Friday, April 17, 2015

Batman Vs Superman Trailer Leaks Early ..And Reactions Are Meh

A good friend pops up on my Facebook messenger and delivers the cryptic message we get 15 times a day... "Have you seen this??" A link is all that accompanies the message. After a quick debate if I'm going to get a virus from clicking or Rickroll'd, I throw caution to the wind and click. Up pops the ominous symbol of BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. It is weighty, antiquey and most importantly, it is ANGRY. I suspect it feeds on orphan souls but we'll keep my conspiracy theories out of this. The page i'm brought to announces that the time has come to show off the long awaited trailer for Warner Bros. latest DC Comics epic after what feels like years of quick but impactful reveals including character costumes and a Batmobile. I remind myself to include the never-ending unveiling of Jared Leto's Joker hairstyle in this list before remembering that is a different movie all together...which is very telling. 

The website happily informs me that an IMAX screening of this new trailer will be shown a mere 20 minutes from my home this Monday, April 20th. With the investment in time and gas not too dire, I reserve two tickets and message a friend who would generally be down for all things geek. His response? Meh. Pete explains he is tired of the constant barrage of clips and teasers and rumors and articles analyzing the tips, teasers and rumors ad nauseum. To be fair, he included the recent horrific barrage of Avengers: Age of Ultron clips as a culprit of his geek being beaten down into submission. In closing, Pete flatly stated he'll watch it when it comes online. I was a bit saddened to hear his excitement for an epic comic book movie is being squashed by movie companies who won't let us enjoy a brief look at a film before smacking us upside the head with yet another teaser. Yes, not Warner Bros. fault...but what followed might be.

Not 2 hours after I secured my IMAX tickets for the screening of a trailer I will probably stand in line an hour to see...but will only last a minute tops..the trailer leaks from dubious Latin American sources. I use the dramatic word DUBIOUS because the roll out of this teaser trailer started with links on Twitter that were reportedly deleted at the request of Warner Bros. showing the tail end of said trailer, then a fairly shakey run through that appeared to be on a loop, followed by a newly stabilized (though still fairly low resolution and dark) version showing the whole damn thing. I instantly remembered the "leak" of the Deadpool test footage...low res..tinnie audio quality from someone shooting with a cell phone. Even though studios are supposedly keeping the footage under lock and key, this special individual is allowed a viewing where he is able to pull out his phone and hold it completely steady for the duration of the clip. After we all cheered and hit replay countless times, the studio got the message and released an HD version of the clip and then threw money at the project until all crew members were smiling...or so the story goes. The reaction to Batman VS Superman could be described as...underwhelming.

OK...the usual complaints. DARK!! When the animated series universe ruled television, Batman was the gritty crime noir universe and Superman was the pseudo-futuristic, bright and sunny universe. In the eyes of Warner Bros. EVERYTHING IS DARK AND ON FIRE. Why there is no distinction between the tones of each character's stories is a question that will make your head explode, as we are questioning if the film makers actually understand that there is a difference and, essentially, if they respect the differences and characterizations put forth in the comics. FOX have been lambasted nearly nonstop for many years now as, even when they create a fairly enjoyable X-Men film, they change the essence of characters fans love for no profitable reason we can observe. This makes us think the film makers don't really care about the source material, and armed with the knowledge and certainty that they know what the public wants, they tear down the old and build a its place...that often barely resembles the original. To an extent, this is a criticism I can extend to Warner Bros. and their DC Comics movies. There is a perceived attitude that what they are doing is better than the source material we love. It has to be darker...grittier..the stakes epic at all times. Couple this with the ancient rivalry between DC and Marvel, with Warner forcing a cinematic universe model on their DC films before they can even get a franchise humming along. What does this all lead to?

Trainwreck. In one film, Warner Bros. are promising the introduction of 6 to 8 major characters that are new to the average movie goer and whatever hijinks they are meant to get into on their first encounter, alongside the battle to end all super battles...Batman VS Superman!!  Are we looking at a 3 hour long movie? It's my observation that it isn't the barrage of Age of Ultron clips that is dulling the excitement of comic fans for BvsS (though a barrage for a film they know we are all going to see already to squash a trailer they knew was coming is sort of super evil) but a sort of subliminal acceptance that this film is going to let us down. Do we want it to let us down? Nope...but it's hard to be excited for a movie when every teaser that's supposed to get us excited leaves fans saying "that's not the hero I grew up with". Warner Bros. can still pull this off, but they have to start caring about what we care about.

1 comment :

  1. If Superman was real, this is exactly what he would go through, being hated, worshipped, doubted, and set up to fail by jealous or insecure humans.