Forget the DCEU: Warner Brothers Should Embrace the Multiverse

It has not been a great couple of weeks (years?) on the DC Films front.

After Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad failed to live up to most people’s expectations last summer, Warner Brothers looked like it was starting to right the DCEU ship. Triumphant teasers for Wonder Woman and Justice League made DC the talk of San Diego, and fans were stoked for directors like James Wan, Rick Famuyiwa, and Ben Affleck to lend their visions to DC supeheroes. Well, less than a year later, 60% of those directors have been dropped and now, Ben (maybe?) doesn’t even want to be Batman anymore. And in the most WTF move yet, Warner has approached an actual misogynst, anti-semitic racist to helm a movie with the initials S.S.!

But, taking a page from Vulture’s always awesome , maybe Warner Bros. can use the chaos surrounding the DCEU as an opportunity… to blow up the whole damn thing.

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The Dark Knight Changed the Way I Watched Movies

by Benjamin To | Originally published at BANDtogether

In the summer of 2008, there I was: A fresh-faced, 19-year-old pharmacy school dropout, a few months removed from stepping off the plane from humble Oregon and on to hopeful California soil. I had no direction of where I was going or knowledge of how to accomplish my lofty goals, but I knew I wanted one thing and one thing only: I wanted to be a part of cinema.

One of my first — and one of my favorite — jobs was when I worked as a film projectionist at a local movie theater. It was one of those summer jobs that lasted well beyond the summer. Even though the pay was trash and I hated some of my managers, I had access to free movies that were actually projected on 35mm film (which is on the verge of becoming an extinct format). I made sure to watch everything I could get my hands on from big budget action blockbusters to independently produced prestige dramas. Since I didn’t have the money to go to a traditional film school like USC or UCLA, the movie theater became my film school.

Everything that I have absorbed about appreciating and deconstructing cinema up to that point came to a climatic crescendo in the form of a tiny little art house flick called The Dark Knight, and it altered my perception of sights and sounds, forever.

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Things Other Movies Did Better Than Batman v Superman

I didn’t hate Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I walked into the theater last night fully expecting to hate it. Two and a half hours later, I ended up merely not liking it. That’s progress, I guess?

That said, there were a couple things I actually liked (most having to do with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman) and I can’t deny that Ben Affleck looks like Batman (even though he sure doesn’t act like him). But the thing that distracted me throughout the movie was the fact that it contained a lot of elements that were executed better in other live action adaptations.

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Scored Too Soon? The Career of Michael Jai White: A Retrospective

In most sports, scoring early is a good thing. If you’re a soccer player or fan, though, you know the woes of scoring too early. If any of you listen to or watch Men in Blazers, you’ve heard this all before from Roger’s unending sadness with his Everton routinely scoring too early. This has happened to me both on the pitch, but mostly watching my beloved teams pay dearly for going up 1-0 in the first five minutes of matches only to be smacked down with three or four unanswered goals once the final whistle blows. It’s part of the roller coaster of emotions that is the world of football. I feel like this could be a metaphor for Michael Jai White’s career.

I recently had an evening to myself and while scrolling through the ever expanding Netflix streaming queue, I noticed a couple of recent Michael Jai White flicks I hadn’t yet seen. Double feature? Sure.

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Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Hot Toys?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It is the holidays after all. Speaking of which, I Just happen to be abroad at the moment and just had to share some pics from a recent pilgrimage to the Hot Toys Secret Base in Hong Kong. Check out the photos after the break.

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Why So Serious? Of Course DC has a “No Jokes” Policy

Earlier in the week, Drew McWeeny at HitFix sent the internet into a tizzy when he reported that Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment had mandated a strict “no jokes” policy for their entire slate of upcoming superhero movies. As per usual, much handwringing ensued, followed by several reports debunking the original one.

Whether that no joking policy was true or not is irrelevant. The mere fact that so many people believed it in the first place shows just how different and far apart DC and Marvel are in their approaches to superheroes. For decades, DC has embraced grimdark — in both their comics and their movies — to their benefit as well as their detriment.

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Legend of The Dark Knight: More with Michael Uslan

In Part One of our conversation with Michael Uslan, the Batman movie uber-producer recounted his decades-long journey to bring a “dark and serious” version of the Dark Knight from the comic pages to the movie screen, a journey that is the foundation of his memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. After a string of Hollywood studios and financiers initially rejected the idea, the Batman film franchise has gone on to earn billions of dollars in box office and merchandising and solidify Batman as a cinematic legend, with even more big screen adventures on the way.

After the jump, Michael and I continue our discussion of what makes the Batman such an iconic — and enduring — character.

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Capes and Quivers: Superheroes on TV

Keith (@the_real_chow) brings on Rodrigo (@rscspokenword) and ODU prof ‘Shawn to talk about superhero televisions shows, specifically the upcoming Iron Fist on Netflix and The CW’s Arrow.

As a special guest, we have Arrow costume concept illustrator Andy Poon to talk about designing the superhero look of the Arrow-verse.

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Why Howl’s Moving Castle is Better in English

Yeah, I said it.

Look, like any good nerd, I normally prefer watching a foreign movie as it was originally intended. When Disney scours Hollywood for top-level talent to overdub their vast catalog of Studio Ghibli titles, I’m not their target audience. And unlike most Americans, I actually don’t mind reading my movies if subtitles are required.

But let me get back to my original point. Of all the Miyazaki movies that have been dubbed in English, I believe Howl’s Moving Castle is the only one that works. Before I get into that, though, I want to talk about what’s wrong with dubbing foreign movies in the first place.

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How Avengers is Ruining the Superhero Movie

As of April 2013, The Avengers had grossed more than $600 million dollars in the US, a box office performance that has nearly tripled its (already bloated) production budget. It would be fair to say that if you’re a Hollywood movie producer, The Avengers makes you very, very, very happy. In fact, you’re hoping to make as many Avengers franchises as you possibly can.

Against this backdrop of undeniable success, it seems major Hollywood production companies are hoping to do just that. For the last few months, the Internet has been a-buzz with casting rumours for Man of Steel 2: first with news that Ben Affleck was being tapped to play an aging Batman, and last week with the announcement that virtually unknown actress Gal Gadot (of Fast and Furious franchise fame) was assuming the mantle of Wonder Woman. Although fans have long clamoured for a live-action Justice League adaptation, the fact that all three members of the heralded DC Trinity will be making an appearance in Man of Steel 2 — a movie that we all expected would be just another Superman solo vehicle — is clear indication that WB/DC has drawn inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is looking to fast-track the Justice League movie by rapidly introducing other characters to the silver screen. Fans have since speculated that while Gadot might make a minimal cameo in Man of Steel 2, it’s likely that she will subsequently headline her own Wonder Woman movie that would further stoke the fires for a full Justice League film.

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