Friday, July 3, 2015

in defense of Man of Steel, and DC's direction for their cinematic universe...

spoilers for Man of Steel and other films abound, your fault if you haven't seen any of them yet...

this WAS a dumb move on Jonathan's part, but very humanly plausible...

passing judgement on DC...

so, here i was, listening to one of my regular podcasts: the /Filmcast, specifically the episode featuring their review of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. of course, comparisons will be made to the rival company Warner Brothers' DC Cinematic Universe. never mind that DC only has one film to their universe released so far, it doesn't stop critics from doing unfair comparisons and passing judgement on films not yet seen and plans not yet implemented...

they were wrong about Keaton & Ledger, will Leto make it three-for-three?

"serious" does not equal "dark"...

but, that is a big can of Dune sandworms i 'm not going to open, my issue with the comparison is the conclusion of how "dark" the DC CU seems to be in comparison to Marvel's, but is it really? to me, no. to me, the tone is "serious" rather than "dark. the world of Basin City is dark: corruption abounds, criminals lord over the city and the protagonists aren't that much better...

THIS is dark...
THIS is merely serious...
THIS tries to be serious, RDJ's and Kingsley's expressions almost sell it...
the "right" way...

people seem to mistaking DC's serious tone for something dark like Sin City's or The Spirit's. i wouldn't mind it so much if people didn't also say it was the "wrong" way to go about making a comic-book-based cinematic universe. fact is, there is no right way. true, Marvel's way is making them money and people are blinded by the three films that breached the $1 billion mark worldwide to see that the series actually averages about $775 million worldwide as of today. a stone throw away from another Marvel series licensed to Sony, Spider-Man (including the fanboy aborted Amazing series), which averages higher at $792 million worldwide.  besides, it's not like DC hasn't hit that mark either...
nice joke, but it's a misconception...
taking the "Watchmen" route...

but, i digress. the real reason DCs movies seem dark is due the over-abundance of realistic details making its world a lot closer to the real world than the Marvel movies. example: despite how rich Tony Stark is, would he not be charged and found guilty of criminal negligence on his reckless actions in Monaco during the GP race in Iron Man 2 and not just Whiplash? never mind his potential international-incident causing jaunt to another country during the first Iron Man, and not have countries of the UN and political groups in uproar on Washington's doorstep (and not just a random newspaper article), nor would his grandstanding in the senate hearing not have legal ramification for his company and finances (i guess thank goodness that Nick Fury & SHIELD are around). a government institution like the U.S. Senate, in real life isn't that impotent especially when you make yourself a target. in Avengers, that waitress interview putting Captain America in positive light after the battle in New York would be the last footage a news network would show, it would be reserved for later use for some heart-warming schlock piece (how convenient that that piece aired as Nick Fury is justifying his defiance of the Council)...

i make consequences go away, i own your butt...
in one of Man of Steel's more criticized scene, Jonathan Kent, hobbled by an injury while saving a dog, stops Clark from using his super-speed to rescue him from death-by-tornado in full view of witnesses. this is ensure Clark's secret remain thus. it doesn't make sense from the audience's point-of-view, but from Jonathan's point-of-view, it does. Clark is still his son, and he wants him safely away from any unwanted (potentially government) attention, even at the cost of his life and leaving Clark fatherless. Clark, on his part, struggles with indecision until it is too late, being raised with Christian values (remember the 5th commandment?) and having lingering resentment from their earlier argument. a stupid, but a real human situation that can happen in real life. isn't this what older audiences wanted from a Superman movie? a more human Superman? a Superman that can make, and does make, mistakes. not the pristine demigod of the 1978 Superman, who spends 12 years with a recording of his real father to emerge a paragon of Kryptonian society and "guide" humans by being the light to show the way, the pleasant but boring & truly alien Superman...

horrified that the definition of the word "angst" was changed by the internet...
even if DC is not intending it, they are better off not mimicking the "Marvel" way and going on the "Watchmen" route. it is better for the genre of super-hero movies that they try and fail at this: realistic details and more human negative flaws than just being a snarky jerk...

in conclusion, what critics are harping about here on the potential DC CU is they don't want realism nor realistic touches in super-hero movies when it begins to show the negative side and/or realistic consequences of our heroes' actions. hence, critics will be very unfair to DC as they're blinded by the "fun" and box-office of the Marvel movies to be trusted for opinion...