DC Comics on Film

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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domino harvey
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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#376 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:54 pm

MOD WARNING: Everyone needs to cool the fuck out or I'm locking this thread and the Joker's reign of anarchy will continue unabated

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captveg
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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#377 Post by captveg » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:12 pm

dx23 wrote: what benefits to your argument. You clearly dismissed that 49% of the Top Critics like it and that the 65% non-critic rating is flawed.
So, just Top Critics now? These are the arbitrary lines that make every argument based in stats pointless. Pick the stats you want to support your viewpoint while disregardng those that dont, because of flaws, or whatever reasoning.

Suicide Squad has an A+ Cinemascore from the under 35 demographic, apparently. Ultimately that means nothing to someone like me who didn't like it, but I would never argue that the under 35 crowd in the first weekend didn't enjoy it.
And of course, he will say nice things about Batman, Superman and the rest of the capes because he was doing films with those characters in it. Context, context, context. Basically, he has treated Batman, Superman and every other character he has touched like if he was doing Watchmen again.
So why don't you accept him at his word that he has grown to love these characters? If he loves different aspects of them than you do that doesn't justify you essentially calling him a liar and saying he hates the characters.

I disagree about the Watchmen characterizations, of course. Superman in the two films has the same moral core he's always had. That's it's being challenged by the society around him doesn't change that. The fact that he comes through the refiner's fire triumphant and willing to sacrifice all is about as pure a take on Superman as one can have, IMO.

As for Batman, this is hardly the first story to push him to the edge and fringes of his psyche.
I'm interested in reading it because it would give me more of an understanding of where you are coming from. Right now, you just say that you believe it's a great film but don't explain why. I thought the purpose of this forum was to do this.
Well, I'm reluctant to take the time to dive in deep on this forum because experience says if I'm the lone voice here for something I don't get taken seriously (at least it feels that way to me). So I've found it not worth the time to gather my thoughts in great detail here, especially in a thread about another film. My views are out there in other forums; I can try to dig them up and link to them/repost them in the MoS thread if you're truly interested.
So basically, a discussion with you has to be about the positive aspects of a film, and if it's negative, then you don't want to hear about it?
Pretty much. I don't mind a negative review, but I have little interest in revisiting negative points over and over. It makes film discussion circle around things I don't like rather than things I do like. I didn't get into enjoying cinema to talk about the things I don't like.
So I'm supposed to swallow my opinion of a film if I find it negative?
No. I simply will never understand why you would spend the time beyond an initial evaluation. I mean I literally do not comprehend why people use their limited time on this Earth to discuss in detail for long periods of time the things they didn't enjoy.

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#378 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:54 pm

captveg wrote:I simply will never understand why you would spend the time beyond an initial evaluation. I mean I literally do not comprehend why people use their limited time on this Earth to discuss in detail for long periods of time the things they didn't enjoy.
Well, it seems like neither of you liked the film, and yet here we are. Is this thread as it's (d)evolved really a good use of anybody's time?

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#379 Post by captveg » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:55 pm

zedz wrote:
captveg wrote:I simply will never understand why you would spend the time beyond an initial evaluation. I mean I literally do not comprehend why people use their limited time on this Earth to discuss in detail for long periods of time the things they didn't enjoy.
Well, it seems like neither of you liked the film, and yet here we are. Is this thread as it's (d)evolved really a good use of anybody's time?
Nope.

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#380 Post by dx23 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:57 pm

captveg wrote: Well, I'm reluctant to take the time to dive in deep on this forum because experience says if I'm the lone voice here for something I don't get taken seriously (at least it feels that way to me). So I've found it not worth the time to gather my thoughts in great detail here, especially in a thread about another film. My views are out there in other forums; I can try to dig them up and link to them/repost them in the MoS thread if you're truly interested.
As long as your thoughts are well written and defend your point, I don't think anyone here will blast you for it. This is a film discussion forum and there has been lone voices in the past and people respect that. I'm being sincere in wanting to see your thoughts on both Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman since you saw something I didn't.
No. I simply will never understand why you would spend the time beyond an initial evaluation. I mean I literally do not comprehend why people use their limited time on this Earth to discuss in detail for long periods of time the things they didn't enjoy.
When is something I'm passionate about and the final product isn't good, I like discussing about it and see where it could have been fixed or talk about the potential it had. I do this with sports, comic book, business ventures, etc. To me it serves almost as case studies and teaching lessons.

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#381 Post by captveg » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:59 pm

I think I covered my thoughts on BvS in that thread fairly well. If there's a specific follow-up to anything I said there let me know.

(If I don't respond quickly it's because the Universe of No Man's Sky beckons within an hour).

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#382 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:32 pm

Guys, guys! You're all God's children, He loves you equally.

Wait, what are we talking about?

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#383 Post by barryconvex » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:42 am

When is something I'm passionate about and the final product isn't good, I like discussing about it and see where it could have been fixed or talk about the potential it had. I do this with sports, comic book, business ventures, etc. To me it serves almost as case studies and teaching lessons.
I'm completely neutral here as i haven't seen the movie but i think what you wrote above is a totally valid point...

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#384 Post by tenia » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:08 am

I think discussing things you don't like can be as enlightning as discussings things you like. And in places like here, you might find people disagreeing with you, so the exchange is likely to be even more interesting (providing everybody remains civilized, etc).

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#385 Post by movielocke » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:24 pm

Suicide Squad was fine, it wasn't great, it was reasonably entertaining, and while it was remarkably stupid in that it was over-telegraphed or underexplained (actually quite an achievement) for most of the run time, I didn't mind too much.

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#386 Post by jbeall » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:27 pm

I pretty much agree with movielocke's assessment. It was a fine way to spend two air-conditioned hours on a hot summer afternoon. However, the move from "don't-forget-we're-all-bad-bad-guys" to "we're all family!" was formulaic but completely undeserved, especially considering they'd been around each other for less than 24 hours.

I thought Viola Davis was especially good playing a probably the biggest badass in the film, albeit one who's playing a very dangerous game considering she doesn't have any superpowers. (The teaser during the credits played nicely on that.) Margot Robbie and Will Smith are also quite good, though I didn't care for Jared Leto's Joker, and the fact that they needed to keep that "Damaged" tattoo across his forehead rendered the character silly every second he was on the screen. (Seriously, does anybody not know the Joker's "damaged"???)

Maybe it's that I watched BvS last night, thus going into Suicide Squad with significantly lowered expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. That said, pretty much anything placed next to the turd that is BvS will smell like a rose by comparison.

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Re: Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)

#387 Post by feihong » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:21 pm

I finally got to see this movie, and...it was so drab. The previews looked like a hot mess, but one that promised to at least be flashy and razzle-dazzling; but the film we have instead is low-key, overlong and critically underdeveloped. What it looked like more than anything is a 5-hour, doggedly-plotted story, full of anectodes-within-the-story and drawn-out character beats, which was then condensed as awkwardly as possible into a 2-hour movie, which in turn left you feeling as if you'd spent 3 or more hours watching events that seem as if they would play out over about 60 minutes of real-time drama. It felt more than a bit like a sugar-free Escape from New York, where the idea of forcing bad guys to do good things gets no thematic development whatsoever. This is a deeply cynical concept, and everyone from The Secret Invasion and The Dirty Dozen onwards who has relied upon this dramatic schema has milked the irony in the setup for all it was worth––what would these unsavory characters do, when asked to do good? Would they fall in line? What would make them do so? Every film made in this mold understands that these questions are the key to the drama––the very thing that makes the internal engine of this story work. But the makers of Suicide Squad hardly even acknowledge these issues, and instead go about trying to renovate these "worst of the worst" villains into likable people.

Why, though? Why even try to make them so appealing? The minute we start feeling like Deadshot is an honorable dude he really has to step down as one of the "worst of the worst." Captain Boomerang never seems like the worst of anything. Katana is even a straight-up good guy. Harley Quinn dances around the idea of character motivation in an absolute blur. Her motivation bounces like a pinball from scene to scene––in one scene virtuous, another, lovelorn; a third, psychotic. Nothing in this film really explains what she's about, or why she's there. Is she one of the "worst of the worst" because she lashes out at her prison guards? Because I think a lot of prisoners have done that. We never really get the impression that Harley Quinn is any kind of "dangerous" psychotic. She only shoots mutated monsters and steals a purse from a display window. Batman's violent, vindictive incarcerations of these characters make him look like a sadistic d-bag. But this is a movie edging far towards the PG-13, kid-friendly idea of "good" and "evil." The Suicide Squad were all blanket "bad" people, because...because they've killed people? Hasn't Batman killed a bunch of people before? And we know Superman has. But once these incarcerated killers are recruited to do "good" work, they immediately become "good guys," deserving of our sympathy and our interest. The Dirty Dozen works because it identifies shades of grey within the society the dozen has been cast from. There are people more evil than the dozen, not only on the other side of the war, but high up within the ranks of the dozen's own army. Snake Plisken is a tough, mean pragmatist, but the people he's working for are more cynical and sadistic than he will ever be. We never feel that relative sense of evaluation in Suicide Squad––though there is constant, meaningless banter about who is "bad" and who is "good."

One of the wonkiest problems with the film is that the main adversary is just another member of the Suicide Squad. This is not really a spoiler; it happens within the first 15 or 20 minutes of the picture. I did enjoy the way the Enchantress' visuals were imagined, just like I liked some of the Joker/Harley Quinn cutaways for their visual components (I wish more movies would get a little lusty and overheated with their visuals––I wish this movie would have––but the colors swimming around the Joker and Harley Quinn in the chemical vats is really fun––couldn't they have done more of that?). But motivation for any of the onscreen action is in short supply, and the narrative beats where they establish threats and stakes have all been cut from the final edit. I thought the Enchantress' bubbling goons were pretty interesting. A horror movie might have made something of how weird and frightening their transformation had been. Could their bubbling ooze have been infectious? Do they still have emotions? Can they see or smell or hear? But we have no answers to any of these questions. Instead these mystically-bound henchmen remain just grimy goons––explosive, icky canon-fodder to keep the picture from having an R-rating. It seemed odd that the trained soldiers with heavy weapons had such a hard time fighting these creatures, when Harley Quinn could take them out with only her baseball bat and her diminutive physique.

On a side note, I don't know if my age is catching up to me, but I found myself cringing at the gloating sexualization of Harley Quinn. The Bond movies never used to bother me in this respect––they seemed so tongue-in-cheek, even in regards to their chauvinist sexuality. But Suicide Squad's pauses to underline Harley's buttocks and her twitchy walk felt like they ought to have been punctuated with a little ringing bell and a handsome, middle-aged man as host floating up in front of the screen, gesticulating mutely, grinning and pantomiming the particular titillation we should be getting from the shot in question. I mean, her costume is her costume...I guess...but...it felt ponderous and humiliating, and the sexualization of the character was underlined so plainly that its purposelessness swung plainly into view. Harley beats up a bunch of thugs and then...ass shot! 'Cus kicking ass is sexy, right? This never seems to be a sexualized presentation that Harley has any control over, either––she just performs when ogled.

Just what has happened to the movies, that everyone thinks these dramas are just fine without establishing character, stakes, etc.? BvS and this movie are incredibly ham-fisted at establishing clear stakes and motivations, but the Marvel movies are pretty light in these regards as well. It seems as if Suicide Squad probably had a lot of these details of character, setting and situation, presented as full scenes in some much longer edit, but I think the script needed a lot of renovation in order to pack the relevant details into what would obviously have to become a more reasonable ultimate running time. This is a movie that smells rushed and ends up looking flaccid. It's grimness is as tacked-on as a cheap halloween mask––all superficial scariness, with no internal logic to back it up. It's missing all of the connective elements that used to be marks of good cinema storytelling, but it expects you to buy into emotional buildup without any of that connective material. It's a movie packed with jokes that aren't funny, characters that aren't developed, situations where the stakes aren't clear. It doesn't seem like a terrible film or a disaster so much as a movie that isn't complete––but it doesn't glow with promise like, say, the Blade Runner theatrical cut. You get the feeling that a finished Suicide Squad, even with a few more editing passes, wouldn't have worked or satisfied. It seems to me that no one involved on the film really committed to the dark idea which their premise suggested.


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Re: Comic Books on Film

#389 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:11 pm

Sources say this decision was solely made based on what’s best for the project and had nothing to do with the recent disappointment of Affleck’s recent directing job “Live by Night.”
Alternative facts strike again

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#390 Post by captveg » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:31 pm

If they get Matt Reeves to direct as mentioned in the article I'd consider that an actual upgrade. I'm a huge Dawn of the Planet of the Apes fan.

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#391 Post by captveg » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:55 pm

This Affleck comment from a couple weeks back has new significance and echoes part of the statement today:,

“I know what’s it’s like to be in the suit. We’ll have to modify the suit to make it a little bit easier to put on and take off. When you are in it, you can be sweating, crazy and exhausted, do your part and walk away. But when you’re a director, you can’t walk away. You have to be there for everybody. Chief among the challenges of doing Batman, will be finding a suit that’s more comfortable.”

http://www.darkhorizons.com/affleck-tal ... ng-batman/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So the logistics was clearly on his mind over the last month. Obviously it's not the only factor - I doubt Live by Night's performance has absolutely nothing to do with this change.

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#392 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:24 pm

Forbes hears rumblings that Affleck might leave the project as the star as well, but maintain his writing/producing credits (?!?)

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#393 Post by Werewolf by Night » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:51 pm

If I were a guy who just wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a movie that I felt the studio, for whom I had just won a Best Picture Oscar, did not support enthusiastically enough, why would I feel compelled to do them the favor of spending at least a year directing and starring in their big, polarizing franchise? And of course he’ll maintain his producing and writing credits. He probably already did a ton of work on the film. WGA and PGA rules means he gets that credit now no matter what.

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#394 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:01 pm

Just sort of seems to me like, if they were to scrap him altogether from starring in it, they'd just delay it another year or two and start over from scratch with a whole-new team behind it.

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Re: Comic Books on Film

#395 Post by captveg » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:52 pm

Yeah, I can't see that happening (Affleck leaving the role as actor). For one, we know that he's contracted to be in the eventual Justice Leaue 2 down the road, which Hughes doesn't even mention.

The weirdest thing to me would be him not being able to crack the screenplay. I mean, I get there's a lot of pressure on it as a project, but don't over think this - there's only so many Batman stories out there.

To me, this makes the most sense as straight up concerns about exhaustion. There's only so much a single person can do. I can't think of an action-adventure film with such a prominent lead role played by the director.

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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#396 Post by Shrew » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:57 pm

Yeah, I don't think what Cameron is saying is offensive, but it doesn't pan out. Easily the best thing about Wonder Woman, cited in just about every review--even the mixed ones, is that the camera never ogles Gadot in the way that the Marvel films treat Johansson. This is not to say that there aren't other more interesting things going on with that character and Johansson's performance, just that the camera occasionally sexualizes Black Widow in a way it does not do with Gadot. I'd put Lara Croft in the Marvel category.

Yes, Gadot is pretty, and the make-up/costuming/frame/lighting definitely highlights that rather than try to cover it up or ugly it down, but it looks more like a make-up ad than a pin-up. In other words, the audience is clearly women rather than men. This is still objectification and there issues you could raise with that, but it's not "male hollywood doing the same thing." Honestly, the shots of Linda Hamilton in prison in T2 feel more male gazey to me than anything in Wonder Woman. The character isn't glamorized, but there's still a sense of a male gaze taking in her body. It's just a body type that bucks typical conventions of beauty (but has since actually become more popular, and I get the sense Cameron was always into it).

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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#397 Post by knives » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:00 pm

Gregory wrote:Definitely. For one thing, comic books had an extremely low standing in the culture from the "Golden Age" till the birth of the "graphic novel," and were widely considered absolute trash, only fit for halfwits and children, and at times not even deemed suitable for the latter.

And I think it's worth noting how Superman and other superheroes came from an amalgam of other things from "low culture" forms that predated comic books such as pulp magazines: Tarzan, Doc Savage, the Shadow and other characters with secret identities. In fact the main forerunner to DC, National Allied, was started by former pulp writers.
OK, this post is so geeky it's making me a little ill.
I meant what it means. It sounds unnecessarily derogatory, but from this post it seems like you just mean stuff that wasn't treated seriously at the time regardless of what the makers themselves were thinking. Is that right?

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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#398 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:29 pm

I was using the term to describe what the medium was according to prevailing attitudes, and how the era and other pulpy influences shaped (and how!) Wonder Woman's whole look and concept as a powerful female hero but one who wears things that aren't exactly practical for fighting crime but are "fantasy" elements, such as the high-heeled boots. Comic books were "low culture" because of the position they were assigned in a culture generally much more elitist about such things, as we've now seen not only comics cross over into mainstream acceptance and serious respect and study but also things like the fiction of the paperback book of the 1950s and early 60s, rock 'n' roll, jazz, and other popular music, and many other examples of things once written off as lowbrow, suspect, trashy, embarrassing, "cheap," and so on.

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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#399 Post by Zot! » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Say what you will, Cameron has been pushing the empowered woman hero thing for far longer than it has been popular. I believe he's quite genuine in that regard.

I think his Avatar quote was more talking about trying to make a CGI "thing" sexy, which is pretty weird. The guy was a truck driver after all, cut him some slack.

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Re: Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins, 2017)

#400 Post by Gregory » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:22 pm

Well, if Wonder Woman is considered part of the "empowered woman hero thing," then it was popular enough when Cameron was still driving trucks for WW to be a pretty famous comic book and a TV series (albeit one cancelled after three seasons due to less-than-stellar ratings) and for Pam Grier films to make a huge cultural impact, among other examples. I haven't seen Aliens in far too long to discuss it, and most of his other films are either utter dreck or just not for me. And I think Ridley Scott gets the credit for giving us Ellen Ripley, a great female protagonist in a role that was going to be just a standard male action hero. But I was really discussing the James Cameron of today, based on his own statements, and I think I've pretty much said my piece about him.

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