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Better Ghost 2016/04/16 02:27:03

We need to talk about superhero films
I haven’t watched it, and have no plans to do so unless the MST3K guys make a RiffTrax of it, but by all indications Batman v. Superman is, at least for anyone who cares about the two title characters, bad. Very bad. The film could have had the potential to be an interesting story about two characters not named “Batman” and “Superman” (I use the scare quotes because the actual Batman and Superman are nowhere to be found in any of Zack Snyder’s films), but the writers do not seem to have had the courage of their convictions and abandoned the concept the first 140 minutes of the film seem to have been trying to go with: namely, that in the real world, actual superheroes would inevitably become sociopaths.

As an anarchist, this is a message I can sympathise with. Power, after all, tends to corrupt, and the absolute power someone with Superman’s level of superpowers would have would of course tend to corrupt absolutely. Presenting superheroes as sociopaths would be an interesting story for characters who are not supposed to represent “Superman” and “Batman”. However, Goyer and Snyder seem to have copped out of following this concept to its natural conclusion and intend to have us rooting for their alleged heroes in the last ten minutes of their film.

Regardless, we are supposed to believe that the characters in this film are “Superman” and “Batman”. They are not. Superman is the sort of person (well, Kryptonian) who is so fundamentally concerned with the value of human life that he will take time out of his busy schedule saving the world to stop a depressed teenage girl from killing herself (scene from Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman):

Batman is not quite as altruistic as Superman, but he is still the sort of person who at his core wants to make the world a better place by giving people reasons to no longer be afraid or feel like they are alone (scene from Warren Ellis & John Cassady’s Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth):

Admittedly I haven’t watched every Batman or Superman film ever made, but I have never once seen either of these characters on the big screen. I will give some directors, such as Bryan Singer, credit for trying to adapt them. But it sure as hell looks like Zack Snyder & David S. Goyer didn’t even try.

Some rather essential background here is that Superman was created by a pair of Jewish socialists (Jerry Siegel & Joe Schuster). Zack Snyder is an Objectivist, and in other words could barely be further ideologically removed from the ideology of Superman’s creators. In retrospect, Snyder’s ideology explains a rather large number of things wrong with his Watchmen adaptation as well; Alan Moore, who is an anarchist (not an ideology that tends to be susceptible to black-and-white thinking), was saying a number of things with his comic that appear to have been beyond the sophistication of Snyder’s effectively black-and-white conception of morality. For those interested, I write a lengthy analysis of one aspect of the graphic novel’s theme that was missing from the film here. (This is one of only a handful of ethical dilemmas raised by the comic that is conspicuously absent from the film; a person could likely write a book-length dissertation on Watchmen and not cover everything Moore says in it, but it will likely serve as sufficient evidence for my point).

It is, perhaps, therefore unsurprising that Zack Snyder completely misunderstands Superman. My post linked above, as well as some of the discussion that immediately precedes it, delves further into this, but one point I particularly wish to highlight is this:

…the welfare of others is not remotely a concern in Objectivism. Rand derided altruism and actually praised selfishness. (No, literally, she actually wrote an essay entitled “The Virtue of Selfishness”).

Naturally, when this is taken to its logical extent, it seems utterly callous. And so we end up with Snyder’s Superman who literally could not give a shit if other people live or die, and he’s somehow supposed to be a hero. It just reveals the fundamental disconnect of Objectivism with, well, actual human nature. Empathy is a fundamental part of the human experience. The fact that Snyder literally cannot understand that empathy is the single defining characteristic of Superman’s character fundamentally comes back, I would say, to the unbridgeable chasms in their ideologies.

Obviously following altruism to the extent that one completely effaces one’s own basic needs as a human being would be a fundamentally foolish idea, but I don’t know a single person on the face of the planet who actually behaves like that in the first place. Rand takes a bunch of obvious statements (like “don’t be a doormat”) and then twists them to absurd levels to extents that fundamentally disregard what it actually means to be human. And I mean that quite literally. Hominids evolved forming societies based in a mix of self-interest and altruism, because both, it turns out, have evolutionary advantages, as long as they are not taken to extremes. Rand asks us to throw an entire 50% of our nature away purely based on her ideological biases. In other words, she is doing entirely what is not to our evolutionary advantage: she is taking one part of our nature and stretching it to extremes.

I can sort of understand it coming from Rand, though. She grew up in the Soviet Union (which, naturally, followed the other extreme by ignoring the self-interested part of human nature) and obviously had some serious unresolved childhood issues that she clearly never worked through. I don’t feel loathing for her so much as pity. I can’t say the same for her followers. I don’t see any excuse for most of these people. Most of the time it’s just some half-baked whining about not wanting to pay taxes.
Another that is probably worth bringing up is this:

I’m going to expound on a theory I’ve had for a rather long time, which is that the reason liberals have been more successful in the culture war is because they understand an important aspect of culture: namely, your politics cannot supersede your culture. Having a message is important. However, if that message gets in the way of telling a good story, no one is going to give the slightest bit of a shit. Hollywood generally sets out to tell a good story, and most of the people who do this tend to have a somewhat liberal agenda. That agenda informs their storytelling, but it’s not the prime driver of their storytelling.

Right-wingers often don’t seem to get this, and as a result, the work made by such people comes across as heavy-handed preaching. Their message isn’t secondary to their characters and stories; their characters and plots exist entirely in service to their messages. Thus you often get characters behaving in entirely unbelievable ways purely to prove an ideological “point”, or gigantic ideological misfires like Galt’s Gulch literally being a fucking commune. When everything is in service to your ideology, you develop colossal blind spots to what good storytelling practice means. Left Behind or anything Frank Miller has shat out in the past twenty years or anything by Terry Goodkind starting from about Faith of the Fallen are other good examples of this.

What I’m saying here, essentially, is that Snyder’s ideological obsessions have rendered him incapable of correctly interpreting the characters of Batman and Superman. In Superman this is not, for reasons I elaborated on in my previous post, remotely surprising. However, Batman is generally supposed to be a capitalist superhero (much like Iron Man is for Marvel). The fact that Snyder so fundamentally misunderstood this character speaks to an ideological blind spot larger than even I expected from him.
I do feel like I need to add that while Bruce Wayne is a capitalist, he is a kinder, gentler kind of capitalist who would have no truck with today’s Republican Party: he started his crusade in Gotham to purge the corrupt leadership of the city, including several prominent cases of incestuous government/business relationships, and has heavily invested himself in charity work. So while his ideology is less alien to Snyder than Superman’s, it still can’t be interpreted as being in any way similar.

Goyer, it turns out, seems to fundamentally misunderstand superheroes as well. I know this seems like a bold claim considering that Goyer has been involved in co-writing some of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed comic book adaptations of the last twenty years, including Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. However, when one examines these films more closely, I feel like they often succeed in spite of their writing rather than because of it. The Dark Knight, widely regarded as the strongest of these, is a case in point: it mostly succeeds on the strength of Ledger’s Joker and Nolan’s direction. When you examine the actions of the Joker in the film, they don’t really make a whole lot of sense, which is completely out of character with the way the Joker is supposed to be presented. The Joker is supposed to be highly intelligent, and so effective at what he does that he may make the reader question whether it’s truly the Joker that is insane, or the rest of humanity. That is not the case in The Dark Knight at all: the Joker’s plans often require the other characters to be idiots.

Goyer at least understood Batman’s character well enough at this point to understand that having him murder anyone or pick up a gun would be fundamentally antithetical to his character. However, at some point he seems to have lost this, because Batman apparently flat-out murders a bunch of people in the latest film with guns.

And like Snyder, Goyer completely misunderstands Superman (see the link for discussion of this), and he doesn’t seem to understand other comics characters like Superman either. For example, he seems to possess the delusion that Captain America, arguably Superman’s closest Marvel Comics counterpart, is some kind of conservative. Cap is not and has never been conservative, apart from the story where an imposter took up the mantle of Cap for awhile and was upstaged by the real Steve Rogers. Cap is and has always been a New Deal Liberal, who grew up in a gay neighbourhood and has been supportive of women’s rights and other similar causes. Moreover, he fights an ideology that is as brutally right-wing authoritarian as has ever plagued the face of the planet. Anyone who reads such a character as a conservative has completely failed to understand him.

I have no problem if people enjoyed Batman v. Superman for what it was, but they need to understand that the characters depicted in that film are not Batman or Superman, or for that matter Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent. Those characters do not appear anywhere in any of Snyder’s films.

The MCU ain’t perfect, but thus far their track record with film adaptations is a hell of a lot better than DC’s. Hell, even fucking Fox has done a better job, even if you include those terrible Fantastic Four travesties. (I still need to see Deadpool).

Sar 2016/04/18 19:44:26

Max Landis did a great video a while back that pretty well sums up my opinions on the Superman thing. I like Superman and I have a friend who LOVES Superman and he has way more opinions on the matter than I do.

What I DO have opinions about is Batman. The first thing I'll say is as far as superhero mythology goes, Batman is one of the more malleable characters out there. The Batman represented in The Dark Knight Returns may bear little resemblance to the Batman found in The Long Hallloween. Even over the course of something like Detective Comics, Batman's personality can fluctuate based on the writer and that's totally fine. That said there are some fundamental rules you don't break about Batman.

Zack Snyder had this to say on Batman killing people


“A little more like manslaughter than murder, although I would say that in the Frank Miller comic book that I reference, he kills all the time. There’s a scene from the graphic novel where he busts through a wall, takes the guy’s machine gun… I took that little vignette from a scene in The Dark Knight Returns, and at the end of that, he shoots the guy right between the eyes with the machine gun. One shot. Of course, I went to the gas tank, and all of the guys I work with were like, ‘You’ve gotta shoot him in the head’ because they’re all comic book dorks, and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna be the guy that does that!’”
The scene he's referencing does not exist. The closest to the scene that Snyder made up for the purpose of this interview is a scene where Batman breaks through a wall to break up a hostage situation where he does not kill anyone. The Dark Knight Returns is the primary influence for Affleck's Batman, which is totally fine, but there's a burden that comes with that: Frank Miller was and is a fascist and he wrote Batman as an objectivist, a moral absolutist and someone teetering on the edge of sociopathy. I'm not opposed to that interpretation of Batman, though I dislike that the book (and movie by extension) continuously reward him for taking those stances rather than punish him. Despite all that, and despite its reputation in 1986 as one of the most cruel and violent Batman stories ever, it contains panels like this expressly forbidding the use of guns and killing.

I'll cut this short because I was supposed to have left for work already and I'm not even dressed, but I enjoyed the movie despite all of this because in the face of the writing, both actors are well cast for their roles. Despite being saddled with an interpretation of the character that is bafflingly morose, Henry Cavill was and is the right guy to be playing Superman, and Ben Affleck totally nails the tortured, late-career, Dark Knight Returns version of Batman. I cannot abide Batman or Superman's actions in the movie, but when they fight... at least Zack Snyder basically stole the Batman/Superman fight from The Dark Knight Returns, so it was fun to watch.

Better Ghost 2016/04/18 19:48:28

Unfortunately, those links to TDKR panels don’t work; the hosts don’t allow hotlinking. Great post, though. I agree that Batman is a lot more malleable than Superman is, but I still feel like he’s been fundamentally disserviced by Snyder and Goyer’s interpretation. I’ll add more to this after I’ve watched that Landis video.

Better Ghost 2016/04/18 23:49:11

so yeah, overall, I agree with nearly everything Landis says about Superman there. In particular, the high amount of civilian casualties is completely incompatible with Superman’s character, particularly since Man of Steel (which, unlike the most recent film, I have watched) gives no clear indication that Superman tries to redirect Zod to anywhere else. If the film had made it clear that Superman tried to redirect Zod away from Metropolis and failed, I suppose the casualties could have been considered more defensible, since Zod is a rare case of an opponent who is as powerful as Superman, and thus it would be defensible for the latter to be unable to prevent the former from killing people. However, that still wouldn’t have redeemed the film for its treatment of civilian casualties entirely, because it still doesn’t erase the fact that civilians are barely a concern in the film in the first place. There’s all this 9/11 parallel stuff, and we don’t see its effects on the civilian populace at all.

This is one thing the source material of Watchmen did impeccably: millions of people die in the climax of the story, but because we’ve gotten to know several of the individual characters who perish, their death really hurts, and that makes the millions of deaths much more than a statistic. We don’t know any of the casualties in Man of Steel. They weren’t a concern of Goyer and Snyder’s; they were incidental to the plot. This form of treatment demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of superheroes in general and Superman’s character in particular.

Also, yes, I agree with you that Batman is much more malleable than Superman. It’s actually not entirely true that he’s never picked up a gun, but whenever he did pick up a gun in the past, it was used as a clear sign that shit had gotten real (trigger warning: TV Tropes link). He’s certainly never straight-up murdered a bunch of people casually like this film version apparently does. The only entity against whom he has used a gun with intent to harm in the current continuity is Darkseid. Who, well, is the living embodiment of tyranny and has ended entire universes simply by existing, so that’s not casual murder or anything.

Sar 2016/04/19 02:52:31

I was in a hurry and didn't really have time to check them, but I just uploaded them to imgur so hopefully all is well now.

Sar 2016/04/19 03:03:47

Yeah, there are moments when Batman breaks the rules, and someone once told me that George Clooney is the only Batman that never killed anyone, which is totally true when you think about it. Bale's Batman killed several people, usually in moments of desperation that were justified by the narrative (pushing Harvey Dent off the ledge in The Dark Knight for example), but in this it's just wanton slaughter. There are things that the movie gets right but they're few and far between. There's a sequence where Batman fights a bunch of mobsters that they essentially nail (he even knocks a grenade out of a mobster's hand and it explodes killing him, which wouldn't have bothered me if it was the only instance of Batman killing in the movie).

I don't understand the obsession with Batman and Superman as sadsacks, either. The fucking male angst in the movie is through the fucking roof. Batman is totally a brooding character, but there's a balance to be struck there, which was pretty well done by Christian Bale. Superman, on the other hand, has essentially NO RIGHT to be moping around through the entire movie. If he's supposed to embody truth, justice and the American way, they fucking failed miserably.

As for the destruction in Man of Steel, I wanted to walk out of the theater at that point. I had, the previous summer, had my heart broken by The Dark Knight Rises and was not ready to see the Superman mythology perverted in the same way. As you said, his non-interest in preventing civilian casualty by even a throw-away line or shot of him trying to drag Zod into space is the most insulting thing about it. As is often the case with Hollywood, they just don't give a shit about the source material or pleasing the fans. Comedian Mike Lawrence said "they made a Batman and Superman movie for people who beat me up for reading Batman and Superman comics". I felt like I was being told by the movie "don't like it? fuck off back to your Nolan movies."

As for the 9/11 parallels, yeah, that's totally what they were going for and they double down on it this time around, but as you said, there's no room for sympathy in these movies. We never grow to care about any of the mortals, really, or anyone who dies in the combat. It just feels like a big CGI battlefield where all the carnage is implied and we're supposed to accept it because we're so used to shit like Transformers where we're essentially asked to not consider the cost of life on the ground.

I still enjoyed the essential viewing experience of both films, I'll say that much. I did feel abused as a fan of these characters as well. I'm a man at war with himself.

Better Ghost 2016/04/19 03:24:51

I get what you mean. I feel like some of the fundamental misunderstanding of these characters goes back down to politics. In retrospect, Snyder's Objectivism single-handedly explains a number of problems with his adaptation of Watchmen (for instance, the fact that people came away with the impression that Rorschach was supposed to be a straight-up hero rather than a particularly dark example of an anti-hero), and it seems like it's had an influence on his understanding of Superman and Batman as well.

Superman, when you get down to it, represents what socialism is fundamentally supposed to be about: the more powerful using their power to defend the well-being of the less powerful ("From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs"). This is not a coincidence: his creators were both socialists and their politics informed his character. Obviously, not everyone who has written Superman since has also been a socialist, but his core characteristics were established by his original creators and until Snyder, no one misunderstood his character so badly that they were ever completely absent.

This could not be further removed from Objectivism, which derides altruism and celebrates selfishness. So you have Snyder making ridiculous statements like that Superman needs to kill to understand why killing is wrong, which sounds absolutely ludicrous to those of us who aren't Objectivists, and is a dead give-away to why his adaptations haven't rung true to the source material.

I'm not entirely sure what Goyer's ideology is, but as mentioned above, he thinks of Cap as being a conservative when he's in reality anything but, so his understanding of the politics of comic books is questionable at best as well.

I really don't get how you can misunderstand Batman this badly; as you said, he's quite malleable and can represent a number of different ideologies, and several previous incarnations of the character did kill people or use a gun (the Golden Age version actually used a gun pretty regularly, though this has been written out of continuity of the current character). But, and this is important, they only ever killed anyone as a last resort. There is nothing last-resort about the way he just straight-up murders a bunch of mooks in this film.

I dunno. It's disappointment. I love the DC source material every bit as much as I love the Marvel source material because they both, at their best, have profound things to say about the human condition, and it's a severe disappointment to see DC's flagship characters being misrepresented this flagrantly.

And yeah, the imgur versions worked fine; thanks. I lost my copy of TDKR so being able to see those scenes again is nice.

  2016/04/19 06:10:41

I don't have a copy handy, but based on that TDKR page what you say Snyder made up is exactly what's shown.

This and this are the only interpretation of Superman I care about. The internal struggle is something that's clearly expressed in BvS but it seems the creative team only think to depict it by having Superman kick a can down the block and punching buildings.

Better Ghost 2016/04/19 06:41:36

Iirc there's a scene later in TDKR where the mutant Snyder says Batman shot is shown completely alive and well with no traces even of injury. I can see why taken out of context it would look like the guy's being shot but I'm pretty sure Sar's right and it's not what actually happens. TV Tropes backs this up, linking to this image showing the mutant Batman supposedly shot alive and well and handing the baby over, and apparently there's another image where one of the mutants explicitly confirms that Batman did not shoot her, but I can't find it. It's also worth pointing out that the TDKR Batman and Superman never try to kill each other; TDKR Batman does try to weaken Superman with Kryptonite, but that's a far cry from trying to murder him in cold blood as the BvS incarnation apparently does. Not to mention that TDKR Batman also goes out of his way a few pages after that panel to point out that he hasn't killed anyone.

  2016/04/19 06:52:36

I'll take your word for it. I have no inclination to read it again right now. But it's pretty clear from those two pages why Snyder may have thought that.

Better Ghost 2016/04/19 07:03:06

I haven't read it in its entirety in a long time either (probably close to ten years, actually). If you look at just those two pages and don't have much experience with reading comics, then yes, I can see why a person would think that. However, TDKR as a whole makes it pretty clear that Batman not only had not killed anyone but has an arguably pathological inability to kill even when it might actually make the world a better place. A major plot point is Batman's alleged murder of the Joker (who, of course, is not actually dead). If Batman had killed anyone else he very likely would have been charged with those killings at the same time as well. So yeah, my initial reaction stands: did Snyder even read TDKR?

  2016/04/19 16:15:06

Have you seen the film?

Better Ghost 2016/04/19 17:33:42

Batman v. Superman? Nope. Not gonna pay money for it. At some point I may either pirate it or stream it out of morbid curiosity, but if I pirate it I’m at least going to wait for a good-quality rip to be available. I may not even bother unless the MST3K guys make a RiffTrax of it, though.

Matt 2016/04/20 12:45:18

I have to say it's quite daft to rely on 100% of your information from third hand experience. But that's up to you.

Bale's Batman was, in my opinion, the worst Batman adaptation. I quite liked Affleck's Batmna. He was fucking brutal, and (SPOILER) he had Superman beaten, which is something considering he has no super powers.

My only issues with the film are:

- Doomsday needed his own film
- Snyder flips and flops around in his photography, jumping around erratically.
- I had to read that (SPOILER) Batman's vision whilst asleep was Barry Allen warning him from either the future or another Earth. Wasn't at all clear when watching it, which is daft. Maybe it was just me not paying as much attention as I thought, though

Otherwise, it was a decent enough film. DC are terrible, though, since none of their media is related. Marvel hit the ball out of the park with the cinematic universe being entirely linked. Even if not obvious, it's subtle and still there and it's enjoyable fan service.

Better Ghost 2016/04/20 19:09:42

If I were just relying on the opinions of random people, then yeah, that would be silly, but I’ve read some fully reasoned critiques of the film from people whose opinions I strongly trust, and that’s enough evidence to convince me that I wouldn’t enjoy the film. I’m not exactly made of money right now, nor do I have an infinite amount of free time, so when I pay for entertainment, it’s going to have to be entertainment I have good reason to suspect I’ll enjoy. I’ve got more than enough evidence to suggest that the representations of Batman and Superman in this film do grave disservice to what the characters are supposed to represent, and that alone would be enough to prevent me from enjoying it.

For that matter, various things the creators themselves have said about the film further convinces me that I wouldn’t enjoy it. Snyder in particular has demonstrated that he completely misunderstands what Superman is supposed to represent, and Goyer hasn’t done much better.

Matt 2016/04/20 21:28:43

Well, all I can say is Affleck's Batman, whilst a little kill-happy, is fucking brutal in fight scenes. That made me happy.

And I shan't criticise a man who would opt for piracy. It's honestly, the noble option to me. I'm not made of money either (though I did see this in the cinema) so I generally pirate all the things. I haven't bought a film for a long time, other than via cinema tickets.

Better Ghost 2016/04/20 23:00:10

I haven’t ruled out pirating it at some point, but it depends on whether it comes up freeleech on a private tracker I’m a member of, and anyway, I do expect it to show up on Netflix eventually. At any case, I probably won’t have time to watch it for at least a month or so.

Matt 2016/04/21 15:15:00

It'll be on IP Torrents before long. I always hold out for 1080p Blu-Ray rips.

Better Ghost 2016/08/09 05:24:27

So no one liked Suicide Squad either, huh? I haven’t read much about it but the reception seems to have been almost universally negative. Harley Quinn seems to be the only well-liked part of the film and the general consensus seems to be that she wasn’t given enough to do. If anyone’s seen it, I’m curious what you thought.

Starling 2016/08/10 00:18:27

I haven't seen Batman V Superman or the Suicide Squad film, though the animated Suicide Squad movie was nice enough. A common problem I have with live action is that the action movies tend to spend so much time on whatever's the biggest, showiest action at the expense of other stuff like better character development, screen time for non action stuff and generally balancing the movie with other stuff. Animation allows for more variety in the visuals to make the action stand out from other movies in the genre, so even if it can also suffer from some of those problems it tends to be more tolerable for me. I find tv shows, while on a smaller budget, have more time to tell the story and develop characters, so I'd rather have some good shows to watch than constantly hope that an action movie is going to live up to my standards.

To me, the core of Batman's character is that he wants to make Gotham a better place and feels that doing things as Bruce Wayne isn't good enough, especially given all the political and police corruption that tends to be involved. Yes, Batman can be a broody loner who prepares for various situations to the point of potential paranoia and yes, he can be brutal and go about what he does in a morally grey manner but that's not all he is like so many depictions seem to go about portraying him. He's aware many of the people he fights need help too and has taken measure to make it possible for such people to get rehabilitated and receive the help they need. He's tried to help Harvey get psychiatric treatment and provide jobs for people who likely only turned to crime out of desperation. All the Robins, Batgirls and other allies he's had over the years are like a (not so) little family and they all care for each other. It kinda bugs me that the original rendition of Dick becoming Nightwing was just a kid growing up and leaving home to do their own thing while all the other ones seem to be a bunch of drama and fighting like it somehow needs to happen that way. Even Batman can't be a broody anti-hero on the brink of sociopathy all the time or you end up losing the humanizing parts that make him such a great and sympathetic character. For me, the best Batman moments are the ones where he's helping someone in relatively mundane ways, like the above panels and this other one I don't know where to find where he needs information from a girl but takes the time to sit there and wait until she's ready to talk about it.

The whole superheroes fight thing often strikes me as an excuse plot meant to offer fanservice to all those people who argue over who would win in a fight. No matter how you go about it, a lot of people will get pissed about the outcome but doing it badly will likely piss off more viewers. Despite their differences, Batman and Superman tend to be good friends who seem to agree on enough to respect the different way the other goes about doing things. I'd like it if the movies would spend more time exploring their friendship than having them fight at the slightest opportunity.

Matt 2016/08/10 14:31:12


Harley was great, but it was the Suicide Squad, not Harley Quinn. There should've been more of the others. They balls up her origin story and relationship with The Joker. I mean, her devotion was true to the character, but his love for her? Hell no. There was supposed a scene where he slaps the shit out of her that was cut. That would've been more like it (not condoning women being slapped around, just staying true to the character in this instance).

The Joker wasn't menacing at all and therefore failed as The Joker. Watch Batman: The Killing Joke. Slightly bias because it's Mark Hamil's Joker, but that was a menacing performance.

Ace Venom 2016/08/13 02:42:39

1) I fucking loved Batman v Superman.

2) I fucking loved Suicide Squad.

I'm a pretty big fan of the DCEU as it is.

hungrybookshelf 2016/08/16 19:56:14

It's so obvious that suicide squad was irredeemably fucked with, it will forever be a disappointing shell of what should have been. I mean, it already looked like shit with the first press photos released of jared ledo being curahzee and the other cosplay outfits. Everything about this joker seemed so try hard, but he was fine in the movie. Probably the best part. Im not deep in the comics, but I grew up watching dc animation and the 90s movies. Schumacher or w/e gets shit on but at this point that's the character done right imo. I mean, when's the last time we got a proper chase scene with the bat mobile in Gotham? (Chicago is not Gotham) anytime batman was on screen were the best parts of the movie, and that probably makes up like less than 5 min total. The only parts that felt like dc universe were with the joker or batman. Yep my favorite scene was joker vs batman. That is the only shit that matters at this point. The rest of the movie was basically I am legend with cosplayers. It's too bad that despite finding something different that is better than formulaic Disney capeshit in bvs, it gets thrown out the minute a rottentomatoes review turns out negative

Better Ghost 2016/08/16 20:38:33

I legitimately liked Batman Forever. Sometimes I feel like the only person on the planet who think it’s an actually good film, but at least I know a lot of other people who legitimately like it, including my best friend IRL, and I know Sar likes it too. And I mean, come on. How can you not enjoy Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face or Jim Carrey chewing the scenery as the Riddler?

I still haven’t watched BvS but I’ve seen clips of the fight scenes and they look mind-numbingly dull. Maybe they’re more interesting in context; I dunno. I suspect anything that followed up the Nolan films would’ve suffered in comparison but I haven’t seen anything from either Suicide Squad or BvS that has inclined me to reëvaluate my suspicion that I’m not missing out on much by not watching them.

Matt 2016/08/17 08:41:52

I legitimately liked Batman Forever. I much prefer it over the Nolan films. Which were terrible.

hungrybookshelf 2016/08/21 22:27:03

I wanted to respond to this thread of yours a while ago, because I wanted to encourage you to watch it.
I was really pissed off when Affleck was chosen as Bruce Wayne. I thought to myself that it doesn't fit at all. It should have been Josh Brolin. But whatever, I went to theaters anyway, with low to none expectations. The fact that Zack Snyder, a director with a solid, mediocre resume keeps getting the reins really bugs me. Watchmen was simply copy/paste, Man of Steel its best for 10 minutes on Krypton. I just don't understand how he keeps getting control over DC's content. I've been told it's because he delivers and is easy to work with studios, but w/e.

Batman vs Superman had begun its hype as early as I am Legend...if you guys remember the poster in the movie. Being able to call a movie "BATMAN VS SUPERMAN" by Hollywood and seeing it on the big screen...was basically a fantasy for 30 some years, right? So I think, regardless of quality...I was inclined to go watch. Which is why I thought that you, being a huge (real) fan, made a mistake by not watching it in theaters. I understand the refusal to pay for something that basically doesn't deserve it, is what it is.

In this world of capeshit manufactured "universes"...BvS was a breath of fresh air. It's definitely flawed,'s still the latest, modern interpretation of Batman on film. You can still enjoy things like Alfred, the batcave, his gadgets, machines, etc. Batman himself looks p cool, sounds like Batman, not Christian grunting. Idk what to say, but, for the sake of fan service, it's not bad. I don't think Batman has been butchered. The fact that it's still possible to have comic book movies that aren't bound by a generic formula crafted in a committee who are businessmen and not creators, and that fact that it's DC and not Marvel (Disney's), is fucking great honestly. But sadly it seems that was all thrown into the trash with the negative reception, and the meddling the followed in Suicide Squad.

The year is 2017, and Ben Affleck is the Last Hope for Batman in the world of capeshit.

Better Ghost 2016/08/22 20:24:20

Nope, still got no urge whatsoever to see any more of the DCU films, sorry. No matter how much people talk about enjoying the films, I still can’t bring myself to move past Goyer and Snyder’s flagrant misunderstanding of the flagship DC characters. If these characters weren’t called “Superman” and “Batman” and so on maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much, but Superman means something, and Snyder and Goyer don’t understand it in the slightest. I want to see the characters from the comic excerpts included in my OP on the screen, not people who just straight-up murder some dudes for no real reason.

  2016/08/26 00:28:23

Starling 2016/09/12 23:16:02

So, remember that thing similar to the Superman panel that I mentioned for Batman earlier in the thread? I've got it here.
I put it under spoiler tags so it doesn't take up too much space in its default size.

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