EDITORIAL: How ‘Batman v Superman’ is Making Me Hate Blockbusters

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We’re nearing a full month since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. highly anticipated but ultimately very underwhelming semi-sequel to Man of Steel. The film finally saw two of America’s most beloved superheroes team up on the big screen, but the film was far from what it potentially could’ve been. If you read my review, I didn’t care much for the film. While I thought Ben Affleck was great in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and some of the action was pretty exciting, the film was ultimately a dull, bloated, and a boring mess of a film. It took a lot of the things that made Man of Steel as dull and bloated by tripling it. For me, there were a few things to like, but they got lost in the near-3 hour wreckage.

Many of you might see this article and have the same thought. Why is Batman v Superman the worst thing to happen to cinema? It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t that bad, right? That’s true. Batman v Superman is technically the worst film I’ve seen this year, but far from the worst of all time. This piece isn’t about the film itself, but for the “fans” of the film, and the impact that the film has had on social media. For those who aren’t on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook or the film side of those platforms, let me give you some background. As you know, the film was hotly anticipated ever since it was announced at Comic Con in 2013. The fanboy community lost their minds with the idea that two great superheroes were going to share the screen together. Yeah, Zack Snyder was coming back to direct, which kind of sucked, but this idea still sounded intriguing, and the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman sounded interesting.

After filming and marketing kicked in, nothing really impressed me. The trailers looked bland and it felt like the studio essentially gave away the entire film in the trailers (spoiler alert: they did). But there were a small group of people who were on the hype train. The DC Comics fans. They saw this film as a huge threat to Marvel Studios, which had already established a cinematic universe of beloved comic characters. This was DC’s first step into their cinematic universe, and the fans saw Batman v Superman as a way to show the world that DC means business. Sure, Man of Steel might’ve been flawed, but this is going to be the film that showed the world that DC was a major playing in the comic book film game.

So, the film comes out. The general consensus from critics is that it’s really flawed, and the general public isn’t all that impressed. The Rotten Tomatoes rating isn’t all that great either. But the fans are fervent that this is the film to end all films. So they go see it, and they love it! They go on Twitter to talk about how much they love it, and how the critics were wrong. That’s fine, and that’s great. I love having conversations with film fans on Twitter about films, and how we have differing opinions. Other critics love doing this as well. And many of us are thinking that’s going to be the case with this film.

However, it begins to go south quick. A pretty stupid conspiracy is going around that Marvel has payed off all the critics that hated the film. This is untrue because I have yet to get my check from Disney for my Batman v Superman review. Hell, I lost money going to see the film since I had to pay to go see it. Then accusations from the film’s fans that critics didn’t understand the movie, and that it’s “too smart” for critics. Maybe that was the case, but it was a little hard to tell with all the headache-inducing action scenes and very loud and blaring sound design. But whatever, that’s their opinion, right?

 

Then it started to go south quickly a few weeks back, and it was from a professional film critic online. It started with Grace Randolph, the creator/host of the YouTube film show Beyond The Trailer, when she tweeted a photo of Daily Beast film critic Jen Yamato’s abbreviated review of Captain America: Civil War, where Ms. Yamato made a dig at Batman v Superman in her review. Ms. Randolph found the abbreviated review to be a dig at the fans of the film, and she took offense as a fan of the film. Ms. Randolph has a pretty big following on the internet, and essentially had her followers spam Ms. Yamato’s Twitter and other social media platforms telling her how wrong she was, and that she should essentially be ashamed for writing something like that.

Now, I like Grace Randolph. I use to watch her show pretty regularly when I was in middle school and a little in high school, but quit watching after a few years when her program started to be more about her thoughts on the film rather than the general audience (her format was that she’d go to opening night of a big release that week and interview people as they were coming out of the theater on their initial thoughts). This was wildly unprofessional what she was doing on Twitter, and she was dragging other online film reporter personalities into her bullshit “war”. I would’ve expected this from somebody with a tinier following like me, but not from Grace, who has over 20,000 Twitter followers and thousands more on YouTube. It was straight-up ludicrous.

I tweeted a few things about the incident during the week, but didn’t want to say anything too discouraging toward Grace Randolph because, well, she’s a woman on the internet. Women on the internet tend to get trashed on a regular basis, and they have it tougher than men do (mainly because “men”, AKA booger-eating 12 year olds on Twitter, do all the trash talking). Also, when I was thinking of tweeting about it a little bit more, the fictitious “war” Grace had started was starting to die down.

This was until Grace was back at it again, trashing other critics for their “anti-DC agenda” and their “Marvel-bias”. It was hard to keep quiet about this. Certain critics attacked by Randolph and her fans even made videos to show how unhinged and crazy the YouTube personality looked in this bizarre and insane Twitter war. Why was Ms. Randolph, a personality of her stature, spending all of her free time going after certain people because they didn’t like something she liked. It was ridiculous, and baffling to witness.

I wouldn’t have written this article until more absolutely disgusting things I saw on Twitter. Clarke Wolfe, an internet personality who specializes in nerd culture for multiple outlets, tweeted out a disturbing screen-cap of a comment she received from a “fan” of Batman v Superman who didn’t like what she thought of the film, and had threatened her life. It was bone-chilling, and horrible to read. Hours later, Jen Yamato tweeted a screen-cap of another Batman v Superman “fan” that was offended that she didn’t enjoy the holier-than-thou film, and said some nasty and disgusting shit to her.

This is when I decided enough was enough. I had to speak my mind of this stupid-ass issue that shouldn’t be an issue. Batman v Superman is just a movie. It’s not going to solve world peace, or save the planet from being submerged under the melting polar icecaps. So why are all these jerk-offs on Twitter having a hard time handling the fact that somebody didn’t like something that they liked? Why do they feel the need to lash-out against them and say these hurtful things against these critics that are just doing their jobs and writing what they thought about a movie? Its insane.

Grace Randolph is not the person that begun all this. This so-called “war” (which is fucking bullshit) has been brewing for weeks now, and Grace happened to be the one to ignite the flame. This is absolutely ridiculous. There are more important things in the world other than some stupid film with a guy in a bat-mask and a dude who flies around in tights. Why go through all the work to threaten these people’s lives over some stupid film? You didn’t see me lash-out at any critics online when everybody hated the Entourage movie last summer.

These “fans” that tweet and say these hateful and violent things aren’t “fans”, and don’t represent the people who enjoyed the film. These are booger-eating 12 year olds (or man-children with the same intellect) who got really excited over a film with Batman and Superman in it, and decided that no matter the films flaws that it was a perfect film because of those two elements, and got angry with people who are just doing their job.

I love movies, and I love going to see movies. Since I don’t get paid to do this (yet), I have to pay my way to see most of the films I see year after year. But when I see shit like this on the internet, it kind of makes me not want to even pursue doing this anymore. My goal in life is to have a big enough following for some kid in New Mexico to call me a “faggot” because I didn’t like something that he liked? Why even bother? This whole incident doesn’t make me hate watching movies now, but the big blockbusters where fanboys passionately buy and consume every piece of entertainment from a certain franchise, and love it no matter the quality of the product. The Marvel fans for the most part are okay because they don’t threaten critics over their opinion. There’s always a few bad eggs here and there (goes for every major franchise in Hollywood), but its nothing like this. Batman v Superman is the most cancerous film I’ve ever seen in my seven years of writing film reviews. Not because of its quality, but of its fans. This movie and its “fans” are killing what I love about going to movies, and its made me sad and really upset.

I know this was a pretty lengthy rant/editorial, but I felt it was necessary, but I had to get it off of my chest. I also apologize for my profanity, but again, that was also a necessary for this piece. This shit cannot stand on the internet, and critics can’t be bullied by middle schoolers with bulging pimples that hid against their generic egg profile pic on Twitter. If you’ve seen the film and liked it, that’s great. Just don’t spend all of your time on the internet letting others know that you’re right and they’re wrong. I doubt they’ll ever read this, but Clarke Wolfe and Jen Yamato are now internet critic heroes of mine. They’ve handled these threats against their lives with such class and dignity, while others (most definitely me) would’ve probably handled it differently. Bless you ladies, and keep up the great work that you’re doing out there.

 

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