Fandoms–what the heck?

One follower away from 100! Whoo! No pressure.ūüėČ

Okay, so I want to talk about Fandoms a little bit, because fandoms are the perfect illustration of this verse I was just reading.

(Read the lesser known books of the Bible sometime, it’ll blow your mind what’s in there. My mom likes to say there are hidden gems.)

I was reading Titus, literally, the whole thing (it’s three short chapters).

Chapter 1, verse 15 says: “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.”

I quote the first of it a lot, but I didn’t know the rest.

My siblings and I are, or have been, part of quite a few fandoms, and I can date my first real experience of realizing that people are fans of things for a wide variety of reasons when I started watching Justice League Unlimited again online.

And whoa, mama, I found some messed up stuff in the comment section.

I’ve mentioned this before. You know, a lot of people say not to read the comment section, even under your own videos. I don’t have this problem yet, but I follow plenty of YouTubers who do.

It’s kind of sad really. I almost can’t blame those who disable the comments on their videos.

I’m just going to be blunt here. The number one thing I find in a lot of comments, but especially superhero ones is: SEX, SEX, SEX, Gay, homo, lesbian, incest…yeah, that last one is especially disturbing.

I’m scared because my 8 year old cousin already knows this stuff, though she’s too young to enjoy it, she know there are sick people like that our there. Goodness knows her parents aren’t going to explain to her.

Anyway, since then I’ve found this problem in every fandom. But what puzzled me is that these people show up in the most innocent, kid friendly of places. Shows you’d think they wouldn’t bother watching, or movies, or even books. Usually you expect perverts to look for stuff marketed to them.

What I had to realize was that there is actually a thrill they get out of spoiling innocent things. They know as well as the rest of us what was intended…they just don’t care.

Likewise, we’ve all been around that rare gem of a person who is exposed to something messed up and is completely unaware of what they are seeing. I’ve been that person. I envy them now, though usually, it’s still me.

And that perfectly illustrates the verse above. To the pure all things are pure. To the defiled, everything that goes into their mind becomes defiled, and they do not even have a conscience about it anymore.

I wish I could say it was unbelievers alone who were like this, I’d expect even a person of a different religion than me to have standards based on that religion, but religious people of any faith are just as likely to do this.

In fact, some of them are more likely. The reason is that, as kids, we were given a high standard. (A good standard usually. I have no problem with plenty of the values of even Islam. They are at least trying to do a good thing.)

When we get older we find out just how few people agree with us, we get into “worldly” stuff…and often its not the material that does it, even in this corrupt age (all ages are corrupt in their own way) I’d say over 50% of popular media is still trying to teach some kind of moral. And even shows that teach morals I don’t usually agree with are at least encouraging moral thinking, not sexual thinking. I can’t stand environmental shows, but I prefer that to nothing but sex and crude humor. What a no brainer right?

No, what does it is finding out that most (or it can feel like most) of the people watching it are just doing it to get their thrills.

So religiously raised kids get cynical, we cease to believe people look for value at all, and our commentary on these things becomes full of bitterness and what we expect people to point out.

I could begin naming names here, but I don’t think it would be fair. I’m sure you’ve seen it yourself and don’t need me to give an example of one of my people I know.

Basically, if you watch any kind of commentary, or participate in discussion with friends, you’ve met this person.

And it’s in humor too.

And these people are also who Paul is talking about in Titus, he’s writing about religious people when he says that verse. Because by overthinking ever little thing, and assuming corruption in other people, they have corrupted themselves.

I’d like to say this very clearly: If you constantly assume the worse motives of other people, you will begin to have those motives yourself.

It’s in another book where we are admonished to rebuke people carefully of sin, lest we also be tempted.

With this, you won’t be tempted by the obvious sin, if it’s there at all, you’ll be tempted by assuming it…and in assuming it, you’ll think of it more than the person you’re assuming about will.

I have to confess I do this too. But I am glad I don’t do it all the time, I can still enjoy some things purely. But the more I listen to people like that , the harder it gets.

It’s easy to write off entire fandoms (and fandoms are just one example of a people group, so it applies to any group of people you know) as corrupt because the ones who are are the loudest.

But the bible warns us of this also, in Proverbs it often tells us that fools will be loud and overt about their folly because they do not have the sense to be ashamed of it, while the wise are quieter about it, often. And wait to be asked. Or the wise offer only part of their opinion until pressed for more.

And in fandoms, I can attest to the fact that the more reserved commentators and analysts tend to have the best stuff. The loud ones can either be empty headed, or… gross.

Of course, if you have a loud personality, it does not make you a fool. It’s more of a rule when the person may be weirdly quiet about the good stuff.

(To me a red flag is if the person says nothing during the lesson or emotional moments, and gets way too excited about stupid or inconsequential gags. Or even worse, sees an emotional moment and immediate goes for the gay joke.)

At that point, their analysis is basically worthless I think. It’s a cheap gag.

I’m lucky to have siblings who enjoy thins for most of the same reasons I do and will encourage me to look at the best, otherwise I think all I would see sometimes is that bad stuff.

I think, if you’re like me, you may be wondering how to avoid getting burned by all this stuff.

I do not have a perfect answer yet. But I know that focusing on what you love, on the good stuff, is the best way to forget about the bad.

And watching your influences. Maybe you can’t get away from all of them, but as far as YouTube goes, I’ve found it helped a lot to search for positive reviewers, and clean ones. Or ones who actually think, for goodness sake.

And outside of fandoms, there are other people who corrupt everything they talk about. It may be better to just not hang around them.

But there are some who do it only because they were never taught anything else. Or, like many kids I’ve known, were not given a standard at all. Often they will change if they simply see something better demonstrated.

And to the pure, even a relationship in real life becomes pure. It all depends on your motives. As long as you also use common sense and set boundaries.

I think this song put it well, I had it playing while writing this:

“This is my brand new day starting now, I let go of the things that weigh me down, and rob me of the beauty that’s to be found, in life all around.

And this is my prayer without ceasing, the negative releasing, and as I rise above, my burden is easing.

I bring the pure flow water around, the rocks of life won’t hold me down.

I bring the pure flow, drink so deep, the river of life, my soul at ease.”–Superchick, Pure.

Until next time–Natasha.

The Legends and the Myths.

Oh my gosh I feel like it’s been weeks since I posted, sorry, I have big college projects swirling around. BU tI am going to take some time to attend to this today!

Can you tell it’s my first time dealing with finals?

Anyway, I have plenty I could write about. The trick will be picking one thing. I’ve been researching superheroes of all things to write a paper on it.

Professors have come a long way; I imagine if 20 or 30 years ago I suggested superheroes as the subject of a research paper, my professor would have given me a look and said “That’s not a real subject.”

But now, it totally works. And with the Infinity War Craze of the past two weeks, and the subsequent Deadpool 2 craze, what more proof do you need that superheroes are relevant?

I haven’t seen either by the way, but look for a review of the first one sometime in the near future.

Though I think I will still prefer the cinematic inferior Justice League to all this glamour of the Avengers. At heart, I still prefer even a partially good DCU flick, to a saturated MCU one.

Enough about that, the point is, superheroes are difinitely in. And those of us who are not in the swim about them maybe should undertake to know at least a little about what fans are crazy about.

Chances are you know someone who is nuts about superheroes. Likely you know someone who is too nuts about them. IF you’re like me, you don’t buy all the merchandise or see every film in theaters, bu you keep up with the comic books world at least enough to know the context of most of the stories.

I read the original Spiderman comics, which hold up even today, and the Silver Age Superman ones, 50s-60s, and of course the 70s Mr. Miracle. I have yet to find a Wonder Woman comic, but I would love to check that out sometime.

Funny story, I remember getting a Wonder Woman comic from the Library back before I could even read. Actually I think my mom got it just because I was looking at the picture. And I started at the words and really wished I knew what they were saying. But all I got twas the vague idea that she was a kid growing up with her mom.

And I can’t believe I didn’t remember that when I read “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, since he had the same experience with Superman.

I’ve always wanted to find that comic, which I now realize had to be the original one, and read it knowing the words. SO in a strange way, comics have been a part of my reading experience almost from the beginning, and Wonder Woman has intrigued my also.

And my mom was not a superhero person, and still is not except by proxy, since she has to listen to us go on and on about it. My mom is smart, she has learned over the years to take at least a mild interest in everything we get obsessed with so that she preserves her sanity.

Superheroes will always be considered somewhat ridiculous, even by the people who love them. Not because they are ridiculous as a characters, but because the idea of one is just odd to us. A caped costumed character is funny. The whole underwear on the outside thing. By the way, did you know that they looked more like that because men used to wear suspenders that kept their pants up higher? When supers were created, that look would have been more normal and wearing nothing over that are would have been indecent. It’s not about underwear at all.

And yes Wonder Woman wore a swimsuit, but even then there were worse ones.

Still, it’s funny to dress in a flag. The pint is, they aren’t meant to be taken seriously.

That’s why we love them. You don’t have to believe they are real in order to get real ideas and emotions from them.

As I have pointed out to others, superheroes are for those who dream. They are a modern mythology. And I would have to acknowledge this even if I hated them, because there is no getting away from it. They are ubiquitous.

I think I love superheroes more than I care to admit on this blog, but I don’t love them just for their flashy fighting and quippy dialogue, though I enjoy that.

I love them because in nowhere else  in our modern world do I find so many characters held up to a real standard for good. And they challenge us to meet that standard. I love the heart behind many of them, the honest look at hardship that many of the creators had to take in writing them out. Mostly, I love myths.

And I’m a dreamer. Without fail, people who dream that I know, they like superheroes.

People who do not dream don’t, or are at best ambiguous.

I’m not kidding, I know people as old as my dad who like superheroes, but they are dreamers; and I know people who think they’re stupid, they aren’t dreamers. And those who are ambiguous also don’t dream.

IS it possible to be a dreamer without liking supers? I am sure it is. But  I do not think it works the other way. What use are superheroes with their outlandish exploits if you do not wish to accomplish things that seem outlandish to you?

Fairy tales will always be mocked by those who do not secretly wish they were true…even those who do. But as Anne of Green Gables has said, the world needs fairies, it cannot do without them.

All that means is not that we need fairies as a fantastical creature to tell stories about, but that we need fantasy. Which fairies famously represent.

We need superheroes in the same way. Whether you are a dreamer or not, you need dreamers. The ones who keep this world afloat.

They are the legends and the myths today, and they keep us linked to older myths and stories. We need that, we need to keep our imaginations alive. And if that looks like a comic spread with some speech bubbles, so be it. I’ll take that over pure realism, that stuff can be soul killing.

Until next time–Natasha.

 

 

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

Who’s excited about Infinity Wars?

I am not as enthused as I was, Marvel is burning me out. I am a DC person at heart.

With that in mind this week I checked yet another Marvel movie, and another DC movie off my “yet to see” list.

Deadpool and Man of Steel.

They could not be more different stories. One refusing to take anything seriously, the other taking itself perhaps a bit too seriously. No one in Man of Steel developed a sense of humor till the last few minutes of the film. Which proves how desperately the franchise needed the Flash. You go Barry, save the DCU.

Comic relief doesn’t have to be as plentiful as in Marvel, but it is a staple of superhero movies and for a good reason The franchise cannot be taken too seriously, or it falls apart, people nitpick. With the advent of the Dark Knight, and Iron Man, fans have gone to a whole new level of criticizing or worshiping their heroes, but the disappearance of real humor is a telltale sign that we may be forgetting these are just stories.

I know I know, this coming from the person who wrote about relationship goals based on superheros.

Well that’s the point, only a fictional relationship could possible be evaluated without the humanity of he two people getting in the way. They might have flaws, but it will never bug you as much if the person isn’t real, and you can look past it. Learning to do that with your real spouse/significant other is a lot harder, but it’s important.

With that said, did I then love Deadpool?

Heck no. I kept an open mind, I’d heard it was awesome. And though the R-rated material was not enjoyable to me, it wasn’t what killed it.

Fans, you may not want to read the following:

Deadpool was lazy. The writing was lazy. Cussing can be used creatively to emphasize someone’s personality, or the kind of stress they are under, but Deadpool substituted cussing fr a¬† personality.

I know nothing about what this guy likes or dislikes beyond a few superficial facts But all Marvel characters (except Spiderman and Antman and Thor) suffer from that syndrome, so it wouldn’t ruin him, I suppose.

I also love Ryan Reynolds, for the record, and there were a few moments when his natural comedic gifting came out, but only a few.

Deadpool is vulgar, gross, sick, but not without some good qualities as a person. He really loves his girl, for whatever reason, I guess they are two of a kind. He really tries to do what’s best for her.

The movie was turning into Beastly for a while. Then we go back to R-rated violence and humor.

But Deadpool is still a weak character. Though he makes fun of Marvel tropes, he relies on them for us to even like him. Otherwise, why would we? Remove the Fourth wall breaking, and naughty mouth that makes us all feel like big boys for watching, and you are left with the most average or even sub-par superhuman I’ve ever seen. (Maybe Titan from Megamind has him beat.) I mean, what does he even do that makes him likable? He saves his girlfriend, but if I want to watch gun-slinging violent damsel in distress movie, there’s a few dozen westerns that would beat this out, especially for dialogue.

No, I’m sorry, saving the girl can’t justify everything.

Most of our superheroes are getting high kill rates, and Deadpool embracing that is not helping anything. It’s not a good thing.

Let me tackle Man of Steel now.

I admit I liked this movie okay. It was better than Deadpool. It is chronically serious. All DC movies have been except for Suicide Squad. It’s their style, love it or hate it. I don’t love it exactly, I need to laugh every now and then Superman, but I do appreciate DC trying to put some real morality in it. And that they do not treat moral decisions as something to joke about.

Because right and wrong is not a joke, and cannot be settled on a joke.

I won’t be saying anything new if I say that Superman seeking religious advice is unique, and humble. Superman has always been a humble and they kept that in the movie. They also kept Lois Lane’s conscience, which was nice. I miss her sarcasm but Amy Addams has never been the type of actress to sell that character, so I guess it can’t be helped. She still did a good job of nailing Lois’es reckless, meddling side.

Pa Kent was the worst part though. Ugh. Talk about the anti Uncle Ben. And Pa Kent used to be more likable.

Krypton was never something I cared to see more of, in the comics I got tired of gong back to it. It was too idealized. Too perfect.

The movie touched on the arrogance of such a world, but the thing about planned parenthood, was unnecessary and felt too much like the Matrix. (Yet another lesson about messing with DNA, geneticists, I hope you’re listening.)

But in the end Superman is a sympathetic character. We feel bad for him. True the guy tends to make the same face most of the time, but I think it’s the script’s fault. Most of his scenes are serious, he kind of has to make that face. And he does lighten up a few times.

The comparison of superman to god is a running theme. but Superman himself knows he’d not a god. To have god-like powers without god-like wisdom is to be only a monster. Like Zod. Unless you humbly submit to the higher call of Good, and then you are a hero.

So as imperfect as Superman is, at least he gets that. he’s learning. DC characters all seem to be learning and rowing. And I am looking forward tow hat they come up with in the future. But Deadpool and the rest of the snappy but empty characters, they might get people laughing, but will they ever get them thinking?

I can’t say, but I don’t see it so far, so here’s to the Flawed but Learning people!

–Natasha.

The appalling comment section.

I’ve been re-watching Justice League episodes in this past week.¬†But unfortunately I have to use public internet to get these episodes.¬†The comment section under this stuff is unbelievable.

Comment sections don’t represent the best of people anyway, but they do represent a lot of what passes for humor and reasonable assumptions nowadays.

Whenever you watch something you think about the reactions of the people around you.

I enjoy certain shows only when I watch them with my siblings, I don’t enjoy a lot of things if I watch them with my mom, but I do with my dad. When I’m with my peers…usually I’m the one spoiling it for them to be honest. Sorry.

So what happens when the people I’m watching it with are a bunch of you-tubers?

The sex jokes.

Both heterosexual and homosexual jokes are all over superhero material.

Someone actually said, I kid you not, that one male super missed this other one when he supposedly died, so that made both of them slightly gay.

I’m not sure how someone can be slightly gay. I think they meant that any and all positive feelings or expressions of emotion between two male characters has to be gay. Because clearly, no man would ever like another man or care about him, unless he was gay.

Right?

This is the line of thinking that says all those men who had deep relationships in history, they were secretly gay.

I think this logic would then say that our modern soldiers who develop deep friendships over the hardships of being in the military, they are all gay. All of them.

Really?

Last I checked gay didn’t mean a man shows any emotion at all. It means he shows a bizarre amount of sexually associated emotion…oh, that’s right, sexual association can now be anything.

Think about it. If someone on TV just stares at someone for a little longer than usual, it’s sexual. Any compliment becomes flirting. Honest admiration becomes infatuation.

I can’t even admire someone now? I have to have a crush on them to have a legit reason to like them?

Same thing with girls. If a girl has a heart to heart chat with another girl, and (gasp) hugs her or touches her at all, it’s now a lesbian moment.

Some girls are more touchy then others, women tend to touch each other more then men do. Women tend to touch men more them men touch them, in non romantic ways. Heck, women touch ourselves more if you go by nervous habits. Women play with their hair, bite nails, do all sorts of things like that, I see them doing it more then men do.

I hate that when I feel admiration or affection for another girl, I now have to question it. Or no, I don’t have to. I suppose no one is pointing a finger at me and saying “Is that sexual?” but when the whole culture is constantly pointing its finger, doesn’t that affect all of us?

We all feel this pressure to conform to the ideas of the culture.

I have said before I consider homosexuality to be a sin. I have received surprisingly no back lash for that. But what I haven’t said is that I think just about every young person now has asked themselves if they are homosexual.

And the sad thing is, the culture keeps saying that all feelings that might be interpreted as homosexual are the truest feelings. That even if you have had many feelings of attraction toward the opposite sex, the truest you would be the homosexual version.

Leaving aside moral implications for a second, can I ask why we should assume that feelings that lead to humans not reproducing more humans would be considered the most natural? How does nature, what tells us to reproduce, now no longer want us to?

Why, I would ask, do people have reproductive parts only for one gender (most of us) if we are meant to be able to be happy without the other. We can’t continue our race with just women or just men.

Or, if we can, then we should ask ourselves why we were designed for heterosexual life in the first place?

But what about relationships between the same gender. Do they always have to be sexual to be emotional?

I am not even sure physical touch is the dividing line here. I’ve talked about before how physical touch is simply a need humans have, whenever we care about someone. whether they are old, young, man, or woman.

The idea that you cannot even miss someone’s company without is being a sign of romantic love…I…I can’t even…so if my grandpa dies and I miss him…

I won’t even finish that thought. You get the point.

And by the by, being uninterested in romantic relationships with the opposite sex does not make you homosexual. You could simply not desire sex period. Which isn’t unnatural by the way. Most people do, but if someone has not inclination to live a married life, then they have no reason to have sexual desires. (Most people still do, but for some the emotional desire for marriage preludes physical desire.)

Sex is about function as well as pleasure, most pleasures have a purpose. Food tastes good because you need to eat it. You can’t separate those two.¬† You can enjoy tastes even when you aren’t hungry, but if you were never hungry, you would never learn to like food. Simple.

I question sex that has no useful function beyond pleasure, and I mean overall. In any other context, such as rape, child molestation, or porn, that kind of sexual pleasure is admitted to be wrong…by some cultures.

We have chosen to justify homosexuality. Not because it makes sense, but because we wanted to. There’s no logic behind it. Studies won’t back it up.

The irrationality of homosexuality is what makes it so easy to agree with for everyone under a certain age. Even Christians, who’s beliefs should directly contradict it. But if something has no logic beyond “They love each other” then how can it be refuted?

Easily, but it would require too much thinking. The media isn’t going to ask the tough questions, the rest of us are too scared…

Why are we scared anyway? So what if people say we’re bigoted? I guess it’s true.

I am predisposed to think homosexuality is unnatural and wrong… but the question I put to you is, why shouldn’t I be?

What exactly has it done for our society? It is pushing our science forward? (finding ways to change people’s gender is not moving forward, it’s not discovering new things.) Is it making us kinder?

It is making it easier to be gay, getting praised for your sexual orientation, heck, who wouldn’t want free praise.

And it is free. It doesn’t matter how bullied they are still, no one should get kudos for sexual orientation. Anymore than they should for their skin color. It has nothing to do with excellence. Or nobility. Or even creativity often enough.

People have been bullied for needing glasses, that doesn’t make wearing glasses brave.

Why homosexuality is now smiled upon and read into everything, I really don’t know. Honestly I think there’s a lot of broken people out there who turn to it because it’s easier than pushing through the pain of heterosexual relationships. Goodness knows it’s harder to be with the opposite sex. We don’t understand each other.

But if it’s harder, it’s also more rewarding to figure it¬† out. Marriage is an accomplishment. I don’t believe gay marriage is anything more than sexualized friendship. The reason being, it often doesn’t last and it’s still easier to get along with the same sex.

Do I think my writing this will change anything?

Yes. It changes me. Maybe I need to be reminded of what I believe.

And I don’t care if someone hates me for it. At least I know what I believe is real when it’s against what everyone says.

Justice League!

I finally saw it. Back when I wrote my Expectations (For the New Justice League) post, this is what I said about it:

So what I think the new film needs is not to progress further into the dark, gritty and melodramatic world that the genre has become, but to regress into more human terms.

I have nothing against climatic events and galaxy sized stakes, but it should never be about that. Making the problem with the world the main focus of any movie risks making it too vague. What the film needs to be about is what problems humans deal with on a human level. With something like the Justice League, there’s a wide range of subjects that could be covered, that’s why it worked so well as a show. Narrowing down each member’s own personal struggles in the span of one film is a difficult and almost impossible task

But my concern is that none of them will be followed through in a satisfying way.

I am happy to say that the film makers obviously read my post, because this movie was not the disaster I was afraid it was going to be.

Best of all, they took my suggestion about Diana laying it on Batman.

But this movie had some problems that I want to briefly address.

I do not think the villain should ever be the most important part of a movie, but I do think making them on the level of a video game is a little too far in the other direction. Steppenwolf has to be the most ridiculous villain I’ve seen since…Well he reminded me most of Ego from the Guardians of the Galaxy vol#2.¬† Complete with the weird egg-shaped plasma globes. And the bizarre god-complex.

However the reason this whack job does not ruin the movie is because he’s not really the point, and he was obviously just a precursor to Darkseid, who’s name is dropped pretty early on; and who will make a more potent of a villain. He serves as a Ronin to DCU’s Thanos, in other words.

So, he’s goofy, but whatever. The real thing we’re here for is the League.

I like Diana naturally, but I never have liked this new Batman, mostly I just can’t buy him as anything but a weird old guy who’s mentally unstable but trying to save the world.

Ben Afleck, probably through no fault of his own, is the weakest link in this new League. Arguably Batman always was the weak link in the League because he wouldn’t commit to it fully since he loved his independence too much. So the issue in this movie is predictably that Batman does not know how to play with the other kids, and though he’s not particularly pushy, he feels unnatural with them. And once the crisis is over I have to wonder if that’s gonna blow up big time.

But again, that doesn’t ruin the film. Batman is antisocial anyway, and to it’s credit the movie is upfront about it. In fact a big theme of this movie is that no one is all put together, but that you work with the good in people and that’s how they get better.

I think the writers are starting to see how they ruined the franchise in the first place by making it depressing and hopeless, and now they are slowly climbing out of it. This movie was not as positive as Wonder Woman, but it was better than Dawn of Justice.

And that’s where I get to the good things about it.

The biggest surprise for me was that I bought the League as a team in their very first fight scene. I expected to feel like they were out of it until the climax, and then hopefully believe it, but I almost immediately felt like they had team chemistry. What tied it together for me was them saving each other. Flash helping Diana when she lost her sword, and Batman helping Flash get away after he was hurt. Flash’es more human weaknesses were a great balance to everyone else, who are often just too powerful to evoke sympathy.

Even though they spend a good deal oft his movie arguing or giving forced exposition, it wasn’t without real moments. Diana’s conversation with Cyborg was cliche, but I believed it anyway. Diana and Bruce’s fight and subsequent make up felt pretty real. And her calling him out was just my personal victory.

And I liked Aquaman more than I thought I would. He wasn’t the selfish jerk he’d been set up to be by this new and darker version. He ended up being kind of a softie, and that rope of truth gag was pretty funny.

Flash as always was one of my favorite parts, he’s a little more ADD then the show Flash, but that makes perfect sense with his powers, and it works fine with the others to balance him out. He still had the humanity and heart factor going for him. And Batman’s advice to save one person was actually solid advice. When you fight crime or rescue people as a career, it has to be about saving one person at a time sometimes. I welcomed the reminder that even one person is important. Which is something superheroes movies have not been emphasizing enough in my opinion.

Cyborg…I could take or leave his backstory. It’s sad, but hard to relate to. As a character, I was glad that he did not waste half the movie refusing to help out of self doubt, but was willing to try anyway after what Diana said to him. Proving he was better than the dark and brooding fellow he’d become.

In conclusion, DC movies are inferior to Marvel in production, they just are. The CGI is worse and the dialogue suffers from pretentiousness a lot of the time. But, dialogue and special effects are not all that make a movie work.

The dialogues is improving by the way, only some of the lines made me want to roll my eyes, as opposed to Dawn of Justice. And special effects are what they are.

What DC has that I’ve yet to see in Marvel, expect for Guardians, Ant Man, and Ragnarok, is heart. The stories are not written as seamlessly as Marvel, but there’s real feeling behind them. There’s more raw and real emotion behind these imperfect characters then I’ve ever felt watching Captain America, or Iron Man, or anyone but the ones I mentioned.

I wince at some of the production errors in judgment, but I forgive them for it because their movies have made me think. The problems they bring up are not always well executed, but they are real. And the characters are getting more self aware of it too.’

A Justice League movie that finally deals with Batman’s issues, while shipping him with Wonder Woman is not all bad, folks.

I understand why many people were disappointed in this movie. It was not the epic showdown we thought, but in retrospect, I always said that was just too much to expect. My wish was that they would make the characters more human, and not dark. And that’s what they did. Even Superman has gone back to being more like his old self. It’s true that was the worst part of this movie, but whatever, it was a mess no matter what way you slice it and at least he didn’t join forces with the bad guy. What a cliche that would have been…Bucky Barnes!

Anyway, DC fans get it. MCU people probably never will understand what makes these movies deeper to us despite their flaws.

But let’s be real, Justice League’s whole point is that we all have hang ups. It knew it wasn’t gong to be a prefect movie, but if we work with what was good about it, I’m confident the franchise will continue to improve.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Finally! I can give a more informed opinion on this franchise upsetting piece of work.

Disclaimer, I have only seen the theatrical version and I hear the Ultimate Edition is much better, if you’ve seen that and I don’t address something that was in it, my apologies.

The big question is: Did it suck?

Well, no.

Unlike most folks who cared enough to see this movie when it came out or at least in the same year it did, I didn’t. So my knowledge of it was based on mostly negative reviews, plus one positive one. Maybe two.

I was predisposed to fine the idea of two of my favorite DC guys fighting to the death a terrible experience.

With that somewhat unique perspective, watching this movie was not the fresh take on the characters that it seemed to be to others. And I’ve seen so much dark and gritty from superheroes now that it wasn’t so big a shock.

This movie tuns one of the most beloved superheros, if not the most, into a bad guy. Who murders and makes irrational decisions. It also turns Superman, who is normally confident and cheerful, into a troubled and uncertain hero.

But this Superman is a lot newer to crime fighting then his previous versions, so maybe I can excuse that. And honestly his perpetual frown didn’t bother me, since every scene he was in there was something depressing happening, I wouldn’t be smiling either. He’s never been the wise-cracking kid of super who never gets down.

I could forgive Batman a lot less readily. But upon seeing it for myself, I actually don’t think Batman was acting entirely on his own initiative.

It may be grasping at straws but I felt like all Batman’s nightmares and oddly rage-filled actions seemed a lot more like they were pointing to mind control then to just him. It sound convenient, but being a DC animated series watcher, I can tell you it’s just the sort of thing that they would do. So why not in a movie. (Actually the whole dream-mind control thing has been done before. It was pretty terrifying.)

Even if you don’t buy that an alien force (hint: Darkseid) could be twisting people’s minds (and I’m not the only one who thinks Luthor was acting like he was being influenced by Darkseid) I think it’s not too big a stretch to say that everyone had a darkness they have to face. Wonder Woman said that in her movie.

So with that in mind, I’ll analyze the movie.

I won’t talk about cinematography or acting, or the Martha line as it relates to good story telling; you can get that a dozen other places. I’m going to talk about what I think the story actually means if you just look at it as a story. An analogy. Which is what all superhero movies really are and always have been.

The first thing this movie introduces us to is Batman/ Bruce’s fear of bats and of superman. Which appear to be connected. The bats aren’t literal, they represent the batman side of Bruce, and how he fears it taking control of him. The reason he fears it is because deep down he knows he’s going down a dark path. With the branding and all. I think his disturbing dreams indicated that several times.

For Bruce that fear is still subconscious, and he blames Superman for the sense of danger he keeps having, of helplessness, Alfred tries to warn him about this, but he doesn’t get the hint.

So over a two year period Bruce’s resentment of Superman grows, for no real reason that we can see since Superman doesn’t destroy any ore cities and often prioritizes saving people over catching up to other people he’s suspicious of. But Bruce isn’t going to be bother with facts, since it’s the possibilities that concern him and he doesn’t realize that we can’t base our decisions on all the possible outcomes of something.

Superman is compared to God a lot. But it’s also pointed out that he should answer to God. Superman doesn’t seem to believe this himself, but the comparison bugs him. As it should. Still, he rightly thinks that Batman’s actual Brutality is a top priority over Superman’s possible damage. I mean, one is a fact and the other is a hypothesis right?

But Bruce is having none of that logic crud when Clark Kent tries to point this out to him. Instead he keeps brooding over Superman and finally decides to get rid of him by making a bunch of Kryptonite weapons. After first meeting Wonder Woman a. k. a. Diana Prince. Whom he eventually figures out the identity of.

What we are seeing with Bruce, in my opinion, is the darkness o f fear and hate clouding the judgment. Fear breeds hate anyway. And Luthor is an example of the same thing. Although his is definitely more unstable and out of control (I say more because Batman is the same way) Luthor hates God and blames Superman the way he blames God, because Superman has enough power for one to say “He could save more, but he choose not to. He could destroy us all.” Of course Superman has no wish to do that, but what he intends doesn’t matter anymore These people hate him irrationally.

So Batman tries to kill him, and seems completely shut off to any logic or decency as Superman tries to talk to him and then fights him when Batman refuses to listen. Then that infamous  Martha moment.

I don’ think the idea behind it was terrible, I just found the build up unsatisfactory, but ignoring that, I think it’s true that something as small as a name could trigger the humanity in a person. There are true stories of it happening. And I think all of us can remember moments in our life when our perspective shifted because of one sentence someone said to us.

The idea is that love is the key. Bruce still had love for his mother, even when he’d shut himself off to almost everyone else. And the moment strangely parallels one of the Justice League show episodes in which an alternate Superman had taken over the world, along with the rest of the League, and our Batman convince the other Batman to help him by asking “Mom and Dad, they would be proud of what you did?” and that’s all. But the other Batman realizes the truth.

The truth being that if we love people, then we need to love what they valued also. Provided it was good. Bruce’s parents were clearly good people who would want peace and mercy to be apart of his life.

And since Superman’s mom represents the same a sort of compassion for him as Bruce’s does, the moment does make sense.

I get why people think it’s stupid, but I don’t find it so. In fact I don’t really see how it was much different from Darth Vader changing sides because his son ended up being alive and was almost killed by the emperor.

Anyway, the point is, love conquers fear and hate. Diana tells us in her movie that only love can save the world. And Bruce is showing us how true that is. Because he was actually becoming the greatest threat to the world by trying to kill superman.

I have to say with all it’s faults I like the point DC has been making. That love is the only answer to the fear and hatred and evil we inflict upon each other and the world. Only love will change someone like Batman from a maniac to a man again. And only love can keep someone on the right path.

Love is what convinces Superman to make Earth his new home. Because of the people in it he loves and who love him. Love is what sets Diana on her path of preserving humanity. Love is what opens Batman’s eyes to what he’d become.

And love is all that will make us able to forgive each other for the terrible mistakes we make. Which to his credit Superman does pretty quickly forgive Batman for almost killing him.

So, was this movie perfect? No. Did I like all of it? No, I actually didn’t like most of it. I don’t think I was supposed to enjoy it honestly.

But it is not without its lesson, and the lesson isn’t a total flop. It makes sense. And for setting up the Justice League this movie serves the purpose well enough.

It always could be better, and I think it should have been, but it also didn’t fail completely at what it was trying to do. At least in terms of Batman’s arc. So I’d say it’s worth seeing at least once.

Until next time–Natasha.