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A first look at Man of Steel 2, through the eyes of a fan
August 28, 2013 10:14 AM   Subscribe

As soon as it was announced that Ben Affleck would play Batman in the sequel to the Superman reboot, twitter-ers were a-flutter with jokes and bemoaning the choice, and YouTube user started putting together a Man of Steel 2 Comic Con Teaser Trailer, in the style of the original Comic Con MOS audience recording. YouTube user soylentbrak1, aka "Steve," recently released a slightly longer, cleaner version of his fan-made trailer, pulling from 20 different video sources, including features of the rumored role of Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor . If you like that sort of thing, soylentbrak1 also made a Mad Max: Fury Road trailer and over 100 other short clips in tribute to films, franchises, and dreams of what could be.
posted by filthy light thief (132 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's also talk of Timothy Dalton as Alfred.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:29 AM on August 28, 2013


Wow.

(Nope. Can't do it. Still don't care. Will not be great cinema.)
posted by markkraft at 10:31 AM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I realize that even the rational reaction to this announcement has become a dusty cliche at this point around the internerdzones, but so it's been said:

It's crazy that people go into an insane rage over Affleck, but not over the fact that Zach Snyder is still directing, when the latter will have far worse consequences.
posted by selfnoise at 10:32 AM on August 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE IS STUPID AND SHOULD NOT EXIST. STOP IT. EVERYONE STOP IT.
posted by bleep-blop at 10:32 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Batfleck.
posted by Daddy-O at 10:34 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's crazy that people go into an insane rage over Affleck, but not over the fact that Zach Snyder is still directing, when the latter will have far worse consequences.

My give-a-fuck was thoroughly used up by the first one.

So... Hey... Lobo redesign freakout?
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]




They should have gotten a real actor, like Michael Keaton.
posted by DU at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


So... Hey... Lobo redesign freakout?

All of my annoyance at DC is being taken up by this weird "let's introduce half the Crime Syndicate slowly over a period of years and then have that be a fake-out and the entire team teleports in from Earth-3 for the stupidest possible reason" twist they just pulled. Gimme a week or so and I'll get to BishieLobo.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:46 AM on August 28, 2013


I don't have an opinion on the castings, but those fan-made trailers stink.
posted by cribcage at 10:52 AM on August 28, 2013




Ebert was of the opinion that they cast actors for Batman by their chins and by that criterion, Affleck is perfect casting.
posted by octothorpe at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]




A better idea, get Affleck to direct it and stick Snyder in the suit. It still won't make any sense, but at least it won't make sense in an interesting and fucked up way.
posted by quin at 11:00 AM on August 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


He can do it. After all, Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms.
posted by heathkit at 11:01 AM on August 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, lobo isn't going to look like that in the comic, according to somebody somewhere. Which I believe, at least now.

Another reason why they should have made a wonder woman movie instead: They wouldn't have cast Ben Affleck.

A reason why I'm glad they didn't: Oh god not a Snyder Wonder Woman movie no.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:05 AM on August 28, 2013


What, exactly, is it about Ben Affleck and Nicolas Cage?
posted by colie at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2013


Come up with some new stories, Hollywood.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:08 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Will not be great cinema.

It's a Batman/Superman movie. It was never going to be great cinema.
posted by The World Famous at 11:09 AM on August 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's crazy that people go into an insane rage over Affleck, but not over the fact that Zach Snyder is still directing, when the latter will have far worse consequences.

Nothing has changed since the Tim Burton Batman.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:21 AM on August 28, 2013


It's crazy that people go into an insane rage over Affleck, but not over the fact that Zach Snyder is still directing

This. Affleck could be fine as Batman with a good writer / director.

Nobody can be fine as Batman with Snyder writing and/or directing.
posted by straight at 11:21 AM on August 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


What, exactly, is it about Ben Affleck and Nicolas Cage?

Raising Arizona
Amos & Andrew
Kick-Ass
Gone in 60 Seconds (I liked it.)
Good Will Hunting
Mallrats
Dogma

Oh, and Argo.

Or, to put it another way, while both actors have made some real dreck in their careers, they both have also had moments of real inspired brilliance. One doesn't balance the other, but you can't dismiss them completely out of hand. In all likelihood, whenever you see their name, it's going to be a not-great thing. But then, every once in a while, you get something insane and awesome. Not every actor can say that.
posted by quin at 11:21 AM on August 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Missing his high point there, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But then what sort of person would like that movie anyway?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2013


This seems relevant.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:32 AM on August 28, 2013


I don't particularly care about what actor will play the next Batman in a crossover, new trilogy, or JLA movie. What disappoints me is the recent Superman movie rebooted the character again by telling the origin story, and before we see the Superman character have any adventures or build character or relationships (which would take a few movies), in the next movie he and Batman are already having such a big personality conflict that they'll fight to the death? The choice of making the next one a crossover movie is a foolish one, especially if it fast forwards to their last ultimate story. It makes no sense.
posted by asfuller at 11:34 AM on August 28, 2013


Affleck was good in Hollywoodland playing the actor playing the TV Superman.
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on August 28, 2013


A first look at Man of Steel 2.....

Well, actually, not really.... More like "A first look at some supercut of other movie clips done by someone with nothing to do with Man of Steel 2"....

quin said what I came to say... Affleck has some credibility in the industry and has been involved in some quality products... I'm holding judgement.

And, why wouldn't WB have Zack do this movie, he took a $225 million dollar budget and turned it into $649 million in ticket sales (not even counting DVD/Product/Product Placement $$$'s) with Man of Steel. Zack did Dawn of the Dead and the Romero fans complained, he did 300 and the Frank Miller fans complained, he did Watchman and the Alan Moore fans complained, he did Man of Steel and every comic book collector complained... And the profits rolled in....

Folks, as much as you hate it, you may be stuck with Snyder for a while.. :)

plus, he's a nice guy and we color coordinate our wardrobe when we get together.
posted by HuronBob at 11:36 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a comma after that sentence. A first look at Man of Steel 2, through the eyes of a fan. (And "supercut" generally refers to a video wherein a single element from a movie, series of movies, tv series, or otherwise related media are sampled and played one after another in quick succession. I would consider these "trailers" to be "mashups" or video collages. Nits: I pick them well.)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:43 AM on August 28, 2013


Nit picked and noted, my vocabulary of contemporary clip terms is obviously limited.
posted by HuronBob at 11:46 AM on August 28, 2013


Will not be great cinema.

The experience of dealing with box-office-smashing Snyder dung is not unlike being an Apple pro user fanboy. You sit at home or at work, month after month, wondering - why haven't they refreshed the Mac Pro in years? Why did they destroy Final Cut Pro? Why does iOS have less functionality than its predecessor and look so fucking stupid?

And then somebody writes an article pointing out the fact that Apple sold more iGadgets in 2011 than they have sold computers in their entire existence as a company. Which is actually true. You lean back in your chair, light up that cigarette you've been saving, and it finally sinks in how fucked you are.

You decide to leave your family and spend the rest of your days sitting at a bus stop, staring into the ether. People try to pretend like you're not there; the occasional samaritan might leave a Capri Sun or a half-eaten sandwich in your lap. They can hear you muttering things to yourself about "Lindelof" and "computers that look like trash cans," but nobody knows what you're talking about. "Don't look at him, he's crazy," a mom says to a child, and the bus pulls away.
posted by phaedon at 11:51 AM on August 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


Why is Lex Luthor always trotted out as a villain? Why not Brainiac, Myxlplyx, Darkseid, Livewire or the Preserver from the Animated Series who collects the sole survivors of species for his zoo?
posted by Tabs at 11:57 AM on August 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Zack Snyder represents the death of the human spirit, basically.
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on August 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


The main problem that I had with Man of Steel is similar to the problems I had with Superman Returns in that they kept redoing stuff from the first two Superman movies but not as well. At least Snyder didn't try to ape the look of the Donner film like Singer did but he still spend half the movie rehashing the same old origin story (with a few tweaks).
posted by octothorpe at 12:04 PM on August 28, 2013


Tabs: Why is Lex Luthor always trotted out as a villain?

Name recognition. Plus Lex gets annoyed to be sidelined, and has been known to throw a super-fit.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:09 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is Lex Luthor always trotted out as a villain? Why not Brainiac, Myxlplyx, Darkseid, Livewire or the Preserver from the Animated Series who collects the sole survivors of species for his zoo?

I'm 8.5 of 10 seasons into a first-time binge on Smallville and they've featured (to various degrees) interpretations of Brainiac, Mxyzptlk, Lex Luthor, Livewire, Bizarro, Doomsday, Zod, and many other Superman villains. I'm told that Darkseid features heavily in the last season. While I recognize it's not exactly high-quality television, I'm enjoying it and one of the fun parts of the show for me has been how heavily they draw from and reference the DC universe.
posted by jdherg at 12:14 PM on August 28, 2013


I don't understand why they even bother "rebooting" these series every four years. They could make almost as much money just throwing the last one back in the theaters for a few weeks at a fraction of the cost.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:15 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is Lex Luthor always trotted out as a villain? Why not Brainiac, Myxlplyx, Darkseid, Livewire or the Preserver from the Animated Series who collects the sole survivors of species for his zoo?

1) Lex Luthor is just a normal person, so he's a better character to write and has less of a chance of being terrible because of the stupid nature of the character w/r/t powers, etc.

2) Gene Hackman was really, really good and it's scary to try to break new ground.

3) Lex Luthor doesn't require any special makeup or CGI to just be Lex Luthor - which cuts costs, makes things logistically easier, and again, makes it easier for the character to actually be a good character.

4) Having Superman's nemesis be a human with zero powers is a cool dramatic element.

5) Although comics have dramatic and story elements that are classic, timeless, and just plain cool, movie audiences also tend not to be comic geeks and they often think stereotypical comic book characters are ridiculous and stupid. Comic book characters are, in a word, comical. So if you want your superhero movie to not be comical, you need to try to make its characters not be ridiculous caricatures. There's only so much you can to to make your supervillains not be ridiculously stupid, after all. Brainiac, Mxyzptlk, Darkseid, Livewire, the Preserver, and most other comic villains are, quite frankly, comical. So, with the current superhero movie trend staying away from comical portrayals (and making more money when they do so), you're not going to see a whole lot of Mxyzptlk-type characters. And if you do, they're going to be turned all dark and evil and gritty, which is, in my humble opinion, still stupid.

and 6) Which would you rather see? Bryan Cranston with a shaved head plotting against Superman with a super awesome evil plan, or Jim Carrey (or some equally-idiotic choice) dressed up in a Mxyzptlk costume and Superman trying to figure out how to get him to say his name backwards? I mean come on.
posted by The World Famous at 12:26 PM on August 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Plus it's lazy and takes no imagination, which is a plus here.
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bryan Cranston with a shaved head plotting against Superman with a super awesome evil plan,

I'd like to see that, but I think the problem is that we've never seen Lex Luthor on the big screen with a super awesome evil plan. For all my caveats about Man of Steel, Zach Snyder at least knows how to create awesomely powerful super-villains for Superman to punch. I'm less optimistic that he can finally give us a Luthor whose plans aren't stupid and ridiculous.
posted by straight at 12:43 PM on August 28, 2013


Waiting until Superman's already had a big world-saving moment to introduce him at least creates the possibility that they'll play up his hatred/distrust of this godlike alien interloper as a primary motivation, instead of making him a generic evil mastermind who just wants Supes to stop foiling his plans.

I mean, they'll still screw it up, but I can dream.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:51 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess this thread is as good as any to mention this.

Mrs. KHAAAN thinks the perfect person to play the new Batman would be Michael Shannon. She thinks his General Zod was the best thing (and maybe the only good thing ) about the Man of Steel movie, and I'm inclined to agree with her.

Think about it. Imagine Shannon bringing his awesome intensity to the Batman role. Hell, even if you go by Ebert's 'chin' method of Batman casting, he's still the perfect choice.
posted by KHAAAN! at 12:52 PM on August 28, 2013


A Myxzptlk plot would be much less likely to involve kidnapping Lois, Lana or Jimmy. Therefore, I vote Killtip ze Zim.
posted by Ardiril at 12:57 PM on August 28, 2013


I'm usually pretty disappointed by superhero movies, despite how much I love the genre. What I really want to see is a well done AMC-style superhero series of Mad Man/Breaking Bad/Walking Dead quality. The genre practically begs for the serial format anyway.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see that, but I think the problem is that we've never seen Lex Luthor on the big screen with a super awesome evil plan.

I agree. But every director and producer thinks they're going to be the one to finally do it. They recognize that the weakness in the Luthor plots of past films was not the character, but the story itself. They think they can build a good story around a good character, which is not a bad line of reasoning, given that it's easier to build a good story around a good character than it is to build one around a stupid character.

That said, I'd watch the hell out of a Bizarro movie.
posted by The World Famous at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Come up with some new stories, Hollywood.

No, it's too hard to create the financial models and project the profits. Anything untried adds risk to a venture that already pretty risky. Movie studios don't put out enough movies to diversify enough to be able to take those kinds of risks. So, they stick to tried and true characters and stories. I can use a company's past performance as a basis to project it's future performance but if they change they're entire business model (like a car manufacturer changing to furniture manufacturer or something) I have to throw all the old data out. It's the same thing with movies. They know what has sold in the past and they think it's too risky try something new.

The thing that bugs me is that it seems like just about any time someone is given a big budget and free reign to take risks (I'm thinking about Inception here), we end up with huge successes so I would think this would send a signal to Hollywood that innovative films and original stories are the sure thing.
posted by VTX at 1:07 PM on August 28, 2013


Joss Whedon recently made some snarky comments about the campiness of the Indiana Jones franchise. He said something along the lines of, remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy pulls out a gun and shoots a master swordsman? And then in Temple of Doom - which is technically a prequel of Raiders - he does the same thing only this time there's no gun in his belt?

Whedon says:
"You know that thing in Temple of Doom where they revisit the shooting trick?... That's what you don't want. And I feel that's what all of culture is becoming -- it's becoming that moment.”
This contentious comment got covered really heavily yesterday, because I think in and of itself, it doesn't really make any sense what exactly he's trying to say or why he's calling out a movie that came out 30 (yes, 30) years ago. After all, the Indy franchise was intentionally campy and comedic and by all accounts Spielberg knocked it out of the park. You don't talk shit about movies like that in my presence. I get mad at all the fanboy deference to anything that slips out of Whedon's mouth.

But then you have situations like the Superman franchise. And maybe Whedon didn't say "the Superman franchise" because he didn't want to torch any of his peers in Hollywood. But the more I think about it, the more interesting his point seems to be. I'm all for new storylines in theory, but see, you put the Lex Luthor villain in the new Superman movie because of the fact Gene Hackman nailed it in the Richard Donner-era and that is what's going to create the biggest stir. The fact that it is derivative is the whole fucking point. The moviemakers know you saw that movie. So they revisit it on purpose. And they go gritty, more epic, crack a joke about it, etc. They "modernize" it. It's like a hip-hop remix. You don't actually create something new and stand-alone.

Now obviously I think this is stupid from a creative perspective, especially since a lot of these movies rely on you being familiar with the characters and their development without actually spending time on it. Amy Adams as Lois Lane, for example, was a fucking disaster. I mean, so was Russell Crowe, but whatever. They're there because they were in the old movies and people get that without much explanation and you need to keep the plot moving and the audience interested in all the explosions.

But still, there is another problem: Were you irked by the fact that kryptonite wasn't mentioned in Man of Steel? Why? Why can't writers/directors retool old comics, ignore major storylines and create new ones? So maybe the creative limitations are in fact tangible and genuinely coming from the audience.

Whatever the reason for this may be, you can just tell how scared directors are to totally depart from the norm. Chris Nolan really took a big chance with being so explicit about Batman's origin in Batman Begins, he lucked out in Dark Knight with Heath Ledger's truly unique performance as the Joker, and by the time you reach Rises you're just sitting in your chair for two and a half hours waiting for all the explosions and Catwoman bullshit to end.

It's beyond obvious that Snyder is modeling his work as a Nolan trilogy and I'm really curious how much success he will have with his sequel.
posted by phaedon at 1:20 PM on August 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Honestly the first thing that came to mind when I read Whedon's comment was, oh, basically the entire last half of Star Trek Into Darkness.
posted by kmz at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Brainiac, Mxyzptlk, Darkseid, Livewire, the Preserver, and most other comic villains are, quite frankly, comical.

Lex Luthor is just as comical as the others. Gene Hackman was excellent for the role because he kept it comic. If a producer is aiming for a gritty, dark Superman movie, Darkseid is surely movie material. Ruler of a hellish, war-obsessed planet and possessed with powers rivaling Superman
posted by Tabs at 1:31 PM on August 28, 2013


> Anything untried adds risk to a venture that already pretty risky.

*sigh* Yeah, I know. Hell, if it was my life savings on the line you can bet your ass I'd be investing in a sequel or remake. But still...I find it hard to get very excited about the latest rollout of intellectual properties that were old enough to buy a beer when Eisenhower was president.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:36 PM on August 28, 2013


After all, the Indy franchise was intentionally campy and comedic and by all accounts Spielberg knocked it out of the park.

Spielberg knocked Raiders out of the park. I'll defend it as one of the best films of all time. But Temple of Doom sucked and, though it made lots of money, was widely recognized as sucking when it came out, too. Its story, dialogue, and directing were pretty solid clues to anyone wondering if George Lucas' Star Wars prequels would be any good. I don't think Whedon is crapping on the Indy franchise, but implying that yes, Raiders was brilliant, but Temple of Doom sucked in large part because it was resting on Raiders (and also because the screenwriting was the worst ever).
posted by The World Famous at 1:41 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


a slightly longer, cleaner version

Oh boy, Heisenberg turns into Lex Luthor. I'm in.

But seriously, isn't Ben Affleck a little long in the tooth to be playing Batman? I can't see them getting the usual three movies of him in this role. Christian Bale was barely pulling it off by The Dark Knight Rises and he's younger than Affleck.

Does WB's perfidy know no bounds?

Wonder why they left out George Clooney?
posted by fuse theorem at 1:50 PM on August 28, 2013


Guys, Transilvane.
Of course you'd be crossing the poorly-paid-creator streams there...
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


but Temple of Doom sucked in large part because it was resting on Raiders

I'll go even further and defend the idea of the shooting trick coming back being stupid; I was 13 when it came out, and even I could see that the gag didn't work, primarily because Temple of Doom is a prequel and that made that original moment seem lamer by comparison.

I'd say that Raiders is on my short list of favorite films of all times (Blues Brothers and it duel for the top spot pretty regularly), and I'm sure I've put way too much thought into it, but on the whole, I sort of pretend that the second one didn't happen.

That said, I always advocated that if they ever did a fourth film, it would be brilliant to bring back Short Round as the kick ass disciple to Indy's grizzled veteran, but then I also wanted to see Jet Li in the role.

I still believe that my idea would have been better than the crystal skull nonsense we got.
posted by quin at 2:49 PM on August 28, 2013


I blame Temple of Doom for movies becoming just rollercoaster rides, primarily because it was literally showing us a rollercoaster ride for much of its running time. On the other time, Mola Ram was great.

Kind of racist as fuck though.
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on August 28, 2013


Artw: Kind of racist as fuck though.

Jesus, isn't it. A year or two ago, it was on TV and I watched it for the first time in maybe 20 years, and the racism was just jaw-dropping. From the wily inscrutable Chinese enslaving our blonde white women, to the cannibalistic brown-skinned villians; even Short Round was a horrid racist caricature ...

And that's not even getting into the sexism. From Marion Ravenwood in 1981's Raiders: "fuck you, I do what I want, I'll drink a fat guy under the table and save your ass from the Nazis, and I am absolutely your equal" to Willie Scott in '84's Temple of Doom: "I broke a heel, you are horrible! UGH! BEASTIES! WHY AM I WET AND IN A RIVER! INDY I HATE YOU WHERE IS MY MAKEUP?" in the space of less than three years.
posted by Len at 3:18 PM on August 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


...and by the time you reach Rises you're just sitting in your chair for two and a half hours waiting for all the explosions and Catwoman bullshit to end.

One of the biggest problems with Dark Knight Rises was not enough Catwoman. They could make a movie just about her riding the Batpod around town and I'd watch it. You would too, don't deny it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:35 PM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have to agree that Batman Rises was pretty much horrible, especially after The Dark Knight. My biggest problem was that they did not properly age Christian Bale enough to make it work. He should have looked like he was in his 50's, not just barely 40 (if that).

But on the subject, especially regarding Supes and The Bat.

1) We have no proper Superman stories. Aside from Man of Steel, all of his adventuring and building his rep as a superhero are basically one global catastrophe, and he ended up kind of sucking at saving anything. Basically, he looked wounded, pouted, and then broke Zod's neck. Whoo-hoo. Not my Superman. He has no moral grounding to stand on. He's an alien, with super powers, and he's kind of a dick. He can't be the leader of the JLA, and doesn't stand for Truth, Justice, or the American Way (though he might stand for Amway, the way he was written).

2) No kryptonite, no fight. Like, seriously. Superman has X-Ray vision, heat vision, ice breath, supersonic speed, and can fly. Batman, even with his billions of dollars and all the prototype fancy paramilitary hardware in the world equals a big fat bug splat on Supes windsheild/eyelid. So yeah, writing in the McGuffin failed.

3) Why is there even a conflict? I mean, I can see The Bat going after Supes if he somehow saw Supes as being a criminal, someone likely to cause mayhem or commit massive criminal activity, but, um... well, I mean, maybe they want to go after him for murdering Zod? Who was also an alien and kind of trying to destroy the earth so, um... logical law and jurisdiction fail?

4) Or is it supposed to be a teamup movie? Kind of a "Two Guns" deal, where they end up having to work together or something (which is not unheard of in almost every comic series, but still). I mean, you're going to have to introduce some major, major, major ongoing threat situation here. Most every villian that each one has had to deal with (earthbound at least) has been pretty easily handled individually. Hell, even The Bat was able to deal with Ras al Gul and his shadow assassin network pretty much by himself. Didn't even need Robin, sort of.

5) I think I'd rather go see Wonder Woman. Like, seriously. Someone do Wonder Woman. Then do the whole Bat vs Supes thing. Make them fight over Diana (yes, sexist AND stupid, but the opportunity for a really good inversion of the whole thing by having her kick both their asses). I mean, she's like Thor of the DC universe, mixed with She-Hulk and other awesome. But she's on the DC roster, so, I guess, anyway, bleah.

And this is why I hate comic books. I can sit here and spout off on them for days. Hell, Batman vs Aliens made more sense than this movie.
posted by daq at 4:17 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I understand you, daq, you're saying Batman v. Aliens made more sense than every possible iteration of a movie that has both Superman and Batman somehow in the movie together?
posted by The World Famous at 4:22 PM on August 28, 2013


See, here's how it work. Batman and Luthor team up to stop the alien that participated in the flattening of Metropolis.

Then, Bats figures out what's what and switches sides.

That's 101. Writes itself.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:51 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or, you know, obvious, Bruce and Lex are trying to stop this superpowered alien being smashing up major cities, Bruce discovers Kyrptonite, Lex weaponizes it, Bruce starts useing his Batman indenity to try to understand Suoes better and undermine Lex, that way Bruce can still be a morally right scientist and Lex is the evil businessman/demagogue.
posted by The Whelk at 4:58 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Er, what lumpenprole said
posted by The Whelk at 4:59 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Batman never considers Superman a criminal or an enemy. Superman thinks Batman is a criminal because Batman is, indeed, a violent vigilante who commits crimes regularly in the course of his crimefighting. But Batman is the one criminal that Superman is unable to catch. Because that's just how badass Batman is.

So meanwhile, Wayne Enterprises is orchestrating a big joint venture with Lexcorp. And in the course of doing his super-secret, super-intense, totally-illegal "due diligence" spying on Lexcorp at Bruce Wayne's request, Lucius Fox discovers an under-the-radar, off-the-books branch of Lexcorp, not entirely unlike the division of Wayne Enterprises that Lucius runs. But Lucius discovers that Lexcorp's secret skunkworks is dedicated not to fighting crime like Wayne, but to a huge plot to [INSERT DASTARDLY REAL ESTATE SCHEME OR WHATEVER].

Lucius tells Bruce Wayne about his discovery. Lexcorp's skunkworks has technology that blow the minds of even Lucius and Batman - stuff that makes Bane and Ra's Al Ghul seem like preschoolers. Nevertheless, Batman goes after Lexcorp's dastardly plan - only to be defeated and beat up within an inch of his life. And in the process, he discovers that Lex Luthor himself is the mastermind behind the whole thing.

See, Luthor is basically the same guy as Wayne. But he's dedicated to amassing power and wealth for himself, not vengeance. You can even have a stupid "We are the same, you and I, Mr. Wayne" speech if you want. What the hell, right?

So Batman knows there's no way he can stop Luthor on his own, because he just had his ass kicked so bad. And he knows there's only one guy out there who's a bigger badass than Batman. And that's Superman.

So Batman - who has been trying to stay one step ahead of Superman this whole time as he fights crime by committing crimes - sets a trap for Superman, where Superman will "catch" Batman.

Supes catches The Bat, Batman takes Superman to the Batcave and gives him the whole run-down, showing him all the secret intelligence, gadgets, big Minority Report-style computer displays showing Lexcorp's plot, etc.

And now Superman and Batman are allies - fighting to stop Lex Luthor's dastardly plot. But there's still this uncomfortable tension between them - because Superman cannot just forget that Batman is, essentially, a violent criminal who just happens to target other criminals. And Batman is a loner and hates working with anyone who's not either his employee or his girlfriend. So, you know, awkward.

And ultimately, Lex Luthor's ego is fed more by getting attention from Superman than by Batman, since he already knows he can kick Batman's ass whenever he feels like it. And that's what makes Luthor Superman's nemesis, and not Batman's nemesis.

And I would have Superman and Batman actually fail to stop Luthor's primary plot. See, Luthor's main evil plan is masked by a secondary plan that threatens to kill lots of people. Superman and Batman stop the plan that would kill people, but fail to stop the one Luthor really cared about, which gets him more money and power but also drives him into hiding. Surprise!
posted by The World Famous at 5:09 PM on August 28, 2013


Why is there even a conflict?

Because asshole movie execs have thought that bit of TDKR was cool for ages and wanted to do it on screen without any of the heavy lifting, really.
posted by Artw at 5:11 PM on August 28, 2013


Batman and Luthor team up to stop the alien that participated in the flattening of Metropolis.

Then, Bats figures out what's what and switches sides.


But see, this is completely wrong. Batman getting suckered by Luthor and then running to Superman for help when he realizes he's been betrayed?

No, you have to have Superman suckered by Luthor into going after Batman (and/or Wayne Enterprises) and then Superman switches sides when Batman reveals the whole thing is a scheme so Luthor can watch Superman and figure out how to control/use/kill him.
posted by straight at 5:16 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because that's just how badass Batman is

Please let this meme die.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 PM on August 28, 2013


The Affleck casting has been the first and only thing that has interested me about this movie.

Also, since they gritted Superman up so much, I think they should do the reverse for Batman. Just Adam West him to hell and back. Goofy tights. Bat Barracuda Repellent. The whole thing.
posted by brundlefly at 5:16 PM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please let this meme die.

The meme of Batman being a badass? I don't understand why that meme needs to die. Can you explain?
posted by The World Famous at 5:18 PM on August 28, 2013


Why is there even a conflict?

Well, Zack Snyder alluded to The Dark Knight Returns when he announced Man of Steel 2.

There the conflict is that the government got serious about outlawing super heroes and vigilantes. Batman retired and is old but can't deal with it so he put the cape an cowl back on. Superman works for the US Government covertly and is dispatched to put Batman down.

I could see a similar situation in which Superman, new to this whole "being a superhero thing gets convinced by the US Government to go after Batman. The government doesn't stand for truth, justice, etc. the way that Superman thinks they do (maybe it's Lex Luthor's plan?). So he gets tricked into going after the Dark Knight, Batman nearly kills him and makes it clear that he could killed him if he wanted to, convinces him that they've been duped, and they they go after Luthor together.

There would need to be some material that establishes Clark's overconfidence in his abilities, his trust in the government that directs him, and his overestimation of his own intelligence. I think it would be best if there were a whole movie with Superman on his own to establish these things but it could work.
posted by VTX at 5:26 PM on August 28, 2013


Read the synopsis of Superman Vs. Batman under "abandoned movies" here for something truly awful.
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on August 28, 2013


Because that's just how badass Batman is

Please let this meme die.


This is not a meme, this is a thing that Superman said about Batman while Batman was coming to rescue Superman from the guys that took out the rest of the Justice League. Specifically, Superman calls Batman, "The most dangerous man on Earth."
posted by VTX at 5:33 PM on August 28, 2013


The Dark Notebook Rises
posted by homunculus at 5:52 PM on August 28, 2013


The meme of Batman being a badass? I don't understand why that meme needs to die. Can you explain?

It makes no sense and places Batman on the godlike level of Superman, but in a different way. One of the criticisms of Superman is that because he has so much power, he's a boring character because nothing can really hurt him.

If Batman is the more dangerous man alive or a complete badass, then it's similar to nothing can really hurt him and the characters becomes boring. Or worse, villains are dumbed down in order to allow the smart, wealthy human in a funny looking suit to win.

There's no contest between Bats and Supes. None. Unless you write seriously dumbdown Supes, as Miller did in TDKR.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 PM on August 28, 2013


I kind of like the first half of Chris Sims' "pitch" for Batman/Superman where, continuing from the Nolan universe where Batman is a universally acclaimed public hero with a giant statue in his honor at City Hall, he decides to go to Metropolis and take out the rampaging alien who just helped flatten a major U.S. city with his laser-beam eyes, all in the name of truth, justice and the American way.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:57 PM on August 28, 2013


It makes no sense and places Batman on the godlike level of Superman, but in a different way.

But Superman is not infallible or omnipotent. He already has trouble catching Luthor, for crying out loud. Why can't Bruce Wayne be at least as clever as Lex Luthor?
posted by The World Famous at 5:58 PM on August 28, 2013


One of the biggest problems with Dark Knight Rises was not enough Catwoman. They could make a movie just about her riding the Batpod around town and I'd watch it. You would too, don't deny it.

I agreed with you until you made it sound like the best part of Anne Hathaway's performance was how her butt looked in the catsuit.
posted by straight at 5:59 PM on August 28, 2013


Amy Adams as Lois Lane, for example, was a fucking disaster. I mean, so was Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe was also awful as Lois Lane? Who could have known?
posted by dhartung at 6:02 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


He already has trouble catching Luthor, for crying out loud.

Which is also ridiculous, so citing it as reason that Batman could beat Superman doesn't work.

Mind you, I've always preferred Marvel over DC.

Specifically, Superman calls Batman, "The most dangerous man on Earth."

Because he figured out that group of superheroes weren't who they said they were and could be defeated by fire. FIRE. That's like M. Night Shyamalan ending for Signs, where it was discovered that aliens could be defeated by water.

That's like Superman admitting he's a damn idiot and admiring Bats 'cause he's smarter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:08 PM on August 28, 2013


Which is also ridiculous, so citing it as reason that Batman could beat Superman doesn't work.

I would write it such that Batman cannot beat Superman. He's just good at keeping from being caught by Superman for a little while.
posted by The World Famous at 6:12 PM on August 28, 2013


I agreed with you until you made it sound like the best part of Anne Hathaway's performance was how her butt looked in the catsuit.

Yes, I link to a clip of the Cats handling the 'pod like a pro, bowing up tanks and making it do the awesome looking 180 spin, again, like a pro, and you bring up her ass? Mind you, she wears the suit it, but she came off like female Tony Stark, i.e. fun to watch a

Hmmm, Iron Man and Catwoman team up...

I would write it such that Batman cannot beat Superman. He's just good at keeping from being caught by Superman for a little while.

That or Bats not being afraid or in awe of Supes, while calling him out for being naive and trusting of governments. The idea of conflict between the two is believable, if broken down to its simple components: Bruce the wealthy city dweller who's parents were killed and Clark the comfortable, but not rich rural kid whose parents were killed, yet got a new family. They'd probably size each other along those lines and dislike each other on those lines. Wait, is Superman allowed to just dislike someone on sight, is he capable of that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:21 PM on August 28, 2013


Also, since they gritted Superman up so much, I think they should do the reverse for Batman. Just Adam West him to hell and back. Goofy tights. Bat Barracuda Repellent. The whole thing.

Yeah. Batman & Superman is impossible if you have to have gritty, realistic Batman. Batman & Superman really only works when you have Silver Age Space Batman where the Batcave is full of time machines and flying saucers and lava-proof costumes and all the other gadgets Batman needs to keep up with Superman. Not so much Adam West as Batman from the Brave and the Bold cartoon.

Which reminds me, screw Superman. I want a feature film of Batman and Brave & the Bold Aquaman.
posted by straight at 6:22 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just thought scenes like this and this were a much better argument for more of Hathaway's Catwoman than how well her stunt double could ride a motorcycle (although I still want to know why Bruce keeps his mom's pearls in the Wayne Manor Archery Range).
posted by straight at 6:36 PM on August 28, 2013


Eh, who's playing the character at any particular point or whether its CGI isn't the point, but rather that Catwoman enjoyed using the 'Pod and used it well.

But really, are there any bad Catwoman scenes in DK Rises? Hathaway really nailed the role, to the point that I'm wondering why they haven't already optioned her for a separate movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]




The Superman Vs Batman script
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on August 28, 2013


The very idea of Batman vs Superman is stupid on every level.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:41 PM on August 28, 2013


For real, I'm so very bitter that one crappy movie that came out a decade ago is probably keeping any studio exec from considering a Catwoman movie (and, to a lesser extent, any female-led superhero film).
posted by dinty_moore at 7:54 PM on August 28, 2013


The Whelk, regarding your cartoon of the "Volga Batman", the Volga boatmen were serfs who pulled barges along from the shore (doing the job a mule would do). That is why the song is so miserable. It would be funny to see Batman in that role.
posted by idiopath at 8:09 PM on August 28, 2013


(and, to a lesser extent, any female-led superhero film).

Why Marvel Needs to Make a Captain Marvel Movie Like, Yesterday
posted by homunculus at 8:14 PM on August 28, 2013


And cast Katee Sackhoff as Captain Marvel, yes. She can punch all the dinosaurs!
posted by dinty_moore at 8:25 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]



The Whelk, regarding your cartoon of the "Volga Batman", the Volga boatmen were serfs who pulled barges along from the shore (doing the job a mule would do). That is why the song is so miserable. It would be funny to see Batman in that role.


I debated putting Batman in traditional pre-soviet serf boatman clothing for reasons of historical accuracy vs. using clothing that would be more recognizable as "Russian Sailor Stuff" despite it not being authentic or period and went with the stereotypical stripped navy sweater cause the average reader would not be able to pick out the details in this particular serf's clothing in a one panel cartoon. But it was for naught as the cartoon was rejected for "not having enough context" (Why is Batman there? are there pirates..etc)
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


It disappointed me so much that Anne Hathaway wasn't given more time in TDKR. Making the third movie yet another grimdark flick is beyond uninspired, but, worse, it undoes the notion that Batman has made any difference whatsoever to Gotham City. It also tries to eat its cake and have it by portraying its tragic hero consumed by his desire for order but then make him come back to life, inexplicably, after a nuclear attack, but I think it's the "Gotham is and will be forever fucked" part that makes TDKR unforgivable as a film. When the city collapses and everything turns immediately to shit, Nolan is essentially making Ra's' claim that Gotham is unsavable into fact.

The fact that Nolan's trilogy essentially endorses the notion that a privileged, fascist upper class is preferable to outright democracy has already been commented on, so I won't get into that much, other than to say that the last film continues the theme that Gotham is a battleground for ultraintelligent, rich white people to stage their philosophical squabbles upon. Which itself negates the stated theme that Batman is a vigilante only until the city can take care of itself. Basically that film is a lukewarm mess and it's not super worth deconstructing, and it's more fun to talk about what that movie should have been instead. So that's what I'm gonna do!

If Nolan had any integrity as a filmmaker, which, lol, the last film would have been about Batman becoming a violent oppressive criminal who is so dedicated to upholding the law that he starts to oppress ordinary citizens who are barely doing anything. It would have ended with Batman killing himself, realizing that he truly has nothing left to live for and that people are better off without him. Kind of like Watchmen, almost. But that movie has no place for Anne Hathaway, and that is clearly a mistake. So what should have happened is this: instead of a dark film about Christian Bale wasting away, Nolan gives us a lighthearted romantic comedy. As in, chick flick through and through.

You can even keep the plot nearly identical! Just shift the focus a little bit. Bruce Wayne is a burnt out prick who's wasted his life after his not-even-girlfriend who wanted to just stay friends got killed. He's roused from his reclusivism when a seeming cat burglar attempts to rob him blind during one of his many anonymous parties. After an extended chase through the mansion made more interesting by Bruce's reliance on a cane, Selina foils him and makes a getaway.

Bruce attempts to shrug this off by focusing on the rising threat that is Bane. In this movie, Bane is as much of a cipher as he was in the original film, but here the cipher-ness is more deliberate: we catch glimpses of Bane doing things, and Bruce is trying to sleuth Bane out and figure out his master plan, but at every step of the way he's foiled by Selina Kyle! She's not even trying to sleuth this out: she's too cynical to care where Bane's going with this. All she knows is, rich guy and private army are up to some shit, and are nowhere near clever enough to stop her from robbing them blind as well. What this amounts to is, Batman comes to fight Bane, they duke it out, but everything's halted when Catwoman takes whatever the guys've been fighting over and jumps out a window.

So now Bane's sending men after Catwoman too, and Bruce is hunting her down because he is a-fucking-PPALLED that somebody's stopping him from putting a halt to this mad genius's schemes out of pure pettiness. In the process she keeps delaying Bane's master plan, but Bane's no idiot (unlike in TDKR): he's jovial and flexible enough a guy to both set traps for Catwoman and to proceed with his plans despite missing some doohickeys or whatever. He's fun that way. And his plans are a bit shoddier than they would have been otherwise, but he knows a couple of things: he can beat Batman in a fight, he can conceal his ultimate schemes, and his plans aren't megalomaniacal enough that Batman can foil them by fucking with Bane's ego. Bane isn't the Joker. He doesn't have an ego to fuck with.

Bane catches Catwoman in a trap, and Batman rescues her—only to find that her letting herself be rescued was a ruse as well, and now she makes off with some important vehicle thingy of his. Catwoman's so cocky that she opens a communication channel up with Bruce as she makes her getaway, and essentially calls him out: he's an aging man with a savior complex who can't resist taking actions that will let him feel like an essential part of Gotham. Bruce in turn calls her out for her thievery and such, and her response is something like whatthefuck ever, you rich assholes can get robbed without blinking an eye. And at least when I decide to show Gotham how smart and awesome I am, I don't leave half-destroyed buildings in my wake. (Batman's been fucking up buildings with missiles and stuff, you know how he is.)

It quickly becomes apparent that Bruce, for all his stick-up-assiness, likes this: he likes having an opponent that's not killing dozens of people, he likes the chase, and oh yeah, Anne Hatheway is a sexy woman-type and Batman maybe misses sex too. Their next confrontation involves as much flirting as it involves out-maneuvering and what-have-you, perhaps to the point of exasperating Lucien somewhat (maybe Bruce asked him for some ridiculous technology that now he's using to hit on this hot burglar? And Lucien just gets this exasperated "are you FUCKING with me" look on his face), and in the middle of their city chase they kind of stumble upon Bane starting up with his master plan shit and they take him down together.

The takedown obvs is a parallel of their relationship: Batman does with the fear tacticking and the impressive fighting: Catwoman tricks the crap out of people, yadda yadda, and keeps Bane from crushing the shit out of Bruce. The end of this is that Bane, clever as he is, catches Catwoman in some way where he forces Bruce to make a choice: save Selina, or save Gotham. (Use your imaginations as to how this works. It's not like The Dark Knight made any sense either.) Bane is, like I said, not an idiot here: he's done his research, he knows about Rachel, he knows that for all Batman wants to save Gotham in this idealistic sort of way, Bruce the person is kind of desperate to get his life back. And he knows Batman and Catwoman have a thing because he has two goddamn eyeballs. So in his jovial and totally fun why-did-the-Bane-of-the-opening-scene-rock-way-more-than-the-Bane-of-the-rest-of-the-film manner, he taunts Batman. "Your choice, Mr. Wayne! Your city, or your soul?" (EDITOR'S NOTE: make this line moodier and more climactic.)

Except here's the thing. Bruce has changed through the course of this movie. And one of things that's changed about him is, he knows his limits. And he realizes that not everybody needs saving. So he goes, "I'm gonna save the city!" and the blood drains out of Bane's face. For the first time, we have somebody looking at Batman as if HE'S the monster, for his brutal dedication to Gotham over all, and the one who's looking is the monster of the week, which irony and such. Anyway, Bane gets his brutal badass moment, except what's this? Catwoman's not quite as fucked as she pretended to be, and Bane's got nothing on her. And she has nothing explicitly AGAINST doing the right thing, so she does the thing that Batman couldn't do, yoinking some doohickey, and then Batman beats the crap out of Bane because beating up a dude perpetually attached to a respirator actually isn't so hard after all.

Bruce sidles up to Catwoman after the post-victory coitus, and is all, "We'd make a pretty good team, huh?" And she's all like, "Yeah... no." Cue amusing mock-action scuffle as she makes her escape, and we have this ending revelation that, oh, Batman's needed now! Except that his new enemies aren't big corrupt institutions or mass-murdering anarchists. It's a wave of supervillains who are extraordinarily intelligent and who DON'T need to threaten innocent lives to satisfy their evil aspirations. We get hints of the Riddler plotting his own conniving, master schemes to turn the tables on Batman. And, of course, we get somebody who could be Poison Ivy, promising some further amusing romantic hijinks in films yet to come.

It bothers me that comic book movies have forgotten that comics are... COMIC. They have some deeply affecting moments of tragedy, but those moments are only effective when you have characters that you know and love, whose actions you somewhat care about. Having a purely romantic comedy film about Batman wouldn't mean no further darkness. It would let you write evil villains and tragic deaths without exhausting your damn audience. For all it wasn't quite as steaming a heap of shit as TDKR, the recent Spider-Man reboot was a perfect example for me of where things have gone wrong. Plot-wise it hit everything nice, with the Lizard, Gwen Stacy, a slightly sassier Peter Parker, that bully guy... except that it kept up this plotting sense of, Look how serious and dark we are. That film could have had a whole lot more levity, and still set up a completely dark and affecting second movie. Now, I dislike Gwen Stacy too much to think I'll be at all devastated when Peter inevitably snaps her neck.

I think the first Iron Man movie handled this best, in that its main villain was completely ineffectual and served only to inflate Tony Stark's ego/conscience to their appropriate proportions. You're allowed to do that in a movie. Really, it's okay. Don't follow it up with anything as awful as Iron Man 2, but the thing about good movies is that they ARE complex, and as such they tend to strike a lot of notes and moods at once. That's something Hollywood doesn't seem to understand much these days. Zack Snyder especially doesn't get it, which is why I'll be passing this next Batman movie, even though I like Ben Affleck a ton and think he'd make a great Batman under any other circumstances.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:01 PM on August 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


dinty_moore: well at least two crappy female superhero movies.
posted by DaRiLo at 9:42 PM on August 28, 2013


Three! Three crappy female superhero movies! Ah ha ha ha!
posted by straight at 2:21 AM on August 29, 2013


I just want to say, Katee Sackhoff as Ms/Captain Marvel is an amazing idea.
Make it so!

Also, Affleck is a good actor, and the director's cut of Daredevil was solid.

The idea of Bats Vs Supes is awful. It's almost as if it comes from a company that doesn't understand stuff. Unlike DC Animated, which DOES. First Flight? Awesome.

And I don't hate Snyder, I loved Watchmen and Sucker Punch.

But they really need to stop huffing the coke, step back, and build the movies based on Arrow.
That show is better than it has a right to be.
posted by Mezentian at 4:53 AM on August 29, 2013


"make him come back to life, inexplicably, after a nuclear attack"

Dude, the vehicle had autopilot, remember all that blahblah "the autopilot almost works", it was a setup for the later scene where you jumps out and lets the autopilot take it away.
posted by idiopath at 5:07 AM on August 29, 2013


It disappointed me so much that Anne Hathaway wasn't given more time in TDKR.

Not even counting the many flaws of TDKR, some of which can be chalked up to Nolan really not wanting to make it and others that have been more painfully explained by greater minds than me, is that Selena Kyle gets a *great* introduction. She turns on a fucking hairpin from "embarrassed, apologizing maid" to "fuck you! I've got your cane! Buwahahaha" In 30 seconds we know everything we need to know about this character and we want to see more. And then she just kinda fizzles out cause the movie is a mess but the entire running time I kept thinking "I want to see Anne Hathaway in a spy movie now, kicking people and being undercover, can we see more of that?"

(also, why is DC Animated like, light years better at this stuff?)
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 AM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


And, on a side note, it's now official that they will be filming in Detroit.
posted by HuronBob at 6:35 AM on August 29, 2013


Dude, the vehicle had autopilot, remember all that blahblah "the autopilot almost works", it was a setup for the later scene where you jumps out and lets the autopilot take it away.

Oh. Well, then, the entire editing of that ending is dumber than I thought it was.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:52 AM on August 29, 2013


The chief flaw of TDKR is that something like 75% of the events of the movie make no logical sense, either in terms of basic adherence of physics, in terms of being causally related to things that happened earlier, or both. The part where putting the plane on autopilot for...what, the last five seconds? allows Bruce to escape the blast radius of a nuclear explosion is in the "both" category.

I disagree about the grimdark-ness undermining the earlier films, though. The premise of the opening is that Batman has been retired for seven years, and instead of having the city taken over by gang warfare like in TDKReturns, you've got Commissioner Gordon talking about how great everything is now that they've beaten organized crime. It takes an all-out nuclear earthquake attack from the League of Shadows to create a crisis the cops can't handle.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:20 AM on August 29, 2013


The chief flaw of TDKR is that something like 75% of the events of the movie make no logical sense

Weirdly this did not seek to bother people with the previous two movies.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on August 29, 2013


It didn't bother me much in this one, either! I was too busy marveling at the fact that anyone would even try to adapt Knightfall, No Man's Land and Dark Knight Returns in the space of two and a half hours.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:25 AM on August 29, 2013


VTX: Movie studios don't put out enough movies to diversify enough to be able to take those kinds of risks.

You mean US studios. "Bollywood" produces around 1,000 movies per year, twice as many as Hollywood. This site puts that number at more than 1,300, and more than 800 films produced in Nigeria.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2013


Weirdly this did not see[m] to bother people with the previous two movies.

Yeah but somehow Nolan managed to pull it off in the first two and kind of failed in the third. It's frustrating because I liked a lot of the bits in TDKR but it really just falls apart at the lightest tug. TDK might not make much more logical sense but I like it so much that I'm not included to try to pull it apart.
posted by octothorpe at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2013


I don't think the logic is the problem with TDKR. It's that the story simply doesn't work, whereas the stories of the first two films are well-paced and gripping.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:48 AM on August 29, 2013


There was so much in TDKR that just seemed lazy. I was really surprised that they did no CGI to even attempt to patch the three cities that they filmed in together and it was pretty jarring to keep going between NYC, LA and Pittsburgh without any disguising of very recognizable landmarks or logos.
posted by octothorpe at 11:36 AM on August 29, 2013


Rory Marinich: "The fact that Nolan's trilogy essentially endorses the notion that a privileged, fascist upper class is preferable to outright democracy has already been commented on, so I won't get into that much, other than to say that the last film continues the theme that Gotham is a battleground for ultraintelligent, rich white people to stage their philosophical squabbles upon. "

I like how TDK ended with the richest industrialist and the highest ranking law enforcement official in the city conspiring to cover up the misdeeds of their friend, the high profile political figure.
posted by brundlefly at 12:21 PM on August 29, 2013


Folks, as much as you hate it, you may be stuck with Snyder for a while.. :)

HuronBob, that smiley face doesn't go down with those who found Snyder's appropriation of 9/11 imagery to be not only inconsistent and unsuitable for a Superman movie but also generally distasteful and cynical.

Here's Snyder's latest rationalization for putting that up on the big screen in a summer blockbuster superhero movie:
"I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth."
Sounding almost like they were responding to this (even though their interview occurred beforehand), Simon Pegg and Nick Frost—had this to say while promoting their own summer movie, World's End:
Pegg: After Earth, Oblivion, World War Z, Man of Steel — there's been a lot of apocalypse films this year. And it's generally because the Mayan apocalypse was approaching, their timing was off, and it's the biggest way to make a spectacle, too, to destroy whole cities. Even Transformers in 2012. I think science fiction's kind of lost its way over the years, in that people suddenly think it's about the robots. It was never about the robots. It's always been about the people. And robots have been a metaphor for something. And there doesn't seem to be a metaphor now. It's literal destruction. Was Man of Steel a metaphor for 9/11? No. It was just us seeing buildings falling down. There's nothing poetic about that.

Frost: You can also be very cynical and say, "Are you cashing in on those images?" You know what I mean? I'm not sure that's the case, but that seems to have sprung up since that happened.

Pegg: If you look at Transformers, Transformers is a movie version of a toy, which came out of a series about robots, which was aimed at children, and then suddenly it's a thing that's skewed towards adults, but it is just toys fighting. It's all it is. And it doesn't really say anything about us or the world. And in my experience of it, it's just mind-numbingly dull.

Frost: You never even get that satisfaction or the joy and hope that comes from the chance of rebuilding. It just ends on a mass destruction.
Of course, since their film won't do nearly the box office that Man of Steel did, their argument is unfortunately invalid as far as Hollywood producers and their factotums are concerned.

plus, he's a nice guy

Nobody's saying that he's not a nice guy in person. What everyone is saying is that he doesn't get Superman—and he confirms this with everything he says to the press.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:29 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters."

He doesn't appear to understand what symbolism is.

"In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology."

Because America sprang fully formed from the skull of George Washington and our culture is totally divorced from everything that came before, right?

"Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth."

The myth? What myth? What myth in particular is your clumsy 9/11 imagery "recounting"?

Argh! I've actually been an apologist for Snyder in the past, but man he is on his own on Man of Steel.
posted by brundlefly at 2:45 PM on August 29, 2013


What everyone is saying is that he doesn't get Superman—and he confirms this with everything he says to the press.

I guess "everyone" doesn't include those $600,000,000 worth of ticket buyers that saw the movie after the reviews and spoilers were published. :)

Yeah, I'm biased, admitted.

I walked out of the premier of Man of Steel (In New York, ironically) thinking "wow, that was way too close to 9/11 stuff for comfort and figured there would be flack, heck, my wife was mad at them and actually told one of the producers that it was too much.

After I saw Man of Steel I went back and watched the Avengers, the Iron Man movies, and a couple of others I hadn't seen. Seems like "destroy the city" is pretty much norm for the genre now. I don't think Snyder was the first, nor will he be the last to destroy NY/Gotham/Metropolis/Tokyo/Detroit, I'm not sure he's the one to blame for that...
posted by HuronBob at 3:46 PM on August 29, 2013




I still want my Zodiac esque serial killer Riddler, thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 4:07 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


HuronBob: "After I saw Man of Steel I went back and watched the Avengers, the Iron Man movies, and a couple of others I hadn't seen. Seems like "destroy the city" is pretty much norm for the genre now."

To a certain extent. For me, what makes Man of Steel (along with Transformers 3) stand out is the lack of concern for human life on the part of the supposed heroes. In The Avengers and Pacific Rim the heroes go out of the way to get people to safety and do their best to protect them while they're still in dangerous places. The jaeger pilots try to head off the kaiju before they get to Hong Kong. Hulk literally drags one of those giant dragon things away from an office building full of people and Captain America helps the NYPD organize an evacuation. They are, you know, heroic. And those scenes end up being optimistic in a weird way, because they sort of say, "Yeah, this shit is pretty terrible, but there are people doing their best to make things better. We'll get through this."

Meanwhile, Superman -- who is supposed to be the best and most protective of all -- continues an epic brawl that must have killed thousands after the apocalyptic threat to the Earth has passed, and he makes no attempt to save anyone. If nothing else, that would have added some much needed texture to those action scenes.
posted by brundlefly at 4:29 PM on August 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah, you've got Zod sort of still getting used to his powers (and/or still only partly powered up from whatever weird physics the yellow sun triggers in Kryptonians). Imagine how much more interesting that final fight scene would have been if it was clear that Clark was faster and stronger, but distracted by having to constantly protect people from the damage their battle was causing, with Zod taking advantage of this handicap at every turn.

The worst part is that I get the impression that Snyder and many viewers take the view that Superman is justified in ignoring the collateral damage because Zod is such a serious threat. Sometimes you gotta lose a few cities to save the planet, right?
posted by straight at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine how much more interesting that final fight scene would have been if it was clear that Clark was faster and stronger, but distracted by having to constantly protect people from the damage their battle was causing, with Zod taking advantage of this handicap at every turn.

Why imagine, as opposed to just watching Superman II?
posted by The World Famous at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


The People!
posted by DaRiLo at 5:37 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]




For me, what makes Man of Steel (along with Transformers 3) stand out is the lack of concern for human life on the part of the supposed heroes.

I don't entirely agree that the violence of Man of Steel makes is stand out. I watched it and didn't think of 9/11 more than I would have in any other apocalyptic movie. You can tell me Avengers and Pacific Rim had moments of humanity, but I sure don't remember them, and if anything, you'd probably agree that hey were merely gestures. An obligation, really. As in, "buildings with thousands of people in them collapsing! But hey, you saved the one girl! Gosh, he is good-hearted!"

But it does have to be said that "taking care of the public," or even learning how to do so, was not a storyline in Man of Steel, the way it was in the Batman trilogy. Where you have the rich Bruce Wayne in Begins wondering, "I'm rich, why should I care? Fuck these people." And then in Dark Knight, he starts talking about hanging up the cloak and how Gotham needs a symbol. All the while, Wayne has flashbacks to the well, and Alfred plays out his conscience and provides him with moral resolve.

In Superman's defense, Man of Steel was primarily an origin story, so he should be permitted to not have the best relationship with humans who are calling him a freak, but he shows no real growth in the area and the film in its entirety just seem to side-step that angle until the very end. In other words, even though there is symbolism when Superman protects "the family unit" in the train station at the end, it would have worked better if he was really insensitive about humans earlier in the movie.

(By the way, the Spiderman movies really knock this out of the park. If you remember, for example, the train sequence. This is fucking Jesus imagery, Zack Snyder. That two-shot of Superman with the stained glass in the background? I'm never going to forgive you for that.)

As has been stated by critics before, this was all abandoned in favor of a revenge story. Yes, Superman's parents are dead in every permutation of the franchise, but in this one, they were killed by someone identifiable and he is here now.

What makes the movie even less enjoyable is the fact that there is no discernible difference between Zod and Superman. Not to sound petty, but I don't understand how someone can get knocked through entire buildings and then be susceptible to a neck twist. At least in Superman 2, Superman's love for Lois causes him to give up his powers momentarily, setting up the perfect opportunity for Zod to take advantage of him, only for Zod to be upended by a smarter Superman. In other words, there were major changes in the environment. In Man of Steel, it's more like, well ok, we've hit the 2-hour mark, let's wrap this up. I doubt I'll ever watch the movie again.
posted by phaedon at 5:47 PM on August 29, 2013


That two-shot of Superman with the stained glass in the background? I'm never going to forgive you for that.

The two-shot was nothing compared to the Jesus-on-the-cross-in-space slow turn from the ship to go save Lois.

I watched it and didn't think of 9/11 more than I would have in any other apocalyptic movie.

See, I watched it and saw a building in New York City collapsing and falling down toward people who were covered in building dust and running away from it and it struck me as an attempt to make as close as possible to an exact re-creation of 9/11 - far more than any other apocalyptic movie I've seen. And I sat there wondering how on Earth anyone let that get put in the movie.

Now, there was a line in there about how, for every person Superman saves, Zod will kill a million or whatever, at least hinting that Superman was saving people. And the buildings they were smashing through did appear to be empty as they crashed through them. That defied suspension of disbelief, of course, but at least it didn't actually show lots of people being killed and implied that people had been evacuating for some time before that particular part of Manhattan started getting really and properly smashed to bits.

The bigger issue for me was that the final battle just went so far over the top - raised the stakes so high - that it became meaningless. Superman saving a mother and a baby in a stroller in Superman 2, as cheesy as it is, is a more powerful image than Superman crashing through a couple of skyscrapers and knocking them to the ground. People don't care about buildings - we care about people.

Not to sound petty, but I don't understand how someone can get knocked through entire buildings and then be susceptible to a neck twist.

Not just a neck twist. A super neck twist. Those buildings were not super buildings, man.

At least in Superman 2, Superman's love for Lois causes him to give up his powers momentarily, setting up the perfect opportunity for Zod to take advantage of him, only for Zod to be upended by a smarter Superman.

Yes - this. Superman is supposed to prevail not only because he's strong or because he's angry or because he has super powers, but because his powers are more effective due to his intellect and - most importantly - his morality. In Man Of Steel, Superman was, as you say, just like Zod in just about every way. He won the fight because he happened to get Zod in a headlock by sheer luck. That's not Superman. That's just a lucky strong guy. Superman's virtue is supposed to be his greatest strength.
posted by The World Famous at 6:00 PM on August 29, 2013


Yes - this. Superman is supposed to prevail not only because he's strong or because he's angry or because he has super powers, but because his powers are more effective due to his intellect and - most importantly - his morality.

Also, I wonder if there is already speculation on this, but how the hell do you follow this up with a bigger challenge than Zod? I just don't get it.

I think this is all a testament to the visual power of falling buildings and explosions - filmmakers have figured out that your brain doesn't really give you a chance to think critically about character development and plot when shit is constantly hitting the fan. Like for example, how Lois Lane magically shows up everywhere she is needed to further the story along. But it has to be conceded on both a creative and financial level, these movies are a smashing success. I mean, at the very least, most of these movies we're talking about are visual masterpieces.

it struck me as an attempt to make as close as possible to an exact re-creation of 9/11

You possess an ability to remember things that you cannot stand that I don't have. Laurence Fishburne was in Man of Steel, right? Now that you mention it, I faintly recall him trying to pull some white girl out of the rubble; I think that definitely might make people think of 9/11, and it might have been an intentional reference to the film World Trade Center, which coincidentally, Michael Shannon was also in. Oh snap.
posted by phaedon at 6:28 PM on August 29, 2013


Also, I wonder if there is already speculation on this, but how the hell do you follow this up with a bigger challenge than Zod?

That's exactly the problem: It's not about a giving the hero a bigger challenge. It's about a different challenge. Look at the great sequels and none of them is about increasing the magnitude of the challenge, but about changing the nature of the challenge - usually from just a really big one in the first film to one that is more personal to the protagonist in the sequel. Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Toy Story 2, The Road Warrior, Wrath of Khan, Superman II, The Dark Knight, and so on: None of them have a bigger challenge than the first film, but they all have a more personal challenge for the main character and more nuanced emotional stakes.

I mean, at the very least, most of these movies we're talking about are visual masterpieces.

Maybe. I don't know. When I think of "visual masterpiece," I think of something like Barry Lyndon or something from Terrence Malick. I mean, I love big, violent movies and all, but a screen full of explosions and debris almost never cuts it as a visual masterpiece for me.

You possess an ability to remember things that you cannot stand that I don't have.

It's my super power.
posted by The World Famous at 6:50 PM on August 29, 2013


I still want my Zodiac esque serial killer Riddler, thank you.

You can have Mr. Zsasz or some bullshit.
posted by Artw at 6:53 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had this weird dream last night in which I saw a trailer for a superman movie that starred Peter Dinklage as superman. it looked kinda good.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:13 PM on August 29, 2013


Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Toy Story 2, The Road Warrior, Wrath of Khan, Superman II, The Dark Knight, and so on: None of them have a bigger challenge than the first film,

Wait what? Alien was a bigger challenge than Aliens? Zod & co. were less of a challenge than Lex Luthor Real Estate Scheme #205? I don't mean to nitpick, it's just that "the best sequels are the ones that go smaller-but-more-personal" doesn't hold as a principle.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:57 AM on August 30, 2013


I take your point about Superman II, HZSF. I would, however, point out that the challenge in Superman was so great that Superman was unable to stop Luthor's plan - he could only stop one of the nuclear missiles, resulting in California sinking into the ocean and necessitating his reversing time itself. As great as the Zod challenge was, Superman didn't have to violate his primary directive to meet the challenge like he did with Luthor's real estate scheme. Yes, "real estate scheme" sounds lame compared to "nearly-invincible alien bent on world domination," but the fact is that Luthor succeeded in detonating a nuclear warhead in the San Andreas fault, killing Lois Lane, and sending half the state of California sliding into the ocean, which is a lot more than Zod was able to do. Zod was defeated with trickery, whereas Luthor actually tricked Superman (with the kryptonite) and his plan only failed after it had totally succeeded and Superman reversed time.

More importantly, though, the challenges in both Superman II and in Aliens were - regardless of the debatable "magnitude of the challenge" issue - more personal to the protagonist than in the first films. The challenge cuts closer to home, as it were.
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 AM on August 30, 2013


Also, I wonder if there is already speculation on this, but how the hell do you follow this up with a bigger challenge than Zod

Batman, of course. Sure, Superman fought against a super strong alien beings, with advanced technology sufficient to kill everyone on Earth and wound up killing them. Now he needs a real change, a very athletic and smart guy with vast resources to acquire Earth resources that can't harm Superman.

Yup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2013


Oh man, have Bruce and Luthor team up against Superman and call the movie Superman vs. the 1%: Kansas Jock vs. the Elitist Urban Eggheads and then send out two different sets of "sermon notes" one set to Fox News affiliates about Batman and Luthor being liberals who hate Real American Values and the other to Occupy groups about Superman fighting the oligarchy.
posted by straight at 10:37 AM on August 31, 2013


Nah, just do Brokeback Earth, with Clark and Bruce on global patrol, trying to heard humanity. Or Twerk, whatever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM on August 31, 2013






I just want to say, Katee Sackhoff as Ms/Captain Marvel is an amazing idea. Make it so!

Natalie Portman Might Know Something We Don’t Know About a Female-Led Marvel Movie
posted by homunculus at 3:34 PM on September 20, 2013




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