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The One Where Zack Snyder Still Wins 2016‏

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What a strange atmosphere.

Whenever a DC film gets released, I mean. Not Donald Trump potentially being President.

Although it’s possible both are linked.

I’ve resisted adding to the DC debate. I’m not scared of the backlash (I’m a fan). It’s not that I’m unqualified. Possibly overly so. I’m likely hugely biased, too. Based mainly on a cinema trip to see Burton’s Batman in 1989. (I was 8. Shame on you, Dad).

I don’t think that blinds me when I go in, yet I’m massively against the consensus on DC films, so far. So maybe it does. I’ve certainly enjoyed them more than most. I’m possibly the only person who loves the flashback set up as I knew it might mean more Costner and Crowe.

I loved ‘Man of Steel‘. Even before this started to feel like a Snyder witch hunt. Sure, it was flawed. But when everyone started chipping in with how irresponsible the finale was – innocents died! – my jaw dropped.

Are these the same people who have ‘Avengers‘ a pass for the very same thing? Isn’t that a little… hypocritical? ‘Age of Ultron‘ (kind of) addressed it. It featured in most reviews about the Hulk Buster fight. But then so did ‘Baman v Superman‘ (the Doomsday island is deserted), and no one mentioned it.

I’m all for criticism. ‘Batman versus Superman’ deserves a fair bit. (“Martha!” LOL). But some of the criticism it gets, is beyond reproach.

So much so that you presume the same fans haven’t seen any Marvel. Except you know they have.

They’ve wiped ‘Iron Man 2‘ and ‘Thor 2‘ from their warped fragile minds. When they say ‘Suicide Squad‘ has no plot – they’ve literally forgotten it’s got almost the exact same plot as every Marvel film. (Beat the baddies. Beat the final Boss). And maybe THAT’S the problem. I actually quite like ‘Thor 2’ for trying to be different. But even the mid-credit stingers are a mess.

But, guess what…?
It’s a comic book movie.

It’s not Fincher. It’s not trying to be profound. It’s trying to give you two hours away from the mess of a Planet we’ve created. It’s not Nolan. And even he got it wrong, anyway.

Dark Knight Rises‘. Don’t get me started. Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham, despite Martial Law. He had a broken back but it’s better. And he, um, got out of a cave hole thing. And he had time to make a gasoline bat-symbol. And… Stick with me… He had time to shave. SMH.

It took me a few years to get over the disappointment. Maybe even more so than ‘Batman & Robin‘. I’m not kidding.

But, guess what…?
It’s a comic book movie.

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And in ‘Civil War‘ we all accepted the fact that Cap and Tony were BFFs five minutes after spending two hours thirty fighting. And they didn’t even have a Martha scene. (“MARTHA!” LOL).

But we let it go. In fact, I haven’t seen a single review that’s said how poor the ending of ‘Civil War’ was. And I wouldn’t mind that. If I didn’t then wade through think tank essays on how ‘BvS’ ended. (This isn’t an essay – so fuck you!)

That shouldn’t mean it’s exempt from some of the plotting. But to say it has NO plot is a bit disingenuous.

And when other bits get picked up that are factually inaccurate… Well, it’s hard to think there’s *not* an agenda against DC.

Some of the bits that are borderline irresponsible are some comments about Harley.

Batman strangles her, with sexual connotation, apparently. Does he? I missed that.

There’s sexism because her T-Shirt gets wet. OK… But it *is* raining. And all the men get wet too. Scott Eastwood (PWOAR), included. And a topless black man playing a crocodile. So….

It’s almost like everyone forgot Marvel’s treatment of Natalie Portman in ‘Thor 2’.

So, as long as it’s factual, it’s fair. But just don’t be hypocritical, OK?

‘Batman versus Superman’ was long. I’d forgive anyone for saying they don’t want to endure it again.

I, on the other hand, bought it in 4K. And the first thing I did was project it in 200″, while I had the Ultimate Cut on the iPad. I compared. I contrasted. It was fascinating. And I liked the extended cut. It added plotting. Even if half of that was to expand Lex’s ludicrous plans.

Did they bite off more than they could chew? Yes. But so did several Marvel films, too. ‘Age of Ultron’, anyone?

Is the soundtrack of ‘Suicide Squad’ forced? God, yes. But wasn’t ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘? And not in a bad way, but come on…

My main man, Chris Haydon (B’RAP), rightly said critics have a right – nay, a job – to critique. They see several films and it isn’t their job to decipher several comic books – the film should be able to tell that tale.

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That’s too true. And The Flash (I love Ezra!), popping up for literally five seconds in ‘Suicide Squad’ could confuse people (Snyder directed that moment in the film). Time travelling to give Bruce Wayne a message might be a stretch, too. But this is where I’m at a quandary. I love all of those Easter eggs. And DC are throwing the kitchen sink (literally), to play catch up.

Keep throwing, I say. Something will stick. And I think ‘Wonder Woman will be just that. Set pre-DCEU there’s no chance of them clogging it all up.

What’s happening off screen (6 weeks to write! Various Editors! Different Cuts!) is almost as interesting as what’s happening on the screen. DC need to address that. Pronto. So they should throw money at Shane Black. Maybe even Kevin Feige.

I appreciate what DC are doing. Each film has been improved by the last.

I adore the start of ‘BvS’ explaining Wayne’s vengeance to Superman. It improves ‘Man of Steel’ when you re-watch, now.

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Equally, I didn’t expect ‘Suicide Squad’ to address a post-Superman world so thoroughly. That then will enhance ‘BvS’ for me.

So ultimately, I think it’s fair to say they’re working in reverse.

But there’s something bold about their use of flashbacks.

It will enable them to fill gaps – drop characters in – replay scenes. And that’s fascinating to me. And more importantly, exactly what comic books are all about to me.

Are people genuinely complaining that we get Affleck and Leto as side characters, here? (“It’s over, Deadshot”).

So I’d urge you to see ‘Suicide Squad’. Then revisit the ultimate cut of ‘BvS’. Maybe even get ‘Man of Steel’ in 4K (at least Warner are future proofing their Home releases, Marvel!)

Have an opinion. Just remember. It’s OK to like both. And we’d rather have both, wouldn’t we?

Let’s remember to judge both on the same criteria though, eh?

IMPORTANT:
Who would’ve thought after all the comic book films this year, Zack Snyder would’ve still made the best comic movie of all time, eh? Of. All. Time.

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6 Comments

  1. It always amazes me when people say a film doesn’t have a plot. Always makes me feel they haven’t been watching the movie in question.

    It does seem that, in some quarters, people are determined not to like anything about the DC films.

    As you say, these are all comic book movies and, being a big comic book fan, I love them to bits….even when they don’t quite get things right.

    I feel the best thing DC could do would be to just have a bit more faith in the film makers they have brought on board and pay less attention to all the wailing and gnashing of teeth by so called fans on social media.

  2. I liked BvS when I saw it in the cinema, and really liked it when I saw the Extended Cut.

    I even liked the “Martha” scene. It’s not about them having mothers with the same name, or Batman becoming soft from hearing his mothers name. It’s about Batman realising that Superman *isn’t* a god. He’s just a dude with a family just like everybody else, trying to be good.

    Batman is in a really deep place. At least partially caused by the destruction at the end of Man of Steel. In that scene Batman has become his own enemies. He’s Scarecrow (“Breath it in. That’s fear.”), he’s Two-Face (portrayed by the half torn-off mask), maybe there is some Joke. The “Martha” is just about him realising “What the fuck am I doing?”.

    • I love that reading of the Martha scene!

      Cheers for reading, and contributing.

    • That is a fantastic way of looking at that scene.

    • Yes! That’s it exactly!

  3. The only thing in BvS that irritated me was how they kept reiterating that it was an unpopulated area. That people whinging about Man of Steel was so bad, it made them have to write in such clumsy lines, when as you said, Avengers got a complete pass. A thing I love about the DC movies is they are exploring the human characters and the effect the metahumans are having on the world. In Marvel, humanity is just a backdrop, and occasionally someone gets a funny line. In Man of Steel, we see humans sacrifice their lives fighting alongside Superman to defeat the Kryptonians. DC want to tell a different story but everyone seems to want them to be Marvel.

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