BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

Talk about the latest movies and video releases here!
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#61 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:28 am

Unsurprisingly, once expectations are dialed down, the finished product played much better for me than I anticipated. Make no mistake, this is a flawed movie but frankly I enjoyed it more than AGE OF ULTRON, both AMAZING SPIDER-MAN films and the likes of IRON MAN 2.

I'll do a review later but some quick thoughts:

-Once the movie got past the 9/11 imagery and post-MAN OF STEEL fallout, the film worked reasonably well as a comic book film.

-Storytelling was clunky and filled with poor decisions (let's introduce the Justice League by way of emails! And hey, how DID Lex Luthor find out about all of their identities?) and for the most part played like MAN OF STEEL 2 before they obviously decided to throw Batman into the mix.

-Jeremy Irons' reaction to Doomsday's arrival was the funniest moment in the film (when Bat-fleck asks him what's going on), as it cleverly encapsulated the transition between the Nolan films' "quasi-reality" to the utter fantasy of this picture. The film needed more of those moments

-Amy Adams > Gal Godot

-Color drained throughout the movie -- unless it was my theater, they could have shot in this in black and white for how little color was on display in the film

-Tiresome evocation of Christ imagery reminded me of SUPERMAN RETURNS (in a bad way)

-Russell Crowe MIA, but a Costner cameo?

-If it's not the worst score ever written...it's pretty close

2.5 stars, or the equivalent of a 6.5/10 in my book.

User avatar
Paul MacLean
Posts: 4293
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:26 pm
Location: New York

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#62 Post by Paul MacLean » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:24 am

AndyDursin wrote: -If it's not the worst score ever written...it's pretty close
Why am I not shocked by this?

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#63 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:07 am

I'm not exaggerating Paul...there are low-scale piano notes struck when Lex Luthor shows up, a "menacing" motif for Superman, and a drumline for Wonder Woman! It is so ear-splittingly horrific that hearing Zimmer's "Man of Steel" theme pop up every now and then is like an oasis, a respite from the endless assault on the musical senses that the score otherwise holds.

It's an outright abomination. I'd have rather heard Hoyt Curtin's SUPERFRIENDS music laid over this film!

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#64 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:09 am

Paul MacLean wrote:
AndyDursin wrote: -If it's not the worst score ever written...it's pretty close
Why am I not shocked by this?
To quote Dennis Franz in Die Hard 2, "I am stunned! I gotta lie down!" :lol:

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#65 Post by Monterey Jack » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:36 pm

AndyDursin wrote:-Tiresome evocation of Christ imagery reminded me of SUPERMAN RETURNS (in a bad way)

:lol: :lol: :lol:

2.5 stars, or the equivalent of a 6.5/10 in my book.
About my assessment as well...not nearly the atrocious bomb many have said, but also chaotic, overstuffed and numbing.

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#66 Post by AndyDursin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:23 am

The music was certainly numbing! Thanks for that clip, btw. :P

I was struck by Zack Snyder's comments in which he notes the death of Robin and an unnamed Jimmy Olsen in this movie were an opportunity for him to "have fun." Like, seriously? Killing off cherished comic book characters is "fun" for him? lol. :lol:

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#67 Post by Monterey Jack » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:26 pm

One thing...Batman has an ADOPTIVE FATHER who gets killed during the Superman/Zod fight? Huh?! This is not explained very well at all. :?

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#68 Post by AndyDursin » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:48 pm

Nothing was explained well, nothing was developed well. I mean, what stopped the big fight between Batman and Superman? The fact that both of their mothers are named MARTHA? Then all of a sudden Batman is like "this guy is my friend"? It seriously had all the dramatic maturity of a grade school written screenplay.

The movie is a bust, no question. It's watchable but I agree, my expectations were so low that it had to play a part in my reaction.

Here you have 2 of the biggest superheroes in history -- the most recognizable heroes of all time -- in the SAME FILM for the FIRST TIME, and all they can come up with is THIS film? Which is dismal, dreary and takes a 70% drop in its second weekend? That you can't show to kids? That fans seem to hate on every level? That doesn't understand who Superman is in any regard?

I mean, this is BATMAN and SUPERMAN. It's not ANT-MAN or some other, obscure Marvel hero like DEADPOOL...and yet Warner Bros. has really blown their shot with these properties. They got lucky with the Nolan Batman films but pitching their tent with Zack Snyder and going all morose and depressing -- they're going to lament that decision. Big time.

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#69 Post by Monterey Jack » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:47 pm

AndyDursin wrote: Here you have 2 of the biggest superheroes in history -- the most recognizable heroes of all time -- in the SAME FILM for the FIRST TIME, and all they can come up with is THIS film? Which is dismal, dreary and takes a 70% drop in its second weekend? That you can't show to kids?
It amazed me the kind of trailers that played before my showing of BvS...Conjuring 2, The Nice Guys (strenuously R-rated buddy comedy), that Kevin Bacon native American shadow movie...I honestly thought for a minute that they were going to show the wrong movie, which has happened at least twice before at the same theater (which is why an audience filled with toddlers awaiting a matinee of Rise Of The Guardians in 2012 were instead subjected to the opening sequence of Lincoln, filled with Civil War soldiers getting bayonetted and stomping each others' faces into the mud. :shock: ). Where were the trailers for X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War or any of the other big summer of '16 PG-13 tentpoles?

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#70 Post by AndyDursin » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:28 am

Monterey Jack wrote:
AndyDursin wrote: Here you have 2 of the biggest superheroes in history -- the most recognizable heroes of all time -- in the SAME FILM for the FIRST TIME, and all they can come up with is THIS film? Which is dismal, dreary and takes a 70% drop in its second weekend? That you can't show to kids?
It amazed me the kind of trailers that played before my showing of BvS...Conjuring 2, The Nice Guys (strenuously R-rated buddy comedy), that Kevin Bacon native American shadow movie...I honestly thought for a minute that they were going to show the wrong movie, which has happened at least twice before at the same theater (which is why an audience filled with toddlers awaiting a matinee of Rise Of The Guardians in 2012 were instead subjected to the opening sequence of Lincoln, filled with Civil War soldiers getting bayonetted and stomping each others' faces into the mud. :shock: ). Where were the trailers for X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War or any of the other big summer of '16 PG-13 tentpoles?
We also had the ad for the Kevin Bacon film and CONJURING 2 playing in front of the movie. You can imagine the reaction of the parents who had their kids sitting there in the theater near us when those ads played. "Umm...I think you're going to miss that one" I could hear the father tell them. I don't understand why those trailers ran either. Did you see the film at a Showcase? I wonder if they made a chain-wide mistake, because I saw at least one article state that the LEGO BATMAN movie ad was supposed to be tagged with BvS, which would've made a hell of a lot more sense.

I remember being traumatized when the trailer for John Carpenter's THE THING played in front of E.T. every time I saw the film back in the summer of '82 (which made sense only because it was also one of Universal's big summer films that year), so I can only imagine what being exposed to THESE modern trailers (which are far more graphic) does to a kid. :?

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#71 Post by Monterey Jack » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:27 pm

AndyDursin wrote:I don't understand why those trailers ran either. Did you see the film at a Showcase? I wonder if they made a chain-wide mistake, because I saw at least one article state that the LEGO BATMAN movie ad was supposed to be tagged with BvS, which would've made a hell of a lot more sense.
Yes, I saw it at a Showcase, which is also where I saw Rise Of The Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph, which -- I found to be blackly hilarious -- showed the trailer to that Barbra Streisand/Seth Rogen comedy (forget the title) beforehand, which means a roomful of toddlers watched a trailer featuring stripper jokes, rape jokes, and three uses of the word "penis". There were a lot of irate parents over that (an employee came in shortly after that ad and one for Jack Reacher had played and informed the audience that they had set up the wrong movie, and would start the promised feature presentation soon), but I was just sitting there biting the inside of my cheek to prevent busting out in laughter. :lol:

Also, I remember some parents storming out at the Guardians screening, and hearing one kid remarking about the inappropriate trailers, "Those are 'R'...some might even be 'PG-13'." :P
I remember being traumatized when the trailer for John Carpenter's THE THING played in front of E.T. every time I saw the film back in the summer of '82 (which made sense only because it was also one of Universal's big summer films that year), so I can only imagine what being exposed to THESE modern trailers (which are far more graphic) does to a kid. :?
Heh...reminds me of the Carpenter/Kurt Russell commentary on the DVD, where Russell quips, "This is a different kind of monster than people were expecting...this was the same summer as E.T., right...?", and when Carpenter says yes, adds, "That did it!", and Carpenter muses, "Well, theirs was sweet and ours was mean..." 8)

Always baffled me how Universal could release two big sci-fi films not only in the same summer, but only two weeks apart. :? No wonder audiences had no appetite for a downbeat, snow-choked, graphic horror film while still flying high on the sunny optimism of Spielberg's far more benevolent depiction of an alien invasion. It's like Universal wanted The Thing to fail.

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#72 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:30 am

Always baffled me how Universal could release two big sci-fi films not only in the same summer, but only two weeks apart. :? No wonder audiences had no appetite for a downbeat, snow-choked, graphic horror film while still flying high on the sunny optimism of Spielberg's far more benevolent depiction of an alien invasion. It's like Universal wanted The Thing to fail.
But, the thing is (no pun intended lol) -- Universal heavily promoted the movie and gave it a plum summer release date, when the widest audience was available to find it. There were news pieces on it, I even remember the Today Show doing a profile. They had trailers attached to what became the biggest hit of all-time, so there was no lack of awareness in terms of publicity. I also don't think they thought there would be an issue, being so different than E.T., with opening it a few weeks later. Clearly they didn't anticipate E.T. being the cultural phenomenon it became, but in the end, I don't think you can blame Universal for the movie's commercial disappointment at the time.

The problem with THE THING is that it was the wrong movie for the wrong time. Too serious, too gross, etc. Back then there was a segment of viewers and audiences who really had issues with graphic gore, and THE THING as we know pushed the envelope with creature effects. So that's one reason why the critical reviews were AWFUL. 1 star from Leonard Maltin? Two thumbs down from Siskel & Ebert? Review after review from major outlets, they were terrible across the board, comparing it unfavorably to the Howard Hawks original. Savaging it, really. You had to look for a needle in a haystack to find anyone who liked it, and that was back when the critics meant more than they do today (the "Geek audience" that powers all of these comic books/genre films renders them all "critic proof" today at least in terms of openings, as BvS clearly attests. That wasn't the case back in 1982).

It opened the same day as BLADE RUNNER whose failure I think was more understandable -- it's a moody, brilliant film but one that's not accessible to all viewers, whereas THE THING should have had more commercial aspects to it. And I think Carpenter was right -- if the movie was a hit, his whole career would have been very, very different. To some degree, he never recovered.

Then again who knows. THE THING pre-make bombed a few years ago too. That's why this BLADE RUNNER sequel -- not only IMO is it a bad idea, but its no sure-thing in terms of being a hit. Granted the movie found its audience on video, but are there THAT many Blade Runner fans out there to make it a mainstream success? Personally that's a movie that I don't think ever called out for a sequel, much less one that's not even being directed by its original author.

DavidBanner

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#73 Post by DavidBanner » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:05 pm

The Thing bombed for a variety of reasons, but not because Universal abandoned it. Everyone expected a huge hit, given that it was a major sci-fi/horror remake from the guy who scared the heck out of everyone with Halloween. That idea still had currency in 1982.

But when the movie hit, it was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too downbeat, too gross, and frankly, Carpenter didn't spend much time at all working with his cast. Most of the characters are essentially waiting around to get whacked by the alien. He sadly didn't even make very much out of his locations or his sets, either to play up the claustrophobia or to really use the exterior expanses. Granted, the opening shots are great, but once you get past that, the movie mostly settles into small interior scenes of clipped dialogue. I find it to be an effective movie, one of the best of Carpenter's career, but it does have a lot of issues. And yes, it was a downer when everyone wanted happy comfort food.

Blade Runner was even more of an acquired taste. I loved Rutger Hauer's description of the audiences' reactions to it - that there were people who really loved it and people who immediately said "Ugh", and no middle ground.

Both movies, like Carpenter's Escape From New York, picked up a lot more viewers and fans from home video - from airing on premium cable and then being available on VHS for over a decade before DVD. To me, it's a no-brainer that WB would make Blade Runner one of its very first DVDs available to the public. The limited release of the Blade Runner workprint in 1991 certainly showed that there was a niche audience for the movie - if you ran it in one theater for a weekend. Had they done any kind of a wider release, the numbers really wouldn't have been there - it worked best as a special event boutique showing.

One of the very nice things about DVD and Blu-ray is that we've been graced with some very nice home video editions of both movies. With The Thing, we got another great Carpenter/Russell commentary and a surprisingly warm discussion of the movie by multiple participants. I particularly enjoyed Rob Bottin and Charles Hallahan's description of the misery of lying on that table for endless hours after Bottin's first take of the body explosion went horribly wrong. And there's another quote from either Todd Ramsay or someone else about the first take of the big title burn-in going sadly wrong - the letters that showed up first were "NG". And there's plenty of other things on that DVD, including an accounting of what was intended to happen to at least one character who disappeared before the ending. The disc didn't include the odd CBS opening to the first prime-time airing of the movie (which had Donald Pleasance doing voiceover introductions to each character) but it had more than enough cool stuff to keep fans happy. The DVD even demonstrated one very good trend of expanded home video attention - they went back and reacquired the rights to use Stevie Wonder's Superstition rather than the generic music that had been heard on earlier VHS, laser and cable editions.

With Blade Runner, we got the release to end all releases with that briefcase set for Christmas 2007. That's a situation where I really couldn't think of anything that they didn't include that anyone would really want to know about the movie. Just a complete goodie package.

But Andy is correct. Just because those movies have had a great afterlife on home video does not mean that either would suddenly be a big hit if revived or rebooted in theaters. The attempted prequel of The Thing properly fizzled a few years ago, and I have a feeling many fans have forgotten it was even done. I also remember Carpenter and Russell thinking that the numbers were showing that Escape From New York could have a big sequel and they inflicted Escape From LA. Which was yet another bomb in Carpenter's record, and a terrible movie to boot. (I could see them trying a new story with Snake Plissken, but this was like watching a complete re-run of the first movie, with even worse acting, writing and directing.) As for Blade Runner, I have no reason to expect anything from a sequel - there simply isn't anywhere to go with the story. As I see it, the 1982 movie pretty much told what story they had, and did it about as well as they could. It's really not much of a detective story - more of a brooding mood piece with amazing visuals. Scriptwise, it's still a bit of a mess - the various arguments about whether Deckard is a replicant really stem from the movie's lack of clarity and Ridley Scott's lack of attention to either the cast or the dialogue. I love the movie, but I have to acknowledge it has some real issues - and I can't imagine what anyone could do with a sequel. Nor can I imagine what audience there really is for a new movie - outside of some loud fanboys who attend Comicon each year. I think it almost certain that a new Blade Runner movie will bomb harder than the original one did. I'd prefer they just left it alone. (And having read it, I wish they would have originally done more of Hampton Fancher's original script - his first ending with narration was the best one the story could have had.)

Going back to Carpenter, I agree with him and Andy that if The Thing had been a huge hit, it would have catapulted Carpenter through the 80s. Instead, he had to do Christine as a work for hire and with a much lower budget. On the other hand, Carpenter was able to do Starman after that (and I shudder at the thought of the remake apparently being inflicted by Shawn Levy), which was to my mind Carpenter's best straight-ahead movie of his career. But then he followed it with Big Trouble in Little China and the wheels went completely off the wagon. I personally have an affection for They Live, and I think Prince of Darkness has a great idea lurking within it - but these are intentionally grungy sci-fi/horror movies. For me, the same applies to In The Mouth of Madness. By every meter I can see, his career was all but ended by Ghosts of Mars - at least until he inflicted The Ward which bombed without anyone noticing. I don't anticipate Carpenter ever making another movie at this point. I had hoped at one point that he might have another one in him, but I truly doubt that now. He seems happy just releasing his new music since people are giving him some attention for it.

User avatar
Monterey Jack
Posts: 5219
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:14 am
Location: Walpole, MA

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#74 Post by Monterey Jack » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:25 pm

Personally, I'm in the camp of those who don't "get it" with Blade Runner...I respect it a great deal for its trendsetting visual design and overall "mood", but as a narrative, it's a complete, dour flatline, not working as either a romance or a gumshoe mystery. Roger Ebert's three-star (out of four) review of it from the time of its release sums up my opinion of the film pretty well. Every few years, I sit down to watch it again, hoping it'll finally "click" and I'll see the brilliance some claim it to contain, but I'm always left wanting, my eyes dazzled with Ridley Scott eye candy but my soul left unengaged. :? I can't see any commercial gain to be made with a decades-later sequel...with Star Wars or Indiana Jones, people wanted to see Harrison Ford back in those iconic roles, but who gives a damn about what Rick Deckard has been doing for the last 35 years, whether he's a Replicant or not? With another talented director behind the camera (the guy who made Prisoners and Sicario), plus sure-to-be-spectacular photography by Roger Deakins, I'm sure it will look terrific, but I doubt it will engage me on anything other than a visceral level.

User avatar
AndyDursin
Posts: 23097
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:45 pm
Location: RI

Re: BATMAN V SUPERMAN - "Solemn...No Fun"

#75 Post by AndyDursin » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:51 pm

Scriptwise, it's still a bit of a mess - the various arguments about whether Deckard is a replicant really stem from the movie's lack of clarity and Ridley Scott's lack of attention to either the cast or the dialogue.
Great point, 100% on target, and while it's also one of my favorite movies, I also agree with you David, it has "issues." It's why I still prefer the theatrical version with the at-times cringe inducing Ford narration and tacked on ending -- without it, the movie has a whole slew of other problems, including a narrative that makes even less sense.

The Deckard is a replicant angle is something I absolutely HATE. I hate it. The whole point of the film to me is that this stoic detective who has lost his humanity discovers it through chasing an android that's trying desperately to live. If Deckard is already a robot -- what the hell is the point of the film? What's the point of his journey, where's the resonance, and why should we care if he's already one of them?

Scott never thought that angle through enough to my liking. It's ambiguous at best in the theatrical version but it has become progressively more explicit in every re-edit of the picture. That's why I just can't accept the Final Cut as it were as being definitive, because that angle doesn't work for me. And Harrison Ford apparently detested it also, so it's not a part of his performance either.

It's one other reason this new sequel is a head scratcher. The ambiance of the film, the poetry of Scott's visuals -- so, so ahead of their time -- and the music of Vangelis is a unique cinematic happening that cannot be duplicated. As brilliant as he might be, Roger Deakins isn't Jordan Cronenweth, you know Vangelis won't be scoring it, and Scott's not directing it -- so the trip down "memory lane" for this sequel is puzzling to say the least. I'll be happy if it turns out to have a relevant point, but I'm not holding my breath on that angle.

I think the worst part is that it's going to take ambiguous questions like "is Deckard is a replicant?" and explicitly answer them, and that's the worst kind of sequel. At least 2010 kept certain mysteries of Kubrick's film at bay and didn't feel the need to answer all of them -- this doesn't seem like it's going that direction.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest