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DCEU: Suicidal Insanity

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15 hours ago, Heartofice said:

I'd guess that the vast majority of the audience has almost no knowledge of Wonder Woman before the movie arrived, outside of her name and what she looked like. If you asked them what her backstory was, her powers, who her enemies were or even love interest, I doubt you'd get much back. Yeah maybe that is a positive for DC as they get more freedom to do what they want with the character. 

I guess what I'm saying is that her character and backstory are probably well down the list of reasons the movie did well. Far more important was the buzz around the movie, what the movie represented and the positive media it garnered. 

I mean did anyone know anything about Aquaman before last year? Jason Momoa looking pretty has done more for that movie than any interest people have in the character of Aquaman. Nobody was calling out for an Aquaman movie. 

 

I'd disagree.  Wonder Woman has a huge part of the DC animated universe on Cartoon Network.  My kids, 22 down to 15 know her very well.  While my family could be an outlier, simply because I'm a comic nerd, I would offer that I have multiple co-workers with WW coffee mugs and one, who is not at all a comic person, that has a 6 year old, not only dressing up as wonder woman, but also doing the deeper dive to Hawkwoman largely as a result of that same cartoon series. 

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8 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

What an insightful observation. I have never heard that about him before. 

'Original' is not synonymous with 'good', which seems to be a cornerstone of your personality these past dozen or so posts.

'Good' is 'good'.

'Zack Snyder' is 'bad'.

'Ayn Rand' is 'irrelevant'.

Just because you think you're the first person to promote a niche idea does not invalidate general consensus when it has been arrived at through objective AND subjective analysis of existing data.

You're free to believe in Zack Snyder's unseen depths as hard as you want. But you can check that 'super serious objectivity with NEW thoughts' shit at the thread portal if you don't want mildly derisive confusion as a response. 

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5 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

'Original' is not synonymous with 'good', which seems to be a cornerstone of your personality these past dozen or so posts.

'Good' is 'good'.

'Zack Snyder' is 'bad'.

'Ayn Rand' is 'irrelevant'.

Just because you think you're the first person to promote a niche idea does not invalidate general consensus when it has been arrived at through objective AND subjective analysis of existing data.

You're free to believe in Zack Snyder's unseen depths as hard as you want. But you can check that 'super serious objectivity with NEW thoughts' shit at the thread portal if you don't want mildly derisive confusion as a response. 

OK, I didn't react the way that I did because somebody disagreed with me. Far from it, I'd love to have a discussion about this. But you basically responded to my post with "Snyder bad", when the point of what I said was never even something like "Snyder good."

I mean, I even gave you the chance to clarify what you were responding to or disagreed with, and you literally came back by saying "no, I didn't have anything to say. Just Snyder bad."

I guess I was a little ungenerous with Heartforce in what you quoted, but cmon. If you're gonna go full Peggy Hill and refer to commonly accepted truisms as "my take", you can't exactly expect me to bite my tongue...

And btw, there's a difference between mild bewilderment, and whatever the fuck Mormont was accusing me of in his last post. 

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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Ok reading back over all this I realize that I came off like an overly-sensitive, pedantic little prick.

Still not wrong tho.

Tbh Im getting annoyed about being billed as defending BvS (or calling it a "masterpiece" apparently), because I really did think the movie was a hot fucking mass, and that Snyder is pretty ham-handed about narrative. But you're also doing him a disservice to write him off as a half-smart Michael Bay, good at visuals but nothing below the surface.

300 is a good example. The graphic novel was basically one giant recruiting ad for the US military. The Snyder version, yeah it had that, but it also had some Starship Troopers levels of deconstruction that goes largely uncommented on. The way the Spartans idealize an antiquated version of masculinity, going so far as to turn down a reasonable peace offer because bowing to Xerxes would make them look "totally gay", while seemingly oblivious of the overwhelmingly homoerotic nature of their own alpha-praising culture. 

Also, I like the Star Wars prequels. Bring it. 

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I mean, I think Snyder largely fails when he attempts to instill depth- Sucker Punch was a hot mess on all levels and while Watchmen wasn't a terrible film the changes he made fundamentally misunderstood a large part of the point both on the meta level ("I triggered it twenty minutes ago" is not the same as "I did it twenty minutes ago") and in-universe-plot level (

Having Doc Manhattan do it would

NOT cause all nations to band together with America, ffs.

) - but you're not wrong that he's deeper than Bay and that he attempted to do something worthwhile and clever with the DCU. Heck, I still like Man of Steel, even though later developments make it pretty clear that as well as trying to make bold statements, Snyder's lack of understanding of the DC mythos was in evidence even back then.




On the other hand I don't think a lack of depth in and of itself is the killer. Bay sucks because he sucks, not because he's got no depth. James Wan also has no depth in his blockbusters, but to date he's class.

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1 minute ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Ok reading back over all this I realize that I came off like an overly-sensitive, pedantic little prick.

Still not wrong tho.

Tbh Im getting annoyed about being billed as defending BvS (or calling it a "masterpiece" apparently), because I really did think the movie was a hot fucking mass, and that Snyder is pretty ham-handed about narrative. But you're also doing him a disservice to write him off as a half-smart Michael Bay, good at visuals but nothing below the surface.

300 is a good example. The graphic novel was basically one giant recruiting ad for the US military. The Snyder version, yeah it had that, but it also had some Starship Troopers levels of deconstruction that goes largely uncommented on. The way the Spartans idealize an antiquated version of masculinity, going so far as to turn down a reasonable peace offer because bowing to Xerxes would make them look "totally gay", while seemingly oblivious of the overwhelmingly homoerotic nature of their own alpha-praising culture. 

Also, I like the Star Wars prequels. Bring it. 

Damn, I had a whole post ready to go deconstructing the course of this conversation to add a little twist of the knife.

But since you're being cool I'll stop.

I like 300 very much, and I really enjoyed the Watchmen movie. Snyder is great at setting up a scene and knowing how to film. But I cannot, I repeat that I CANNOT, accept that there's anything genuinely intelligent to his films. Sucker Punch is a pretty good point of reference for this. You posit that he's making a point about objectification and toxicity from nerds.

I can accept that.

But then I'm going to be forced to point out that because he is incapable of analysis deeper than the most superficial imaginable (I'd say a competent Michael Bay who isn't inherently a douchebag asshole), he bungled it horribly and served only to raise questions about his own judgement. This is where the movie is perfect for this discussion, because it's ostensibly about women fighting back against being taken advantage of and kicking some ass. But their ass kickery happens exclusively in the realm of fantasy and impacts nothing in the film's universe. I don't have the Give-A-Fuckitude to list all the ways in which the superficial message is horribly undermined, so I'll go with the obvious choice.

Our hero gets lobotomized to live in her fantasy permanently (or something). If you're trying to make a point about how someone or a group of people are marginalized, you probably shouldn't have the protagonist lose all agency and then just end the movie.

And please don't tell me that 'you didn't get it' or 'the audience is supposed to do the work'. That's lazy, and while I think you're operating under some delusions I don't think you're lazy. If you have a message for your film you either make it translatable to the audience or you failed. Starship Troopers is a great example of when a movie gets panned because people are fucking dumb sometimes, but because it's crafted intelligently the moment you inform a moron what the movie is their eyes light up with understanding. Sucker Punch is the antithesis of this, as the moment you even try to assign a motivation to the film anyone who isn't already looking for a reason to like it or Snyder is going to do exactly what we did over the last two pages.

Since Zack has the hard part of film making down (do interesting things on the screen), I am left with no choice but to infer that while he may recognize things like power imbalances and societal injustice he lacks the capacity to identify the causes and potential solutions. Or even to communicate them halfway clearly.

Or in other words.

He's a useless hack.

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16 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

I have no idea what the fuck any of this bit means.

My mistake - I referenced BvS when I should have said Justice League. Apologies.

Quote

Not what I said at all. I think the last line of that post actually made it kind of clear that I was commenting on the way life can imitate art beyond any control that we have.

OK, so this wasn't clear: the implication I took from your post was that Snyder blew up JL on purpose by selecting Whedon. If what you're saying is that this wasn't on purpose, that's different.

Quote

Forgive me if I'm not blown away by the depths of knowledge implied in this statement. I mean, you just said you haven't seen the movie that I was basing a lot of my point on. Do you actually know anything about Zach Snyder, or are you just parroting the popular wisdom that's bandied about and repeated on every movie podcast? 

I've seen Dawn Of The Dead, 300, and Watchmen. I haven't seen any of his subsequent films because after those three, I'd reached the conclusion that I didn't want to watch any more. All three had the same flaws: focus on style over substance, little depth, poor character work, and in the first and last cases a poor understanding of the source material. Since what we're discussing is his work as a director, I'm not sure I need to know more. But YMMV.

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2 hours ago, mormont said:

My mistake - I referenced BvS when I should have said Justice League. Apologies.

Working on a longer reply to others as well, but this doesn't really clear up what you were trying to say for me. I know there's some drama out there about whether or not some of the footage Snyder shot before stepping down exists, but otherwise I really don't know what you meant about me "drinking the Kool-Aid".

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EDIT: Whoops, thought I'd posted this the other day.

Imma go in reverse order here.

On 1/11/2019 at 3:13 AM, mormont said:

I haven't seen any of his subsequent films because after those three, I'd reached the conclusion that I didn't want to watch any more. All three had the same flaws: focus on style over substance, little depth, poor character work, and in the first and last cases a poor understanding of the source material. Since what we're discussing is his work as a director, I'm not sure I need to know more. But YMMV.

Not trying to be a dick, but I don't know why I should take your opinions about a specific film seriously when you have not seen the film under discussion. I mean, I've watched a lot of bullshit just so I could properly explain how and why it's bullshit later. Not saying you have to do that just to have an opinion, but it is odd that the opinion you've formed is strong enough that your initial reaction to my giving Snyder perhaps more credit than he is due, is to claim I claimed anything he did was a "masterpiece" and that I "drank the koolaid" about BvS.

There are certain shows, figures, books, etc. that seem to pull very strong and simultaneously very shallow opinions from large groups of fans. Or maybe anti-fans is a better word, idk. Kinda like Twilight in the early 2010s, or Justin Bieber at any given damn point. This shit is all a mile wide and one inch deep. I was that way over those Eragon books for a long time. Of course, I did actually read those...

On 1/11/2019 at 1:03 AM, Jace, Basilissa said:

But since you're being cool I'll stop.

I'm not being cool, I just took the few seconds to make the requisite criticism of Snyder's skills as a director that would get us past the "Snyder bad" phase of the conversation. And look, it worked!

Quote

Snyder is great at setting up a scene and knowing how to film. But I cannot, I repeat that I CANNOT, accept that there's anything genuinely intelligent to his films.

This, to me, is a contradiction. You're talking about scene composition like it's formulaic and there's no artistry to it. I agree that his characters lack depth, but there is a lot of ground between "useless hack" and an otherwise talented director who needs some creative handlers for depth of character and narrative structure. And I would also argue that if we're talking about Sucker Punch, the lack of depth is deliberate. I men, they're named things like "Sweet Pea" and "Baby Doll"...

Quote

You posit that he's making a point about objectification and toxicity from nerds.

Well, actually I said that Sucker Punch was about how many of the staples of nerd culture (comics, video games, anime, etc.) claim to empower women, but are really just escapist fantasies that let them forget about their problems for a little bit.

Quote

 

But then I'm going to be forced to point out that because he is incapable of analysis deeper than the most superficial imaginable (I'd say a competent Michael Bay who isn't inherently a douchebag asshole), he bungled it horribly and served only to raise questions about his own judgement. This is where the movie is perfect for this discussion, because it's ostensibly about women fighting back against being taken advantage of and kicking some ass. But their ass kickery happens exclusively in the realm of fantasy and impacts nothing in the film's universe. I don't have the Give-A-Fuckitude to list all the ways in which the superficial message is horribly undermined, so I'll go with the obvious choice.

Our hero gets lobotomized to live in her fantasy permanently (or something). If you're trying to make a point about how someone or a group of people are marginalized, you probably shouldn't have the protagonist lose all agency and then just end the movie.

 

A lot of this is only true in the context of an empowerment fantasy. I would argue that the whole point of Sucker Punch is to spit on the idea of an empowerment fantasy. I don't think he was trying to make a point about people being marginalized, so much as he was giving the middle finger to all of the "truefans" who declared a fatwa on him after he made Watchmen. He was basically saying that their obsession with comics and fantasy stories does nothing real to make their lives or the world around them any better, and if they're going to retreat into fantasy worlds, then the least they could do is clear the way for those who do have the will to act to step up (again we see shades of Snyder's career-long obsession with The Fountainhead).

It was essentially one massive spite project. It was mean-spirited, and wrong-headed, and vitriolic, and as much of a mess as you'd imagine a movie made entirely to say "fuck you" to a person's critics would be. But it did come from a genuine place, not one meant to pander to an audience (which is more than I can say for some of the "competition").

I never said it was a masterpiece, but there is something there beyond pretty visuals.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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26 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

EDIT: Whoops, thought I'd posted this the other day.

Imma go in reverse order here.

Not trying to be a dick, but I don't know why I should take your opinions about a specific film seriously when you have not seen the film under discussion. I mean, I've watched a lot of bullshit just so I could properly explain how and why it's bullshit later. Not saying you have to do that just to have an opinion, but it is odd that the opinion you've formed is strong enough that your initial reaction to my giving Snyder perhaps more credit than he is due, is to claim I claimed anything he did was a "masterpiece" and that I "drank the koolaid" about BvS.

There are certain shows, figures, books, etc. that seem to pull very strong and simultaneously very shallow opinions from large groups of fans. Or maybe anti-fans is a better word, idk. Kinda like Twilight in the early 2010s, or Justin Bieber at any given damn point. This shit is all a mile wide and one inch deep. I was that way over those Eragon books for a long time. Of course, I did actually read those...

I'm not being cool, I just took the few seconds to make the requisite criticism of Snyder's skills as a director that would get us past the "Snyder bad" phase of the conversation. And look, it worked!

This, to me, is a contradiction. You're talking about scene composition like it's formulaic and there's no artistry to it. I agree that his characters lack depth, but there is a lot of ground between "useless hack" and an otherwise talented director who needs some creative handlers for depth of character and narrative structure. And I would also argue that if we're talking about Sucker Punch, the lack of depth is deliberate. I men, they're named things like "Sweet Pea" and "Baby Doll"...

Well, actually I said that Sucker Punch was about how many of the staples of nerd culture (comics, video games, anime, etc.) claim to empower women, but are really just escapist fantasies that let them forget about their problems for a little bit.

A lot of this is only true in the context of an empowerment fantasy. I would argue that the whole point of Sucker Punch is to spit on the idea of an empowerment fantasy. I don't think he was trying to make a point about people being marginalized, so much as he was giving the middle finger to all of the "truefans" who declared a fatwa on him after he made Watchmen. He was basically saying that their obsession with comics and fantasy stories does nothing real to make their lives or the world around them any better, and if they're going to retreat into fantasy worlds, then the least they could do is clear the way for those who do have the will to act to step up (again we see shades of Snyder's career-long obsession with The Fountainhead).

It was essentially one massive spite project. It was mean-spirited, and wrong-headed, and vitriolic, and as much of a mess as you'd imagine a movie made entirely to say "fuck you" to a person's critics would be. But it did come from a genuine place, not one meant to pander to an audience (which is more than I can say for some of the "competition").

I never said it was a masterpiece, but there is something there beyond pretty visuals.

You got 2 pages out of this bit. Can we just call it a thread and stop with this word play that would make Al Yankovic blush?

 

ETA: I mean. Just. C'mon, man. You won this one. You honestly did. I eased up. I don't know if that's ever happened before. I normally don't stop until mormont sends me back into timeout where I belong. That's yours, that victory. Nobody can ever take that away. 

"Jace stopped." I just stopped. Fuck, I got conciliatory. Good luck finding someone else who can claim such a decisive win. 

I want you to take this moral and emotional satisfaction and do great things. We're all counting on you now.

Edited by Jace, Basilissa

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Will probably make a great music video.. a bit like Suicide Squad.

Lol. Good burn. I didn't realize this was already filming (guess it might not be as wouldn't tale much to create that teaser). Wonder if they'll film the multitude of harley quinn related films back to back? Guess Margot Robbie could have walked straight off the queen of scots set to this with only minor make up adjustments.

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

I didn't realize this was already filming (guess it might not be as wouldn't tale much to create that teaser).


That looks like a 'first day of shooting special' jobbie to me, and Wikipedia does say that shooting just began two weeks ago so...

It kind of does need to have done if it comes out in a year.

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4 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Will probably make a great music video.. a bit like Suicide Squad.

Even ignoring the quality of the movie why doesn t DC learn?

They want to make a super hero team movie without introducing the characters in their solo or with smaller cast movies. If suicide squad and justice league failed why would birds of prey suceed?

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17 minutes ago, divica said:

Even ignoring the quality of the movie why doesn t DC learn?

They want to make a super hero team movie without introducing the characters in their solo or with smaller cast movies. If suicide squad and justice league failed why would birds of prey suceed?

Suicide Squad didn’t really fail though, it made a ton of money. Maybe DC have learnt something , that they don’t need to bother making good movies

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24 minutes ago, divica said:

 

They want to make a super hero team movie without introducing the characters in their solo or with smaller cast movies. If suicide squad and justice league failed why would birds of prey suceed?


I honestly don't understand why people keep saying this? Suicide Squad and Justice League were bad because they were bad, not because they introduced the whole crew at once. Ensemble movies are a completely standard thing in cinema- would Ocean's 11 really have been a better movie with a standalone introducing all the cast separately? Or the Lord of the Rings? And hell, even talking superheroes Marvel did it with Guardians of the Galaxy.

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1 minute ago, polishgenius said:


I honestly don't understand why people keep saying this? Suicide Squad and Justice League were bad because they were bad, not because they introduced the whole crew at once. Ensemble movies are a completely standard thing in cinema- would Ocean's 11 really have been a better movie with a standalone introducing all the cast separately? Or the Lord of the Rings? And hell, even talking superheroes Marvel did it with Guardians of the Galaxy.

Yeah - we'd have just had a dozen bad movies (if they had all been made in same style). Marvel were the first/only ones to make the lead in, prior to a team-up angle work. There are far more examples of the opposite working.

Fant4stic wouldn't have been a better film with 4 lead-in movies (5 with a Doom prequel). Either hire a screenwriter/director who can handle an ensemble/team film or make a string of solo films. 

Justice League and Avengers are probably the rare cases where you could even do lead in films because they consist of iconic characters. There's no one in the suicide squad film who could really sustain a solo film as their first outing onto the big screen - even "the amazing Harley quinn" is turning out to be in additional team-up. There was nothing about the other suicide squad team members where I thought "they could sustain their own film". It's not impossible but it'd be an endeavour to have made those solo films work - although I guess Katana could have benefitted from a line of dialogue (pretty sure it was another character who narrated her entire exposition in the film)

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28 minutes ago, polishgenius said:


I honestly don't understand why people keep saying this? Suicide Squad and Justice League were bad because they were bad, not because they introduced the whole crew at once. Ensemble movies are a completely standard thing in cinema- would Ocean's 11 really have been a better movie with a standalone introducing all the cast separately? Or the Lord of the Rings? And hell, even talking superheroes Marvel did it with Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

15 minutes ago, red snow said:

Yeah - we'd have just had a dozen bad movies (if they had all been made in same style). Marvel were the first/only ones to make the lead in, prior to a team-up angle work. There are far more examples of the opposite working.

Fant4stic wouldn't have been a better film with 4 lead-in movies (5 with a Doom prequel). Either hire a screenwriter/director who can handle an ensemble/team film or make a string of solo films. 

Justice League and Avengers are probably the rare cases where you could even do lead in films because they consist of iconic characters. There's no one in the suicide squad film who could really sustain a solo film as their first outing onto the big screen - even "the amazing Harley quinn" is turning out to be in additional team-up. There was nothing about the other suicide squad team members where I thought "they could sustain their own film". It's not impossible but it'd be an endeavour to have made those solo films work - although I guess Katana could have benefitted from a line of dialogue (pretty sure it was another character who narrated her entire exposition in the film)

There are big diferences. In usual ensemble movies the characters are there because the story needs them while in super heroes movies the characters are there because people want them in the movies. And in order for people to care about a character it needs movie time. Suicide squad would have been much more interesting if the characters had apeared in previous movies. And I don t mean a solo movie about them, but they could have minor roles in other movies so that people would be interested in them in suicide squad.

Guardians worked so well because we aren t presented super heroes in the movie but characters and a story that we could see in a non marvel film. They didn t try to sell the movie based on which characters entered but in the story. We can see in that trailer that birds of prey is already promoting the heroines that will enter the movie instead of any kind of story that would gather those people.

Another thing is that super hero movies try to explain the origin of the characters and what their powers are. When you have 10 characters (between heroes and vilains) to introduce it is just too much and doesn t work.

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1 minute ago, divica said:

 

There are big diferences. In usual ensemble movies the characters are there because the story needs them while in super heroes movies the characters are there because people want them in the movies. And in order for people to care about a character it needs movie time. Suicide squad would have been much more interesting if the characters had apeared in previous movies. And I don t mean a solo movie about them, but they could have minor roles in other movies so that people would be interested in them in suicide squad.

Guardians worked so well because we aren t presented super heroes in the movie but characters and a story that we could see in a non marvel film. They didn t try to sell the movie based on which characters entered but in the story. We can see in that trailer that birds of prey is already promoting the heroines that will enter the movie instead of any kind of story that would gather those people.

Another thing is that super hero movies try to explain the origin of the characters and what their powers are. When you have 10 characters (between heroes and vilains) to introduce it is just too much and doesn t work.

I see where you're coming from eg they should have all appeared as villains in Batman/shazam/green arrow etc first? It might have helped in the sense people would be more interested but they'd have arguably been more disappointed too.

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