For Part 1, click here.
Almost three years ago, the world was blessed/cursed (decide for yourself) with Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman franchise: Man of Steel. Man of Steel proved to be… Uh… Let’s succumb to massive understatement and say it was divisive. Some people (myself included) really liked it. Others think it was the worst thing to happen to the character since The Quest for Peace, a movie so atrocious it single-handedly crippled Christopher Reeve’s career.
Despite the mixed reaction, Man of Steel made enough money to get a sequel greenlit, which was originally announced as being another Superman movie, but was eventually revealed during Comic-Con as being both a Batman and Superman movie. This was huge news. Even people who have never entered a comic book store can tell you the basic plot points of Superman and Batman’s origin stories. Shit, even people in North Korea can tell you that the two characters were both created by Kim il-Sung as satires of Western imperialism so subtle that our backwards capitalist lizard-brains have yet to notice them as being anything other than cool characters who dress funny. This movie was going to make BANK, regardless of whether it was actually good or not. And now, in 2016, here we are, almost one month after the movie’s release. And boy, was it ever…. Well, it was something.
Now, I’ve seen Batman v Superman: World’s Finest (See Warner Bros.? That’s a GOOD title. And not much sillier than Dawn of Justice, either!) multiple times, and I’ve given myself some time to process my feelings on the film. I know that everybody who didn’t love the movie is kinda sick about hearing about it at this point, but oh well.
SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT
Last week, likely in response to Marvel’s announcement of the plot details to Captain America 3, Warner Bros. decided to go one further by announcing all of the movies planned for the DC Cinematic universe up to the year 2020, along with some casting details and a couple director announcements. So, was this really a hasty, impulsive announcement that doesn’t really bode well for DC’s ongoing rivalry with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, or is this a genius publicity move by WB that will get people to forget all about the MCU?
Definitely the former. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested though. So, after getting through the last of my TV reviews until this week’s Legend of Korra episode, I decided to take a quick look at the movie announcements, with each movie accompanied by a short blurb. Let’s do this!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 25, 2016
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay by: Chris Terrio (Argo)
Story by: David S. Goyer
Cast: Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), Ben Affleck (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman/Diana Prince) Amy Adams (Lois Lane) Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) Diane Lane (Martha Kent) Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth) Holly Hunter (U.S. Senator) Tao Okamoto (Mercy Graves)
Cameos: Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) Ray Fisher (Cyborg/Victor Stone)
This is the movie that we currently have the most information on, as it’s currently the only movie that’s in production. Really, there isn’t much more to say about it. I still liked Man of Steel more than most and think that the returning cast from that movie could do a great job, I still have faith that Ben Affleck can pull Batman off (Even more so now that the photos of him in the batsuit have been released), and Jesse Eisenberg is still kinda iffy for me. I guess this is where you pull the Heath Ledger card on me, because “You don’t now if he’s gonna be great until you see him.” That’s true enough, I suppose. I guess we’ll just wait and see.
Also, high fucking time that Wonder Woman appears on the big screen. We had a damn Steel movie with Shaquille O’Neal and no Wonder Woman? Bullshit.
Release date: August 5, 2016
Directed by: David Ayer
Screenplay by: Justin Marks
This…. This announcement really threw me off.
I just don’t get it. There was no solo Batman or Superman movie announced, and yet, a Suicide Squad movie?
The only possible reason that I can imagine why this was green-lit is that Warner Bros. saw Marvel and Disney make all the money because of Guardians of the Galaxy and thought “Hey, we can make a movie starring charming criminals who become reluctant heroes!!! Let’s do that!”
Regardless, I’m still pretty pumped about the movie, although I’m kinda pissed off that it doesn’t look like Harley Quinn’s gonna be in it as, morbid sexual attraction aside, I think she’s a great character. But hey, Deadshot’s gonna be there, and even if he’s got a bunch of nobodies behind him, they’re in negotiations to bring in an A-list cast of Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie (Who, just saying, would be a great Harley Quinn). Also, David Ayer is a pretty highly regarded director, having helmed movies like Fury and End of Watch. I dunno, it’s bizarre, but it could pay off.
To be continued…
(This is a continuation of this post.)
In my ongoing search for the most overall successful superhero franchise, I have already laid out the franchises vying for the title. Now, I will rank them from worst to first in five categories. I promise not to do a Part 3, not only because I already do it way too much, but also because that is lazy as hell. Oh, and by the way, SPOILER ALERT!!!!!
(This is defined by the average critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes for a film from the franchise)
(Also, I did not include The Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel or Kick-Ass, since I decided that having franchises with only one released movie skewed the rankings.)
- The Dark Knight-89%
- Marvel Cinematic Universe -80%
- Fantastic Four-32%
- Ghost Rider-22%
So, what have we learned?
Mainly that a) Critics love Christopher Nolan as long as Zack Snyder stays the hell away. B) It’s easy to have one or two bad movies drag your score down (X-Men, Superman and Batman) and c) Nicolas Cage is pretty much persona non grata as a leading man in any movie he so much as glances at.
(Ditto, but with the Rotten Tomatoes Audience ratings.)
- The Dark Knight-91%
- Marvel Cinematic Universe-79%
- Fantastic Four-53%
- Ghost Rider-43%
So, what have we learned?
A) There is nothing redeemably good about Ghost Rider or Fantastic Four and B) My system is broken if Blade can finish above Soider-Man, but eh, fuck it. We learn from our mistakes, right?
PROFITS PER MOVIE
(You don’t really need an explanation for this, do you? (I didn’t include profits for The Wolverine, because it’s too soon to say for sure).
- The Dark Knight-$624, 939, 468
- Marvel Cinematic Universe-$544,283,685
- Fantastic Four-$389, 627, 482$
- Blade-$251, 098, 928
- Batman- $228, 226, 886
- X-Men-$213, 019, 524
- Ghost Rider- $97, 151, 160
- Hellboy- $54, 353,525
What have we learned?
Mainly that box offices are the place where mediocre movies can shine and where good movies can suck.
- The Dark Knight
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Fantastic Four
- Ghost Rider
(These were calculated by adding points for each standing in each category. 1st Place=10 Points, 2nd Place= 9 Points and so on.)
- The Dark Knight-39 Points
- Marvel Cinematic Universe-31 Points
- Spider-Man-28 Points
- X-Men-26 Points
- Hellboy-22 Points
- Blade-20 Points
- Superman-15 Points
- Batman-14 Points
- Fantastic Four-14 Points
- Ghost Rider-6 Points
What have we learned?
First of, I’m pretty sure nobody was doubting that the Dark Knight trilogy would come in first.
Also, that I don’t know how to adjust movie profits for inflation, so maybe don’t take the “Profits” section too, too seriously.
Also, it can’t be stressed how much movies like Batman & Robin and Superman 4 dragged their respective franchises down. Without those two movies, what we’d have is a couple of solid move franchises.
Coming Soon on Please Kill the Messenger:
1. The confession of a My Chemical Romance fan.
2. A review of one of Guillermo del Toro’s best movies. (No, it’s not Pacific Rim, but I do need to see that.)