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DC Cinematic Universe - Wonder Woman, Justice League and More


#2912

I think some of the critisms of Whedon are valid and some are a bit silly. The whole Angel going evil after sex, for example. Sure you can spin that however you want, but the context of the story is pretty clear. It’s about a young woman trusting a man and, after getting what he wants, turning into an asshole. I don’t see anything anti-feminist in that. Seems like a perfectly valid situation that a young woman might go through.

That said, I think these issues are prevalent throughout Hollywood, unfortunately. Tarantino has several strong female characters, but he also has them get horribly brutalized (and I have a lot of feelings about some of those instances). Zack Snyder wanted to make a movie about female empowerment with Sucker Punch but, as far as I’m concerned, failed about as miserably as he possibly could.

So yeah, people should probably call out Whedon and all of Hollywood, but I don’t think we should label them all as anti-feminist frauds either (not that anyone here is doing that). Just that we need to recognize that we still have a long way to go with the way women are portrayed in media. Or just viewed by society in general.

To turn things back to DC movies…I hear Wonder Woman was pretty solid. Haven’t seen it yet, sadly.


#2913

#2914

Yeah, I agree with that… I really don’t get how people got that out of that scene. However, I very much disliked what he did overall with Natasha in AoU, particularly after the awesome job he did with her in the first one… but that interpretation of that scene is just wrong.

The one thing that surprises me is how highly Whedon is regarded as a director, because to me, he’s not that good. I mean, as far as I’m concerned the 1st Avengers was more of a blip, rather than the norm, and even that first film was far from being perfect, it’s just that by the 3rd act none gave a shit about the movie’s faults because that 3rd act was sooo damned good and geekgasm-y. To me, he’s a lot like Singer, lots of great ideas but the execution is not always there.

The good news is that between Whedon’s good ideas and Snyder’s good ideas, JL could turn out awesome, ot it could be a total disaster considering hoe both of them sometimes fail at the execution.


#2915

My eyes had glazed over by that point.


#2916

This seems to be coming close to received wisdom (on this board, anyway), but it’s worth pointing out that a lot of people like the kind of dialogue and character interactions that Whedon writes, which made up so much of the first two acts. It also acted as groundwork that served to make the final act a lot more meaningful and character-oriented than a lot of superhero third acts tend to be.

I can understand not liking the first two acts if you don’t like Whedon’s writing style though, as it had his fingerprints all over it.


#2917

I do primarily see Whedon’s strengths as a writer and he rather surprised me with how well that 3rd act action scene was framed.

When I saw Avengers and posted my review here (due to film changeovers and time zones, I was pretty much the first), I called it a triumph. I still think it is, it’s a little baggy in the middle on the helicarrier where they could have cut 10 minutes but it still has the best audience reaction in the cinema of any of the Marvel films I’ve been to and that’s why it made such a huge pile of money.


#2918

I don’t consider Whedon to be a great director by any mean. Meaning, I don’t expect to see an Oscar caliber film from him. That said, it really depends on what you want from a director. From a visual standpoint, Whedon is nothing special. The final act of the Avengers is the best visual sequence he’s delivered. However, I do think he often knows how to get the best from most of the actors he works with, though. That’s well evidenced, to me, by how bland SJ was in Iron Man 2 vs how she basically steals the show in Avengers. Or how he brought in Ruffalo and turned the Hulk from an afterthought to another scene stealer.

Yeah, a lot of it is down the the scripting, but I think the ability to get the right performance from an actor is often overlooked when it comes to directing.

It should also be mentioned that making the Avengers work was no easy task. He had to find a way to bring together half a dozen characters spread across 4 franchises and both engage fans of those movies as well as make it accessible for people who didn’t watch everything the led up to it.

Of course, I am biased as I’m pre-disposed to enjoy Whedon’s work more than most. But I will say that I like the idea of him teaming up with Snyder on Justice League because I think Snyder has the visual flare Whedon lacks and Whedon has more energy and life in his writing than Synder’s movies usually do. My biggest criticisms of most Snyder movies is that they feel disjointed and cold. I only wish he and Whedon had partnered up from the get go so it could have been a proper collaboration.


#2919

In some senses it almost makes them a dream team. However it hasn’t really happened in the best of circumstances. Snyder is like Ridley Scott in that any film is going to look good but it needs a good script to make any of the films ‘great’. I hope for the best but there is a chance it will be a hodge podge of what they do best.


#2920

And yet, they still write.

Singer is the same; a much better director than most, but he needs a writer to do the story. Going back to that start of his career and the ‘The Usual Suspects’, he shot the hell out of it, but Chris McQuarrie wrote the hell out of it too.


#2921

It was more an issue of pacing and scene composition for the 1st 2 acts, for me… the writting was good and characters were mostly well written with good dialogue. Also, I think Whedon made a huge mistake with the aspect ratio of the first movie, because he came from TV, so he was comfortable with that, so now it’s the only MCU movie with that ratio and it’s a bit jarring tbh.

AoU was well made, but a huge mess and lots of missed opportunities tho… even the banter fell short overall compared to the first one.


#2922

It can be a bit frustrating. Neill Blomkamp is another one, I heard him admit openly in an interview he really has no grasp of the concept of narrative and knows his strengths are in design.

Just let someone else write Neill. :smile:


#2923

I get that we are not all perfect - but for people turn against a guy who has created some great, and in the case of Buffy, enduring, female characters - particularly back in a time when there wasn’t so much of that going on - I just think give the man a break.


#2924

Does that mean you have to then turn a blind eye to the problematic elements of his work though?


#2925

I think the problem with Whedon is two-fold but centred on the same ground:

He did great stuff in the late 90s and early 00s, but the world doesn’t stand still and in matters of representation in media, it’s moved on very fast and I don’t think Whedon’s kept up. He may be trying but I think the pace of change has outpaced him. I’ll say I didn’t get the sense from AoU that others did, that to me the point with Widow was that infertility was inflicted on her, without any chance to refuse or even understand what was being taken from her.

In terms of stories I don’t get a sense he’s inclined to try to continue to grow, he does what he does and he’s content with that. Is that a problem? Well it is when I’ve enjoyed 24 of 25 issues of his X-Men and then his finale takes a massive dump on all that came before, while being so very Whedon in screwing over a character relationship - Peter & Kitty - because he apparently can’t do any successful relationships in his stories. (Fortunately Fraction undid that crap)


#2926

It depends really if it is actually problematic or it’s just ideas for stories. I don’t think it is problematic at all.

I think we have now hit the stage where folk are completely overanalysing everything and deliberately looking for shit to moan about.

This is meant to be entertainment -

There’s not a writer or creator alive who is not being criticised by one online ‘group’ or another.

Who has the right to dictate over what Batgirl should be anyway? The character might have a passionate audience, but that audience is probably less than about 20k if we go by comic sales.
The vast majority of people who will be going to see this movie when it comes out won’t care one way or the other.

Generally speaking, my instinct was Whedon would be great for something like Batgirl, well done DC.
I’m probably bias because Buffy is probably my favourite TV show of all time and my favourite TV character.
But looking at this for a moment, you’ve got a guy from fairly parochial area of Scotland whose favourite ever tv show is about a girl who kicks ass - he’s definitely done something right there.


#2927

And that’s fair, but at the same time that you not thinking Whedon’s work is problematic doesn’t mean it’s not problematic.

One thing specifically:

DC/Warners have the right to dictate what Batgirl should be, but they don’t have the right to an audience. The choices they make can attract or repel fans. For a lot of people Whedon is now a dealbreaker - whether it’s because they don’t like his writing, or they’re angry about the stories of his infidelity, or they’re not a fan of the less salubrious elements to his female-oriented stories.

If I didn’t like Whedon, was vocal about that. and said I wasn’t going to see the Batgirl movie while he was involved, that’s my right, just like it’s DC’s and Warner’s right to hire him.


#2928

It’s a story about an episode that was never written though, which is kind of silly, and when it comes to Black Widow - well, as has been pointed out, the thing is that she sees herself that way, and we as an audience realise how tragic that is.

I think that the thing is that Whedon deliberately and idealistically set out to change the presentation of women on TV. His first idea was to turn around the cheerleader trope, after all, and turn the girl into the hero of a show. He has taken a lot of care to write strong, three-dimensional female characters who are at the very least the equals (most of the time more than that, really) of the men around them.

And that has led to some people putting him on a pedestal and idolising him. Which in turn has led to others turning against him and overanalysing his work to find flaws in his representations of women. Which there may be; everybody messes up sometimes. But protesting against against him on Batgirl feels like one of those instances where the left is eating itself.


#2929

As someone who is a casual Whedon fan with no skin in the game I think this is spot on, exactly how I see it.


#2930

Yeah, I think Christian sums up my thought pretty well there.


#2931

The Black Widow stuff in Age of Ultron is fairly borderline and I get why some people don’t like it. Personally I think it’s a bit clumsy but works thematically alongside the Promethean aspect of the main plot.

In a broad sense I think one of the reasons Ultron is so maligned is that it is the rare (only?) Marvel movie that seemed to have aspirations beyond a popcorn flick. It had richer themes and subtext, a stronger moral dilemma at its core. However, perhaps because of the studio interference, all of this was handled fairly clumsily whereas a more straightforward good-vs-evil story could have survived studio interference better. That the jokes were dumb and the finale was a pretty bad xerox of the first film’s climax didn’t help either, of course, but I’ve personally found Ultron to be more rewatchable than Marvel’s other non-guardians efforts.