Superheroes postsSunday July 23, 2017
Feel-Good Photo of the Day
Gal Gadot at the San Diego Comic-Con with a young fan:
These movies matter pic.twitter.com/V5Sz7lFwiE— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) July 22, 2017
Remember the 1970s “Wonder Woman” theme song? “All of the world is waiting for you.” Certainly half of it.
Related: This weekend, Gadot's “Wonder Woman” passed “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” to become the highest-grossing movie of the summer.
From the DVD of the 1941 movie serial “The Green Hornet Strikes Again!” The reference is to the radio serial of 1936 to 1950:
Clint Eastwood should have done more with this aspect of Hoover in his biopic. Or maybe it could be its own movie? “J. Edgar in Hollywood.” OK, HBO movie.
Rotten Tomatoes Ranks the DC Superhero Movies
“Ranks” is key there, since only two movies (“The Dark Knight,” “Superman”) are above 90% and half of them are rotten, and that's a generous reading by RT and critics. I mean, “Swamp Thing” is fresh? Because of Adrienne Barbeau? C'mon, boys, grow up.
Here's their list with RT numbers and any thoughts I might have. (Links go to my reviews.)
- The Dark Knight (94%): My No. 2.
- Superman (93%): My number one. With a faster-than-a-speeding bullet
- Superman II (89%): Way too high. Please see the Donner cut.
- The Dark Knight Rises (87%): Too high.
- Batman Begins (84%): About right. Has problems, but it's not bloated the way “Rises” is bloated.
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (82%): Haven't seen it.
- Batman (1966) (80%): I'm so glad this is way up here. I'd probably have it higher but I'm shocked critics/fanboys love it as much as I do.
- Batman Returns (80%): Really? Have people seen this recently? It's absurd. You hardly see the title character for the first 45 minutes. It's all Penguin/Catwoman origin. Per Tim Burton, it's a movie of misfit toys.
- Superman Returns (76%): Has its faults but has charms, too. It's not made by louts, for one.
- Batman (1989) (72%): Higher. I know post-Nolan it looks chincey, but it remade supehero movies for a decade. Respect your elders, kids.
- Watchmen (65%): Blech. Dock it even more for abusing Leonard Cohen.
- Swamp Thing (64%): Adrienne Barbeau's cleavage ain't all that.
- Man of Steel (55%): I'm not exactly a Zack Snyder fan, but I'd have it higher for: 1) the reimagined origin; 2) the fear a superpowered alien would inspire; 3) Henry Cavill.
- Constantine (46%): Never seen it.
- Batman Forever (40%): About right.
- The Return of the Swamp Thing (33%): DC should be embarrassed that this is even on the list.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (27%): Below both Swamp Things!! Take that, Zack.
- Green Lantern (26%): There are six DC movies worse than “Green Lantern”: ouch.
- Superman III (26%): This sucks but it's better than “Green Lantern.”
- Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (12%): This should be lower. Possibly basement. Look what they did to my boy. More than the “Death Wish” movies, Golan and Globus have this to answer at the pearly gates.
- Steel (12%): Never seen.
- Batman & Robin (11%): Ice to see you.
- Catwoman (9%): Never seen. Should I?
- Supergirl (7%): The list ends with the two girl/woman movies, and I'd like to think that's sexism, but... no.
RT put the list together because a new DC movie, “Suicide Squad,” DC's attempt to do a kind of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is opening tonight. Even the early August release date is the same as “Guardians,” but (unlike “Guardians”) it's getting slaughtered by the critics. I'm no fan of the Post's Kyle Smith but he has a good line in his review:
The question isn't whether “Suicide Squad” is as good as “The Avengers,” but whether it's as bad as “Green Lantern.”
According to the consensus, nearly. It's at 29%, which puts it between “The Return of the Swamp Thing” and “Batman v Superman.” But that's bad enough for fanboys who are circulating an online petition urging that RT be shut down because it's mean to bad movies like “Suicide Squad.” Talk about shooting the messenger.
Moments v Scenes: Dusk of Zack
My nephew Jordy sent me this, and I think it's about the best critique of Zack Snyder's “Batman v. Superman,” not to mention Zack Snyder's entire career, that I've seen. Evan Puschak, the nerdwriter, gets at why Snyder's movies are so monumentally, fundamentally stupid: “his preoccupation, his obsession, with moments at the expense of scenes”:
Even better—and I was so caught up in all the other idiocies of BVS I didn't think to mention this in my review—Snyder has zero sense of place. The Daily Planet is meaningless. Ditto the Batcave. The Batcave! C'mon. Metropolis and Gotham City are interchangeable. I think it goes back to Snyder's love of green screens. There's literally no there there in his movies. Cf. my 2012 review of “The Spirit”:
Does anyone else get claustrophobic in these digital-background movies? “Sin City,” “300,” this? The world isn't the world. It's reduced to this small, awful space where these small, awful things happen, which the filmmakers pump full of their hyper-masculine, hyper-sexual hyper-meaning. The men beat each other to pulps, the women, smart and sexy, watch and calculate, and everyone thinks themselves the center of the world. Because they are. Because the world has been reduced to this.
Directors with a great sense of place? Think the Coens or John Sayles. Check out “A Serious Man.” For good or ill, we are products of place and upbringing. The character of the place leads to the character of the individual leads to the character of the story. Sndyer's movies die on the vine because green screen is not a place. “'Batman v Superman' runs for two and a half hours,” Puschak says, “with a heaping helping of big moments; and yet I don't quite feel like I've been ... anywhere.”
I Told You, 'He Doesn't Get Superman At All!'
Hate to agree with Hitler, and these have been done to death, but yeah. All of it.
(Except for the “Mad Max” love, of course.)