R. J. Nello

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ-born, πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§-based, novelist.πŸ“– Writing, travel, culture and more. Always holding "auditions" – so be careful or you may end up a character in β€œ1797”…and perhaps an evil one.🎭 (And why do I suspect some of you might like that latter in particular?)πŸ˜‚

“There’s The Girl”

January 18, 2017
R. J. Nello

A bit of an “unserious” post at times. It’s Wednesday. A brief change of pace.

We sat through Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, on Sunday night.

I like science fiction. I like superheroes. I like being entertained.

But while watching too often I found myself asking: What the heck is going on?

The film is based on the characters from the famous comics, of course. As I watched, it dawned on me as well that lots of books today are also rooted in the supernatural or the essentially “unbelievable.” The number of indie authors alone who write fantasy – and often really good stuff, too – is enormous.

As you may know, I don’t write magic and the “unbelievable.” I would probably do an unintentionally hilarious job if I even tried. I confine myself to us all too vulnerable – and realistic – humans.

I’m also not particularly squeamish. However, as I sat through the film, it hit me once again how sci-fi/fantasy on screen currently seems based on the default template requiring slaughter on a gigantic and industrial scale. The murdering of the “faceless” has reached the point of absurd, and is now even “dull” and utterly predictable.

In turn, with Batman v Superman, we have yet another film with stars who are also essentially invulnerable gods, or at least god-like.

Yet with that combination, where exactly is any story tension? Even if it was supposed to be “cartoonish,” it struck me as much too intense – and far too long – for under 15s and especially under 13s. By the same token, as an adult viewer it was borderline laughable.

The only “highlight” to me was when…


…Wonder Woman appeared.


Surprise! Something! As the rock group Heart also sang thirty (Good grief, THIRTY!) years ago, “There’s The Girl.”

That Heart reference probably came to my mind because I have been listening to this recently, and that song is on here:

Anyway, back to Wonder Woman. No laughter about my observing her there, please. I mean it in this context: her appearance was actually sorta unexpected – about the only “surprise” in the film.

The film was full of excellent actors given nothing really to do but perhaps supply the human faces on a huge “video game.” They played off and were largely relegated to “second-tier” to all of the wow ’em computer-generated visuals and special effects mass carnage that are the norm today in action films. Special effects are supposed to enhance a story, not overwhelm it or attempt to conceal the lack of one.

Cut out the ridiculously overlong fight scenes and other tech-generated filler, and what little plot there was could probably have been produced in its entirety in less than 45 minutes on screen. A book that drags, or is overly and unnecessarily convoluted plot-wise, is likely to be put down unfinished by a reader. Yes, people do turn off even mediocre or poor films, but since watching films is a passive experience unlike reading, bad films, particularly action ones, are often stayed with to the conclusion in the simple hope the film has some ending that will SHOCK you.

And I stayed with all of Batman v Superman in that hope. All 146 minutes, and there was no real shocker. However, to end here on a positive note: it was Shakespeare compared to the onscreen nonsense passed off as “deep” filmmaking that was Mad Max: Fury Road.

Have a good Wednesday and Happy film-watching! πŸ™‚

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