Aquaman

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Aquaman

Postby OP Tipping » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:26 am UTC

Eh it was okay.

Basic quest film, very pretty, a few jokes, lots of explosions. Three stars and no regrets. Fair to say that my 10 year old son enjoyed it most. Mild spoilers impend...

Even in fantasy films I am baffled by the persistent notion that the core of a planet is a great place for a tropical paradise. Why not just ... not do that? Fkn Jules Verne. And lava doesn't act like that in contact with water.


Julie Andrews and John Rhys-Davies voiced some weird characters, in case you were hanging out for a Princess Diaries reunion.
Got to give them a respectful nod for the cgi de-aging on Temuera Morrison: seamless, I wasn't sure whether they had cast a similar looking younger actor.

Certain aspects reminded us of recent movies in another superhero franchise. The visuals and music evoked the 1980s (Ragnorok), a mother thought lost is retrieved from a mysterious realm looking grey haired but made-up (A&TW), plenty of similarity to Black Panther.

There's nothing new under the sun and it looks as though this will be the first DCEU to make a billion dollars so thumbs up to my countryman James Wan who is by now the most commercially successful Australian director ever, thanks to Furious 7, the Saw series, and the Conjuring series.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby maybeagnostic » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:23 am UTC

Between this and Bumblebee, this Christmas had some big turnarounds for franchises I've never enjoyed or even watched very much of. Still, Aquaman had the same major problem as Wonder woman.
Spoiler:
Namely the big CGI fight at the end that was probably very expensive but felt too cartoonish and any sense of threat or suspense was killed by how absurd and over the top it was. At the same time it failed to incorporate any of the themes or conflicts set up earlier in any meaningful way.
Meanwhile the first part was fun but not quite as good as Wonder Woman. It just felt weird for the villain to have this ecological argument that the good guys not only never counter but don't even try to address.
Spoiler:
Were we supposed to think his whole beef about the ecological disaster was just pretext for a power grab? Because at no point in the movie did I get that impression (there is an actual disaster, the surface dwellers are causing it and doing next to nothing to avert it, the Atlanteans have been leaving in peace for literal ages) and none of the good guys said so either.
Also I thought it was hilarious how miserable Amber Heard/Mera looked every time they came out of the water while a half naked Jason Momoa had water streaming down his six pack next to her. I couldn't tell if it was intentional or not but it got me laughing.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:57 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:It just felt weird for the villain to have this ecological argument that the good guys not only never counter but don't even try to address.


The whole "surface dwellers are destroying our oceans" bit has been a recurring idea in the comics, but never really been resolved there either - to be fair, the full argument is "surface dwellers are destroying our oceans, so we must band together under my leadership and conduct a genocidal war", and the movie kinda focused in on that second part...

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Re: Aquaman

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:56 pm UTC

The film itself was a Quest film following the Monomyth like a checklist, which is fine. Parts of that require exposition, to let the audience know what is going on and how that ties in to the history of this fictional place. That is also fine.

However, I'm about 95% certain that the scriptwriter has no idea how to end such an exposition scene gracefully. So they opted for the dramatic "And now they're under attack", often starting it out with something unexpectedly exploding so that he woudln't have to even find a natural place to insert a scene where the speakers notice an attacker and prepare. Just start a sentence you aren't sure how to finish and make something go boom-boom in the background.

Problem solved!

Which, again, is fine. When it happens once. When it happens often enough that it feels like every time.....
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Re: Aquaman

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:27 pm UTC

Haha, yeah, I think on at least three occasions exactly that happened - people talk, explosion goes off behind them.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. I appreciated that it's a quest, which was unusual for a lot of superhero films, and it was mostly fun and enjoyable. The music was horrible though. Noticeably bad electric guitars constantly.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby OP Tipping » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:55 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:Between this and Bumblebee



Kind of a shame that Bumblebee is the first movie of the franchise to be a financial disappointment.

maybeagnostic wrote: Meanwhile the first part was fun but not quite as good as Wonder Woman. It just felt weird for the villain to have this ecological argument that the good guys not only never counter but don't even try to address.


IKR. They didn't even have Arthur throw them a bone about trying to work with the surface dwellers regarding the pollution.

For a twist take on that that theme:
"Aquaman Is The Same Story As Black Panther (Except Killmonger's The Hero)"
https://screenrant.com/aquaman-movie-bl ... illmonger/


Also a funny coincidence occurred to me while I was watching, so I made this poster.
https://9gag.com/gag/apmGp6B?ref=w.comm ... 9721838791
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
b) Please state the nature of your ailment or injury.
c) One a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?
d) Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby cphite » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:33 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:It just felt weird for the villain to have this ecological argument that the good guys not only never counter but don't even try to address.


The whole "surface dwellers are destroying our oceans" bit has been a recurring idea in the comics, but never really been resolved there either - to be fair, the full argument is "surface dwellers are destroying our oceans, so we must band together under my leadership and conduct a genocidal war", and the movie kinda focused in on that second part...


Can't villains just be villains anymore? It just seems like these movies today just try way too hard to give the guy wanting to mass murder a motive that is somehow relate-able and reasonable. The problem is, no reasonable person (entity, god, whatever) looks at a problem and thinks "This is the one situation where genocide is the right call... and we should start with that."

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Re: Aquaman

Postby Zohar » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:39 pm UTC

In villains' minds, they think they're doing the right thing. Not many people think they're evil, everyone's doing what they think is right. So yes, people (whether reasonable or not) have looked at problems, or perceived problems, and thought "Yeah, genocide it is".
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Re: Aquaman

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:46 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:For a twist take on that that theme:
"Aquaman Is The Same Story As Black Panther (Except Killmonger's The Hero)"
https://screenrant.com/aquaman-movie-bl ... illmonger/
An interesting take but it suffers from not taking the actual movie into account. In fact Aquaman is the anti-Killmonger
Spoiler:
Their "magical" society killed their parent while human society disenfranchised them; Killmonger tries to violently overthrow the status quo of both societies while Aquaman, rather inexplicably, fights to protect the status quo of both societies. Also Killmonger has this elaborate plan that he put a lot of thought and effort into setting up and executing while Aquaman needs to be constantly prodded and guided on his journey.


cphite wrote:Can't villains just be villains anymore? It just seems like these movies today just try way too hard to give the guy wanting to mass murder a motive that is somehow relate-able and reasonable.
You can have a perfectly reasonable and relatable motivation and still be an unequivocal bad guy. I'd say a villain without a clear and well established motivation that stands in stark contrast to the motivation(s) of the hero(es) makes for a pretty bad superhero movie most of the time. The first Avengers pulled it off but only by focusing on the team dynamics above all else.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:26 am UTC

cphite wrote:Can't villains just be villains anymore? It just seems like these movies today just try way too hard to give the guy wanting to mass murder a motive that is somehow relate-able and reasonable. The problem is, no reasonable person (entity, god, whatever) looks at a problem and thinks "This is the one situation where genocide is the right call... and we should start with that."

What, like Republicans?
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Re: Aquaman

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:21 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
cphite wrote:Can't villains just be villains anymore? It just seems like these movies today just try way too hard to give the guy wanting to mass murder a motive that is somehow relate-able and reasonable. The problem is, no reasonable person (entity, god, whatever) looks at a problem and thinks "This is the one situation where genocide is the right call... and we should start with that."

What, like Republicans?

I was goin to say, isn't that the far right's answer to everything? If he doesn't like looking at white people being bad, there's also the Chinese on tibet/Uighurs, or the rohingya genocide. Those are both people looking at a problem, and think "yup genocide the solution".
Cphite should know better, he posts in News forum all the time.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby cphite » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:02 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
cphite wrote:Can't villains just be villains anymore? It just seems like these movies today just try way too hard to give the guy wanting to mass murder a motive that is somehow relate-able and reasonable. The problem is, no reasonable person (entity, god, whatever) looks at a problem and thinks "This is the one situation where genocide is the right call... and we should start with that."

What, like Republicans?

I was goin to say, isn't that the far right's answer to everything?


Leave it to y'all to bring politics into a perfectly good comic book discussion...

If he doesn't like looking at white people being bad, there's also the Chinese on tibet/Uighurs, or the rohingya genocide. Those are both people looking at a problem, and think "yup genocide the solution".


Right. And they're obviously evil, racist fucks who - no matter how much they might believe themselves to be right - remain evil, racist fucks. There aren't many people outside of the Myanmar security forces who see them raping and torturing and murdering the Rohingya, burning their villages, and so forth, and think "Well, they must have their reasons..."

I don't have an issue with movies that show truly evil villains; nor do I have an issue with movies that try to give their villains reasonable motives. But there needs to be some level of parity between the character, their motives, and the acts that they commit for it to make a compelling story.

Take the Sandman character from the Spiderman series... Just an ordinary guy who turned to crime to try and save his daughter. Most people can relate to that. They can understand being willing to steal, maybe even via force, to save their little girl; even if they don't condone it. It's a good match between the character, motive, and the acts that he commits.

Now, imagine that Sandman just starts murdering people. Whole cities of people, just rampant slaughter with no end. At some point, the whole "just trying to save his kid" motive just doesn't work anymore, right?

Another example is Thanos in the Infinity War storyline... in the comics, Thanos is basically an evil madman (er, mad Titan) who is obsessed with the personification of Death. He believes that by murdering half of the folks in the universe, he can impress her. That's a good match between character, motive, and action.

The movie version of Thanos is completely different.... they try to make him into this well-meaning - albeit misguided - fellow who just wants to make sure folks have enough resources. It's just a really awful stretch as a motive, and the reason it falls short is that there is a complete lack of parity between the character and what he's doing.

Cphite should know better, he posts in News forum all the time.


Yeah; I didn't expect that a discussion on comic book villains would devolve into lame political posturing and subtle accusations of racism. Should have known better.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby Zohar » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:06 pm UTC

"Stop talking about politics! Comic books are never about politics!"
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Re: Aquaman

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:31 pm UTC

cphite wrote:I don't have an issue with movies that show truly evil villains; nor do I have an issue with movies that try to give their villains reasonable motives. But there needs to be some level of parity between the character, their motives, and the acts that they commit for it to make a compelling story.
But are you saying there's no parity between the motive and the reaction of the villain in Aquaman? His world is literally getting destroyed through negligence and/or for selfish short term gain. Sure, we never get to see it and inexplicably no one else seems to give a damn but I didn't get the impression that he was lying about the motive. He had a decent amount of "misguidedly blaming the surface people for getting his mom killed" thrown in there too which is a pretty good reason to turn to extermination over protracted and extremely difficult negotiations that are almost certain to fail. Really, the issue is that the good guys had neither a motivation nor a goal that were even a tenth as good as the villain.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby OP Tipping » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:52 am UTC

So Aquaman has the highest box office for any film based on a DC property, having passed The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Not allowing for inflation.

I did not predict this.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby Raidri » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:27 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:So Aquaman has the highest box office for any film based on a DC property, having passed The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Not allowing for inflation.

I did not predict this.

I would think nobody did. The film is okay in comparison to other DCEU films, but pales in comparison to The Dark Knight.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby HES » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:09 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:Not allowing for inflation.

Yeah... a cursory google suggests you need to be bumping that up by almost 30% since The Dark Knight
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Re: Aquaman

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:51 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:So Aquaman has the highest box office for any film based on a DC property, having passed The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Not allowing for inflation.

I did not predict this.


I did not predict it, but I'm not terribly surprised.

- Inflation offers a big boost.
- Thanks to Marvel, comic book movies have become even more mainstream over the last decade and a half.
- DC has a lot of frustrated fans.
- The last DC movie was Justice League, which, while not a good movie, was a great advertisement for the future direction of the DCEU - at least for DCAU fans, if not for Zack Snyder fans.
- The general audience has always preferred good action and spectacle to literary merit and all the little touches that critics appreciate, and Aquaman has some solid spectacle.

TDK is definitely better as art, but Aquaman is still good as entertainment.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby speising » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:23 pm UTC

Also, there are really a lot of Batindividual movies already, but Aquadude is still much fresher.

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Re: Aquaman

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:56 pm UTC

Something something fresh fish joke
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Re: Aquaman

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:46 pm UTC

speising wrote:Also, there are really a lot of Batindividual movies already, but Aquadude is still much fresher.


You mean he's not washed up?

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Re: Aquaman

Postby OP Tipping » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 pm UTC

Marvel has got Iron Monger and Killmonger, can DC have an Aquaman villain called Fishmonger?



EDIT: and of course I posted this joke without checking because I now know there already is a minor DC character called Fishmonger, from the Son of Vulcan series.
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Re: Aquaman

Postby Jorpho » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:29 pm UTC

Finally saw this at the cheap theater. I read a comment that suggested Aquaman resembled a Bollywood film, which led me to wonder if there were random intervals of singing and dancing – but aside from the lack thereof, it does seem to have some similarities in its pacing and characterization.

I downloaded the subtitles afterwards because it felt like I'd missed a bunch of things. They start talking about Vulko before he's identified on-screen, which is just needlessly confusing. I suppose something was cut for the sake of pacing.

OP Tipping wrote:Julie Andrews and John Rhys-Davies voiced some weird characters, in case you were hanging out for a Princess Diaries reunion.
Ahh, that explains the bit in How It Should Have Ended.


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