Posts Tagged ‘man of steel’

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What Would Superman Do About Batman v Superman?

March 28, 2016

NMK Inc and Knight of the Mirrors explore how Superman might react to Hollywood churning out movies like Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. The Iconic Superman Page‘s Michael Critzer has a more direct analysis.

” The insults and mean-spirited comments directed toward dissent are the most damning evidence of how the film truly inspires people to behave.”

Or, as the incomparable Ron Marz put it
“My twitter feed indicates that those who are really invested in Superman killing people are rude assholes. Must be a coincidence.”

Michael Critzer

5019831-4861087729-superSpurious versions, fundamentally wrongheaded premises, can, and often do, prevail from time to time, but eventually the character, Superman himself, Tulpa Superman, will–somehow, somehow–resist and reverse that meddling, reconstituting himself in the world as he means to be. ~Alvin Schwartz (paraphrased by Tom deHaven)

In my research, I divide superheroes into two archetypes from a mythological perspective. Some are aspirational, and some are cathartic/motivational. The aspirational heroes, the pure ones (think Captain America or the traditional Superman and Wonder Woman), exhibit an unrealistic standard of purity and goodness. They always do the right thing, and in their stories, there always exists a way to do that right thing, no matter what. The example they set is unrealistic, but that’s not the importance of their role in cultures. The aspirational heroes are essential. They cause us to believe in better versions of ourselves and in a better world, so that even if…

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Batman vs Superman is not the dog’s fault.

March 28, 2016

I don’t want to hear anybody that doesn’t like the tone or direction of the DC Cinematic Universe blaming Warner Bros because “they only care about superheroes making money.”  That’s like blaming a dog for dog fights.  Of course they only care about the money, that’s why they’re in business.  It’s why they make movies.  Like a dog doing a trick as often as you want once he figures out that gets the treat, it’s their nature.  If you don’t want Fido to put his rump down when you say “Sit” WHY are you giving him bacon every time he does it?

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You don’t like Batman vs Superman?  Blame the people who bought a ticket to Man of Steel.  I don’t care how much they dissed it after, Warner Bros looked at the box office.  Those are dollar votes saying “Give us more of this.”  It’s a bacon treat for Fido and he figured out that he got it right after he put his rump down.  Rump down = bacon, not a difficult connection to make.

If you bought a ticket to BvS this weekend, you voted for this.  I don’t care what opinions you posted on social media before or after; on election day, you VOTED for MORE OF THIS.  You took money that you worked for and you handed it over to Warner Bros. You had plenty of information to make an educated choice: the trailers, the reviews, the director’s previous body of work.  Starting Friday you even had the reactions of people coming out of the midnight screening, the superfans that bought advance tickets weeks before they had all the information you had:

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“And just their shell shocked demeanor here. This is not people coming out of a movie. These are survivors emerging from a collapsed mine tunnel. These are people being interviewed after witnessing a shooting at a convenience store.”

You voted for this.  You knew what you were getting and you voted for it. If it was curiosity in the spirit of “Let’s see what Trump will do next if he wins another primary” that doesn’t matter because your VOTE still COUNTS.

So whatever happens next, it’s not Warner Bros fault and it’s not Zack Snyder’s fault and it’s not Frank Miller’s fault.  It’s your fault.  These are the movies you trained Fido to make for you.  These are the non-heroes you said you wanted.  If you don’t like it, you don’t get to blame the dog for doing exactly what you trained him to.


 

This is all I am going to say and all I really can say on the subject of BvS as I haven’t seen it and don’t intend to.

 

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In which Marvel’s Tom Brevoort brilliantly explains the history and social landscape behind the Superman Kills debate and Batman kisses a goat

February 15, 2016

Knight of the Mirrors isn’t the only conversation about Hollywood’s killer Superman.
For those not on Twitter, the Superman kills/Batman kills/Batman uses a gun issue came up again a few weeks ago,  and Marvel’s Tom Brevoort broke down the history and social landscape with nothing short of frank 140-character genius.  Here his lecture is compiled via Storify:

Batman, Superman and the Hero’s No-kill Rule

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Tom Brevoort’s epic analysis of The Dark Knight, The Man of Steel, and the cognitive dissonance of a genre that won’t let these characters be who they are.

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Not a Twinkie

October 1, 2013

Man of Steel screenwriter Davis S. Goyer took advantage of the lull before a new Bat-trilogy Blu-ray (new packaging or something) to remind us all that Superman kills now.   The notion that he wouldn’t is “a rule that exists outside of the narrative.”

Let’s cross the street where they’re not quite so confused, shall we?  A couple weeks ago, a friend sent me this great trailer for Lego Marvel Superheroes.  I’m not a Marvel, I’ve never particularly clicked with their characters, but watching this just makes me feel good:

I think it’s the same reason I enjoy the Marvel movies.  It’s so unabashedly enthusiastic about being a superhero vehicle.

DR. DOOM:
Dr. Doom’s Doom-Ray of Doom

ORCHESTRAL HORNS:
BWOMG-BWOMMBWOMMM

This clip is fearless about standing center stage and bellowing out what it is.  Superheroes in Legos, the bad guys versus the good guys.  Nobody here is running away from it.  Nobody is ashamed of it or afraid of being silly.  Nobody is pretending this is serious fucking business.

Isn’t that refreshing?  I don’t think anything with Batman that I’ve seen in a decade has made me feel as good as this 2:05 of characters I don’t give a crap about.

As I was sitting there, fingers poised over my keyboard trying to find a way to express that succinctly in order to share the video on Facebook, I found myself looking at a Twinkie.

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Facebook being Facebook, I found myself looking at a Twinkie

Maybe it was the history of those old time Hostess ads in comic books, when the heroes distracted the villains with delicious cakes and fruit pies.  Maybe it’s the fact that Twinkies were out of production for a while there and their return was announced right after Man of Steel, prompting more than a few comments that if they’d only come back sooner, Zod could have been handled the old-fashioned way and all that destruction porn could have been avoided.

Whatever the chain of associations, it led to an analogy that can explain the divide in superhero comics and movies.  I find food analogies cut through so much faux intellectual B.S.  You can convince otherwise intelligent people of a lot of absolute nonsense using phrases like “a rule that exists outside of the narrative,” until you apply the principles to something they understand on such a basic level as food.  Maybe you don’t know why the Miller apologist is wrong, maybe you don’t know how to construct the counterargument, but once you get that applying those principles amounts to serving bleu cheese and chopped liver on a Triscuit for Christmas dinner, you do know that is a really bad idea.  Whether you can articulate the reason or not, you’re gagging.  You know there has to be something very, very wrong in any chain of the logic that ends in this being a tolerable plan.  You know you’re not going to serve it to your kids, no matter what argument it makes or how big its advertising budget.  It’s a part of our make-up they haven’t broken: if it makes you wretch, don’t eat it.

So, back to the Twinkie.  Is there anybody reading this who doesn’t know what they are?  Sweet yellow cake with a white, sweet cream filling that may or may not be vanilla-ish flavored.  It’s a kid’s food, most of us ate them and remember them fondly.  There were knock-offs and generics.  There are also some very prestigious restaurants that have made a gourmet version.  (Think champagne cake with a filling of blancmange infused with vanilla and cognac) and less prestigious ones serving up the traditional twink deep-fried, a substance so orgasmically sweet and rich it became an analogy for… well never mind. They’re good.

Now here’s the thing, if none of that sounds good to you, then you don’t like Twinkies.  It’s okay, none of us are judging you.  For most humans, sweet is the first set of taste buds to develop.  We go for it and it’s nature’s way of telling us: eat the berry not the bark.  But if for whatever reason you don’t like sweets, then you don’t like Twinkies.

Superheroes, like Twinkies, are certain things.  They’re fun.  There is humor and color and life in their stories.  Even when there’s angst and horror, it gets broken up with a little f-ing fun.  Burton knew it.  Schumacher absolutely knew it.  He made the worst goddamn Twinkie any of us have ever seen, but it WAS a Twinkie.

Print comics have succeeded in convincing what politicians call “the base” that Twinkies don’t have to be sweet, they don’t have to be made of cake or have cream filling, and it is just so silly and childish and stunted to imagine they do.   And, as in politics, ideas that go beyond ‘completely wrong’ into the land of 2+2 = cream cheese nonsensical can be accepted inside these little bubbles of true believers, but they run into trouble when they come out here into the real world where reality is in play.   That’s why they have those names.

Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is this real?

Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is this real?

The DC movies have been serving up pickled coffee beans and calling them Twinkies.  They’re not, and those of you who cannot let an un-Nolan thought (or an un-Miller thought or an un-gogglewhore thought) pass without comment are not going to argue it into being one.  You like the pickled coffee beans, we get that.  Some of us do too on occasion.   I like bitter and I like sour from time to time.  But not in a Twinkie.  Those things are not Twinkies, no matter what it says on the box or how big a name the director is, how big the advertising budget is, or how you choose to belittle those who refuse to validate your delusion.

Originally published as Not a Twinkie on Blogger

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