Thoughts on Leto’s Joker

I was skeptical of the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker.
He didn’t look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

He didn’t sound like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

He didn’t act like Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

But once we saw him, it was clear that the way he looked, sounded and acted was awesome.

A lot of the most noticeable discussion around Jared Leto’s Joker, as revealed fully in the new Suicide Squad trailer yearerday, involves these comparisons, as do the inevitable defenses.

“Oh, you just don’t like it because it’s such a different take on The Joker from what Heath Ledger did.”

And that’s true.

Jared Leto’s Joker doesn’t look like Heath Ledger’s Joker.

He doesn’t sound like Heath Ledger’s Joker.

He doesn’t act like Heath Ledger’s Joker.

That’s ok. None of those comparisons are necessary.

Because Jared Leto’s Joker doesn’t look, sound or act in a way that I would describe as awesome.

The comparisons are irrelevant. 

What is relevant is the fact that his portrayal looks and sounds really stupid. 



Dawn of Justice trailer review: Revealing Superman’s true identity

The expression on Superman’s face at the beginning of the trailer for Dawn of Justice really sums up the tone:

“I don’t have time to explain to these stupid people how lucky they are that I’m clumsily destroying their city.

“But if you’re going to make me explain myself…” (sigh) “…I’ll humor you.”

(It doesn’t help that Henry Cavill plays this disdainful character perfectly.)

I’ll admit that this trailer made me more excited for the movie than I had been. The previous trailer looked as if Zack Snyder was just redoing Watchmen, only this time with more valuable intellectual properties. Almost entirely thanks to how great Ben Affleck appears to be playing Batman, I’m significantly more excited — but not without skepticism.

I hated Man of Steel. I thought it was a terrible movie that made no sense as a Superman movie.

“If you want to make that movie,” I thought to myself and said out loud to anyone who would listen, “why make a Superman movie?”

Snyder recently told Entertainment Weekly that the destruction in Man of Steel was always part of the point — that there would be consequences for what happened.

Barring anything short of leaked emails from screenwriting discussions before the production of Man of Steel, I would be willing to guarantee you Zack Snyder is lying.

And the main piece of evidence is the movie he made.

Half the city is laid waste, and what does Superman do? He stops to make out with Lois Lane.

There is absolutely zero acknowledgment of the consequences amid the damage. Absolutely none! Snyder has gone on to say that the “thesis of Superman” is “that you can’t just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences.”

Beyond the point that WHEN HAS THAT EVER BEEN THE THESIS OF SUPERMAN? (which supports the idea that Zack Snyder was not setting out to make a Superman movie, but an indulgent Zack Snyder movie using DC’s properties) that theme was not reflected in Man of Steel at all.

Snyder’s defenses betray an exasperation — “I don’t have time to explain to these stupid people how lucky they are that I’m making epic films for them.”

And I’m afraid that explains what we see in this trailer.

Given the fact that there is absolutely no evidence for Snyder’s claim in the film he made, his defenses come off as baseless rationalizations. He has to pretend this was what it was all about to begin with.

And now he’s made a movie to bring those rationalizations to life.

The theme of this trailer is clearly that Superman is a benevolent godlike creature who is here to save us in spite of ourselves. Whether it’s our rash and cruel judgment (Batman) or our cynical fear (Luthor) only we as humans can really deny ourselves the salvation we desire.

The symbolism reflecting Snyder’s disingenuous quest to legitimize his blockbuster blunder suffering under the knife of jealous critics and insecure fanboys is a little creepy.

I really hope I’m wrong about this. Visually, Dawn of Justice looks like it’s going to be exciting. And I am fully aware of the fact that you can’t judge a movie based on a selectively edited trailer.

CJzHAU5WgAAfa0mAnd I hope that’s the case! Because when you peel back the spectacle and step back and look at this, what do you have?

A contemptible Superman who offers audiences absolutely nothing to sympathize with.

A Batman who appears set up to be a rage-fueled madman hellbent on crippling Superman for no real reason.

Humanity, through the form of the masses and the politicians, who appear to desire nothing more than to be led.

Who wants to watch a movie like that?

I’m clearly skeptical, but also hopeful this might end up being halfway decent, so I showed my girlfriend the trailer to get her opinion. She liked Avengers and the Thor movies (largely because of Chris Hemsworth) but has no dog in the comic book movie fight. She never saw Man of Steel (which is a good thing, because the movie is terrible).

Her first words — “My jaw dropped.”

I was surprised — maybe this looks good after all! So I asked, “You’re excited to see it?”

She was, but for one reason — to see Batman kick Superman’s ass.

“It took me about half a second to be on Team Batman,” she said.

As cool as Batman looks here (He wears armor! He’s in an inexplicable fight in the desert!) there’s little about this trailer, through the apparent moralizing and positioning, that suggests Batman is going to win this fight.

It concerns me that Snyder and DC are so unaware of their completely unlikeable take on Superman that they’re setting up a downer of a movie.



Ma & Pa Kent: History’s Greatest Monsters

pa kent

So, if you’ve been online today, you probably know by now that the new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – – the most happy-go-lucky movie of all time – – has arrived, as Warner Bros and DC Comics unveiled it to attendees at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend.

If you haven’t been online today… how are you here?

Anyway, judging by the reaction, people are really excited for this movie, which is okay, I guess, though I personally think it looks like, well, it looks exactly like how I expected a sequel to Man of Steel would look.

In a word: Terrible.

But the most alarming thing to me, as a fan of comic books and storytelling IN GENERAL, is that Superman’s parents on earth are just absolute garbage people.

Remember, one of the key moments in the Man of Steel trailer saw a young Clark Kent asking his dad if he should’ve just let that school bus full of kids sink, if he should have just let all those kids drown, and Pa Kent replied, “Maybe.”

And, now, in this movie, we have a moment where he’s talking to Ma Kent, and she says, “You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.”

Compare that with ol’ May Parker’s monologue to Peter in Spider-Man 2:

“Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.”

I dunno, I think there’s something to be said for acknowledging and encouraging heroism in superHERO movies, especially when your only job as a character is to INSPIRE THE HERO TO BE GOOD.

Using Ma and Pa Kent to teach Superman not to trust humans is a very weird, very unnecessary decision on the part of the screenwriters. The Kents are supposed to tie him to humanity. No wonder the guy levels half of a city without so much as a second thought – – his parents are the worst.

Anyway, Jim Doom is going to pop in here soon with his thoughts on the trailer, so I don’t want to say much more. It is just a trailer, and things could be completely different by the time it hits screens, but I don’t hold out a lot of “S” for this movie.



BREAKING: Official First Look at FULL Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Cast

Crisis on Infinite Earths poster

The latest buzz online has been that Doomsday will be appearing in the upcoming block-cluster movie from Warner Bros, so I guess they decided to open it up and show us the rest of the cast, too.

It’s like the old saying goes: “More is more.”



I would watch “Avengers ’78” so many times

I see from YouTube that this was uploaded three years ago, but I have just discovered it through the power of social media.



Doom & Doomer: Avengers: Age of Ultron

SPOILER ALERT: THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THE MOVIE.

avengers age of ultron posterJIM DOOM: So I remember being in the parking lot outside the theater in Bellevue after seeing the Hulk, or Incredible Hulk — whichever one was part of Phase 1 — thinking, “This is going to build up to an Avengers movie someday, but that is so far away.”

And now not only did that happen — they’ve done it again.

So now that we’re at the conclusion of Phase 2, I’d like to ask you this question kind of in two ways — how are they doing in terms of the movies, as in, what are your top-level thoughts on Avengers 2, and how are they doing in terms of the long-form universe-building?

DOOM DELUISE: It’s interesting that you put it that way, and I want to get back to making a point about the phrasing of that question, but, to just go ahead and answer it, I think they’re doing a pretty great job on both fronts. When it tips too strongly toward ignoring the long-form storytelling (Iron Man 3), it’s obviously not a very good thing (though I personally loved that movie), but the same can be said for when it goes the other way (Iron Man 2).

But the Avengers movies are in a really weird, never-before-seen-in-movies spot, in that they have to blow off an entire “Phase” of movies, but they also have to lay the groundwork for not only the next “Phase,” but also the next chapter of Avengers movies themselves.

That’s not much of an answer. I think Avengers 2 struggles with this problem, and it probably is the number one strike it has against it, as I feel it sometimes spends too much time trying to shoehorn in stuff for what’s coming next.

That said, it still delivers a really great movie, and I loved it. (more…)



The Amazing Leaked E-mail

I just came across this on Twitter, from user @TylerHuckabee.

It’s a leaked e-mail from one producer at Sony to another, and it’s an incredible insight into what was going on behind-the-scenes at Sony while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was in development.

Date: 2013-11-07 17:08:49
From: nick.shore@[redacted]
To: amy_pascal@[redacted]

Subject: Spidey thought

Hey Amy – just a couple of rando thoughts from 35,000 LAX-JFK:

– A rising trend we see with Millennials are the really extreme forms of experiential exercise like Tough Mudder (a sort of filthy triathalon), the Color Run and even things like Hot Power Yoga, veganism etc. Millennials will often post “N.B.D.” on their social media after doing it , as in No Big Deal, also known as the “humble brag”…..wondering if Spidey could get into that in some way….he’s super athletic, bendy, strong, intense….and it’s all NBD to him, of course.

– EDM (electronic dance music) is the defining music for Millennials. Wondering if there’s an EDM angle somewhere with Spidey? His movements are beautiful, would be awesome with a killer DJ behind it

– Snapchat just launched a “story” functionality, which is sort of “day in the life of me” told in a series of snapchats that expire after 24 hours. It has a very VIP quality about it, since invitation only. Getting invited into Spidey’s Snapchat circle would be huge, and very buzzworthy and cool.

Very VIP.

This guy knows what he’s talking about. As my brother said when I showed him this, “He’s clearly read all of the reports.”



Have you seen the new Aquaman photo?

(null)



Rated ‘D’ for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2015

Welcome to my annual blog round-up discussion thing for all the upcoming superhero movies of the coming year!

This last year (2014, duh) was a pretty big one for superhero movies, with two of the top three grossing movies at the box office featuring men in tights battling the forces of evil.

Predictably, those were a couple of Marvel Studios products: Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy. And not only were they wildly successful money-wise, but they were also really cool movies, to boot!

Sure, they both ended with giant spaceships or helicarriers hovering in the skies above a couple of major cities, raining hellfire down upon the innocent people below, but only one of them threatened the entire world with destruction. The other just sort of threatened the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Now that’s what I call restraint! And I applaud Marvel for changing up the formula from time-to-time.

The only other big superhero movie from last year that managed to be a heck of a lot of fun was X-Men: Days of Future Past. Surprisingly, it’s not a Marvel Studios property (it’s one of two Marvel franchises still produced by 20th Century Fox – – the other one I’ll get to in a minute), yet it still managed the feat of not being bowling-shoe ugly.

As a matter of fact, now that it’s all said and done, I think it was my favorite of the three good superhero movies of 2014, though it’s a very close call.

Of course, before we move on, I would first like to point out that X-Men 7 was the only surprise of the year. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Transformers 4 were predictably terrible, though they somehow were even worse than I expected they’d be.

We haven’t written reviews of either of them on Doomkopf yet, but real quick, I’d like to make it absolutely, 100% clear: Those movies were two of the worst movies ever made, superhero or otherwise. I can’t simply mention them, say they were bad, and then magically move on. I need you to understand this: Those movies were offensively awful.

Hopefully nothing that bad will come out in 2015, right?

Now, you may remember at the end of last year that all the Marvel and DC properties in production were given release dates, so that their schedules are now meticulously plotted out until the year 2072.

Of course, those release dates are subject to change, I’m sure, as nobody really believes we’ll ever see a Cyborg movie, because obviously. And the way the Suicide Squad production has been moving, it might have to be pushed back (apparently, nobody wants to star in what will inevitably be a depressing, angsty piece of over-crowded trash – – who knew?).

But, for the most part, we have things mapped out. We will be getting about a dozen superhero movies per year, from now until the end of time. It’s the way things are now. It’s what we do.

The question, however, is whether or not they’ll be any good.

And that’s where I come in. Now, for your reading pleasure, a chilling vision of things to come: (more…)



Arrow: S1/E2

Somehow I missed in the first episode that Walter had an English accent. Did he have that in the first episode?

Something about the drama in episode 2 felt a little more over-the-top in a bad way, but I like the evolving relationship between Oliver and the tough-talking veteran bodyguard.

The scene with Oliver fighting the birds off his dad’s corpse was an important touch though. So far we’ve basically seem Oliver come back from five years on an island with incredibly advanced fighting skills; it’s good and meaningful to show those struggles because otherwise so far island time seems really awesome and I don’t think that’s useful to the framing of what Oliver went through.

I also loved the light touch of Oliver’s mom thinking Green Arrow is just going after rich people. The different interpretations of the still-new vigilante’s actions based on perspective are good depth while also a nice nod to Oliver’s politics from comics history.

Most improved character: Oliver’s sister. She’s still annoying but the backyard cemetery scene at least have some depth to her obnoxious rebellious teen persona.

Best (paraphrased) line: I don’t have this verbatim but Oliver’s quip about people thinking he got his MBA on the island was nice awareness of the absurdity.

Worst character as of this episode: Detective Dad. That guy is a joke and the weakest part of the snow.