EDITORIAL: Reasons for diminished expectations regarding TDKR and the ensuing Marvel vs DC war on CBM
First of all, let me say that i am new to this site as far as my activity is concerned but I have come to this site on many occasions to get updates regarding Comicbookmovies, especially The Dark Knight Rises. I just wanted to address the whole Marvel vs DC fight and how diminished fan expectations regarding The Dark Knight Rises play into this because I cannot condone either side spewing garbage at the other.
The author gives his perspective on why so many people on CBM have diminished expectations regarding The Dark Knight Rises as opposed to the Avengers and why this leads to conflict.
Firstly, why do so many people on this site have diminished expectations regarding The Dark Knight Rises? Now some might simply not be interested enough in anything batman-related, which is understandable if you have other interests. Others might not be fans of Nolan's films, others might just not like his interpretation of batman, which is also ok because opinions are just that: opinions. They should not change our own views regarding the film. Yet, strangely enough, they do and here's why: all the set photos taken in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, etc. have something to do with both diminished expctations and the ensuing Marvel vs DC war. Let me explain: if you take pictures on a movie set and post them on the internet there's a big chance that people are going to want to look at them, especially after waiting 3 years for Christopher Nolan to continue his interpretation of batman. Now we all know how he always talks about his realistic take on batman (different interpretations are possible) but we also know that, at least in Batman Begins he used the League of Shadows/Assassins, a device that could evaporate a city's water supply and a fear gas. Sounds pretty realistic, right? With The Dark Knight being acclaimed largely for making batman more believeable in a real-world context (namely because of the less far§fetched villains and a believeable story), people expect the third film to be just as, if not more realistic than The Dark Knight. What if the film aims to be the best of both worlds? So when you see a character like Bane for example wearing a mask that feeds him painkillers as opposed to a strength-enhancing drug the loudest people (DC and Marvel fans alike) complain about and mock whatever they've been given because it is apparently not like the comicbook istead of saying that it's unrealistic because Catwoman fighting in high heels for example does seem to stretch the suspension of disbelief they're willing to make. The point is they attack the film for giving us characters that don't conform to their interpretation of what the character should be like,even though they knew Nolan would take the gloss of a comicbook universe away and show us people who, overall, look realistic in the sense that it's less unbelieveable in a real-world context but still are more fantastical then the villains used in the dark Knight, which is the reference point for this film. Nevertheless, their expectations diminish because of the director is given names like "hypocrite" or "pretentious idiot", as photos of Bane's doomsday device and of the batwing ("The Bat")seem to directly contradict his realism. Yet, had it not been spoiled for the people dissing Christopher Nolan, they would not have seen any of this out of context, and this early at that, so that they might have gone to see the film on its opening night without any doubts whatsoever and they would not have created an environment where anyone trying to defend Nolan's choices from an objective standpoint gets called a Nolanite or is getting laughed at on the forum. It is a fact that the set photos of The Dark Knight Rises have been coming in almost every day, most of them not showing us very much about either plot or characters beyond their appearance, while The Avengers have not been spoiled to the same extent, as far as I know. that creates an environment where constant negativity is created because, let's face it, if someone beats you enough over the head with a message you slowly start to believe it or at least you doubt your own position. The point is that the anticipation at first was so high that people chose to spoil it for everyone, thereby diminishing our own expectations. But people can still decide not to look at spoilers, right? The only problem there is that people who complain about their diminishing expectations say so only because they've been exposed on this site to EVERY new piece of information available regarding this film without considering that it was their choice to look at these materials. Yet, instead of blaming themselves for failing to resist the temptation to look at the spoilers they blame the director or, worse, they blame the companies behind the product, namely DC and Warner Bros. and they judge the film right away. And this is where the Marvel vs DC fight begins.
The Avengers is probably the biggest Marvel movie to date and the most anticipated Marvel project. Yet, since the film seems to conform to the look of the comics people don't complain when stuff gets leaked or spoiled because the characters still look like teir comicbook counterparts and also because the movie does not claim to be realistic so people can use the excuse that it never wanted to be realistic anyway and that it's just stupid entertainment and fun. The problem with that is that, when we judge Christopher nolan, we apply a different, stricter standard to him than any other director who makes a comicbook movie because we know how good his second act in his trilogy was. Some people losing faith in one project switch over to th winner so they don't get typecast as apologists for a posible failure and all this months before the films have even come out yet. So one can congratulate the people at Marvel for keeping the sets largely safe from photographers because it allowed them to get even people who only read DC to question Nolan's take on batman because the people in charge of that film did a poor job at keeping everything secret. In that sense it is undestandable why people who diss The Dark Knight Rises for the Avengers celebrate the victory of one franchise over the other, not realising that they are essentially promoting a product for big companies for free. When you read "the Avengers will rule 2012" or "The Dark Knight is going to be the best movie this year" it's basically a false confrontation between people who like the characters because the companies are using them as advertisers for the films they are making. that is why you get sometimes weeks where there's no news on any of thes efilms because the companies know they don't need to put anything out there, as the sucess of the films is not dependent on their own promotion but on the one made by the fans. So the whole DC vs Marvel fight is a fake one, and one that benefits noone, except the heads of those companies who basically get their films promoted without having to spend any money whatsoever, since set photos are for free and since people were so hyped about both projects that they could not resist the temptation to both look at the spoilers and talk about them to someone else who then maybe talked to another person about this, etc. Then both Marvel/Disney spent huge amounts of money into official advertising like the ads at the super bowl, giving people even more to get excited about...except that, in case of The Dark Knight Rises, we've already seen so much of the characters and plot spoilers that it becomes tiresome to look at any sort of advertising (and I really want to see that film). In that sense the Avengers is winning, sure, and people who just want one winner are going to mock the apparent losers because it's apparently fun to pound on people who like these films. It just happens to be the case that the competitors this year are from Marvel and DC so that both sides can cannibalise each other over what film will be best, all in ways that promote the respective films to people who dont care as much but who still want to see good films. Saying that one has diminished expectations regarding the Dark Knight Rises opens the door on a forum like this one to a whole lot of arrogance from the side supporting a different race horse because people want these films to make lots of money. Why? That money's not going into your own pockets. The whole Marvel vs DC fight has spilled over into the area of spoilers. Whose spoiler reveals more about the film? Whose spoiler shows characters in costumes closer to the comics? In the end, it's about dominant positions in the market of the companies involved, not because one product is actually better than the other, as the films have not even come out yet.
To conclude, the incredible amount of set photos has definitely led to diminished expectations among some people regarding the film; but rather then see it as a mix of batman begins fantastic aspects with the Dark night serious tone many people on this forum have made it their duty to treat everyone still looking forward to these films like either stupid children or misguided idiots, whil ignoring the fact that they can only talk like that because teh Avengers has not experienced the same level of spoilers, which for one shows that more people apparently thought that there was some merit to the dark Knight Rises. But defending one property of a big company leads to just more arrogant disdain from supporters of a different company/product without there being any reason for it. My advice: if you dont like a film you eiter don't comment and don't watch it or you wait until the film actually comes out before you judge it. actually, if it is good, people are going to be surprised in a positive way, precisely because of all the negativity on forms like this one. The only reason why people have been critical of the Dark knight Rises is because the creative choices made by the director do not correspond to their idea of what a comicbookmovie should aim for or be like. I have not seen the Avengers, i don't want to see too much about the Avengers so tat once it comes i am stunned by what I see. Marvel and Dc won't get along because this is a business and one wants to dominate the whole warket without sharing any of it with others. That's not a healthy comeptition and it's one that fans have engaged in, even though at best they have no individual interest in in and, at worst it's against their interests, as they are missing out on interesting charcters and good stories, while the companies behind everything can allow themselves to put out bad stuff because they know people will always come to their defence.
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