Sorta Super Heroes? ~ Outside the Margins with Hank Edwards

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Hank Edwards OtM

In last month’s Outside the Margins, I wrote a piece that imagined what buying insurance might be like in a world where superheroes actually exist. Well, this month I’m going to write a review about the big budget slug-fest known as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

To start, I enjoy superhero movies. Marvel’s whole slate of them has been off the wall fun. I love the humor, the characters, the interconnectedness of them all, the planning that went into it and the sheer brilliance of that studio to have pulled it all off. And did I mention the humor? Even in the most dire of circumstances, I love a hero who can crack wise. And, yes, I’m aware that none of the heroes will ever die (well…), and the sheer magnitude of destruction that surrounds them MUST be epic for them to be seen as “super” once they overcome it, so I try not to think “Who the ever loving hell is going to pay to repair that highway?” during these scenes. I get all that, and so I went into BvS with an open mind and, actually, more than a little interest to see Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. (Yes, I have a bit of a crush on Ben that came on full force when he had that magnificent beard in “Argo.” He got a lot of flack for that beard, but, holy crap, my manly bits really stood up and took notice of Ben in full on bear mode. Whew!) Also, I wanted to see how DC was planning to kick off their take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) strategy now that they’ve announced the release dates for ten more superhero movies to follow BvS up until 2020. Whew.

So, I came out of the movie awed by the scope and magnitude of the effects, and it was fun to see my hometown of Detroit all over the place (yes, even the run-down abandoned bits). Anyway, I’ve been running it over in my mind and my overall review is: C-. It was a dark movie (come on, it’s Batman, so it’s got to be dark, right?), but back in the day Tim Burton managed to eek a bit of  humor out of Michael Keaton. There were many, many, many plot holes, some of which Mashable called out in a great article (find that here: MASHABLE LINK), and with which I agree on all counts. And there are a few others I’d like to point out as well.

1) In the beginning, Bruce Wayne races through Metropolis to get to the Wayne Financial high rise as Superman and General Zod battle each other and tear the city apart. The building collapses, leaving untold number dead (though we only see one man, Jack, who goes with it, and, I’m sorry, but when I used to work on the top floor of a seven-story building, we would stack up in the stairwells during fire drills and a few times I never actually made it out of the building before people started coming back in… ah, safety at its finest!). He rushes into a massive cloud of dust (anyone else also remembering when the towers came down on 9/11/01 each time they see that in a movie? Always a punch to the gut.) and comes upon a young girl with a stuffed animal standing and looking up at the stub of a building that remains. He asks where her mom is and the girl points and he gathers her to him and glares up at Superman doing battle with Zod overhead. So, here’s my beef. I love a good Ben / Batman / Bruce Wayne glare, but … why the hell was that kid anywhere near that building? The girl looks to be of school-going age, at least 6 or 7 (I’m not really an expert at age guessing, but she was tall, so…), and I’m wondering why wasn’t she in school? I’m certain Wayne Enterprises would provide a day care center, but… Why was she there? Other than to add emotional heft in the old “I’m now an orphan” move. So, yeah, dramatically arranged, but kind of lazy, in my thinking. Other ways to prove the point of it.

2) Whatever the holy hell Bruce Wayne is eating he needs to step back from it. What is up with his weird ass dreams? And the vision/dream he had of being in a desert where flying insect men carry people off? I’m not a comic book reader, so not sure if they were setting up something for a future DC standalone movie or what, but… weird. I was so busy trying to figure out what the hell that all meant that it took me out of the movie, and there’s nothing a writer should avoid more than using words or descriptions that make the reader stop and be taken out of the story. The same is true of screenwriters. Don’t lose your viewers! And Batman with his bat-cowl and goggles and long duster… just kind of stands out, to me. Way to attract attention, Bruce. Er, sorry, Batman. In the desert. Far from Gotham City.

3) Lex Luthor has the worst tech guys in the history of tech guys. What was up with that dangling cable hanging outside of the server room that allowed Bruce Wayne to attach a device so he could capture all the data on Lex’s servers? And even though it was a small device, it was able to load up the massive data of all those servers? Where can I get one?! Oh right, I’m not a billionaire. But, wait, Lex Luthor had pretty deep pockets, yet his tech services contractors just let cables dangle outside of a secure server room?! Nope, not buying it.

4) Superman is shown doing many good and heroic deeds. Saving a girl in Mexico from a burning factory during the Day of the Dead celebration. Saving the manned capsule of a Russian rocket that explodes (see the Mashable link for their issues with this scene, with which I agree). And hovering above the rushing flood waters that have devastated a town, where a woman, husband, and child sits atop their house. All around them flood waters rage, washing away everything they own… Hell, washing away their entire neighborhood. And yet, they’ve managed to paint a pretty awesome Superman “S” symbol on the wet and slippery shingles in white paint. Dramatic and symbolic, yes. Stretching the realm of credulity even in a superhero movie? Yeahhhh…

I also had some pretty big issues with the end of the movie, which I won’t list here due to massive spoilers that would be revealed in the process. Suffice it to say many more gaping plot holes were introduced, and if you want to discuss them email me or private message me on Facebook.

So why did I feel the need to blog about this movie when I should be blogging about writing? Because someone WROTE the script for this movie, and a lot of what felt off about it and removed me from the movie experience was a part of the script. This is something we writers, no matter what medium we write for, need to be vigilant about. We cannot forget how our readers (or viewers or what have you) experience our work. The scene or the line of dialogue might be cute and funny, but is it necessary? Is it needed? Is it affixed in the reality of the story / world / character? Does it logically follow (unless it’s purposefully not supposed to?) the rest of the scene?

If you self-publish, find an editor and pay them to read your story at least once prior to you uploading the file. Have a beta reader you trust (or two or three) read the story and let you know if anything feels out of place or non-essential. I am always grateful to the changes my editors suggest, and I feel my writing has improved over the years due to the feedback of these editors.

As the saying goes when it comes to edits: “Murder your darlings.”

~Hank Edwards


Chasing_Chupacabra_cvr

Title: Chasing the Chupacabra: Critter Catchers Book Two
Author: Hank Edwards
Publisher: Wilde City
Publication Date: 03/30/2016
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Genre: Gay Fiction, Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Romance

Blurb:

Business is tough for Critter Catchers, the animal control company owned by best friends Demetrius and Cody. Their first big job was a few months ago, but no one likes to talk about it because that critter turned out to be a murderous wolf man. When a new job finally appears, they jump at it, and end up chasing an unidentified creature through the woods around Parson’s Hollow. Soon they’re smack dab in the middle of another potential paranormal case, complete with a mysterious blood-thirsty creature, a secretive laboratory, and a farmer they’re not sure they can trust!

Links

Chasing the Chupacabra: Critter Catchers Book Two on Goodreads
Wilde City
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About Hank Edwards

Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.

He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (www.facebook.com/SOGroup), a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts atwww.hankedwardsbooks.com/hankerings.

Like his Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/hankedwardsbooks or www.facebook.com/venomvalleyseries), favorite his Amazon page (www.amazon.com/author/hankedwards), and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at www.hankedwardsbooks.com or send along an email to hankedwardsbooks@gmail.com.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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