Monday, November 30, 2015

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: the film of the decade?

The 1989 Tim Burton BATMAN was tagged with the blurb THE FILM OF THE DECADE.

And certainly, there was a must-see factor due to its trailer showcasing the stunt casting of Jack Nicholson (in his only superhero outing to date) as The Joker.

But there wasn't the enormous burden of artistic/financial expectations as there are for Zack Snyder's BATMAN V SUPERMAN.

Warner Brothers and DC have managed to devalue the DC Comics brand on-screen for more than twenty years--starting with the decision to dropkick Burton after the blend of genuine subversiveness (the Penguin and Catwoman scenes) and going-through-motions that was BATMAN RETURNS; the studio chose to hand off to the more pliant Joel Schumacher (it should be noted that parents weren't complaining about disturbing content the way they did during the original release of BATMAN RETURNS) for two films that tried to fuse 90s camp (nipples on the Batsuit) with the more obvious burlesque humor of the 60s Adam West/Burt Ward ABC series.

There's no need to discuss at length Bryan Singer's heartfelt but too leisurely attempt to provide a coda to the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve era of SUPERMAN. 

But it's still a mystery to me why WB/DC decided to double down on Zack "punch through three layers of concrete" Snyder (who admittedly made a mostly effective film of WATCHMEN) after he too gave the world an uneven SUPERMAN reboot with a way-overdone climax.  And Snyder/WB/DC tripled down on retaining Henry Cavill as Superman (during the making of B V S, the Guy Ritchie MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. co-starring Cavill underperformed due in part to young audience unfamiliarity with the old TV series that birthed it).

Some people I follow on Twitter are beginning to salivate over BATMAN V SUPERMAN--perhaps in hopes the "adult comic book" ethos and fresh-for-the-time feel of the Burton BATMAN duo will again be realized (within the limits of the PG-13 rating as it's now enforced).

Maybe the miracle will happen.  But I'm not so sure we'll see a franchise rejuvenation like, say, the good-but-not-great CREED or the so-far-wonderful trailers/clips for JJ Abrams' STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

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