- May 1, 2020
Except I never claimed it was distinct to Whedon. I said it was reoccurring in his work.Darth Rosenberg said:No, you pointed out a recurring trend/norm in populist entertainment and society, so to try to claim it is essentially distinct to Whedon as a creator is disingenuous.
Nolan?s Batman was conveniently self aware enough to quit while he still was sane enough. Snyder?s Batman didn?t quit his self destructive life style and thus it took a toll on him as the film shows. This, however, is a feature not a bug. Portraying this guy as being immensely damaged without giving him a kill count would be about as believable as saying no one died in MoS. Snyder also doesn?t ignore the kill count whereas Nolan Batman can burn down an entire fortress full of people (including the guy he swore he didn?t want to kill), kill Harvey Dent and blow Talia sky high yet still be considered moral enough to chastise Catwoman about not killing. Not that he raises a finger of protest after she blows Bane up.Darth Rosenberg said:I'd say The Dark Knight addressed the moral and philosophical ambiguity and turmoil well enough, but it did so whilst mostly retaining Wayne's logical faculties and sense of [albeit damaged] humanity. The conflict between wanting to do what's just and still being drawn over the line to vigilantism was well realised, and Nolan's broader moral framework is established in the short but brilliant scene between Bruce and Rachel in the first film, where he sheepishly reveals his initial plan of vengeance against Joe Chill.
Then there's the line at the end of Begins regarding escalation, which sets up TDK and the idea that he and the Joker are simply equal and opposite reactions as a consequence of transgressing against all laws and order, and imposing one's own order/disorder upon the world by force.
Nolan's films portray his dark side well enough without needing to make him behave like a violent, unthinking, insecurely macho halfbrain.
Also, in BvS we have no real context as to how this psychotic Batman came to be, nor do we have time or space to explore the world's morality (and for the most part Alfred just goes along with his killing sprees - a few snarky comments aren't enough of a challenge). There is no time, of course, but it isn't a work of art or a cohesive story; it is a corporate byproduct of one studio fumbling to ape another's business model without understanding why it succeeded (any critic or admirer of the MCU could've told 'em, for free, I'd guess).
Snyder?s Batman is also stated numerous times to have become more ruthless over time as opposed to most other iterations that have that be his default personality.
Sure, we?ll ignore the fact that they?ve been talking about going in a different direction since before BvS was released. Whatever helps maintain your bias I suppose.Darth Rosenberg said:Feck knows how Batman will come across in Justice League, although Affleck's already said he'll be more "traditional". If so it won't be because of a character arc - it will simply be because people didn't like BvS's bleakly stupid iteration. Again; a corporate reaction as opposed to anything creative.
Yeah because no other Batman scribe has ever shown him as violent.Darth Rosenberg said:Right, and he did that by presenting it through his own fetish; violence...
And yet the fact that so many were turned off by his brutality should show you that Snyder wasn?t trying to glorify his actions. Then again, given how the Bat fandom reacts to Batman taking a life while ignoring his other crimes like torture and child endangerment, it seems like him killing people is the only time his vicious nature is fair game for criticism.Darth Rosenberg said:Kinda takes the edge off the 'message' or theme, doesn't it? When the audience is sitting there cooing at Batman murdering people? Nothing says 'isn't he a nutjob' like 'Hey, watch him smash a car into other cars and kill people in this really nifty stunt!'.
He is. But since he tries to go after a sacred cow, you?re not buying it.Darth Rosenberg said:Who knows, maybe Snyder's trying to be subversive...
Is he so dim he can't learn? Even children and animals tend to learn 'fire bad' by touching it once.[/quote]Darth Rosenberg said:Seriously, not only is this the first time he?s encountered Kryptonite...
You try learning something when you?re in crippling pain and having your entire biology screwed around with while some lunatic beats down on you. I also, see you ignored my point about it taking a while for him to recover.
I think you confused him with Reeves and Silver Age Superman.Darth Rosenberg said:Instead we got a morose, sullen Supes' bullying random civvies,
It amazes me how people aren?t just unsympathetic to the Kents? plight, they?re aggressively ignorant to it. If Clark had been exposed when he was a child or a teen, his life would have been over. he?d have to consider every angle when it comes to meeting new people. Are these people my friends or secretly my enemies? Are they plotting to kill me or latching themselves onto me for protection? Are they only with me because they?ve been coerced in some way? The guy would be way to busy trying to figure out who is and isn?t his friend to actually help anyone. And this isn?t even ignoring authority figures who?d want him either dead or controlled for less noble purposes.Darth Rosenberg said:a [suicidal] Pa Kent who wondered whether someone with power and the means to save lives should instead let lives be snuffed out for the sake of self-interest,
Jonathan and Martha knew their son could and should help people. They also knew this would come with a cost. And as we saw in BvS, it did.
So every action or superhero movie then?Darth Rosenberg said:and of course an orgy of carnage to give everyone headaches at the end.
Darth Rosenberg said:This was a surly Superman film reveling in violence and destruction.
There are about four things Superman fans consider to be acceptable; being born, rescuing a plane, hitting on Lois and flying off at the end while mugging for the camera. Even diverging from one of these is enough to spark flame wars about ?not muh Superman?. And the types of stories that many Superman fans hold in regard and the ones they dislike start to make me wonder what they actually like him for.Darth Rosenberg said:Not every retelling of a character should be rigidly orthodox, but there is such a thing as simply going against the grain to such an extent that you fail to grasp why a character is cherished and valued.
Consider this; when Superman killed Zod in MoS, plenty protested that he should have done it immediately. They resented the fact that their hero was shown being forced into a situation and that without any of the usual cushions, he was no more superior to us regular people, in spite of his powers.
Contrast this to how they champion Joe Kelly?s What?s So Funny About Truth, Justice And The American Way? I cannot believe this was a story DC actually published instead of telling Joe Kelly to keep it confined to fanfiction.net where it rightfully belonged. Here we have a thinly veiled bash fic in which a writer vents his frustration that the The Auhtority dared to be more successful financially than Superman and turns the competition into straw men for Superman to knock down. Then after displaying that the only true reason Superman can stand up for his ideals is because he?s powerful enough to champion them, Kelly gives an utterly intelligence insulting speech about ?dreams saving us? as if we didn?t just witness him prove every single criticism levelled against the character.
Fans consider Superman to be the most ?human of superheroes? but it seems a lot of them don?t know what that actually means.
Yet that?s what happened and has happened before. Or do you seriously not hear of the type of horror stories that take place in Hollywood?Darth Rosenberg said:Directors still work with their editors and have input, so to try to assert Snyder had "zero input" over his own film's editing is patently ridiculous.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe no one would have any use for Olsen later? Or that whatever use they might supposedly have would be of such little consequence that his death wouldn?t matter at all? Where is this wailing and gnashing of teeth every time the MCU offs a villain or supporting character? Jimmy Olsen is not the be all, end all of the DCU. The guy?s been in five movies prior to BvS. Nothing substantial was done with him in them. He was equally superfluous in the DCAU, was outlasted by Chloe Sullivan (a character invented for the show) on Smallville and the Supergirl tv series struggled to come up with something to do with the guy when he?s not being rescued by Superman or dating Supergirl. The universe can survive Jimmy Olsen?s death. You still have thousands of comics where he does almost nothing of value to read.Darth Rosenberg said:Still, it shows how unthinkingly callous or selfish Snyder is in terms of just offing such a character with no regard as to who might want to use him later.
What was there to ruin? This character never had any dignity to him and only existed because the comics didn?t want to do the Clois marriage before the Lois and Clark tv show.Darth Rosenberg said:Now they can't. Just as Doomsday's ruined,
Oh I don?t know. He hasn?t come up with any stupid schemes revolving around real estate so I think there?s still more hope for him. Especially given his motivation is a hell of a lot better than petty jealousy.Darth Rosenberg said:'Lex' Luthor's ruined (though I suppose there's a tradition on the bigscreen in making Luthor an incompetent buffoon), and so on.
Okay, you do not get to play this card after all you?ve said about BvS.Darth Rosenberg said:You are aware it's not real, right? That comicbook universes operate by their own rules?
So you don?t have an issue with power fantasies? Then what the hell is your beef with Snyder?Darth Rosenberg said:If you have issue with all power fantasies in any comicbook property, then sure, go ahead and fault that entire need in human culture going back through our history.
The Looney Tunes operate within their own internal rules but you don?t see anybody advertising them as a moral example for people to follow. Either there are realistic qualities to the stances Steve embodies or, since he?s a fictional character, he just stands for pipe dreams that have no prayer of existing in reality. You might as well argue that the Lone Ranger is more heroic than real life cops or soldiers because they can?t shoot guns out of their enemies? hands.Darth Rosenberg said:The MCU operates within its own internal rules, and so their actions are to be judged against that - not our own. As I said: in reality Team Stark is correct, but on the page (or on the screen) given all we know of the universe and the potential threats - and that we know Cap always has the best of intentions - Team Cap is a valid path.
I want action films that don?t pretend to be smarter than they actually are. If the writers have neither the skill nor the freedom to truly interrogate the structure of their stories, then they?d best leave out discussions of registration and just focus on having their heroes plough through enemies like the Power Rangers go through the Putties.Darth Rosenberg said:Again, newsflash! It ain't real. If you want action films with no action, then--- well, go right ahead, I guess.
It was light hearted in tone and I enjoyed it.Darth Rosenberg said:Are you a Snyder completionist then? I can't comment on its tone as it looked dreadful and its reputation is less than stellar.
Again, why are you complaining about masculinist power fantasies in Snyder?s movies if you don?t seem to have an issue with them in MCU films?Darth Rosenberg said:I've only seen it once and a half, and not recently so I couldn't go into detail, but Watchmen is another nasty masculinist film from Snyder, where I always felt wary of his sympathies and put off by the depictions of violence.
Again he's clearly not the author, but you can tell a lot from the execution of an idea.
Darth Rosenberg said:Most constructed worlds try to have their cake and eat it - it's a given as far as internal creative tension goes, frankly.
Is it ideal? Perhaps not. Is it almost always inevitable? Yes.
And whoever okayed this idea should have been smart enough to know what does not work for a film. They?ve got no one to blame for themselves. It was once considered iconic that Captain America went through WW1 without killing anybody yet the MCU left even that bit of idiocy out.Darth Rosenberg said:For me IM2's probably the outright worse film in the MCU, but its thematic narrative focus was - by and large - still inspired by the Demon In A Bottle plot beat, ergo it was heavily entrenched in iconic elements of the entire character.
This type of storytelling is already stupid enough in the comics but there it can at least be considered forgivable by the fact that the comics are ongoing and thus need new stories. A movie franchise, however, is a finite venture. As you said, these characters spanned decades and generations. They did not have to adapt ?Demon in a Bottle?.Darth Rosenberg said:If nodding to late '70's era arcs counts as deconstruction of a "mindless superhero" world, then so be it... but I think you'll find most people just see that as coherent to the medium's way of telling stories for characters that span decades or even generations. Part of a continuum. There aren't many stories you can tell if you rigidly restrict yourself to the box marked "mindless", funnily enough.
You can have a story about people without resorting to cheap soap opera telling in which the fears and pain of regular folk on the street plays second banana to a bunch of garishly dressed prima donas. If the MCU gave an iota about telling stories about people they?d show their perspective and not just the so called heroes.Darth Rosenberg said:You seem confused as to why people want to see stories about people...
It's paraphrased as it was maybe about a decade ago, but I remember a good line Michael Caine had in a short interview with Channel 4 News. The question was about him being becoming a 'star', I think, and the reply was along the lines of 'When people come to the cinema they don't come to see me - they come to see themselves reflected up there on the screen'.
That's an essential element of storytelling, frankly, so it's no wonder the MCU's struck a global chord by engaging normal punters with these larger than life avatars of all kinds of themes and ideas. The Silver Age thankfully presented characters who were flawed, who we could identify with and relate to. That's kinda the point of art as a whole... To explore who and what we are, and art externalises and then collectivises that ongoing process.
The Dark Knight and The Bourne Identity had the maturity to acknowledge that the world they took place in was bigger than just one handful of people. The former best demonstrates this when Rachel shows Bruce how much worse than him others in Gotham have it. The events were treated as events in their own right and not just from the perspective of a handful of faves. Over in the MCU, we?ve got Whedon trying to replicate the Buffy/Angel romance in AoS, horrific events are ignored at the writers? choosing (Johannesburg) or when they are it?s to be used as emotional torque for one or two characters instead of a tragedy in its own right.Darth Rosenberg said:Something like the MCU plays a very modest populist part in that, sure, but it's still a relevant part of the whole, just like The Dark Knight and The Bourne Identity were in terms of a post-9/11 reaction to a world which suddenly felt far more hostile and, crucially, far less certain in terms of 'us and them' and right and wrong (obviously that mood continued, and that same mistrust of our own supposedly moral power structures is found in The Avengers and most brazenly The Winter Soldier, with Cap providing a moral conduit of wish fulfilling empowerment when in reality we have no such power, and the solutions aren't as simple as blowing up some helicarriers).
It?s not unlike how over in Game of Thrones, the story is more about the blue blood characters with little to no attention paid to the common folk. It's this sort of attitude - that "The common people [...] don't care what games the high lords play" and so are to be relegated to hapless extras, that prevents both GOT and the MCU from being an actual thoughtful take on the underpinnings of the setting, be it a fantasy world. Instead, it's every bit as self-indulgent in sex and violence as LOTR is bombastic in its pathos.
There are few things in this world more immature than a story that claims to be mature yet ignores how the characters? actions impact the greater world around them. The DCEU has handled this much better.
http://www.ign.com/videos/2016/03/24/why-justice-league-wont-be-as-dark-as-batman-v-supermanDarth Rosenberg said:I see tonal contradiction as a result of Warner's corporate flipflopping, wanting to adjust to what sells better as established by Marvel. They swung and partly missed with MoS, and swung and missed hard on BvS (and Suicide Squad, though I've not seen that clusterfuck yet).
Moving from grimdark to something more conventional - and popular - clearly isn't an artistic choice for them. It's creative cowardice (they might've made even worse films had they kept doubling down on the grimdark, but I'd have respected their desire to be distinct).
The Civil War comic, for all its flaws actually felt like an event that affected numerous people and showed numerous people?s thoughts and views on it. The movie is 2 hours of two grown ass men acting like tweens while everyone else indulges them. See my response regarding the MCU and GoT above.Darth Rosenberg said:Then maybe they shouldn?t have called it ?Civil War? and gone for something more appropriate like ?When Adults Fight Like School Children?.Maybe they called it Civil War because the essential idea is the same as the comic arc Civil War and the same leaders represented the same sides in an inter-superhero conflict? I know, I know, I'm going out on a limb with that one...
In this scenario it clearly can't hurt. I find it hard to believe they could mangle these characters any more than they already have.
I haven?t. what about it?Darth Rosenberg said:In case you've forgotten:
And what is this hopeful ideal that you keep parroting? Is it something people actually have a prayer of achieving or just another empty platitude that only means something in the fictional world in which he resides?Darth Rosenberg said:He sparked imaginations in children across the globe by representing a hopeful ideal.
There is a reason Superman has been struggling for relevancy for decades. Because until now, people were more in love with the idea of him rather than the reality. Because writers treated the consequence free world he occupied as an intrinsic trait rather than author fiat. And the second the curtain gets pulled, the fans lose their minds. It?s funny the stance you?ve taken in regards to Snyder?s work given how you seem to be all about how the MCU are stories about ?people?. Seems less like you want stories about people but rather you want your favorite characters to be unchallenged mouth pieces for whatever views you believe in.
It might be disillusioning to some to realize that a lot of the elements typically considered inherent in Superman are really just strokes of luck or the result of other people doing stuff for him; the guy is literally been living on other people's sacrifices from day one. On the other hand, it's interesting to see what is still left once those conveniences are removed. To measure him solely by his own actions and accomplishments, rather than as a pile-up of desirable traits to gush over.