Friday, July 20, 2012

Bat & Switch

Went to see "Rises" again at midnight. Liked it a little less the second time - more and more "wait a second..." annoyances - but still not "bad" by any stretch of the imagination.

My real reason for heading out was, of course, because I wanted to finally see the "Man of Steel" trailer in a form other than grainy Comic-Con snippets or shot-by-shot descriptions; only to discover too late that what SDCC saw isn't the same teaser that's been attached to "Rises." Phooey.

I'll say this: If I DIDN'T have the sliver of context for how much "cooler" the footage you lucky SDCC attendees out there saw was; this teaser would've left with me a serious sinking feeling...

It's not a BAD teaser, certainly - the "when did Zack Snyder become Terrence Mallick?" feel that people at SDCC were describing is absolutely there; and it's intended effect on an unsuspecting audience ("what the heck is th... HOLY SHIT! SUPERMAN!?") went over big with everyone else at my screening. It'll have people talking, definitely.

But without the big, epic "you will believe a man can KICK ASS!" stuff I know was on the Comic-Con reel; what's presented makes it look VERY much like a "Nolanized" Superman... and that's the last thing the property needs. If anything, seeing TDKR a second time through left me more convinced than ever that, while "his" Batman has yielded an interesting trilogy with two excellent entries and one "okay" one, it's in everyone's best interest that Christopher Nolan be kept as far away from comic-book movies as possible for the forseeable future. He's had his fun with this little "deconstruction" project, now let's be done with all that limitation and timidity... there are universes to be explored.

I don't wanna undersell it - it's a good clip, and it'll probably get mainstream audiences psyched about at least the "prospect" of Superman again, so that's all well and good. But speaking for myself, if I didn't know that there's bigger, braver, more authentically-Superman "stuff" being held back this would've left me pretty deflated about a project I'm still holding out a great deal of hope for.


Anonymous said...

I saw both trailers (Comic Con and teaser) and I don't see this "Nolanized" Superman. I think some are stamping that on these teasers because they have a serious tone to them but is the concept of "seriousness" in a superhero movie really now only connected to Nolan? Wasn't Nolan's whole gimmick that he was making a more "realistic" Batman by taking away the fantasy elements? How is that reflected in a movie about Superman? In the trailers shown so far we see a man fly up in the clouds on his own which pretty much cancels that Nolan angle.

Bob, have you not followed how this project came to be? Nolan didn't write this movie. David Goyer did. Nolan only helped Goyer pitch it to Warner. Warner wanted Nolan attached to the movie in some way because of his success with the Batman movies. So Warner put his name as a "story" credit, they had Nolan help pick a director and that was that. Nolan didn't really have much to do with this movie. Even Nolan admits that.

Zachary Paul said...

Are you kidding Bob! I haven't seen the comic con footage, but the official teaser is totally reaching towards optimism, hope, and triumph.

I've been biting my tongue about The Man of Steel since Snyder was attached to it (Because Snyder, as Watchmen proves, has no feel for the nuance of the properties he's adapting), but this teaser actually want to second guess that.

I guess the 'Nolanized' feel comes from the fact that it seems like the movies going to have Clarke finding himself on a globetrotting. backpacking trip just like Bruce did in Batman Begins. I think that's coincidence though, the script for Man of Steel might be taking cues from Superman: Birthright more than it is Nolan.

Ha-Ra said...

Okay I was actually going to post on the site asking "What in the high holy hell did you see in that teaser?"

I'm sure the SDCC is chock full of good stuff, but this stuff was so cold and lifeless that it barely qualifies for a trailer

And for the record. No, I'm not looking forward to Zack Snyder at the helm. He made two great visual feasts (300 and Owls), a solid remake (Dawn of the Dead), a thoroughly misguided and ultimately weak adaptation of a comic (Watchmen), and of course, one of the worst films of all time (Sucker Punch). I cannot understate how much Sucker Punch pissed me the fuck off. The rampant sexism, the gross implication that her dreams only kick in when she's being raped, unnecessary amounts of sexual assault that I'm sure had the best of intentions but came across as pandering to a 12-year-old geek boys, and of course, one of the most phenomenally shitty soundtracks in recent memory

Anonymous said...

I really love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, TDKR is solid. I think every superhero film should aspire to these films.

Not in aesthetics, realism works fior Batman because a lot of Batman can be brought into the real world while remaining true to the source material.

But in story, acting, character development, just...filmmaking!

It disheartens me to hear people take two great superhero films and say "they're good, but never again!" because what? You hate the real world so waaa waaa make it silly!

TDKR wasn't perfect but gets shit, The Avengers was equally flawed gets a pass from MARVEL FANBOYS who say its deep in liberal ideas and awesome because it's silly. Gimme a break.

astroboy.png said...

Apparently, there were two versions of the trailer shown depending on the theater. One had Papa Kent's voice over, the other had Jor-El.

Anonymous said...

I guess Canada isn't cool enough to get a Superman teaser since all we got was Total Recall, James Bond and The Campaign. I'm sad now.

Blue Highwind said...

I saw the trailer, nothing looks Nolanized at all to me. It looks like they're building Superman up as the spirit of the United States, a force of freedom, democracy, and the Heartland. Pure Americana. A kind of idealism you'd never see out of Batman.

Stevo said...

I'm from the UK and it seems we didn't get the teaser which is a shame. Instead it was old trailers of the new Bourne, Dredd and Expendables 2

Aiddon said...

I saw it and liked it. Superman SHOULD be taken seriously. Being more sullen does not necessarily detract from Superman. I'm just glad they're keeping Snyder away from the writing table. Incredibly talented director in knowing where to point the camera, but completely inept when it comes to writing. The final image of the teaser was actually very striking and I'll keep an eye on developments.

Anonymous said...

I love Superman. I just do. I was nervous when Nolan was attached (even though I think Bob's whole "Nolan stripped away Batman!" idea is fucking stupid) because while Batman can work as grim and realistic...that's not what Superman is about to me.

Then Snyder was attached to direct...and well I think he's an awful director. Yep, slow motion, inappropriately used music over scenes, and CGI overkill. Plus Watchmen, 300, Dawn of the Dead? NOT Superman to me. He's bright. About hope.

This trailer has kind of put my at ease...but unlike Bob, because of what seems Nolanized and the lack of Snyder's usual tropes. Actual locations, seems the character will be explored, and Jonathan Kent's words of wisdom indicate this film will capture the ever true idea that Superman is who he is because of his parents.

Maybe, just maybe, they got this right :)

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