
I watched Multiverse of Madness, it was okay. They gave Wanda a lot of good backstory and character in Wandavision then just threw all of that away and made her a generic "I am insane because of le dark powers" villain.

The whole movie is about the scarlet witch wanting children. Seems like a pretty easy problem to solve, really, I could help her solve it and I don't even have any superpowers.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2023, 01:29:54 PM by Rushy »

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1096 on: August 11, 2023, 04:57:25 AM »
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the best MCU film by quite some margin.

I watched Multiverse of Madness, it was okay. They gave Wanda a lot of good backstory and character in Wandavision then just threw all of that away and made her a generic "I am insane because of le dark powers" villain.

The whole movie is about the scarlet witch wanting children. Seems like a pretty easy problem to solve, really, I could help her solve it and I don't even have any superpowers.

The duality of man. Also, Wanda didn't simply want children in general, she specifically wanted the ones she had in WandaVision, hence her need to search the multiverse.

Just seen The Flash. It was a bit wonky in a lot of places but I have to say overall it was pretty good. I don't understand the hate it's getting, certainly the most entertaining DC movie I've seen in a while.

And I don't understand the positive reviews it's getting. Maybe if you don't mind the godawful CGI, or the climactic moment of the movie literally being a random montage of former DC actors rather than something that's actually relevant to the film itself, or the bleak, cynical ending that renders the entire movie a shaggy dog story, the movie ends up seeming pretty good? To me, these are all major flaws in the movie, although I'll admit that my aversion to bulletproof all-CGI Batman is more personal than anything else. But, you know, I guess everyone's taste is different. I still think that WW84 is a decent, if flawed, movie, and yet the general consensus on the Internet seems to be that it's one of the worst movies ever made simply because of nitpicks about "plot holes" and an odd body-switch plot point that could arguably be viewed as rape if viewed from a certain (very uncharitable) perspective. Perhaps The Flash is me simply experiencing this phenomenon from the opposite side.

Anyway, onto the Batshit Odyssey:

I more or less agree with Crudblud's take on The Dark Knight Rises. I remember praising it back on the old site when it first came out, with the caveat that it was the weakest of the trilogy, but looking back on it now, it's just not a good movie. There's just too much going on, and most of it is simply dull and/or not worth including in the movie. There are too many side characters, too many subplots, and it's all way, way, way too long. I honestly blame this movie for setting this precedent and undoubtedly inspiring Zack Snyder and Matt Reeves to make their respective Batman movies similarly bloated. No capeshit movie ever needs to be more than two and a half hours long. No exceptions. I am dogmatic about this point.

Let's start with the biggest pointless character, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's random cop. Near the beginning of the movie, he inspires Bruce to take action after deducing that he's Batman with insane troll logic. For the rest of the movie, he fails miserably at everything he tries, doesn't affect the overall story at all, and doesn't have any meaningful interactions with any important character other than Gordon. Despite this, he eats up a huge amount of focus and screen time, and the sole justification for this, the entire reason he's in the movie, is to be dramatically revealed as "Robin" and Bruce's successor at the end. That's it. That's why the movie spends all that time on him. Never mind that Bruce barely knows this guy and that he's spent the entire movie getting his ass kicked and accomplishing precisely nothing - this is Gotham's new protector! That being said, though, even if this character had clearly demonstrated his competence, devoting this much screen time to a character whose sole purpose is to be a (dumb) Easter egg is poor filmmaking.

Ben Mendelssohn and Burn Gorman play a couple of corporate stooges who think they've hired Bane to help them take down their business rival Bruce Wayne, not realizing that Bane has his own considerably more destructive agenda in mind. I like that Nolan adapted a character that first appeared in TAS (although I don't know why he felt the need to change Daggett's first name from Roland to John), but these two characters and their whole subplot go nowhere and are a complete waste of screen time. They just add to the runtime and make an already confusing plot even more complex. And while this is a very minor point, it really bugs me that when Selina delivers Gorman Bruce's fingerprints the characters make a big deal about the fact that she's initially missing the thumbs, and Gorman's insistence that the thumbs be included – along with Selina knowing that he would insist that the thumbs be included – is critical to her escape. You don't need all ten fingerprints to identify someone. You only need one. In fact, you don't even need the whole one.

Tom Hardy's Bane is without a doubt the most memorable part of this movie, and to a degree the most entertaining as well. The problem is that almost none of it works in an unironic sense. As a proper antagonist in a serious movie, he's an absolute disaster. He has almost nothing in common with the character from the source material (including but not limited to his being whitewashed, like Ra's before him), his lack of stature and/or decent action scenes fatally undermine the idea that he's supposed to be a physical threat to Batman, and he looks and sounds absolutely ridiculous. The absurd faux-Scottish accent really is the kiss of death. I don't understand how that made it past the first take, I really don't. Did Nolan actually think it was a good idea? Did Hardy threaten to quit if he wasn't allowed to use the voice? If it was the latter, then they ought to have let him go. Hardy was woefully miscast in the role, and he was nowhere near as well-known (at least to American audiences) back then as he is now, so it's not like he had a lot of star power to swing around.

The entire villainous scheme - the overall plot of the movie - is also stupid. It rehashes Batman Begins rather than present Batman and Gotham with a new kind of ideological struggle, it's overly complicated seemingly for the sake of it, and too much of it is implausibly all designed for the benefit of Bruce. I talked before about the influence of TDK on creating a number of villains that (among other things) are more concerned with proving some kind of weird kind of philosophical point or "breaking the spirit" of the hero than accomplishing their actual goals. Rises is an especially infuriating example of this. Talia and Bane's loyalty to Ra's makes very little sense on the face of it, but even setting that aside, there's no good reason why they don't simply destroy Gotham and move on. Instead, they imprison Bruce in a faraway prison, give him a TV, and let him watch as they pretend to spare Gotham and simply rule over it in a lawless state for several months until they finally destroy it. I can't stress enough how absurd it is that this whole scheme is being done entirely to fuck with Bruce. Talia and Bane are willing to trap themselves in Gotham, sacrifice their lives and the lives of everyone in their organization, abandon their goal of purifying the world, and spend several months ruling a lawless city all just to draw out the suffering of one man they hate. There is nothing in this entire trilogy that strains my suspension of disbelief as badly as this.

And then there's the political angle. Yes, of course we're going there. To be clear, I think that a lot of the general political/social criticism aimed at Batman as a character is misguided, especially the tiresome idea that Bruce Wayne could save Gotham through investing and donating his wealth, but instead chooses to be Batman because he'd rather beat people up than create real change. I'd recommend reading this excellent article for the best response to that line of reasoning. I also want to stress that I'm not criticizing this film simply for being political, as all art is political to varying degrees of explicitness. I am, however, going to criticize this film for having really shitty, reactionary politics. This movie seems to rather aggressively argue that the natural order of things is for the wealthy to occupy the highest place in society and for the people below them to know their place. When the wealthy lose their way, as shown by Wayne Industries stagnating, society goes downhill, poor people get dangerous ideas about equality, and the stage is set for a destructive revolution that can only end in nothing less than literally everyone being killed and the city being destroyed. The only thing that can stop chaos unfolding is the physical presence of police, and once they're all trapped, the villains are free to turn Gotham into a lawless wasteland. You see, this is all a lot like the French Revolution, you know?

One element that I do think works out, more or less, is Bruce and Alfred's relationship. There's always a fine line when it comes to the character of Alfred - he's as much Bruce's adoptive father as he is his butler, and what father would want their son to lead a lonely and dangerous life as Batman? But we, the audience, of course want to see Batman in action, so an Alfred who tries to stop Bruce from being Batman would no doubt be extremely unpopular. Most Batman stories just ignore this odd little contradiction in his character. But this trilogy gives us an Alfred who clearly disapproves of Bruce's Batman tomfoolery, brings their relationship to its logical conclusion, and makes it work. Bale and Caine give strong performances, both characters are sympathetic, and the poignancy of Alfred being unable to do anything for Bruce but mourn for him hits hard. That is, until the movie pisses all over the sentiment with its fucking joke of an ending, but discounting that, it's handled very well. I said before that Caine plays the best Alfred of any adaptation, despite the numerous changes from the source material, and I stand by it.

And, you know, it's a minor point all things considered - but how in God's name did Bruce return to Gotham? They went to such lengths to establish how locked-down Gotham is. Nobody gets in or out. And then Bruce, who by this point has been stripped of all his usual resources, apparently just teleports there between scenes. It's so sloppy.

On to Man of Steel. This movie is bad. I almost don't know where to start with this one. I feel like Snyder and Goyer really wanted to make this big, grand, ambitious movie that would be a milestone in capeshit and make people think that the genre could lend itself to deep and intelligent storytelling, but at its core, there is nothing deep or intelligent about this movie. It's a basic Superman origin story where he comes to Earth, discovers his heritage, and saves the day against alien invaders through a big punch-up. There's nothing to work with here, and rather than make a different kind of movie altogether, Snyder and Goyer apparently just decided to fill the intellectual empty spaces with constant Christ imagery and solemn monologues from the characters about how important the stakes are for humankind and how unprecedented the situation they've found themselves in is. This pervading element of faux-intellectualism is a disaster for both the characters and story, and ensures that nobody in this movie talks or acts like an actual person.

Let's look at one major casualty of this tendency - the character of Jonathan Kent. A lot of people hated this version of him for his ambivalence on whether or not Clark should save lives and his pointless death. I'm actually willing to cut the movie a little bit of slack there (although I don't necessarily think it was a great decision to go down that road to begin with), because there is a certain true-to-life resonance with his priorities. What loving parent wouldn't value the life of their own child over the lives of thirty unrelated children? What loving parent wouldn't lay down their own life for their child if the situation were drastic enough? But Jonathan doesn't come across as a loving parent to begin with. His interest in Clark doesn't feel fatherly or even personal at all - instead, it's the impersonal stewardship of a very important person who is destined to one day become a very important figure to mankind. I think that's the real reason why his character was so despised, even if a lot of people didn't quite grasp what it was that they hated about him.

It's not just Jonathan who's like this, of course. Why is Lois Lane eagerly chasing the Superman story down? Maybe she wants the fame and glory, maybe her ego won't let it slip away - nope, it's because she knows that Superman is a very important person who is destined to one day become a very important figure to mankind, and therefore she has a very important job to find him and urge him to fulfill his destiny. Perry White at first seems promising, and it's a sensible updating of his character to turn him into a grumpy cynic who's all too aware of the declining relevance of newspapers in the modern world, but before long, he too ends up preaching the Word of the Superman, this very important person who is destined to one day become a very important figure to mankind. This is just shitty character work. Characters need to be rounded. They need to have some sort of personality, some sort of grounding in the world that's been created, and something that makes them recognizable to the audience as people. But in this movie, the characters one by one turn into modern-day prophets whose main purpose is to preach both to each other and the audience about the sheer importance of everything that's currently happening.

A lot of people really like the opening act in Krypton, but I don't. It goes on for way too long and is overall just pointless. The whole civil war thing is pointless. Making a big deal out of Kal-El being born naturally is pointless. Sending Zod and his minions to the Phantom Zone moments before the planet is destroyed makes Jor-El and the Kryptonians look like they were deliberately trying to save their lives. Speaking of which, I also don't like Zod, and I'm really just bemused by the people who talk about what a deep and compelling villain he is. I really don't see what they're seeing there. Michael Shannon gives a very silly, very hammy performance as a capeshit villain who's every bit as one-dimensional and cartoonishly evil as you'd expect it to be. There's no nuance to him, and he's too tightly-wound and humorless to even be fun or entertaining to watch in a lighter sense. I will credit the movie for giving him more screen time than most capeshit movies (especially in the MCU) usually give their villains, but I don't find him an interesting antagonist at all. Shannon is a decent actor who's perfectly capable of giving good performances, but I'd never guess it from watching him in this movie.

If I had to pin down the source of this movie's failures as succinctly as I could, I'd point to two elements. One is the fact that a major priority for everyone during production was to avoid being like 2006's Superman Returns, the commercial underperformance of which had been blamed on an overemphasis of nostalgia and a comparative lack of action. Superman Returns has plenty of flaws, but this kind of reactionary, what-not-to-do mode of thinking has never been an ideal filmmaking method, and undoubtedly led to MoS putting such a focus on lengthy, destructive battles, an emphasis on grim and gritty "realism," and probably even Snyder being chosen as director due to his action chops. The other element is the focus on Superman primarily in abstract terms, as a powerful idea and a momentous occasion for humankind rather than a three-dimensional character with a personality and a worldview of his own. Yes, the real-world implications of a figure like Superman appearing are intriguing, but they can't be the main focus of the character. We have to care about a character as a person before we can get invested in them, and Snyder and Goyer were too busy playing up the awe and momentum of Superman to make him a strong and likable character in his own right.

I agree with pretty much everything else Crudblud has said. I don't blame WB for taking a chance on Snyder and letting him direct MoS, but it was dumb of them to stick with him in the wake of its deeply-polarized reaction, and even more so to double down by offering him even more creative control and access to their most valuable character for the sequel. I firmly believe that WB entrusting this franchise to Snyder will go down in Hollywood history as one of the most costly blunders a film studio has ever made. But that's a discussion for next time.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2024, 05:34:46 AM by honk »
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1097 on: August 11, 2023, 01:39:46 PM »
I firmly believe that WB entrusting this franchise to Snyder will go down in Hollywood history as one of the most costly blunders a film studio has ever made. But that's a discussion for next time.

But the Snyder Cut!

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Offline Crudblud

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1098 on: August 12, 2023, 11:21:32 AM »
And I don't understand the positive reviews it's getting. Maybe if you don't mind the godawful CGI, or the climactic moment of the movie literally being a random montage of former DC actors rather than something that's actually relevant to the film itself, or the bleak, cynical ending that renders the entire movie a shaggy dog story, the movie ends up seeming pretty good? To me, these are all major flaws in the movie, although I'll admit that my aversion to bulletproof all-CGI Batman is more personal than anything else. But, you know, I guess everyone's taste is different. I still think that WW84 is a decent, if flawed, movie, and yet the general consensus on the Internet seems to be that it's one of the worst movies ever made simply because of nitpicks about "plot holes" and an odd body-switch plot point that could arguably be viewed as rape if viewed from a certain (very uncharitable) perspective. Perhaps The Flash is me simply experiencing this phenomenon from the opposite side.
I mean, I said pretty good. I certainly don't think it lives up to the hype of being the most amazing superhero movie of all time or whatever James Gunn was saying in the build up to its release. I agree that the CGI was bad, I actually think if they'd leaned into how uncanny valley it gets they could have made a pretty convincing depiction of the Speed Force as existential horror. It's not a shaggy dog story by any means. The whole point is that Barry learns to let go of the past and start living in his own time. It's a pretty simple story with a clear conclusion revolving around a character's arc. A shaggy dog story is something like The Big Sleep, which introduces a lot of mystery plot threads and answers none of them, including the central whodunnit. But in this case Barry actually learns from his mistakes and realises that all his selfish meddling will do is cause untold suffering for other people. Plus it does actually have consequences for the world in which he lives, as he encounters yet another version of Bruce Wayne at the end. It seemed to me like a good way of signalling that the old DC is over, including all their pre-Snyder live action productions. It may help that I was already familiar with the Flashpoint comic, which is more or less what this is based on, though it ends up taking it in a different direction to reflect its own continuity. As far as making something good out of the diarrhoea Snyder came up with goes, it's probably about as good as it could have been.

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Offline honk

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #1099 on: August 19, 2023, 11:03:48 PM »
I have a hard time viewing this movie as actually giving Barry an arc or a lesson when the connection between what he does and the consequences that follow is so far-fetched. No, Barry, you can't save your mother because then Superman will die on the other end of the galaxy and then CGI Christopher Reeves's universe will crash into Nicolas Cage's universe! I think it might have been able to resonate more as a moral lesson if Barry's decision was based more on knowing that what he has in this timeline is worth fighting for - the man he's become, his role as the Flash, his membership in the Justice League - and that it isn't worth it to throw it all away for a gamble that things will be better if he dramatically changes the last twenty years of his life. And if they really insisted on putting Barry in a radically different timeline that's in great danger, then I don't think they needed to write it off as inevitably doomed. I think that's what really irritates me about the ending. It's such nasty, bleak fatalism that clashes harshly with the overall tone of the movie. And I think they could have avoided it simply by establishing that changing the past leads to creating entirely new alternate timelines rather than changing the existing one. Barry teams up with alt-Barry, Burtman, and Supergirl to save this world from Zod, but in the end, realizes that this life belongs to alt-Barry, not him, and that he still has responsibilities in his own timeline. He'd still learn about the importance of focusing on the present, and he could still have his poignant farewell with his mother. It's not quite accurate to how the comics have portrayed time travel, but that hardly matters.

In other news, the sequel to Aquaman is, well, this article is ambivalent overall, but I'm going to say the movie seems to be in rough shape. I'd love to be wrong. The part about not knowing whether or not to include Batman (and which Batman in particular) is especially interesting to me. Also, Blue Beetle has gotten good reviews, which is of course great news, but I'll be absolutely astonished if the movie doesn't flop at the box office like the last several DCEU films have. If these two movies fail commercially, then I think it'll be very strong evidence that audiences are simply fed up with the overall poor quality of this franchise and that a hard reboot is the best strategy for the new slate of DC films.

Oh, and who wants to laugh at Zack Snyder and his awful ideas again?

https://screenrant.com/wonder-woman-kryptonian-origin-zach-snyder-dceu/

Snyder had a lot of very stupid ideas for interpreting material from the comics for the DCEU, some of which he had the chance to put into action, others that stayed on the drawing board. I believe that this one takes the gold medal for being the worst and easily the dumbest of them all. And judging from the tone of what he said, it doesn't even seem like he discarded this idea because he realized it was a bad one, but simply that he never got around to working it in. He wanted to take a huge aspect of the cinematic universe he was more or less in charge of and strip it of what made it unique in favor of something dull and homogenous. What a goof.
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