DC versus Marvel films

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DC versus Marvel films

Postby Moderator » Tue May 22, 2012 9:11 am

Okay. The Avengers is tearing it up at the boxoffice, and will likely supplant The Dark Knight as the top grossing comic-based film at the boxoffice. (Though Dark Knight will likely still lead in overall admissions.)

However, beyond that, it's difficult to dismiss the relative success each studio (Warner Brothers versus Disney) have had with their properties. Other than The Dark Knight, DC has had a pretty dismal showing at the boxoffice (Green Lantern, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Superman Returns). Meanwhile, Marvel has had hit after hit ranging from Spiderman, to X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, etc. Batman seems to be DC's exception to the rule every bit as much as The Hulk is the exception to Marvel's reign.

To make this more interesting, Warner has had better success turning DC's "alternative titles" into successful films: A History of Violence, Constantine, V for Vendetta.

Is it that Marvel has a better pulse on popular culture? Is it the quality of the films themselves? Are the characters themselves responsible? I haven't seen most of these, but find myself caught up in the debate.

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Steve Evil
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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Steve Evil » Tue May 22, 2012 10:23 am

I'm convinced Superman would have done better if it had some supervillains in it. Doomsday would have been awsome!

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby reddragon70 » Thu May 24, 2012 9:35 am

Forget marvel and DC. The new Judge Dredd film is out soon. Hopefully better than the Stallone one, though. You got to admit, Karl Urban is an inspired choice for Dredd.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 24, 2012 11:46 am

Why don't we have a five year break from superhero films? Pretty pleaseeee.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Ben W. » Thu May 24, 2012 1:02 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Why don't we have a five year break from superhero films? Pretty pleaseeee.


There's an easy solution, you know: Just don't watch superhero movies. :roll:

But getting back to Barber's question, I think people in general are just overtaken with a particular zeitgeist at the moment. An article I've posted on this forum before goes into that a bit:

http://internetisinamerica.blogspot.co. ... erman.html

My theory? Out of all the DC characters, Batman is enjoying the most success because his modus operandi is more naturally given to cynicism and gloom. Fanboys seem to dig the fact Batman's always a snail's crawl from becoming one of the psychotic freaks he captures and re-captures on a regular basis. In addition, he's a "normal" man who just happens to be driven to superhuman extremes; maybe readers and viewers alike just have an easier time identifying with that.

And yet, Batman is a freaking billionaire. You'd think in these days of economic strife, nobody would be in the mood to idolize a hero who's primary superpower is his wealth. On the other hand, Clark Kent is, for all intents and purposes, a blue-collar working-class kind of guy. If anything, he should be more identifiable as a hero than the aristocratic Batman. And yet it's the fact he has actual superpowers - deflecting bullets, flying, etc. - that inexplicably alienates him from modern audiences.It's as if the physical reality of Superman and Batman are more important to audiences than what they individually mean as people.

Now, the Marvel superheroes are a different kettle of fish. Right from the beginning, Stan Lee rigged these guys as people with recognizable problems; depression, alcoholism, unemployment, etc. Even the mighty god Thor was occasionally burdened as the frail mortal Donald Blake. Not that Stan Lee entirely broke from the conventions of comic books in the way Alan Moore did with WATCHMEN. Good and evil were still clearly defined, heroes were heroes and villains were villains. Perhaps that magic balance between grand melodrama and pseudo-realism is what struck a nerve with those who made an uber-hit out of THE AVENGERS.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu May 24, 2012 8:56 pm

Ok has anyone but me actually seen THE AVENGERS? I must say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would going in. It is a very entertaining action-adventure flick. That's why it's doing boffo biz. They should definitely give Joss Whedon the key to the executive washroom. He knows how to write for and direct ensemble casts. The movie has a good bit of humor and wittiness. There is a real chemistry between the actors and everyone is clearly having fun.

Best use of 3D of any of these movies I've seen. I recently watched THOR on video (2D) and I liked it alot better than I did when I saw it in the theater in 3D. And it was because in 2D I could watch the film without being distracted by the 3D if that makes any sense. THE AVENGERS is the first one of these where the 3D isn't just a gimmick to seperate you from 5 more bucks.

Also they've found their Bruce Banner. Mark Ruffalo nails it. Edward Norton and even Eric Bana may be technically better actors but Ruffalo just eats up the part. I understand they've signed him for several sequels so I think the producers realize they scored.

Once more of you have seen it I'd like to discuss some of the things I didn't like but no spoilers here so that'll have to wait.

On the DC vs Marvel thing, Ben I think you're on to something. Other than Batman the DC characters just don't have the gravity that the Marvel folks do. You just can't do an anguished or tortured Green Lantern or Flash. Much less Superman. They need derring-do and swoosh and sense of wonder. Will audiences go for that? If I was going to make a Superman movie I would go back to the original naive concept of those brilliant 1940s Max Fleischer cartoons. Forget all that Dark Knight crap.
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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Ben W. » Fri May 25, 2012 4:51 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:On the DC vs Marvel thing, Ben I think you're on to something. Other than Batman the DC characters just don't have the gravity that the Marvel folks do. You just can't do an anguished or tortured Green Lantern or Flash. Much less Superman. They need derring-do and swoosh and sense of wonder. Will audiences go for that?


After the box office success of AVENGERS, I'm inclined to think they'd say, "Yes...with reservations. Sure, keep all the derring-do and swoosh and sense of wonder, but don't present us with something we can't recognize as a contemporary human being with contemporary sensibilities, otherwise we'll turn your movie into a bigger flop than HEAVEN'S GATE."

That's the problem with Superman for others, and his personal appeal for me: His character is intrinsically wired not to be a scowling asshole. Today, most would probably regard him as a naive imbecile. Simply put, he minds his manners, believes in God (it's safe to assume Jonathan and Martha Kent were salt-of-the-earth church-going types), and fights for truth, justice, and the American way. And audiences won't have that - at least not as a primary protagonist. Sure, they could tolerate Captain America, but only so long as his outdated idealism is diluted by the homicidal savagery of the Hulk and the snarky cynicism of Iron Man.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby robochrist » Mon May 28, 2012 11:01 pm

I wish someone would come up with a different ending in one of these outings. It's the same story over-and-over!

Let's see the villain win at the end, leaving our good heroes face down, or some switch where the villain ironically executes the last noble act! (The reason Namor could bring potentially interesting prospects to a storyline).

Either way, for myself, the movie format is not the most ideal for this genre; the cable series format would be the best setting, to develop characters more and complex story arcs. (The way the Doctor Who series does it so masterfully - oh, yeah! That's an ideal template for Marvel's existentialist universe!).

All said and done, I have not yet seen AVENGERS and I want to. I actually sensed it was going to work - from what I saw in the approach Marvel studios (and I believe these titles were the first to be exclusively produced by Marvel) took to IRON MAN and CAPTAIN AMERICA, whose story elements were stronger than other efforts (I wound up liking THOR as well), the AVENGERS anticipated the same operandi.

I rubbed the snake oil all over my already-supple skin and foresaw the critical success.

Shifting:

My snake-oil, however, is not yet gelling as try to anticipate the Spiderman reboot. They are, at last, leaning more to the visual take on Spidey and Parker I've always favored (the Romita/Jim Mooney look!); Toby Maguire not only does not LOOK like Parker, but he has, in my closing analysis, proved a not-so-terrific actor; the blank expression on his face is too much for me. BUT...my Robbie-sense is tingling: I'm not altogether confident the reboot will prove as good as it should be (the Lizard is one of my all-time favorites!); they are tying the storyline to ONE villain, which always makes for a more solid structure. But I'm apprehensive about this over-the-top business with Parker's parents and the reason they dies; smells of a BATMAN ripoff! I PREFER to see a story about Parker's internal dilemmas - the ones I always found so compelling in the comics: the way he initially capitalized on his powers; his resentment toward the world outside his aunt and uncle, because of the abuse and rejection from peers; his guilt trip after his Uncle is killed; his unsteady emotional transformation; and the testy relationship he has with both the public (who mis-perceives him as a threat, thanks to Jameson) and the cops! THAT'S the story I wanna see - BAD!

So, right now I sense the Spidey reboot will not fare as well as it COULD critically. I'll be looking at things yet to see if anything changes my expectations.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DC:

After the failure of GREEN LANTERN, I put less in my expectations for their properties. The graphic novels have fared a tad better: I did like V for Vendetta (thus far, the ONLY one I was pleased with!).

Now that they've rubberized their Superman for the reboot, I think they're just "following the leader" now; ironically, I felt 10 years ago it was the other way around, as Marvel interpretations "copied" the BATMAN rubberized look.

NEITHER in their adaptations have done a DAMN thing of notability in the music scores. Not ONE fucking memorable or compelling theme in ANY of 'em! Just the same tonalities over-n'-over! MOST of these things are just too uninspired - a big reason they turn me off for the most part. (with the exception of Iron Man, Cap, and, most likely the Avengers).

I care less and less about this genre. I look elsewhere for the good stuff now; when I want the FANTASTIC FOUR, I turn to old comics; when I want SPIDEY, I turn to the old comics. The movies suck. So does TV.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Steve Evil » Tue May 29, 2012 1:09 pm

robochrist wrote:I wish someone would come up with a different ending in one of these outings. It's the same story over-and-over!


I was just thinking this of movies in general. Right from the outset, I call call it. Who are the goodies, who are the baddies, who's going to live, who's going to die, who's going turncoat, who's going to survive but prove useless, what lies at the end of the corridor, when the false alarms will spring, who the love interest will be, and ninety percent of the time what the "twist" ending will be because most of the time it's the only logical thing that could happen. I'm bored to bloody tears with action/genre movies, wake me when I land (I watch most movies on planes now adays).

And tripple agree - scores suck now. Not a memorable one in the lot. Probably why I never took to Lord of the Rings.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby robochrist » Tue May 29, 2012 2:26 pm

Since I "ban" modern action movies from my "watchlist" as a rule, I didn't think that far; you're right, they ARE the same fucking story over-n'-over! I even forgot that was the reason I "banned" 'em to begin with!

The comics movies, however, may be an even more rigid example of it. The origin story + beatin' the baddie formula. I may be kidding myself, though. Action flicks are solidly from the same mold.

Perhaps fans of these outings see them BECAUSE of their predictability - the way we tune in to regular weekly tv series. But those types of viewers clearly need little to entertain them;redundancy is nauseatingly BORING!

Nevertheless...I'll go see the Avengers.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:52 am

I hate to bring this up but the Marvel women are much hotter.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby robochrist » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:50 pm

I dunno, Supergirl - flyin' about wearing that mini - one needs little effort to find out if she's wearing anything under there. Panties or thong - millions of guys would be chasin' her flight path everywhere!

Marvel got going with too many she-males and butch types - She-Hulk, Thundra, Marvel Girl-turned-Thing, Medusa, et al. DC's Wonder Woman is nearest to these types that I can think of.

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby robochrist » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:51 pm

I meant Ms. Marvel, not Marvel Girl!

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby Steve Evil » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:55 am

Recalling the originals:

Thor's invulnerability bored me. Tony Stark's wisecracks irritated me. By the time he got down to the business of battling Omega Red, it was too late, I was bored.

Captain America somewhat amused me; but would have amused me even more if they'd just stuck with pure historical action and not brought in those lasers and shit.

I can't emphasize enough (like a broken record) the ruinous impact of CGI. CGI absolves the makers of having to choreograph anything. Actors and stunt men used to have spend a long time practicing fight scenes. Directors had to think about movement, or real objects and people in real time. If they were clever about it, they made an entertaining movie. If their movements were boring (stationary characters shooting at each other), they made a boring movie.

CGI, freed from physical limitations, is only so much colourful chaos. Hero goes BOOM! Villain goes BOOM! Hero goes BOOM! again. Movie ends. What the hell did I just watch?

Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but it's true.

(And once again, Superman needed a Supervillain. Would have made all the difference in the world. . .)

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Re: DC versus Marvel films

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:49 am

Batman is the best charactor in comics history. The most complex persona. He is our dark side, as is the Joker.


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