Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman v Superman

I saw it.

I liked it.

Mind you, I didn't love it.  The dream sequences seemed juvenile, Lex seemed like an addlepated homeless person, Batman was way too easily influenced (and a rather poor detective), and MY Superman would be much more concerned about making a mess in the bathroom.  

But most of what I didn't care for (the gloom, the conflict, etc.) is built in to the premise of the movie: Batman VERSUS Superman is a dumb concept to begin with.  That is going to be non-fun, that is going to require them to behave stupidly and out-of-character, and that's going to feel more like a Marvel comic than a DC one.  I read DKR when it came out 30 years ago, and that's how it felt then.  I don't blame the director for that, I blame the adolescent fans who want DKR re-played 30 years after it came out and childishly wonder "Who would win in a fight of Hero 1 against Hero 2?"  And sure enough all the dumbest, hollowest, lines in the movie are ones taken directly from that story.  

After settling in to the movie a bit, my expectations adjusted immediately when I realized: this is an opera.  Just one without music.  It's big ideas and characters tromping across the scene being all symbolic and conflict-y.  If the plot needs someone to be dumb, they are (how quickly did Lois regret pointless throwing away that spear, huh?).  And you can criticize that all you want -- it deserves it -- but to pretend that comics aren't like that, haven't ALWAYS been like that, is simply naive.

I have to admit, when there was a pause in the action for a sec and I saw the Trinity standing there together, ready to fight as a was breathtaking and took me by surprise.  That a film could make me feel that way is enough of a sniff test for me.

Getting the stupid conflict out of the way FIRST, clearing a path to a unified Justice League?  If it's going to happen, better than having it happen later, I say.  And interesting to me that the catalysts for ending the testosterone-laden conflict -- Lois, Martha, and Diana -- were women.  

If anything the end of movie kind of emphasized, "Wow, that was stupid that we were fighting, wasn't it?"  And that's a good place to be going forward.


Bryan L said...

I keep waiting for someone to give me some reasons to go see it. So thanks for that, Scipio. I'll probably catch it at the early matinee next weekend (super cheap).

Redforce said...

I feel the same way. I will see it now (eventually) with Scipio's stamp of approval on it.

Anonymous said...

So, in 180-degree reversal from the comics, the Greek Gods of comedy and tragedy preside over Marvel movies, and the Norse Gods of opera preside over DC movies? ;0-)

Scipio said...

Arynne, I did feel the irony of describing a DC projects in terms more operatic than mythic. But really the film makers are aiming at the 'larger than life' intersection of the two.

Most movies, even action movies, are about life-sized people in life-sized situations. Superhero movies are not. Marvel tries to handle that by making its heroes more 'life-sized' (what they call 'relatable'); DC tries to handle it by making the situation even grander so as to put their heroes in a more appropriate context. Either approach has pros and cons.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, last night's "Supergirl" gave us a crossover with the Flash, and Supergirl and the Flash didn't fight at all. They bonded over ice cream, fought villains, and saved the day; plus Kara won back the public trust AND kissed the guy she likes.

I won't say that "Supergirl" was "better" than Batman v. Superman v. Brown v. Board of Education, but I feel I was better served watching CBS than going to the movies.

Bryan L said...

"I feel I was better served watching CBS than going to the movies"

I was sitting in front of the TV ten minutes early for Supergirl, ready and waiting. All phones were silenced, no interruptions permitted.

It wasn't great television, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Batman v. Superman? I'll get there when I get there.

Chad Walters said...

As much as I disagree with the tone and premise of the movie, I was willing to be entertained. But I wasn't. It's just a poorly made film that's made up of several (like 6 or 7) great ideas for post-credits scenes strung together by the barest of plots and called a movie.

Nothing in it makes sense - even the stuff that seems to make sense at first falls apart at second glance. For instance, it feels right that Bruce would fly in to Metropolis to protect his employees when the city's under attack...but why would he even have what-looks-like-a-headquarters in Metropolis when Gotham is right across the bay?

The fight was set up as one of differing ideologies, which could be neat, but it actually happens because Batman and Superman are two of the most easily manipulated people on the planet, and neither of them ever try to find a solution other than the one their opponent presents to them. Plus, Batman kills people. A lot of people. On purpose. With guns, sometimes.

Wonder Woman was great, though. She was barely in the movie, yet still by far the greatest thing about it.

Unknown said...

I just realized, Scipio characterizes Marvel as opera, and Stan Lee cites soap operas as a primary influence on his writing. Weird.

cyberio30 said...

so I saw Batman v Superman for the 2nd time yesterday afternoon. I went alone because the person I usually go with wasn't interested in seeing it again (he doesn't read comics) This time, I splurged by seeing it in 3D AND in IMAX. There are so many moments that I missed the first time that are clearer (and cooler) to me now that I've seen it a 2nd time.

Many have commented on the 'Dark' tone of the movie. Well, This movie is set 18 months after the destruction of metropolis that was on a 9/11 scale times 10 where thousands were killed. This isn't 'Superman III' co-starring Richard Pryor. This movie is for grownups. Not little kids. Women don't necessarily care for it because the 'love story' between Clark and Lois is absent. *yawn* remember 'Superman Returns'? There you go.

As for 'Supergirl' tv show, I love it! I watch it with my 11 year old daughter. She loves it. The crossover with the Flash was great. They bonded over Ice cream. Awww. It was really sweet. Batman v Superman is for grown ups. If there is some nostalgia for how we felt as ten year olds, you have the 'Super-Friends' to watch. BvS might be too intense for kids. Keep in mind, the upcoming Blu-ray has an R-rated cut of the film.

Did I like the movie the first time? Yes. After seeing it the 2nd time, I now LOVE IT! I'm considering a 3rd viewing. Anyone interested?

Scipio said...

Yes, Michael, I too have wondered whether a second viewing might improve my opinion.

cyberio30 said...

Scipio, you may or may not remember this but I am reminded of a discussion we had years ago when you and I went and saw the film 'Edward II' by Derek Jarman. You loved the film while I did not. And the reasons I didn't like it at the time was because I was completely lost. I hadn't read Marlowe's Edward II. The movie made absolutely no sense to me. I seem to recall you telling me that I short-changed myself (paraphrasing here) because I hadn't read or familiarized myself with the source material (i.e. the play). I argued that I shouldn't had to read or be familiar with any previous source if I was going to go see a film. This may be the issue with Batman v Superman. Snyder has pulled elements from both 'The Dark Knight Returns' and the Doomsday storyline. Anyone who is completely unfamiliar with these sources and are expecting to see a love story mixed in with cheesy camp are going to be disappointed by this 'dark' albeit adult vision. By the way, I've decided to see it for a 3rd time.

Unknown said...

Did Wonder Woman blast Doomsday with a kamehameha? Did I really see that?

Sp said...

I want you pay attention to how this whole movie is handled.

It is mirrored Dark Knight Returns. Movie starts with literally mirrored side-by-side Wayne's murder from Miller comics. The main conflict was resulted not in a one hero trumbong over another in an artificial conflict created by outside government forces, but by Superman reminding Batman that he is slowly becoming a "Joe Chill". And it ends by Superman's death inspiring Batman to become better, and Wonder Woman to walk out of shadow.

Also I recommend to watch Ultimate Edition if you didn't.

Though I don't agree about that only Marvel making stories about their characters being flawed. Superman was handled that as well.Even in Silver Age. In an (in)famous story about him getting this weird superpower where he manifested tiny clones, it ends with him having envy, and admiting that he was ignorant and treated little guy as a substence, not as another intelligent being that just died saving his life.