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Author Topic: Marvel Vs DC MOVIES  (Read 13195 times)
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davidelliott
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« on: June 23, 2007, 07:25:37 AM »

The wife and I went to see Rise of the Silver Surfer today and a few weeks ago I saw Spider-Man 3 with the boys.  I have to say, I was never a big Marvel Comics fan (I am more of a DC guy) BUT how does Marvel do it? 

The characterizations are faithful to the comics (well, save for Jessica Alba)... the actors LOOK like the Marvel comic counterparts (in my opinion, Tobey Macguire looks exactly like Steve Ditko's Peter Parker) and the origin stories of the movie counterparts are a little more logical and improved upon, but still faithful.

The DC films?  Why can't Batman LOOK like Batman?  Why does the Joker in the Dark Knight film look like he smeared lipstick all over his face?  Brandon Routh as Superman... well... he looks more like SuperBOY to me.  While DC TALKS about making movies, MArvel is MAKING movies.  What, we have had in the past few years:

3 X-Men movies
3 Spider-Man movies
2 Fantastic Four
1 Hulk (with one on the way)
1 Ghost Rider
1 Punisher
1 Daredevil
That's all I can think of... forget the fact that Iron Man is in the works...

DC? 1 Batman and 1 Superman... and they aren't very faithful adaptaions (to me at least).

I would love to see Green Lantern, Flash, Capt Marvel, JLA, Wonder Woman, etc... but will they ever happen?  Will it be worth it to me to see them?  Will they be familar characters?

Is it that the Marvel Universe translates better?  Is DC too messed up with too many variations of it's characters (while Marvel has kept their characters the "same")

opinions?
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Aldous
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2007, 08:10:09 AM »

David,

I agree the changing "interpretations" of the DC characters "messes" them up, or weakens them. I haven't seen Spidey 3 yet, but I was very impressed with No. 1, and it is definitely the best of all the super-hero films, past or present. Spidey 2 was impressive as well. The "Batman Begins" film was a huge disappointment to me as there wasn't much there that was recognisable as Batman -- apart from the mandatory elements of parents killed and bat-costume. The rest of it was a way-out and wacky interpretation of how Batman may have come to be. It sure didn't come from the comics. Spidey is much more on-track and consistent. While I'm not a big fan of the X-Men films, I can recognise in them (the two I've seen) a simplified and faithful version of the comics I liked in the 80s. The DC super-hero films are not as good, I agree. There's something grounded and earthy about the Marvel characters on film that I can't put my finger on. Don't jump all over me for saying that, as I'm not sure what I mean exactly. Superman and Batman in the films (the recent two) are remote and very detached from their audience and their source material. They're more like gods than the Marvel people, playing out their mythical lives in some distant place, and it feels that way. Imagine if Green Lantern or Captain Marvel came out as films: they would be just as bad or worse. With Superman and Batman, not once did I feel engaged with those characters. I was watching from a long way off. Does that make sense? With Spidey in the films, I was part of his life after five minutes.

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Is DC too messed up with too many variations of it's characters (while Marvel has kept their characters the "same")

As you can tell, I agree with this. It's part of the problem. I have no idea how Superman and Batman did at the box office compared with Marvel films. I am just going purely on how I much I enjoyed or did not enjoy them.
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Permanus
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2007, 08:44:58 AM »

Well, Marvel have certainly been more diligent in pursuing their film careers, and the Spider-Man films have consistently been some of the best superhero films ever. However, I don't think the results are uniformly good: Daredevil was Dire, Hulk was Horrid, Ghost Rider was Ghastly Rubbish and the Fantastic Four was Fairly Foolish. I didn't think the X-Men films were much cop either, but at least they were fairly faithful to the characters. (The Punisher was okay, if you like mindless violence as much as I do.)

On the whole, though, I see your point about Marvel characters translating better to the screen than DC's. I don't really know why: you'd have thought Batman would be easy enough to do once you've come up with the money, but certainly none of the films bear much resemblance to the character I like. Perhaps it is because DC characters have been around longer and are more familiar to the general public, which prompts film directors and producers to "give their personal interpretation" of them - in other words, to miss the point completely?

Incidentally, am I the only person in the universe who would be happy to pay good money to see an Atom movie?
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Spaceman Spiff
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2007, 03:28:27 PM »

It seems to me that some of the Marvel movies have just done a better job of making the audience care about the characters. Neither Batman Begins or Superman Returns did that for me.

My biggest complaint about Superman Returns is the nonsense with Lois's new beau and the kid. It turned the classic Superman/Lois/Clark triangle into some weird Superman/Lois/Cyclops/kid/Clark hyper-polygon. It was great to see Superman do some heroic stuff (saving a falling plane, getting rid of Luthor's kryptonite island), but it was creepy to see Superman spy and eavesdrop on Lois and whatshisname. And they might as well have left Clark out of the movie.

Marvel's had their share of duds--Daredevil and Hulk come to mind. But at least they are trying. And usually they get the audience interested.

I'd love to see Green Lantern, the Flash, Dr. Fate, the Spectre, Adam Strange, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and even the Atom. And I think a JLA movie could work, if they kept the number of characters down to the big 5 (Superman, Batman, WW, Flash, and GL) so everyone can have an important part.
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Michel Weisnor
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2007, 04:34:45 PM »

In Marvel's case, quantity does not equal quality. Sure, movie companies churn out Marvel superhero movies and while reasonably successful still are not great films. Recent DC movies, for what ever reason, always seem to garner critical acclaim and not the box office revenue Marvel movies accumulate. I checked my cable guide the other day and would you believe Superman Returns received 3.5 stars out of 4?! Somebody fell asleep at the switch.

Batman Begins and Superman Returns, may not adhere to exact comicbook familiarity but neither do Marvel movies. Just ask a Marvel reader. The most recent Marvel flick I viewed was Ghost Rider. This movie changed major elements of Johnny Cage's origin as Ghost Rider. Too me, you simply cannot change certain aspects of an origin too much, otherwise a completely different story is presented. Ghost Rider is a good example of mucking around with what works....

In the end, it's better to chalk every film adaption, no matter the genre, an interpretation and leave it at that. We'll never see a straight up comic adaption on the big screen any sooner than we'll see a novel faithful to the writer's complete intent.
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2007, 05:43:06 PM »


The tread that I find is that Marvel's live action films tend to be better for the most part, but this is only a recent development. DC's animated shows tend to blow away Marvelís; well that has always the case. DC's characters tend to translate better to animation.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2007, 10:26:48 PM »

It's funny, I share your feelings about RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER...and I disliked the first film. I wholeheartedly endorse the second one, though. It's the WRATH OF KHAN of comic book movies: it does right where the first movie did wrong by reminding us why we like the characters.

The first FF was weird and "Hollywood" (I half-expected Vin Diesel to bust out) however, RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER has clear signs of being based on the Lee/Kirby comics directly. They got the Silver Surfer down pat: his innocence, his cosmic nature, his reluctance to violence...visually he was astonishing: a chromed out silver gladiator. He looks like a hood ornament on a pimped-out car.

And the Surfer's voice...astonishing. It's the most successful voice to actor casting since Robby Benson was Disney's Beast.

The story borrowed from arguably the best and most shocking of the "classic" FF stories: Doctor Doom stealing the Silver Surfer's powers.

It had Galactus, of a sort...of course they didn't have a guy in purple tights, and I understand this. Some things just wouldn't WORK in a very different medium like film, and they went for something weirder and more cosmic - something that would have shown up on the Filmation STAR TREK animated show.

As for Marvel movies vs. DC movies...both have had their failures and successes, but there just seem to be so many more good Marvel movies because Marvel's failures have been small-scale and invisible (the Doctor Strange flick, the Sci-Fi Channel Nick Fury TV movie where he's played by the Hoff, for instance), whereas DC's failures have been on a colossal, Biblical scale: SUPERMAN III and IV, SUPERGIRL, and BATMAN AND ROBIN. And...oh Christ....CATWOMAN. 'Nuff said. 

There have been many great DC movies, but they too, are as invisible as Marvel's failures: MASK OF THE PHANTASM, the greatest Batman movie ever, perhaps the most accurate and moody of Batman's films where he actually uses (gasp) detective abilities. The Batman movies have all been at best flawed, at worst failures...only if MASK OF THE PHANTASM is ignored.

My feelings on DAREDEVIL have been made clear in another thread. Roy Thomas, incidentally, agrees with me - he mentioned in a documentary he loved the film except for the fact they killed Electra off too quickly.

I enjoyed BATMAN BEGINS very much because it told a film that is only possible with Batman: building the character element by element so he has plausibility. There's a reason for everything. Also, it used Batman's Englehart-era characterization: there's an element of thrillseeking to Batman's job (a release from a very unhappy secret identity that became something he's trapped in), and his motivations are more complicated and noble than just revenge. I love that it introduced an element of travel, one of the more interesting parts of Batman comics instead of chaining him to Gotham by an ankle bracelet, and there was way cool Frank Miller Ninja-stuff!
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2007, 10:45:43 PM »

And something ought to be said for the casting of Batman in BATMAN BEGINS. This is honestly something we've never seen before: a live-action Batman that looks like he could BE Batman.

I know...what a concept, right?

Not a gut-hanging TV joke like Adam West; not friggin' Beetlejuice or the "Iceman." (What are the odds Iceman'd be in a movie telling Chris O'Donnell that he's "dangerous?" All it needed was about 25 shower room scenes and they'd have TOP GUN 1 1/2).

Incidentally, the definitive moment the 89 Batman didn't work for me was when Beetlejuice was confronted by the Joker, and he snaps. It was supposed to be a Sean Penn/Al Pacino-style "caged animal" moment, but instead it looked more like a Saturday Night Live cast member flailing around in a bad Christopher Walken impression.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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