My Unpopular SF Opinions 2: Revenge of the Salt 🧂

A few years ago, I made a post about my Unpopular Sci-Fi Opinions and I had fun talking about things and explaining my case for liking or disliking things. So here I am again with another round of unpopular opinions! Are these really that “unpopular”? I don’t know, but these are all kind of ranked based on the reaction I get when I express these opinions. These may be controversial, they may not be controversial. But they are just opinions and shouldn’t be taken to heart. I don’t see my opinions as being fact, and nobody is right or wrong when it comes to something subjective as a genre.

I DON’T LIKE MARVEL MOVIES

Starting off by jumping straight into the fire. In terms of Marvel Comics and TV/cartoons, I’m actually indifferent towards them. The movies, on the other hand, I don’t like. A few years ago, I sort of kept up with the MCU because I liked the Captain America and Thor movies, and I actually have positive reviews of The Avengers and The Winter Soldier on this blog. But then Civil War happened and I saw it as a soulless cash grab to be in direct competition to Batman v Superman (which is a movie that I do like, as mentioned in my last unpopular opinions post). It also has Iron Man in it, and I absolutely cannot stand Iron Man. Then Thor: Ragnarok happened and I hated it so much that I decided to just not watch MCU movies anymore.

My main issue with Marvel movies comes from the fact that the plots are so formulaic and samey that they all tend to blur into one another for me. I can’t say that I know the characters well because I don’t, but their personalities are very similar to one another. I don’t find any of the jokes funny because they just fall into the “snarky one-liner” category without being endearing and pop up at the most inappropriate of times to make sure the audience is still awake. And the cinematography can be so grey and bland that I just don’t enjoy looking at them.

If I may be controversial, I agree with Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s stances on the MCU (Coppola more than Scorsese because nobody has the authority to decide what “cinema” is): to me, Marvel movies are generic popcorn blockbusters that are made for money and not to tell deeper stories. I watch them once and think they’re fine, but the more and more I watch them, the less I like them.

Also, because I’m not done being salty, I really hate the stranglehold that the MCU has on superhero movies in general. A lot of people refuse to accept that different superhero movies call for different styles of storytelling, and if anything is not made in the Marvel Studios mould, it is immediately branded as garbage. Even movies based on other Marvel properties get that treatment, and it just bothers me that so many audience members aren’t more accepting of different characters having different stories to be told.

BEN AFFLECK IS MY FAVOURITE BATMAN

Before I get into this point, I want to state that I am not here to talk about Ben Affleck’s sexual harassment scandal that lasted all of five minutes. We know what he did was wrong, he knows what he did was wrong. He apologised to the woman who said he didn’t do anything to her, and we shall leave it like that.

So anyway. Yes, Ben Affleck is my favourite Batman. Outside of Kevin Conroy, who is another level because animation and live-action are two mediums that can’t be compared, Ben is the one who I feel really understands how to encapsulate both sides of Batman. Most actors focus a lot more on the “Batman” side of Batman, and their Bruce Wayne, unfortunately, falls flat.

For me, a good live-action Batman is one that truly shows the duality of Batman and Bruce Wayne, and I think that Ben was the best at doing that. We got to see an older Bruce Wayne who has reluctantly returned to crimefighting but is now unnecessarily cruel in his actions to the point that he has tunnel vision and doesn’t see what he’s doing wrong until his actions are shoved directly into his face. He still keeps up the facade of an airheaded playboy and alternated between the two seamlessly.

Because I am in the incredibly small but vocal minority of people who liked Batman v Superman, I feel the need to clarify some things that it looks like some people just don’t get.

  1. Batman’s killings of criminals and branding them is actually framed as a bad thing. Superman tells him he’s wrong, Lois tells him he’s wrong, even Alfred tells him he’s wrong. It is not shown to be a good thing, it shows that he’s become more dangerous before and lost his ways.
  2. He does not become fast friends with Superman because their mothers share a first name. Bruce Wayne is a man who very obviously has a multitude of mental illnesses and unaddressed trauma. His mother and Superman’s mother both being called Martha is a complete total coincidence. Thomas Wayne’s last word before dying was his wife’s name, so it now acts as a trigger word for Bruce. It’s not until Lois points out that Martha is also Superman’s mother’s name that Bruce comes to realise that he has been wrong about Clark the whole time. He’s not some monster that’s going to destroy the whole world, he’s a man who has a mother, just like him.

Before this point gets too long-winded because I have a lot to say about it but not a lot of time, I will say that I am incredibly sad that Ben Affleck isn’t going to be Batman anymore. We had the best live-action Batman ever (even Kevin Conroy thinks so and that says something) and he was driven away by people harassing him over just being in a movie and adding so much unnecessary stress onto a man who already was going through an extremely rough patch. And honestly, no I’m not really looking forward to the Robert Pattinson Batman movie because everything about it confuses me. Is it going to be a DCEU movie? If yes, is it a prequel (which I really hope it’s not because we do not need another Batman origin story) or is it a sequel? If it’s a sequel how can we go from a 45-year-old Batman to a Batman who is around 10 years younger? Is he still Bruce Wayne or is Bruce Wayne dead so Dick Grayson (who has not been introduced in the franchise) has taken up the mantle? I’m just so confused, y’all. And tired. Very tired.

I DON’T LIKE JOSS WHEDON

Hoo boy, this may prove to be controversial. I am 100% aware of the fact that I originally gave The Avengers a 5-star review back in 2012, but times change and so do opinions. Now, I really cannot bear Joss Whedon’s writing or directing. This may stem from an extreme bitterness over how Justice League turned out (which I will address later), but I just have no interest in any of his past work anymore because his writing bugs the living crap out of me so much.

The biggest thing that annoys me is that Whedon is held up as the ultimate male feminist writer when his female characters are actually poorly written. To me, a strong female character is one who acts and behaves like a real woman, and not just a young white woman who punches people in the face and gives snarky one-liners. Unfortunately, that’s what quite a few Whedon characters amount to. His proposed script of Wonder Woman felt the need to emphasise how much of a burden being a woman is on Diana and also points out her beauty multiple times. Yes, Wonder Woman is known for being a beauty but that’s not all that she is.

Then we have the whole plot point of Black Widow not being able to have children makes her a monster. McScuse me, bitch?!?!?! Having children is not the entire point of a woman’s life. Some women really do want children but can’t become pregnant, but that does not make them a failure nor does it make them a monster. Whedon may have been viewed as a feminist back when Buffy was still airing, but we have come a long way since the late 1990s.

If I may move away from Whedon’s brand of dated “feminism”, I want to rant about Justice League. For me, Justice League could have been so much better if Warner Bros hadn’t decided to bring in Whedon for the reshoots. Because reshoots turned into character overhauls and we ended up with this bizarre Frankenstein-like movie that had two completely different tones. Instead of Diana taking charge of the team, we have her breasts being used as a cushion for The Flash to fall into (I seem to remember that appearing in another Whedon movie…), we have Lois being referred to as “the big guns” and being used in a plan completely orchestrated by Batman, we have Superman joking that he preferred being dead, and we have Diana declaring that she “works with children” in an oh sucks “boys will be boys” kind of way. It was just so unnecessary but Warner Bros got too caught up in paying attention to the “if DC wants to make good movies they need to copy Marvel” crowd, and we ended up with this garbage.

I LIKE ZACK SNYDER MOVIES

Yes. You read that right. Are Zack Snyder movies the greatest movies ever made and the highest form of cinema? No, they’re not. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But to me, and a lot of other people, Snyder movies show that superhero media is more than escapist wish fulfilment. The first two movies in the DCEU show that in order for superheroes to show optimism and idealism, they have to adapt to modern times by being placed in a morally grey world, like the one that we live in. To me, that isn’t bleak or dark, it’s showing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we just have to work towards getting to that light.

One thing that I see getting thrown around about Snyder a lot is that he’s a raging misogynist, but I don’t believe that at all. In Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, Lois Lane is shown actually doing her job of investigative journalism, which was not really seen in the Christopher Reeve movies. She’s given her “tough as nails, takes no crap from anyone” characterisation back, but unfortunately, people still have the idea in their heads that Lois Lane is an idiot who gets fooled easily by a pair of glasses. I’ve seen some people cite that the female characters in Watchmen are shown in a sexist way, but the Watchmen movie is an almost word-for-word adaptation of the comic book.

I feel like at this point I should talk about why I am a strong supporter of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. People are so biased against the guy that there is a lot of misinformation circulating around why Snyder left Justice League in the first place. He wasn’t fired, he left of his own volition because his daughter died by suicide. The man was grieving the loss of a child, so he had an extremely valid reason to leave. You would expect people to be respectful and understanding given the circumstances, but no. This is the internet and Snyder is the internet’s favourite punching bag so what happened instead was celebrations and suicide jokes. The man lost his daughter to mental illness and the way people react to that is to make jokes about it. You don’t have to like him to see how fucked up and cruel that is. The worst I saw was a tweet stating that they hoped Autumn Snyder’s suicide would teach her father a lesson about treating women. I can’t begin to talk about how disgusting that is. Zack Snyder is someone who receives glowing praise from his female coworkers for being respectful to them, you do not get to hope that a real woman’s death teaches him a lesson in writing fictional women, especially not when the woman who died was his child. 

The way I see it, Justice League was a movie that was ripped away from a director who was in mourning and turned over to someone who disrespected the established characterisation of its main cast and mutated it into something that was akin to sewing two different animals together and calling it a new animal. I just don’t understand why WB thought the movie would be successful when they allowed that to happen.

I HATE “NERD CULTURE”

This isn’t really a sci-fi thing, but sci-fi is so closely associated with nerd culture that I feel it’s worth talking about in this post. The biggest thing that bugs me about nerd culture as a whole is that everyone is expected to like and dislike the same things, and it gets to the point that I have seen people being bullied and harassed for not following the crowd by people who pride themselves on being “outsiders” or “misfits”. Then there’s the gatekeeping, and harassment of women in “nerdy” spaces (especially video games), and it just comes off as hypocritical that these people became the exact same people that they were bullied by as children.

We also have the money side of things. Franchises that were made out of a passion to tell stories and create characters have now become soulless cash grabs that sacrifice good storytelling and engaging characters for predictable plots and boring characters who fall under the category of “snarky asshole who punches people” and most mainstream audiences are so indulged in blind consumerism that anything that dares to go outside of the box and does something different is immediately trashed.

At one point I would have been overjoyed to talk about things I like with other people, but now people can be so hostile towards anyone who holds the “wrong” opinion that it makes me want to stay in my own little bubble. In books, movies, TV, video games, and the like there are no wrong opinions and there are no right opinions, just opinions. I just wish people would stop taking media so seriously and not antagonise others for their opinion on a movie. It’s just unnecessary.

What are some of your unpopular sci-fi opinions? Do you agree with any of mine? Do you disagree?

4 Comments

  1. 24/11/2019 / 11:06 AM

    I sort of fell out of love with MCU 😫 It makes me sad because I used to be SO obsessed? But there’s literally no reason they haven’t starred a woman until Captain Marvel (which I haven’t seen oops) and their feminism really is warped. I still love Peggy Carter’s TV show though afdjskald. And all the Thor and Spiderman movies ahah. But I’m like 5 years behind and don’t feel like catching up ooops.

    (And fan communities can definitely be so poisonous and wearying!)

    • Louise
      Author
      27/11/2019 / 9:23 AM

      I don’t understand why it took them so long to make a female-fronted movie when people had been asking for one for such a long time. IIRC, a few people were saying it was too little too late because DC had beaten them to the chase with Wonder Woman.

  2. 25/11/2019 / 8:22 PM

    Ahhhh Thor: Ragnarok was my favorite Marvel Movie haha. Oh well. And I love Nerd Culture in general, but the bullying and gatekeeping and harassing of Women is a very real problem and I hate that aspect of it. And its very brave of you to voice your unpopular opinions!! I disagree with almost all of them 😂 but I love that you shared your opinion. (And it would be super boring if we all liked the same things anyway 😉 )

    • Louise
      Author
      27/11/2019 / 9:38 AM

      It’s easier to share unpopular opinions among book bloggers because they tend to be more accepting of differing opinions than some online communities. And you’re right that it would be boring if we all liked the same things!

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