Veshark's forum posts

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#1 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

Zemo. Because his master plan didn't involve a jar of urine.

@lvenger@buttersdaman000

I'd argue that Civil War's depiction of Zemo was actually a relatively faithful portrayal of the comic-book character. I mean yeah, he didn't have the purple condom-mask, the mink furs, or the Nazi background - but the motivations for the character were fairly spot-on. Zemo in the comics has always hated Captain America for the hero's role in the death of his father. He's also always hated the Avengers by extension - look at the various Masters of Evil teams he's assembled over the years (most notably in Under Siege and the Thunderbolts team). In short, he blames the heroes for the death of family members, which is basically what MCU Zemo is all about. I think Bruhl's performance also succeeds because he made the character very sympathetic and human. One of comic-book Zemo's key traits is that he's not a complete monster - the dude even tried the hero gig at one point.

I think Zemo v. Luthor is actually a pretty good illustration of the DCEU's failings. It's the same with Superman or Batman (or anything Snyder has done) - the DCEU is great at nailing the superficial elements of these characters. Their iconic appearances, their powers. Where Snyder and co. always stumble is in the characterizations themselves. Look at Eisenberg's Luthor: he has the orange hair and the lab coat - just like the comics. He's a mad scientist and a businessman - just like the comics. They've got all the surface-level stuff down. But what we're never treated to all the compelling pathos that makes comic-book Luthor such a wonderful villain. Where's the deep-rooted inferiority complex and xenophobic contempt of Superman's godlike perfection? Where's his Machiavellian confidence that he's the smartest person in the room? The closest we got was the whole "devils come from the sky" speech, but that's it. I mean I'm all for alternative interpretations of supervillains, but I felt that the core of Luthor's character was missing, and he came across more as a plot device than a fully-rounded villain.

Compare that to Zemo where yes, he is a pretty big divergence from comic Zemo on the outside, but they still kept the roots of the character's motives. His hatred for Captain America and the Avengers over the loss of his family, and the fact that he's arguably the most human and empathetic of Cap's rogues. Honestly, I think Zemo might be one of the few MCU villain successes, along with Grant Ward, Kingpin, and Loki. Zemo didn't need any grand speeches to make him a great villain - all we needed was that final scene where he listens to the voicemail that his dead family left, and that alone makes him a far superior villain to Eisenberg's Luthor in my eyes.

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#2 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@petey_is_spidey: Movie's been out for four days, and while you did post "Spoiler" prior to the title, it's too easy to accidentally learn major spoilers from the title. A change would be appreciated for those who couldn't see it opening weekend.

To answer your q, I was surprised, but I wasn't emotional about it. It was pretty evident Clark would be back at some point.

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#3 Edited by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@frozen Yeah, I guess that does make more sense, particularly as Batman not killing the Joker becomes a major plot point in Part 3. I think Ellen Yindel also doesn't list homicide in her list of charges against Bats either. Anyway, it's a little telling that what's considered one of the darker comic incarnations of the character still displays more moral restraint than DCEU Batman.

@rabumalal Worth mentioning that in the most recent Civil War trailer, the casualties of several major conflicts in the MCU are listed (the Battle of New York, Operation Insight, the Battle in Sokovia...). Just because they're never explicitly shown on-screen doesn't mean that there were no civilian casualties. Anyway, making Batman a murderer doesn't make him more realistic, nor does the notion that human life shouldn't be valued. I mean, we are talking about superheroes here.

@nathaniel_christopher Snyder does a great job with the visuals, and Affleck certainly looks like Batman - even I can't deny there's immense entertainment value in watching this Batman thrash a room full of goons. But I guess the main point of contention for me is that this isn't meant to be an Elseworlds-type Batman where anything flies, this is meant to be the "mainstream" Bats of the DCEU. The hero that the entire Justice League franchise is (likely) going to revolve around. So having him start off as a bit of an unhinged killer doesn't really feel like the way to go. Again, maybe this opinion will change with future DCEU installments, but for now, I've lost a little faith.

Also, you and @scouterv need to stop tagging everyone with your quotes :P

@rubear I feel like I'm stating the obvious here, but you realize that not every Batman of every universe is on the same level. Drop DCEU Batman into the mainstream comics DCU, and his ass would be in Arkham in a week. Heck, current Prime Earth Batman could probably do it himself.

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#4 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@black_arrow Well that's the root of the problem then, Batman should be a hero.

@frozen Then again, Bale's Batman did leave Ra's to die...as for DKR, yeah, I've always found the scene with the machine-gun to be really ambiguous. I've always just assumed that it was a wounding shot. Anyway, it's just another symptom of Snyder and co. seemingly missing the larger point of the character in pursuit of cool visual gimmicks.

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#5 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@black_arrow Well like I said, I still maintain that that's very flimsy reasoning for Batman to decide to murder Superman. That's not justice, that's vengeance. Even if Superman's battle with Zod was indirectly responsible for the loss of his legs, Wallace Keefe (though yes, it's technically Luthor) is still in the wrong for blowing up a building full of innocent people, and Batman should recognize that two wrongs don't make a right. It's a little inane to suggest that Bruce should feel guilty for the actions of a murderer, or that he should hold Superman responsible for that. This Batman just doesn't seem to have a very solid moral compass.

@chimeroid He doesn't have to be a belligerent and gullible killer either.

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#6 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@chimeroid I don't believe Batman "snapped" and turned homicidal at any point. Even prior to the Capitol bombing, Batman was already using lethal force, most-notably in the Batmobile chase sequence (however indirectly). As for Lex driving him insane, that's really what I had an issue with. We're talking about the World's Greatest Detective here; for him to be manipulated so easily by Luthor seems like a poor characterization of Batman. A bombing with no conclusive findings and a few notes in red crayon shouldn't be enough to drive Batman to play judge, jury, and executioner with Superman's life. Batman, no matter how battle-worn and cynical, should never be portrayed as being so stupid and bloodthirsty.

@black_arrow I really don't think that's any stronger a justification. I'll need to check with a rewatch, but even if Batman was aware/believes that Wallace Keefe was responsible for the bombing, Bruce should realize that all the blame should fall on Keefe for...you know, blowing up a building full of people. For Batman to use this as an excuse to kill Superman is incredibly flimsy storytelling. And while Batman was pursuing the Kryptonite before, it always seemed to be more of a safeguard than a preemptive measure (again, might have to check with a second viewing). But the Capitol bombing was clearly portrayed as being the catalyst, as Batman fulfills Luthor's plan by tearing through LexCorp to get the K, and then basically draws up an entire arsenal to murder Superman. This incarnation of Batman is driven by so much rage and mistrust that I can't really even call him a hero.

Also, nice quote from Jay there.

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#7 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

I think one of the core problems of this movie (and its characterization of Bruce Wayne, by extension), is that it used Miller's DKR as one of its main inspirations. The thing that people always forget about DKR is that that story has always been "the bad ending". It's an alternate future where Superman is an ineffectual government stooge and Batman is a brutal criminal. It's a story that features our heroes at their worst, which is why they end up fighting, and it only works in the context of the dystopian future that Miller has created. But when you're trying to launch an entire cinematic universe; having your Batman - who will arguably be the central character of the Justice League - be a vicious sociopath probably isn't the way to go about it.

The way Affleck's Batman is so nonchalant about using lethal force is very depressing. Even when Bale's Batman committed manslaughter (Two-Face, Ra's, Ra's house, Talia etc...), it was never outright murder, and Bale's Bruce Wayne remains a noble and heroic figure. But to see Batman mow down faceless goons with machine-guns, and then set a dude on fire, and let's not forget he tried to straight-up execute Superman (And the whole branding thing is really stupid, imo)...add that to the fact that he does all this with such a careless attitude? That's not Batman, that's freakin' Frank Castle. To value human life has always been one of the tenets of the character, and the fact that we're even debating this point seems inane to me. I don't care that Bats used to kill in the Golden Age, what about the millions of other issues that spell out very clearly that Batman doesn't kill? And I realize that past movie incarnations of Batman have murdered, but come on, we're in 2016 - an era where like seven superhero films come out every year - so the fact that Snyder and co. thought they could get away with a murderous Batman in 2016 is unthinkable. And that apologists who call themselves Batman fans continue to defend this just blows my mind...the fact that we're even having this discussion blows my mind.

This is the problem with most of Zack Snyder's work in the DCEU so far - he's great at the visual aspects of the characters. Ben Affleck's Batman looks fantastic. He's huge, he's got the dashing good looks, the brick chin - and I love how they went with a grey fabric suit that looks like it was ripped off the comic panels. And that Arkham Predator-esque scene was undeniably a treat. Much like what Man of Steel did with Superman, we finally got a cinematic Batman who looks and fights like comic-book Batman. But where Snyder and co. fail so badly is their understanding of these characters. Their strive for intellectual pretension and "serious" philosophy is so overwhelming that they missed the whole point of Batman. If you want an analogy, it's this: If Nolan's TDK saga was Moore's Watchmen or Miller's TDKR, Batman v Superman is the string of horrible "edgy" comics of the 90s Dark Age, that confused "maturity" with "mature content".

Another thing that bothered me was how this Batman comes dangerously close to being portrayed as a dumb brute. Yes, we see him and Alfred build an arsenal of Kryptonite weaponry, but how does the World's Greatest Detective get played so easily? Are we to accept that after Luthor's bombing, Batman is so blinded by his hatred and need for vengeance that he automatically assumes Superman is guilty and basically forms a plan to assassinate him? That he never realizes he's manipulated to such an extent that he's basically inadvertently responsible for Superman's death in the end? Is this really the hero we want assembling the Justice League? I mean, did I miss something here? Look, I get that this is a "world-weary" Batman who has "seen some sh*t", but Bruce Wayne should never be written as being this bloodthirsty or dumb. And it bothered me that Batman never formulates any plan to stop Doomsday beyond stabbing him with the Kryptonite spear or machine-gunning him with the Batplane. This is Batman - he wins not through brute force, but through human intelligence and willpower. While Supes and Wonder Woman distract Doomsday by punching him, Batman should be the one coming up with a solution to win the fight.

This isn't a Batman I want to root for, or a Batman I consider a hero. People get caught up in the "badass" aspect of Batman, that they forget what makes Bruce Wayne so compelling is that he is a good man who used a tragedy to become a better person in the service of others. Batman doesn't go out every night because he's a damaged orphan who can't get over the death of his parents, he does so because he's a compassionate hero, who wants to make sure that no one ever experiences the tragedy he went through. Ben Affleck's Batman stumbles in the exact same way that Cavill's Superman does - there's so much potential there, but all the good stuff is just the superficial elements like the costume or the powers...deep down, the core morality of these characters are nonexistent. This movie's Batman isn't the Caped Crusader, or the World's Greatest Detective, or even the Dark Knight. He's basically Great Value Punisher-Lite.

Batman v Superman is a flawed movie with a lot of problems, but Ben Affleck's Batman is definitely one of the main issues that I had with it. I went into this film with high hopes, but honestly, BvS makes Man of Steel (which I actually enjoyed a fair bit) look like freakin' Citizen Kane. Maybe a rewatch or future DCEU movies will change my opinion, but for now, this movie really has me doubting in the state of DC's cinematic universe.

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#8 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm surprised but happy to learn that Legends has been renewed, especially after the rumors that its first season went over-budget. Apparently the ratings were enough to convince the powers-that-be.

I won't lie, Legends started off really strong, but it's clearly a show that's still struggling to find its footing. I really enjoyed the most recent episode (charming 1950s suburbia Twilight Zone-esque horror? Yes please), but the previous few episodes have been weak. Unlike Flash or Arrow (circa S2), Legends hasn't quite found its formula yet. I think the show works best when it maintains a fun adventurous tone, takes advantage of its period-setting-of-the-week, and makes all its characters feel useful. Think: DCAU Justice League in live-action form. This is the team book - I don't want relationship melodrama, I want kickass action that makes me feel like The Brave and the Bold came to life. Also, seriously, the ongoing "assassinate Savage" plotline is really not working.

I'm excited for S2 solely for the hope that the showrunners can fix and figure this show out. It has a lot of potential, but the S1 execution has been lacking. Do whatever: have a rotating cast of heroes a la The Defenders (the original comic, not the MCU Netflix miniseries), cast a more compelling villain, make better use of the vast DC Universe. I want to see our heroes fighting alongside Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank in 1940s Europe. Or with Anthro in the prehistoric era, or Kamandi in a dystopic future. I mean, I understand that there are budget limitations, and I cut this show a lot of slack because it really is the first of its kind. No one's ever done a live-action TV show of this scope with an ensemble cast before (AoS doesn't count). But I just think with a little more work, we could really have something special here.

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#9 Posted by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

@deathstroke52 Well you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but personally, I wasn't a fan. It was a decent attempt, particularly for its time, but between the chest-plate making Carter look like he had a beer gut, and the poorly-animated wings, I thought it was goofy. I do give it props for being more comic-accurate than the CW look, though.

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#10 Edited by Veshark (9458 posts) - - Show Bio

I've really got to get around to watching Argo. I remain a little apprehensive on whether BvS will deliver, but considering the amount of sheer acclaim Argo got, Terrio's presence does help mitigate some of my Goyer fears.

I think the fact that Terrio's not traditionally a writer associated with CBMs is an advantage in itself. In contrast to Whedon or even the Russos, I feel like his outsider's perspective will help establish a different kind of superhero universe - a DCEU that is distinct from the MCU. Overall, I think he'll prove a good fit - Terrior seems like a writer who's really interested in exploring the "modern mythology" aspect of the Justice League, and in the same vein as the Nolans, to produce a more intellectual and nuanced superhero film. And his shoutouts to Miller and Morrison hint that he's done his due diligence, and will stay largely faithful to the source material.

The suggestion that the JL movie will be lighter in tone also eases some of my DCEU fears - it can sometimes feel like the DCEU universe has been too gloomy thus far, and to have the heroes of the League unite and be inspiring/uplifting is all I'm looking for. From what Terrio said, it seems like it'll be the payoff: the tragedy of Man of Steel, the conflict of BvS, and then the eventual redemption in Justice League.

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