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Fandom: Looking at Both Sides of the Debate

Previously, I wrote an article about how certain ignorant fan boys were ruining fandom. It’s the end of 2017, and not much has really changed. Though, my point of view may be a little different now, a few key details stand. There are two sides to every debate, and that’s what this article is going to look at.

First off, I’d like to make it known that I enjoy both Marvel and DC Films, but if I didn’t, it wouldn’t really matter. Films are something you can like and dislike, that’s what makes them so popular. Everyone dissects them, and everyone can have an opinion. In my personal opinion, though, if you’re going to review a movie, I think you should do so in an un-biased way.

Justice League was released on the 17th of this month for the general public to see, and reviews were predictably “mixed” to negative. Fans generally seemed to have liked the movie, but most critics absolutely destroyed it. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the “reviews”, though.

Vanity Fair:

The film is, plainly stated, terrible, and I’m sorry that everyone wasted their time and money making it—and that people are being asked to waste their time and money seeing it. I hate to be so blunt, but it simply must be said this time.

Washington City Paper:

To its detriment, Justice League constantly invites comparisons to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Snyder’s latest inspires any passion, it will be among the tiresome, inevitable squabbling between DC vs. Marvel fanboys.

Doesn’t really sound like film critique, now does it? Sounds like they’re more or less just inviting fans to argue with them to gain views. It’s worth pointing out that Wonder Woman was universally praised as a great film, but was similar in more ways than one to Justice League. One undeniable thing was its sub-par CGI – something that Justice League has been bashed for.

One huge difference? Zack Snyder wasn’t the director. He still served as a writer and producer on the film, though – something most won’t give him the credit he deserves. Fans were awful to Snyder when he left Justice League as well, but we already covered that in heavy detail.

When it comes to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Was it too dark? Maybe. Was it an awful movie? Nope. When I think of awful, I think of things like 2015’s Fantastic Four or Marvel’s Inhumans. Stuff that is borderline unwatchable. BvS doesn’t even come close to that. Suicide Squad, while not very good, is still watchable.

When it comes to movies, most aren’t as awful as F4, so that might not be a good comparison. But was BvS better than Bad Moms and Independence Day: Resurgence? I’d like to think so, but according to the critics on Rotten Tomatoes – it wasn’t:

Batman v Superman Rotten Tomatoes

Independence Day: Resurgence

Bad Moms

I figured Iron Man 3 would be the one Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that could have a negative rating, but apparently, it’s “fresh”:

Iron Man 3 Rotten Tomatoes

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to think I know a thing or two about movies. It would probably be more fact than opinion that Independence Day: Resurgence was a pile of garbage, and the fact that it’s rated above BvS raises many questions.

Rotten Tomatoes isn’t to blame like many fans seem to think, however. They just take reviews and give us a percentage based on the ratio of good and bad reviews. It’s hard to ignore that people have been overly critical of the DC Movies, and that’s coming from a guy who likes Marvel more than DC. Opinions are opinions, though.

The Other Side

There are some DC Fans out there who seem to believe that all news, even if it is factual, is just some sort of conspiracy against The DCEU. I’m here to say that that is definitely not the case. There are rumors and developments with all movies, and they’re reported by all sites. Sure, some sites may have an agenda or something along those lines, but in my experience, people are just reporting the news.

A recent example would be when I was on a DC fan page on Facebook. I was on it for two years, and helped build it. I posted a factual story about Casey Affleck, Ben Affleck’s brother, stating that he didn’t believe Ben would be doing Matt Reeves’ solo Batman movie. There was even a video accompanying the quote, in which he said it in a super serious tone.

It was reported as speculation, but my site was accused of taking his comments out of context and that he was “clearly” joking.

“I thought he was an OK Batman. No, I thought he was great. He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think. Sorry to say. [Radio hosts inform him that’s breaking news] Is that breaking news? Because I was just kind of making that up, I don’t know.”

If that’s a joke, I may have missed the punchline. With all of the news surrounding Affleck’s alleged departure from the role, it was in pretty poor taste if it was a joke. The same happened when there were rumors suggesting Affleck wasn’t going to direct and write The Batman, and that turned out to be true. Calling it fake is about as silly as it would be to accuse Ben Affleck of being “fake news” if he released a statement saying he was no longer playing Batman.

Ben Affleck Batman

I can see how fan pages wouldn’t want to report certain stories, and it wasn’t my fan page, so I can’t really say it was out of line to remove me. However, as a fan, I personally like to read rumors and things of that nature, because I find it interesting.

Now, I’m not saying that Affleck is leaving the role of Batman, but if there are rumors or stories reported by reputable sources, isn’t it our job to provide people with the news? Our site does it in a non-biased way, at least. So no, I personally don’t believe there’s some type of conspiracy to ruin DC Movies before they come out. If anyone ruins the movies, it’s Warner Bros. when they edit them. I do believe that people can be hard on DC, but like I said before, everyone has an opinion. Even if it’s a biased one.

A personal experience on a page with DC Fans like I mentioned above gave me an added perspective into both sides of the coin. Running my own pages has also given me a look at just how seriously fans can take their fandom – in an unhealthy way.

On a Marvel Facebook page that I manage, there was a DC/Marvel post, and I found some comments that went straight to death threats, simply over the two companies:

Fan Death Threats

Fan Death Threats

You read that correctly. In the comment section of a Marvel and DC meme, things went right to threats of death. As I mentioned earlier in the article, people love movies because of the passion it brings out in all of us. Passion is different than what’s being shown in the pictures above, though.

If your fandom is such that you’d kill someone over a differing opinion, you should probably take a breather.

Better yet, if that’s the case, you should probably have yourself evaluated professionally, because people are going to have different opinions. We can dissect them how we want, that’s what freedom of speech is. That’s why I’m not so sure on this whole Rotten Tomatoes vs. Fans thing.

It’s annoying from a fan perspective to see their favorite things bashed by the majority of critics, but at the same time, if someone doesn’t like the film, you should respect their opinion. Film critiquing though, shouldn’t be personal. If you’re going into a film with some type of personal agenda against it, why be a film critic? Why not just write op-eds instead?

At the end of the day, none of what I’m saying really matters that much. We’re all going to continue to have our own opinions, and nothing regarding the Marvel vs. DC vs. Rotten Tomatoes debate is going to change. I’m just hoping we can be a little more respectful to each other and make debates less personal.

After all, this is just my opinion. What’s yours?


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