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


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4 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

To be fair, the bulk of characterization for the Marvel heroes had been built up over ten years and twenty movies.

Absolutely agree. As you move into Infinity War most of the background is done so they had the luxury to focus on movie from one action scene to another without much character building.

 

4 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

But I would say that Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Gamora, had strong character arcs over the last two Avengers movies.

In Infinity War only, there is almost none of it except for Gamora and even then it is fairly basic. There are some good interactions and plotlines (Stange/Stark relationship, the Hulk performance issue, Thor witnessing his brother and best friend's death) but everything is very superficially brushed over for most of the movie. But IW is not really aiming at character building or emotional build up. It's a good, moving from one action scene to another, superhero crossover movie. The high number of characters involved is both a bane and a boon. A larger number of them don't really have any spotlight time but the sheer number of them makes the movie feel epic.

2 hours ago, Dr. MID-Nite said:

Well...instead of origin movies...let's just say solo movies featuring said characters. Point being...they needed those solo films before they threw them together.

I don't think the Marvel way of establish their cinematic universe is the only way. It's not like we needed the Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie solo movies to appreaciate Star Wars. In retrospect (hindsight 20/20) and having seen the Snyder Cut, I could have seen a build up based on Man of Steel introducing Superman (and Martian Manhunter even if only as a background/secret character), BvS (but a better one) introducing Batman and Wonder Woman, Justice League Part I gathering the team and introducing Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg and leading to their defeat against Steppenworl and the loss of all three boxes. And Justice League part 2 bringing back Superman and leading to the defeat of Steppenwolf.

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14 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Do you think it's practical to have an intermission in today's multiplex theaters? I'd be afraid of it playing merry hob with scheduling and audience traffic. That would also make a very long movie even longer, meaning fewer showings and less profit.

Will a 4-hour (OK, 242 minute) movie have multiple showings?  Maybe on the weekends, but an evening show that starts (audience seated, lights out, previews done, movie rolling) at 6 PM, we're leaving at 10 PM.  Will you get from work to the theatre, get your concession and be in your seat ready fast enough?  It likely has to start at 7 and wind up at 11.

 

Now, remember how theatres make money.

 

https://thehustle.co/the-economics-of-movie-theater-popcorn/

https://econ243.academic.wlu.edu/2017/03/06/movie-theaters-how-do-they-make-their-money-what-does-that-imply-about-movie-distributor-contracts-with-theaters/

 

It's not on tickets - it's on concession.  So let the people sit through half the movie, get up, stretch their legs, use the restroom, buy more concession and go watch the second half.  Now they  leave at 11:30 or 11:45 (don't rush them back - the washroom will take priority over the concession).  This would likely be way better for the theatre, as they'll get the same two cracks at the concession which would have been afforded by two showings of a 2-hour movie.

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14 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

The movie is as epic as say Infinity Wars or End Game

The problem I have, and I haven't seen it, is you are comparing it to the 3rd Avengers movie, not the first. Watching it, is there anyway you think he could have pulled it off in 2 hours, which is what the first Avengers movie was. This wasn't Darkseid, though he makes an appearance, this was Loki working for Darkseid. But then, Loki had already had a story arc in the first Thor movie. I realize that the Whedon one, apparently, had more reshoots then originally thought, but he was still limited to the story that Snyder had done. And Snyder coming back and doing a 2 part movie, that WB would NEVER have agreed to put out and saying "See how much I could have done" is stupid. He would have been forced to put it out as 1 movie in 2 hours. Now, edit that one down to that, then compare it to the first Avengers and we can argue, but again, the MCU had already done IM, Thor, CA:TFA and introduced EVERY hero in the movie in some way or another, a point others have made. I guess my only new point is the original, that this should have been the equivalent of the first one. I mean, if dealing with Steppenwolf took 4 hours, are we looking at a trilogy to deal with Darkseid?

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7 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Justice League Part I gathering the team and introducing Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg

I would have used Wonder Woman's movie for this. I mentioned before, you could have done the first WW movie with it starting with Bruce and Diana on his jet and her telling her story - flashback to the movie. Then at some opportune point, have Bruce ask a question and you see one of the other 3 sitting there with them with a brief flash of them bringing them on, then back to the story rinse and repeat, so that by the end of WW, all 5 are sitting in the jet heading back to new york.

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12 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

To be fair, the bulk of characterization for the Marvel heroes had been built up over ten years and twenty movies. JL didn't have that, so Snyder had no choice but to build it into his movie.

 

On the other hand, cut back on his vision until the groundwork has been laid. Snyder seems pretty big on the deconstruction aspect, but you can deconstruct what hasn't been constructed. You can't expect the average movie-goer to be a comic-reader that knows all the ins and outs of the characters involved.

 

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14 hours ago, archer said:

I attribute her continuing popularity to nostalgia

 

Isn't it a bit difficult to experience nostalgia for something that bears no resemblance to the beloved thing from the past?

 

Today's Harley Quinn incarnations share little with Dini's original character concept aside from her name and backstory. She went from being a cute, bubbly sidekick to the poster child for domestic abuse to a psychotic ninja turtle. And somewhere along the way, between the video games and the Ayre movie, she became spank bank material for teenage boys. How she ever became a positive symbol for Grrrl Power after all that I'll never understand.

 

8 minutes ago, Greywind said:

You can't expect the average movie-goer to be a comic-reader that knows all the ins and outs of the characters involved.

 

Quite true. In the case of his Watchmen movie, however, Snyder believed he was deconstructing superhero movies rather than superhero comics. He could reasonably assume that superhero movie audiences would grasp what he was doing. Extending that creative direction to his Superman and JL movies was perhaps too much of an ask, but he probably believed that he had a fan base that "got" him and would appreciate another deconstructionist journey.

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Quote

Watching it, is there anyway you think he could have pulled it off in 2 hours, which is what the first Avengers movie was. 

 

Yeah that's the thing.  Nothing I have heard about the Snyder Cut makes it possible to actually release in a reasonable run time.  All the stuff people found good about it -- deeper characterization, backstories, etc, are the parts that would have to be cut in order to get to a tolerable length for the movie.  Then what's left?

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14 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Sadly, I think DC felt desperate

 

I think this snippet pretty much defines DC movies.  No matter what they do now, all anyone smells is the desperation.....

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3 hours ago, slikmar said:

The problem I have, and I haven't seen it, is you are comparing it to the 3rd Avengers movie, not the first.

Why is that a problem? Justice League 1 does not have to be the equivalent of Avengers 1 and the end result (only talking about the Snyder Cut here) is nowhere near on par. I am comparing it to IW because it is much closer in theme but to be fair, JL is not IW. It's not the same movie andf it shouldn't be.

 

3 hours ago, slikmar said:

Watching it, is there anyway you think he could have pulled it off in 2 hours, which is what the first Avengers movie was.

There is a lot of built up in the first part of JL. Establishing the backstory of the Mother Boxes, Lois and Martha grieving Clark, the origin story of Cyborg and his relationship with his father. All of this makes the event of the stories more powerful as they unfold. Superman ressurection becomes a gambit because the team feels they will need him to prevail but turning the mother box on to do so will make it trackable to Steppenwolf, let alone connecting with the MB gives a glimpse of the Knightmare which make the whole thing look like a bad idea. Silas rescue and sacrifice is meaningful because of the conection with Victor and because it leads the group to track Steppenwolf, and so on. 

 

Could it have been shorter? Of course. Could it have been edited down to 2 hours without loosing a lot of the essence. I doubt it. Thankfully, the movie is broken up in parts so it's easy to stop. I might have it a bit mixed up and I would need to rewatch it to see if it is as clean cut but in short:

 

- Introduction: Reliving the Death of Superman

- Part 1: Introducing Aquaman

- Part 2: The Mother Boxes backstory

- Part 3: Cyborg Origin and introducing the Flash, first showdown against Steppenwolf

- Part 4 and 5 (it's getting blurry in my memory): The team understands what the Mother Boxes do, Superman is ressurected, they lose the last Mother Box

- Part 6: Final showdown in Russia (no Russian family involved) and the stare down with Darseid

- Epilogue: Knightmare, Luthor, Deathstroke, Martian Manhunter and wrap up

 

3 hours ago, slikmar said:

This wasn't Darkseid, though he makes an appearance, this was Loki working for Darkseid. But then, Loki had already had a story arc in the first Thor movie.

This is where the analogies fall apart. Steppenwolf is not Loki nor is he Ultron. He actually feels more like Thanos but is clearly not Thanos. Darkseid is also not Thanos. We see him in the movie but he is the evil looming, waiting in the background. He is actually not that interested in what's happening on Earth until it is reveal that the secret to the Anti-Life Equation is on Earth.

JL feels a lot more like Infinity War but is also very different. It does not reast on the background developped over dozens of movies. It needs to do a lot of it in the first half. It does not have a cast of thousands like IW so the story is a lot more focused on a single story. It ends with a victory but with the sense that the worst is to come. Baring a miracle there won't be a sequel.

 

3 hours ago, slikmar said:

I realize that the Whedon one, apparently, had more reshoots then originally thought, but he was still limited to the story that Snyder had done.

It is now clear that what limited Whedon, was not what Snyder had done.

3 hours ago, slikmar said:

And Snyder coming back and doing a 2 part movie, that WB would NEVER have agreed to put out and saying "See how much I could have done" is stupid. He would have been forced to put it out as 1 movie in 2 hours.

I unfortunately have no insight on what plans there were at the studio level and how it would have been managed.

 

3 hours ago, slikmar said:

but again, the MCU had already done IM, Thor, CA:TFA and introduced EVERY hero in the movie in some way or another, a point others have made. I guess my only new point is the original, that this should have been the equivalent of the first one.

I don't see why. Justice League is Justice League, not Avengers 1, 2, 3 or 4. We can draw parallels and compare because it's often how we analyse but in the end, JL did not have to be any of those movies. It just had to be Justice League. Josstice League really did not succeed at it.

4 hours ago, slikmar said:

I would have used Wonder Woman's movie for this. I mentioned before, you could have done the first WW movie with it starting with Bruce and Diana on his jet and her telling her story - flashback to the movie. Then at some opportune point, have Bruce ask a question and you see one of the other 3 sitting there with them with a brief flash of them bringing them on, then back to the story rinse and repeat, so that by the end of WW, all 5 are sitting in the jet heading back to new york.

I was trying to limit myself to the movie made but if we want to go down a bit further into Elsewolrds territory, a Wonder Woman and an Aquaman movie in between BvS and JL would have made a lot of sense. Both establishing the characters (and others as you suggest) and the Mother Boxes in their respective areas.

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4 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Yeah that's the thing.  Nothing I have heard about the Snyder Cut makes it possible to actually release in a reasonable run time.  All the stuff people found good about it -- deeper characterization, backstories, etc, are the parts that would have to be cut in order to get to a tolerable length for the movie.  Then what's left?

Having watched and loved it, I would agree with this. Now what is a "reasonable run time" and how much of a problem it is, is debatable.

Four hours for a theatrical release is too much but what is reasonable? Three hours like End Game? 3h25 like Return of the King?

 

I suspect that constrained by a theatrical release (which the Snyder Cut wasn't), it could have easily been edited down by 30 minutes. By a full hour? Not sure.

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2 hours ago, Spence said:

 

I think this snippet pretty much defines DC movies.  No matter what they do now, all anyone smells is the desperation.....

I feel they have finally stopped trying replicating the MCU. Which is a good thing, I don't see how they can catch up.

2 hours ago, Greywind said:

Well, if it was fear, the para-demons would be on them.

Thank God, this part is now gone!

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A refresher in case people have forgotten: Thanos was the protagonist of Infinity War. If likewise comparison with Justice League, then Steppenwolf would have to be the protagonist, which he isn’t. 
 

And as for movie length, a 3.5 hr movie would be reasonable, and leave the epilogue out, put that on the home media release as a special feature, or in the main film as “ultimate edition”. 

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29 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

Having watched and loved it, I would agree with this. Now what is a "reasonable run time" and how much of a problem it is, is debatable.

Four hours for a theatrical release is too much but what is reasonable? Three hours like End Game? 3h25 like Return of the King?

 

I suspect that constrained by a theatrical release (which the Snyder Cut wasn't), it could have easily been edited down by 30 minutes. By a full hour? Not sure.

 

I think that they could have gotten down to 3 and half hours like Titanic.  Ditch the Martian Manhunter scenes which while cool Easter eggs didn't add much to the movie at hand, and Knightmare, which since we already know Darkseid is on his way is not really necessary.

 

At 3½ IMO Zack Snyder's JL would have been positively enough received to have saved the franchise.  The question is would that have been a good thing.  There is something to be said for all the DC movies existing in a common multiverse, but not necessarily the same universe.  Personally, I don't want to see Captain Marvel's body crucified next to the gate to Darkseid's fortress.  BOP Harley Quinn does not need to be the same one as the Suicide Squad movies even though they are played by the same actress.  

 

Yes, having seen Snyder's JL, I would kind of like to see it's sequel.  However, in the name of prying the DCCU away from his grimdark view of reality, I think I might be willing to forego the experience 

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On 3/27/2021 at 4:22 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Do you think it's practical to have an intermission in today's multiplex theaters? I'd be afraid of it playing merry hob with scheduling and audience traffic. That would also make a very long movie even longer, meaning fewer showings and less profit.

 

11 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

It's not on tickets - it's on concession.  So let the people sit through half the movie, get up, stretch their legs, use the restroom, buy more concession and go watch the second half.  Now they  leave at 11:30 or 11:45 (don't rush them back - the washroom will take priority over the concession).  This would likely be way better for the theatre, as they'll get the same two cracks at the concession which would have been afforded by two showings of a 2-hour movie.

 

43 minutes ago, Greywind said:

Studios prefer >2 hours. More showings, more money.

Unless the movie is a turd...

 

It is also the way the design of theaters has changed. 

 

If you look at old theaters.  Tickets were purchased just outside the entrance and they check your stub as you came in the door, once inside you were free to go anywhere because you already paid and they only had one or two screens. Intermission allows people a break to stretch, talk, smoke and get concessions.  Many theaters showed double features.

 

Modern theaters changed the process and layout to service 10+ screens while reducing staff.  They do not have the physical lobby space to support a intermission and many of the ticket counters are inside with the stubs being checked inside as well.  A person can get into the lobby and even purchase concessions without actually buying a movie ticket. 

 

To do intermissions they would need to redesign the layout of a multiplex. 

 

There are (were?) some theaters that had already changed their business model, I know of two versions where they serve real food and drinks including beer and alcohol making dinner and movie one thing.  It is actually worth it and I had started see a movie or two in the theater again, especially since they are 21 and older.   A higher ticket price plus a lack of minors has effectively filtered out most of idiots that generally ruin the cinema experience.

 

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3 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

I feel they have finally stopped trying replicating the MCU. Which is a good thing, I don't see how they can catch up.

 

Given a complete lack of a Kevin Feige-equivalent in house and their unwillingness to lay the necessary groundwork for a shared cinematic universe, WB was wise to give up on trying to replicate Marvel's success. Unfortunately, they are incapable of putting together an alternate plan that yields consistent success. Every decision they make is countermanded by a new decision one or two years later. There is no continuity of creative leadership at WB/DC, and it shows. Having to answer to a corporate overlord that knows nothing about making a business out of an intrinsically artistic discipline hasn't helped much either.

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5 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

his is where the analogies fall apart. Steppenwolf is not Loki nor is he Ultron. He actually feels more like Thanos but is clearly not Thanos. Darkseid is also not Thanos.

I agree, Steppenwolf isn't, but even in the original movie, it was clear that Steppenwolf was an Underling doing the bidding of someone else (Darkseid). My comparison isn't that he and Loki are the same, but that both, in effect, prelude a truly big dangerous villain that could be beyond the heroes ability to deal with. For all intents, though not the same, Darkseid IS Thanos in this vein. A truly Cosmic villain that will take EVERYONE to beat. When I say it should be compared to the first Avengers, I meant it more as, this is introducing the concept and showing the heroes as a team. By IW, the heroes, although having their problems with each other, could work together as a team to fight a cosmic villain, and it still took 2 movies to pull it off. If defeating Darkseid's minion takes a 4 hour movie (granted apparently 2 hours of that was making up for lost time introducing characters we should already know), then what will it take if they do a movie of Darkseid's invasion, especially as we will probably need part of that to introduce the New Gods.

Again, I haven't seen it. Wish I could but streaming service is hard with my setup, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I am glad you guys liked it, I just feel, with the conversations, that DC again is trying to "catch up" to marvel by doing their first big teamup as the equivalent of IW and End Game.

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3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

At this point I question whether the old studio theater system we grew up with will even exist in a few years.

 

I'm old, so the studio theater system I grew up with hasn't existed in decades. ;)

 

I expect to see some changes to how movies are presented to conform to the new social reality post-pandemic. But movie theaters won't go away, they'll just evolve. They provide a type of experience no one can truly have in their homes. Over the course of the past century, every new entertainment technology was prophesied to mean the end of its predecessor. Movies would be the death of live stage. Television would kill movies. The Internet would doom television. FM radio would finish AM. In every case the medium adapted to emphasize what it does that distinguishes it from others, and found a niche it which it could continue to thrive. I don't see why movies won't evolve in response to this situation. because there'll continue to be demand for them.

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