Justice League official "Zack Snyder" cut on HBO Max

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Ar-Pharazon, May 20, 2020.

  1. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interested to know how many people didn't bother going back.

    But when you look at the money they may have made off of this, the numbers show it was a pretty good investment!
     
  2. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    I have watched the first hour and a half with my wife. Snyder surly loves slow motion in slow scènes when people don't do much. In action scènes I get it, in these scènes niet so much. Maybe tomorrow we continue the movie
     
  3. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    That's interesting, I'd be curious how many ever finished it, I could see not finishing it in a night but I would think most would get through it in a week if they intended to watch it all. I'd also be curious how far do they get and what the percentages are for other movies. Like how many finished Wonder Woman and so on.
     
  4. Saul

    Saul Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it's streaming. It's not the cinema. I watched it all in one go. But i've watched movies as long as it at the cinema. My attitude is do or die when it comes to watching movies. Maybe i'm just old but that's the way it goes for me.
     
  5. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, now that I think about, I haven't actually finished it myself yet. I still have to watch the epilogue.
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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  7. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    (in the next article: "Where was Joss Wheadon when Kennedy died?")
     
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  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    That you for the correction. In looking it up on Wikipedia, it seems as though Moore came around to the idea that it was better to do a pastiche after being so required by DC:

    Giordano was receptive to the proposal, but opposed the idea of using the Charlton characters for the story. Moore said, "DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional." Instead, Giordano persuaded Moore to continue with new characters.[19] Moore had initially believed that original characters would not provide emotional resonance for the readers, but later changed his mind. He said, "Eventually, I realized that if I wrote the substitute characters well enough, so that they seemed familiar in certain ways, certain aspects of them brought back a kind of generic super-hero resonance or familiarity to the reader, then it might work."[15]

    And Moore has expressed regret for the way those creative choices he made have so taken over comic books and superhero fandom:

    "If, as I said, God forbid, I was ever writing a character like Batman again, I’d probably be setting it squarely in the kind of 'smiley uncle' period where Dick Sprang was drawing it, and where you had Ace the Bat-Hound and Bat-Mite, and the zebra Batman—when it was sillier. Because then, it was brimming with imagination and playful ideas. I don’t think that the world needs that many brooding psychopathic avengers. I don’t know that we need any. It was a disappointment to me, how Watchmen was absorbed into the mainstream. It had originally been meant as an indication of what people could do that was new. I’d originally thought that with works like Watchmen and Marvelman, I’d be able to say, “Look, this is what you can do with these stale old concepts. You can turn them on their heads. You can really wake them up. Don’t be so limited in your thinking. Use your imagination.” And, I was naively hoping that there’d be a rush of fresh and original work by people coming up with their own. But, as I said, it was meant to be something that would liberate comics. Instead, it became this massive stumbling block that comics can’t even really seem to get around to this day. They’ve lost a lot of their original innocence, and they can’t get that back. And, they’re stuck, it seems, in this kind of depressive ghetto of grimness and psychosis. I’m not too proud of being the author of that regrettable trend."

    Bold added.

    I don't know what to say if you can't see it. But any time a film contrives a scenario in which a man must physically overpower a woman (who is depicted as behaving hysterically) and then cause her physical pain in an area it would be inappropriate for anyone other than a lover to normally touch, for (according to the contrivance) her own good? Then that film is engaging with a subtext of sexual violence, intentionally or not.

    You need to read about critical analyses more. Subtext does not have to be intentional -- it can be subconscious.

    Here's a far less emotionally-charged example of unintentional subtext created as a result of a director's subconscious: Dick Tracy is in part about whether or not the title character (played by writer-director Warren Beatty) will settle down and start a family with his wholesome girlfriend or have a sexually-charged relationship with no real future with Madonna's character. Warren Beatty made that film when he was in his early 50s and had had a reputation as a ladies' man for decades. Within a couple of years of that movie coming out, he and Annette Benning met, dated, and married, and he's been faithful ever since. Warren Beatty was clearly using Dick Tracy to work out his issues with commitment and monogamy, even if he didn't realize it at the time.

    You do if the patient is conscious and has already indicated that they don't consent to you touching them! Patients have the right to refuse treatment.

    Lois was conscious the whole time. He absolutely should have asked her for permission instead of just telling her he was going to do it.

    The fact that the film depicts her as being hysterical and him as being in the right for first physically overpowering her, and then for administering treatment without her consent, is disturbing and carries the subtext of sexual violence. Snyder may not have meant this consciously, but it is there. It's part of a long tradition of storytelling depicting women as not deserving agency over their own bodies. It was absolutely a mistake on Snyder's part and should not have been depicted in that manner.

    Here's a better scenario: Clark saves Lois from the robot. Lois freaks out and runs away; Clark holds his hands up, steps back, makes it clear to her that he is not a threat. Lois then doubles down in pain. Clark tells her that she is likely in danger, tells her they are too far away to get to a doctor, and asks her if he may walk towards her to examine her. Lois, seeing that he has saved her life and has respected her agency, consents. Clark examines her, tells her she is bleeding, and tells her that he can cauterize the wound with her permission but that it will hurt. He asks her for permission, and maybe offers her something to bite down on. She consents. The camera closes in on his eyes and then cuts away, so as to avoid glorifying an imagine in which a man has power over a woman and is causing her pain.

    Yeah, that's always a challenge. I think the fact that Snyder put that image of Child!Cark-in-a-cape speaks to his lack of insight about how to deconstruct Superman as a concept. That's the kind of image that is inherently metatextual, and yet this metatextual element doesn't actually say anything about the concept it's being self-referential about.

    He never once gives any indication he's capable of forging an emotional bond with anyone other than Lois or his parents. He never gives any indication that he enjoys the company of others or really cares about anyone. His rescues occurs in the context of him having suffered abuse from others before having to save them.

    It's even worse in Batman v. Superman, where he's actively angsting throughout his rescue montage.

    This is part of the problem. That idea should not be present. That's how you end up with a misanthropic woe-is-me humanity-is-a-burden character instead of a person who genuinely connects to and values others.

    The idea that a culture somehow "deserves" to go extinct because of that natural disaster is social darwinism. It's pretty disturbing for a so-called hero to say something so evil.

    The "Maybe" scene comes so close to working for me. Kevin Costner's performance is 97% of the way there for me. There is a sense of ambivalence from him as he says the line but it's just not quite strong enough. There needs to be just a split second more of him choking on the word that I don't even think that he really believes but thinks that he needs to at least raise the question.

    I am not surprised. I'm sure neither of the Snyders ever intended for this, but Snyder's movies have a lot of implicitly reactionary politics, particularly in terms of toxic masculinity and some themes that implicitly lead to fascism when carried to their logical conclusions. So it absolutely does not surprise me that a certain percentage of people attracted to his work are people who are incredibly racist and misogynistic.

    I don't think Snyder is a fascist or an intentional misogynist, but I don't think he fully understands the implications of the ideas his movies advocate -- in fact, I'm not convinced he fully understands what messages his films send. Like many artists, I think he lets his subconscious influence his work without fully understanding it or his own subconscious feelings and attitudes.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I sat down and watched the 2017 cut of Justice League today and wrote out my reactions. Either tomorrow or Friday, I'll sit down and watch the 2021 cut.

    * * *

    • Listen, I like the opening Superman TikTok video in spite of the weird lip thing. Sorry. This is the Superman I believe in: a hero to children and inner children.
    • The color palette just immediately projects a sense of tonal variety and relief. We’re not trapped in a dark, grey world where the only real emotion is ennui
    • In BvS, Superman was a controversial figure, the object of a great deal of hatred and fear. At the start of the Whedon cut of JL, he’s a beloved figure mourned by everyone whose loss has plunged the planet into fear. This doesn’t make any real sense -- but frankly I prefer JL’s take. I’m willing to accept this retcon.
    • The camera sexually objectifies Diana more than Jenkins’s. Snyder pulled that shit in BvS (Diana was wearing some very objectifying outfits that the camera ogled), so I'm not sure if that's on Snyder or on Whedon in this one. Either way it's noticeable how much more objectifying the camera is of her in Snyder's and Whedon's hands than it is in Jenkins's hands.
    • The Superman suit is obviously not designed for whatever lighting scheme or color grading Whedon was using.
    • The opening Barry Allen scene is a little too reminiscent of scenes from S1 of the CW Flash for my tastes.
    • One advantage this film has over BvS: By seeing the relationships Victor and Barry have, this film manages to present a world with a more fully-developed emotional spectrum. It’s a world where there is more love than just Clark’s, and where love does not necessarily drive people towards death like in BvS and MoS. This is less nihilistic as a result.
    • Themyscara! The Amazons. I’m very curious how badly Whedon will objectify them vs. Snyder in his cut.
    • What the hell is this Amazon bikini bullshit?
    • Steppenwolf calling the macguffin “Mother” is weird and creepy and I'm not sure it's weird and creepy in the manner the director intended.
    • The CGI on Steppenwolf’s is pretty awful.
    • It’s not great that we see the Amazons get their asses kicked by Steppenwolf from a feminist POV. Neither is Steppenwolf’s threat that “after the Unity… you will love me. You all will.” Rape-y dialogue.
    • Diana’s civilian clothes in BvS were very form-fitting, sexual. Her work clothes here are similar (and totally ridiculous for that kind of workspace)
    • I like the scene between Lois and Martha. Martha seems a lot less misanthropic. The “thirsty” vs “hungry” bit was cringe though. I blame Whedon.
    • I don’t always know from scene to scene where it was shot by Whedon or Snyder, but either way this movie never misses the chance to go for an ass shot on Diana.
    • Though Ray Fisher has argued that his character was marginalized in the Whedon cut, I honestly think he’s the most interesting character in this film. The movie is mostly from Bruce’s point of view, but Victor is the one with the closest thing to a complete story arc. The movie ought to be from his point of view. I've heard the Snyder edit will do better by Victor than the Whedon edit -- I hope that's the case.
    • By sheer force of Jason Mamoa’s charisma, Aquaman-as-a-frat-boy works better than it ought to… most of the time. “My man!” was cringe.
    • Barry having a panic attack before the first assault on Steppenwolf is a nice touch actually.
    • Barry landing on Diana’s boobs is bullshit and Whedon deserves the heat he gets for that one.
    • So, on the one hand I like the Russian family. On the other hand, the idea that they would just seal up the windows and the Parademons would crawl all over the house but not enter it is just… dumb.
    • This movie has too many CGI backgrounds.
    • Re: Bruce going, “Superman was more human than I am.” That’s true… of the traditional Superman. But the Superman you fought in BvS? No way! He’s just as alienated from the rest of the world and emotionally stunted as you are. I wouldn’t trust that guy to babysit a toddler!
    • The line “racially-charged” was bullshit and kind of offensive. That’s on Whedon.
    • On the one hand, I like that idea that Clark’s love for Lois is what brings him back to his senses. On the other hand, it continues an ongoing problem with this series’s depiction of Clark as only really caring about his mom, dad, and Lois -- as only connecting to humanity through them. Without them, he doesn’t really care and he’s disconnected from and alienated from humanity. And that’s just not a version of Superman I agree with on any level.
    • And Steppenwolf steals the Motherbox because the team fucked off without keeping the box safe. Predictable.
    • Like the Superman costume, this Batsuit is clearly not designed for regular lighting.
    • Martha’s reunion with Clark is beautiful.
    • Clark and Lois at the farm is the first time since Act III of MoS that I’ve believed Henry Cavill is playing Superman and not a bad Snyder fanfic version of Superman.
    • The geography of the fight scenes in JL is better than in BvS but still not great.
    • A lot of equipment, like the super-batplane, just kind of appears out of nowhere with next to no explanation. It keeps the show from getting a “gee whiz” feel that The Avengers got to have for the helicarrier.
    • The bit where Arthur confesses his attraction to Diana is cringe. The bit where he’s confessing his inner soul because he hasn’t realized his foot is in the Lasso of Truth is kind of funny.
    • The color palette in Act III is terrible. Just terrible.
    • I liked the reprise of Elfman’s 1989 Batman themes. Didn’t like reprising the John Williams Superman theme when he’s Pet Semetary Superman.
    • Why did the Russian dad put the kids in the truck bed instead of in the back of the actual truck interior?
    • I like the idea that Bruce had a bit of a death wish and the rest of the guys save him, but Bruce’s deathwish -- like his implied alcoholism -- is under-developed.
    • The geography, background, sets, destruction of the buildings vs no damage on the characters, and general color palette make most of Act III feel like they have no real stakes.
    • “Well, I believe in truth. But I’m also a big fan of justice.” I’m sorry, but I love that bit. :)
    • Okay, so, from Superman’s return, JL is not a GOOD movie per se, but it gets fun. Cavill gets to have some real charisma and generally act like he likes everyone around him for once.
    • The Parademons going after Steppenwolf is a little too easy an out but whatever. It’s not like this movie has ever felt like it had real stakes.
    • Re: Victor saying “Boo-yah.” I can understand if Ray Fisher feels like it doesn’t work and feels like the cartoon reference is wrong in a live-action film. And if I had been the director, I think I would have chosen to defer to Fisher’s judgment, since I think it’s important that he have more input there as the only black person on an all-white creative team. (Reading the THR story, it struck me that Fisher and Whedon and the execs kept having what I think were legitimate creative differences of opinion, but then Whedon and the execs would over-react and get racist over it.) But having said that, I don’t actually agree with Fisher's stance on that line. I think it works just fine in context and doesn't undermine Victor as a character. (But again, even if I disagree with Fisher's opinion, I think the director should have deferred to him.)
    • The Superman/Flash race scene is cute. I like how Clark seems to finally actually enjoy the company of anybody other than Lois and Martha. He's fun when he has friends!
    • I like Jesse Eisenberg’s return as Lex Luthor in the final post-credits sequence. He’s still using a milder version of his affect from BvS, but he feels more organized in his performance, more deliberative, truer to Lex Luthor.
    • Over all, I like the return of jovial, sociable, not-misanthropic Superman enough that I give the Joss Whedon cut of Justice League a C+. I find it fun but not great, per se.
    • But again, the world will be a better place if this is Whedon’s last movie. Fuck that guy.
     
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  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    This is a really insightful video essay analyzing Snyder's works. I think it speaks to why his films attract such toxic people (even if, by all accounts, Snyder is not himself a toxic person).

     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  11. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds very much like settling to me. He sees DC's point, also sees they won't budge, and basically says "I better step up my game, then".

    And again, the quote doesn't say what you think it says. Moore didn't regret his creative choices on Watchmen and Marvelman, but how they were received. The only creative choices he regrets in that full quote are those for The Killing Joke. Furthermore, Moore's feelings on those early works are clouded by his (not unjustified) resentment of DC and Marvel.

    I'm not arguing against your critiques of Snyder's work, I happen to share a few of them. I just don't think Alan Moore is the best source to argue against mature-themed works based on children's fiction's characters. I'm repeating myself, but the man wrote pornography, sophisticated as it may be, starring heroines from classic children's literature.
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Well, in hindsight, they could have easily let them use the original characters, because it's not like they did much with them. Perhaps the only one to become a little better known than the others is Blue Beetle, but only thanks to the excellent stories of the Justice League where he appeared. And anyway none of them managed to carry on his shoulders a long series where he was the protagonist. Perhaps Captain Atom had the longest series, but nobody is saying "Wow, DC's Captain Atom was an unsung masterpiece!"
     
  13. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    The Question is a Charlton character, he got a celebrated 36-issue run (plus two annuals and 4 quarterlies) by Denny O'Neil, became a legacy character with Renee Montoya taking up the mantle, turned up repeatedly on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, and relatively recently had a Black Label mini-series by Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz.
     
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  14. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    Wow, I totally forgot about him!

    I stand corrected. I don't know why I was so fixated on the more obscure ones, like Nightshade or Thunderbolt...
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    And I'm not contending he does or ought to. Watchmen is a work of genius. I would never change a thing about it. That's why I brought it up -- I argued that the creative goals Snyder seems to have in his DC films would have been better serviced by following Moore's example of using pastiches as in Watchmen, rather than by doing "dark-and-gritty" interpretations of iconic characters. Moore himself argues that those characters are not well-suited for such interpretations and that abandoning the traditional versions of those characters in favor of "dark-and-gritty" interpretations hurts the characters.

    Having not read -- and not wanting to read -- Lost Girls, I can't comment on that work per se. I do think there's a difference in principle between doing a single, small-scale adaptation of children's characters for a niche audience of adults dealing with themes that would be inappropriate for the original child audience, and doing a mainstream adaptation of children's characters as a big-budget mainstream movie (which you as creator know will have a huge child audience) that deals with themes that would be inappropriate for the original child audience. That's true whether those themes are violence and nihilism or whether those themes are sexual.
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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  17. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's understandable, since Whedon's hack-work was a rolling nightmare trying to be some quip-splattered cartoon.
     
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  18. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Wouldn't most results be similar under the demands and restrictions of WB? It was going to be a disaster no matter who took over.
     
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  19. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, because Whedon was brought in based on who he was--and what kind of superhero film(s) he made. That expectation / Whedon formula carpet-stapled to a franchise of a very different message/tone/purpose was a guaranteed nightmare.
     
  20. Skipper

    Skipper Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think it would have completely been irrelevant who they had chosen as a director. Even the director most attentive to the orders and desires of the studios still gives a personal touch to his/her movies.