Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On Don Jon

This is something of a step-down from X-Men, but, what can I say, my roommate won't share his copy of Watch Dogs, and it feels dirty writing about a game that your only experience with is hanging over your buddy's shoulder breathing on his neck. 

I had heard Don Jon was on Netflix, so I decided to sit-me down and give it a peek. I honestly wasn't expecting much, and it wasn't until about twenty minutes in I realized I was actually having a blast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut. Show's what I know, eh? 

Most Idiotic Review

"Don Jon is a sex comedy that just lays there and expects you to do all the work. Gordon-Levitt's direction is repetitive and dry, and his screenplay is a collage of badly cut out pieces from other movies. Its desire to be liked damns it, and the entire porn plot feels tacked on ... " 
— Odie Henderson, (Roger Ebert)

Far be it from me to attack a person for differing taste, but this review seemed out for blood from the opening line (spending most of the paragraph attacking Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson's accents (which I enjoyed but, oh well, obviously I'm just easy to please). 

A lot of this I'll deal with on its own, but I really found Gordon-Levitt's direction to cleverly utilize the motif of repetition and his script to operate as quite a successful satire for the entire genre of romantic comedies.

Most Accurate Review

"Funny, touching, smart, and supremely confident, Don Jon is also Gordon-Levitt's feature directorial debut, and it establishes him as one of Hollywood's most exciting new directors."

— Jess Cagle, (Entertainment Weekly)

I don't know a lot about directing, but the film didn't feel static to me, nor overly frenetic. The editing/directing seemed to flow smoothly to me, and at moments did indeed make me laugh out loud.

Don Jon titular character is addicted to porn, finding it far preferable to the real thing. Through his interactions with two women in his life he reevaluates his life. Since the movie is playing the satire card, it, in its own subverted way, adhere's to RomCom conventions, or, as Jon lists them, "the love at first sight, the first kiss, the breakup, the make-up, the expensive wedding, and they ride off into the sun." Except, you know, not. Cause that's not the joke.

The main focus of the film, told through Jon's eyes are his relationship with two women, his girlfriend, the dime, the perfect 10, Scarlett Johansson, and an older woman he meets at night-school, Juliane Moore. One teaches him his expectations aren't realistic and the other how to properly lose himself in another person. If these are spoilers to you, you have a very slim grasp of Hollywood convention and storytelling structure, and I cannot help you.

Honestly, I liked the characters. Some are painted as less sympathetic as others, but, I didn't feel like they were unrealistic. I know people like that. Hell, I made some similar mistakes to Jon (minus the porn addiction ... I think). I spent years chasing the girl I thought I should be--the Dime, the Great White Buffalo (I recently rewatched Hot Tub Time Machine) and man I got burned for it. Since Jon narrates the entirety of the film, and Joseph Godon-Levitt remains an engaging actor, I might have found myself more engaged than if a weaker performance had been given. The same goes for the rest of the cast too. But as is, I'll accept it. Besides, Jon's monologues early in the film about the reality of sex vs the fantasy of porn made me laugh. 

Personally, I look forward to seeing what other work Joseph Gordon-Levitt does in the future. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

On X-Men: Days of Future Past

In all honesty, I'm daunted by this post, as conversations with friends about this movie have shown, there is no end to what I have to say about it, but being the internet, I'll try to accommodate those of my audience who are goldfish.  

The first X-Men film was released July 14, 2000, so I was nine years old. I've seen every one of the movies since then. I've regretted that decision several times. The point I'm trying to make is that I grew up on these movies. Before the movies, I grew up on the cartoons. For many reasons, these characters have made a lasting impact and hold a very dear place in my heart. According to James McAvoy, director Bryan Singer, "treats the world incredibly seriously, and I think he treats it with a lot of integrity and passion. I think he feels very protective over the universe, partly because he loves it, but also partly because he owes a debt to it as well." 

So here we are, fourteen years later, and I'm still nerdgasming all over the franchise, but damn, what a ride, and one of the few times (sans knowledge of the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse) that I've walked away from any of these movies with such a solid and resounding sense of resolution. 

So, in the words of the ever-lovable Bilbo Baggins, I must ask myself, "Where to begin?"

Most Idiotic Review

The film squanders both of its casts, reeling from one fumbled set-piece to the next. It seems to have been constructed in a stupor, and you watch in a daze of future past. 

It's not hard to find people who disagree with you on the internet, and it's not hard to find people you disagree with so vehemently that you feel the desire to ninja-kick their scrotum through the top of their skull. I'll really delve deeper into these areas further down the page, but in as non-spoiler way as I can, I'm going to tackle what Ol' Robbie had to say. 

I study theatre. I am a third year acting major, and while I am still learning every day from an amazing set of professors and fellow students, (not to mention the skilled men and women of USF across the street) and these actors were not squandered. Time and again, numerous members of the cast (especially the delightful James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) find themselves in emotional situations and you can feel the actors chewing on their lines. There is a real relish to many goosebump inducing scenes. 

If anything, Bryan Singer manages to balance several movies in one, the dystopian future and the period 70s, on top of being a superhero movie. Neither of these two worlds ever feels dull, as the characters race forward with very clearly defined motivations. There was some complaint that the film lacked a definitive villain, to which I'll respond with a quote from a writer quoting a writer. Marc Webb (of the Spider-Man reboot fame) said, “Tom Stoppard was on Charlie Rose’s show once and he said what makes great drama is competing ideas of what is good.” I don't think any comic-book superhero movie has nailed that so successfully as Days of Future Past. 

In regards to Robbie's second sentence, I think it's a breathtakingly stupid statement, but it does show that critics still love their darling little witticisms. You can practically hear him guffawing as he pours another glass of champagne and pats himself on the shoulder. An unprecedented amount of effort went into the creation of this movie (and a shitload of money—pardon my French). You can clearly see the devotion the people involved had in crafting this movie. Then again, Robbie Collin's aesthetics and the philosophy of film, so what the fuck do I know?
Most Accurate Review

"Wow! DAYS OF FUTURE PAST is the greatest, most complete and staggeringly entertaining #xmen movie to date. Incredible. Movie of the summer!" 
— Sean O'Connell, (@Sean_OConnell) 

As generic as this is, I really can't disagree with it, but to fully explain my feelings, we're about to enter the Spoiler Zone. 

* * *

Without delving too deeply into the plot (Wikipedia has a whole section devoted to that), here's the gist. In 2023 shit has gotten real. Robots called Sentinels have nearly wiped out all of mutant-kind and their human supporters, leaving only a handful of our beloved X-Men (from the original trilogy amidst some new faces) to band together to fight for survival. They intend to use Kitty Pryde's phasing ability to travel into the past to ensure that this future never occurs. Being the poster-boy for the franchise as a whole, Wolverine is selected for this job (in the original comic, Shadowcat is the time-travelers). He is sent back to 1973, reuniting with the cast from 2011's X-Men: First Class, where they must track down Mystique before she kills Bolivar Trask, the man originally behind the development of the Sentinels, who's death solidifies the worlds' belief that they need protection from the mutants. 


Now that's out of the way I can jump into some really juicy stuff that mixes plot and character, because it's damn hard to separate the two when they're well done. The movie is character driven, plain and simple in a way that even the Avengers couldn't hope to match. While Avengers was a fantastically fun romp, it suffered because, as I put it, it was the movie it needed to be. It needed to bring the characters together. It needed to have internal strife among the team. It needed etc yadda-yadda-yadda. Days of Future past really doesn't. Right from the get-go the characters are on board (or within a few scenes). The strife between characters grows naturally from, you might have guessed, Erik and Xavier's differing world views leading them to believe fully in their own courses of action. But, and this is fantastic, Mystique is the key to all of this. The entire plot hinges around a woman, but her choices, and not the two men trying to dominate her life. I'd say there was some powerful storytelling going on there.

Also, you might have noticed, I managed to get through most of the plot and climactic moments without referencing how Wolverine saves the day. He doesn't. He is an integral part, fights his damnedest, but the franchise has progressed past having conflicts that can be resolved by stabbing things. Wolverine is, dare-I-say-it, a team-player in the film in ways he hasn't been in the past, and Hugh Jackman shines in a way as a fully integrated member of the ensemble. 

Lastly, because of the nature of the time-travel (the two timelines are in sync, so there is a one-to-one progression in both the past and the future), the tension only continues to ramp up as both timelines approach their climax simultaneously. That said, the filmmakers were not afraid to use the time travel (or more importantly, the driving hope of changing the past) to depict the future as a absolutely terrifying place. There was a fearlessness in the future scenes are characters you know and love, and have seen on the big screen for 14 years massacred and brutally murdered. I found two consistent thoughts going through the more detached parts of my brain that weren't screaming. 

1) "They went there?!" 

2) "Wait, this is PG-13?!"

Since this is the Spoilery section of this post, I'm not afraid to say that during the climactic moment when the sentinals have finally broken in, killed ... pretty much everyone, and the timeline resets? You could hear my entire row exhale a shuddering sigh of relief. The tension was unbelievable. The last time I had a moment like that was during Toy Story 3 during the furnace scene. /shudder/

In Days of Future Past we get to see, actually a lot of character development, in the past the primary focus is on Xavier and Mystique, who the writers managed to take at pivotal moments in their lives, and entwine them with saving the world—Xavier no longer calls himself the professor (being a drug addled shut-in trying to block out the pain and loss he's suffered since the events of First Class) and has to learn how to hope again, and Mystique is on her way to becoming the stone-cold-blooded assassin we saw in the original trilogy, and while Wolverine's journey into the past kickstarts these, he by no means plays much of a direct hand in shaping them. Magneto, like the rock that he is, remains fairly unchanged, but in no sense of the word do I mind (the inclusion of Magneto's involvement in the JFK assassination was splendid). Michael Fassbender is rapidly becoming one of my favorite actors of all time, and while the physical resemblance is somewhat lacking, he carries such gravitas in his roll that it is hard not to see some of Sir Ian McKellen in his portrayal, and the same goes for McAvoy's young Xavier. The scene where Patrick Stewart has a "Glimpse into the past," and both Xavier's talk to one another left me with chills.

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't applaud the portrayal of Quicksilver, who steals most of the scenes he's in, which, considering the actors he's sharing screen-time with is no small feat. A true pleasure, and while it's a shame we didn't see more of him, it kept the characters inclusion short, sweet, and to-the-point.

The link between the two timelines, Wolverine, is an older, more nuanced character than we've seen before and Hugh relishes in several scenes that show a softer side of Logan. The one in particular that left me with chills was this exchange between Jackman and McAvoy ... 

"Whatever happens today, I need you to promise me something. You've looked into my mind and you've seen a lot of bad, but you've seen the good too, the X-Men. Promise me you'll find us. Use your power, bring us together, guide us, lead us. Storm, Scott ... Jean. Remember those names. There's so many of us and we will need you ... Professor."

"I'll do my best." 

"Your best is enough, trust me," delivered with complete earnestness by Jackman. 

In the future, although we don't get to see any (not really) of Anna Paquin's Rogue (I can't even nerdrage at Rogue mistreatment anymore, it's more like a nerd-sigh), and most of the mutants we see don't have a line of dialogue between them, we get to see the reunion of the Professor and Magneto, and one of the major overarching feelings you get, even as survival becomes less and less likely, simple regret that their friendship was so wasted, and like their younger acting-counterparts, McKellen and Stewart are magic onscreen together.

It's the secondary characters present in the Future who have the best of the mutant battle scenes, and the filmmakers really outdid previous films by showcasing the X-Men who really know how to aid one another in battle. I'd have never really expected to see Blink's teleportation and Collususs organic metal form being a surefire tagteam combo, but the movie makes it work in a visually fun and interesting way. Although ... no fault of his own, but I wish they had replaced Warpath with a fully powered Rogue. Alas, though, yet again ... grrrr, moving on.

Days of Future Past carries with it the same thematics that we've seen for many of the films, prejudices and fear and loathing (and not the fun kind), but includes a bigger emphasis on faith in people. Since the climax of the film had less to do with the knockout drag-out fight than an emotional turning point for a set of characters, there is more weight on having faith in people, not just the titular characters, but in humanity as a whole, and, echoing Xavier's sentiment, the future doesn't have to happen, "Not if we show them a better path." 

To wrap up, the film is a dazzling spectacle. The 70s setting does at times feel restrained, but to a degree, this helps keep the existence of the Sentinels less fantastical by keeping the world they exist in more grounded, a trick that Bryan Singer has repeatedly shown he has a knack for. On the flip side, while we see very little of it, the future is as dark and atmospheric as the best of the Terminator Franchise's depictions of after Judgment Day. 

There is a fantastic moment, midway through the film, when we return to Cerebro, and the iconic blue hallways. In interviews McAvoy stated that between that set and being with Hugh Jackman, he really felt like he was in an X-Men movie. 

I can say more, but for anyone who's stuck around this long, I'll say thank you kindly, hope you enjoyed my thoughts, and go have some fun at the theater. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On To the Moon

This man is capable of complete
emotional devastation.
I'm constantly reminded by my new college buddies that I should be a gamer. I bear all resemblance to a gamer, talk about games comfortably, understand the basic ins-and-outs of the idea; I just never get around to actually playing any games which confuses them.

Y'see, I stopped getting invited out to movies for being a 'jaded bitter movie cynic'. Some day, I'll admit, I'd like to be able to consider myself a professional writer, which has no relation to quality, it has to do with a regular paycheck. That said, I have an obsession with ideas of quality. Every piece of fiction, of whatever medium is worth turning over and scrutinizing and ultimately judging 'can I do better, and how?' With this mentality, most everything I uncover is ... shit. (I'm looking at you EA and Blizzard).

But I have a friend who is almost as nuts as I am and he recommended To the Moon, the indie game released a little over a year ago by Canadian designer/composer Kan 'Reives' Gao


Okay, I feel an explanation is owed. I do not hate games like Halo and Modern Warfare (aka FPS) because of the style. Yes, I do suck at them, but over the years some of the games that really revved my gamer engine were Heavy Rain and Alan Wake. Neither of these games had a strong 'game' aspect. It was more like interactive storytelling. God forbid the writer prefers games with strong emphasis on story. And I blame gamer-asshats for steering the gamer ship in this direction because I was told about a week ago that story isn't what games are about, rutting Super-Smash Bro. fans ....

So four-five hours after receiving To the Moon, I had run the gambit of possible emotions (giggling laughter, bereft tears, and raging anger (yep, all three of the feelers) because of SPRITES. That was a new one. I mean, in a day and age where the focus is on the never-ending arms race for better graphics, the sprites are the ones that really got me.

You might notice that I'm either really easily distracted or I'm dancing around the subject of what the game is actually about. I'd be much happier to just say 'go play the damn thing', but that won't really do.

You progress this interactive story (even I have to admit, this isn't so much a game as a pop-up book with a mouse), with two characters (Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts) who work for Sigmund Corp. where people on their death beds can have their memories rewritten so that a single wish can be fulfilled and they can die regret free.

Right off the bat we have a existentialist tragedy, and as the two characters progress backwards from their client John's most recent memories toward his childhood, mysteries regarding his mysterious wish to 'Go to the Moon', his wife, and his whole life pretty much are unveiled. I mean, I spent the opening of the game just rolling with the punches, seeing where it would take me and I was pleasantly surprised and delighted over and over again. I didn't know where the game was taking me, (I hate spoilers so I was literally flying blind) and ... hell, I don't really know what else to say. It's easier to rant about things I dislike.

Also, I have to shout out to the Soundtrack, which I thought was stellar. And the fact that Kan Gao, so far as I can tell designed the game almost single-handedly is really inspiring. He is a masterful storyteller with a quick wit necessary to offset the deep emotional impact. Never before has a game managed to make me cry and laugh in the same scene and I'm not ashamed to admit that. Ah, hell, what can I say? I'm a sucker. Definitely one worth checking out.

Monday, May 19, 2014

On Godzilla (2014)

When the line was uttered, "The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control, and not the other way around," was uttered I could only think of one thing.

If they were going to homage Blue Oyster Cult's iconic song, go all the way and actually say, "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man." I mean, seriously.

Most Idiotic Review

"The right way to balance seriousness and silliness in a Godzilla film, it seems, is to have a thoughtful script about nuclear dread offset by some spectacular scenes of behemoth-vs-humanity devastation. Mr. Edwards' method is to switch things around, so that the screenplay is laughable but the mood and visuals are as drab as possible. His main achievement is to make Mr. Emmerich's version seem halfway decent after all." 

Okay ... I don't know how to respond to this honestly. I could start with a simple, "Did he see the same movie as me?" Whereas I spent the movie noting lessons well learned from other such classics as Jurassic Park, Jaws, and King Kong, the Economist saw "unremitting dullness," and " a long, glum slog with a murky colour scheme best described as "50 shades of grey." I guess I was leaning forward in my seat for reasons beyond excitement, tension, investment, and anticipation. And to compare to the 1998 film in such a way, which honestly never got under my skin the way other people felt it did is just plain laughable.

Most Accurate Review
"As in the classic, they hold the titular monster back for quite some time, and while the slow burn may not agree with a modern audiences’ desire for rapid-fire storytelling, once the monster action really gets going it is glorious to behold, with the finale a thing of utter, spectacular beauty. I’ll confess, I would have liked to see more of that action, and Godzilla earlier in the film, but am equally struck by what is in many ways a bold and well-thought-out pacing choice."

I personally couldn't agree more. Without delving into spoilers too deeply, every glimpse of the monsters pulled me further forward in my seat, and by the climactic battle I was rearing to go full force, and for all of the beautifully crafted hero shots of our titular monster, I felt chills... that might have been a side-effect of the theater shaking though. Dat roar, mang.

I agree with some reviewers that the characters were ultimately dull. That said, they're not the star of the film (who admittedly wasn't on-screen all that often, but still). My main retort was that they were, in my opinion, believable characters with some pretty basic driving motivation. They were not Whedon characters, nor do I think they should have been. Every human on screen represented the blank-slate character we see often in Video Games like Bioshock: Infinite and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. These characters aren't meant to be driving forces of Oscar-worthy drama at the end of the day. They're supposed to be in the right place at the right time so that the filmmakers have an excuse to showcase the 350 primordial alpha hunter decimate entire cities. That said, I still found myself rooting for Aaron Taylor-Johnson's character 'Whatshisname' (a quick Google-search tells me it was Lieutenant Ford Brody), and also, did anyone else find his voice hilarious? He still has a young teenager voice, like in Kickass, but he's bulked up enough to look like Bane Jr, so that every time he spoke I had to resist the urge to giggle. 

And just as a teaser, like the movie's advertising this whole time, the King? When he finally appears, he delivers in all his glory. I whole-heartedly believe that if you're a fan of the big guy (and you can tell I am, look at my screen-name), you'll enjoy this movie. I found that the filmmakers came to the table with a love of classic monster movies and the skill to pull it off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea

For me, this has been a journey seven years in the making. I love BioShock. I've loved it since the first time I watched a friend play it in his basement back when we were both pimply High Schoolers with bad fashion sense and overblown egos. Age has at least improved the fashion sense.

So here we are, the end of a journey, a real saga. Give me a second, this is a real moment for me. Before I wrote this, I went back and replayed BioShock, and feel like I might have overloaded my brain on Ken Levine games. If I survive writing this blog, I might crank up my copy of System Shock 2 and frazzle what's left of my brainpan. Here we go.

Set December 31, 1958 (roughly two years before the evens of BioShock) Booker DeWitt, the protagonist of BioShock: Infinite, is a private investigator working in Rapture, Andrew Ryan's underwater Objectivist Utopia before it's fall. He is hired by the mysterious Elizabeth, another character fans of Infinite will recognize, although she is far more somber than the wide-eyed girl we saw asking Mr. Dewitt what could be better than dancing on the shores of Battleship Bay. 

In keeping with the mystery of Burial at Sea, I won't spoil what our beloved Booker and Elizabeth are doing in our beloved Rapture, but I will say that, yes, their presence plays merry-hob with the canon, the timelines, quantum travel, and a logical plot structure, but maintains the same kick in the family jewels that preceded the end credits of BioShock Infinite. Personally I was delighted seeing a deeper connection between the worlds of Columbia and Rapture, and how cleverly the writers slipped the gameplay of Burial at Sea in between the existing framework of the previous games, allowing for character crossover and fleshing out I'd never anticipated.

On an interesting note, there is a welcome change in gameplay, even between Episode 1, where you play as Booker, and Episode 2, where you play as Elizabeth. To me it was one part BioShock, one part Infinite, and one part Thief. There is a combination of BioShock's inventory (in Infinite, you could only carry two weapons at a time), but the plasmid/vigors from Infinite (but, it must be said, all aspects carried over from previous games have been thankfully streamlines). The skyhook also makes a reappearance, and although the sudden inclusion of tram-lines in Rapture seemed mildly ham-handed, I was having too much fun Sky-Line Striking Splicers to care. Also, best moment ever was when I had Elizabeth open a tear to bring in a Motorized Patriot to fight a Big Daddy. Alas, I don't know where else to say this, but the usage of plasmids/vigors felt more schizophrenic in Burial at Sea than in Infinite, but that might have just been me.

Also, speaking of Big Daddies in Episode 2, when playing as a de-powered Elizabeth (having collapsed from her quantum-superposition) Big Daddies are terrifying, and the whole game takes on a far more threatening air. Elizabeth is not a melee power-house after all. 

As one of my last points, I just want to comment on possibly my favorite aspect of the game. I loved seeing Rapture at the height of its glory. Seeing how far the technology has come to allow for such an immersive exploration of the city was as exciting as anything else in the game. I keenly enjoyed having face-to-face interaction with Atlas, who finally has his own character model, and not just a modified Splicer model. Like it's counterpart Columbia, both cities are so lovingly crafted by the designers they are among the most actualized fantasy/sci-fi realms I can name.  

In an interview, Ken Levine, Lead Writer & Creative Director stated, "I think you'll get a deep level of closure that you don't expect ... Fans of both the original game and Infinite are going to walk away pretty satisfied with feeling a sense of completeness in the end of [Burial at Sea] that they really haven't had in a BioShock game before."

Monday, May 12, 2014

On the Amazing Spider-Man 2

I'll start off by saying that the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is far from a perfect film, but. Notice I added a 'but'-- not a major but, or a well rationalized but. But it's my butt.

I really enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it in a way that a lot of superhero movies failed to deliver or simply flat-lined on arrival. It was fun. But it's not without sin, although I have more of a fault with the advertising. Let's blame merchandising for that.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Couldn't sell all those Rhino action-figures if you kept it secret that he wasn't even going to be onscreen for four minutes of the finished film. That's the main reason I didn't get up in arms about having so many villains. Including Rhino was ... like taking the beginning of any Bond movie and putting it at the end instead. It was a teaser.

More butts. But... I think the Electro/Goblin aspect was still unbalanced. Then again, I've never been a fan of the Goblin (personal problems, don't read into them), but I still feel like the Electro confrontation played out abruptly. I'm willing to hold off judgment for how they lead this into the next film, but incorporating a full-on Spidey/Goblin battle in this film just struck me as wanting to kill off Gwen Stacy before the third film. Oh well. It's not what I would have done, but studio executives' brains work in mysterious ways, like god. Or don't exist ... like god. Anywho.

Andrew Garfield still brings it in my opinion. He captures a fantastic outsider sensibility without becoming the dweeb incarnation brought to us by Toby Maguire. I mean no slight against that portrayal, but it didn't resonate with me the same way. Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker clicks with me, and he has far more onscreen chemistry than most romantic interests in film/television.

I've read reviews claiming the film had too many storylines, although I don't feel like I found all that many (not in comparison to other Superhero movies). Aunt May still provided necessary wisdom for the young Peter, Max (fantastically portrayed by Jaime Fox) had a legitimately frightening obsession with the teen webslinger. Gwen was faced with the age-appropriate rite of passage of what college she can go to. The only one I found ... offbeat was Harry's motivation. I've thought about it quite a bit before sitting down to get snarky, but it still feels ... off. I might also be jaded toward Dane DeHaan's skill as an actor. I'm very back and forth, which is something I'm not used to.

Lastly, I just wanted to say, part of why I liked the movie was that it wasn't gritty. Silly as that is, it's the reason. It felt like Spider-Man (and during certain action sequences a video game, although I don't see how that refutes what I said). They've made enough of these damn superhero movies that they're finally getting a grip on just what they're doing. Batman is different from Spider-man, who is different from the Avengers, which is different from X-Men. I think the franchises are starting to reflect that.

Now if only someone could stop Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder from repeating the debacle that was Man of Steel in 2016 when they make Batman vs. Superman.