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Batman Vs Superman: The 150 minute trailer

Batman Vs Superman: The 150 minute trailer published on 1 Comment on Batman Vs Superman: The 150 minute trailer
Released in 2010.

Boy can Zack Snyder construct a scene, visually this film is an absolute treat to look at. Much like Sucker Punch or Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole but like those films style over substance does not a great film make.

I’ve seen the film twice now, my first reaction was that the film is a mess, a glorious mess, but still a mess none the less. Second time around I enjoyed the film far more, watching it in 2D as opposed to 3D doesn’t influence my decision. If anything the 3D added nothing to the experience nor the film, though this probably wasn’t helped by Snyder and his editor David Brenner’s desire to induce epileptic fits in their audience during the action sequences.

So what was it I enjoyed more the second time around?

If I’m being honest, nothing.

Second time around I was able to sit back and be swept along by the film. It wasn’t that the film was or is difficult to follow first time around it was more that there was so much to follow that you couldn’t enjoy the experience.

The biggest issue and this could be levelled at most of Snyders work is that it’s a collection of scenes and moments in search of a narrative to hold it all together. It’s hardly surprising that his two best films 300 (2007) and Watchmen (2009) are based upon pre-existing material so it would have been near impossible for the man to screw them up.

Personally I think Snyder has taken more flack than maybe he deserves, no one seems to be questioning David Goyer or Chris Terrio’s screenplay. And that is probably the films biggest weakness because at its heart this should be a story about Lex Luthor manipulating both sides against each other. Drawing upon Supermans lightness and mistrust of Batmans methods whilst simultaneously drawing upon Batmans strategic thinking and forward planning SHOULD Superman become a threat.

JLA #43-46. Written by Mark Waid. Art by Howard Porter.
Released in 2012. Directed by Lauren Montgomery.

Much like in the 2000 Justice League storyline Tower of Babel, which in turn was also the basis for the DCAU feature Justice League: Doom. Batman would never allow for a 1% margin of error, it’s 100% or not at all.

Instead what we get is Clark investigating ‘The Batman’, Bruce deciding that 1% is all he needs for justification to take out Superman and Lex sort of doing this, then that for no really clear reason and no end game really in place.

The whole film is setting up the rest of Warner Bros. and DC’s slate of 9 films over the next 4 years so what we end up with here is a 2 1/2 hour trailer, with trailers in the middle of it! Another thing that further hinders the film is that the majority of the film is covered one way or another in the marketing and promotion of the film. Personally the marketing guys dropped the ball on this, the film’s big reveals should have been nowhere near the promotion of this film.

The Trinity

Snyder’s handling of Superman has faced criticism since Man Of Steel (2013), and it hasn’t improved much in the intervening 3 years. In fact it feels as though there is a whole film missing between the events of Man of … and BvS even if it weren’t another world threatening event it still feels as though there is a huge chunk in the Big Boy Scouts story, his relationship with Lois being one thing, missing from the narrative.

Batman is handled a little better, in fact there is nothing wrong with Ben Afflecks performance and portrayal of The Dark Knight, whilst it’s nice to not have to go through the whole origin story again it’s still massively unclear how long he has been active and if he was semi-retired before the events of Man Of Steel brought him back into action. Batman’s fighting style was probably the best portrayal to date, with Affleck utilising multiple techniques in the various action scenes. In fact I wasn’t too bothered that Batman used a gun, particularly during the flash-forward/dream sequence that hints at possible events in the Justice League films, for me it felt like a necessary step (dependent upon what has happened in the intervening years) especially with Para-Demons being present.

Wonder Woman/Diana Prince however, should have been the films secret weapon. Given that for the first two hours of the films running time when she is featured on screen she is never mentioned by name nor gives herself a name until she decides to leave the Turkish Airlines flight she is on, with wonderful product placement. When the flight attendant calls after her, THAT should have been the moment fanboys and girls the world over knew that the Holy Trinity of the DC universe were about to lay waste to evil doers. Gal Gadot is superb in the role and I’m looking forward to June 2017 when her solo film hits, especially as she has a kick ass theme something which none of the other characters have. Just a shame the bloody track is called Is She With You? on the soundtrack from Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL.


Personal grips

As previously stated Lex Luthor’s motivations seem a little under cooked making for a somewhat weak villain with Jesse Eisenberg giving a very odd turn. Doomsday as well serves only one purpose and continues a worrying trend in comic book movies to have the final act look like a computer game as CGI figures better the crap out of each other and there surroundings. I was also left a little confused about the geography, I always put Gotham and Metropolis as being on opposites coasts or different states rather than being just across the bay from each other. The ‘trailers’ that Diana watches on her laptop of well edited security/surveillance footage of Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman also feels oddly placed and forced.

EDIT: And what the hell was that crap with Jimmy Olsen, if your gonna kill off a major character from Superman’s extended family at least have the nerve to name the character on screen.

In conclusion

As it stands the film is a missed opportunity to build towards an expanded universe, where as Marvel slowly built up to a universe that crossed over and referenced previous events, films and characters Warner Bros. and DC seem to be rushing things. I’m not as excited for DCs upcoming slate as I am for Marvels, I do hope that in the long run DC proves me wrong and that it does its characters justice on the big screen.

EDIT: I also hope that the extended, R rating, cut helps some moments during the film flow a little better particularly the ‘Martha’ moment as well as the action scenes and the completely excised character.

Tipping Point. Are we there or have we passed it?

Tipping Point. Are we there or have we passed it? published on 1 Comment on Tipping Point. Are we there or have we passed it?

In 2016 we will see the release of 8 features based upon comic book sources. 6 of those are from the heavy hitters, DC has 2 features and Marvel has 4, along with the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film produced by Michael Bay as well as Joe Casey’s Officer Downe, published by Image being the only real wildcard and at the time of writing the only one without either a confirmed release date or whether it will see the insides of a cinema.

Original work by MessyPandas
Original work by MessyPandas
Release Date: February 2016
Release Date: February 2016
Release date: June 2016
Release date: June 2016

Then factor in the New Year returns of The CWs Arrow and Flash series, ABCs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and CBSs Supergirl which is now confirmed to be getting a full season. The return of Agent Carter, The CWs third show Legends Of Tomorrow and the Luke Cage series that is due to premier on Netflix at some point along with a second season of Daredevil. Throw in returning shows Powers, Dark Matter and Fear The Walking Dead all getting second seasons, The Walking Dead which along with returning after the holiday hiatus already has a 7th season confirmed for the fall season.

Due to air January 2016
Due to air January 2016
Due to air January 2016
Due to air January 2016
Air date unknown
Air date unknown

Then there’s the debut seasons of Preacher and Lucifer at various points throughout the year, before we get onto the multitude of animated features, predominantly from DC, including Batman: Bad Blood, which features Batwoman, and the eagerly anticipated Batman: The Killing Joke. Whilst Marvel are dominating the small screen with new seasons of its animated shows Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy in the latter half of the year which will also see Nickelodeons Ninja Turtles returning for a fifth season.

Due to be released February 2016
Due to be released February 2016
Season 4 currently airing. Season 5 due Autumn 2016.
Season 4 currently airing, season 5 due Autumn 2016.

As comic readers, fans pick and choose the series they read, drop them as the quality declines then pick them up again if the title secures a noted creative team. But fans are less likely to do that with a TV show, we tend to watch the first half-dozen episodes before sticking with a series or dropping it. Shows like Arrow or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tend to require more commitment, due to their seasons being 22 episodes, than Agent Carter or Daredevil which tend to be referred to as ‘event series’ due to their season lengths being anywhere between 8 and 13 episodes. Animation tends to be a little easier to digest, they don’t really require the same level of commitment as a live action show. Whilst they may have an over arcing plot line, they are far easier to dip in and out of than live action shows and at about 22 minutes in length they also don’t require the same amount of time commitment. 22 episodes of Arrow are going to require about 17 hours of your time to watch the entire season where as 22 episodes of Ninja Turtles are only going to eat up about 8 hours of your free time.

But making some rough estimates and assuming that all the shows currently airing, that haven’t been renewed for what will become the 2016/17 television season, are renewed, along with the animation series, the animated features and the feature films will require about 10 days commitment from each viewer should they chose to watch every comic related show and film that will be released in 2016. Thats a lot of time to give up and that doesn’t even take into account someone watching any other number of films, shows, podcasts or even listening to music. Factor in LIFE and work and suddenly your free time becomes a lot more precious.

In Conclusion

It is inevitable that viewer fatigue will begin to set in soon, if not amongst fanboys and the diehards then eventually amongst the casual viewer, the people that helped push Avengers: Age Of Ultron past $1 Billion at the box office. It’s not much of a leap to assume that most cinema goers couldn’t careless about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Daredevil and how they expand the MCU or how they potentially impact upon future films in the franchise, if at all. Warner Bros. and DC have a lot riding upon the success of Batman Vs Superman and sooner or later one of the Marvel films is going to tank heavily at the Box Office and regardless of how many comic book films that either have a release date on the calendar or are in development studio bosses will soon begin pulling the plugs once the bubble bursts. This could prove costly however for the studios, many actors especially with the Marvel films have multiple film deals in place and others could have ‘pay or play’ contracts in place that could cost the studios millions regardless of if the films get made or not.

Between 2016 and 2020 there are potentially 50+ feature films either, due to be released, in development or in production related to comic book material. Sooner or later these films could collapse under the weight of their own expectation or the general public will just loose interest leaving the die hards with unanswered plot threads and more questions than answers.

A similar fate could also befall any number of the TV shows currently airing or due to air. Constantine was sadly left with unanswered questions just as it started to get really interesting, and many of the shows currently airing could end on cliffhangers. Not every show will get a ten year run like Smallville most will likely make it to a 3rd or 4th season before viewing figures drop off and the axe falls.

This may well be the golden age of comic book adaptations so perhaps we should make the most of it whilst we still can, though that doesn’t mean we should blindly watch everything just because its from DC or Marvel but sooner or later the bubble will burst.

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