The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Visual Genius

I keep hearing all the time that "at least Snyder is a visual genius" and, honestly, I don't even believe that. His movies are ugly to look at. Drab. Dark. He's addicted to blue gels on his camera lenses. They're repulsive to look at.

Darkness works wonders with a character like Batman, but Superman is supposed to be colorful. It creates contrast. Superman is the day to Batman's night. I don't even like Superman at all, and I feel I understand him better than Snyder does. Look at this, Superman fans, I am defending your hero from the damage Snyder has dealt him. This is what it has come to.

AMC's "Better Call Saul" has a cast and crew of creative geniuses. The best cinematography on television. A single episode has a tiny fraction of the budget that BvS has. Both seasons probably have only a small fraction of that budget. And yet, Snyder, the so-called visual genius couldn't come up with better shots than the average on "Saul".

These shots are amazing and I wouldn't mind having them on my wall. Snyder hasn't created any shot that comes close.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Zack Snyder Is a Piece of Shit

I just came home from "Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice", and I am going to open this up by saying that it was the most miserable movie going experience of my life. And I didn't expect it to be. I watched reviews, read reviews, I knew just about everything going into it. Well, most things. I felt like I had already seen it, so I figured that I could enjoy it as a bad movie and laugh at it's ineptitude. And while there were a handful of moments where I did exactly that, I was mostly denied.

The cast was mostly fine. Ben Affleck turned in a good performance in a movie that ended up failing him. Cavill, well, he's awful. I'd need to see more of Gal Gadot to formulate an opinion, because she didn't get to do anything of note... she didn't need to be in this movie. Jesse Eisenberg was the worst villain I've ever seen in a comic book movie... I don't know what the hell he was trying to do there, I think they may have been trying to replicate Heath Ledger's Joker but they failed miserably.

You remember the dark age of comic books? The 90's? When everything had to be darkness, death, destruction, carnage, and nihilism to show the world how "kewl", "mature", and "badass" comics were. Those comics were all terrible, they are a stain on the industry. Well, Zack Snyder took that era and made a movie out of it... though it felt less like a movie and more like three hours of a forty-year-old pretentious fanboy crashing his action figures against each other.

There is so much to say, it's almost all been said. I could drone on and on about Batman murdering people (but, if so, why is the Joker still alive?) Or Lex Luthor's jar of piss. The awful soundtrack. The fact that Superman kills someone on screen and a few scenes later says he didn't kill anybody. Um, were the editors watching the movie? There were no establishing shots, scenes just switched in a jumbled and confused manner. There was absolutely no reason for Wonder Woman to be there besides setting up her movie, and she didn't really do anything.

And it was boring. My god, it was boring. The movie just kept going and it refused to end.

But I'm going to mention something that I haven't seen get brought up. There's a character in it who survived the destruction of the Wayne Tower in Metropolis, but lost his legs in the process. The event is treated like September 11th. This man is treated like a 9/11 survivor. He visits a memorial for those lost before vandalizing a Superman statue in red paint with the words 'FALSE GOD' and immediately, he's arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat. Um, he vandalized a statue. If I go to the Lincoln Memorial and spray paint it with pro-Confederate bullshit I'm not getting charged with making a terrorist threat. He's later bailed out by Lex Luthor who turns him into a suicide bomber for an attack on the Capitol... and yes, this man does it willingly. Zack Snyder took a character he depicted as an expy of a September 11th survivor and turned him into a suicide bomber.

I don't know how it happened, I don't know how he did it; but it happened, he did it. Zack Snyder managed to prove himself to be worse than Michael Bay. It's amazing. It's tremendous. There are not enough adjectives in the world. Allow me to explain: Michael Bay is a juvenile sleaze that has no idea how to construct a story, flesh out characters, or direct action sequences that cohere. Michael Bay's audience consists of angry, young, horny white teenage boys looking for something to masturbate to. That's Bay's audience. Bay admits it. Bay wears it on his sleeve. Bay doesn't care. Zack Snyder, on the other hand, makes his movies for the exact same audience, but insists he is some artistic genius. Zack Snyder is a pretentious asshole, he's Michael Bay if Bay deluded himself into thinking he's Stanley Kubrick. But he's not. He's just some schmo. A deeply stupid schmo.

Snyder says that he is depicting these characters as they truly are. But if you thought Superman murdering Zod was bad, this Batman kills people. A lot of people. Dozens of people. He wields a gun, holds a man hostage with it, and then shoots the gas tank on a man’s flamethrower, killing him. I'm pretty sure that Batman's refusal to kill is one of the central aspects of his entire character. Because if it isn't, and he does kill then I ask again why is the Joker still alive in this universe?

Snyder must have caught some WB higher ups with their dicks in some kids. I'm 100% certain this is how he's still getting work. The fact that his next dream project is an adaptation of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" explains so much.

When "Man of Steel" came out, my response to it provoked some negative reactions. I was even accused of taking perverse pleasure at the thumping it was taking. I actually wasn't, but I am now. I do admit it. I love that this movie is being trashed. I love that the reviews are scathing. I love that in all likelihood, while it will have a strong opening weekend, word of mouth and terrible reviews are going to sink it. This movie is heading towards an under-performance that is sure to disappoint the suits at Warner Bros. Board members are likely having meetings as we speak, as they have a five year financial plan depending on a DC Cinematic Universe. Someone's head is going to roll. Who's? Considering all of the criticism centers on the fact that they put an incompetent charlatan in charge as their guiding hand, probably Snyder's.

The worst thing about this is that I do not want these movies to fail. Yes, I understand that my hatred of Superman is a matter of public record but I also believe that competition is a good thing. Good movies based on DC characters mean Marvel ups their game to make better movies, and then DC does the same. DC's movies are awful, meanwhile Marvel Studios is getting way too cocky for their own good.

Here's the thing though. I love Batman. And while I don't like Superman, and I'm indifferent to Wonder Woman... I recognize that these are three of the most iconic characters in the world. They mean a lot to many people. Those people deserve to have good movies about these icons. It might not be my thing, but their fans deserve to receive what I, as a Captain America fan, am currently getting. They deserve to receive what I, as a Gargoyles fanatic, could only dream of having.

As we left the theater, my brother and I overheard a woman who saw it with her husband say the following:

"That movie was choppy, dreadful, and pretentious! I don't even like superheroes and I felt bad for people that do!"

And that's how I feel. Superman fans, let me extend a hand of friendship to you and say that while I don't like your hero, you deserve better. I want you to have better. An icon deserves better. He doesn't deserve Zack Snyder. Nobody deserves Zack Snyder.

At the end of the day "Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice" is a deeply stupid and offensive movie made by a deeply stupid man.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Where I've Been

I have a new job that involves a lot of over time. Sadly it means less time is being devoted to this blog. But I'm not abandoning the blog all together, I will have some content coming up. Another retro-review is in the works, and I am timing the release of it to coincide with the premiere of "X-Men: Apocalypse"... and that's the only hint you get (admittedly, it's a pretty large hint).

So what are my thoughts and musings about recent pop culture?

1. I loved "Deadpool". I saw it opening weekend, haven't had the time to go see it again but I want to. It's definitely a must-buy for my Blu-ray collection.

2. Season eleven of "Supernatural" has been on fire. I'm not sure what happened, if there was a shake up behind-the-scenes, or what. But it's been the shot in the arm that this show has needed for years. It's easily the best season since the fifth.

3. Downton Abbey had a good ending, but not great. I'm not entirely sure what I expected, but not everybody should have gotten a happy ending. Things just seemed to work themselves out.

4. This year's Oscars were very boring. I didn't have a horse in the race. We all knew DiCaprio was going to get his pity Oscar so he wouldn't have to play a role where he literally kills himself to win. But he should have gotten one years ago for his role in "Django Unchained". Not for this. I'm glad "Mad Max: Fury Road" cleaned up at the technical awards. But the highlight of the evening was Morricone finally winning an Oscar... screw Leo, Morricone deserved one forty years ago.

5. "Better Call Saul" continues to be the best thing on television. Season two is, so far, everything I hoped for even when I didn't know exactly what I was hoping for. Some of TV's best acting, and definitely TV's best cinematography. This has to be the most talented team working on television, and everyone should be watching this.