View Poll Results: Which of these two do you think makes better comic book movies?

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Thread: Zack Snyder vs. Bryan Singer

  1. #1

    Default Zack Snyder vs. Bryan Singer

    So the two people I see get trout on consistently by comic book/movie/comic book movie fans are Zack Snyder and Bryan Singer. I got nothing on Snyder as the only film I've seen of his at this point is 300, which I hated but which was based on garbage to begin with so it's hardly his fault. Singer has always gotten crap for the X-Men movies, to the point I remember when First Class came out a lot of people called it the first "genuinely good X-Men movie." That kind of irked me since I like X1 and 2. They could have been better but saying they were outright bad? I don't agree.

    But anyway, in my binge buying next month I plan to get three Snyder films in Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and one Singer film in Days of Future Past. I'm probably most excited for DOFP 'cuz I love the X-Men but all the talk about BvS has me intrigued by it as well. Watchmen I dunno about, I'll watch it after I read the graphic novel.

    I'm just wondering who this thread prefers between Snyder and Singer?

    Sidenote: Snyder of the DCEU gets crap, Singer of the Foxverse gets crap, MCU directors seem to be pretty popular/less controversial.

  2. #2
    The Misanthropist charliepanayi's Avatar
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    Singer has directed some good films (especially The Usual Suspects). Snyder is a hack.

    Not sure Singer gets that much stick though, prior to Apocalypse his X-Men films were generally well received.
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  3. #3
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    Yeah I think Singer is much more highly regarded than Snyder. The X-Men series has done pretty well outside of the MCU, and I've largely heard praise for X2, First Class, and Days of Future Past.

    Snyder is horrible, but I actually did like Watchmen. I suppose it was easier when you're already given a script of everything, as everything else of his I've seen has been terrible.

  4. #4
    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    I think it's generally only comic book fans who take issue with Singer's movies, whereas even general movie goers have issues with Snyder's films. I liked Watchmen, too, but that's mainly because the source material already fit the dark tones that he tends to lean for in his movies.

  5. #5
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I don't really care for either of them in terms of comic book films. X-Men is one of my favorite comic book series but I feel like even Singer (who I agree has largely done the best films in the series) has never really captured what made the books so good. Part of the issue is the films terrible use of Wolverine Publicity, and lord knows Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine, but its a bit sad the films never capture the "team" aspect of the series, instead focusing on Wolverine and the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto. Most of the other characters who show up just feel utterly flat compared to the scene stealing characters. I would love for the franchise to have a serious reboot, with the new films working as a pre-planned trilogy so you can have one overarching story, but plenty of time to actually establish and flesh out a whole cast instead of just focusing on one or two individual stories.

    Snyder is pretty bad with his film adaptions, frankly 300 and Watchmen are probably the only good ones he did but as FS points out, 300 wasn't really very good to begin with (the story is more visual than actually about characters, historical accuracy, and being compelling) but its not like Frank Miller is a great writer, he's just kind of this grim dark asshole that continues to to get work because he wrote an influential Batman story back in the day. Watchmen, for the most part, was pretty good actually. Probably one of the more faithful adaptions of a comic story (helps it was a short self-contained, non=legacy series for once) but people seem to hate on it for one reason or another. I sometimes feel its because fans treat the graphic novels as a sacred cow, but it wasn't really that bad, abridged in places but it didn't seriously alter the themes, characters or plot for the most part. It also has a killer soundtrack and it dropped that awful Pirate comic interlude that slowed the pace of the book to a crawl, so no love loss for me there. On the other hand, Batman V. Superman was pretty atrocious, but I feel the real issue here is that Snyder tends to consult with Frank Miller too often. The Batman of that film is closer to the crazy, xenophobic version of him that Miller wrote than the Batman most people think of. Superman is also just ineffectually useless in the film when he isn't walking into every obvious trap Lex Luthor sets up for him. Also Martha? Yeah, Snyder's issue is he keeps taking bad advice from one of the more divisive comic book writers in the industry and his DC films are probably more reflective of Miller's twisted grim dark versions of the characters than the ones most fans read about.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlin View Post
    Yeah I think Singer is much more highly regarded than Snyder. The X-Men series has done pretty well outside of the MCU, and I've largely heard praise for X2, First Class, and Days of Future Past.
    Singer didn't direct FC.

    It seems to me Snyder faces the problem that Superman is not really a character insomuch as he is an idea. Most people know the rough outline of what became Superman's defining traits but nothing more than that. As such, there's absolutely no way to please everyone because Superman is such a personal, imaginary construct that no two person's impressions of him will be the same. Trying to present him as a perfect boy scout will infuriate people, trying to present him as flawed will infuriate people. It's a lose-lose situation.

    Also WK, Miller is probably best known for his Daredevil work.

  7. #7
    Resident Critic Ayen's Avatar
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    @WK, I think the problem anyone will face with adapting X-Men is choosing between its library of characters and how much time to focus on each to give them equal footing combined with your normal 2 hour runtime constraint to fit all of this in. I supposed Civil War can be seen as an example of how to do this correctly, but it remains to be seen if that was a one time thing, or something filmmakers can duplicate in future superhero movies. On paper something like Civil War doesn't look possible, but the execution was as close to flawless as I have seen, at least when it came to making the whole team look important.

    Perhaps if they were to adapt the earlier comics and just have Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Ice Man, and Arcangel alongside Professor Xavier, it'd be easier to give them each equal footing and go more the Guardian of the Galaxy route because that's only six characters in addition to whoever you choose as a villain, who would most likely be Magneto. Or look at the earlier comics as a point of reference and just choose six characters in general from the X-Men mytho that people would want to see. You can still have Wolverine, but don't make the mistake of having him overshadow everyone else.

    As for Watchmen, I think one of the things that worked against it was the fact it was marketed as a typical superhero action movie, when it was so much more than that. While I was pleasantly surprised at what I got at the cinema I can't fault people for being disappointed if they were expecting something else based on the trailers. Though this is less the movie's fault and more marketing and trying to cater to your general movie audience that is drawn to action scenes and explosions.

    Another deal is (SPOILER)Dr. Manhattan replacing the giant squid. Not a bad idea on its own, but, Manhattan is gone by the time the U.S. and the Soviets unite, whereas the giant squid isn't. Meaning they have nothing physical to fight and keep the alliance going so it changes the narrative and doesn't make as much sense. Which can be especially frustrating for a hardcore Watchmen fan as for the most part they were pretty true to the source material.

    @FL, very good analysis of Superman. You're right, he's really more of a concept. The best Superman stories are about the internal struggle of Superman, not the external. Yes, we know he can defeat the bad guys. Yes, we know he can do virtually anything. The struggle comes from the question, "What should he do? What should be his limit? Should he be held accountable according to man's law? What should we do? What can we do?" He is basically a god with human morals, and powers that can do a lot of damage to the world at large if not kept under check. Something as simple as a handshake could crush a person's hand. Opening a door could cause the whole thing to be ripped from its hinges. A simple exhale could blow down a house. Then there's the fact as demonstrated in Man of Steel where not being able to control his X-Ray and Superhearing rendered him unable to even function and was one of the more interesting parts of the movie. To be fair, Dawn of Justice did explore a lot of these ideas, but never went anywhere with them.

    I feel the cartoon did a better job of representing Superman in media, especially with his, "Cardboard box" speech to Darkseid about how he always has to hold back. Even Supergirl does this better than the movie with James's speech about, "When you're stronger than every army on Earth you have to be better." It's not something we can relate to, and may be better kept in written form considering internal struggle may be harder to show in a visual medium, but it can still be an interesting story to see how such a character manages powers that can be so destructive, or how they feel about them (something I'll admit Smallville did well). The problems lie in trying to have him like every single other superhero who fights the bad guys and has that moment where he may not come out on top. It doesn't work as well with Superman unfortunately because of how overpowered writers have made him over the years. Unless you went the John Byrne's route and considerably nerfed his abilities to make it a fair fight, but most people have never heard of John Byrne's Superman and his Superman was so different from what the mainstream accepts it'd likely never be considered for an on-screen adapation.

    I think WK has been a bad influence on me because this is the most time I've ever spent on a single post about comic book movies in my entire life. DAMN YOU, WOLF KANNO!
    Last edited by Ayen; 06-26-2016 at 10:31 PM.

  8. #8
    The Nerd Who Knows Pant Leg Eater from the Bad World's Avatar
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    I'll be the different one and say that I love all of Zack Snyder's movies. I have enjoyed pretty much all of Bryan Singer's movies as well.

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  9. #9
    Krankzinnigheid ligt dich Colonel Angus's Avatar
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    I liked Watchmen, probably his best movie, which I've seen. I thought BvS was good, but it was a poorly made movie. MoS was alright, but was pretty ridiculous. I don't think he's a good film maker. The two later movies were kind of all over the place.

    Bryan Singer is more consistent in quality, but his style is kind of stale. Every one of his X-Men flicks has the same feel. He doesn't get the spirit of the books right. I'm not even saying he needs to make straight up adaptations, but they kind of feel off. Also he's a piss-poor planner. Nothing is consistent in the timeline, even when you take into consideration the retcons.

  10. #10
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken Lover View Post

    Also WK, Miller is probably best known for his Daredevil work.
    True, but he's also well known for his runs on Punisher and how he tends to make everything he touches grim dark and more of an asshole. He helped usher in the Dark Ages of comics that the nineties turned into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayen View Post
    @WK, I think the problem anyone will face with adapting X-Men is choosing between its library of characters and how much time to focus on each to give them equal footing combined with your normal 2 hour runtime constraint to fit all of this in. I supposed Civil War can be seen as an example of how to do this correctly, but it remains to be seen if that was a one time thing, or something filmmakers can duplicate in future superhero movies. On paper something like Civil War doesn't look possible, but the execution was as close to flawless as I have seen, at least when it came to making the whole team look important.

    Perhaps if they were to adapt the earlier comics and just have Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Ice Man, and Arcangel alongside Professor Xavier, it'd be easier to give them each equal footing and go more the Guardian of the Galaxy route because that's only six characters in addition to whoever you choose as a villain, who would most likely be Magneto. Or look at the earlier comics as a point of reference and just choose six characters in general from the X-Men mytho that people would want to see. You can still have Wolverine, but don't make the mistake of having him overshadow everyone else.
    This is why I feel a planned trilogy would work better than a simply one-shot story. The issue with most of the X-Men films is that they don't build off of each other as well as Marvel films have done. Mainly because most of the focus is just on Wolvie and the Eric/Xavier dynamic, so very few characters never got the benefit of development over the course of the franchise's film history. To make X-Men good, you would have to design the story in a way that opens up the opportunity for the cast to develop over time and through the various films. The other issue is that while mutant rights is a huge thing for the series, it was never the full picture, and so the team loses out on being more like super heroes with origins that give them personal baggage. I mean we would get the series personal moral message one issue, then another Juggernaut shows up for the team to deal with before the Shi'ar beam them up for another space story. The films kind of beat the big message over the head of the viewer, much like I'm sure most people would be happy to get through a Spider Man film without Uncle Ben's famous words being uttered and then turned into the big story of Peter Parker's character, as though he has to relearn the meaning of those words every time he shows up on screen.

    My point being that X-Men kind of got pigeonholed and reduced to the basics of its presence and this has prevented the series from really getting traction because most of the films largely reiterate the same themes, without giving the series room to expand into something more. This is pretty much what Marvel has successfully been able to do with long running films like Iron Man and Captain America who both develop as interesting characters over the course of the films including the crossover stuff like Avengers and Civil War. We're kind of getting that with Xavier and Magneto, but again, X-Men is so much more than just these two characters. It's a shame watching one talented actor/actress coming into these films and being squandered because the writers don't feel they are important enough because they can't be bothered to write a good story with dynamic characters without fear of losing the audience. I don't blame Marvel with trying to kill the franchise so they can one day get the rights back, Fox has proven they are mediocre at best with the subject material. I love X-Men, but I can barely watch the films anymore. They are just so sad.

    As for Watchmen, I think one of the things that worked against it was the fact it was marketed as a typical superhero action movie, when it was so much more than that. While I was pleasantly surprised at what I got at the cinema I can't fault people for being disappointed if they were expecting something else based on the trailers. Though this is less the movie's fault and more marketing and trying to cater to your general movie audience that is drawn to action scenes and explosions.

    Another deal is (SPOILER)Dr. Manhattan replacing the giant squid. Not a bad idea on its own, but, Manhattan is gone by the time the U.S. and the Soviets unite, whereas the giant squid isn't. Meaning they have nothing physical to fight and keep the alliance going so it changes the narrative and doesn't make as much sense. Which can be especially frustrating for a hardcore Watchmen fan as for the most part they were pretty true to the source material.
    Honestly it still works perfectly because the point was that Ozymandias plan was a temporary peace at best even in the books. I mean once the Squid was gone, how long before the sheer absence of another "attack" would it take before the U.S.S.R. and U.S. would go back to the Cold War? So switching the culprit to Dr. Manhattan doesn't really change anything from the books ending thematically.

    I will agree that the issue was probably marketing. Watchmen was more of a deconstruction of the genre, but it wasn't like that went over the heads of writers and fans back in the day as well. I would honestly say it was one of the better comic book adaptions out there, and it may be more relevant for comic book movie fans now, than it was when it was released.

    I think WK has been a bad influence on me because this is the most time I've ever spent on a single post about comic book movies in my entire life. DAMN YOU, WOLF KANNO!
    Just doing my job.

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