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We're gonna need a bigger boat.

... fine? I guess? I dunno. I thought it was pretty drab and boring, mixing the worst attributes of Zack Snyder with the worst attributes of Joss Whedon. But, it also wasn't the jumbled hunk of garbage that Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, or Suicide Squad were. (If you enjoy any of those, great! But they're objectively messes as far as filmmaking go, even by Hollywood blockbuster standards.)

Of course, some of the biggest aspects to the film are inherently broken because they're build upon the broken foundation that was Batman v. Superman. Like, the whole thing about needing to bring Superman back because he was a beacon of hope to the world, and to these other superhero players? What? When did that happen? When was he an inspiration? Ok, so there are a few moments in Batman v. Superman where some people are shown to be idolizing him (because Zack Snyder loves messianic imagery), but a huge chunk of the world hates and fears him. They hated him because he was an alien and thus brought Zod to Earth. But now they all love him because he sacrificed himself to stop Doomsday, who is a reincarnated Zod in the first place? And like, none of these other characters even ever interacted with him. Superman isn't given much time in the public spotlight, and most of the film, he's still figuring himself out and his role in the world. He's hardly an inspirational figure. Not the kind that the Superman in everyone's head is.

So, that doesn't really work. (It's also weird because they definitely hinted at the end of Batman v. Superman that Superman isn't completely dead, but they kinda just forget that happened entirely. There are a number of new continuity issues that arise from Justice League.) It's also strange this idea that they need Superman to bring the team together when Wonder Woman fulfills the same function. She is clearly a leader, and functions exactly as Superman would if he were there from the start.

(I also, admittedly, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate this take on Aquaman. Writers, can we pleeeeease stop the "Aquaman talks to fish!" joke? It was barely funny the first time, and ya know, maybe at some point, fans might appreciate it if you stopped being embarrassed by your source material? Aquaman is an awesome character and has been for decades!)

(I also, admittedly, reeeeeally enjoyed Ezra Miller as the Flash, but I don't really get why they made him Barry Allen if his personality is just going to be Wally West...)

(I also, admittedly, reeeeeally was indifferent about Batman this round. Didn't hate him or think it was terribly off, but it definitely doesn't feel like the natural progression from where he left off at the end of the last film.)

I've heard some praise the film for finally getting Superman "right," but I think that's a big stretch too. It's more "right" than the past two films, but it's just a couple of moments. He's such a small part of the film that I still don't think you can really say he has much of an impact. He still hardly comes off as an inspirational figure.

There's also a ton of CGI. Like, 90% of the whole thing felt like CGI. The villain would be at hope in a Marvel film. Utterly forgettable. It's hard not to see how the motherboxes fulfill the infinity gems role here, so it feels rushed (but I do kind of like seeing all the ways that Marvel and DC were constantly ripping each other off). The action is mostly forgettable as well: just CGI human-esque characters fighting CGI human-esque parademons.

So, it's definitely not good, and I won't ever watch it again, most likely.

But what did I like about it?

Well, I really enjoyed The Flash. Thought they did a good job making his use of speed visually different from both Fox's and Marvel's. At this point, it's kind of tricky to show a familiar power in a unique way. Thought they did a pretty good job of it here. I also really enjoyed Ezra Miller's innocence and his sense of wonder. He might come off a little fanboy-y, but I actually think that helps. Everyone else in this universe is such a downer. It's nice to have a character that actually seems excited to be there.

Wonder Woman continues to be the shining light for the universe. Since they've clearly made no commitment to making Superman Superman, Wonder Woman has effectively stepped into the role, and I think she does a solid job.

I actually quite liked Cyborg as well. I thought he started off kind of slow, and he doesn't ultimately get enough attention considering his connection to a motherbox, but I really liked his...arc? I guess? (As much as any of these perpetually existent characters can have arcs, really.)

And, of course, the film is only two hours. It actually felt longer to me, but it also didn't go on well past when it needed to.




The ultimate problem facing Justice League is...what is it doing? Warner Bros. has been so confusing. They've come out to say that they aren't really trying to build a "shared universe" like Marvel, but then Justice League clearly builds off of Batman v. Superman, and sort of teases a follow up in its post-credits sequence. At the same time, it kind of just...ignores many key elements to Batman v. Superman, some of which kind of do matter to Justice League's world. So I'm just...kinda...confused by what I'm supposed to think of it in a broader context. Should I be looking at it as its own film? (Which you can't really do because it is clearly a sequel.) Should I be looking at it as part of a bigger shared universe? (Which you can do, but quickly notice many glaring problems with a lack of solid continuity.) Am I supposed to be hyped for the next film? (Which you can't really do because they haven't committed to making another one, even scrapped a sequel that was supposed to feature Darkseid.)

The film is...ok, I guess. It's not complete garbage like some of the past films, but it's hard to get psyched about this universe. Still, given the director change and how much got altered after Snyder wrapped his shooting, and given the clear and vast confusion the studio has towards these franchises, the fact that the film is...ok?... is, itself, a rather astonishing achievement.

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There are 74 Replies

It's less of an inoffensive clusterfuck as BvS was, that's for sure, but I still hated it. The humour, much like with Suicide Squad, felt painfully forced and a direct result of reshoots (which makes sense with Whedon having to take over). I really just can't buy the relationships between these characters, or their motivations, at all either. I never get a sense that the writers truly care about what makes them appealing in the first place, other than superficially.

Steppenwolf was probably the worst villain yet, going across both studios. Made of cheap-looking CGI, another plan to terraform Earth just because, maguffin cubes of destruction and resurrection??? Utterly forgettable, like you said. Padded out with weightless, overstuffed fight scenes with bugs.

Absolutely hated Flash, thought Ezra Miller's performance almost rivalled Jesse Eisenberg's in annoying, overacting cringe. Wonder Woman and Cyborg were the only bright spots for me in the entire cast, and it really felt like Ben Affleck was phoning it in (can't blame him either, Batman had zero progression here).

The divide in quality between a standalone Marvel title in Thor: Ragnarok, and an ensemble film starring some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, is night and day. It's crazy how they still can't fucking get it right. Judging by all the rumours and news of actors wanting out of contracts, a revolving door of directors for certain projects, the "split" filmverse they're reportedly aiming for, and once again failing to craft something substantial out of beloved source material, just goes to show that WB have never had any plan in place apart from playing catchup to Marvel.

Edited November 23rd by Orion Nebula
Orion Nebula
 

I was kind of thinking about it today and I think I actually would really like to see Zack Snyder's cut. I don't imagine that would be, in any capacity, better, but I wonder if it would at least be a little interesting in what insight it gives us into the mind of its director. I think Snyder is a garbage director obsessed with messianic imagery and the ideal male form, but I do kinda feel like I'd rather see that than Joss Whedon trying to turn a Snyder film into the Avengers.

There was a fair amount of stuff from trailers that were cut that seem to hint at more backstory for some of the characters. That might even have helped the film. (Although knowing Snyder and his work on Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman[,i], I'm not inclined to think it would have.)


I was also thinking about the "Superman problem," about how over powered he is and so they have to try and find ways to keep him out of the action or justify the existence of the other characters. But the thing is, this isn't generally a problem in the comics, nor was it often a problem with the Justice League animated series. Yeah, he's the most powerful of them all, but how about rather than having him go all Super Saiyan Goku at the end, you have it be that maybe Wonder Woman and Aquaman can sort of keep Steppenwolf at bay while Cyborg and Batman fight goons and Flash rescues people and fights goons, and then have Superman show up, Steppenwolf freak out or use some sort of tech thing that makes him a little stronger. You can't just have Superman untouchable. It isn't *that* hard to have him get hit a few times, or go crashing into walls from a punch.

The characterization of Superman is more important than the powers themselves. They are allowed to de-power him a bit for the movies. I always have a hard time when creators complain about how over powered he is when they can either power him down a bit themselves, or throw in enemies that can rival him. They could have had Darkseid show up, so he has to fight Darkseid while Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Batman fight Steppenwolf (to be a nice parallel to the origin story with Amazons, Atlanteans, and humans fighting side by side).



Posted November 23rd by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

But, it also wasn't the jumbled hunk of garbage that Man of Steel,

Get out.

I havent seen this or thor 3 yet. soon though.

Posted November 23rd by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

Man of Steel was such a confused movie. It had no idea what it wanted to be or what themes it wanted to actually explore. And it took two and a half hours to meander that nothingness. It was, in many ways, the perfect example of a Zack Snyder film. Interesting visuals without any actual substance to back it up. There's good stuff in the film, but it's spread out and too little in comparison to the whole piece. I might think its 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a little high, but that's in the ball park of where it should be.

Posted November 23rd by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Zach Snyder is right up there with Michael Bay for "Worst Director of All Time." His storytelling is so mediocre it's a wonder he even has a job. I can write a better script than he can. Just give me a week. I can also write a better climactic action sequence. Just give me a day. He has no solid grasp on who these heroes are. The animated Justice League was fluid and upbeat because the story didn't stop to pout or revel in monotony: it was a cartoon. It's kind of sad that there are better season finales of Justice League and better single episodes of Batman: The Animated Series than all the bland superhero movies we're seeing now. Even the Marvel movies were monotonous and boring.

Superman in the cartoons had many problems: there were more issues in the world than what he could solve alone. There were villains with greater power than what he was capable of defeating on his own (Darkseid, for instance). He was subject to mind control, and turned on his friends in alternate universes. Sometimes he disagreed with the rest on how to handle a problem. Yes, you CAN make Superman in a story work: just fucking do it.

I'm glad everyone figured out this superhero movie thing is just freaking lowering our standards for what movies should be. I can't wait for The Incredibles 2 to set things straight again.

Posted November 23rd by mariomguy
mariomguy

Lowering our standards


There's been some fine super hero movies and shows though. The majority of the marvel stuff has been really good. And DC made a great wonder woman film.

Posted November 23rd by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

Zach Snyder is right up there with Michael Bay for "Worst Director of All Time."


Not even close. This is the same kinda thing as when people say Nickleback is the worst rock band ever. It's a stupid knee-jerk exaggeration against something that's popular, and it reveals your bias. The much more devastating statement is the accurate one: that they're not notable except for the fact that they manage to make shlock to sell to the masses.

Posted November 23rd by nullfather
nullfather

Snyder isn't as bad as Michael Bay, although I'd rate him "frustratingly bad" and among the worst directors who seems to keep getting work from major studios. I find him frustrating because he's good at introducing interesting ideas, but horrible at following through. Like the idea of a Superman who is feared by the world upon his first public appearance makes sense and having him struggling to figure out his place and role in this world is actually a great concept to explore. But then he fails to actually deliver any semblance of an actual role model who conveys to him the morals we tend to expect Superman to have. Like where the hell did he get the idea that he has to save people from when his father very clearly felt for at least a moment that he should have let those kids on the bus drown? So Superman becomes Superman (sort of, also, not really), but out of nowhere.

Or, more damning is how he had Superman kill Zod at the end of Man of Steel, which isn't in character really, but could have been interesting. He could have taken that moment and expanded on it to show him dealing with his conscience on that. He seemed so genuinely distraught at killing Zod. Granted, again, we have no idea what this guy's code actually is, because again, no role models convey that code really. But then rather than exploring that pain and confusion, he's...cracking wise against the military moments later, and that entire plot is completely ignored in the follow-up film.


I'm not quite sure where the idea that "everyone finally figured out these superhero films are lowering our standards" comes from when many are still making bank and doing well with fans and critics. I mean, Thor: Ragnarok just came out to glowing reviews and a big box office return. Wonder Woman and Logan came out earlier this year as well to the same thing. The genre isn't dying at all. But also, it's not lowering our standards. You will find my expressing concern at the lack of depth many of them seem to throw in there, but this is how Hollywood has always worked overall. There's always a craze over a particular type of film and Hollywood goes on and on with it with various degrees of success. What really makes superhero films different than, say, the sci-fi flicks of the 1950s or westerns or disaster movies of the '90s is that there are so many different characters to choose from, and so many fans of the genre before they even made the first "shared universe."

I'd actually argue superhero films have really been getting a second wind of sorts. Deadpool, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok...all kind of showed there's a range of other genres it can bleed into to give it more life and greater sustainability. We're even getting an X-Men movie that's going to be something of a horror flick. If anything, I'd argue the longer this has gone on, the more the studios have needed to step up their game to A) stand out among the pack and B) sustain the success they've already seen.

Posted November 24th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

that new xmen movie seems pretty neat.

I heard rumors that the first infinity war film is going to be a heist film of sorts. Looking forward to it.

Posted November 24th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

If you take a bunch of superhero characters, water their personalities down to the point where they're no longer recognizable, shit out a general plot, then have the actors make up words while the cameraman gets drunk filming it, then get one of the greatest visual effects studios in the world to fill CGI all over the place, and fill the movie with a bunch of angry boat noises, you'll get the formula for a modern superhero movie.

The animated series are way better than any of the superhero movies I'm seeing. The thought that $300,000,000 went to waste on this crap is mind-boggling to me.

Posted November 24th by mariomguy
mariomguy

This is the same guy who complained that guardians of the Galaxy wasn't good because they didn't get pizza or used the restroom...

Posted November 24th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

That is objectively not what most of the films are at this point. Makes me wonder which of the superhero movie you're seeing actually are.

And this is coming from me, who has long expressed frustration because I agree the films could be more than what they are. But the majority of them have not really done that thing you're saying they do. It's been pretty true of DC films so far, which is only a tiny fraction of the superhero films out there. But Marvel hasn't exactly been doing that on a wide scale, and FOX is starting to finally figure it out too.

Posted November 24th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

This is from the animated Justice League. Is the movie better than this?







Posted November 24th by mariomguy
mariomguy

is the justice league movie better or are super hero movies in general better than those clips?

Posted November 24th by s.o.h.
s.o.h.
 

If you take a bunch of superhero characters, water their personalities down to the point where they're no longer recognizable, shit out a general plot, then have the actors make up words while the cameraman gets drunk filming it, then get one of the greatest visual effects studios in the world to fill CGI all over the place, and fill the movie with a bunch of angry boat noises, you'll get the formula for a modern superhero movie.


Please stop talking out of your ass.

Posted November 24th by nullfather
nullfather

No, the Justice League movie is not better than the animated show.

But a majority of Marvel movies have been on par. And Fox is starting to get it together, having put out one of the best superhero films since the Dark Knight.

Posted November 25th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

If you're trying to specify DC properties, you're right. With the exception of Wonder Woman, they've all been garbage. But that's also a grand total of five films. Can hardy make sweeping statements about the genre off of such a tiny percentage of total films.

Posted November 25th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I was reading that it TJL is a three hour movie cut down to 2 hours. A shame. Im still curious to see it but Ill hold off on it for a while.



Posted November 25th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

3 hours is too long

Posted November 25th by Brandy
Brandy

for you and other general movie goers. Not for me.

Edited November 25th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

Duration is never a good or bad thing on its own. If the film is bad, you will feel it go on and on and drag and drag, which makes the duration a negative. If the film is great, you will almost not even notice that it's still going. My "Top 10 All-Time Favorite" list includes three films that are 2 and a half hours or longer: Das Boot (2 hours 29 minutes), There Will Be Blood (2 hours 38 minutes), and Seven Samurai (3 hours 27 minutes). I don't usually cite the length of the films as a positive, but because those are among the best films ever made, it doesn't become a negative.

Meanwhile, something like Titanic (3 hours 14 minutes) - which I don't even think is a bad film overall - is one where I do see the duration as a problem, largely because I think the pacing isn't always great and the story meanders a lot of the time into places that aren't that interesting. Or Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2 hours 31 minutes) are every bit a problem, but because every aspect of the film is poorly executed. If the film had any idea what themes it wanted to focus on and explore, or how to actually do character development, or explore character motivation, or if it didn't fail to figure out if it wants to be an actually unique superhero flick while also trying to fulfill the role of generic superhero film, or mixed up its visuals so it wasn't just all a big, dark, bleak world where even sunlight isn't bright, with drab colors as stale as their characters, 2 and a half hours wouldn't have been bad.

There definitely feels like there was plenty of stuff missing from Justice League, and that it was a 2 and a half to 3 hours movie that got cut down to 2 hours. In itself, that sometimes hurts it (feels Flash and Cyborg could use more time) and sometimes that helps it (Aquaman is so awful that more time would have been bad, or how Batman is the character that needs the least amount of screen time at this point).

I am genuinely curious to see what a Snyder cut of the film entailed, because it doesn't always feel like his, but it also doesn't always feel like Whedon's. I'd say it feels more like Whedon's. But I can't imagine Snyder's 3 hour cut (which I don't think *actually* exists completely, as he stepped away due to the family tragedy, so it's still incomplete, but they could probably re-assemble it within reason) would make the film "better," given how confused Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman were. No reason for me to believe that Justice League would be any more coherent. How much of that is on Snyder versus how much is on the studio, I can't say.

Posted November 25th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I consider everything from Iron Man onwards from both DC and Marvel as part of "modern superhero movies."

If you forget the movie the instant after you've seen it, it's probably NOT a good movie.

If your movie trailer sounds like Fishing Planet with millions of fast cuts and is scored by a bunch of nondescript Zimmer noise or anrgy boats, it's probably NOT a good movie.

If audiences say your characters are "good" but just mean the characters "have a personality," it's probably NOT a good movie.

If your dialogue is as cringy as Star Wars Episode III: Return of The Sith, as mediocre as an Adam Sandler movie, or as God-awful as Troll 2, it's probably NOT a good movie.

If your movie goes on for 2 hours and is only interesting for 5 minutes, it's probably NOT a good movie. If the only interesting parts of the movie are laden with drugs, sex, and violence, then it's probably NOT a good movie.

DC made 5 mediocre movies and not a single good one? That's more than a billion dollars lost over the course of 10 years! That's a losing streak almost as bad as Sonic! And I'm tired of it! Movies don't have to be mediocre. They can all be great if they just tweak a few things to get a better result. Make the characters lighter, add more jauntiness to the pacing, show it, don't say it, have fun with it, and show me something that's fun to watch. I want to have a good reason to go to the theater and feel like my life got better having seen it. If a movie can't move me, it shouldn't be called a "movie." It should be called a waste of time. The blood, sweat, and tears that went into it was also wasted horrifically.

Posted November 25th by mariomguy
mariomguy

titanic is literally the only film 3+ hours i like. and avatar. i think true lies was long too but i liked that one too dont rememeber its running time. last movie i saw in theatre was baby driver, i liked it but now i dont feel like i can watch it anymore because of kevin spacey

Edited November 25th by Brandy
Brandy

Titanic and avatar... Liked

Interesting movie tastes I'm a sucker for those pew pew merica movies that come out every January my self.

Posted November 25th by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

DC made 5 mediocre movies and not a single good one?

Uh Wonder Woman? The hell is wrong with you.

And I'm tired of it!

Dont watch them? A lot of people have become hesitant to watch the DC movies. Because of their shittyness. Thats not the case with the MCU yet.


If a movie can't move me, it shouldn't be called a "movie.

So what happens when a movie like interstellar moves the rest of us but doesnt move you? is it not a movie because you didnt like it?


Posted November 25th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

Originality should be expected. Or, if we're just going to get a classic portrayal, they should do it "justice." The animated Justice League was better because they nailed the characterization first and allowed the story to grow out of it. The original Justice League blended Miyazaki-esque emotional development with classic American comic book stories to create something with more depth than what you'd find in any of these characters in any other medium, which is unfortunate because film is a great medium that has been underutilized. Even today people still believe The Dark Knight is the greatest modern superhero movie, or even the greatest superhero movie ever made. But why can't we have a more polished version of the actual Justice League onscreen? Why does everything have to take a depressing soul-crushing nosedive once it hits theaters? To seem more "Epic" TM?

If it feels like I can write a better movie myself with these characters, then I don't think other people should settle for it. A lot of my friends say my taste is very particular and refined, but really I just want to be able to watch a GOOD movie: I like characters that have depth and live in worlds that are complex and filled with gray, yet light a beacon that signals hope and a way forward. I like stories that have danger, dark themes, and choices, yet are paced swiftly and intelligently while still allowing their characters to breathe. The end result should be a dangerous adventure that is ultimately very watchable, yet very rich, very believable, and very meaningful.

An actual good movie doesn't have glaring flaws. If a movie is boring, or makes you feel like it goes on too long, or has pointless moments you wish would end, or leaves you confused, or forgets to make you care, then there is something inherently wrong with it. It can, and it should have been corrected before being released to a critical mass audience for profit. We should totally expect technical flawlessness from films because that is totally achievable, but some producers just don't care.

Posted November 26th by mariomguy
mariomguy

You keep doing this thing where you're referring to like, a few films, but then claim to speak about the genre at large. You want something more fun to watch? You've got 14-15 Marvel films that all provide an entertaining spectacle with fun characters. (I don't include all because Thor 2 was fiiiine, but I'm not likely ever going to watch it again, and I suspect most other people feel that way about the Incredible Hulk, which I really liked, but I'm in the minority). You also ignore a couple of great Spider-man movies, an entire great Batman trilogy, and even a few good X-Men movies. By and large, the superhero genre has actually produced more films that are fun, light, entertaining experiences best enjoyed on the big screen. Even more, Marvel has - on the most part - done a good job ensuring that each installment is its own contained film. The worst Marvel films spend too much time "world building," but even those films are ultimately their own thing.

Like, four awful DC movies doesn't suddenly mean the entire genre is crap.


Even today people still believe The Dark Knight is the greatest modern superhero movie, or even the greatest superhero movie ever made.


Right... I'm not entirely sure what the point of this is, though. Is the argument that they haven't made anything to truly rival the greatness of The Dark Knight even though it's been, what, almost a decade?


The end result should be a dangerous adventure that is ultimately very watchable, yet very rich, very believable, and very meaningful.


I have found this to be the case with most superhero movies I've watched.

I like characters that have depth and live in worlds that are complex and filled with gray


Ok. So you're issue is that you just don't like the genre, which you're then using to inform the quality of the films ignoring the fact that they're specifically genre films.


But why can't we have a more polished version of the actual Justice League onscreen?


Well, the Justice League film was plagued with various production issues, not least of which was having to change out directors after the Snyder family suffered a tragic loss. When you poor hundreds of millions of dollars into a film that then can't be completed by one director due to unforeseen circumstances, you bring in another director because that's too big of an investment to lose entirely, you're going to get a disjointed and unpolished film. But I mean, Marvel continues to basically kill it with their films. They all have issues, but they're pretty polished. The Avengers is always going to be a tough act to follow given how well it handled things.


If a movie is boring, or makes you feel like it goes on too long, or has pointless moments you wish would end, or leaves you confused, or forgets to make you care, then there is something inherently wrong with it.


Not really. You're describing things that ultimately come down to viewer preference, not quantifiable filmmaking issues. I had actually just been in an argument with a friend over the scene in Jaws where they're talking about their scars. My friend said that that scene dragged too long and you got the point pretty quickly. No reason to keep that going as long as it did. I don't agree with that take, primarily because I think it's important to give Quint his monologue, which is a huge character moment for him. And I think you have to build up to that as long as they did to highlight how well they're bonding on this adventure. They get testy a lot, but there's an underlying respect that develops, and I think it's important to show that for Quint especially since he starts off as sort of a loner weirdo who doesn't even want any of these folks on his boat. Now he's sharing super personal horrors he's experienced.

But that is in the eye of the beholder. I'm not "right" and they're not "wrong." It isn't something "inherently wrong with the film" or "inherently right" with it.


An actual good movie doesn't have glaring flaws


This is complete nonsense. The best films of all time have some big flaws, too. Nothing is flawless. No filmmaker - not Kubrick, not Kurosawa, not Hitchcock - ever made a perfect film. An actual good movie has flaws that you don't mind because everything else around it is fine.

It can, and it should have been corrected before being released to a critical mass audience for profit


They tried and sunk millions of dollars more into the project. But there's going to have to be a point where they can't just keep spending money without releasing it. I know this is a holdover from the gaming industry for you, but this is just silly. This also ignores where movies might go wrong. If the problem is in the script, you can't seriously expect a studio to OK a script, hire the director, produce the whole film for millions and millions of dollars, then run test screenings, find it performing unfavorably, and then expect them to...start over completely with a new script and sink millions more into the project. Like when you look at something like Fantastic Four: there were so many problems - from the script to the director to the casting - that it just doesn't make sense for FOX to commit to that kind of financial loss with no gain whatsoever, and then start over from scratch. Especially when they risk losing the rights to make the film in he first place if they don't release it.

There are a lot of factors that go into a film being sloppily produced. And it isn't always noticeable until you get to post-production, and by then, the studios have sunk tens or hundreds of millions into the project.

And by the way: if they put out a glaringly awful film, they aren't going to make a profit. So it's not like they're benefiting from this. Unless you think Fox actually made a profit from Fantastic Four, or made much from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Shit. Warner Bros. took three weeks before it turned a profit on Batman v. Superman.

We should totally expect technical flawlessness from films because that is totally achievable


So, I know you're not much of a film nerd, and film isn't really your big thing, but I assure you that there is no such thing as a "technically flawless" film.

I consider everything from Iron Man onwards from both DC and Marvel as part of "modern superhero movies."


And yet, the quality of Marvel movies is vastly superior to that of Warner Bros/DC films, and Marvel superhero films make up, like, 80% of the output. (I also don't think we really need to specify "modern superhero movies," because outside of three superhero films prior to 2000, the whole genre was a complete joke and barely existed in any sort of meaningful capacity.)

Everything you're saying describes *some* of the movies. But not most. You continue to do that thing where you're mad that one film was really bad, so you're letting it represent the entire genre as a whole. You're complaining about Justice League, but most of the things you say you want out of the genre, we *just* got like, three weeks ago with Thor: Ragnarok. And we also *just* got a few months ago with Guardians of the Galaxy 2. And we *just* got a month or two before that with Wonder Woman. And we *just* got a few months prior with Logan, which I maintain is the best superhero film since The Dark Knight. Like, seriously, you're complaining about things found in this one film, and completely ignoring that this is really the first truly bad superhero film of the year. And it's November!

Posted November 26th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

A lot of my friends say my taste is very particular and refined

I think you are just full of it tbh.

Posted November 26th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

And we also *just* got a few months ago with Guardians of the Galaxy 2

to be fair this one is the shittest movie out of the ones you listed.

which I maintain is the best superhero film since The Dark Knight.

Huh I hold the X-men First class and Days of Future past to that regard. The Winter Soldier comes close too.

Edited November 26th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

The original Justice League blended Miyazaki-esque emotional development with classic American comic book stories to create something with more depth than what you'd find in any of these characters in any other medium


Um, excuse me? Do you mean with the exception of their original format, where the vast majority of these characters have had the most development?

Posted November 26th by nullfather
nullfather

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is definitely the weakest of the ones I listed, but it was still a solid, fun movie that also received mostly positive reviews and performed well at the box office. It has issues, absolutely, and wouldn't belong in any "Top 10" lists, but it was a solid film with good characters, an emotional core, generally solid structure, and as polished a look as you can get in a largely CGI experience.

Posted November 26th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

A lot of my friends say my taste is very particular and refined


I think that they care more about not offending you and thus getting into arguments with you than we do, or you're just heavily misinterpreting it when someone you know says that you're really picky about things.

Edited November 26th by nullfather
nullfather

Um, excuse me? Do you mean with the exception of their original format, where the vast majority of these characters have had the most development?
Ahem, the original source material was way cheesier than what you see in the Justice League animated series. Comics did get significantly darker and edgier over time, but kept their over-the-top cheesiness. The animated series does away with all that and portrays the characters in a more down-to-Earth and believable way. The stories might still be rather over the top (Amazo, Braniac fusing with Lex Luthor, the Zanagarians, I mean, come on!), but those stories live and breathe through characters we can identify with.

I thought the original Guardians had issues that needed to be ironed out. So, if the sequel is a step down from that, then I definitely won't be amused.

The quote about my tastes being particular and refined was practically verbatim from one of my friends with whom I exchange movies and TV shows. He said that to me rather honestly after hundreds of hours of conversations about entertainment. While there are factors that can gear some movies to be enjoyed by some people more than others (resonance), I do believe there are that make up the presentation/technical communication aspect, which is universal. How does this film teach me its concepts? How does this scene work to make me feel X or Y? How do these characters work? In other words, how well is this movie accomplish its goals, and is this technique the most appropriate one to accomplish it? In most movies really shallow shortcuts are made to make scenes feel dramatic and "realistic," but often leaving the characters, pacing, story, and meaning in the dust. Superhero movies are not immune, but in fact exemplary of this.

Posted November 26th by mariomguy
mariomguy

Ahem, the original source material was way cheesier than what you see in the Justice League animated series. Comics did get significantly darker and edgier over time, but kept their over-the-top cheesiness.


The Justice League animated series pulled a lot of what they did from the source material, though. From specific stories for episodes to characterizations to character arcs. By no means did it lack originality, but a lot of that "depth" of character was pulled from the comics themselves.


So, if the sequel is a step down from that, then I definitely won't be amused.


I mean, let's be completely honest here: you weren't going to be amused either way. Everything you're saying makes it clear that you just don't like the genre. That you're pushing a tiny fraction of animated television shows and claiming they're superior to the movies *and* the source material (where they've resonated with audiences for literally decades and generations) is pretty clearly indicating that you just don't really like superhero movies. Which is fine, but you're A) making sweeping generalizations about their overall quality (and especially ignoring the fact that they are genre films) and B) using it to make sweeping generalizations about the overall quality of modern films as a whole.




Posted November 27th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Also, I'm going to call out the nonsense implication that something being cheesy means that it is either inherently bad or inherently inferior.

Posted November 27th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Final thoughts (sorry):

You're also doing that thing where you ignore the differences in mediums. For example, you talk about how the Justice League gave its characters more depth than a lot of these superhero movies give their characters. (Which I don't even think is that true for solo films, really.) But you ignore that Justice League has an advantage by virtue of being a television show. Because it can just go as many episodes as they want, really, and because there is no central plot arc that it has to adhere to or construct itself around, it can afford to designate entire episodes to just a couple of characters. One of my favorite episodes of Justice League centered around The Question, who is one of my favorite DC characters (more on that in a moment). It gives a little bit of depth to The Question, but that is primarily because of its nature as a television show. Because it can just take 20 minutes to give to certain characters, without worrying about constructing itself around a central plot that has to last throughout (thus, also having more leeway with pacing), they can afford to give a minor character that focus.

This is not something a two-hour movie can do. You can't make a Guardians of the Galaxy movie that stops itself for 20 minutes to focus on just Rocket Raccoon. That would disrupt the pacing - since movies generally tend to be built around one plot and a few themes, since a movie is more contained than a show. With the limited 2 hour-ish run time, they have to balance things a lot more. "Question Authority" is a great episode, but if your favorite characters are Green Lantern, the Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, or Martian Manhunter (I assume there must be *someone* who thinks he's their favorite), well, that episode doesn't have a lot for you. Because giving that focus for the Question means someone else doesn't get to even appear. That, itself, works for Justice League Unlimited, which was specifically looking to explore the side characters (who, by the way, literally don't matter to the "larger arc" that soooort of starts to emerge). And if The Question becomes your favorite character after that episode, well...tough luck. Now that he got his one moment, he's reduced to a very, very occasional background character. He's only even really in one other episode. So ok, sure, it gives the character more depth, but to what end? What's the point of giving the character depth if you're never going to use that character or do anything with that depth?

And I go back to why the Question is one of my favorite characters: it's because I read many years' worth of comics. Look, I love the Justice League. It's a great show - an all-time great animated series. And I will never blame anyone who came out and said that they enjoyed that series more than any of these superhero films coming out these days. (My issue with your take is that you're making sweeping generalizations about the genre and medium of comics and film as if your taste is somehow the only truth.)

But put simply: there is no way in hell that I would be into the Question if all I saw was that one episode of Justice League. It's a good episode, and I'd still enjoy it. But there's so much more about the character that the episode doesn't get into (because it can't, because again: different mediums - a 20 minute episode can't trump decades of comics). I even feel similarly about the Green Lantern Corps. The show did a good job presenting the Corps, but there's just no way I would be super into Green Lantern's characters, world, and lore based on the Justice League alone. There's soooooooooo much from the comics that it leaves out (because again, different mediums - they just can't do in the show what they did in the comics).

You talk as if you understand film enough that we should treat your opinion as fact, but you don't seem able to even really differentiate between the different mediums. I don't think you realize that you're effectively arguing not just that the Justice League is of superior quality (again, ignoring the mediums you're comparing it to), but that you are also kind of inherently saying television is better than film and comics.

Posted November 27th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Ahem, the original source material was way cheesier than what you see in the Justice League animated series. Comics did get significantly darker and edgier over time, but kept their over-the-top cheesiness.


Yeah, excuse you. What DC comics have you read? Because I'm willing to bet that it's not as much as I have. I'm willing to bet it's not as much as even a casual comic fan would read. The idea that you can sum up the better part of a century of a medium's history with a couple of sentences is evidence of that.

While there are factors that can gear some movies to be enjoyed by some people more than others (resonance), I do believe there are that make up the presentation/technical communication aspect, which is universal.


The problem is that you often don't understand things that a lot of other people easily pick up on and you try to use the objective technical basis of media (which does exist) as a tool to promote your opinion.

Posted November 27th by nullfather
nullfather

Das Boot (2 hours 29 minutes)

>not watching the 4 hours 53 minutes original uncut version.


Posted November 27th by Arch
Arch
 

Oh shit. I think that *is* what I watched, actually. I just looked up the length on IMDb and it said that. It has to be, because I had to split up Das Boot in two days. No way I do that for a 2 and a half hour film.

Edited November 27th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

The Justice League animated series pulled a lot of what they did from the source material, though. From specific stories for episodes to characterizations to character arcs. By no means did it lack originality, but a lot of that "depth" of character was pulled from the comics themselves.





Mr. Freeze was a man in a corny suit in the silver age comics named "Mr. Zero." He was a one-off villain that was quickly forgotten. It was actually the Animated series that gave him his new design, backstory, and motifs. All comics with Mr. Freeze are based off of the episode Heart of Ice. Harley Quinn was made just for one episode of The Animated Series, but became a character so loved she returned for many more episodes and got her own comics (but her origin was also the Animated series). Most of the characters from the comics were honestly hollow shells compared to their animated counterparts, and in many cases the animated storylines were adapted into the comics post-hoc.

Everything you're saying makes it clear that you just don't like the genre.

Not true. I loved Spiderman/Spiderman 2, the original Superman (in its own way), The Incredibles, and the DC animated universe, including Justice League, Batman: The Animated Series, and Teen Titans. Compare all that to Man of Steel and tell me I don't have a reason to be disappointed.

Also, I'm going to call out the nonsense implication that something being cheesy means that it is either inherently bad or inherently inferior.

No, but the animated versions weren't cheesy. They were portrayed with a sense of depth and maturity that you just don't get from the comics. Even parts of Teen Titans carried this sense of gravitas to the characters. They had a presence, and it wasn't wistful or overbearing. Teen Titans is the only exception, which frequently gave into wistfulness for the sake of humor and comedy, but overall was still very sincere.

Posted November 27th by mariomguy
mariomguy

They were portrayed with a sense of depth and maturity that you just don't get from the comics.


Absolute bullshit. The idea that you can even judge hundreds and hundreds of issues of comics that simplistically in the first place is incredibly suspect, given how even just one of these character's titles can drastically change in quality from one writer to the next. Don't even bother trying to sell the idea that you can dismiss decades and decades of story as if it's one issue or even one arc that you can read over an afternoon. You're blatantly generalizing hundreds and thousands of pieces of media in order to compare them to a few good examples of your preferred medium. Please.

Posted November 27th by nullfather
nullfather

No, but the animated versions weren't cheesy. They were portrayed with a sense of depth and maturity that you just don't get from the comics.

Thats a load of bullshit. Teen titans is plagued with cheesyness so is the Justice League.

Posted November 27th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

It was actually the Animated series that gave him his new design, backstory, and motifs. All comics with Mr. Freeze are based off of the episode Heart of Ice.


Just to point out again, I'm not - nor have implied - that these shows haven't done anything original or unique, or themselves had profound impacts on the comics. Batman: The Animated Series (one of the best superhero things ever) is the perfect example. It impacted the history of Batman comics as much as the Batman comics impacted the show.

(And, I mean, let's be real: the comics industry probably doesn't exist as it does today without them for the sheer fact that selling rights to television, games, and films kept the industry financially afloat to recover.)

But you cannot simply look at those examples like Mr. Freeze and Harley Quinn to suggest that the comics are inferior or were not the source of many things the shows positives.


Most of the characters from the comics were honestly hollow shells compared to their animated counterparts


Some certainly were. Not all of them. And now you're also moving the goal posts by switching off the Justice League (because it actually contradicts your point) to focus on Batman The Animated Series (because that happens to make your point a little nicer). I'm not even sure how you can bring Teen Titans into the fold either. Not that I don't like that show (in fact, I loved it), but some of those versions were inferior to their comic counterparts of the time, and their biggest storylines were directly ripped from the comics.


Compare all that to Man of Steel and tell me I don't have a reason to be disappointed.


Compared to Man of Steel? Sure. But again, as I keep saying, you can't use the few bad superhero movies to speak for the majority. And again, you keep throwing shows into the mix, completely ignoring the difference in the medium from film.


I loved Spiderman/Spiderman 2


Flawed films, but among the best superhero films made. (Highlighting the point that you *cannot* expect technically flawless films!) And also, versions of the character that specifically work for the film they're in, but are noticeably weaker versions of the comic book source.


No, but the animated versions weren't cheesy.


They definitely had an element of cheese to them. Absolutely they did. Sure, they weren't 1960s Batman cheesy, but they definitely were kind of cheesy. That was part of their charm. But again, it isn't "bad" if a show is just trying to be cheesy fun.

It actually kind of makes no sense to me that you would love something like Teen Titans and be "not amused" by Guardians of the Galaxy. They're actually pretty similar despite the obvious differences that come from one being a live action feature film and the other being an ongoing animated television show. But they're both about weird characters with a surprising amount of characterization, heart, and charm.


They were portrayed with a sense of depth and maturity that you just don't get from the comics.


That's complete nonsense. To the point that I don't even really know where to begin with a response. I get that you don't read comics and have a limited appreciation of the medium and its history, and that - as Batman: TAS hints - sometimes other mediums do things better. But this is just an objectively false statement. If you want to talk about specifically comics of the Golden and Silver Age, ok. But you can't just ignore the '80s and '90s in comics history.

(As an aside, it is worth noting that these animated series you keep praising benefited from the work that comic book artists and writers did to free up the form. When you criticize comics for "lacking depth," you can't just ignore that these publishers were largely constrained by the Comics Code Authority, which basically stifled the creative freedom of creators. And that it was writers specifically wanting to add that depth and substance to the characters and form that pushed the envelope that even gave way to things like Batman: The Animated Series. Frankly, I doubt you get that series without the writers of the '80s and early '90s.)



Edited November 28th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I saw it today. What a cluster fuck that was. The only redeeming thing about it was Wonder Woman.




Posted December 3rd by s.o.h.
s.o.h.
 

^ Yeah, the thing stopping me from seeing modern superhero movies (from Iron Man onward) is I felt they weren't that great BEFORE. I don't think seeing any more now will help their cause.

At the end of the day, a movie is supposed to entertain. Right? So if you're going to have ANY flaws, the movie should still be entertaining. Marvel and DC's movies both try to lay on this thick, dark, lamely generic atmosphere that prevents these movies from reaching any thrilling, enjoyable, fun potential, so any flaws in the story or characters become a lot less welcome. While Teen Titans was definitely a kid's show and had issues (especially when compared with the greater Justice League/BTAS, all of the above made by the same people), those issues are forgivable because the characters are portrayed in a very relatable way, and the show remains, overall, enjoyable. If you notice, I didn't group Young Justice with the Justice League. YJ also tries a darker atmosphere, and it just makes things more muddied.

Teen Titans had a broader range of emotion because the show had more than one lens and it interweaved them all flawlessly. The same show that produced the nuttiness called Control Freak, BB and Cyborg's banter, also produced The Beast Within, and Slade. That range is what made the Terra storyline so powerful. There was a real chance for the show to end up a lot happier, a lot simpler. But when things do take a turn for the worse there is actually something there for the show to give up. Same goes the other way: when things do go back to normal, normal is really good. It makes you want to stay there. The good endings feel earned.

Watch Teen Titans: Spellbound (Season 3, Episode 6) and tell me if that is better than the Justice League movie. If it is, then there's a solid case to be made that I'm not wrong, the movies can do better, they just choose not to.

Posted December 3rd by mariomguy
mariomguy

Marvel and DC's movies both try to lay on this thick, dark, lamely generic atmosphere that prevents these movies from reaching any thrilling, enjoyable, fun potential, so any flaws in the story or characters become a lot less welcome.


DC, yes. Fox, yes. Marvel has actually been pretty good about changing it up. The atmosphere of a Captain America movie is actually pretty different from the atmosphere of an Iron Man movie. The atmosphere of Thor: Ragnarok was vastly different from the atmosphere of the previous Thor films. Ant-Man's atmosphere is different from The Incredible Hulk's. And really, Guardians of the Galaxy's atmosphere isn't identical to that of the Avengers, even. The visual style might be kind of generic, but even then you see them starting to veer off into weirder territory with Guardians, Dr. Strange, and Thor: Ragnarok (and it actually looks like Black Panther is going to look relatively different from previous Marvel films as well.) The more you argue, the funnier it gets because Marvel has seemingly been trying to address many of these things you are complaining about. You can't really look at Stage I Marvel films and compare them to Stage II. Kinda night and day in terms of tone, atmosphere, and style.

Also, you're once again doing that thing where you're using *your opinion* to make *factual statements* about these films and the genre as a whole. Ok, we get it. You don't like superhero movies. You're not entertained. Fine. But most of us here, and worldwide, appear to have no problem enjoying the films. So clearly they're doing something that strikes our fancy that isn't striking yours. (But that might be because we watch the films, and we also don't really make up our minds before going into it.)


Watch Teen Titans: Spellbound (Season 3, Episode 6) and tell me if that is better than the Justice League movie. If it is, then there's a solid case to be made that I'm not wrong, the movies can do better, they just choose not to.


Could you please take one moment to acknowledge that you continue to be comparing *entirely different mediums*? Your comparison here is based on a myriad of problematic logic. First, you're comparing a show that most of us agree was a good show to one of the superhero movies that most of us agree was total garbage. This is almost like saying, "Listen to LFO and tell me the Rolling Stones aren't better! Music of the past was way better!"

You're also asking for an impossible unbiased opinion. I cannot do the experiment you propose because I have watched these shows. I cannot compare one randomly selected episode of these shows to compare it to one randomly selected film (or rather, deliberately selected bad film because it's more convenient for your argument). I can't watch that one episode of Teen Titans and compare it to one film, because I've seen all of Teen Titans. I already have an understanding of the characters and the show as a whole, because I've watched the entire run (which is noticeably longer than a two hour film, or really the entire DC cinematic universe as a whole).

You would need to ask this of someone who has not seen any other episodes of the show to honestly engage in that question. Because, and I'll repeat myself for the 8000th time, you are comparing different mediums while conveniently ignoring that you're doing so. Even more, you are conscientiously ignoring the advantages one medium has over the other as it pertains to your point. I will continue to note this to you, and you will continue to ignore it, but you keep doing this.

Teen Titans had a broader range of emotion because the show had more than one lens and it interweaved them all flawlessly.


Teen Titans had a broader range of emotion because the show was... a television show. It could have many lenses because it could afford to ignore particular characters for a random episode to focus on someone else, because it was not constrained by a single overarching plot.


Yeah, the thing stopping me from seeing modern superhero movies (from Iron Man onward) is I felt they weren't that great BEFORE. I don't think seeing any more now will help their cause.


Fuckin'...you *just* argued with me when I said it sounded like you just don't like the genre. But then you say you hate the movies (because your mind is made up about everything all the time, especially these movies and you are incapable of watching these movies outside your own preconceptions), and you have limited respect of the comics.

So you like television as a medium better than movies and comics. Ok, fine. There's a legitimate argument to be made that television could be more effective at doing some of these things. But you continue to compare different mediums while completely ignoring this is what you're doing.

I propose a counter-question: Right now, stop talking about television shows. Stop cherry picking the worst superhero movies like Justice League or Batman v. Superman or Man of Steel.

What exactly do the Captain America films not have that the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies did?

Edited December 3rd by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

The atmosphere of a Captain America movie is actually pretty different from the atmosphere of an Iron Man movie.

MARGINALLY. I saw Iron Man in theaters and Captain America on a giant HDTV at home. Captain America felt "fake," looking like a 40s propaganda film with more of the modern dullness. Iron Man just felt ho-hum and not very interesting, really.

The more you argue, the funnier it gets because Marvel has seemingly been trying to address many of these things you are complaining about.

Right. By tiptoeing from one $300,000,000 blockbuster to the next. Sorry, but after 10 movies if they still need more to get it right, they should just face the music and hand the reigns to someone else.

Could you please take one moment to acknowledge that you continue to be comparing *entirely different mediums*? Your comparison here is based on a myriad of problematic logic. First, you're comparing a show that most of us agree was a good show to one of the superhero movies that most of us agree was total garbage. This is almost like saying, "Listen to LFO and tell me the Rolling Stones aren't better! Music of the past was way better!"

OK, so you completely agree with me that the movies suck, and a single episode of a children's TV show was more worthwhile? Then why have you been arguing with me for so long?

You're also asking for an impossible unbiased opinion. I cannot do the experiment you propose because I have watched these shows.

Oh Lord. You CAN criticize something using SOME criteria that can be used to compare both the movies and the shows: Are the characters relatable? Is the pacing appropriate for the mood? Is there a healthy range of expression, or does one mood overpower and dominate throughout? Is there a reason to care about the characters' plight? Are the characters presented in an honest and genuine way, or are they merely presented as archetypes for the purpose of a story? Is the conflict in the story meaningful and applicable? Does the story resolve in a way that suggests the characters have grown and evolved/does the ending feel well-earned and justified? What have you gained by watching this?

All of these questions have great answers when it comes to the shows, but not the movies. But it doesn't HAVE to be that way!

I propose a counter-question: Right now, stop talking about television shows. Stop cherry picking the worst superhero movies like Justice League or Batman v. Superman or Man of Steel.

What exactly do the Captain America films not have that the Sam Raimi Spider-man movies did?

The Sam Remi Spider Man was a character that was relatable. Kind of a dorky kid who nobody really respected seriously. Getting superpowers allowed him to live a fantasy. But when he got those powers, he made bad choices, and the consequences were severe. We feel for the character because we can comprehend and understand his plight, and even the poor mistakes he made were entirely justifiable. But Captain America did not make much meaningful choices. Becoming Captain America was a choice someone else made, he just agreed to it. His choices were minor, and whenever he appeared onscreen he just did what needed to be done. He didn't risk anything, and he didn't really gain anything, either. There isn't much to Captain America's personality that makes for interesting conflict. One conflict that dragged on too long was the military only used him for publicity, not to actually be deployed in combat. So, we are already siding on the main character here, and we already know what the outcome should be. But Spiderman is inherently NOT trained to be a superhero, so the conflict revolves around his own misjudgements and how this dangerous lifestyle impacts him and the people he loves. Whether or not it's a good idea for him to continue being a superhero is not always the main conflict, but it comes into question, and adds depth to the character that the more steady Captain America does not have.

I absolutely do NOT hate movies, including superhero movies, as a concept. I hate Marvel and DC's execution. The Sam Remi films felt way better than what I'm trudging through, now. The Incredibles 2 releases next summer. Maybe then we'll have a good superhero movie to watch. I heard Thor: Rangarok was a shift in direction, but that's what I heard about Guardians, and I really hope the shift is not just a slight tilt, but an overhaul, because that's what Marvel and DC both need. Give me a reason to CARE about these characters! Don't just shove them on the screen and expect me to fall in love with them the instant they start punching things and flying. Jesus.

Posted December 3rd by mariomguy
mariomguy

Right. By tiptoeing from one $300,000,000 blockbuster to the next. Sorry, but after 10 movies if they still need more to get it right, they should just face the music and hand the reigns to someone else.


I laughed. Marvel is doing fine.

You CAN criticize something using SOME criteria that can be used to compare both the movies and the shows:

No you cant.

but an overhaul, because that's what Marvel and DC both need.

Marvel not so much now. DC yes

Posted December 3rd by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

Beginning and end of an episode of Teen Titans:





That's two minutes. A movie goes on for 90. I'm sure somewhere in the 120-minute monolith you can find enough time to let your characters express themselves. Yes, you can compare movies to TV shows. Very easily. Even if you've never watched an episode of Teen Titans before, you'll still be able to pick up the characters, the story, and everything you need to know by just watching an episode. Seriously, the only reason Marvel looks so good is because DC is so bad. It shouldn't take a decade for an inkling of progress. BTAS, Justice League, and Teen Titans aired before Iron Man was released in theaters and Disney bought Marvel. They always had the opportunity to make great movies, great characters, and great stories that really meant something. They just didn't.

Posted December 3rd by mariomguy
mariomguy

I'm probably not going to read through most of these textwalls and beyond what was recently said but based on what I have read Mariomguy does technically have a point somewhere. Idk how much it matters but it's a point none the less.

Superheroes in movies in terms of character development are a far cry from how they are in comics and in animated series. But that's just a given. When you take something that has been going on for many many years and try to put it into a movie which is extremely short in comparison it WILL get watered down a lot. It's just the way things work.

Edited December 3rd by KnokkelMillennium
KnokkelMillennium

FUCK. I had a good response, got an internal error, and lost it. Will try to post it more in a bit.

But for right now, since we're pulling random clips up to talk about how great something is:



Here's what I love about this moment: Rocket is weeping, itself a thing that seems really unusual and showcases the heart below his rough exterior they long establish. Drax sits down to show emotional support, something one wouldn't have expected given their earlier tiff. This moment, with no dialogue, shows the connection growing among the team, and hints at the greater complexities of these characters. These are both characters who often try to cover up serious emotions, but both feel deeply. And given the fact that he's an animal having been experimented on is a big source of insecurity for Rocket, we see a moment of him jumping when Drax pets him. But most telling of all is his acceptance of that touch. It's almost more powerful than Drax just sitting down next to him to show support. That Rocket is now allowing himself to be completely vulnerable with a teammate and friend who an hour earlier, he was fighting with (hour in movie time, not story time). All conveyed without a word being spoken.

That Teen Titans clip is pretty great, because that show is pretty great. And maybe you don't get the same immediate reaction watching just that Guardians of the Galaxy clip because maybe you need some more context (which is *not* a bad thing; in fact, this is how most movies actually work). But they do it in a way that is quiet and visual. I'm not talking shit about Teen Titans, but ya know what's kind of different about those clips? It's dialogue-driven. You don't need the context of the larger show or even that single episode because it's essentially spelled right out for the viewers. Opening scene: Beast Boy calls Raven weird, and Raven mumbles to herself about how she's just different. Closing scene: Raven says how she's feeling, and Beast Boy says something to provide emotional support. It's a completely valid way to present that, and it isn't like there aren't visuals to match the emotions, but it's also a bit more direct to just have characters say everything. (This is a thing I find more acceptable in television, due to the time constraints of an episode, that I find myself a lot more intolerant in films. If a movie has to constantly have a character outright tell us how they're feeling, it's probably not a great movie. Marvel has actually done a pretty good job avoiding this and giving us subtle character moments to convey feeling without dialogue.)

Posted December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

MARGINALLY. I saw Iron Man in theaters and Captain America on a giant HDTV at home. Captain America felt "fake," looking like a 40s propaganda film with more of the modern dullness. Iron Man just felt ho-hum and not very interesting, really.


Can you think of any reasons why the filmmaker might have possibly chosen to deliberately mesh the dark, drab dullness of modern war films with a style reminiscent of 1940s propaganda film for the first Captain America movie?

I'm also calling nonsense on the idea that their atmospheres are just "marginally" different. The atmosphere of Iron Man is so much more rock 'n' roll, sarcastic, and entertaining than that of all Captain America movies, which are a lot more serious (because of the difference in characters). I'm not sure you can compare the atmosphere of something like Ant-Man to that of The Incredible Hulk. There is a cohesive visual style to give the universe visual interconnections, but the tones and atmosphere are drastically different. (You also genuinely can't even begin to try to suggest that the atmosphere of Man of Steel is similar to Iron Man. C'mon.)


OK, so you completely agree with me that the movies suck, and a single episode of a children's TV show was more worthwhile? Then why have you been arguing with me for so long?


I can't tell if you just generally struggle with reading comprehension or you're just skimming my comments or you're just deliberately ignoring me.

I completely agree with you that Justice League, Batman v. Superman, and Man of Steel suck. I have been arguing with you for so long because I do not think they represent the larger genre or output. I think of the 17 Marvel films, a grand total of 0 "suck," with maybe just 2 or 3 being kind of whatever. I have genuinely enjoyed the majority of them. Not to mention, I've gotten a good Wonder Woman film, and two Wolverine films that I adore at this point. I can make a list of the superhero films since Iron Man that I think "suck," and those that I think are good, but that feels a bit superfluous. I've said it multiple times now: I *like* the Marvel films, I *like* what Fox has recently been doing with X-Men solo films. I *like* the direction they're both going. I think the majority of superhero movies are good superhero movies.



Posted December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Just a heads up: I'd like to keep this thread relatively on track of the current conversation. If it's going to devolve into questioning why someone is here at all, I'm gonna tag it as irrelevant. (And SOH, if your patience is at the point of just terse one-liners, which I understand, maybe just leave it? We all know how worked up mariomguy gets. I'd like to try to keep it as relatively civil as possible. So if you continue with the posts kinda egging him on, I'm likely going to tag it.)

Posted December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

You CAN criticize something using SOME criteria that can be used to compare both the movies and the shows:


To an extent, sure. But you have to recognize the context of which that is occurring. A show can afford to spend 20 minutes focusing on minor characters that don't matter to anything because it has the luxury of not needing to adhere to a single contained story. You can judge all of those things you listed, but you can't just ignore why it's able to do that in a way that the movies can't. You can't have an Avengers film take 20 minutes to just focus on Quicksilver alone when there are a dozen other characters, a villain, and a single story arc that they must get through in the allotted two hour, two and a half hour run time. There are limitations to a film that doesn't necessarily apply to these shows you keep referring to. Justice League, for example, very much was only able to give so much life to minor characters *because* it could afford to ignore any larger plots.

Sorry, but after 10 movies if they still need more to get it right, they should just face the music and hand the reigns to someone else.


Well, first off, clearly Marvel doesn't need to hand the reins over. Every film has done well both at the box office and with fans. It continues to do so, largely because they know the source material well and understand why people like the characters. Yes, we know that YOU don't care about the source material, and that YOU don't enjoy superhero movies on the whole, but that hardly means they're failing. You just keep ignoring the fact that they're genre films, and they are a genre that you don't much care about in general. And that's totally fine!

But I think it's telling that you listed Sam Raimi's Spider-man as a superhero movie you liked, because I think that's the perfect example of the dilemma filmmakers face making a superhero film. I love those first two Spider-man movies and rank them among the top 10 superhero films to date (or at least Spider-man 2 - I'm a little iffy on the lasting nature of the first film). But, see, that film works by sacrificing the source character. Tobey Maguire is arguably the worst Spider-man, even if it's a good Peter Parker. They never quite bothered to nail the balance between the two personas. Raimi's films work by focusing a lot on the Peter stuff, which came at the cost of making Spider-man a stand out superhero as far as superheroes go. It works for the film, and the action is good enough that people can forgive it. But they sacrificed pretty key aspects of Spider-man's character for it to work.

DC has really struggled with this. They've attempted to sacrifice allegiance to the source material in terms of characterization for the sake of a filmmaker's vision. And it hasn't worked out. Part of this is just because Zack Snyder doesn't do well with character; just action. Part of this is because Marvel has set the standard, and they've gone the opposite route. They have, on occasion, sacrificed story and filmmaking for the sake of character allegiance, but have still seen success because it turns out, fans of the characters like it when the characters are generally the ones they know and love. And when they change the characters dramatically, it sometimes works. I don't much care for what they did to Drax, but many people find him entertaining. Conversely, I didn't think I'd like a funny Thor, but Thor: Ragnarok is infinitely more entertaining because of it.

I would definitely love to see some more filmmaker freedom applied to the genre. We got that with Logan. Would have loved to see Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. But as it stands right now, Marvel is doing fine by me because they understand why I like these characters, and they're not giving up key moments.

Edited December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Ok! So now the post I most want to make, and am really frustrated I lost it because it was a good one and now I have to type it all out again!

Sam Raimi's Spider-man vs. Joe Johnston's Captain America. This is gonna be, as expected, long winded, but I'm into it:

It is interesting that the response to my question about what Raimi's film had that Johnston's did not, the response effectively boils down to "better source material." I think your break down of Captain America is off, and I think you're overstating Spider-man's appeal (more on both those points in a moment), but your answer kind of has little to do with the films as films. You essentially just explained why you think Spider-man is a better character than Captain America, and some perceived differences between the two as characters. You didn't really do much to talk about the films themselves. Spider-man being favored over Cap is not surprising: frankly, for as much as Chris Evans has done to bring life to the character in pop culture, Spider-man is still Marvel's top dog, primarily for the reasons you outline about his relatability.

But to break down your assessment of both films, I think you undersell Cap and oversell Spider-man.

The presentation of choice is clearer in Spider-man's inherent origin story. He didn't choose to get the super powers. It was just an accident that he got bit. Meanwhile, Cap chose to gain super powers. This is, obviously, the key difference between the two. You can dismiss the agency of Cap's choices all you want, but it doesn't actually change the fact that the entire film is driven by his choices. No one *makes* him do anything. He chooses to keep trying to enlist in the Army, which is what catches Dr. Erskine's attention in the first place. He chooses to try out for the experiment, which wasn't a guaranteed thing. He chose to disobey orders when overseas, throwing himself in the action. And he chose to sacrifice himself at the end (and yes, we know he survives, but he thinks he's giving up his life, and he would have if not for the serum and its unpredictable properties). I don't know where you get the idea that the action isn't driven by his choices. They might not be as compelling to you as Spider-man's, but it's still Cap's choices that push the narrative.

More, you seem to overstate Spider-man's choices within the Raimi films. You seem to think that bad choices are the only choices that can be compelling. That Peter chose not to stop the thief, who then winds up killing his uncle while fleeing, is infinitely more compelling to you than a man who chooses to take on the responsibility of being a superhero with all the costs that come with it. Where Spider-man's choices indirectly get his uncle killed, Cap's choices directly gets himself frozen in ice for 70 years, costing him literally everything but his life.

Outside the choice to not stop the thief, what other choices does Peter make in the first Spider-man film? Yes, his poor decisions all lead up unintentionally to his uncle's death, but after that point, his only choice is being Spider-man. Which is an identical choice to the one Cap makes throughout his films as well. No one made him be Captain America. No one is making him be Captain America in the next films. He chooses to. It's the same choice, and that choice - like with Spider-man - has unintended consequences both personal and on a grand scale.

The personal conflict is different, because they're different characters exploring different elements of the human experience. Spider-man deals with guilt. Captain America deals with finding his place in the world. Both are nearly universal human experiences that make both characters relatable in different ways.

(I'd also just point out that I was referring to the franchises, not exclusively their first films. Both Spider-man and Captain America: First Avenger have, in my opinion, infinitely better sequels. Although only Cap gets a legitimately good third chapter. That isn't Raimi's fault, and he did what he could with Sony's meddling. But on the whole, I genuinely don't think there's that much of a dip in quality between Raimi's Spider-man films and the Russo Brothers' Captain America films. It just sort of depends on what you want. If you want more of a classic "comic book" feel, Cap is probably the way to go. Raimi's Spider-man films do a good job balancing the old school campiness of Christopher Reeve superhero films with the modern era, redefining Spider-man on screen. But it doesn't have the same feel as reading a Spider-man comic. Which isn't inherently a bad thing. Again, it just depends on what you want.)

Posted December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

At any rate he doesn't seem that bad right now.


There's definitely been no shitstorms like the Saga over the last couple of years, but this thread is still frustrating as hell.

-------------------------------------

Marvel and DC's movies both try to lay on this thick, dark, lamely generic atmosphere that prevents these movies from reaching any thrilling, enjoyable, fun potential, so any flaws in the story or characters become a lot less welcome.


DC, yes. I hate it as well. Superman should be a vibrant, larger-then-life four-color hero,

Marvel, lolno. Seen Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.? I know you've seen GotG because you had some criticism about how the characters didn't feel "real" or something like that.

Captain America felt "fake," looking like a 40s propaganda film


Because that's literally what it was. You're calling something that was an entirely intentional aesthetic choice a flaw. It's not a flaw, you just didn't like it.

The Sam Remi Spider Man was a character that was relatable. Kind of a dorky kid who nobody really respected seriously.


I don't find that relatable. I find that annoying.

The Incredibles 2 releases next summer. Maybe then we'll have a good superhero movie to watch.


Doctor Strange, GotG 1 & 2, Ant-Man, etc. are good.

Give me a reason to CARE about these characters! Don't just shove them on the screen and expect me to fall in love with them the instant they start punching things and flying. Jesus.


None of the movies cited above are pointless hero-worship like that. All of the main characters have relatable struggles...with the possible exception of Groot. He's just Groot.

Posted December 4th by nullfather
nullfather

@mariomguy: I'm really curious; do you now or have you ever watched professional wrestling? I ask because the roots of pro wrestling and superhero culture are closely entwined and there's a lot of similarity between the two. I've been getting into pro wrestling quite a bit recently and I think it's a pretty intriguing way to tell stories about heroes, villains and other characters through a spectacle that combines athleticism and acting in a special way. What's your take on it?

Posted December 4th by nullfather
nullfather

Going to take a moment to state again that I would like to keep this thread on topic. If you're interested in discussing things beyond the state of superhero films and television, please use another thread. (I've conveniently moved all off-topic posts to its own thread, so you could use that!)

Thank you.

Posted December 4th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I'm not sure where the other thread is, but I was tagged in this one, so:

That Rocket is now allowing himself to be completely vulnerable with a teammate and friend who an hour earlier, he was fighting with (hour in movie time, not story time). All conveyed without a word being spoken.

I mean, I feel like this is what the moment was going for, but it felt so forced and awkward it didn't come off with the same level of finesse. Sometimes it's easier to just keep it simple: if you're going to have an emotional moment, just go for it. Don't hold back. The hesitation just made things stupid. His best friend just died to protect them: it would've been more moving if there was no hesitation from Drax whatsoever. On the other hand, hesitation from Rocket is entirely justified!

He chooses to try out for the experiment, which wasn't a guaranteed thing. He chose to disobey orders when overseas, throwing himself in the action. And he chose to sacrifice himself at the end (and yes, we know he survives

But those are choices where the alternative is just, you know, mundane. Don't become a superhero. Don't do anything with your superpowers. Don't make the sacrifice. Just stop the story in its tracks. Captain America was just rolling with it. Spiderman set out to do things on his own accord. Same problem I have when people compare The Lion King to Hamlet: Hamlet did stuff. He was the one who decided to act crazy, to kill Polonius, to lead Ophelia on, to delay his murder of the king, to have Rosencratz and Guildenstern killed, to jump in the grave and have a scuffle with Laertes, which culminated in a final battle, to kill his king in the last possible moment. Hamlet LEAD the story. Whereas Simba was TOLD to run away, TOLD to forget about it, TOLD to go back. If a character is just doing things others say they don't feel in charge of their lives. They're just rolling with the punches. The appeal of Superman is that he leads his life. He may not have chosen to become a superhero, but every moment he had fun with it, every moment he screwed up with it, everything he did, he owned it. That's part of what made him so popular.

Where Spider-man's choices indirectly get his uncle killed, Cap's choices directly gets himself frozen in ice for 70 years, costing him literally everything but his life.

Again, not the weight of the choice, but the motive behind it. Spider man had the power to do something good for someone who wronged him, and chose against it. For once in his life Peter Parker had the power, and he reveled in it. There was no doubt he owned that decision. I didn't feel like Captain America owned anything he did. He just did it because the alternative was more boring. BOO. Now if Captain America had a lucrative, fulfilling life and had to give that up for something, that would've been more interesting. But he wasn't happy with his glamorous life.

Yes, his poor decisions all lead up unintentionally to his uncle's death, but after that point, his only choice is being Spider-man

See above. Spider man LEAD his life. He didn't take orders from anyone. That choices were involved is completely irrelevant. He also chose to take amazing photos of himself as Spiderman for his job, not to tell his girlfriend, and leave her. It's not the weight of the decision that matters, just the fact that he was making them throughout the movie without feeling like some leaf floating down a river. The things he did mattered.

Spider-man deals with guilt. Captain America deals with finding his place in the world.

I've seen tons of movies about characters trying to find their place in the world, and all of them more interesting than Captain America: Up, How to Train Your Dragon, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Big Hero 6, or if you want to go live action The Godfather, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life.

None of the movies cited above are pointless hero-worship like that. All of the main characters have relatable struggles...with the possible exception of Groot. He's just Groot.

It didn't feel very genuine. I think people who make animation are perfectly OK with handling the kind of characters you see in comic books. In the hands of someone else, there's this constant nagging "this is weird, everything's weird" hesitation. Guardians, Avengers, Justice League, etc. etc. doesn't feel as natural as something like Teen Titans or the animated Justice League. It's not because one is a show and another is a movie, that's not the problem.

Posted December 5th by mariomguy
mariomguy

It didn't feel very genuine.


Guardians, Avengers, Justice League, etc. etc. doesn't feel as natural as something like Teen Titans or the animated Justice League.


I disagree.

Posted December 5th by nullfather
nullfather

I mean, I feel like this is what the moment was going for, but it felt so forced and awkward it didn't come off with the same level of finesse.


Fundamentally disagree, and I don't really know what makes you say this moment was forced when you just posted those clips from Teen Titans - clips that are so direct and straight forward and sacrifice subtlety and naturalistic flow to literally spell out the emotion. (Quick side note: I am not suggesting this is bad.)


it would've been more moving if there was no hesitation from Drax whatsoever.


Drax not hesitating to express emotional support for Rocket would have been substantially more contrived, and out of character. I know you hate the movies, but how can you possibly argue that this would have been *better.*


if you're going to have an emotional moment, just go for it. Don't hold back


No. Sometimes holding back is important because it keeps people in character and allows fluid, organic pacing to a scene. You can't just apply one basic approach to storytelling to every story. "Just go for it" with an emotional moment can completely ruin a scene or movie if it doesn't fit the characters.


Captain America was just rolling with it. Spiderman set out to do things on his own accord.


This doesn't make sense considering the entire final act of the first Captain American (as well as the entire plots of The Winter Soldier and Civil War) were predicated on Captain America *NOT* just rolling with it, and just doing what he was told. In fact, two movies and the final act are built on his decision to *not* do what he was told. I don't really see much of a discernible difference here from Spider-man, who is primarily always going to be Spider-man because his uncle told him responsibility comes with power. It takes one bad decision that further proves what his uncle told him, and then that drives his motivation. Listening to what his uncle told him. Shit, they flash back to that one line from his uncle telling him "with great power comes great responsibility" multiple times throughout the trilogy.


f a character is just doing things others say they don't feel in charge of their lives.


Right, except the entire thing that makes Spider-man so relatable is that he is rarely presented as having control of their lives. Spider-man is always desperate for the next paycheck, and fighting crime because he feels a sense of literal obligation because of what his uncle told him. He's powerless to do much about MJ. He can't save Harry's father. The entire thing about Spider-man is that he feels like he has no control over almost any aspect of his life.

Meanwhile, Captain America takes control of his own destiny by disobeying command to help rescue troops. His choice to disobey orders and do what he felt was necessary is what got him control of his own unit and mission. (And again, the entire plots of Winter Soldier and Civil War are that he is constantly at odds with the chain of command and has to go off and operate on his own, doing the opposite of what he's told to do, instead taking control over his own destiny.)




Posted December 5th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Fundamentally disagree, and I don't really know what makes you say this moment was forced when you just posted those clips from Teen Titans - clips that are so direct and straight forward and sacrifice subtlety and naturalistic flow to literally spell out the emotion. (Quick side note: I am not suggesting this is bad.)

If someone died you don't need a complicated scene to show how difficult it would be for someone to console them. Real life might be a tad more complicated than what Teen Titans portrayed, but for the story it worked well and allowed the plot to move along. Adding complexity slows things down. Those extra details aren't amounting to anything bigger in the rest of the film and just dulls the purpose of the scene, so why deem it necessary?

Drax not hesitating to express emotional support for Rocket would have been substantially more contrived, and out of character. I know you hate the movies, but how can you possibly argue that this would have been *better.*

At least don't make it awkward. It didn't feel like Drax was taking control of that scene, which is what he should've done. I think this is less of the actor's fault and more of the cinematography. In animation, you'd have a close-up shot of Drax looking at Rocket before cutting to him sitting down. Going straight from Rocket crying to legs is jarring. There's a gap in logic there that should've been covered. A cut was not the most appropriate.

Right, except the entire thing that makes Spider-man so relatable is that he is rarely presented as having control of their lives. Spider-man is always desperate for the next paycheck, and fighting crime because he feels a sense of literal obligation because of what his uncle told him. He's powerless to do much about MJ. He can't save Harry's father. The entire thing about Spider-man is that he feels like he has no control over almost any aspect of his life.

Did anyone tell him he should dump MJ? Did he not try to use his newfound powers to get that next paycheck? Spiderman did make choices.

A lot of what's wrong in the movies is not just the little things I'm mentioning here and there. Look at the bigger picture: characters nowadays don't feel like they're in charge, when they are in charge they don't feel like they're doing the right thing or having fun, when they are having fun it's usually awkward, and when it's not awkward it's dark, gritty, or a 30-minute climax that surprisingly makes explosions boring.

From Wikipedia about Guardians' critical reception (the first movie):

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said, "In place of wit, Guardians offers a sort of generalized willingness to be amusing, an atmosphere of high spirits that feels like lots of people pumping air into a tire that has a hole in it. Everyone is clearly working, but nothing is really happening–and yet the effort is so evident that there's an impulse to reward it."

This is what I feel about Guardians, but moreso about modern superhero movies. They feel like an empty, shallow ghost compared to what we got elsewhere. I dare them to go bold.

Posted December 5th by mariomguy
mariomguy

Spider man had the power to do something good for someone who wronged him, and chose against it.


If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty: the presentation of this situation in the film was actually pretty poorly executed. You talk about how he "finally had the power to do something, and chose not to." The funny thing about that moment is, that was a moment not at all related to being Spider-man and having superpowers. Literally, anyone in his position would have had the same amount of power. All he had to do was stand in the way or grab him or trip the thief.

I don't disagree with your take on Spider-man here, though. The flawed presentation in the film aside, I think your take on him is overall pretty accurate about his appeal as a character story. But I still think you're overselling his agency while underestimating Cap's. (And also ignoring that they are *different characters* with *different focuses.*)

Captain America owned anything he did.


He...he literally gave up his life. He owned his actions to the ultimate degree.

He just did it because the alternative was more boring.


This is literally true of Spider-man! He chooses to be Spider-man because the alternative is he lives a boring life. (And also, he chooses it because his uncle effectively convinced him to.) This is true of all superheroes. They choose what they do because the alternative is boring. Spider-man even eventually chooses to abandon the role, but feels literally obligated to take it back up again when his girlfriend is kidnapped by the villain (outside his control).

But yes, the alternative to being a superhero is always boring. That's why creators make it so that they choose to be superheroes.

I think you're also ignoring that the alternative to not volunteering for the super soldier experiment means a life of feeling inadequate (super relatable). It means being viewed as a failure in society, since he couldn't contribute to the war effort like everyone else was expected to. The alternative to disobeying orders is more tortured troops under the Red Skull. The alternative to getting n the plane that ultimately costs him the life he knows is a potentially lost war. How is that "mundane"? Or at least, any more mundane than the alternative to not telling MJ about his secret identity is a healthy relationship. The alternative to working as a freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle is, probably some other totally normal job. How the alternative to Spider-man's choices any less mundane?

Spider man LEAD his life


Not really. Not in the films at least. I mean, he was bitten by a radioactive Spider (not his choice). His uncle was killed by a thief he could have stopped earlier (which is really just a random coincidence). His main antagonist happens to be his best friend's dad so he can't really be open with his friend (another coincidence). He has to stop Green Goblin because he threatened Aunt May because he figured out who Spider-man was (again, forcing Peter into action). If anything, the Green Goblin is really the one with the most agency in that first Spider-man movie.

These are sort of opposite characters in some ways. Spider-man had powers thrown on him against his will, and finds his way by listening to the lecture from his uncle. Cap chooses to get powers himself, and then finds his way in spite of the chain of command.


I've seen tons of movies about characters trying to find their place in the world, and all of them more interesting than Captain America: Up, How to Train Your Dragon, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Big Hero 6, or if you want to go live action The Godfather, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life.


All of those (except How to Train Your Dragon and maybe Big Hero 6) are better movies than Captain American *and* Spider-man. We're talking about genre flicks here.


It didn't feel very genuine


To you. It did to countless others, including myself and multiple other people here.


In the hands of someone else, there's this constant nagging "this is weird, everything's weird" hesitation.


I and millions of others don't find there to be a constant "this is weird, everything is weird" hesitation. Maybe a little bit in Phase 1 Marvel, but not really present in Phase II or Phase III.


Guardians, Avengers, Justice League, etc. etc. doesn't feel as natural as something like Teen Titans or the animated Justice League.


Avengers was designed to be a fun sports movie, basically; fireworks and spectacle, and it was very fun to watch. Justice League was just bad. And the first Guardians of the Galaxy is every bit on the level of Justice League or Teen Titans in terms of the naturalistic development of the character relationships. I genuinely don't think you are capable of watching these films without preconceived opinions that inherently shape your views on the film. That you keep talking about how what they did in Justice League or Teen Titans was somehow more natural than what they did in the Guardians of the Galaxy is so strange to me.


Posted December 5th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

He...he literally gave up his life. He owned his actions to the ultimate degree.

Again, it's not the action that matters, but whether or not the character felt in control of it or just merely rolling with the punches. Simba, much like Captain America, went on to do great things, but only because others told him to, or because it just seemed like the right thing to do. The whole story is set up for them to carve an easy path through it. But Spiderman's story didn't set him up to do ANYTHING. He carved his own path and did his own things on his own accord. Nothing felt like it was just setup for him to do it. He was in control of his own story and lead it, the same way Michael Corleone was in control of The Godfather, and owned all of his actions. Modern superhero movies have the characters reacting to the world around them, rather than acting onto it. There's a difference.


I think you're also ignoring that the alternative to not volunteering for the super soldier experiment means a life of feeling inadequate (super relatable). It means being viewed as a failure in society, since he couldn't contribute to the war effort like everyone else was expected to.

Then the plot should've been more primed and set up to show us that point. He's a scrawny, yet courageous man, who wants to join the war effort, but can't. The serum gives him the ability to do so, so he chooses to use it. By making the core of the story more complicated than it has to be and skimping on the details that are so important, the movies are not well crafted as far as scene progression goes.

Not really. Not in the films at least. I mean, he was bitten by a radioactive Spider (not his choice). His uncle was killed by a thief he could have stopped earlier (which is really just a random coincidence). His main antagonist happens to be his best friend's dad so he can't really be open with his friend (another coincidence). He has to stop Green Goblin because he threatened Aunt May because he figured out who Spider-man was (again, forcing Peter into action). If anything, the Green Goblin is really the one with the most agency in that first Spider-man movie.

You're stopping at the fact that life happens. OK, life happens, THEN WHAT? All of the things Spider Man chooses to do happen after he is met with those obstacles. This is like saying there's no way Hamlet could've killed the king when he had the chance because he wanted to make sure he went to hell! No, that's the character's choice! Not the other way around!

To you. It did to countless others, including myself and multiple other people here.

Well, in my hands it probably wouldn't have felt so awkward.

I and millions of others don't find there to be a constant "this is weird, everything is weird" hesitation. Maybe a little bit in Phase 1 Marvel, but not really present in Phase II or Phase III.

I was thinking about DC films like Man of Steel, too.

Avengers was designed to be a fun sports movie, basically; fireworks and spectacle, and it was very fun to watch. Justice League was just bad. And the first Guardians of the Galaxy is every bit on the level of Justice League or Teen Titans in terms of the naturalistic development of the character relationships. I genuinely don't think you are capable of watching these films without preconceived opinions that inherently shape your views on the film. That you keep talking about how what they did in Justice League or Teen Titans was somehow more natural than what they did in the Guardians of the Galaxy is so strange to me.

No, I don't spend $10 to go into a movie theater hoping that it's mediocre and disappointing. Guardians of the Galaxy's strong point was its characters. If they found a story that tied them a bit together, maybe make the villain related to Gamora, focus on the character relationships and fix the chemistry, that would be great. Ragtag bunch of misfits only work when they fit together. The only two who really fit together was Rocket and Groot. Rocket was too abrasive to fit with anyone else, Groot was too... esoteric, Star Lord too awkward, and Drax was awkward surprisingly as well. A few tweaks can get them to mesh better the way Teen Titans did. Or hey, maybe even better than that.

Posted December 6th by mariomguy
mariomguy

Well, in my hands it probably wouldn't have felt so awkward.


To be fair in your hands none of us would have enjoyed it.

Posted December 6th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

Again, it's not the action that matters, but whether or not the character felt in control of it or just merely rolling with the punches. Simba, much like Captain America, went on to do great things, but only because others told him to


Right, I hear what you're saying, but I'm explaining how Captain America actually has *more* control over his story. You keep saying that Cap only ever does something because someone else told him to. And sure, much of his choices are made in the context of getting information from someone else: he hears about the super soldier serum from Dr. Erskine. He hears about the captured prisoners from other soldiers. He goes to the Red Skull's base because he gets information from other sources, et cetera.

But I'll repeat this here: how *exactly* is this different than Spider-man? What *exactly* is different between his actions and Cap's? Spider-man doesn't listen to Uncle Ben, makes a bad decision, it it coincidentally costs him personally. After that, he stays Spider-man because Uncle Ben basically told him to. In the context of their films, Cap actually has *more* control and agency over his story than Spider-man. You keep saying Cap only does stuff because he's told to, but that's literally true of Spider-man as well. Which is my point. They're not that different.


But Spiderman's story didn't set him up to do ANYTHING.


This is patently false beyond Uncle Ben's murder. Once Uncle Ben is killed, the entire personal drama for Peter Parker is that he explicitly feels that he doesn't have a choice. And in the Raimi films, his hand is forced at every single turn. He is absolutely set up to do half of the stuff he does in that film against his will, because he is either forced by the Green Goblin, or convinced he has to because of what Uncle Ben told him.


He carved his own path and did his own things on his own accord.


No, he didn't. Not any more so than Captain America, at least. He "carved his own path on his own accord" at first, when he decided to try to capitalize off his powers in the wrestling ring. Everything after is explicitly done because he feels responsible, because of what Uncle Ben told him - read: what someone else told him to do. Captain America, meanwhile, literally does things on his own accord when he abandons his post and disobeys *what someone else told him to do* to rescue the prisoners, and to engage in the war effort even though *what someone else told him to do* was very much the opposite of getting involved.


All of the things Spider Man chooses to do happen after he is met with those obstacles.


No. Those obstacles effectively take away his choices. He runs into those obstacles, and acts in a way that he doesn't want to more often than not *because* he doesn't feel he has a choice. (Again, because of Uncle Ben's comment.) He is not in any different situation than Cap, in that he is met with frequent obstacles because of choices made, and then is faced with more choices to make.

And I keep bringing them up, since I think they matter (given I was referring to the trilogies more than I was exclusively the first film - as I've said, I think both Captain America and Spider-man got far superior sequels), but is it safe to assume that the reason you are not commenting on any of the other films is that you haven't seen the other Captain America films? I bring this up here, because the entire drama of Winter Soldier and Civil War is centered around Captain America's choices in the face of obstacles presented before him.

You're stopping at the fact that life happens.


I am not stopping at that. I'm pointing out that so much of "life" in Spider-man's case is an awful lot of coincidence. (The radioactive spider just happens to be connected to Oscorp; the mugger he refuses to stop winds up killing his uncle; the Green Goblin happens to be his best friend's father; in the sequel, the villain happens to be one of his scientific role models; Doc Ock just happens to rob the bank Aunt May is at). Spider-man's "choices" are no more complex than Cap's, and they aren't presented as such, or any more natural. They are both people who inherited great power and try to reconcile that with the responsibility they believe they have.


Then the plot should've been more primed and set up to show us that point


I don't think you need to dedicate the whole plot to that, especially once they get power. I thought that Joe Johnston actually did a really good job displaying character emotions (and larger implications) through subtle visual sequences. Raimi is great, and I love what he brought to his Spidey films, but I don't think he did anything as interestingly subtle as Johnston did.

Posted December 6th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

I was thinking about DC films like Man of Steel, too.


DC is a grand total of four films, at this point. Three have been complete garbage. One has been pretty good and a lot of fun. This is kind of where this whole thing started: with your constant need to lump all of these things together when, really, each studio is doing different things. You simply cannot lump Warner Brothers superhero films in with Marvel's, or even Fox's. Because, as much as you keep saying it, the tone and atmosphere of Marvel is fundamentally different than that of Warner Brothers.


No, I don't spend $10 to go into a movie theater hoping that it's mediocre and disappointing.


Then don't go see these movies. No one is forcing you to watch these. And if you can't be bothered to watch these things with an open mind, that's on you. But as I and others here keep saying, we have generally not been disappointed, nor have we found many of these mediocre.

Posted December 6th by Jet Presto
Jet Presto

Well, in my hands it probably wouldn't have felt so awkward.


If you had made it, you would have liked it more.

I probably would have liked it less, if any of our conversations about drama or character writing is even the slightest indication.

Framing the statement like "it would have felt less awkward" makes it look like you're speaking objectively when you're talking about very subjective reactions.

Posted December 6th by nullfather
nullfather

DC is a grand total of four films, at this point.
The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy still counts. And it's more than 4 films: Superman Returns, Watchmen, Green Lantern, Man of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League. And the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy.

Oddly enough, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has all the usual issues of modern superhero movies even though it's technically not.

I've already made all my points. I feel at this point they're just being ignored. Captain America is autonomous, but that doesn't mean the big decisions in his life were already made for him. Spider Man feels like he made his own decisions. The Sam Remi Spiderman movies, at least the first two, are superhero movies done proper, to me. Some people like the Marvel superhero movies exactly the way they are and do not want anything more. But there are plenty of people who go "It's just another Marvel superhero movie. You've seen one, you've seen them all" and would like to see something a little less monotonous, shallow, and pedestrian. But since the superhero movies make a killing just the way they are, you don't see anything change, and people clamor over the incremental baby steps.

Posted Tuesday by mariomguy
mariomguy

Wait you are counting movies that aren't even a part of the DCCU to argue how shitty the DCCU is? What the fuck

Posted Tuesday by S.o.h.
S.o.h.
 

Watchmen


Hold the fuck on. Watchmen is a DC comic that got a film adaptation. That doesn't mean that it's even remotely part of the main DC film continuity. It was only over the last couple of years in Rebirth that the Watchmen property was connected to the mainstream COMIC continuity, let alone incorporating it into the DCCU.

This is tangential, but how much do you know about Watchmen? Did you read the comic?

Posted Tuesday by nullfather
nullfather

Or how shitty modern superhero movies are. Or just modern movies in general.

Posted Tuesday by mariomguy
mariomguy

Except they are not? There are several superhero movies that are on par with the Raimi spiderman films. Shit there are several that imo surpass them.

Edited Tuesday by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

The Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy still counts. And it's more than 4 films: Superman Returns, Watchmen, Green Lantern, Man of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, Justice League. And the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy.


Superman Returns and half of the Nolan Batman trilogy fall outside what I thought we had established as the "modern superhero" genre. If we're including pre-Iron Man, then you're right, I forgot about Green Lantern (and I generally wasn't including The Dark Knight Rises or the Dark Knight since they were sort of grandfathered in to pre-Marvel Studios superhero films, as again, I thought we had both established as the "modern superhero genre."

You are also stretching by including Watchmen. You can't really include these "one-shot" films that are adapted from individual, contained comics that are not part of the larger universe. You also harm your own argument including Watchmen into the "bad superhero films" category when - even though it is inadequate in many ways compared to the source material - it is still, as a film, a deconstruction of superheroes. It is still, by virtue of its source material, specifically designed to run counter to the typical tropes you're complaining about.


Oddly enough, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has all the usual issues of modern superhero movies even though it's technically not.


I'm fine dropping the Captain America/Spider-man discussion because I agree we've gotten to the point where it's just recycling the same talking points. However, I would actually like to hear you expand on Scott Pilgrim. What are the issues with Scott Pilgrim that are the same as the issues of the modern superhero film?


you don't see anything change


And yet, we've seen Deadpool, Logan, and have New Mutants coming out - very different than the rest of the superhero films that take up the bulk of the markety. And both Deadpool and Logan were hugely successful. (New Mutants hasn't come out yet.) We also just saw Marvel put out one of its most successful films that fundamentally changed the formula for Thor (and even its construction was very different than normal, going with a more improvisational style that Waititi is sometimes known for.




Wait you are counting movies that aren't even a part of the DCCU to argue how shitty the DCCU is


This is actually fair. We are talking about the genre as a whole, so it doesn't need to be part of a "larger universe" to be considered a bad film (see Fantastic Four or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). He's wrong to throw Watchmen into the equation, and he's wrong to throw Scott Pilgrim into the equation, and he's wrong to include films that precede what we had previously established as the "modern superhero film." But it is fair to include things like Fantastic Four or Green Lantern in this conversation.

Posted Tuesday by Jet Presto
Jet Presto
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