A Conversation for 24 Lies a Second: Misery Men

Thoughts go here - spoilers ahoy

Post 1


I only saw it last night, so to some extent I'm still processing it.

The main positive thing to say is: Affleck absolutely NAILED both characters (Wayne and Batman). I was less impressed with Irons' Alfred - it's strongly implied in the books that Alfred has a violent history. The impression given is of an ex-Special Forces operative who's moved into working close security for a billionaire in the guise of his butler, and now ends up looking after his son. Michael Caine conveyed this very well, in particular in "The Dark Knight" when he related a story: "A long time ago, I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government." Yeah, I'll bet you were Alfie.

I can see Michael Caine's Alfred as ex-SAS. I can especially see Sean Pertwee so, in "Gotham". But Jeremy Irons? Nah. That said, he was criminally underused even then. Nice that they did show him testing the voice-changing gadget, which helped to get us away from the only really bad thing about Nolan's movies, namely Bale's Batman voice.

And also on the positive side... well, it looks amazing, but all Zack Snyder movies do. But that's about all.

On the negative? It's too long, there are holes in the plot a mile wide, Lois picks up the idiot ball in the final act (Oh, I'll just throw this in a really deep pool here, no chance it'll be needed any time soon), and most criminally of all, the cynicism of it all.

By that, among other things, I mean the sheer clumsiness with which the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are introduced. It's like someone called from the studio and said "Hey Zack, we've shot, like, 60 seconds of test footage of each of the other Justice League dudes. We need you to put it in the movie." And Snyder went "But... I've got a story to tell here, a single minute of footage of each of three characters we don't see otherwise where they don't interact with anyone else in the movie... it won't make any sense." To which the studio replied "Dude - we've all seen Sucker Punch. It doesn't need to make sense, just put it in there." And he did. It's crude corporate franchise-setuppery, and it's hateful.

Also, I feel really sorry for the fight choreographer. The fight near the end where Bats is rescuing Martha looks like it was probably really good, bone-crunching stuff. Unfortunately, the choreography was entirely lost in the ridiculously dark setting and the too-fast cutting. Compare and contrast with the fight scenes in "The Raid" - THAT is how Batman should fight, and be seen to be fighting. Whoever choregraphed BvS was wasting his time - I couldn't see what he'd done.

It's not a bad movie, and I'm going to want to see the extended Bluray edition when it comes out. I'm probably going to want to see the other Justice League movies... as long as Snyder has nothing to do with any of them. Seriously, someone needs to tell Warner Bros. that Zack Snyder is not, never has been and never will be Joss Whedon. All that said - once I've seen the extended edition - that's it. I'll never watch it again. There are no bits of it that require or even bear rewatching. Contrast this with "The Dark Knight", which I think I could happily watch about once every two weeks for the rest of my life. Not that I'm going to... but I *could*. Once I've seen BvS in full, I won't feel the need to ever again. And that, ultimately, is where it fails - movies break box office records these days by being the kind of thing that makes you go "Man, that was fantastic - let's come see it again tomorrow!". I can't picture anyone saying that about BvS.

Thoughts go here - spoilers ahoy

Post 2


Interesting stat I heard this morning listening to the Mayo/Kermode podcast: this movie had a storming opening weekend, but one interesting record it has set is that it has recorded the largest drop-off in box office EVER between a movie's opening Friday and opening Sunday.

Which suggests that critics' views are irrelevant (because hordes of people went out to see it anyway) BUT its word-of-mouth is absolutely terrible (because many people who saw it those first two days hated it and told all their friends, who stayed away).

Given that this movie was cynically designed to be the kickstarter to a glorious five-year, nine-movie plan, I'm fascinated to see if they'll learn anything from it.

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