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  1. #46
    Nate nate-dog1701d's Avatar
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    (general response) I should have mentioned that I'm aware of the mass appeal of movies over comics, and there are certainly financial benefits, so that point is well taken. As devil's advocate, I would bring up the conjecture that this line of movies is generally aimed at preexisting fans. I call it conjecture because I don't know that for a fact, and I'm sure a reasonable portion of the sales don't fall into that category. If this line of features is aimed at people who are already superhero-literate, though, then the primary goal is not really mass appeal. But alas, that's not the point. I'm mainly interested in artistic merit here, and that's why I initially addressed the question in a personal manner. I expect this to be a matter of opinion and preference.

    Now, I want to reiterate that I'm not saying they should never do adaptations or that adaptations are evil and incapable of being good. I'd be a hypocrite to say so, as I would have been deprived of three features that I thought were excellent. I'm also not on a "people should read the comics instead" kick. I'm not a comics guru myself, though I've read far more than the average person. Finally, I'm not saying entries like Batman: Year One are bad because I got nothing extra out of them. They can do very little for me and still be competent.

    My main concerns are two:

    1) The idea of comics being a testing ground for movie scripts;
    2) My feeling that most of these adaptations aren't doing much more than putting the panels on the screen and adding some sound.

    Sound is incredibly important in film. It's hard to notice good sound unless you're specifically analyzing it, but I'd venture to say most people would be more put off by bad sound than a slightly grainy picture. That's how big of a deal it is. With that said, for me, the addition of sound alone doesn't justify the jump from page to screen. If all I'm going to see are the exact panels from the book put into motion with accompanying sound, that's when I find no added value. I'm sure there are people who do, and that was my original question.

    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Champion View Post
    That is not to say that there shouldn't be new material. There should be new material, and there is no conflict between having some adaptations and some new materials.
    I agree. Like I said, I'd like to see more attempts at original material rather than adaptation after adaptation. Looking at the list, there are three or four (depending on the idea of "loose adaptations") of the eighteen releases that are original. Maybe they could alternate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Backward Galaxy View Post
    Proper adaptation isn't simply a regurgitation of what's already been done. Every artist, performer, and director brings their own flavor to it. It's why we still perform Shakespeare. A failed adaptation is generally one that adds nothing, misses the point of the original, or somehow reduces the artistic integrity of the original.
    Fair point. By that definition, would you then say that some or many of these adaptations are failures? Of the ones I have read and watched, I don't detect much flavor. I see the comics with motion and sound. Is that, in and of itself, adding something to the original?

    Quote Originally Posted by cksidekick View Post
    I guess I have a couple of points here. I don't believe one CAN "strictly adapt". The pacing of a comic simply won't work in translation to animated or live action. And comics often have way too many characters involved to bring them all in on a film. The word adaptation is key. That can destroy a story if not done well. It can leave fans who love the original with a bad taste in their mouths. (Superman: Doomasday) So, I think you can't just say, "That story is GREAT! It should be in animation". It could in fact loose way too much of what makes it great in the first place.
    I agree. Superman: Doomsday is probably the exception to what I've been saying, in that they tried to alter it to fit the medium (or at least the runtime), but it just didn't work. Well, Justice League: Doom changed some stuff up, too. It also didn't work very well. If the word "adaptation" is key, then the word "good" is the lock.

  2. #47
    Nate nate-dog1701d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j03superbat View Post
    I remember thinking it was okay. I liked that the art style was different and I did like that it tried to tell a different kind of story than Unbound and Doomsday (I'm presuming; I never saw Unbound). But I also felt that the same story could've been told in 22 minutes on the animated series. The stakes just never felt high enough to me, and I remember a lot of scenes feeling like padding.
    Thanks for sharing. Incidentally, I don't recommend Superman: Unbound unless you just want to see them all.

  3. #48
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    Where going to get an Aquaman animated feature based on Geoff Johns run. Geoff Johns answered the question on his twitter. Seems like WB/DC are expanding their horizons more now with The Flash getting spotlight in the Flashpoint Paradox.

  4. #49
    Nate nate-dog1701d's Avatar
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    ^If I had to guess, it'll be "Throne of Atlantis." So...Justice League: Throne of Atlantis.

  5. #50
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate-dog1701d View Post
    Fair point. By that definition, would you then say that some or many of these adaptations are failures? Of the ones I have read and watched, I don't detect much flavor. I see the comics with motion and sound. Is that, in and of itself, adding something to the original?
    By my count, if you consider TDKR 1+2 together, there have been 17 of these so far. I gave only 5 of them four stars (out of five) or better. So, I guess my opinion is that most of these aren't great films. Adding motion and sound does not alone add something of artistic value to the original. But that's a pretty dim view of the voice work being done here. Not saying you're wrong, but that's a statement all right.

  6. #51
    aka Mainstream05 j03superbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate-dog1701d View Post
    Sound is incredibly important in film. It's hard to notice good sound unless you're specifically analyzing it, but I'd venture to say most people would be more put off by bad sound than a slightly grainy picture. That's how big of a deal it is. With that said, for me, the addition of sound alone doesn't justify the jump from page to screen. If all I'm going to see are the exact panels from the book put into motion with accompanying sound, that's when I find no added value. I'm sure there are people who do, and that was my original question.
    Sound is a big thing, but I think for a lot of people, motion is equally as important. Part of the reason I want to become a filmmaker is because when I see images in my head that I want to draw, they're in motion. Even when watching animation, I get incredibly restless and annoyed when there's too much stillness. I don't know how many people are like me, but seeing movement is often the only way to even keep ahold of my attention.

    I do enjoy reading comics, and part of the fun of reading them is using your imagination to fill in the motion in between panels (much like you use your imagination to create all the visuals while reading a book). But for the same reason that some people would rather wait for the movie adaptation than read a book, some folks need to see that motion.

    My personal gripe would be that so often these DTVs fall into their own uncanny valley when they try to ape the art style of the source material, but have to make alterations so that it almost looks distorted. I know some of it has to be tight schedules and small-ish budgets, and companied with poor sound (TDKR part 1 springs to mind), it becomes hard to watch for me. So to support what you said, it's not enough to just add motion and sound; it has to be done well.

  7. #52
    Incurable Postaholic DA_Champion's Avatar
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    I saw All-Star Superman last night, I think it was ok. It felt like it was from a different era, and it clearly was non-continuous with the other DCAU features, so I appreciate that they used a completely different art form, to make it visually obvious that it was an alterverse. The animation, by the way, was excellent.

    I don't think I enjoy this verse is as much. I prefer Lex as a businessman/politician than as a mad scientist, I don't like Superman this overpowered, Parasite was gross, I don't buy into Clark Kent as an idiot klutz, I don't think Superman should be able to fly to other star systems in a matter of weeks or be able to see the "entire electromagnetic spectrum"... however with that said, the movie did very well. I don't like these plot ideas, but it presented them coherently.

    The two Kryptonians were a weak point of the plot. They were tacked on and it didn't feel like they fit in.

    The ending had a feel-good aspect to it. Lex Luthor gave Lois and Clark the means to pro-create, and people lived happily ever after. There was also some sweetness in him getting her flowers that sing, and letting her fly for 24 hours.

    Special Note: In the plot, Superman kills that genetically modified freak on the ship 10 minutes into the movie, and later kills Solaris.

  8. #53
    Incurable Postaholic DA_Champion's Avatar
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    DC Animated Movies, as evaluated by IMDB:

    Batman, The Dark Knight Returns Part 2, 8.0/10
    Batman, The Dark Knight Returns Part 1, 7.8/10
    Batman: Under the Red Hood, 7.8/10
    Justice League: Doom, 7.2/10
    Batman Year One, 7.2/10
    Wonder Woman, 7.1/10
    Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, 7.1/10
    Justice League: New Frontier, 7.0/10
    Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, 7.0/10
    Superman Batman: Public Enemies, 7.0/10
    Superman: Doomsday, 6.9/10
    Superman vs The Elite, 6.9/10
    Superman Shazam, 6.9/10
    The Spectre, 6.9/10
    Green Lantern: First Flight, 6.8/10
    Batman: Gotham Knight, 6.8/10
    All Star Superman, 6.8/10
    Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, 6.8/10
    Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, 6.7/10
    Batman vs Dracula, 6.7/10

    There's very little spread in these movies. As they only have a few thousand votes, it looks like a bunch of people are voting "7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7... "

  9. #54
    String Bikini Theory BoyScout-ManOfTomorrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Champion View Post
    It felt like it was from a different era, and it clearly was non-continuous with the other DCAU features, so I appreciate that they used a completely different art form, to make it visually obvious that it was an alterverse. The animation, by the way, was excellent.

    I don't think I enjoy this verse is as much. I prefer Lex as a businessman/politician than as a mad scientist, I don't like Superman this overpowered, Parasite was gross, I don't buy into Clark Kent as an idiot klutz, I don't think Superman should be able to fly to other star systems in a matter of weeks or be able to see the "entire electromagnetic spectrum"... however with that said, the movie did very well. I don't like these plot ideas, but it presented them coherently.

    The two Kryptonians were a weak point of the plot. They were tacked on and it didn't feel like they fit in.

    The ending had a feel-good aspect to it. Lex Luthor gave Lois and Clark the means to pro-create, and people lived happily ever after. There was also some sweetness in him getting her flowers that sing, and letting her fly for 24 hours.

    Special Note: In the plot, Superman kills that genetically modified freak on the ship 10 minutes into the movie, and later kills Solaris.
    The movie harkens back to Silver Age Superman which I understand isn't for everyone (most?) Throw in some Morrison styled story telling and the viewer might be lost. The movie cuts so much out of the story that you are just like: "So Jimmy Olsen likes to dress in drag for fun??"

    I personnally prefer the mad scientist Lex. For me this is the epitome of the character. A dangerous intelligent man who has the means to kill Superman. I also find his ego to be really entertaining when the character is written like this. It's over the top but in a fun way. Parasite was gross but that appealed to me. He was less of a man and more of a monster, like a giant humanoid leech. As for Superman being overpowerd and Clark Kent being a klutz. Well for the movie's credit (or at least the book's) it does show Superman getting sicker and sicker. So as strong as he is it's only for a limited time. The Clark Kent persona is counterbalance that "perfectness". I liked it. It works really well when Clark is at Ryker's with Lex. I prefer the Superman who has cosmic adventures, mainly because you can potentially have villains and powers that can kill Superman with ease (hence more drama) though this story doesn't really go there. Stuff like seeing the whole electromagnetic spectrum, to me that should be one of Superman's powers. He can track radio waves etc. so something like that makes sense and is fitting for the character.

    The two kryptonians are tacked on even in the book but it again harkens back to Silver Age where we had these one shot stories every issue. I think the payoff of Superman helping the astronauts into the Phantom Zone and Bar-El states Krypton lives on in Kal-El...it gets to me every time. Maybe I'm a big softie and it came across as totally camp/oversentimental but to me it was genuine Superman. I would have loved if Man of Steel pulled a similar twist with Superman and Zod. Of course the story/writing would have been radically different.

    In the book Lex Luthor doesn't change. It's Superman who hands his entire DNA/genomes to Leo Quintum who teases the reader with a Superman logo. But instead of an S it's a 2. It's not about Lois having a kid as it's about world having another Superman in case Clark doesn't come back.

    About the killings. The first one can't be explained away but I will quote some dialogue from the book: "I'm a genetically modified suicide bomb in human form." One could also argue that it's the explosion of the bomb that killed him though I wonder if it would have been possible to defuse it.

    With Solaris there's a notable difference between the book and the movie. In the movie Superman says he has no more mercy left. In the book the exact same events occur...except Superman says this when Solaris asks for mercy: "You'll live."

  10. #55
    aka Mainstream05 j03superbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyScout-ManOfTomorrow View Post
    About the killings. The first one can't be explained away but I will quote some dialogue from the book: "I'm a genetically modified suicide bomb in human form." One could also argue that it's the explosion of the bomb that killed him though I wonder if it would have been possible to defuse it.

    With Solaris there's a notable difference between the book and the movie. In the movie Superman says he has no more mercy left. In the book the exact same events occur...except Superman says this when Solaris asks for mercy: "You'll live."
    I haven't seen All-Star Superman since it came out, so I'd kind of forgotten about it, but I do remember disliking these changes as it made it look like the filmmakers went out of their way to make Superman kill.

  11. #56
    Incurable Postaholic DA_Champion's Avatar
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    Do you guys think the DC movies would improve if Timm/Dini/Burnett were given a role analogous to that of Kevin Feige?

  12. #57
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Champion View Post
    Do you guys think the DC movies would improve if Timm/Dini/Burnett were given a role analogous to that of Kevin Feige?
    Bruce Timm has served as a producer on most of the Direct to DVD animated features.

  13. #58
    Incurable Postaholic DA_Champion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward Galaxy View Post
    Bruce Timm has served as a producer on most of the Direct to DVD animated features.
    I meant the live action universe :-)

  14. #59
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DA_Champion View Post
    I meant the live action universe :-)
    In that case, where do I sign? I brought my own pen.

  15. #60
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    Last news from Timm was that he's working on a project for WB/DC but it's all hush,hush for the time being. I don't know if that involves movies or more animated feature but he's doing something for them which hasn't been revealed.

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