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Cassandra

DC Movies- if at first you don't succeed...

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This one was always going to be a 'Netflix whenever' movie for me.  I'm pretty sure it will be a solid 3/5 when that day comes (it takes a lot to get a 2 from me, and 1 is reserved for movies I finished watching for the sole purpose of having watched the whole film before giving it a one star).

 

It doesn't surprise me to hear that Will Smith phoned it in, though - he's been doing that for summer films for years.  He seems to be saving his passion and acting for dramatic roles, like Concussion last year.

 

Makes me wonder why he doesn't focus on them if that's where his interest lies now - but at the same time $20 million dollars for wearing spandex and playing a version of yourself sounds like a good deal to me, too (and playing a version of yourself has worked out OK for Samuel L Jackson).

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I was actually looking forward to this one quite a bit, and I'm hoping that as often happens, they're being too hard on the film after having such high expectations.  But it does look like they dropped the ball on what could have saved their whole franchise pretty badly.

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Your point being?

 

 

 

:winkgrin:

 

Just saying' :whistle:

 

Heard a review of the reviews on the radio on the way in to the office. The reviews are devastating -- I can't remember the last time I heard such a batch of overwhelmingly negative takes.

 

 

 

Fantastic_Four_2015_poster.jpg

 

 

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Aside from a few Batman movies, DC/WB has not shown any ability to get it right when it comes to feature films. In the eight years since Iron Man was released, DC has not just been playing catch-up, they've been digging themselves a deeper grave. I just don't understand how they can so consistently fail at this. It is truly amazing.

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The key, I think, is the difference between the Marvel model and the Warner model. Marvel movies are, well, Marvel movies. Marvel calls the shots and has a vision that stays true to the source material and finds the best people to execute it. DC movies are Warner movies. Warner calls the shots and the source material is secondary to the "superior" judgment of Warner execs. The selection of personnel is based upon fulfilling Warners vision, DC not so much.

 

I wasn't kidding when I said the best thing for the DC film franchise is to sell the rights to Disney.

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I never had any interest in seeing SS -- the concept as presented in the comics never appealed to me. But I've been sorting through the reviews since it came out, including reviewers whose judgement I usually trust, and they seem to be much more of a mixed bag than Rotten Tomatoes would have us believe (not an uncommon phenomenon). There have been a number of pretty good reviews, and even some strongly favorable ones. I think individual reactions to some of the distinctive stylistic choices by the director, the connection people have to these characters from the source material, and the expectations about the movie a viewer has going in, will all play an even greater role than usual in how one responds to it.

 

EDIT: Here's one of the most positive reviews:

 

 

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(Sorry, no link) There's a petition at change.org to shut down rotten tomatoes because of all the bad reviews of the movie.

I am completely shocked at this news. Who would have thought something like this could happen in our culture of entitlement?

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So Comics Alliance has a review of Suicide Squad up. If you haven't the precious time to read it, just check the thread title.

So the reviewer wanted Suicide Squad to be a meaningful arthaus flick? Pardon me while I scoff. I mean, the movie may still suck but to expect anything beyond gratuitous 'gun fetishism' is really silly.

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The key, I think, is the difference between the Marvel model and the Warner model. Marvel movies are, well, Marvel movies. Marvel calls the shots and has a vision that stays true to the source material and finds the best people to execute it. DC movies are Warner movies. Warner calls the shots and the source material is secondary to the "superior" judgment of Warner execs. The selection of personnel is based upon fulfilling Warners vision, DC not so much.

Actually, the first Iron Man movie felt a lot more like a sci fi flick than a Superhero flick to me. They picked a relatively unknown character (outside comic fandom) with a sci fi powersuite, and were able to build in a Supers trope or two, but to me it did not feel like a Superhero movie. Then we got the Hulk, almost at the same time. It felt more like a Supers movie, and reasonably true to the Hulk's comic book world. It didn't do as well, though - Iron Man brought in the moviegoers.

 

So we got Iron Man 2, which still felt a lot more sci fi than Super (to me, at least), but started bringing in more Super elements, including the Black Widow and a more prominent SHIELD. Now MCU had some credibility, and I suspect that opened the studio/film "experts" up to experimenting with more comic booky tropes. Thor was a bit of a hybrid - lots familiar to the comics, but the "Magic is just science you don't grasp yet" element. Captain America was also more true to the comics, and did well.

 

And then, of course, Avengers blew the doors off, while being largely true to its comic book roots. That opened the doors for the followup films to be more "comic booky", and success of more fringe characters like Guardians and Ant-Man have further shown the potential of translating the comics to the movies, rather than making a movie that takes the comic characters but heavily tones down/writes out a lot of the comic book elements. So I'd say Marvel's success has shown Disney the potential.

 

Meanwhile, DC has tried to shoehorn real comic book characters (Superman, Batman) into a similar model, but they didn't have the same options. No "sci fi looking" character not really recognized as a comic book Super by non-comic geek culture. Batman works a bit due to his already Dark Knight persona transitioning well to a darker tone in the movies, but the Big Blue Boy Scout is more than Hollywood can take in one bite.

 

So we get the "hey, let's make it darker" elements which are less true to the comics. And, as a result, we get movies that are not as true to the characters and less successful in capturing the comics. But until WB sees a hit with Super tropes, they're less likely to expand the Supers tropes. Without the success leading to Avengers, do you think a studio would have backed Ant-Man or GoTG? The DC characters need a hit with comic book tropes to leverage from.

 

The tone and darker characterization doesn't really work for fandom, and the iconic DC characters already had a lot less traction for "dark" and "realism" than the Marvel stable, plus are recognized as "Comic Boom Superheroes" by the general public out of the gate. Taking less well known characters worked out pretty poorly (Green Lantern, anyone?). Meanwhile, they look for characters they can overlay on more traditional movie successes, like guys with guns, anti-heros and morally grey heroes.

 

The DC movies have yet to really break out of "classic studio mold" to bring the comics to the screen, and it will take someone with some vision, backbone and credibility to make that happen. It's amazing MCU managed it. Maybe the WW movie will be their breakout - time will tell.

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