WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW.
Steve Boshear: Okay I don’t even know where to start with “why did you like it,” so I’m gonna start with what you just mentioned.
I don’t know why you think the Martha thing didn’t work dramatically. I loved it on three different levels:
1. Because Batman was so far gone that the only possible way to snap him out of it was to appeal to the very core of who he is. “Here’s a guy trying to save his mother’s life and you’re the guy standing in his way.”
2. Because it’s the perfect conclusion to the “god vs man” arc. The whole movie discusses Superman as some kind of god. The starving masses think he’s a benevolent god, Luthor thinks he’s a flawed, incompetent god, Batman thinks he’s an evil god. But in that moment, they finally drive home to Bruce and the viewer that this is just a regular dude who happens to have a shitload of powers through no fault of his own.
3. Sheer geek factor because I’ve thought for years that I was the only one who noticed their mothers have the same name.
Sheer geek factor is a lot of it throughout, honestly. Wonder Woman was badass, the Flash cameo was badass, the vision of the Darkseid invasion was badass, finally seeing a comics-accurate Batman was badass.
Benjamin Isaacs: yah, I was suspecting that.
I feel like people brought a lot of the movie to the table for themselves.
Steve Boshear: I think that too, but I think it’s from both sides.
I roll my eyes at people complaining it shouldn’t be dark becuase it’s a Superman movie.
Superman is not a dark character, but he very much lives in a dark world.
And that’s another thing I loved about BvS. Not treating Superman as a cartoon that can just do whatever. If he goes and attacks a terrorist cell, even to save lives, that has real-world consequences. The constant discussion of what Superman’s place is in the real world is one of the things that has been missing from previous films.
Benjamin Isaacs: That was very awkwardly done, I thought. Definitely a discussion that should have been in there, though.
Steve Boshear: You saying that is kind of supporting my suspicions about the Zack Snyder thing.
Benjamin Isaacs: Tell me more
Steve Boshear: I think he’s delivering themes and ideas on a wavelength that some people are totally on and others are totally not on.
Benjamin Isaacs: Hahah.
I think that’s a very polite way of saying “He’s not doing a good job of translating it to the screen, but some people are bringing the comics with them in their heads.”
He’s creating a Superman reference film, not a Superman film
Steve Boshear: I at least partly disagree.
I think Snyder was right not to spend too much screen time re-establishing things that are common knowledge about Superman and Batman. Everyone knows who Superman is in popular culture, so just a few shots of people treating him like that are enough.
And in Batman’s case, we did need to see the alleyway again at the beginning so that he could flash back to it later, but everything else about who Batman is was just assumed.
Because they’re so much a part of the cultural lexicon, there’s no need to retell anything you’re not changing.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yah, that’s where I disagree.
You may not need to hit specific story flashbacks (the super slow mo run to the “bat cave” as a boy was maddening) – but you do need to see how people feel about them.
Other than Lois Lane, I struggle to think of anyone who actually liked Superman who wasn’t being directly saved by him at the moment.
Steve Boshear: Dude, the city had built a statue to him.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s what made it so much more perplexing.
Steve Boshear: When he showed up at the capitol building there were demonstrators both for and against him.
Benjamin Isaacs: The only people who seemed to like him were voiceless plebians.
“The masses” liked him
Steve Boshear: Exactly.
Benjamin Isaacs: It seemed grotesque to me
Steve Boshear: Why make a movie about Superman vs a bunch of people who like him?
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s not what I said.
There needs to be SOMEBODY in his corner.
Steve Boshear: Lois and his mom served that purpose.
And really, even the senator wasn’t toally against him.
Benjamin Isaacs: Really?
Steve Boshear: She just wanted to put him in check, not kick him off the planet. She blocked Lex’s import license because she didn’t want Superman killed.
Benjamin Isaacs: “My girlfriend and my mom like me” are not really a cabal of support.
Steve Boshear: They’re the only two that matter, though.
Benjamin Isaacs: I don’t agree, but please continue.
Steve Boshear: See, this is what I think it is with Snyder.
He doesn’t spend time driving home ideas.
He puts them in there and lets you find them.
Emotional beats and themes, I mean.
It’s like having a conversation with someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same frame of reference as you.
Benjamin Isaacs: Do me a favor, and whenever you say “Zack Snyder,” let’s both think “the writer/director of Sucker Punch.”
Steve Boshear: Haha
Benjamin Isaacs: Because I think it’ll help remind us both who you’re talking about.
He’s not George Bernard Shaw.
Steve Boshear: You know what, Sucker Punch was terrible, but even that movie is an example of what I’m talking about.
The fans hated it too, but they liked it 20% more than the critics.
Benjamin Isaacs: A man who stages a fight scene with a twelve foot tall samurai is not an example of “subtlety.”
Steve Boshear: Okay, but he’s also the director of 300 and Watchmen.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yeah – when he’s not in control of the source material, he does better.
And I definitely think it’s been a downward spiral.
As he gets more control over the story.
Steve Boshear: I agree about the source material thing, not about the downward spiral.
Benjamin Isaacs: My point being: he’s not subtle, he’s just missing stuff.
Steve Boshear: I don’t agree.
If that were true, there wouldn’t be all these people saying this movie was so mind-blowing.
Benjamin Isaacs: People said Avatar was mind blowing.
Steve Boshear: Yeah, I hated Avatar, but I’m still willing to acknowledge one thing about it.
Whenever a movie is super divisive, I think it’s almost always a sign that the filmmakers have accomplished exactly what they intended.
They’re going for something really specific and it works for some people and not others.
Benjamin Isaacs: is it divisive though?
In my head it’s just “everyone hate BvS, or they were wildly wrong.”
Steve Boshear: Yeah, we’re on opposite extremes.
In my head, everyone either loved it or they’re just way off base.
Steve Boshear: I have a number of career filmmaker friends, people who are very literate about storytelling and movies in general, who are dumbfounded by the hate for this film.
This speaks to the divisiveness.
As much as you can’t fathom people liking it, there are other people who can’t grasp why anyone hates it.
Benjamin Isaacs: But I feel like the people who really like it are bringing the rest of the material to the table.
It’s not in the film.
Steve Boshear: Well, that’s not really relevant.
I would say the reverse is true of people who didn’t like it, but it still wouldn’t be relevant.
The fact is, a ton of people loved the film, and a ton of people didn’t.
Benjamin Isaacs: It’s not as though I think you can’t make a complicated, introspective superhero movie.
I respected what Ang Lee tried to do.
and The Dark Knight is flat out a brilliant series of character studies.
This is not that.
This is 15 different themes sort of introduced, then dropped, then picked up, then never really talked about again.
Steve Boshear: The movie is making enough that they’re definitely not going to kick Snyder of of the captain’s chair, but at the same time, WB is hearing the negative reviews.
So I think in the future, we’re going to get Snyder DC movies that are somewhat tonally different
They are already doing reshoots on Suicide Squad
Benjamin Isaacs: I would be super, super happy if they kick Snyder out and keep the serious approach to the series
he’s just not good at story
Steve Boshear: And also, for Snyder detractors.
I think it’s good news that the next two films in the DCEU are directed by other people.
As much as I loved these first two movies, I am very interested to see what other directors do in this world he’s built.
Benjamin Isaacs: Also – I kinda wanna take that back from Snyder.
He didn’t build this world.
He based it off what Chris Nolan did.
Steve Boshear: …
There is zero Nolan in this film.
Benjamin Isaacs: Nolan is one of the executive producers.
Goyer wrote the screenplay.
Add Heath Ledger and you are 75% of the way to the Dark Knight.
This is the Chris Nolan vision of the DC universe, as-helmed by Snyder.
Steve Boshear: That could not be more off base.
Chris Nolan’s vision of Batman was one which had all the fantastic elements removed.
He leaned hard into realism, to the extent that he completely overhauled the Joker.
Snyder is doing the exact opposite.
The only connection is the grim tone.
And Hans Zimmer.
Benjamin Isaacs: Snyder is doing the exact opposite?
Batman’s training montage featured him attacking a tire.
You don’t get much more boiled down or realistic than that.
Which – by the way – doing strength training to fight Superman is like cramming for Jeopardy. If you aren’t already prepared, you never will be.
I literally broke up laughing when he started hammering the tire.
Steve Boshear: Well of course Batman trains like a badass, that’s not contested in any version. He has no powers, he has to train.
Benjamin Isaacs: I know, but it was ridiculous to watch.
Steve Boshear: But Nolan would never have him using the animated series-style grappling gun, which in real life would rip your arm off. Or building a robot suit that enhances his strength. Or fighting an alien with superpowers using a glowing rock as his weapon.
Nolan wouldn’t even let the Joker have white skin and a permanent smile. He had to turn it into makeup and scars.
He took away the Joker’s gas and gave him knives instead.
Because those things were too out there.
Even the fight scenes are ridiculously fantastic as opposed to grounded and almost believable.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yes, and I would agree with Nolan.
But either way – there’s no denying Warner Bros said, “We need more dark DC material.”
Steve Boshear: Oh yeah, that for sure.
Benjamin Isaacs: Either way – the fact that Batman A) saw Superman, and thought, “Yes, my time is best spent between actually developing a kryptonite weapon and sledge hammering a tire” B) Allowed Superman to recover from the gas the first time after he shot him C) put the gas in a device that required manual reload, and could only hold one cartridge at a time.
…Batman doesn’t beat Superman because he’s stronger. It’s because he’s smarter.
Those were not smart moves.
Steve Boshear: Yes, the strength training was silly on one level, but being prepared for anything is part of the Batman motto. If you’ve gotta jump out of the way of some laser vision, you don’t want to be thinking “damn, I shouldn’t have skipped leg day.”
And as far as not killing him right away, I think it was part of that cruelness Alfred was riding him for.
He wanted him to feel it.
For the same reason he was branding people.
Batman had just been acting like a dick lately.
Benjamin Isaacs: Okay, but where was that cruelty?
We saw it once in the branding and then at the end.
Steve Boshear: “Breathe it in” “You’re not brave. Men are brave.”
Benjamin Isaacs: Yes, that’s the end.
Steve Boshear: Also in his wanton blowing up of people.
Benjamin Isaacs: Okay that’s what I’m talking about.
That was absolutely something that should have been addressed.
Because Wallace and I were both sitting in the theater going, “Whoops, there’s another dead body.”
Alfred loses his shit over a branding.
But we hear nothing about the dead people in Batman’s wake?
Especially when Batman’s ONLY RULE is he doesn’t kill people?
The character is fundamentally breaking the only thing that matters to him… and it’s never addressed?
Steve Boshear: I actually agree that would have been stronger if they’d said something out loud, but everything Batman did grew out of that change in character at the beginning. It was the whole reason he went after Superman.
Benjamin Isaacs: Again tho – those are all good ideas that went unaddressed (I would argue, abandoned) in the film.
Steve Boshear: And I would say it wasn’t dropped at all. Everything Batman does grows out of that idea. It just wasn’t spoonfed to you by being spoken aloud over and over.
Although I suspect we’ll see it address more in the 3 hour cut.
Benjamin Isaacs: I wouldn’t say “critical characters addressing a fundamental break in a character” spoon feeding.
If anything, that first scene about “turning men cruel” seemed like lip service.
Steve Boshear: Chris Stout said that everything that was less than stellar about the film, by and large, is best addressed by making it longer, and I agree with him.
Benjamin Isaacs: I tentatively agree there.
Except for the inclusion of Doomsday and killing Superman.
That was straight out of the Batman and Robin playbook.
And probably cost Warner Bros and DC a literal billion dollars.
Steve Boshear: Dude, that was flawless.
I choked up several times in the third act.
Benjamin Isaacs: Dude Doomsday is not a third act complication.
He’s a movie in his own right.
As is Batman v Superman.
Jamming them together poorly serves both.
Steve Boshear: Actually, no, I don’t really agree.
The original Death of Superman story was actually very narratively thin.
It was two issues of story stretched out over eight or nine.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s a whole other issue.
Steve Boshear: Doomsday (at least in his first appearance) doesn’t have enough to him to be more than that.
Benjamin Isaacs: Whether you feel Doomsday is thin or not, the wearing down and eventual murder of Superman deserves more than a set piece in an already thematically-overcrowded film.
Steve Boshear: But his wearing down was psychological and took the entire film.
Doomsday just pulled the trigger.
Benjamin Isaacs: How was he worn down?
Where did he slip up?
Steve Boshear: …
We’re having the Man of Steel conversation all over agian.
It’s like you watched a different movie.
Benjamin Isaacs: I watched what was on screen tho – I didn’t make assumptions or supplement what wasn’t there.
Steve Boshear: The whole story of the film was about Superman questioning his core goodness.
And whether or not his actions were worth the price.
Until he got to the point where he even considered killing Batman.
Benjamin Isaacs: No, there were like 3 scenes that sort of approached that.
Steve Boshear: Dude… the entire freaking movie was about that.
Benjamin Isaacs: No, everybody ELSE questioned it.
He questioned it in the bathtub scene.
And then on the balcony.
And MAYBE in the Arctic.
And there was never any development
Steve Boshear: And in every single scene in which he appeared, save the very first one.
Benjamin Isaacs: Every single time it was “no no you’re fine.”
Hardly – there are scenes all over in which that’s not the point
Steve Boshear: HE only said he was fine in the bathtub scene.
Benjamin Isaacs: No, I meant everyone else reassured him.
The argument was never furthered.
Steve Boshear: Other people kept telling him he was fine, but he never accepted it until the moment he decided to kill Doomsday.
All those scenes end with him flying away brooding.
Benjamin Isaacs: Exactly.
Steve Boshear: Except the one in the capitol building, which ends with him standing in a piled of flaming bodies and brooding.
Benjamin Isaacs: “Is this ok?”
Over and over again.
Steve Boshear: No, he gets pushed further each time.
In the bathtub scene it’s “I didn’t kill that man, Lois, no matter what they say,” and by the time Lex kidnaps Martha it’s “He has to help me or he has to die. No one stays good in this world.”
There’s a very clear wearing down of his will and self-image.
Benjamin Isaacs: No, that’s an unfair explanation.
He stays the same until the very last time.
Steve Boshear: That is just not true.
I don’t understand how you can think that.
Benjamin Isaacs: Okay let’s list the times he’s confronted with it.
The bath tub scene – which references either deaths that clearly weren’t his fault (the Lexcorp killers) or else some village massacre we never see.
Steve Boshear: He ends that scene smiling.
Benjamin Isaacs: When’s the next one?
Steve Boshear: Lemme think… only seen it twice…
Oh, when he talks to Perry about his Batman piece.
“You don’t get to decide what the right thing is.”
Ends that scene still confident that he’s right, but looking frustrated.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s not about Superman.
That’s about Batman’s vigilantism.
What I mean to say is that scene isn’t about Superman’s right to exist in the world.
Steve Boshear: Yes, but that’s clearly what his Batman obsession parallels.
As Bruce Wayne himself points out the next time it comes up.
Benjamin Isaacs: I wouldn’t say that’s clear.
Steve Boshear: This would be where I say you’re missing the subtlety again.
Benjamin Isaacs: And I’d say this is where the themes are muddled.
Steve Boshear: The central question of the film is whether Superman’s actions are right when he acts unilaterally. Perry White says TO SUPERMAN “you don’t get to decide what the right thing is.”
I don’t know how that could be more clear.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yes, but he’s arguing it by saying “the fact that Batman acts unilaterally is unimportant”
Steve Boshear: He’s also saying “you, as a reporter, are not empowered to make this decision unilaterally.”
Not muddled. Layered.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s not layering.
Steve Boshear: It is. It’s a complex idea being addressed in a complex manner.
Benjamin Isaacs: Saying “you don’t get to decide who acts unilaterally” is, I suppose, a complex idea, but it’s impossible logic.
Steve Boshear: Saying “But they were talking about Batman, so it doesn’t apply to Superman’s arc” is ignoring what’s happening internally with the character.
Benjamin Isaacs: Never mind the fact that Batman’s vigilantism isn’t the reason Perry is shutting him down.
Perry doesn’t care, is the truth.
Steve Boshear: Sure, but we’re discussing Clark’s character arc, not Perry’s.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s why it’s muddled though.
Steve Boshear: In the next scene, where he interviews Bruce Wayne, the man himself states that parallel out loud.
Benjamin Isaacs: Also never mind the fact that Batman has apparently been operating for 20 years and Clark is acting like he just heard about it.
Steve Boshear: I think it’s more that it’s just being brought to Clark’s attention how bad the Batman problem is.
Remember, he spent a bunch of his life on oil rigs and far-flung arctic expeditions.
And Batman probably isn’t that well-known outside the Gotham area prior to that point.
Benjamin Isaacs: But he’s been in Metropolis more than 2 years at that point.
Steve Boshear: Yeah. Working on other important stories. Then the TV news starts reporting on the Bat-brand and someone sends Clark an envelope full of polaroids of tortured criminals.
So he has a new story to work on.
It’s never stated or implied that he hadn’t heard of Batman before, but that doesn’t mean it was something he wanted to write a story about.
Benjamin Isaacs: Again, all that is unexplained and muddled.
Steve Boshear: How is it unexplained? There’s a whole scene of him going through the polaroids with “Judge, Jury, Executioner, Justice?” wiritten on them. I actually thought it was a little too on the nose.
Benjamin Isaacs: It’s unexplained as to “why now.”
Why is Batman worse now?
Our first introduction is him branding a guy.
They are assuming we already know Batman doesn’t do that.
Steve Boshear: …Because he’s started torturing people ever since the Zod incident. Alfred chews him out for it twice.
And there are at least two scenes of people watching news reports about it.
Benjamin Isaacs: People talking about a thing isn’t good filmmaking.
Steve Boshear: They did everything short of writing it on the screen in crayon.
Benjamin Isaacs: They might as well have done a “well, as you know, Dr. Johnson, Batman doesn’t do that.”
Steve Boshear: Okay, so your argument has just shifted from “it wasn’t clear” to “it was too simplistic?”
Benjamin Isaacs: No.
I’m saying having scenes where people talk about it isn’t as clear as having it dramatically unfold.
Where was the scene where the police break with Batman?
Where Commissioner Gordon goes “I can’t have your back on this one.”
Where were the relationships that got damaged? Alfred clicking his tongue is hardly drama.
Steve Boshear: Alfred chewing him out is exactly that. Wanting to shoehorn in Commissioner Gordon doing the same thing is nonsense. That’s just writing a different movie.
Benjamin Isaacs: Absolutely disagree.
If you want Alfred to break with him
Or say “look I can’t do this”
See their relationship change in some way
Okay, that’s drama.
What happened on screen was clumsy exposition wrapped in high language.
Steve Boshear: Could not disagree more. It was exposition, but not clumsy. They got across a lot in a short time, both visually and in dialogue.
Benjamin Isaacs: But nothing changed.
It was just talk.
It certainly didn’t demonstrate that anything fundamental had changed.
Saying “this isn’t cool” is the weakest of weak sauce if we don’t actually see any fallout.
Then it wasn’t really that bad at all.
Steve Boshear: The change was Batman becoming more and more obsessed with killing Superman until the Martha moment, when he finally realizes he’s abandoned his highest self and does a very painful 180.
Benjamin Isaacs: That was another awkward moment.
Steve Boshear: The movie STARTED with a Batman who had already turned bad, and the arc was about turning him good again.
You’re asking for the movie to be about him turning bad in the first place.
Which is just a different movie.
Benjamin Isaacs: As I said – muddled.
No he just didn’t seem that bad to me.
No one seemed especially shocked by him.
Even Clark being obsessed just felt like plot filler.
I didn’t believe anyone was actually upset.
Steve Boshear: It wasn’t plot filler, it was B story informed by the A story.
It was Clark projecting his insecurities about being above the law onto someone else who was doing the same thing.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yah, I think that’s something you read into it.
There’s nothing in there I saw about him seeing himself in Batman.
Steve Boshear: That was the movie! That’s what it was about!
Benjamin Isaacs: Where?
Steve Boshear: Do you honestly think all these perfect parallels between the two characters are there by accident and Zack Snyder just bungled into them?
No, man. That’s what he put in the film.
Benjamin Isaacs: Seriously – where does he compare himsef to Batman? I’m not saying there aren’t parallels – I’m saying you’re reading “Clark projecting his insecurities” into it.
Steve Boshear: Is there a scene where Clark sits down and says out loud that he’s projecting his fears about himself onto Batman? No. But the parallel is drawn for him. Most clearly by Bruce himself in their scene together at the party.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s a very interpretive viewpoint.
Nothing makes that clear.
Steve Boshear: Everything makes it clear! Clark saying it out loud would have been on the nose and terrible.
Benjamin Isaacs: My take on it at the time was Clark doesn’t see himself as Batman at all.
He thinks he’s very very different.
Steve Boshear: Clark sees Batman as what some people say Superman is.
Benjamin Isaacs: But he doesn’t see himself in Batman in some way.
Steve Boshear: He is after Batman because he thinks THAT guy is the real asshole that people are saying I am.
Benjamin Isaacs: Zero evidence for that.
Steve Boshear: And as his own self-image gets slowly chipped away, he becomes less and less sure that he’s right.
Benjamin Isaacs: It could just as easily be he doesn’t like seeing what Batman is doing.
Which is what I took it as.
Steve Boshear: And you’d be right. That’s not contradictory to what I’m saying at all.
But the character motivation is deeper than what he himself is aware of at first. That’s called not being on the nose.
Benjamin Isaacs: But there’s no evidence that Clark sees any part of himself or his insecurities in Batman.
That’s the part you’re reading into it
Steve Boshear: I disagree.
To me it’s 100% clear that was the intention.
Benjamin Isaacs: Based on… what, that Clark does?
Steve Boshear: Based on the fact that this is the story he chooses to obsess over at a time in his life when his every thought is consumed by people criticizing Superman.
And the fact that the only way out of the Martha situation that he can think of is to get Batman’s help.
Becuase deep down, he’s realized they’re after the same thing.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yahhhhh brudda I appreciate and can see your POV, but none of that is there.
Steve Boshear: If he really saw Batman as a complete other, he wouldn’t think to ask for his help.
Benjamin Isaacs: I feel like you’re bridging the gaps in weak story.
Steve Boshear: This is what I was saying at the beginning. These things are in the story, they’re just not hitting you in a way where you’re seeing them.
Benjamin Isaacs: Or, alternatively, you can be automatically filling in gaps for yourself, and I’m watching the movie that’s there.
Anything in a movie is TECHNICALLY explainable.
Steve Boshear: But you can do with with any movie if you ignore the subtext.
George killed Lenny for no reason!
Is basically the kind of thign I’m hearing from you.
Benjamin Isaacs: But if the movie isn’t laying down the basic threads, it’s not doing its job.
Steve Boshear: It did lay them down, and I am baffled that you aren’t connecting them.
Also, you and I were on opposite sides of this exact argument when we discussed The Dark Crystal.
There was a bunch of stuff that I said was unclear and assumed and you thought it was obvious.
Benjamin Isaacs: The difference being Dark Crystal is a classic film created by a team of legitimate geniuses and BvS was brought to you by the mind behind “Sucker Punch.”
“When left to his own story devices, Zack Snyder brings you Sucker Punch.”
I hammer on that because every one of his films has been criticized for having huge amounts of style and zest and very little substance.
Dawn of the Dead was a classic examination of consumer culture – he turned it into a popcorn film.
300 – a visual feast, but not much else.
Watchmen – faithful in visuals to the comic, but hardly i spirit (Night Owl has super Kung fu powers now?)
Steve Boshear: The final pass on the script was done by one Mister Ben Affleck.
Writer of Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone and The Town.
Benjamin Isaacs: I mean – that’s great, but the director is the one executing.
I’ve said there were several good ideas in the movie.
Just crammed in or not given enough room to breathe.
Steve Boshear: Your claim that Dark Crystal is a classic is not supported by me anyway.
Benjamin Isaacs: The fact that we’re debating it 30 years later doesn’t hurt its case.
Whereas I haven’t thought about Man of Steel until I saw BvS, and I won’t think about either after this month.
Steve Boshear: Same for me with Dark Crystal
In 34 years, BvS will be roughly as “classic” as Dark Crystal is.
They currently have almost the same IMDB rating.
Benjamin Isaacs: That’s okay, you can do that.
Doesn’t mean BvS isn’t muddled tho haha.
Steve Boshear: To me, Dark Crystal is the Sucker Punch of Jim Henson.
Benjamin Isaacs: Hahah I feel like history doesn’t agree with you, though.
Steve Boshear: Kinda, but history’s not going to agree with you about BvS.
People will remember it more and more fondly as the grow up.
Which is exactly what happened to Dark Crystal.
Benjamin Isaacs: I mean there’s no question kids will like it.
But I don’t see BvS lasting long term.
Dark Knight will last, Avengers will last.
This whole Snyder reboot will be DC stumbling over its own feet again.
Steve Boshear: The Dark Crystal never had a sequel, and no further “dark muppet” movies were ever made. So… did that film really “last?”
Superman Returns is a movie that hasn’t lasted.
People generally forget it even exists and it’s only ten years old.
Dark Crystal lasted more than that did.
Benjamin Isaacs: The Dark Crystal was part of a whole series of TV and movie projects using muppet technology in more serious roles.
Steve Boshear: There were no more theatrical attempts though.
Storyteller is badass, by the way, but it was five years later and I would argue not related.
It only had one muppet in it and was not very dark.
Or very serious.
I don’t think serious Muppets would be done again until Farscape, well after Henson died.
Benjamin Isaacs: I can go back and look, they did a lot of things, but that puts us far afield from where we started.
Which is: Muddled! Haha.
Steve Boshear: Right.
Layered! Complex! Subtle!
Figured we’d get here eventually.
Do you at least admit that Wonder Woman was amazing?
Benjamin Isaacs: I thought Gal Gadot was impressive as fuck.
I thought her part was grossly underwritten and kind of a ripoff of Captain America’s situation.
Steve Boshear: Well… certain parallels are unavoidable. They did bump her from WWII to WWI, probably just for that reason.
Benjamin Isaacs: She’s the “pre world war 2” character.
They didn’t have to take that tack.
That said, I liked it.
Steve Boshear: I liked her performance, LOVED her score and loved her in the action scenes.
I don’t think they could have done her character more justice in the amount of screentime they had for it.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yah I agree re: her char vs screen time.
Oh god – the Batman fight scene in the desert camp.
Can we at least agree that was awful?
Steve Boshear: No
Benjamin Isaacs: It was soooooo slow, and awkward.
Steve Boshear: You mean the action was literally too slow?
Benjamin Isaacs: Yes, literally Batman was moving too slowly.
And everyone was just waiting on him while he fought.
I had never realized how good any other fight scene was until I saw that.
Steve Boshear: I’d give that a maybe. I liked it overall, but it wasn’t the best action sequence in the film.
It definitely wasn’t terrible. I felt that they took it kind of slowly on purpose to show that the future Batman had gone from “oops, I threw a guy into a grenade” to straight up shooting people.
And also to give us a good look around at the world.
Fire pits on the horizon, parademons flying around. I feel like I might not have had time to look at that if the action had been more eye-catching.
Benjamin Isaacs: Also – no reaction from Batman for straight shooting people? Or the fact that he hit literally zero people?
Steve Boshear: He was going one shot, one kill for most of that scene.
Benjamin Isaacs: He hits nobody.
I watched super carefully.
Steve Boshear: He blows away the guy in the truck when he first draws, then lays down two more when he first steps out of the truck.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yes that’s true.
I meant in the broader fight scene when he is shooting everywhere.
I should have been more clear, I apologize.
Steve Boshear: I’d have to watch it again but I’m fairly sure you’re mistaken about that.
Rumor is we’re going to see Batman removing the guns from the Batmobile in one of his Suicide Squad scenes.
Benjamin Isaacs: Interesting.
Steve Boshear: The idea being that seeing Superman’s actions in the Doomsday fight brings him back to himself and causes him to recommit to fighting the good fight the right way.
Snyder was asked about all the Bat-murder in an interview and his response was that it was all indirect. He deliberately created a Batman who stretched that “I won’t kill you but I don’t have to save you” idea to its breaking point.
He shoots cars and if guys happen to be in them, oh well.
Benjamin Isaacs: Yah, I can be down with that, but that feels lke a big thing not to at least address, it speaks a lot to the character’s mindset, and if you leave it open to interpretation, it can become – muddled.
Steve Boshear: I think that might be one of the things we see in the extended cut.
Jenna Malone had an entire character that was cut.
I’m actually more on your side with that one. In the interview, Snyder seemed like he thought it didn’t require explanation because really, Batman kills people all the time in the movies.
“I don’t want to execute this criminal, so I’ll just burn down this temple full of people instead.”
And of course the Burton ones, where he just kills pretty much everyone he fights.
Benjamin Isaacs: Nod.
That’s how I feel a lot of it was handled.
Steve Boshear: Yeah, I agree. I just think in most other cases, he was right.
Benjamin Isaacs: I think if it was clear to you, then that would make sense.
I felt like they didn’t give enough of the important dramatic moments their due, and in doing so, things got lost, or were open to improper interpretations.
Steve Boshear: Phrased that way, I think it’s a fair criticism of Zack Snyder in general.
I mean, I’ve been pointing to all the people that “got” the movie, but the fact that so many didn’t obviously means things could be improved.
Especially since these are the same things Snyder gets criticized for a lot.
Benjamin Isaacs: I found it frustrating, because there were some pretty cool ideas in it.