[Movies] The DC Cinematic Universe - Mostly Grim Dark Crap (But It's Getting Better)

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Yeah, words coming in from the Venezia 76 International Film festival: Joker might actually be an Oscar worthy film. Like... we all thought the trailers were just bait, but no, that's the ACTUAL direction is goes in... and it's supposed to be good. I'm legit surprised.
 

fade

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I've seen it a lot, but why is everyone saying the trailers are bait and switch? What's the evidence for that? I can't think of any parallel cases to go on, and I certainly know nothing about the movie beyond the trailers at this point.
 

fade

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So I caught up on all the DC movies finally. I actually didn't think they were as bad as the internet made them out to be. (GASP Fade didn't hate something). MoS was not awful. I mean yeah, he could've been more boyscout, but it wasn't the worst. BvS was silly, but still watchable. I liked Justice League the least. Mostly because I'm a huge Flash fan, and this Flash was kind of annoying, and devoid of most of his comic charms and character.

Now's the time to hate me. Wonder Woman...wasn't amazing. The way everyone talked it up, I thought it was going to be the bee's knees. In comparison to the other DC movies, it was awesome. In general though, it was boring and paint-by-numbers. Canned plot all the way. Canned effects, canned dialogue, canned plot twists.

Shazam! was one of the better ones, but the pacing was really bad. I mean all over the place. It would rush through parts that were important and drag through boring stuff. Plus it had some scenes that just broke immersion for me. For example, I can buy flight. I can even buy catching a bus. But I can't buy catching a bus falling 50' ... by its glass windshield. I like Levy, and he was fun, though, so that kind of balanced it out. Movie Sivana had a bit of a point, though. Shazam (the wizard) was kind of an asshole to him.

Anyway, that's my take.
 
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I've seen it a lot, but why is everyone saying the trailers are bait and switch? What's the evidence for that? I can't think of any parallel cases to go on, and I certainly know nothing about the movie beyond the trailers at this point.
Basically, no one thought a movie studio would make a serious, Oscar-bait movie about a comic book character. They (and I) simply thought the trailers were being intentionally misleading as a sort of Joker meta-joke about why anyone would make such a movie about the Joker, of all people. Like... those trailers? Those are the kind of thing the Joker would put out himself if the movie was just 105 minutes of him farting.

Turns out they were completely serious, which just feels really weird.

Shazam! was one of the better ones, but the pacing was really bad. I mean all over the place. It would rush through parts that were important and drag through boring stuff. Plus it had some scenes that just broke immersion for me. For example, I can buy flight. I can even buy catching a bus. But I can't buy catching a bus falling 50' ... by its glass windshield. I like Levy, and he was fun, though, so that kind of balanced it out. Movie Sivana had a bit of a point, though. Shazam (the wizard) was kind of an asshole to him.
Stuff like this happens all the time in the comic books. The honest answer is that early Golden Age writers didn't think about this stuff. The "canon" answer is that Billy's powers are magic and thus can do stuff like that because he thinks that how it should work. Superman's excuse is "tactial telekinesis instead of super strength" which is a way, WAY dumber handwave than "it's magic".
 
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I never thought Joker was bait and switch, and that's exactly what concerns me about it at this point in time. I wish it was coming at a time where there wasn't a legion of awful people (incels, alt right) salivating to make it their misread Fight Club.

But I suppose if it wasn't this, it would be something else, so the rest of us might as well get a good movie out of it. I probably won't see it in theaters. Speculation is looking at it as a prime target for a Dark Knight Rises encore.
 
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I have no interest in a movie in which we're supposed to feel sympathy for a disturbed loner incel who decides that mass murder is the way he's going to improve his life. Fuck the Joker. I hope everyone involved in the movie winds up with overly chatty Uber drivers for the rest of their lives.
 
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I have no interest in a movie in which we're supposed to feel sympathy for a disturbed loner incel who decides that mass murder is the way he's going to improve his life. Fuck the Joker. I hope everyone involved in the movie winds up with overly chatty Uber drivers for the rest of their lives.
It's shockingly tone deaf.
 

Dave

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The more I hear about this the less I want to see it. @Hailey Knight is perfectly correct - this is going to be the incel's and "we live in a society" idiots' "Fight Club".
 

fade

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I'm not sure I agree. There are reams of good literature and reels upon reels of good movies that give motivations to villains without compromising the fact that they are in fact evil. You could easily motivate a horrific psychopath with a "there but for the grace of God" type story. I could make the violent video game argument. The only people who are going to find Joker's choices sympathetic were going to anyway.
 
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There are people who admire characters for various reasons, even when the movie doesn't really show them in a positive light. "Goodfellas" is a positive example. The mobsters think they're awesome, but the movie shows them to be obnoxious, classless, vicious, self-destructive morons who managed to get away with shit for a while until it all comes crashing down. You understand Henry Hill, but the movie doesn't really show him in a sympathetic fashion - in fact, he sort of comes off as pathetic.

But 'JOKER' treats Arthur Fleck with unearned sympathy. He's portrayed as the broken victim of an uncaring society, whose path to self-realization is via violence - and in fact, not just being violent, but openly reveling in it. The trailer for certain acts like his transformation into the Joker is a positive thing for him. That's the difference. It's not a "there but for the Grace of God" story, it's a "Does you life suck? TRY MURDER!" story.
 

fade

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I mean, villain transformations are often portrayed as positive for the villain. Doesn't seem particularly unique to this movie. It reminds me of what Phillip K Dick said about A Scanner Darkly. He portrayed drugs as pleasurable because they are. People wouldn't do them if they weren't. A person wouldn't turn to what the world perceives as evil if there wasn't a payoff for them.
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I mean, villain transformations are often portrayed as positive for the villain. Doesn't seem particularly unique to this movie. It reminds me of what Phillip K Dick said about A Scanner Darkly. He portrayed drugs as pleasurable because they are. People wouldn't do them if they weren't. A person wouldn't turn to what the world perceives as evil if there wasn't a payoff for them.
I agree. Hasn't that been a trend for Disney movies? Look at Maleficent. That movie is almost an identical premise to the Joker.
 
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This is true. But I haven't seen much movies trying to make Mohamed Atta seem heroic and justified/understandable. Or Hitler. Or most murderers.

I'm aware the Joker is fictional and thus fair game - plenty of anti-heroes or anti-villains to go around. It's possible to create a character that can be justified for falling - heck, shows like Lucifer or Good Omens pretty much do it to the Devil.
Now, I haven't seen the movie, and I've heard very, very different things from different people about it, so I have to reserve judgement. But there's a fine line somewhere, and it seems that according to some, it's been crossed.
V was a sympathetic terrorist, standing against oppression. The Joker is mostly a crime boss and terrorist portrayed as pretty muhc "For the Lulz" or "Chaos! We must break down society and revert to a natural state of anarchy!" or just plain demented/crazy. The Joker thinks blowing up ships with thousands of passengers is a great idea, that policemen deserve to die, and there's no benefit to an ordered society. That may not be the most healthgy political view to strengthen and support.
 
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If there is an overwhelming problem in the USA with fairie witches comitting mass murder as twisted revenge I haven't heard about it.
Not to mention that Maleficent justifiably felt snubbed by the king in the original story? You don't just... not invite fae royalty to a party and the king would have known better, whether she was unseelie or not. Yes, he'd be "inviting disaster" into his court, but it's still better than offending the god damn dark fairy who can curse your daughter.

There are people who think Walter White is the good guy in Breaking Bad, but that doesn't make it bad.
At least Walter White can admit that, in the end, the only reason it all went so far is because he liked and how it made him feel. He has no illusions about being a hero, he did it for himself.
 
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The Joker is mostly a crime boss and terrorist portrayed as pretty muhc "For the Lulz" or "Chaos! We must break down society and revert to a natural state of anarchy!" or just plain demented/crazy.
I think a majority of this has to do with the person portraying Joker, or the director's vision.
There's a reason Mark Hamill's characterization is so revered. His portrayal of the childish* glee, anger, mischief, and absurdity with which Joker comports himself is what earned it.
If there is an overwhelming problem in the USA with fairie witches comitting mass murder as twisted revenge I haven't heard about it.
I get what you're saying--it's like why the trapped helicopter shot was deleted from the Spider-Man movie.

--Patrick
*not childish as in "immature," but rather "Nintendo Sixty-FOURRrrrr...!"
 
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There are people who think Walter White is the good guy in Breaking Bad, but that doesn't make it bad.
I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying it's not a good time for it right now to be released.

I'd also argue that Gilligan and co. Make it very clear in Breaking Bad that Walter White is not a good guy and his decision to enter the meth trade ruins his life. Kinda the point of the show.

It's possible that the Joker movie will really examine the atrocities the Joker commits and reveal that his life of crime has in fact ruined his life. I don't know because I have not seen the film. Not the impression the trailers give off, but it's possible.
 
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I mean, Breaking Bad makes it very clear that Walter is not good, and in fact, it's an examination of just how his choices destroy his life and those of the people around him. No one is better off at the end of the story than the start. A shitload of people are dead - some good, quite a few bad, some innocent. Families are destroyed. Lives ruined. The fact that the story remains compelling and that you can still empathize with Walter is a testimonial to Bryan Cranston's incredible acting and the magnificent writing behind the scenes.

And Maleficent wasn't the same at all. She was betrayed by a friend who used that to take power, and her "revenge" was... being a good adoptive parent in absentia to her enemy's daughter, teaching her of the faerie realm and the moors and protecting her. She regretted the curse she'd uttered in anger after not only being betrayed and maimed, but then insulted on top of it. She was also able to undo the curse and bring peace to the realm.

Which, you might find, is different than indulging in mass murder for the giggles.

The point of Maleficent is that she was portrayed as a villain because it was convenient for the people in power, but she wasn't.
 
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I love how we have argued for pages about what the movie portrays but no one has seen it.
It's a prime example of Horseshoe Theory on how people at the ends want to "Pull Their Hair, Shriek Loudly and Gnash Their Teeth" on the next controversial thing and how it's bad/good for/against them.

Meanwhile, it got an 8 minute standing ovation from it's screening, from people that watch cinema.

It wasn't meant to be a 'comic book' movie. It just borrowed from the zeitgeist of comic book movies to make something like Taxi Driver.

SMH
 
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I mean, Breaking Bad makes it very clear that Walter is not good, and in fact, it's an examination of just how his choices destroy his life and those of the people around him. No one is better off at the end of the story than the start. A shitload of people are dead - some good, quite a few bad, some innocent. Families are destroyed. Lives ruined. The fact that the story remains compelling and that you can still empathize with Walter is a testimonial to Bryan Cranston's incredible acting and the magnificent writing behind the scenes.

And Maleficent wasn't the same at all. She was betrayed by a friend who used that to take power, and her "revenge" was... being a good adoptive parent in absentia to her enemy's daughter, teaching her of the faerie realm and the moors and protecting her. She regretted the curse she'd uttered in anger after not only being betrayed and maimed, but then insulted on top of it. She was also able to undo the curse and bring peace to the realm.

Which, you might find, is different than indulging in mass murder for the giggles.

The point of Maleficent is that she was portrayed as a villain because it was convenient for the people in power, but she wasn't.
Vic Mackey from 'The Shield' is another prime example. Some folks need to seek outrage/offense.
 
I think it will likely be a good, compelling story. It's okay to have darker stories.

I do, however, worry what it's tone is going to bring to specific groups of people.

Some of the reviews are very open that this movie is very much a "Trump era film". Some going so far as that the message is sends is "reprehensible" and one person even said it's a wonderful movie to watch, but isn't "enjoyable" because of the stuff that happens. I was not sure what that meant until I read a review that basically talked about the ending... "As Joker draws to its climax, Arthur’s violent tendencies explode, resulting in several ghastly, graphic moments that would be right at home in a slasher movie."

The one bright point people have been saying is that at no time do they make Arthur sympathetic, as hinted in the trailers. He does get abused, but he is still always shown as a bubbling, deranged monster really only ever out for himself. I think if they keep it on that, and don't glorify what he becomes, I might have less issue with it.

Sadly, some people will glorify it anyways.
 
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