Justice League Review: We’ll Fix It In Post

Justice League is why I hate group projects. My idea for a project is to work on it early as possible, plan ahead, and retain one specific vision. What’s frustrating about group projects is having to rely on other people to not screw up the assignment. What’s really frustrating is when the teacher wants you to submit a draft, so they can give you tips to make your grade better or in this case, for a film to earn more money.

Teacher: You have too much Darkseid. Can you add more Steppenwolf?

Me: AHH shit okay, I mean I guess. I was kinda trying to have him appear at the end and I was going to spend more time on Cyborg but—

Teacher: Get him to say mother a lot.

Me: Oh like in Advent Children? I mean that could be kinda cool, but he works for Darkseid.

Teacher: If you have to leave it in just let him mention Darkseid.

Me: I mean…okay but why would he call three boxes, mother? Should I animate a lady when the boxes are together??

Teacher: NO, you’re making too complicated. But add the mom stuff. DC characters love their mom.

Suddenly a project you were focusing on your own, turns into a bunch of people yelling out ideas to make it better. Everyone wants to add their own spin to the story.

Group Member: AQUAMAN IS A BAD BOI.

Group Member: Flash is bad boi but cute boi too.

Group Member: Batman is the OG bad boi.

Group Member: No, too many bad boi’s.

Group Member: I WANT SUPERMAN TO BE EVIL IN ONE SCENE.

Me: He’s not in the movie right now?

Group Member: Let’s Frankenstein him like Zodd.

Me: WHAT another giant creature!?

Group Member: No! Do a smol superman…but evil and BRITISH MAYBE? Just for like a minute. Then back to normal. It will be cool scene.

Me: Jesus FINE.

Group Member: Superman came to set with a moustache now we have to film everything with a moustache in it.

Group member: Nah, just CGI remove it. We have plenty of money. Who gives a shit.

At this point I’m just trying to get this project done.

Me: Let’s get together on Friday to film.

Group Member: Nah, Wonder Woman can’t meet then.

Me: Okay Sunday?

Group Member: Flash is busy on that day.

Group Member: No worries man, I’ll just film all the scenes where they’re together with mostly close up shots. No one will be able to tell.

Me: TF that’s not going to work.

Group Member: Yeah it will. Just get b-roll of them reacting to stuff and then we’ll figure it out in editing.

Group Member: SOMEONE MAKE SURE TO GET CYBORG TO SAY BOOYAH

Group Member: When I recorded Aquaman he kept yelling, can we keep it in?

Me: I mean, I GUESS. It’s too late now, isn’t it?

Group Member: OOPS. I filmed Batman with a beard, does he have a beard in the rest of the movie?

Me: WHAT NO HE DOESN’T

Group Member: No worries, I’ll fix it. I just put some shaving cream on his chin and make it look like he was shaving real quick.

Me: BUT WHY DID HE HAVE A BEARD.

Group Member: IT WAS COLD WHERE HE WAS IT WILL MAKE SENSE I PROMISE.

Me: Okay we have them all together for 2 days. Let’s story board what we need.

Group Member: I think we’ll be okay winging it. Just need to get them jumping out of stuff, right?

Group Member: Yo, someone crank Batman’s voice modulator UP. MY BOY NEEDS TO BE SICKENING

 

Zach Snyder had a personal tragedy that pulled him out of post-production, but consider Joss Whedon (his replacement) has a completely different style than Snyder.

Also weird, because Joss Whedon liked this tweet.

Producer Charles Roven said “The goal is to make sure when you’re watching the movie, it all feels cohesive… That imprint that Joss had, some aspect of it is going to come out in the direction, but the actors are already pretty much down the road on their arcs…Let’s just say 80, 85% of the movie is what was originally shot. There’s only so much you can do with other 15, 20% of the movie.”

YIKES MY BOY IT DID NOT WORK.

But in a weird way the movie does work…just only in the same way The Room works.

He did not hit her.

Like The Room, you kinda help but can’t laugh at some of the attempts at humor, the overuse of cutaways, the ham-fisted way the story progresses, and like I said earlier, the same use of close-ups over and over again.

There’s this one scene where Cyborg is talking to his dad and then in the middle of his dad talking, he uses his jet boots to hover in the room, “I couldn’t do that yesterday.” He says. It’s meant to come across I think as snarky, but the cut and timing of the moment made it accidentally hilarious. When I guffawed at this moment in theaters, I realized no one else chuckled. It felt like when you laugh at someone falling and then realize your friends aren’t laughing so you feel like a jerk.

My favorite part personally was where Justice League turned into a Lord of The Rings fan film. HOT DARN. I wasn’t even mad. I laughed and cheered, and I couldn’t believe it. When Galadriel Wonder Woman was telling the story of the 3 rings—err I mean boxes, the scene was quintessential Snyder. It looked beautiful, had a distinct atmosphere. I mean it was Lord of the Rings, but I’m giving it to him because it looked so cool, and was a really needed aspect of a superhero film which had another forgettable villain. The scene managed to add some beauty to the film besides Wonder Woman’s smirk and Aquaman’s abs.

im dead

It’s really stupid, but I enjoyed Justice League for the giant mess that it is. There were even a few moments that weren’t too bad. I think it did it’s job in introducing new heroes, and setting up for another film relatively easily, even if it is an easy target to poke fun of. Batman is in on how much of a joke he is. Aquaman is a bad boy who tries very hard to be a bad boy. Cyborg is moody and sad, but his voice is just lovely and they hinted at him lightening up in the future. Flash is GOLDEN; he’s truly funny and his relationship with his dad was very cool to see. Wonder Woman is delightful. Superman was there. Injustice the video game has better CGI than this film.

THANK YOU FOR THIS SNYDER

 

The film just barely scrambles together to get the minimum level required to not be as bad at Batman Versus Superman. It’s a real mess. It felt like I was watching a movie while on my phone, but I wasn’t. I was sober, very awake, and somehow it’s still so forgettable, but again, it works if you accept how hopelessly silly it is. So for Justice League, I give it 1 participation trophy out of 1.

 

Betty Windsor is a film snob and co-host of  Geek Versus Week. Her favorite DC character is Cyborg. She believes a polished turd still smells.

Brett Ratner doesn’t like Rotten Tomatoes, and I Can See Why

rotten-tomatoes

It’s funny to me that Brett Ratner had something to say about Rotten Tomatoes as we just discussed Iron Fist on the podcast. Suffice to say, reviewers had a field day with that, with the aggregate score being 18% at the time of this article.  Just last night, I saw Power Rangers, and apparently the aggregate REVIEWERS feel this is only worthy of a 43% where as the audience gave it an 83%.

I guess what has me most curious is why such a huge disparity between critics and reviewers?  And in this day and age of the internet, what really is the difference?  Look, don’t get me wrong, the new Power Rangers movie won’t be winning an Oscar anytime soon, and it’s certainly not a must see.  But for those who are interested in checking it out, it’s a lot of fun! And isn’t that why we go to the movies? To have fun and be entertained?  Maybe that’s the difference, critics go to a movie solely to criticize.

Do you use rotten tomatoes? Do you agree with their critics?

Brett Ratner has been around Hollywood a long time, and a fair share of his movies have, umm, not done that great with critics. So, he has some choice words for review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Source: Hollywood producer Brett Ratner blames Rotten Tomatoes for telling people about bad reviews

 

The One Thing Batman v Superman Did Right

As I was getting comfortable, preparing for the 2 ½ hour operatic art film known as “Batman v Superman” one thing really caught my attention during the opening credits; Batman created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.  Who the heck is that? I’m not a hardcore Batman fan per se, but I’ve seen my fair share of Batman iterations and don’t ever remember stumbling across that name.  Well it didn’t take long for me to research and see that a lot has been discussed regarding Bill Finger, the unaccredited co-creator of Batman.Bob Kane is known as Batman’s creator. But is the Batman that you see wearing only a bright red costume, stiff black bat wings attached to his arms, a black domino (Robin style) mask? That was the Batman that Bob Kane created. It’s Bill Fingers Batman that you know today. In 1938, Superman would create a boom in the comic industry andDC would go looking for another hero. Bob Kane would come up with a character called The Batman. After creating this character he phoned up Bill Finger, and showed him the sketch of the Batman. Finger felt the character looked too much like Superman and suggested some changes.

“I got Webster’s Dictionary off the shelf and was hoping they had a drawing of a bat, and sure enough it did. I said, ‘notice the ears, why don’t we duplicate the ears?’ I suggested he draw what looked like a cowl… I had suggested he bring the nosepiece down and make him mysterious and not show any eyes at all… I didn’t like the wings, so I suggested he make a cape and scallop the edges so it would flow out behind him when he ran and would look like bat wings. He didn’t have any
gloves on. We gave him gloves because naturally he’d leave fingerprints.”

Bill Finger also wrote some of the early Batman stories. In doing so, he created the personality of Batman and turned him into a great detective. “My idea was to have Batman be a combination of Douglas Fairbanks, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, and Doc Savage as well.”

Finger went on to give Batman’s alter ego the name of Bruce Wayne, and later named his sidekick Robin (Dick Grayson). He named Batman’s hometown Gotham City, and contributed in the creation of many of Batman’s villains. The Cat-woman, Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, and Clay-Face were among them. While Bill Finger didn’t create the Joker, he did write the first Joker issue in Batman #1.Finger wasn’t completely forgotten, but he’s never gotten credit as the co-creator of Batman. “Bob Kane is the only person credited on any Batman story in any medium,” author Marc Tyler Nobleman tells NPR.  DC Comics puts Finger’s name on the specific scripts he wrote, but it doesn’t recognize his influence on the creation of the character, he says. “They have a contract with the Kane estate and they don’t want to jeopardize that,” he says.But Finger is a hero to many comics fans. “Fans … refused to let this injustice stand,” Nobleman says, “but no one ever did anything formally for him.”Until Jerry Robinson — a friend of Finger’s and one of the earliest Batman ghostwriters — created an award in his honor. The Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing is given out each year at San Diego Comic-Con to two writers, one living and one deceased, who have not been properly recognized for their work.Personally, I had no idea about any of this until I saw a mysterious name on the credits of Batman v Superman.  At least they got THAT right! Check out our review of “Batman v SupermanJoin the Geek Versus Discussion Facebook Group Sources:http://www.legionsofgotham.org/HISTORYfinger.htmlhttp://www.npr.org/2012/08/11/158494206/batmans-biggest-secret-no-its-not-bruce-wayneFan art by: http://goxiii.deviantart.com/

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review (Spoiler free)

First off, I’d like to say that there will be a spoiler section at the end of this review, but it will be clearly marked, and easily avoidable.BvS could easily be summed up in one word:  “meh”.  It wasn’t terrible by any means, as some reviewers would have you believe, but it’s far from good.  It has some high points and some low points, but mostly it stays in the sphere of “watchable”.For more spoiler free BvS talk, and other news, check out the latest episode of Geek Versus Week. BvS is long and has some serious pacing issues.  It clocks in at 2 hours and 33 minutes, which isn’t too long for a movie that’s engaging and entertaining throughout.  It’s also not that long if you have a complex story to tell, either.  Unfortunately, none of this is the case in BvS.  Most of the time is spent creating a tone, conveying themes, establishing character motivations, and setting up conflict.  Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things to spend some time on, but not as much time as it dwells on these things, especially in a movie where the obvious and inevitable conflict is all anyone’s really waiting on anyway.Characterization is a mixed bag in BvS, which I will go into more detail about in the spoiler section of the review, but here I’ll just say this:  Superman, while a good and honorable person in the movie, isn’t quite as wholesome or pure as his traditional portrayal.  Batman is shown to be vengeful, brutal, paranoid, and uncompromising in his quest to keep the world safe, which is definitely true to the character.  However, his methods are unquestionably un-Batmanlike.The acting in BvS ranges from great to uninspired.  Laurence Fishburne and Jeremy Irons are in small supporting roles, but they are amazing, which is pretty much expected.  Gal Gadot sells the part of a beautiful, strong, and dangerous Amazonian.  Amy Adams does a great job at making Lois confident and tough, and while she does need to be rescued, she’s not just a “damsel in distress”.  Henry Cavill is pretty boring and generic as both Superman and Clark Kent, with a range of maybe three different facial expressions, one of which makes him look like he just ate something really gross and is trying hard to choke it down, which I assume is supposed to convey….anger?  Maybe?  Jesse Eisenberg plays Lex Luthor in a very unique way, that I personally didn’t like, but at the same time I do respect the decision to try something new.  Lastly, Ben Affleck absolutely nails the personality of Batman.  He’s dark and brooding.  He’s angry.  He’s menacing. He’s got some serious issues, but at the end of the day, he’s a good guy, even if the line gets a little blurry sometimes.BvS features numerous fantasy/dream sequences, much to its detriment.  For a while, it seems like every other scene is something that didn’t really happen, and isn’t something we should really care about.  Most of these scenes are to set a tone, but really, how many do you need?  It just seems lazy to use the same device multiple times to accomplish the same thing.  If you were to take out some of this stuff, the movie probably would be a more appropriate length.The use of overly dramatic music for the most mundane situations is something that was laughably bad.  Here are two non-spoiler examples:  Incredibly over the top, epic music plays when…..Lex Luthor is walking down a hallway.  That’s literally what he does, and the music tries to tell the audience that this is the most epic few steps that anyone has ever taken in the history of cinema. The other example is Batman standing on a crane.  It’s not even that good of a shot, because he doesn’t look intimidating or menacing.  It’s a helicopter shot from about 100 feet away, and he’s just standing there.  That’s it.  Seriously.  Yeah, it’s a little nitpicky, but it was something that stood out to me and made me laugh in the theater.The action in BvS is really well done, which is something that director Zack Snyder is actually pretty good at.  The downside is that there really wasn’t all that much of it, but when it’s there, it’s great.BvS isn’t a fun movie.  It’s dark, gloomy, and brooding.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone should be cracking jokes left and right.  I’m not even saying there should be humor at all, because any movie with Batman in it is probably going to be dark and humorless, because that fits the tone.  The problem with BvS is how seriously it takes itself, and how hard it tries to be dark and edgy just for the sake of being dark and edgy.  It’s the film equivalent of an emo teenager who wears all black, smokes clove cigarettes, spits out Nietzsche quotes in an effort to sound pseudo-intellectual, and has come to the conclusion that the world is a dark and cruel place because in high school someone made fun of them a few times.All told, Batman v Superman isn’t a great movie.  It isn’t even a terrible movie.  It’s a very forgettable movie.  Nothing really stands out about it.  There are no memorable or iconic scenes, no great quotes, no standout characters.  It’s generic and bland.  It’s plain white rice.  It’s also very predictable, and if you’ve seen the trailers, you know the whole plot.  There are no twists, nothing is unexpected, nothing takes you by surprise.  Every step of the way, you just wait for the events to unfold exactly how you think they will.  If you’re a diehard fan of either Batman or Superman, you might enjoy it more, but even as a ridiculously passionate Batman fan, I have to say, it just wasn’t that good.***Spoilers ahead!  If you haven’t seen it and don’t want it ruined, stop reading here!******No really, the spoilers start here!***Being a huge Batman fan, my biggest problem with the entire film is that Batman kills people.  Batman.  Kills.  People.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Yeah, I know that in every movie interpretation since Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman he’s killed some people.  (Yes, letting Ra’s die at the end of Batman Begins counts.)  But this isn’t about those other movies, this is about this movie.  This movie was supposedly going to be true to the characters, and having Batman kill, which is one of, if not the most, defining characteristic of Batman in the comics.Superman, while closer to his comic book counterpart, still wasn’t quite right in the movie.  Superman in the comics wouldn’t allow statues to be built in his honor.  It’s a minor complaint, but it just didn’t sit well with me.The reasons that Batman and Superman came into conflict were a little inconsistent, at least on the Superman side.  The Batman side made sense, and stayed the same throughout.  The Superman side was much less so.  At first, it seemed like he had an ideological difference with Batman, and that he disapproved of his vigilantism, especially after their first costumed interaction, where Superman tells Batman that his days are over.  So that’s why they clash, right?  Wrong.  It’s because Lex Luthor kidnaps Superman’s mom and holds her hostage, sending Superman to kill Batman.  Even then, Superman doesn’t even approach Batman with the intention of fighting him!  He goes to talk to him, and due to sitcom levels of misunderstanding, it results in a fight.  So what exactly was the point of the earlier scene showing that Superman wanted to shut Batman down?  It has absolutely no bearing on the fight later on.The entire Batman v Superman fight itself was incredibly underwhelming.  It wasn’t that good of a fight by any measure, let alone the conflict that the entire movie is supposedly building toward, and in fact is the name of the movie.I hated the obvious setup for the rest of the DC cinematic universe.  It felt so forced and completely took me out of the movie.  It was essentially, “Hey Wonder Woman, click these links to teaser trailers for our upcoming movies based on other properties.”How does Lois know that the key to defeating Doomsday is the kryptonite spear?  Unless I missed it, no one ever communicates to her anything about this.  I could be wrong about this one, but I didn’t see the connection.What was up with Clark seeing Jonathan Kent, who died in the previous movie?  As far as I know, they never explain it.  Clark is walking through some snow, talks to his dead dad in the mountains, and that’s it.  No lead in, no explaining afterward.  It happens, and it’s never mentioned again.  Am I missing something?Lex Luthor is a smart guy, right?  I mean, he’s supposed to be.  Here’s the part where I get confused though:  If Lex Luthor is so smart, then why would he arm people with ammunition made from a metal that’s only produced by one of your labs?  Why you’re at it Lex, why not just put your name on the bullets, and for good measure include your twitter @lex_luthor #imavillain?Ok enough complaining.  Here are some of the high points for me:

  • Doomsday regenerating, getting more powerful, and growing the bones.
  • Batman vs the goons holding Martha Kent hostage.  Great sequence, and my favorite action scene.
  • This is a subtle one, but when Bruce Wayne is watching the underground fight, whispering in the losing fighter’s ear how to beat his opponent, after which he proceeds to wreck him.
  • The Batmobile was siiiiiiiiiick.
  • Wonder Woman fighting Doomsday, and loving the thrill of battle even when getting knocked around.
  • Batman actually doing some detective work.

Enough of what I think – what did you think?  Love it? Hate it? “Meh” it?  (That’s a word, right?) Let us know in the comments below. And for our no holds barred spoiler review, check out part 2 of our BvS podcast special.