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Offline beardo

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #480 on: August 07, 2016, 01:46:40 PM »
but sadaam is scared of alcohol
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #481 on: August 07, 2016, 03:56:17 PM »
Do people still care if plots are generic?  Pretty much every plot has been generic since the beginning of time.

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #482 on: August 07, 2016, 06:18:26 PM »
Do people still care if plots are generic?  Pretty much every plot has been generic since the beginning of time.

This is true.  All stories are variations on the same seven (or nine, depending on who you ask) basic plots.  And I imagine it's even more true in cases of genre stories (maybe even particularly action movies, most of which seem to more or less follow the same basic structure).  I would argue that Die Hard had a fairly generic plot (and yes, I'm talking about even before they started calling all action movies to come out for the next several years "Die Hard in/on a <blank>"), but it doesn't stop it from being one of the best action films of all time.

To say that the plot is generic is kind of lazy critiquing, almost as bad as saying there's "no story at all" before giving a brief synopsis of the film's story.  Basically if there's a beginning, a middle, and an end, there's a story, whether you were satisfied with it or not.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #483 on: August 07, 2016, 07:07:22 PM »
This is simply not true. The character intros are maybe ~20 minutes of the 2 hour movie

It's at least half an hour by the time the movie settles down, and more importantly, almost nothing is established plotwise the whole time, nor is there any chance for the members of the squad to interact.  It's pure exposition.  To compare it to another capeshit movie that's also very formulaic, the character introductions in GotG work as part of the story.  The characters meet in the prison, their initial relationships form there, and then they develop as the movie continues.  By the climax, their bond feels earned.  In SS, however, by the time the helicopter ride begins, everyone is at point zero.  That's my real issue, come to think of it - not so much the underwritten story as the unconvincing character arcs.  I don't buy that Captain Boomerang would return to the team willingly after bolting in the previous scene (a genuinely hilarious moment), nor that El Diablo would come to see the squad as his new family and fully embrace his powers to protect them in the climax, etc.

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Villain is generic and the plot has been seen a million times before. But it's almost like that's what capeshit movies are.

Do people still care if plots are generic?  Pretty much every plot has been generic since the beginning of time.

There's a difference between a plot being generic in terms of basic narrative structure, like what you read about in screenwriting guides, and being generic in terms of specific setpieces or events that we've seen many times in movies before.  For example, you can have the three-act-structure, a reluctant hero who initially "refuses the call," or what Blake Snyder called "the dark night of the soul," a low point at the end of the second act where hope seems to be lost, etc.  That kind of thing isn't perfect, as I noted with a link to an article sharply criticizing the overreliance on Snyder's guide earlier in the thread, and it would be nice to see screenwriters try to move past these conventions and tell stories in more innovative ways, but it's not what I'm complaining about here.  Instead, it's the specific setpieces and events being repeated.  For example, I'm sick to death of the villain getting caught and then revealing that it was all part of the plan.  The Dark Knight did it, and then all of a sudden The Avengers, Skyfall, Into Darkness, Sherlock, and probably a bunch of other shows/movies I'm missing had to do it too.  It seldom makes much sense from the villain's perspective, and it's so commonplace that it's just become predictable.  In SS's case, the derivative element that stuck out the most was the climax involving that stupid portal/energy beam of destruction in the sky.  A few years ago, I might not have had a problem with it, but it's shown up in way, way too many capeshit films by now, and it's become dull and boring.

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Offline Roundy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #484 on: August 08, 2016, 01:08:30 PM »
This is simply not true. The character intros are maybe ~20 minutes of the 2 hour movie

It's at least half an hour by the time the movie settles down, and more importantly, almost nothing is established plotwise the whole time, nor is there any chance for the members of the squad to interact.  It's pure exposition.  To compare it to another capeshit movie that's also very formulaic, the character introductions in GotG work as part of the story.  The characters meet in the prison, their initial relationships form there, and then they develop as the movie continues.  By the climax, their bond feels earned.  In SS, however, by the time the helicopter ride begins, everyone is at point zero.

Admittedly I haven't seen the movie so maybe I'm not getting what you're criticizing here.  But it sounds like you're describing the first act of a three act structure.  The characters being introduced within the first half hour or so of a movie, before any of the main conflict really comes into play, seems typical to me (it doesn't always happen that way, for sure, but it does a great deal of the time).  If I can compare it to another capeshit movie, one much older and that is considered a certified classic in the genre, look at the original Superman.  The whole first hour is given over to Superman's origin, with nary a trace of the main plot that drives the later parts of the movie; Lex Luthor isn't even introduced until Clark arrives in Metropolis the first time; Clark doesn't meet any of his supporting cast until the same point.  And again, this movie is considered a classic.

And again I haven't seen the movie yet so maybe I should shut up, but Suicide Squad has a running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.  Surely if the first half hour is given over to introducing the characters on an individual basis, the remaining hour and forty minutes is plenty of time to establish their relationship with each other and the plot.  If it's done clumsily fine.  But I think you're at least misaiming your criticism by complaining that they use the beginning of the movie to introduce the characters.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #485 on: August 08, 2016, 09:13:19 PM »
Superman isn't an ensemble film.  The movie promises to be about Superman, and from start to finish, it's all about Superman.  But yes, I might be exaggerating the significance of the padded introductions.  There's probably other factors at play, like large stretches of the film being given over to Waller and/or Flag holding forth.  Part of the reason why I'm complaining about the first act so much is because of all the repetition.  I feel like a couple of different drafts were being used, and then they never cut the redundant scenes.  There's a scene where Waller explains what the point of the squad is, and then there's another scene where she explains the exact same thing.  Deadshot is given an introductory scene, then he's given another introductory scene, and then he's given yet another introductory scene.  And while I'm talking about the first act, the soundtrack deserves mention.  As much as I hate to rag on quality dadrock, these songs have been so awkwardly shoehorned in that it reeks of desperation.  They come in incredibly rapid succession, and are way too obvious and on-the-nose to elicit anything but groans.  We see Deadshot in Belle Reve prison as "The House of the Rising Sun" plays.  Waller is introduced with "Sympathy for the Devil."  Captain Boomerang gets "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."  Killer Croc gets "Fortunate Son" - I suppose I should be grateful they didn't go with "Born on the Bayou" instead.

Also, relevant.

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Offline Снупс

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #486 on: August 10, 2016, 04:30:05 AM »
Wow...if anything, George is downplaying how bad that movie was. That was bad. The only redeeming feature was Will Smith's charisma. He didn't even try to act like he was Deadshot, though, he was literally just Will Smith occasionally shooting [placeholder monster].

The single best scene in the movie was (Captain!!!) Boomerang bolting out the door as soon as he realized he could go, but they ruined it by making him come back in literally the next scene. Holy shit. Him swiping his shit and leaving immediately made me giggle loudly, then he was RIGHT BACK. wtf. That and Croc's "I'm beautiful". Honestly, that whole bar scene was better than the rest of the movie combined. It's almost as if character interaction and development is good ! ! !

All-in-all, I rate it a I'd-rather-watch-BvS-again/10.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #487 on: August 13, 2016, 02:26:04 PM »
Boomerangs come back.  It's a meta thing.

But srsly, BvS really is the better movie.  It was more impressive and memorable visually, its action was awesome (if bombastic), and it had a clear vision of what it was trying to be - a thoroughly unpleasant, cynical vision, but a vision nevertheless.  And even just looking at it as a failure, it's still a far more interesting movie, because it provides an in-depth explanation of how exactly to fuck up what should by rights have been one of the biggest box office successes in history.

http://www.empireonline.com/movies/suicide-squad/suicide-squad-spoilers/

As the URL indicates, there are some spoilers there, so be careful (lol).  What I want to draw attention to, however, is the explanation for the two worst parts of the Joker's design, the "damaged" tattoo and the metal teeth:

Quote
"This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It’s in the asylum where Joker would have done the ‘damaged’ tattoo as a message to Batman saying, 'You’ve damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you’ve destroyed my face.' That’s where the grill comes from."

First of all, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we need to see a flashback of Batfleck beating the shit out of the Joker.  But this raises an important question - why, oh why, didn't Batfleck just take the opportunity to snap his neck and be done with it?  Why bother taking him alive?  See, this is the problem when you have a Batman who kills.  Once that option is on the table, so to speak, there's no reason for him to have a rogues gallery anymore.  He knows that these villains will without a doubt continue killing and causing trouble in the future, as opposed to the "one percent chance" of Superman being his enemy that he was willing to take as "an absolute certainty."  He could prevent all that by killing them once he gets the chance.  It's an interesting moral dilemma that Batman has faced before, and usually his best defense is his moral high ground of refusing to kill.  But now he has no defense.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 04:37:32 PM by George »

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Offline Rama Set

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #488 on: August 13, 2016, 03:48:07 PM »
And Batman should clearly have a different MO if he is willing to kill.  He could obviously make an excellent sniper/assassin and that would be the most effective way to eliminate these threats.  Even superman would have been better neutralized with a kryptonite bullet in the head.  But unfortunately we are left with these badly realized characterizations.  If the writers and directors simply adhere to the Batman character that has thrived for almost a century, then it becomes very simple to rationalize why he fights superman the way he does and why he doesn't snap Joker's neck.

I find it interesting that people are more opposed to the one person that Cavill/Superman intentionally killed vs the dozens+ that Batman did.  For me, Superman's murder of General Zod was a great place to get the entire motivation behind his policy against not killing.  Unfortunately, the writer's are not as smart as I am  :P

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Offline beardo

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #489 on: August 17, 2016, 10:21:36 AM »
Batman got mad and started killing after getting his ass severely whipped by Wesley Willis some time in the 90's.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 12:21:15 PM by beardo »
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Offline Jura-Glenlivet

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #490 on: August 25, 2016, 09:44:17 PM »

Well I just got back from watching it and I enjoyed it!

People that read comics shouldn't expect it to turn into sheakspear, it's a special effects action movie and in that vein 8/10.
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Offline Roundy

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #491 on: August 26, 2016, 02:06:09 AM »
I still think it looks like fun.  Money's tight so I'm avoiding extravagances like going to the movies at the moment but I still intend to see it eventually.  If I hate it, so be it.  I didn't think BvS was great, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting either.  In the hands of a less melodramatic director the basic story could have worked, and I actually loved Wonder Woman and am looking forward to her movie.


Well I just got back from watching it and I enjoyed it!

People that read comics shouldn't expect it to turn into sheakspear, it's a special effects action movie and in that vein 8/10.

Meh, it doesn't have to be great art to be well-received.  Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't Shakespeare either but the fans loved it and critics gave it good reviews (the same could be said of most of the Marvel Cinematic movies, but that one being my favorite it just sticks out).  Still, I have heard positive things about Suicide Squad too, and according to Rotten Tomatoes even though the critics generally thought it stunk more of the audience liked it than didn't (two-thirds, in fact), and unlike BvS it's being considered a box office success.  Snobs like George are always going to hate but it's all relative.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #492 on: August 26, 2016, 03:43:46 AM »
Well I just got back from watching it and I enjoyed it!

People that read comics shouldn't expect it to turn into sheakspear, it's a special effects action movie and in that vein 8/10.

Oh yeah, I never talked about the action, did I?  It sucks.  All we see is the camera cutting from character to character, showing them either hitting or shooting one of those weird blob-like monsters, which then disintegrate.  There's very little creativity shown with how the squad members use their weapons or abilities, and the use of those ugly monsters guarantees that nothing interesting can come from the other side of any given fight.  They can't trade blows with our antiheroes, knock them to the ground, grab them from behind, or do anything beyond charge blindly at them and then disintegrate once struck.  Also, if I wanted Shakespearean capeshit, I'd watch Thor.

But hey, if you liked the movie, more power to you.  Don't let my cynicism take your enjoyment of it away.

I didn't think BvS was great, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting either.

What?  You watched it, and you never even told us?  Unacceptable!  I demand that you briefly summarize your thoughts on the movie.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 11:33:42 PM by George »

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Offline Снупс

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #493 on: August 26, 2016, 04:06:14 AM »
Gotta agree with George. I didn't even think that movie was any good for action. As I've said elsewhere, that was probably the most uninspired choreography I've seen in an action movie in many, many years.

"We have a guy with boomerangs? Let's have him punch and stab people! We have a girl with a bat? Let's have her hit some people, then shoot the rest! We have a guy who never misses? Let's have him use that skill once! We have a giant monster? Let's have him throw a dude on the ground twice! We have a guy who shoots flames? Let's have him stand around idly and awkwardly! We have a girl with a magic katana? Let's have her just cut people! Am I missing anyone? Lol I don't even know because everyone's so forgettable!!"

Ugh. That movie.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #494 on: August 26, 2016, 05:28:04 AM »
What?  You watched it, and you never even told us?  Unacceptable!  I demand that you briefly summarize your thoughts on the movie.

Well, as I alluded to in that post, I think Zack Snyder's biggest weakness is that he tends to go for over-the-top melodrama in a way that can be boring.  In a weird way it works for something like 300, where its coupling with over-the-top action makes the whole thing a spectacle; it didn't work quite as well in Watchmen, but the story in that is enough of a thinker that it may have masked the film's flaws (honestly I thought the opening montage set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" was fantastic, and the rest of the movie just kind of lagged in comparison to its opening); and it really didn't work at all in BvS.  I mean, seriously, not at all.  It might be partly that by now he's done things like this so much that it feels trite (is this really the kind of thing you want defining your career as a filmmaker?), but there were long stretches of the movie that were just boring.

I hated Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor.  Hated him.  Even worse miscasting than Affleck.  I suppose that no one will ever match Hackman's performance of the character but Kevin Spacey's take in Superman Returns was one of the highlights in that (also mediocre) movie so it's definitely possible for other people to make the character engaging.  I don't know, I guess the fact that he played a billionaire sociopath to acclaim in the past made them think he would be a good choice?  They were wrong.

And there was a pervasive dumbness throughout.  Some of it was the studio's fault, no doubt; the moment where we see the files on the other future JLA members was clearly meant as advertisement for their respective movies and the Justice League movie itself, and its obviousness as advertising took me out of the story.  Please, WB, get the trailers out of the way before the movie starts in the future; why mess with a winning formula?

But the Martha thing... I'm not sure how much involvement Snyder had with the writing, or who was truly responsible for it, but it was, I don't know, fanboyish?  Like he noticed as no doubt millions of other comic fans in the past have noticed that Superman and Batman both have mothers named Martha, and tried to work it into the story in a way that really didn't make sense, didn't feel the least bit natural or realistic, and had me rolling my eyes.  It was like how they worked in the origin of Lex Luthor's baldness; was it really necessary?

Again, I think structuring the origin of the World's Finest team around Batman fearing Superman because of the extent of his powers was a good idea.  Henry Cavill plays a fine Superman, in both his guises, which I think is important, and Gal Gadot really stole the whole show as Wonder Woman; my delight at her performance was the biggest surprise I got out of the movie, and the only real issue with her was that she was underused.  And even though I resent the fact that they completely changed Doomsday's origin, I thought the action sequences at the end were pretty good; however, they ran too long, which I guess is no surprise with a Zack Snyder product.  I also liked the decision to have Superman die at Doomsday's hands at the end of the movie.  It was actually one nod to the comics that I thought was decent, and the ending had a kind of "ending to Star Trek II" vibe to it.  I dug it.  It does make me wonder where they're going with Superman's story arc next; obviously it's impractical for them to do any kind of adaptation of "Reign of the Superman" as part of the Justice League movie (which is actually a shame as that's one of my all-time favorite Superman storylines) so they'll probably just go in a completely different direction.  It'll probably be lame (especially with Snyder directing) but who knows?

Overall, I don't know, I guess I give it a C-.  It has its positives but the positives just don't come close to outweighing the negatives.  Zack Snyder needs to stop making movies and WB needs to do a better job figuring out what people want to see rather than trying to dictate it.  That they seem to be failing so hard so far is really disappointing because I've been wanting to see DC do with their movies what Marvel has been doing for a while now, because I've always been a DC guy, and it's just too bad the execution is so poor.

Well look, you've done coaxed an entire review out of me.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 05:35:13 AM by Roundy »
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Offline beardo

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« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 06:17:14 AM by beardo »
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #496 on: August 26, 2016, 11:25:42 PM »
While I agree with most of that...

A) Really? You liked mopey Superman? The guy who spends 95% of the movie (I'm probably actually not far off) with his eyebrows furrowed so hard that I'm not entirely confident he doesn't just have a permanent set of wrinkles above his nose?

B) I thought Affleck's casting was one of the few good parts of the film.
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #497 on: August 27, 2016, 07:46:09 AM »
And why isn't Clark a bumbling doofus?!
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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #498 on: August 27, 2016, 09:50:28 PM »
I still think it looks like fun.  Money's tight so I'm avoiding extravagances like going to the movies at the moment but I still intend to see it eventually.  If I hate it, so be it.  I didn't think BvS was great, but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting either.  In the hands of a less melodramatic director the basic story could have worked, and I actually loved Wonder Woman and am looking forward to her movie.


Well I just got back from watching it and I enjoyed it!

People that read comics shouldn't expect it to turn into sheakspear, it's a special effects action movie and in that vein 8/10.

Meh, it doesn't have to be great art to be well-received.  Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't Shakespeare either but the fans loved it and critics gave it good reviews (the same could be said of most of the Marvel Cinematic movies, but that one being my favorite it just sticks out).  Still, I have heard positive things about Suicide Squad too, and according to Rotten Tomatoes even though the critics generally thought it stunk more of the audience liked it than didn't (two-thirds, in fact), and unlike BvS it's being considered a box office success.  Snobs like George are always going to hate but it's all relative.

I think the best comic to film I have seen, casting wise and direction has to be Sin City, deadly little Miho!
Just to be clear, you are all terrific, but everything you say is exactly what a moron would say.

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Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« Reply #499 on: August 28, 2016, 04:12:16 AM »
I hated Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor.  Hated him.  Even worse miscasting than Affleck.  I suppose that no one will ever match Hackman's performance of the character but Kevin Spacey's take in Superman Returns was one of the highlights in that (also mediocre) movie so it's definitely possible for other people to make the character engaging.  I don't know, I guess the fact that he played a billionaire sociopath to acclaim in the past made them think he would be a good choice?  They were wrong.

The best Lex will always be Clancy Brown's version from the DCAU.

Really? You liked mopey Superman? The guy who spends 95% of the movie (I'm probably actually not far off) with his eyebrows furrowed so hard that I'm not entirely confident he doesn't just have a permanent set of wrinkles above his nose?

And it's such generic, purposeless brooding, too!  I'm stressing this point so nobody thinks I'm just pining for the Christopher Reeves portrayal, or that I think Superman can never be challenged or troubled.  He absolutely can, but it can't be his default state, so to speak.  There's no benefit to him being so aloof and standoffish in the face of people questioning his motives and spreading lies about him.  For a character like Batman, who wants people to be afraid of him, it makes sense that he'd play up his villainous image and let the police treat him like he's a menace.  But Superman isn't like that.  He should absolutely be out there giving interviews, cooperating with the world's governments, and explaining very clearly to the public that no, he doesn't think he's a god, and that he really is just trying to do the right thing.  How else can he be the symbol of hope and inspiration to the people of Earth that his father wanted him to be?  It doesn't serve a narrative purpose for him to be a brooding stoic instead.

And why isn't Clark a bumbling doofus?!

This is an interesting point.  Cavill said in an interview that they decided to go in a different direction with Clark because acting too much like a klutz would realistically end up attracting more attention from the people around him, not less.  It's also been convincingly argued by some critics before that a wimpy pushover would never last as a journalist for a major newspaper in a major city.