DC Movies - To Infinity and Beyond

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by detective diaz, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You toss every MCU movie on the same pile because the heroes make jokes (because Black Panther is totally the same tone or story as Thor Ragnarok or Infinity War as Ant-man), yet completely ignore the massive parallels between Wonder Woman and Man of Steel - in many ways practically the same movie in different settings and with a slightly different emphasis (chosen one, sheltered, spends life in hiding, ventures out because an old enemy is active, trusts people as a major plot point, protects soldiers and earns their trust, has obvious biblical references, deliberately kills the bad guy, has trust in people rewarded, etc). Also, Aquaman had his fair share of a lot of those story elements as well, though he didn't come nearly as close as the other two.
     
  2. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Who said anything about Marvel being "better" than DC. The only thing I'll give Marvel is again, they didn't abandon teh idea after one underperforming film (aka The Incredible Hulk, their second outing).

    And I saw and enjoyed both Aquaman and Shazam.

    After Justice League they loosened it up (finally) - but again, I think they over-reacted when JL didn't rake it in - and honestly after the success of "Joker" - they'll probably use that as a template for other non-hero/villain only films; and end that run with the first one that bombs.
     
  3. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    :shrug:

    Ok?

    So, basically, all super hero movies follow certain tropes and it's only in the moving around of aesthetic pieces is there a illusion of something different, but, in the end, it's all the same?

    I didn't suddenly want it to become that sort of argument. That happens a lot here.

    DC didn't either. They kept going with the Man of Steel thing with Batman v Superman. So, sorta two under performing movies.

    Yeah. They were fine popcorn movies. Shazam vastly underperformed. It only made 300 million or so whole wide. That's not good for a movie of it's budget.

    JL was a terrible movie. I would hope they would say: let's not do this shit again.
     
  4. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    More like some Marvel movies are very similar (Iron Man and Dr Strange) and some aren't (Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy). Some DC movies are very similar (Man of Steel and Wonder Woman) and some aren't (Joker and Aquaman).
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Which doesn't necessarily make it a good idea in either case.


    I'm not saying he would be. I'm saying he could still be an interesting enough character to be the lead role in a story. Part of the story of Lex Luthor is that he could have had a compelling life of his own without Superman in the picture, or that he already had one before Superman arrived. The question of what he could've been without Superman, how he could've been different from what he became -- or the same in a different way -- is part of what makes him interesting. So the fact that he wouldn't be the same character is an integral part of my point.



    They literally just released a movie where he's the lead character and we're supposed to sympathize with him. From what I hear, he's pretty much the only character in the movie who gets much development.


    Would that actually make a good story, or just an exercise in gratuitous violence? I'm reminded of Adam-Troy Castro's comments on Facebook yesterday about Brightburn, the "Superman origin as horror story" movie:
    Chaos alone is not a narrative. Narrative has structure and direction, and chaos is the absence of those things.



    That's because you can't judge the worth of a story by a one-paragraph summary. The execution is what matters. If you're determined to look for excuses to dismiss a story, then a brief summary of any story is going to be easy to scoff at. "A movie about people who go into a bar in Casablanca looking for travel papers? Who would watch that?" "A reporter tries to find out what a dead rich guy's last word meant? Boo-ring!"

    And yes, okay, I realize you could turn this right back around at me regarding my Joker opinions. Maybe there's a way to make it work. But given what I know about both characters, I think there's a lot more to work with in Luthor's case than the Joker's. The new movie had to make up pretty much everything about its version of the Joker from whole cloth, unconnected to the comics. But Luthor has a rich backstory that could be drawn on for material -- several of them, in fact. So I just don't buy the idea that you couldn't do a compelling solo Luthor story. Paul Cornell has already proven that you can.


    You've seen a different set of reviews than I have, then.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  6. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    The Joker movie is making mad money, so it was a good idea by the definition of the purpose of the movie industry (to make money)
     
  7. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=superman2012.htm
    Man Of Steel: $668 Million

    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=superman2015.htm
    Batman V Superman - $830 Million is underperforming?

    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=incrediblehulk.htm
    Compared to MCU's "Incredible Hulk" at: $263 Million

    https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ironman.htm
    Hell, Iron Man did $$585 Million worldwide

    Sorry, but if the above two DC films are "Underperforming" in WB's eyes - IDK why they keep trying at this point.
     
  8. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    Both of those films underperformed compared with studio expectations.
     
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  9. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    Studios are always going to expect more. Most companies do in their profit expectations. Hard to sell investors on a property if you're like "Meh, it will probably barely break even..."
     
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  10. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    When the 2 biggest comic book stars don’t make a billion dollars, yes, that’s considered under performing.

    Edited to add: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did better than Man of Steel. And only 170 million less than Batman V Superman.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  11. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So you're just talking about a different character named Lex Luthor (which, as I already said, is obviously one way to make it work). Any character can be a success with the right writers if you don't care about keeping them even remotely close to their previous characterization.

    This is just pedantic. He is not the only character in the movie, and there's no reason why a different hypothetical Joker film couldn't have had more emphasis on other characters if it wanted to.

    As you say, depends on the execution. I can think of a number of angles. For instance, fighting for the soul of society - just like in TDK - but with the focus on Joker instead of whoever might be trying to stop him. There's plenty of suspense and development in the question of who will and won't give in to him and how he might respond.

    That's a fair point. (Although, Citizen Kane is 'Boo-ring!'... One of the least rewarding cinema experiences I've ever had.)

    But no matter how much you draw from the backstory, if it takes Luthor in such a wildly different direction because he has no Superman then it will never feel like Luthor. Joker, as a mirror to society or to a hero, can be literally anything and still feel exactly like the Joker. It's why people can seriously and enthusiastically debate Ledger's vs. Nicholson's joker even though the two characters - on paper - have almost nothing in common. But they're both still the Joker.

    So it would seem.

    For a flagship superhero movie in 2015 starring the three most well-known characters in the history of the genre, yes, absolutely, BvS underperformed massively. MoS is less clearcut. The studio clearly had higher expectations, but it's questionable how reasonable those expectations were since the Superman franchise was coming off of a big flop.

    Iron Man did those numbers at a time when any superhero movie not starring Batman or Spider-man struggled to pass 500 million. The Incredible Hulk also underperformed relative to the other marvel movies which says absolutely nothing relevant to this discussion since TIH is still the lowest grossing MCU movie by far and not coincidentally the only one yet to never get a sequel.

    2012 was a watershed moment for the superhero genre. Before 2012 some (few) superhero movies were guaranteed real attention. After 2012, just opening with a well known name was probably already enough for a lot of hype and a massive OW. Of the top 20 highest-grossing films in the genre, only TDK and Spider-man 3 were released before then. And this is not just an effect of the MCU being popular while also making tons of movies, because the already popular and well-received X-Men series never passed 500m way back when, but when it returned restructured in 2014 it was suddenly a 750m dollar franchise. And DC themselves got in on the act with not just Wonder Woman (820m) but also Suicide Squad (total unknowns, yet still 750m) and Aquaman (no way would that character or that movie have crossed a billion dollars in the pre-boom years). And yet, over the same time period, Batman went from two billion dollar movies in a row to failing to even crack 900m despite having other popular characters in the movie to lean on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, I'm talking about the same character if life had unfolded differently. It's the Sliding Doors premise, the It's a Wonderful Life premise, the premise of What If? and countless DC "imaginary stories" -- who would a person have become if certain events had turned out another way? The whole point is that it's the same person, explored in a new way by changing their circumstances. Part of the classic, pre-Crisis Lex Luthor narrative is the tragedy of what he could have been if hatred hadn't warped him. So that potential for an alternative path is built into his character already; it's just a question of bringing it out.


    I just don't agree that Luthor is so one-dimensional. What makes him interesting, as I already said, is that his obsession with Superman is not his entire personality -- rather, it's the one part of his personality that sabotages everything else. Take away Superman and he'd still have that self-sabotaging character flaw -- it could just be something else that triggers it. Or maybe in the end he manages to surpass it.

    It's worth pointing out that we've already had a very successful, long-running portrayal of a Lex Luthor who wasn't obsessed by rivalry with Superman: Michael Rosenbaum's Lex in Smallville. That's easily the best live-action Lex Luthor we've ever had, and he had no Superman to see as an enemy, just a Clark Kent he saw as a friend. And it's the best illustration of what I'm talking about, the complex potential that Lex had as a person before his obsession with Superman took over his life.


    I don't think Jack Napier is the Joker at all. He's just Jack Nicholson in clown makeup.
     
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  13. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I love how Christopher is carrying the ball on Luthor's character and storytelling potential, and doing it better than I ever could. I can just sit back, read, and keep clicking "Like."

    The point about Smallville's Lex is particularly well-taken.
     
  14. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ending can be interpreted that Batman did snap after a second one.
     
  15. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's tough for a film to not underwhelm expectations, to be better received than loved-it-or-hated-it, when there have already been so many films, including both classic and recent ones, with the characters for audiences to compare them against.
     
  16. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Won’t someone think about the multimillion dollar blockbusters!?!
     
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  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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  18. Dry Bones 37

    Dry Bones 37 Admiral Admiral

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    The expectations for comic book films is too high!

    *insert meme here*
     
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  19. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Given the discussion was about how DC ABANDONED it's plans for a shared universe after a mildily under performing film while Marvel stuck to it's plans of a shared universe even though the SECOND film in its shared universe plans flopped - I'd say it's VERY relevant to said discussion.
     
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  20. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    The thing about that flop, is that it really wasn't one when compared with expectations. That movie had to deal with the weight of the negativity toward Ang Lee's Hulk, and thus was almost guaranteed to underperform.