Occasionally, I’ll overhear someone saying that it’s an interesting time to be alive.
Whether “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s” nearly two and a half hour stretch was formally incorporated into their final tally — I have no idea.
To be clear: I have not seen the film in question, a follow-up to director Zack Snyder’s cacophonous “Man of Steel,” which this time pits Metropolis’ Favorite Son against the Caped Crusader in a grudge match that — at least judging by the trailers —seems to be entirely for keeps.
I can tell you that the tweets coming out of the film’s Sunday evening premiere in New York City were resoundingly positive.
And I can tell you that the slew of reviews by professional (paid) critics that hit the Web after the embargo was lifted late Tuesday were ... less so.
Why the discrepancy?
The early word on last July’s “Fantastic 4” was that it was a perfectly serviceable piece of summer entertainment before a flood of bad reviews washed away the delicate buds of burgeoning goodwill.
I’m having trouble imagining a scenario where “Fantastic 4” would have been a smashing success if Richard Roeper had called out sick that week or a computer super-virus had shut down Rotten Tomatoes. But might it have done better before nearly every household in America was outfitted with a modem turned megaphone?
“Batman v Superman” was always going to be a movie that struggled against the weight of its own expectations. It is par for the course with adaptations of beloved source material, not to mention the follow-up to a tepidly received precursor, the aforementioned “Man of Steel.”
Warner Bros. seems adamant about using “Batman v Superman” to launch its own interconnected comic book universe, a string of titles it hopes will rival powerhouse Marvel and its “Avengers” franchises.
For fans, it’s the difference between renting an apartment and buying a house. If you know you’re going to be there for the long haul, you might as well be a bit more particular.
The online arena has become a battleground, a place where trailers and marketing materials are analyzed to death and opinions become set in stone months before a film even hits theaters.
A bad critical reaction certainly can’t help a film, but I’m not sure that it can break it anymore.