Thoughts on Man of Steel and the leaked Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer UPDATE

Since it was out there already, Warner Bros has released the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer.  It wasn’t done as classily or as coolly as Marvel handled the unintended release of the first The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, though I guess in the end is all that matters is that they did the inevitable.

Men of Steel

I produced this image in Pixelmator, and it looking at it, it got me thinking about what bothered me so much about Man of Steel (the movie that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is a sequel to).

Which was, in a nutshell, that the film makers took a relatively simple and optimistic character and attempted to turn him into one that is dark, brooding and complex.  Such an approach works well with a character like Batman, not so much in the case of Superman, who’s prior to Man of Steel was all about optimism, often in the face of incredible odds.

Which was part of his charm.  He was a boy scout in a world that needed boy scouts.  He was the best of us that somehow never managed to rub his blatantly obvious superority in.

In fact, I suggest that in making him more complex they took away a lot of what made Superman, Superman.

Sure, they left the costume, and a lot of the superficial trappings that on the surface made the character who he is, but neglected the most important thing of all, namely the hopeful, almost innocent nature of the character.

Which brings me to the leaked version of the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (located here).  I have to admit that it’s better than I thought it would be, if only because it appears to be tackling head-on some of the issues that Man of Steel raised, such as who watches the watchmen, and who is a man with god-like powers truly answerable to–other than himself) and hopefully will do so without a lot of heavy-handed allusions to Jesus (like in Man of Steel, when Supes is falling from Zod’s ship, arms extended like, literally, Christ on the cross) and really twisted moralizing (there’s no way that Clark’s father would even suggest that he should have let a bus full of people die when he had a chance to stop it, just to keep his identity secret).

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Iron Man vs. Ultron

“I’m glad you asked that because I wanted to take this time to explain my evil plan.”

Brilliant writing.  It plays on the cliche of movie villains always monologuing, when they should be instead either killing/kicking the ass of whomever they happen to be fighting.

James Bond villains are notorious for this (particularly pre-Daniel Craig).  If the majority of them would actually just kill Bond instead of talking about how they are going to kill him then the formidable MI6 agent wouldn’t have made it past Dr. No.

And it goes without saying that Ultron doesn’t do it, which is also awesome.

And you know what would be even more awesome?  If Marvel would stop showing trailers that give away really cool moments and character beats.

Though I hope that this means there are many more on offer.

Sources For Daredevil’s (2015) New Suit

Daredevil (comics)

Daredevil’s original costume

I have learned reading various blogs that most people love Netflix’s interpretation of Daredevil, though they aren’t too crazy about the fact that his suit isn’t closer to the one that appears in the comics.

And that’s perfectly valid, though think about it for a moment:  If the Netflix series was aiming for anything, it was realism.  Sure, a heightened realism, but realism nonetheless.

And that being the case, there’s no way that he would be wearing such a thin–you can literally see every muscle on his body–suit.

Why not?  Body armor.  There’s no way that you could include effective body armor in a suit so thin.  Even it if were composed of kevlar, it’s thinness would limit its effectiveness.

In numerous episodes Matt Murdock mentions that he’s going to need body armor–and considering the way he fights it makes sense!–but seeing that the series is aiming for a more realistic tone, there’s no way that he would go with his traditional costume from the comics.

Daredevil from Daredevil 321 (Fall From Grace)

This is also Daredevil, his blue suit from the Fall From Grace storyline (Daredevil No. 321).  It’s didn’t go over too well with his fans, and was quickly retired.

The thing is, it’s on the right track and makes a little more sense than his traditional red costume–it at least provides something in the way of armor.

But, like most armor drawn in comics, it’s not exactly practical (there’s nothing to absorb impact beyond the armor itself), which means that any force will be transferred to the wearer.

Daredevil Netflix

Daredevil (2015) – Netflix

If you look at his costume from the Netflix series it takes design features from both the red and blue suits, though thematically I would argue that it’s closer to the blue costume in that it tries to approach the character from a more realistic angle, which means that there’s going to be signfincantly more padding than most fans of the character are accustomed to.

But if you ask me, what is most important is that the makers of the series remain faithful to the way the character looks, will treating the costume with more logic.

And I think that they did really well.

Daredevil Hallway Fight Scene

When I saw the Daredevil hallway fight scene–from the Netflix series not the 2003 movie–I was amazed at how fluid the action was, though once I got over my shock, I realized that I have seen it, in a sense, before.

Here’s the fight scene from Oldboy, which also takes place in a corridor.   The Daredevil scene is in tighter confides, so appears more intimate, and there are less individuals involved, but it has the same visceral feel as the scene from Park Chan-wook‘s movie.

Daredevil Opening Credit Sequence

At this point you’d probably think that I’ve had a enough of Marvel’s Daredevil after my marathon session ended sometime around midnight yesterday.

Well, you’d be wrong!  I’ve already started re-watching it, though this time I think I’l do so in a slightly more leisurely fashion, with an emphasis on tracking down any Easter eggs that I haven’t already seen.

Here’s the opening credit sequence for the series.  By the way, have you noticed that television shows these days seem to be neglecting opening sequences?

I am glad that Netflix is bringing it back.

Ciarán Foy Is Sinister 2

What I mean is that Ciarán Foy will be taking the reigns of the upcoming Sinister 2 from Scott Derrickson, who has his hands full preparing to helm Marvel Studios’ upcoming feature based on their Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange.

The only film I have seen of Foy’s is his 2012 film Citadel (which plays like a variation on David Cronenberg’s The Brood, minus the body horror)–which is also a horror film that unlike many of its contemporaries has a sense of bleakness, of hopelessness about it which is enhanced by a color palate so muted that it feels like a black and white movie.

If he can bring some of feel, the imagry that made Citadel so satisfying to Sinister 2, I think he’ll have a hit on his hands.

Tron: Legacy Sequel On The Way!

I’ve been saying that there would be a sequel to Tron: Legacy for the longest time–despite the fact that the Joseph Kosinski-directed sequel to 1979’s Tron was pretty uneven and didn’t actually make all that much money, relatively speaking.

It earned $400 million on a $170 million budget, which isn’t by any means a failure, but hardly Transformers money.  Then again, it must have been enough, because we’re getting a sequel!

Supposedly, the title is going to be Tron: Ascension, and while at the moment it remains hidden who’s going to be doing the ascending, I think it works much, much better than the title of the prior filming the series.

Though what I hope it brings back–besides Wendy Carlos–is the sense of innovation that the original film possessed.

And speaking of the original, it was a remarkable film in many ways, though like its sequel it had a storyline that was not nearly as interesting as its special effects.

Here’s to hoping that the third time around is the charm.