Archive for June 21, 2021

Not even halfway through. Why couldn’t this have been like the 12 Days of Christmas?

Oh, well.

For Day 12, we’re going with the opposite of yesterday, a film a I hate from my favorite genre. I do like the use of the word “hate” in this prompt. Some people may find that strong, like there are movies that they don’t enjoy or that they have some problems with, or it just isn’t their thing, but they don’t hate them. I do. I hate a lot of movies. I can definitely find at least one in every genre, even my favorite. The real question is, what is my favourite genre?

Well, if you were here for Day 10, you would know that I wrote extensively about the concept of the Superhero film, and how happy I was that it was a thing in the first place. So, could I simply turn around a couple days later and say that my favorite genre is actually gangster movies? Well, yeah, I could do anything, but really, it would be weird.

Actually, throughout my life, I have liked various kinds of movies. Comedy, action, Sci-Fi, Horror (Well, mostly the Evil Dead movies), so I never really pigeon-holed myself into one style. There were good and bad movies everywhere. There’s millions of bad comedies, sci-fi and action movies out there. How would I narrow it down to one? (Although, my wife rightly pointed out that This is 40 would be a good choice if I went with Comedy. Man, what a stinker.)

But, now that there are enough Superhero movies that it can be considered a genre, and even sub-genres within that genre, since Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man definitely have to be considered comedies, and it can definitely be argued that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a Spy Thriller, I’m going with that.

Sadly, despite my love of comics, there are some bad movies based on comics out there, and unfortunately, most of them are being made by one company. I think anyone familiar with me, and the Superhero genre, knows what company I’m referring to, and it doesn’t have a mouse as the mascot.

I’m sorry Warner Brothers. You made some great Batman movies, a couple great Superman films back in the day, but the recent wave of DC Extended Universe movies do try me.

It’s not because I’m a Marvel man at heart, or that the Marvel movies had cooler soundtracks or better actors. Mostly, the storytelling is just rough. But I would love to have a debate with someone that is there were no MCU, would the DCEU be universally accepted as a collection of really good Superhero movies? Who knows? But when you consider most of the recent ones (I’m basically talking about Man of Steel to the present), you have to question some of their creative choices.

The thing that I find most interesting in my conversations with people about this subject is that they sometimes seem to feel bad for the DC movies, as if this multi-million dollar studio is some kind of little engine that could trying to battle against the evil Disney Empire. They’ll say things like, “Well, Wonder Woman was good,” which yes, it was. It was a good movie that represented the character well, and women and young girls everywhere should be happy that this is a hero that they can look to as a symbol of what can be. But that’s just one movie. Why do you defend a whole franchise based on that? It’s like someone saying that the Star Wars Disney-made sequel trilogy sucked, and you defend them by saying, “Well, Empire Strikes Back was really good.”

Before I continue, I know that production issues and studio interference plagued many of the DC movies, and obviously Zack Snyder’s personal tragedy derailed a lot of his plans for Justice League, and I’m glad that he got to make the movie that he wanted with The Snyder Cut, but unfortunately, I have to judge these things based on what I saw on the screen, and it was mostly… not my thing.

Here’s what I’ll say; I can almost give Man of Steel a pass because, even though it’s not my Superman, and I don’t love the movie, I actually gave the filmmakers credit for trying something new (This guy is an alien who has landed on this planet and can basically do anything. How would we really react to that?) Christopher Reeves was my Superman, and it would have been really hard to do something different and not raise these comparisons. In twenty years, if they try to remake Iron Man with a different actor and play it totally and play it totally dark, people are going to shake their collective fists at the sky. I bet they’ll try it anyway, though.

But the follow-up, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, that one I have a lot of issues with, and that’s the one I’m picking for today’s film.

I’m not even going to say too many bad things about it, because I did that already five years ago. I’ll just say Jesse Eisenberg’s take on Lex Luthor is awful, the way they shoe-horned in the rest of the Justice league to build up to that movie was ham-fisted, and do I have to say anything about how silly I found it that the thing that brings Superman and Batman together is that their mothers were both named Martha?

On the bright side, I thought Affleck was a surprisingly great Batman, and his character had very believable motivation to go after Superman (This guy could kill us all if he has a bad day. If you want to read a cool comic based on that very idea, check out Mark Waid’s Irredeemable.) But the fact that he forgets all about it because Superman had a mother named “Martha” is what really burns my beak. That, and the fact that it’s Batman V. Superman V. Lex Luthor V. Doomsday V. Those Guys Who Kidnap Lois V. Public Perception of Superman V. Disney, really just makes this a tough one to swallow. And unfortunately, it put the entire DCEU franchise in a bad place, one that they have yet to recover from.

I’ve said enough, but come back tomorrow for more, if you dare. And check out the ol’ linktree if you haven’t had enough of me yet.