Crimes Against Humanity: Zack Snyder

Uber douche

Ugh. ZACK SNYDER. What a piece of trash. Snyder is that guy you know who just doesn’t get it, but couldn’t be more enthusiastic. He’s just smart enough to figure out what smart people are into, but not smart enough to have a legitimate interest himself. If you asked him what he thought about The Mona Lisa, he’d probably say it was “tight.” If asked why, he might assert that her expression was “hella funny.” He might then invite you to Carl’s Jr.

Zack Snider is the guy who shows up to every party on time, but no one is happy about it. Zack Snyder produces mindless, bottom of the barrel, opiate of the masses level popcorn entertainment for people who would rather die than suffer subtitles, and what makes him especially bad is that he seems to prefer doing this to intellectual properties that could actually be really great in the right hands. Zack Snyder is a machine that ruins other people’s good ideas. He assassinates potential. He’s really, really good at that.

  • Dawn of the Dead Now, on the surface, this movie wasn’t horrible. At the time, I actually liked it… It had a good script (James Gunn). The thing is, however, that this movie is the reason zombies suck so hard now, and now that we know more about Mr. Snyder this movie seems pretty pernicious in retrospect. This was Snyder saying “You know, I like Dawn of the Dead… But obviously I can make it better.” This was the gateway drug the X-Box/Monster Truck Rally crowd needed to get them into zombies. Horror, dread, psychology, existential terror, all this wasn’t going to work for today’s youth. They needed zombies that could run fast and make monster noises. Some might try to pin the blame on Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, but that argument won’t stand. That movie may have sped zombies up, but this one dumbed them down, and this is the movie that defined what path these movies were going to take from that point forward.
  • Watchmen In an interesting way, Watchmen is actually an incredible accomplishment, because it is at the same time an incredibly faithful adaptation of the comic book and also the exact opposite of the authors intention. How can this be? The devil is in the details, it’s not what Snyder says, but how he says it that causes this phenomena. He’s like a parrot; he repeats faithfully, but always in a strange, uncomfortable monotone and with no actual grasp of what his words mean. This is a great illustration, because that’s Snyder to a T, he’s a huge fan of a lot of great things, but like a child he appreciates and is aware of only the most superficial layer of any composition. Any subtext or statement is over his head by miles, and he couldn’t care less because he’s too busy imaging it in slow motion with techno music and explosions. Just like Dawn of the Dead and The Man of Steel, Watchmen has Snyder taking an idea with some complexity to it and reducing it to it’s most simplified, shallow form, and then dumping sugary gloss all over it to jazz it up. The comic book version of Watchmen was ground breaking, and is beloved for taking old ideas and subjecting them to unheard of levels of stark realism and complexity. Mangling that into a generic, cookie cutter, super hero film complete with every age old stereotype and no intentional irony is a pretty Herculean example of missing the boat. Where great artists look for new ways to say more, Snyder is a master of finding old ways to say less, or nothing at all.
  • “Saving” Watchmen from the Terry Gilliams of the world- Though past his prime as an artist, Terry Gilliam remains an incredibly respected and admired director by film buffs the world over. This is a respect he has earned, and which Zack Snyder has not. There was a time when the studios courted Gilliam to produce a Watchmen film, but these negotiations obviously never went anywhere. In a recent interview, Zack Snyder, creator of jaw-droppingly shallow media, stated that part of why he made Watchmen was to, and I f’ing quote, “save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.” The impact a statement that over-whelmingly out of line is impossible to measure. Snyder’s lapse in judgment regarding his own self worth is at this moment the most staggeringly incomprehensible thing in the universe. I struggle to even find an appropriate analogy. Saying that this is like Einstein’s scientific contributions being criticized by a used diaper with a sixth grade science text book is giving Snyder too much credit.
  • Sucker Punch- Sucker Punch perfectly captures the experience of watching your little brother play Playstation 2 for two hours. Solitaire, the card game, has more character development. It’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, and I devote most of my spare time to actively seeking out the worst movies known to man with frenzied desperation. After Sucker Punch, though, you’re just chasing the dragon. Nothing will ever be this bad again.You’d have a better time watching your own snuff film. Sucker Punch is a piece of garbage strung together by a man who lacks the attention span to achieve anything. Does Zack Snyder have children?! What happens when they ask him to make them a bowl of cereal? He get’s half way to the pantry, is distracted by a moth and runs out into the street pretending to be an airplane? How did the creation of this blisteringly vapid piece of dog shit lead to this man being in charge of the DC cinematic universe?! Only the most deranged and depraved collection of soulless money vampires could have seen this and not demanded a public suicide of Snyder in an attempt to reclaim honor. I view the creation of this movie the same way that The Terminator franchise views the creation of artificial intelligence. Time travel must be researched so that this wrong can be completely erased from Earth’ history. What if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and they find Sucker Punch?  Did you ever think of that? That’s like your mom finding your porn collection, but on a scale where the consequences are human extinction. They’d show up with the death ships, we’d make our case, they’d say “We saw Sucker Punch.” And mankind would grow silent, knowing it had no leg to stand on. “Make it fast,” we would request, though we knew we didn’t deserve it.
  • Sucker Punch Again – If I was entered into the Witness Protection Program, and the false identity the FBI created for me had a Netflix account associated with it that had given Sucker Punch a passing grade, the shame would be so burdensome that I would just contact the Mafia and inform them of my location immediately.
  • The Man Of Steel – Clark Kent is the reason Superman is a great character. That’s the depth that people respond to, and good writers have always known that for Superman, the best stories are not the ones reliant upon Superman facing physical challenges. Those struggles are best left for other characters, for Superman, his whole shtick is that he readily and easily dominates the physical world on an almost God-like level. The path to writing a great Superman story is by exploring what it means to someone to have that level of ability and responsibility, and to be a complete outsider, when in reality all you want is to be a good person with a normal life. The speech David Caradine’s character Bill gives in Kill Bill Vol. 2 is right on the money, Superman is great because the false alter ego he adopts is not his super hero persona, but rather the shroud of normalcy he tries to cloak himself in when he steps into the role of the clumsy, bumbling Clark Kent. The Clark Kent/Superman dynamic is 100% the key ingredient in crafting a great Superman story. What’s that, Zack Snyder? You’re not even going to do the Clark Kent thing? You’re going to do it super half-assed, and have Lois Lane know from day one, because you don’t fully appreciate or understand why Superman works? Well, what are you doing instead? Explosions and buildings falling over, huh? People getting killed? Great. I thought that’s what you would say. And on that note….
  • Batman VS Superman- I’m just glad I’m a Marvel comics guy. I have to take a break and write about this another time. This idea is so bad that I need a full eight hours of sleep and two weeks preparation to adequately hate on it. I’ll come back and do this later.Okay, I’m back.

    DC and Warner Brothers want Marvel movie success, but they don’t have Marvel patience or foresight. It’s like someone noticing their neighbor having a really nice Thanksgiving Dinner and wanting to experience that for themselves, but then refusing to take the time to cook any of the food, or even remove it from it’s packaging. When the time comes they pile a huge mound of rotting garbage in front of their guests, only to become upset when nobody enjoys the evening. That’s DC and Warner Brothers right now. If you want a massive film universe, establish it. If you want a massive crossover film, establish properties that you can then crossover. Yes, it means you can’t enjoy the box office of a major cross over film as soon as next summer, but you can milk each specific character for their own film franchises,  making more money in the long term anyhow, and it’s really important to take the time to do something like this the right way, or else it’s just going to fall flat on it’s face. Instead, this new movie is going to be absolutely crammed full of poorly imagined, underdeveloped new characters like a damn clown car, which is just such a bad plan. Part of the issue is that they have no confidence in their product, because most of these guys have very little potential for solid, stand alone films in the first place. We all saw how The Green Lantern went down and most of these guys all have much worse problems, DC is just campier. For instance;

    1. The Flash…. He runs light speed, and his main villains are Captain Cold, Professor Zoom, and a talking, psychic super gorilla from space or the future or something… Sounds like The Flash is going to be a challenge.
    2. How about Wonder Woman? She’s made out of clay and lightning, and her only villain is a Cheetah girl… Called Cheetah. The DC Universe also has a character who is a Cyborg, with the super creative name of: Cyborg. Good job, DC.
    3. Aqua Man? (crickets chirping….) How are you going to film the underwater scenes?! Just make his voice sound really bubbly?

    We could write for days about why the strategy that DC and Warner Bros is using is stupid and destined for failure, but that’s a conversation for another time. What we’re talking about right now is Zack Snyder. The hurdles facing DC wouldn’t be the looming, insurmountable road blocks that they are if we had someone at the helm we could trust to do a good job and find new ways to enjoy these characters without mangling them too badly. But we don’t.

    And I don’t want to hear any “You can’t judge a movie that isn’t out yet” crap, because of course we can. If a man comes at you with a knife and clearly states his intention to stab you, do you refuse to react on the grounds that you cannot properly judge a wound until you’ve experienced it? This is that stab wound. Dodge it, run, anything. Or don’t, this movie is getting made no matter what we do. The era of good DC movies died with the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s last Batman film, so make peace with that and brace yourself for all the nerd drama that’s going to be meme-ing up your newsfeed left, right and damn center for the foreseeable future.

    This has been my presentation. I hope now you all understand that Zack Snyder sucks in a way that is vibrant, striking, and utterly devastating to the human spirit. He’s like some kind of coiling, farting viper lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike and kill something beautiful, all the while clouding the air with shameful gasses. Also, I imagine this snake to have blunt, bucked teeth, one of those propeller hats stupid people wear in cartoons, because Snyder is apparently also stupid. Everyone have a nice day.

Crimes Against Humanity: Tim Burton


Tim, Tim, Tim. You’re done, son. At one time, a strong argument could be made for Tim Burton being a strong, unique artistic voice. That time was called the early nineties, and much has changed. Now, he’s a machine that takes old, boring ideas, goths ’em up a little bit and farts out complete and utter tripe. He sucks now, and everybody knows this. I have no illusions about this blowing anyone’s mind, I’m beating a dead horse with this article, and I know it. Sometimes, though, that’s fun to do. I think. Come, join me as I kick this guy while he’s down! The following is a brief list of some of his foulest crimes; may God have mercy on his soul.

  • Becoming Messiah for millions of Devoted Hot Topic Shoppers because he directed a movie he didn’t direct: Tim Burton did not direct Nightmare Before Christmas. He was involved heavily with the project, but he didn’t direct it. By now, most people know this, but it needs to be acknowledged here. Does it matter? I’m not sure. I’m not sure about anything anymore.
  • No originality in 11 years, very little over all: Tim Burton is basically ‘The Nothing’ from Neverending Story.
    He’s a bleak, colorless cloud of intellectual death gobbling up ideas and spitting them out as Danny Elfman/Johnny Depp goth-pop bore fests. He doesn’t really do new ideas at all. Big Fish, 2003. That’s the last original thing Tim Burton did. Before that he had fumbled his goth ass through a shabby damn Planet of the Apes remake, as well as a somewhat original/still based on existing source material filmed versions of Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks, and a comedy/drama adaptation of the life of Ed Wood. The film prior to that was his Batman sequel, so we’re really reaching far back into his filmography to desperately grope for something original, and the truth is there really isn’t much there. As it turns out, Tim Burton’s strengths aren’t so much in new ideas, he’s more about that all too recognizable Tim Burton aesthetic, and it seems that his goal in life is to reshape the world into this distinct (boring) style franchise by franchise. He could also be compared to the Borg. It’s similar.
  • Trying to make Nicholas Cage Superman: YEP! He did this. He wanted this. This was going to happen. Don’t even try to tell me that it isn’t fair to judge a film that never came out, and I’m also disinterested in the defense that Michael Keaton was also a controversial choice for Batman, because there comes a time when enough is enough. This was that time.
  • Frankenweenie: At a time when Burton was taking tons of heat for his continued drought of original ideas and his zest for remaking movies that were already good without him, he made the brilliant decision to actually remake his own movie. Good work, genius. Next up; a remake of Edward Scissorhands, now with every single cast member being played by either Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter. In one scene an angry mob will be made up of over a thousand Johnny Depps, Tim Burton’s ultimate fantasy. Speaking of which….
  • Johnny Depp overdose: Painting Johnny Depp some shade of pale and giving him stupid hair is not an idea.
  • All that weird Helena Bonham Carter/Johnny Depp crap: And what the hell is going on here? Not only is Johnny Depp 90% of the screen time for any Tim Burton project, he also has a romantic entanglement of some sort with Helena Bonham Carter in pretty much every film. The weird thing about that is that Helena Bonham Carter is Tim Burton’s common-law spouse, thereby lending credibility to the theory that Tim Burton, himself pale-ish and with stupid hair, is actually trying to live vicariously through Depp as some sort of weird, Hitchcock style on screen surrogate… Let’s all be honest with ourselves; if Tim Burton came home to find Johnny Depp in bed with Helena Bonham Carter, do you really think outrage would be his reaction? My guess is it would be more something along the lines of “Oh, is it six o’clock already? Sorry, guys, let me get my pervin’ chair and my reading glasses. Don’t let me slow you down, looks good.”
  • Alice in Wonderland: Wow, this movie. This was so, so horrible. I really can’t pardon this, it’s extraordinary. The movie acts as a semi-sequel, if you haven’t seen it, with Alice returning to Wonderland. What for? I guess to kill a dragon and fulfill a prophecy, or something. In other words, the most bland and recycled fantasy film storyline ever, but with Alice In Wonderland garbage smeared all over it, and then Tim Burtonified. Also, she get’s to pal around with her very best friend in the whole world, The Mad Hatter! Remember how tight those two were? No? That’s because they damn weren’t, not at all, but Tim Burton has painted Johnny Depp purple, gave him dumb hair and called him the Mad Hatter, so you know that role had to be expanded and transformed into something that could justify more Depp screen time.
  • The end of Dark Shadows: Dark Shadows isn’t a movie I was excited to see, because it basically looked like Tim Burton was actively crapping all over the source material and making some sort of vampire Austin Powers, but imagine my surprise when I watched it and found that the experience was much, much less excruciating than I anticipated… Until the end. Actually, before we get there, I need to point out that Chloe Moretz (the annoying, sneer faced little girl you’ll remember from such films as Kick Ass, and whatever the hell else she was in) is uncomfortably sexualized periodically throughout this film… And that’s creepier than anything Burton has ever done since Large Marge. F’ed up. Now, the end of the movie; the final act of Dark Shadows has the single worst thing I have ever seen in a movie ever… And I own the Traces of Death boxed set. I’ve watched Slaughtered Vomit Dolls. I’ve watched humans die on film, and that’s much less offensive, existentially, than what happens at the end of this movie. It’s a jaw dropper. Hold up, ~~~SPOILER ALERT~~~So, maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but from what I remember this came without any foreshadowing whatsoever; in the third act during the climactic battle between vampire Austin Powers and the witch lady, Chloe Moretz’s room is broken into, revealing her all furry and monster style. She yells “Get out!!” In a dumb monster voice, leaving the viewer to say “Oh, I guess she’s a monster?” A few moments later, she stomps down into the room that the main throw down is happening in, now clearly a werewolf of some kind, she turns to the camera which zooms up on her face, and she says, and I shit you not, “Yeah, I’m a werewolf, let’s not make a big deal out of it.”And that’s the single worst thing ever. It is so, so stupid. I can’t believe it ever got filmed. Forget the rest of the list if you like, This alone erases the glory of the 1989 Batman. Tim Burton did that. We should cram his ass in a wicker man and light that thing up, before he remakes The Wickerman with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. And that could happen at any time.