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Old August 27 2014, 08:18 PM   #1
HaplessCrewman
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No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Rumor has it that DC has a policy of "no jokes" in their superhero movies.

It may be that they wish to differentiate their films from Marvel's. Marvel movies are fun, have jokes - therefore ours will have NO JOKES!

Good job, DC.

http://www.slashfilm.com/no-jokes-in-dc-movies/
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Old August 27 2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

"Tell them that joke you know."
- Bruce Wayne to Alfred, Batman Begins
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Old August 27 2014, 08:48 PM   #3
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

I blame Christopher Nolan, or rather the WB executives who seem to think that Nolan's approach should be applied to the entire DC Movie Universe. Most of the problems with Man Of Steel (which I generally liked, but it definitely had problems) can be chalked up to attempting to "Dark Knight-ify" Superman, which is really misguided.

What's really weird is that in the comics, it was traditionally Marvel whose universe leaned toward angst, while the DCU tended to be lighter and more colorful. Looks like their Cinematic Universes are swapping places.
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Old August 27 2014, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

HaplessCrewman wrote: View Post
Rumor has it that DC has a policy of "no jokes" in their superhero movies.
Since when? And did anyone tell that to Ryan Reynolds?
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Old August 27 2014, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
HaplessCrewman wrote: View Post
Rumor has it that DC has a policy of "no jokes" in their superhero movies.
Since when? And did anyone tell that to Ryan Reynolds?
That's exactly it. What the articles are saying is that this may be a response to the failure of Green Lantern and the fact that the biggest superhero-movie successes WB has had were the ultra-serious Nolan trilogy. Since, for some reason, Hollywood executives persist in assuming a movie's success or failure is a function of its category rather than its individual merits, they assume that GL failed because it was a relatively humorous movie, rather than because it just wasn't that good.
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Old August 27 2014, 11:08 PM   #6
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

It's one thing to say "no jokes" and another to say they don't want to start making lighter, jokier superhero movies in the style of Guardians just yet. Which I think is what the decree (if it is a decree) is most likely all about.

And I'm fine with that. Much as I like the jokier/quippier style of the Marvel movies, I don't think every superhero movie needs to be done in that same style, and I don't think the DC movies need to be done that way to be successful either (just like people can enjoy both light and fun action movies and dark and gritty action movies).

And that's not to say I want all the DC movies to be as grim as the Nolan/Snyder films either. But I do think there's plenty of room for superhero movies that are more grounded and serious than what Marvel does, and that attempt to treat these characters in a more believable and realistic way.

Personally I think both approaches are great.
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Old August 27 2014, 11:12 PM   #7
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

There are plenty of jokes in DC movies.

People who think the Marvel movies are brilliant seem to think that's the only approach that should ever be taken. Well, no doubt if Warner Bros were sure they'd maximize profits by doing exactly what Marvel does they'd do it - because that's what the Marvel formula is most reliably good for, and it's what all business people want in the end. It's less reliable at producing movies that are memorable or particularly good in and of themselves, and Marvel's hitting about one in three where that's concerned (which is pretty good, really, as long as they're making that almighty buck).

Marvel produces movies the way Kraft produces macaroni and cheese - with wonderful consistency, and if you love the formula you've got to love the quality control. There's no reason that all the world has to live on macaroni and cheese, though.
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Old August 27 2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

AgentCoop wrote: View Post
I blame Christopher Nolan, or rather the WB executives who seem to think that Nolan's approach should be applied to the entire DC Movie Universe. Most of the problems with Man Of Steel (which I generally liked, but it definitely had problems) can be chalked up to attempting to "Dark Knight-ify" Superman, which is really misguided.
As one in possession of a film degree, I feel as though I'm obligated to wish to fellate Nolan in response to anything he produces, but I grow weary of all of these films that are homages to his dark, gritty style. It's good in measured doses, but Jeez, can we have some levity in our cinematic lives?
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Old August 27 2014, 11:17 PM   #9
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Christopher wrote: View Post
Silvercrest wrote: View Post
HaplessCrewman wrote: View Post
Rumor has it that DC has a policy of "no jokes" in their superhero movies.
Since when? And did anyone tell that to Ryan Reynolds?
That's exactly it. What the articles are saying is that this may be a response to the failure of Green Lantern and the fact that the biggest superhero-movie successes WB has had were the ultra-serious Nolan trilogy. Since, for some reason, Hollywood executives persist in assuming a movie's success or failure is a function of its category rather than its individual merits, they assume that GL failed because it was a relatively humorous movie, rather than because it just wasn't that good.
Exactly. The Green Lantern Corps could have been a wonderful space opera fun movie without insulting the intelligence of the audience. Instead it had all the characteristics of a 1980s or 1990s made for television action movie.
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Old August 27 2014, 11:31 PM   #10
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

davejames wrote: View Post
And that's not to say I want all the DC movies to be as grim as the Nolan/Snyder films either. But I do think there's plenty of room for superhero movies that are more grounded and serious than what Marvel does, and that attempt to treat these characters in a more believable and realistic way.
I find it a bit odd to see "serious" treated as synonymous as "realistic." Real life is often very silly. There are plenty of people who do and say ridiculous things, or who make laughable mistakes, or the like. After all, humor evolved as a response to real-life events and situations, a form of social bonding and stress relief. It's a basic part of life, and a story that's relentlessly serious and comedy-free is no more realistic than a complete spoof is.

In fact, people seem to be forgetting that Marvel's whole approach throughout the MCU has been to do things in a comparatively grounded and naturalistic way, to have these fanciful things take place in a setting that felt like the real world, and to tone down, avoid, or at least justify some of the more fanciful elements of the universe. That real-world flavor is probably a factor in their mass appeal.


theenglish wrote: View Post
The Green Lantern Corps could have been a wonderful space opera fun movie without insulting the intelligence of the audience. Instead it had all the characteristics of a 1980s or 1990s made for television action movie.
Actually I didn't think it was that bad. I think it had the bad fortune of coming out in the same year as three superlative superhero movies (Thor, Captain America, X-Men First Class) and looking bad in comparison to them. If it had come out, say, six or seven years earlier, it would've probably been considered one of the more solid superhero films out there.
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Old August 28 2014, 12:09 AM   #11
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Dennis wrote: View Post
People who think the Marvel movies are brilliant seem to think that's the only approach that should ever be taken.
You've got it backwards.

Marvel doesn't take a single approach. Each film that they make has a different tone that's most appropriate for that specific character. Captain America is a war movie/political thriller, Thor is a cheesy fantasy movie, Guardians of the Galaxy is a comedy, etc. WB is the company who thinks that a single approach is the correct answer. They saw that Nolan's films were successful and that Green Lantern was a failure, so they're jumping to the conclusion that "Serious good; comedy bad" and forcing every film into that approach regardless of how ill-fitting it is.
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Old August 28 2014, 12:23 AM   #12
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Christopher wrote: View Post
theenglish wrote: View Post
The Green Lantern Corps could have been a wonderful space opera fun movie without insulting the intelligence of the audience. Instead it had all the characteristics of a 1980s or 1990s made for television action movie.
Actually I didn't think it was that bad. I think it had the bad fortune of coming out in the same year as three superlative superhero movies (Thor, Captain America, X-Men First Class) and looking bad in comparison to them. If it had come out, say, six or seven years earlier, it would've probably been considered one of the more solid superhero films out there.
Well, I do enjoy a lot of the campy action stuff from the eighties and nineties and that's about the category I put it in. I enjoyed it in a guilty pleasure fashion, despite how many times I groaned silently over the bad jokes, silly visuals, and cliches. In the end, I felt nothing for the character and had no emotional reaction to the film. Green Lantern is perhaps my favorite super-hero and really deserved much better treatment.
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Old August 28 2014, 12:24 AM   #13
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

Christopher wrote: View Post
In fact, people seem to be forgetting that Marvel's whole approach throughout the MCU has been to do things in a comparatively grounded and naturalistic way, to have these fanciful things take place in a setting that felt like the real world, and to tone down, avoid, or at least justify some of the more fanciful elements of the universe. That real-world flavor is probably a factor in their mass appeal.
Well I guess it's a matter of degree. The Marvel movies are certainly more grounded than the bright and cartoony Raimi Spidey movies, but they still don't seem to take place in the same grounded, everyday world that the Nolan/Snyder movies do (a world where people don't usually throw out hilarious, Whedon-style quips at a moments notice or in the middle of a battle, and where the villain doesn't get comically smashed into the ground again and again for a laugh).
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Old August 28 2014, 12:46 AM   #14
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

I don't think there's anything particularly grounded about Snyder's work. Man of Steel has a sort of superficial realism, but it's a very self-conscious and ponderous realism that's actually rather stylized and artificial in its own way. And of course some parts of it are as ridiculously unrealistic as anything I've ever seen -- for instance, realistic buildings are designed not to collapse like houses of cards the instant they're subjected to damage.

I'd say much the same about Nolan's films, in fact -- realistic in a heightened way that is itself rather stylized. They don't feel like the everyday world to me. They feel like movies that are self-consciously constructed to be gritty and noirish and hyperdramatic.

You mention quips, but what makes the first Iron Man so effective is that the constant wisecracks don't feel affected. The majority of the dialogue and interplay among Downey, Paltrow, and Bridges was ad-libbed and thus feels very naturalistic and everyday. The dialogue in Nolan's films is more theatrical.
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Old August 28 2014, 01:28 AM   #15
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Re: No Jokes in DC Superhero Movies

This is total nonsense. I can't think of one DC film that has completely omitted humor. Sure, if someone were keeping a tally, DC would probably have fewer jokes on a film by film basis, but none? I don't think so. Because a genre film completely devoid of humor is guaranteed to flop.

Also, I don't agree with it being strictly a Marvel/DC thing, at least not on the Marvel end. It's more accurate to strictly say the Avengers' films. (And I include Guardians here since it's being kept in the same universe.) If the definition of either is limited to what the OP implies, then, to me at least, both X-Men and ASM feel more like DC films.

And even within the various Avengers character films, there's a varying degree of darkness, serious, and even humor.

But let's be honest, if they decide to go through with Aquaman and Flash movies, does anyone honestly expect them to be anything but on the light side? A serious Barry Allen? I don't think so.

AgentCoop wrote: View Post
I blame Christopher Nolan, or rather the WB executives who seem to think that Nolan's approach should be applied to the entire DC Movie Universe. Most of the problems with Man Of Steel (which I generally liked, but it definitely had problems) can be chalked up to attempting to "Dark Knight-ify" Superman, which is really misguided.
I don't think that's being very fair. First of all, it's important to distinguish "dark" and "serious." MoS may have been sprinkled with a few dark moments, I don't know I'd call the overall tone of the film "dark." It was, however, very serious. But live-action Superman has always been kind of serious, even as far back as the Reeves series. The first two Reeve films, the good parts of L&C, Smallville, Superman Returns, and even bits of Superboy all had a serious slant to them. I don't see MoS as being any different.

And it's a bit disingenuous to suggest to was completely void of humor. There may not have been any out-right gut busters, but I know I chuckled a few times. Of course, humor doesn't always work for all people, but it's incorrect to say Snyder didn't make an effort.

As far as Batman being dark, Nolan had nothing to do with that. The Dark Knight is ... well ... dark. He's been that way for most of his life (Adam West not withstanding). Both Burton films were plenty dark--and so was Forever, for the most part. B&R was just bad.

IreneAdler wrote: View Post
It's good in measured doses, but Jeez, can we have some levity in our cinematic lives?
I think it's important to find a balance. But, again, I would challenge anyone to offer an example of any modern comic book/sci-fi/fantasy/whatever genre film that is completely humorless and austere.
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