By: Hawk Ripjaw –
I have a lot of respect for DC fans. They’ve had it rough for the last few years: Man of Steel was fine, but Batman v Superman is so ambitious yet problematic that people are still arguing about it. Suicide Squad, a unique idea for a tentpole franchise film, was an unmitigated disaster whose only bright points involve elements that weren’t fully explored. Wonder Woman, of course, was a surprisingly fun standalone flick, but an outlier from the rest.
But they are excited for Justice League. Like the symbol on Superman’s chest to signify hope and the unyielding will to hold on to it, they’re still confident that a new DCEU movie will deliver a compelling story that does justice to their beloved characters. This is something that Marvel fans don’t have to worry about: the MCU movies, at this point, consistently meet a modest bar of quality. While generally unremarkable, they’re very entertaining and can be expected to be decent movies. DC fans don’t have the luxury of taking new films for granted, for reasons that mostly fall on the disorganized and unconfident shoulders of the WB and their producers.
Yet, they persevere. In the face of a trend of misguided movies, they’re still confident that we’ll get something good. Cynicism would by now make most give up on the series, but those hopeful, devoted DC fans are willing to give it yet another chance. They don’t expect a great movie, they want one. They don’t have the entitlement of the Marvel fans, but they’re passionate. With the majority of movies in the DC universe being less than great so far, they’re still ready to hope for the next one to deliver. That’s a degree of love for a franchise you rarely see.
Less awesome is the sub-50% Rotten Tomatoes score, and the fact that even the positive reviews have some reservations. Hope is what will continue to fund this franchise, it seems.
“The Nativity Story, but from the perspective of the animals” is something that was probably conjured after a couple of minutes of brainstorming, and the trailer shows it. Ironically, I also just saw the trailer for Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson, which had a similar feel. Yes, that is Rampage based on the video game where giant animals trash city buildings. Yes, this is where we are at in the current state of Hollywood. Most memorably, the trailer for The Star features Tyler Perry as a camel, a “classic” “Animal that ‘talks’ isn’t understood by humans so the important thing the animal needs to say is interpreted as animal sounds by the human” gag, and a dove waving his ass at the camera. This is coming out right before Pixar’s Coco, so why not save your movie dollars for some weed or maybe a nice gift for a loved one. Or both!
Look, I am all about the birth of Jesus, but it is seriously time we start trying to raise the bar for religious movies.
Sight unseen, it’s easy to dismiss Wonder as another in the pile of irritatingly try-hard child prodigy movies, involving smart youngsters overcoming adversity through the power of spunk and snark. However, the trailer sells a surprisingly touching story of how to conquer shame and anxiety. Whether or not you’ve got a deformed face, you’ve probably faced problems with other shithead human beings. Because that’s what we do: we’re assholes to each other. Wonder looks like a nice reminder that it’s pretty cool to just be nice, and true to yourself. We really need that right now, don’t we?
I want this movie to do well, partially because the talented Jacob Tremblay deserves something successful after The Book of Henry.