Superhero/Comic Based Films & Tv - Vol.2

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:54 pm

^ Joss Whedon was a script doctor early in his career getting paid to do uncredited work on movies. He did some heavy work on Waterworld, Speed, the original X-Men and a few others. A LOT of people make a very good living doing that. You can google Joss Whedon + Waterworld to read some of his thoughts on that movie.

I only know Joss Whedon from his films & I've always felt he was a bit overrated. He has a decent grasp on story structure - certainly better than Zack Snyder or most directors in Hollywood - but he's not one of the greats.

I've personally always had beef with him because he's repeatedly said "Alien: Resurrection has a great script & could have been a great movie but it was poorly directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet".
Not so. The script for Alien: Resurrection really is bad. It's always been bad. It has never made sense. In Whedon's original drafts of Resurrection the Newborn Alien which is supposed to be an Alien warped by the human DNA contaminants in the cloning process somehow ends up being a giant albino vampire spider. It's a neat idea but doesn't function with what the script has logically set up. Whedon's draft of Alien: Resurrection is that from start to finish. It is riddled with character inconsistencies, one-liners galore, the still tonally odd ending where nothing is made about the fact that our "heroes" crash a spaceship into Earth probably killing thousands in the process & generally does not have a solid grasp on what made the character of Ripley so transcendent. His one real stroke of genius with that script (Resurrection) in my opinion was - as he has openly said - he lifted the format of "The Poseidon Adventure" where the first half hour introduces you to your victims and then the rest of the movie is just people getting off the sinking ship.

What Jean-Pierre Jeunet did was take a poor script devoid of character & actually give it some character. I love the weird direction of that film which turns the cartoon script into a literal cartoon. I love Alien: Resurrection the film as an artist showcase. The story... not so much.

Hopefully Warner Brothers will force a female co-writer to aid Whedon on drafting Batgirl.

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Postby silvermoonlight » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:39 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Oh, and Dr Horrible was neat, I guess. Can't say as though I watched any of his other works outside of Aliens Resurrected and the first half of Waterworld, both of them are bore fests.


I knew about Alien resurrection but waterworld I never realized he was part of that and I'm not even gonna mince my words here as I hate that film and even decades later my feelings for it have not changed. It has in my view one of the worst leading characters ever put to film I mean he's just a nasty unlikeable asshole and the movie really wants you to like him by the end and I never could because more than once for me he crosses the anti hero line and behaves in a really disgusting way and does things that characters like Mad Max would never do.
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:27 am

When I think about Waterworld I wonder how a movie with Dennis Hopper playing a post-apocalyptic pirate could be so unbearably shitty.

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Postby FrDougal9000 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Gendo'sPapa wrote:Hopefully Warner Brothers will force a female co-writer to aid Whedon on drafting Batgirl.

I'm gonna bet $5 that if this does happen, there's going to be an awful non-troversy, driven mainly by man-children and people in hate groups, that will more than likely overshadow the actual film. There are two reasons for this:

1. As I've mentioned beforehand, people really seem to like enabling Whedon into doing whatever he wants. It won't shock me if his fans in particular take umbrage with the idea of a co-writer "diluting their precious Whedon magic", and therefore start getting mad at the person who would dare to question him.

2. If there's one thing that's sure to get certain dark corners of the internet riled up with the sort of rage that's perhaps better reserved for more important matters, it's female creators being involved in geek media. And when said creator is co-writing with an established geek media icon, well... some (truly deranged) folks aren't going to take it well.

Combine these two factors, and you've got the kind of shitstorm that could make Ghostbusters '16 seem like a polite disagreement at a dinner party by comparison. If WB decide to get a female co-writer aboard, I can only hope they'll ignore this nonsense and attempt to make a decent movie (though with Whedon primarily at the helm, I figure it will be thoroughly mediocre at best and insufferable at worst).

As an aside, can someone please explain Whedon's appeal to me? I've spent a good while trying to figure out, and the only conclusions I've been able to come to are:

1. People want shows/films where every character talks like Han Solo, but is as ditzy/'badass' as Deadpool.

2. People really like shows/films where characters reference storytelling tropes (but don't actually do anything with them beyond saying 'well, X cliché is sure a cliché').
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Postby movieartman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:39 pm

Fox is doing another Fantastic Four...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju4-bw3a48E

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:23 pm

Makes you wonder who the next Human Torch to be cast in a Marvel movie will be.

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Postby Chuckman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:04 pm

To complete the circle it must be Chris Pine.

Edit:

Lindelof to develop Watchmen for HBO: https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/damon- ... 202473414/

The article doesn't add much except that it's not connected to the movie. I hope it isn't a straight adaptation.

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Postby Ray » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:40 pm

View Original Postmovieartman wrote:Fox is doing another Fantastic Four...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju4-bw3a48E


After the massive train wreck that the last one was nobody is going to trust another Fantastic 4 movie that isn't under the official Banner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Much like the last one this isn't Fox producing a movie with a goal in mind they're doing this purely to keep Marvel from getting the rights back. They have to keep making a Fantastic Four movie at least every 6 to 7 years to keep the rights. And they'd rather cut nose to spite face then give the rights back.
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Postby Chuckman » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:57 pm

There's accounting benefits to producing flops too. Fantastic Four movies are basically a win-win scenario for them, it lets them take a loss for tax purposes and if it makes money, hey it made money. Renewing the rights gives them a solid negotiation position with Marvel.

They're going to keep rebooting it until something sticks or Marvel buys the rights. They have zero reason to let them revert.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:52 pm

Fuck. This. Shit. And all of the base-line, franchise-gravitating, bottom-line striving, mundane superhero movies and Disney Star Wars movies that brought us to this point. Fuck them all.

Hard.

With the broken, jagged shards of a Champaign bottle.

And with that, I'll be excusing myself from participating in the Superhero, Star Wars, and whatever Universal Monster Movie threads are on this forum for a while now. Nobody needs this kind of negativity in their life. The Incredibles 2 is the only Superhero movie even risking a hope for at this point. At least Brad Bird has been known to shout his way into creative dominance at Pixar. Everything else would be the guaranteed equivalent to visiting a morgue to perform autopsies on the courses of beloved characters.

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Postby Chuckman » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:28 pm

Good, that's what they need.

These things are a commercial product. They're genre fiction. They're entertainment. There's nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with enjoying things. As critical as I am of the DCCU so far with the one obvious exception, it's not because I'm part of the I Too Hate Fun crowd.

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Postby Reichu » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:42 pm

I dunno if it's "entertainment" and "enjoying things" that's being complained about, so much as "cynical hyper-capitalists boiling everything down to lowest-common-denominator homogeneous formulas for blandest possible products and maximum profits". But I guess if people are going to keep throwing their money at it, they deserve whatever Hollywood vomits up.

Finally saw Wonder Woman last night. It didn't really do anything to offend me (aside from testing my patience somewhat with the rather standard final showdown), but it didn't do a whole lot to excite me either. But as always, time will be the final judge. If I see a movie and then promptly proceed to forget it ever existed, then by my standards it was shit; if it sticks in my memory and makes me want to eventually watch it again, then it had value.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:10 am

Doesn't seem like too much of a change in the way the business has been going. Most of the studios are in the big franchise game & not giving directors final cut as is. Disney runs Stars Wars & Marvel like a factory house, they'll keep marketing how much they respect auteur visions but when push comes to shove the brand matters above all as we've seen with the two standalone Star Wars entries & while Marvel is hyping about how unique & original Ryan Coogler's vision for Black Panther is I'm sure the film when it comes out is going to fit the Marvel rulebook perfectly.

I'm surprised it took Warner Brothers this long to make this call. They've been very filmmaker friendly for years & it's really been kicking them in the balls when it comes to the financials. It's allowed some artists to make some truly great movies but also make some truly irresponsible financial decisions.

For example: I love The Wachowskis but it blows my mind WB gave them $120 million to make Speed Racer & then after that bombed gave them something over $200 million to make Jupiter Ascending (Cloud Atlas - their real masterpiece - was a mostly European/Indie affair that WB helped distribute).

It's saddening to read that article because what it sounds like to me is exactly where I'm expecting the business is heading: In a decade's time if you want to see a big, flashy piece of entertainment in a theater it HAS to be part of a currently established cinematic universe. There will still be great movies made by visionary filmmakers but those will either be done for very small budgets, made with bigger budgets & released on Netflix, or will be one of those lucky cases where an established filmmaker gets to do their thing - cinema is always going to have a name like a Christopher Nolan, someone who has the history to back up putting money into a Dunkirk or a - but original big films? Not so much.

Which is why I'm hoping Valerian & the City of A Thousand Planets is great so I can pay to see it several times in the theater. I'm certain the movie will flop - it looks too original to be embraced by modern audiences - but I'm gonna hope it's a hit so someone with money will keep giving crazy expensive opportunities to visionaries out there.

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Postby Ray » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:35 am

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:Fuck. This. Shit. And all of the base-line, franchise-gravitating, bottom-line striving, mundane superhero movies and Disney Star Wars movies that brought us to this point. Fuck them all.

Hard.

With the broken, jagged shards of a Champaign bottle.

And with that, I'll be excusing myself from participating in the Superhero, Star Wars, and whatever Universal Monster Movie threads are on this forum for a while now. Nobody needs this kind of negativity in their life. The Incredibles 2 is the only Superhero movie even risking a hope for at this point. At least Brad Bird has been known to shout his way into creative dominance at Pixar. Everything else would be the guaranteed equivalent to visiting a morgue to perform autopsies on the courses of beloved characters.


Well can you blame WB? They gave complete creative control of their last few DC movies to Zack Snyder, and what happened? The Audience turned on them for the more outrageous creative decisions (among other things). and at the end of the day, studios do need to make money. If they don't, we move one step closer to the mouse having a monopoly on everything, and nobody wants that.

I mean, you said so yourself you don't like the direction DC is going with their superheroes, and the way they're portraying these characters. You can either have a Superman the way you want him and a studio smothering more bold attempts at creativity/darker tones, or you can keep getting more Zack Snyder fare (which while I like, it's clear the majority of the moviegoing audience doesn't).

This is just the inevitable end point of DC's reactions to criticism and backlash against them. They figured "fuck it, we can't beat Marvel by being the serious, somber, adult superhero universe, we may as well just imitate them be a slightly inferior carbon copy, at least we'll get money that way."

There was this old video I watched that discussed JJ Abrams directing Force Awakens, where the voice in the video complained that JJ Abrams was a poor choice because he was a 'do what the studio says' director, like Brett Ratner or Marc Webb. While that may give us movies that are superficially accurate to the source material, it also smothers creativity.

In the past we used to celebrate Auteur directors handling our beloved geek and genre properties, (Del Toro on Hellboy, Nolan on Batman) but lately, there's been a feeling of compliance. Basically, he laments this point.

"When did we become afraid of filmmakers taking chances? When did we become afraid of creativity? are we willing to accept movies based on what we love that are mediocre. Simply because it's SAFER? (read, at least it won't get a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes). I sure hope not."

Of course, then he later did a complete 180 on this years later when Batman V Superman came out. . .
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Postby Reichu » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:02 am

Has it occurred to you that (most) people dislike the DC Snyder movies simply because they're incompetent films, not because they don't want "bold attempts at creativity" or "serious, somber [and] adult" cinematic fare? Surely you've been in enough variations of this conversation by now to know better, but you're just holding firm to the story that suits you best (it can only be that Snyder is a true artist who the unwashed masses simply don't understand -- nothing more or less!!).
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Postby Ray » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:19 am

I will defend BVS (the extended cut at least) to my dying breath, and there's nothing you heathens can do to convince me otherwise.

Then again, I also like Sea Urchin, and Durian. and the rest of my family can't stand either . . . So what do I know?
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Postby Reichu » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:56 am

You seem to accept that most people don't like the movies, but you won't accept the diversity of reasons that exist for not liking them. If you expect anyone to take your own opinions about the film(s) seriously, then at bare minimum you need to acknowledge other people's opinions rather than mentally find+replace them. Until such time, your words will only reach the ears of people who already agree with you -- a very ineffective strategy, assuming you actually WANT to change minds.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:02 am

You nerds battling out about Superman & Batman & Fuckman did not read the original article did you? I don't blame you, iFilm is always a very clickbaity site. The iFilm post is written in such a way so readers immediately connect the sneakily phrased "We're slashing budgets & fucking directors" with their pop-culture juggernauts. iFilm needs those clicks & more people will read an article about how Warner Brothers is gutting the next Batman movie than they would about a small dramatic feature.

The cuts & stricter control on auteur vision Emmerich is talking about is not in regards to these product spewing Comic book universes.
It's for everything else.

From the Hollywood Reporter article:
"That would mean on projects that don't fit into the Warners silos — Lego animated movies, Harry Potter spinoffs and D.C. Comics films — the studio would look to slash costs and avoid auteur directors who want final cut. There would be exceptions — notably Clint Eastwood and Chris Nolan."
...
Budgets are likely to be slimmed down and final-cut directors may be avoided. He believes the studio can hold on to control of final cut and still hire A-list filmmakers. As for budgets, he says, "Outside the silos, there has been a big waste of money on projects that don't make sense." Under Emmerich's leadership, he adds, "they're not going to make a movie like The Judge with Robert Downey Jr. for $60 million. For $35 million — maybe."

Emmerich's plan is to cutback excessive spending on mid-budget films. Not to mention essentially get rid of all non-silo related mega projects. The comic books stuff will run as usual. He's talking about putting their focus on the easy money-makers (Harry Potter spin-offs, the MonsterVerse, The Conjuring Universe, the Lego Universe, the fucking DC stuff) & the micro indies (budgets of $25 million and below) while getting rid of everything that poses a risk. He's talking about no more letting a filmmaker take what should be a $30 million budgeted movie & blowing it up to $50 or $60 million through poor scheduling & over shooting & then that same filmmaker turning around & demanding final cut. He's talking no more original major risks like Ron Howard's "In the Heart of the Sea" or the Wackowski's "Jupiter Ascending" or any other original film with a budget well north of $100 million that if it doesn't connect with audiences could end up costing the studio a fortune. Unless the filmmaker is making a franchise tentpole flick the budgets are going to be keep tiny. And unless you're a name filmmaker with a well-established track record like a Christopher Nolan or a Clint Eastwood you're not going to get Final Cut. Fact: 99% of filmmakers don't get final cut anyways.

He's talking about minimizing risk which as the head of a major studio is a key part of his job. Frankly, I've felt budgetary expenses at studios have been going overboard for years & it is an issue that needs to be taken care of. The tentpoles surely cost too much but some of the dramatic films are getting irresponsibly expensive as well. THR bringing up of "The Judge" is a perfect example of what Emmerich's talking about fixing: there is absolutely no reason a family drama about a city guy going back to his small rural hometown & reconnecting with his father should cost $60 million. It's a film set in modern times, mostly shot in rural America, has practically no need for special effects or elaborate/expensive camera shots & is the type of narrative TV has been doing for years on 1/100th the cost. A theatrical film version of that story should beat out TV in both vision & emotion but there's no reason it should cost $60 million. When A24 makes the wonderful movie "Moonlight" they do it on a budget of $1.5 million, not $50 million.

I'm not surprised Emmerich is talking about doing some cutting this year either. WB has had some major mega-spending mistakes (hello King Arthur) & the the big movie success of 2017 is still Blumhouse Productions. They kicked off the year with two mega-profit earners in M. Night Shyamalan's SPLIT ( budget $9 million, worldwide box office $276 million) & Jordan Peele's GET OUT (budget $4.5 million, worldwide gross $251 million). Blumhouse kept control of their budgets thus allowing the filmmakers creative freedom while minimizing risk & I'm sure neither got "final cut". They made bank on each movie. Hundreds of millions of dollars in profit off both movies combined & they cost as much as the first of "The Judge".

Emmerich is talking about constraining the money they'll be spending on films outside of cash cows like the DC Universe.

But, sure. He's really talking about Batman. Cause it's always about Batman.

(On a side note: If Emmerich is serious about getting rid of major risks maybe he'll finally kill that dumb live action AKIRA film. A $200 million anime adaptation is a pretty big risk.)

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Postby Reichu » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:26 am

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:You nerds battling out about Superman & Batman & Fuckman did not read the original article did you?

Surely there was a less condescending way to say this?
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:16 am

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:It's saddening to read that article because what it sounds like to me is exactly where I'm expecting the business is heading: In a decade's time if you want to see a big, flashy piece of entertainment in a theater it HAS to be part of a currently established cinematic universe. There will still be great movies made by visionary filmmakers but those will either be done for very small budgets, made with bigger budgets & released on Netflix, or will be one of those lucky cases where an established filmmaker gets to do their thing - cinema is always going to have a name like a Christopher Nolan, someone who has the history to back up putting money into a Dunkirk or a - but original big films? Not so much.

Which is why I'm hoping Valerian & the City of A Thousand Planets is great so I can pay to see it several times in the theater. I'm certain the movie will flop - it looks too original to be embraced by modern audiences - but I'm gonna hope it's a hit so someone with money will keep giving crazy expensive opportunities to visionaries out there.

This is why I'm hung up by this announcement. I really don't care about Batman and how his parent's death twisted him to become the biggest, baddest, darkest, growliest dude in an over-produced Halloween suit who stays up way past his bedtime in the wet, dark, dangerous streets of a substitute for New York City. At this point, I don't even care about Marvel anymore either. They're predictably enjoyable, sure, but I don't care about them. Honestly, I skipped Iron Man 3 and haven't attempted to stay consistently up to date since. Sure, I'll hear some compelling arguments for how "Iron Man 3 is the best one," or how "Ant-Man is the best one," (or how "________ is the best one,") but we're not at risk for losing these kinds of movies. And they day we are at risk for losing these movies, it couldn't happen too soon.

It's everything in-between I don't like losing. Sure, there are some pictures that have runaway budgets that don't really change the on-screen quality. (This usually occurs when the filmmakers - studio execs or the creative team - half-ass their way through preproduction. Too many movies, even special effect movies, are going into production without a finished script or completed location scouting.) But we're also going to lose the kind of movies like Pacific Rim, where an original IP got to be awesome for a while. I agree with GendosPapa on Valerian & the City of A Thousand Planets. I'm gonna watch that film to death, hopefully because it's good. Despite it not being an original IP, it at least looks and feels fresh, different, and inspired. My first viewing of that film will certainly be in an IMAX 3D theater.

Batman is not at stake at all in any of this because...

View Original PostRay wrote:Well can you blame WB? They gave complete creative control of their last few DC movies to Zack Snyder, and what happened?

...Zack Snyder is not a visionary auteur director. He's not. The sooner we realize that, the better. Heck, I don't even know if he'll lose his job over his movies, or even in light of WB's announcement. If he is an auteur, then it's in the same sense as an over-produced and slightly polished version of Uwe Boll is an auteur. Snyder's defense of his video-game action visual style is in the same exact same vein as Boll's defense of his entire video-game action filmmaking style. The only difference is budget. There's nothing bold in that, there's nothing visionary to be had there, and the Zack Snyder Fan Club using Snyder's angsty teenage video game aesthetic as a mantra to "Make Superhero Films Great Again" misses the point of what exactly it was that made superhero movies great in the first place.

Also, the last great "superhero" movie came out in 2008. (Nearly a decade ago!) It was The Dark Knight, and even then many argued that Batman was a vigilante and not a superhero, so it didn't count. Marvel is base-line good, and the rest is too scattered and random to really gauge consistently within terms of quality. Prior to that, the only other great superhero movie was Richard Donner's Superman film way back in 1978. If you want great superhero stories that were screened in theaters prior to that, the only thing you'll find are the first half of Fleischer's Superman animated short films. Any of those are more bold, visionary, and come from a greater auteur than anything within the Snyder-verse. (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is still Zack Snyder's best movie. That's the type of movie he belongs consistently making.)

I don't care about Batman, and Zack Snyder has made a very strong case as to why no one else should either.


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