Franchise Movie DOs and DON'Ts

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Franchise Movie DOs and DON'Ts

Shorter DVD windows, the advent of streaming, etc have all made serialized storytelling the go-to business model for motion-picture entertainment. However, not everyone does it well.

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Good article, Bob. We'll see if DC can get its act together.

While the writing and acting have a bit to be desired at times, Arrow isn't THAT bad.
I especially liked the twist at the end of Season 1 where:

Personally, I think Agents of SHIELD is better, but it's not terrible.

Diablo1099:
While the writing and acting have a bit to be desired at times, Arrow isn't THAT bad.
I especially liked the twist at the end of Season 1 where:

Personally, I think Agents of SHIELD is better, but it's not terrible.

Has Ollie stopped being an insufferably smug know-it-all who the show goes out of its way to demonstrate is never wrong or mistaken at any time ever (or indeed is the spoiler you mention a direst result of that)? Because that was why I stopped watching the first series. Kind of tempted by the second if its opening up to the likes of the Flash with legitimate super-powers

Pallindromemordnillap:
Has Ollie stopped being an insufferably smug know-it-all who the show goes out of its way to demonstrate is never wrong or mistaken at any time ever (or indeed is the spoiler you mention a direst result of that)? Because that was why I stopped watching the first series. Kind of tempted by the second if its opening up to the likes of the Flash with legitimate super-powers

Kinda, I don't think it was as bad as the first season as it has Ollie trying to patch up the issues with his family and his company from the fallout on top of the slums turning into The Narrows from Batman Begins.
So far, Cadmus and HIVE have been name dropped so yeah...

I'm not saying it's the best show in the world, but I could think of a far more that are much worse.
I'm just here to see some legit "Costumed Hero fighting Crime" action outside of cartoons.

Bobby, why do you dislike Arrow? No really, I want to know to the degree that I want you to use next week column to explain this.

Edit/Extra rant:
The thing with the first season is that it was originally only 12 episodes, and some of the first episodes was bad, so with some of the fillers. But, it has a good passing, the writers know how to us the cast (exept Laurel), it's never dull and for the most part avoid easy drama. How do this qualify as terrible?

Pallindromemordnillap:

Diablo1099:
While the writing and acting have a bit to be desired at times, Arrow isn't THAT bad.
I especially liked the twist at the end of Season 1 where:

Personally, I think Agents of SHIELD is better, but it's not terrible.

Has Ollie stopped being an insufferably smug know-it-all who the show goes out of its way to demonstrate is never wrong or mistaken at any time ever (or indeed is the spoiler you mention a direst result of that)? Because that was why I stopped watching the first series. Kind of tempted by the second if its opening up to the likes of the Flash with legitimate super-powers

I think it's worth revisiting that series. I really enjoyed it by the end of season one and Ollie's character had grown and developed quite nicely. I am excited to see what they do with season two. To be honest, I like Arrow more than Agents of SHIELD. They do have very different styles though.

Pallindromemordnillap:

Diablo1099:
While the writing and acting have a bit to be desired at times, Arrow isn't THAT bad.
I especially liked the twist at the end of Season 1 where:

Personally, I think Agents of SHIELD is better, but it's not terrible.

Has Ollie stopped being an insufferably smug know-it-all who the show goes out of its way to demonstrate is never wrong or mistaken at any time ever (or indeed is the spoiler you mention a direst result of that)? Because that was why I stopped watching the first series. Kind of tempted by the second if its opening up to the likes of the Flash with legitimate super-powers

He's still quite often an insufferable know-it-all, but the show switched up to show how he's wrong very often. It especially helps that the opponents he goes against get progressively tougher. Fighting random mooks is easy, world-renowned assassins are a much better foe.

I have to say, I find Arrow to be a pretty compelling tale. In fact, I'm enjoying it a lot more than I am Agents of Shield. That's not to say that Agents of Shield is somehow bad, but it's stuck in its first season screw-ups.

In Arrow, the main characters feel alive to me (with the exception or Laurel who really needs an episode so the audience can finally come to understand the driving motivations of the character, crappy though they may be). In the first season, I could feel the barely-repressed anger from his character. The same is true for the other characters now; the actors are expressing the characters well enough that I can buy into what's happening, even when it seems outlandish.

Agents of Shield doesn't pull this off well. With the exception of Coulson, Fitz, and Simmons who have managed to express their characters well. Ward just comes off as an empty shell of a character; defined as a badass because thats what the show keeps telling us he is. In the Well he finally gets a tiny piece of believable characterization with his past, but even then, it's just reinforcing the "Look at me, I'm a Badass" story. Skye's oh so secret plot is also cliche. Oh, what's this; she became a hacker to find out about her parents? AND they're somehow connected to Shield (probably murdered in some Shield operation which will come out in the climax of the first season). Skye's the character we're supposed to identify with in this story, but at this point I'm only able to view the story from the perspective of Fitz and Simmons. Then of course there's Melinda May - one of the best operatives in Shield history we've never heard of - who doesn't want to be involved in fighting despite being dragged in nearly every episode.

Again; Agents of Shield isn't bad. A lot of my complaints are more to do with it being the first season where the writers and the actors haven't found their formulas yet. Their ability to tie in with the movies is extremely well done as evidenced by the opening of The Well, and I'm sure the characters will grow on me, but they just haven't managed to sell me on it. I can only hope I'm wrong on the Skye back-story prediction and instead there's some kind of twist I don't see coming.

Until then, I'm gonna continue to enjoy the plot of Arrow where every episode I'm getting something I didn't see coming.

Yeah what's the deal with the Arrow hate bob? There are plenty worse show's out there.

Goliath100:
Bobby, why do you dislike Arrow? No really, I want to know to the degree that I want you to use next week column to explain this.

I second this. Sure, it's far from perfect, but it does a damn good job of expanding upon Green Arrow and creating its own take on his backstory and supporting characters - which, to he best of my knowledge, has never been done outside of the comics.

Diablo1099:

So far, Cadmus and HIVE have been name dropped so yeah...

I'm not saying it's the best show in the world, but I could think of a far more that are much worse.
I'm just here to see some legit "Costumed Hero fighting Crime" action outside of cartoons.

And the League of Shadows.

Also, the side-story of what happened on the island is rather engaging.

An Ceannaire:

Diablo1099:

So far, Cadmus and HIVE have been name dropped so yeah...

I'm not saying it's the best show in the world, but I could think of a far more that are much worse.
I'm just here to see some legit "Costumed Hero fighting Crime" action outside of cartoons.

And the League of Shadows.

Also, the side-story of what happened on the island is rather engaging.

Aye, The Writing isn't the best but it's enough to make you say "Huh...Didn't see that coming" every once in a while.

One of the comments I read said this show is getting more Soap Opera-y, but hey, so is Wrestling.
Least you can actually get some decent scripted fights in Arrow :P

I totally get not liking Arrow. The first half of Season One was some of the worst telivision I have ever willingly sat through (Just kept telling myself "It gets better, it has to get better). That said, it does get better, to where Season 2 so far has been very good. I'm excited to see where they go with it and I'm looking forward to seeing how Arrow and the new Flash show will interact.

I think it would be a mistake on Warner Brothers part not to bring their movieverse and the shows together. Arrow's been laying the groundwork for a while now, establishing the League of Assassin's, Cadmus, and HIVE. That's work they no longer have to do in future movies. Plus, as Avengers and Agents of Shield's (initial) ratings have shown, people really dig crossovers.

I too really like Arrow, more than AoS so far (though The Well was a pretty good episode). Sure, the show has it's weakspots, but the thing to keep in mind is that Arrow isn't about the comics Green Arrow - it's about Oliver Queen gradually growing into the role of GA

The implication that Arrow is a terrible show is astounding ... Sure, season 1 was slightly paint by numbers, but it was good at what it did. Season 2, so far, has proven that it can stand its own against some of the better superhero movies out there.

Darth Sea Bass:
Yeah what's the deal with the Arrow hate bob? There are plenty worse show's out there.

Because it's not a Marvel property

So what I took from this article is that DC has to get its act together to compete with Marvel's movies and TV; and Bob hates Arrow more than AoS. Doesn't every new sow have it's bumps in the road in their first season?

Ronack:
The implication that Arrow is a terrible show is astounding ... Sure, season 1 was slightly paint by numbers, but it was good at what it did. Season 2, so far, has proven that it can stand its own against some of the better superhero movies out there.

I watched Arrow for the 1st 1/2 of series one, but gave up on it. Sounds like I may have to give it another go. Regarding the column itself, Bob really has a problem of deciding if something will be crap or good before seeing it and sticking to it.

Well, I guess someone has to comment on the actual article. I got a lot of different messages in some of those movies.

Do: Try to outdo your competition
Don't screw with the character to do it.

I never got 9/11 imagery off Man of Steel. I go a vibe of people that felt a desperate need to outdo the Avengers in terms of spectacle while also trying to "de-comic book" it. By that I mean Buildings won't stay standing, fights won't be held in an unpopulated area found in midday, and we won't gloss over any killing needing to happen (ie: we point out Superman killing Zod as a hard choice, instead of glossing over how many chi'tauti got killed by that nuke.) I liked it, but I do see a superman fan being off put by something rather out of character (he would have steer the fight out of town)

Do do prequels
Don't try and fit everything in.

It's kind of expected that prequels are full of nods, in jokes and information, but too much fills up running time. Any element of Wolverine's past could have made a decent film. All of them from James Howlett to amnesiac Logan, a little much.

Do use lessor villains
Don't make them suck.

It's not that even a lame villain can't be made cool, but Hector Hamand really just being used as a powerful guy going "you never loved me" doesn't make for anything epic.

Do make a shared multimedia continuity
Don't retcon one.

A minor misstep aside with the Hulk's post credits bit not being used, Marvel planned the Avengers and created the works to make it work. DC is trying to pretend established works can be knitted together. The structure, the tones, the contracts, none of that's there.Making this work involved getting people on the same page, not retroactively trying to explain the League of Shadows in both the Nolan movies and on arrow. As it stands, Marvel did well with the movies, but expanding things is still a work in progress, and for now, the name dropping in SHIELD still feels less an organic extension than a way to justify the Marvel logo.

Ronack:
The implication that Arrow is a terrible show is astounding ... Sure, season 1 was slightly paint by numbers, but it was good at what it did. Season 2, so far, has proven that it can stand its own against some of the better superhero movies out there.

I have yet to see it, but has it changed everything about the character from the comics? What mindset should I go in with, because I love Green Arrow, from what I hear, this dude kills a lot of people and is a bit of a dick. Any of that true?Without spoilers, how would you, or anyone else recommend the show to a fan of the comic character, but with an open mind :) As I always take adaptions with a grain of salt.

Redd the Sock:
I liked it, but I do see a superman fan being off put by something rather out of character (he would have steer the fight out of town)

I liked it, as a Supes fan.

chozo_hybrid:

Ronack:
The implication that Arrow is a terrible show is astounding ... Sure, season 1 was slightly paint by numbers, but it was good at what it did. Season 2, so far, has proven that it can stand its own against some of the better superhero movies out there.

I have yet to see it, but has it changed everything about the character from the comics? What mindset should I go in with, because I love Green Arrow, from what I hear, this dude kills a lot of people and is a bit of a dick. Any of that true?Without spoilers, how would you, or anyone else recommend the show to a fan of the comic character, but with an open mind :) As I always take adaptions with a grain of salt.

Redd the Sock:
I liked it, but I do see a superman fan being off put by something rather out of character (he would have steer the fight out of town)

I liked it, as a Supes fan.

I liked it myself, but as I said: comic book logic and rules would have had him figure out something else.

Arrow takes fair liberties with the character. Yes, in the first season he's more than willing to kill (he's taking names off a list) and between PTSD and the belief it's his mission alone, he does act like a jerk a lot. Second season hashim trying the other way of avoid killing,and he seems to have moved back into having friends. If you could see the long term development potential in MoS, you can probably get through the rougher parts of Arrow.

Why does Bob hate Arrow? that's easy to answer, the characters don't look exactly like they do in the comics therefore it is crap!

He did at least 3 articles on his Moviebob blog whinging about how Captain America had a non red, white and blue costume in the promo material for Winter Soldier before the trailer came out.

And look at the Batman costume hate as well. The only one he doesn't complain about is the lack of Thor's signature helmet.

Redd the Sock:

chozo_hybrid:

Ronack:
The implication that Arrow is a terrible show is astounding ... Sure, season 1 was slightly paint by numbers, but it was good at what it did. Season 2, so far, has proven that it can stand its own against some of the better superhero movies out there.

I have yet to see it, but has it changed everything about the character from the comics? What mindset should I go in with, because I love Green Arrow, from what I hear, this dude kills a lot of people and is a bit of a dick. Any of that true?Without spoilers, how would you, or anyone else recommend the show to a fan of the comic character, but with an open mind :) As I always take adaptions with a grain of salt.

Redd the Sock:
I liked it, but I do see a superman fan being off put by something rather out of character (he would have steer the fight out of town)

I liked it, as a Supes fan.

I liked it myself, but as I said: comic book logic and rules would have had him figure out something else.

Arrow takes fair liberties with the character. Yes, in the first season he's more than willing to kill (he's taking names off a list) and between PTSD and the belief it's his mission alone, he does act like a jerk a lot. Second season hashim trying the other way of avoid killing,and he seems to have moved back into having friends. If you could see the long term development potential in MoS, you can probably get through the rougher parts of Arrow.

I suppose comic book logic would do that, but sometimes, heroes do fail in the comics as well. Superman in the Kingdom come universe with Magog did pretty bad in one situation if I recall. It's why he becomes recluse.

Awesome, I think I'll give the show a shot then, thank you :D

Really Bob, calling Arrow "terrible"!? While the first half of season one was only ok (to be generous) it's now one of the better comic book shows I can think of. I'm all for everyone having widely different opinions, that's what makes the world go round, but being bitter and angry for no reason is uncalled for.

MovieBob:
Snip

Simply put, you're telling someone on a tight-rope not to lean either right or left TOO much. An obvious, and yet, ultimately useless piece of advice considering that a proper balance in the set-up, story-telling and marketing of a franchise isn't a clear issue of "Do this and not that". The proper equity between these factors is elusive and hard to pull off.

This is not an indictment of your article.

Somebody might wanna slip this under the doors of DC Comics and Warner Brothers. They desperately need this information more than ever. Mind you, none of them will read it since most of the higher ups are grade school dropouts. ^^;

Another one ignoring the article to talk about the Arrow hate.

I'm glad you hated it, I hated it too. I stopped watching after the first few episodes because it made me angry it was so stupidly written. Watching him murder 30 relatively innocent people each episode only to give the "evil boss" a chance to redeem themselves was my biggest gripe but there were many more.

However I went back and gave it another chance and by the end of season one it's actually not bad. It'll never be great but I can enjoy it now. So, there's that.

Again with the 9/11 stuff regarding Man of Steel. Is this an American thing or is every time a city gets destroyed in a movie going to be 9/11 imagery from now on?

I like arrow, and coming to think of it I would have liked to read Bobs take on it... such a shame he doesn't like XD.

Nice article, I hope marvel nails it with the netflix shows (finger crossed for iron fist) because they chose some characters with some top notch comic stories (Alias is one of my top favorite comics of all time). On the DC front, I hope the keep at it with Arrow and don't listen to the haters and please, for batmans cowl, get Liam Neeson to do Ras Al Gul again! Oh, and please don't screw up that Gotham Central (they are not calling it that but that's what it is) show.

I think Marvel has another huge advantage over DC with Marvel has embraced the idea of streaming while DC seems far less willing to totally embrace the concept. Need to catch up on a Marvel movie or cartoon series, chances are pretty good you can do that on Netflix from the comfort of home and no extra cost. DC tends to only go with some animated films and parts of series since they seem to be in the mindset of people must buy the DVD or BluRay to access most of their shows or superhero movies. Need that episode of Batman Brave and the Bold with Wonder Woman, well too damn bad kid you are going to have to buy it somewhere. Warner just can't seem to accept it's not the same entertainment world as when Blockbuster was doing plenty of business.

As to Arrow vs Agents of SHIELD right now I'm enjoying Arrow far more than Agents of SHIELD. Sure Arrow got a pretty rocky start, but it seems like they are on the path to Green Arrow superhero instead on angry guy in the hood goes around killing people on a list and the thugs that work for them. Agents of SHIELD does a lot of name dropping without much pay off so it's mostly hey remember how cool that movie was instead of the show being cool. With Arrow at least you get things like Black Canary instead of just name dropping. Trick arrows, moving more towards actual powers, it's sort of like after season one someone stepped in and said we need to embrace comic book type stuff instead of running away from it.

Guys, it was comment bait, let it go.

I fell for it too, but still.

At any rate, it definitely does seem as though MovieBob is really into the concept of crossovers, but he's currently not into the styles of either one. I'm personally pretty big on Arrow but I'm getting impatient for the Flash, since he's by far my personal favorite. I'm also itching to see Ollie start being the smartass everyone knows him as.

I've personally never seen Agents of Steel. Despite being a Mutant Enemy thing...or actually, maybe it's because it is. Something about it doesn't catch my interest, mainly the concept of blatant shoehorning of references as a form of advertisement.

anthony87:
Again with the 9/11 stuff regarding Man of Steel. Is this an American thing or is every time a city gets destroyed in a movie going to be 9/11 imagery from now on?

We should tell them to get over it?? I feel positive about that....
GET OVER IT

That being said i just dont find Marvel movies to be really good movies... And i have a problem everytime someone goes and says "Thor was great, but The Incredible Hulk wasnt", or "The Incledible Hulk was better than the 2003 Hulk".... Marvel movies are all just correct in their execution and nothing more, with perhaps the exception of the first Ironman and Ironman 3... I dont find Thor to be any special, nor the Captain America, the Amazing Spiderman is actually good, but lacks the touching moments of the Sam Raimi trilogy, ummh tbh The Avengers is only different because of its big budget and scope but otherwise its just a correct movie with funny moments and not much more...
Im trying to be honest here, most Marvel movies also lack good combat choreography, and certainly Man of Steel dwarfs them all in that aspect.

And i just never liked Marvel and DC comics that much, they are so... inconsequential, Superman dies and the first time its very touching, but then he comes back because of its father (also pretty touching), and a few years later all the dead dudes start reviving again, and i fell like "MEH, who cares about death then?", then the alternate stories emerge, this "Infinite number of alternate universes", and the worst thing; THEY ARE NOT PARALLEL AT ALL, which ultimately takes out the flavor of any story, and makes everything so, SO inconsequential that i just cant care about anything anymore...
You see, theres an infinite number of universes where Doomsday killed Superman and destroyed the earth, theres an infinite number of universes where every single character died, as well as an infinite number of universes where there was a happy ending, geez, theres even an infinite number of universes where Batman and Robin are gay and love each other (Robin, youre the only one who truly knows my batcave)....
So i enjoy Marvel and DC movies becuase they follow a more fixed timeline, they certainly dont suck, and they wont start being inconsequential in at least 6o years. And i dont like stories to being carried over real life decades (and possibly centuries, it just doesnt work....

I cut some parts of this rant because it was too big (like REALLY big), maybe i should post it like a blog someplace else... anyway, feel free to agree... or dont...

Ugh, I've always despised serial storytelling. That's the problem I've always had with television and *most* comics. Cinema used to be more or less immune to this, but now I can't even be bothered with films anymore, since they've just started emulating the other two mediums.

Seriously everyone, stop asking why he doesn't like Arrow before he actually answers it like he was planning to do all along in a long point-by-point comparison to Agents of Shield. Just be secure in your opinion of why you love the show, and let it go.

Related to the article, I had no idea how they were going to legally handle Quicksilver's slated appearance in the next Avengers, but now I learn that he is also going to be in Days of Future Past? However minor his role in either movie will be, this would be like releasing both Sam Rami's Spider-man and Amazing Spider-man within the same year. This is just going to confuse people not in the know about the comics. People like my parents.

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