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Author Topic: DC Comics Movies Animated vs Live Action  (Read 645 times)
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sgoldj
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« on: July 31, 2011, 04:49:41 PM »

This may be my first topic started, but I don't understand something.

The subject matter of DC Comics can easily make for good movies.  I don't think I am out of line by stating that, with few exceptions, the DC Animated DVDs have had much better reviews and stories than the Live Action ones.  The Animated ones are usually stand alone, and yet do not reboot each time.

Given the use of CGI and the cost of each, is there a reason that the decision makers do not use the scripts/treatments that the DVDs tend to use?  Green Lantern: First Flight could have been stretched a bit (origin, etc) to make a 2hr film and I believe that treatment was much better than the vehicle that was produced.

Justice League?  If that much money is to be invested (and Green Lantern needs a reboot already), Final Frontier seems to be a good story for the screen.

Even back to that late 1980's and earlier 1990's. Mask of the Phantasm was on a par (storywise, not money) with Batman, and the best treatment until Batman Begins.

I believe that those stories would make the money that any other treatment would Live Action.  Try an experiemnt... use the DCU animated Wonder Woman and do that properly cast and budgeted Live Action.  Can't do much worse that Green Lantern or Superman Returns.

After 74 years of stories, there are better things to film than what WB has been doing.
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 07:40:51 PM »

I can't really comment on the rest of your post because I've not seen any of the animated movies, nor have I seen Green Lantern.

But IMO, I don't think Superman Returns sucked. It does not really fit in the modern view of Superman (a more realistic Lex Luthor, etc), but if you watch it for what it really is - a conclusion to the Superman trilogy begun in the '70's (Superman: The Movie, Superman II and now Superman Returns), it's a pretty good movie, I think.

I'm looking forward to the Superman reboot (Man of Steel) coming next year. Hopefully they can infuse some of that Batman Begins/Dark Knight magic.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 09:53:07 PM »

I actually kind of liked Superman Returns as well.  But I'm fully aware that it was very flawed.

That being said, aside from Nolan's Batman films, WB live action DC films pale in comparison to their animated division.  Bruce Timm is the man!
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 11:27:23 PM »

Quote from: ravenvii on July 31, 2011, 07:40:51 PM

I can't really comment on the rest of your post because I've not seen any of the animated movies, nor have I seen Green Lantern.

But IMO, I don't think Superman Returns sucked. It does not really fit in the modern view of Superman (a more realistic Lex Luthor, etc), but if you watch it for what it really is - a conclusion to the Superman trilogy begun in the '70's (Superman: The Movie, Superman II and now Superman Returns), it's a pretty good movie, I think.

I'm looking forward to the Superman reboot (Man of Steel) coming next year. Hopefully they can infuse some of that Batman Begins/Dark Knight magic.

Supes Returns is okay in that regard (and Routh does a very good job capturing the Reeve Kent/Superman vibe), but Luthor's plot is ludicrous and the end devolves into vagueness and strains credibility a bit too much.  Also, I thought Spacey seemed bored.
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 11:42:23 PM »

I too thought Superman Returns was a lot better than it got credit for.  I would've liked to see a Routh sequel.

As for the original question, I think it boils down to the usual discrepancies between:

What people like us like
What the masses like
What the people funding the movies think the masses like
What the creative people want to create
What the people funding the movies think will make the most money

I'm with you, though. I'd love to see Bruce Timm and his team get handed a huge budget and complete freedom to make a live action film.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 11:43:57 PM »

Quote from: sgoldj on July 31, 2011, 04:49:41 PM

This may be my first topic started, but I don't understand something.

The subject matter of DC Comics can easily make for good movies.  I don't think I am out of line by stating that, with few exceptions, the DC Animated DVDs have had much better reviews and stories than the Live Action ones.  The Animated ones are usually stand alone, and yet do not reboot each time.

Given the use of CGI and the cost of each, is there a reason that the decision makers do not use the scripts/treatments that the DVDs tend to use?  Green Lantern: First Flight could have been stretched a bit (origin, etc) to make a 2hr film and I believe that treatment was much better than the vehicle that was produced.

Justice League?  If that much money is to be invested (and Green Lantern needs a reboot already), Final Frontier seems to be a good story for the screen.

Even back to that late 1980's and earlier 1990's. Mask of the Phantasm was on a par (storywise, not money) with Batman, and the best treatment until Batman Begins.

I believe that those stories would make the money that any other treatment would Live Action.  Try an experiemnt... use the DCU animated Wonder Woman and do that properly cast and budgeted Live Action.  Can't do much worse that Green Lantern or Superman Returns.

After 74 years of stories, there are better things to film than what WB has been doing.

Oftentimes, animated films can get away with scenes and effects that would cost a fortune or be unbelievable in real action. Also, they perhaps don't have another Bruce Timm or Paul Dini available to them. Who knows, maybe Timm and/or Dini have no interest in messing around with the world of live action.
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 12:23:10 AM »

Routh was fine as Superman, the movie however was a poorly written travesty.  It played Lex Luthor (supposedly one of the smartest men on the planet) as a megalomaniac (ok) idiot (not ok).    I'm not sure why they can't seem to put together a decent movie. Marvel has figured out the formula for blockbuster supers movies, DC has figured out the formula for fantastic supers animated movies.

Part of the superman issue is the best Luthor stories pit his strength against Luthor's intelligence, something I don't think translates well on the big screen (or at least hasn't in the past).  I think if they want a blockbuster Superman movie, they need to do Superman vs. Darkseid - something that would have lots of action. 

It would help if they hired some decent script writers and got rid of some of the politics & bickering I keep hearing they have in the background of each of their movies.
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 02:01:12 AM »

Quote from: Wargus on August 01, 2011, 12:23:10 AM

Routh was fine as Superman, the movie however was a poorly written travesty.  It played Lex Luthor (supposedly one of the smartest men on the planet) as a megalomaniac (ok) idiot (not ok).    I'm not sure why they can't seem to put together a decent movie. Marvel has figured out the formula for blockbuster supers movies, DC has figured out the formula for fantastic supers animated movies.

Yes, as I said, you have to watch it as what it really is - a sequel to Superman II. In other words, Superman Returns is Superman III.

In Superman: the Movie and Superman II, Lex Luthor, supposedly the greatest criminal mind in the world, is a megalomaniac, and an idiot. His plots are just as ridiculous back then (sink California just so he could make his property in Nevada into beachfront properties?).

And for what was supposed to be one of the greatest superhero movies, Superman: the Movie has one of the worst resolutions ever. Remember how Superman flew around the Earth so fast that he reversed the Earth's revolution direction, and thus causing time itself to go backwards? How fucking ridiculous is that?

So I think Superman Returns was ill-received because people 1) didn't watch it for what it is (a sequel to Superman II), and 2) forgot how equally (and even more) ridiculous the original Donner movies were.
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 02:36:31 AM »

Quote from: ravenvii on August 01, 2011, 02:01:12 AM


And for what was supposed to be one of the greatest superhero movies, Superman: the Movie has one of the worst resolutions ever. Remember how Superman flew around the Earth so fast that he reversed the Earth's revolution direction, and thus causing time itself to go backwards? How fucking ridiculous is that?



Just as ridiculous as an alien from some remote planet crash landing on the Earth and having the sun give him special powers?
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 02:45:25 AM »

Quote from: The Grue on August 01, 2011, 02:36:31 AM

Quote from: ravenvii on August 01, 2011, 02:01:12 AM


And for what was supposed to be one of the greatest superhero movies, Superman: the Movie has one of the worst resolutions ever. Remember how Superman flew around the Earth so fast that he reversed the Earth's revolution direction, and thus causing time itself to go backwards? How fucking ridiculous is that?



Just as ridiculous as an alien from some remote planet crash landing on the Earth and having the sun give him special powers?

No.  Just as ridiculous as him being able to throw his S emblem and turn it into a temporary plasticky net.  slywink
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sgoldj
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 04:39:45 AM »

Quote from: ravenvii on August 01, 2011, 02:01:12 AM

Quote from: Wargus on August 01, 2011, 12:23:10 AM

Routh was fine as Superman, the movie however was a poorly written travesty.  It played Lex Luthor (supposedly one of the smartest men on the planet) as a megalomaniac (ok) idiot (not ok).    I'm not sure why they can't seem to put together a decent movie. Marvel has figured out the formula for blockbuster supers movies, DC has figured out the formula for fantastic supers animated movies.

Yes, as I said, you have to watch it as what it really is - a sequel to Superman II. In other words, Superman Returns is Superman III.

In Superman: the Movie and Superman II, Lex Luthor, supposedly the greatest criminal mind in the world, is a megalomaniac, and an idiot. His plots are just as ridiculous back then (sink California just so he could make his property in Nevada into beachfront properties?).


You and I are going to disagree on this.  I did watch Superman Returns as a sequel to Superman II.  I still think the story fails on that, not the characterizations, certainly following in the footsteps of the Donner films.  They were firmly in the Silver Age.  The Super-Son stuff was bad, the Lex attempt at the real estate scam was bad, the most heroic person in the movie was Lois' boyfriend.

For ravenii: If you haven't seen any of the animated, give them a try (unless you just don't like cartoons as a rule.)  My personal favorite is Mask of the Phantasm, an extended episode of Batman:TAS, or the unrated Return of the Joker, if you know the Batman Beyond world.  Other opinions will vary.
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 04:35:08 PM »

Quote from: sgoldj on August 01, 2011, 04:39:45 AM

Quote from: ravenvii on August 01, 2011, 02:01:12 AM

Quote from: Wargus on August 01, 2011, 12:23:10 AM

Routh was fine as Superman, the movie however was a poorly written travesty.  It played Lex Luthor (supposedly one of the smartest men on the planet) as a megalomaniac (ok) idiot (not ok).    I'm not sure why they can't seem to put together a decent movie. Marvel has figured out the formula for blockbuster supers movies, DC has figured out the formula for fantastic supers animated movies.

Yes, as I said, you have to watch it as what it really is - a sequel to Superman II. In other words, Superman Returns is Superman III.

In Superman: the Movie and Superman II, Lex Luthor, supposedly the greatest criminal mind in the world, is a megalomaniac, and an idiot. His plots are just as ridiculous back then (sink California just so he could make his property in Nevada into beachfront properties?).


You and I are going to disagree on this.  I did watch Superman Returns as a sequel to Superman II.  I still think the story fails on that, not the characterizations, certainly following in the footsteps of the Donner films.  They were firmly in the Silver Age.  The Super-Son stuff was bad, the Lex attempt at the real estate scam was bad, the most heroic person in the movie was Lois' boyfriend.


I agree.  I totally watched the film as Superman III, and I was totally on board with that.  I got goosebumps when the opening credits started.

However, Lex's plan in Superman Returns is not just ludicrous, it doesn't make any sense.  At all.  Never mind that it's a rehash at it's most basic level.  He wanted to take one of those crystals that causes sharp, staggeringly large pointy bits to come out of the earth and sell it for real estate?  Who the hell would buy that? 

The boy was soap-operaesque (and not fitting the Donner-style, IMO).  It was okay within the context of the movie, but it would have been painful to build a franchise on that.

I also had a problem with the Kryptonite in Lex's creation, though I'm fuzzy on it now.  IIRC, it seemed odd that the place would be deadly when the Fortress was not.  And there was some issue with how he got over it.  And there was the vagueness and weirdness where he pushed himself harder or whatever.  It just wasn't clear and seemed to be a "We need to end the movie" gimick.  Closer to the cellophane S than making the earth go backwards (the S bit was not in the Donner version of Supes II, BTW - watch that, it's good).  At least when Superman turned back time, as dumb as that was, technically, you knew what he was doing and why.
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 07:25:50 PM »

This thread seemed like the closest fit...

I picked up the DVD of the animated, PG-13 "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox" yesterday. I'd link to reviews, but they all seem awfully spoilerific to me.

I give it mostly a thumbs up (tremendous voice acting cast, including a return of Kevin Conroy as two iterations of Batman), but I agree with some reviews that some of the character design just seems off -- certain super heroes seem to have faces that look too tiny and distorted heads, body proportions on some seem really out of whack. Flash himself looks terrific and appropriate imho.

Details at ComingSoon:
http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=103120
Quote
The world is turned upside down as one of earth’s greatest super heroes – Flash – wakes up devoid of his super powers in the all-new Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Original Animated Movies. Produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, this all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives July 30, 2013 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP), DVD ($19.98 SRP) and Digital Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™*.

When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the event’s temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman’s Amazons and Aquaman’s Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash’s original timeline.

“Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox has all the elements of another great film – dynamic forceful villains, treacherous twists and turns and internal tensions amongst heroes,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Home Video Vice President, Family, Animation and Partner Brands Marketing. “Showcasing a cast that brings together some of today’s popular primetime television actors with many fans’ favorite voices from the original series, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is proud to release this title as the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie.”

Primetime television stars Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy) and Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy), the voices of Barry Allen/Flash and Thomas Wayne/Batman, respectively, unite with numerous greats of television and film to fashion the famed animated roles. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast and providing thrilling additions to the Justice League series are Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale, Friday Night Lights, Chronicle) as Cyborg, C. Thomas Howell (Southland, The Outsiders) as Thawne/Professor Zoom, Nathan Fillion (Castle) as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Slade and Deathstroke, Dana Delany (Body of Proof) as Lois Lane, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as Aquaman, Danny Huston (Magic City) as General Lane, Sam Daly (The Office, The Daly Show) as Superman, and Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman.

Screenwriter Jim Krieg delivers an action-packed vision of the legendary comic book miniseries FLASHPOINT, by Geoff Johns & Andy Kubert, adding to the over 13 million DC Universe video units produced to date. Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) is director and James Tucker (Superman: Unbound) is producer.
imho, the Batman and Superman twists are terrific, worthy of a Marvel "What If" story (well, if it was Marvel icon_razz)
Spoiler for Hiden:
Bruce Wayne is gunned down in an alley by a mugger in front of his parents, and so it's his father who becomes - in this case - a grief-stricken, anger-driven older Batman who runs around using handguns and has no reservations about killing criminals.

The spacecraft with Kal-El in it is found by the government and kept in what seems like an Area 51 type facility, and so with no exposure to the sun and little human contact, would-be Superman is a scrawny, lonely, scared fella.
I might have to track down some of the DC comics on Comixology that follow this alternate storyline stuff. I really was intrigued by it.

The voice cast is tremendous to the point of distraction as I kept recognizing folks.

I'm not sure I love it enough to recommend dropping $14 or so on it. But keep an eye out for it on streaming services or rentals.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 07:48:06 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2013, 03:34:28 PM »

I'm going to have to rent that one one of these days.  I also enjoyed Superman Unbound.
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