I’ll state the obvious. I love movies. All genres. Some more then others. I have my list of the best movies ever made and it’s not based on some academic list. For original screenplays I rate them differently then adaptions, that’s to say movies taken from books and other materials.
I am more critical of adaptions because now you are taking someone else’s work and essentially translating their work. You notice I didn’t say interpret? There is one fundamental difference from the two. If I translate, I do not alter the meaning or message. If I interpret, I inject my understanding of the content, or I would alter some content so that it has a different outcome. If you place an alternate ending, you better make sure it makes sense and it has a viable outcome. For example, if at the end of the book the main character dies and in the book it makes complete sense why he/she dies and then the screenwriter takes it and interprets the story so that the main character lives, that is a huge change and you better make the viewer understand that, and it better not be because you want to cash in on a sequel.
I also have loved when some movies have an alternate ending because some books I wanted the character to live or fall in love or anything else other then what happened. Now having said that, I also have a situation where a novel ended and I was basically shocked and emotional and I wanted it to end differently but after a moment I loved the ending because of how emotional I was about it. Let’s look at my favourite superhero of all time.
When the graphic novel “The Death of Superman” came out, I initially thought,
“What? Superman can’t die. How do you kill someone who can’t die?”
Years later I realized the writers were answering the question by looking at it with the realization, that everyone just took Superman for granted. If things got really dicey then he would just show up and fix it all. Well, life doesn’t work that way. Oh I know what you will say, but it’s just a comic book. Yes, I agree, but comic books have been addressing social issues for decades and the illustrations give us that escape by not taking it so seriously, but also forcing us to ask questions of ourselves and others.
The brilliant thing about Superman dieing is that now the human race has to find answers without a quick fix. We as human’s have a visual that makes our lives final and no way of turning back. A funeral. We look at a coffin and we know, whoever is in it has come to the end of their journey on earth. You have never heard someone say at a funeral,
“Oh don’t worry, they will be right back.”
So when I read the comic and saw him die, I actually thought,
“meh I’ll turn the page and he will open his eyes.”
Then I kept reading, and the finality of it starting sinking in. What really hit me was seeing the coffin.
Here was this black glossy coffin with the insignia of the House of El. It wasn’t blue and red, it was silver.
I spent weeks mourning Superman. I watched the original movie as many times as I could. Then I was so relieved, (that’s putting it mildly by the way) when they announced the Return of Superman.
Now let me bring it to the present day.
When the movie Man of Steel came out I was elated. I knew that DC Comics was going down the path of Superman’s death. If you haven’t read the graphic novel then you won’t appreciate the how intense that is. The movie addressed everything, so that someone who hasn’t read the comic would at least get what was happening. Let me make my point.
The original Superman movie with Christopher Reeve saw this man with incredible powers be welcomed with open arms, as if to say,
“Please help us, we are vulnerable.”
We were so lucky he was Kind and stood for Justice.
The Man of Steel is brilliant because it throws the story of Superman into the 21st century. The human race is questioning the existence of God or a powerful all knowing deity.
From the start of the movie Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman is not accepted by anyone. Not his people, not his peers and not by the human race. Think of it as the ultimate bullying. He was raised though with unconditional love. His birth parents sacrificed themselves so that he could live. His Earth parents shielded him and showed him human morals, strength does not come from using your strength, it comes from knowing you don’t always have to. This theme of not being accepted and ultimately having to place his trust in the human race first, is setting you up for story that’s to come.
Don’t pretend that you thought it was the only movie coming out. DC Comic fans demanded their beloved characters to be brought to the Silver Screen.
When Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice came out, I was so very pleased. I read the Dark Knight Returns and also saw the animated movie and it truly gave me chills. It revamped the Batman story in a way that it addressed the human question of our legacy versus our mortality. Batman is older and tired and questioning if his crusading was all worth it. Batman believes in justice at all costs. Criminals don’t deserve pity or empathy. Batman see’s this God-like man doing and saying things as he pleases and without recourse or having to answer for his actions. Batman is the defender of the little people. When you are reading the comic you think,
“How is Batman ever going to beat Superman?”
He makes kryptonite gloves and gives Superman the beating of his life.
There is a line in the comic where Batman says,
“Clark could use his super speed and squash me like a bug but he won’t because he is a good person, and I know I can beat him, because I’m not.”
This is such an ingenious way of asking the question,
“Is Man better then God?”
Only human’s have the desire to kill God. Humans have this need to destroy people with power. It’s because we fear them instead of respect them. People of power don’t want to destroy anyone or anything, they just want to be respected. This is the premise of The Dark Knight Returns and Batman the human vs Superman the God.
When the movie came out, critics were so brutal on the movie. They obviously never read the comics. They complained that there were too many subplots and character stories that weren’t addressed.
When a movie explains the story to death, I feel insulted. Just show me the story, don’t narrate it to me, it’s not a book. I think movie-goers have been conditioned to accept that comic book movies are to be explained because I figure everyone’s understanding is that comics are for kids. Well, they are wrong, comics were never for kids. Disney has ruined comic book movies for everyone because they think their audience is the maximum age of twelve.
The Marvel movies aren’t horrible, but they aren’t what the Marvel comics were. They question the human condition and social issues. Marvel let Disney pander to the infantile.
DC Comics ever since the Batman movies came out has questioned the psyche of the human mind. How do I overcome such impossible odds? Who am I? Is revenge, justice? Who is good and who is bad?
Batman vs Superman has multiple layers and it is supposed to. The acceptance issue from Man of Steel continues for Superman and now from the point of view of the human race, with all of their judgements and prejudices. Batman is human, Superman is not. People forget that because he looks like a man and doesn’t have tentacles or is omnipresent.
I have read so many times from movie-goers how some movies are flat and characters had no depth. The one thing I always see people put on their resume is that they are multi-taskers. Multi tasking is not just when you take on 3 or 4 tasks at the same time. It’s also understanding there are a multitude of stories happening at the same time. But are you patient and have the intellect to put them together without having your hand held or having it explained to you as if you are a five-year-old.
Superman vs Batman does not explain the character because it was made for the DC Comic fans. The movie is packed with comic book accuracies. It stays true to the story. Imagine Marvel killing off Captain America, after all he dies in the comics. Well so much for their money grabbing sequels. Just so no one thinks I’m hating on Marvel. I love the Captain America movies. They are certainly better then Iron Man. Though I think they dropped the ball big time in Age of Ultron.
Batman vs Superman is the most accurate comic book movie I have seen in a long time. I won’t dissect the movie for you and prove my point. I would please ask you to read the graphic novels and then watch the movies. Are they perfect? No not even close. Nothing beats the originals, but they aren’t supposed too. Nothing beats an original.
Critics are now out of step with the content they are reviewing. Many of them don’t take the genre into consideration. DC and Marvel are not supposed to rival The Godfather or Lawrence of Arabia or vice-versa. Different themes and messages. Stop justifying your review by saying comic book characters are not believable. THEY ARE NOT REAL!! It’s all a fantasy. A fantasy which helps us question our beliefs and morals.
If you couldn’t keep up with the story of Batman vs Superman then you couldn’t keep up with a debate on humanity. Humanity has subplots and is extremely multi-layered.
Finally, I would like to say, thank you Zach Snyder for not treating me like an idiot.
Superman just can’t catch a break.