The fake twin who could’ve been Batman

tn_armiehammerWhile THE SOCIAL NETWORK seems to still be the conversation topic-of-choice among movie buffs I know, there’s one obscure side-issue buried in there that I haven’t seen discussed: the evidence that George Miller did know what he was doing with that JUSTICE LEAGUE super hero movie that he wasted years of his life doing only to have it cancelled. The reasons it never happened I’m sure had to do with budget and studio politics and disagreements about the best ways to utilize the corporation’s valuable licensed properties and many other factors. But I’m sure epic negativity and whining from every single comic book fan plugged into a computer didn’t help.

You guys know better than I do, but if I understand correctly The Justice League is the team-up of the DC Comics characters which is Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, somebody else. While comic book “geeks” have had a constant erection since the Marvel Comics announced their plans to do separate Hulk, Captain America and Thor movies to set up for a later THE AVENGERS joint where for sure the same cast members will all definitely return and the fans will all have loved every one of their separate movies and the actors will have great chemistry and the movie will perfectly combine the mythologies of each of theirs into a perfectly satisfying and balanced team adventure, DC was planning a different approach. They would do a movie unrelated to their other ones, with different actors cast as Batman and Superman, and under the direction of the genius director of the MAD MAX trilogy.

The conventional wisdom online was that this was a travesty, that Miller should be stoned to death, and that the only way this movie could possibly work would be if Christian Bale reprised his realistic Batman in a magical world where the teenager from the TV Superman in high school soap opera was Superman and there’s a green guy with a magic ring from space that is afraid of the color yellow, and a girl who wears no pants even though people can see right through her plane and get a good look at her crotch. I disagreed. I don’t see why they can’t keep making the awesome Nolan quasi-realistic Batman movies while a totally different Batman sometimes shows up as a supporting character in a completely different movie. I’m pretty sure we can keep track. I never got confused when they had different guys playing Dracula or Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Donnie Yen all playing Chen Zhen.

The online backlash exploded when Miller’s cast of mostly unknowns was announced. Admittedly they were pretty young. I would’ve gone with Dolph Lundgren as Batman, but Miller chose a 22 year old named Armie Hammer. This really went over terribly because of the common superstition that if somebody has a goofy name they can’t do a good job at things, and must be made fun of, and they probly haven’t heard that one before, so it’s a good one.

But I remember looking up Hammer on IMDb and learning that he was named after his great grandfather Armand Hammer, industrialist, art collector and philanthropist. The trivia said that Armie was a trained magician, and that he collected hunting knives. And I thought shit, it sounds like this kid is Bruce Wayne. What do we know? Miller has met the guy, he thinks he’s gonna work, I feel like he might know what he’s doing. But the movie was never made, so we never found out, and life went on.

armiehammerThen THE SOCIAL NETWORK came out, and in it you can’t help but notice that Hammer is great playing the Winklevoss twins, who sue Mark Zuckerberg for ripping off their websight idea. And a feeling starts to sink in that wait a minute, George Miller did know what he was doing. Armie Hammer is a comic book drawing come to life. He’s 6’5″ with broad shoulders. He has a deep voice, but (unlike many actors of his body type) sounds very intelligent when he talks. He looks nothing like any of the previous Batman actors, but probly more like a super hero than any of them.

Yes, he is young (and would’ve been a couple years younger when JUSTICE LEAGUE would’ve filmed), but wasn’t Bruce Wayne also young once? That was the idea I got from some of those movies. I don’t think he started real old like Colonel Sanders when he invented his technique for frying chicken. Supposedly Miller wanted the cast to grow into the roles over a few movies, like the Harry Potter kids.

What I’m saying is he would’ve made a good Batman. It’s obvious. I think a few nerds owe a certain world class director an apology.

So now that it’s much too late, a few details have leaked out about what Miller was gonna do. According to Quint’s interview with Hammer, Peter Jackson’s company Weta had made all the costumes. The entire movie was storyboarded. The actors had come to Australia to train.

The crazy part is how method Miller was getting about psychologically grooming them for their roles. According to Hammer:

“We had a brain surgeon, a psychiatrist, a Joseph Campbell expert, and all of these people in every single table meeting we had for a month and a half. And then all of the characters were also training as their characters, so The Flash, Adam Brody, was training as The Flash with rubber bands, so he’d be fast and twitchy. Aquaman, Santiago Cabrera, was swimming a lot and Miller would send him to go swim with dolphins in northern California for hours so he would be used to being around sea creatures. Batman, being the only human of the Justice League and having to really prove himself there, he had to be the consummate martial artist, as well as the ultimate detective, so he was playing psychological games with all of us. He would leave me out of things, like intentionally, but I wouldn’t know this until months later when I would just get the feeling of like “What is going on? Why is everybody– ?” Because he wanted me to constantly be getting into that paranoid mind frame of The Batman.”

He goes on to explain that the actor playing Superman was brought in a month earlier than the rest of the cast so he would know everyone on the crew and be popular and looked up to, like Superman.

I thought Miller would’ve done a great job because of his incredible filmatism. In the MAD MAXs he created some of the great car chases and badass personas of all time. In ROAD WARRIOR and BEYOND THUNDERDOME he created perfect sci-fi worlds. In BABE 2 he used digital effects combined with live action and puppets in ways that nobody has matched. In both BABE 2 and HAPPY FEET he somehow used talking animal characters to create chase scenes better than most everybody else is doing with humans in the last decade. I wouldn’t really want to watch a movie teaming up those characters, but then you say “George Miller” and it all makes sense. That’s the guy who could do it without it being stupid. That’s the one guy who could make it amazing.

And then you read this stuff and it sounds like he was going further into it than I even imagined. I’m thinking “jesus, what’s he gonna do with the dude who runs fast!?” and he’s thinking “how do I make this rich kid paranoid enough to be the real Batman?” This thing would’ve been incredible. And they decided it would be better to spend millions of dollars on it and not make it than to have the super-balls pull the trigger. They’d rather have it sitting on the invisible DVD shelf next to Jodorowsky’s DUNE.

But it’s okay. It wasn’t meant to be. Miller has moved on to the even more exciting one, the fourth Mad Max film, FURY ROAD. Like JUSTICE LEAGUE he’s had the movie written and storyboarded for years, he’s cast INCEPTION’s Tom Hardy as Max, he’s built 130 cars and motorcycles and shipped them in to the locations in Australia, hired stunt teams and has them rehearsing for 298 stunts, and they developed new 3-D cameras just for this movie, so I think this one is–

Ah shit, they postponed filming until 2012? If ever?

God damn it, Universe. What the fuck are you trying to pull? Give George Miller a break. Give the world a break. The world needs more George Miller movies. We are not Charlie Brown, and you are not Lucy. For once let us kick the fucking football. It’s the right thing to do.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 at 12:01 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

147 Responses to “The fake twin who could’ve been Batman”

  1. Vern – Of course the Internet didn’t want George Miller. He’s a hack next to Zach Snyder, a true visionary who knows visuals and knows action…

    Sorry I couldn’t resist.

    I dunno, unlike the Nerd Chic, I knew George Miller. Dammit kids I saw ROAD WARRIOR, I know what that son of a bitch can do with action, editing, acting, writing, you know? And he was kicking our ass with action before CGI.

    So he made money off cartoon penguins fucking, hey he gotta eat. Plus BABE was…good? There I said it.

    Hell he even somehow got to escape a shithole project like CONTACT and in exchange got the rights to WARRIOR and MAD MAX 3. Hollywood reports made it sound like WB bullied him off so Robert Zemeckis could do it (he had just won the Oscar), but nah personally I thought Miller played Warner brothers for suckers in the exchange. We’ll be talking WARRIOR in 20 years still. CONTACT? Shit people forgot that one already.

  2. That sounds like a lot of work. I hope those kids got paid for the prep. Funny how now every single one of them has done something (Cabrera was in the first season of Heroes.)

    I was more intrigued with Wolfgang Petersen’s attempt at World’s Finest. Just having Batman and Superman in one movie would have been a battle between art and commerce I would have liked to see.

    But wasn’t JLA going to be motion capture? So we wouldn’t have “seen” Hammer et al. They would have provided the movements for photoreal conceptions of the comic book art.

  3. I never understood the backlash against the Justice League movie either

    honestly, bullshit like that is why I don’t even visit AICN anymore, bunch of whiny tits would rather bitch and moan than shut up and and enjoy a damn movie for once in their lives /rant

    and I LIKED Kingdom of The Crystal Skulls damn it!

  4. Man that Sounds so awesome. I’m always amazed at how much Money they throw at Movie and then its Never really planned much or just dumb to a Point where 3 people actually Reading the Script would have been enough to realize it.
    And on the other Side are people who actually have Plan and were succesfull at the Box Offices and with the critics and still cant get their Movies funded. I mean if you gonna spend all the money anyway, Why not actually try to make it good?

  5. Well, internet backlash is not the reason JLA didn’t get made. DC’s always had problems getting stuff made. Jury’s still out, we’ll see if they can launch Green Lantern or get Wonder Woman done, or even this new Superman. (I still want to see Superman Returns 2 FWIW)

  6. Goddamn nerds! This project sounded awesome. And Babe is the best talking animal-movie evahr!

    I find it hard to believe that the studios actually pay attention to talkbackers or nerds or whatever they are called. If they did, they would have made Die Hard 4 R-rated. Nope, when it comes to a movie this expensive, they believe that everybody wants to watch a new Superman/Batman movie. And then they read variety and realize that Superman Returns bombed and kill the project.

    And while I don`t aprove of nerd-rage, it`s kind of sad and frustrating that George Miller hasn`t directed a actionmovie since `81. (Yep, I realize he co-directed Thunder Dome, but I`m making a point). That`s 3 decades ago.

    Have anybody watched Lorenzo`s Oil? I heard that it`s pretty good, despite being an obvious oscar-bait.

  7. FTopel – I read one of the script drafts for BATMAN/SUPERMAN, which if I remember right, Bruce Wayne is getting married, she gets killed he blames Supes for some reason and basically it read like an empty headed actioneer where they hate each other because they’re scripted to, then re-team to fight adversaries. Joker gets cloned by Lex Luthor.

    What I do remember vividly after reading was how these Hollywood big guns really couldn’t make work something so simple as Batman and Superman in the same frame. It wasn’t rocket science, but those Timm/Dini cartoon guys did a pretty decent WORLD’S FINEST tv movie which scripted well the interaction, the contrasts between the two different personalities, along with good shit like Wayne pussy hunting Lois Lane or how Joker posed a legit threat to even a mortal God like Supes.

    Again not rocket science, but I enjoyed it. I remember giving it Three and Half Harley Quinns out of 5.

  8. I thought BABE 2 was cut from a different slice than the first BABE, but still a hearty slab of entertainmeat.

  9. RRA, weren’t they waiting for Superman Returns to establish their new Superman and then put Routh and Bale together? Then they didn’t like Returns? And Petersen did Poseidon instead.

    FWIW: Lorenzo’s Oil is very good.

  10. FTopel – Petersen’s BATMAN/SUPERMAN movie never happened because quite frankly (1) they found the right script they wanted, and (2) couldn’t get the stars they wanted contracted for a trilogy. If I remember the AICN reports from back then, Jude Law (Superman) and Colin Ferrell (Batman) were willing to do a one-shot picture but sequels? Yeah they weren’t exactly forthcoming.

    So Petersen “shelved” it, did TROY but by then WB said fuck it and liked Nolan/Goyer’s pitch for what became BATMAN BEGINS. Then you had Bryan Singer with his SUPERMAN RETURNS, which honestly didn’t work though if you ask me…..I thought Brandon Routh was a good Supes, just stuck in a dull bloated shot-without-the-script-polished-right sort of movie?

    Interestingly, Singer wanted Jude Law for General Zod. Didn’t happen.

  11. CORRECTION: On #1, I meant they “never” found the right script. There was another script draft, which I didn’t read, where its Bats/Supes fighting Joker/Luthor, but also bitching about getting older and pursuing possible romance and…..all I know is that Superman panty chasing Lana Lang? Wasn’t that SUPERMAN 3*?

    *=Which brought up a nerd nick-pick I remember noticing as a kid. First SUPERMAN movie dictated that Clark Kent went to high school in the 1950s. Yet at the 1980s reunion, the “nostalgic” music they play? Beatles’ cover of “Roll Over Beethoeven”.You know, that version from the 60s?

    Though now in retrospect I wonder if it was Richard Lester paying homage to his past movies because the crazy all over the place cartoon like SUPERMAN 3 was sorta like Lester’s HELP! You know but without the humor. Or good music.

  12. I really like the 20 minutes of Superman III where he goes evil on bad kryptonite and fights Clark. With no CGI, that Superman/Clark Kent fight is totally realistic.

  13. A BATMAN/SUPERMAN movie for me is like the wrongest idea for a comic book movie ever. It’s like ruining two franchises with one strike. It’s just geekasm, but it’s not a good idea at all. There is no way it’s reasonably convincing that Supermna and Batman can co-exist in the same universe, no matter how many cross-overs were already made. It just doesn’t add up. And there’s no way you can make a good movie out of it, not even if you filmed THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS exactly as it is in the comic.

  14. RRA, i wish i could had forgotten i watched CONTACT.

  15. FTopel, you ever heard of Play-Or-Pay deals? Those were the reason why the final price tag on SUPERMAN RETURNS was 250 million dollars, meaning, 100 million dollars more then it’s actual production cost of 150 millions.

    Play-or-Pay deals are perfectly exemplified with what happened to the Superman move project that went from 1991 until 2005. Many filmakers and actors were hired, many actors were tested and payed for their trouble, sets were build and then demolished, and evne though the projects didn’t went ahead, the people who worked on them, specially directors and actors were payed. A lot. Nicholas Cage got payed 5 million dollars for not playing Superman in a movie that never got made. Tim Burton likewise. And those are just wo examples of the dozen of high tier talent that worked in that. The SUPERMAN/BATMAN fiasco was a similiar case.

  16. And if that Superman/Batman movie had gotten made ment that BATMAN BEGINS would never got make, then i’m triple happy that the project died. I would hate to live in a universe where BATMAN BEGINS doesn’t exist.

  17. Gotta say it – I really love Superman Returns and think it deserves a sequel more than most.

    It’s full of great images

    – that shot where Supes flies past the window of the jet and Lois sees the blur

    – when he flies almost silently down a Metropolis street

    – when the bullet bounces off his eye

    – when he pulls the yacht out of the ocean

    – when he falls into the Metropolis version of Central Park and the trees shake, and everyone is just standing gawping

    – when his ‘mom’ is stuck in the crowd and can’t visit him

    That is why I love movies.

    And it had the guts to have a human be as heroic, so kudos to them.

    Okay, the kid was dumb, and when the world is in trouble, you don’t necessarily focus on the woman in the out-of-control car, although I like to think that was them demonstrating that he cared about big stuff and small stuff – nobody’s too small for Superman to rescue.

  18. The Babe films are amazing. Of course Miller could get all those super hero types to work together, he made all those different animals work together. I

  19. Or he could go further and get all the super heroes to work with all the different animals. Endless possibilities.

  20. I may be the only person on earth that loves Superman 3. It probably has more to do with the fact that I saw it at 5 years old and I always feel like a kid while watching it. The Clark/Bad Superman fight is awesome, as is the scenes where Bad Superman straightens the Leaning Tower of Piza. The Richard Pryor stuff is funny too and doesn’t get enough credit. I think people just dis him in this movie because he wasn’t allowed to be R rated and talk about pussy. Then you have Robert Vaughn acting like a pimp. He also gets one of the greatest lines in cinema history: “I asked you to kill Superman and you can’t even do that one simple thing.” Classic.

  21. I couldn’t get to the end of the opening credits of SUPERMAN 3, i wanted to thrown the VHS tape against he wall. It has to be some of the most insulting film minutes i ever seen in my life that didn’t belong to a Michael Bay or Renny Harlin movie. And aparently, the rest of the movie is even worst.

  22. yeah I remember Superman 3 being terrible but watched it again recently and loved it. That weird Pryor “flashback” where Supes is blowing out fires in South America is hilarious. The Supes/Bad Supes fight in the junkyard is easily more exciting and emotional than anything in Returns. And I’ll say what alot of you are thinking – THE LADY WHO GETS SUCKED INTO THE MACHINE AND TURNED INTO A CYBORG HAUNTS ME TO THIS VERY DAY.

  23. Neal2Zod: Yeah the Fat Lady Turns Cyborg scene is immortal.

    And I agree, any random frame of Superman 3 is infinitely better than Superman Returns at it’s best.

  24. I’ll neve,r ever understand the genuine enjoyment of dumb stupid movies. I understand mocker,y but enjoyment, as in, effective real fun? I might as well been talking to aliens.


    That scene mentally scarred me as a kid. I’m not kidding.

    I love Miller but I think the only thing about his proposed JLA movie that had me taken aback was that they were supposedly basing the story on what was in the comics at the time, which made me pause because comics today really, really suck.

  26. Asimov, let’s just say not every movie is either great or shit. There are lots of grey areas that often depend on personal taste. But the most important thing: Just because a movie is bad, it doesn’t mean it can’t have some moments of greatness! (Like that one movie BALLISTIC: ECKS VS SEVER, which is seriously lame, but features one of my alltime favourite stunts ever! [The guy who falls from a rooftop on a car, while the camera follows him all the way down.])

  27. Actually, Annette O’Toole in that yellow dress in Superman 3 is superior to most anything in any movie ever.

  28. Actually, the whole Brother Eye storyline was pretty good. It would’ve made a really intense movie. I think we all missed out on something really special. I’m thinking Armie Hammer might make a good Superman.

  29. CJ Holden, i don’t get it. Where do you think i see movies as just either great or trash with nothing in between? Where in my posts it makes you think that there are only two such movies in my mind? You know why i don’t talk about grey, milquetoast movies? because there’s nothing to say about them because they ar egrey, milquetoast movies. Now, the really good and the really bad movies, that’s where i cna have lots to talk about.

  30. Asimov, you just answered this question by yourself. I thought you only see movies as only great or shit BECAUSE you only talk about these two extremes. :)

  31. CJ Holden, of course. I mean, why bother with movies where there’s nothing to say? Now, what you don’t know is the gamut of movies i have something, or evne much to say. Hell, i could write quite a few words about SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. I kid you not. Actually,i would love to see what Vern has to say about those Slumber party Massacre movies.

  32. I’ll admit, I didn’t have much confidence in this project back when. But it had nothing to do with the casting. Hell, I’d never heard of most of these dudes, which I think is generally the way to go. Less baggage. I just had no interest in a mo-cap movie, which was what it was said to be at the time. If that was not the case, I apologize to Miller for any pain I may have caused. I also would like to say that I am tentatively optimistic about his casting of the new Max following Hardy’s charming performance in INCEPTION (although I would still prefer an old, grizzled, Gibsonian Max). I hope Miller can find it in his heart to forgive me. A man needs time to change.

    I still ain’t watching that dancing penguin shit, though. I have my pride.

  33. Mr Majestyk> Did you see Babe though? I saw it and feel I kept my pride. Don’t know about penguin flick though.

  34. Asimov – SUPERMAN 3 is a movie where everyone is trying to be funny, to be silly. Trying very hard. And….no. Majestyk, may I bring up your “Acting nutty while wearing lampshade for hat” metaphor that you used for FROM PARIS WITH LOVE?

    Superman 3 was such a loser for me, that believe it or not I didn’t bother with Richard Lester’s more known and respected work until high school/college. Whether this was concious or not, I made some sort of a point to avoid A HARD DAY’S NIGHT until college freshman year. You know, one of the supposed great influential 1960s movies that is taught in most Film 101 courses? Made me feel like an asshole for waiting that long. And all thanks to Superman 3.

    Andy – I despise most of them in general these days. Dunno about you, but I grew up when comics generally were one-issue adventures, or sometimes a multi-issue storyline…but a well-worth epic storyline with teeth-grinding cliffhangers.

    Not perfect, but now every damn book is in the midst of some year-long epic super duper universe-alterating mega-cross over storyline…hell that describes BATMAN every friggin year. If its all the time, what is so special about them? If you ask me, this generation of editors/writers/cynical moneymen got too much inspiration from SECRET WAR and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

    Or for that matter, those writers go for the cheap shock and kill off some B/C-list hero and I’m supposed to be stunned or care. Hell wasn’t first issue of that BLACK LANTERN crap where several of them frame after frame get their hearts ripped out? Yummy. Until they’re revived from the dead. Boring, nevermind such comics in general are doomed to be stuck forever spinning in that 2nd Act. If 1st Act is origin/beginnings, Act 2 is the primetime and Act 3 is when everything comes to an end. Which of course they generally don’t explore because hey, we have a license to print money.

    Yet again, only BATMAN in comics or TV has been honestly the only character DC has done or tried that, whether DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or BATMAN BEYOND or I suppose KINGDOM COME. Either way, Bats grows into an old prick. Interesting.

    Mr. Majestyk – You know, George Miller dodged a bullet by not bringing back Mad Mel.

  35. JLA? Carajo, Vern, you sound like a nerd. What are we doing to you?

  36. Good point Vincento. I gotta feeling Vern is into the funny books more than he likes to admit. Or have people round here started to turn Vern into Harry Knowles.

    If so, I’m gonna pack my shit up and get the fuck out of dodge.

  37. Mr. Majestyk, thanks a bunch. Can’t hardly wait to read it.

  38. Ace: I saw BABE way back in the day when I was a counselor at a day camp for mentally handicapped and/or disturbed kids. I don’t remember too much of it as I was mostly focused on making sure the kids didn’t light anything on fire while I flirted with the female counselors. But I will say that I’m more likely to give a damn about an animatronic pig than I am a CGI penguin. And I hear that PIG IN THE CITY is a harrowing psychedelic nightmare so maybe I’ll check it out one of these days.

    RRA: Feel free to use my lampshade metaphor wherever applicable, which is certainly the case with SUPES III. Remember the cardinal rule: Never chase ridiculousness. Let ridiculousness come to you.

    Although I will admit to liking the parts with the evil Superman. You can tell he’s evil because he doesn’t shave.

    Ace again: As long as Vern never feels compelled to use the word “splooge” in a review, I think we’re good.

  39. The Jack Russell on wheels in Pig In The City reduces me to tears, so be warned.


  40. RRA: Oh, and no, I don’t think Miller dodged a bullet by not casting Mel. I think he missed an opportunity for the movie to surpass PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS levels of insane supergenius.

  41. Is Happy Feet supposed to be awful? That sucks. I thought Miller made what’s basically a Stanley Kubrick film for children. To me, it’s the only one of those CGI cartoons that has anything approximating real vision; the only one that’s an actual movie and not just calculated self-conscious entertainment product for suburbanites.


    Same here. The whole end scene stuck with me, just pure craziness.

  43. Ace: Yes, splooge.


    I will forever be grateful to this link for introducing me to the medical term “retarded ejaculation.” I think that sums up Harry’s writing style pretty well.

  44. All that stuff DOES sound good Vern, but at the time, that wasn’t known. The impression a lot of us got was that the film was being rushed just to beat Marvel to the punch on their plans for AVENGERS, and the casting was a bit dubious. I couldn’t really picture the guy they got for Superman (Myers from HELLBOY, wasn’t it?) in costume. Armie Hammer had like 2, maybe 3 things on his resume and one of those was as an extra or something, plus he was pretty young. I thought who he casted for Wonder Woman, Megan Gale really, really LOOKED the part(fits the basic description and was beautifull and young, but not TOO young, actually looking Womanly, not Girl-like), but she was primarilly a model and I didn’t know if she had the chops. Rapper Common was going to play Green Lantern, and I’d never heard of him as an actor OR as a musician. And Adam Brody as the Kid Flash and eventually THE Flash, which could have worked, though I personally felt it was a bit of a waste that they’d have to kill off his mentor to get to that. One rumour I heard that could have worked was that Mel Gibson would be in it too playing the villain, Max Lord, which is such a scary good fit.
    At the recent New York Comic Con, DC Writer and consultant on a lot of the adaptations being made for other media Geoff Johns was asked about a Justice League movie’s chances of being made, and he said that for now they want to focus just building up the characters seperately in their own properties because they feel their characters are “bigger” than Marvel’s. Which I don’t take to mean “more popular/well known” but as being more larger than life and iconic. And I think he has a point. I think it’s harder to come up with a good threat for the JL than the Avengers, because the JL characters have a lot more heavy hitters. Superman, with all his powers, Batman with his strategy and commitment to being as capable and prepared as any human can possibly be, Wonder Woman coming from myth and sharing a lot Superman’s traits, Green Lantern with the universe’s most versatile weapon/tool on his finger, The Fastest Man Alive, a Martian shapeshifter with Superstrength and invisibility and mind powers, and the King of the Ocean etc.
    The Avengers on the other hand has Thor (A Lightning God), Hulk (a near unstoppable monster) and Iron Man (technologically advanced, super-smart guy) as it’s heavy hitters, with the rest of the team arguably a bunch of well-trained, well-equipped fighters. Super Soldier or not, Captain America is arguably just a badass commando with a shield.

  45. There is no way anybody cvan convince me to watch the whole of SUPERMAN 3. Nobody. And a Batman/Superman movie is the worst bad idea for a comic book movie i ever heard, no matter how big is the geekasm from the geekry. That it would be a geekasm is reason why the movie would be all kinds of wrong.

  46. I just can’t see all the costumes working on screen together. It would look like a… comic. The more serious the story, the more ludicrous its gonna look.

  47. The original Paul

    October 12th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Do I lose every bit of my nerd-chic if I admit that I’d never even heard of this movie, or remembered anything about it if I had? And yet I’m almost sorry that it wasn’t made now.

  48. Asimov – I’ll try my best re: Superman III – i’m not going to pretend nostalgia isn’t a factor and you can look at it minus it’s baggage and reputation. And I can’t pretend ALOT of my reaction was based on “at least that was better than Superman Returns”, but here goes – 1) The first 10 min. or so is kinda terrible and meanders, but it does get better in tone and action. 2) The “evil Superman” stuff is better than evil Spiderman 3, or the evil Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. Or when Arnold turns bad in T3 for 5 minutes. The scene where they face off is brutal and the payoff is awesome and cathartic (trust me). 3) Annette O’Toole is charming and sweet as the love interest. Bonus Points for not making the love interest Lois Lane again, but still keeping her in the movie. When was the last time you saw that in a movie? 4) Robert Vaughn is fun too. Bonus points for this being the only one of the 5 Supermans not to have Lex Luthor as a villain. 5) Reeve is fantastic, but we already knew that. 6) The score is great, but we already knew that. Anyways, I would say watch it when you’re bored one day with lowered expectations and you might be pleasantly surprised. It’s better than Superman IV or Returns. Or uh….Star Trek.

  49. If the Justice League were to fight Gorilla Grodd, would it be the Gorilla Grodd that eats people or the one that shoots you with a raygun that turns you into something weird? Regardless of what choice the filmmakers go with nerds would be up in arms.

    I wonder how much effect nerd-rage really has. The Spirit got made and that was 80 minutes of Frank Miller jacking off on Will Eisner’s grave. Everyone knew it was going to be that way, and it didn’t make a difference.

    I vote to keep Brandon Routh as Superman, make the kid a robot or some shit created by Braniac and problem solved. Hey, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Okay, maybe I am but whatever.

  50. So much talk about SUPERMAN 3 and nobody mentioned the fighting traffic light men? :D

  51. I was always a DC fan through and through, still fuck with buying those comic books to this day. Yet I think I was the only other person excited for this shit. As a fan of cinema just on the principle of a new live action action flick by Miller featuring our modern mythological gods on screen. Man listen…

    I guarantee I buy more DC comic books than the damn geek brigade that always shat on this movie every month. Yet felt the need to always defend a movie where Superman was the biggest asshole one earth and his greatest foil was a giant rock.

    Simply because I buy more than just Flash, Green Lantern and Batman comic books. Yet I don’t call myself some fucking authority on what could be done with the characters.

    Many comic book fans want to see Batman on crazy James Bond movie-esque adventures not just parading around Chicago on the set of Law & Order all the time. Many others did too, we want to see Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman on the screen at the same time. We want the world to realize Aquaman is much more than a lame who could talk to fish, that the Flash is more than just the guy who runs fast. The Martian goddamn Manhunter in the flesh etc.

    Miller wanted to give it to us to and yet many so called comic book fans still carry a grudge over this project. There is a DC MULTIVERSE though which is what grinded my gears further. There is room for multiple versions of these characters the general public is NOT THAT STUPID. Smallville was still on when SUPERMAN LIFTS was in theatres for christ sake and nobody had any trouble following.

    Yet the “geeks” (I don’t think they’re genuine geeks) felt the need that “NO IT MUST BE BALE & ROUTH IT MUST FOLLOW NOLAN AND SINGER” bla bla bla. How about not limiting a director to the vision of another? allowing for the most imaginative film we could get? jackasses man that will never realize that movies and comic books are different.

    I mean shit man we could read about very different versions of Batman all the time but we can’t accept a concept like that in the movies? the fuck? If a great director wanted to deliver an exhilarating experience that embraces what makes epic comic books fun I say go for it. It’s a shame many closed minded arm chair movie executives felt otherwise because this would’ve kicked some new life into these superhero flicks.

  52. Broddie – I agree. There are always multiple comic-book versions of characters being published at the same time. Why should the movies be any different. It’s why I don’t understand the re-cast hate. That character’s face changes with every artist!

  53. I actually like the “evil Indiana Jones” in temple of doom. It was so satisfying have him turn “good” again and start kicking some thugee ass. Actually, to be honest, temple of doom might be my favorite Indiana Jones film.

  54. Not to bring this up again and lose all credibility AGAIN – but this talk of alternate comic book universes is why I actually enjoyed Batman and Robin -there’s multiple versions of the same character, and this was basically the Adam West camp Batman with a big budget, not the hyper-stylized Burton Batman, or the “gritty” Nolan Batman. Apples and oranges, to each his own. And even though I can totally see why everyone hates “camp” Batman, I will still for the life of me never get why everyone gave a collective pass to Batman Forever, a movie that’s just as stupid yet nowhere near as funny as B&R.

  55. neal2zod, John Williams idn’t scored SUPERMAN 3, did he? It was just the theme tune from the two previous but nothing else, i believe. Somebody else did the rest. And was’t all that good too.

  56. I just notice that many people have a lot of tolerance, even enjoyment of cheese. Something that is completly unintelligeble for me.

  57. 3 things:

    1. don’t be hatin’ on CONTACT. i have that on DVD, i loved that movie

    2. siphoning off half pennies from paychecks to get rich and mixing cigarette tar with kryptonite: BRILLIANT

    3. vern: you can’t take negativity on the internet seriously. you will go insane. additionally, aren’t these the same cliquish jackwads who convinced the studios that “snakes on a plane” would be a smash hit?

    anyone at any studio who bases filmmaking decisions on the kind of drek you see in the comment boards on aintitcool.com deserves to be fired. if those small furry mammals with an adrenal gland disorder heard jackson was making lord of the rings beforehand, they’d poopoo that idea too. and look how awful that turned out (rolls eyes)

  58. ThomasCrown442, great to see some love for the excelent yet terribly underrated INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

  59. BR Baraka, there’s only 4 ways for you to love CONTACT:

    1- You are inlove with a 30something Jodie Foster with long blonde hair (which is totally understandable);
    2- You know next to nothing about the book it’s based upon;
    3- You loath the book it’s based upon so much you want to see it disfigured, maltreated and changed beyond all possible recognition;
    4- You are a christian fundamentalist religious person that loves to see atheists and unbelievers eat humble pie through the most idiotic and shallow type of storytelling devises imaginable.

  60. I was pretty excited about this movie because superhero movies with more than one hero in them are so rare. There’s the X-Men ones, Daredevil (although Electra is more of an anti-hero) and Iron Man 2, I guess, but that’s about it. The whole reason superhero comics have been limping along for the past 70 years is because of their shared universes. If the Sub-mariner had never teamed up with the Human Torch we’d probably be discussing how awesome Christopher Nolan’s Doc Savage movies were and whether Zack Snyder was a good choice for The Spider. (he’d be terrible)

  61. Vern, are you performing some kind of nerd-testing experiment on us? I keep getting drawn in.

    You know what a good antidote is?

    The Wire.

  62. asimov: i am an atheist. i completely don’t understand your reading of that movie, and i’ve seen it a dozen times


    i thank sagan would have loved it as hewing closely to his vision


  63. Man “20 Years to Midnight,” that VENTURE BROS. episode, summed up my not so swell feelings about the bullshit that is CONTACT.

  64. Neal2Zod, you totally called it on Batman Forever. The whole story goes: Everyone hated Batman Returns. It’s too dark and gross, why does it have to be so dark and gross. Okay, let’s do light and funny. Batman Forever, yay, we love this. Do more Batmans like this. So they did Batman and Robin, admittedly a bit more extreme than Forever, but the fickle public turned. Think what you want of B&R but it’s the movie America asked for.

    Asimov, watch whatever you want. I like Superman III, probably a lot for nostalgic reasons, although I can watch the cyborg lady with my eyes open now. We’re not going to get another Richard Donner one, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a decent Lester one. He did do a solid version of II also. I love Returns too.

    Limey, exactly, I love those moments of movies. Robocop is pretty much summed up for me in the moment he goes to his house and remembers who he was, and calls himself Murphy at the end, and that’s a whole movie of wonderful moments. In Returns, don’t forget the doctors not being able to get a needle into Supes’ arm.

  65. W.S.- Happy Feet was pretty well-recieved at the time of it’s release, but it’s only now that it seems like people are sitting up and going “waitamiute, this movie’s doing some really innovative, visionary stuff that we have’t seen before.”

    And, of course, the French said it first. I have a piece on it that might be published in Slant Magazine in the near future, actually- so, keep your eye out for my byline.

  66. Overall though, I think this definitely could have been a lot better than the Justice League TV Pilot

  67. Are you kidding me? Winchester from M*A*S*H will always be the definitive Martian Manhunter.

  68. Batman and Robin failed for the same reason that Batman Returns failed.

    Batman Returns: “Batman was dark and gloomy but it was a huge success. So for the sequel, lets make it even more dark and gloomy because that’s what made it succesful. ”

    Batman and Robin: “Batman Forever was lighthearted and fun. So for the sequel, lets make it evern more lighthearted and fun because thats what made it succesful.”

    Whether its dark and gloomy or bright and lighthearted, excess is still excess. Its like the studios gave Shumacher and Burton free reign on their respective sequels and there was just too much self indulgence which turned off the public. Returns was just not really fun to watch (though i think its still a good movie) while B&R resembled the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The pendulum swung completely the other way.

  69. Look guys. This movie thing, it’s a BUSINESS. And it’s bad BUSINESS to blow your wad on a single movie featuring 6 franchise characters when you could do 6 separate movies, each with the possibility of 2 sequels apiece. Not only do you run the risk of killing over TWO DECADES worth of franchise characters in one fell swoop, you also cannibalize your ancillary sales.

    I mean, if you’re releasing a single line of Christmas toys featuring Batman AND Superman AND Wonder Woman AND Green Lantern AND Aquaman AND whatever villains they chose…well, who the fuck i gonna buy the Green Lantern toys? Or the Aquaman toys? And, by the way, this is why we have never seen big budget Wonder Woman movie, boys ain’t gonna buy the toys, and a Wonder Woman barbie ain’t gonna cut it. Dark Knight’s production budget and marketing and distribution were paid for entirety by the toy sales, (which is also the root cause of dumbing down Batman Forever and Batman and Robin).

    Green Lantern will no doubt sell hundreds of millions of dollars of toys and t-shirts and video games and lunch boxes and sexual lubricants and guillotines and electric cars and thermonuclear devices, and so will the Flash and probably even Aquaman. But if you put them all together, they end up as less than the sum of their parts, fiscally. You end up selling about the same amount of Batman toys and the same amount of Superman toys, but a fraction of what you could have sold in toys for all the others.

    Plus, you have to think of marketing. When they made Iron Man, they had to spend a whole lot of time and money to explain the concept of Iron Man. That core idea that resonated with the population. (plus, it didn’t hurt that it was an ultra-ultra-Cathrine-O’Donnell-right-wing movie in pseudo-liberal clothing) and became part of the cultural lexicon. It worked, but it came at a pretty penny. They spent over 100 million dollars advertising that film, probably 40 of which went into efforts to make people aware of who the fuck Iron Man even is. Now, if you have to do that with Green Lantern (that movie’s gonna need CRAZY marketing) AND The Flash AND Wonder Woman AND Aquaman…how far can you really stretch your marketing dollar?

    Unless you’re willing to throw down 300 million on marketing, your film will work primarily to establish that each of the non-Batman/Superman characters are second tier, and not worthy of too much attention. Then, if and when you have sequels, you’re looking at Elektra rather than Wolverine (financially, it would be hard to do worse than those two creatively). You screw yourself over and lose the ability to properly monetize the majority of these characters for another 20 years.

    The JLA movie was never a good idea. Sure, this all sounds badass and cool, and George Miller has never made a bad movie, at least from the ones I’ve seen, but as a studio executive, I would never, ever have even entertained this idea. Team up movies are the realm of dead franchises. Freddy Vs. Jason, Alien Vs. Predator, Superman Vs. Batman? Which one of these seems out of place?

    And, if the movie were to get off the ground, since you’re kinda betting what could be EIGHTEEN MOVIES on single film, the only fiduciarily responsible move would be to note the damn thing to death and make sure it was as middle of the road as humanly possible.

    Point is, all of this sounds cool and exciting and we all love George Miller, but this movie should never have made it past the stage of a cool “what if” conversation.

  70. ThomasCrown442 – But…..BATMAN RETURNS was pretty good? It was just Tim Burton had total carte blanche and he went a tad too dark for the damn parents.

    Well fuck’em.

  71. BATMAN RETURNS remains the best Batman movie because it’s dark as fuck and still fun.

  72. Mr. M – Best? No. Pretty dark/pretty fun/pretty good? YES.

  73. Mr. Majestyk- Well Ferrer certainly did a great job voicing him in THE NEW FRONTIER. And he’s always Robocop’s creator Bob Norton to me.

  74. Just for the record, my post was in regards to the general public. I like Batman Returns. I was just trying to say that because Burton got a little self indulgent in his “Burtoness”, it caused the studios to give us Batman Forever and B&R. So while Batman Returns was a very good entry into the Batman canon, there was collateral damage in that BF and B&R got made. Dark Knight and Returns are very similar in that they’re both dark and somewhat depressing, but since Dark Knight was a huge box office hit, we’ll get more cool Batman movies with the same tone instead of day-glo batman on ice (thank god!)

  75. Speaking of DC cartoon movies,, I must say most of the recent ones have been rather….OK. Like somehow they escaped television onto DVD. Hell that WORLD’S COLLIDE, I kept counting how many times these capes kept getting thrown into a wall. I lost count.

    Still UNDER THE RED HOOD and NEW FRONTIER are pretty darn good, I would recommend them both to people outside the Nerd Dic.

    Besides, Superman/Batman PUBLIC ENEMIES fucking disapointed me. President Lex Luthor? You know what they should have done instead? If Lex wanted to get back at Supes, instead of going back and doing his usual bullshit as Prez, he should instead become the good guy, or become the greatest President ever and cure cancer and world peace and shit. Be the hero.

    See that would be more Luthoran (Luthorian?) and would piss off Supes more. You know better Lex.

  76. ThomasCrown442 – Fair enough.

    Also I’m about ready to thrown in my last towel for Burton. Lets just say after ALICE, his DARK SHADOWS shit isn’t heating up my cup of tea.

    Because we need more vampire movies. Yes sir.

    Fun Fact: With ALICE and the second PIRATES, Johnny Depp is the first movie star in history to score two $1 billion hits. I shit you not. Suck it Mr. Smith.

  77. RRA: Well Public Enemies is a fairly faithfull adaptation, and in fact, in the comics, Luthor apparently was a good President and did work hard to protect the country and stuff. He just eventually goes off the rails a bit there and tries to finally do in Superman for good and tips his hand. I’ve also been getting the vibe they possibly might be setting Luthor up to be more heroic in the comics eventually.

  78. Wow RRA, two 1 billion dollar hits? Thats pretty cool. Its interesting that its Depp who accomplished this because he seems like a guy who just loves acting. He’s not one of these movie stars who panders to the box office crowds. Not many sequels (only the POTC movies which he seemed to geniunly want to be involved in) and many movies that are just flat out bizarre. Not that making sequels is a bad thing, but I never feel like he’s just cashing a check. He’s one of the few movie stars that keeps me from being 100% cynical about movies these days. Good for him.

  79. Funny side note about that, its funny that both of his 1 billion dollar hits are not in his top 10 or maybe even his top 20 movies that he’s made.

  80. Yeah, I hate to read people calling Depp a sellout for Pirates just because it’s a bit safer than his usual stuff. As if the guy can’t just take a break and get something out of a blockbuster, which he still approached in a fairly unconventional way.
    Or saying the same about Clive Owen for doing Shoot ‘Em Up. What? Clive Owen isn’t allowed to want to do an action movie filled with dumb one liners and implausible set-pieces?
    While I’m on the subject, can we get Christian Bale to do a comedy some day? I thought American Psycho showed he had the ability to be hilarious.

  81. I agree Stu. I remember seeing the trailer for the 1st POTC and thinking, “Wow, people are either going to love or hate Depp’s performance in this” which to me, made the performance rather risky for a 150 million dollar film. I can just see the studio thinking “what the hell is he doing?”. I also agree about Bale. Fucking hilarious in American Psycho and in interviews he seems like a charming guy with a sense of humor. Is he typecast now or something?

  82. ThomasCrown, very insightful about both Batman sequels. People and studios reacted the same way and suffered the same failures.

  83. Well I can appreciate your admiration for George Miller, and what he might have done with a “Justice League” movie. Evidence certainly points to the fact that he was taking it seriously. But appreciate friendo that tho some of us respect George Miller as a solid filmmaker, we don’t quite hold him up on the mount Olympian level you do. The “90210” casting (which was all there was to go on at the time) could certainly fairly be seen as dubious. And do please take into account that consistant quality in the “Comics Superhero”genre is still a relatively young phenomena. Me and my geek brethren have been burned enough for us to justifiably still be on guard (if overly reactionary at times)
    . Despite the Comic Superheroes providing hollywood with thier only dependably bankable genre, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that even at this late date they still turn their noses up at comics as some kind of retarded backwoods cousin of an artistic medium. For example, Joe Johnston (director of the upcoming Captain America flick) expressing in an interview, the need to, and measures by which he and his writers “got around” the proposition of a character adorning himself in the American flag. Cause, um, ya know…a character named CAPTAIN AMERICA draping himself in the AMERICAN FLAG is certainly something we have to “get around”. Nevermind that its a 1940s WWII character and universe thats being depicted, lets lamely inject our own modern cynicism anyway. And of course hollywood is still cranking out gems like “Punisher: War Zone”, “League of Extraordinary Gentleman”, “Jonah Hex”, “Ghost Rider”, and “Fantastic Four”. I must also say friendo that I think the dismissal of a “Nolan Batman” occupying the same space as the Justice League characters is just as reactionary as the fanboy backlash your railing against. I have no problem with the different versions of Batman in different flicks alternative, I’m just naive enough to believe that creative and clever writing can surmount any percieved “obstacle”. And I know your a good enough sport my man to appreciate that someone is snickering just as heartily at your assessment that “Billionare playboy that dresses up like Dracula and fights evil clowns-man” sharing the same screen as “Magic ring-man” just wouldn’t be credible. Seriously, I get where your coming from with regard to the Nolan-verse. I just find it perplexing that at this late date, despite the ubiquity of comic book films, that people still have these absolutist notions about what nerd elements simply won’t play to the mainstream. Just seems obvious to me that the nerd stuff IS NOW mainstream.

  84. AsimovLives: the reason Batman/Superman works is because it’s a classic light/dark contrast. think a buddy cop movie. Batman is dark and brooding. he’s got no powers. he fights lunatics
    Superman literally gets his powers from the Sun. he’s joyous and happy. he fights the smartest man in the world

  85. Also Batman is Catholic and Supes is Jewish.

    Its quite good comedy.

  86. Am I the only one that remembers that Miller’s JLA was going to be motion capture? Am I remembering that wrong?

  87. FTopel: The wikipedia entry says “In addition, the studio was considering filming Justice League completely in motion capture, similar to Beowulf,” but then sources it to a Variety article that just says, “To work around these issues, the studio explored making ‘Justice League’ as an animated film or with motion capture, but all indications are that the pic will be an f/x-driven live-actioner.”

    There are many quotes of George Miller talking about when “filming” would take place, which I don’t think he’d say if he was animating it, and there were some reports (including the Quint/Armie Hammer interview I linked to) of costumes made by Weta, that the actors had tried them on and what lengths they had to go to make sure there weren’t photos.

    Because the movie was so secretive there were alot of weird rumors and I’m sure the motion catpure thing you heard was one of many things that the various movie blogs misread or misunderstood and then repeated as fact without ever realizing it.

  88. BR Baraka, you cna’t see the desperate religion ass-kissing that goes about in CONTACT? Onbe doesn’t need to be an atheist to see that VERY OBVIOUS nonsense from the movie. It’s even layed tick so that to make the biblebelters in the midwest happy. If the many things we can accuse CONTACT, subtlery is not one of them.

  89. Brimstone, a Batman/superman movie, speially a story where the two would had to fight each other, is nothng but geekasm. The two characters do not belong at all in each others universes. No amount of rationalization about one being the shadows and the othe rbeing the light can change that. If you want to play such dycotomie,s do with characters which were created in the same universes right form the bat. The dark/shadow dycohomy works specially for hero/villains relationships. Forcing it to Batmna and superman is not only nonsensical and artificial, it’s nothing but a mere exercise in geekasm. It’s small wonder that it’s so bloody hard to make a good Batman/Superman story, because it’s so damn artificial and nonsensical. It’s just geekasm, and that’s the worst foundation possible for a movie. Unless you want the bloody movie to be nothing but some dumb stupid exercise in cheese.

  90. If I remember the book right, the whole hero is skeptic shit was done basically by Sagan to honestly align his SETI crusade and Voyager shit as being on the line of a theology.

    You can’t prove or disprove God. Nor can you (currently) do the same for aliens/UFOs. If you do believe in either, its out of an optimistic assumption/hope, a fantasy guessing game that they’re or something out there somewhere.

    Funny enough, the one movie I’m aware of which played off somewhat what Sagan was gunning for (much more than CONTACT the movie) was the last X-FILES movie.

    I just wonder if Zemeckis tripped and bruised his knee when the religion stuff came up because he really took a honest timeless question (but added with E.T.) from a book and made it into evil religious psycho and good religious guy and that cartoon book approach to the topic.

    “Religion can be GOOD, it can be BAD!” – Well no shit movie. I read the papers, all the travesty in the Middle East can either make for a good contemporary argument for atheism or for even more stringent fundamentalist nutjob allegiance to your faith. I don’t need Jake Busey’s help.

    I think a good majority of media think religion boils down to “I believe he/she/they control my destiny” and its not. Religion more or less is a lifestyle, and its your glasses/buffer to what you don’t like with the world. Like all those southern baptists who so believe in Jesus’ word of Love, they hate the Gays.

    Like Louisiana making guns legal in church. I believe taking a firearm into a holy house is making some sort of statement. Or they just watched QUIET EARTH.

  91. I don’t really buy the whole “you can’t prove or disprove G-d” argument. By the exact same logic, we should take Zeus, and Cthulhlu, and Quetzalcoatl, and Batman just as seriously as we take Yahweh. I mean, we have 9 dimensions, so prove to me that Bruce Wayne isn’t a real person in one of them.

    You can’t, because technically speaking, Bruce Wayne and Batman are “possible.”

    And to put UFO’s on the same level of possibility as Jehovah, is just wrong. There is a mathematically probability of extra terrestrial life. In fact, the odds of other carbon based life in the universe just went way, way up within the last 2 weeks. We found another planet with liquid water on it a mere 50 light years away from earth.

    Now, liquid water can only exist between the temperatures of 0 and 100 degrees Celsius. So, the existence of liquid water actually tells us a lot about the make up of this planet, it’s a very narrow band after all. And, if there is another earth-like planet so close within our universe, it stands to reason that there are a great many earth-like planets all over the universe. And, given that we have seen how readily life will develop in any place on earth with liquid water, it stands to reason that there is a very realistic possibility that other life of some type exists in the universe.

    Compare that with the concept of an ultimate being who created himself out of nothing and then created man out of nothing for unclear reasons, and who periodically interacts with mankind when we build a tower that is too tall or try and eat the “strange flesh” of angels, or whatever.

    See how those two are different? Like, not similar, AT ALL?

    Not to be totally anti-faith though. I’m an Atheist who prays regularly. I’ve been told that this makes me a good Jew. And I’m kinda down with that.

  92. Hunter D. – Reminds me of that T-shirt my old roommate used to wear: Incredible Hulk beating up Jesus, and below in bold lettering: “My Imaginary Friend beats up your imaginary friend!”

    Besides Superman as real would be awesome. We need real-life Super Dickery on his level.

  93. RRA, how long ago you havne’t read CONTACT? Because in it, he made his protagonist, Ellie Arroway, an agnostic. Unlike what she is in the movie, a weak atheist with nothing else to back her ideals then “daddy was kiled by god through heart-attack”. In the book she’s a complex character. emotionall complex, in things of science and ideals she’s super even-handed. Thing is, the book itself doesn’t attack religion, with many religious character shown as humans with good and bad things.

    If there is any crusade in the book, which there isn’t, is that the way for us to know is to leave secticism but embrace skepticism as the tools of knowledge. ellie herself, after he interstellar travel, she still goes on a quest to try to find a mathematical or physical proof that her travel was real and not just some group hysteria fantasy.

    The book is incredibly even handed. The fucking movie, however, is one of the most disgusting kissing god’s ass and the awesolemenss of blind falith ever dis played on film in the history of cinema. My loath for that piece of crap movie has no limits.

  94. As for the God argument, the issue is really very simple: if you believe god exists, you have to prove it. The burden of proof falls to whom makes the claim. So, if you claim God exists, you better prove it. you cna’t do the other thing, which is, to prove non-existence. So, all god-heads have to prove their supreme being exists, with tangible, unambigiius, direct evidence and proof. And by that it doesn’t making memorizing whole sections of their favorite holy book and spew it out.

    I can understand the pisitons of agnostics, but it can also be said to be intellectual cowardice. It’s the aplication of the famous pascal Wager. Thing is, IF god existed, you thing he would be fooled by such cheap intellctual tricks? I don’t think so.

  95. Armie Hammer for He-Man! Superman IV, junk bonds and Dolph’s He-Man helped sink Cannon Films. We lost out on Cannon Films and Albert Pyun’s planned coincided filming of Spider-Man (Lizard sewer sets later used for Ninja Turtles) and He-Man 2, but got Cyborg instead out of the props and sets.

  96. Hunter D., if you spend time praying I don’t see how you can be a true atheist. Wouldn’t you see that as a boring waste of time?

    One thing about God…people can say prove he exists and if you can’t then why believe it, and all of that, but say aliens are possible because of mathmatics. This is all true. But couldn’t you always gifure God is some sort of super alien, he can do a lot of stuff and we jsut can’t figure it out because he’s so far advanced? Mayeb everything in the Bible is true, we don’t know why. Maybe he did create the universe, after his own ten million years of evolution. I don’t necessarily believe this, I’m just saying there are lots of possibilities out there.

    Lastly I don’t see how ANYONE can slag off bad movies but defend Supeman Returns. I’ll take a stupid fun entertaining movie over a long, boring, joyless one. And how can you say that Superman and Batman can’t belong in the same movie, because they are such different characters? It’s sort of like saying that Lex Luthor can’t be in Superman, but really isn’t Lex just missing the costume…he’s essentially the evil Batman.

  97. Pascal’s wager fails because it doesn’t take into account any negative effects of believing in G-d. And, as it turns out, there are a great many negative effects of this. For example, theocratic governments are wont towards genocide. The last couple of Pope’s knew about the massive instances of child rape within the Church and instead of standing up to it…they spent billions of dollars (of tax free money!) to cover it up. Right-Wing religious groups that rally against proper sex education in our schools end up causing much higher instances of STDs, pregnancy, abortion, and teen suicide (which can be demonstrated by the fact that every state with comprehensive sex ed has a year-to-year drop in these issues while the states abstinence only stay level, or rise year-to-year)

    And this isn’t to just cherry pick and bash religion without foundation. The point here is that Pascal left out a HUGE variable; the known and definite damage that adherence to a faith with cause versus the hypothetical 1% chance (which is also a way too high percent chance) of “redemption” for an ultimately insincere belief.

    There are many reasons to believe in G-d. I don’t think Pascal found one of them.

  98. *faith WILL cause, not faith with cause.

  99. Aren’t there many studies that show people who believe in God are healthier and happier a lot of times? It seems reasonable, if you think this isn’t it then you don’t worry as much about dying or whatever. I don’t know that this is true, but I think I’ve read stuff like that.

    I do think if you wiped out all religious beliefs right this second, there would still be the same amount of wars and killing and intolerance, it would just be for other reasons. And a lot of times God was used as the justification for what the rulers were REALLY after (power, money and pussy).

  100. Jones, you’re conflating terms. Yes, I think it’s entirely possible that Aliens exist in the universe. I will even concede that it is possible that they could have found a way to travel at the speed of light, or at least a fraction of the speed of light, which would enable them to have visited us. Too, I believe that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    However, saying “couldn’t G-d just be a super alien” is not actually a good argument for G-d. It also fails Occam’s Razor.

  101. I’m saying if you believe in the possibility of aliens, then there’s a whole lot of stuff possible out there in the universe that could fall under that realm, maybe not even a sentient being. Maybe there is a God-like being but it didn’t create the universe, however back in the day people confused it for God. Who knows. We don’t understand black holes. You don’t just “prove” God exists, it’s not that easy. Brilliant minds like Stephen Hawking will come up with theories about the universe, which will later be disproven. And on and on it goes.

    I guess I disagree with AsimovLives about being agnostic as intellectual cowardism. I tend to think athetists are as arrogant as Christians, because they’re so sure they’re right but really, what do they know?

  102. Jones:

    While war would certainly still exist, it would be more difficult. The first thing government’s do when they want to start a war is appeal to the “pious” and attempt to make the war seem “holy” and justified in the eyes of G-d. They rally the populace around this, creating a more unified “us” and “them” (because the “them” usually have an ever so slightly different version of G-d) so that they can demonize the them, sometimes literally, and create a monolithic perception of the “them” in the general populace. “G-d told me to!” is a very handy shortcut for serial killers and war lords.

    And yes, there is some anecdotal evidence that those who believe in some form of G-d live longer, but they also endanger all of us. Fundamentalist groups actually do things that they think will spur on the end times. For example, there are huge swaths of the Neo-Con movement that hate Jews but support Israel because they want to fulfill prophecies from the Book of Revelations. Now, I’m not against Israel, I actually generally support them (when they aren’t dropping white phosphorus on civilians) but the Book of Revelations is a crazy fucking reason to support something. And dangerous. Very dangerous.

    And if we’re gonna throw around random anecdotal evidence that is almost certainly marred by results bias, there are 80 someodd studies that show an inverse correlation between belief in G-d and IQ. The more faith-based, the lower the IQ. The less faith-based, the higher the IQ. Some tests found a difference of up to 10 IQ points between college educated Atheists and college educated Fundamentalists.

  103. Okay, I’ve been playing nice Jones, but that’s like the 8th time you’ve implemented equivocation in your arguments and I really gotta call you on that. Debate-party foul!

    Blind adherence to something =/= total dismissal of something because of lack of evidence.

    It’s called being an adult and not falling into the trap of magical thinking. You have no reason whatsoever to assume that G-d exists. It only appears to be the “standard setting” for the human mind because of Religion’s cultural prevalence. A prevalence that is not so much do to its truth as it is due to its aforementioned political usefulness. I mean, what other organization could rape tens of thousands of children over decades and decades and spend literally billions of dollars trying to (unsuccessfully) cover it up and face not even the slightest chance of so much as losing their tax-exempt status?

    If you’re going to go with the “you never know” argument, then you should also take seriously the possibility that I’m a giant talking unicorn despot from space who types by screaming letters at tiny elves who jump and and down on my keyboard to type. Also, you should believe those advertisements that say you can grow your penis 4″ in 4 weeks, because, hey, you never know!

    I can accept an agnostic who says, “Well, clearly The Bible is not literal, but there could be some inciting action for life of which we do not know.” But you’re not saying that. You seem to be saying that, as an Agnostic, you should totally take The Bible into serious consideration as a literal document. And THAT strikes me as illogical.

    You can dismiss religious thought quite readily with basic logic. Religious thought is based upon circular logic, how often does circular logic pan out in the real world…oh, never? hmmm.

    But again, I read The Bible a lot and I quote it almost every day. And I often pray. So, what the hell do I know.

  104. I have no doubt that many people who really believe in God are dumber. It’s like a security blanket. But I think if you took out God, then that steadfast belief that leaders appeal to would still exist, just in a different form. Hitler used national pride and expansionism, other countries have basically made their leader a God, and there’s always money and land.

  105. “Well, clearly The Bible is not literal, but there could be some inciting action for life of which we do not know.”

    Uh Hunter…isn’t that basically what I said? I even said that maybe something big and understandable is out there that isn’t even sentient, that MAYBE people CONFUSED as God, does that sound like I’m saying the Bible is literal? You’re the one who said aliens may exist, well haven’t you ever seen Star Trek? You think an alien is going to always look like a person and fly in a spacecraft? I’m just saying the universe is a big and expansive place, there’s a lot of weird shit floating around.

    Are you a college educated Fundamentalist?

  106. A: The word you are looking for is “Cult of Personality” if I am not mistaken.

    B: you said, “Mayeb [SIC] everything in the Bible is true, we don’t know why. Maybe he did create the universe, after his own ten million years of evolution. I don’t necessarily believe this, I’m just saying there are lots of possibilities out there.”

  107. But more importantly, how fuckin’ good was Armie Hammer in this movie? I didn’t even know he was playing 2 parts until I got home and checked IMDB!

  108. You could handle two different Batman’s or who ever in different films at the same time? So does that mean you would be fine with different John Mclain’s or Indiana Jones’? Can you imagine non funny book people keeping up with that shit?

  109. So was Singer trying to compare Superman directly to Jesus or was he making the point that the story of the powerful son sent from above to protect humanity has been, and will be told many times?

    I’ve always wondered that.

  110. So I’m watching this crazy George Miller action movie with Superman flying around and Aquaman swimming with dolphins and all these other guys in league together creating justice. It’s clearly not filmed in Chicago and Batman’s costume is different than in Dark Knight and he’s alot taller but as a human of earth I recognize from the mask that it’s supposed to be Batman. Then at some point he has the mask off and he’s Bruce Wayne but it’s not Christian Bale.

    What is the worst case scenario we’re worried about here? I’m gonna go “wait a minute, that’s not Christian Bale, what the FUCK is going ON?! I DON’T KNOW WHICH WAY IS UP!” and run out crying? No, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna think “hmm, it’s a different Batman” and then watch him swing on a rope and punch some guys and either decide I like him better or he’s not as good or both have their pros and cons. They got young people playing Star Trek, they’re doing it with X-Men, they got different Supermans and John Connors between sequels and TV shows and they’ve had alot of different Batmans.

    How fucking stupid do we think people are that this is supposed to be a problem, and even if they really are that stupid don’t you think they should be kept at home anyway and not going out to the movies? Seems dangerous.

  111. Vern – Don’t forget the biggest cast-change of all: all the different guys who’ve played James Bond.

  112. Vern – your last comment made me think of all the guys who are upset that Chris Evans was cast as Captain America because they think it will confuse everyone who saw him as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four. Actors can only play one character because the “general public” is sooo fucking stupid, apparently.

  113. Mickey – Yeah folks confused James Bond for Remington Steele in the 1990s.

  114. I don’t believe Warner Bros. would have minded having two Batman movies out within the same year. I bet they were more worried about burning off all those properties. Now their plan is to have a DC tentpole every year.

  115. or for British people, all the Doctor Whos

    AsimovLives, Batman and Superman have teamed up for 70 years in comic books and cartoons. it’s like Alien vs Predator. you can say the movies are shit but it’s clearly a pairing that works

    as for Batman, if people can accept Dark Knight Batman and Comic Book Batman and happy cartoon Brave & the Bold Batman and brooding old Animated Series Batman and all that they can easily accept a different actor

    hell Harvey Dent went from Billy Dee Williams in the Tim Burton Batmans to Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever

  116. “Vern – your last comment made me think of all the guys who are upset that Chris Evans was cast as Captain America because they think it will confuse everyone who saw him as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four. Actors can only play one character because the “general public” is sooo fucking stupid, apparently.”

    that’s different. they’re both characters in the same comic book universe, and Marvel is bringing all their comic characters together. so it would be like having Christian Bale play Superman in a movie

  117. I understand Comic Book fans want a faithful adaptation of their characters’ historical source material. Well if you’re comic memory is so strong and important why isn’t your film memory able to look back to George Miller’s early career? You see it as the director of Happy Feet hacking together all your favourite characters into one quick cash grab? No it’s the director of the fucking Road Warrior making a long awaited return to Action with a colossal budget and highly visual source material! I hope George isn’t getting too burned out on having the plug pulled on this and Fury Road’s delays. I imagine if this trend continues he may decide to stick to the Family/Animated films where he has the support he deserves. With the current state of coherence in the Action Genre we need to get behind directors like George to change the trend.

  118. Marvel is NOT planning to bring the old Fantastic Four into the same world as The Avengers. Different studios for one, but they also want to redo FF anyway.

  119. Vern, how stupid they think people are? Well, the studios do think the people are that stupid. And even if they don’t, they prefer to err on the stupid side. And that is why it irritates me so much. That’s the thing i most hate and dislike about a movie and those who made it, which i call “deliberate stupidity”. And more and more i see that being aplied by not just studio executives but filmmakers who are too happy to do that, filmmakers like Michael Bay, Tony Scott, JJ Abrams and Zack Snyder, who are just a tip of the iceberg. Another reason why i still enjoy filmmakers like Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan, who always try to make the best and smartest movie they can about the mvoie they are making. Others like Cameron and Spielberg sometimes are sliding down on the path of dumb, and are not showing the once smarts they used to have in spades.

  120. I’ll give Asimov this: Bay pisses me off at the very lease because for every new Bay movie, that fucker seems to considerably drop the collective IQ in Internet discussions regarding popcorn movies.

  121. The original Paul

    October 14th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Vern – I checked my supermarket’s DVD shelves today and was shocked to see a subtitled copy of “Dead Snow”. I thought the world was going to end.

    Then I saw they also had dozens of copies of “Failure to launch” and “Bride Wars”. Now I’ve never seen either of these movies, but their reputation precedes them.

    It’s not that they think people are stupid. It’s that the distributors’ only real motive is profit, so they’ll put the shit on the shelves that’ll sell, not that some arbitrary group of critics somewhere has decided is the “best”.

    But here’s the thing. I bought thirty books a couple of weeks ago, many of them being shipped from America, of an author who’s a personal favorite but who’d been out of print for twenty years. I can look up just about any movie I want to and find a copy, region-2 encoded, with English subtitles if necessary. (Don’t get me wrong, I think region coding of any sort is a crime, but my point is I’ve only ever come across one movie that I couldn’t get to work on my player thanks to region encoding.)

    And yeah, I think it’s sad that this Justice League film didn’t get made; but in the end, that’s the sort of thing that happens in a world that ALSO allows you to see any movie you want, pretty much whenever you want. Same goes with other media.

    Also let’s not talk about “culture” like it’s a single solid entity. If the Michael Bays and Tony Scotts of this world were really having as much of an effect as some people seem to give ’em credit for having, films like “The Town” and “Scott Pilgrim” and “Inception” wouldn’t even fucking EXIST. As long as there are people willing to pay for smart films, there’ll be people who make smart films.

  122. Paul – That last paragraph, I must admit, is a very damn good point.

    I’ll add another point that isn’t surprisingly brought up as much: good movies, whether as hits or failures in theatres, tend to end up making money in the long run. Blockbuster crap like TRANSFORMERS and ID4 may piss us off when they make a gazillion bucks, but alot of them tend to have a very short shelf life.

    Consider this statistic: The #1 rented movie (i.e. reels checked out for screenings) in Warner Brother history? CASABLANCA. #2? BLADE RUNNER.

  123. Asimov, Paul: I wasn’t talking about studios thinking we’re stupid. I was talking about all the Ain’t It Cool newsies and what not who said they were against Justice League because “people” would be confused by there being a series of Batman movies with Christian Bale at the same time there was a totally different movie with a totally different guy playing a totally different Batman as a supporting character. That wasn’t the only argument I saw against Justice League, but it was one of the ones that came up over and over again.

    I don’t know who it was they were worried about being confused, why they have such a low opinion of that person, or why it is so important to them to keep that person not confused that they want to stop the production of George Miller’s movies. I think maybe it’s an obsessive compulsive type thing where they just can’t wrap their head around two interpretations of Batman at the same time so they want to blame it on some imaginary other person besides themselves.

  124. Look, let’s examine this in the lens of my favorite hated movie series, Saw.

    People are groaning at the trailer for Saw 3D, loudly, almost every time I’ve seen it play. Why is this? Sure, it’s part SEVEN in the series. That’s a factor, but part VI was perhaps the best since the second and easily on par with the first (faint praise to many, I know). But at a point it doesn’t matter how good the previous sequel was, people are just sick of it because it’s 7 movies in seven years. It’s called sequel fatigue. If you have 2 Batman franchises and 2 Superman franchises, you have cross pollinated both individual films with the team up films (kinda like “Roundup Ready” franken-crops) so that Superman two now feels like Superman five because, frankly, in the public consciousness it is inevitably viewed as a single franchise.

    It’s not that people would be confused by multiple Batmen it’s that people would get SICK of seeing multiple Batmen in shorter amount of time. You’ll get sequel fatigue on part two of each of these films because if you make a Justice League you’ve now established that they are only ONE franchise, regardless of who is playing any of the characters.

    That said, I weirdly think that if JLA had been mo-cap then this would no longer apply because people consider animation to be a totally different medium.

    And why does all of this matter? Because without the big franchise films we don’t get to see the smaller, riskier films of the fall. A movie like Transformers 2 pays for 10 The Fountains (fuck you, that movie made me cry). Or 30 The Wrestlers. The even fund smaller movies that aren’t directed by Darren Aronofsky. Like them or not, without Karate Kid and Kung Fu Panda there is no Social Network or There Will be Blood. It’s a symbiosis, and so understanding the financials is important in appreciating the artwork.

  125. But where are the 30 The Wrestlers? What are they called? I don’t think they’ve cashed out the 30 The Wrestlers yet.

    The thing is, The Wrestler could be made without a studio. It’s a low budget and was based around a great script, great direction, and of course a great performance by a guy that at the time wasn’t getting alot of attention from the studios. If we need big movies to fund other movies, really it’s the big movies that need the funding. It’s the George Miller movies that are having trouble getting made. If we want to make a minimalistic low budget one let’s pool our money together.

    But personally I want all these types of movies to get made. I have special areas in my heart for both gigantic mainstream movies and little low budget ones, and there are other areas also. It’s a big heart.

    But when there’s a big expensive movie that’s also smart and incredibly entertaining and artful, that’s the rarest combination, so that’s the most exciting. I think Justice League would’ve been that, but we’ll never know I guess.

  126. All types of movies have their place in the world. There are just as many, if not more, terrible low budget movies as there are terrible big budget movies. If there is some kind of symbiotic relationship where the edgy low budget movies couldn’t exist without big dumb big budget movies then i’m perfectly fine with that. The GI Joes’s of the world are needed just as much as the Wrestler’s of the world. And when the both of those worlds collide we get greatness like Inception, Dark Knight, the Matrix, and Fight Club (which actually had a pretty big budget).

    Also, the fact that someone can buy a copy of Dead Snow at the grocery store is pretty awesome in my book (especially with that dvd cover of a chainsaw and a half sawed off nazi head).

  127. The thing about Transformers paying ror The Wrestler is what the studios want people to believe is the case, but a lot of times it isn’t. Those movies are still financed independently. I believe The Wrestler was financed by Agnes Mentre and Vincent Maraval, who make smaller movies. You can see at their website that they have The Wrestler listed under their productions: http://www.wildbunch.biz. See how many blockbusters are on the list of movies they’ve made. It was only after the movie was completed that they sold it to Fox Searchlight. This happens a lot and of course Fox wants to take credit.

  128. Okay. You guys got me, The Wrestler was a terrible example.

  129. I was disappointed when the JL film fell through, mainly because 1) There are loads of different interpretations of the big superheroes, sometimes running concurrently with the “main” comic storyline, that’s what’s great about multiple writers having worked on a single character over the years. I’d loved to see more superhero films following this. 2) The JL cartoon was awesome and really intelligent, I wanted to see a live action version of this that demonstrated how you could actually put all these extremely different superheroes and make them work in one film.

    I started getting geeky excitement that the film would be something like this:


    It’s a cinematic for “DC Universe online” with a host of alt-future superheroes and villains facing off against each other. I pretty much want a live action version of that kind of action. ^^

  130. Guys, you got it all wrong. Horror movies pay for Hollywood. They cost a nickel and make a bundle. Horror movies are an almost guaranteed profit when a major studio wants to throw a few marketing dollars at them. It’s always been this way. Universal would have gone belly-up in the thirties if they hadn’t started pumping out monster movies, and FRIDAY THE 13TH pretty much saved Paramount in the eighties. Nowadays, the SAW franchise can fuel all of Lionsgate’s Oscar dreams for the next decade and change. A big movies is a big risk, a little movie earns little unless it happens to be the one that wins the jackpot that year (JUNO, etc.), but horror movies are just right.

  131. Modern day geeks are destructive and controlling with the narrowest perception of movies as an art form. When they get what they want it’s something like Kick-Ass which I thought was a soulless piece of shit.

    I’ll always be sad Miller never got to make that movie.

    Like Cameron said on the subject, they are “getting fan fucked to death”. Miller got fan fucked. To death.

  132. The Wrestler is only one example. S many movies are financed independently of the studio system, and then sold to the indie wings of the studios for distribution. All G.I. Joe is paying for is more G.I. Joes.

    Looks at the numbers for horror movies. Way more bombs than hits. Which is okay a lot of times because they’re made
    pretty cheaply. Saw pays for Lion’s Gate, sure…but it wouldn’t be enough to keep WB in business.

  133. Maybe it has already been mentioned but I find it…I don’t know if poetic justice is the right term but I LOVE how the nerds react to shit like the JLA movie that could have been.

    “It would have been the greatest movie ever”, “It sucks that that movie never happened”, “George Miller is the tits”, etc.

    The reality is that if it was actually made (assuming it would have been awesome which I’m sure it very well could have been) the nerds would have to knock it down with comments like, “Meh” “It’s not THAT great”, “OVERRATED!!!”, etc. I say fuck the nerds, they never appreciate what they get and in my mind I don’t think they deserve great comic book movies. Hell, some of them don’t even appreciate The Dark Knight for crissakes.

    BTW – I don’t know where this nerd rage came from, I just kind of went with it and typed it down. Sorry.

  134. The original Paul

    October 14th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Vern – you don’t think these movies get MADE? Seriously, have you checked the Internet recently? Have you not seen the dozens upon hundreds of low-budget films being distributed on DVD and in arts cinemas around the globe?

    Lemme quote you here, because I don’t think I’m misrepresenting you:

    “But personally I want all these types of movies to get made. I have special areas in my heart for both gigantic mainstream movies and little low budget ones, and there are other areas also. It’s a big heart.”

    Look, I know we disagree on the unimportant stuff, like “Hero” and Laurie from “Halloween”. That’s fine, it’s a difference of opinion, no big deal. But you cannot expect me to take you seriously if you take one failed movie production, or even a lot of failed movie productions, and conclude from it that the movie industry is overwhelmingly dominated by crap like “Transformers”. That’s the impression I’m getting from your posts here.

    I know the movie marketing machine caters almost exclusively to summer blockbusters, chick flicks and brainless “comedies”. It annoys me too occasionally, but it doesn’t render me incapable of seeking out something better. Nor does it generally render other better filmmakers incapable of producing something better, or distributing it, despite what’s happened in this case.

    And yeah, I know you sometimes have to work harder to find the good stuff. WELL SO FUCKING WHAT, you can’t strike oil without shovelling through a little shit in the process.

    I’ll give you JLA, and the nerd backlash. And yeah, nerds can sometimes be unpleasant territorial beasts. But that’s as far as I go.


    I like how his kid has super powers BUT ONLY when exposed to Kryptonite and then those powers faded with time.

    I also assume that somehow those three (dead?) henchmen of Luthor’s (who were stuck on the “new” planet being formed from the Fortress crystals) would be ressurected as the villains in a sequel. Somehow that New Krypton planet would play role in the film.

    However, I was kinda hoping that somehow Superman’s kid started aging fast once his latent powers were released by Luthor exposing him to Kryptonite–and the kid became a demented power-mad fiend and Superman would have to fight him to the death. I know that’s pretty dark…but it’s just a comic book nerd fantasy of mine.

  136. The original Paul

    October 14th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    And FTR I count myself as far less of a film fan, or critic, than many of the people on this site (among other places). Heck, if I had a speciality, it would be detective fiction from the pre-WW2 era, which is not exactly the focus of this website. When it comes to movies I’ve always regarded myself as a fairly harsh critic (heck, see my essay on what’s generally regarded as the second best movie of all time) and a pessimist when it comes to movie anticipation in general. But Vern, you have seriously outdone me here.

  137. In regards to Paul’s remark about working harder to find movies, luckily its easier to find movies to watch than its ever been. Back when I was growing up (80’s and 90’s) you either

    A.) Had to see the movie in theaters.
    B.) Rented/Bought the movie when it was released on home video
    C.) Or Waited for it to show up on cable which could take years sometimes.

    The internet has given us so many more options to check out movies. We can order movies online and they show up at our doors 2 days later. We can stream movies through lots of different streaming services (I just discovered that I can stream movies from netflix to my phone). We can watch clips, trailers, etc., through sites like IMDB. Not to mention on demand and the hundreds of movie channels for people who subsribe to cable or Direct TV. For those with the right equipment, blu-ray can re-create (and often surpass) the theater experience.

    It seems the argument around here is that movie quality, in general, has declined in recent years (which I KINDA agree with). But the ease of discovering new movies and enjoying old ones has increased exponentially. I’d say, movie wise, these are good times we are living in.

  138. I wouldn’t say that movie quality has declined. This year alone (which has been reguarded as a weak year thus far) has produced…

    Shutter Island
    CopOut (I liked this one a lot. Sue me)
    Brooklyn’s Finest
    Hot Tub Time Machine
    Death at A Funeral
    The Killer Inside Me
    Scott Pilgrim
    The Town
    The Social Network
    Undisputed III (That came out this year, right?)

    That’s a lot of pretty good movies in my opinion and that’s not including the ones I haven’t seen such as Spplice, Toy Story 3, That new Werner Herzog one, etc. As well as the ones that haven’t come out yet…

    True Grit
    Tron 2
    The Fighter
    Black Swan
    Jackass 3D
    127 Hours

    There’s lots of good movies that are coming out and many that have come out already. Just because Michael Bay lays a turd once in a while doesn’t necessarily mean the world of film is going to shit.

  139. I never think the world is over because of Bay or any of those Brotherhood of Hacks members, but you know what they are? The dreaded speed bumps. They don’t stop me, but shit they’re still jarring and unavoidable.

  140. Vern – You gonna review JACKASS 3?

  141. No Paul, I didn’t say anything at all like that, I don’t know where you got that. I was just responding to the stuff you guys brought up. I asked “where are the 30 The Wrestlers?” for two reasons:

    1. The Wrestler is a uniquely great movie, it takes more than just the money to make a movie of that quality, so there are not 30 movies like that as good as that.

    2. I don’t believe that the money from a TRANSFORMERS goes into funding movies like THE WRESTLER. Generally those movies are funded outside of the studio system or by “indie” labels that are operated separately of the people making TRANSFORMERS.

    And THE WRESTLER has already been dropped as an example by the person who brought it up, so we don’t need to debate it again.

    So wherever I said whatever it is that you think I said, please disregard it.

  142. And to add another point to Hamslime’s point, this past weekend you had Disney full-court press marketing up the ass for that SECRETARIAT, with them openly talking possible major Oscar aspirations for Diane STREETS OF FIRE Lane and a Best Picture nod (hey 10 slots).

    Instead, in an upset SOCIAL NETWORK won in its second weekend, a movie that many people complain is too slow, too talky, too nerdy, too anti-nerdy, too misgonyistic, blah blah blah. But it won and made dog food out of that horsey movie.

    Which is not to say SECRETARIAT may or may not necessarily be a good or bad movie. The director made WE WERE SOLDIERS many years back which I sorta liked at the time, but he also scripted PEARL HARBOR and BRAVEHEART. Yeeeech. One of the more famous race horses in history, not some fucking Great Depression morale boaster with Spider-Man as its jockey.

    Aw hell, I’ll admit it, I like Lane. She’s a respectable cougar.

    But SOCIAL NETWORK isn’t just the better movie (unless walking dogfood surprises me), its the one that took more chances even if it relies on classical themes, and maybe or maybe not be a time capsule movie of our epoch which may or may not sum up alot of feelings and opinions about the big shit by us big shits. Back when we had the Internet, which our descendents will teach us we invented shortly after the Wheel and indoor plumbing.

    Yes how did we old timers get around with just e-mail?

  143. forgive me if someone has already mentioned this above, as i don’t have the time (read: patience) to read through ALL the comments, but i seem to recall that back when it looked like miller’s JLA movie was getting made there was an interview with christian bale where i believe he said something along the lines of, “yeah, i kinda wish he [george miller] wouldn’t make this right now, as it kind of fucks with the universe we are creating.” can someone back me up on this?

    so i guess christian bale is on the same page as the aicn newsie brigade!

    not that i agree with that stance, i’m with vern on this one, just thought it was funny.

  144. Virgin Gary – Wouldn’t surprise me if Bale did say that. I’m sure he yelled at Miller for trashing his lights(how).

    Too bad it didn’t get taped.


  145. The Dead Snow DVD was actually advertised on television when it was released over here. No chainsaw and head cut in half on the cover though, just your Nazi zombie standing in the snow.

  146. The original Paul

    October 15th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    “The Wrestler is a uniquely great movie, it takes more than just the money to make a movie of that quality, so there are not 30 movies like that as good as that.”


    “So wherever I said whatever it is that you think I said, please disregard it.”



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