Tag Archives: Batman

Nerdwriter says DC’s Flaw Is Not Lack of Comedy

I’m a huge fan of YouTube creator Evan Puschak a.k.a. Nerdwriter1 and his video essays on everything from film and culture, to politics and economics. He does a great job  of saying the things that I am thinking better than I could have if I tried. He releases videos every Wednesday and I would strongly encourage you to support him on Patreon if you like his work.

Nerdwriter

In his latest video, he talks about the apparent course correction that DC is making with Suicide Squad and Justice League and why he doesn’t believe that more comedy is the solution to the problems that people really had with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I talked about this in my review of Batman v Superman, and I talked about levity as one of several things that DC needed to change. But as usual, he discussed it with more polish and finesse than me and really got to the core of the problem which is more than the lack of comedy but is an overemphasis on movie moments at the expense of rich scenes. Watch his latest episode below.

I really agree with his discussion of the various locations within Batman v Superman. The usage of medium to close-up shots throughout keeps us disconnected from the setting. I would contrast that with the iconic fight between Iron Man and Captain America in Civil War. There were definitely moments in that film that were meant to play to our nostalgia and evoke memories of the comics, but they were so organically placed within their respective scenes that nothing felt forced. The plot and camera were allowed to move in and around those moments so they took us deeper than a simple two dimensional frame of reference into a dynamic world in motion.

2008 Best Movie Bracket

As we continue to march backwards through the years to fill our Best Movie Bracket, we come to 2008 which was an historic year especially when it comes to Superhero movies. We have had superhero movies for decades all the way back to 1966 with Batman: The Movie, but I believe that the current Superhero craze took hold in the summer of 2008.

This fervor took root 8 years earlier when we saw a team of mutants take form in X-Men, and Spider-Man in 2002 confirmed that audiences were ready for more spandex and secret identities in their summer movie going diets. Both of those franchises had lost some of their steam releasing sub-par sequels in 2006 and 2007. That could have been the end, but two things happened in 2008 that changed what our summer movie seasons have looked like ever since.

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First, Christopher Nolan captured the attention of a generation with The Dark Knight in part due to a disturbing performance of the Joker by Heath Ledger who died earlier in 2008 before he could see his creation come to life. The Dark Knight was the highest grossing film of the year by a long shot and Ledger was awarded with a posthumous Oscar for his performance (unheard of for a superhero movie).

The success of The Dark Knight may have been enough to keep the Superhero genre going, but in that same year Marvel Studios created an interconnected cinematic universe which we are still seeing built today. Marvel released Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk about a month apart from each other along with their promise to continue to bring other second and third tier properties to life.

Continue reading 2008 Best Movie Bracket

Comic-Con 2016 Trailers

If you’ve been hiding from social media all weekend you may have missed that it was San Diego Comic-Con, and what used to be a lively gathering of comic book fans has now become the place where all the major studios release their goodies to hordes of ravenous fanboys (and fangirls). Clearly at an event of this scope they talked about more than just movies, but as this is a movie blog, I will not be discussing any of the comic or video game news.

However, because I am so thoughtful, I’ve made you handy list of all the trailers / exclusive previews for new movies (and a couple of exciting TV shows) that I could get my hands on. Marvel traditionally holds some of their stuff back for a week or two after Comic-Con so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Because of this, it looks like DC won the show with some great new content, but we haven’t seen anything yet. I’ll try to keep you up to date with other cool movie related things that come out of the convention.

Wonder Woman

Finally, a woman-led superhero movie. She is 75 years old this year and she’s never looked better. I couldn’t help but think of Star Trek when I saw Chris Pine washed up on shore, but it looks good and their might actually be some humor here that DC has been sorely missing.

Appreciated feminist tones aside (“what I do is not up to you”), the movie takes on a lighter color palette than other DC movies. It looks gritty, but not in the might-as-well-be-black-and-white monotone of movies like ‘Batman v Superman. ‘Wonder Woman was probably the best part of that movie anyway, so things are looking good.

Justice League

After the mess of ‘Batman v Superman,’ I’m a bit wary of Zack Snyder being at the helm of a superhero flick as important as this one, but this “special footage” reel (Warner Bros. isn’t calling it a trailer) actually looks quite good.

While Snyder still doesn’t seem to like colors very much, the reel takes on a lighthearted, humorous tone as Batman goes about collecting his teammates. I’m tentatively hopeful.

Suicide Squad

On the more villainous side of things, we have another trailer for Suicide Squad, which comes out in a couple of weeks.

Lego Batman

Lego Batman was the best part of ‘The Lego Movie.’ So why not give him his own movie. This one could be my favorite of what DC currently has to offer.

Doctor Strange

Alright, since DC had their fun, let’s see what Marvel had to offer. There was this awesome trailer for Doctor Strange. Probably the most visually enchanting trailer of the event. Here we see Sherlock Dr. Steven Strange learning the ways of magic. This will be one that must be seen on the big screen to be appreciated. It’s hitting theaters this November 4th.

Marvel’s Iron Fist

I don’t normally cover much TV, but Marvel has some great looking offerings and they have given us quality entertainment in the past with Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Here’s the first teaser for Iron Fist, set to be released in 2017.

Marvel’s Luke Cage

Luke Cage – one of the main characters in the fantastic ‘Jessica Jones’ is getting his own show, and the music in this trailer is on point!

Marvel’s The Defenders

The above two heroes are teaming up with Jessica Jones and Daredevil for The Defenders. This teaser doesn’t show any actual footage, but we do hear what sounds like ‘Stick’ from ‘Daredevil’ talking in the background and it gets me excited nonethless.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

We’ve got some great non-comic book movies that also released some updated and new trailers during Comic-Con. I for one am very excited to see the wizarding world come to 1920s New York. This is the most detailed trailer for the movie we’ve seen yet, although it still reveals very little in terms of overall plot. I’ve very excited to come into a J.K. Rowling movie without already knowing the ending from the book.

Kong: Skull Island

King Kong gets supersized in this reboot from the producers of the most recent Godzilla. It looks like they could be setting things up for a potential Kong on Godzilla battle. If this movie does better than Peter Jackson’s maybe we could see a Mothra movie too.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Ritchie has made a name for himself with films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Sherlock Holmes, and he’s carried that same distinctive dialogue and visual style over to the Arthurian legend.

There’s an incredible cast lined up for this as well with Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters on March 24, 2017.

James Wan on Why Superhero Movies are Popular

If you’ve been paying any attention to the current climate in the world of film, you’ll notice one thing: superheroes are ruling the day. Comic book movies have become the most lucrative films in the biz, breaking box office records and ensuring boat loads of money for their respective studios. And while they’re usually visual masterpieces with stunning effects, it seems unlikely that movies about men flying around in tights would be so universally adored. So the question that rises is: why the hell do we love superhero movies so much?

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Director James Wan, who will be helming his very own superhero flick with the DC Extended Universe’s Aquaman, recently opened up to Collider and answered that very question, saying:

I think a big part of it is because we’re finally at the point where we can actually tell these larger than life stories and have the technology to make them work. That’s one factor, that we can create these whizz-bang visuals to go with the story and ultimately superheroes say a lot about the society we grow up in. Pretty much all the good superheroes have some kind of social commentary about why they are who they are. It teaches values and so it’s a very important thing. On one hand it works on a surface level because it’s super incredible to watch from a visual feast standpoint but on another level it works on a very human level it works on a very human, emotional level and I think it makes it fun for us. Let me pose you a question. Do you think people are having superhero fatigue?

James Wan’s statement offers some answers and as well as an important question, while also erasing any trace of doubt as to whether or not he’ll be able to make Aquaman a successful superhero flick. He just gets it.

To start, James Wan cites our current technology as what is causing this superhero renaissance. This seems to make a great deal of sense. Sure, comic fans would have liked to see Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman together kicking some ass years ago, but the visual effects might not have allowed the action sequences to be what they should have been. We certainly got some questionable Batman flicks in the 90’s, with the Dark Knight becoming campy and with less intense fight scenes. We’re in a point where action sequences become some of the highlights of superhero movies, with amazing and extensive scenes like Captain America: Civil War‘s airport battle and Batman v Superman‘s heroic beatdown truly wowing audiences.

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Additionally, James Wan notes that there is something essentially moral about superhero movies. These heroes fight for what is right, we all inherently want the good guys to win and for villains to get their comeuppance. Sorry Suicide Squad.

But the Conjuring and Aquaman director ended this statement on an important question. Are we facing superhero fatigue? With so many heroes dominating both the small and big screen, it definitely has the potential to become a bit saturated and stale. The MCU might be untouchable, but it’s entirely possible that other studios may suffer in the future due to overcrowding. Only time will tell.

Wan’s Aquaman will be released on July 27, 2018.

Source: Cinema Blend