Comic Con Thoughts
July 13th, 2015

So . . . Tim Kring is going the full X-Men. Interesting?

Not clear if that’s more or less interesting that the X-Men: Apocalypse trailer. (Crap quality for now.)

I’ve never been into Deadpool, but the trailer (also crap quality) is pretty amusing: “You look like Freddy Krueger face-fucked a topographic map of Utah.” (Plus, they’ve worked in Negasonic Teenage Warhead. So cross-over style-points.)

But look, that’s not what you want to talk about. We’re here for this:

Honestly, I don’t really know what to say. Except that it looks like a disaster.

I like a couple of the ideas present: Namely that Man of Steel was just one part of a Rashomon, and Batman v Superman shows us what else was happening on the most important day in the history of earth. That’s a nice way of making it clear that the last third of Man of Steel wasn’t disposable movie-of-the-week mayhem, but a defining event in DC’s universe building. That’s neat.

I also like the idea that in this new universe, Batman has been doing his thing off in Gotham for a good long while before the events of Man of Steel. This then suggests that despite what the audience thought, they were actually being brought in in media res with the first movie in the new DCU. Kind of interesting.

And I like the little bit we see of Wonder Woman (though I hope that never use the phrase “Wonder Woman”; she should just be “Princess Diana”) because she doesn’t speak. So maybe they’re going to emphasize her royal status and have her be the kind of aloof, semi-disdainful warrior-protector she should be.

Everything else? Ugh.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to line up with everyone else and give Warner Bros. my money. And I suspect that, in reaction to the early Batfleck conniption fit, fans and critics will talk themselves into believing that Affleck is “surprisingly good!” as Bruce Wayne. But he looks awfully weak and cartoony here.

But the real danger sign is Lex Luthor who looks, once again, like he’s being played for camp. It’s one thing to cast a Luthor who’s half of Batman’s age. It’s another thing to kit him up with Tears-for-Fears hair. And it’s another thing entirely to have him play as a fey mustache twirler.

Maybe I’ll love Jesse Eisenberg’s performance and he’s being ill-served by this trailer. But yikes.

And in fairness to Zack Snyder and Eisenberg, nobody has ever gotten Luthor right onscreen. I don’t understand why this is the case, because it’s not that complicated: You succeed with Luthor by making him a character who (1) Thinks the entire story is actually about him; and (2) Sees himself as the hero of the story. (If you want to see a master class on this, look at Jeffrey Wright’s villain, Peoples Hernandez in the otherwise moribund Shaft remake. Have a look–and note the cameo by a future Bruce Wayne.)

Trainwreck? Too soon, obviously.

Exit Question: What’s the last comic book movie that people were willing to contemporaneously revile?

  1. Sonny Bunch July 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I think people more or less hated Green Lantern on release. Also, X-Men: The Last Stand.

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  3. SkinsFanPG July 13, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Ed Norton’s Hulk. Or the Jessica Alba Fantastic Four.

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  5. Ben2 July 14, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Love the Peoples Hernandez shout out . . . but never noticed this Samuel L. line before: “When the van comes to pick these guys up, make sure he [Peoples] gets the seat with the busted seat belt.”

    Not sure if the line sounds as bad-a** post-Freddie Gray . . .

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  7. Dave Weigel July 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” No one pretended that was any good. I remember feeling pained that Brian Posehn, a great nerd comedian who would later write “Deadpool,” got a cameo in that soggy colostomy bag of a movie.