EDITORIAL: Why 'BATMAN v SUPERMAN' Has the Potential to be One of the Greatest CBMs of All Time.

EDITORIAL: Why 'BATMAN v SUPERMAN' Has the Potential to be One of the Greatest CBMs of All Time.

Many fans are wary of the upcoming DC event film, 'BATMAN v SUPERMAN', especially because of director Zack Snyder's shaky history. Hit the jump to see why we should be excited rather than anxious for the big BATMAN/SUPERMAN face-off.

Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman” has the potential to be great.

Before you start rolling your eyes, allow me to explain what I mean. I know that all movies have the potential to be great, same as they have the potential to be bad.

“Batman v Superman” is a special case. Here we have a film that has real, true potential to be among the greatest comic book movie adaptations of all time.

I know, I know, that’s being a tad overzealous and it sounds like I’m delving into the fanboy mentality. “Greatest of all time”? With Zack Snyder as the director? Come on, now.

I am a fan of Zack Snyder and most of his films. However, I’ll be the first to admit that they are far from perfect. As visually attractive as his movies are, more than a couple of them lack the extra “umph” to push them into “really, really good” territory.

So, for now, let us take a look at Zack Snyder previous works.

2004. When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.

Where rotting corpses have the running abilities of professional athletes.

“Dawn of the Dead” was Zack Snyder’s first feature film, a remake of the Romero classic. However, it was a very loose reimagining with almost nothing in common with the original barring the high concept of the survivors being trapped in a shopping mall.

Generally considered to be good, not great, “Dawn of the Dead” was a serviceable zombie flick with a few homages to the master of the undead, George A. Romero. Written by James Gunn (!), Zack Snyder’s directorial debut was a decent start to his Hollywood career.

2006. This is where we fight! This is where they die!

But if I wear armor, those persions won't be able to see how ripped I am!

Three hundred Spartans. A whole lot more Persians. Blood flowing like whine and enough exposed skin to make a catholic priest have a heart attack. Adapted from Frank Miller’s hyper-masculine graphic novel – to the point of pulling images directly from the book – “300” was Zack’s second success and the first sign of his affinity to stick close to an adaptations source material.

To the general audience, “300” was a decent sword and sandal romp, but still seen as an improvement over “Dawn of the Dead”.

2009. …All the whores and politicians will look up and shout “save us!” ...and I’ll whisper “no.”

Half of the people in this photo are not mentally sound... the other half are assholes. 

“Watchmen”. The infamous. The un-filmable. Adapted from what is often considered to be the greatest graphic novel of all time, Alan Moore’s masterpiece hit the silver screen to mixed reception and financial disappointment.

As faithful as Zack Snyder was to the source material – and he was most certainly faithful – general audiences rejected the dark, violent and cynical world Moore had constructed and longtime comic fans rejected Snyder’s flashy visual style. “Watchmen”, despite its ambition, scope, and artistic merit, became Snyder’s first dud.

2010. Talking Owls.

Uh... Um... Yeah.

I think it would be best if we moved on.

2011. If you don’t stand for something,, you’ll fall for anything.

Be honest: How long did it take you to notice the giant bunny robot?

Trust me. I want to get this over with as fast you do. In simple terms, “Sucker Punch” was not a very good film. Visually impressive, it certainly was, but plot-wise? A writer, Zack Snyder is not.

A critical and financial failure, "Sucker Punch" was yet another dud. 

2013. You will give the people of Earth and ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you… they will stumble… they will fall… but, in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.

I want a cape. Chicks dig the cape.

After a string of duds, Kal-El’s return to the silver screen marked Snyder’s first real success in almost seven years. A box office smash with one of the largest June opening weekends of all time, “Man of Steel” was the first film in Warner Bros’ DC cinematic universe.

Zack Snyder’s serious, dramatic reboot of the Superman mythos – a far cry from the wonderful films from Donner and Reeve – split fans like a fissure. Many loved it, many loathed it, and very few seemed to be caught in between.

Written by David Goyer of the “Dark Knight Saga”, the film often swung between being truly exceptional and being truly mundane. This was thanks in great part to Goyer’s infamous dialogue. It should be noted that when Goyer is good, he’s really good, but when he isn’t, his writing suffers from being clunky, awkward and unnatural. What audiences ended up with was a Superman movie that was mere inches shy of being great, held back bouts of clumsy story-telling and exposition. Scenes at the Daily Planet come to mind, as well as Clark’s conversation with the Jor-El AI.

Keep in mind that I loved – loved – “Man of Steel”, but I know it could have been a lot better.

(That’s not to say that plenty of the so-called “criticisms” levelled towards it aren’t bile spewed by obnoxious fanboys and people who have clearly not seen the film. Clark rescued a lot of people throughout “Man of Steel” and the vast majority of the damage done to Smallville and Metropolis came from Zod and the other Kryptonians. Those are the facts.)

This brings us almost full circle.

The pattern that can be seen here is that when Zack Snyder is working with good material and has real talent behind him, he shines and his films are better off for it – in terms of quality that is, not box office gross.

This is something that Warner Bros most definitely noticed. Just check out the people working on Snyder’s upcoming cinematic event.

Ben Affleck. Proven actor. Talented director of great films such as “Gone Baby Gone”, “The Town”, and “Argo”. Earned an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Now he’s the Batman.

Chris Terrio. Skilled writer. Master of dialogue. Penned the screenplay for “Argo” which won him his own Academy Award. He was brought on to rewrite “Batman v Superman” and turn it into something truly special. A step up from David Goyer, to be sure.

With Snyder’s unique visual style – especially his uncanny ability to recreate images right from the comics – combined with this kind of talent and skill supporting him, not to mention the ridiculous time spent in production, “Batman v Superman” has the potential to go beyond great and become one of the greatest.



From the teaser alone, one can see the kind of maturity and depth that is being applied to these two icons of the American mythology.

A god-like alien being worshipped and hated, a billionaire vigilante worn down by years and years fighting an aimless war on crime.

The distrust and animosity between two titans who both claim to stand for justice.

The reminder that giants walk the Earth.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” hit theaters on March 25th, 2016.

Tell me… Are you hyped?

 

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