artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson
Wed Aug 03 2016, 05:33pm | 9 comments
Damn, and I was just starting to think it might be good.
I had no hopes for this, because most superhero films don’t appeal to me anyway, but to satisfy the modern mainstream superhero-fan audience it doesn’t need a plot or any coherence: like modern Doctor Who, all it has to provide is a succession of cool moments that last a few seconds each, and if you don’t bother with all that boring connective tissue of plot or characterisation you can squeeze in even more cool moments.
The guys (and it is mostly guys) who are satisfied with that and don’t look for anything more: they are the real fake geeks.
Microsoft made the date mistake with Windows 95: it was going to come out by the end of 1995, no matter what state it was in. They learned better after Windows 2000.
“Seasoned directors are expensive, meaning studios turn to those with less experience, relying on instinct that they will be up to the job.” “Instinct” presumably explains why they so rarely pick women. Especially if they want a succession of cool moments rather than, y’know, a film.
My prediction is that, like Deadpool, it will be a huge success, because there’s a solid audience out there who like laughing psychopaths and don’t like having to think.
Why does DC keep hiring the same hacks over and over? Marvel makes good films because Marvel hires good directors.
Going by that article: because the good directors don’t want to work for them. Maybe DC don’t pay enough, maybe the directors would rather work for the existing profitable megafranchise than try to kickstart a new one.
(To be fair, David Ayers isn’t “the same hacks over and over”; arguably he’s made small variation on the same film over and over, gritty street-level crime thrillers, and I haven’t been particularly impressed with them, but he hasn’t made a superhero film before.)
How far back are you going? Snyder is the only director of the current DC franchise films that’s been hired more than once.
Frankly that second bullet point doesn’t really hold much water. “Suicide Squad” is certainly the biggest budget David Ayer has had to manage, but there’s plenty of action in his filmography, much of it well received. Ditto Martin Campbell, if you want to go back to Green Lantern. And Bryan Singer is exactly the person they’re describing, if you want to go all the way back to “Superman Returns”. “Wonder Woman”s director, Patty Jenkins, has little experience with big action, but her major credit was “Monster”, so she’s no hack. The Nolans are also talented, if somewhat polarizing.
And there really aren’t that many directors out there to fit the article’s description. Meanwhile, none of these guys fit it at all: Jon Favreau, Shane Black, Peyton Reed, the Russos, Peter Gunn. Even Joss Whedon barely qualifies.
I think Marvel’s perhaps a bit more up front about the role of a director under their system, which is more like being a director on a TV series (or, really, like writing for Marvel Comics) than being a haven for “auteurs” to express their personal visions, etc.
That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective and tastes, and there are plenty of stories about creative conflicts on Marvel movies… but at this point, I think if you’re a director signing on to a Marvel Studios picture, you know what you’re getting into.
DC, on the other hand, has been *describing* themselves as an auteur’s haven compared to Marvel… but not necessarily delivering on that promise, as the DC suits are prone to panic followed by bigfooted intervention, and to hell with directorial vision.
If DC had let David Ayer make a David Ayer movie, *Suicide Squad* might actually be worth seeing.
I’m curious, not having seen the movie: Do you think the movie could have been saved if Ayer had final cut, or was it completely beyond redemption?
It’s impossible to tell without seeing what other footage exists.
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