|SolRo - 2017-11-23 |
I mean, it’s the wrong answer but believe what you want.
The real answer is that they’re composed of movies that suck.
|badideasinaction - 2017-11-23 |
...because before you can make 15 overlapping movies that don't suck, try making one standalone movie that doesn't suck. Or maybe two, or three. Add the shared universe hooks after you get to that mark.
Even Marvel didn’t do that. Ironman 1 had universe hooks in it. Marvel had a universe planned all along. They just made the decision to compose it of good (subjectively) movies.
The other studios took from this that if it’s a universe people will watch crap formulaic movies.
Marvel had hooks, but didn’t hijack the movie to get them across. These ones are way too ham-handed...
|Bort - 2017-11-23 |
Marvel uses directors and writers who actually enjoy comics. DC turns to Zack Snyder, who doesn't understand what people see in superhero comics in the first place. If you asked him to explain it, he'd probably speculate: "well superheroes are the strongest characters and they don't have bosses, right?"
Zack Snyder is a fucking sociopath. This is what you would get if you asked your average Wall Street stockbroker what they thought a superhero should be.
I actually think this is why he also ruined Lex Luthor. Stay with me here. Everyone collectively fuckingz hated Jesse Eisenberg in that role because it didn't fit him at all. But what Snyder was actually saying with that is that Lex Luthor is not some scary badass burgeoning with masculinity (like he is in the comics or even comedically evil as portrayed by Hackman or Spacey) No, this Luthor was fun. He was the life of the party, he was swimming with ideas on how to get ahead, and yes, it got out of control but does he ever portray Luthor in a light that doesn't see him as somewhat lovable? He's just a good ol' frat boy. And that's the problem. He sees Luthor as being better than Superman. Superman has natural talents and he allows Superman to use those talents when his own life is on the line but for the most part Superman is all fuck off, mortals. I'm happy just doing things for number one, and he got that from Pa Kent, who talks like an utter dirtbag, too.
Pa Kent, Superman and Lex Luthor all embody things that Zack Snyder sees in himself. The ability to take from the world without giving back to it, and he seriously doesn't understand why anyone would want to do that. Because he's utterly devoid of humanity but the studio is making money because foreign audiences don't really care as long as there are cool special effects, I guess. It doesn't matter that Superman has become an utter cunt and that Batman is a whiny cunt and that Wonder Woman shows up without any humor or warmth at all.
Star Trek did much the same thing when it basically fucked the characters all over in the new JJ Abrams reboot, because they essentially went and killed off the planet Vulcan (because Vulcans represent caution, and your know, restraint) so fuck them. Spock was shown as being violent most of the time, and enjoying it, which makes no goddamn sense. And don't even get me started on how unnecessary it was to make another Khan or Khan movie.
I think you nailed Zack Snyder's tendencies; as a devotee of Ayn Rand he doesn't grasp this whole "altruism" thing. This is pretty good evidence that too much Rand makes you incapable of even understanding children's stories.
Anyone who needs a functioning model of Superman and Lex Luthor, the 90s "Superman: The Animated Series" cartoon would work just fine. If you want to throw Batman in the mix, that's the "World's Finest" three-parter. Of course there are other ways a person could go, but starting with a successful model and changing some of the details is not a bad idea.
A filmmaker whose head is screwed on straight might start the film by making the case that Lex Luthor does a lot of good despite his authoritarian aspirations, but as the movie goes on it becomes clear that those aspirations twist and corrupt any good he might be doing. But that would involve actual ideas and themes, and would additionally require acknowledging the existence of the common good that is more important than personal achievement.
If someone asked me to do a version of Lex Luthor, I'd essentially make him Doc Savage or Jonas Venture: the smartest guy around, a technical genius, and a celebrated adventurer. He's not a bad guy, but he's got two personality flaws (in a Greek drama they'd be considered tragic flaws): he expects to be treated as the most amazing man in the room at all times, and he's a little too vain about his long flowing hair. So when a certain Kansas farmer with the powers of a god shows up, and helps people simply because he doesn't have a selfish bone in his body, and he starts drawing the spotlight away from Lex with his very genuine humility and kindness ... well, the stress starts making Lex's hair fall out, and Lex starts seeing Superman as a problem that needs to be solved.
Everything anyone needs to know about Zach Snyder is contained a little movie called Sucker Punch.
The combination of Objectivism and Scientology in the DC films currently is so insane. I watched the recent Superman reboot and the space opera of Krypton was just straight cribbed from the Xenu mythos, and then tacked on to Zack's Randroid tendencies, it just was so, so, so bizarre.
|Marlon Brawndo - 2017-11-24 |
Oh and the Dark Universe failed because of terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE writing and acting. They could have done so much better. You want a good monster movie? They should have asked Guillermo del Toro how to put together the franchise but they were so busy waving their dicks around over how much money they were going to make that they thought Frankenstein should be played by a model and that Tom Cruise should fight a mummy in a Mission Impossible clone. This is why Penny Dreadful worked so well. It built up suspense with new characters and it kept a lot of what was happening in dark so there was an emotional impact when you find out what the villain was planning and you didn't need huge special effects. Just mood and atmosphere.
I'll give you some ideas.
Frankenstein - Frankenstein is a tortured soul. That's his deal. If he talks, great. Did you learn nothing from Penny Dreadful? If he's half above a zombie, make him sympathetic. The new reboot accomplished neither.
Dracula - Okay, what makes Dracula scary? CGI? No. Dracula Untold wasn't...exactly terrible but it missed the mark on several counts. Dracula is scary because he essentially sold his soul and his rage is always countered with the appearance of a gentleman. If you can't have any slow scenes where he is calmly talking someone into his good graces before taking not only their blood but their willpower, you are missing something.
The Mummy - Well first off, the original and also the Brendan Fraser version were watchable because the Mummy was driven into insanity over millennia of being alive, alone, trapped and buried. That's what makes it good. The Mummy is a terrifying example of isolation, in the form of a decayed corpse, in love with life, a life he can never regain.
Studio Exec: HEY YOU KNOW WHAT FUCK THAT BOOK SHIT WE NEED EXPLOSIONS AND MORE EXPLOSIONS! NO EVEN MORE I SAID! MORE EXPLOSIONS! YES, MORE! MORE I SAY! NO 30 ISN'T ENOUGH! MAKE IT 70!
Good points all around. I will observe that, early on in the sequel to "Frankenstein", they were very clear on how the titular character* is a harmless sort if you treat him with kindness, so the model has been out there longer than any of us has been alive. You can make a dumb Frankenstein or a smarter Frankenstein, but either way he is a victim of his creation.
Speaking of tortured souls, I'm pretty sure it was "Blacula", of all things, that introduced us to the vampire who was once a good man, cursed against his will, and forever grieving his one true love. Sometimes people want to put some of that on Dracula, but it cuts into the cunning, cultured evil that should be Dracula's deal. They tried going that route in "Bram Stoker's Dracula", and it worked pretty well, but they had to make him 90% monster and only 10% tortured soul. Much more tortured soul and it would have fallen apart.
*: In the book, Dr. Frankenstein named the monster "Adam", and Adam considered himself Dr. Frankenstein's son. That makes him Adam Frankenstein, or Frankenstein if you aren't on a first-name basis.
What if Frankenstein's monster studied hard and got his doctorate? What then?
Then the two of them could basically redo every episode of "Frasier" together. I'll let you decide who plays Frasier, Niles, the dad, and Daphne.
I thought that I, Frankenstein with Aaron Echkart in bad makeup was part of the Dark Universe franchise but I guess that was another shitty movie. There are a lot of people that just don't understand Frankenstein.
|cognitivedissonance - 2017-11-24 |
The Universal Monster Shared Cinematic Universe suffered from everything else Tom Cruise has touched in the last two decades: Scientology. Tom Cruise brings with him his people, they get script approval, and suddenly everybody in the movie starts talking as if they're in "Battlefield Earth". Scientologists don't talk like normal humans. It could've worked if Tom Cruise had been slated for the Metaluna Mutant introduction film, but obviously not.
|John Holmes Motherfucker - 2017-11-25 |
The real question is: How does Marvel do it? I'm definitely in awe of the MCU. They're all pretty good. The best of them (Avengers, Winter Soldier, Civil War) not only make me feel like I'm eight years old, they make me feel like it's Christmas Morning. I've been watching bad live.action superheros my whole life. How did they finally nail it like that? I have some thoughts but I'm not going to take two hours to thumb-type them now on my phone.
I think the DC movies are okay, they just don't measure up to Marvel, and in the case of Superman v Batman, it didn't live up to the hype. Studios are finding out that releasing trailers months in advance to be kicked around by YouTube bottom feeders in their silly "trailer review" videos can backfire. But.the.full length Batman v Superman works for.me, starting out as a political thriller, and.gradually building to a.final hour of crazy, straight-up h wlll and I've seen Suicide Squad four times on HBO NOW, and I like it. These are flawed but fun action movies. I'd swear that bombastic medieval action poetry like THE.SONG OF ROLAND, which I studied in college, has some of the same problems of hyperbolic incredulity you'll see in a Zack Snyder film, but don't hold me to that.
DC's big mistake is putting the wrong creative people in charge of their movies. When it comes to cartoons, sure, they find the right people for their projects. But movie-wise, they put an objectivist in charge of movies about altruists. That'd be like having Christopher Hitchens in charge of a reverent film about the Old Testament.
With the "Avengers" film, Joss Whedon was a good choice. I can identify three things Joss did that DC desperately needs to re-learn:
1) Look at your characters and come up with interesting ways they might interact. Are there similarities or differences you can play up? Good! Use them.
2) Snappy dialogue, some of which can be used to sneakily bury plot points to be reused later. Like when Stark and Banner were talking at one point and Stark tapped the ARC reactor on his chest ("clink!"), it looked to be just a #1 moment, but then Loki was later unable to take over Stark ("clink!").
3) Joss asked himself: as a fan, what things would I really want to see in an Avengers fight? Well how about: Captain America taking charge and rescuing normal folks, Tony Stark using his weapons creatively, and the Hulk being feral and unstoppable. Then he put them in the movie.
|John Holmes Motherfucker - 2017-11-25 |
Love that they never really tried to top the intense spectacle of the mind blowing New York Invasion scene from Avengers. They haven't fallen into the how.do we.top this trap. Instead they make the characters more complex.
I mean, they did explode a whole city in the following movie.
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