Batman, Superman and Hate Boners

If I may I’d like to start this post off by stating the obvious; I’m a geek.  Everybody who knows me knows this.  Anybody who’s read my pulp novel titled (oddly enough) The Geek certainly knows this.

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I am a life long lover of comic books, sci-fi and fantasy.  The only video games I tend to play are either sci-fi or fantasy games.

Once I was a part of a ridiculed minority, now of course the 21st century becomes more and more, everyday, the century of the geek.  We’ve gone mainstream baby!

There are currently (roughly) at least ten shows on television that are either superhero based or based on a comic book.  I am including in this things like Netflix with Daredevil and Jessica Jones as well as the broadcast networks with shows like Supergirl, Lucifer, Arrow and Flash.  Add into this mix the most excellent show Powers that streams on the playstation network and we’re barely past the tip of the iceberg on what’s out there and what is yet to come.

I did not go see Batman versus Superman when it first came out, rarely do I go to movies on opening weekends anymore.  This is due mainly to my schedule more than anything else but it is what it is.

I did finally see it last week and quite frankly I’m a little confused about all the hate.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not a great movie and not even close to perfect, but it is a good film.

Perhaps, because of all of the shit talking and negative reviews I saw on youtube and online my opinion, by the time I went, was so low that it would have had to truly be a suck fest for me to hate it, but I didn’t.  This of course doesn’t mean I didn’t have problems with it, because I did.

First I think we can all agree that Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was a terrible choice and the choices he made in regards to how he portrayed the role were very much wrong.  Lex Luthor is not The Joker.  Lex Luthor has a very well established history.  His traits and character are so well defined over the past sixty some odd years that this never should have been allowed to happen.

I like Jesse Eisenberg as an actor.  I enjoyed him in Zombie Land and Social Network but this was just a wrong move.  But I don’t blame Jesse Eisenberg for this, I blame Zack Snyder for this.

Jesse may have actually been a good choice, if the director had a clearer idea of how Lex Luthor should have been portrayed.  But I can only assume, since Zack Snyder is not a push over, that he liked this portrayal of an iconic character, in which case I just feel it shows a lack of respect and understanding about Lex Luthor’s history and motivations.

Of course Zack has gotten a lot of crap for what he’s done in regards to the movie but for me it was the Lex thing that I found most annoying.

I think we’ve all read the blog posts and seen the outrage videos by people who can’t believe that Zack killed off Jimmy Olsen without even mentioning him by name.  Quite frankly that didn’t bother me.  Jimmy Olsen is not important to what Warner Brothers and DC are trying to do and killing him off, while possibly disrespectful to the history of the Superman universe is not a huge loss.

The other problem(s) I had with the movie I think are pretty much the same as everyone else.  The retelling of the Batman origin for the billionth time seemed a bad choice and every interview I’ve read or heard by Snyder about his reasons for including this are freaking weak.

The only reason he included this origin scene was so that the audience would hear the word “Martha” come out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s mouth.  This was to be “paid off” nearly two and a half hours later when Superman says the word “Martha”.

For me as for most of you, this did not in fact work.  It was the weakest, thinnest and quite frankly laziest way for Batman to find some sort of solidarity with this (Super)man he’s been hate bonering on for the entirety of the film.

However, I will say that it did not bother me as much as it bothered pretty much everybody else I’ve talked to.  I get it, I know why they did it, I just think it was kind of lazy.

I’m gonna get to the good stuff in a second but I’ll just finish up my criticism with my own analysis of why DC and Warner Brother’s approach is doomed to failure if they don’t take a breath and rethink their strategy.

I understand that Marvel is absolutely crushing it when it comes to their cinematic universe and that DC is late to the game to compete.  However, playing “catch up” is not (IMO) the way to go here.

Marvel made a decision early on with the first Iron Man movie about their long term game plan in building their universe.  DC/WB trying to throw everything into basically one movie to jump start their own cinematic, all encompassing, universe is a potential disaster just waiting to happen.

Not that Marvel hasn’t made any missteps, but for the most part they’ve really done this right.  I still have a serious problem with them not doing a stand alone Black Widow movie; which if done correctly would be freaking incredibly.  But for the most part they’ve been really smart.

If DC doesn’t do things right from here on out, they are just going to be wallowing in suck.  Having said all that there is hope, and I do hope it does work out because I grew up reading the books these cinematic characters are based on and I want to see them live on film.

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It looks like they are giving Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman movie the respect it deserves and doing it properly and that’s great.  When I saw her in the Wonder Woman outfit on screen in B vs S I was singularly impressed with how bad ass she looked and have no doubts that she really can pull off the complexities of the character.

The comic books have really done a lot over the past twenty plus years to make it very clear who and what Wonder Woman is and if they respect the source material I think they’ve really got the potential for a serious hit with the stand alone movie.

Wonder Woman (in the books) is just about as powerful as Superman, she is a force to be reckoned with and can hold her own against that baddest of the bad.  Hopefully this will shine through as she was certainly one of the highlights for me in B vs. S.

Unlike most people I know, I was actually very excited when I heard Ben Affleck had been cast as The Dark Knight.  Early on the rumor mill swirled with how Ben would be playing an older, more war hardened Batman based on Frank Miller’s amazing The Dark Knight Returns book.

For me the thing that makes Batman work is if the actor understands what Bruce Wayne really is.  Michael Keaton understood it best (IMOagain) but Ben Affleck seemed to grasp it strongly as well.

Simply put, Bruce Wayne is the costume, the fake identity, Bruce Wayne does not exist, he’s a cover, a paper doll.  Barman is the real personality hiding under the Bruce Wayne costume all the time.

I think Ben Affleck is a really strong Batman because he understands this.

I’m not gonna go back and start nitpicking all the things wrong with this movie because I understand that while they’re going about it in a possibly stupid way, I know what the end goal is.

If Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the next Superman and Batman movies are all done right it’s going to be okay and all shall be redeemed.  From what little I saw however, I do think Cyborg could end up being the most interesting character.

But, there is one member that for me needs to be included in the Justice League for it to truly be The Justice League and without this member, it’s just always gonna look half assed to me.

I’m talking about The Green Lantern.  This is of course incredibly personal since The Green Lantern is my favorite comic book character of all time (tied with Daredevil and Spider Jerusalem).  If they don’t figure out a way to include him, it’s just not going to work.

And when I say Green Lantern I’m not talking about John Stewart, Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner, I’m talking Hal Jordan.

We all know the catastrophuck that was The Green Lantern movie with Ryan Reynolds was an embarrassment.  I know it, you know it, Ryan Reynolds knows it.  But much like The Hulk films on the Marvel side (first one sucked, second one was an above “meh”) it deserves a second chance.

I was really excited about Green Lantern when it came out.  I even thought casting Ryan Reynolds was okay.  I like Ryan Reynolds, always have and was hoping he could pull it off, but everything from the tone to the story was crap, and the little gushy power battery I call my heart was crushed when I saw it.

Though I’ve never sported a hate boner* for Ryan Reynolds I do think he was miscast in the role and the tone was wrong.

In short, the movie was terrible for many reasons but it should be given a reboot.

Hal Jordan is iconic, he brings a skill set to the league that it needs and should be included.

I think I’ve gotten off on a ridiculous tangent here but, let me just sum up my feelings on this and why I think the haters need to take a breather, chill and go watch B vs. S again, which I plan on doing next week.

Keep in mind what they’re attempting to do and where they’re trying to go.

Try not to think about how they’ve combined both The Death of Superman storyline and elements of The Dark Knight Returns which should never be combined no matter how loosely.

Considering TDKR was one of the greatest Batman stories ever written by one of the greatest writers to put pen to paper, it deserves far more respect than Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers gave it.

There were parts of B vs S that I really, really liked and I felt the two and a half hours went fairly quickly.  As someone who’s been reading comics since I was seven years old I’m about as big of a fanboy as they come and I think the hate is really unwarranted.

Disappointment sure but hate, no.

We have a solid foundation here people.  A very strong Batman played by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill has done a great job humanizing a god like alien and of course Amy Adams as Lois Lane is fine and Gal Gadot truly has Wonder Woman down.  Jason Momoa is absolutely perfect for an updated Aquaman.

As for Cyborg and Flash that remains to be seen but I’m open, especially about Cyborg.

So go give it another try, no I’m not being paid by Warner Brothers or Zack Snyder.

Though a t-shirt wouldn’t kill them.

Next week, why Suicide Squad is really important and why I’ve been excited from GO!

In the meantime why not head on over to goodreads and check out the (mostly) awesome reviews and ratings for my pulp novel The Geek http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k

The Geek is available online everywhere, but you can get paperbacks from Amazon.com, UK and Canada.  It’s also now being carried by Skylight Books here in Los Angeles on Vermont.  Skylight is a great independent bookstore and we need to support those.  So if you’re reading this and live in L.A. then head on over and pick up a copy.

But hey if you’re not http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6

There’s a brand new podcast up today.  This week the bro-host and I are talking food, it’s our second biggest passion next to nerd things http://bit.ly/1KOLDsH

And why not follow me on twitter…don’t cost nothin’  http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA

And we’re still on Facebook because I haven’t done anything with my tumblr account yet   http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp

Here’s a couple of reviews for The Geek, because it helps my self esteem:

http://bit.ly/1MAAyZQ

http://bit.ly/1nimk7v

http://bit.ly/22s8hw0

Thanks for stopping by everybody, see you next Wednesday and I hope you all have a great rest of the week and fun weekend.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan

*Yes I used the phrase Hate Boner twice.  I did it for no other reason than I wanted to use the phrase Hate Boner.  I also used catastrophuck, but that one I think was warranted.

With that small paragraph I’ve now been able to use the phrase Hate Boner four times.

Now five!

What the hell….HATE BONER!

 

 

 

 

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