Justice League Trailer Thoughts

Geoff Johns was kind enough to share the new Justice League trailer with twitter this morning.

So let’s get this out of the way. I am not a Marvel v DC person. Obviously I realize there is competition between the two brand and their related movie studios. However,  I do not condone the childish mindset that I can only like the movies from one group. My favourite comic book films include DC and Marvel properties, ranging from The Dark Knight, X:Men DOFP to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

With that said, I am cautiously optimistic about Justice League. I love the characters, especially Batman, but BatmanvSuperman and Suicide Squad have left a bad taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, both films had great pieces and great moments. Overall. they felt short. Both had weak villians and weak third acts, along with some other issues.

As I watched this trailer I forgot about that for a moment. There is still no sign of Superman but I’m sure we’ll see him in the film. I am glad this film didn’t reveal too much about the plot or reveal the villain yet. We know it will be Darkseid’s uncle, Steppenwolf, and we get some glimpses of parademons (presumably) in this trailer.

From what I understand, Cyborg’s armour is derived from alien technology in the newer comics. It looks like his armour comes from a motherbox, a teleportation device Darkseid’s forces use. This motherbox appears to be the gateway that allows the parademons to reach earth. If this is the case, Cyborg could have a central role in the film and I am hoping the script and the actor can deliver.

To start, there is a lot of CGI in this trailer. Obviously that has to be the case for the visuals this story needs. The Flash looks amazing so far and his scenes are some of my favourites from the trailer. However, this trailer reminds me of 300 with the amount of computer generated backgrounds and surroundings. The scene with Batman fighting a parademon sticks out in my mind as one of the worst offenders. Maybe I wouldn’t notice as much if some of the effects looked better. Hopefully the effects are cleaned up by the time the film begins. Cyborg looks better than he did in the comic-con footage so I am hoping there is still time to improve the visuals.

With that being said, the visuals weren’t my greatest concern going into the film. Steppenwolf will hopefully provide a better villain than Doomsday, Luthor or Enchantress. This should help to strengthen the third act but won’t necessarily be enough. If the third act is just a fight filled with poor special effects, that can also cause the audience to lose interest, like I did with the last fight in BvS.

I am also hoping the desire to add more “fun” doesn’t ruin the script entirely. Obviously some characters are more light-hearted than others. However, Barry Allen has pretty much been turned into Wally West in terms of their personalities. Meanwhile it looks like they are trying to turn Bruce Wayne into Tony Stark. Obviously Bruce Wayne has the carefree, obnoxious playboy persona but the real Bruce Wayne has a drier sense of humour than the one we’ve seen so far.

Okay, time to be more positive.

Aquaman is one of my favourite superheroes, and is severely underrated by the general audience and even some comic book readers. Jason Momoa, as well as the writers, look like they’ll remedy that. I am sure that Aquaman or Flash will end up being the breakout stars of this film and possibly even the franchise. My only worry is Momoa’s acting skill, which isn’t that great from what I have seen so far. That doesn’t detract from my man crush, but it does bring up a possible issue with the film. We’ll see how he does.

In general, the action looks pretty awesome. Looking past the issue of the CGI, it looks like we’ll see some creative and memorable action sequences. It was great to see our first glimpse of J.K Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and hear a reference to Robin since Batman is “playing well with others” again.

I can’t deny my excitement at seeing my favourite superheroes on screen together and I hope Zack Snyder delivers a film that lives up to the hype.

 

Batman is Not Fat- and Neither is Ben Afleck

Maybe I am still just wasting breath writing this, but I need to vent.

 

Yesterday, Empire revealed its latest issue, with Batfleck gracing the cover. To myself, and many others, the picture looks amazing. However, I soon got sucked into the idiotic online comments concerning Ben Afleck’s weight. On Empire’s Instagram most of the comments (at the time) pictured laughing emoticons and statements like “RIP DC” or “Why’s Batman fat lol”.

 

Now, I generally hate to give idiots online too much attention. However, I cannot believe that all of these comments come from online trolls. Last year’s first picture of Batman was also subjected to the same criticism by tabloids, news outlets and supposed fans of the comics. The large bat logo and the short ears were seen as a stupid change, despite the fact that those were pulled straight from Frank Miller’s batman design. I understand that everyone isn’t a comic book fan, but I have a hard time understanding why people cannot use the Internet to look up information for themselves. Ever seen someone post a question online, in a comment section or on yahoo answers, that they could easily Google themselves?

 

Making a comic book film is always a tough balance of appealing to comic book fans and the general public, and sadly it seems that a comic book film must pay more attention to the general public. Not only for financial reasons, but also because the general public will be the most likely to go into a film with an inaccurate conception of a character, and then use online outlets to spread bad word of mouth. It is a fact that people tend to get attached to whatever comes first. For many people, their first live-action, Hollywood batman was Michael Keaton. Once they saw him on screen many said that no one would ever top him. For others, they saw Christian Bale first, then many said no one would ever top him. When the next adaption of Batman graces the screen there will be people saying no one will ever top Ben Afleck.

 

Until that time, we have the people attached to Bale and Christopher Nolan’s depiction of Batman. I loved Nolan’s work as well and I loved Bale as Batman (except for the bat voice), but I have the ability to judge other takes impartially, instead of letting bias overpower reason and objectivity. I wish I didn’t have to brag about that, but it seems like it is a dying art in this day and age.

 

The depiction of Batman’s personality and struggle in Nolan’s series was exceptional (more so in the first two), but Nolan’s series had some differences and weaknesses in comparison to this version.

 

Firstly, Batman is usually depicted around 210 pounds in the comics. I realize that I posted it as 240 in my Instagram post yesterday. My mistake, one episode of DCAU’s Justice League had it listed as that but I figure it is better to go off of the wider canon of the comics. Bale was around 190 pounds throughout Nolan’s series so it looks like Afleck is actually the closest in size to a comic book version of Batman. Many comics depict Batman and Superman as being around the same size and it looks like Afleck is around the same size as Cavill in this role. Would you consider Henry Cavill fat? The costume and Afleck’s size look heavily inspired by the critically revered Arkham video games as well, which are in turn inspired by the comics. Then again, people are not looking at this objectively. They like Nolan and Bale, they want to see more of Nolan and Bale and they will hate anything else. Then there are also people who struggle to like both DC and Marvel films because they have been brainwashed to think they can only like on or the other. I’ll be doing a blog post on Saturday about that as well.

 

Some may think that Afleck’s size makes Batman too bulky, too slow, but let’s try to be objective again. Although Bale was smaller, he was stiff and slow in the suit. I understand the actor struggled with movement, but the character should not and perhaps some editing could have helped to make the fights more convincing. Afleck’s speed should not be a concern if we are mindlessly comparing everything to Nolan’s interpretation. There is a clip from the comic con trailer, at 2:40, where we see Batman gliding from one opponent to another as he delivers a beat down. From that clip, it looks like we have a faster, more agile Batman than the one we had in Nolan’s trilogy.

 

When the costume was revealed, and appeared to be similar to the Arkham games (a grey, flexible, Kevlar-like material), I was hoping that we would see a faster and more agile Batman. It looks like Snyder will deliver that. People may have a hard time believing someone as big as this Batman will also be quick and stealthy, but if we can suspend disbelief about an alien with heat vision maybe we can suspend disbelief about this too. Bruce Wayne has trained his body to peak condition for the pursuit of justice. He is not your typical gym meathead. He is muscular, powerful, agile, acrobatic and flexible.

 

We have two more months to see what Ben Afleck’s batman will offer, but I think the facts show that there is a good chance I’m right when I say that we will not have a fat batman.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Women’s Weight

It is now less than two years until “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” will hit theaters. The first picture of Ben Afleck as Batman has helped to assuage some of the worries concerning his casting, because at the very least, many fans appear happy with the character’s look. The new character we have yet to see is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and although no official pictures have been released yet fans and blogs have been quick to collect images of Gadot on and off set over the past few months.

http://www.superherohype.com/news/302711-a-better-look-at-gal-gadot-on-the-batman-vs-superman-set#/slide/1

I have never seen Gadot in any films aside from three in the Fast and Furious Series. Her lines were few and far in between, and she was a black hole of charisma whenever she did get the chance to speak. Then again, I also thought Henry Cavill was terrible in “Immortals” but he impressed me with his portrayal of Superman. Perhaps I can wait until the film is released before I judge Gadot’s acting.

Another issue with Gadot’s casting is her physique. Looks are not everything when it comes to a role, but certain roles do, or should, require a certain look. Cavill bulked up for Superman and it looks like Afleck is doing the same for Batman. Then there’s Gal Gadot. In Fast Five, the filmmakers made sure to fit in a scene of Gadot in a bikini in order to appeal to the horny male audience who buys tickets with their dicks. Instead of being pleased by the view, I could not help but focus on how thin Gadot was. She is after all a runway model, a woman that embodies the stick thin ideal many impressionable and insecure girls aspire to. I am not blaming Gadot for what the media perpetuates, nor am I saying anything is inherently wrong with the way she looks. However, playing an Amazon warrior does require a different physique.

Before I go any further, let me clarify that I am not referring to her breast size. A lot of Gadot defenders will jump to the straw man tactic of saying we are putting an unrealistic standard on her, since she can’t have D cups like WW has in the comics. Of course not. Every super heroine has large breasts and a huge ass in the comics, no one will be disappointed simply because Gadot can put on more weight in certain areas. Let me be clear, I am talking about her weight gain in the arms, torso and legs. Obviously I realize Wonder Woman’s physical strength is not in relation to her size. However she is always depicted as having a body forged by years of battling enemies. Many opposers will select the few comics that show WW as skinnier in order to argue that Gadot looks fine, but many comics do show WW as a more muscular, but still feminine and attractive figure.

Gadot has made some improvements since she began training for the role, but all recent photos indicate she will still have a stick thin figure going into filming. The film is not released for two years, but we must remember that filming has already begun and post-production will take several months to complete. Maybe Gadot will continue training for several more months and I will be proven wrong, we shall see. Yet I do not believe that is the case. I believe Hollywood will stick with its trend of showing dainty, stick thin girls as its action heroes in order to perpetuate the stereotypical image of feminine beauty created by the media.

Below is the imdb discussion that sparked my desire to write this piece ( I am nightcal)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975590/board/thread/230214438?d=230257758#230257758

You will see that the “BadNewsRocky14” has the perception that a figure like Gadot’s in this pic is ideal.

Gadot has gained weight but is still womanly, not “brutish” like the hideous Jessica Biel.

http://www.dancyfood.nl/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Jessica-Biel-mesomorph.jpg

Looking over other posts, especially the first three on that imdb page, also reveals that many posters do not support Gadot because they believe she has the physique of an Amazonian warrior, or because she is a great actor. They just think she’s hot and want to bang her.

I do not mean to say I can judge an entire society by imdb boards, in many ways internet discussions attract the cesspool of humanity. However, this post exemplifies Hollywood’s approach to action stars. Hollywood wants to put a girl on screen that guys will want to drool over and bang. Yet they realize that if you actually make a girl get “brutish” then she may not attract the men used to seeing daintier figures. So instead of getting women who look like fighters or athletes, we get stick thin sex objects showing off girl power with improbable fight scenes. “Colombiana” was the biggest offender in recent memory.

Take a look at this picture of former WMMA fighter, Gina Carano( I did not want Carano as Wonder Woman. She was a favourite for fan casting but also does not have the acting chops for the role):

http://photos.imageevent.com/afap/wallpapers/stars/ginacarano//espn10.jpg

Her body is what many fans had in mind for the role. In my opinion, it is still womanly and attractive, while also athletic and powerful. The issue is that many men and women have been conditioned to see such a figure as a grotesque or unattractive one. This is why you get women who refuse to lift weights at the gym since they think they will turn into the female bodybuilders from doing a few curls.

http://bodybuilderschool.blogspot.ca/2013/05/female-bodybuilding-diet-tips-to-make.html

No one is asking for Gadot to look that big. We are also not saying she is ugly, another common misconception. I simply hope that with this post I can help even one person expand their mind and realize that Gadot can gain more weight for her role and still maintain her “womanly beauty”.