Snarcasm: I Review Movies Because I Hate Them

review movies hate

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read. 

Being a film critic is a tough job, mostly because you have to watch an endless amount of mediocre movies on top of all the ones you actually want to see. But we keep doing it for our own reasons; some critics enjoy the pure art of filmmaking and find greatness in even terrible stories.

Other critics, like me, care mostly about narrative, characterization, and cohesion. So you can read my reviews and get a sense for how I’m critiquing a film, and I even like bad movies from time to time when the story grabs me.

But then some critics seem to find zero value in anything that doesn’t align perfectly with a standard that’s alien to almost everyone reading the review. Hence, they write terrible reviews that leave us scratching our heads and missing the musings of Roger Ebert.

review movies hate

One such review is a write-up about Captain America: Civil War by Matthew Lickona on San Diego Reader. In it, he proves that less is not always more, like an entree salad without dressing or a review on Entertainment Weekly.

Lickona starts with a dependent clause (obviously):

A comic-book movie in the pejorative sense of the term

So right off the bat, he’s criticizing the genre itself. If he’s not a fan of comic-book movies, why be paid to review them, or want to be paid to review them? So people who were already uninterested have something to thumb through while NPR is reporting something interesting?

starting with the bizarre moral acrobatics required to set up the internal strife mentioned in the title.

Except the strife between Captain America and Iron Man has been building since they first met, and even before they met. It’s not “bizarre” or out of place because we’ve watched each of these character form the worldviews they espouse in this film in their previous movies.

review movies hate

Captain America is a skeptic of government intervention because of what happened with Hydra in Winter Soldier. Tony Stark is feeling guilty for causing the catastrophe that was Ultron in Age of You Know What. The only acrobatics that went on here were in the fight scenes, so can we talk about those?

Sure, members of the Avengers saved the world a few times over, but innocents died in the process, and so someone’s got to take the blame. Or at least accept a government collar.

Indeed.

Human computer The Vision must have fried a circuit explaining it thus: “strength invites challenge; challenge creates conflict; conflict breeds catastrophe.”

The Vision is neither a human or a computer. And he seemed pretty calm while explaining this, “circuits” and all.

Never mind that the Avengers were gathered in response to a threat, not vise versa.

In almost every cases, these threats were direct results of the Avengers’ actions, hence the whole point of this conversation in Civil War. Tony Stark becoming Iron Man kicked it all off, inviting the strength of Loki and his alien overlords who invaded New York. Then the creation of Ultron brought on another crisis, proving Vision’s point that catastrophic events have exploded (no pun intended) since the Avengers first assembled.

Oh sorry, was I supposed to never mind?

review movies hate

The red-blooded patriot Captain America holds to principle, but former arms dealer Iron Man’s bad conscience gets the better of him, and the conflict is, as they say, created.

So the plot being artificial is his point (I guess, because lord knows he won’t be going into depth about this). Except, like I said, this conflict was born out of previous threads in other movies, making it feel like an expected debate after the tension that began between Rogers and Stark back in Ultron.

(Just try not to giggle at the notion of the US Government gravely fretting over collateral damage.)

Whoa there, Huffington Post, no need to get political on us.

First of all, no. You don’t think that the death of innocent people at the hands of reckless metahumans in our own country (and New York City no less) wouldn’t sound the alarm for the government, let alone the UN? They wouldn’t “fret” as you say? That’s too much of a suspension of disbelief for you, what with their dropping a city from the sky a few years later?

review movies hate

If anything, it’s harder to believe that the world governments didn’t do anything sooner.

Anyway, let’s get back to this sunburn-inducing hot take.

Moving on to the tension-free spectacle of heroes punching heroes — lots of flying bodies, minimal damage done

It’s legitimate to point out that the hero vs. hero scenes have less tension early on because you can even tell that they don’t really want to hurt each other, which makes sense within the context of the story. But that’s discounting a wide swath of action in this movie that isn’t hero vs. hero or done with lighthearted intention.

(Spoilers for Civil War from here on out)

Black Panther really wants to kill Bucky. Those FBI agents really want to kill Bucky, and Cap has to work harder to make sure Bucky doesn’t hurt them too much. And at one point late in the movie, even Tony Stark and Steve Rogers look ready to kill each other. You really think there was no tension when Cap was about to bash the shield into Tony’s face after disabling his arc reactor? You got nothing from that?

And finishing with the final reveal of the evil mastermind’s absurdly convoluted plot.

We can definitely complain about how strangely detailed it is, but it’s still on par with other convoluted master plans like the Joker’s in The Dark Knight. Though Lickona probably hated that too.

review movies hate

While it’s a peculiar plan to wrap your head around, it’s at least worth mentioning that the ending subverts your expectations of the villain, his motivations, and how the movie plays out. You think it’s going to end with the heroes uniting to stop a bigger threat, but instead, the villain wins and divides them.

But no, the plot is somewhat convoluted, so the whole thing is worthless.

The jokey super-banter remains to provide comic relief, and there are one or two moments that really stick (Cap vs. a helicopter, Iron Man vs. his own rage, and hey look, Spider-Man!).

“I like some stuff in this movie. 1/5 stars.”

No seriously, that’s his rating.

But mostly, this one registers as sound and fury, signifying sequels.

Just like Empire Strikes Back, which ended on a cliffhanger. Obviously, a movie that spends too much time setting up for future installments, rather than providing a great story, deserves the criticism. But Civil War was far more payoff than buildup to something else, and the fact that it does at times lay seeds for future films doesn’t suddenly poison the entire picture, unless you let it.

review movies hate

Look, I get that Civil War is a flawed movie and it certainly isn’t for everyone. And I totally buy that Lickona thought it was a bore of a movie, and that’s fine. My issue is that his review completely ignores his readership, or an understanding of why people love movies. He’s actively misleading people by dishing out crude marks based on glorified nitpicks.

By all means, break the movie down and explain what the instruments are that delude you. Don’t just slap a 1/5 stars on your paragraph of copy and then make sarcastic comments on repeat.

So I’m left wondering why Lickona even reviews movies at all, based on the clear evidence that he seems to hate the vast majority of them.

What, don’t believe me? Here are some other films Matthew Lickona has rated 2/5 stars or lower:

 

  • Zootopia
  • Inside Out
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Dead pool
  • Whiplash
  • Birdman
  • Skyfall
  • The Martian
  • Sicario
  • Big Hero 6
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Gone Girl
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • The Imitation Game 
  • Wild 
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Neighbors
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Dark Knight Rises

And many, many more.

Guess how many movies he’s rated 5/5.

Right! The answer is 0. And this guy expects you to believe him when he says that Captain America: Civil War is a bad movie because something something pejorative.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

 

Snarcasm: The Villain of ‘Incredibles 2’ Is Going to Be Dash, I Guess

incredibles 2 villain

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read.

“Hey Jon,” said the Internet.

“Yes?”

“Check out this Incredibles 2 fan theory.”

“Uh, OK. Is it a copy-paste job of some random Reddit posting that is now on Buzzfeed?”

“No.”

“Cool. So, what’s the—”

“It’s on MTV.com.”

makes dial-up noises

Professional Reddit user and MTV writer Stacey “don’t tell me you don’t want her job” Grant recently put out this gem:

This Incredibles 2 Fan Theory Suggests a Beloved Character Could Actually Be a Villain.

incredibles 2 villain

Now, I don’t have any problem with speculating future movie plots and suggesting potential villains for sequels. Just as long as you give good reasons for why you think the story will turn out the way you play it out in your head. I’ve done this in the past for saying that a revived Tadashi-turned-Sunfire would make for an excellent villain in Big Hero 7, but in that case, I backed it up with reasonable evidence for why it would make sense for the story that is begun in Big Hero 6.

What you’re about to read isn’t really a case for why Dash is going to be the villain in Incredibles 2. It’s barely more than a wild guess.

The Incredibles 2 won’t be in theaters for another three years, but the fan theories are already starting to emerge with Dashiell speed.

Dashiell who? Do you mean Parr? Do you mean “Dash’s speed?”

The most recent one comes from Reddit user Professor_Wonder.

Until next week’s fan theory by w33d_sm0k3r91.

Inspired after rewatching The Incredibles, this fan theory says who the villain will be for the animated sequel. (It definitely won’t be Syndrome, thanks to that whole cape/jet turbine fiasco.)

Oh, Stacey, you slay me.

According to Professor_Wonder, the villain isn’t going to be some brand new character, but instead be someone from the first film, someone we know and love: Dashiell “Dash” Parr.

This is a weird interpretation of the Redditor’s original post. He wasn’t saying it as if he’s some insider trying to crack the code while trying to pay attention during his meeting with the Illuminati.

incredibles 2 villain

He was just exercising a neat idea he had, certainly not to get attention or have people take his speculation seriously beyond “Oh, that’s cool, maybe.”

FOR STARTERS, DASH IS SUPER POWERFUL, WHICH IS ALSO HIS DOWNFALL.

Says who? Pretty sure having a cape is the only downfall we see much of in these movies so far.

Professor_Wonder points out how the Parr family’s oldest son “is always going to be told to [rein] in his superpower.”

Right…

Remember at the end of The Incredibles when Bob and Helen Parr had to keep reminding their son to slow down and get his super speed under control?

Yeah, it was right before the part where he listened to them without making a big deal out of it because he knows he could win the race easily.

incredibles 2 villain

Kids are impulsive,

Where’s the emojii that makes a “shocked” face?!

and teenagers are definitely no better on that front.

incredibles 2 villain

Tell us more about teenagers, MTV.

Growing up, how many times did you do the complete opposite of what your parents wanted you to do?

Which means Dash could be a compelling character, but a villain? You’re going to need more than a Green Acres diatribe about growing up to reverse the typical coming of age trope we know Brad Bird is a fan of.

MOREOVER, HE RECEIVED POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT WHEN HE ACTED OUT IN SCHOOL.

But you just said that the problem would be that he does the opposite of what his parents want him to do. If you’re concerned about his parents being enablers, then that’s a totally different issue.

After using his powers to put a tack on the teacher’s chair without being noticed (well, almost), his normally melancholy dad perked up and actually smiled and laughed.

What a terrible…father? If anything, this is a positive sign that he gets different types of support from his parents.

True, his mom wasn’t having it, but Dash paid more attention to his dad’s reaction than to his mom’s.

OK, that’s fine and all, but these are just normal behaviors of young kids, not future villains of superhero movies (not that you can’t craft a good origin story out of something mundane, it’s just that you need more to go off of than “look at this imperfect character with imperfect surroundings”).

Professor_Wonder stated, “Dash is able to garner some positive attention by doing something negative.”

Is there anything inherently “negative” or dastardly about a harmless school prank? His father is reinforcing a positive thing, which is Dash feeling free to use his powers from time to time and embracing who he really is. This is seen in the end of the film as you referenced earlier when they allow him to go out for sports.

incredibles 2 villain

It’s not like Mr. Incredible got excited about Dash robbing a grocery store or doing anything else illegal. He was glad that his son was just being a kid and having fun with his abilities.

BASICALLY, MIXING DASH’S TEENAGE IMPULSES WITH HIS DESIRE TO BE NOTICED IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Dash isn’t Kylo Ren. Plenty of superheroes are impulsive teenagers who want to be noticed. But they’re still ingrained with decency that makes them heroes. Dash is already that type of character, so assuming his hormones are going to turn him to some dark side is random, not something to be expected.

It’s the same with normal teenagers. How many tough acting kids do you know who would never harm a fly? If anything, Dash’s arc would make more sense if it positioned him as a hothead superhero who does good things for the wrong reasons, causing unintended consequences. Think Speedball from Marvel’s Civil War comics.

Why did Buddy Pine become supervillain Syndrome? The main reason was because he desperately wanted to be Mr. Incredible’s sidekick, and the superhero promptly shut him down.

OK…but this is a totally different—

Buddy was a teen who impulsively felt like he needed to defeat bad guys like Bomb Voyage, but he didn’t give himself a chance to stop and think about the best way to handle the situation.

OK, but it was also about his feeling inferior to the real superheroes because he lacked powers. That’s kind of irrelevant to—

Instead, he dove in and took action, which ultimately backfired.

Sigh, yes, fine.

His plan of impressing Mr. Incredible and getting his attention failed.

Sure, but that’s probably because it was based on an inherently unhealthy relationship.

incredibles 2 villain

Buddy tried to force himself into Mr. Incredible’s life as his ward, but you can’t just transfer that dynamic onto Dash, who’s his real son.

TBH, it’s not totally out there to think the same kind of thing could easily happen to Dash as well.

OMG, well, yeah, it kind of is for two big reasons. 1) Buddy and Dash are completely different characters with completely different motivations, abilities, and connections to the main plot. 2) Brad Bird is pretty good at making movies, so it would be very odd for him to replicate the Syndrome origin story for someone like Dash, who is already a character with an established personality.

Like they say, history tends to repeat itself.

And like they also say, familiarity breeds contempt.

I don’t want to harp on the Redditor at all, as I said earlier. His full post (which Stacey omits over half of) has interesting ideas in it that are worth a read if you’re interested. It involves a way to present Dash as a character who carries on the subplot from the first film involving Edna’s super suits, and even though it’s probably just wild speculation, it’s ten times more interesting than boiling it all down to those darn teenage kids pulling an Anakin.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Snarcasm: Everything Wrong With Everything Wrong With ‘The Good Dinosaur’

everything wrong good dinosaur

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read. 

My love for The Good Dinosaur is probably as polarizing as some people’s love for Cinemasins. So it only makes sense that for the first time in Snarcasm history, we’re taking a close look at a video, as opposed to a written article.

And it’s a Cinemasins video, which I know is probably an easy target because even they themselves lampshade their “sins” as self-deprecating jokes made by jerks. But I still think it will be interesting to delve into their criticism of The Good Dinosaur, which is a wonderful movie that I admittedly don’t think is for everyone.

Just take a look at the description of the video, “Everything Wrong With The Good Dinosaur In 12 Minutes Or Less:”

Sigh. We really didn’t like this movie. It’s probably harmless fun for most, but borrows so heavily from so many other Disney films we got annoyed. 

“It’s probably harmless fun for most” is sure to make future Blu-Ray covers.

45 seconds of Disney & Pixar logos…as usual. Even though you all have them memorized at this point.

As usual, you’re criticizing something outside of the movie, instead of the movie itself, and counting that as a “sin.” Logos as a marketing tool are just common sense, and if you’re going to whine about them for every single video you do, at least sin the brands, not the content of the movie people are expecting you to criticize.

Also, don’t, because these logos are awesome and set the movie up in ways that are familiar and build hype. Getting rid of them or blazing past would be akin to removing the Star Wars opening crawl. You just don’t do it.

I understand the movie is rewriting prehistory here for the sake of the story, but I think it’s worth mentioning: The dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, and humans started to do human things around 10 million-ish years ago, so the movie wants me to believe that nothing ELSE could have happened to the dinosaurs within the 50 million years between this moment and this moment that would have either killed the dinosaurs or, through evolution, altered their appearance so drastically we wouldn’t be able to tell what is what?…I guess so.

The movie is working off of an assumption that a meteor killed the dinosaurs, so you’re including some sort of expectation of a second extinction event, even though we have no reason to assume that happened based on our own history.

We don’t know from the movie exactly what happens, but you’re sinning the film for not shoehorning some sort of bizarre, unfounded aesthetic change to the Earth, which would derail the point of the movie. Because if they did do something more drastic than include lots of new species (which are in this movie), dinosaurs being more intelligent than other creatures (which is in this movie), and the clear and apparent inclusion of a more primitive human species (you guessed it), then you’d just “sin” the movie for being too out there and doing the opposite of what you’re sinning it for now.

Man, these dinosaurs learned how to grow crops in some STRAIGHT ASS lines!!

…wait, that’s it? That’s what you paused and sinned the movie for? What’s your next sin, besides the movie having clouds that look like blobs?

Seriously, people don’t watch these videos so that you can point out the obvious. Yes, the dinosaur farmers who are able to build houses and provide food for themselves akin to humans are able to create straight lines. You know, like countless other animals who use instinct to do things that look cool.

Pixar expects me to believe that the Apatosauruses evolved to presumably have retractable axes in their tails.

No, just that the apatosauruses are incredibly strongHave you seen the size of them, even in this movie?

And super strength.

Yes, let’s complain that the huge dinosaurs are strong.

Well, with this kind of evolution, it’s a wonder the Earth ever thought humans were necessary at all.

Your shower thoughts have nothing to do with what you’re watching. Can you focus, please?

If they can build a device for seeding, they can certainly build a plow.

How? They clearly don’t have access to iron or glass. And you’re even about to complain about their intelligence anyway, so isn’t this reverse sinning?

They also evolved hyper intelligence, which raises the question: How are they able to build tools like this without hands? There’s no way they could tail-whack that thing together. 

The entire film addresses this, showing Arlo using his tail in unique ways to climb and get things done. They don’t “whack” things, they use their tails as a third appendage. They can use their teeth to wind string and their tails to carve multiple pieces of wood. It’s a little silly, but not that far-fetched because the movie shows us the practicality of Arlo’s tail countless times.

(screen shows three eggs) Okay, we eat the big one, we raise the little ones as slaves, agreed?!

I’m starting to think they’re just sinning themselves for the bad jokes. Because this isn’t even…clever? What, you’re joking that the herbivores would eat their young? Haha?

Other than surprising the viewers and the dino-parents…is there any reason for his egg to have been so big when he’s so small? Cause, I don’t think that would actually happen. 

That’s probably because you’re too busy writing jokes instead of thinking through your actual “sins.” When an egg is hatched, the size has nothing to do with the development of the baby. Thematically, it’s foreshadowing to how Arlo starts off well behind his family in an environment that doesn’t feel made for him. It gets the point across immediately (with visuals instead of ham-fisted dialogue) that’s he’s not just timid, he’s timid for a reason.

Also, if I was Arlo’s mom, I’d be kind of pissed right now. “I pushed out this giant ass egg for this!?”

Wow, she must love her own children more than some temporary pain she just went through. Why did they have to write these characters as humans, anyway?

Arlo’s siblings come out of their eggs running and practically flying, yet Arlo struggles to take his first steps.

You’re sinning the movie for having characters who don’t develop exactly the same way? Have you had siblings, before?

And I guess I should mention, again, that you’d complain anyway if Arlo did act the same as his siblings because the characters are interchangeable.

Clawtooth Mountain looks very similar to the Expedition Everest ride at Animal Kingdom. Not exactly the same, but enough to confuse some children. 

Do you not understand how children work? Do you think they get “confused” when they’re delighted to see recognizable references to their favorite movies in Disneyland? No, because they’re children, not paranoid cartographers.

Also, you even admit that it doesn’t even look exactly the same, so how many people would have even noticed this?

Are we getting to any real criticisms yet?

Also, these dinosaurs couldn’t decide if it looked like a claw or a tooth so they said, “F*ck it, let’s just call it Clawtooth.”

Or, you know, they called it that because it looks like three teeth assembled like a claw. But let’s not actually think about things when watching movies.

They’ve been alive for like two minutes and already have chores.

First of all, we don’t see the children doing any work until after the time skip. Clearly, the parents are ingraining their future responsibilities into the children because it’s the most relevant thing to talk to them about if they want to survive.

And second, of course the parents are giving them chores. The movie reveals later on that the family’s survival depends entirely on the children learning how to run the farm themselves one day.

(shows one of the chickens) We never see them eat a chicken or an egg from a chicken, and based on what Arlo eats during another scene in this movie, and science, I can safely assume he is an herbivore, so why are these things even here? Is Henry only keeping them here to teach Arlo a lesson about fear? 

They say later in the movie that their responsibilities include protecting and feeding other, less intelligent animals. And we see this concept echoed throughout the movie with the other characters, including the carnivores who ranch the cattle they don’t eat themselves.

The reason is because these chickens provide a lot of resources. They can be used as fertilizer, their feathers can keep the family warm, and they can even be traded with other farms in the area. I’ll admit that the movie sort of leaves this bit to our imaginations, but it’s not a heavy sin.

Convenient dead, broken log is convenient. 

Yeah, because the dad brought it there himself before running into Arlo. Why is this being mentioned?

“Convenient grass is convenient.” +1 and a funny joke no one cares about!

Mud is not paint. Mud washes away in the rain, yet this and every other mark made remains on the corn silo for the duration of the film.

Seriously, now you don’t understand how dirt works? Mud is a mix of water, earth, and clay. So if it doesn’t rain for a few hours while it’s sitting on the stone silo exposed to sunlight, it’s going to dry and stay there for a while.

(after Henry says “you earned it” to Buck) Making your mark apparently just means “doing your job.” 

If that were the case, Buck would have “earned it” a long time ago when we saw him…doing his job.

The idea is, and read this slow so you don’t lose track, that Buck has earned his mark by figuring out how he best contributes to the farm in a consistent, mature way.

Earlier, Henry earns his mark for not just building a food silo (which is doing his job), but for making it 100% critter proof. It’s about how well the job has been done, which only takes maybe three seconds of thinking carefully about this movie.

You might be expecting me to sin this dino-society placing such a high value on muddy footprints…

No, we’re still just waiting for you to sin the movie for an actual reason.

…instead I’m going to sin this MASSIVELY heavy STONE-based structure for standing upright all this time on four tiny skinny wooden legs. WTF?

We’ve got a decent sin, people!

Though it’s not that egregious considering its’ also held up with string connecting multiple pieces of wood, and the stone structure is hollow. It’s still a little too convenient, though.

(after Arlo says “All right you cluckers!) Pixar basically snuck “All right you f*ckers” into this movie.

Still more humorous than any of the jokes you make in this video.

How are these chickens not dead yet if Arlo can’t successfully feed them?

Gee, maybe his parents are doing it for him. There, that wasn’t so hard.

See, earning your mark clearly references coming of age and reaching independence. His parents obviously fed the chickens themselves while the kids grew up, but one day, they knew Arlo would have to own the responsibility himself. That’s why his parents are disappointed, not because they don’t have an extra hour to do the job themselves.

(after Henry says “I’ve got an idea”) Genuinely surprised a light bulb didn’t appear above his head just before he said this. 

You’re sinning the movie for NOT doing something stupid and completely out of place? What is even happening right now?

(after Henry wakes up Arlo in the middle of the night) And no one else in the room within the same earshot as Arlo hears that.

Ugh, we’re not even 3 minutes into this video, guys. This is my nightmare.

Yes, they’re in the same room, but Henry isn’t as close to them. He’s speaking directly at Arlo with his body wrapped around him. Why do I even have to point this out for you?

Besides, we don’t even know that the kids didn’t hear him as well but did what any other teenager would do and just fall back asleep because it’s the middle of the night and he’s not talking to them.

Stomping around these lightning bugs doesn’t make them move, but lightly waving a tail over them makes them light up and fly away. Is Henry’s tail magic?

In the same scene, THE SAME SCENE, we see Henry blowing air into the firefly on Arlo’s nose, showing how AIR is what makes them light up. So of course his tail spreading over the grass is going to blow enough air to ignite all of the bugs it passes over.

But no, let’s sin the movie (again) because we weren’t paying attention. I’m really starting to wonder if they even watched it at all, despite the video evidence.

I’ve seen the Lion King. This will not end well.

You’re just recognizing a trope that hasn’t even happened yet. Again, you should change “Movie Sin Counter” to “Pointless Movie Interruption Counter.”

With this single jump, yeah, he sets off a pretty-looking firefly event, but…he also killed hundreds of other unsuspecting fireflies who did NOT expect him to jump and land on them…right? RIGHT?!

Wrong. They’re bugs, which means they’re fast and see danger coming much faster than other creatures, as we see earlier in the scene when one lands on Arlo. It’s reasonable to assume they flew away as soon as Henry came anywhere near them.

Also, he’s big but not that big. There’s no way “hundreds of fireflies” were all crammed in the spaces where his feet touched the ground.

(after Henry says they don’t have enough food for winter) But…all you keep here is corn. Is corn the ONLY food you planned to eat all winter?! Do you not have other storehouses with OTHER foods that collectively might mostly cover the shortfall of this one corn storehouse?! How can you have farms and storehouses like this but NOT have any g***mn farming sense?! Are you destined to go extinct regardless of the circumstances?!

Seriously, guys, I don’t even know what to say to this. It’s so blatantly stupid, I’m worried that a little of the nonsense is creeping into my fingers as I type.

Jeremy (I’m just going to call you Jeremy for a second), we’ve spent the entire movie thus far watching how the family runs…a corn farm. So yes, Jeremy, they eat a lot of corn. Which means that they go through that storehouse routinely and have to fill it up routinely. So when a critter keeps stealing some here and there, it makes a big difference in their ability to feed themselves and their livestock.

Why don’t they have other storehouses? Well, what would they put in them, Jeremy? It’s obviously taking their full efforts to harvest this farm, and sure, we know that the family eats other foods they may grow like berries (since Arlo knows to eat them out in the wild), but it’s not like they have time to reap entire forests outside their land.

Movie expects me to believe adorable dinosaurs are capable of this kind of trap-building—and critical thinking!!—despite being, you know, dinosaurs.

 A second ago, you complained they didn’t have enough farming sense. Now they’re too smart? Which was already something you complained about?

And yes, the movie expects you to believe this because they’re SHOWING you how the dinosaurs are making the traps, and the movie up until this point has done nothing but illustrate the normal life and capabilities of these dinosaurs and how they cultivate their living. So you completely missed the point, despite being, you know, a video devoted to critiquing the point.

Henry knows that Arlo struggles to feed the chickens, yet he thinks Arlo is capable of killing.

Yes, because that is the character arc for Henry. He continually pushes Arlo in new ways so that he’ll overcome his fears. So by having him confront a critter who is threatening their livelihood, Henry is expecting Arlo to rise to the occasion. This is a perfectly normal teaching technique: when you can’t overcome an obstacle, do something else that may even be a little bit harder in order to power through your perceived limitations.

Shouldn’t he be hiding? Arlo was instructed to catch and kill the critter, not keep it from showing up. That’s why they built that trap! See? I told you he couldn’t be trusted with this. 

Of course, because Arlo has already proven that he’s not very good at much of anything right now. So yeah, he’s doing a bad job. Is this surprising enough to be a knock against the movie when it actually fits the character? He is, after all, probably more focused on scaring creatures away so he doesn’t have to kill them.

Jump scare? What are you doing here? 

Yeah, movies have jump scares. Complaining about such a standard movie trope is like getting bent out of shape because a movie has establishing shots or narration.

Arlo cuts the tree-rope, but then the kid climbs out one of the holes in the net that he TOTALLY should have been able to climb out of earlier. 

I’ll admit that if you only watch the scene once, this might seem like a goof. But the net is clearly being held taut by both the rocks and the rope connected to the tree. By cutting the tree, the net is no longer tight around the kid’s body, so he can just slip out of it. This is emphasized even further by how the kid can’t breathe because of how tight the ropes are.

In other words, you’re bad at this, Jeremy.

(after Henry tells Arlo that if he gets lost, he has to follow the river)

Well, that sounds like some conveniently-prescient bulls*t that will come in handy later. 

Oh, you mean the driving narrative that is established early on because that’s how Arlo travels for the rest of the film? How dare they actually write this movie so it makes sense!

But no, setting things up so they pay off later is apparently a “sin,” now.

Arlo literally trips over the ONLY rock in the pathway. F*ckin’ Arlo.

Yeah, because if there were more rocks, he’d be paying attention to where he walks, but the path is clear and he’s in a hurry, so he doesn’t notice what he’s not looking for.

(three notes come on that sound like “Go the Distance” from Disney’s Hercules)

Yes, I saw Disney’s Hercules too!

You’re literally just cherrypicking a short arrangement from a larger score that doesn’t sound at all like “Go the Distance.” I’d agree with the eye-rolling nature of this if the scene itself had anything to do with Hercules, but it doesn’t in the slightest.

Yes, it’s a hurricane, but…this river behaves as though the freaking Hoover Dam exploded up river. Why? Cause we need to Mufasa Arlo’s dad, of course. 

Earlier, you complained that this time period is “too similar” to a world where the meteor had hit. Now you’re annoyed that there’s a powerful storm strong enough to cause floods…you know, which happens in real life, anyway.

Essentially, you’re annoyed that the writers wrote a plot point about Arlo’s dad dying, and you were prepared to call it a contrivance no matter how they wrote the scene. In other words, the standards you set for movies don’t make any sense, similar to the videos you make.

Well, hello Lion KingI enjoyed you before, but did NOT expect to see you in dinosaur form—and from the same freaking studio!!

Pixar Animation Studios didn’t make The Lion King you walnut.

Also, the only similarity between these two movies for this scene is that Arlo’s dad falls off a cliff. There’s no stampede, no brotherly betrayal, or child being manipulated into his father’s death. It’s taking place in a river, accidentally, as a force of nature.

(Arlo looks at the “marks” on the silo)

“I wish I had that” cliché.

Characters yearning for something isn’t a cliché, it’s a form of good character development. The writers have to establish what Arlo wants so that we can get a clear understanding of his motivations. It’s not some vain desire Arlo has because it’s pleasing to his eye. He wants to make a mark in order to prove himself to his family.

But no, let’s laugh at a character for having a moment after his father dies.

What was this kid doing with his eaten corn cobs BEFORE Arlo opened this hole up 30 seconds ago, eh?! How fortunate for the plot that he sees a new hole, and instead of being scared like a feral human child, he decides it’s an upgrade to where he’s been tossing his food waste! 

This sequence of events makes perfect sense, for reasons you even point out. Arlo removes the rock and throws a cob in, getting the kid’s attention. Once he sees the hole (which he doesn’t know leads to someone because there aren’t usually holes when he’s in the silo), he throws his food out so he can clear space to eat more food.

8 minutes to go…I don’t think I can keep this up without getting extra salty, so prepare yourself.

(after Arlo tells the kid that his dad would still be alive if it wasn’t for him)

That’s true, but it’s also a clear case of transference. 

“Look, he has a personality and character traits! SIN.”

(Arlo and the kid fall in the river)

Arlo ends up in the raging river waters mostly because he’s stupid and has no spatial awareness, though the movie will try to blame it on the feral man-child.

The movie isn’t blaming anyone for anything, because it’s a movie. Arlo certainly blames the kid for what has happened, mostly because the kid is the reason ANY OF THIS IS HAPPENING.

Well, clearly he’s gonna get knocked out by a rock any second…now.

Yeah. Because he’s in a river full of rocks. When will the plot holes..er…rocks end? See, I can make dumb jokes, too!

Also, he doesn’t drown after this. Instead, he’s floated to the surface to find air and other life-giving bulls*it rather easily and conveniently.

True, but it would be a pretty boring movie if Arlo just died right then and there. This might be reaching, a little, but it’s also interesting how Arlo survives at this point because he simply lets the river take him, rather than just fighting it. But over the course of the movie, he learns to fight through nature in order to return home.

It was very considerate of the river to place Arlo in this shallow pool with his head kept above the water on a rock.

He’d obviously stop drifting once being floated into a shallow pool…full of rocks.

I see that he has…bruises? Maybe it’s just dirt. Who knows? But no cuts or gashes or open wounds? It’s one thing for him to survive, but another thing to survive mostly unscathed. 

He’s literally covered in dark bruises. How is that “unscathed?” And of course they didn’t place open gashes on his body. If he had brushed up against something sharp and been carried like that, he’d be dead from bleeding out. Your expectations for a kid’s movie are pretty deadly, even for an edgy one like this.

(after Arlo calls after his mom)

Ha ha ha ha, protagonist is really stupid. 

Really? You’re calling a child who’s been separated from his last living parent stupid for still trying to see if she can hear him and help him? What’s the matter with you?

(after Arlo falls off a rock)

That’s what you get for not having hands! 

No, seriously, what’s the matter with you?

(Arlo on top of a rock, looking at the mountains)

Jeep…it’s what’s for dinner. 

Why…why are you doing this to us? You have to know that people watch your videos expecting something interesting and maybe a little intelligent, even if they like the movie. Why…why would you make pointless, horrendous jokes and add it to a fake “sin” counter under the guise that you’re some sort of critical thinker?

Also,

What ALSO? You literally didn’t say anything in the last sin. You just made a stupid joke that had nothing to do with the movie.

Also, he’s going to have to go DOWN at an incline at least as steep as the one he climbed up, right? He’s like on top of the world here, he’s go nowhere to go but down!

First of all, nice typo. Second of all, you’ve apparently never hiked before if you don’t understand that climbing up things, even if they’re steep, means that you can reasonably climb down, as nothing we saw from his climb suggests he can’t just hop down the rocks as long as he’s being careful. But hey, let’s reference Jeep commercials!

(Arlo asks himself while staring out, “Where’s home?”)

Um…upriver, dip-s*it.

Yes, he knows that you insufferable neckbeard. The point is that even though he’s looking past the river, he can’t even see Clawtooth mountain, so he’s completely lost and has no idea how far home is since he can’t see it from the top of the mountain.

Go ahead, keep making jokes like you’re watching this movie while spitting into a dip cup with some Bud Ice in your lap.

Yep, he somehow climbed from there to here. I know…right?!

Yeah, we saw him. Climb. A lot. Is the sin a sin because it happened, or because you just want to pause and talk to us because you’re lonely?

(quick shot of a caterpillar)

Heimlich?

It’s a sin now for Pixar to show animals that have appeared in other movies? How is that a complaint, rather than a painfully annoying observation someone makes while watching this movie? And this caterpillar doesn’t even look like Heimlich anyway. Like at all.

(Arlo eats some berries)

DON’T EVER DO THIS! Many random forest berries are poisonous! This movie is a terrible role model!!!

Yes, and part of surviving in the wild is eating the right berries, which Arlo does. It’s an animated movie, not a Boy Scouts tutorial.

Seriously, every bone in Arlo’s body is broken at this point. Right?

Arlo gets hurt a lot in this movie, but he’s not a mammal. He’s a sturdier, and quite large, reptile. And a lot of his injuries are sustained over the course of the film, like when his leg gets hurt. So the movie actually does a great job of making his injuries feel real without crippling him to the point where he’s always just limping around.

Besides, the shot you’re referencing only shows Arlo falling back a few feet. It’s not even one of the more punishing moments of the film.

(Arlo’s leg is stuck under a rock)

It looks like we have a 127 Hours situation on our hands…well, more like our leg.

“Hey, this one thing from this movie looks a little similar from this other movie! Look how smart we are for pointing this out! JOKES!”

(shot of the moon)

Bruce Almighty moon in the house, ya’ll!

What…what is the matter with you, Jeremy? You used to be so talented. Biting. Subtle. Respectable. Now, you’re pointing out references to the moon between two movies because…hey, it’s uh, the moon! Remember that from that movie?! DING!

Have I mentioned how good the animation is in the film? Because the story is terrible.

Well, so far in this film, you haven’t said much about the story at all. You’ve sinned the movie for every other thing imaginable, like a chord arrangement, the moon being in the sky, and Arlo climbing up and down things sometimes. But hey, maybe you’ll get to actual criticisms later in the…well, never mind.

What makes this lizard food and not another creature they can talk to? I’m not sure who I should feel bad for here.

The movie has been establishing since the first scene with the chickens that not all creatures in this world are as intelligent and evolved as the dinosaurs. It’s kind of the plot of the movie, which you just called out for being “terrible,” despite the fact that you’re clearly not even following it.

Spot isn’t great at killing animals before bringing them to Arlo for consumption. My modern house cat at least has the common courtesy to kill a mouse before bringing it to me.

Well, guess what, and don’t sit down because you’re just going to stand up when I tell you this…Spot…is not your stupid cat!

In fact, Spot is different from a cat entirely because his instinct is to bring a live animal to Arlo so they can kill and eat the animal together. A lot of animals, like birds do this, but they’re not Jeremy’s stupid cat, so DING!

Movie’s Timon & Pumba stand-in predictably offers the far-from-home lost protagonist bugs as food.

Spot is a stand-in for wildlife foster parents? Because he’s actually Arlo’s pet human, as well as a companion who provides food for him on a dangerous adventure. The circumstances, when you actually analyze them, are completely different from The Lion King. But I know how important you feel in these videos when you make it clear you’ve watched another movie before.

I’m glad Neander-kid figured out Arlo is an herbivore, but still…isn’t there, like, a 60% chance these berries are poisonous? Or was I just over-warned as a child?!

You already sinned the movie for the berries thing, so why are you bothering to bring it up again? Yes, Jeremy, you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to surviving in the woods, apparently. We already got that.

If Spot got the berries from this spot before, how was he able to get there without the Arlo bridge?

The way Spot got to the berries was by following their scent, and he had to climb up trees in a different way so that Arlo could follow him. It was more about getting Arlo across than him repeating his steps.

Spot is a distant relative of Darla Sherman.

So Darla Sherman, for all of you non-Finding Nemo fans, is the braces-wearing niece of the dentist at P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. She also looks nothing like Spot, aside from also being a computer animated character.

And if this is the case, why bring it up now, half an hour after we’ve been introduced to Spot? Oh, because clearly we need to break things up with a pointless reference.

Arlo survives this fall, which is categorically—oh, who f*cking cares?!?!

Weird, that’s my same experience with this entire video.

Also, Arlo survives the fall (that you cut out the end part of) because the tree branches break his fall, and he’s a big enough creature for that not to kill him.

If you took your young child to this movie, I bet you regret it.

Not unless you have pretty awesome kids, like a lot of the ones who don’t care how scary Jurassic World is because look! Dinosaurs!

So are humans in this version of history dogs? One could argue that the panting is just heavy breathing because of the wrestling match with the snake, but he’s also sitting like a dog, and his name is f*cking Spot! 

It’s almost like Pixar made him this way on purpose.

(after the Pet Collector explains that Dreamcrusher protects him from unrealistic goals)

So does that mean they’re married?

 Insert laugh track here

Both Arlo and Spot must have Lance Armstrong steroid-level lung capacity to make these gopher creatures pop out of the ground.

WHAT?! HOW DARE THEY?!

(when the gophers approach Arlo)

The Good Dinosaur: The Trouble With Tribbles.

Jeremy. I’ve never had to do this before like this but…please stop talking.

(after Spot shows Arlo how to swim)

Aw, he taught him how to human-paddle.

“Look, characters interacting and teaching things to each other! DING! REFERENCE YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT! UNRELATED JOKE!”

These two obviously eat some shady sh*t, but fortunately for them, the side effects are hilarious hallucinations.

Wait, let me beat you to it: “What is this, Requiem for a Dream? Huh? Huh?”

Laugh track

Maybe his parents were wolves. That’s the only logical explanation for his continued non-ape like behavior.

Or, and don’t read this too fast, his family studied and mirrored wolf-like behavior in order to survive because that’s what humans have done for countless years. After all, wolves hunt in packs, follow scents to get food, and howl together to signify their bonds. And years of observing these creatures would probably convince some humans to follow their lead.

But based on his ability to quickly and quietly move, maybe his parents were cats…or hobbits.

First of all, no one cares about your cat, Jeremy. Second, this kid is way faster (and quieter) than a hobbit. That reference makes no sense on multiple levels.

Also, you sped up the video to make it seem like Spot moved farther away really quickly, but if you watch the movie, it’s a pretty reasonable amount of time after Arlo turns his head away based on how quick we’ve seen Spot move so far.

Because it’s a movie, a storm can literally roll into the area in, like, three seconds.

Wow, now you don’t even seem to understand how storms work. I bet Florida would blow your mind.

So, are the Pterodactyls cult members, or are they just religious? Who is Pixar trying to warn me to avoid?

Neither. They’re simply pointing out that unhinged zeal is a bad thing, and in a way that can ring true for a lot of cults and some religions. They’re not picking sides, because this isn’t that kind of movie, but they are showing kids the dangers of justifying bad actions with deity worship.

In other words, this is an awesome movie.

(after a pterodactyl eats a small creature)

Damn, Disney HATES Ice Age.

Pixar made this movie, not Disney. They just signed the checks.

Also, what? Pretty sure when you’re the top animation studio around, you’re not making creative decisions based on what the competition is or isn’t doing. Especially not the makers of Ice Age.

(after the same pterodactyl gulps the creature down)

Also…that’s horrific.

True. And for some people, it’s disturbing, too. And hilarious.

Annnd how did it take me this long to see the Lion King hyena connection to these three pterodactyls?!

Right, because in The Lion King, Simba has to protect a human from three creatures less powerful than him who worship storms and seem kind of OK when you first meet them. Totally the same.

Maybe it took you a while to see the “connection” because you stopped trying to look for one that isn’t there.

Just like Jurassic Park, sudden T-Rex saves the day! 

Only in this movie, a T-Rex saves the day for reasons that makes sense! Not that I have anything against Jurassic Park.

And of course the biggest difference is that Arlo sees the T-Rexes from afar and seeks their help because he thinks they’re his species at a distance, when in Jurassic Park, the T-Rex somehow just shows up inside a building.

The carnivorous T. Rexes are nice to the smaller, defenseless, and potentially delicious creatures because, I guess, John Lasseter was tired of Stephen Spielberg’s vilification of the T. Rex.

So now it’s a sin to NOT be like Jurassic Park? Jeremy, make up your ridiculous, cat-obsessed mind.

And yes, the T-Rexes care after creatures as carnivores in the same way we’ve seen the large Apatosaurus take care of other creatures. It’s a persistent theme of the movie, and it makes sense because these animals are smart enough after years of evolution to realize that there’s more to life than eating. They have plenty to keep their stomachs full, so they can be responsible for an entire herd and be friendly with other creatures because they don’t need to eat them.

And John Lasseter didn’t direct this movie. Peter Sohn did.

OK, so we’re well into this Snarcasm, and I think we can all agree that enough is enough (kudos for making it this far, of course).

The rest of this video is about as nonsensical and unfunny as what we’ve covered thus far, with a lot of attention paid to thin similarities The Good Dinosaur has with other movies, which Jeremy just can’t seem to wrap his head around. As if this is the first time he’s ever seen a movie that references other movies, even though movies do that all the time and get away with it when the circumstances are fairly different so they’re still unique.

But hey, anything for a cheap joke.

Here’s one last “sin” from the end of the video:

Arlo got lost and manages to make it back home, all while not really accomplishing anything, so he gets to finally make his mark…whatever that means.

I had to skip over this part of the video, but the point is that Arlo survived the river twice, when his father was lost after one accident and couldn’t make it back. Not only did Arlo return home (which his family desperately needed to happen because it’s established they need all the help they can get to survive), but he also did so by overcoming his biggest problem. Fear.

No one needed to tell him that he earned his mark. Arlo knew it once he arrived home, because nature itself couldn’t stop him from helping his family and fulfilling his duty. He became a man, and that’s his mark.

To be clear, I don’t really care that the Cinemasins crew has little love for The Good Dinosaur. Obviously, the film just didn’t work for them, and having a good time at the movies is the point, right?

My only issue is that this “sin” video does nothing to highlight what’s actually good or bad in this movie, so millions of people who trust Cinemasins are walking away from this 12 minute jokefest thinking it’s a terrible movie, when many of them may have probably loved it. It’s irresponsible to paint a movie in an over-the-top, negative light simply because that’s the name of your channel, and you really only have 10 sins that are strong enough to make a video for.

In other words, Cinemasins is clickbait. And they have been for a while, it seems.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Snarcasm: The ‘Doctor Strange’ Teaser Is an Insult to Humanity

doctor strange trailer

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read.

Hating everything in sight for no good reason is just the Internet thing to do these days, and that point is not lost on Megan Purdy, editor-in-chief of Women Write About Comics.

Upon the release of Marvel’s first teaser for Doctor Strange, Megan and her band of professional YouTube commenters decided to get together with their favorite thesaurus and write about how much it sucks.

Tagged under RaceRacism, and several other SEO boosts, Megan writes:

That Dr. Strange Trailer Sure Is Awful

Gosh darn it! It’s just the most awful thing, and Megan’s roundtable (don’t worry, that’s tagged, too) is here to spell out why.

The Dr. Strange trailer. So… it’s here.

Yikes. AWKward.

We hated it.

WHAT?! The headline was accurate?! Let’s begin with Megan talking.

This seems like a trailer for four movies in one: The Matrix, Inception, Eat Pray Love and a watery wuxia ripoff for white America.

Wow, a brief teaser is vague enough to have similar imagery to a few movies. The nerve. Also, where does the Eat Pray Love movie fit in? What, because he travels? Is that how low your bar is?

doctor strange trailer
It’s basically plagiarism.

Interesting that your “water wuxia ripoff for white America” couldn’t just be summarized with an actual movie to get your point across, by the way. I mean it’s a thesaurus, not a existing knowledge of actual films.

It’s visually confused and so derivative that it makes no argument for its own existence.

Yeah, that teaser is such a tease. I mean what other movies are about a doctor who travels the world in search of a cure for his broken hands, only to stumble across a mystical force that transcends dimensions? Too many to count! Remember when Neo’s soul got punched out by Tilda Swinton in Matrix ReCumberbatched?

It relies entirely on exoticism and flash

Yeah, whatever happened to uninteresting and boring comic book movies?

here is a proud white man brought low, walking into the East to meet his destiny, and inevitably, become not just any old magician, but the Sorcerer Supreme.

It’s almost as if they’re making a movie based on an existing comic book. But Megan would know that if she wrote for Women Write…About Comics.

And is Doctor Strange a proud white man? Well, first of all, his value as a character has nothing to do with his skin color, so that’s irrelevant. Is he proud? Sure, which is what makes his forced humility an interesting point of the movie. Making him perfect and politically correct would be like having Anakin Skywalker not become Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.

doctor strange trailer
Or worse.

He finds greatness by searching outside of himself, presumably. But why is this a bad thing? And how does this relate to that dreaded “exoticism and flash” you were bemoaning a sentence ago?

First Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan Noonien Singh — not just any old nemesis of Captain Kirk, but an Asian warlord who ruled a future territory spreading from South East Asia to the Middle East — and now he’s a white doctor learning magic in Tibet.

“First, he played a white character. Then he played another white character. Can you believe it?”

Seriously, I have no idea what Megan is trying to say here. Khan was never Asian, just a perfectly bred human played by a white actor who ruled much of Asia and the Middle East. And that’s not even how he’s presented when Cumberbatch plays him in Into Darkness. And why is this even being discussed, anyway?

You have a problem with white people learning superpowers from people who aren’t white? That’s too specific of a complaint, even for Megan Purdy..

The Ancient One, a Tibetan mystic and sorcerer played by fellow white Brit Tilda Swinton, is his Morpheus, who we meet in a scene that’s straight ripped from The Matrix.

Yeah, straight from The Matrix. Because they were in a room, and there were some vaguely Asian aesthetics. And…that’s about it. Oh, wait! Neo groveled “Teach me!” after being shown incredible mystical powers outside the realm of his understanding!

What? Oh, that didn’t happen at all. He just fought Morpheus in a computer simulation. But let’s not bring up the fact that over half of The Matrix pays homage to dozens of movies. You know, because that’s what lots of great movies do.

doctor strange trailer
Go on, then.

What do I know about this film, based on this trailer?

That you weren’t really paying attention because you were triggered from the first frame?

It’s, well, pretty damn racist,

It’s not a little racist. It’s not even just racist. It’s pretty damn racist. Impressive for a two minute teaser.

and it doesn’t seem to have a clear purpose or audience in mind.

No audience! Not even Doctor Strange fans, Marvel fans, comic book fans, movie fans, Benedict Cumberbatch fans, Tilda Swinton fans, film buffs, or (breath) people who don’t read anything on Women Write About Comics because clearly that’s a website where they don’t bother to also like comics. Well, the Doctor Strange ones at least.

I mean seriously, how are you the editor-in-chief of a website about comics, and you can’t even judge from a comic book movie teaser WHY said movie exists?

Why is there a Dr. Strange movie?

Because everyone is out to hurt you.

Because Marvel could make one?

Uh, yeah. And that’s a good reason. Marvel has gotten to the point where they’ve had so much success with niche comic book movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, that they can now present the Doctor Strange story in a way deserving of the character based on trust from the bankrollers.

But according to Megan, Marvel simply said, “Eh screw it. We can do this thing, so let’s do this thing.” Because that’s how Marvel makes multi-million dollar decisions.

Why would they do this after all the criticism from their fans?

Yeah, remember when all the fans criticized Marvel for making good movies based on their favorite comics they never thought they’d get to see on the big screen?

Well. Because they don’t care.

Hmmm…well, that’s the kindergarten reaction to the question you presented. The first-grade answer is, “Because Marvel is gross!”

doctor strange trailer

Next, we have Ray Sonne commenting on this winning roundtable.

Okay, putting aside how horrifyingly offensive this trailer is because I’m not the best person to discuss it, what the hell?

Easy, Ray, it’s a teaser trailer. It’s just a bunch of moving pictures that aren’t real and you’re going to be fine.

A trailer, as an effective marketing tool, is supposed to give the audience a basic idea of the movie’s story and characters without spoiling any surprises.

Yeah. Did you, uh, see this teaser? Did you…did you watch it, Ray?

But when you watch this trailer, you’re basically receiving a bunch of scattered details that make zero damn sense.

Look, I can sort of see how someone completely unfamiliar with Doctor Strange might be a little confused by specific moments in this teaser. But how is someone who writes for Women Write About Comics not understanding what happens in a Doctor Strange teaser that aligns almost exactly with the origin story for this character?

doctor strange trailer

Seriously, this teaser was not that complicated. Benedict Cumberbatch plays a skilled doctor in search of something greater, and he stumbles upon something much, much greater than he could have ever predicted. That’s plenty to tease the audience with, especially for fans who can fill in the blanks.

So Benedict Cumberbatch is a doctor who did good doctor things?

WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE?

But then something bad happens to him and, oh no, he has bruise makeup on his face?

The most humorous thing about this entire piece is that there are plenty of valid criticisms of this teaser, like the “I don’t know if I like this” accent Cumberbatch has. But Ray is so far removed from reality right now, she’s criticizing a character with bruise makeup as if that’s the biggest cinematic insult since “I hate sand. It gets everywhere.”

So he goes to… some undefined part of Asia, which other people need to tell me is Tibet? Why does he do this? I suppose I would have some idea if I had an inkling of this guy’s personality or background, but alas.

“Trailers shouldn’t spoil the story! Now someone tell the people who made this trailer to give us tons of information on this character’s personality and then spell out the whole plot.”

This trailer didn’t need to give us all of the details. We can see glimpses into who Stephen Strange is, based on the tragedy that begins the teaser, his journey to overcoming these problems, and then a strong desire to learn the art of mysticism. You can’t even complain that these are only discernible from knowing the comic because most of these tidbits are delivered via narration.

He meets Tilda Swinton, who is living in Tibet and knows “Tibetan” magic because… what?

Please stop talking until you understand that the Ancient One uses sorcery, not “Tibetan magic.”

And then…Cumberbatch learns magic and shit? And apparently he has potential, but why does he want to explore his potential in corny magic instead of, like, dog-training?

Seriously, stop.

If you were expecting some big bad villain who hammers home the theme and the main source of conflict, haha joke’s on you.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if Ray outright said that she’s never seen a trailer. Or a movie.

Ray goes on to complain that this teaser recycles “last year’s blockbusters,” clearly admitting she has no idea when Matrix or Inception were released, and then Angel Cruz takes the stage.

This trailer is less infuriating than it is a lazy, inconsiderate piece of cinema being offered to people who are much smarter than Marvel gives them credit for.

Burn it! Burn it alive before it kills the smart people like us!

 It’s 2016, and we are still being fed orientalist stereotypes that are given free rein to continue damaging people with Asian heritage–

…You…you do realize that saying “oriental” is extremely offensive, right? Like you have to know that because you’re the Earth Politics Warrior of Cinema, Angel Cruz, right?

And yes, she’s actually claiming that this two minute teaser featuring a white woman who tells a white man about magic is damaging to Asian heritage…for all of the wrong reasons.

doctor strange trailer

I can understand complaints about Marvel whitewashing the Ancient One just to avoid these stereotypes that are obviously lost on Angel Cruz. But these commenters aren’t even complaining at this point because nothing they’re saying even connects with the teaser they’re criticizing, as evidenced by the fact that they keep calling it a “trailer.”

for what? Reaffirmation that white narratives will always be more valued?

You’re the only person saying that, but hey, if Nancy Grace can get away with it, so can you.

A reminder that Hollywood still believes that Asian stories have no validity without a white person at the center, controlling and living that narrative better than any Asian person ever could?

Except that Doctor Strange is not an “Asian story.” It’s about an American who goes to a fictionalized place in Asia to become a powerful sorcerer. He has always been the central figure of this story and that hasn’t changed. In fact, there have been Sorcerer Supremes in countries all over the world, and it just happens that the Ancient One resides in the Himalayas.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of pure, unbridled outrage?

It’s exhausting, yes, to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton slinking into roles that so clearly appropriating Chinese, Tibetan, and South Asian cultures. Their acting abilities aren’t in question here, just their acceptance that they have the right to tell these stories instead of Asian actors.

I’m not even sure what else to say at this point. Angel clearly has no idea what she’s talking about or what Doctor Strange truly is as a comic. Now, we can debate, as I mentioned earlier, whether it was right or wrong for Marvel to sidestep the offensive Asian stereotypes that were present in the original comics with the Ancient One by casting an androgynous actor.

I see why they did it (the “wise” minority stereotype comes to mind), but it’s still cringeworthy. But is it the defining mistake of Hollywood? Not even close thanks to The Last Airbender.

It’s likewise exhausting to see all the nods to Asian art and motifs set in the background against white faces.

I’m 100% positive Angel would lose her mind if she walked inside a Panda Express.

She continues this tirade, citing that Marvel doesn’t care about her at all (oh, they’re so mean!) until Laura shows up to keep this all going.

I’m pretty convinced at this point that any Cumberbatch role is just Sherlock in a nicotine-haze trying to solve some nefarious crime, because it’s the only explanation for a Cumberbatch Strange.

Your inability to understand how actors can act in two separate roles because they’re good at acting says way more about you.

A Victorian England setting would also explain the over-the-top mystic orientalism, because there’s no way that’s a reasonable thing to propose in 2016 after getting slammed with criticism for the usage and treatment of The Mandarin, Black Sky, the Hand, and Iron Fist.

I’m guessing they were only “slammed” with criticism by readers of Women Write About Comics. All six of them.

And yet, here we are, and people are arguing on Twitter

NOOOOO, not Twitter! Not the last bastion of civil discussion and thoughtful conversations!

about how Strange needs to be white, but that the casting of The Ancient One is a problem, totally missing the point that a white person out-Asianing Asians is an issue no matter what character we’re talking about.

Is Stephen Strange out-Asianing Asians in this teaser? Nope, just doing the exact opposite, which is not doing that. Logic is a funny thing. Not haha funny in this case.

OK, but what does Desiree have to say in order to bring this whole thing home?

 I understood the trailer because I know Dr. Strange’s origins, and backstory.

Gird your loins everyone. They’re finishing this article with someone who claims to know what they’re talking about on a website about comics…presumably.

 I’ve written about them, and since then, Dr. Strange, as a movie, has only seemed to have gotten worse and worse.

Desiree links to another article worthy of Snarcasm, in which she complains that Marvel cast a white guy to play a white superhero from a comic book. She’s basically the inverse of those people who complained about Human Torch being played by Michael B. Jordan, as well as having a black stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.

doctor strange trailer
Or this guy.

It’s a bunch of modge-podged East and South Asian cultural references pieced together to look magical and exotic without any Asian people shown.

These “cultural references” without any Asian people shown include a guy walking through a village in the Middle East with natives all around him, establishing shots of exotic locations with no people in them by design, Chiwetel Eijofor walking through an Asian city with Asians all around him, Benedict Cumberbatch walking through another Middle Eastern location with Middle Easterners all around him, Tilda Swinton standing in a temple, an unrecognizable character using magic in a temple, more unrecognizable characters in an unrecognizable location, and…do I need to go on?

Each character in the trailer has adopted some bastardized form of East and South Asian cultural style yet none of them are Asian. Another movie that’s portraying an exotic, vaguely Asian culture entirely through the lens of white people.

And Chiwetel Eijofor.

Are there enough Asians in Doctor Strange? Well, how is anyone supposed to know based on a teaser marketed to American audiences?

Strange, in the comics, is an arrogant, skilled surgeon who loses the ability to use his hands and basically falls off the wagon.

And by “falls off the wagon,” you must mean “searches the world in search of a cure.”

 Strange then is seemingly “chosen” to be a candidate for Sorcerer Supreme because…reasons? Really, it was because it was the 70’s and white guys could do anything!

Or because you didn’t read the comics (since the first comic came out in 1963, not the 70s). Strange was an idealist, though arrogant. He was chosen because Baron Mordo (his rival) was corrupted by power, and Strange had proven to be a more selfless person who would use the authority of Sorcerer Supreme to protect, not to put his power over others.

That doesn’t make this an inoffensive story, obviously, but it was, in fact, the 60s. But to suggest that it was this simplistic is a straw man.

Yay, white male power fantasies!

Yay, I’m nearly done with this Snarcasm!

Seriously, we’re almost there, folks.

So Strange goes to Tibet and learns humility and magic and boom! Excels at magic so much he gains the title of Sorcerer Supreme.

No, Strange sacrifices his quest to heal his hands in order to serve the greater good, earning him the title. He’s not even that much better than everyone else at first, as Baron Mordo is more experienced and a true threat later on. His real skill lies in ingenuity and heart and please let this end soon.

That story is now so dated it’s laughable.

True. Which is why they’re probably updating the story.

Can anyone truly provide me with an argument that proves Stephen Strange needs to be white?

Wow, we’re actually going there. Well, first of all—

Other than, “that’s how it was in the comic.”

OK, so can I name a reason beside the main one that’s the most convincing? Hmmm, well yeah, I still can.

Doctor Strange has a very particular look and social class that affects his character. Shifting his appearance for the sake of it would alter his backstory, his ties to Western culture, and what makes his motivations work as a character. It would be like making Luke Cage a white guy.

doctor strange trailer
Or played by Carlton.

Strange’s embellished appearance, and even his whiteness, lends to his arrogance gifted from the epitome of privilege. He has to humble himself in order to find meaning outside of what he could achieve as a skilled surgeon in New York. Altering his appearance would just come across as forced and doing more harm than supposed good, because making him Asian would mean rewriting a significant portion of who he is and what has gotten him to this place.

In other words, writing a character is very complicated. Rewriting a character without losing much of what makes him who he is in the first place can be even more challenging. These things do matter, and Marvel is right to preserve essential aspects of this character moving forward.

Spider-man once had eight arms in the comics. Tony doesn’t drink (anymore) in the comics. Bucky was a child when he was teammates with Steve. Sam was originally a gang member. Don’t tell me Dr. Strange and Iron Fist have to be white because of comics canon when the movies change things all the time.

The difference is that none of these niche examples you provide are woven into what makes the character iconic. Spider-Man isn’t known for having eight arms. Tony is known for having a drinking problem. It’s one thing to make updates to the source material, and it’s another to reinvent the character in order to suit an unrelated agenda. Didn’t we just go through this with Synder’s nonsensical take on Superman?

I’m not arguing that the Doctor Strange story couldn’t use some major tweaks in order for audiences to find it relevant and inoffensive. But we haven’t gotten any real indication from just one teaser (as all of these “writers” admit) what this movie is really going to be about and how these characters will be presented.

So, there you have it. The Doctor Strange trailer is bad, bad, and also bad. Is it possible to find something good in the movie itself? Is it even worth trying? 

sigh

Yes, Megan. It’s worth trying to find good in something related to comics. You know, your blog’s namesake. If you have to ask whether or not it’s worthwhile being optimistic about movies, then maybe they just aren’t for you.

doctor strange trailer


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Snarcasm: Let’s Complain about the ‘Rogue One’ Teaser Tailer

rogue one teaser

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read

The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped today, and I’ll be painfully honest. I fell in love almost immediately. So for obvious reasons, I have a lot of thoughts (some positive and some negative) that I’ll get into on a later date. For now, I’ll just say that I’m less worried about the prospects of getting a new Star Wars movie every year.

Before we get to the point of this Snarcasm, let’s watch (or rewatch) the Rogue One teaser and get back up to hyperspeed:

Normally on this column, I take on writers who write silly things on the Internet. This week, I’m turning my attention to the many “fans” out there trying their darnedest to complain about the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teaser for the impossibly worst reasons.

There are too many to count, so hopefully I cover the basics that you’re bound to see over the next year. Let’s begin with Rob’s clear understanding of the box office.

Rob: This movie and all others made after Episode III should be called “Girl Power.” Disney, you are trying to sell more tickets to women. Don’t expect men to go see it.

Oh, the horror. Disney is making movies that don’t specifically cater to one gender anymore. What will they think of next in their ongoing conquest to hurt your feelings?

Except, wow, men sure showed up for The Force Awakens, didn’t they? You know, the movie with the highest domestic box office of all time, which happens to have a female protagonist?

Good thing Disney listens to the wise words of “Rob,” so now their sequel to Frozen will star two male characters both voiced by Ashton Kutcher.

James: I have to admit it’s a good first trailer but I have to join a few commenters discussing the reliance upon another female protagonist in the next movie. I LOVE Felicity Jones. Truly I do. And, I understand that they want to embrace females and ethnicities, but overcompensating and putting two films in a row, then having the next Star Wars also be….well…Rey. It just seems a little much. But, once again, the first trailer does deliver and spectacle and story.

Well, hey, at least he admits that it’s a good first trailer, right? That’s sure to soften the rest of this backwards comment. And toward the end, he even says that the trailer delivers (takes out glitter) spectacle! And story! Whatever that means!

I find it weird (and chuckle-inducing) that the complaint is having a “reliance” on a female protagonist. You know, because so many movies “rely” on this, since we live in a world where females get properly represented in sci-fi blockbusters, except when they hardly ever. Two in a row is just madness.

That said, I doubt James would dare say that the previous six Star Wars movies were a little “much” for having six male leads in a row.

Alphado: I don’t like that they’re making all the central protagonists female. Rey is the central protagonist of the new trilogy and the whole trailer of Rogue One revolves around another female character without a male protagonist in sight (only male antagonists). If they truly want to balance gender roles then have both female and male protagonists.

For them to truly “balance” gender roles, every movie coming out has to have only one female protagonist for at least 100 more years. I’m not sure that’s what you really want.

As for Rogue One, were you not paying attention to the male characters prancing around the screen with Jyn Erso at every turn? In fact, she and Mon Mothma are the only two women who even speak in this trailer. Counting the obvious protagonists (not extras), there were 5 males and 2 women. 

Someone call Anakin Skywalker so we can finally have balance.

Greg: Very strong trailer. My only issue is that this is twice in a row now we’re getting a Disney film where the primary cast is mostly or entirely “diversity based”, with white characters relegated to the background. C’mon, Disney…caucasian is an ethnicity too!

…Is this real life?

Twice in a row? You mean Force Awakens, where a white female was the main character? That wasn’t caucasian enough for you? A white male playing the main villain, Kylo Ren, wasn’t caucasian enough? General Hux, played by Domnall Gleeson? Harrison Ford as Han Solo? These guys were in the background?

Oh…yes, because there were like two or other three other characters who weren’t caucasian, so that certainly means Star Wars is oppressing caucasians by mixing the cast up. Good thing the star of Rogue One is caucasian, or else Greg would just get lost.

Brian: Doesn’t look like Star Wars let’s be honest

If only the trailer had stormtroopers, a story centered around the rebellion, ships and weapons straight out of the original trilogy, and imagination-stretching character designs.

Daniel: Poorly repackaged garbage. Nifty how they have an Imperial in a white uniform. Christ people have no idea the poorly recycled crap they are being sold.

Wait, I’m losing track of what we should complain about. So it’s too much like Star Wars now?

Eric: More like Hunger Games in space.

Wait, Hunger Games? I don’t think—

Steven: Except Hunger Games doesn’t have AT-ATs

What? How in the world—

Chris: Hunger games, the divergent movies, and now star wars. A strong independent woman who needs no man. Looks like star wars will just now be attracting teens

I really don’t think you understand how—

katarn11: THE HUNGER GAMES: STAR WARS EDITION!

Uh—

Yehezekiel: The Hunger Games: Space Edition

I hardly think that’s—

Ghost: stupid stupid stupid. Is this the hunger games Star Wars edition?

ENOUGH.

Guys and gals (but mostly guys if you can believe it), Hunger Games is hardly the first franchise to pit female characters against oppressive regimes. And to blithely complain about Rogue One having surface-level similarities to this franchise is pointless after you dig at least an inch.

First of all, this “Jyn Erso” character (who we all know is a fill in for Jan Ors), is nothing like Katniss, just based on this very short glimpse we’ve been given of her character.

From what we can tell, she’s an adult rebel of action, whereas Katniss was a reactionary teenager who sort of stumbled around in opposition. Jyn Erso has a clear goal and mission, while Katniss Everdeen is forced to kill other teenagers. Jyn Erso is rebellious to the rebels, while Katniss just sort of whined about Peeta during the majority of Mockingjay.

Yes, it’s too early to make assumptions about “who” Jyn Erso is based on this one teaser, but that goes double for these bizarre Hunger Games comparisons. We’re even teased with a possibility that Jyn will become evil in the end. The only thing we wondered about Katniss was whether or not she was going to kill a cat.

StormtrooperP: So I guess Star Wars is just all about women now?

It never wasn’t. These movies have always had central female characters, like Princess Leia and Padme. For once, though, there’s actually a believable ratio. 

Derbi50: Yay. More girl power crap in Star Wars, because it was super low on that. It’s just ungrateful disrespectful crap. 99.9% percent of military casualties in the 20th century were men. It’s like making a movie about men giving birth or stealing all of their wives stuff in a divorce.

I’m not even sure what to do with this comment. Maybe he’ll chill out once he gets his GED.

ShutupLieberman: Looks like a Divergent movie.

I don’t think you’ve ever seen a Divergent movie.

Adoscafeten: I’m surprised noone’s commenting on how the aesthetic looks like a tv-movie.

I’m surprised you’re surprised by this. You know, since it doesn’t look like a tv-movie at all.

I loved it up until the “subtitle” was presented: “A Star Wars story”? Why is it necessary to include that? It detracts from the intrigue of a supposedly “new” story by reminding the viewer that the Star Wars franchise, while beloved, is a highly commercialized entity. It broke the spell for me!

I actually understand this frustration, but this inclusion of Star Wars in the branding is unfortunately essential. It could mean the difference between this film making millions and millions of dollars less than it could, simply because people won’t realize it’s based on a franchise they already like.

Mstrymxer: WTF. Why is everyone british?

Because Star Wars has had British accents in its movies since 1977?

Star Wars: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay?

STOP.

Bluehawk52: Jyn = Rey. Visage. Age. British. Same. Unoriginal. Take the blinders off, put down the Kool-Aid, and think for yourself, people. Star Wars is dying. Send these Disney clowns a message and don’t support this trash.

If I put down my Kool-Aid, does that mean I have to take a sip of your Bud Ice?

Look, I hardly think Star Wars is anywhere close to dying, mostly because I pay attention to things and use my brain to form opinions. Seeing The Force Awakens become the third highest-grossing movie of all time helped me form that opinion, for example.

So calling Rogue One unoriginal because its protagonist is similar to a different set of movies in this franchise is like saying Captain America: The Winter Soldier sucks because Chris Evans is a white guy like Robert Downey Jr.

And as for unoriginality, I think if you actually rewind the trailer and take your own blinders off, you’ll see a load of things teased that have never even been touched by these movies. Not least of all a samurai fighting stormtroopers.

thezim: It should be called PC WARS: THE FAKE EQUALITY SAGA

Alright, I’m done. Wake me up when the 15-year-olds are done with study hall.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Snarcasm: Film Critics Aren’t People Like Us

snarcasm film critics

Snark + Snarcasm = what you’re about to read

I struggled selecting this week’s Snarcasm because at this point, I’m pretty much done talking about Batman v Superman. I’ve reviewed it, talked about it endlessly on the podcast, and I even wrote a list of over 65 problems I have with it.

I’m just done. And while typical Snarcasm fare would involve digesting (then regurgitating) an insanely contrarian piece about Jesse Eisenberg’s “Lex Luthor” being the best version of the character yet…which exists…this week, let’s take a look at something you’ve probably thought at least 300 times in your lifetime.

Film critics aren’t perfect.

snarcasm film critics

For some reason, people think that critics think that they are perfect. That they fancy themselves the end all for whether or not a movie is truly good or bad. Never mind the fact that critics disagree constantly, which is why websites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic exist. But this is the Internet, where all of your presuppositions and knee-jerk opinions are signed into law by Facebook Congress (I’m bad at metaphors).

Sidney Fussell at Tech Insider (because apparently the film blogs didn’t want this hot take) writes:

Here’s the problem with all those bad ‘Batman v Superman’ reviews

Weirdly, but not surprisingly, Sid gives us more than just one “problem” with these reviews. I’ll be honest though and let you know now that I have quite a few problems with this article.

“Batman v Superman” isn’t a perfect film.

When did “this movie is not perfect” become the new preface for setting up an unpopular opinion? Next you’re going to tell us that Superman has a black best friend.

snarcasm film critics
Supergirl beat you to it

 But it would have to be a lot worse to justify its embarrassing dogpiling from critics.

Would it, though? I’m one of the critics who hated it, but it’s not like BvS has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes (as in 0% of critics liked it). It actually scored a 29%, with most critics being pretty mixed on the movie. In fact, the article Sid links to here mentions that critics almost unanimously praised certain aspects of this film, including Ben Affleck’s take on Batman.

So where is the dogpiling? The film has an average rating on RT of 5/10, which is an even split. You know, the opposite of an uneven split.

Critics are using their “BvS” reviews to express their frustrations with the big-budget superhero genre as a whole.

Holy generalizations, Batman!

First of all, critics have been frustrated with the superhero genre getting oversaturated for a while, now. Age of Ultron had a lot of complaints lobbed at it for this, and weak entries like Fantastic 4 have been eviscerated by critics. What makes BvS so special that it gets a pass for happening to be a bad movie that also exists in an oversaturated genre?

The film had to set up the DC universe, debut new characters, break even on the budget, and keep up with Marvel. Each misstep (and there are many) was reported as a complete disaster. 

Which is exactly the fault of DC for putting all of their hopes and dreams (and ideas) into one movie, when they could have just as easily taken their time and evened out their ambition. The stakes are high because DC is playing a high-stakes game and betting the house on the ponies and other casino metaphors (told you).

The pressure to do it all made for a very uneven film and many critics voiced frustration at what they saw was a rush to set up a lucrative cinematic universe (with endless spin-off and sequel potential) over simply making a good film. 

In other words, “Critics made that criticism because they’re right! What a bunch of morons!”

It’s funny though. The second season of Daredevil stuffs a lot of new characters and plots into its run, and yet critics aren’t taking their frustrations out on Marvel/Netflix. I wish I knew why.

snarcasm film critics
“It’s too dark!” 

When reading the many poor reviews of “Batman v Superman” it becomes apparent that somewhere along the way the action epic morphed from just one subpar action film into the representation of everything wrong with the (admittedly stuffed) superhero genre.

Again, this is because the movie itself is poor. If it had been excellent, no one would have made this observation. You sound like Zuko complaining because he didn’t want to go to the war meeting (“I just wanted to be invited!”)

The huge gap between critic reception and fan response shows that this movie really wasn’t “for the critics.” 

I’ve read this sentiment a lot, and I still don’t understand what it means. What, you made a movie that isn’t “made” for people who study and analyze movies? Do you think that’s a valid sentence to throw at people?

Critics review movies on the basis of how they represent the best of their own genre. Odds are that the critics have seen more superhero movies than many of the “fans,” considering they have to watch hundreds of films each year, including all of the ones you didn’t bother watching because you had the choice.

Telling a critic that a movie “wasn’t for them” is like getting mad at a garbageman for saying your moldy trash bags smell terrible. You don’t have to listen to him, but he’s probably right.

“Batman v Superman” currently has a mediocre to fair 72% audience approval rating with a ghastly 28% critic score.

Good thing people aren’t insanely easy to please.

Look, liking a movie doesn’t make it good, no matter how much I wish people liked Speed Racer as much as I did. Because it turns out that everyone likes bad movies, and it’s just tossup depending on the person.

It’s not the job of the critic to get inside your head and predetermine everything that will satisfy your Narnia mind. It’s your job to interpret a review based on what you know about the critic’s tastes, which is why people read the same critics every week, even if they disagree sometimes.

Amy Adams, who stars as Lois Lane, said the movie simply wasn’t “for the critics.”

Sure, let’s listen to the person who has a financial stake in the film she’s promoting. Not saying that doesn’t mean she’s right, but—

She’s right.

Let’s just settle down.

ultimately critics and audiences go to movies for different reasons: a critic goes to engage with a film, it’s perspective, and decide how well it executes a cinematic vision from this perspective. Audiences, especially for a popcorn action movie, go to be entertained.

Right, critics don’t care at all about entertainment, which is why they never talk about it or base their reviews on it. I’m pretty sure you have to sign an agreement on the “Become a Critic” form that states you can no longer factor in the entertainment of a movie when evaluating how entertaining it is.

If “Batman v Superman” functions well as entertainment, but not as reflective Campbellian metaphysics, then (no matter what critics say) it works.

Correction: a movie “works” if a movie works. The fact is that critics happen to be people as well, and guess what? The movie doesn’t work for them. A lot of people, fans included, don’t think the movie works. The people who do think the movie works have every right to think the movie works for them. But for everyone else who disagrees, it doesn’t work.

You can’t negate that by arbitrarily splitting up two vague generalizations of people groups and simplifying it to match your argument. That also doesn’t work.

And given its success at the box office so far, it’s working fairly well. 

Setting aside the fact that the movie had a record drop in the box office from Friday to Sunday, the big takeaway is that a movie making money is not a reflection on quality. It’s like saying McDonald’s is the best restaurant because it sells the most burgers.

snarcasm film critics

Fans have many new films and heroes to look forward to and most of it isn’t coming from “BvS” Zack Snyder.

I’m one of Snyder’s most vocal critics, and even I cut him some slack on the blame for BvS. A lot of its problems are clearly due to the studio forcing him to add unnecessary plots and teases.

Director Zack Snyder has taken the brunt of the criticism for “Batman v Superman,” with most reviewers saying his vision of an ideologically heavy-action film resulted in clunky, obtuse dialogue.

And for good reason. He may not deserve all the blame, but he certainly deserves most of it. BvS is based on his vision, as you say. And even though he doesn’t concept everything in the movie himself, he signed off on a vast majority of it as director.

And while the many teases to other properties irked some critics, at least fans can look forward to different visions for DC heroes from other directors. The sprawling DC Universe already has 11 more films in the docket between now and 2020, not a solo adventure for Ben Affleck’s Batman. 

That’s it? That’s the end of this article? Are you sure?

Let’s just call it a Thursday and get some McDonald’s.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

Snarcasm: The Director of Batman v Superman is Way Smarter Than Us

Zack Snyder idiots

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read.

Ever since the complete and utter disaster that is Sucker Punch, I’ve kept a watchful eye on Zack Snyder as a filmmaker. I found Watchmen to be a fantastic adaption of the comic, despite some minor flaws. 300 blew me away with how Snyder was able to stylize action scenes without resorting to cheap editing tricks. And who doesn’t love Dawn of the Dead?

But something strange happens when you hand a guy the keys to one of the most important film franchises of all time after he doesn’t do a stellar job the first time with Man of Steel. And we’re starting to see some of that piping bowl of crazy that occurs when people expect a human being to be…well, Superman.

Now, I’m not here to review Batman v Superman, as I haven’t seen it yet and don’t have an opinion. But analyzing some of the conversation and buzz surrounding this film, you’d think that the Marvel Civil War was already happening, but between fans and critics, with Jon Negroni swooping in Snarcasm style whispering,

snarcasm

First, let’s take a look at Snyder’s first…decision. Sadie Gennis reported this story on TV Guide:

Zack Snyder Explains Why Grant Gustin Isn’t The Flash in Batman v Superman

That’s…an interesting topic to bring up during the marketing of your prequel to what you hope to be an Avengers-level success. But fine, let’s discuss this because it’s been bothering huge Grant Gustin fans like me since episode one.

Snyder: I just don’t think it was a good fit. I’m very strict with this universe and I just don’t see a version where [Gustin’s The Flash would work]… that [tone is] not our world.

Really? The main character of an extremely successful TV show doesn’t “fit” in a universe where you’re repeatedly striking out with feature films? Gee, maybe Gustin isn’t a good fit for Snyder?

To be fair, the main consensus from critics and fans alike (so far) is that Ben Affleck makes a great Batman, so that casting decision is at least solid. Same goes for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. But what strikes me as insane is how one of the comic relief characters of this DC team has to fit a darker, more serious tone.

zack snyder
“Look! He smirked! NOT SERIOUS ENOUGH.”

I think most people who’ve actually watched The Flash would agree that Gustin has plenty of talent, CW resume notwithstanding. He’s certainly capable enough to contend with the writing of David Goyer, who managed to warp Ma and Pa Kent into nihilistic psychopaths.

Snyder: Even if Grant Gustin is my favorite guy in the world and he’s very good, we made a commitment to the multi-verse [idea], so it’s just not a thing that’s possible.

It’s this kind of tone-deaf logic that continuously turns me off to Snyder has a director. He has no sense of momentum or build up, because if he did, he’d understand that the payoff of connecting a well-established and successful TV series with a movie that extends the scope of these characters would more than surpass the milestones set by The Avengers.

It’s not possible? Neither is making a Justice League movie feel earned when we know absolutely nothing about these individual characters going in. And if Batman v Superman is as mediocre as the critics claim, then maybe Gustin is better off.

Sadly, that’s not all, folks. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Snyder commented on the bizarre collateral damage of Man of Steel:

Snyder was mystified when someone told him that they couldn’t think of a movie in recent memory that’s had as much collateral damage as “Man of Steel.” “I went, really? And I said, well, what about [‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’]?” the director says. “In ‘Star Wars’ they destroy five planets with billions of people on them. That’s gotta be one of the highest death toll movies in history, the new ‘Star Wars’ movie, if you just do the math.”

There’s more to this than I think a lot of people are grasping. Because at first glance, it may seem that Snyder is completely off his rocker, considering the damage done in Force Awakens was inflicted by the villain, so the analogy makes no sense.

People aren’t put off by collateral damage because there’s a lot of it. They were annoyed that it was mostly caused by Superman, and he spent more time punching Zod through presumably filled skyscrapers without stopping to consider his actions or show any restraint. He doesn’t even attempt to move the fight away from the populated area.

zack snyder
“Eh, I’m sure no one was in there.”

But something else is even more irritating, and that’s the context of his answer. Snyder is simply playing a math game, assuming the person making the comment was merely saying that the damage done in Man of Steel is comical because of its size, and Snyder’s first reaction is to correct him, not try to understand the criticism.

This gets to the heart of Snyder’s bizarre personality as a filmmaker who seems to have zero self-awareness. He makes the same mistakes in every movie because his apparent arrogance keeps convincing him that everyone else is wrong, and he’s right. It’s this kind of confidence that probably keeps him employed, but how long can this hold up?

In this same interview, Snyder admits that he crafted this superhero universe as an intended continuation of themes he explored in Watchmen. And here’s what he thinks about the obvious criticism that comes with this weird mixing of two polar-opposite franchises:

“I was surprised with the fervency of the defense of the concept of Superman,” Snyder says of his detractors. “I feel like they were taking it personally that I was trying to grow up their character.”

snarcasm
“33 years old to be exact. Not like Jesus, though.”

Look, Superman has changed plenty of times over the years, and very few people are against taking some creative liberties with the character. But when you warp the identity and motivations of the most popular superhero of all time in order to balance it nicely with the purposefully grim superhero movie you made seven years ago, then don’t get offended when the obvious backlash comes.

In other words, take your own advice.

People aren’t taking it personally that you’re “growing up their character.” They’re taking it personally that you don’t even seem to care about what they think.

That said, I still hope I enjoy Batman v Superman. I may not like Snyder at all right now, but I’d much rather have a great time watching two of my favorite characters on the big screen than shake my head in disappointment. Unfortunately, nothing about any of his decisions so far have lead me to get my hopes up.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

 

%d bloggers like this: