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The BlackBear

DCEU: Suicidal Insanity

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I saw Aquaman yesterday. It's not a great film, but I enjoyed it. I liked that it didn't have the dour tone that most of the other DC films have tended to have but instead embraced the daftness of the premise. The undersea kingdoms were spectacular, and even if the final battle did have the traditional CGI hordes of minions that all superhero films apparently need, at least the undersea setting and the variety of aquatic creatures managed to make it look distinct. The plot isn't anything special and seems to wander a bit between different stories - it all goes a bit National Treasure at one point with an archaeological quest following simplistic clues and there's a interlude that felt like it was based on Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Jason Momoa seems to be enjoying himself, although the rest of the cast struggle to show much characterisation.

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On 12/17/2018 at 4:30 PM, williamjm said:

I saw Aquaman yesterday. It's not a great film, but I enjoyed it. I liked that it didn't have the dour tone that most of the other DC films have tended to have but instead embraced the daftness of the premise. The undersea kingdoms were spectacular, and even if the final battle did have the traditional CGI hordes of minions that all superhero films apparently need, at least the undersea setting and the variety of aquatic creatures managed to make it look distinct. The plot isn't anything special and seems to wander a bit between different stories - it all goes a bit National Treasure at one point with an archaeological quest following simplistic clues and there's a interlude that felt like it was based on Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Jason Momoa seems to be enjoying himself, although the rest of the cast struggle to show much characterisation.

I watched it tonight.  Corny at times, campy at others, some weird exposition scenes, odd flashbacks, bad wigs, weird character beats, sometimes jarring tonal shifts, yet I loved it.  It was as if James Wan went to his creative team and said, "I want ideas. Absolutely nothing is too bat shit insane, Whatever it is I will put it in the movie." and then did.  It's glorious.

Also how fun must it have been for Patrick Wilson to play this role?  

Edited by Slurktan

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20 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

When did Amy Adams leave the DC universe? Was this already known?

 

I'm guessing she doesn't know or isn't allowed to say as she's tied to Cavill as Supes and he might be done.  Also Nicole Kidman looks incredibly plastic in that.... pseudo-interview.  Like terrible, waxy plastic.

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I watched a couple of DC animated films yesterday and it's striking how they balance darker storytelling with being entertaining. "Death of superman" was much more engaging than BvS was while dealing with a similar story and left me thinking they'd have been better just doing a superman sequel with Doomsday as the focus and maybe introducing Batman elsewhere. "suicide squad: hell to pay" was so much better than the film was - it was funny, edgy and had a cast of villains with their own (usually backstabby) motivations and a great use of zoom/reverse flash. Honestly, the DC films could learn a lot from the animated storytellers - or maybe they should just hire them to script the movies. Then again it's probably due to their not being as much money involved in the cartoons that results in far less creative interference.

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31 minutes ago, red snow said:

I watched a couple of DC animated films yesterday and it's striking how they balance darker storytelling with being entertaining. "Death of superman" was much more engaging than BvS was while dealing with a similar story and left me thinking they'd have been better just doing a superman sequel with Doomsday as the focus and maybe introducing Batman elsewhere. "suicide squad: hell to pay" was so much better than the film was - it was funny, edgy and had a cast of villains with their own (usually backstabby) motivations and a great use of zoom/reverse flash. Honestly, the DC films could learn a lot from the animated storytellers - or maybe they should just hire them to script the movies. Then again it's probably due to their not being as much money involved in the cartoons that results in far less creative interference.

They generally are superior. I'm not sure if its just because they are animated that they are judged to a different level, but I suspect that the creative teams are often simply a lot better. Bruce Timm is a god as far as I'm concerned. Death of Superman is directed by Sam Lui who has worked on some of DC's better cartoons. I also think they tend to rely on some of the better stories from the comics, and you can't go wrong there, where the movies tend to veer off into doing their own thing for commercial reasons.

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8 hours ago, Heartofice said:

They generally are superior. I'm not sure if its just because they are animated that they are judged to a different level, but I suspect that the creative teams are often simply a lot better. Bruce Timm is a god as far as I'm concerned. Death of Superman is directed by Sam Lui who has worked on some of DC's better cartoons. I also think they tend to rely on some of the better stories from the comics, and you can't go wrong there, where the movies tend to veer off into doing their own thing for commercial reasons.

Whereas the marvel animated films were almost uniformly awful. 

Sam lui seems to direct most of the dc animated features now so i guess he's getting pretty good at it. The two i mentioned were paced quite well too whereas a lot of the earlier ones rush through at a breakneck speed.

There was a nice meta joke where wonder woman was saying her merchandise sales were doing much better than batman this year.

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So Aquaman is now financially the most successful of the DCEU movies. I'm sure a sequel is in the works. This got me thinking about the future of the franchise. The most critically acclaimed of the new DCEU films (Wonder Woman) and the highest grossing (Aquaman) both touched on the ancient mythology parts of the DC comics universe. With the studio not shy in changing directions, maybe it would be viable to go further in this section of the universe, and put Superman and Batman, and other similar characters on the back burner, rather than constantly trying to emulate the MCU.

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4 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

So Aquaman is now financially the most successful of the DCEU movies. I'm sure a sequel is in the works. This got me thinking about the future of the franchise. The most critically acclaimed of the new DCEU films (Wonder Woman) and the highest grossing (Aquaman) both touched on the ancient mythology parts of the DC comics universe. With the studio not shy in changing directions, maybe it would be viable to go further in this section of the universe, and put Superman and Batman, and other similar characters on the back burner, rather than constantly trying to emulate the MCU.

I don't think it really matters what direction they go down. The success or failure of these movies really appears to come down to how marketable all the combined elements of them are. They have managed to sell Wonder Woman and Aquaman to wide audiences, something I would never have predicted a few years ago. But both have caught the public imagination, I would suggest for reasons outside of the individual quality of those movies. The same could be said for Suicide Squad and Venom.

 

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23 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I don't think it really matters what direction they go down. The success or failure of these movies really appears to come down to how marketable all the combined elements of them are. They have managed to sell Wonder Woman and Aquaman to wide audiences, something I would never have predicted a few years ago. But both have caught the public imagination, I would suggest for reasons outside of the individual quality of those movies. The same could be said for Suicide Squad and Venom.
 

Right, but in terms of creating a cohesive universe, I'd say go with the mythological stuff.

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6 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Right, but in terms of creating a cohesive universe, I'd say go with the mythological stuff.

I thought they were moving away from shared universes now?

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I thought they were moving away from shared universes now?

:dunno: Like I said, they're not shy about changing directions. This is just me thinking there is some potential to pursue this avenue. 

Edited by Corvinus

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I'm seeing a pretty common theme among the successes in Marvel and DC:

Fairly unknown characters that are fresh for audiences.

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9 minutes ago, aceluby said:

I'm seeing a pretty common theme among the successes in Marvel and DC:

Fairly unknown characters that are fresh for audiences.

I think it's becoming more and more recognised that the familiarity with the original comic book property is less relevant than the marketability potential of it. 

Star power + edgy marketing + social narrative is probably a better formula for success than simply banking on an existing character 

 

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9 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I think it's becoming more and more recognised that the familiarity with the original comic book property is less relevant than the marketability potential of it. 

Star power + edgy marketing + social narrative is probably a better formula for success than simply banking on an existing character 

 

Banking on known characters seems to be a losing strategy.  Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Superman.... all have their respective flops.

I'd be very surprised if this Joker origin story doesn't flop unless the performance is just over the top wonderful

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An advantage of minor characters is most people don't have expectations attached to them. Strange to remember Iron Man was a fairly unknown character for superhero film fans that don't bother with comics.

 

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21 minutes ago, aceluby said:

Banking on known characters seems to be a losing strategy.  Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Superman.... all have their respective flops.

I'd be very surprised if this Joker origin story doesn't flop unless the performance is just over the top wonderful

I think far more important is what your social media marketing strategy: how do you get people talking about your movie. 

Whether its having an edgy campaign that people will share to look cool (Suicide squad, Deadpool) a famous / social media friendly leading actor to help get people talking about a movie (Venom, Aquaman) or a narrative that gets clicks and mentions (Wonder Woman), what the original property was becomes far less important than ever. 

Worse still, whether a film is good or not becomes much less relevant to its success.

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I think an important thing to remember is that the leads in the films weren't A-listers - the marvel films made them A-listers. RDJR was a well known character but he was considered by many a risk initially. Oddly I'd say Edward Norton was probably the best known actor prior to taking on an MCU film in terms of previous success. The later phases have maybe taken on better known actors (Dr Strange, Captain Marvel) but they tend to go for charismatic leads who fit the character.

Another thing with banking on well known characters is that you usually have the advantage of decades worth of stories and different takes on the character meaning not only can you cherry pick a story, you can also pick the version of the character that was most popular or most suiting a Disney film. That's a bit harder with fringe characters - sure you can do what you want but at that point why do you need the marvel IP? You could just make your own superhero. While there's the adage of "no bad characters, just bad stories about them" I think it's reckless to disregard a popular long-lived character in comics - there's usually something about them that will transcend the comic medium.

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