Mainstream Matters III

35 Responses

  1. HorseWithNoName says:

    Have just seen Captain America Civil War. Fantastic movie! Easily at least a 9 out of 10. Feels very much like the best version of a Mission Impossible movie, but with superheroes. Plus: Scarlet Witch is amazingly hot in this movie! Go see the movie!

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    • Bert says:

      Will do!

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      • HorseWithNoName says:

        Yes, there are many characters in this movie: but they manage all of them in a near perfect way and at the end of the day: it is a Cap movie! Yeah! THIS might be the perfect comic book movie if there ever was one. Civil War easily tops both Avengers movie and then some. Not sure yet if I wold rank it higher than Cap Winter Soldier, have to see Civil War a couple of times more.
        Did I mention Scarlet Witch? Oh, boy! F**king hot!
        And as a fan of both, Marvel and DC, it pains me to say: this is the movie that BvS wanted to be.

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  2. AenigmaX says:

    Finally bit the bullet and watched Batman Vs Superman. I was aware of all the negative reviews, although I couldn’t really understand them – they are complaining about a movie whose subject are an alien flying around in a blue pajama and a billionaire, gadget-powered vigilante as “absurd”? It’s a bloody superhero movie, what do you really expect? In other aspect, those reviews did sound a lot like comic-book nerds just…nerd-raging because the movie isn’t exactly as they had shoot it in their heads.

    Let’s clear the air immediately: as a superhero movie, it’s a solid 7 out of 10, maybe even an 8 if you’re willing to close an eye on the last part – which really just serves as an intro to a “Justice League” saga.

    I read in many reviews that the movie has “too many characters” and “too many stories”. People must be losing the ability to follow plots, because there are really only three main characters who influence the story – Batman, Superman and Lex Luthor; Plus Lois Lane who plays a secondary role; We get to see Wonder Woman just at the end.

    As for the story, it’s just one, rather simple and easy: Lex Luthor trying to manipulate public opinion and politics in order to get Superman destroyed; Everything revolves around this simple plot point, even Batman’s “quest” for killing Superman himself – he simply falls victim of his own prejudices fueled, unbeknownst to him, by Luthor’s scheming.

    To those who complain it’s “not true to the comics”, well of course it’s not: it’s a mainstream movie and it NEEDS to take licenses. I don’t exactly see queues outside of comic book stores. Also, with so many different storylines and Universes in the DC continuum, which one exactly should they have referred to? Whichever they picked, there would have been malcontent.

    The Batman we see (played VERY solidly by Ben Affleck) is a disillusioned, violent, vengeful, pragmatic vigilante who spent 20 years fighting crime only to see it sprout right back; This version of Batman DOES indeed exist in some DC comic storylines, as does his underlying awareness about “meta-humans” being possible threats should they go haywire. In more than one DC story, Bruce actually admits to having contingency plans to counter each one of them.

    The “Martha” scene a lot of critics harp on, it’s actually quite interesting in its simplicity – when he hears the name, Batman thinks it’s a reference to his own dead mother. When he finally understands what Clark is referring to, he realizes Superman is going, or about to go, through the same trauma he went as a kid – and that they’re not that different afterall. Yet, according to the “critics”, they just “become friends because their moms have the same name”.

    Superman is shown in very changing light. We do see the usual Man of Steel, but the movie also shows a more sinister version of him; In a couple of scenes, you’d swear he IS actually gonna torch the world over. In this light, Bruce Wayne’s dream sequence about a tyrant Superman (a scenario taken directly from the “Injustice” storyline) opens interesting possibilities for the future – which are definitely teased by Flash’s first cameo.

    The world’s attitude towards Superman seems perfectly realistic to me. We, as a whole species, are really no more than a little toddler prone to tantrums and deathly afraid of what it can’t understand. If tomorrow morning an alien species landed at the Kremlin or the White House, bringing as gifts permanent peace, a solution to famine, a cure for cancer and even interstellar propulsion technology, there’d still be a great chunk of humanity who’d consider them a danger and probably greet them with targeted missiles…as if beings technological enough to travel interstellar distance wouldn’t have atomized us before we even saw them, is so they wished.

    The only real blemish is the Doomsday part at the end. It feels tacked on, rushed and a bit out of place. It does serve as a shoehorn for a clearly upcoming Justice League series of movies.

    All in all, the movie doesn’t half deserve all the bad press; Some people even compared it to the “Daredevil” movie of the ’90s. Those people seriously need to see a doctor, like…now.

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    • HorseWithNoName says:

      We definately saw the same movie. Seeing it again on Tuesday. Your score is right on the money, I am between 7 and a low 8 as well.

      I am puzzled about some of the reviews as well. One reviewer even complained about the space ship attacking at the beginning of the movie and then not to be heard of again. Duh! As if this is the first movie to directly continue from a movie that came before. This reviewer must not have seen Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace.

      It is so funny how all the reviewers now come up with excuses why this movie made 424.1 millions globally in three days. Maybe it is because people can make up their own mind ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • AenigmaX says:

        Wow, I hadn’t see the “disappearing” spaceship attack review. It just confirms what I increasingly think these days – people are quickly losing the ability to follow anything that is not extremely linear and doesn’t resolve in a the bat of an eyelid; Also, everyone seems to be incapable of reading between the lines – see the “Martha” part. The issue is that these people get to sprout their ignorant, poorly thought words on the Internet, completely unfiltered.

        I hope DC has the guts to go full “Injustice” storyline in the future with the movies, as comics wise it’s probably the best stuff to come out of them in decades. The Flash scene seems to promote the idea.

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        • HorseWithNoName says:

          I did read a lot of reviews and also a lot of comments. I find it stricking, that people do comment a lot on how a certain movie (this movie in particular and Men of Steel) should have been i.e. “fun” (since it is, you know, a comic book movie) instead of giving the movie a review in the sense of what it actually is and did it achieve what it set out to achieve. This is the direction they have chosen, so as a reviewer, deal with it. No, this is not the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman or the Christopher Reeve Superman, but really, why should it be? Either you like these newer versions or not, but stop complaining that they are not what you already have and already know and stop comparing how different they are to what has come before and if the gap is too big, these newer versions can’t be any good. The world is evolving, so why ask for something from the 1970s, that, you might agree, did not take these characters seriously anyway. Change happens in comic books as well.

          But it does not stop there. The other day I tried to listen to the iFanboy review for BvS, even though I do not agree with their usual Pick of the Week (comic book, seems they hardly look at independent comic stuff, which, in my opinion, is killing it at the moment). I had to turn the podcast off, not because of the four “nerds” that were discussing the movie, three did not like it, but simply because one of the guys kept interrupting everytime the one guy who tried say something positive with shouting “garbage” and always referring to, what Superman “should be like”. As you point out in your good review: who is Superman? There have been so many different versions over time. The thing is: if you view these movies (as a comic book fan and even as a professional reviewer) as something like an Elseworld storyline (DC even did something like that in the 1960s to great effect i.e. “imaginary tales” to explore darker ideas) you might be able to see these movies for what they are and what they try to accomblish vs. what you want them to be. The same is true for the Marvel / Fox / Sony movies. But no, comic book readers (and most reviewers) are very reactionary and will not be able to muster the imagination to do something like that. Case in point: some of these “fans” are still suggesting that digital versions of current comic books should not be day and date (i.e. should not be available on the Kindle, Comixology, etc. the same day as they are in their favorite comic book store) because, you know, this ruins the stores, while they completely forget, in their attempt to keep everything like it was years ago, it is the digital version that makes comics available across the globe. There is a reason why one third of all comic book sales are now digital. Let that sink in while you listen to fanboys complaining about “why change is a bad thing”. Most new readers do not come in via print, at least not in a global market place where there are not that many comic book stores.

          Same with the reviews for BvS (or Man of Steel) or the complaints from all these nerds: any change is bad, and yet, at the same time, they will tell you: those couple of stories Alan Moore did with Superman, they were “so dark” and that was great. Odd. Or they will point to the “bright” TV shows DC is doing, like, you know The Flash. But oddly enough, even that show has gone pretty dark in its second season, which in my opionion has improved greatly on an already pretty good show.

          I find all these excuses reviewers now make up, why BvS is a success, so laughable (like in the Hollywood Reporter) instead of accepting that people listen to Social Media these days and not reviewers who are seen as “out of touch” and cannot even understand the basic plot points of this movie, nor does the general audience listen to some comic book nerds (I am one myself, but I do not mind “playing with these characters”) who still, with foam at their mouths, are hoping for a huge drop off for the next weekend so they could still be right. To be harsh: any sentence that starts with “Superman (or Wonder Woman) should not be like…” basically comes from an idiot who lacks imagination and does not understand what these characters are: works of fiction that need to be changed to stay relevant for their times. Superman was created to be a socialist ideal in the 1930s. Should he have stayed like that? In the 1980s John Byrne turned Clark Kent into a Yuppie (and made Clark into an alpha male in the process). Of course all of that was “streamlined” once he had left the book to bring the character more in line with what conservative fans want the character to be like: bumbling Clark Kent who is socially awkward and does not get laid. Shocker: in BvS Clark is sexually aggressiv towards Lois (who, shocker, enjoys that). Now that is something the Christopher Reeve Superman would never do. He did check out her underwear though like a fourteen year old boy.

          No, BvS is far from being “a perfect movie”, but most movies aren’t. Hence, see it for what it intends to achive, measure it against that and you will most likely find good stuff in it. To call BvS “garbage” is the response of a three year old. Yes, the editing is poor, the writing and characterizations and character motivations are all over the place, yes, there are unnecessary double beats (Lois dives for the spear, Superman dives for the spear), gaps in logic: Superman fights Batman even though he does not want to (instead of simply looking for his mother) which is resolved by: Batman (with no superpowers) looking for Superman’s mother instead, and it is not nearly as well put together as Man of Steel is, but still: there are bold ideas in this movie, just poorly excecuted. Does not make this movie “garbage”.

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          • LordSnot says:

            I see a lot of “well people didn’t like it because they just don’t.. yadda yadda yadda.” What about those of us who didn’t like it because it was just a boring ass movie period. I can accept flaws and I can accept when a movie just doesn’t achieve greatness and still like it. Thor 2 fits that bill. Hell it was a letdown big time but I wlked away not really liking or hating it. BvsS though just was a bore to sit through until the final act and even then Doomsday was so poorly done the troll in Fellowship of the Ring looked better. Yeah, that movie over a decade old. Better CGI than Doomsday. Too much focus on things we never really invest in. This was a fail in my book and Snyder should be removed from the Justice League movies STAT.

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          • HorseWithNoName says:

            Agree. Thor 2 was really bad, except for Loki. And yes, Doomsday – who should not have been in the movie period – was done extremely poor, not only the CGI.

            I actually liked the slower paced first act of BvS more, but this is taste for you ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Big Zee says:

      This is an excellent review. I saw the movie with my son. The film was in UltraAVX and 3D, it was great stuff. Ben Affleck stole the show. The back and forth between Superman and Batman scenes took some getting use to. The critics who wrote negative reviews must have been working for Marvel, LOl and a ho,ho,ho.

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  3. hotcakes says:

    Can anyone tell me whether wonder woman or Elektra experience any peril in bvs or daredevil?? Thanks

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  4. Maar13 says:

    I am watching BvS until next week but I am really looking forward to it, I liked Man of Steel, the last part was not that great but the movie was cool and let’s face it, superheroes have gone darker on all sides that they were before because we as a wold have grown abit darked and for some weird reason, can’t accept flawless heros like Superman and Captain America used to be, we all love Wonder woman from the 70s but all in all, that campy version of Wonder woman won’t survive in today’s world. Even Gadot said herself that this Wonder woman is not the same as Carter’s because she has seen a lot and gone through a lot, just like the world itself.

    So I am looking forward to pretty much all films this year and Wonder Woman next year.

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  5. Bruce Kent says:

    I’m really only seeing this for Wonder Woman… And I know exactly what I’m getting into…. (It’s NEVER gonna be Batman 1989, and it will NEVER be Lynda Carter…)

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  6. Mike J says:

    I went to see Batman vs Superman last night because one of my friends had passes, and it’s a hard movie to review because you’re either going to like it or hate it honestly. But if you didn’t like Man of Steel, just save your money. Any mistakes you think Snyder made in that movie, you’ll come away from this one saying he didn’t learn from them.

    I guess firstly I have to say that this movie would have worked better as just Batman vs Superman. The villain felt tacked on almost as if they just wanted to have a villain for them to fight, and Wonder Woman seemed like she was just there to lay the groundwork for future films. The film would have worked much better as Batman vs Superman only.

    Lex Luthor, another thing you’ll like or hate. He didn’t work for me. He seemed to be going for the dark, demented sociopath, but he just came off as almost corny to me. In a movie that is a dark and serious as this one was the misses just stood out. But some people may like it, idk.

    One of my fears going in of CGI overload was not wrong, but you can probably see this in the trailers.

    I thought the plot was ridiculous, hard to follow, convoluted, whatever adjective you want to use for not well done, and it completely falls apart near the end of the movie. It was just trying to do too much, which goes back to my point of Snyder should have just stuck to the characters in the title.

    This film really dulls my interest in any future films in this series, because Snyder seems to not learn from fan feedback, and just has a formula he is going to use, which is totally his right.

    But I guess your interest to see this film can be totally based on your thoughts on Man of Steel.

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    • HorseWithNoName says:

      Totally agree. See my post below. This is a very frustrating movie. There are so many good ways they could have gone by “just” keeping the focus on Batman v Superman and giving both of these characters time to make their case (also on an emotional level) and then fight and then resolving their differences by understanding that they can add to each other, this might have turned out great. As it stands: this is done much better in the Daredevil series with Daredevil and the Punisher. Here the scenes have weight and that adds to the level of excitement when these two characters fight. When Batman and Superman do fight (boy, that takes a long time to get there), there is not much weight to this on an emotional level. Makes me kinda sad how they wasted a great opportunity with this movie. Think waht you will about Man of Steel. At least it emotional weight.

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      • Mike J says:

        I just finished watching the last episode of Daredevil season two a couple of days ago. Outstanding, all around. The way they did the contrast of vigilante/hero, and the contrast between Daredevil/Punisher and in some ways Elektra was top notch.

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        • Lake says:

          I have also just finished watching Daredevil 2. Absolutely brilliant and Electra was a great addition. Jessica Jones was also a big watch for me and so now looking forward to Luke Cage. I love the way they have made these series dark and wish that other series followed this path also. Imagine Supergirl in this universe.

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  7. HorseWithNoName says:

    I have just seen Batman v Superman. Seeing it again on Tuesday.

    In any case: SPOILER-WARNING, even though, I think I do not give any spoilers.
    But still: do NOT read this if you want to know NOTHING going in ๐Ÿ™‚

    So:
    NO, there are NOT too many characters. The movie is 80 percent: Superman, Batman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor.

    Wonder Woman does not steal the movie. She is not in that many scenes and mostly as Ms. Prince. Yes, they call her that. She is in the big fight at the end as Wonder Woman, you know this from the trailers, but that’s about it. She adds to the movie and Gal Gadot does an ok job. She is clearly better in the earlier parts of the movie she is in, but I think she will improve.

    Lex Luthor is very, very different from any incarnation in either comic books or movies. It works here, for the most part, and Jesse Eisenberg does a good job. His final scene in the movie is actually almost chilling. In a sense this version of Lex Luthor feels a lot like Jake Gyllenhaal’s character from the movie Nightcrawler.

    If you have seen some of the rather negative reviews, here is my take: the first two hours of the movie work fine, the interaction between Superman / Clark and Lois are the highlights for me, more so than Batman to my surprise. Then, at the 2 hour mark, the movie falls off a very steep cliff for about 20 minutes and then hits an emotional high for the last 10 minutes. All this has nothing to do with setting up a Justice League movie, but I feel, the unecessary urge to sort of replicate the final fight from Man of Steel. It almost feels Snyder had a grat movie on his hands and let it slip away in last part. I am certain had they finished at around 2 hours (with a more extensive fight scene between Batman and Superman, it is the title of the movie after all) the movie would have been much better and would get much better reviews. But alas, this is not the way it plays out. The final 10 minutes redeem this somewhat. But those 20 min. are among the worst stuff I have seen in a comic book movie, also, and this irks me: they set up Lois as a strong independent woman, only to be again saved by you know who. In that sense, there is one character too many and in his place they could have also set up future movies and this might have worked much better. But man, it feels like you see a beautiful car race and then: total crash.

    So my take aways are these: even though Ben Affleck does a very fine job both as Bruce Wayne and Batman, I loved the scenes with Superman / Clark and Lois the most. Amy Adams combines her Lois from Man of Steel with her character from Amercian Hustle and gives as a very strong and sexy Lois and I love that there is no secret identity nonsense. They are in a relationship and it works for the movie.

    So, I did like Man of Steel a little bit more, but this feels, for the Superman character, in this incarnation, like a natural progession towards the Superman people love.

    All in all I’d give the movie a 7.5 / maybe 8 out of 10. Lots to love, but also some very bad script choices and you miss strong supporting performances from Crowe, Costner and Michael Shannon. In that sense it is a much weaker movie than Man of Steel.

    So, if you liked Man of Steel, you will like this one as well, with a slight feeling of disappointment. If you did not care for Man of Steel, you will not like this one.

    But I say this: the ending of Batman v Superman is very gutsy. And in that respect they outdo most of the stuff Marvel does (with the exception of the Daredevil series). And the movie closes with a very clever wink to Nolan’s Inception which is perfect.

    And if you are planning on seeing it: do avoid all reviews for spoilers. I also do not know what gives with some of the negative reviewers: they hark on certain aspects of the movie that clearly do not play out in the way they describe them.

    I know, with Snyder it is either love or hate. And in this case, maybe the “hate” is a bit stronger since the misses could have been avoided easily by keeping the big fight between Batman and Superman (or Batman v Superman). And yet: the ending is very bold and strong.

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  8. Mike J says:

    – I’m pumped to see Captain America Civil War. Winter Soldier is probably my favorite Marvel movie, and it looks like they’ll keep that same feel for this.

    – Want to see X-men Apocalypse as well since I enjoyed Days of Futures Past. They’ve done a good job on these starting with First Class.

    – Not really looking forward to Batman vs Superman. Didn’t like Man of Steel, don’t really like who they have playing Lex Luthor, and it looks like it may be an overdose of CGI from what I’ve seen in the trailers. Will have to wait and see if one of my good friends sees it and get a review.

    – I’m on episode ten of Daredevil and this show is awesome. I always like things with a serious, darker tone to them rather than light hearted stuff. One of the reasons why I prefer a show like Arrow to a the Flash.

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  9. Dennis says:

    I fear this will be another Sucker Punch. It’ll look cool, but the script is going to be crap. There are just too many big characters that require SOME sort of time spent showing where they come from/what they want/etc. Three villains in one movie is NEVER a good idea. Plus, IMHO, the last two Superman films were horrible. Just bad. I could rant and rant about how bad the last one was – nothing against the actor, I’m talking script problems, and not just plot holes, but nonsensical stuff that tore me out of the experience over and over again. The director basically bad-mouthed the TV Flash series recently, which isn’t helping his case, because I love the Flash and Supergirl series.

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  10. Lake says:

    All this talk of superheroes, has ‘Powers’ been mentioned on here yet? I thought the first season of that was excellent with Eddie Izzard playing a brilliant villain. I gather they have attracted even more well known actors for the 2nd season.

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  11. SG FAN says:

    I’m not really all that interested in Batman V Superman. It just looks so dower and doesn’t seem to get the various characters. It also seems like a mess with ALL the characters they’re craming in.

    A little disappointed the Supergirl-Flash crossover didn’t get a mention, I mean that’s a big deal for the TV stuff. Anyway more excited for that than BvS.

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    • HorseWithNoName says:

      The Flash is such a good show. I am happy that there is a mix of different flavors. While yes, the Snyder stuff looks dark and depressing (recently re-watched Watchmen and loved it even more), I am also happy we get “bright” shows like The Flash, which can also be dark, but still be very comic book-y.

      And funny: there were no complaints about too many characters when the first Avengers movie came out (the second one is a different thing, but the problems with that movie were really not “the too many characters thing”… that was a part that did actually work). It is really not about how many characters there are in any given movie, but how they get used to tell the story. This might not work like in Amazing Spider-Man 2 or it might work (thought it worked well in Watchmen), but yes, it is the popular thing to say: too many characters, without saying that much really ๐Ÿ™‚

      And about all this “oh, they do not get Superman”. If you view this as an arc and take this movie as “The Empire Strikes Back” (still my favorite Star Wars movie) and you do see indeed a progression from Man of Steel to BvS and a somewhat “lighter” Superman in the first Justice League movie, this might be much more interesting than to start with “hello, Silver Age Superman”, all smiles and what have you. Also worth remembering: there have been various versions of Superman in the comic books, and yes, he did kill (in the comic books… in the Byrne run in the 1980s) and that lead to a well of interesting stories. If a character in any fiction is just one thing i.e. all good and all Boy Scout all the time, than indeed that character is boring, which is a reason why a lot of people have a hard time to connect with Superman these days, while indeed, and that is true to the character, he is the most Jewish and most alienated comic book character out there who is more about his “lost past” than even Captain America.

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  12. HorseWithNoName says:

    I totally agree with you about Phase Two being a mess. I really enjoyed Captain America Winter Soldier, the best Marvel movie so far in my opinion. Guardians was ultimately very forgetable, the rest not very interesting. Glad to hear that the new Cap movie is more a Cap movie than Avengers 2.5. Age of Ultron was one big mess with a few highlights not withstanding. But I do trust in the Russo Brothers to get this one right as well. Also very much looking forward to Dr. Strange. X-Men: not sure what to expect. First Class still takes to crown for me as far a X-movies go, but Deadpool was a lot of fun as well. Singer is a little bit too serious for my take. We will see.

    So, so relieved that Batman v. Superman has good to very good word of mouth so far. I am sure the reviewers will for the most part hate it, but if it is good, the final verdict rest with the audience.

    Have only managed to get to the first six episodes of Daredevil so far. I say this: it keeps getting better from episode to episode, and yes, since the first season was so good, this is a tall order.

    For comic book nerds like myself: this is truly a great time we live in. To the haters: show a little bit more appreciation for what is happening. Not every aspect of every movie can be “true to the comic books” nor should it be. Yeah, Wonder Woman has a sword. Deal with it ๐Ÿ™‚ And yeah: so does she in the comic books, nerd!

    Not so thrilled about the new Spider-Man though, but that is only based on seconds in a trailer. Hopefully, he delivers as well.

    And on a side-note and about the casting: curious thing: Marvel Studios and Marvel TV stuff are totally different divisions, also not reporting to the same higher-ups, at least not directly, and yet, they do have a feel for who to cast. Couldn’t be happier with the Daredevil casting all around in both seasons.

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  13. HorseWithNoName says:

    Early word is: Batman v Superman is apparently really good and Wonder Woman one of its highlights. Seeing it on Wednesday. Yeah. So relieved that it seems to be good at least!

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  14. Swampy170 says:

    I don’t think we’re at full saturation yet – quite a way to go yet, particularly if you compare to the golden age of Westerns which is the closest comparator to the current Superhero phenomenon really.

    It’s totally cyclic, we’re not going to get too many justice league movies – but the current superhero trend’s likely to continue well into the 2020’s. Absolutely certainly in fact, with Marvel films planned that far ahead already.

    Here’s hoping some more superheroine leads than already announced!

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  15. Imagineer says:

    And superheroines with bare legs. Definitely looking forward to that. It’s about damn time.

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  16. Imagineer says:

    Prepare for a lot of “industry” press to write a lot about superhero fatigue. We have FOUR superhero ensemble flicks this year — that’s a lot of one kind of movie. I’m sure they’ll all do good business, and yet there will be much hand-wringing about the future because it won’t be good enough.

    There will be no shortage of details to quibble and kvetch over, but there will be lots of cool moments to enjoy. I’m keeping my expectations down there — happy for whatever cool moments I get.

    Marvel already snuffed the only hope for grand storytelling I had for this year, which was that there would actually be two-way cross-pollination of characters between the big and small screens. Maybe next year. Meanwhile, Netflix Hell’s Kitchen seems eager to prove it doesn’t need anything beyond itself to do complex long-form storytelling. Luke Cage in September, that’s what I’m most looking forward to now.

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    • HorseWithNoName says:

      Yeah, Deadpool turning out to be a massive hit. Where is your superhero fatigue now, industry press? ๐Ÿ™‚

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