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We once roamed the vast forums of Corona Coming Attractions. Some of us had been around from The Before Times, in the Days of Excelsior, while others of us had only recently begun our trek. When our home became filled with much evil, including the villainous Cannot-Post-in-This-Browser and the dreaded Cannot-Log-In, we flounced away most huffily to this new home away from home. We follow the flag of Jubboiter and talk about movies, life, the universe, and everything, often in a most vulgar fashion. All are welcome here, so long as they do not take offense to our particular idiom.
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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » April 30th, 2016, 8:46 pm

Space Tycoon wrote:Did I mention that pot is like, really huge in Toronto now?
It should be. It's been trying to work its way up north for decades. It deserves it.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » April 30th, 2016, 8:57 pm

Yeah.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Mango » April 30th, 2016, 8:59 pm

*Spoilers, for Signs, if anyone cares*

One thing I liked in "Signs" was the bit where Joaquin was confiding in Mel about an event at a party where he was saved from embarrassment by a minor choice and he takes that as a sign of the miraculous. And Mel follows it up with "You know what my wife's last words were? Random neurons spewing bullshit" (I have paraphrased). He then shuts down any belief in a higher power. It a cold and dark moment, I thought it was horrible and well done.

I do agree that there might be a strong measure of Christian-mocking going on, (and everywhere else seemingly). I enjoy the theory that the aliens are of a peaceful variety, trying to bring peace and hopeful contact. We have little information about their methods other than: they are observing us, and they took a sick kid and sprayed him with something. I like to believe that as a way of making a good first impression, the aliens found candidates who possessed troubling illnesses and they brought cures with them.

At the end, it sprays the boy. We take it as an attack, and reaches for an absurd chain of signs to explain why his kid is alive, meanwhile Joaquin beats the alien to death. The evil aliens are driven away, likely for good, and God saved the child. Of course from another point of view, a bunch of barbarians attacked and massacred a peace envoy.

I suppose you could go a bit deeper and say maybe it is a Christian parable that challenges blind faith, with the aliens representing Jesus. They come in peace and heal the sick, but ignorance and hate lead to the faithful sacrificing their Lord.

*Shrugs*
I always liked "Signs", but I recognize that it is not perfect.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » April 30th, 2016, 9:20 pm

Mango. I love Mangoes. Fuckin' Mangoes, man!!!

When I come down I'll probably have something brighter to say. But for now, my view on Signs is that it is not about extraterrestrials at all. Demons from below taking a shot at conquest? God testing Man's faith with another potenshully world-ending event? Or perhaps even a manifestation of evil somehow called into existence from humanity's collective unconscious.

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » April 30th, 2016, 10:18 pm

Mango wrote:I enjoy the theory that the aliens are of a peaceful variety, trying to bring peace and hopeful contact. We have little information about their methods other than: they are observing us, and they took a sick kid and sprayed him with something. I like to believe that as a way of making a good first impression, the aliens found candidates who possessed troubling illnesses and they brought cures with them.

At the end, it sprays the boy. We take it as an attack, and reaches for an absurd chain of signs to explain why his kid is alive, meanwhile Joaquin beats the alien to death. The evil aliens are driven away, likely for good, and God saved the child. Of course from another point of view, a bunch of barbarians attacked and massacred a peace envoy.
I enjoy this theory.

I think Signs is somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters good. He gets good performances, for the most part, out of the four main characters. He also sets the mood well--or, rather, I remember him setting the mood well. I might think otherwise if I rewatch it.

It seemed to me that mood began to become a problem for him as he made more and more movies. He continued to make movies that were clearly supposed to be suspenseful, but something began to be off. I'm not sure exactly what. There's just a... goofiness... in the tone. Somehow it crept in and began to spread like a virus. Maybe. I still don't feel like I've described it right. It's hard to pinpoint. All of the mechanics for a thriller/suspense tale continue to be there, but they're executed, somehow, in a way that's just shy of being right.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 1st, 2016, 4:09 pm

Okay, the asthma thing is perhaps less than plausible. But did God really plan all of these things, in that sense that we mortals plan a sequence of events to arrive at a desired conclusion? Is that the implication? I would think a Supreme Being would not experience time in a linear sense as we seem to, but would be aware of all moments, causes, and events simultaneously. If He can't, then He's not really God. I know that's just my opinion. As for God going to such great lengths to orchestrate these events for Gibson's benefit, well yes it does seem like a destructive, wasteful path to take to simply reinforce one man's faith.

However, what if there is a larger purpose or payoff down the road, as a consequence of these actions? Is that not what happens in the Universe every day? Stars destroy themselves and their orbiting satellites; planets are bombarded by comets and asteroids, causing extinction level events(assuming there is life in outer space); whole galaxies collide and disrupt the existence of billions of stars. And yet, these kinds of destructive events also lead to creation. Supernovae create higher elements necessary for life, mass extinctions pave the way for newer lifeforms to evolve. I think that to accept the meaning behind Signs, you have to consider that the Cosmos, and it's Creator(within the context of the story), operates on a level of consciousness that we are simply not capable of perceiving. All we get is a glimpse from time to time. In my view the same will hold true for advanced alien intelligence--again, assuming there is such a thing.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 1st, 2016, 4:15 pm

Weed's a helluva drug.

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 1st, 2016, 6:28 pm

So Mel Gibson's character's god is orchestrating supernovas *and* focusing on orchestrating the restoration of Mel Gibson's character's fate? That seems even more ridiculous.

I suppose there *is* a larger payoff down the road that is consequent to these actions. It appears Mel Gibson's character's god has slaughtered what's likely a shit-ton of these aliens to restore Mel Gibson's character's faith. (Note: there may be more people out there whose faith is restored. The opposite may also happen, since it's conceivable that there are some out there whose faith relies at least in some part on the belief that Earth's humans are somehow of central importance to the universe. The appearance of alien life could challenge this belief.) Sucks for the aliens if that was Mel Gibson's character's god's plans for them. They dumped plenty of time and resources into their plan to do whatever it was they were planning to do on Mel Gibson's planet, and then BLAMMO! Suck water, aliens! Mel Gibson's character's god has drawn you across time and space just to poison you! (To be fair, H. G. Wells kills off the War of the Worlds aliens with microbial infections. It's not too far removed from Shyamalan's murderwater. Both sets of aliens are shown to be less cautious than you'd expect an organism visiting a non-native planet to be.)

The creator-operates-beyond-our-understanding/Lord-works-in-mysterious-ways argument is a problematic one. Some hint of the beginnings of it can be seen in Isaiah 45:15: "Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour." (I went with the KJV, but I also like Luther's rendering: "Fürwahr, du bist ein verborgener Gott, du Gott Israels, der Heiland.") It's problematic because it allows for pretty much anything and encourages the willful suspension of curiosity. (It can discourage learning in general, but it doesn't have to. It can, instead, only make it so that any learning outside the realm of catechism, dogma, and divine texts is of necessarily secondary importance.) It's a close relative to the God of the Gaps/divine fallacy. With it comes the same problems that come with arguments from design and arguments from ignorance.

Does it work within the context of the movie, at least? If it does, it relies on a man believing his family's worth to be greater than that of at least one being among beings capable of (likely) interstellar travel. I suppose one can buy this if one can buy that spiritual purity is worth more than X. (X, here, would be whatever it is outside of spiritual purity that the aliens might have to offer.) Spiritual people often do make such an argument, I guess. Star Wars makes something approaching this point with the Force ("Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed"), but it also shows the Force to be both corruptible and in need of balance.

Even if one chooses to take the spiritual-purity-is-worth-more-than-X tac, it still seems unnecessarily cruel to draw the aliens however far they've been drawn just to murder them to prove a point both to the humans and to them. It suggests divine sadism, and it also looks a bit like a scare tactic. ("Keep the faith, or I may just do this to you.") This scare tactic may be even scarier if one chooses to believe--within the context of this story, I mean--that Mel Gibson's character's god operates beyond our understanding. Why? Because to admit that Mel Gibson's character's god operates beyond human understanding/in mysterious ways is to admit that any action one chooses to take may be the thing that sets off Mel Gibson's character's god's next act of sadism.

One may trust that one is keeping to Mel Gibson's character's god's edicts, but can one truly trust that the will of Mel Gibson's character's god can be known well enough to follow without fail when one has been raised to believe that one cannot fully know Mel Gibson's character's god's will? I suppose some can. That's what faith's all about, right? Still, the murder of the aliens is problematic for me--even if it's a situation where Mel Gibson's character's god simply laid the tracks. If Mel Gibson's character's god is omniscient and omnipotent, Mel Gibson's character's god laid those tracks knowing the aliens would take them. Mel Gibson's character's god also created the aliens knowing they'd take the tracks Mel Gibson's character's god laid for them. It's one sadistic act stacked on top of another. (I don't know that Mel Gibson's character's god in Signs is either of these things. I only know what I know about the the Christian god as he has been presented to me by the majority of Christians and Christian literature.)

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 1st, 2016, 6:49 pm

(I made some changes to the original. I separated the last sentence from what used to be the last paragraph, and I built a new last paragraph around it.)

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 1st, 2016, 7:29 pm

I say "sadism" above because that's the human word we tend to use to describe that kind of behavior. (Thanks, de Sade!) I can only really understand things in human terms, of course, so I default to human expression to describe what something would look like if a human were doing it. I recognize that Mel Gibson's character's god is not a human--even if it is likely that Mel Gibson's character's god might be described in the Signs universe as having created man in his image and having rendered himself a man so that he might take on man's sin.

When you say we have to consider that the Cosmos/God is operating on a level of consciousness we are not capable of perceiving to accept the meaning behind Signs, it rings hollow for me. My inability to perceive it makes it less meaningful to me than it might otherwise be. By definition, even. (Maybe "understanding" would have worked better, in this instance, than "perceiving." I can come closer to appreciating things I can't understand than I can come to appreciating things I can't perceive.) If I say, "It works for Mel Gibson's character, and that's all that matters," I guess that's a little easier to swallow. It still makes me wonder how his character could so easily intellectually sidestep some of the things I outline in my longer post. It creates a picture of a man whose faith appears to work like a switch that flips to "Off" or "On" whenever he experiences something emotionally traumatic.

It's clear to me that I'm not Mel Gibson's character's god. If I were, I'd probably be insulted that Mel Gibson's character's faith could be switched off and on like that. Then again, maybe Mel Gibson's god feels the same way. Maybe Mel Gibson's god works in mysterious ways.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 1st, 2016, 7:57 pm

The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:So Mel Gibson's character's god is orchestrating supernovas *and* focusing on orchestrating the restoration of Mel Gibson's character's fate? That seems even more ridiculous.
Religion, man. God is most certainly a sadist. I'm not quite sure how you find the above ridiculous, however. How is Gibson's(I'm pretty sure his character had an actual name, but whatever)character's circuitous path back to his faith any more or less ridiculous than the course of myriad events throughout the universe? Why create stars just to destroy them? Why create unique planets just to pulverise them repeatedly with huge rocks? Why create a universe in which biological life is rare, frail, short-lived and subject to destruction with even the slightest environmental shifts? None of it makes any sense at all.

Unless it does.
The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:I suppose there *is* a larger payoff down the road that is consequent to these actions. It appears Mel Gibson's character's god has slaughtered what's likely a shit-ton of these aliens to restore Mel Gibson's character's faith. (Note: there may be more people out there whose faith is restored.
I take issue with your statement that God "slaughtered" the aliens, if they were indeed aliens. If you recall, they seem to have turned tail and ran once they encountered resistance. Humans did the slaughtering. God's role and intentions are unclear. I am not a man of faith, I should point out. Indeed, the phrase "Ye of little faith" was probably coined with me in mind

They did mention at the end, in some radio news report, that the humans had managed to fight back in the Middle East using some sort of ancient method, if I recall. I'll have to watch it again to know for sure. The Middle East, which I interpret as shorthand for Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion. It was a brief mention, not really that important in and of itself. But I think it was included for a reason. I believe the implication is that the people of the Holy Land picked up the same signals Gibson's devoutly observant (and yet, strangely nameless) character did, acted accordingly, and managed to kick a sufficient degree of ass to convinve the "aliens" to bug out.
The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:One may trust that one is keeping to Mel Gibson's character's god's edicts, but can one truly trust that the will of Mel Gibson's character's god can be known well enough to follow without fail when one has been raised to believe that one cannot fully know Mel Gibson's character's god's will? I suppose some can. That's what faith's all about, right? Still, the murder of the aliens is problematic for me--even if it's a situation where Mel Gibson's character's god simply laid the tracks. If Mel Gibson's character's god is omniscient and omnipotent, Mel Gibson's character's god laid those tracks knowing the aliens would take them. Mel Gibson's character's god also created the aliens knowing they'd take the tracks Mel Gibson's character's god laid for them. It's one sadistic act stacked on top of another.
I have to say that I think the use of the word "murder" is itself problematic. Murder, as I understand the word, is the deliberate taking of an innocent life, or multiple lives, or even an entire race, outside of the bounds of defense, compassion, or basic morality. Violently resisting invasion, occupation, colonization etc. invariably costs lives, but the only people who consider this "murder" are those who are on the side of the invaders. Did God force this alien race to mount an expedition to conquer the Earth? Did God arm them, give them technology, provide them with our galactic coordinates, etc.? There is no reason to believe so. They undertook this assault on their own initiative.
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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 1st, 2016, 8:07 pm

While I am not religious in any way, I am also very aware of the fact that the Universe is governed by rules. Laws, actually. Everywhere we look in the Cosmos, the same mathematical, physical and chemical dictates hold sway. Speed of light, gravitational constant, electromagnetic spectrum--hell, the damn boiling point of water is the same on the other side of the Universe.

The existence of cosmic law implies the existence of a purpose, or purposes, for those laws. Purpose implies design. Design implies intelligence and/or consciousness.

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 1st, 2016, 8:29 pm

If Mel Gibson's character's god (he has a name, but I've become fond of writing it out the way I wrote it out originally, so I will continue to do it) has impelled these beings across the stars knowing that they would be dying at the hands of humans, there's an element of premeditation there. That's one of the conditions of murder. The other condition would be that it be done unlawfully. If one were to hold that this was all done in accord with Mel Gibson's god's law (and if we assume that has yet to render the killing of aliens unlawful), we might drop the charge down to manslaughter. This would especially be possible if we could prove that there was no malice intended--if, again, it was done dispassionately and according to Mel Gibson's god's law.

Then again, we'd also need to believe that Mel Gibson's character's god's law was inconsistent with the Judeo-Christian god's "That shall not kill" commandment. If it's not inconsistent with this commandment, it calls into question whether or not Mel Gibson's character's god's laws hold any water.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 1st, 2016, 8:54 pm

I choose to believe that the God on this tale has a plan--but simultaneously offers us(and by us, I mean Earthmen, aliens, vampires etc.) some measure of free will. We may carry out those plans, or we may choose to ignore them, or we may do something in between. But I don't know whether or not God "impelled" these creatures to invade our planet. If he did, it would almost certainly have been a test. Are these humans worthy of advancement? Do they live up to their potential?

Of course we haven't even mentioned the afterlife. God may wipe out, or allow to be wiped put, multitudes of beings in the pursuit of His plans, but at least they'll have a sweet eternal timeshare in Elysium or whatever.

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 1st, 2016, 11:22 pm

Space Tycoon wrote:While I am not religious in any way, I am also very aware of the fact that the Universe is governed by rules. Laws, actually. Everywhere we look in the Cosmos, the same mathematical, physical and chemical dictates hold sway. Speed of light, gravitational constant, electromagnetic spectrum--hell, the damn boiling point of water is the same on the other side of the Universe.

The existence of cosmic law implies the existence of a purpose, or purposes, for those laws. Purpose implies design. Design implies intelligence and/or consciousness.
I don't think it's right to say the universe is governed by laws. That's putting a human face on the universe. I think it's better to say that the systems we've developed and designated as laws have been put into place to describe the way we see the universe behaving.

I find building a long chain of implications (w implies x, which in turn implies y, which in turn implies z) to be an insufficient way to arrive at a conclusion. It's inductive reasoning. It usually works for Sherlock Holmes, but even his application of it didn't always guarantee correct conclusions/a success.

I'm also not sure to what degree these things imply the things you say they imply--especially when it comes to law and purpose. Again, I feel a human face is being applied. I don't think universal systems of behavior necessarily correlate to law in the human sense, and I don't think that the universal maintenance of these laws/systems of behavior need be purposeful. And purposeful to what end? What's the purpose behind creating an unfathomably big universe and filling it full of mostly nothing, seeing that it behaves, for the most part, in very specific ways, and then making sure sentient life develops only very occasionally on the occasional celestial body orbiting in the Goldilocks zone of occasional stars? (Here a person may choose to default to the "mysterious ways" argument. A person may also choose to appeal to the "perhaps there are beings and consciousnesses whose existence we can neither observe nor fathom" argument. If there's no way for me ever to metabolize this information, I don't know that it's ever going to be information that is of use to me. That doesn't mean it can't be useful to someone else.) Is purpose even a necessary component?
Space Tycoon wrote:I choose to believe that the God on this tale has a plan--but simultaneously offers us(and by us, I mean Earthmen, aliens, vampires etc.) some measure of free will. We may carry out those plans, or we may choose to ignore them, or we may do something in between. But I don't know whether or not God "impelled" these creatures to invade our planet. If he did, it would almost certainly have been a test. Are these humans worthy of advancement? Do they live up to their potential?

Of course we haven't even mentioned the afterlife. God may wipe out, or allow to be wiped put, multitudes of beings in the pursuit of His plans, but at least they'll have a sweet eternal timeshare in Elysium or whatever.
It's strange to me that Mel Gibson's character's god would use one sentient being to test the worthiness of another sentient being. It's weird to me when it's done in various religious texts. It's less weird if it turns out the aliens weren't sentient. It's hard to say, going off what little we see. They're probably sentient in the sense of their being able to feel, since they do seem to feel. Maybe they don't, though. And maybe they're not even sentient in the sense of their being "aware." Maybe they're Searle's Chinese room realized.

It's even stranger to me that Mel Gibson's character's god would test either set of sentient beings despite already knowing the results of the test. Free will's a sticky concept even outside of the Judeo-Christian conception of it. Within Judeo-Christianity, there's often cognitive dissonance, since biblical texts often make it clear that the Judeo-Christian god has and can still supersede human free will. There's also the problem of its being a thing the Judeo-Christian god "grants" the human. Allowing someone to do a thing is not the same as a person doing the thing of his own accord and with no constraints. Allowances are inherently restrictive. Free will of this kind doesn't feel all that far removed, to me, from the free rein dogs are given at a dog park. (And here I've gone and put a dog face on things.)

Outside of religious conceptions of free will, the problem lies with whether or not a person chooses to take a deterministic or indeterministic stance on universal systems of behavior. Quantum mechanics throws a wrench in these works, too, just as Quantum mechanics can throw a wrench in our understanding of and confidence in universal systems of behavior.

There's also the problem of human and physical limitation. What good is free will to the man whose only desire is to be able to bench press 5,000 pounds, and what good is it to the woman whose only desire is to travel back in time to 1927? If you want to be able to do something you simply can't do, it may not leave a person feeling very free.

Free will can be taken to mean a number of things. Some might define it as the ability to choose between two actions. (If it's a choose-whether-I-beat-you-to-death-with-this-baseball-bat-or-burn-you-to-death-with-this-blow-torch scenario, of course, it's not going to feel much like free will.) Some might define it, simply, as the absence of fate and/or determinism. Its slipperiness can make it hard discuss in a way that is satisfying for either party. The two (or more) first have to arrive at a definition they can both agree on.

* * *

A promise of the afterlife is sufficient motivation for some. It may be sufficient motivation for Mel Gibson's character, but I think it's a problematic motivation, since I also think (as I have mentioned above) that the trustworthiness of Mel Gibson's character's god is questionable. The afterlife is, itself, questionable, and if Mel Gibson's character is dealing with some sort of Pascal's Wager-like motivation for buying into it (I say "Pascal's Wager-like" because I'm unsure to what degree the world presented in Signs syncs up with our world), it could be problematic on that front, since Pascal's Wager is a whole big bundle of problems.

Is it problematic for the aliens? That's harder to say. If it's a concern for them in the slightest, I'd go ahead and deem them sentient. How to know, though?

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Re: Trailers

Post by Dalty » May 2nd, 2016, 4:46 am

I leave you two alone for ONE NIGHT!!!!

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 2nd, 2016, 6:06 am

We're just talkin' 'bout Shaft!

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Re: Trailers

Post by Dalty » May 2nd, 2016, 6:32 am

Funky!

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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 2nd, 2016, 11:10 am

You were supposed to tell me to shut my mouth.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 2nd, 2016, 5:35 pm

Don't give me any ideas...

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 2nd, 2016, 7:21 pm

If you take the argument that God is basically sadistic, then it is not at all implausible that he would pit sentient beings against one another, the same as non-sentient lifeforms are constantly trying to kill or eat one another.

It's also not clear what role if any Satan has played here. Perhaps the aliens are his minions.

I feel any movie with a high religious component is going to have massive logical flaws, by virtue of the fact that religion is inherently illogical to begin with. I like what Shyamalan attempted, and largely succeeded, in doing. A genuine feeling of dread pervades the entire story right until the final jump scare. Not many horror movies do that for me, though I suppose Signs is more of a suspense-thriller than a horror film.
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Re: Trailers

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » May 2nd, 2016, 7:37 pm

The birthday video with the Patterson-Gimlin homage is solid stuff. That moment, more than any other in the movie, stands out for me.

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 2nd, 2016, 9:21 pm

Image

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Re: Trailers

Post by omicron » May 3rd, 2016, 3:19 pm

Even with the news of them going back for late reshoots, the pretty dismal failure of BvS, and my general lack of interest in the DC universe, I find myself pretty intrigued in this. I didn't know Batman was going to be in it. I don't think it's Affleck so how are they going to explain a different actor? Is it in the same universe as BvS and the upcoming movies?

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Re: Trailers

Post by Space Tycoon » May 3rd, 2016, 5:30 pm

It is indeed Affleck, for better or worse. It is part of a shared DC Cinematic Universe. I'm not sure when it takes place chronologically. Davis mentions Superman in the first trailer last year, so it undoubtedly takes place after MOS. I believe parts of it may be flashbacks, ie., Harley's turning by Joker, a few characters' origin stories etc.

I have high hopes for SSq. Every trailer has been great so far and they're not just showing the same scenes/lines repeatedly. I think Robbie will steal the show. My thoughts only.

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