Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Movie Mania - Justice League

Once again, we have a DCEU film that's not as bad as everyone says it is. However, it definitely showed signs of too many chefs in the kitchen.

This is one of those odd moments where I have to point out Kevin Feige kept a consistency through the MCU (at least, until Thor: Ragnarok). I think Warner Brothers should let Patty Jenkins take over the DCEU as THE executive producer of the franchise. She has a much better grip on the characters than any of the WB execs or their poster boy Zack Snyder.

Don't get me started about how WB thinks throwing a shit-ton of money at a problem with solve their essential story-telling problem. Don't get me started on how their animation and TV divisions can tell a much better story. And definitely, don't get me started about how adapting the storyline from the New 52 comic for the first live-action Justice League was a big fucking mistake. But these are peripheral to my thoughts on the movie itself.

* * *


* * *

1) Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has been the best thing in the DCEU so far, and she doesn't disappoint. Her Diana has turned the corner after grieving for her loss of Trevor and her home for the last century and is ready to rejoin the world.

2) My biggest worry was comparing Ezra Miller's Barry with Grant Gustin's from the TV Arrowverse, which I know isn't fair to either gentleman. It was the same worry of all the kids (18-35 year olds) I spoke with who are heavily invested in the Arrowverse. Ezra definitely pulled off a much younger, geekier version of Barry Allen that meshed with Grant's portrayal. We won't touch on the difference in age and accidents of how they each got their powers.

3) I swear to Gaia that Jason Momoa was created by the gods to give Arthur Curry some badass street cred!

4) This is the first DCEU flick where Henry Caville seemed comfortable in his Superman suit, and the first time the character showed a hint of the Big Blue Boy Scout that my generation expected from Superman.

5) I was a little surprised Junkie XL was released from scoring JL. I thought his Deadpool score was perfect, and I was glad they left in his and Gary Clark Jr.'s rendition of "Come Together" that was used in the trailers. But Whedon's decision to use Danny Elfman to score the movie made sense. Elfman captured the nostalgia for these characters by reprising John Williams' Superman theme from 1979 and Elfman's own theme from Batman (1989).

6) Bruce getting the Kent farm back by buying the bank. This was closest to the relationship Clark and Bruce had in the '70's comics I grew up with, and I was happy to see the movie end on that note.

7) The end credits cameos had me squealing in my seat--because as I've said before (and again below), major Titans fan!!

1) As a long-time Titans fan, I wasn't happy when the comics shoved Cyborg into the JL, and Victor Stone was totally wasted  here. In fact, the way his character was set up made it seem like he was the bad guy, and I half-feared that's what Snyder/Whedon would do, just like Fox did with one of my favorite X-men Psyclocke.

2) The writers' way of bringing back Superman from the alleged dead was fucking creepy as hell, and only Ezra's Barry made any kind of moral objection to what the others were doing.

3) Too much fucking CGI was used where costuming, makeup and practical effects should have been used instead to give the film more weight/reality. If I wanted all CGI, I would have watched Avatar (which I haven't seen and no one can make me either).

4) Going back to CON #3, Steppenwolf should have been the opener for when Darkseid takes center stage in the second JL movie (which has been delayed thanks to WB's disappointment in the box office take for this movie). But it was like Jack Benny being the opening act of Bon Jovi; Steppenwolf just didn't seem like much of a threat.

5) The mish-mash of directorial and writing styles could be jarring at times. Zack was still going for his full-on tragedy and Joss tried to lighten things up a bit.

Darling Husband and I watched JL and Thor back-to-back one day during DH's week off after Thanksgiving. I found it ironic that the majority of nits that critics picked about JL was equally applicable (or more so in some cases) to Thor.

Overall though, Justice League was closer to the movie it wanted to be, and I award it 8 stars out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Here I agree with you -- Justice League wasn't bad. I'd say it's the second best in the recent batch of DC movies, after Wonder Woman. Way after Wonder Woman, but still way better than all the others.

    Steppenwolf actually said "Darkseid" once, although it was easy to miss and left me going, "Wait, what? Darkseid? What? Is he going to show up? Does Steppenwolf work for Darkseid...? What?" but the movie just kept going so I figured it didn't matter. :P

    Note that I haven't read mainstream comics in ages, never read the New 52, and have no clue what's up with any of that.

    I agree it's weird to have Victor in the JLA (or JL, as it is in the movies) but I'm assuming they wanted, like, a black hero in there, and there aren't many to choose from. [cough] Major kudos to them for casting a Pacific Islander as Aquaman -- I agree that Jason Momoa rocked that part. Been a fan of his since Stargate: Atlantis. It's great that they made his Aquaman actually, like, effective, without having it look like they were majorly reaching; that was always a problem in the comics, and Super Friends. And I particularly loved the running-ish joke where he was making fun of Bruce for dressing like a giant bat. :)

    I wasn't that impressed with the whole Mother Box thing. Okay, you put them together and they're a... huge energy source. Umm, okay. [blink] I mean, yeah, having a huge energy source is very cool, but it's kind of pedestrian as an end-goal for the Boss Villain. "I have it! Energy! Bwahaha!" Umm, you know, Walmart sells batteries...? And at the other end of the scale, the Sun puts out a lot of energy?

    What makes "Energy!" a valid supervillain goal is what they want to do with said energy, and in this case it was another Destroy The World plan. [yawn] Seems like that could've been more creative. Or they could've invested a little more screen time in describing it, exactly how he was going to do it and his motivation and how that came from some emotional need/hurt/whatever, to help me feel why he's doing it and what it's going to be like to have him accomplish it. Aside from, yeah, the world's going to end and that's bad. Been there, done that, wish they'd been more creative or given it more depth or better yet both. If that makes sense. :P

    Re: the two Flashes, it's weird that DC is running two so-very-different Flashes, on screen, at the same time. My eyes kind of cross when I think about it. I guess maybe I think it'd feel more real or something if they maintained continuity between the movies and the TV shows? I like Agents of Shield for a few reasons, but one of them is that it is in continuity with the movies, and what happens in one affects the other sometimes. OTOH, the recent DC movies have mostly sucked, and I like all the in-continuity DC TV shows, so maybe it's just as well they clearly (I'm not going to bother looking it up) have a different top-level creative team in control of the TV-verse versus the movie-verse. :P

    I do like movie-Flash, though, even if I like TV-Flash better, so that's cool.

    I agree with you that Patty Jenkins should just be in charge of the whole DC movie-verse, but they're not smart enough to give her that job, so we'll just have to see what they do next. At least they did a decent job with this one. :)