Saturday, April 18, 2015

Darkness. No Parents.

Wanted to put this up yesterday, but I'm having an... interesting few weeks, scheduling and lifewise. Ah well. Anyway, here's the trailer Warner Bros. wanted people to trek out to IMAX theaters for on Monday but we forced to release online after someone leaked it hoping that a clean version would make the reactions not be so negative. It didn't seem to help much, but judge for yourself:

So, the blowback on this has been pretty negative. Understandably yet still unfairly, a lot of the geek blogosphere really, really wants the new DC Cinematic Universe to essentially look/feel like the DC Animated Universe (Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited) as-produced by Marvel Studios; and while I get why (that sounds great!) it's crystal clear that that's not what they're making and this stuff needs to be judged on it's own terms - good or bad.

It feels more than ever like no one working on these can really "square" how to make Superman work in the kind of movies they want to make (how do you use a character who can end any real threat instantly and generally works to prevent destruction "work" in the Transformers-esque extended-destruction style WB clearly wants these movies to be?) and so the plot becomes about making everyone else not "get" Superman either. I know more than I should about how the plot of this supposedly goes down, but suffice it to say these things seem to start from the premise of "which trades are still bestsellers for us?" and go forward, so if this is looking like Miller's DARK KNIGHT RETURNS smooshed together with a bunch of 90s event crossovers... yeah, that seems to be the case.

That said, I like the way it looks. We're a long way from MAN OF STEEL here, with Snyder once again working with his favorite DP Larry Fong. Visually we're very much in WATCHMEN territory, and it compliments Snyder's aggressively macho approach to the genre. It looks pumped-up, ridiculous, slick and showy - like a mid-90s foil cover come to life - and since that seems to be where they're aiming it might as well look like the best version possible.

Also: that first shot of Affleck in the "normal" bat-suit is probably as good as Batman's getup has ever looked in live-action, but I really want to know how much of those muscles are Affleck and how much is the suit because holy shit - if that's Affleck he must be on Ryback's regimen. On the other hand, the "big reveal" of the TDKR "bat-armor" look (which you know is meant to be a huge deal here) manages to fall completely flat because now it makes him look like Lego Batman. I'm getting a sense that LEGO MOVIE's send-up of dark-dark-dark Batman-performances may have rendered a good chunk of audience no longer able to take them as seriously, and the helmet isn't helping: