By Mark Reilly
Before we begin, I come to you with BREAKING NEWS! Breaking, meaning, everyone else on the Internet has reported this. And news, I mean – entertainment news, which carries its own weight on whether or not this world will keep turning.
PIXAR is making their first prequel. Mike and Sully will be young, meeting for the first time in college. They will be learning all about how to be a…. wait, SPOILER ALERT… Monster.
PIXAR should always make the news. They are consistently putting out quality movies, hitting 12 straight #1’s… Obviously, they are God and must be worshipped using sacrificial, virgin, studio execs. See: Interns.
…So, okay, here’s the thing. I saw SUCKER PUNCH this past weekend, opening night; had dinner beforehand, a glass of vino, bought some treats for the wife…
…Braved the lines, the crowded parking structure, the Australian man that lives inside the automated ticket machine who warns of the world ending on Flag Day, 2013…
…I did it all to for the SUCKER PUNCH. And what did I get? A two-hour music video for the remixed version of ARMY OF ME by Bjork.
I am going to reserve the name-calling for my quack of a therapist and get right to it. I have great respect for the movie-making process, but I’ll be damned if I don’t mention how disappointed I am with Zack Snyder. Jesus, I sound like my mother.
This was a lazy movie – lazy because it was a movie that relied solely on a fantasy world that doesn’t exist in order to tell a story. By placing it in a fantasy world, I knew everyone that was in supposed peril would easily survive each f’ed up mission. Missions that included dragons, robot Nazi’s and gigantic Samurai warriors with machine guns. There was too much flying around on screen and I couldn’t focus. I don’t have ADD.
I felt the ‘fantasy world’ was just a tool – an excuse to shove a bunch of FX down our throats, as fast as humanly possible, with loud explosions and ripping electric guitar music aimed to stupefy your senses into submission.
Each time I was getting into the real story (girls trying to escape a mental ward) we were interrupted by Baby Doll closing her eyes and being whisked away into her fantasy world where a shitload of effects flashed in front of our eyes for ten minutes at a time. After about an hour of this, I realized I had seen it all before.
So, yes, I am scared for the SUPERMAN REBOOT.
I am trying to have a positive attitude about all this because I am a fan of 300 and his DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, but after WATCHMAN and now this… I am concerned we’ll just be getting the same hyper-stylized version of reality, for a character that was first brought to the public consciousness by Richard Donner and his SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE back in 1978. Donner tried to make the film as real as possible, even taping up a sign that read VERMISITILLITUDE (basically a fancy word for truth or realism) in the productions offices.
With Donner’s version out there on everyone’s mind, as well as the music (probably even more so), if the movie resembles anything near a SUCKER PUNCH, WATCHMAN or 300, everyone, especially the geeks, will cry bloody murder.
I am all for a re-imagining, but I want something that doesn’t rely on special effects to tell a story. If done wrong, or in excess, I feel you will be ripped out of the story:
Tim Burton’s BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS have a lot in common in a visual, thematic sense as WATCHMAN (with less slow motion shots of bullet casings) and SUCKER PUNCH (with less slow motion shots of bullet casings). The Schumacher Batman movies were basically the old 60’s show with nipples so I won’t go there…
Nolan’s re-imagining of Batman seemed closer in theme to Donner’s Superman. BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT basically showed us what it would look like if some crazy billionaire strapped on a bat suit and flew around the city. I don’t ever think it took itself too serious, it played it straight, it played it real and it never winked at its audience like the previous Batman films.
Donner’s Superman was different, it gave us a wink yet still felt grounded in our reality. It knew that a man would be flying sooner rather than later so it embraced that logic, kills off Jonathan Kent with a heart attack, and sends Clark Kent, a farm boy, off to the big city where he stumbles around in love with the hot reporter gal. He just happened to have superpowers.
Shit, that was college for me. Except my superpowers were limited to only being able to replace the water on my arrowhead cooler. Oh, and my dad is alive and well. I think. He hasn’t written since he left when I was twelve.
But then, Snyder goes off and casts Amy Adams as Lois Lane.
That was one of my suggestions! I actually wrote all about it in my Searching For Lois Lane article that you can find here:
Do you think Zack Snyder is reading my blogs??? Me neither. Who asked you?
Okay, so I dig the casting of Amy Adams. Also, dig the casting of Diane Lane as Ma Kent:
And yeah, I’ll give him his props; dig the casting of Kevin Costner as Pa Kent. Because if you love FIELD OF DREAMS like I do, you’ll see that Kevin Costner is a great choice as long as he doesn’t use an accent.
These are all interesting casting choices and it seems we’ll be getting something new out of Superman – much like what Nolan did with Batman.
Yes, Chris Nolan is producing. I supported this marriage back in my Superman article, which you can find here:
…I trust Nolan dag-blammit, but I am just weary of Zack Snyder. What I don’t want to see is a slow motion shot of Superman, rearing back a mighty punch, ready to take out a missile, where by WE CUT TO: AN EXTREME CLOSE UP of his fist hitting the missile, followed by a LARGE EXPLOSION that engulfs Superman in flames, where we CUT TO: the wide of him flying out of the carnage, on fire, eyes blazing red, as a tricked out version of Led Zepplin’s KASHMIR plays in your ears.
I really think that does it for me. I have said my piece. Vented. I’m just too damned upset to write much more.
I trust Nolan, but I wonder how much input he really has when he’s focused on THE DARK KINGHT RISES. And I hope Zack Snyder is, in fact, reading this.
I want something different from 300, WATCHMAN and SUCKER PUNCH.
This is my extremely biased opinion. Because, really, nothing is going to change. I will see this movie. I will rip the sleeves off a white t-shirt in order to show off my glorious Superman Tattoo. I will brave the lines, the crowded parking structure; I will yell at the Australian man living inside the automated ticket machine to stop disrespecting the Mayans. I’ll be there.
I just hope Zack listens.
See you in line,