Half in the Bag Extras: Zack Snyder, Superman IV, and The Justice League

June 26, 2013553 Comments

Some additional conversation from our recent Half in the Bag Man of Steel discussion.


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Filed in: General UpdatesHalf in the Bag

  • uridon

    first

  • nocussing

    second ^^

  • it is becoming increasingly hard to defend Ryan Reynolds when he keeps picking shit movies. R.I.P.D. looks like cancer

  • whip

    Oh god.. Mike just HAD to go and say how Marvel gets the tone right.. Here comes 10,000,000 more “You guys are Marvelite idiots” posts.

  • Robert Overstreet

    Great stuff.

  • stolliosis

    You guys should check out the Honest Trailer of Superman IV. It’s hilarious.

  • Mendoza

    oh no, you’ve just stirred the pot of nerd rage!

  • Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

    If they wanted to make Superman look gray and blue like Call of Duty and Battlefield 3, then they could have just made a Battlefield/CoD movie instead.

  • tweakerbelle

    Frankly, I thought Superman was OK. Not GREAT by any stretch, but not bad, either. I didn’t mind the “Grittiness” or the “realism” that much. What did turn me against it as much as I did was the last 40 minute JUST WOULDN’T FUCKING STOP. And the wierd plot bizarrities – like how S and Zog go blasting through all these building and I’m sure NO ONE got hurt then, eh? As towers collapse… yikes. But otherwise, it was OK. I give it a C-.

  • Tyler AitchKay

    I don’t know how you can be a fan of the Plinkett reviews but like Man of Steel

  • Joshua Pelfrey

    Actually Wonder Woman was created by a huge proponent of BDSM, he was a polygamist who based the character off his two wives, and her lasso and bondage under currents were meant to draw in young male readers, just as the strong feminist and empowering message were intended to draw in girl readers.

    To make her a darker character they mostly just have her fight darker villains, and she has several to chose from, there is the mind controlling rapist Dwarf, the Nazi Superman, or the demon worshiper clothed only in the skin of her pet jungle cats that she skinned herself..

  • Joshua Pelfrey

    Those two things are so different from one another that I have no idea how you could draw a connection.

  • rikkibarnes

    Or hate the Star Wars prequels and enjoy MoS. I got so many SW prequel vibes when I watched MoS… It just lacked any warmth or joy or actual excitement.

  • Joshua Pelfrey

    I don’t know, that movie looks like the first (good) Men in Black mixed with Hellboy. It could be fine, don’t pre-judge.

  • MARVELITESSUCK

    YOU FUCKING MARVELITE SHITS!!! HOW THE FUCK XCAN YOU SAY MARVEL GOT SHIT RIGHT? WHAT YOU THINK THAT COMICS ARE FOR KIDS LIKE THOSE STUPID MOVIES? STOP ACTING LIKE YOU ARE EXPERTS ON COMICS WHEN YOU KNOW NOTHING. RICH EVANS ISN’T A FUCKING COMIC EXPERT. STOP KIDDING YOURSELFS! FUCKING ASS LOSERS!

  • Confused

    I don’t see the camera shadow on the wall, where is it???

  • Mike Jakermen

    Frankly you can only try to do something realistic with Batman. Because he dose not have any powers or any totally unrealistic gadgets like Iron Man. Even then some of Batman best villains are totally unrealistic. Frankly if they make a Justice League movie like MOS. I don’t expect much.

  • James Hammond

    Alex Ross art on Half in the Bag, today is a good day.

  • Guest

    The sad thing is I’m sure this is someone trying to be funny/satire on those types of posts rather than an actual complaint. Key word.. trying.

  • Adrian Inness

    I hate all caps…. to me it looks like: youfuckingmarveliteshits!!!howthefuckxcanyousaymarvelgotshitright?whatyouthinkthatcomicsareforkidslikethosestupidmovies?stopactinglikeyouareexpertsoncomicswhenyouknownothing.richevansisn’tafuckingcomicexpert.stopkiddingyourselfs!fuckingasslosers!

  • Sean Lombard

    He meant the camera light was casting a shadow of Christopher Reeve on the wall next to the door. Really poor lighting.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Basically, Wonder Woman for this universe is Wonder Woman from the shitty TV show they piloted two years ago. She’d probably fit right in.

  • Robert Overstreet

    All I can say is Dark Aquaman.

  • Thomas Hayes

    They can live with it. I think after four years of prequel fanboy rage they’ve got pretty thick skins.

  • sepiajack

    I posted this in the other man of steel discussion but figure it might be more (or at least as) relevant here:

    One of Jay’s comments has really
    got me thinking to the extent that I’m re-evaluating my whole view of a
    lot of movies and characters I grew up with.

    When he said, kids don’t have a batman anymore because of the adult
    geared Nolan films (which I do enjoy) and now they don’t have a Superman
    anymore, it really got me thinking.

    I think my generation (kids of the late 70s to mid-late 80s) is in
    many ways the most nostalgic generation, with a massive peter pan
    complex.

    It occurs to me that unlike a lot of past generations like the baby
    boomers or the WWII/depression era generations, we not only hold onto
    the iconic characters/stories of our youth, but we selfishly expect them
    to grow up with us.

    By that I mean, if you take an idea like Superman, which is
    essentially for kids, because we’ve gotten older, more angsty, whatever,
    we now want Superman to ‘grow up’ with us, instead of just growing up
    ourselves and leaving that toy in the toy box for some new kid to pick
    up and enjoy in an age appropriate way.

    I’m not sure if that makes sense, but its something I’ve been chewing on since this review.

  • Memoman

    I had faith in Zack Snyder, and not in a Jesus leering over my shoulder kind of way; mostly because I really, really like Watchmen and I was willing to give Sucker Punch a free pass merely on account of its bigger action set pieces.

    Now, after seeing Man Of Steel and specially listening to Snyder justify his decisions, I think the reason 300 and Watchmen came out so good looking is because most of the work was already done for him on the comic book pages by real artists. That’s why I couldn’t stop slapping my forehead with the Jesus’ scenes on Man Of Steel. They were just so gratingly cumbersome.

    Maybe Guillermo del Toro could have pulled off this darker Superman. Hellboy is very dark, but it’s not hopeless, and it’s certainly fun.

    On the flip side, this means that if you give Zach Snyder good material to shoot, he can pull it off. The main problem here was the script, Nolan and Goyer need to cease their involvement with superheroes, because they don’t care for heroism. They’re all about personal turmoil and family issues. Superman, its ideal, is above that.

    I guess for the time being, the ‘S’ stands for schlock.

    PS: Can you imagine a powerless Clark Kent in Metropolis? Right off the bus he would get mugged and raped.

  • R.I.P.D looks stupid yet fun and i can see the RT rating of something 55% Rotten to 75% Fresh.

    R.I.P.D might just be his last shot at saving his career. If it fails, then his role as Deadpool might just go to Aaron Paul, who is more fitting TBH.

  • Tyler AitchKay

    Plinkett reviews deconstruct studio garbage

    PoS is studio garbage

    Sorry, I meant MoS. I got my acronyms mixed up…

  • sepiajack

    The thing about Snyder is his biggest problem is tone. Watchmen is almost perfectly cast, and shot really well, but he completely misunderstands the tone and overall message of the material, which in many ways is really a critique of violence and superheros in general.

    But his typical mean spirited, frat boy misogynistic flavor overshadows everything, and fetishizes the violence instead, a good example is the scene where silk spectre and nightowl get mugged and they beat up the guys. in the comic they just punch them out, its about getting their mojo back. But in the movie they gleefully murder the thugs, stabbing them and whatnot. That sort of brutality works for a character like comedian or Rorschach, but you need the contrast with other less brutal heros for those characters to stand out.

    Likewise he completely misses the point of the ending, and can’t resist turning Ozymandias into a limpwrist gay villain stereotype, when the point of Rorschach’s earlier suspicion about Veidt being gay has nothing to do with whether he is gay or not, but rather to paint early on that Rorschach is a right wing paranoid guy, he sees communists and gays everywhere he looks.

    I do agree with Mike and Jay and Rich that I was really shocked that so much of Snyder’s usual visual style was absent from MoS, especially the slow motion. But the main thing to me, as with Watchmen is just a complete misunderstanding of the tone of the material he was working from.

    But then this is the same guy who thought he was making a feminist female empowerment movie with Suckerpunch

  • diggle

    Hi. It’s me. Yep. That guy.

  • whip

    You make me wonder.. is there anything in the official backstory/comics about what the S means on his chest? I saw in this they are saying it’s something about a symbol for hope or whatever.. is that totally concocted by the writers for the sake of this movie? Or does that have any legitimate roots in the canon?

  • Memoman

    Well I haven’t read the Watchmen comics yet, so I thank you very much for the comic book context. The scene about beating the thugs in the alley is a great way to illustrate your point, which I agree with. I’ve also heard lots of complaints about the change in the ending and I’ve yet to read the original ending. I will get on that.

    Based solely on what I’ve seen in the movie I can completely understand your point about the exaltation of violence to frat boy levels. This was what 300 was all about and the reason it didn’t gel so well with me. As amazing looking as it was.

    Since both are Miller works, let’s compare 300 to Sin CIty. Where both are about extreme ultra violence, yet in Sin City the gory and even the misogynistic tones have this alarming subtext and warning around them, the kind you imply from what you perceive as a more intelligent director.

  • whip

    I know, I meant it mostly tongue in cheek. I should have put a smiley 🙂

  • What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

  • wouldn’t that be Navyman?

  • Memoman

    Well I’m no expert either, but this is what I got from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_logo#Representations) :

    Representations:

    Initially, the S-shield had one meaning: S for Superman. One of the first alternative meanings was presented in Superman: The Movie, in which it was not an S, but rather the S-shaped Coat of arms of the House of El. After the Superman reboot storyThe Man of Steel, the symbol’s story was that it was designed by Jonathan Kent and was derived from an ancient Native American symbol. The symbol was featured on a medicine blanket given to an ancestor of the Kent family by a Native American tribe after he helped to cure them of a plague and was supposed to represent a snake, an animal held to possess healing powers by the tribe (implying that, by wearing this symbol, Superman was a metaphorical healer). In 2004, Mark Waid’sSuperman: Birthright series says the S-Shield is the Kryptonian symbol for “hope” and Superman believes it may have begun as a coat of arms for the House of El. Later, writer Geoff Johns confirmed it was indeed a coat of arms, as well as a symbol for hope. In the 2013 film Man of Steel, when asked by Lois Lane what the “S” stands for, Superman states that it is not an “S”, but rather the Kryptonian symbol for “hope”. [3]

  • shaneckel

    Yeah. You tell’em internet person. Get’em… With your strong opinions and such. Credibility is important here. I watch these for credibility!

    Tell em!

  • Thomas Hayes

    Bah-dum-tish!

  • JCain

    Man of Steel fail!

    Even “World War Z” get better points on Rotten Tomatoes, and like this movie, is something coming from an popular material, but completely changed.

    your kind is doomed!

    Vader: NOOOOOOOO!

  • Joseph Thomas Hunter

    I kind of agree with this sentiment for a lot of things, like Transformers. But the Superman and Batman comics actually were aimed at adult audiences when they first came out. That said, it doesn’t mean they need to be all gritty and angsty. At least not Superman. But you can make a Superman that is fun and exciting without going to the levels of cheese found in the Reeve movies. I think Superman should be the middle-ground of superhero movies. Something that you can enjoy as an adult, but that the kids will like too. I don’t see how MOS could be enjoyed by anybody.

  • Thomas Hayes

    I see what you mean. I like the movie Watchmen, but it doesn’t come across as much of a deconstruction at all when you watch it – it comes across completely straight for the most part. I’m not a huge fan of the book it’s based on but I think a large part of the reason why is that it’s the first graphic novel I ever read and some of its message went over my head. This makes me a lot more tolerant of the film than big fans of the book generally are.

  • DC fanboy

    Justice League is doomed… ow no! my super kick ass dark heroes as doomed.. momiiii!

  • sepiajack

    Another good example in watchmen is the scene where the gunman tries to kill Veidt, and Lee Iacoca (sp?) gets shot in the crossfire. I don’t think he is even in that part of the comic, which is fine, but the movie so joyfully has him take a bullet to the head.

    There are changes to the ending compared to the comic in terms of what Veidt’s masterplan was, but that aside the tone of the ending is all wrong.

    The movie plays it somehow that Nightowl ‘defeats’ Ozymandias, in the comic all the heros except for Rorshach agree to go along with Ozy’s plan to scare the world into peace, because they see it as the best bet for the greater good, Nightowl is busy getting laid from Sally jupiter and doesn’t even know or care that Rorschach gets killed. They are all complicit, and Ozy has a huge victory. It all plays back to the ‘who watches the watcmen?’ paradigm. These ‘higher beings’ decided what was best for the rest of humanity without our consent, and answer to no one. That was the point, its a dissection of characters like superman, that we idolize and yet the whole notion of superheros can have enormous fascist undertones. Who gave them the right to decide it was okay to destroy all of NYC if it ensure world peace? That’ the basic crux of it.

  • whip

    How about Dark Wonder Twins?

  • sepiajack

    Agreed, and I think something sort of in the same tone range as The Avengers movie would fit Superman well. colorful, cheery, light but not lacking gravity or some real world connection.

    Some additional thoughts (also previously posted in the other thread):

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t be young at heart and still enjoy
    things that are ‘for all ages’, just that its unfair to expect these
    properties to change as we age, and even then I’m not sure really what
    my feelings are on this, just that I hadn’t looked at it that way
    before, but I thought Jay made a really valid point.

    I guess what I’m getting at is, if I think about my grandfather, he
    use would have grown up with golden era Superman, and he loved the
    Richard Donner Superman which was many years later, but just because he
    was in his 50s at that time, he didn’t need superman to suit that stage
    of his life, he could look back on it as an icon of his youth, he didn’t
    need superman to change for him.

    Where as I get the impression that a lot of the 35 and under crowd
    nowadays (and I include myself in this, I’m 34) want a Superman, or a
    Batman, or a Star Trek or whatever to be a reflection of them now, so if
    they’re darker, or more mature, or angsty or bitter, or more grown up,
    more complex… whatever you want to associate with aging, we want these
    characters to have gone on that journey with us.

    And maybe that’s fine too, its just that for the first time I have my doubts.

  • Manioc

    You can see this bleed into video games as well. People complain that Mario, Zelda, whatever are “kiddie” franchises, but they’ve always been- it’s the original audience which has matured.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Yeah, I got it:) I was also partly serious though because I’m pretty sure that no matter how extreme the reaction they’ve got to their review of this film, it’s not gonna live up to someone sending them a 180-page rebuttal.

    Unless someone actually does that.

  • Carl Jackson

    I’ve said this for a while. I grew up and every franchise I know went with me. I mean, it’s great for me that I have age appropriate Batman and Superman (regardless of this film’s quality) but honestly I don’t really see a large number of things out these days I would have loved as a kid. Hell, maybe the closest is something like Star Trek which got dumber as a franchise.

  • sepiajack

    Indeed, and to be fair to Snyder, I don’t think any other director would have cast all unknowns, or kept Nixon, or set it in the 80s, or a lot of other purist stuff from the book. He got a lot of the details right, I won’t begrudge him that, and he took chances, but they were all aesthetic chances and to get ALLLL of that right and yet fundamentally have so poor a grasp of the book you are adapting… I dunno, it’s a big shame.

    And the other thing, to play devil’s advocate is that anyone adapting Watchmen to any media aside from comics is at a disadvantage. it’s a comic ABOUT comics, so it will always work best in its native medium.

    Just like how a movie like Altman’s The Player, a movie about movies and hollywood works ten times better as a movie then it ever could as a novel or a comic or whatever.

    But with Watchmen, i would have accepted something a lot less faithful to the comic in terms of details, plot points, visuals if the tone and message had been right. Maybe it could have been to comic book movies, what the comic is to comics.

  • sepiajack

    Cool, thanks I’d been wondering about that

  • Memoman

    I guess you can see some of that discourse in the movie, but really, bleached and washed down. Certainly not nearly as thought provoking as you portray it to be in the comics.

    And if the point is about Zach Snyder not getting it, then Man Of Steel is a two and half hour, rock solid argument for the case.

  • Robert Overstreet

    Wonder Twins powers activate!

    Jayna: Shape of an Emo!

    Zan: Form of a Thunderstorm!

    [Dark]

  • John Mirra

    There was a gritty wonder woman reboot but it only had a pilot episode that never aired.

  • sepiajack

    Yes that’s a perfect example. Instead of videogames having to stay relevant to 30 somethings, shouldn’t they be trying to figure something for the kids of those 30 somethings?

    And I’m genuine in my questioning, I don’t have an answer or a fully formed opinion. I just feel like we are the first generation to say “no that’s mine, it belongs to us, you can’t have it, get your own toys” to the kids after us.

  • whip

    Ya me too, I guess I should have been less lazy and googled it hah. But still, it only confirms for me it’s just another bad decision in part of the ongoing effort to turn Superman into Super Space Jesus, here to save us all.

  • Casey Bryan Wright

    Superman’s Greatest challenge is Zack Snyder or the new M night shalamamalama or maybe he is more close to Michael bay

  • Manioc

    I agree that they aren’t as bad about it, but X-Men 2 was “gritty” in an unfortunate way (thankfully lacking in realism tho). I haven’t seen the sequel / prequels, but I get the impression they didn’t improve much.

  • sepiajack

    It makes me wonder if 10-20 years from now we’ll have dark gritty adult versions of Barney the dinosaur, teletubies, pokemon, skylanders, minecraft or whatever it is that kids are into these days.

  • Memoman

    It could be the immediate consequences of the current greed fuelled creativity nadir we are experiencing; were everything is exploited for a minimum risk profit. Nostalgia and brand recognition being the safest ammunition.

    That would also explain all the savage rebooting, remaking, sequels and re-rebooting.

  • Casey Bryan Wright

    so far DC has rebotted2 films Marvel rebooted one which wasn’t needed since everyone wanted a 4 film and not a reboot so it kind of counts, its the film no one wanted and yet we got and it failed since it tried what MOS tried which was copy Batman, and as you can see it made money yet everyone hated it.

  • sepiajack

    Another side effect of the generational evolution within our media was when I was baby sitting my friends son, who was 7 at the time. He watches a lot of youtube and made a joke about Jaws 3 from a video he had seen.

    I asked him if he knew what Jaws was. He said no. I asked him why he was laughing then, and he said ‘because its funny’

    My generation was probably the first to really make popculture references a big thing and a staple of humor. Shows like the simpsons and later family guy and other stuff that constantly references star wars, planet of the apes, wizard of oz, jaws, and all sorts of movies, songs, tv shows, etc from the baby boomer era

    But now there is a new generation of kids, who are absorbing all the reference laidened media my generation is creating, but also have no knowledge or interest in anything made before the year 2000.

    Consequently we have a whole generation of kids speaking almost entirely in popculture references about popculture material they’ve never heard of. Making Jaws 3 jokes and not even knowing Jaws 3 is a movie, or about a shark.

  • Manioc

    I can think of a couple causes.

    First, the 20 – 35 crowd has proven to be a loyal consumer base for long-running franchises, due perhaps in part to a decreasing stigma for following traditionally “childish” forms of media (comics, animated series, video games, etc.). Many of which were rebooted or launched specifically to capture this demographic decades ago, when they were children.

    Second, there’s the impact of fans becoming creators, and then once in creative control forcing franchises to keep pace with their generation’s changing tastes, even if they initially adopted them as kids.

  • sepiajack

    Well said. I agree.

  • I agree with you that X-Men 2 was gritty but it was gritty in a storytelling sense, especially when X-Men in general reflects on contemporary social issues like McCarthyism, racism, homophobia and general post-9/11 discrimination and X-Men 2 captures that decently.

    Man of Steel could have dealt with something similar, especially when the current political climate is dealing with issues like immigration reform and assimilation issues facing current immigrants in America. They should have gone for that angle, especially when Superman is the greatest immigrant America has ever had, but instead they went for a dull blowup fest with an unnecessary 9/11 analogy.

  • Manioc

    Pokemon actually had a dark, gritty phase on the Gamecube, with two games set in a desert hellscape where people didn’t catch and train pokemon, but rather stole & brainwashed them. Mercifully, it doesn’t appear to have stuck.

  • infernocanuck

    Welcome to the internet 3.0, where actual stupidity and pretend stupidity blends together in a big pile of annoyance.

  • I think you nailed it perfectly.

    Hollywood lacks a Nintendo Complex, where instead of making superhero movies for today’s kids, they instead make superhero movies for past generations.

    Nintendo would never make a gritty and serious Mario game for the grown up cynical Gen Xer. Instead, would make the same game as before but aim it for today’s generation of kids and they would do the same for the next generation of kids.

    That’s what Hollywood should be doing: Making something that would inspire today’s kids as it has inspired kids from previous generations. I’m pretty sure Marvel/Disney is aiming for that path too.

  • TheDVDGrouch

    That is so very true & kinda sad when I stop & think about it.

  • Manioc

    I’d very much like to see a HitB or Plinkett video discussing the phenomenon, the same way RLM has picked apart so many other cynical, short-sighted modern media trends.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Yeah, I couldn’t imagine Clayface, Poison Ivy or Man-Bat in the Nolanverse. And I can’t quite envisage villains like Mister Mxyzptlk in the Man of Steelverse either, although at least the film’s embrace of a sci-fi aesthetic opens up a few more outlandish villains than Nolan’s Batman could have faced.

  • Devil_Dinosaur

    Please tell me you’re six years old.

  • Manioc

    Sega lacked it too for a while, and it almost killed Sonic. Look upon “Shadow the Hedgehog”, and despair.

  • Devil_Dinosaur

    Actually, Googling it would have taken far less time than typing all that shit out.

  • Ricky

    because it wasn’t gritty enough!!
    Max Payne’s the game, by the way

  • whip

    Yes it would have. I’m lame and I suck, I get it. Thanks!

  • mariano

    not 4chan kiddo

  • What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

  • Super Nashwan

    Can’t say I agree that it’s Generation X that want things to be dark and
    gritty, it’s the Millenial Generation that want it that way because
    that’s what they’ve grown up with.

    My generation grew up with the
    light-hearted Donner version of Superman, and if the RLM review is
    anything to go by, we’d all prefer it that way now.

    But I also
    remember that in my early teens movies suddenly got uber-violent
    (Robocop, Predator, Total Recall, etc.) and my friends and I wouldn’t
    even look at a movie unless it had an 18 certificate, as anything less
    just wasn’t ‘cool’ enough. Obviously we eventually got over that phase,
    but I think ‘dark and gritty’ has become the new 18 certificate for the
    current generation of youngsters. Hopefully this phase in cinema will
    pass soon because not everything lends itself well to that approach.

  • sepiajack

    Completely agree, and I think Mike and Jay are the optimal people to tackle this subject in depth.

  • sepiajack

    It is sad, and it really isn’t the fault of the kids, they are bombarded with all this random media to absorb and they are given so little genuine content that isn’t meant to be ironic or some aging gen-Xers nostalgic reference to a movie of their parent’s era.

    Like, why does something like this exist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nUS1wCA2oA

    That is Sesame street doing a parody of HBO’s True Blood. I shit you not! So its a show for toddlers parodying an ultra R rated show that no responsible parent would ever let their 5 year old watch, but because the people making the sesame street are in their 30s or whatever, this probably seemed ‘clever’ to them.

  • RLM

    you can’t have superman spin the world backwards any more because there’s no longer enough dumb american christians in the world who believe in pseudoscience… now american christians believe in facts, they just also believe it is a fact that they are all the second-coming of jesus, who of course is a violent white man who will defeat satan by punching him in the face repeatedly. This is the Superman movie our dumb generation deserves. now I’m just waiting for our next dumb christian president to mandate that firefighters fight fires with blowtorches. Get it? christians only fight fire with fire??? GET IT???? if you are a christian i am explaining this joke to you because you are dumb.

  • Cory Gross

    Had Man of Steel played just a bit better on that front, it would have been a deconstruction of the Marvel films. Our boys here laud the Marvel films for their sense of light-hearted adventure, but shit, I would not have wanted to be in New York during that invasion. Man of Steel at least attempted to deal with issues like what being superhuman would be like, or what an alien invasion of a major city being fought off by god-men would be like too. It wasn’t the best treatment of the subject, but it can certainly be seen that way.

  • Cory Gross

    “When he said, kids don’t have a batman anymore because of the adult geared Nolan films (which I do enjoy) and now they don’t have a Superman anymore, it really got me thinking.”

    Unfortunately, Jay was factually wrong on this point. He was privileging movies explicitly made FOR adults. If you want to see the Superman and Batman made FOR kids, turn on the TV Saturday morning. In the last 20 years, children have had Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Batman Beyond, Teen Titans, Teen Titans GO!, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Young Justice, Krypto the Superdog, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and the unrelentingly wacky Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

    Not only are there DC heroes for kids, but frankly, DC has OWNED superhero cartoons for two decades. Marvel has tried periodically, but they’ve never been as consistently good as DC cartoons.

  • Cory Gross

    “I don’t really see a large number of things out these days I would have loved as a kid.”

    That’s because you’re not a kid anymore. Kids today totally love things like Phineas and Ferb. Hell, *I* even kinda’ like Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

    Instead of lamenting that kids don’t have anything today because it’s not on your radar, turn on the TV Saturday morning or walk into a Toys R Us and see what’s there. Kid’s stuff is not on your radar because it’s meant for kids.

  • Cory Gross

    “whatever it is that kids are into these days”

    Well there’s your existential angst right there: you don’t know what kids are into these days. Why lament what you don’t even know about?

  • Cory Gross

    Jim Henson always did that. How many kids watching The Muppet Show do you think had an extensive knowledge of the works of Vincent Price or Alice Cooper?

  • Carl Jackson

    Umm seriously, if there were Phineas and Ferb blockbuster films, I’d agree with you.

    The point was, the blockbusters of my time actually reflected my generation. They were both blockbusters AND kids movies. Some of that still exists, but there is a LOT of catering to older demographics now in what were traditionally genres also meant for kids.

  • Cory Gross

    Yes, times do change, but that does not equate to the poor children being deprived of anything. Kids will totally talk your ear off about Phineas and Ferb, Angry Birds, Minecraft and so on. If anything, I would say that kids are even more media savvy than us, insofar as it’s all the same to them. If they lack the Goonies of their generation, it’s all cool because they’re just watching or doing something else.

  • kenchun24

    So far the only movies this summer I’ve really liked (as in “went to see twice”) was This Is The End and Man Of Steel. And while Man Of Steel did have it’s faults I still enjoyed it as a new beginning for Superman and a possible starting point for World’s Finest/Justice League etc…I still don’t agree with most critics (RLM gang included) hang ups on mass destruction (seems to be no complaints about all the deaths in ST: Into Dumbness?) and wantonness for another Donner type Superman movie.

    I love Donner Superman ’78, and although Singer’s Superman Returns was a nice,bloated love letter to Donner’s original,doing ANOTHER similar type of Superman movie would have sucked. I’m glad Snyder,Nolan and Goyer were trying to bring something new to the table (hopefully they can find a more balanced tone in the sequels). At least that’s how I view Man Of Steel,one creative take on the various 75 year history of the Superman character – you know kind of like how several comic book artists/writers have been doing with Superman/Batman etc all these years.

  • Ameila

    Honestly I feel like we watched two entirely different movies. I didn’t get the “grim and gritty” feeling at all from Man of Steel, I watched that whole thing feeling like I was watching melodrama and high theatre. Which, in my eyes is a fine way to make a Superman movie. I was very entertained. It never felt like it was trying to be Batman, just a more modern take on Superman with a bit of camp and melodrama at its core.

  • Please don’t mention that name ever again.

    What a horrible game.

  • Cory Gross

    After seeing Man of Steel, I think you guys were being more than a little unfair to it. I suspect a lot of it comes from wanting it to be something other than what it was (i.e.: a Marvel film). Even the not-so-great parts were not nearly as bad as you guys made it out. I watched your review before I saw it and I was expecting endless repetitive scenes of Superman’s youth… There were, what, two? Maybe three? You nitpicked Lois being everywhere, so I might nitpick back that they did explain why she was there if you at all followed what was happening on the screen. And they totally set up how Superman was given a choice between killing Zod or being killed by Zod.

    It is not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination… Space Jesus was literally laughable, no he didn’t really save anyone (except the whole earth) and I hate that crap fight direction where you can’t tell what’s happening… but the majority of its weaknesses come from being an origin story and therefore all set-up. I’ll bet that Man of Steel 2 will (hopefully) be as interesting a commentary on power as The Dark Knight was a commentary on justice. In respects to the tone, yes it was very serious, but Superman has broad enough shoulders to carry many different interpretations. He can be as ponderously serious an examination of power, belonging and alienation as Man of Steel (or Kingdom Come, or Superman: Peace on Earth) and he can be as utterly silly as any given appearance on the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon.

    I’m expecting Man of Steel 2 to be better, but I certainly thought it was better than The Avengers’ total pointlessness. Sure The Avengers was a fun pilot for an Avengers TV series, but it wasn’t really an interesting movie, save for a few nice moments of Joss Whedon writing. Even in its failures and excesses, Man of Steel was interesting.

  • John Jay

    A movie really has to blow me away for me to see it more than once in a theater. Needless to say, it’s been quite sometime. About the only films that I’ve enjoyed this summer are Iron Man 3, Before Midnight, and This is the End.

    Other movies on my summer list.

    June – August

    Pacific Rim
    Red 2
    Only God Forgives
    The Wolverine
    Kick-Ass 2
    The World’s End
    Riddick

    I would love to see a Sam Mendes [Skyfall and Road to Perdition] Superman movie. Get Deakins as the cinematographer.

  • Manioc

    It’s not even like Superman has to be a kiddie film. Why can’t he just be PG? What’s so wrong about reserving bright, sunny Metropolis for all audiences? Why does it have to be a depressing collection of primal screams and 9/11 allegories? I’m in my mid-20’s, I’ve already got a plethora of movies and shows and video games stumbling over themselves in their rush to supply me with dismal brown violence. That sort of content can be appropriate in the right time and place, but it doesn’t need to be in fucking Superman.

  • Benzo

    Well, I hope you fucks are happy! Now, I my first thought upon watching a movie is whether I think Mike and Jay will like it or not, not my own opinion. Like 300. I can’t enjoy it as I used to because I’m constantly thinking “I bet Mike and Jay hate it” You have your fingers well and truly in my ass wallet…

  • bluehawk222

    That’s the problem many of these reviewers are having going into Man of Steel with Christopher Reeves Supes on the brain. Saying this film isn’t fun or lighthearted isn’t a real criticism. You can’t say I went into the film expecting this and got something completely different therefore it’s bad. That’s what many people were going on about with Iron Man 3 in regards to the Mandarin. They expected the Mandarin to be one thing but got something else and hate the movie for doing that.

  • bluehawk222

    Even Donner’s Superman film saw Jor-El with the S crest. That’s where it started to be a symbol for the House of El. It was with Birthright it meant hope

  • bluehawk222

    Mask of the Phantasm was the best theatrical Batman film since The Dark Knight. Yep, even better than Burton’s Batman. And I’m sure Jay and Mike and Rich would have complained against that if it was released now. Because people viewed cartoons as simple shows to entertain kids (and sell toys) and not some artistic medium to tell stories. But Timm and Dini broke that perception with their Batman movie and tv series that followed. It didn’t have a cheesy Sat morning theme song, the censors said no guns they used guns, they had Batman say oh my god a few times and that was a big no no as well. I’m sure plenty of people thought why is this cartoon so needlessly dark and grim when cartoons shouldn’t be like that. Well boy were they wrong huh

  • bluehawk222

    Can’t it be a sign of our times as well? Just a collective shared psychological experience? September 11th had a big impact on the American psyche. Superman has always been reflective of various times of American history and Americana. The 70s Superman would be out of place in a post 9/11 world. Many comic writers even acknowledged the change in perception we would have on our heroes and how vulnerable Americans felt due to such an event. To just brush this all aside and say millenials are just whiny and want shit dark just because is kind of ignorant. We are living in a much more cynical age at the moment

  • xDiscipleOfTheWatchx

    Please explain your joke to me. I’m a Christian and I’m too dumb to understand how what you said is funny. But then I also fail to see what hating on Christians has to do with Red Letter Media’s review extras on Man Of Steel. Boy am I dumb.

  • FlipFlop

    100th!!!

  • McGarnagle

    The woman turned into a robot in Superman 3 freaked me out when I was a kid. I had nightmares for days from that.

  • Tim

    I have to say, I’m very upset at the Man Of Steel review. This ended up being one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s an extremely deep, mature, thought provoking film that explores so many themes of humanity and superheroism. The Avengers and Iron Man 3 are about stupid people flailing about while cracking jokes and stupid action. Yet the two of you gave those positive reviews. Biased much? I know I’ll get “killed” for this but you guys mock DC Comics and give their movies bad reviews so I have to assume you are Marvelites. Sorry but people need to wake up if they think Mike, Jay, and Rich aren’t Marvel supporters. The evidence is right in this video.

  • McGarnagle

    I highly doubt Mike or Jay have a dog in this fight. Rich might, but certainly not Mike or Jay. Anyway, you have to note the tone is simply not right with Superman, and while it sucks to a certain extent, the past of these heroes do play a role in the movie. IIRC, they did note that this movie could be a sci fi action movie, but it’s not a Superman movie. While we sometimes should leave our expectations at the door, when it comes to a cultural icon like Superman you simply cannot do that. On top of that, the Richard Donner movies are classics. You have to do better in order to be seen in a good light, and that is tough. Sure, the Batman movies had the original Batman, but they actually did eclipse that while meeting the tone of Batman. This movie simply does not do that. Movie makers have to realize there is some corniness to Superman. There is some lightheartedness and naiveté that makes Superman, well, Superman. When you get rid of that like this movie did, it’s no longer Superman. If you are going to make a Superman movie, make a Superman movie, not a sci fi action movie with the name Superman attached. You have to pay service to the tone of Superman, otherwise don’t bother with a Superman movie. I thought the Donner movies nailed it. This, not so much.

  • Getyourfingeroutofmyasswallet

    Can you guys still talk with marvels cock so deep down your throats?

  • McGarnagle

    OK, at this point you clearly have a massive DC cock in your mouth.

  • whip

    I find it hard to take you seriously, you come off perhaps as a very clever troll effort. Trying to seem earnestly legitimate. If so, well done.

    But if you are serious, maybe you should watch their Amazing Spiderman review.

    Also, if we are to take you seriously.. why do you care so much? I mean, you come off as clearly and seriously offended by their opinion. It’s a movie. Why would it possibly bother you so much? Do you not see how that reflects on your own bias and rationality regarding the subject?

  • Getyourfingersoutofmyasswallet

    It tastes like crap… Awww fuuuuccccckkkkk! They’ve been sucking marvels cock too!

  • Getyourfingersoutofmyasswallet

    It tastes like shit… Ah fuuucccckkkkkk! They’ve been sucking marvels cock too!!!!

  • nelmet menthen

    hm? so “shit” is much funnier than “crap”? that’s why you double-posted? awsome woik buddie 🙂

  • Getyourfingersoutofmyasswallet

    It’s difficult to choose with shit in one hand and crap in the other

  • Ryan

    Oh, great. 5 minutes of footage that was deliberately edited out of the previous video so it could be added as an “extra” in order for these hacks to string out the time they take to put out actual new content…

    Just what I wanted.

  • UCHUBomb

    it’s very sexy

  • sepiajack

    That’s a good point about the cartoons, there is still a kid version, but it doesn’t change the fact that as a generation we also demand an aged up version of our own too.

    The teletubies example I gave in another comment may seem a bit extreme, but imagine 20 years from now the kids born in 2005 who were raised with teletubies and grew attached them expected some sort of complex reality driven gritty update of Teletubies to suit them now that they’re 30?

    That’s an extreme example, but its not really that much more extreme than say making a movie of transformers.

    And again, I’m still thinking on this stuff myself, looking for the discussion/debate, I’m not the man with the answers. But you raise a very good point.

  • Beakilese

    “She’ll be a prostitute who gets turned into Wonder Woman.” Just brilliant. This line made the extras episode. In fact the extras seem to be so much more, I dunno. I find the jump-around discussions and asides outdo the full episodes. That’s probably 6-second-era Youtube/Vine/whatever attention spanning at work, but the editing and conversations somehow work better in these extras! Love it. Keep it all up. Huge fan. 🙂

  • sepiajack

    Yeah I think the Bush/9-11 era certainly had its impact on tv/movies/comics quite a bit.

    Battlestar galactica is a good example of a show that grew out of those times, and I think with the cynical mode a lot of people were in at that time, it was part of why there was a reduced appetite for Star Trek with its rosy optimism.

    I do think there’s been some bounceback in that regard in the post Bush era. I have no interest in throwing current politics into the discussion because inevitably trolls will come out of the wood work and ruin another otherwise interesting discussion.

    But with that said, since Obama has been in office, and Bush gone North America has still had its fair share of challenges and conflicts, but I think people at least some people anyways are craving a bit more optimism. I think thats why the release of the JJ abrams trek was well timed, not that that movie is perfect, nor devoid of ‘dark and edgy’, but its still a lot more bright and colorful and happy than I think a rebooted Trek would have been had it been released in say… 2004.

  • Beakilese

    Hehehehe! If they reviewed more films and posted more frequently (this sounds like a gripe about what is a perfectly reasonable weekly update of very, very good free entertainment; it’s not a gripe) I might get into that mindset. I love movies and see everything I can. Then I love when Half in the Bag weighs in. Honest to christ, with the passing of Roger Ebert, outside of a quick skim on Metacritic (which really just scratches my masochistic itch to see professional and casual jackasses put nonsense numbers to an oblique, nonsense system) Redlettermedia is my first stop for mainstream movie “reviews”, and I never disagree with their synopses. For now, I can still watch movies from my own dumb perspective. Imagine if Jay and Mike did these sorts of things for ALL FILMS released in limited or broad theatrical runs. I would definitely have “Half in the Bagbrain” going into everything. That’s hardly a bad thing, though. 🙂

  • Boni

    So Marvel gets the tone right because its the same, bland, unmemorable pop-corn nothingness in every movie? I mean I loved the Avengers, and the first Ironman, but even if you look back and check Mike and Jay’s reviews, they agree that Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, and even Ironman 2 are completely forgettable. Can anyone even remember a truly iconic scene from these films? Or a great cast? Even just one great performance? (Not counting RDJ playing himself)

    I don’t agree with any of their sentiments towards MoS, but this comment on Marvel getting the tone right really bugged me.

  • sepiajack

    Yes, and to touch on the Justice League mash up point they discuss in the video…

    Well first let me say I’ve never been a big fan of the shared universe stuff in comics, I think most of them would function better as separate entities, both in Marvel and DC. Xmen should have a separate universe from Spiderman, and both should be separate from Avengers. Likewise I completely agree with Mike that I can never compute Batman sharing a world with SUperman, or wonderwoman, etc.

    But that being said, if you are going to proceed with the notion that all these characters share the same world, which DC obviously is, in the interest of a lucrative Justice League franchise, the joy in bringing all these characters together should be how different they all are. Have a dark batman, and bright sunny superman, put those guys in a room together and you’ve got some interesting conflicts arising. Do it right, prove Mike & I wrong.

    But trying to make Superman fit to the world established in the Nolan batman films defeats the appeal of that, and makes no sense either because the Nolan batman trilogy is over, and the character is going to be rebooted anyways.

    DC took the success of TDK all wrong. We don’t need a superman movie that is like TDK, we need a superman movie that reflects the character and is made with the same quality that TDK, but appropriate to that character.

  • sepiajack

    That’s true, and the fact that I have no idea what Phineas and Ferb is all the more strengthens your point.

    I guess the difference with Superman or batman is the longevity of these characters, they have been around since WWII more or less and have had almost a centuries worth of kids to enjoy them.

  • sepiajack

    Well I don’t have kids of my own (nor want them) what exposure I have to them is through my ex girlfriends kids who I look after some of the time and my nephew. My nephew loves skylanders and hot wheels, Pixars Cars, and star wars legos (boy was he happy when he got all of my old Lego sets for christmas last year!), my ex’s kids are a bit older (9 and 13), but they are both obsessed with minecraft and videogames in general, but they don’t watch TV.

  • sepiajack

    True, the Henson stuff has always worked on a few different levels at once. I’m not as concerned with the Muppet show as sesame street because SS is meant to be educational for toddlers, where as tMS was an evening entertainment show for the whole family,

    But you’ve had a number of great retorts to my points, and given me a good counter balance to my original thoughts, so thank you. Perhaps I am blowing it out of proportion, or as you say this is my own generational angst distorting my perspective, which I suppose is interesting in and of itself.

  • 500DaysOfBummer

    I swear, RLM and the Marvelites here need to stop anally fucking Marvel and its movies.

  • sepiajack

    But Mike isn’t saying the Marvel movies are perfect, he’s just saying in terms of finding a tone that feels true to the comics, but still has a foothold in a relatable is tricky and Marvel has managed to do that for the most part, which I agree with. They haven’t sacrificed the colorful aspect of the comics but it also isn’t the richard donner superman either.

  • sepiajack

    The extras do usually have some really great stuff, the Ironman3 extras was funnier than the actual review.

  • sepiajack

    The extras do usually have some really great stuff, the Ironman3 extras was funnier than the actual review.

  • sepiajack

    So what? It’s free, its entertaining. Its new.

    HBO has all the new episodes of Game of Thrones ready to air by the time the season premiere hits the air waves, are they jerking you around by not airing them all on the same night?

  • sepiajack

    So what? It’s free, its entertaining. Its new.

    HBO has all the new episodes of Game of Thrones ready to air by the time the season premiere hits the air waves, are they jerking you around by not airing them all on the same night?

  • sepiajack

    I’ve never seen Superman III but my first thought on seeing that clip was “wow that would give me nightmares as a kid…. and maybe now too”

  • sepiajack

    I’ve never seen Superman III but my first thought on seeing that clip was “wow that would give me nightmares as a kid…. and maybe now too”

  • Tom

    Dear RedLetterMedia,

    You have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. All of Marvel’s movies are all total shit. No, they are worse than shit, they are diarrhea. DC has put out some of the best CBMs of the past three decades. How can you say, with a straight face, that The Avengers is better than The Dark Knight trilogy or Man of Steel? They recommended all of Marvel’s movies that they reviewed and they say in this very video that “Marvel got it right”. Only fucking idiots would say these three are NOT Marvelites. Open your goddamn eyes, people! Marvel and Disney probably paid RLM off to give their shitty movies good reviews just like they have to every other critic who’s ever given Marvel good reviews. I’m just shocked that people are this dense to believe these jokers understand what a good movie is. They gave Skyfall and Dredd recommendations for fuck’s sake! Those two movies are essentially brain dead entertainment ala Marvel’s bullshit. If you’re intellectual, mature, and like depth in movies, then you have to enjoy DC’s stuff. If you like total shit, then Marvel is for you.

  • Nomen oblitum

    I haven’t even watched the movie.

  • Super Nashwan

    I never said Millenials were whiny. I was just making an observation about younger generations of moviegoers, not a criticism. One which I also applied to myself. I don’t begrudge them for wanting something different. If I’d been born later I’d want the same thing as them.

    I agree that the 70s Superman would be out of place today, but that doesn’t mean a movie can’t be light-hearted. The movie can be a sign of our times, and in many cases that would be a good idea, but I’m not convinced that a Superman movie is the best place to explore that. Comic book movies are primarily for kids, and any 9/11 message would be in the form of sub-text which would be lost on them.

    Also, this is a particularly wholesome character, the quintessential superhero, who I personally don’t think fits the darker tone necessary for anything that touches on 9/11.

    If any superhero were to address this issue I would have pegged Captain America as the obvious choice. And yet his movie outings so far have focused on escapism and entertainment. Personally I think that approach makes the most sense when making a popcorn flick about comic books.

  • sepiajack

    I make a point not to watch their reviews if I haven’t seen the movie yet, unless its something like battleship that I never had any interest in watching in the first place.

    I took me like a year to see Scream 4, so imagine my pleasure once it was done to pull up the RLM page and get a “new” Half in the bag I’d been saving for so long.

    I get what you’re saying though, and for me I’m fortunate that 95% of the time these guys are taking the words right out of my mouth. That Ironman3 extras they did about if they had to recast RDjr was almost verbatim a discussion I had with friends just a few days earlier. Sometimes I don’t agree with Mike and Jay’s stance on a film, but I at least always understand their reasons for liking or disliking something.

    And some of it is tastes too, Jay seems really into horror movies, which isn’t my cup of tea at all. Mike is more the scifi nerd, which is closer to my own tastes. With the few movies where I didn’t agree with them though (I actually thought Thor was really fun) I still always get where they’re coming from, and unlike other critics, their reviews double as a comedy show, so at the end of the day, as long as HitB is funny, I don’t really care if I agree with them or not.

  • sepiajack

    Well I can’t speak for anyone else, but I hadn’t seen the Donner Superman since I was a kid, and didn’t like it back then.

    I wasn’t looking for MoS to be anything like that, but oddly enough having disliked MoS so much, I thought I’d revisit the Donner film for contrast, and ended up loving the hell out of it (though the sequels are all pretty bad)

  • sepiajack

    People accepted Star Trek into Darkness, which has an awful lot of pseudo science in it.

  • Teh InTarneT

    Dear Tom
    You are supar samrt and awesome
    tHanks for edge-ucating uzz

  • guest

    “Only fucking idiots would say these three are NOT Marvelites.”

    Or someone that isn’t prone to hyperbole and over-simplification. They have enjoyed more Marvel movies than DC movies, sure, but they clearly feel no allegiance to either. They recommended The Dark Knight Rises and trashed Captain America and The Amazing Spider-man. Grow up and learn how to discuss things like an adult, little boy.

  • Adrian Inness

    I know what I want now… A Superman: The Animated Series direct-to-video movie.

  • guest

    I AM ENTITLED TO ENTIRELY NEW MATERIAL FROM THESE GUYS ALL THE TIME, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE IN NO WAY REQUIRED TO GIVE IT TO ME!

  • krohm

    Is there some way to keep dumb children from posting on your webzone, RLM? There appears that a bunch of dumb “Marvel vs. DC” kids have infiltrated your site.

  • guest

    Get out of here with your “Marvelite” bullshit. When did everyone get so fucking stupid?

  • Entitled-Twatiss

    UH, YEAAAHHHHH? (herp derp blargle argle flurfgh)

  • shardik

    Oh, great, I have to WATCH MORE FREE CONTENT!?!?

    Shut the fuck up, you entitled cockbag piece of shit.

  • Chris Power

    I’m ashamed to say I saw that robot/woman scene from Superman III in the theater as a kid and it scared the shit out of me…

  • Patrick

    It’s funny you guys say Wonder Woman would have a dominatrix whip, because her creator was a huge BDSM fetishist (IIRC). He based her on one of his fantasies.

    On another note, I find your statement about the bored child interesting. It just reminds me how anti-intellectual our culture is, considering the desire for characters, plot, and things happening in a movie are beaten out as we get older, to a point where we just want to “numb our brains.”

  • Beakilese

    I took our 9-year-old to Peter Jackson’s King Kong. We didn’t realize it would be a 3+ hour slog and it was the 8:00 p.m. showing in theaters. He fell asleep long before they arrived at the island and was a trooper to not complain or need the toilet. He woke up long enough to be permanently scarred by the bug fight scene in that crevice, with the big crickets and slug tubules that ate Andy Serkis, then he zonked out again. I felt really sad for him. Modern “blockbusters” feel made for no one. Definitely not for kids. Dull and overly dramatic for adults. We’re in a period. It’ll change. I look forward to the change.

  • JCain

    even World War Z kicks better reviews close to this shit hero movie!

    crap is crap.

  • Boni

    I get that he is referring to the tone. I’m just saying it is incredibly bland and has no weight to it. Every action scene is completely overly sanitized. I know we didn’t see the fallout of the action in this film, but it was just as bad or even worse in Avengers, only there they showed a diner being saved by captain america. The town that was completely destroyed in Thor was only acknowledged in the Avengers, and that got a pass.

    All I’m saying is that all the complaints brought up when talking about MoS apply to the marvel films, especially Avengers, but that gets a pass because it was more “funny” and ignored the consequences more freely.

  • Adrian Inness

    Strangely, I was thinking that exact same thought last night. The movie draws to a close and it’s time for the big violent action scene and….. everyone breaks out into song and dance.

  • Daniel Bakke

    DC fanbois unite!

  • tOmy`

    Zack Snyder: As a huge fan of The Watchmen comic, I have to say I will always give mad respect to Zack for managing to not f*ck that movie up. Seriously. I was 99.9% sure they will not get even close to the original feel … but voila, that movie was close to fantastic. And yea, say whetever you want towards the difference in the ending, but I think we all know why he chose to ignore the original and STILL make it work. Soundtrack, visuals, style … everything was spot on.

  • tOmy`

    To be honest, DC shoes are one of the most stylish, comfortable shoes I ever had. They ooze style and the thing that you can customize them over DC webzone and then ship-order them. Man, abnormal stuff. Also do not forget, that their hoodies and t-shirts are worth cheking out too, some really simple stylistich decisions making the hoodies look cool without any extensive design. That said, I dont even know what Marvel brend is. Is it like sofa company?

  • tOmy`

    Is this real? Is this … is this on?

  • Mark Bisone

    You know, when you weed out all the commies, feminists, sexual deviants, religious zealots, militant atheists, comic book fanboys, raving lunatics and Frenchmen, these comment boards are pretty nice.

  • tOmy`

    Pathetic hippie.

  • Beakilese

    You nail it with it doubling as a comedy show. I love the 40+ minutes every week since discovering this website that I get to spend digesting everyone’s real, if editorial, viewpoints. The addition of (blanking on his name) is great, too. In fact since about January 2013 I don’t think I’ve missed any of the shows by more than a day. I’m regrettably not in a situation where I can always see films at the time they release (or at all) so I tend to watch the uploads as soon as they appear, though I have a goldfish memory so when I watch the movie I’m not conscious of any bias based on their reviews. Truly, Mike and Jay discuss things like classic Ebert and Roeper, and if they keep this up there’s a very strong possibility they could attain that status in my opinion. And where I always enjoyed Ebert’s reviews (even when disagreeing with him; he also had a soft spot for horror), I feel confident I’ll always enjoy RLM.

    Fun chatting like this. I need to register myself here. Problem is it’ll kill productivity at work!

  • Beakilese

    Oops, I meant Siskel and Ebert. When Roeper came along the formula was there, but the disagreements were generational and kind of hollow. I miss the ’80s.

  • my 2 cents

    Nope.The ending is the least of its problems.Zack missed the point of the original comic by glamorizing the esthetic of violence and “awesomeness ” of Watchmen vigilantes.He portrayed them as ” classical” superhero characters with superhuman strenghts when in fact it’s not a story about that.It’s about people with warped ideas about justice and questionable ethics and attitudes towards “justice”,justice and law .The only character which could be a superhero is the blue naked guy and even he is not a classical super hero type. But Mr.Snyder thinks it’s cool too dress up in ridiculous gay dancer clown outfits and beat up people ‘cus you know it’s awesome and cool.

    The movie is not a disaster because he followed the story lines of the comic almost 100 %. If he just did not fall pray to his goddamn fetish about “awesome” violence and posing in tights than it would have been a masterpiece.

  • anotherz intarnetz

    Yes, he iz samrt.

  • i need more Grabowskis!!

    At least you can watch the movies from Marvel with your kids or nephews.. Why so serious DC? Whats next? Batman shooting at people?.. And i dont even like most Marvels; i dont like Thor throwing jokes in Avengers, i dont like Iron man being a one man show, i dont like the constant wit as if Bendis was writing all the characters.. but at least the tone is pretty decent for kids stuffs… Snyder should have adapted Invincible from Kirkman rather than rip it off and combining it with the Twilight whining imo.

  • Adam Workman

    They forgot the scene in Superman IV where is is coming out of the “United Nation’s Building” but it looks suspiciously like some office building in a business park. I don’t think movie could possibly be as big of a bomb as everyone says, because it obviously only cost somewhere around $250 to make.

  • Adam Workman

    I am pretty sure that at least in the RLM review, they did mention the total destruction in STID. And I personally found it very unsettling as well. The abrupt ending where no one seemed to care about the giant spaceships crashing into the city was very jarring to me.

  • One Nine 7 1

    Yes yes very interesting. So when are we getting our World War Z review?

  • Casey Bryan Wright

    you a MOS fan? or do you just hate facts. what has you mad?

  • Sam

    They should watch the 2011 Wonder Woman pilot for NBC. Not a prostitute, but a criminal-torturing Jack Bauer type.

  • netcrave

    Maybe that’s what Superman was trying to do, when he let Zod destroy Metropolis and Smallville. 😛

  • Baló Timár

    Oh, that pilot was so deliciously wrong.That’s your modern age gritty Wonder Woman right there. Drug addiction, boring business talk, bloody murder, savage torture. Perfect.

  • Baló Timár

    That’s why I love movies like Drive and Super. They are perfect examples why comic book stlye heroism is problematic in a realistic setting. They show how average people would react to horrific acts of violence done by “good guys” and fetishized in other mediums. And they tell you exactly what happens when you go into full-on vigilantly mode against vicious criminals. It’s not pretty nor heroic. Allen Moore’s Watchmen was brilliant and Snyder completely got it wrong.

  • Gorrister

    Did you perchance ever play Sonic 2006? I’d recommend against it.

  • josh

    Z is a comedy about crazy people, jumps and meat. But is much more fun close to Man of Steel.

  • Cory Gross

    Absolutely. If you want to see someone get the tone right, look at Batman: The Animated Series. That is STILL my favourite version of Batman, even more so than the original comics. The episode “Heart of Ice” is one of the best half-hours ever put on television.

  • Cory Gross

    Yep, and they still do!

    I keep abreast of what the kids are into these days because I am an educator in the museums and heritage field, so I’m seeing 60 kids a day every weekday. It’s kinda’ neat using Minecraft examples to help teach them about rocks and minerals. I still see a good number of Superman and Batman shirts and backpacks. Besides all the cartoons I mentioned before, there are also DC Legos and the DC Super Friends / Hero World line of toys, comics and cartoons aimed specifically at younger kids.

  • Cory Gross

    Considering that they stopped making Teletubbies in 2001, that would be a bit interesting 😉

    Part of what makes Superman, Batman and the like so enduring is that they can bear multiple interpretations and be aimed at multiple age groups. I admit to being a DC guy (as hard as DC Comics makes it to be one), and part of what I like about them is that the major heroes have some fundamental question, issue or contradiction they explore. Superman’s is power and how to use it. Batman’s is justice. Wonder Woman’s is peace. Green Lantern’s is will. When these are done right – like in All-Star Superman, Superman: Peace on Earth, Batman: War on Crime, or The Dark Knight – it is fantastic. One of the reasons I don’t care for Marvel is that they don’t really explore this stuff. Spiderman and the X-Men kinda’ do, but The Avengers was just a pointless bunch of really strong people punching things around while spouting witty dialogue. The Marvel movies are great if you enjoy watching violence for its own sake (though, granted, at least the Avengers actually did save their city).

    Each of these themes can bear exploration at different age levels. For an 8 year old, it might be a cartoon Superman looking at the TV screen and saying “Hey kids, remember, when you see a bully at school, stand up to them. Nobody likes a bully!” And for a 35 year old, it might be a brooding metaphor for the complexity of the exercise of America’s political, economic and military power in the world.

  • SeekerLancer

    That pilot was one of the most amazingly bad things I have ever seen in my entire life.

    And I bet the movie won’t be far from it.

  • sepiajack

    Oh really? I never watched it, had no idea that was the way they went, now I’m kind of curious to dig it up…

  • sepiajack

    Well said

  • sepiajack

    But there is no levity in MoS at all, even the TDK trilogy for all its dark seriousness has tons of humor with alfred and fox bantering with bruce, the jokers weird humor, catwoman, even scarcrow and Gordon get some zingers off.

    MoS takes itself sooooooooooo seriously, which is why its joyless, and then when you throw in all sorts of chaotic violence it makes the movie depressing. I’m fine with realistic violence in movies but not when its a movie about nothing, or just some summer popcorn flick. The primary job of this movie was to entertain, its about a man in tights flying around there’s no reason for it to feel like schlinders list.

  • sepiajack

    Indeed

  • sepiajack

    Yes a friend and I were discussing how Mike and Jay ARE the Siskel and Ebert of this era, not just because they are good at what they do, but because they represent the times, they use new media for their show, they don’t just review the movies but have a great understanding of what drives decision making in hollywood, and how media is digested in this day and age more so than any critic or media columnist I’ve ever read/watched.

    Mike’s Plinkett review of Trek 09 is brilliant not even so much for its discussion of the Abrams movie, but how spot on he is at nailing the way audiences absorb so much media now, and what steps movies will take to keep them in the theaters. Even small thing like the ‘its got a case of the not gays’ is really apt, and something I had never seen put into words before, but its completely true/

    His chart of the Trek spectrum with good boring on one end, good exciting on the other, and bad middleground in the center is also spot on.

    And the idea that name recognition has a direct parallel to how old something is because the farther back into the 20th century we go for film properties the less competition each of those things had, and that slapping a recognizable brand on something is more important than honoring the material from a studio standpoint. Otherwise Trek 09 could have just been NEW JJ ABRAMS SPACE ACTION MOVIE!! and just be judge on its own merits and not against the pantheon of Trek lore.

  • sepiajack

    Batman is probably my favorite comics hero, but I mostly read marvel growing up, specifically xmen and spiderman for the reasons you mentioned. I never cared at all about the avengers because to me they seemed like a watered down version of the DC characters (sans batman) who all just seemed like greek gods to me)

    Probably the biggest compliment I can pay the Marvel films is that actually made me interested to see a story about Iron man, thor, capt america, and hulk, four characters I could not care less about in the comics.

    I do like that spiderman deals with Parker’s troubled life more than the superhero stuff, and Xmen and its allegories about predjudice works really well when they focus on that, I’ve for the most part really like the Xmen movies, and raimi spiderman movies as well. Loved the nolan batman movies too.

  • Dixon Bawls

    “If you are going to make a Superman movie, make a Superman movie, not a sci fi action movie with the name Superman attached.”

    Precisely. If you don’t think audiences are ready for a classic Superman movie, then don’t make a Superman movie this year. Do something else. They could have called this flick “Look out, Radioactive Man!!!”, and it would have been fine.

  • sepiajack

    Yes that’s a great show. The superman animated show by the same team is all on sale on amazon right now too, I ordered the first season as my MoS dissappointment has put me in the mood for some GOOD superman. Also grabbed the first donner film and the all star superman TPB

  • BN

    This has to be the most incredibly ignorant, immature, sad, pathetic, cry for attention, I’m cool cause I hate the most prominent religion in the US, post I’ve ever read. Reading your comment gave me such douche-chills that I’ve determined you’re either a child or a lonely forgotten man, and there’s nothing I can read that would convince me other wise.

  • sepiajack

    That’s really cool!

  • RC_cola

    These Half in the Bag episodes have been really gloomy lately… we need another Wheel of the Worst to bring back some joy.

  • RLM

    yep, keep fighting that fire with fire. Or really, considering that I was joking, its more like your fighting water with fire. Would you also like some ginger juice to wash down your spicy food? There is nothing you could say that wouldn’t make this funnier. Man the air must be thick on the side where people take life and themselves so fucking seriously and go fucking wild with assumptions. why dont you just unlike my post again? that’ll really get to me! grrrr hiss hiss hiss

  • bluehawk222

    Because there are some serious arcs in DC Comics and setting a serious tone helps when adapting those kinds of arcs. DC will never adapt Final Crisis but if they did do something similar to: http://i.imgur.com/UGJENER.jpg It won’t feel out of place in the grand scheme of things. Whereas Marvel seems to want to try to do Civil War but can you honestly see them do: http://i.imgur.com/er8L1b2.jpg?1 Or Captain America calling Stark a Judas and a fascist? It tells you something with how Snyder shot the Metropolis scenes and people just screaming omg this is too much like 9/11 imagery. Uhh but didn’t Avengers have building destructions as well? That tells me Snyder managed to make the destruction feel more real to people and that goes a long way in telling a story.

  • RC_cola

    “Marvel and Disney probably paid RLM off to give their shitty movies good reviews…”

    Oh man, you really think Disney cut a check to these guys? The guys who run a web series about alcoholics and an aging serial killer?

  • Ryan

    All of you are retards.

  • Carl Jackson

    You’re confusing this discussion as “kids don’t have options” with “kids have fewer blockbuster movies geared towards them” which is all that’s being stated. You’re also getting extremely defensive and suspect of anyone having an opinion besides you because apparently you work with kids. I’d get over that since it keeps bringing you to a conclusion which isn’t what I’m actually saying.

    And what we’re saying is, I don’t remember a time when video games and film WEREN’T geared towards me. I grew up at a time when the most controversial games were Leisure Suit Larry and Doom. Kids will always have options, but will those kids be part of cross-generational events in the same way? Probably not since far more are written to be niche specific. That’s what Superman/Batman are. The landscape is different, not barren. But that different landscape does edge out things like Donner style Superman. The closest approximation might be the current Avengers but that relies far more on being a tightly scripted formula.

  • Joshua

    So many lazy movies.. be a critical today is hard! becomes a “troll” very easy. is almost impossible put something good about the products.

  • RLM

    keep fighting that fire with fire, or more like fighting water with fire since I was joking. Would you also like some ginger juice to help your spicy food go down? man the air must be thick on the side where people take life and themselves so f-ing seriously and go f-ing wild with assumptions. Why dont you unlike my post again? that’ll really get to me, grrr hiss hiss hiss!

  • RLM

    When you say nice I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘boring’. Oh, and you should also add environmentalist treehuggers, thus eliminating all hot girls from your social circle. then I’d truly respect you; nothing more respectable then a man who will sacrifice his ability to get laid for his humor 😉 I am assuming you are joking, otherwise you would fall squarely into the second to last category :/

  • Miss Eris

    Snyder did fuck that movie up. Snyder will forever be remembered by me as the guy who took the greatest source material in comic book history and gave us a mediocre film. The only reason it was even mediocre is that the story is so damn good to begin with.

  • RLM

    Violence is awesome. If two people are dumb enough to be violent, then the right two people are getting punched in the face :/

  • Miss Eris

    They could make a great Wonder Woman film. The comic book got rebooted in 2011 and its been consistently one of the best titles out there. They could also make a great Green Lantern film if they got Geoff Johns to write the story. They guy’s recently ended 9 year run on that comic book is legendary. I’m not sure you can make a great Flash movie, and Aquaman is a hard sell too. If they do make a Justice League film I think it will stand or fall based on the strength of Batman and Superman anyway, though, so it probably doesn’t matter what they do with the rest of the cast.

  • RLM

    if jesus did actually come back, based on what the *first christian scriptures claim he actually said and stood for, not the contradictory nonsense the bible says on the next page; jesus says “treat others as you would yourself”, next page, ‘disciples’ try to justify an “eye for an eye”, lols; he would take one look at”christianity”, with all its 20k cases of confirmed pedophilia, judgement and violence towards homosexuals and the disenfranchised, its inability to help aid others unless they “sign up” for the religious stuff too, and its colorful history of crusades and inquisitions so violent they made the Nazis look like peace protestors, and he would probably say “yeaaahh, thats Satanism. Yeah, they use my name, that’s exactly what satanism would do. It’s kind of funny actually”.

  • i agree that its not all “flower power”, but in the comics i believe that the darkness works better in contrast to more lighthearted storylines.. that what makes it more efficient, interesting and complex imo. starting with all in black kinda flat it all to one dimension without possible comeback or possible drastic progression imo.

  • Mark Bisone

    A bewildering comment… Everyone knows that once you get past the PETA poster childen, most treehugger chicks bear a strong resemblance to their mortal foes, the Lumberjack Lesbians.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your timely contribution. Please drive safe, and remember to tip your waitress.

  • RLM

    No one is talking about the part of mos that was most cringeworthy (since the rest did tend to have a so-bad-its-good vibe), and is not just some comic-book-geek criticism; the f-ing planet destroying ray beam. First we all forgave Return of the Jedi when it lifted the death star/ray beam right out of it’s own franchise because whatever, it was still the last good star wars movie, then we did mental gymnastics to justify star trek 2009 for doing it because i guess that was just a mining ship made from the same company that makes death stars (and considering what oil companies have been up to, I guess mining/drilling techniques do occasionally destroy entire planets :/ ), and then came the avengers, and THAT ray beam was just an open portal, and hey, star trek wasn’t the worst movie the avengers ripped off (transformers 3, anyone?), so lets all get back to sucking whedon d**k while we try to explain why buffy was good (vampires are stupid and so is your obsession with them, grow the f-k up), and now comes along the big balls swinging on david goyer. too much of an ‘artist’ to change your plot even if 2 of the most successful and watched franchises in the last 4 years used the exact same concept art? you’re no da Vinci, my friend.

  • Fat Nerd

    Laser beams and doomsday devices are both scifi tropes. I get that MoS sucked but this is just grasping at straws.

  • RLM

    or yeah you’re right, I forgot that the whole point of sci-fi is to use tropes, rather than oh I don’t know, FICTIONALIZE SCIENCES THAT DON’T EXIST. If I see another stupid laser beam coming down from the sky in a major motion picture I’m quitting sci fi/ fantasy movies unless its one made from from a book, and and they didn’t hire the guy who made Wolverine, ORIGINS to direct it, enders game reference 😉

  • RLM

    the question is not wether or not I will tip her, but wether or not SHE will tip ME. Oh and you’re confusing my category, environmentalist treehuggers, for hippies. One pisses in the woods and grows their body hair out, because they’re homeless, and as an afterthought claims it’s about the environment. The other holds a job, shaves, wears makeup, goes out to clubs, and comprises of every super model in existence. And I’m shocked that someone disliked my comment! the RLM crowd adverse to guys who know how to get laid with intelligent hot girls? Shocked, shocked I tell you!! now bak to reading your comic books and eating fast food until girls learn to love the inner you… who also happens to be a comic-book reading, fast-food eating asshole 😉

  • Fat Nerd

    Audiences don’t want to see cool science, they want to see stuff that they are familiar with. Summer blockbusters are for people who get bored during the first chapter of a book.

  • smylexx

    That’s an interesting point of view. I think nostalgia certainly does play a part in a great deal of seventies cinema but bear in mind that many of the things that we’re nostalgic about were already throwbacks to an earlier age…superman was obviously part of the pop culture and had been since the 1930s. Star Wars is essentially a re-telling of the serial space stories like Flash Gordon mixed in with a huge dollop of archetypal characters, the same goes for Indy too.

    I’m not sure if i agree that we want our heroes/toys to grow up with us though. Certainly that seems to be the case with some directors but i think there’s plenty of other reasons why films are getting darker and grittier. Batman has got shadier and shadier since the 70s but he always had a gothic backstory so i think it was probably inevitable. As for other cape wearing characters, i would LOVE a little more innocence and joy to filter through.

    The recent Superman movie was a humourless affair to me and totally devoid of any real charm or character. It would’ve been great to make this film for a younger audience with more personality and simpler good-vs-evil themes.

    Spiderman was always the hero-with-trainer-wheels to me. Easy to identify with and each issue had a villian who usually ended up thwacked and k-powed and in jail by the last page. The humour, the wise-cracks as he fought bad dudes was his trademark and was sadly missing from most of the Raimi films.

    But just look to Pixar for a company that knows what it can do with a positive, non cynical story. EVERYONE loves Toy Story no matter the age group and their later films have all been successful to some degree without ever needing to dip into the angsty pool. Yes, they’re made for younger audiences but a good film is a good film regardless of the target group it’s aimed at.

    Personally i think we want nothing more than to hold on to our toys (as you rightly put it) but rather than have them grow up with us, i think that what we really want is to get them out of the toy-box, dust them down and let our kids view them and hopefully get the same pleasure and joy that we did all those years ago.

  • Mark Bisone

    Huh?

  • Cory Gross

    Of course you don’t remember when movies weren’t geared towards you, because you only ever paid attention to what WAS geared towards you. And I think you’re seriously overestimating the cross-generational appeal of He-Man or Ninja Turtles. And underestimating the cross-generational appeal of Pirates of the Caribbean, for that matter.

    I would also suggest not getting into the whole idea that I’m getting defensive (about what?) and that I’m suspicious of other opinions. Ad hominem attacks aren’t necessary. I happen to think your guys’ kvetching is wrong, for reasons I’ve outlined. I’ve pointed out specific examples of media that kids do have today – from things unique to their generation like Phineas and Ferb to “their version” of classic franchises like Superman to, now, cross-generational stuff like PotC – and given a possible explanation as to why you guys kvetching about the poor kids these days have seemingly overlooked them. Hell, in the top 20 films of 2012 by domestic gross, you have The Avengers, Brave, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Hotel Transylvania, Madagascar 3, The Lorax, Wreck-It Ralph and The Lorax, as well as The Hobbit, The Hunger Games, Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2, Snow White and the Huntsman and The Amazing Spider-Man for tweenier crowds. Where exactly is the lack of blockbusters for kids? They don’t have a Donner-style Superman? I grew up in the 80’s and MY Superman was the one from the Super Powers cartoon/toys (1984/85) and Superman cartoon (1988). I VAGUELY remember Superman 3 and 4, and remember thinking that Superman 1 was one of the dullest movies on the planet when I saw it as a tweenager. The Donner movies weren’t THAT great. Since then, two or three whole generations of kids have grown up with Superman on cartoons.

  • RLM

    then you, sir, just made me pro swine flu 😉

  • RLM

    its over your f-ing head marky mark!! I’m taking out my frustration on random people on message boards because my new credit card is a week late. no pu**y for me this weekend, thanks capitalism!!!!!

  • BunnyFooFoo

    If that bothered you, wait till you get to the part where a man in a cape is granted magical superpowers by the sun.

  • Mark Bisone

    Don’t hurt yourself.

    Also, it’s okay to say “pussy” here. Just don’t eat it if it’s been sitting out in the sun too long.

  • RLM

    its not a science fiction movie, its a “I’m-not-sure-what-the-hell-genre” movie based on some creepy 1950’s military white power propaganda comic book, so what made me cringe has nothing to do with the science behind it, justt the fact that I saw a better version of this movie twice in the last two months (just the last time I was forced to sit though the aforementioned movies), and someone got paid MILLIONS to make me f-ing cringe due to their astounding levels of unoriginality… and I only watched it because the guy who is supposed to have the last word, NOLAN, did make a classic , TDK, out of another creepy comic book that’s propaganda for rich white dudes who sh-t all over the poor, so it wasn’t insane to think he might have a thing for turning creepy comic books into relatable and interesting works of art…

  • bradboo

    World War Z is shit.. the end is a giant S! is World War S

  • sepiajack

    I agree! I actually prefer HitB and BotW to the Plinkett Reviews now, I’d rather one of either on a weekly basis, where as I think the main films that Plinkett needed to cover have been dealt with already. It’s been a while since a new BotW and even longer since the Wheel of the Worst

    We need to know about Tree Stand Safety!

  • sepiajack

    Very eloquent.

  • splimis

    Space Cop.

  • BN

    Jesus, douche-chills all over again. Wait maybe I should post this twice because it’s so incredibly important that ppl read it. BTW, It wasn’t I who clicked unlike, safe to assume no one likes you.

  • Carl Jackson

    Oh… it’s one of these conversations… Ok, since we’re going to play the rhetorical callout game, just remember you opened this conversation with me by questioning my perspective which is by definition ad hominem. Essentially, you accused me as lacking the capacity of perspective, because I guess that made you more authoritative or some such so lets not start whining now.

    How about 2013 buddy? I’ll give you 2012 because frankly that is the fullest slate I have EVER seen in a while in terms of programming. But we’re talking about Superman (you mentioned The Goonies) which are essentially live action for kids (not tweens which tends to be moodier). From that list, you are now left with: The Avengers and The Hobbit. And from those two, it can be argued that when lines like mewling quim come spilling out of the antagonists mouth and eyes get stabbed, it’s primary audience is not kids but its tone works.

    No one said you had to like Superman, Mike and Jay’s point is that stuff doesn’t exist. We are essentially agreeing with them. You need not like it, but we don’t have to agree with you because you reference a bunch of things we are well aware of. We are saying THIS form is gone. If you want to reference 3d animation, yes that is certainly a new thing for children and parents to enjoy. But it’s basically just this generations Disney, which really isn’t what anyone was talking about.

  • @3d642b733c8abc10c432ae113cc608a9:disqus Fuck no.

  • RLM

    those douche chills are something that is never going to go away, because you aren’t feeling them from other people. you are just a scary creep who is probably so serious and angry that you are actually a danger to those around you :/ I was making fun of a crowd of people who support rampant pedophilia, sexism, and genocide, you target individuals who stand against those things and parrot insults you probably had others say to you that got under your skin and are now just sh-t for parrots, trying to make people who stand for actual “morals” feel like sh-t for not being a mindless follower like you so you can justify your own pointless, unoriginal existence… Nothing you say coud ever do anything but make me laugh and feel really sorry for you because everyone you know knows that if you were gone from this earth all that would be missing is another twat parroting insults that were f-ing used up a decade ago, and ya know what? We’ve already got dozens of useless twats just like that, so remember, you offer nothing to the world, not even a hint of originality :/

  • Cory Gross

    “Ok, since we’re going to play the rhetorical callout game, just remember you opened this conversation with me by questioning my perspective which is by definition ad hominem.”

    Actually, no, that’s not the definition of an ad hominem. An ad hominem argument is “the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.” Disagreeing with someone is not an ad hominem, especially if they go on to support their disagreement with argument and example. I did not say that you were not CAPABLE of perspective. What I said is that you simply seemed to be UNAWARE of what was out there for kids, likely because you are not a kid. What you did is simply accuse me of being defensive and having a presumption of authority, which is an ad hominem because it is an attempt to attack my credibility without actually making an argument against what I said. Even if I were defensive and presumptuous, I could still be right. Like every rhetorical fallacy, ad hominem is marked by its irrelevance to the actual argument and the fact that it derails from the actual argument. Look at us now: instead of discussing children’s superhero movies like a pair of grown-ups, you called me names and now we’re arguing about namecalling. Way to go.

    “How about 2013 buddy?”

    The year is not over yet. But hey, The Lone Ranger and Despicable Me 2 are due out in about a week and so far The Croods and Oz are two of the top ten highest grossing films of the year.

    “We are saying THIS form is gone.”

    I’m not even sure what “THIS” is that you’re talking about. That children’s blockbuster adventure films are gone? I showed you that they aren’t. That Superman and Batman are no longer for kids? I showed you that there are still children’s versions of them around. The fact that you’re even ready to concede on CGI animation is proof of my point. Yeah, sure, if you take out all the stuff for kids, then there’s nothing for kids.

    Exactly what point are you trying to make now?

  • whip

    Star Trek 2009 the planets were not destroyed due to mining laser. The mining laser dug a shaft and then red matter was thrown down into it, consuming the planet. (Vulcan) and that is what they were trying to do to earth as well.

    I’m not saying that is much better than a super laser. It may even be worse. I’m just saying you aren’t accurate in your complaint. You don’t even have the facts right.

  • Astor

    Well, the problem here is that you thought Nolan had the last word and that TDK is a classic. You live, you learn. And I guess then you die, rendering all the learning meaningless. But you still lived and learned! You know, sharing wonderful moments with all sorts of people and experiencing disappointments, but nerdgasms too! Life is wonderful, man, don’t know what’s the problem, really.

    Also, now I want Paul Verhoeven to direct the next Wonderwoman film, he should get the chick that starred in Showgirls, too. Now THAT would be a classic.

  • Rousseau

    You guys need to check out the three part episode “World’s Finest” from Superman: The Animated Series. It has a surprisingly great meeting story between Batman and Superman. With Bruce Timm and Paul Dini helming, a Justice League movie could work. It would just have to be animated…
    Here is the link.
    http://www.animeflavor.com/node/28385

  • Matt Baen

    I was a huge skeptic of the film, not only because of the RLM review but also Mark Waid, Brian Bendis, Glen Weldon etc. I too enjoy the wholesome, old-fashioned Superman of Fleischer, Reeves, and Reeve.

    But I thought Man of Steel was excellent. It’s not aw-shucks, family friendly, whimsical superheroics. It’s a science fiction action thriller, with the dark, serious tone of dystopian cyberpunk and alien invasion movies. That tonal difference is even reflected in Zimmer’s score. Regardless of the versions of Superman there were before, Man of Steel IS Superman now, and almost certainly well into the future due to its box office, sequels, and what will surely be its influence on the comics.

  • CB

    Sure, but that’s not *why* they made Superman so serious. There were also some ridicu-corny comic story arcs too, but that’s not a reason to make a movie with that same tone. The reason to go that route is because you’re making a comedy, or because it’s the 1970s. The reason to go with dark and brooding and playing up the loss of life is because The Dark Knight did it.

  • Mark Bisone

    Out of time… out of place….

    In a world he didn’t understand…

  • JD

    Man of Steel’s target audience, right here, folks!

  • JD

    If there’s one thing I will give to Man of Steel, it’s that it actually made me appreciate Thor.

    Never thought that would happen, but it did. Thor feels like such a sweet, heartwarming character piece now compared to the latest all action Superman offering.

  • JD

    I agree and I was thinking about that today. People call The Dark Knight films humourless, but they’re not really. It contains plenty of dry humour that mostly comes from Fox and Alfred.

    I would even say that The Avengers does a better job with the fallout of the battle with the news reports etc at the end and the council speaking to Fury.Man of Steel had a gormless, gushing military officer say that Superman is ‘kind of hot’ like a lovesick teen followed by some guy we hadn’t seen before hitting on Lois and the young intern.

    Maybe these last 2 parts were attempts at humour, it’s hard to tell.

  • JD

    Better job with the fallout of the battle than MOS does, I mean.

  • JD

    Is it a dark n gritty cock?

  • JD

    Really?I thought it was just a load of buildings getting blown up.

    I shall watch out for the subtext next time.

  • Mark Bisone

    What I want to know is how they broke through all the I.C.E. countermeasures, Rijndael cipher encryption methods and advanced sysop protocols! Infiltrating RLM is like breaking into Fort Fucking Knox on top of Mount Shitting Everest, digitally speaking.

  • Guest

    Sad as it sounds, I sometimes find their reviews to be quite cathartic. When The Amazing Spider-Man came out, I was perplexed as to why they were making it so ‘dark and edgy’ when that’s just not Spider-Man. I watch a blockbuster movie like Transformers and I just see no heart and a bunch of effects on screen that I’m not connected to. Watching Mike and Jay talk about these things and echo my own thoughts makes me realise that I’m not the only one who thinks these things and that I’m not crazy. 😉

  • Mark Bisone

    This is hands-down the single most profound thing I’ve heard since that old broad in the commercial asked, “Where’s the beef?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MK9jJzbBT8

    I assume she’s dead now. Makes me ponder Psalm 88:

    “Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy right-eousness in the land of forgetfulness?”

    Where, is thy beef, O Lord? :/

  • Guest

    Funnily enough, the film has also made me in the mood for some good Superman too. If anyone here has some trade recommendations then I’d welcome them. I generally like the big collections which have plenty to read because I tend to read them pretty fast even if I do take my time to look at the pretty artwork lol.

  • rikkibarnes

    Space Cop.

  • Indeed

    I just want them to adapt the Story where Superman forces Jimmy to marry a female King Kong. http://superdickery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=28&Itemid=45&limitstart=24

  • splimis

    Space Cop.

  • Krapintosh

    They’ve been doing those for like 10 years now! Although the animation and voices vary (I tend to like that particular cast from the animated series the best), some of them are really good! Plus, the Batman/Superman movies weren’t bad, and the Justice League movies were even better!

  • Dixon Bawls

    Cosmic Bobby

  • Guest

    Ah yes. That was actually filmed on an industrial estate here in England.

  • OhYeahThat’sRight

    If it was Ridley Scott’s name on Man Of Steel instead of Zack Snyder’s, but it was exactly the same film, you guys would most likely be commenting on how real and lived-in Krypton and Metropolis feel, and how everyone gives a great performance even if the dialogue is a little clunky, and that nobody should feel angry about it because it’s ambitious.

  • Plinkett

    … No… no we wouldn’t. I’d be shocked to see Scott make such a shitty film. I would have to visit him and fuck his dinner in the butthole.

  • Mark Bisone

    Lube up that turkey’s butthole with some cranberry sauce. Both them Scott boys inflicted this cinematic wound:

  • kenchun24

    Um…does Prometheus ring a bell? Last time I checked he did direct that in spite of the taint of fellow JJ crony crapmeister Damon Lindelof.

  • Dan

    Actually I totally feel this way now. I had Thor on in the background and I just reappreciated how much more fun the movie was, despite that I initially felt like it was forgettable. The movie knew what it was and it was fun, and that was that.

  • John Jay

    No, we wouldn’t. Prometheus was terrible due to the script. Same with MoS. Finally, let’s not even compare Snyder’s work to Scott’s work. Scott has Blade Runner, Alien, The Duellists, Gladiator, and American Gangster (extended cut is well done). Snyder has — well, hrmm.

  • wee

    Dawn Of The Dead was great. That’s about it.

  • Guest

    I hope they completely forget about the Martian Manhunter, he’s one of the few heroes you can trust to be obscure enough to not be ruined (unless you count Smallville).

  • Plinkett

    Nope, sorry. Man Of Steel is THAT shitty.

  • Stitchcat

    I don’t know about a movie, but the comics in which Superman and Batman teamed up were the best superhero comics by far, except maybe the Blackest Night story arc in Green Lantern.

  • OhYeahThat’sRight

    Make no mistake, I was in no way comparing Snyder’s work to Scott’s. My point was that Mike and Jay seemed able to forgive the 120 minutes or so of complete drivel that made up Prometheus just because it was a Ridley Scott film, so I reckon if Snyder had been able to direct Man Of Steel under Scott’s name, they would have come to a similar conclusion over Man Of Steel, just because Ridley Scott directed Alien, Blade Runner etc

  • OhYeahThat’sRight

    I hear Ridley Scott fucks sharks for dinner.

  • Glen Bird

    The woman turning into a robot from Superman 3 scared the hell out of me as a kid, and I always had to cover my eyes or hide in another room when that scene came up. It seems so stupid when I see it now, but as a child it was horrifying.

  • whip

    It’s a fair point, I always felt they were way to lenient on Prometheus. However, my interpretation of their review was that Mike seemed to want to be much rougher on it.. but I felt he was purposely holding back. And I think maybe it was because Jay seemed very enthusiastic and really WANTING to like it. Like, Mike was trying to not burst the bubble of his friend. I don’t mean that in some bad way.. just friends looking out for each other.. being respectful of the fact that Jay was rather invested in liking it.

    I wonder if the time since then has changed their opinions at all. I always hoped for a scathing Plinkett review of it at least.

  • dollar store cashier wife

    Nolan barely got anything to do with this.goyer was the one writting the script.and zack snyder was directing.The non linear flashbacks is about the only thing nolan-y about this film and ironically their the most toned down scenes in snyder’s career so far.

  • Daniel Lee

    The fundamental problem is the generational gap that prevents some from truly understanding what RLM is trying to convey.

    RLM represents the 1979-1985 ideology in that a “dark movie” in modern times is really an exercise in futility. Everyone experiences internal emotional pain at some point in life yet it becomes tiresome when all movies these days make it like that is the catalyst for something thought provoking with some deeper meaning when it really isn’t. Being lighthearted and hopeful does not entail weakness. It shows the element of the human condition in which we all really want. Peace and a Fair Balanced status quo where resolution doesn’t have to involve showing mankind’s darkest side to understand why we are here. Especially in a superhero angle where its suppose to convey why good is more meaningful longterm. The lines are blurry and they just invoke a sense of non genuine expression.

    Basically,all RLM is trying to show to the 1990-2000 crowd is that you have been emotionally manipulated into thinking a modern day movie is good when we really know that it is taking advantage of a thought process that denies you from true happiness. We feel bad you didn’t get to have what we had and we use a dry humor to convey it since we feel the darkness vibe these days is silly and unneeded. We can’t change modern day cinema, we can just show how flawed it is for no real reason except greed and the quick buck.

  • Mister_Misinformed

    “RLM represents the 1979-1985 ideology in that a ‘dark movie’ in modern times is really an exercise in futility […] the darkness vibe these days is silly and unneeded.”

    That’s why RLM’s most popular character is a serial killer who kidnaps, tortures, and molests prostitutes. Because they’re not into the “darkness vibe.”

  • ?

    but..but..but I liked Domino

    then again I am a little gay for that stick figure Keira Knightley …

    I bet i would hate it now since I have grown some manly chest hair on my man titties and lower back…

    What was it about again?

  • Guest

    The guy who “knows how to get laid with intelligent hot girls” needs a credit card to do so? Brilliant! They’re called prostitutes buddy. And I’d look elsewhere for intelligence

  • mekman96

    If they want to do a wonder woman (and eventually a Justic League) movie but keep it far from camp they should just put her in athletic spandex with her signiture colors. Think X-Men. In fact, they’re uniforms should be “uniform” make it low key. I bet that’s the reason the team work is so shaky, no one takes them seriously and Superman goes rouge every year, because they don’t have uniforms. They need to look the same, have rankings etc. I’m not sure why they didn’t do this before. When the super heroes go home they can dress as nutty as they want, but when they’re at work they need that suit and tie.

  • Figaro Jones

    It’s pretty apparent that you guys don’t read comics. Not that that’s a bad thing, per se, but it might show you that Superman isn’t just the campy dude from the Donner flick.

    He can get dark, philosophical, and interesting, and none of it is that jarring because the people behind it respect the character and understand why people actually care about him. The people behind MOS didn’t care. They just wanted to do Superman darker, grittier, and more “realistic.”

    He doesn’t need to be camp/corny, but he does have to have someone who respects the character, not the earlier movies, not some style that’s really popular today, not insane action action spectacle for its own sake, but someone who actually likes Superman the way he is.

  • JCain

    Faora: You’re weak, son of El. The fact that you possess a sense of morality and
    we do not gives us an evolutionary advantage. And if history has proven
    anything, it is that evolution always wins!

    is Zod or Hitler the main boss?

  • Guest

    I think that they know that, but as Rich says..Generally they are a different overall tone to Man of Steel.

    Maybe Man of Steel should be seen as an ‘elseworlds’ Superman and not a very good one at that.

  • Now I Get It

    “Just don’t eat it if it’s been sitting out in the sun all day long.”

    Common misconception. When left in the sun, pussy, like mayonnaise, is actually too acidic to spoil.

  • tOmy`

    Well! I do not want to argue, I am pretty sure movie like Watchmen will have bi-polar reviews from movie going audience, especially from fans of the original comic. I may be wrong, but all things you mentioned I kinda picked up from the movie as well. Maybe I saw it there eventhough it was not in there? Meaning I have the comic so much memorized, that I kinda knew what is the story and the idea of deconstruction of superhero status and payed much more attention to anything else, that I simply miss the fact that its not in the story anymore? Could be. On the other hand many of my friends that did not know the comic book pretty much nailed what the idea was about. But yea, sure, you may be right. Still an awesome movie for me!

  • Now I Get It

    I feel the same way about major pro sports. Tee-shirt cannons, ear-splitting music, lights flashing in sequence, Ray Allen’s mother in a glittery Celtics tunic. Somehow the conflict on the floor or the field or the ice isn’t dramatic enough anymore. When two players sitting side by side on the bench have to lean way in to hear each other, like in a night club, you know the game has lost its way.

  • Now I Get It

    Oops. I meant to reply to Beakilese, but I should have replied to you. (Cf. above.) Damn my cogent haste.

  • Goodwin strikes again

    That fucking statement by Faora has so much wrong assumptions about theory of evolution that it makes my head hurt.

    But then again when was Hollywood accurate at portraying evolutionary theory? Heck most of pop culture media get it wrong.

  • Cory Gross

    You’re making out like none of us have seen a movie from before 1990.

    My favourite decade of cinema is 1925-1935. I love the classic Universal Studios monster movies and the old Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films. King Kong is a masterpiece and The Phantom Empire is too insane not to love. Georges Melies – you know, the silent movie maker that the film Hugo was about – is one of my favourite directors. I love Douglas Fairbanks and Buster Keaton. I have almost every DISNEY movie made up to 1955 on DVD. I also have almost every adaptation of a Jules Verne book made in the 1950’s and 60’s. Lately I’ve been getting into Spy-Fi and Sci-Fi from the 60’s, including the Sean Connery Bond movies, The Twilight Zone, The Avengers (the cool British ones), Wild Wild West (the original TV show) and the very first Doctor Who. The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is one of my favourite TV shows of all time. Currently, two of my favourite directors are Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) and Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro). I have more lighthearted, whimsical, adventurous, disturbingly happy stuff than I can keep track of.

    Thing is, it’s not a contest. I ALSO have David Lynch, Darren Arronofsky, Tarsem, Baz Luhrmann, Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Makoto Shinkai, the Wachowskis, and Daniel Craig’s Bond represented in my DVD collection. I’ve got the original Godzilla (full on nuclear holocaust metaphor), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (because I love awesomely bad movies) and Repo! The Genetic Opera. One can like the one thing AND like the other thing. One can like lighthearted and whimsical and adventurous, and one can like brooding and ponderously serious. You don’t actually have to make a choice between them.

    Superheroes are big enough that they can bear multiple interpretations. My favourite version of Batman is the one from the 90’s cartoon, but I also enjoyed Batman: The Brave and the Bold quite a bit, I liked the Tim Burton movies but I think The Dark Knight was cheated out of at least a nomination for Best Picture (personally I think it’s way better than empty Oscar-bait like Slumdog Millionaire). I can enjoy fun, campy versions of Superman and I can enjoy ponderous, philosophical applications of him. It’s not a choice.

  • Now I Get It

    Well, yes, they are, but a friend of mine said much the same thing about Readers Digest condensed books. “When I find something I like, I want to read more of it not less.”

    For my part, if an episode should be about one thing only, then less is more. But for sheer number of episodes, more is more.

    Either way, I’m a fool for more.

  • Cory Gross

    Zimmer’s score is AMAZING… and exhausting to listen to!

  • sepiajack

    Even the phrase ‘evolution always win’ doesn’t make any sense, since evolution is the entire canvas being discussed.

  • BruteChaos

    Looks like the problem with this Movie is it’s got Superman in it. if it were a different hero even one just created it would probably be a better experience. noone wants to see a mopey dark superman. seems he was slapped on there to sell tickets or something..

  • jubalbiggs

    Actually, they seem to be making fun of the darkness vibe quite a lot. If they took it seriously, Plinkett would be more like the Joker from Dark Knight, whereas he actually reminds me more of the guy from Naked Gun.

  • SpaceCopsux

    You think you’re being so funny by mocking Green Lantern. It’s much better than the stupid ass shit that Marvel put out like Avengers and Iron Man 3. Also Space Cop is the most retarded thing RedLetterMedia has ever put out.

  • Josh

    The movie is soo focused in be different and badass.. you almost merges superman with the zod team, is basically a movie about alien warriors and the future of some planet, with humanoids. Luck, Lois Lane kissed the good alien.

  • Miss Eris

    Its just one more way the studio was trying to garner favor with anti-evolution fundamentalists, along with inviting preachers to free screenings and handing out sermon notes.

  • s

    Sounds like a lot more nurture than nature to me. Has Zod ever taken a biology class in his life?

  • Dixon Bawls

    End of Donner’s Superman:
    -Warden: “This country is safe again, Superman, thanks to you.”
    -Superman: “…Don’t thank me, warden, we’re all part of the same team…”

    End of Snyder’s Superman:
    -General: “Are you effin’ stupid?!”
    -Superman: “…I’m here to help, but it has to be on my own terms.”

    I’ve waited years to see a big screen adaptation of Bizarro Superman, and Man of Steel delivered!!!

  • You guys are totally right. One thing I think “Avengers” showed was that a central key to making a giant team-up like that fun was the collision of characters and tones. The earnest Capt. America vs. the irreverent and cocky Iron Man was half the chemistry of the movie. But it looks like DC will be doing six variants on Batman instead, and the darkest of them all will be Superman. And that’s as retarded as the plot of the recent fighting game.

    It is possible to do an entertaining Superman / Batman story, but it requires a child audience’s greater suspension of disbelief to enjoy things because they are cool without considering implications.

  • Mark Bisone

    Space Cop meets a detective… From the past…

    But it’s the future for him.

    Together, they are mega fucking green.

  • RLM=SHIT

    OH GOD JUST SHUT UP. YOU’RE JUST ANGRY BECAUSE YOU KNOW MARVEL’S BULLSHIT MOVIES ARE STUPID AND LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR SHIT. STOP MOCKING GREEN LANTERN YOU STUPID FUCKING RETARDS!

  • Guest

    Well that came out of nowhere. You people are even crazier than the Twilight fans!

  • Considering the filmmakers thought you could store people’s genetic diversity in a monkey skull shows the level of understanding they have of science in general. It was about as stupid as having the tripods hidden underground in “War of the Worlds.”

  • S G

    While you’re technically correct, the principle of lazy screenwriting persists here: “Red Matter” is basically an updated version of the “giant super laz0r”. Used to be lasers, now it’s blackhole-technology-based doomsday devices. I guess lasers are so commonplace these days, they’re just not cool enough anymore.

  • Mark Bisone

    Vampire baby!

  • Ashley P

    Really? Because I got the impression that none of them even liked the IDEA of Superman to begin with, and if they were going to suffer through one, they’d want it to be campy and silly and fun for kids. Hell, one of them even says that Superman is for kids, and trying to make it for adults is silly ( MOS review). So at that point, they totally lost me, and everything else in their review just confirmed that very premise. You can argue that the script wasn’t as well written as it could have been, or that all the action crammed into the second part was too much, absolutely. But I thought that the idea of Superman they created was a good one, not some fake campy too-American to be alien crap. I particularly loved the first half of the movie, where we see Clark wandering from job to job. I think with a bit more patience, this movie could have been better than it was, but I still think it’s the best Superman MOVIE out there.

    Oh and Prometheus was god-awful, even if it looked visually stunning. That was a case of two scripts colliding, never a pretty sight

  • Ashley P

    well… to be fair he’s quite right, despite all the creepy caps and stuff. Well, not right about the movie, that was a terrible movie, and Ryan Reynolds needed to be shot, but the comics are amazing, and if the movie had been done right, it could have been great too. Unfortunately, all I saw during Green Lantern was Ryan sitting at a dining room table screaming about meatloaf…. (Amityville folks, I’ll spell it out for ya) 🙂

  • Ashley P

    oh my god, they did NOT put that guy on Enders game!? (puts gun to head). I dearly loved those books as a kid. UGH

  • shazbot

    i can’t fault the film makers for taking a stylistic, gritty stab at this franchise. superman returns had a proven successful superhero movie director and it was a boring bag of shit. superman IV was reprehensible. III… i love richard pryor but that movie was really bad. so, yeah, take a shot with zack snyder, why not.

  • Mark Bisone

    I have only one question:

    Is ROTFL spelled with one or two F’s?

  • You guys

    Ok, I will.

  • mk741

    With all this talk about unnecessarily making superheroes “dark”, I stumbled across a review for the 2011 pilot to the would be Wonder Woman tv series.

    http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews/wonder-woman-2011-review-part-1-6540116

    Slight spoiler: Wonder Woman ruthlessly murders people at her own discretion, with no consequences.

    Worth a watch just to see how wrong everything is.

  • BB429

    O.J. Simpson?

  • Regan

    Exceptionally well said.

  • Marcia P.

    I have to say I lost all respect for RLM with the Man Of Steel review. You people have proven yourselves to be Marvelite cuntrags. DC has produced some of the best CBMs in years and Marvel is for brain dead dumbasses yet RLM has only given Marvel’s shit positive reviews (except for Amazing Spider-man for DARING to use DC’s success formula). Fuck you and your legion of Marveltard followers…..

  • bluehawk222

    The WW tv series was never even close to trying to be faithful to the comics anyway. But Wonder Woman did snap Maxwell Lord’s neck in the comics and it caused a huge shitstorm. But of course that’s omg dark and shouldn’t be done at all I guess

  • Mitchell Taco Nash

    I’m sure they’ll miss you, moron.

  • Darthdrezz

    ha ha so true 😉

  • UCHUBomb

    Except if you actually watched their reviews you’d know that they didn’t care for Thor or Captain America that much, and they gave The Dark Knight Rises a very positive review.

  • Guest

    Where did all you crazy kids come from?

  • Irony

    Of course, the irony is that it’s the DC fanboys who behave brain dead and immature.

  • JarJarEastwood

    Don’t let the door hit you…

  • Dixon Bawls

    Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…

    Don’t be like that; the whole point of this webzone is not whether they’re “right” or “wrong”, but in observing the charming, barely-sane manner in which a few puppet-ey oddballs attempt to drunkenly convey their gut reactions to all different types of movies and media. That and pizza rolls.

    So why dontcha stay, watch some more of their stuff, and get hip to the trip.

  • Mitchell Taco Nash

    This. This right here. I do this. 🙂

  • Ashley P

    Anyone want to point out the obvious bias in this review? How about the part where they talk about the kid in the front row who hated the movie so bad he was looking around everywhere before finally just looking down? Do I even have to point out that a kid in the front row would HAVE to look around everywhere to even see what was going on, b/c the screen was too close to his f’n face? I imagine his eyes began to hurt and he had to look away just to avoid a headache. This is so amazingly obvious, and yet they assumed it was because the kid didn’t LIKE THE MOVIE? … wow RLM , I had more respect for you than that…

  • Damien”MassiveWanker”Knox

    Fuck Marvel and D.C., Darkstar Comics is where it’s at.

  • kenchun24

    Well…at least Adrianne Palicki looked good in the costume

  • whip

    I can’t believe anyone who gets so vexed about an online movie review that it would cause them to go to such lengths of vitriol and vicious rhetoric could expect me to find them remotely rational or reasonable.

    Just look at the stupid shit you said, because a couple of movie reviewers hated your movie. Just look at how pitiful you appear, with your ranting, vitriolic rhetoric.

    As soon as someone resorts to that kind of name calling, strawman arguments, and ad hominem fallacies, you know that said person doesn’t have a solid argument to save their lives.. and is too busy being personally offended by simple opinions.

  • whip

    you are right, but I don’t know why some of you bother to try to speak reason to these peoples arguments anymore. Because it’s clear that they really don’t know what they are talking about, and resorting to hyperbole and rhetoric more than actual real content of previous reviews It’s clear these people are outrageously biased, and projecting their bias issues on everyone else.

  • whip

    I really hope you aren’t serious. LOL

  • kenchun24

    Well put…being born in ’76 myself and (thanks to my dad) became a huge movie buff since my first non drive-in movie going experience of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I can relate to seeing how movies,movie going has drastically changed on the “let’s do our best to make good films” vs. the “let’s churn out film product” side of Hollywood in the past 10 years alone. But the millennial generation and a certain percentage of Gen X/Baby Boom folk continue to go see crappy,processed,uninspired modern movies left and right. I liked MOS,it had some issues (script wise IMO as I was fine with the non-Donner tone) but there are far more pandering,flat out retarded over budgeted fare out there that gets consumed by the boatload.

    Not to mention the signs of the Spielberg/Lucas prophesy of the Hollywood Industry Apocalypse have long since passed when you hear things like the 2 hour long comed…er I mean commercial for Google “The Internship” cost $58 million to make, and that execs are now planning trilogy franchise release dates before their sequel even comes out. Sony with The Amazing Spider Man re-boots and more recently a whole brand spanking new Terminator re-boot trilogy. Ugh…

    Oh well,at least they are not remaking some cool/trippy movie going experiences like 1990’s Jaco…whoops. Nevermind. This just in,a remake of Adriane Lyne’s cult psychological horror/Vietnam war conspiracy thriller Jacob’s Ladder has just been green lit. Double ugh…

  • William Shakesman

    Uh…I think he meant for kids NOW.

    Crap like Teen Titans Go doesn’t hold a candle to the original Teen Titans. Young Justice was amazing, so amazing they CANCELLED IT.

    Marvel even appeared to be getting better – the Avengers cartoon was amazingly good. And……..it’s also cancelled, replaced by an inferior version of itself.

    Spectacular Spiderman, another great show, cancelled and replaced by the horrible Ultimate Spiderman.

    Hell, the new Thundercats cartoon was also good – and now isn’t being made.

    And on and on. The quality of the stuff kids have available today is nosediving into the gutter.

    They’d never make a show like Invader Zim anymore.

  • Ah, memories…

    When I was a child, my dad took me and my sister to the cinema. He was supposed to take us both to see An American Tail, but seflishly took us in to see The Three Amigo’s instead. My sister and I spent the whole of the film climbing all over the seats and chasing each other around because we three were the only ones in there.

    What has this got to do with anything you aid? Nothing at all. It just reminded me of it. 🙂

  • Guest

    You just know that they’re not gonna like the film if they get the Rich Evans involved.

  • Ashley P

    oo someone is trolling my comments if they can even mark that response down.

  • whip

    Holy Fuck.

    Just watched this entire review. My god.. I can’t believe this was actually a real show that someone tried to make and be taken seriously.

  • whip

    Totally disagree. She’s very fake looking.

    And that stupid mole between her eyebrows is utterly annoying. I can’t think of a better use for CGI than to cover that up in EVERY EPISODE.

  • kenchun24

    Sooo Wonder Woman is some average looking Amazonian Princess that can kick ass and has confidence to boot? Not even Linda Carter’s 70s iteration shared that WW aesthetic. Taste is subjective but I’m pretty sure if Adrienne Palicki wanted to get dinner and a movie with you, the last thing you would be thinking about is the CGI removal of her quite normal mole (hint:human being have moles – sometimes on their face – and some are pretty damn attractive like Cindy Crawford,Natalie Portman,Shannon Sassomon,Eva Mendes,Adrienne Palicki) Unless you are one of those nitpicking types,not only geek IP’s
    but of attractive women as well.

  • John Jay

    There’s more emotion from this scene then the entire MoS film. Jor-El would have to give Kal-El a lecture that would last days from all the screw ups he made in MoS.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apkF0vqdh0Q

  • Cole

    Don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet but you must have fans at Netflix. Miami Connection is now available on Netflix Instant. Keep up the good work.

  • whip

    Erm.. RLM themselves tweeted about this some time ago.

  • exaggeratingfordramaticeffect

    DC,Marvel or any other comic crap ,same immature shit…

    YES I AM SAYING COMICS ARE FOR CHILDREN !!!!!!

  • Captain Jean-Luc Picard

    Don’t get lost… on your way to the brig, asshole.

  • After Erf

    Any kind of story with a hero with super powers is for kids because those kind of stories are used to teach children some kind of a moral or to teach them that it takes more than just raw power to deal with obstacles of life.
    These stories were usually told by an elderly person ,a mentor who guided the children to adulthood.
    Since old people are pretty much shunned in modern society because they remind us too much of death and we are all a bunch of pussies who can’t deal with natural part of life i.e. growing old and decrepit and eventually dropping dead,their pivotal role as lore keepers has been replaced by money grabbing media which takes great advantage at prolonging childhood way into adulthood with its propaganda about kids stuff being for adults…oversimplifying but still..I completely agree with Rich,Superman is a power fantasy and a normal adult should outgrow it if he or she wants to deal with real world in any kind of efficient way..

  • Now I Get It

    In our teens, my friends and I made a habit of sitting in the front row every time we went to the movies, say, twice a week, and we all wound up with chronically sore necks from having to look almost straight up. Then after a year or so, we started sitting further back like normal. That’s when I noticed just how much eye strain we’d been suffering.

    Anyway, I’ll vouch that’s it’s a very different, almost disorienting experience to sit that close. God knows why we kept doing it.

  • Meester Smeeth

    BOOHICKEY!

  • Meester Smeeth

    I’ve never understood anyone wanting to sit in the front row. I have to sit near the back, center, otherwise I get upset.

    I remember going to see The Dark Knight late at night thinking, right, it’s late, there wont be that many people in tonight, surely.

    It was fucking packed. I had to sit off to the left hand side, somewhere near the middle of the theater. Good thing I brought booze, otherwise I may very well have sulked through the entire film.

    I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Sorry.

  • Now I Get It

    Oh, I remember you. You were that guy who kept calling for the usher, “Oh, waitress.” No, you were very well-behaved, though. For a bootlegger.

  • bananna hammock

    I’ve got one on my left buttock. I use CGI every day to cover it up.

  • decora

    i actually still kind of close my eyes watching that scene.

    not only is it horrifying, the characters themselves are so … empty vessel sociopathic that its like, the whole thing combines into some kind of uber-horrifying nightmare.

    granted man of steel is dark, but ….. id rather the 12 year old me had watched man of steel than superman 3. no kidding.

  • decora

    they actually did comment on how much they liked the Krypton scenes. see their review (this is the extras)

  • decora

    there are a lot of “us guys” who realize this is supposed to be a fun experience, ragging on movies, not some kind of hate filled rage fest.

  • decora

    lol, Indeed, you win man. you win this whole thread. i give you the crown of win. the only thing more bizarre would be people pulling up old copies of superman that were racist.

  • decora

    if Space Cop makes as much money as Twilight, i will start hating on it too, because I only like things that are unpopular and not mainstream.

  • decora

    Jack Bauer is like the anti-thesis of everything that comic book heroes have stood for. He is an unconflicted sadistic villain. Even Spawn had self doubt about what he does – and he was ressurected from hell.

    Introducing Jack Bauer types into the comic book hero world would be absolutely insane, it would be like having a non-ironic Dark Son Superman or having a kids TV show called “Joker, the animated series” and making him the un-ironic hero.

  • decora

    there are some absolutely unbelievable deleted scenes from superman VI, that must have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to shoot, but were so bizarre they never were put into the film.

  • decora

    When are they going to make David Boring into a movie?

  • decora

    Actually, yes. It is just what I wanted! RLM Forever baby! On to Space Cop!

    Or maybe a whole movie about Nadine — now THAT would be epic.

  • decora

    wait, let me try.

    hurp hurp gag… splut.. gurp gurp.. guck guck gurp gurp gurp glahh….

    well, you are right. its actually pretty hard to talk with a cock down your throat.

  • decora

    “It’s an extremely deep, mature, thought provoking film that explores so many themes of humanity and superheroism.”
    they have probably seen a bunch of films where those themes have been explored. like, say, the bible? the problem i have is that those themes dont extend to the ‘main part’ of the film, where 100 buildings fall down and there are no scenes of cops, firefighters, nurses, etc, rushing into the city trying to save the millions of injured and/or dying people. its almost like the philosophical discussion of superman’s dilemma is not connected to the mass carnage that we witness on the screen.

    also its just too loud. my head hurt after 3+ hours of loud bass

  • decora

    Rich does have a dog… he is playing Space Cop after all, and some of these other actors might try to weasel their way in and steal his part!

  • decora

    then they wouldnt have time to review Baby’s Day Out, or holistic hippy woman dance videos.

  • Roger Sarvis

    Quick impression:

    Derp derp! Marvel vs DC! Derp derp! I’m angry about a thing nobody made me watch! Derp Derp! Disagree with you but not smart enough to debate! DERP hurr durr!

    But anyway thanks as always for the free entertainment.

  • Max Wylde

    Personally speaking, I did like Man of Steel, but then again I never expect quality from a superhero/comic book film. I know what I’m in for when I go see these films, and if they are better than my expectations then I’ll be impressed.

    This is because comic books are not novels, they’re not films. They’re a medium for graphic artists like pencilers and inkers and such. Sure, there are some great stories in comics, but for the most part they’re going to feature artwork that never translates well into film. I could go all the way back to the original Batman films that came out in the 40s as an example; here you have a fat man in a strange rat suit with his boyfriend Robin. Then going into the Adam West Batman, which wasn’t serious at all and wasn’t trying to be (having the Bat-copter at the airport, full cooperation with the police, having a fucking dolphin sacrifice itself to save the Dynamic Duo from a torpedo while they were magnetized to a buoy). Even the Tim Burton Batman, while darker and more like the Dark Knight, was about as serious as Pee Wee Herman.

    They’ve gotten much better to relate to a penchant for serious tellings these days, but in the end it’s a weirdo in a mask and suit. That’s about what I expect. They can be good (Kick-Ass and Super and The Dark Knight of course), but they’re more often the exceptions than the rule.

  • Guest

    Like many others here, I watched their Man of Steel review and rage filled me. They’re clearly Marvelites if they don’t like a movie as action packed and special effects bar raising as Man of Steel! Then I remembered that they make fun of The Amazing Spider-Man and Thor sometimes, so they couldn’t be Marvelites. Their is only one conclusion, their allegiance is with ANOTHER comics company! They are Imagites ir Dark Horsettes or IDWers or something!

  • Guest

    *there* is only one conclusion. Damn my rushed, enraged typing!!

  • Guest

    I’m a bit like that. It’s the comics I like, not the Hollywood distilled, corporate versions. I generally don’t get excited over them, but will go and see them so long a they’re not getting a slating from critics. I imagine that I’m more lenient than you are because I’m actually really loving the stuff that Marvel is doing with their own studio’s, trying to get the tone more like the comics and really entertaining us.

    That said, Man of Steel did not impress me at all. The Avengers just balanced the action with the character moments so much better. Not only that but various things were going on during the action to keep us engaged such as humour, character interaction and heroics (it actually showed the Avengers SAVING people).

    If Man of Steel wanted to go for the realistic approach then it should have stuck to these guns gone all the way and really explored this alien called Kal-el. You all remember him from the movie, right? It failed in its ambition.

  • Guest

    An out of touch opinion made all the more obnoxious due to the fact that it was SCREAMED!!!! at me.;-)

  • CantBanThis

    More like Alamo Drafthouse fans, since they gave it a national rerelease….

  • Gib

    Yeah…the new Superman really was garbage. If they seriously wanted to copy Nolan’s Batman they should’ve done it the way I hoped they would…just rip off The Dark Knight beat for beat.

    Replace Harvey Dent with Lex Luthor
    Replace Joker with Zod/Brainiac/Bizzaro/or whatever Superman villian fits
    Replace Alfred with Jor-El or Superman’s robo-servant

    Keep the emotional arcs, keep the twists and turns. Just give it more of a fun-actiony, yet dramatic tone

  • Why am I even responding?

    Fuck comics.Fuck movies.Fuck you.

  • Why am I even responding?

    Not sure if serious or arrow to the knee…

  • Robert Overstreet

    They will not even touch AVP theory crushed. Sorry.

  • Meester Smeeth

    Hurrah!

  • Mark Bisone

    You obviously haven’t seen The Care Boars Save Christmas.

  • dc > marvel

    dc > marvel

  • Well, they better fucking start acting like it.

  • kenchun24

    Haha!

  • ManofStale

    Derp derp! I can’t possibly have a negative opinion of something I wasn’t forced to watch! Fuck off

  • vaginaclogger

    They liked the latest batman movie just fine, cuntbandage

  • k

    You know, superman has changed a lot since 1985, you all should’ve been paying attention. Like with the DC animated films. You whinners are pathetic wanting more of the first four films.

  • smylexx

    300?

  • Max Wylde

    I don’t necessarily disagree. I would say, though, that in defense of screenwriters and filmmakers, how do you do a good story with a character like Superman for a mass audience, the majority of whom do not read the comic books as well as you or I? If you limit Superman in some way beyond what people expect him, you have to spend the time in the movie to explain what such limits are and why he has them. With a movie-going public that has seen five Superman films where he has astounding powers that clearly aren’t exhibited in the comics these days, this would take time out of a film where they’re also expecting a fight with a villain as powerful if not more so than Superman himself.

    How would you do that?

    Personally, I would not have gone the Zod route. I would’ve used Brainiac. This would’ve been new and exciting and the fans would go ape. I would’ve plucked this right out of the comics and wouldn’t have bothered with an origin story at all.

  • Cameron Vale

    Every show you praised except the original Teen Titans is just awful.

  • wodaddy

    Why is everyone arguing about DC and Marvel. Can’t you both like DC AND Marvel?

  • MKUltra

    DC=Marvel=shit that distracts from things that actually matter in real life

  • Plinkett

    What the fuck, cause that would make too much sense. Sheeeit.

  • Now I Get It

    I had the same experience seeing “The Sound of Music”, only I fell asleep, to my mother’s great disappointment, during “The Lonely Goatherd”. Or at least I thought I did, till Wikipedia informed me that that song was replaced in the film by “My Favorite Things”. Either way, I guess I don’t know what I saw.

  • Stop talking shit

    What a totally simplistic and cynical interpretation of what they were actually saying.

    I suppose these comic fans I know who are married, have kids, have their own house and are successful in their careers (one owns his own business) should be told to ‘grow up’ then.

    God, I swear that some of you talk the most crap. You see YOUR heroes say something and then twist it to fit your own unenlightened point of view.

  • Cory Gross

    Cartoons getting cancelled after a couple seasons is pretty standard. Batman: The Animated Series was originally only supposed to last for 85 episodes: enough for syndication. Superman: TAS lasted four seasons, Justice League / Unlimited lasted five seasons, Batman Beyond lasted three, Teen Titans lasted five, The Batman lasted five, Batman: The Brave and the Bold lasted three, and Legion of Super Heroes and Young Justice lasted two. The new ThunderCats lasted one season, the most recent He-Man series lasted two, and Transformers has been on TV in one form or another consistently since 2000. So far, Phineas and Ferb has been going on for four seasons. Ben 10 has been on TV since 2005, and on it goes.Cartoons generally don’t last very long, so there’s no point distressing about that.

    You also have to remember to look at it from a child’s perspective. You might thinking something like Phineas and Ferb is dumb, but they don’t. And things like Invader Zim or the Venture Bros. aren’t made for kids.

  • Guest

    This isn’t George Reeves.

  • Mike

    I’d love to see a shot by shot adaptation of kingdom come. One of the best superman stories ever written. In it, superman builds a gulag. And calls it “the gulag”. Imagine how people would whine then about how “dark” superman was.

  • no one

    Sfdebris made a review of that pilot. His site is temporally down, so here is a blip link:
    http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews/wonder-woman-2011-review-part-1-6540116
    The pilot istelf was once on Youtube I think.

  • Sorry but that’s the truth

    I have to say you guys are 100% wrong. Just plain wrong. This movie is one of the best superhero films ever put to a screen. It puts The Avengers and all of Marvel’s garbage to shame. The movie, in just three weeks, is halfway to a billion. If it was a shit movie, how would it do that? Stuff like Avengers and Transformers 3 had to CHEAT to get to a billion through false marketing and inflating ticket prices. But this movie made it because it is THAT GOOD. RLM, you need to get a clue and go to film school to learn about what makes REAL movies.

  • Casey Bryan Wright

    wait how did they cheat? did TDKR cheat to? did James bond cheat as well, how dare they what about avatar which almost beat Gone with the wind with inflation, if I recall I saw MOS in IMAX which charges more than normal, so they didn’t cheat if people want to pay more then they will, theatre charges like 150 per person to see live performances and im sure it will be like that with movie theatres one day, not to mention MOS had a lot of product placement, to help it make some money isn’t that cheating???

  • whip

    Appeal to popularity. Depending on you politics chew on this:

    If you are democrat, know that tens of millions voted for George Bush, twice.

    If you are republican, know that tens of millions voted for Obama, twice.

    So, I guess that means these are both undeniably good, perfect presidents? After all, who can argue with that kind of massive support!?

  • whip

    Thank you Captain Obvious.

  • whip

    Human beings have a tendency to like to be part of groups. It’s part of our nature.

    People who can be objective and like both sides of anything are rare. And they aren’t always able to apply that to every walk of life. For as pompous as I may come off at times with my statements like this, I admit to my own irrational biases on many subjects. We all have them.

    And some people just love to be part of groups that are in contentious debates with other groups. Whether politics, console wars, or comic book creators. They probably enjoy the camaraderie that comes with being part of a group, and the validation that comes from people who support your point of view.

  • whip

    So clearly NOT serious. It’s clear as crystal he was trying to make a funny point.

  • Lindeloser

    I like to think after the travesty of the Half in the Bag review, after thinking about the movie some more they came to their senses and realized how big a piece of shit it was.

    Then they made the much more famous “RedLetterMedia Asks Questions About Prometheus” video.

  • cocksaplenty

    jic1, you suck! oh, and for all my love of MoS, it did lack Zack Snyder’s stamp on it.

  • Yupper

    Why do you lot all sound the same? Seriously, I can’t pick out a single distinct personality from any of you.

    I even now read all your posts in the same comical ranty voice.

  • Pace202

    Yep cause box office sales equate to quality film making these days…lol gimme a break.

  • penis jokes

    Size does matter !

    The bigger your penis the better you are at sex !!!

  • cream

    So..that is clear to you but “why am I even responding”s comment is not clear to be a joke to you ?
    How so?

  • twat jokes

    Ah shove it up your twat.

    you and your reasonablessnessnesess.

  • lolz
  • drop the whip

    Me is thinking you needs to improve yours senses of humorses.

  • Whiny Matthew

    I’m not a Man of Steel fan, but I’ve never understood the popularity of Confused Matthew.

  • Now I Get It

    A similar divide exists in music between those who prefer symphonies conducted by Herbert von Karajan vs. Otto Klemperer, and in theatre between those who like plays written by Shakespeare vs. Mamet.

    Usually the preference is artistic, as I learned from a waitress who didn’t care for Klemperer’s “big string approach,” but sometimes not, as when Karajan lost support due to his membership in the Nazis.

    The problem comes when the reason, whatever it is, goes unstated, as when a set designer impatiently declined a play I’d offered him. Then after he added that among his upcoming plays the only one that excited him was “Much Ado About Nothing”, I knew that he was on the Shakespeare side and either hadn’t said it or didn’t know it.

    The shame was that, for all of their differences, Shakespeare and Mamet still have a more fundamental artistry in common, as did Karajan and Klemperer.

  • Rickie

    It seems like the more super hero franchises you review this year, the more you seem to like Iron Man 3.

  • Ryan

    Yes.

  • Don’t forget

    Oh and don’t forget to mention that women love deep erratic thrusts that perforate the uterus.

  • Alex

    I can’t stand this stupid song and the “Ho-Ho-Ho” anymore…

  • BunnyFooFoo

    I get the feeling this is more on the level of angry 12-year-olds arguing about X-box vs. Playstation.

  • Yezzir!

    He says that Minority Report is the worst film of all time, and he arrives at this conclusion by completely misunderstanding the core concepts in the film and the plot itself.

  • weAreGoingTooFarInaFewPlaces

    Uterus?

    Forget about vagina!

    It’s about shoving the penis through the mouth right into the stomach !

  • lolz

    He is popular?

    Huh ?

    I just kinda agree on his point about Man Of Steel being a whole lot of nothing.

  • Now I Get It

    It does have that tone – doesn’t it? – until someone (wodaddy) thinks to ask the obvious question, which, in turn, creates an onramp for a different kind of discussion, after the kids have fallen asleep in the backseat.

    So, I’ll ask it: What do Marvel and DC have in common?

  • Daniel

    Me like Metropolis so much, me help Zog destroy it!

  • Daniel
  • kingofmadcows

    The problem with MoS wasn’t that it tried to be dark and gritty, the problem is that it was dark and gritty without any maturity, nuance, or depth. It’s certainly true that we’re more aware of so called ticking bomb scenarios and no-win moral dilemmas where someone has to die in order for others to live. However, that doesn’t mean we have to be so cynical that we face every situation like it’s a no-win situation.

    Superman is supposed to embody optimism and compassion. That does not mean that he’s so naive as to think that he will never face a situation where he may have to kill one person to save a million. But it does mean that he will always try to find a better way. He’s never going into a fight assuming that he’ll have to kill the villain in order to save the innocent. He always goes into a fight trying to come up of ways to save everyone, including the villain. He always gives people the benefit of the doubt and he always gives everyone a chance to choose the better path. If he has absolutely no choice but to kill then he’ll do it but only after he has done everything within his power to look for a better solution.

    Heck, they actually dealt with that quite well in the DC animated shows. In the Justice League cartoon, Luthor took advantage of Superman’s cynicism towards him to get him to betray his own principles and take more draconian steps to fight villains.

  • whip

    I’m eating PIzza Rolls.

  • whips_mom

    whip is the most OCD respondent on the internet. We’re gathering the gang at IHOP this Thursday to do an intervention.

  • waltkovacs

    Well, that argument means that the guys that lost were also massively supported. The gap between ‘first’ and ‘second’ in politics isn’t huge (heck, Gore won the popular vote, but that doesn’t actually matter). The gap between the top grossing movies and other ones is much larger than a a small fraction of the total. If any president doubled or tripled the votes of their competitor, you might be able to make that analogy fit.

  • waltkovacs

    Good to know that the review was written in advance. The “trying to make the movie like Batman” meme was huge before the movie. While this has elements of Batman Begins (in terms of showing Superman ‘finding himself’ and then his first adventure … but it’s not actually that dark and gritty. It’s serious, and does have a bit of a downer ending, but it’s mostly Clark trying to first figure out who he is and how he fits into the world (while saving people), and then trying to stop a huge threat without any real training or preperation. Batman was going out looking for a fight, ready to kill a man before being talked out of it. Superman didn’t want a fight, but it was brought to him, so he had to step up and not just defend himself (or run away), but save the world.

    If you went in with the “well, here is Nolan’s Superman movie”, you can twist everything through that lens and nitpick the film. You could see Pa Kent as a jerk that wants Superman to let kids die, instead of a father that is conflicted about his son going public with his powers. You can see the wanton destruction as Superman not giving a crap, instead of it being a way to raise the stakes by showing just how powerful Superman AND the other Kryptonians he are fighting are (and how outgunned normal people are by comparison). And as silly as some of the scenes are, like Perry and company rescuing Jenny … it’s showing that Superman isn’t the one man rescue squad. His job isn’t to save everyone, his job is to inspire people to be better, and sometimes that means they can save themselves, or each other. He’s not a loner weirdo that doesn’t trust anyone but his butler to help him out, or tell his girlfriend they can’t be together because he’s married to his job of beating up people at all hours of the night. He’s willing to go off and nearly kill himself taking out the death ray thing on the other side of the world, and trust the three people he collectively has known for about 24 hours or so to do their part of the plan.

  • Griffin Bain

    Dear Jay and Mike, and the entire Red Letter Media crew:

    I’ve noticed that there has been an alarming flood of whiny fanboy babies and dipshit assholes all over the comments section(s) of your page, more and more so in the past few weeks (months?). Particularly on this episode. On behalf of us all, I want to apologize for this appalling and baffling Zergling rush of irritating buffoons exclaiming that you did this review without seeing the movie, turned into cynical pricks, lost your touch, sold out to Marvel, or otherwise taking your opinions personally, etc. These young children and their tirades do not reflect the views of your actual fans. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we eagerly, but patiently, await new BOTW episodes, HITB episodes, Plinkett reviews, and original films, and we are as confident as ever that you will continue being awesome. Hopefully this squabbling nonsense going on in these comments sections will start to die down after awhile and we can, once again, have nice things.

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Fan

  • Drama queen eh?

    HA HA HA HA..seriously?

    C’mon dude it’s teh intarnetz…there is no shortage of arguing manchildren on the intarnetzes comment sections..see youtube and similar..the flood cannot be stopped…it is forever neverending…

    And don’t worry ,RLM are not pussies who are going to be discouraged by the “genius” of those manchildren whining and bitching…

  • Sinatra

    I also doubt they’d care about these complaints. However, just because someone can ignore trolls doesn’t mean they’re not going to appreciate a kind comment from a fan. No need to get in his ass for being nice.

  • Drama queen eh?

    You mean ON his ass?

    HE is getting IN their asses.As in brown-nosing ,sucking up (not really just comes of that way).

    Difference.

    But yeah you are right.RLM deserves to know they are appreciated and I believe they do know that.

    I mean who takes the whining fanboys seriously ? Do you ?

  • tory

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH0N-kgMUbA

    That video explains how Man of Steel became successful.

  • whip

    I gotta agree, the message in question was shameless sucking up and nothing else. Trying to hide behind it being a nice message of support is pretty dishonest, intellectually. I’ve been accused of sucking up but this is ridiculous and obvious and shameless.

  • gnnn

    Whip,your mom says you are posting too much on teh intarnetz.

    Your OCD is acting up.

  • Patrick Brian

    I think you guys attribute too much maturity and seriousness to Batman.
    He’s a man in tights that punches a clown for robbing banks. That guy next to a man in more colorful tights punching an evil businessman can definitely fit together.
    But I’m of the mind that ALL superhero movies should be for children. The Joker is not a knifing serial-killer-terrorist to me.
    Shit if you have trouble imagining Batman and Superman together, remember that Batman used to be blue.

  • Patrick Brian

    “Downer ending”

    I feel like disagreeing with that one particular point.
    However sadface he was after killing Zod. The audience is supposed to feel pretty good at the last few minutes. Clark getting his job at the Daily Planet is the prelude to the Superman movie I think everyone wants.
    I won’t pretend that MOS didn’t drop some the ball. But the ending didn’t bum me out at all.

  • Patrick Brian

    Yeah but Iron Man 3 was fucking great.

  • Patrick Brian

    Except cast Adam West as Batman.
    Just piss off as many of those whiny fans as possible.

  • phillip_k_slick

    See, this is how I felt about the Dark Knigh “Mommy, why are we watching this crime drama,” I was an adult at the time, but I couldn’t help but wonder, can kids enjoy this? It’s superhero entertainment which means it should be accessible for kids, small ones, while still being entertaining and well done enough for adults, The Avengers for example. I know that more and more the comics are being directed almost squarely at adults, because that’s who primarily read comics, but the movies should be for everyone

  • Nah

    They made Batman movies for children. They were called Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Look how much people loved them!

    Most superhero franchises should be family oriented (including Superman), but I think that some can get away with not being so much. Batman, Daredevil, Punisher etc. Imagine a Punisher movie for kids.

    The Dark Knight films aren’t really that adult anyway. They’re PG13. Little kids have the many Batman cartoons that are available.

  • xamboto

    Confused Matthew is the worse internet critic

  • eightcell

    I imagine the tag line for the Flash movie will be “He is the fastest man alive… but he can’t outrun his sadness.”

  • Griffin Bain

    So I shouldn’t say anything nice to anyone, for fear of looking like a suckup. Good to know.

  • Griffin Bain

    Not all areas of the internet are created equal in that regard. This place is starting to look like a 4chan message board.

  • Robububee The Rubbubberman

    Guys, you gotta review “Olympus Has Fallen” and compare it to “White House Down” and then vote which one is crowned as the “Funniest movie of 2013”.

  • Yezzir!

    I agree, sometimes he has good insight, like anybody can, but overall he’s pretty bad. His review of 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only embarrassing but it revealed his weaknesses pretty plainly.

  • Cassavius

    Pants to be Darkened?

  • Steven

    Superman Vs. The Elite is a great Superman movie that discusses the issue of widespread destruction in combat, and how Superman is very careful not to hurt innocent bystanders. It can be done. Part of his character arc, as he believes no one should be killed, even villains, while the new anti-heroes The Elite believe they deserve only death.

    Check out the rejected Wonder Woman pilot. Just like you said.They tried to make it dark, gritty and violent, like Batman. Also, Wonder Woman is apparently a billionaire who owns a corporation, like Batman. Fails spectacularly.

    There have been good Batman and Superman team ups in television and animated movies. The Animated Series movie The World’s Finest worked very well. Batman and Superman meet and team up against Lex Luthor and the Joker. Works quite well as they balance their powers and tactics enough to be believable. And the later Justice League cartoon was excellent. My favorite episode featured the Joker with a plot that almost wiped out many super-powered heroes, including Superman. Of course, animation is quite different from live action. Though the animated series are usually done by people who understand comics very well, while most live action adaptions are done by large filmmakers, not quite the same.

  • williamsn411

    I haven’t seen MOS yet because I really don’t give a shit about superman or any superhero shit in general (with the exception of batman). IMO, 95% of superhero shit is bland and unoriginal. With all of that being said, whoever invented the “shaky cam” needs to have their balls cut off. I hate “shaky cam” with a passion. It does absolutely nothing for the movie except make it harder for the audience to see what the fuck is going on.

  • Guest

    Is it comic books? It’s comic books isn’t it.

  • Now I Get It

    Well, yes, but then they would also have movies in common, as well as everything that goes into making them, none of which would distinguish Marvel and DC from other comic books or movies.

    I was thinking of something more immaterial and elusive, like an idea that’s true of both of them, one that a funny answer, such as yours, can only take us halfway to.

  • Dixon Bawls

    I ran across this post from another comment page about MOS, and I think it says all that really needs to be said at this point:

    “This is going to be EPIC.
    Even if it sucks, my brain will make me believe it’s a masterpiece.”
    –Jack Foley

    http://screenrant.com/man-of-steel-interview-zack-snyder-henry-cavill-christopher-reeve-suit/

  • Cory Gross

    “It’s superhero entertainment which means it should be accessible for kids”

    Why?

  • Cory Gross

    I like their reviews. I respect their reviews. For the most part I agree with their reviews. I this case I did not, and expressed that. Are we all so sensitive now that you have to start white knighting for them?

  • Cory Gross

    I disagreed with him about Man of Steel, but he is dead-on about 2001. There is only about 45 minutes of story in it. The rest is overblown, masturbatory modern art.

  • Cory Gross

    After adjusting for inflation, Gone With the Wind is the top-grossing film of all time. Avatar is the 14th. The Avengers is 27th.

  • Mike Jakermen

    Frankly i think Nolan Over-Realistic Take on Superheroes can only work for Batman. I Mean he doesn’t have any powers or any out of this world gadgets. I mean realistically Iron Man should have his toes burnt off and Peter Parker should die from radiation poisoning. Besides Superman is almost the exact opposite of Batman. Superman was sent to earth by two loving parents. He was raised on earth by two loving parents. Batman is about pain and symbolic justice. Superman is about hope and optimism. Personally i think they got Superman right the first time in 1978. No matter how cheesy people say it is. At least in that one I actually feels something when Pa Kent Dies.

  • adaMAntiumSpoon

    I just stopped in to comment on how everyone looks like an asshole in that Justice League picture. Especially Wonder Woman. What an asshole.

  • adaMAntiumSpoon

    It’s the illusion of action. To keep brain dead fucks who watch movies interested. Kind of like rattling a toy in front a cat.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Same reason why Doctor Who should remain accessible to kids, it was created for kids.
    I know so many of us were born into the “mature” era of comics but it’s a bunch of muscle bound guys with silly plans that are thwarted by other muscle bound guys.
    Also, when I say this I mean comics that were created for kids originally, this includes almost every superhero created during the golden age and silver age.This is one of the reasons I think Batman Begins is better than Dark Knight, that and TDK has some serious pacing problems later in the film.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Don’t forget Batman 89, that was very accessible for kids,

    Punisher’s not even a superhero, he’s a vengeance fantasy in the vein of Deathwish.

    Also, Batman Begins is still a film that kids can enjoy, just because something is darker and has violence doesn’t mean it’s not accessible for children, watch old school Doctor Who or Raiders of the Lost Ark, there’s countless children’s books that are dark, not afraid to have some more mature themes, but it’s still packaged in a way that children can enjoy.

  • Cory Gross

    “I know any long form media with a lifespan crossing decades falls victim to the retcon-monster”

    It’s not the “retcon-monster,” it’s called the artistic development of a medium. Why can’t comics, and superhero comics specifically, be used to address mature ideas? Why MUST they be for kids? Why MUST comics be ghettoized? Why can’t they grow up?

    The weird thing about yours and Red Letter Media’s complaint is that you make it sound like it’s one or the other: if there’s a Superman movie for grown-ups then there can’t be one for kids. That is silly. As I pointed out before on here, DC Comics have owned Saturday morning for some 20 years now. We do live in a universe where “The Dark Knight” can coexist with “Batman: The Brave and the Bold.”

  • phillip_k_slick

    They can explore mature themes, for example, Also, “Batman Begins is still a film that kids can enjoy, just because
    something is darker and has violence doesn’t mean it’s not accessible
    for children, watch old school Doctor Who or Raiders of the Lost Ark,
    there’s countless children’s books that are dark, not afraid to have
    some more mature themes, but it’s still packaged in a way that children
    can enjoy.”
    That was from my reply to someone else.

  • Mike Jakermen

    There is a way to write for both Kids and Adults. All i know is i dont to see Super-Hero movies to be bored with Emo bullshit. Also The Punisher and Judge Dredd is pretty much on the extreme end of the spectrum. I think Batman and even Daredevil are somewhere in the middle.

  • Mike Jakermen

    Well they pretty much used up everything they can rip-off from Superman 1&2. So if they make a sequel, next time they might have to do something original. Unless they copy Superman 3&4. I cant wait to see Nuclear Man in 3D.

  • Cory Gross

    None of which demonstrates why superheroes MUST be for kids, even if they can ALSO be for adults. Saying they started as children’s entertainment means nothing. Paintings started on cave walls. So what? It would seem that your being reared on comics made for children has given you the idea that comics are necessarily, by definition, MEANT for children. That is fallacious.

  • phillip_k_slick

    We have differing opinions, deal with it.
    My opinion: superheroes by their very nature are childish.

  • Cory Gross

    “We have differing opinions, deal with it.”

    “‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ or ‘I have a right to my opinion’ is a common declaration in rhetoric or debate that can be made at some point in an argument. When asserted for this reason, the statement exemplifies an informal logical fallacy of the type red herring. Whether one has a particular entitlement or right is irrelevant to whether one’s assertion is true or false. To assert the existence of the right is a failure to assert any justification for the opinion.” – Wikipedia

    Yes we do have differing opinions. That fact alone does not justify your opinion. Telling me to “deal with it” suggests that you are either unwilling or unable to attempt to justify it.

    “My opinion: superheroes by their very nature are childish.”

    That seems, in itself, a fairly childish assertion, and as yet unjustified.

  • phillip_k_slick

    You still haven’t proven that they are mature or can be mature entertainment, where’s your proof?

    The fact is you don’t have any, the reason why? Maturity isn’t some objective thing, it’s a subjective concept. My last statement was out of boredom with the topic, and the acknowledgement that opinions differ. This is like arguing whether Prince was a musical genius or a sensationalist hack, it’s opinion.

    My opinion is like Harry Potter superheroes were originally meant for kids but can be entertaining and moving to adults. No one wants to see a Harry Potter courtroom drama with B plots of Harry being blackmailed because someone found kiddie porn on his computer and Hermione painfully deciding whether or not to get a hysterectome with silly wizard battles thrown in from time to time. And then of course it’s retconned 18 times within the next 3 years, sometimes being part of continuity and sometimes not.

  • Casey Bryan Wright

    Domestically yes worldwide Avatar is number 2 and while it doesn’t show avengers is probably around 20-30 position

  • Cory Gross

    “You still haven’t proven that they are mature or can be mature entertainment, where’s your proof?”

    You listed several of them for me, but besides things like The Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns you also have things like Ex Machina, All-Star Superman, Jonah Hex, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Justice, Kingdom Come, and the Paul Dini/Alex Ross series, all of which are geared towards adults. Then there is the obvious thing we have been debating all along: The Dark Knight and Man of Steel aren’t particularly for kids. What you don’t like is the fact that they’re not for kids and you think they ought to be.

    “Maturity isn’t some objective thing, it’s a subjective concept.”

    Which is why I’ve been talking about comics geared either towards children or adults. I did bring up “mature ideas” in the sense of topics that are inappropriate for children or better understood by adults, not a subjective appraisal of whether something is good enough to meet some arbitrary standard I impose on it (which tells me more about you than it does about comics). What you do or don’t subjectively think is “mature” isn’t really relevant.

    “This is like arguing whether Prince was a musical genius or a sensationalist hack, it’s opinion.”

    Nah. I don’t even like Prince’s music and I can tell that, objectively, he is an extremely talented musician who is far more capable with the medium and tools of it than the vast majority of other musicians. The notion that everything about art is just subjective opinion is silly and plainly wrong. If you say that Hamlet is about the glories of war, you are wrong. If you say that Jackson Pollock’s painting is about the wonders of God, you are wrong. If you say that Superman must be for children, you are wrong until you can demonstrate otherwise.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Are you one of those internet user who doesn’t who doesn’t understand that opinions differ? Dime a dozen.

    “What you don’t like is the fact that they’re not for kids and you think they ought to be.” Well yeah, that’s what this whole discussion is about.

    Also, I actually really like Man of Steel, but it’s not really a Superman story, this Superman isn’t that representative of the versio(s) frim the comic, but it is a really good modernization of a ’50’s pulp sci fi alien invasion film that happens to have alternate versions of Kryptonians in it.

    I also like TDK, just not as much as BB, primarily due to pacing issues and Batman doesn’t fit in the world they created in that film, but mainly the later pacing. TDKR is the only one of them, that’s a complete mess.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish reading my copy of “Encyclopedia Brown And the Case of the Dismembered Prostitues.”

  • Cory Gross

    “Are you one of those internet users who doesn’t who doesn’t understand that opinions differ? Dime a dozen.”

    No, I understand they differ. I’m just not enough of a post-modernist to think that the word “opinion” is a free ticket to say whatever you want without justification. Sure different people have different opinions. Some of those opinions are right, and some of those opinions are wrong. Are you one of those people who doesn’t understand that some opinions are wrong, ignorant, misinformed, fallacious and so on? Everyone has a right to an opinion, but not everyone’s opinion is right.

    “Well yeah, that’s what this whole discussion is about.”

    Exactly… Your whole complaint is built on a tacit admission that superheroes don’t have to be for kids as an objective fact. You’re imposing a subjective moral judgement that they ought to be for kids on an objective fact that they are not always for kids.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Fine, you’re one of those people who has to have the last word then, I’m okay with that, reply as much as you want, I’m done. One thing though, I admit I can enjoy works primarily meant for children, but has enough meat to it for adults to enjoy, if you can’t and have to make it so much more in your head, fine, go ahead. Also, have you read that Nancy Drew story where she’s a Guatanamo Bay interrogator and has to deal with morality of torture and sexual touching, heard it’s some deep stuff, just looking for more opinions before I buy it.

  • CB

    It terrified me as a lad. Still gives me a bit of the heebie-jeebies when I think about it, but watching the actual clip for the first time in however many years makes me pretty sure it was “enhanced” in my memory of how terrifying it was as a kid. In any case, it probably stands out as the only original and memorable scene from that terrible movie. Certainly the only thing I remember.

  • Cory Gross

    Besides your trying to shame me into not replying, I gave no indication whatsoever of where my own tastes in film, television and comics lie. You have nothing to base your self-congratulatory personal attack on. Perhaps you would be better served in the future by not flying off the handle and trying to insult people whenever they question your assumptions about things.

  • Marc Webb is a Hack

    I said the same thing when The Amazing Spiderman came out about the how the Sam Rami Spirderman movies got Spiderman right, eventhough I hated those Sam Rami movies as well for being too pandering and cheesy.

    I just hate Spiderman in general, the whole thing is Twilight for overweight or underweight sensitive nerds.

  • Yasiel Puig > Superman

    Yasiel Puig hated the bootleg version of Quantum of Solace he saw in Cuba because it has too much shaky came.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Just came across one of your replies in my email I didn’t really read through, though I think I may have skimmed through earlier. pretty busy working of some art for a gig. Figured I’d reply.

    Ex Machina, I’ll give you that, though the superhero part was the least interesting part, it was the sci fi cases while Mitchell was mayor and the drama that worked for me, the hero flashbacks only worked to show the seeds of the later relationships and the forming of some of his politics and personal beliefs.

    All Star Superman is great because it taps beautifully into the fun and youthfulness of the silver age while still being a great read for adults, but still being very kid accessible.

    Jonah Hex isn’t a superhero, it’s a Western, my opinion isn’t that comics as a whole should be child friendly, but the superheroes that were created for kids and have been traditionally for kids should be, hence the Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy references.

    League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is a retelling of old literary characters predating superheroes.

    Never read Kingdom Come.

  • williamsn411

    Puig will star as James Bond in future Bond movies because he’s way more awesome than Daniel Craig.

  • dswynne

    My problem with MoS is that if Superman is this powerful, why should he be a part of the justice league? He could dal withe the problem by himself.

  • Fat Nerd

    Well, I was always under the impression that he was like kind of the boss of the Justice League.

    I mean, all the other guys together could probably take Superman, so the Justice League is like having two Supermans watching out for Earth.

  • Cory Gross

    Superman is powerful, but he’s not all-powerful. Generally DC has gotten around this by making each of the Leaguers better than Superman at one thing (i.e.: The Flash can run faster, Batman is smarter) or doing something that he can’t (i.e.: Martian Manhunter can read minds and change shape, Aquaman can live in water). Ultimately, though, the Justice League is a marketing category and Superman is in it because they need to have the big cheese there.

  • Cory Gross

    I would be incredulous about a kid getting much, if anything out of All-Star Superman. It’s very cerebral. Don’t confuse something filling you with a sense of child-like wonder with something actually being written at a kid’s level.

    Jonah Hex is a superhero. Technically more of an antihero, but the only thing that makes him distinct from regular comic book antiheroes is the Western setting. DC has been hard at work grafting him into the regular DC continuity in All-Star Western, using it as a prequel series to the New 52 titles.

    One of the interesting things about League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is how it casts these literary characters in a superhero team like a Victorian Era Justice League, thus demonstrating the roots of the superhero tradition.

    Kingdom Come, Justice and the Paul Dini/Alex Ross series are all brilliant analyses of the nature of heroism. They’re written to an adult level.

  • Guest

    True. Good artwork though. Good ole Alex Ross.

  • Guest

    If anyone gets the chance, check out all of the ideas for Superman movies that never came to fruition. It’s proof that WB has no idea what they’re doing when it comes to their characters.

  • Guest

    I’m a huge comic fan and I actually totally agree with you. With one or two exceptions (ie Punisher), superhero movies should be accessible to everyone. Comics-teens to adults. cartoons and younger audience aimed comics-kids. Movies-everyone. I think only teenagers want the movies to be aimed at adults because they’re at that stage in life where they want to feel grown up and feel some insecurity in what they’re enjoying.

  • Yezzir!

    I would say that there is about 45 minutes of exposition. The question is whether or not the rest of it is driven by a concept, rather than just being masturbatory, and I believe it is clearly driven by a message and concept. Anyway, I loved the now infamous Chase Response to the 2001 review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WvrQ6h_GWE

  • Cory Gross

    Ugh, I found Chase’s response utterly insufferable hipster art school pretension. The thing is that having a message and a concept does not preclude it being masturbatory. Concepts can be nonsense, messages can be poorly executed. Even when I compare 2001 to other high concept art films that I actually do like, there’s just no “there” there. I totally agree with Matt that 2001 isn’t the worst film ever made: it’s the least film ever made.

  • Yezzir!

    I’d consider masturbatory to be when scenes exist for the filmmaker, not in service to a concept. It’s where the filmmaker creates scenes just to show off. It’s clear, to me anyway, that Kubrick has designed the scenes for a purpose, even the length of the scenes have a point. I guess one man’s boring is another man’s meditative.

  • phillip_k_slick

    I sometimes buy superhero comics for some of the kids in my family and they seem to like All Star Superman more than the regular Superman titles. I think it’s a cross between the Quitely art style, the colors by Jamie Grant and the zaniness of Morrison’s storytelling of A.S.S. Like I said, just because it’s accessible for kids doesn’t mean adults can’t like it. I’ve also been trying to get across that these movies don’t have to be FOR KIDS but Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc. should be ACCESSIBLE to them, because they were originally meant for them. They enjoy it the same way they enjoy the old silver age stuff I grew up with and share with them.

    Hex isn’t a superhero, that’s like saying Zorro is a superhero, he’s not by the way.

    You have a point about the League, but the characters themselves still aren’t superheroes, in this book nor from their original stories.

    Seriously, if it wasn’t for my big brother letting me read his silver age superhero comics, I would’ve never read superhero comics. I would’ve just watched the cartoons and movies like most people.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Thanks, and we agree on the Punisher.

  • Cory Gross

    Even a purpose, a concept, can be masturbatory. Yes, I get that there is a very high concept in making the “Beyond” sequence the same length as the “Dawn of Man” sequence and all that, even though the “Dawn of Man” sequence was about a good 20-30 minutes too long itself. 2001, like The Phantom Menace, is a good example in building a case in how artists need limits. When given carte blanche, they become self-indulgent. I think if a producer stepped in and told Kubrick to slice 2001 at least in half, it would have made it a stronger, better film. He could still have his high concepts, but would have been less gratuitous.

  • Cory Gross

    If Jonah Hex and Zorro aren’t superheroes, then neither is Batman or Captain America (once he got off the drugs). Hell, Batman IS Zorro in a bat costume. I know they’re not traditionally thought of as superheroes, but that’s as much a product of the time they were made. If you really wanted to get technical, Batman and Superman aren’t “superheroes” either: they’re Pulp action heroes like Zorro, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Flash Gordon, John Carter, Tarzan and Doc Savage.
    The treatment of the characetrs in League is superheroic. That is part of the point and genius of it.
    I’m surprised to hear about All-Star Superman though, but there ya’ go.

  • Yezzir!

    A long scene does not mean it’s masturbatory. I’m the only one defining “masturbatory” here so I can only go on what I relate that word to other than the literal. I take it to mean that a filmmaker is using the concept of a film for exploitation of some kind.

    Self indulgence just means that the choices are being made solely to gratify one’s own whims. I don’t see that in 2001. Yes, the film is unconventional in its length and lack of continual exposition, but that does not automatically relegate it to being self indulgent. That just means he is breaking with convention.

    Plinkett used abundant behind-the-scenes resources to reveal George Lucas’s mindset. But Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark (who wrote the original novel) worked closely together on the screenplay. This letter reveals a Kubrick who is curious about Clark’s ideas and a desire to collaborate (unlike the Bearded Wonder who ruined Star Wars): http://www.blastr.com/2012/07/stanley_kubricks_letter_t.php

    The results definitely show an adherence to a valuable concept.

  • Cory Gross

    “Self indulgence just means that the choices are being made solely to gratify one’s own whims.”

    Which is exactly what Kubrick did. Where I’m disagreeing with you is that you’re drawing some kind of distinction between having a purposeful concept and masturbatory self-indulgence. I’m not. 2001 is a very purposeful, conceptual film, AND it is masturbatory and self-indulgent in its execution. A purposeful concept can, in itself, be masturbatory self-indulgence (especially when the concept isn’t actually as deep as people think it is, which Matt also pointed out). The film has the marks of “doing it because he can, not because he needs to” written all over it. I’ve seen 15 minute long art films that were purposeful and conceptual and better than 2001, due in no small part to the filmmaker having limited resources. You could easily trim 2001 down by half, if not more, and leave the concept intact. You could still make “Beyond” the same length as “Dawn of Man”, just make “Dawn of Man” tighter in conveying what it has to. Most of what is in 2001 may be purposeful and it may be conceptual, but it was also needless and self-indulgent.

  • Yezzir!

    The problem is you haven’t defined WHY it is masturbatory in its execution. Because it is not trimmed? Because scenes run too long for your tastes?

    “Masturbatory” is all in the intention. If the intention is exploitative, then it’s masturbatory. Kubrick may have thought that the length of scenes are totally necessary and if he trimmed them, it would destroy the pacing he was intentionally working toward, and you may disagree. You want it to be tighter. He wanted to to be looser. You have your reasons, he had his reasons.

    But if the execution comes from a non-exploitative intention, I don’t see how it can be masturbatory.

  • Cory Gross

    Fair enough. I’m in vague it’s only because I seriously have not given a second thought to it since that whole exchange between the two of them.
    I disagree that a film has to be exploitative to be masturbatory. In fact, I kind of agree with you on the definition that it has to be self-indulgent of the director, doing an excess of things simply because they could. I just think that description fits 2001 to a tee. Yes it was deliberate and purposeful, even masterful, in its execution, but it was still needless and less expressive of a great idea than being expressive of an artist thinking he has a great idea and wanting everyone to know that he has a great idea.
    When calling it masturbatory, I’m calling attention to its pacing certainly, with so many scenes that are needlessly drawn out long after any point they might have had were reached. They are big and small… The “Dawn of Man” is about 10 minutes worth of material stretched into, what, 30 or 40 minutes? Watching the apes ape around isn’t really as important as he thinks it is. We get the point. And even then, he needlessly belabours something as simple as a bone being thrown in the air, forcing upon it (and us) multiple repeat shots for no real purpose. Yes Stan, I GET IT.
    It’s not just the pacing though. It’s also the pretension of the ideas, the appearance of meaning and depth where there isn’t really any. Going back to the “Dawn of Man,” he’s tricking you into thinking that there is more going on in that scene than there really is because he spends so much time on it. Yes Stan, the development of primate sentience and technological intelligence went hand-in-hand with violence. It’s not really a profoundly original insight, and I GET IT ALREADY. I think Matt was dead on about the habit of “asking questions” that A) aren’t really meaningful questions and B) which you don’t have anything of substance to add to.
    If I were to admit to a bias, it would be that thanks to my interests and degree field and all of that, I’m accustomed to rapid processing of complex ideas (I seem to be the only person on the planet who picked up that the new Lone Ranger film has a whole recursive thematic subtext about how the unreliability with which the United States recollects and reinterprets its cultural history… It’s the only reboot I’ve seen that deconstructs being a reboot). The ideas in 2001 aren’t actually very complex, and they’re drawn out at an ungodly slow pace to make people think they’re more profound than they actually are. If I was going to write a thematic statement for “Jupiter and Beyond” it would be “dude… space!”

  • Yezzir!

    One thing I notice about Matt in his reviews is that he throws more weight to a film’s qualities on the logic of the narrative and whether or not the material on the screen is necessary is economical to the plot. He wants efficiency, efficiency, efficiency! He wants a film to give him what he needs for the plot, then move along.

    And that is good stuff for many films, especially those where the filmmaker finds it advantageous.

    Matt rarely gives much thought to how a film feels. In fact, in his review of Minority Report, he focuses 95% of his analysis on whether the plot makes sense, attacking many points as logical flaws etc (which I believe he misunderstood).

    But when I saw that he called it the worst film of all time, I was shocked. Is it the worst acting? The worst special effects? How about the tone? What about Battlefield Earth? Is that better than Minority Report. There is more to a film then a plot, and shaping events within that film to serve the plot. That is what makes 2001 unconventional. It subdues plot in favor of philosophy and feel, which most filmmakers until that time would never think to do.

    So, I agree with you that many scenes are not necessary to the exposition of a plot (which Matt finds unforgivable according to his rules), they are necessary to achieve a different goal than most people attribute to a film: Kubrick wants to slow everything down. He wants us to consider space differently to feel the vastness of it, and the awe of evolution.

    By clipping the film down to its essential elements, it’s like telling Mozart to shorten some notes at the end of a symphony by saying “Ok, we got it. It’s a B flat, you don’t have stretch the note out so much.” Even though the reason he would lengthen a note is so that ending resonates.

  • Cory Gross

    Whatever Matt’s biases (I don’t always agree with him either), I still have to disagree with you about 2001. I don’t necessarily agree that a movie HAS to be economical (in my opinion, one of the best movies ever made, from a technical standpoint, is the original King Kong… And one of my favourite films artistically is Fantasia, which by Matt’s criteria does not qualify as a movie), but when style does not merely takes precedence over substance but is employed to trick you into thinking there is substance, I draw the line.

    2001 does not have a philosophy. It has events. The film shows three phases in the emergence of consciousness: the evolution of primate consciousness, the creation of technological or artificial consciousness, and finally the emergence of stellar consciousness. But those aren’t IDEAS… They’re just things that happen in the movie. What does it say about the evolution of primate consciousness? That it expresses itself in the violent struggle of survival? Yeah, that’s in the BIBLE, Genesis chapter 3. To acknowledge the existence of Original Sin doesn’t mean anything except that one is observant of self-evident facts. In the next part, we see that our technological development reaches the point of creating an artificial consciousness like our own, driven as much by the instinct of self-preservation as we are. Okay, yes, that is a thing that happens. There is the implication that primate consciousness was itself a form of artificial consciousness, but that’s just a plot point in the movie. Finally, what does “Jupiter and Beyond” say? That the emergence of stellar consciousness will be just as huge an evolutionary leap as primate consciousness and our descendants will be as distant from us as we are from our primate ancestors? Okay, and? Again, simply pointing that out is not an idea.

    Given that 2001 doesn’t really SAY anything and is just a series of events, what is the point of belabouring the events? If anything, it diminishes the effect. I get what it’s saying without having to spend 40 minutes on apes aping around. I get that “dude… space!” without having to spend another 40 minutes superimposing slit-screen trippin’ balls over footage of Monument Valley. The middle section does have some nice work in establishing the feel… The feel that space is so fucking boring that it’s best to stay on Earth where all the interesting things happen. I don’t think that’s what he meant to show though. I’m sure he thought (and more than a few bought into) that space is like some grand, sublime ballet. Nah, it’s just dull, humourless, lifeless, and uninteresting.

    The analogy to Mozart isn’t effective because an equal part of genius is knowing when to end it. Mozart knew when not to go on too long and outstay his welcome.

  • Yezzir!

    All great questions.

    “What does it say about the evolution of primate consciousness?”

    Maybe that it is pondering the prospect that primate consciousness might have been influenced by something extraterrestrial so as to propel us forward so staggeringly.

    “That it expresses itself in the violent struggle of survival? ”

    Not necessarily. More that the seed planted by the being/probe caused the apes to begin to understand technology and they used technology according to their nature, and as their nature evolved passed primal necessity, so also technology evolved beyond violence, into a more peaceful purpose of exploration.

    “To acknowledge the existence of Original Sin doesn’t mean anything except that one is observant of self-evident facts.”

    I don’t think that is the point.

    “In the next part, we see that our technological development reaches the point of creating an artificial consciousness like our own, driven as much by the instinct of self-preservation as we are. Okay, yes, that is a thing that happens. There is the implication that primate consciousness was itself a form of artificial consciousness, but that’s just a plot point in the movie.”

    Not necessarily. The implication of the next part is to observe how awesome human endeavor has grown from the first part and how we have learned to use it to expand our knowledge. Kubrick lingers on this to show us human invention on an awesome scale, only to show us how small we still are even in the third act, though we have evolved beyond our violent roots.

    “Given that 2001 doesn’t really SAY anything and is just a series of events”

    You’re looking for the film to have something to say, but sometimes films themselves ask questions and don’t propose answers. Sometimes still, a film might not be there to “say” something, but to give suggestion through a visual/audio medium. The long scenes without exposition are suggestive in that we are looking in awe of how far we have come, and in the third act, how far we have to go. The film isn’t forcing an opinion on you, just observing with you something Kubrick and Clark found interesting.

    “The analogy to Mozart isn’t effective because an equal part of genius is knowing when to end it. Mozart knew when not to go on too long and outstay his welcome.”

    That’s a matter of opinion of course. Kubrick didn’t outstay his welcome with me. But the point of the Mozart example is to show that efficiency is not always the point. Mozart could hold a note for half a second if he just wanted you to know it is a B flat, but he holds the note for resonance. That is why Kubrick holds his notes.

  • Cory Gross

    “Maybe that it is pondering the prospect that primate consciousness might have been influenced by something extraterrestrial so as to propel us forward so staggeringly.”

    Yes, that is a thing that happened in the movie. As far as a serious point of philosophy… Really? I’m not even a Creationist in my own religion, let alone the equivalent in atheism.

    “More that the seed planted by the being/probe caused the apes to begin to understand technology and they used technology according to their nature, and as their nature evolved passed primal necessity, so also technology evolved beyond violence, into a more peaceful purpose of exploration.” etc.

    A) Yeah, sure, that’s a thing that happened in the movie. B) Actually, no, that’s not even what’s happening in the movie. Our technological development manifested in HAL, who was every bit as violent as us. So what is the message here? That our use of technology is a sort of morally ambivalent mish-mash of positive and negative effects? Yes… and…? That there is an ongoing symbiotic process of technologiccal and biological evolution? Yes… and…? Or is it, as you suggest, simply an empty glorying in our (hypothetical) technological achievement? If so, so what?

    “You’re looking for the film to have something to say”

    No, 2001’s defenders are the ones who say that it has all this deep philosophy and meaning going on that justifies its masturbatory self-indulgence. 2001 doesn’t even say enough to ask questions… Maybe you noticed that none of my questions originated out of the content of the film. It didn’t pose philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness. It only poses questions about how to go about the unrewarding task of unpacking its own obscurantist bullshit.

    “Sometimes still, a film might not be there to “say” something, but to give suggestion through a visual/audio medium.”

    In film, which is an audio-visual medium, this is the same thing as “saying” something. I hope you understand that when I say “say” I don’t mean literally speaking a thematic statement. I am talking about the film’s message, however it chooses to convey that message.

    “The long scenes without exposition are suggestive in that we are looking in awe of how far we have come, and in the third act, how far we have to go.”

    Okay, and?

    “The film isn’t forcing an opinion on you, just observing with you something Kubrick and Clark found interesting.”

    In other words, it doesn’t have meaning, purpose, message, depth or any of that stuff. It’s just Kubrick saying “Hey look, apes. Hmmmm. Apes. And now, a space ship. Yes, look at that. It sure is a space ship.”

  • Yezzir!

    “Yes, that is a thing that happened in the movie. As far as a serious point of philosophy… Really? I’m not even a Creationist in my own religion, let alone the equivalent in atheism.”

    Yes, it’s a “what if” which is what much science fiction is made of. Such a thing is a jumping off point for pondering our origins, how far and advanced we have come from humble beginnings, and yet how far and small we are and still how far we have to go. It’s about the stages of our evolution.

    “Our technological development manifested in HAL, who was every bit as violent as us.”

    No, our technological BEGINNINGS were manifested in the apes at the beginning. Our technological development was manifested in the establishing shots our advanced technology in the second act and HAL’s experience is a part of that, and his experience is like a copy of our own from the early part of the film. There is a cycle of evolution being established there.

    “So what is the message here? That our use of technology is a sort of morally ambivalent mish-mash of positive and negative effects? Yes… and…? That there is an ongoing symbiotic process of technologiccal and biological evolution? Yes… and…? Or is it, as you suggest, simply an empty glorying in our (hypothetical) technological achievement? If so, so what?”

    That’s for you as a viewer to explore. The ambiguity of the third act gives you some space and freedom to ponder that. Do you want a moral to the story? If the film is an examining of moral and biological evolution, why does there have to be an “and?” Sometimes art is an observation of life, rather than providing a quaint conclusion on a silver platter.

    “You’re looking for the film to have something to say”

    “2001 doesn’t even say enough to ask questions…”

    I disagree.

    “Maybe you noticed that none of my questions originated out of the content of the film. It didn’t pose philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness.”

    Sure it does. It is a pondering of our place in the past, present and future within a vast universe.

    “”The long scenes without exposition are suggestive in that we are looking in awe of how far we have come, and in the third act, how far we have to go.”

    Okay, and?”

    And what? Sometimes people look at the stars and think about those things. This film is a manifestation of that. Do you need the film to draw a conclusion for you? Draw your own.

    “In other words, it doesn’t have meaning, purpose, message, depth or any of that stuff. It’s just Kubrick saying “Hey look, apes. Hmmmm. Apes. And now, a space ship. Yes, look at that. It sure is a space ship.””

    No, it’s Kubrick setting up a scene in which there is nothing going on, just stagnation. Then comes the “what if” extraterrestrials sparked our first technological development.

    The second act comes. Look at our awesome spaceships, look how far we came, and yet the vastness of space is much like the vastness of the wilderness at the beginning of the film. All this growth, and we are still like children (or apes) lost in the vastness of space, still small, still at the beginning, comparatively.

    HAL underscores this. Though he is advanced, he is also childlike in his new consciousness, which always begins with self preservation, like the apes that killed each other for food.

    By the third act, Dave becomes a traveller, and in a way, advances to the next stage, which ironically ends with another child. While the first two acts moved in a fairly easy to understand way, the third act becomes difficult. This is intentional. Kubrick is underscoring how there is so much beyond our understanding that, while the first two thirds of the film is easy to understand, the second shows that there is so much “out there” beyond what we can pin down. The universe is an awesome place where some things our beyond our comprehension, and Kubrick represents this through ambiguity. Ending with the child shows the cycle of our progressions. We are always progressing, yet at each stage we begin as children to progress again. That’s what I take from it.

  • Cory Gross

    “Yes, it’s a “what if” which is what much science fiction is made of. Such a thing is a jumping off point for pondering our origins”

    Except it’s not. It’s just a thing that happens in the movie. Outside of the sitting parallel to the human creation of HAL, nothing whatsoever about it is explored either as an idea or a plot point.

    “There is a cycle of evolution being established there.”

    Which is what I said about the whole theme of the emergence of consciousness. Except, as I said, none of it contains IDEAS. It’s just things that happen in the movie. To say “there is a cycle of evolution being established here” does not make it profound. Yes there is a three-stage parallel cycle of evolution happening in the plot. So what?

    “If the film is an examining of technological and biological evolution, why does there have to be an “and?” ”

    Because without it, it’s NOT an examination of technological and biological evolution. It’s just things happening a sequence of film frames. I’m not asking for a moral or anything handed to me on a silver platter (and really, that’s a rather tiresome come-back… I suppose next you’ll be telling me that I only like movies with explosions). I am intrigued by movies that encourage exploration of ideas. I’m asking for a POINT to having things happening in the movie. If there aren’t any ideas, if there isn’t a point or an insight or SOMETHING of substance beneath what is happening on the screen, then there literally is nothing to explore. It’s just a series of events, a plot outline: the monolith makes the apes conscious, and then the monolith makes the humans’ technology conscious, and then the monolith makes one guy super-conscious, the end. Okay, and…?

    “It is a pondering of our place in the past, present and future within a vast universe.”

    You can’t have it both ways. Every time I say that it has no philosophical substance, you complain that it’s supposed to just be an observational experience (i.e.: it’s not supposed to “say” anything or hand me anything on a sliver platter). Every time I agree that it’s just an observational experience (i.e.: it’s meaningless bullshit), you complain that it’s really heavy philosophical stuff. Is it pondering and examining ideas about consciousness and evolution, or is it just gazing in empty-headed awe at the vastness of Kubrick’s special effects budget? I would really love for you to make up your mind on this point.

    “And what? Sometimes people look at the stars and think about those things.”

    Yes they do. I know that. So what? WHAT are they thinking?

    “By the time this film came out in 1968 very few science fiction films explored these themes. Were you getting this kind of themes from giant ants? Please. That’s one of the reasons the film was groundbreaking especially in the field of science fiction film. Do you need a film to draw a conclusion for you? Draw your own. Or maybe watch a film from the 40s. They’ll spoonfeed you everything and give you no room for interpretation like other forms of art, like poetry, painting, music actually do.”

    Have you ever seen a Sci-Fi movie from the Thirties, Forties or Fifties? Are you seriously suggesting that there is nothing of substance going on in The Day the Earth Stood Still or Gojira? Thematically, 2001 is almost a complete rip-off of This Island Earth. You want to ponder the vertigo of the infinite? Check out The Incredible Shrinking Man. By 1968, The Twilight Zone had already wrapped up and the original Star Trek was still in the middle of its run. Stylistically 2001 offered a new sense of realism that would affect every Sci-Fi film since, but in terms of substance, it has fewer insights or ideas than the majority of Sci-Fi preceding it.

    Do I need a film to draw a conclusion for me? No, but I do need it to have a point. I do look forward to films exposing me to new ideas, perspectives and ways of thinking. Then I can decide for myself whether I agree with them or not. If a movie doesn’t say ANYTHING, then there is nothing for me to think about.

    “No, it’s Kubrick setting up a scene in which there is nothing going on, just stagnation. Then comes the “what if” extraterrestrials sparked our first technological development.”

    Yes, that is an event in the movie. And a different movie has a scene of Adam Sandler getting hit in the crotch with something. So what?

    “The second act comes. Look at our awesome spaceships, look how far we came, and yet the vastness of space is much like the vastness of the wilderness at the beginning of the film. All this growth, and we are still like children (or apes) lost in the vastness of space, still small, still at the beginning, comparatively.”

    Again, that is a good, succinct description of the setting of the movie. And then what?

    “While the first two acts moved in a fairly easy to understand way, the third act becomes difficult.”

    No it doesn’t. Stellar consciousness is a state of being so beyond our current conceptions that there is no way to show it except by superimposing slit-screen effects over footage of Monument Valley. I get that. Its being overlong is nothing more than a trick to make you think that it’s really saying something profound and difficult to explain.

    I can’t help but notice that your attempt to explain the film down to me is just repeating – ironically with more words – everything I already said in one paragraph about what happens in 2001. What I hope you noticed in my replies is that in using more words to describe it, you didn’t really SAY anything. You just described events and settings. Yes, those things happen in the film. They are events, not ideas. They are not at all ambiguous, in terms of understanding why he did it that way. I totally get what he was doing. The only “ambiguity” derives from the fact that his string of events only give the superficial appearance of content where there is none. There’s no “there” there.

  • phillip_k_slick

    Yeah, that’s one more thing to disagree on, there’s similarities and Zorror is a precursor to superheroes but not one himself. Like Hercules (the original) isn’t a superhero.

    And you’re right about this, “Pulp action heroes like Zorro, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Flash Gordon, John Carter, Tarzan and Doc Savage” none of them are superheroes…except possibly the Shadow?

  • Yezzir!

    “Except it’s not. It’s just a thing that happens in the movie. Outside of the sitting parallel to the human creation of HAL, nothing whatsoever about it is explored either as an idea or a plot point.”

    Sure there is. The idea presented is about the nature of evolution and presenting an alternate possibility for our growth than you would find in a Bible or Q’ran, and that concerning our evolution, there is irony in that our progression leads to a state of regression in each stage.

    “Which is what I said about the whole theme of the emergence of consciousness. Except, as I said, none of it contains IDEAS.”

    What do you consider an “idea.” One way of looking at is as a definition would be: the central meaning or chief end of a particular action or situation. The central meaning or chief end of 2001 is in both exploring the possibility that our advancement is the result of extraterrestrial influence and how the maturity of one stage of evolution represents the infancy of the next stage. Why does there have to be any deeper meaning than that? You are the one demanding a deeper message. Maybe the film doesn’t have one beyond that, just a presentation of an idea that one could think about and draw further conclusions.

    “I’m asking for a POINT to having things happening in the movie. If there aren’t any ideas, if there isn’t a point or an insight or SOMETHING of substance beneath what is happening on the screen, then there literally is nothing to explore. ”

    I’ve described that to you. There is something to explore, the nature of evolution and the possibility of extraterrestrial influence in our development.

    “It’s just a series of events, a plot outline: the monolith makes the apes conscious, and then the monolith makes the humans’ technology conscious, and then the monolith makes one guy super-conscious, the end. Okay, and…?”

    And this represents the cycle of evolution. It presents evolution as cyclical rather than linear. It presents the possibility that something other than Allah, God, or whoever else, as being the source of our development. That’s it. No deeper message is needed for me. Prometheus explored this possibility too, in a more conventional way. I don’t expect more out of that film either.

    “I would really love for you to make up your mind on this point.”

    I think maybe you expect ONE theme from a film? PART of the film is an observational experience. Pondering the vastness of space is PART of the concept that evolution leads to infancy stages because the vastness of space is much like the vastness of the wilderness. Pondering that leads to the irony of our evolution, the more advanced we become, the more we discover how small we still are and how much bigger the universe is than we know.

    “Yes they do. I know that. So what? WHAT are they thinking?”

    They are thinking that it’s an interesting idea that an extraterrestrial life force is responsible for our development as a race. It’s a simple idea that leads to more thought about the nature of evolution.

    “Have you ever seen a Sci-Fi movie from the Thirties, Forties or Fifties? Are you seriously suggesting that there is nothing of substance going on in The Day the Earth Stood Still or Gojira?”

    “Do I need a film to draw a conclusion for me? No, but I do need it to have a point.”

    It does have a point.

    “Yes, that is an event in the movie. And a different movie has a scene of Adam Sandler getting hit in the crotch with something. So what?”

    The point of a scene like that is an attempt to be funny. The point of the scenes in 2001 is to present ideas about our evolution in a movie.

    “What I hope you noticed in my replies is that in using more words to describe it, you didn’t really SAY anything.”

    Of course I did.

  • ZombieIdiotFanBoy

    Yep, the Superman IP has some of the best stories to choose from, they just have to pick a popular one and not completely ruin it. It’s not that hard.

  • Cory Gross

    “The idea presented is about the nature of evolution and presenting an alternate possibility for our growth than you would find in a Bible or Q’ran, and that concerning our evolution, there is irony in that our progression leads to a state of regression in each stage.”

    Ah, finally, you admit to it actually saying something. Presenting an “alternate possibility for our growth” is not an idea, it is simply a plot point. The idea would be that our “progression leads to a state of regression at each stage,” which I virtually identical to what I said before about consciousness expressing itself in the violent struggle for survival, which far from being an alternate to the Bible is exactly what is in the Bible.

    “The central meaning or chief end of 2001 is in both exploring the possibility that our advancement is the result of extraterrestrial influence and how the maturity of one stage of evolution represents the infancy of the next stage. Why does there have to be any deeper meaning than that?”

    For one, those aren’t IDEAS. Those are EVENTS. Here is the difference between an idea and an event: “Cory eats a ham sandwich” describes an event. “Cory’s eating of a ham sandwich is a metaphor for the Marxist historical dialectic as a critique of Orwell’s Animal Farm” describes an idea.

    Therefore, you see, “aliens made us evolve” is not an idea. It is an event that happens in the movie. As for why there has to be a deeper meaning or an idea, that’s what 2001’s DEFENDERS says. Critics of it, like Matt, are the ones pointing out that it doesn’t really have any deep meaning. You guys are the ones insisting that somehow its strings of events are deep, meaningful, philosophical stuff. At least, you do until you flip-flop on that and insist that I shouldn’t look into it too deeply.

    “There is something to explore, the nature of evolution and the possibility of extraterrestrial influence in our development.”

    But it doesn’t EXPLORE them. It just presents them as events. Okay… and?

    “And this represents the cycle of evolution. It presents evolution as cyclical rather than linear. It presents the possibility that something other than Allah, God, or whoever else, as being the source of our development.”

    Thematically, theistic Creationism or atheistic Creationism amount to the same thing in 2001. The subject of who or what created us and why they did is never explored in 2001. Therefore it is virtually irrelevant. What is considerably more relevant, given the mind-numbing amount of time spent on it, is the nature of consciousness.

    “That’s it. No deeper message is needed for me.”

    Then what are you so mad at Matt about? He said it is a movie about nothing, you agree that it is a movie about nothing, what is the problem?

    “Prometheus explored this possibility too, in a more conventional way. I don’t expect more out of that film either.”

    If by “conventional” you mean it actually supplied us with some substance as to who the aliens were that made us and why they did, which in turns gives us some meat to go on in terms of grappling with our place in the universe, then yes. Prometheus is actually a pretty halfways decent adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror… The terror of a universe malevolently indifferent to human existence. Kubrick presents us with… colours… because dude, space!

    I’ll skip over some of your next remarks, because it’s really just the repetition of you describing events and calling them ideas, and then saying that it’s okay for the movie to not have ideas while getting mad at me for saying that the movie doesn’t have ideas. For example…

    “The point of a scene like that is an attempt to be funny. The point of the scenes in 2001 is to present ideas about our evolution in a movie.”

    2001 doesn’t present ideas about our evolution. The evolution to one stage of development leads to infancy in the next? Yes, and a ham sandwich tastes like ham. Thanks for describing a self-evident fact like it was a profound insight. According to you, I’ve actually been giving 2001 more credit than it is due by suggesting that it is even about consciousness and makes any kind of commentary at all about it. Apparently it’s just about the fact that things evolve. Yes they do. Okay.

    “I love your use of all-caps for “SAY” as opposed to “say” as if there is some greater meaning now that you have capitalized it.”

    *facepalm* Traditionally, using capital letters on the Internet denotes an increased emphasis on a word or sentence. In the context of my paragraph and its place in our discussion, it is self-evident that by “say” I meant “to state as opinion or belief,” (i.e.: an idea) which you did not do. You simply described the events of the movie. For goodness sake, do I really have to start explaining figures of speech to you?

  • Yezzir!

    “Ah, finally, you admit to it actually saying something.”

    I never denied that.

    “Presenting an “alternate possibility for our growth” is not an idea, it is simply a plot point. ”

    That is completely false dilemma. It is both a plot point AND an idea.

    Idea (via Webster)
    1. any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.
    2. a thought, conception, or notion:

    An alternate possibility for our growth is the conception existing in Kubrick and Clarke’s minds. It is a conception or notion about our origins. Being so, they use it as a plot point in their movie.

    “For one, those aren’t IDEAS. Those are EVENTS. ”

    False dilemma.

    “Here is the difference between an idea and an event: “Cory eats a ham sandwich” describes an event. “Cory’s eating of a ham sandwich is a metaphor for the Marxist historical dialectic as a critique of Orwell’s Animal Farm” describes an idea.”

    Cory eating a ham sandwich is still an idea if it is in the movie. It leads to another idea when it is interpreted later. In other words, the director had an IDEA of having his character eat a ham sandwich INSTEAD of playing basketball, SO THAT it could represent Marxist historical dialectic.

    “But it doesn’t EXPLORE them. It just presents them as events. Okay… and?”

    This is called a THEME. Movies have themes.

    THEME (via Webster)
    a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art.

    The theme in 2001 IS the IDEAS that I have described. You seem to think that the film has a theme but no ideas, which is laughable. Or that the film has no theme at all, which is still laughable considering what ideas and themes really are.

    “Thematically, theistic Creationism or atheistic Creationism amount to the same thing in 2001. The subject of who or what created us and why they did is never explored in 2001. Therefore it is virtually irrelevant. ”

    I didn’t say “creation” I said “development.” Some people assume that either God (not aliens) propels us forward through providence, but probably most people believe that humans just technologically develop by themselves because we have more developed minds than animals.

    By presenting an external extraterrestrial life as the force for our forward progress, Kubrick takes that out of our hands, which was a source of great pride for us.

    So when he lingers on the docking station sequence, the realism of special effects he realized contribute to a sense of awe in our own development, unaware that we weren’t the source of that development (in the film), nor will we be the source of our next advancement. It’s like a critique of our pride in out place in the universe, and our own perceived importance. In 2001, we are NOT the masters of the universe, we are dependent on external forces.

    Before 2001, most science fiction films presented outer space as filled with enemies to defeat, that space was essentially a threat to be conquered (much of that stemming from Cold War paranoia). Space was full of threat. 2001 presents space as an awesome force of nature in which we have a part to play and a place to grow, not a place that is our enemy.

    “That’s it. No deeper message is needed for me.”

    “Then what are you so mad at Matt about? He said it is a movie about nothing, you agree that it is a movie about nothing, what is the problem?”

    You are misrepresenting what I said, willfully. First, I am not mad at Matt. He said it is a movie about nothing. I did not. It is about something. But the message is SIMPLE, not complex, which I assume you mean by “deep.”

    “dude, space!”

    Dude, space! is not a bad theme. We take it for granted today, because we have grown in our understanding of space and our own place in the universe. Science fiction films didn’t approach space with a sense of awe at it’s own power and greatness. “Dude, space!” being part of Kubrick’s goal is a very worthy theme. Space IS awesome. Look upon it with awe, not fear of an enemy.

    “2001 doesn’t present ideas about our evolution.”

    It certainly does, quite clearly. You just have a wrong understanding of what an idea is.

    “it is self-evident that by “say” I meant “to state as opinion or belief,” (i.e.: an idea) which you did not do.”

    Yes I did. I “stated my opinion” about what the film is “giving expression to” all throughout my response.

  • Cory Gross

    “I never denied that.”

    Sure you have. You readily deny that 2001 has any deep meaning or ideas when it suits you to. Your defense against my claim that it doesn’t have any erally deep emaning is to alternate between “no really it does, because things happen in it” or “that doesn’t matter because it’s just about things happening in it.”

    “An alternate possibility for our growth is the conception existing in Kubrick and Clarke’s minds. It is a conception or notion about our origins. Being so, they use it as a plot point in their movie.”

    Oh come on. If you have any kind of reading comprehension you know very well that when I talk about a movei having ideas, I do not mean “they had an idea to put this event in the movie.” You know darn well that I mean “idea” in the sense of making some kind of philosophical, theological, sociological, political, etc. point about the human condition.

  • Yezzir!

    “Sure you have. You readily deny that 2001 has any deep meaning or ideas when it suits you to.”

    I said that its meanings are not COMPLEX, they are simple. That’s different from a statement that the film is not deep or that it has nothing to say. As it is, I don’t take “deep” to mean complex.

    I would respect Matthew more if he would have critiqued the film on this level: “The film has something going on, some ideas and themes, but provides too little information for the audience to interpret what those ideas are” Even if I disagree with that, at least I can accept that as legitimate.

    But Matthew wishes to disguise his opinions as objective fact to say that the film literally has NO ideas, and is about NOTHING.

    Here is famed critic Pauline Kael’s negative review of the film:

    “The ponderous blurry appeal of the picture may be that it takes its stoned audience out of this world to a consoling vision of a graceful world of space, controlled by superior godlike minds, where the hero is reborn as an angelic baby. It has the dreamy somewhere-over-the-rainbow appeal of a new vision of heaven. 2001 is a celebration of a cop-out. It says man is just a tiny nothing on the stairway to paradise, something better is coming, and it’s all out of your hands anyway. There’s intelligence out there in space controlling your destiny from ape to angel, so just follow the slab. Drop up.”

    Though I disagree with her conclusion, she is sophisticated enough as a reviewer (being 10 times out of Matthew’s league) to not think that a man like Kubrick would spend years of his life and his own intelligence and literally have nothing to say with a film he worked hard on.

    That’s just outside the realm of common sense for me. She knows the film has ideas, and it is on that level she critiques them.

    “Oh come on. If you have any kind of reading comprehension you know very well that when I talk about a movei having ideas, I do not mean “they had an idea to put this event in the movie.” You know darn well that I mean “idea” in the sense of making some kind of philosophical, theological, sociological, political, etc. point about the human condition.”

    Don’t tell me what I know darn well, thank you very much. Your statements clearly disassociate EVENTS in a film from IDEAS in a film. That’s a major flaw in your critique.

  • Cory Gross

    Okay, yes, we agree then that 2001 is a simple-minded movie… A lot of visual fluff glossing over a near total lack of content. You and I are both saying this, though in our own unique ways. You think this is a strength, I think it is a weakness.

    “Your statements clearly disassociate EVENTS in a film from IDEAS in a film. That’s a major flaw in your critique.”

    I don’t dissociate events from ideas in A film. I’m saying that in *2001 SPECIFICALLY* we are presented with a string of events with no purpose, ideas or message. It’s just things that happen. YOU HAVE ALREADY AGREED TO THIS. You just labour under the impression that having a string of things happen is in itself some kind of deep, meaningful philosophical statement. No. No it isn’t.

  • Yezzir!

    “Okay, yes, we agree then that 2001 is a simple-minded movie…”

    You are grasping at straws now, through intellectual dishonesty. I didn’t say it was simple-minded. I said it’s concepts were simple. Any writer, artist, musician of any kind of skill will tell you that to see things simply and arrive at simplicity is one of the most difficult things to do as an artist and takes a great amount of self control and advancement. I don’t consider that to be simple-minded.

    “Your statements clearly disassociate EVENTS in a film from IDEAS in a film. That’s a major flaw in your critique.”

    “I don’t dissociate events from ideas in A film. I’m saying that in *2001 SPECIFICALLY* we are presented with a string of events with no purpose, ideas or message. ”

    Your statement: “For one, those aren’t IDEAS. Those are EVENTS.” And yet they are both. Example: Kubrick’s IDEA that human development was sparked by extraterrestrial life is communicated to the audience through the event of the scenes that demonstrate that idea. You may not think that is a valuable idea, but it is an idea nonetheless.

  • Cory Gross

    “I didn’t say it was simple-minded.”

    Yes you did, in so many words. You evidently don’t like how I’m phrasing it, but even by the definition you furnished (because you’re the type who apparently enjoys quibbling over literal definitions rather than grasping the content… go figure, that explains a lot), 2001 is a simple-minded movie. It DOES lack in subtlety and sophistication. You’ve ALREADY AGREED that it lacks these things. The difference is, YOU LIKE THAT. I would also agree that 2001 is stupid, silly and foolish. So yes, simple-minded.

    “Any writer, artist, musician of any kind of skill will tell you that to see things simply and arrive at simplicity is one of the most difficult things to do as an artist and takes a great amount of self control and advancement.”

    And then there are the writers, artists and musicians who produce simple-minded work under the assumption that they’re doing something really smart by superficially aping the simplicity of genuinely subtle and sophisticated films. YOU HAVE ALREADY AGREED that 2001 is a superficial film.

    “And yet they are both.”

    No, they’re not. Even when you try to defend it, all you do is give a summary of the events and assert that those are ideas. And you know damn well what I mean by “idea” because I’ve explained it to you over and over again. If you choose to remain deliberately obtuse about it (and then accuse me of intellectual dishonesty), then we might as well quit because we’ll just be talking in circles around each other. Just know that you don’t win a debate just because you choose to define terms differently from how the person you’re debating uses them.

  • Yezzir!

    “I didn’t say it was simple-minded.”

    “Yes you did, in so many words. ”

    I didn’t say it or even imply it.

    “(because you’re the type who apparently enjoys quibbling over literal definitions rather than grasping the content… go figure,”

    Even when your content is wrong because you don’t know the meaning of words you use…right.

    “is a simple-minded movie.”

    But you said that I agreed with you on that, which I don’t.

    “It DOES lack in subtlety and sophistication. You’ve ALREADY AGREED that it lacks these things.”

    No I did not. And I do not believe it lacks sophistication and subtlety.

    “And then there are the writers, artists and musicians who produce simple-minded work under the assumption that they’re doing something really smart by superficially aping the simplicity of genuinely subtle and sophisticated films. YOU HAVE ALREADY AGREED that 2001 is a superficial film.”

    No I haven’t agreed to that. I said it’s concepts are simple. That’s it. Simple can sophisticated. And, get this. Simple can also NOT be simple-minded. The two are not necessarily co-existent in a film, though they may be sometimes. In 2001 they are not.

    “No, they’re not. Even when you try to defend it, all you do is give a summary of the events and assert that those are ideas.”

    Yes they are indeed ideas. A film is nothing more than a sequence of events in a string, like you said. Every film is like that, full of things that happen. That’s the very nature of the medium

    To get ideas across (and yes, the CONCEPT of extraterrestrial life sparking human development IS an idea) a filmmaker must, therefore, represent those ideas as events in the film so that the audience can see the idea.

    So, as I have described, the monolith sparking the ape’s evolutionary jump is event in the film BECAUSE was is an idea, Kubrick’s and Clarke’s idea.

    “then we might as well quit because we’ll just be talking in circles around each other. ”

    This is rich and hypocritical coming from someone who is arrogantly attributing things to me I didn’t say.

  • Cory Gross

    *sigh*

    “Even when your content is wrong because you don’t know the meaning of words you use…right.”

    I know the meaning of the words I use fine, and I’ve even explained to you how I use them. Every time you quote the dictionary definition I even tie my use back in it. The problem seems to be that YOU don’t know the meaning of the words I use.

    “Only someone who is misusing words would be annoyed at someone supplying a definition.”

    Nope. I’m annoyed because you know exactly what I mean and what argument I’m making, but you’re deliberately trying to equivocate on the meaning of the terms in order to derail the discussion instead of actually deal with the argument I’m making. Rather than facing my argument that Kubrick is not presenting any substantive philosophical ideas in 2001, your reply is that “The definition of ‘idea’ is ‘a concept of the human mind’ and Kubrick came up with the concept to put such-and-such event in the movie, so TECHNICALLY the movie has ideas according to the definition I’M choosing to use right now!” Come on, that’s weak and obnoxious.

    “No I did not. And I do not believe it lacks sophistication and subtlety.”

    Yes you do. You’ve already spent considerable time quietly explaining to me how 2001 is a superficial movie and you like it that way because it’s “meditative” and gives you room to aimlessly “ponder.” You just don’t like how I’m rephrasing what you said, because I think what you’re saying is a bunch of empty-headed, art school hipster bullshit that you think makes you sound deeper and more intellectual than you actually are. Okay, you like to sit and stare blankly at pretty things sloooooowly flashing across a screen for 3 hours, I get it. Don’t pretend that the movie is anything more than that then, and don’t you DARE criticize me for AGREEING with you that it’s nothing more than that.

    “Oh ok, so you are a participant in the debate, and also the judge of who (your words) “wins” the debate? Yeah that makes sense…”

    Hey, a soccer player still knows how the rules work.

  • Yezzir!

    “The problem seems to be that YOU don’t know the meaning of the words I use.”

    Yes, I do know the meaning of the words you use. I have a dictionary. Try using one.

    “Rather than facing my argument that Kubrick is not presenting any substantive philosophical ideas in 2001”

    You said that the film has NO ideas. That is incorrect demonstrably. Not only that, that philosophical means “a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought” the concept of extraterrestrial beings guiding our progress and Kubrick’s presentation on the nature of evolution are indeed philosophical because it is a theory of the sphere of activity concerning human growth.

    Are you the kind of guy that believes that art you don’t like is not art at all? Try separating the objective from the subjective sometime.

    Whether or not these philosophical ideas are meaningful, or substantive, like I said, that’s in the eye of the beholder.

    “so TECHNICALLY the movie has ideas according to the definition I’M choosing to use right now!”

    As I have said, the statement that the film has NO ideas, is wrong. If you don’t think the film has meaningful ideas, fine. I disagree, but that’s just a matter of opinion.

    “Yes you do. You’ve already spent considerable time quietly explaining to me how 2001 is a superficial movie and you like it that way because it’s “meditative” and gives you room to aimlessly “ponder.””

    You are rephrasing what I said in a way that CHANGES what I said. I didn’t say it was superficial. I said it was simple. I did say it was meditative, and gives room to ponder (like all great works of art should do, rather than hand over its meanings to its audiences in a beer hat straw), but I did not say that I ponder aimlessly, or without purpose. Room to ponder means room to interpret and the greatest works of art provide enough information to interpret, but not too much information to bang the audience over the head with it.

    “You just don’t like how I’m rephrasing what you said”

    I don’t because how you rephrase changes what I said into something I did not say. I don’t mind rephrasing, as long as the meaning of what I said stays intact. Your method of rephrasing to create a strawman in order to “agree” with it is incredibly immature.

    “Okay, you like to sit and stare blankly at pretty things”

    See how you changed the meaning? I didn’t say “blankly”. That implies no thought. I like to look at pretty things and think about them. There is nothing wrong with the fact that the images Kubrick provides are beautiful. I just disagree that the scenes have no meaning.

    “Hey, a soccer player still knows how the rules work.”

    The soccer player doesn’t officiate the game.

  • Cory Gross

    “Yes, I do know the meaning of the words you use.”

    No, you evidently don’t. Aspergers?

    “You said that the film has NO ideas. That is incorrect demonstrably. Not only that, that philosophical means “a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought” the concept of extraterrestrial beings guiding our progress and Kubrick’s presentation on the nature of evolution are indeed philosophical because it is a theory of the sphere of activity concerning human growth.”

    No. That’s like calling evolution a belief system. It’s not. You’re wrong.

    Every time I ask WHAT Kubrick is saying philosophically about evolution or atheistic Creationism, you just reply with “derp derp, it doesn’t have to SAY anything even though technically it is according to the dictionary but I’m just equivocating on what you mean when you say ‘say’ and even then it doesn’t have to say anything philosophical because that would just be handing you answers but it’s not saying nothing it’s just simple philosophy which isn’t actually philosophy just a description of events but even a description of events can be a philosophy because I don’t even understand the implications of the dictionary definitions I’m quoting.”

    “Are you the kind of guy that believes that art you don’t like is not art at all?”

    Nope, sorry to disappoint your typical, condescending, art school hipster, 2001 fan cliche. But hey, just throw whatever at the wall until it sticks, who cares right?

    “Whether or not these philosophical ideas are meaningful, or substantive, like I said, that’s in the eye of the beholder.”

    No. And this from the guy who just said I should try to separate the objective from the subjective. Presenting an event is no, in itself, philosphically meaningful or substantive. WHAT you say about that event and its implications for the human condition would be. But I’m beating a dead horse on this one. You don’t get – willfully or otherwise – the difference between an event and a philosophical idea. In about 10 minutes I’m going to go a nearby deli to grab some of their chipotle BBQ meatballs for lunch. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s mine.

    “The irony here is that you want me to accept your personal definition of “idea” which somehow involves adding “meaningful”, but you won’t play nice with the definition I use which is from the friggin dictionary.”

    No, I’m not playing nice when someone deliberately tries to equivocate the clear meaning of a set of terms as I am using it in order to red herring the whole discussion, and then have the audacity to whine “You are rephrasing what I said in a way that CHANGES what I said.” If you want to obstinately equivocate what I’m saying so that you can pat yourself on the back for winning points on a technicality, you’re welcome to try, except that every time you do so I STILL tie my use back into your dictionary definition. The fact that you’re resorting to such tactics instead of actually discussing 2001 only demonstrates the weakness of your argument.

    “I didn’t say it was superficial. I said it was simple.”

    The way you’re using it, it means the same thing.

    “like all great works of art should do, rather than hand over its meanings to its audiences in a beer hat straw, and I’m not saying you require that but some do”

    Now this IS a false dilemma. In my teaching, we use a style called “inquiry-based learning” where you don’t answer questions for children, but rather furnish them with sufficient information to answer questions you pose to them, with the aim of having them figure out their own answer to their question. Some institutions totally misunderstand how inquiry-based learning works, and think that if they just present a problem or experiment with no explanation, no context, no interpretation and no questions, that leaves room to “ponder” and arrive at some sort of conclusion.
    What you are presenting is something akin to the misunderstanding of inquiry-based learning. The response to being beaten over the head with spoonfed moralism is not to go to the other extreme and present no ideas whatsoever (and no, for fucksake, making aliens responsible for human evolution in your movie is not a PHILOSOPHICAL idea). What an effective artist (or educator) does is supply people with enough information, ideas, interpretation and questions to provoke them to derive their own conclusions. An ineffective one will either tell people what to think or tell them nothing at all in the vague hope that they sorta’ figure things out on their own. When Kubrick goes “yeah, evolution, think about it” my response is “think WHAT about it?” to which you reply “you’re looking at this serious philosophical movie too deeply! It’s really simple! Evolution, that’s the idea. Evolution.” EVOLUTION IS NOT AN IDEA, IT IS A NATURAL PROCESS. EVOLUTION IS A THING THAT HAPPENS. IT IS NO MORE AN IDEA THAN THE WEATHER IS AN IDEA.

  • Yezzir!

    “No, you evidently don’t. Aspergers?”

    All I have to do to know the meaning of the words you use is to look it up.

    “No. That’s like calling evolution a belief system.”

    The additional concept of extraterrestrial life influencing human growth is the philosophical idea. It posits that our growth occurred by the help of an outside force, not through our own power.

    “derp derp, it doesn’t have to SAY anything even though technically it is according to the dictionary but I’m just equivocating on what you mean when you say ‘say’ and even then it doesn’t have to say anything philosophical because that would just be handing you answers but it’s not saying nothing it’s just simple philosophy which isn’t actually philosophy just a description of events but even a description of events can be a philosophy because I don’t even understand the implications of the dictionary definitions I’m quoting.”

    This is just a bunch of blah blah that I never said.

    “Nope, sorry to disappoint your typical, condescending, art school hipster, 2001 fan cliche. ”

    Yes you are. You’re the kind of guy that thinks because you don’t like a piece of art, it isn’t art at all.

    “Whether or not these philosophical ideas are meaningful, or substantive, like I said, that’s in the eye of the beholder.”

    “No. And this from the guy who just said I should try to separate the objective from the subjective. Presenting an event is no, in itself, philosphically meaningful or substantive. ”

    See, that is your opinion. MEANINGFUL is the key word there. I just said that a philosophy being MEANINGFUL is subjective. The fact that it is philosophical is not, at least not according to the defined meaning of the world philosophical. But hey, maybe you have your own pet definition you pooped out one day that you are operating with. I know you like to do that.

    “No, I’m not playing nice when someone deliberately tries to equivocate the clear meaning of a set of terms as I am using it in order to red herring the whole discussion”

    You said something that was clearly wrong. I pointed it out. You denied that an event in a film can be an idea. That’s wrong. That wrong belief leads you deny that the events in 2001 are the ideas of the filmmakers.

    “and then have the audacity to whine “You are rephrasing what I said in a way that CHANGES what I said.” If you want to obstinately equivocate what I’m saying so that you can pat yourself on the back for winning points on a technicality”

    You use the word “technicality” to cover up the fact that you don’t know the meaning of the words you use and therefore MISUSE them and expect other people to read your mind to see what hell your pet definition of the word is.

    If you say the film has NO ideas, you are wrong. If you say they have no meaningful ideas, that’s just your opinion.

    “The fact that you’re resorting to such tactics instead of actually discussing 2001 only demonstrates the weakness of your argument.”

    LOL, this is some “I’m rubber, you’re glue” stuff.

    “The way you’re using it, it means the same thing.”

    In context, the way I am using it is in contrast to complex. Simple is an antonym to complex.

    “Now this IS a false dilemma. In my teaching, we use a style called “inquiry-based learning” where you don’t answer questions for children, but rather furnish them with sufficient information to answer questions you pose to them”

    Like I said, if someone believes the film provides too little information to make it’s ideas clear, I am fine with that as a critique. Do you remember me saying that?

    “EVOLUTION IS NOT AN IDEA, IT IS A NATURAL PROCESS. EVOLUTION IS A THING THAT HAPPENS. IT IS NO MORE AN IDEA THAN THE WEATHER IS AN IDEA.”

    The idea is not in whether evolution is real or not, but in the process by which evolution happens. Some people believe God inspires evolution. Some believe that happens with no God. Some people make movies where they pose the idea – through events in a movie – that extraterrestrials spark our evolution.

  • Cory Gross

    “All I have to do to know the meaning of the words you use is to look it up.”

    Except that how I’m using them is in the definition you quote, as I point out every time you do it. You’re just choosing to equivocate on it.

    “The additional concept of extraterrestrial life influencing human growth is the philosophical idea.”

    That’s not a philosophical idea. It’s a scientific question. Either it happened or it did not. What it would MEAN for the human condition if we were created by aliens would be a philosophical problem, but it’s never explored in 2001.

    “Yes you are. You’re the kind of guy that thinks because you don’t like a piece of art, it isn’t art at all.”

    LoL, if you say so.

    “See, that is your opinion.”

    No. Presenting an event is not in itself philosophically meaningful or substantive. It is just a thing that happened. Your interpretation of the meaning and implications of that event would be philosophical. I don’t know why you’re having such a problem grasping such a simple concept, since you claim to love simplicity so much. I hope, I really genuinely hope, that you’re just being deliberately obteuse.

  • Yezzir!

    “That’s not a philosophical idea. It’s a scientific question. Either it happened or it did not. ”

    It is a theory that the film provides. One of the definitions of a theory is an abstract thought, speculation, an unproved assumption. A philosophical idea is an idea containing a theory regarding a sphere of activity, in this case human evolution. (Don’t start with the all-caps again. Not the theory that evolution is real or not…) A theory that neither God or human intellect has sparked our evolution, but was externally influenced by extraterrestrial life. The same philosophical idea is expressed in Prometheus. I liked both films, by the way.

    “What it would MEAN for the human condition if we were created by aliens would be a philosophical problem, but it’s never explored in 2001.”

    Why do you keep saying CREATED? The implications of the philosophical idea concerning evolution in the film is presented in the film that the universe is not something to be fearful of as a threat filled with monsters, but that the universe is a place that we can embrace as a platform for our growth to new beginnings. This was not a concept often explored in 1968 science fiction films.

    “No. Presenting an event is not in itself philosophically meaningful or substantive. It is just a thing that happened. ”

    Presenting an event is the way a filmmaker carries through his philosophical ideas in a film, because that is what a film is, a series of events. Presenting the monolith life sparking the ape’s evolution as an event in the film is THE WAY Kubrick presents the philosophical idea that aliens could have been the originators of our evolutionary growth.

  • Cory Gross

    “It is a theory that the film provides. One of the definitions of a theory is an abstract thought, speculation, an unproved assumption.”

    A theory about an event. Not a philosophical idea.

    “A theory that NEITHER God or human intellect has sparked our evolution, but was externally influenced by extraterrestrial life. This same philosophical idea is expressed in Prometheus.”

    A) Whether or not aliens created humanity is not a philosophical idea;
    B) Whether or not aliens created humanity is not the “philosophical” idea expressed in Prometheus. Prometheus actually presents an idea of the nature of the universe and humanity within it. 2001, by your own admission, does not.

    “Why do you keep saying CREATED? In the film, humans are guided, not created.”

    I never said that 2001 presents the event of creation ex nihilo. You can call it whatever you want, the aliens in 2001 are responsible for the creation of humanity.
    “This idea of a benevolent force in outer space was not a concept often explored in 1968 science fiction films, especially not in the WAY Kubrick presents them.”

    *sigh* Yeah, I already proved you wrong in your idea of what Sci-Fi before 2001 was like. Personally, I don’t think its entirely incidental that the notion of a nihilistic, deromanticized space that is a cold, empty realm hostile to humanity came into film AFTER 2001. Movies like Alien are what happens when you mix the nihilistic Horror of Night of the Living Dead (also released in 1968) with the deromanticized space of 2001. Prior to those two films, both Horror and Sci-Fi were rich with the Romantic vision of life. Afterwards not so much.

    “Presenting the monolith life sparking the ape’s evolution as an event in the film is THE WAY Kubrick presents the philosophical idea that aliens could have been the originators of our evolutionary growth.”

    That’s not a philosophical idea.

    “That would tie up all nice and sweet.”

    At least it would be something.

  • Yezzir!

    “A theory about an event. Not a philosophical idea.”

    A theory regarding a sphere of activity or thought is a philosophy. An idea that aliens guide our evolution is therefore a philosophical idea because it deals with a theory regarding the sphere of activity concerning human evolution.

    “B) Whether or not aliens created humanity is not the “philosophical” idea expressed in Prometheus.”

    It might not be the only philosophical idea, but is A philosophical idea presented in the film.

    “I never said that 2001 presents the event of creation ex nihilo. You can call it whatever you want, the aliens in 2001 are responsible for the creation of humanity.”

    I guess it depends on whether you see the apes in the film as part of the human race, and therefore humanity.

    “*sigh* Yeah, I already proved you wrong in your idea of what Sci-Fi before 2001 was like.”

    No you haven’t. You presented a few films that have ideas of their own. However, Sci-Fi before 2001 was OVERWHELMINGLY populated with B-movie cliches about monsters and killer space ships. Don’t get me wrong, I love those films. Even This Island Earth was about a perceived alien threat. Same with The Day The Earth Stood Still. I love all that stuff. But I also know how 2001 influence science fiction to provide other ways of thinking about the universe.

    “Personally, I don’t think its entirely incidental that the notion of a nihilistic, deromanticized space that is a cold, empty realm hostile to humanity came into film AFTER 2001.”

    While I do see a REALISTIC view of space in 2001, I don’t see space characterized as nihilistic, or de-romanticised in it. Clearly Kubric is in awe of outer space, but I don’t think he presents a negative view of it. I actually see a very hopeful message in it rather than a message that space is senseless or useless.

    “That’s not a philosophical idea.”

    I disagree obviously.

    “”That would tie up all nice and sweet.”

    At least it would be something.”

    And yet a reviewer of some influence and insight like Pauline Kael disliked the movie but was able to arrive at the same conclusion without needing the dialog. Interesting..

  • Cory Gross

    “A theory regarding a sphere of activity or thought is a philosophy. An idea that aliens guide our evolution is therefore a philosophical idea because it deals with a theory regarding the sphere of activity concerning human evolution.”

    I’m sorry, you are mistaken. The definition of philosophy is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” Positing a pseudo-scientific hypothesis about the event of human evolution is not a study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence. You applaud 2001 for NOT being a study of those ideas (because that would be moralizing in a tidy package or something like that).

    “It might not be the only philosophical idea, but is A philosophical idea presented in the film.”

    As you can see from the definition of philosophy, describing the event of humanity being created by aliens is not in itself a philosophy.

    “No you haven’t. You presented a few films that have ideas of their own. ”

    At least I presented SOME, which is more than you did with your blanket assertions. As it stands, you are still wrong, for reasons I already outlined a day or two ago. I realize that slandering old movies because they’re old is some key part of your argument on behalf of 2001, but it is simply mistaken. You’re totally misrepresenting This Island Earth and The Day the Earth Stood Still. I guess they were too complex for you…. Should have had more staring at nothing for hours.

    “While I do see a REALISTIC view of space in 2001, I don’t see space characterized as nihilistic, or de-romanticised in it.”

    Putting ballet music over a fucking dead-boring scene of a spaceship docking does not make it Romantic. This would require a more involved discussion of what Romanticism is, and I can’t imagine that you’re at all prepared for it, but here is a thumbnail sketch courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica: “Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.” In film it expresses itself in intensely personal moral and spiritual dilemmas, with the metaphysical cosmos (in Horror) and physical cosmos (in Sci-Fi) as a reflective backdrop for meaningful, charismatic human drama. 2001 subverts this by being unimaginative, impersonal, unemotional, unimpassioned, uncharismatic and dull as dishwater. As Matt observed, the only character to speak of in 2001 is HAL, the computer. The effect of 2001 is a de-romanticized space through which an impersonal abstraction of conscious apes sleepwalk their way from one dead planet to the next. It is functionally nihilistic, regardless of how much the slit-screen effects make you trip balls.

    A possible close comparison to 2001 can actually be found in How the West Was Won, the epic Western about the settlement of the American frontier from 1962 (which is exactly 1 minute longer than 2001’s original theatrical cut, and as Matt pointed out, if Kubrick could cut 20 minutes off of it for the wide release, why not more?!?). Like 2001, How the West Was Won charts human progress across time and generations. Unlike 2001, the film is extremely personal, emotional, conflicted, familial, and mythologized, set against a breathtaking natural vista. It is Romantic. Whether or not one agrees with its portrayals, it nonetheless shows human progress as an act of passion and romance and adventure, with nature as the backdrop of (and therefore reflection of) emotional, moral, and spiritual drama. 2001 is… not…

    In fact, I can dig up dozens of quotes where Kubrick talks about how the universe is meaningless: “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent…” or “If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility…” or “The destruction of this planet would have no significance on a cosmic scale…” and so on. He goes on in each of those quotes to make the argument that humanity can create its own meaning when it accepts this nihilistic vision of life. He only gets partway in 2001, demonstrating our meaninglessness but offering nothing in return. How can he? Contrary to his assertions (which is now getting into the realm of theology), you cannot derive meaning from meaninglessness. Nothing comes of nothing. The fact that 2001 is philosophically meaningless is a direct reflection of his belief that life is meaningless. It is the direct antithesis of Romanticism, which sees life as beautifully, incredibly, astonishingly, almost unbearably and frighteningly meaningful.

  • Yezzir!

    “I’m sorry, you are mistaken. The definition of philosophy is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”

    Don’t be sorry, because I am not. What you provided is only *a* definition. Look it up: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/philosophy

    b : a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought (the philosophy of war) in this case, (the philosophy of the origins of human evolution)

    Here is another one:

    a : the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group

    “At least I presented SOME, which is more than you did with your blanket assertions. As it stands, you are still wrong, for reasons I already outlined a day or two ago.”

    Do you really want me to list the ENTIRE catalog of B-films that fit my description?

    ” I realize that slandering old movies because they’re old is some key part of your argument on behalf of 2001, but it is simply mistaken. ”

    I never slandered them. I said I liked them, in fact I love them. HOWEVER, they present a view of outerspace that was very different from 2001.

    “You’re totally misrepresenting This Island Earth and The Day the Earth Stood Still. I guess they were too complex for you…. Should have had more staring at nothing for hours.”

    Both films involved a threat of extinction or harm from outer space.

    “Putting ballet music over a fucking dead-boring scene of a spaceship docking does not make it Romantic. This would require a more involved discussion of what Romanticism is”

    Nice try. You didn’t characterize 2001 as not being in the Romantic movement (capital R). You described it as unromanticized. You think you are so clever don’t you?

    Here is the definition of romantic: a : marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/romantic

    Unromanticized does not mean, not being of the era and style of the Romantic period.

    “2001 subverts this by being unimaginative, impersonal, unemotional, unimpassioned, uncharismatic and dull as dishwater.”

    You thought it was boring, but that does not show that it presents a nihilistic view of outerspace. In fact the opposite: it shows space as contenting a world of possibility for our growth, a completely worthy natural thing.

    “Whether or not one agrees with its portrayals, it nonetheless shows human progress as an act of passion and romance and adventure, with nature as the backdrop of (and therefore reflection of) emotional, moral, and sp iritual drama. 2001 is… not…”

    I see the romantic (notice no capital R) qualities in 2001 as being an imaginative representation of space as never seen before and that it does have an “imaginative appeal to what is adventurous, remote, and mysterious.”

    “In fact, I can dig up dozens of quotes where Kubrick talks about how the universe is meaningless: “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent…” ”

    Excuse me, but indifferent and meaningless ARE NOT THE SAME THING. LOL

    “If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility…”

    And yet, he does not present SPACE has having no use, or being worthless in and of itself.

    or “The destruction of this planet would have no significance on a cosmic scale…”

    Again, not a statement of space as being worthless or meaningless.

    “demonstrating our meaninglessness but offering nothing in return.”

    OUR meaninglessness or that of space itself. He doesn’t think the universe itself is meaningless, but in comparison to our own place in the universe, it appears so. What he offers in return is space as a platform for GROWTH into something more than the infantile species we are in comparison its majesty.

  • Cory Gross

    “What you provided is only *a* definition.”

    And of course you prefer the less precisely worded definition that still doesn’t say what you think it says (b: human evolution is not a sphere of activity or thought, it was an event based in natural laws; a: evolution is not a belief). I’ll stick with Oxford, thanks.

    “Do you really want me to list the ENTIRE catalog of B-films that fit my description?”

    Some examples that aren’t grossly misrepresented would be nice.

    “Both films involved a threat of extinction or harm from outer space.”

    *blink*

    That’s all you got out of them?

    Really?

    No wonder you like more simple-minded films. I thought I was being facetious when I said that they were too complex for you.

    “Nice try. You didn’t characterize 2001 as not being in the Romantic movement (capital R). You described it as unromanticized. You think you are so clever don’t you?”

    My cleverness is an established fact, thank you. As for the definition of “romantic” let’s consult the dictionary, shall we? According to Oxford:

    romantic
    adjective
    1 conducive to or characterized by the expression of love
    – (of a person) readily demonstrating feelings of love
    – relating to love, especially in a sentimental or idealized way
    2 of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality
    3 (usually Romantic) relating to or denoting the movement of romanticism

    noun
    1a person with romantic beliefs or attitudes
    2 (usually Romantic) a writer or artist of the Romantic movement

    Just so we’re clear and you don’t try to equivocate on me again, I didn’t mean the adjectival definition 1. I meant adjectival 2 and 3 and noun 1a (noun 2 is a more specific, contextual version of 1a).You have been educated on how I have used the term, supported by the dictionary. You are welcome.

    “You thought it was boring, but that does not show that it presents a nihilistic view of outerspace.”

    No, three paragraphs of argument explained how it is nihilistic. I just threw “boring” in there for kicks.

    “Excuse me, but indifferent and meaningless ARE NOT THE SAME THING. LOL”

    You’re excused. They are related terms.

    “He doesn’t think the universe itself is meaningless, but in comparison to our own place in the universe, it appears so.”

    Yes he does. He has a variation of his quote about our planet’s destruction: “The destruction of this universe would have no significance on a cosmic scale.”

    For the rest you’re just saying “nuh uh” when I provided a sound argument. “Nuh uh” is an inconsequential attempt at rebuttal.

  • Yezzir!

    “And of course you prefer the less precisely worded definition that still doesn’t say what you think it says (b: human evolution is not a sphere of activity or thought, it was an event based in natural laws; a: evolution is not a belief). I’ll stick with Oxford, thanks.”

    I actually don’t have to go to the Oxford dictionary to see your definition. Websters INCLUDES the same definition you provided. However, it provides other definitions too, and multiple definitions depend on context, which is provided in the definition.

    Additional definitions do not cancel out other definitions or rephrase them. They provide usage of the word in multiple contexts.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/philosophy

    2001 is not the the the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence itself. It’s not a college class. But it does contain philosophical ideas.

    “Some examples that aren’t grossly misrepresented would be nice.”

    I didn’t misrepresent those examples, and I actually think they work perfectly.

    “That’s all you got out of them?

    Really?”

    No, I didn’t say that’s ALL they are about. It’s prominent however.

    “Just so we’re clear and you don’t try to equivocate on me again, I didn’t mean the adjectival definition 1. I meant adjectival 2 and 3 and noun 1a (noun 2 is a more specific, contextual version of 1a).You have been educated on how I have used the term, supported by the dictionary. You are welcome.”

    If that is how you mean it, that’s fine. However, it doesn’t mean that Kubrick provides an unromantic view of space in terms of

    a : marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized

    Which is how I mean it.

    “”Excuse me, but indifferent and meaningless ARE NOT THE SAME THING. LOL”

    You’re excused. They are related terms.”

    Meaningless is without meaning. Indifferent is without sympathy or interest. Considering SPACE, Kubric’s film is neither.

    “Yes he does. He has a variation of his quote about our planet’s destruction: “The destruction of this universe would have no significance on a cosmic scale.””

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/5737.Stanley_Kubrick

    “The destruction of the PLANET would have no significance on a cosmic scale.”

    Kubric’s nihilistic view of MAN is well established. His awe and love of the universe and of SPACE is evident in a very non-nihilistic view of it.

  • “I actually don’t have to go to the Oxford dictionary to see your definition. Websters INCLUDES the same definition you provided. However, it provides other definitions too, and multiple definitions depend on context, which is provided in the definition.”

    Ah, a tacit admission of equivocation. So you farm around dictionaries looking for the definition that best suits how you want to change the meaning of the term that other people are using in the context they are using it.

    “2001 is not the the the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence itself. It’s not a college class. ”

    It doesn’t have to be. Hell, Plan Nine From Outer Space has philosophical ideas in it. So does Frankenstein. Asking for an examination of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence from a movie is not asking for much. A movie doesn’t have to have that either, but if it doesn’t, don’t go around pretending that it does.

    “”(b: human evolution is not a sphere of activity or thought, it was an event based in natural laws; a: evolution is not a belief). ”

    Neither of which I have said. The the idea that aliens sparked and guide human evolution is a theory about the sphere of activity called human evolution, therefore a philosophical idea.”

    I love this… you say that you never said that human evolution was a sphere of activity, and then you go on to say exactly that. Just so you’re, human evolution is no more a “sphere of activity” than gravity or thermodynamics or magnetism are a “sphere of activity.”

    “I didn’t misrepresent those examples, and I actually think they work perfectly.”

    Then you are mistaken.

    “No, I didn’t say that’s ALL they are about. It’s prominent however. And the relevant point is that is how 2001 deviated from the sci-fi of its day. ”

    Oh, I don’t dispute that. What I disputed is this idea that 2001 presents all these lofty ideals in opposition to old Sci-Fi that presented space as this threatening place. I can see now that you’ve pulled back from that assertion after I swatted it down and are now satisfying yourself with 2001 causing from vague, unspecific deviance. I could actually get more specific for you, as I did: 2001 deviates from previous Sci-Fi by providing a nihilistic, de-romanticized vision of space.

    “Which is how I mean it.”

    Another tacit admission of equivocation. To be clear: I don’t care how you meant it or any other word you’ve redefined on my behalf. I was the one who brought the term into the discussion.

    “Meaningless is without meaning. Indifferent is without sympathy or interest. Considering SPACE, Kubric’s film is neither.”

    Sure it is. Space is cruelly unsympathetic in 2001. The middle act is a battle of survival between the crew and HAL, of which all but one dies. That mirrors the violent struggle of survival of the apes in “Dawn of Man.” The environments in 2001 are harsh and unsuited to organic life, be it the deserts of a dead earth or the cold emptiness of space. Even what Dave sees when he starts tripping out and ascending planes of stellar consciousness are all dead, lifeless worlds. 2001 presents an extremely bleak view of the universe and life in it. Meaninglessness pervades 2001’s purposeless, re-romanticized space, accented all the more by our prime motivation being reduced to the violent struggle of survival. One might say this or that about stellar consciousness being an escape from that cycle, but we don’t know anything about it because Kubrick can’t be bothered to say anything about it. It would not surprise me in the least if, just after the screen goes to black and the credits roll, a giant cosmic space fish eats the Space Baby. Cosmic indifference is related to cosmic meaninglessness, in that a “vast, cool and unsympathetic” universe necessarily is devoid of meaning, which is WHY it is vast, cool and unsympathetic.

    “”The destruction of the PLANET would have no significance on a cosmic scale.””

    I said it was a variation. That variation IS ON THE PAGE YOU JUST LINKED.

    FYI, the two have virtually the same meaning. What Kubrick is expressing is the ultimate insignificance of life-bearing regions. The universe is just scaled up from the planet, and just as meaningless. It doesn’t become more meaningful just because it’s bigger in size. His view is nihilistic through and through, and his quotes and films demonstrate the futility of his belief that humanity can create its own meaning once it owns its meaninglessness. He can’t even create a meaningful MOVIE, let alone a meaningful life.

  • LKD

    I was somewhat intrigued that when doing this review you didn’t look at some of the animated series for how a Superman story can be done now and not loose the traditional superman feel. The example of Superman vs The Elite is a great story regarding how an all powerful man can be gritty and not lose the essence of the 1978 take or compromise on his principles.

    I really would recommend the animated series over the latest movie if you want to see Superman handled properly. The animated Justice league from a few years ago as well handled the group as a cohesive entity that I doubt will ever be realized in a movie.

    A shame. There were a lot of great stories and meaningful dialog.

  • Yezzir!

    “Ah, a tacit admission of equivocation. So you farm around dictionaries looking for the definition that best suits how you want to change the meaning of the term that other people are using in the context they are using it. ”

    The dictionary is there to provide meaning to words. Meaning depends on context, which is why there are multiple definitions of one word.

    Example: Blue. Someone says “The character in the movie is feeling blue.” If someone has a hard time understanding how a person can feel like a color, they go to the dictionary and see that in context, blue can also mean a feeling of melancholy.

    Definitions depend on context. This is why I wholeheartedly concede the point that 2001 is not romantic in the sense of: “marked by expressions of love or affection “, but I believe it is romantic in the sense of: “marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized ”

    “human evolution is no more a “sphere of activity” than gravity or thermodynamics or magnetism are a “sphere of activity.”

    The term “sphere of activity” is purposely general. Human evolution is a sphere of human activity.

    “2001 deviates from previous Sci-Fi by providing a nihilistic, de-romanticized vision of space.”

    It deviates by providing a realistic view of space, certainly, but also it deviates by providing an alternate view of extraterrestrial life as being a threat to humans, which in the three examples you gave, plus Plan 9, is a prominent theme.

    Many involve the intended destruction of man, while the alien life in 2001 intends to help them.

    “Even what Dave sees when he starts tripping out and ascending planes of stellar consciousness are all dead, lifeless worlds.”

    This is an interesting interpretation, but I didn’t see them as dead or filled with life. The film doesn’t say either way because Kubrick isn’t concerned with that.

    “One might say this or that about stellar consciousness being an escape from that cycle, but we don’t know anything about it because Kubrick can’t be bothered to say anything about it.”

    I like the way you think here. I have a different interpretation, but I like how you put the tone of the previous sequence together with the Jupiter/Infinite sequence to arrive at a conclusion that the stellar consciousness is an escape of some kind. I also interpret the stellar sequence as a kind of escape, but more in the sense of escaping a kind of lull in evolution. The previous scenes in 1999 linger slowly on amazing advancements that the characters in the film seem even bored with.

    This suggests to me that humans had become so advanced that they don’t look at their own advancement with wonder. It seems that they take it for granted. While 1968 audiences could look in wonder at the realism of special effects Kubrick achieved and themselves be in awe of these scenes (many were), the characters are kinda so-so whatever about them. This suggests to me that the monolith has been waiting for the perfect time to jumpstart the next phase by placing the monolith on the moon at a time when human advancement isn’t leading to any other kind of growth but technical.

    They got to the moon, but space is much bigger than the moon (in the 60s moon-talk was the thing. Moon this moon that, JFK got people talking).

    Kubrick’s use of slow pacing and amazing special effects suggest to me that humans have made it to the moon, but that there is a sense of humanity taking their advancement for granted and the monolith is there, at that time, to spark the next advancement.

    One might also say that the child at the end is an archetype. Children representing innocence, new possibilities, lack of cynicism, and wonder (something that the humans in the 1999 sequence lack in their non-challant attitudes. This to me, comparing the tone of the 1999 sequence with this archetype, that Kubrick is presenting a hopeful view of man’s place in the universe as being a hopeful and encouraging viewpoint of space as a platform for growth in our evolution.
    I don’t see that viewpoint as expressed in dialog though. In fact Kubrick actually planned 2001 with a voice-over narrative, explaining the concepts, but abandoned it. Non-verbal art usually requires audience participating in interpreting visual clues.
    Some people, like you, that there is not enough information presented in 2001 to arrive an interpretation. I disagree. Taking your example of the ham sandwich and the Marx philosophy.
    Let’s say a filmmaker wanted to communicate that a man eating a ham sandwich represents the fall of capitalism in 20th century Russia. He has a few options. He could use dialog to literally explain that, or take a risk and use *only* imagery, like a painter or a sculptor who is not able to be present at every viewing to explain a painting.
    He could use the image of a pig and associate it in EVERY scene involving a capitalist in Russia. Repeating that motif, until at the end of the film the way he edits the film, the Russian worker can be watching a TV show featuring a Russian worker in close up, slicing up some ham, while staring at the image of the capitalist, then closeups of him chewing forcefully on the ham sandwich. We get a sense of a devouring of the capitalist society by communist revolution.
    Somebody could interpret these signs that the ham sandwich represents the impending fall of capitalism in Russia, and another viewer could just say, naw that’s just somebody eating a sandwich. I guess interpretation of art is in the eye of the beholder.

  • “Meaning depends on context”

    No shit! You’re kidding me.

    I bet the irony of you saying that is totally lost on you.

    “The term “sphere of activity” is purposely general.”

    Yes, I know you have purposely chosen a vague definition to suit your purposes. You are still wrong, however. Evolution is not a human activity.

    “It deviates by providing a realistic view of space, certainly, but also it deviates by providing an alternate view of extraterrestrial life as being a threat to humans, which in the three examples you gave, plus Plan 9, is a prominent theme.”

    If you intend to keep completely ignoring how I corrected you about old Sci-Fi, I guess there is no further point in me talking about it. You’re wrong, that’s all there is to it.

    “I like the way you think here. I have a different interpretation”

    I don’t think it because, as I said, Kubrick gives us shit all to go on with this scene. All he does is flash pretty colours on the screen. There is nothing TO interpret.

    “I also interpret the stellar sequence as a kind of escape, but more in the sense of escaping a kind of lull in evolution. The previous scenes in 1999 linger slowly on amazing advancements that the characters in the film seem even bored with.”

    Except that even “To Infinity and Beyond” is turgidly dull, with a a character (I use the term loosely) who has even less facial expression in that scene than he did when he was a mere mortal. Attempting to show realms of consciousness beyond normal human expression wouldn’t have been so bad if the actors in the film had actually been directed to express anything before then.

    “Kubrick’s use of slow pacing and amazing special effects suggest to me that humans have made it to the moon, but that there is a sense of humanity taking their advancement for granted and the monolith is there, at that time, to spark the next advancement.”

    Or the pacing and effects are gratuitous and masturbatory. Who knows why they’re there? You don’t. I don’t. I don’t even think Kubrick knows.

    ” We get a sense of a devouring of the capitalist society by communist revolution. Somebody could interpret these signs that the ham sandwich represents the impending fall of capitalism in Russia, and another viewer could just say, naw that’s just somebody eating a sandwich. I guess interpretation of art is in the eye of the beholder.”

    Only if it’s done badly. If a work of art is left so intentionally vague that it can be made to say anything at all, then you have no right to turn around and say that it’s super deep and meaningful, because it isn’t. Meaning anything to anyone is necessarily broad, featureless and shallow, producing thoughts that are equally broad, featureless and shallow. This goes back to what I was saying about inquiry-based learning. There is no functional difference between being able to get anything from a work of art and having it mean nothing. It’s just a Rorschach test.

    Worthwhile works of art say something. Maybe you agree with what they say, maybe you don’t, that’s your prerogative Maybe they say more than one thing. Maybe they say things the artist didn’t even consciously intend. You seem to have developed this faulty notion that a movie either has to say nothing (like 2001) or beat you over the head with moralistic messages (which you don’t even get anyways, as per your total misunderstanding of pre-Sixties Sci-Fi). A good movie will make you work for the meaning and dig through the layers of interpretation. I previously brought up The Lone Ranger and how it can look like just a bunch of stupid shooting if you don’t have a good understanding of the Western genre, The Lone Ranger character and the general history of Western settlement. If you do have those things, the movie reveals itself as being surprisingly intelligent. That’s because there is a THERE there. Shakespeare has lasted as long as he has because he applies such incredible talent to communicating what he wants to say about love, ambition, revenge, and the human condition. But if you say that Hamlet is about the glories of war, you’re wrong.

    If there was any one thing I would say about 2001, it would be that the film is a testament how you cannot create meaningful works of art if you have a meaningless worldview. It is ultimate materialism: reveling in its own purposeless technical excesses. It’s “ideas,” as you have so willingly proven, are purely superficial… They are plot points without any underlying philosophical depth, and you’ve been suckered into thinking that simply describing an event is philosophy. You applaud its superficiality and “simplicity.” It’s a perfect demonstration of the intellectual vacuousness of Modernity… All style without substance, lapped up by people like yourself who think that style IS substance.

  • Yezzir!

    “I bet the irony of you saying that is totally lost on you.”

    The difference between you and me is that I actually provide the definitions I use that are actually from the dictionary, rather than adopting personal views of words. I have no problem with someone revealing the meaning of their statements by referring to dictionary definitions, but you purposely obfuscate by refusing to do that.

    I do have a problem with someone adopting some personally formulated one to suit their own needs, especially when the person has, from the beginning approached the conversation as a debate that must be “won.”

    The definition of “idea” is very simple. It’s not “meaningful idea” (you don’t define words with themselves). So I will always contend the opinion that the film contains NO ideas at all.

    “Yes, I know you have purposely chosen a vague definition to suit your purposes. You are still wrong, however. Evolution is not a human activity.”

    Something like how you chose a word that does not have a formal definition like “masturbatory” and then purposefully withhold your personal definition of it? How’s that for irony?

    Evolution is “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: growth” the word “process” is a key word there.

    Process (n)

    something going on : proceeding

    Activity (n)

    : natural or normal FUNCTION: as

    a : a PROCESS (as digestion) that an organism carries on or participates in by virtue of being alive

    Being an ongoing process, I can therefore deduce that evolution is a therefore also an activity. So, being that human evolution is an activity (or process), within a certain sphere of existence, as distinct from the sphere of the evolution of a remote galaxy, I can deduce that the concept of aliens guiding human evolution is theory ABOUT human evolution, and therefore philosophical idea.

    “If you intend to keep completely ignoring how I corrected you about old Sci-Fi, I guess there is no further point in me talking about it. You’re wrong, that’s all there is to it.”

    You keep thinking that.

    “I don’t think it because, as I said, Kubrick gives us shit all to go on with this scene. All he does is flash pretty colours on the screen. There is nothing TO interpret.”

    Yet you interpreted the scene as an escape from nihilist space. And, you didn’t need dialog to do it.

    “Except that even “To Infinity and Beyond” is turgidly dull,”

    Ok, fair enough. Different viewpoint on the aesthetics.

    “Only if it’s done badly. If a work of art is left so intentionally vague”

    That’s another viewpoint. I don’t think it’s more vague than if he included the voiceover, but not TOO vague to interpret.

    “You seem to have developed this faulty notion that a movie either has to say nothing (like 2001)”

    I don’t think it does say nothing. It says enough for me to gather cues to interpret, like a painting or a sculpture.

    “A good movie will make you work for the meaning and dig through the layers of interpretation.”

    Which I believe 2001 does beautifully.

    ” I previously brought up The Lone Ranger and how it can look like just a bunch of stupid shooting if you don’t have a good understanding of the Western genre, The Lone Ranger character and the general history of Western settle ment. If you do have those things, the movie reveals itself as being surprisingly intelligent. ”

    I agree. I never said the films you brought up, The Man Who Stood Still, for example were unintelligent. In fact THAT film was one of my first sci-fi experiences and I was riveted as a child. However, while that film was influential in its own right, also 2001 influenced yet another generation of science fiction both in its themes about space, that deviated from aliens threatening humans.

    It doesn’t mean 2001 invented science fiction itself or isn’t itself built naturally upon other films.

    “If there was any one thing I would say about 2001, it would be that the film is a testament how you cannot create meaningful works of art if you have a meaningless worldview.”

    Even if you believe 2001 is nihilist, nihilism itself is a meaningful concept because it introduces a concept that something might be meaningless, especially if other people think it is meaningful. Nihilism is not a meaningless philosophy in itself, it just deals with the concept of meaninglessness in life.

    “It’s “ideas,” as you have so willingly proven, are purely superficial… ”

    And as I have continually said, whether you think the ideas are superficial or without meaning, is totally fine by me. However, I would still dispute the idea that the film is without ideas at all.

  • I was going to write yet another rebuttal, but it’s not worth it. Your head is stuck so far up your own ass that it’s starting to create a singularity from which I may never escape if I don’t get out now.

    One of my biggest pet peeves when trying to discuss philosophy or art or any other substantive subject is people who are so ignorant that I have to waste my time educating them on terminology. You are seriously so dense that you need me to quote you the fucking DICTIONARY. And even when I do you just stare blankly and chew your cud.

    So here you go. You’ve frustrated me so much that I give up. You get that technical win you wanted so much, I guess.

  • Yezzir!

    “So here you go. You’ve frustrated me so much that I give up. You get that technical win you wanted so much, I guess.”

    Bye bye, Cory. You have a good day.

  • Now I Get It

    “…the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence…”

    I know that the OED’s authority is magisterial and all, but this part of the definition is wrong, not least because “reality” and “existence” are synonyms. It should read, in order of their dependence, “…the study of the fundamental nature of existence, knowledge, and values….”

    If values aren’t part of the definition, then ethics, politics, and aesthetics, all essential products and processes of human life, can no longer be part of philosophy, in which case there’d be no point in knowing anything about existence.

  • AlcaldeEste

    They review movies. They don’t review comic books or animated TV shows or computer games; the show is about movies, not superheroes per se.
    It should therefore come as no surprise that they don’t spend time talking extensively about stuff that is not movie related – except VCR repair of course.

  • LKD

    The point is not why they don’t do a review of these cartoon movies, it’s that they didn’t research them for use in discussing the topic.

    It’s a huge loss in my opinion since there is a lot of good writing and story telling in the animation version that could have been used in the movie review to contrast how it’s been done recently and successfully and how the live action movie failed.

    Much in the same way you can really appreciate how badly Lucas wrote the SW prequels by looking at Genndy Tartakovsky’s cartoon shorts with no plot to speak of.

    The point is that I feel this is decent material for putting the movie’s review into context showing that it’s not impossible to make Superman successful for modern audiences and comic book fans.

  • Wombat

    But some (or I should say most) adults don’t care for cartoons, even if they’re really well done. To them, cartoons are for kids.

  • Mike Jakermen

    Really i know a lot of adults who still watch cartoons. Its mostly adults who watch shows like Futurama, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. Hell these shows are not even made for children.

  • Guest

    I was pretty surprised how much I liked Superman vs The Elite, especially since I personally didn’t care for previous DC animated movies though. Like you said, it does stick closer to the original Superman and the whole thing is kind of satire of the darker, grittier “heroes” you see in comics since the 90’s (When the comic it’s based on was made I believe) and their popularity compared to Superman’s less edgy ways.

    It’s kind of ironic how said satire can be applied to the new direction they’re trying to take the character in now. It’s proof though that you don’t need to make superhero junk grimdark to make it appealing, even today.

  • RMCarpenter

    “How the Hell do you make Wonder Woman ‘dark, brooding, gritty, serious’?” Easy, Jay, you just base her on the Frank Miller version: An insane uber-feminist with a hatred of all men and a reliance on a constant stream of threats and insults to sound cool. I cannot believe that DC is basing their cinematic universe on the ravings of Frank Miller. Man of Steel 2 is going to be orgasmic eruption of misogynistic insanity.

  • Mike Jakermen

    Also The Green Lantern Movie should have been easy to do. I mean they are basically Cops in Space or the Super-Hero version of Star Wars. And yet most of that movie takes place on earth with the worst of GL villein?

  • lol

    The reason they’re trying to make Superman realistic is so that they can merge with Batman for a Justice League movie.

  • Alex Lee

    And not really doing anything with Sinestro in that movie=massive fail.

  • Alex Lee

    …It’s just that Superman Returns botched up the old movies, including their tone, so I can understand why executives don’t want to touch anything like the old movies.

  • Michael Totin

    Most of what can be said here has. But I’ll add my poke anyway.
    Mike, if you’re so worried about a 7 year olds perspective on Superman, there are easy ways to find “that” Superman, as mentioned earlier. Look to the animated movies, animated series, or possibly even the comic books. I haven’t read them but I assume that one might provide what you’re looking for. Action Comics and Superman are both current strips starring Superman. I’d recommend staying away from the Justice League as that features a grittier Superman which you seem to not be open to.
    When I was 7 I was a fan of the original films and even the original TV series. If they had existed when I was 7, I imagine I wouldn’t have had any interest in Lois & Clark or Smallville, as they were both teen dramas aimed at an “older” audience.

  • Max Wylde

    Admittedly, I might like that Wonder Woman.

  • Alex Lee

    I think in regards to Mike and Jay, they don’t have animation experience, so they don’t have that educated experience that they do with live-action film. As a result, they wouldn’t be able to comment on the technical aspects to give that deep analysis that we expect out of their reviews.

  • Martín Galarza Flores

    Let’s just hope that Snyder’s version of Wonder Woman in Batman vs Superman is not what is described here.

  • RichEvansFan#1

    Let’s hope it IS!

  • Cameron Vale

    Still, I have to believe that Superman is more than just a name you slap on things to increase their sales. And I would personally recommend that most people avoid the Justice League (although the sheer absurdity of it is occasionally entertaining).

  • Daniel Ashe

    I just feel like you guys give a huge pass to Marvel for whatever reason. You say that Superman and Batman are too different but give a pass Black Widow, who is basically a chick with pistols team with a Norse god. I for one was glad they didn’t go the cheesy route like Superman 4. I couldn’t get past Avengers having a massive alien invasion where no one died and most of the city was fine. Especially when half of the Avengers team, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Captain America, are completely worthless during the last fight.

  • Pissernacht

    I genuinely can’t understand what you’re saying.

  • Hale

    It’s a little four lettered word called TONE.

    From the get-go, the marvel movies generally had a more adventurous and fantastical tone than the grittier and darker DC movies. A bunch of larger-than-life characters with crazy backgrounds works better in a story that isn’t trying to present itself as a more realistic depiction of those characters.

  • Pissernacht

    A though has struck me…

    The Avengers was so hotly anticipated mostly because of the, to put it bluntly, blue-balling over multiple films.

    They can’t really do that for the Justice League without starting EVERYTHING over again, including Batman.

    What I was wondering is, could they do what that Justice League cartoon did and basically do a cold start? Just come out of the gate with all the characters running, guns (so to speak) ablaze?

    That would be a ballsy move on its own merits, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to worry about giving every hero equal facetime…just tailor the story how you want it straight away and, if it does well, future Justice League films could focus on different characters.

  • Laurent Ulysse Bergeron

    Did you even watch the movie? Loads of people died. They didn’t die on camera, but in the news reel at the end people are calling it a horrible tragedy and we see footage of people building memorials.

    And do you know why the city was mostly undamaged? Because their main goal was keeping the aliens focused on them and to save people’s lives. There was tones of scenes of them talking about how they were going to steer the aliens away from the citizens and move the citizens away from the aliens. Those three that you called useless, they were evacuating people and protecting them from the aliens. Whereas MoS ended with everything being pretty much hunky-dory, the Avengers’ last shot was of the city and Stark tower still damaged, but rebuilding.

  • Alex Lee

    Honestly, I can’t really see how a Wonder Woman (spinoff) movie would actually work because of how horribly confused Feminism itself is. Is Wonder Woman still admirable because she can punch as well as other superheroes or is she only projecting masculine values because she uses violence as a first resort just like the male superheroes? Is her skimpy outfit a symbol of her control over her sexuality or is it just male pandering? Is she just another mask for rich white feminists who obviously don’t represent all women?

    I think Wonder Woman suffers from Lara Croft syndrome, where a feminist can take issue with her because of her design and choice of clothing. Never mind that they’re strong, assertive women who don’t need assistance from men and

    sometimes save men themselves. No, they must be sexist because they wear skimpy clothes and exaggerated sexual features.

    But I don’t think she’ll get that much characterization in Batman v. Superman. There’s just too many characters stuffed into that movie and the focus is just kind of stuck on the two more important characters and the antagonist.

  • Alex Lee

    “Green Lantern is a manic depressive.”

    Hmmm, Kyle Raynor is now a Vincent Van Gogh-type, who becomes a Green Lantern after cutting off his ear, and learns the value of life while smashing Sinestro into the ground with a energy sledgehammer.

  • Cassidy Fitzgerald Liston

    no i’m just kidding it’s CRAP

  • mikeohare

    You guys should watch “Escape from the planet of the apes” (1971). Just about every single shot in that movie contains an awkward shadow.

  • RaptorRex888

    pfft hahaha

  • Joe Syxpac

    You beat me to it.

    Mike has his finger on the pulse of bad.

  • jaymanxyz2

    Poor Wonder Woman. Even she has to fall to this kind of crap.

  • I wonder if Superman would play a bad guy in this one, well, at least at the start.

  • The majority of what can be said here has. Yet I’ll include my jab at any rate.

    Mike, in case you’re so stressed over a 7 year olds viewpoint on Superman – http://ranklikes.com/

  • Cynical Optimist

    Might as well have hired Uwe Boll.

  • RockyDmoney

    In the comics they basically turned Wonder Woman into a Klingon

  • rodstar1019

    Superman repairing The Great Wall Of China with eye beams. Hilarious! I forgot all about that.

  • yonderTheGreat

    I know a good support group for victims of though-stuckedness…

    Call me!

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