captainbellman: It Was A Boojum... (Default)
[personal profile] captainbellman posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I'm not going to present my opinions, or any central argument. I'm just going to post this recent Cracked video, and some choice lines from it. Examine whether or not to you - someone even tangentially aware of the 60-year history of Detective and Timely Comics - they might seem uncomfortably familiar.

To quote The Shop Around The Corner:

"This is extra infuriating when a franchise uses time travel to reboot itself, and the explanation for why the same characters would come together is just 'Pfft, Magic' or 'Pfft, Fate' or 'Because the Producers said so -- dear God, we're making a bad movie!'."

"I shouldn't have to google for extra details to understand who a character is or what their motivations are."

"[Shooting Jimmy Olsen in BvS: DoJ is] NOT an Easter Egg - it's a gross misinterpretation of a beloved character that you immediately shoot dead, and no-one would know if you hadn't mentioned it!"

"To [JJ Abrams] the idea of a 'mystery box' is to simply withhold random information in order to make the plot seem more important."

"To anyone watching [Star Trek Into Darkness] 50 years from now, this line reading is just going to seem...played entirely for contemporary Star Trek fans."

"If you're making a movie that only makes sense in the context of the marketing and fan culture of the're making a bad movie."

"This lack of development is what happens when studios try to make every movie part of an episodic cinematic universe. Spock and Uhura need to constantly have relationship problems. Iron Man needs to remain ideologically contrasted with Captain America. Wolverine needs to be constantly at odds with his past. The same mistakes get made over and over again, so that nothing gets concluded for the next film. Nothing changes; nothing ends; it's hell. This is hell."

"When franchises don't end, each film starts becoming a commercial for the next one, which stops being a complete and self-contained story...if you don't end your story, then nothing matters. There's no real stakes when we know the good guys and bad guys will be fighting forever. No-one will ever die, or change, or settle down. Your franchise will become meaningless shlock."

"Eventually, it will end...because everyone will get sick of it. It'll fizzle out, anti-climactic and messy, and you'll be left with nothing particularly memorable!"

"You're killing the basic storytelling principles that made these series beloved in the first place in order to suck them dry for money, you f***ing monsters."

Date: 2017-02-05 06:14 pm (UTC)
reveen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] reveen
My problem with how modern superhero movies are handled is that having everything be part of one episodic cinematic universe format really puts limits on creativity and the range of tones and styles possible in any given movie and can prevent the movies from being truly iconic or self contained.

Like, my personal gold standard for this is Sam Raimi's Spiderman. Where they had this specific vision of the kind of movie they wanted to make that they executed with perfect clarity. Those movies were a unique self contained experience that you can't replace by rebooting the franchise. Meanwhile the next Spiderman is going to be produced so it can fit in neatly with the rest of the Marvel library.

That homogeneity of Marvel movies makes me kinda dread the possibility of Marvel getting the rights to XMen back. The more recent X movies have a lot to them that's really unique and creative. Logan looks like it can be great, and I seriously doubt what they're going for with that would fly if it was connected to the MCU.

I mean, the MCU movies are fine, but most of them lack a critical element of uniqueness and creativity that makes it hard for me to respect them as films on an individual basis.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:35 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I'd agree with you on the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, up to a point. Sony started really trying to fiddle and micromanage everything right around Spider-Man 3, which is why there's bits of that movie that're really great - like Sandman - and bits that Raimi in particular is flagrantly uninterested in (Venom). The same applies to little bits of the ASM films, too. There's things in there that are very interesting to me, the cast has solid chemistry, but it's so pointlessly glued to canon in some respects - like pointlessly offing Gwen because 'it's canon and important' - while throwing other stuff out the window.

Fox had the same issues with the X-Men movies, for a while. Last Stand and the first Wolverine movie are clearly the results of studio management, and I worry they're lurching back into that a bit - and trying to ape the Marvel formula - with Apocalypse and whatever might come next; I also wonder if they're going to try a little too hard with Deadpool 2, or try and manage that as much to have it be a success like the first. Logan looks promising, though - certainly not a movie we'd get at Disney!Marvel.

Date: 2017-02-05 10:18 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Things like this can happen with "big" action movies, from the 1980s on-wards. The producers and director have these big action scenes they want for the movie, and the screenwriter has to get the characters to these actions scenes. I think the Lethal Weapon and Mission: Impossible movies were like this. So, it isn't just the "fault" of Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Bros.

Date: 2017-02-06 06:14 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Oh, I definitely know what you mean, it's just that it seemed particularly prominent in Spider-Man 3, where Venom literally has no bearing on the plot; you could easily have excised the black costume/Venom stuff and had Peter's jerkiness in that film be attributed to him being a little too full of himself/popular.

That said, I think the only time I've seen the Mission Impossible movies fall into this was the second one; I was 'eh' on the first, and the second seemed like Hollywood ticking 'John Woo' boxes, but from the third onward they seem to be very much be going wherever the director wants, at times.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] locuatico
"This is extra infuriating when a franchise uses time travel to reboot itself, and the explanation for why the same characters would come together is just 'Pfft, Magic' or 'Pfft, Fate' or 'Because the Producers said so -- dear God, we're making a bad movie!'."
Honestly? i don't give even one tenth of a crap why the same characters would come together.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:50 pm (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
I think that that's exactly right: the same characters come together because they interact in interesting ways, making for a good story. The point of a reboot is to keep telling the story, not to explain how the reboot happened. That being said, I do think it works better to just do the reboot, rather than to go through a whole time-travel rigmarole to explain it. But then, Star Trek is the only franchise I can think of that used time travel to explain the reboot, and those movies had much bigger problems than that.

Date: 2017-02-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
beoweasel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beoweasel
To be fair, Beyond was really good.

Date: 2017-02-06 06:27 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I dunno, I liked that Star Trek kind-of went out of it's way to preserve both timelines and gave us a mostly entertaining story in doing so; the only real negative I have with that film is the villain, which is sadly subject to the 'backstory is in peripheral material' problem.

Date: 2017-02-06 09:54 pm (UTC)
bruinsfan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bruinsfan
I had far more problems with the film than that, but I thought the basic premise was respectful to fans of the original series while giving Abrams room to try something new. The idea didn't bother me, only the execution once the timeline was rebooted.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:16 pm (UTC)
cyberghostface: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cyberghostface
FWIW I think Marvel for the most part knows what they're doing that they haven't gotten stale yet. DC... no comment.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:17 pm (UTC)
nyadnar17: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nyadnar17
What if I disagree with the basic premise that movies are getting worst?

Date: 2017-02-05 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] locuatico
then you get caught on the same tired old discussion we have been having for the last 20 years. MOVIES ARE GETTING WORSE I TELL YOU! THEY HAVE BEEN GOING DOWNHILL SINCE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!

Date: 2017-02-05 07:55 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Hear hear.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:22 pm (UTC)
lordultimus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lordultimus
I don't think comic movies are doing anything that westerns didn't when they dominated Hollywood for decades.
Edited Date: 2017-02-05 06:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-05 06:28 pm (UTC)
lordultimus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lordultimus
Fair enough, but my point is that Hollywood appealing to the lowest common denominator is hardly new.
Edited Date: 2017-02-05 06:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-05 06:40 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
The same can be said of every genre, though. Like for some reason, Adam Sandler is still allowed to get work... Despite Hotel Transylvania being the only decent thing he's been in for the past god knows how many years.

Date: 2017-02-06 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
The same is true of any subset of anything, really. Sturgeon's Law and all that.

Date: 2017-02-06 06:31 am (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
Western were two things: popular and cheap to make. Superhero movies are not cheap to make.

Date: 2017-02-06 01:40 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Superhero movies make a shitton of money with merchandise, though. They cost much more, but also have many more sources of profit.

Date: 2017-02-06 05:23 pm (UTC)
lordultimus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lordultimus
Considering how much money they typically gross internationally, they may as well be.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:31 pm (UTC)
speedingtortoise: Happy Platypus (Default)
From: [personal profile] speedingtortoise
I kind of look at the Marvel cinematic universe this way: I really love what they have done so far, so even if their future films start to fizzle, I can still enjoy what's already been made and "marvel" (hah) at how they managed to create a cohesive shared world of superheroes in over a dozen films.

Date: 2017-02-05 06:38 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I like how it's suddenly terrible when previously niche things like superheroes become prominent and popular. Like... Nobody objects to the stream of same-old, same-old brainless comedies made by the same five guys that get farted out every year. And no-one really seems to give a fuck about the cheap horror movies clogging up JANUARY AND NOT FREAKING OCTOBER.

But superheroes are popular and kids like them and buy that merchandise and OH NOES INDUSTRY RUINED FOREVER. Like indie films aren't getting made still, or superhero movies aren't secretly just 'genre x with Iron Man'.

Date: 2017-02-05 08:06 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
I believe Rogue One is a bad example. Yes, the protagonists all die, but the entire point of their mission ends up becoming a mayor plot point in a different movie which then originates three whole trilogies. even if Rogie One had been the first movie of the franchise, rather than an interquel, people would still have wanted to watch the next movie A New Hope to find out if the protagonists' heroic sacrifice had been in vain or not.

And lack of closure is hardly new. It was practically standard for horror movies to end up on a "it's dead... OR IS IT???" sequel hook even two decades ago. The difference is that Marvel actually plans out the sequels with great care, while old movies were like "the monster is back... somehow... look don't you mind the blatant Diabolus Ex Machina we just wanna have fun again okay?" Plus, I may be wrong here, but IIRC Terminator 3 came out before the Superhero movie craze really hit.

Date: 2017-02-05 09:04 pm (UTC)
beoweasel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beoweasel
And even when there wasn't a sequel hook and meant to be a definitive end, it still ended up with another sequel. Just look at Friday the 13th or Halloween.

How many times was Jason definitively killed off, only to be brought back in the next film in the most ridiculous of ways? Hell, look at Part V, where he's most definitely slain only for Part VI to immediately bring him back to life by having his maggotty, rotten corpse revived by lightning strike.

Date: 2017-02-06 06:32 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Yeah, I think they realised killing Jason off in IV, and then trying to replace him with an angry paramedic (?!) in V was not the best approach. The Friday movies at least had dumb fun with their ridiculous habit of bringing Jason back, though; cheesy as they are, I can happily watch III, IV, or VI any time if I just want to switch off.

Date: 2017-02-06 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
Wait, everyone in Rogue One dies before the end credits?

... given the number of SW fans I follow on Tumblr, I'm honestly not sure how I went this long without hearing about that.


Date: 2017-02-07 06:23 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chortles81
I still haven't watched the movie, but I remember Jiang Wen's infamous supposed spoiler about Chirrut specifically, then someone's AO3 fic synopsis implied that it was more than just Chirrut...

Date: 2017-02-05 07:04 pm (UTC)
richardak: (Default)
From: [personal profile] richardak
I definitely agree about J.J. Abrams. The guy is a hack, largely because he sets up mysteries with no real plan to eventually explain them in a way that makes them satisfying or makes sense of all the clues and hints dropped along the way. See Lost, for example. I remember thinking that that show had a kind of interesting premise at first, but it very quickly became apparent that they were adding new mysteries much faster than they were resolving old ones (which they weren't doing at all), and that they were stretching the mysteries out so long that they ended up dropping so many contradictory clues that there was no way that they could ever resolve the mystery without contradicting at least half of the clues that they had dropped.

That being said, I think Abrams was on his best behavior in Force Awakens. There was one real Abrams "mystery" in that film: how did Maz get the lightsaber? And he makes this out to be a big problem, because, well, why? Yes, granted, it seems far-fetched, since the last we saw of it, it was plummeting into the clouds on Bespin. But frankly, so? Assuming that someone somehow retrieved it, the movie establishes the Maz collects interesting historical curios.

The point that I thought was most interesting was the point about character arcs and developments and stories needing to end, because, of course, that is the big problem with superhero comics. The stories just keep going, at least until they get rebooted after the next crisis. And as long as movie companies want to keep a franchise going, they are going to have the problem he describes: the story is going to start seeming stale. On the other hand, hopefully the movie studios understand that they have a time limit that comic book publishers do not: their actors will eventually age out of the roles. So hopefully they will realize that at some point they do have to move the characters toward a satisfying conclusion.

Date: 2017-02-06 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
Heh. I gave up on JJ Abrams after Alias. I later watched some of Fringe & enjoyed it, but in general I give his work a pass.

Date: 2017-02-06 06:41 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
To be fair with Lost, you also had Lindelof, who was also involved in Prometheus and.. I have to be believe was responsible for the more '???/the fuck are you even doing' moments in that movie too, given Ridley Scott is quite flagrantly much more at home with visuals.

I also think that another mystery in TFA is Rey herself, given we have the little bits and pieces about her being left on Jakku. But then I figure both her and the lightsaber will be addressed, given the particularly trippy moment when she retrieved it. So.. Yeah. There were way bigger issues that I had with TFA than the couple of mysteries it presented.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:12 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (nonbelievers)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
Rey's greater skill with the saber is simple. She was shown to have been skilled at melee fighting due to an entire life of melee fighting. Staff fighting isn't that much different than the kendo sword fighting style that is typical of most light sabres. Luke's skills were farming, speeder piloting, and shooting lasers. Yet he still learned magical sword fighting skill WHILE BLIND exceptionally fast.

Date: 2017-02-05 07:57 pm (UTC)
commodus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] commodus
I am divided on the issue. Because to my mind we're getting some brilliant movies, new people are being introduced to these characters, and in the internet age there's such a heightened sense of community among comic fans that is really brilliant. But part of me just never got over how the movies ALWAYS ended up tainting the art style and media output of the wider comic industry.

Mostly, I blame the Raimi Spider-Man films for this, because, in the 2000s, there began a tech-obsessed art style which still hasn't entirely abated. The Scorpion, for instance, couldn't have his distinctive green costume anymore, he had to look "realistic".
The movies, for all their virtues, have sucked a lot of life and colour from the comics themselves.
Don't believe me? Just compare the design of the mid 1990s X-Men to how they looked after Bryan Singer got done with them. It's terrible.

Date: 2017-02-05 08:33 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
All these years later, I still don't know what "Five dead, two of them cops" from "The Dark Knight" means. Namely, who is the second cop Harvey Dent killed? And "The Dark Knight Rises" didn't tell us.

Date: 2017-02-06 08:35 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
I considered that once.

Christopher Nolan, when asked about an answer during a Blu-Ray Live Event, responded "I will answer this question one day. But not today." And he never has, as far as I know.

All right, maybe this isn't as bad as "A story for another time." But it certainly seemed like it should have been explained in "The Dark Knight Rises."

Date: 2017-02-05 11:08 pm (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
If you find the points that video makes interesting, I suggest you check out blogger Tim O'Neil's essay, which comes from a somewhat similar perspective but studies it through the lens of Stan Lee and Marvel Comics' business practices:

"Marvel 2015 is still fundamentally the same company it was back in the mid-50s, when Martin Goodman found a cabinet full of inventory and used it as a pretense to fire everybody for six months. For all the criticism aimed at Isaac Perlmutter, he's still playing from the Goodman / Lee handbook: flood the market, undercut creators, and pray you survive the next bust. With Disney at their back they no longer need to fear the bust, and have proceeded accordingly. Left unchecked, the company has recreated the entertainment industry in its own image. The occasion of Avengers 2 has provided movie critics and industry observers another opportunity to bemoan Marvel's success, and its not hard to see why they'd be so resentful. As bad an industry as Hollywood has always been, Marvel is worse in almost every way."

Date: 2017-02-08 03:17 am (UTC)
lamashtar: Shun the nonbelievers! Shun-na! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
I disagree with the quote.

The market doesn't have enough superhero movies for me.

And Disney would be perfectly pleased if everyone else stopped copying their business model.

Date: 2017-02-06 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
This is a good video. I don't know if the problems are the fault of "the Big Two."

Date: 2017-02-06 03:33 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
Well, the video doesn't make the case that the Big Two have damaged Hollywood, more that modern blockbusters are making movies worse somehow. While he definitely makes some good points, he also is being very selective in his choices. Guardians of the Galaxy exists in a virtual vacuum from the other Marvel movies to this point, short of a reference to the Infinity Gems and Thanos, neither of which require to you have seen another movie to follow or understand. A movie like Antman takes place in that world, but other than knowing who the Avengers actually are, you need no additional data. I also think that if he doesn't see how Cap and Iron Man changed positions in the time between the first "Iron Man" to "Civil War", I don't think he was paying attention.

As for the 'goes on forever, you bastards' angle? James Bond is holding on line one, Star Trek on line two. If a series goes on that long, it can evolve, get new takes and change to match the new audience. Do these series have some pretty bad entries? Yes. But sometimes they take a breather and come back much better. The most recent "Casino Royale" reinvigorated the franchise, just as Star Trek: Beyond did for it's series.

My takeaway is that some movies use bad techniques and should feel bad. But none of these sins are new.

Date: 2017-02-07 04:08 am (UTC)
halloweenjack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halloweenjack
One Reason Why Listicles Will Ultimately Kill Cracked: Because they end up with crap like this. Look, the real villain is Steven Spielberg, OK? Because everybody said so after Jaws, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or E.T., or Raiders of the Lost Ark. But wasn't it really Star Wars that killed movies? Well, Spielberg and Lucas collaborated on Raiders, so whatever.

The real problem is that a lot of people are making a living, or trying to, by overanalyzing pop culture, and they have to distinguish themselves by cranking up the overheated hot takes just a little bit more each time. I got about thirty seconds into the above video, with his shtick of pretending to physically run away from some movie, before turning it off. I was pretty unhappy with the Abrams Star Trek movies, but not enough to listen to someone's twelve-minute rant on the subject. If I really wanted to hear that, I'd talk to myself in the car about it.

Date: 2017-02-08 03:23 am (UTC)
lamashtar: My crap writing senses are burning! (crapwriting)
From: [personal profile] lamashtar
I'm afraid so. To a certain type of nerd, everything comes down to their favorite hobbyhorses. Every article about superhero movies says the exact same thing. People who actually study pop history and the economic movements are too boring for clickbait.


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