I've really had it with this Marvel Cinematic Universe vs. DC Extended Universe crap.
I'm also sick of the DCEU vs. DCTV silliness.
And while I'm at it, the XBOX vs. Sony vs. Nintendo flaming can go away too.
Alright, I know I'm pushing it with that last one but do you get the point? No? Allow me to elaborate.
Going into 2016, I looked at the calendar of geeky movies that were coming out. I saw Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After seeing ALL of those movies in the theater, most of them in IMAX at $13.50 a pop and some of them more than once, I said the same thing to my friends that I said going into 2016:
"It's a GREAT time to be a geek."
Except that hasn't been true, at least not when I left the theater after my two hours or more of enjoyment every time. I thought I'd be able to talk to other people and share my great joy for all of these movies as soon as I saw them. Instead, I've been dealing with THIS for almost a full year now:
That's not even close to 1% of the hatred spewed from critics, bloggers and fanboys in the past 10 months about the DCEU, and all of that was the nicer stuff. I won't even get into the death threats and Hitler comparisons to Zack Snyder and others involved in the franchise.
I'm officially sick of it now. I've spent way too much time arguing with people about these movies and which franchise is better or worse and why or why not, so it's time to clear the air about some things. There are some harsh truths that we all need to realize about this ridiculous fanboy war and I'm going to address every one of them. Don't worry, it won't take as long as you think.
First of all, let's start with this: YOU ARE ALLOWED TO LIKE OR DISLIKE WHATEVER YOU WANT. Seriously, that's not a negotiable thing. If you really hated BvS and Suicide Squad but thought Civil War was the best movie you've ever seen, that's alright. The same goes for people who think Civil War is an overstuffed, tonally deaf Avengers movie with out of place humor scattered around it, but consider BvS a masterpiece of cinema and love Jared Leto's Joker. You ARE allowed to have an opinion.
What you are NOT allowed to do is tell others that they are wrong for having their opinion, whatever it is. People who love BvS are not mindless fanboys and DC schills anymore than people who love Civil War are mindless sheep that kiss the ring of Mickey Mouse. Sure, there are people like both of those out there, but you cannot assume that EVERYONE is like that and here's a crazy idea: You are allowed to like BOTH. Yes, it IS possible to like BOTH BvS AND Civil War, even if you prefer one of them over the other. You know why? Because you just saw two really awesome superhero gladiator matches and who gives a damn which one was better? Be happy that both EXIST at all on screen.
You know what else NO ONE cares about? Marketing budgets and breaking even. Seriously, is that YOUR money being invested into the budgets of these movies? Why is it that no one EVER talks about a Marvel movie needing to hit $1 billion to break even but as soon as DC starts building a shared universe that becomes the new standard? It's not, and it's silly to even bring up in conversation. You're literally arguing over which Hollywood studio with billions of dollars in investments took more of YOUR money out of YOUR pocket at the movie theater, while the prices go up and the free tickets go away. That is the definition of insanity.
Both Marvel Studios and DC Films have made billions from their comic book properties and they will continue to make those billions because WE ARE ALL GOING TO KEEP WATCHING THEIR MOVIES. That's just the simple truth. I don't care how much you hated Enchantress' belly dancing, you're going to be front and center for Wonder Woman and unless you are a truly hateful sod, you don't want it to suck......because you don't want to waste that $13.50 IMAX 3D ticket.
Someone please tell me WHY it matters which studio makes more money? At the end of the day, we just want the movies to be made, right? So all that really matters is that they make money so that the studio executives are happy and keep making them until we're sick of them, which will be never. Calling the DCEU a flop after three movies is pointless, not only because its $2.286 billion box office proves that wrong, but because it doesn't matter how much money they make compared to Marvel. It never mattered before and it never will matter, unless you are interested in useless pissing contests. That's all the box office argument is, a useless pissing contest. Do you get a trophy for Marvel making more money than DC? Are they going to refund your tickets as a reward for loyalty? No, they just want you to keep paying them. Period.
And while we are on the subject of money, if you are telling anyone that either Marvel or DC is only doing their movies for money while the other is doing them for artistic vision and great storytelling, you need to knock that off. As I said before, both studios are controlled by executives and investors that fund these movies getting made. If there is no box office success, there is no shared universe of movies, which means that money is the NUMBER ONE REASON the MCU and the DCEU even exist. Yes, of course Zack Snyder put his heart and soul into Man of Steel and BvS, but so did The Russos with their Captain America movies or Joss Whedon with The Avengers. Every director is going to give it their all on a comic book movie, but at the end of the day they answer to those executives and whatever film they make had better make money, or else all that creativity and vision means nothing because we'll never see it again. Accept it. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. Deal with it and move on.
Here's something else to deal with: The biggest problem that we all face with these comic book movies and fandoms is our own expectations for them. However you came to be a fan of Marvel or DC, the way that it happened shaped your opinion of those characters and worlds. Maybe you read the comics during the Silver Age, or maybe you grew up watching Superfriends. You might have grown up watching Christopher Reeve's Superman in 1978 or Michael Keaton's Batman in 1989, or maybe you are younger than that and you grew up with Batman the Animated Series or the X-Men cartoon. Maybe you didn't start reading comics until the New 52 started or maybe you just love the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game or the Arkham Asylum series.
The point is, there's a thousand different ways that we all came to know and love these comic book characters and worlds and how we came to know them has created an expectation in our minds of how we want to see them done on screen, either in movies or TV. So when we watch BvS and Superman isn't saving cats from trees or Lex Luthor acts more manic than we've seen him act before, or when we watch Civil War and there's at least five too many jokes being tossed around during a fight or we notice that barely 10% of the actual comic book is even being represented in the movie, we might get upset and freak out about it. That's actually an okay reaction to have UNTIL you start calling it RIGHT or WRONG. Now you've gone too far.
Movies are not comic books. Comic books are not movies. When you are adapting a comic book for the screen, liberties will have to be taken to fit a new story, one that is not going to be completely accurate to the book. Ever. Why is that? Because that movie isn't being made for just fans like us, it is being made for the general audience as well. Do you really think that a random person who doesn't read comic books but likes the movies wants to sit down and watch a 5-hour long completely accurate adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns? How about a 10-plus hour completely accurate marathon of Civil War? Yeah, those aren't making any money because the diehard fans that want to see "complete accuracy" are not the ones making these studios billions of dollars worldwide. So put the ego away and stop being obsessed over how "wrong" DC designed Leto's Joker or how "wrong" Marvel treated The Mandarin. The source material is only a guide to making the movie, not a bible to be followed to the letter, whether you like it or not.
If you don't like it, the good news is that whatever source material you are desperately attached to is still there for you to enjoy. These new movies do not erase that or keep you from enjoying it at any time. Just do it quietly without telling the rest of us that we are idiots for watching the new stuff.
Look, there's a ton of other garbage going on right now like the fake clickbait rumors, the fans who think the TV shows are better than the movies and vice versa, and the critics who are doing everything they can to make "fun" some kind of critical measure out of laziness. The bottom line here is that this fanboy war between Marvel and DC people is stupid. Just plain stupid. The actors are still getting paid, the tickets are still being sold and the movies are still getting made. Nothing is going to change that because as much as we want to talk crap about how either studio is putting out stuff so weak that people are either sick of it now or will finally get sick of it one day, we know deep down that we really won't. Put the Justice League or the Avengers on screen and we will be there for at least one viewing, regardless of what we say in a tweet or a Facebook post arguing with someone.
So what's the point in arguing about it? Why see the other side fail? Who wins in that battle? Not the fans, that's for sure. If you're a Marvel fan and the DCEU goes away then there's no viable competition to make certain that weaker entries like Iron Man 2 or Avengers: Age of Ultron don't happen again. Competition is GOOD because it keeps everyone honest in those investors meetings. If you're a DC fan and Marvel goes away then someone in that WB boardroom might decide to scrap the "director-driven" approach to the DCEU and go for Marvel's "family-friendly assembly line" approach, which you will hate because you hate it now. The only people that benefit from either studio's shared universe going down is the competing studio and that's it, and even then it would still hurt them because one of these franchises going down could mean the end of CBM shared universes altogether and in that scenario nobody wins.
So enjoy whatever it is you enjoy, understand that your opinions on what you like and don't like are only opinions and not fact for others to accept as their own, and relax for once in your life. As I look at 2017 I see LEGO Batman, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League, with Star Wars Episode VIII at the end just for measured geekiness. Tell me why I should be angry, frustrated or disappointed about that at all.
It is seriously a GREAT time to be a geek. Let's start acting like it.