The DC All Stars review of Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE! If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe for more DC comic reviews, interviews, tv & movie talk, and more. And read my notes for the entire epic movie below!
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Zack Snyder’s Justice League notes:
- this isn’t a movie. This isn’t a TV show obviously. This is something else.
- the slow mo and the songs – could’ve cut 30 minutes right there
- wow – so many more characters of color: Ryan Choi. Ann Ogbomo from Krypton tv series. Crispus Allen. Etc.
- I was hoping for more of an arc about Superman’s effect on the world. It’s there – but I was hoping this whole thing about Superman dying, and the bell has rung – would mean that we would see people get worse. Darkseid Is right? We kinda see that in the Whedon cut actually. People fighting each other, etc. / Could’ve been shown here with the heroes. And that’s why when they come together they ALL think of the idea to resurrect Superman. Because they need the idea of him to fight through the darkness.
- There’s a detachment. I absolutely see that. A coldness that worked for Watchmen. It’s like the original Superman movie. With the three styles. Sci fi. Americana. Metropolis. Snyder layers krypton over everything.
- the CGI does come through in places where you notice … things. Does a big screen wash these things out? Edges. Blurs. Flashes. I dunno what it is. But yes, watching on a sharp big screen tv does make the unreality stand out.
- Odd two final scenes of the Nightmare and the MMAnhunter visit. I get it – Snyder wanted to do Batman and Joker. But didn’t land for me.
- I’ve seen for years that I should watch the Director’s Cut of Blade Runner, or the DC of this. Or the DC of that. I’ve seen the DC of Daredevil with Ben Affleck. It’s way better. I’ve seen Richard Donner’s Director’s cut. Also better. So don’t try and con me now that director cuts are suddenly bad.
- regardless if you liked this cut or not, the Whedon JL is now proved to be a mess.
- Fan service isn’t getting this movie. Fan Service is getting the director of Avengers / getting Joss Whedon / and getting Danny Elfman to put in previous movie and TV themes. THAT’S fan service
- anyone complaining about four hours – but bragged about bing watching hours of Tiger King
- we can watch movies on a laptop, tablet, phone… I don’t care about aspect. Can I see it? Can I hear it. Done.
- there’s a third cut now… a streamlined Snyder version
- the opening call (or the bell has been rung) of Superman dying. That’s a moment. That’s mythical
- Barry’s race to restore reality. Fucking Amazing.
- I love how THIS Flash is portrayed. Almost gliding. Think of it – When you run, the faster you run the more area you cover between strides. OF COURSE he would be almost jumping large distances. But this is more zen. Or more skating. Or more fluid. Because it has to be. Yes – it looks weird – but it makes sense.
- the Martian Manhunter reveal as Martha is weird. But was the one true surprise.
- rewatching Man of Steel prior to this and thinking of General Swanwyck as Jonn Jonnzz makes his character mean so much more.
- Black Widow says she will kill the Black Order in Infinity War. Don’t be moralistic now because Batman is shooting bugs.
- Superman’s death cry. Kinda brilliant. An outward cry of distress. Ringing the bell. The Kryptonian is dead.
- The bell. Goes to cyborg with the mother box. Metropolis and Lex luthor and steppenwolf. Atlantis and the other mother box. Themyscira and the final box
ADDITIONAL SCENES OF COLOR
- Phillippus. Ann ogbomo. Jayna Zod. When the mother box wakes.
- Bruce Wayne in the north.
- Luthor in the gene pool hearing Superman’s death cry
PART 1: Dont count on it Batman
- Bruce is building an alliance based on his dream but also based on Luthor saying the bell has rung. The god is dead. He’s coming.
- Wonder Woman’s entrance sound effect almost makes it feel like she flew onto the statue.
- “Down with the modern world. Back to the dark ages.” – thought this was a way to show the effects of a dead Superman. His death knell takes away Hope. Same as wanting the bomb to go off for no reason
- Bullets and bracelets at fast speeds. Looks awesome.
- Her bracelet energy clang is still impressive. Best thing about this version.
- “Why did it wake at all” because the Kryptonian is dead
- “Evil doesn’t sleep. It waits”
- Steppenwolf. “Defenders. They always fail”. Setting up the JL’s victory. “I have come to enlighten you to the great darkness.” / “I will bathe in your fear.”
- The fall of the chamber. Okay I got it now, about what this “movie” is. This is an epic. An epic poem. Told in parts and chapters. An epic movie. (An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the mortal universe for their descendants, the poet and their audience, to understand themselves as a people or nation.)
- Epic Film. Roger Ebert: “The word epic in recent years has become synonymous with big budget B Picture. What you realize watching Lawrence of Arabia is that the word epic refers not to the cost or the elaborate production, but to the size of the ideas and vision. Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: the Wrath of God didn’t cost as much as the catering in Pearl Harbor, but it is an epic, and Pearl Harbor is not.”
- It’s also why the music does what it does.
- WW’s theme coming up often is no different than when people geek out over using John Williams’ Superman theme.
- Yes. Steppenwolf’s armor is weird. But the movement and capture of color is cool.
- WW is about 800 or 900 according to Patty Jenkins. Not 5000. Since WW is a coming of age story. I prefer Jenkins’ age reasoning.
ADDITIONAL SCENES OF COLOR
- the police chief
- Amazons. Several more. Working. Battling. Charging.
- the women singing for Aquaman. Sniffing Arthur’s shirt
- Berec Dondarion entrance.
- Amazons Vs Steppenwolf inside the chamber. In the hall.
- An Amazon calls for Phillipus. But it cuts to a white Amazon?
- Hippolyta’s slide
PART 2: the Age of Heroes.
- Steppenwolf building his base in a toxic environment. On earth. Nuclear plants are the fire pits of apokolips.
- “He will be pleased. He will see my worth again” – motivation
- Bruce “it has to do with him. I made a promise. I spent time dividing. I need to bring us together.”
- Parademons looking for the boxes. Bruce still finding warriors. Hippolyta looking for her daughter
- Arrow of Artemis. The one that took down a ship of Darkseid?
- Hippolyta. “Show her the darkness before the daylight of history.”
- 6.19.82. Cover date of Tales of the New Teen Titans issue 1, featuring Cyborg, but not actual ship date. Other websites are getting that incorrect.
- STAR Labs!
- Wonder Woman sees the history told in pictures
- Snyder is making a Cyborg short film. Aquaman short film. Flash. Even Wonder Woman. Wanting to play with all of these characters since others will tell their individual movies / like Morrison giving glimpses and hints and potential for what later stories could be.
- The music to Snyder is purple prose narration in Bronze Age comics. Listen to the lyrics. No different than giving us endless Claremont text
- Desaad! Was this always to be? Steppenwolf has a debt to pay for betraying Darkseid
- Diana comes to Bruce / “they came here once before” – so why does it surprise Steppenwolf and Darkseid that the anti life is here?
- The flashback of the gods. The original Justice League. Atlanteans. Amazons. Gods. Green Lantern. Man. Huns. Black Men.
- Darkseid found a secret there. Again. Why did he forget?
- The mother boxes have Superman’s primary colors. Red. Yellow. Blue.
- Darkseid is a punk. Felled by Ares
- Zeus has the Nemean Lion skin that Heracles wears.
- The mother boxes grew weak. Falling asleep. “Fading from the view of the enemy anonymous among a trillion worlds.”
- Gal’s narration is weak. She’s reading. Not acting.
ADDITIONAL SCENES OF COLOR
- Ryan Choi.
- Aquaman and the water
- Darkseid forgot where the anti life was.
PART 3: Beloved Mother, Beloved Son
- now we get Flash and Cyborg
- Central City in the middle of plains. That feels right. Missouri or something
- Slo mo for Barry feels right. Even beautiful. The delicate way he turns Iris to catch her. He’s at super speed. Wouldn’t want to twist her in a way that – in her own fast reality – would hurt.
- I always love his depiction in this movie.
- Lois. An hour fifteen in.
- Bruce and Diana have a moment.
- Victor’s origin. Another car accident.
- Cyborg does his best iron man when learning to fly.
- Like he does with his classmate and her grades, Victor helps a struggling working mom. Because that’s what he believes helping people should be. Lifting others. Seeing numbers and figures for what they are. Bullshit.
- A Parademon and Victor’s body takes over? This was a weird jump to just let us know he has the box
- Barry and his dad in prison. “Absolute best of the best.” / Barry’s dad: “you’re living in the past. Make your own future.”
- Billy Crudup. Because of watchmen.
- Barry meets Bruce. Still a good scene
- Gorilla sign language. Brilliant.
- Love the moment before Barry stops the batarang where it’s like he is making a decision to reveal himself, reveal the truth.
- Speed force. “Layer of dimensional reality. Manipulates space time.”
- Commissioner Gordon. Crispus Allen!
- Attack on Atlantis. Mera communicating by sonar. I like that. Makes sense. Not far off from the telepathic sound effects from the cartoons.
- Mera sucking out his water and blood is badass
ADDITIONAL SCENES OF COLOR
- the origin of Victor
- Crispus Allen
- the football match. Makes sense as a flashback. To show skill. But still.
- the water off the parademons as they drag Atlanteans
- Cyborg’s movements aren’t solid.
PART 4: Change Machine – 2 hour Mark more or less
- the JL first team up in Gotham with Gordon.
- Some connection between Cyborg and Steppenwolf’s armor? Both moving in similar ways.
- Flash stopping the falling debris. Great effect
- And then Aquaman. He’s stopping it …. manually!
- The mother box reveals the truth to Steppenwolf. The anti life equation.
- Even if the world is anonymous, once it’s revealed where the boxes are he should realize earth is also where the ALE is.
- “Throughout the multiverse”
- “The world that fought back” well duh. Atlanteans. Amazons. How is it a surprise? This doesn’t play out well
- And now Darkseid. Steppenwolf prostrates himself in front of Darkseid
- “The lost world is Earth”
- Darkseid letting others do his work. That’s right
- “I have turned 100000 worlds to dust looking for anti life. Looking for those who robbed me of my glory.” Once the mother boxes turn on because of the death of Superman why wouldn’t 2 plus 2 add up?
- “Different civilizations. Similar properties.” Between the mother box and Superman’s ship
- Cyborg. Made from a change machine.
- They rearrange matter at the will of their masters. / but a mother box turns smoke back into a house. / Here’s where the team decides together to raise Superman.
- Martha comes to see Lois.
- “Burdened by a secret on top of grief”. At least Lois doesn’t enslave a town because of it
- I thought Martha was a Parademon at first. This was a genuine surprise seeing Martian Manhunter here. Telling Lois to come back to the living.
- Not until Superman died. They were afraid of him.
- “There is no us without him”
PART FIVE: all the kings horses
- exhuming Superman
- “None are taken back from the darkness not without giving one up in return” – saying in Atlantis. Do they give anything up?
- “Shes 5000 years old Barry”. No. No she’s not. 800-900
- Alfred talking to Bruce about resurrecting Superman. “For once I’m operating strictly on faith not on reason” – that’s a big change for this older Batman that gets played for laughs in the Whedon version
- Snyder wanted to do a movie in China with Choi
- Lois wakes up. What’s with the drawer with the pregnancy test? Snyder setting up later movies again.
- Lois goes back to being a reporter just as Superman is resurrected
- Flash can wake the box. No different than the CW flash who can throw lightening.
- Lois almost ready to put Superman’s death behind her just as he’s resurrected. What would her arc be had Superman not been brought back?
- Krypton technology recognizes Apokolipton tech
- Victor has a vision. Omega beams. Kilowog? Knightmare. The future. A future.
- Not a fan of this Darkseid’s look or demeanor.
- “The future has taken root in the present” – the Krypton AI. Carla Gugino I think.
- Marc McClure. Jerry the cop
- Cyborg attacks because he’s part Apokolipton
- “Kal-El no”. Such a bad line delivery.
- Superman is as fast as flash
- Batman and Lois just saying Clark’s name over and over in front of everyone.
- Silas sacrifices his life.
PART SIX: Something Darker.
- They are all working together when they find the location of the third box. The dialogue goes round robin. As a team. Showing that all of their dialogue means something to the story.
- “He’s never fought us. Not us United”. – what makes them different?
- Snyder hitting all the big stories. Doomsday. Death of Superman. New gods. Final crisis. Injustice. The bombastic nature doesn’t allow for much else. Or too many repeats later. Dark Phoenix anyone?
- Clark has to find out why he was resurrected.
- Bruce references the Knightmare
- The cargo ship! Such an odd big moment in this story.
- “Faith Alfred. Faith”
- Are they all hearing a boom from the Boxes or Superman traveling north?
- Both fathers. He’s the sum of both. Potential to be a force for good. An ideal to strive towards. You’re here for a reason. Stand in front of the human race. We knew you would change the world. Fly son. It’s time.
- this is an echo or visual manifestation of If you seek his monument look around you
- The League prepares. Barry all zen. Makes sense considering things are slow around him and how manic he was earlier
- Bruce turning into the falling tower to smush bugs. Smart sequence
- The League decide to help Bruce. And we get the team shot!
- Aquaman can feel water currents. Is air any different?
- Cyborg straffing buildings. That’s cool as hell.
- Batman swinging. Cool visual.
- Only Flash isn’t really fighting.
- Why the black suit?
- Earlier WW said he’s the most powerful she’s ever fought. Something like that. Is he? Even over Doomsday?
- Aqua. WW. And Cyborg fighting him together. Unlike the tunnel sequence
- The shot of Superman ready to punch. Flying to the camera. Like swan or Jurgens or whoever. That’s a comic book visual.
- Superman overly aggressive in punching Steppenwolf to keep him down
- And then Darkseid shows up. The unity. And the coolest sequence yet. Barry stops himself from transforming. And runs.
- “Make your own future. Make your own past. It’s all right now”.
- This chapter really does rock. And brings all the various themes and threads together.
- “I’m not broken and I’m not alone”. Cyborg giving hope to those like him.
- They “old world-ed” Steppenwolf. Gave Darkseid his head. That’s. Extreme. As fuck. But I get it. Epic poem. Epic film.
- No words. Just a stand-off. Don’t mess with us.
- “We will use the old ways”
- Team shot!
- You could end it here.
EPILOGUE: A Father Twice Over
- “Everything breaks. Everything changes”
- Cyborg and his father. Aquaman and his father. Superman and his fathers. Wonder Woman and her mother. Batman and his parents or Alfred. Or himself. A lot of orphans.
- Ryan Choi now in charge of the ship.
- “The now is you. Take your place among the brave ones. Were. Are. Yet to be.”
- Bat tank. Snyder again making his Batman movie with Dark Knight Returns imagery.
- Diana wanting to go home. “Heal. Love”
- “Win” for Barry. The joy in this kid’s face. He is a kid
- Supes still in black. “The time is now” – that’s the super friends quote.
- This Luthor and Deathstroke scene is a set up for a Batman movie instead of Legion of Doom.
- Knightmare part 2. Batman. Cyborg. Mera. Flash. Thought it was Atom/Ryan Choi for a second. Deathstroke. Joker.
- These look like actual Parademons in this sequence.
- Joker: “Who have you ever loved? How many worlds die because you don’t want to die? Is that the kill the joker argument?
- This is almost like the ending to Killing Joke. Where they share a laugh.
- Wheres Wonder Woman?
- I wasn’t feeling this Joker Batman scene. I get it. Snyder wanted to match them up in this version.
- And then Martian Manhunter. Because Snyder wanted John Stewart. But studio said no. He wasn’t going to cut a POC. They said they have plans for Stewart. When he said? Good question. So instead it’s MM.
- Affleck looking like Clooney.
- For Autumn.