Well – Fuck me.
I didn’t want to write that first review of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – I felt like I was in limbo on the film. When the studio rep asked me what I thought, I actually said, “I’m not sure what to think.” It was a weird feeling. Also – there was one thing that I failed to mention about that first screening, it was at the FauxMax at the Regal Gateway – which for someone in a wheelchair is a really sucky place to see a film, cuz you’re forced to sit at essentially the base of the screen – and you’re not really able to see the whole screen without panning and scanning at a ridiculous angle. The only saving grace was it wasn’t in 3D there, and I know – I love 3D, but at that theater, where I sit, the screen is just constant ghost images… It sucks.
Tonight, However… I went to the Bob Bullock IMAX – the largest screen in Texas! At this theater, the only place I can sit there is at the Back center of the theater – where, I’m not as close as I’d like, but I am not battling a migraine and… I can watch it in 3D in a most magnificent manner.
When I want to reevaluate a film, I love to go with people I didn’t see it with before… and since Dad loved it, there was no stopping him from joining. He’s a 71 year old fan/dealer/geek sage that still to this day buys every new Joker item he can get his hands on. Along with Robots, Hopalong Cassidy, Hula Girls, Bondage Comic Covers, Horror Comics, Science Fiction Comics & Pulps & Paperbacks… He’s forgotten more than I’ll ever know – and it continue to be the great privilege of my life to see films with him.
Next to him were my two guests, the first was my man, JJ, the hero that got my show to PBS – and more importantly a friend for a decade that has brought so many great people into my life it’s ridiculous. And tonight, he had a lovely friend that he has known almost longer than any of his other friends I know and that I hadn’t met yet! Megan was her name and she works for the company that created the Camera Stabilization Software, but she had never seen a film in IMAX before… and… never seen a movie in 3D before. Not only that, but these two had just watched DEADPOOL for the first time in Round Rock and had to bust ass all the way across Austin to the Bob Bullock.
I was concerned what they would think coming right off of DEADPOOL, especially when I was a bit “wavy hand” on the film. DEADPOOL is just relentlessly fun, whereas my initial feeling upon BATMAN V SUPERMAN was decidedly not along those lines.
Now that I’ve pulled my head out of my ass, stopped looking for the film I would’ve most wanted – which let’s be honest. If you love this stuff, we all have our dream versions of these characters and how we would love to see them. For me, I want a Neal Adams Batman, yeah, the blue & grey… the long ears… and I want it to be a more House of Mystery style story – or… One last Tim Burton BATMAN vs Bat-Myte… or Guillermo Del Toro and MAN-BAT…. Or just a Gareth Evans BATMAN movie – shot entirely in Asia.
The first time I watched this film, I was greedy. I didn’t want Lois or Holly Hunter or Luthor or Superman… I just wanted more of Affleck’s BATMAN… his new lair… or like, ya know that scene where Luthor discovers Batman has taken the Kryptonite? I was pissed that shit took place off camera – and it kinda distracted me.
This viewing – I knew what I was getting into. There was no not knowing what was around the corner or how the film was gonna twist and turn… I was there with my Dad and with a dear friend and a total virgin friend. You don’t take friends to movies to have a bad time, so I really did want to clear the prejudice right out of my system – and as it happens – I had explosive diarrhea this day and was pumped full of the pink stuff. So if I had shit for brains the first time around, this time I must’ve been brainless! (That’s for those of you that love beating me up)
SO… How was it?
I have to say, night and day. The first time I struggled, this time I just let the film sweep me away. I let go of my own hubris at second guessing this flick, which played great for the audience and my companions. About the audience. So many SUPERMAN shirts so many BATMAN shirts… and when we exited the line for the next screening was enormous and similarly adorned.
The 3D! I love 3D, having a large projection 3D set up at home has allowed me to really come to Jesus with the format and I am evangelical about it. I mean… When Batman nightmares whilst decoding Luthorfiles, that big Darkseid tease… That big shot… SO MUCH BETTER in 3D.
Remember me making fun of Pa Kent stacking stones in the Arctic? Man, what an ass I was. My mom’s been dead for 23 years now. I’ve never SEEN her, but there are times, when I see things I know she’d love, or hate… or bust out with pride over… and moments of consolation, where I can and do imagine her take. Poking fun at Clark’s dead daddy, as I watched the scene this time, right next to Dad, instead of being a smug asshole, I got choked up. I allowed it to affect me.
Generally, I get a lot of the hatred of critics, too few of us have the capacity to admit changes of view, much less this quickly. This has happened to me before, but usually heading the other way. Like seeing GODZILLLA (Emmerich one) at the World Premiere and being so jazzed by that astonishing once in a life time experience to watch a film next to Muhammad Ali and the Taco Bell Dog. And then seeing the next Dad back in Austin with Dad and writing a revised review to the negative.
If you read that first review, I’d like to think you got I was doubting myself as much as the film. These characters… to us fans… live and breathe in our consciousness and if we go to the theater and they’re not those characters precisely… it’s hard to let go. To allow another’s vision in your head… but… if you can, HOLY SHIT….
My friend JJ… he actually said he preferred this to STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS… now… That’s fucking crazy, but then, that’s JJ. I love that crazy mutherfuckers!
My new friend Megan… She was in utter awe of the IMAX, the 3D – and when I asked how it compared to DEADPOOL… She was like, “DEADPOOL was fun, but THAT WAS AN EXPERIENCE!” And Dad was like, “I told ya so!”
I love Dad. All these years and he keeps taking me to school.
So… what do I think of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor?
Well, I’ve a confession… I’ve never loved Luthor in any form other than the comics and Clancy Brown’s animated version. Never like Hackman, preferred Spacey – but kinda wish Singer hadn’t gone as silly with him and his cohorts as they did. And of the live-action Luthors – I still prefer Kevin, but Jesse’s… Well… Let’s get into it.
Jesse’s LEX LUTHOR is unlike and like the Luthors we know cinematically. He’s eccentrically brilliant like Hackman & Spacey… He’s about exploiting Kryptonian Tech for Dire Ends. He’s obsessed with bringing harm and humiliation to Superman, and we’re not exactly for sure why. I think that’s fucking with some. Where’s the hate coming from… But tonight as I was watching him, instead of dismissing his mania, I thought about it.
Ok – so, Luthor wasn’t in MAN OF STEEL… but we saw his buildings get fucked too. And while we don’t see Lex’s flashback to “The Day The World Met Superman” - but… we do see how it affected Bruce Wayne… it turned him cruel enough to BRAND sex traffickers… (personally, they deserve worse)… but that’s how that day affected Bruce. Lex… well, one thing we know for sure about Luthor is… He Ain’t Fucking Bruce Wayne. He didn’t have his Dad die early, the memories he imparts to us is one of abuse and bullying both physically and psychologically. Now imagine. We don’t know what happened to Daddy Lex, maybe he died in the Zod attack. Maybe he died sometime before. Let’s say, he left the scene before the events of MAN OF STEEL. Imagine the young Luthor before that day. Fearing nothing. Top of the world. Untouchable. Free of bullies. THEN… Ka-Boom. The shoe drops. He’s faced with being vulnerable, actively terrified… babbling about demons and angels… it’s clear he’s disturbed. Who knows, maybe it gave him an ever so slight sense of doubt and that was driving him mad.
He began investigating super-powered rumors and assembling his… LEX-FILES… Yeah, when I had that thought during the movie today… I just could stop smiling. I mean, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince were digging through the fucking LEX-FILES – and that does rule! See… it’s things like that thought that suddenly makes, “Wait, that’s all of FLASH, CYBORG and AQUAMAN I get,” and turns it into, “LEX-FILES… That’s Classic!” and I hope we see more of the LEX-FILES!
As for Holly Hunter and me wishing she wasn’t in the film… That was all Ben Affleck’s fault. In fact, most of my problems with that first screening of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – it was absolutely Ben Affleck’s fault entirely.
You see. Ben Affleck is so fucking great as Bruce Wayne and Batman – that I think it gave me a schizoid-embolism that made me hate anything not BATMAN… accept my uncontrollable maleness made me love Gal Gadot’s every moment on screen… and that first viewing, I have to admit, I was fantasizing up a whole Wonder Woman & Batman adventure instead of paying attention to the movie in front of me. Don’t get me wrong, I watched quite attentively, but that first viewing, if we cut from something I preferred my brain resented it. This time, I had let that bs go – and I have to apologize for letting it even get in my brain to begin with.
There’s a great fucking time in the theater released right now and the people going out there to see it – are having a variety of reactions. When I tweeted my response to the second viewing, I got attacked and had folks say the same thing happened to them. For me, the second viewing was a no complaints affair. It was a great time with great people watching a film we all loved.
Oh… and it cured me of diarrhea!
I feel so much better now! Cynicism is something I try not to allow in me. Reading that review, I feel bad for that Harry. He went to this movie with his dad and nephew and was the flatwheel on a Tricycle of awesome! Tomorrow, I can’t wait to geek out for Easter breakfast with my nephew and enthusiastically get into this with him.
So much better!
This time, I wasn’t contrasting the battles between SUPERMAN and BATMAN in the histories of the characters, and just watch them go at it. I mean, how much do you love the kryptonite grenade beat downs Bats gives Supes? And how much do you love when Bats is beating his face and it suddenly goes CLINK – and Bats is like… OH FUCK.
I give movies second chances, sometimes, eternal chances. I’ve watched BATMAN & ROBIN 7 times in my life wondering… Does it work on a camp level? Nope. Nada. Not one bit. You want High Camp Batman, BATMAN 1966 is the ONLY route to go… oh and the BRAVE & THE BOLD cartoon series!
Like tonight. I’m going to watch John Carpenters’ VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED… I’ve only ever hated it. But I got the new Blu Ray, so I’ll give it a shot… pray for me.
Keep it cool,