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DC Cinematic Universe: Let the Blames Begin


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24 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

Are you factoring the more recent TV iterations, though? CW The Flash had a long run compared to the shitshow that has been their Batgirl. I would expect The Flash fandom has been expanded in recent years.

The show was Batwoman not Batgirl. Different characters

edit: if the big studios want to up their box office, I wonder if they’d consider the nuclear option of waiting 12 months before releasing the films on streaming/dvd etc?

I’d definitely have gone to see some of the recent mcu films i. The cinema if I knew they wouldnt be dropping on D+ a few months later.

Edited by Derfel Cadarn
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I don't see this as super hero fatigue at all. I've seen almost all of them and the ones I liked, did well, the ones I thought sucked didn't do well, box office wise. I am the target audience, dumb enough to see a sequel I know looks bad! I will say they didn't get my money for Morbius though, that pile of crap was too easy to see.

Shazam, liked it, Shazam 2 sucked.  Ant Man loved it, Ant Man 2 not as good, and 3, even worse.  Thor liked it, 2-3 not so much. Not fatigue just poor movies.   

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41 minutes ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

You show a picture of Batgirl and the Flash to people who know nothing about either overall, people will be able to get Batgirl that much easier because she's dressed like Batman, who is a globally recognized IP. From that, they're going to be able to infer what's going on. 

Eh, I think most people would think you're trying to make Batman a woman. The Flash isn't an unknown character, he's just not tier 1. Batgirl is not a significant character in the cultural zeitgeist at all. The Flash isn't either, but I'd guess he's more so. 

32 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Whether or not trump would do time in prison for the boxes situation.

Lock it in and change your title now! 

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1 minute ago, Spockydog said:

No. That was the writers.

I thought he blocked Black Adam from showing up in Shazam 2, because the Rock has it in his contract, that he's not allowed to lose fights.

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2 minutes ago, sifth said:

I thought he blocked Black Adam from showing up in Shazam 2, because the Rock has it in his contract, that he's not allowed to lose fights.

As if Black Adam would have saved it. They wrote Billy as if he was eight, not eighteen. And they made his siblings stupid. Utter shite.

 

Edited by Spockydog
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24 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

As if Black Adam would have saved it. They wrote Billy as if he was eight, not eighteen. And they made his siblings stupid. Utter shite.

 

You know what, I still liked it more than Man of Steel. Though I can say that about a lot of films.

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4 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Put a pin in this. I already have a bet going with @Tywin et al. on Trumps jail time. 

@Ran can we pin this post somehow and have some kind of like countdown watch with a timer and shitty champagne and all as we discover the winner when The Marvels releases? :D

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4 hours ago, RumHam said:

What are you basing that on? Has there even been a trailer? 

Yep. And it looks like the sort of fare I'd enjoy. But I also love me some Brie Larson. 

 

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On Superhero Fatigue

It's honestly less an issue of superhero fatigue and more a case of the movies available not offering anything new either structurally, thematically, or visually. I look at something, like, say (random example here) Doctor Strange 2 (DS2) and I find it to be 2 hours of a character not really changing much between moment 1 and the end, with nothing really to say. I found myself, when watching DS2, thinking of how over the course of five seasons*, Fringe handled the concept, implications, and potential of a multiverse with far more grace, care, and depth than any media featuring the Many Worlds Theory to date (Caveat: I haven't seen Everything, Everywhere, All At Once yet, so let's put that aside, as I am sure that's no doubt an outlier to this hypothesis).

Now I am movie addict, but have - as I noted and high-fived @Werthead for over in the Star Trek thread - struggle with long-form media unless I'm really into it, and that magnificent bastard just watched all of TNG, something that I cannot begin to fathom undertaking. But that aside, as a movie nerd, I tend to see pretty much all comic book movies, because I love comics, and they were a medium that helped me learn English (for those that don't know, it's my second language after Russian). So I have an innate respect for it, as a base line, as not all comics are good, but when they're good, they're really fucking good.**

Now, back to my point: with comic book movies, what I have observed is a sense of sameness in a variety of ways. In the case of Black Adam, the story is unfocused, with a main character that never manages to be engaging due to not having interesting flaws and underutilising Dwayne Johnson's best qualities - his comic timing, which I think is where he's at his strongest. The character of Black Adam is never presented in an interesting manner, and therefore failed to connect with me. Further to this, composer Lorne Balfe, a Zimmerling apprentice from Remote Control Studios, seemed determined to barrage audiences with a wall of EQ'd to hell noise that barely resembled anything approaching a discernible melody or leitmotif. 

Further to that, the Justice Society that was introduced in the movie - cool. Yes, I dig it. I know who they are. But if you're not familiar with these characters, it will leave you confused. Who's Doctor Fate? Who's Atom Smasher? Cyclone? Because these characters were not introduced in a lower-key way, to help audiences learn about them and understand their contexts, I can see how it would be overwhelming. And as much as I quietly suspect director Jaume Collet-Serra loves The Dirty Dozen and the whole "assemble a group of folx to do a task" concept, it's a tough trick to pull off. 

Shazam 2, like Black Adam suffers from a lack of good marketing, a lack of narrative focus, easter eggitis that distracts from the larger story, poor lighting and cinematography (honestly, the film looks like digital sludge), and an unclear reason for existing. Much of the movie is filled with now familiar CGI destruction, questionable effects, reams of lore and background details that only a dedicated fan would recognise, and no real discernible themes, though I want to be charitable and say a possible theme here is "being a superhero takes sacrifice". But a lot of that gets lost in the sturm und drag of this overstuffed digital slugfest. 

Those are just two recent examples that come to mind. And both movies suffer, I would argue, from being part of a shared, connected universe, which means that references, easter eggs, cameos, and allusions to other characters, places, etc., can be made, which derails the focus of the narrative. 

In short, excess CGI used poorly and on the wrong things, lack of interesting and complicated human characters, unfocused narratives that are more interested in now exhausting and tired explosions and noise rather than tension and consequences and situational/moral/ethical challenges, have resulted in many comic book movies feeling a bit hollow, interchangeable, and ultimately skippable. 

By contrast, movies like Infinity War and Endgame, for example, worked because they'd spent time building these characters up, getting us invested in their personal plights and dramas and needs, and made us over the course of 23 (?) films learn to care about these characters. And by creating one hell of a cliffhanger with Infinity War, created talking points leaving many discussing what they thought would happen next, since most viewers had at least one character out of that cast with whom they identified or connected with or cared about in some way, thus leaving them wondering: "how are they going to get out of this one?" 

In essence, it felt like there were some real stakes at play. And that's not an easy feat. 

That Spider-Man: No Way Home worked, and felt like a perfect coda to Endgame and the MCU project as a whole, is something of a Hail Mary. Yet, it brought back previous Spider-Men, thus gaming nostalgia, but to actual real dramatic effect, rather than as weaponised nostalgia. They actually had a narrative purpose that also wrapped up and/or resolved the character arcs set up in the preceeding Spider-Men movies - be it with Tobey Peter and Doc Ock or with Andrew Peter and the loss of Gwen Stacey. But both also influenced and impacted upon Tom Peter's actions*** in a way that had some kind of meaningful dramatic impact. Once again: there were actual stakes and at this point with characters that had been given enough time to breath that viewers knew enough about them to care at least a little, if not more. (It's telling that Doctor Strange experiences more character growth in No Way Home than in DS2. But I attribute this also to the smarts of writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.)

In short, I don't think we're experiencing superhero fatigue. I think we're experiencing Boring Movie Fatigue, with movies that are short on good and interesting ideas, characters, dialogue, and themes, and have nothing meaningful to say or show, and aren't all that interested in their lead characters or in giving them any depth or growth, because, comics being comics, they have to be able to continue and have further adventures, or cross over with someone else, and can't veer too far from being the character we know and love - which can constrict character growth and change. 

* Long-form storytelling will always have the upper hand on this front, I fully grant this.

** Long live Bone!

*** "Peter 1, Peter 2!" Welcome to my personal grammatical hell.

Edited by IlyaP
Typo!
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2 hours ago, IlyaP said:

That Spider-Man: No Way Home worked, and felt like a perfect coda to Endgame and the MCU project as a whole, is something of a Hail Mary. Yet, it brought back previous Spider-Men, thus gaming nostalgia, but to actual real dramatic effect, rather than as weaponised nostalgia. They actually had a narrative purpose that also wrapped up and/or resolved the character arcs set up in the preceeding Spider-Men movies - be it with Tobey Peter and Doc Ock or with Andrew Peter and the loss of Gwen Stacey. But both also influenced and impacted upon Tom Peter's actions*** in a way that had some kind of meaningful dramatic impact. Once again: there were actual stakes and at this point with characters that had been given enough time to breath that viewers knew enough about them to care at least a little, if not more. (It's telling that Doctor Strange experiences more character growth in No Way Home than in DS2. But I attribute this also to the smarts of writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.)

I agree with this.

And I'm pretty sure "superhero fatigue" will be forgotten when Deadpool 3 comes out next May.

Edited by Corvinus85
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37 minutes ago, Corvinus85 said:

I agree with this.

And I'm pretty sure "superhero fatigue" will be forgotten when Deadpool 3 comes out next May.

Idk, the second one was kind of meh and I believe oversaturation and a trending diminishing quality of the films will turn people off even if the films usually make money. Some will still be good, maybe even great, but the golden era of good comic book films has possibly run its course. 

Or just make a live action Batman Beyond and I'll change my mind.

Edited by Tywin et al.
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4 hours ago, IlyaP said:

 (It's telling that Doctor Strange experiences more character growth in No Way Home than in DS2. But I attribute this also to the smarts of writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.)

 

Possibly fair, but I think it's worth considering that the scheduling of those two movies was let's say flexible- to the point the reason Ned is doing the portal stuff is they wrote it for America Chavez but had to take her out when they switched the order. So there may have been instructions not to do anything in Strange that'd fuck with Strange's role in Spidey when they were developing them simultaneously but thought MoM would be first. 

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