I finally saw the Batman v Superman movie yesterday, and well… I’ve seen better. A lot better. I honestly had no idea what to expect going in, because not only did I adamantly avoid spoilers, reviews online have been mixed. The movie has received both scathing reviews from critics as well as unending praise. As such, I tried to keep an open mind. I didn’t like Man of Steel all that much and have consistently hated just about every DC live-action movie in the past five years. I thought Man of Steel was too dark and muted, and it lost itself in the storytelling process. It had little to no characterization to speak of, and the climax ended up being an hour-long fistfight of two assholes punching each other through buildings while thousands of innocent bystanders died.
Even then, I wanted to like Batman v Superman as the next big superhero movie, because it’s paving the way for the Justice League’s entrance to the big screen. I didn’t. Almost none of the problems from Man of Steel were fixed, the characters are all still unlikable and unrelatable, the plot made no damn sense, the message was still over the top, and I came out of that theater feeling as though I had just wasted five dollars and a good fifteen hours of my life. Thankfully, I only wasted five dollars and two and a half hours of my life. But even that was still too much.
Though it is in fact a Sexualized Saturday, imagine with me for a moment that it is Transformation Tuesday. The delicate wallflower blossoms into a stunning beauty just in time for her senior prom, the second-string nerd transcends his former self to become the leading man he was always meant to be—all with the simple removal of a little apparatus: eyeglasses. Glasses form the basis of tons of tropes, though perhaps none as infamous as “The Glasses Gotta Go”. From Princess Diaries and the quintessential Magical Makeover in She’s All That, to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man transformation, pop culture has been helping nerds achieve their sexy potential by liberating them from their bespectacled prisons. Join me as I delve a little deeper into the intersection of sexual capital and corrective lenses, and the problematic territory we find there.
Superman doesn’t have a strong track record when it comes to live-action films. DC’s storytelling strength normally lies better in animation than it does in live-action. I’ll even admit that I don’t know that much about Superman outside animated features and television shows. I’ve read some of the comics, but I prefer his cartoons. And after seeing what the 90’s gave us, I didn’t have that much hope for Man of Steel.
This trailer. This. Goddamn. Trailer. First of all, I am not a huge fan of 3D movies (I’m apathetic at best) but this trailer is absolutely gorgeous in 3D. The cinematography is pretty either way, but I would pay good money just to sit and watch this over and over.
Next of all, I am not a big Superman fan. It’s not that I hate him; it’s just that I’ve never seen any of the Superman movies or TV shows, and I’ve only ever read the very first New52 Superman comic because it was free on Comixology around Christmas.
But this looks like a Superman movie that I can get behind. It portrays Superman as a complex character, who is struggling with his identity and his alien-ness while simultaneously trying to be a good person and even a hero. Supes is not just a one-dimensional white-bread farmboy; he is a genuinely cool character. It looks like we’ll finally get to see him being cool this summer.
My only concern is the director. Zack Snyder is really good at making visually stunning films with really terrible plots and rapey, gross, misogynistic content (I’m looking at you, 300, and especially Sucker Punch). Let’s hope that Christopher Nolan, who’s producing the film, provides a guiding hand, and the fact that this directed toward a far more mainstream audience than Snyder’s other films keeps us away from that sort of content.
There are rumors that this will be the flagship movie for a Justice League franchise if it’s successful; right now, I’m just hoping it’s as exciting as the trailer promises it will be.