Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
March 17, 2021 10:56 AM - Subscribe

Zack Snyder's definitive director's cut of Justice League. Determined to ensure Superman's ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.

Four hours long and streaming in the US on HBO Max, as of 3 am Eastern time tonight.
posted by DirtyOldTown (76 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Over here in Southeast Asia, we still have HBO Go, and the releases don't necessarily follow Max's schedule, but i just checked mine, and it says it'll be out today so I'm assuming will follow that announced time as well. (I'm not sure if Go is the current only international HBO streaming platform, i think the usual international suspects get Max as well right?).
posted by cendawanita at 4:48 PM on March 17


We’ve already lost an hour this week to the daylight saving time adjustment; this seems a way to lose four more.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:40 PM on March 17 [6 favorites]


Is that the full title ? Seems short after a title like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Ultimate Edition.
posted by Pendragon at 11:45 PM on March 17


I kept reading how it was so much better than the first version.  Do NOT believe them.  It.  Was.  Not.  Dear God it was not better.

The pacing was leaden, it was filled with bizarrely long and lingering shots on characters for no apparent plot reason beyond portentous auteur shot, and filled with stuff that just made no damn sense.
  • Those Amazons that lassoed Steppenwolf—when he yanked them off their horses, why the hell did the horses get yanked too?  It looked bizarre, even for comic book physics and made me laugh out loud.
  • Did I just hear Joe Morton's character give his teenage/college age son the power to launch the world's nuclear arsenal without so much as a second thought? The same son who clearly hates his Dad and is showing every sign—justified or not after what he was turned into without his consent—of being extremely emotionally unstable and seems to hate being alive?  What the hell?   Gee, thanks, Silas.  Nothing can go wrong with this plan.
  • That pit Diana dropped down into in order to read the warning—where the hell was it?  She's at at the temple, then she's dropping down into the bowels of the Earth.  Why?  Where?  Was it just a convenient hole by the temple no archæologist ever noticed?  What's that hole, professor?   Oh, nothing, the locals call it Aphrodite's Garderobe.  Nothing to see here, move along.
  • That bat-jet, why was its software glitch issue even a part of the story?  Was it seriously just so Victor could interface moments before they needed it, but filmed in such a way as to carry no dramatic weight at all?  So random.  Why did they need a troop carrier for five people?  It didn't look capable of suborbital hops, but they apparently flew to a city near Moscow in mere minutes, though it also appeared to still be night halfway around the globe, so I'm not sure how that works.
  • The Flash is traveling near the speed of light?  And the parademons zero in on him with their slow-ass guns?  Even putting aside that whole moving at the relativistic velocities thing to begin with…which OK, OK, I'll let that one slide because I know it's a comic book movie…but Jesus, it's just one unforced howler after another.
  • Four hours?!  Really?   Who the fuck do you think you are Mr Snyder, David Lean?
  • Lois Lane is the key to it, the key to something darker.  This was inserted at random 85% of the way through the movie then never referred to again, unless you count the odd parallel-Earth coda thingy, whatever the hell that was supposed to mean to us.
  • That briefcase at the beginning was powerful enough to level four city blocks—at ground level—but turning it into an airburst a few hundred feat over London was somehow OK?  The fuck?

Why oh why do directors and studios refuse to hire a single goddam scientific consultant?  Sure, it's a comic book movie, but you could spend the effort and at least make it follow some internal logic.  And oh goodness there was so much more that left me scratching my head, but it's all blurred together in one giant WTF? in my head.   To top it all off…for a guy so quick, why did every scene with the fastest man on Earth have to be so slowly glacially paced?  Bullet time is supposed to be an effect you use to enhance the action, not what you film the entire scene in. Ugh.  Poor Ezra Miller.  He's far too cute and talented to be saddled with such a badly written and CGI'd rôle.

At first I was worried that I wasn't giving it a chance, that I was carrying preconceived notions into my viewing.  Then I realized, no, it's not me.  It's just THAT bad.

Ah, that felt good to vent.   Remember my sacrifice.  I watched this so you don't have to.

Thank you for attending my Ted Talk.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:17 AM on March 18 [31 favorites]


Ackkkthsually... I think it was definitely better if only because it was a lot more coherently the vision of one guy. If you hate Snyder's work that's still not gonna be something you like, obviously, but it was definitely a lot better IMO.

Most of the specific criticisms in that comment, like the horse thing or the bomb thing, aren't wrong per se but seem pretty minor to me in the broader scheme of things. Like... ok we'll just assume the airburst happened a mile up and then there's no problem.
posted by Justinian at 7:16 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


Oh, it was definitely better for not including a lot of creepy Whedonesque creepiness that made it into the original edition. A lot of inappropriate lowbrow type humor was axed, as was the scene I was specifically watching for (to make sure it was also cut): The weird bit where Flash fell on top of Wonder Woman's boobs in completely unnecessary fashion to the point that Gal Gadot refused to film it and a stunt double had to be used. Yep, nixed.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 AM on March 18 [6 favorites]


Who the fuck do you think you are Mr Snyder, David Lean?

Well... yes. Isn't that the problem?
posted by Grangousier at 10:08 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


I just got through part one and want to take a nap.

So Aquaman shows up to some remote snowed-in village every year to sleep with the village girls and then they sing sad songs when he leaves? That's the vibe I'm getting here. Weren't there some jokes or something in that scene in the other version?

It doesn't matter. I'm having a nap and then maybe I can get through another part of this thing.

Just started part two -- why does silver toothpick guy throw his henchman off the platform before ordering the others to search for the box?
posted by Catblack at 11:28 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I'm pissed that HBO Max is not on LG tvs as an app. And it isn't in 4K Dolby Vision on Xbox (or many devices) 'cause HBO Max... sucks.

I wasn't like chomping at the bit for this or anything, but I figured I'd turn it on and see. Nope, 1080p SDR for no reason at all but HBO Max can't get it together.

If you want to advertise that you're showing movies in these very good formats, at least do it!

I know, this probably sounds like a stupid problem, but I actually like the content on HBO Max a lot often. I watched Judas and the Black Messiah last week, excellent film! And they're cutting themselves down with stuff like this.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:50 PM on March 18


That briefcase at the beginning was powerful enough to level four city blocks—at ground level—but turning it into an airburst a few hundred feat over London was somehow OK? The fuck?

Obviously physical constants in London are not equal to the physical constants in Sokovia.
posted by mikelieman at 4:29 PM on March 18 [3 favorites]


I also have an LG. Luckily I had an Amazon Fire 4k stick in a drawer in case of emergency and could use that temporarily. HBO is the only thing that makes me use it. First for WW1984 and now this.

Theoretically an airburst delivers less peak energy to the surface, it just spreads it out a lot more. That could actually be a good thing if the peak is low enough not to kill anybody.
posted by Justinian at 6:23 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm just a bit more than an hour in at this point, and... damn, is this thing ponderous. Maybe it's been cleansed of any Whedonesque taint, but there's just so damn much that rests on the assumed gravitas of everything involved that it may be beyond parody. Superman dies in slow motion, lots of the fights are in slow motion, Aquaman steps out onto the pier in slow motion... if all the slo-mo scenes took place at regular speed, it might be two hours. And that's before we get introduced to the Flash in a scene that's like Quicksilver's scenes in the two X-Men movies before the last one, only not witty or inventive. I might end up doing the next three hours in separate chunks, if I don't just give up at some point.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:22 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


It didn't seem like a good film the first time
But it doesn't seem like a better film this time. Sadly.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:25 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Only part way through the first half and it seems like the same movie, maybe a few longer flashbacks, maybe a few different takes, and slightly different color balance (even more drab, if that's possible). So actually just a different "cut".

It's long so there must be more material later on but the promos seemed to promise a whole different movie, but so far just a different cut.
posted by sammyo at 7:34 PM on March 18


Is it better than the first version? I mean, yeah but that is a low bar to clear.

Famously, the first version was a disjointed product of two disagreeing minds, with the final say in the hands of a director with no particular visual/cinematic flair, who depends on ensemble acting and wit. His cast didn't trust him, his wit wasn't sparking, and he tried to prop up his already flagging career by hastily reconfiguring the film to double down on his worst impulses. Even aside from him being exposed as a terrible person, he simply did subpar work.

This new version is very much a single vision, executed as intended. It is very much a Zack Snyder film. It shows tremendous stylistic flair and technical acumen, as Snyder films do. But, like so many other Snyder films, it also shows a disinterest in coherent storytelling and a turgid and fetishistic fixation on operatic visuals that manages to make those carefully composed shots feel weirdly sterile.

Snyder does spend more time on characterization and emotion with the extended running time than in his shorter theatrical cuts. But it's a mixed bag. His idea of how to handle emotion onscreen seems to be something he picked up while carefully studying silent films. He clearly spent a great deal of time studying Griffith and Eisenstein and the other silent greats and gained a lot from it in how he frames and paces things. It's a pity that he also seems to tilt toward silent cinema's broad and archetype-based view of character. If it can't be expressed with a single facial expression from a good looking person, carefully framed, and soundtracked to an overbearing musical swell, you won't see it in a Zack Snyder film.

All of this said, there are terrific sequences. Don't go in expecting a coherent and successful Justice League. Go in expecting something more like 32 Short Films about the Justice League. They don't hang together. They're fragments. Still, you might find you like a dozen or so of those.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:01 PM on March 18 [13 favorites]


If I hadn't gone on far too long already, I would say that literally all of the actors do better work here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:12 PM on March 18


(this comment took a while and on preview other comments had been posted) It took me a whole night and plenty of breaks but i finished it. After sleeping over it, on balance i like it, but it's easier to like a coherent and cohesive piece that doesn't suffer from tonal whiplash. But it's undeniable that it's neither cut fully as a movie (due to the length that's not even designed with intermissions ala south asian cinema for example) nor a miniseries even with the chapter breaks. And they had reshoots and pickups meaning it's not quite the fiction that this is the true pre-whedon version. What it is is a response to a cultural moment, which means I can only react to it as such. I'm fully aware if i watched it cold back in 2017 there's much here to mock (and they're still there!). Especially because the length is necessary because WB is essentially a studio of headless of chickens with barely a roadmap.

So yeah, as that artifact, i do enjoy the narrative but am incredibly amused at the self-indulgence (like that whole epilogue, which is new footage, and hangs awkwardly at the end). All the slo-mos are meme material but the first half did finally earn Superman's resurrection imo. And i honestly enjoyed the team-up this time - these idiots do care about each other, which isn't a flavour of team dynamics whedon's would write and why his JL felt too 'marvel' when it's really he just copied and pasted how he justified the Avengers coming together. And the comparison with Ultron for me came when the hero frieze/mise-en-scene happened (when they're on the Batmobile... Wait is it the Batmobile lol), in how it's much better done because all said and done film is a visual medium that Snyder is better at (Whedon still cuts for TV blocking).

And that just reminded me of missed opportunities. Honestly if WB didn't keep panicking after every movie and just committed to any one vision the lead up to the team up feels more emotionally and thematically coherent by the time Justice League happens compared to Avengers.

But i could just be still on a high because I'm so delighted at the amount of screentime for Cyborg that i was literally waiting for years since the first set reports mentioned how well Ray Fisher did in his role. Considering the story meant to put him in the centre of the emotional thrust of the movie and not Batman (who drove the plot), it's really quite galling what had happened to him.
posted by cendawanita at 8:31 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]


- lets play really saccharine pop music to emphasize FEELS so so badly
- removed whedon creeperisms and replaced with the flash drooling over POC car-wreck lady
- something darker wat?
- steppenwolf looks like you dipped an aggro hedgehog in ferrofluid
- darkseid looks like an angry steroidal baked potato


i'm glad they deleted a bunch of stuff, but they replaced it with differently crap stuff

- i liked bruces joker dream tho
posted by lalochezia at 10:15 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Lol it's inescapable also in 2021, Darkseid occupies a space that's basically 'streaming service Thanos'.
posted by cendawanita at 10:56 PM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Just watched this all in one sitting, which I did not expect I would want to do, but what the hell, I watched all 8 hours of DEVS on Hulu in one day—this pandemic has trained me to binge-watch beyond all human limits.

Back in the day, I watched the first Justice League when it came to streaming. Fortunately for me, it was so forgettable that watching this version was like watching a whole new movie.

I agree with the above comments that it's nice that this version is actually consistent and not a tug of war between two artistic visions. I've not been a fan of any of Snyder's movies since Dawn of the Dead, and this was extremely humorless, but on the other hand Whedon's corny humor (which I used to enjoy) didn't save his version either. On the third hand, when I saw the HBO MAX disclaimer that this blockbuster movie was being presented in 4:3 to "preserve Zack Snyder's creative vision" I laughed out loud.

Snyder is good at staging operatic and monumental moments, but he's not good at deciding when to do it. Seriously, we needed a dramatic shot of a sesame seed falling to the floor of a truck cab in slo-mo while the driver obliviously runs multiple red lights in a busy city center? Wonder Woman tells a girl she can do anything just after she murdered multiple men in front of her?? Cyborg decides to bury the McGuffin in his beloved mother's grave??? WTF????

I thought there were multiple plot decisions that were dumb but I will describe the one that I thought was most egregious:
1. We can only defeat Steppenwolf by bringing Superman back to life.
2. The Mother Boxes are intelligent enough to stay in hiding while Superman is on Earth.
3. But we can convince that intelligent Mother Box to resurrect Superman by hitting it with lightning in a Kryptonian hot tub.
4. But using the Mother Box like that has just helped Steppenwolf destroy the world.
4. Oh, it worked! The Mother Box brought its greatest enemy, Superman, back to life. But Superman is confused, so he flew away.
5. What the heck, let's attack Steppenwolf without even trying to find Superman, who we just went through a lot of trouble resurrecting because he's the only one who can defeat Steppenwolf, although we wouldn't have to do this if we hadn't awoken the Mother Box to resurrect him.

This is the Batman who supposedly prepares for every eventuality?

I don't follow DC comics so I don't know if Superman in a black costume and cape is a thing, but it seemed like whoever made that decision didn't appreciate Diana's snark about Batman making a black lasso.

I didn't want to, but I actually liked Jared Leto's take on the Joker in that stupid dream sequence. Maybe because he was acting more like "insane nihilist" and not "abusive ex-boyfriend," though I thought the reach-around comment fell flat.

Finally: Did Snyder use a version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" for the credits as a fuck you to all the people who mocked him for using it in Watchmen? Or is he just that fixated?

TO SUM UP: The animated Harley Quinn series on HBO MAX does a much better job populating its universe with Batman, the Joker, Superman, Wonder Woman, Darkseid, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Aquaman, and parademons than any live-action DC movie.

why does silver toothpick guy throw his henchman off the platform before ordering the others to search for the box?

That henchman can fly, this was just the equivalent of shoving him rudely.
posted by ejs at 11:22 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


One thing I did like: The way the Flash was so clumsy, and kept tripping or careening into walls. For one thing, it pointed up how he was an amateur. For another, it helps point out that running fast doesn't mean you're walking at a normal speed while the world moves slowly around you, something I think the Marvel movies have glossed over. And yay, he didn't fall onto Wonder Woman's chest this time.
posted by ejs at 11:27 PM on March 18 [3 favorites]


Yeah it's hokey but apparently that version of Hallelujah is his daughter Autumn's favourite. Which reminds me: that conversation between Martha and Lois about moving on after the death of a loved one was so affecting but having the Martian Manhunter reveal at that bit's conclusion was so... wrongfooted.
posted by cendawanita at 12:44 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]


My kiddo said that you could swap out any two villains from this list without changing the movies: Steppenwolf, Darkseid, Apokolips, Apocalypse, Ronan the Accuser, Malekith, the Destroyer from Thor I...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:01 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]


My kiddo said that you could swap out any two villains from this list without changing the movies: Steppenwolf, Darkseid, Apokolips, Apocalypse, Ronan the Accuser, Malekith, the Destroyer from Thor I...

"Apokolips" is just Darkseid's home planet. But you could also include Cull Obsidian (the big lieutenant of Thanos' with the hammer-chain thing who loses a hand early in Infinity War), or for that matter the version of Thanos with the big sword-thing who pops up near the end of Endgame. Big mean guys with armor and/or big weapons who seem to be indestructible, until they're not. Hell, throw in Iron Monger (Jeff Bridges' character) from the first Iron Man movie.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:27 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Also, mathowie on the whole "Zack Snyder's vision" thing. [slTwitter]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:36 AM on March 19


The more I sit with it, the more I feel like a four hour long Zack Snyder film is like a sixteen course meal at TGIFriday's. It's more but it's really not better, is it?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:05 AM on March 19 [11 favorites]


I'm just going to list some of the bits I liked, because people above have already mentioned the bad bits:

-Bafflack's and Alfred's relationship. More broadly, I like Bafflack and it makes me kind of sad to know that we'll never see him in a live action Batman Beyond film, because he would be grumpy perfection as Old Bruce.

-Ray Fisher's Cyborg was the heart of this film and I'm glad his work finally got got chance to be seen. No wonder he was so pissed off by the Whedon cut.

-So many Amazons - since we're never going to get a series or movie that focuses just on them, I loved that they got so much more screen time. Also as a woman who likes to lift, but sucks at it, I will never stop being happy at seeing absolutely strong and shredded women on screen of all types, including larger women.

-Wonder Woman's bank scene was much improved (even though there were issues as people have already stated). We got a much better sense of just how powerful WW is and we got it without Whedon's oggly ass shots and angles. I just wish the WW we see in this film had shown up in WW84, because at least then that film might have been interesting.

-Watching with subs on makes [ANCIENT LAMENTATION MUSIC] the perfect drinking game prompt.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:55 PM on March 19 [8 favorites]


It makes sense that if Snyder really did learn his craft from silent movies, 4:3 presentation would truly be meaningful to him. It certainly differentiates his cut, and he’s self obsessed to the degree that he doesn’t realize most people think it looks like cheap vintage TV.
posted by rikschell at 8:35 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I have a lot of thoughts but I enjoyed this thing quite a bit. I'm also amused by people in this thread worrying about physics in a Zack Snyder movie.
posted by octothorpe at 8:49 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about the alien dude who managed to knock Flash off his stride with the blaster blast. Why you ask? Folks I haven't been outside in like a year cut me some slack I gotta fill the day.

Am I wrong in deciding that if Flash is running in what amounts to a big circle at near or at the speed of light, that's equivalent to him standing absolutely still at every point along that path simultaneously in terms of being hit by a projectile traveling at significantly sub-light speeds? Because the instant the projectile cross the path he is running Flash would impact the projectile by running into it.

So it's not so much the alien managed to shoot Flash but rather that the alien fired through Flash's path and Flash ran himself into the blast. So I think that checks out!
posted by Justinian at 9:30 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]


-Bafflack's and Alfred's relationship. More broadly, I like Bafflack and it makes me kind of sad to know that we'll never see him in a live action Batman Beyond film, because he would be grumpy perfection as Old Bruce.

OMG, so much this.
posted by mikelieman at 10:29 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


And why didn't they just throw the the mother boxes in unity mode through the portal to Darkseid's world and solve all of their current and future problems?
posted by ShooBoo at 10:42 PM on March 19


2nd hour in, and there are some nice bits with Cyborg and Flash, but it really is just bits. I really started to get impatient with the slo-mo when Snyder used it in Victor Stone's football game. Holy shit, dude, the whole point of that should be the actual speed at which the players travel and the grace with which they do so. And agreed with los pantalones del muerte about the lack of wisdom in Doc Stone giving his son Skynet powers over the nuclear arsenal (ironically, given what's probably Joe Morton's best-known role). I'm also wondering why Victor wouldn't just nuke the Russian HQ of Steppenwolf and his bug dudes, eventually. Also even more underwhelmed when we finally hear Darkseid speak; there should be at least a hint of the arrogant charisma that we got from him in the comics, rather than just another growly dude growling at the growly dude with the horns. At least most of the team besides you-know-who is together now, and there's some rationale for their making such a fuss over Earth after we find out that Darkseid has, what was it, 100,000 planets? That's a lot of planets.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:51 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


yt algorithm spat this out for me, and i guess it's worth linking? The Virtual Red Carpet Premiere. i've just started and fully ffwding in large parts, and laughing quietly at it all.
posted by cendawanita at 12:14 AM on March 20


What's Darkseid's motivation, anyway? Thanatos' was pretty clear even if it doesn't stand up to a lot of scrutiny in terms of effectiveness.
posted by Justinian at 2:56 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I was confused by that too, because in the first Earth invasion attempt, he already triggered or found the Anti-Life Equation (right???) but got repelled back. And Earth is therefore the only planet who fought back and won etc etc. And then in the last third it's Steppenwolf being all excited that he found the lost Equation, and the implication is that's why Darkseid has been methodically going through planets because he... Forgot? How many planets can both memorably beat one's ass and also be forgettable enough for you TO NOT NOTE IT BEING WHERE YOUR INFINITY GAUNTLET* IS LOCATED?

*j/k
posted by cendawanita at 3:13 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


What's Darkseid's motivation, anyway? Thanatos' was pretty clear even if it doesn't stand up to a lot of scrutiny in terms of effectiveness.

Darkseid is fixated on getting the Anti-Life Equation. It's a Jack Kirby thing Fourth World/New Gods thing from the early 70's, so in other words, totes bananas in the best possible way.

And I thought the fiery earthen scrollworks were an INDICATION that the anti-live equation was near, but they hadn't recovered it before the battle of 5 3 armies...
posted by mikelieman at 5:40 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I liked this quite a bit. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a four-hour superhero movie where Zack Snyder got final cut and even more. I'm not usually a fan of his work and had a lot of problems with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and this one has all Zack Synderisms cranked up to eleven but somehow it worked for me. It's got all of his visual ticks, slow motion, macro shots, speed ramping, washed out colors and lots of low angles but either I've become immune to that stuff or it just works better in this story. I really liked the 4:3 aspect but I watch a lot of old films so it doesn't seem as jarring to me. It was good enough for the Wizard of Oz, so why not Justice League.

The amount of time and backstory each main character gets seems more balanced than in the Wheden cut and it feels more like an ensemble film. I liked the extra time for Cyborg's story, especially after hearing about Ray Fisher's poor treatment from Wheden and Warner. Also the camera seemed to leer at Gal Gadot a lot less than in the earlier version. On the other hand, the scene with Flash rescuing the woman from the vintage convertible was cringy. The music seemed much better; changing Danny Elfman to Junkie XL fits the visuals better. Unfortunately, hearing Junkie XL's work made me think of Fury Road which made me sad that we never got the George Miller Justice League.
posted by octothorpe at 5:45 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


Decided to shotgun the rest, and all I can say is, yep, that sure was a four-hour movie. The back half didn't have many things in the way of surprises, since I saw the original theatrical release. Martian Manhunter is indeed in it, for whatever reason--I still much prefer David Harewood's version from Supergirl--and the much-ballyhooed "Knightmare" sequence is mostly tedious, although Barry Allen with a mustache (because Potential Super-Grimdark Future, of course) was kind of funny; in general, Flash and Cyborg had the best bits in this whole thing, probably. But I'm still not sure what the whole point of this is. Is Snyder coming back for JL2? Will it have Batfleck or Battinson? (Of the principals, Affleck was the least impressive; there was seemingly no scene where he didn't just look tired.) What about the Joaquin Phoenix Joker (Joaqer?), is that going to play into it somehow? Are they going to just go ahead with separate movies and, maybe, at some point in the future, talk about getting the band back together? I burned a not-small chunk of my weekend and all I have left is this weirdly weightless movie--all that slo-mo contributed to a sense that I had the sort of dream where it's like the real world but not quite and stuff just kind of went on until I woke up.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:15 PM on March 20


At least as far as I've read, they're not doing Justice League 2 and I don't think that Pattinson's The Batman is in the same continuity. There's The Suicide Squad, Aquaman 2 and The Flash in development and a lot of other stuff talked about but DC/Warner is so flaky about their plans that who knows what they'll actually produce.
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 PM on March 20


they're like my (illegitimate) government, in the absence of actual executive talent and direction, you absolutely know they're tracking the social media activity since Thursday. A Snyder!JL2 might actually happen after all, god help us all.
posted by cendawanita at 9:06 PM on March 20


Tor.com's review: They Made a Whole New Justice League so We Don’t Have to Look at Superman’s Uncanny Face
I must admit that when they agreed to create an alternate version that preserved Superman’s face, the four hour runtime was not what I expected. But if you’re going to make an entirely new movie solely to preserve the integrity of Clark’s upper lip, you’ve got to give it a lead up, right?
posted by ShooBoo at 10:20 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


DC's extended universe strategy, in so far as they actually have one, is incredibly disjointed and weird. So they're making more movies and some of them are in the DCEU but some others with the characters (Batman, Joker) from the DCEU aren't in the DCEU? Like pick a blueprint and maybe stick with it for a couple movies and see what happens? Perhaps if you didn't keep half-committing to something and then having the suits freak out at the last minute and mess with it you wouldn't keep ending up with garbage? The best movie in the DCEU is the first Wonder Woman, which is excellent, but even in that the part the suits freaked out about and forced their vision upon (the CGI bossfight at the end) was the worst part of the movie!

I expect that suits are gonna suit, though.
posted by Justinian at 11:29 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


From that Tor review: We should definitely talk about the fact that a side plot to Cyborg’s origin makes it clear that he has the ability to redistribute the entirety of Earth’s wealth, and that is not at all the focus of the story, for some unfathomable reason.

...because that was sort of the last Nolan Batman movie, and everyone seemed to hate it?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:34 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, I'm happy that James Gunn is directing The Suicide Squad but it just shows how the DC people are just reacting to the MCU. Gunn did two good movies about ensembles of ruffians; why not hire him to direct our movie about an ensemble of ruffians? It's the same sort of thinking that led to the hiring of Wheden.
posted by octothorpe at 6:50 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


...because that was sort of the last Nolan Batman movie, and everyone seemed to hate it?

I took a very different message from that film.

I was really confused about the whole evil superman bit as I don't know the story very well. And for a bit I thought that resurrected Superman was evil Superman they had brought over from another dimension, but this one was happy because Lois was alive in it and so decided just to say.

I also thought Flash was just creepy young guy feeling up some random woman he was saving in that car crash scene. But looking online see I was wrong there too.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 2:02 PM on March 21


Wow, thank jebbus I had the spped force so I could rapidly skip the endless slo mo scenes. The lesson taken from the X-Men Quicksilver movie scenes was that super speed can look super cool as long as you can see things happening. In this we mostly got to see a lot of lightning and CGI blobs whenever the Flash did something.

I don't think any director could have saved this story; Steppenwolf is just such an unappealing villain with no given motivation other than being a growly bad guy. Out of all the crazy New Gods they picked a complete nobody. I would watch the hell out of a Justice League movie with Granny Goodness and the Female Furies as the bad guys.

The ending where Superman is effortlessly giving Steppenwolf a beat down makes him look like a bully and somewhat evil, since he takes care of him like a wayward child.

I would say the plot in this makes a tad more sense than the Whedon version.
posted by benzenedream at 8:01 PM on March 21


I like to think that the five of them stood on top of that cooling tower and waited for like an hour for Bruce to climb the whole way out, just because Superman fucking hates him. Like, Cyborg offered to fly down and grab him and Clark put out a hand and stopped him.
"Let him climb," he said. "He can do it."
"But why, when one of us could just fly down and—"
"He knows why," Clark said, then turned away and folded his arms.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:10 PM on March 21 [11 favorites]


And Batman does Crossfit Salmon Ladders all the way up.
posted by benzenedream at 8:22 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


Is Superman really so much more powerful than Wonder Woman that he made Steppenwolf look like a small child while WW couldn't beat him with assistance from the entire team? Or is this a suspension of disbelief thing? I didn't think Superman was supposed to be, like, an order of magnitude more powerful than WW but I'm no expert.

Also seems weird for Martian Manhunter to mostly lay low through this whole thing doesn't it? He coulda beat up Steppenwolf easy too. It's not as if the fate of the entire universe rested on it or anything.
posted by Justinian at 12:15 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Is Superman really so much more powerful than Wonder Woman that he made Steppenwolf look like a small child while WW couldn't beat him with assistance from the entire team? Or is this a suspension of disbelief thing? I didn't think Superman was supposed to be, like, an order of magnitude more powerful than WW but I'm no expert.

I think that this is very much a Clark is Super-Jesus thing that Zack Snyder is stuck on. Some of that is built into the whole "Death/Resurrection of Superman" thing from the comics, but even that was pretty obviously DC trying to come up with a version of the character that sold better, and walking it back when it became clear that none of the substitute Supermen would sell more books; mostly, though, it was just Snyder, I think. It would have been so much better if it had taken both Clark and Diana to stop Steppenwolf, and for someone who had just spent I'm-not-sure-how-long in a coffin, Clark is pretty casual about letting Steppenwolf hit him with his big alien axe. For that matter, the alleged threat of mind-controlled Superman in the Knightmare world goes away if anyone has even a teensy bit of kryptonite.

Also seems weird for Martian Manhunter to mostly lay low through this whole thing doesn't it? He coulda beat up Steppenwolf easy too. It's not as if the fate of the entire universe rested on it or anything.

Ditto for any or all of the Green Lanterns. It's supposed to be a big deal that one makes a brief appearance in the flashback, but it just begs the question, where are they?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:16 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]


That's sort of a problem for all of these kinds of movies that have a large number of super-powerful characters. The MCU sort of hand-waved that Captain Marvel was busy in space for 25 years.
posted by octothorpe at 8:44 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]


Right, but it was established in this very movie that MM knew what was going on and was present. He just, like, went on break until the movie was over or something.
posted by Justinian at 10:47 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]


Now this is how you polish a turd.
posted by Catblack at 11:19 AM on March 22 [12 favorites]


I was curious about the colour grading of the new version so here's a little test: a 2017 vs 2021 comparison of a shot of Wonder Woman when she looks at the reborn Superman and says "He's back". They really toned it down.
posted by elgilito at 8:36 AM on March 23


I don't understand what I'm looking at in that link elgilito. Which version is that?
posted by octothorpe at 9:13 AM on March 23


I think that that was supposed to be an animated GIF that kind of wiped between the 2017 and 2021 versions, but it's not working for me, and all you can see of the difference are darker bands at the top and the bottom, because of the different aspect ratios.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:17 AM on March 23


Arrrgh I swear I tested the animated GIF before posting but it doesn't work. Here is a non-animated version with the images side by side. Indeed it seems that the 2017 cut was cropped from the original 4:3 ratio.
posted by elgilito at 12:44 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


I loved this movie for the same reason I love a song like Love Reign O’er Me — just straightforwardly and unabashedly indulging in every excess possible.

I shouted “Oh, come on!” when the goon finally hit Barry — but later I realized, of course that had to happen, the movie wouldn’t be true to itself otherwise. There’s a nobility in that.
posted by bjrubble at 10:23 PM on March 23


I reiterate my point that, given Barry was running in a big circle to wait for the signal, it was literally impossible to miss him with a shot through the path he was running!
posted by Justinian at 2:36 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


elgilito: "Arrrgh I swear I tested the animated GIF before posting but it doesn't work. Here is a non-animated version with the images side by side. Indeed it seems that the 2017 cut was cropped from the original 4:3 ratio."

It was shot on 35mm which is natively 4:3 unless you do tricks to make it wide-screen.
posted by octothorpe at 5:16 AM on March 24


Kind of wild that the standard film ratio defined by William Dickson in 1889 is still used in 2021.
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 AM on March 24


I reiterate my point that, given Barry was running in a big circle to wait for the signal, it was literally impossible to miss him with a shot through the path he was running!

I think this is where I fall on the side of "take the movie on its own terms."

There are so many problems with the idea of someone running at the speed of light, I don't know where you would even start.

I take that back. There are so many problems with everything about the world portrayed in this movie, I don't know where you would even start.

This isn't a movie about real people, or real events, or anything that could actually exist in the real world for more than a fleeting moment. It's a movie about ridiculously over-the-top actions and words and emotions that are pretty clearly driven by the plot rather than any in-universe forces, and most of the time in slow motion.

And by that measure, this movie is a masterpiece.
posted by bjrubble at 5:37 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Yes, I did enjoy this film. Like was said above, it was several short stories put together.
posted by rebent at 8:07 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Zack Snyder Threatened to Quit Snyder Cut After Studio Pulled New Green Lantern Scene

tl;dr that's who he originally planned to have that conversation with Bruce, but he didn't want to remove a PoC part (his GL is John Stewart), hence the replacement with Martian Manhunter.

Kinda ambivalent with that explanation tbh, but also either J'onn or John, they're massively overpowered beings whose presence brings up awkward questions why they're not directly in the fight with Steppenwolf, imo.... i mean, either these two would probably support Arthur's contention that resurrecting Superman is a bad idea, right??
posted by cendawanita at 10:01 PM on March 24


HBO just released the B&W version of Justice League.
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 PM on March 25


B&W version of Justice League.

There's a group called the Alloy Orchestra that plays a vast array of found stuff from junkyards to famous old silent films. I would so get myself to a 4hr live showing of the B&W'd screening/performance of ZSJL!
posted by sammyo at 8:12 AM on March 26


I don't think any director could have saved this story; Steppenwolf is just such an unappealing villain with no given motivation other than being a growly bad guy.
Are you kidding me? Steppenwolf had pathos in this movie. His motivation is that he just wants to go home, but must do acts of evil to be redeemed by a society built around evil. Did you see all of the shots of his mournful eyes? He had soul. He's the second most tragic character in this movie after Cyborg!
posted by Apocryphon at 5:21 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


My kiddo said that you could swap out any two villains from this list without changing the movies: Steppenwolf, Darkseid, Apokolips, Apocalypse, Ronan the Accuser, Malekith, the Destroyer from Thor I...
Big mean guys with armor and/or big weapons who seem to be indestructible, until they're not.
We really could use a live-action movie with Vandal Savage. And one with Queen Bee.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:30 PM on March 29


but it just begs the question, where are they?

The Green Lanterns are off doing space stuff with Captain Marvel I guess.

I just finished this - it took a few sittings but if you treat it like a miniseries it's not so bad.
posted by GuyZero at 10:37 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


In retrospect, if they had cut this into a two two-hour films for theaters, it would've done nearly as well as the Avengers finale. The combined running time of Infinity War + Endgame is a whopping 330 minutes, which still handily beats this cut's 242 minutes. Though to the MCU's credit, Infinity War was a masterpiece in terms of good pacing. And Snyder might have pushed for longer cuts for both hypothetical movies.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:24 PM on March 31


Did I just hear Joe Morton's character give his teenage/college age son the power to launch the world's nuclear arsenal without so much as a second thought? The same son who clearly hates his Dad and is showing every sign—justified or not after what he was turned into without his consent—of being extremely emotionally unstable and seems to hate being alive? What the hell? Gee, thanks, Silas. Nothing can go wrong with this plan.
The whole point is that despite his cold distant emotional exterior, Victor's father still loves him, believes in him, believes he's a good and capable person underneath his cold metal exterior! It's called the emotionally distant parent(al figure) actually caring all along, and having unshakeable faith in the protagonist! Have you actually seen a superhero movie? Or any Hollywood movie?
Why did they need a troop carrier for five people?
It was more like a transport for the Batmobile.
Four hours?! Really?
It could've been easily edited into a two-parter for theaters. You don't even have to look at the Avengers finale two-parter to see that trend. Harry Potter. Twilight. The Hunger Games. Kill Bill, the rare example that isn't a franchise finale. Dune, if the first half doesn't bomb. (The Divergent Series' first finale actually bombed so it never got a finale sequel to finish the adaptation.) The Hobbit was originally supposed to be a two-parter, but God help us all, was made into a trilogy.

It's established practice now and Justice League could've done that, but Warner Brothers probably would've been hesitant to do it prior to the Avengers setting a superhero precedence.

Given that this whole thing came about amidst the pandemic and streaming becoming the cinematic standard, I'd cut Snyder a little slack and assume that he made this four-hour cut with the intention of it being watched episodically by most people, hence the separation of the film into parts. And that he wasn't planning to foist this whole thing into theaters, which would have been commercially impossible.
But I'm still not sure what the whole point of this is.
They told the stories of Cyborg and the Flash. They also gave Wonder Woman a better portrayal. The end fight was much less tedious and garish. And Ray Fisher got justice for Whedon and the studio shafting him. Isn't that enough?
posted by Apocryphon at 11:55 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


But I'm still not sure what the whole point of this is. Is Snyder coming back for JL2? Will it have Batfleck or Battinson? [...] What about the Joaquin Phoenix Joker (Joaqer?), is that going to play into it somehow? Are they going to just go ahead with separate movies and, maybe, at some point in the future, talk about getting the band back together?
One last addendum- the whole point is that there is a titanic struggle going on, and it goes beyond the Justice League vs. Darkseid, or even something as petty as the MCU vs. the DCEU while Sony and Fox amble along in the wayside. HBO's deal with Warner Brothers to distribute all of their films this year is setting up for something big. The true not-so-secret war being waged is over streaming, and HBO is trying to upstage Netflix and Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Hulu, by getting all the new content. Catering to the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut outrage fandom is only the beginning.

The network saw major setbacks in recent years with the ignominious end to Game of Thrones and Westworld petering out into confusing nonsense, so they new tentpole material. If Tiger King marked the beginning of the pandemic, Zack Snyder's Justice League marks the ending. So begins a new chapter in the streaming wars.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:09 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Hollywood Reporter: Ray Fisher Opens Up About 'Justice League,' Joss Whedon and Warners: "I Don't Believe Some of These People Are Fit for Leadership"
Snyder had Fisher talk at length with screenwriter Chris Terrio before there was even a script. "Zack and I always considered Cyborg's story to be the heart of the movie," Terrio tells THR. "He has the most pronounced character arc of any of the heroes," beginning from a place of despair and ending with a feeling that "he is whole and that he is loved." And Terrio says he and Snyder took the portrayal of the first Black superhero in the DC film universe "very seriously," adding, "With a white writer and white director, we both thought having the perspective of an actor of color was really important. And Ray is really good with story and character, so he became a partner in creating Victor," referring to the character's given name.
[...]
After Fisher's reps were told that Whedon planned to make major revisions to the film, he flew from New Jersey to meet with the filmmaker in L.A. When the two met at a bar, Fisher says, Whedon "was tiptoeing around the fact that everything was changing." As he left the meeting, Fisher was handed the revised script, which he read twice on the plane back. Gone was Cyborg's traumatic backstory — his relationship with his mother, whose loving scenes with her son were eliminated, as was the accident that killed her and led to his transformation (the material was later restored in the Snyder Cut version of the film that streamed on HBO Max). "It represents that his parents are two genius-level Black people," Fisher says. "We don't see that every day."
[...]
Once Whedon got involved, Fisher says that Johns told him that it was problematic that Cyborg smiled only twice in the movie. Fisher says he later learned from a witness who participated in the investigation that Johns and other top executives, including then-DC Films co-chairman Jon Berg and Warners studio chief Toby Emmerich, had discussions in which they said they could not have "an angry Black man" at the center of the film. Johns' rep responds that once the chairman of the studio mandated a brighter tone for the film, all further discussions centered on "adding joy and hopefulness to all six superheroes. There are always conversations about avoiding any stereotype of race, gender or sexuality."

Johns told Fisher he should play the character less like Frankenstein and more like the kindhearted Quasimodo. Fisher says that in order to demonstrate the look he wanted, Johns dipped his shoulder in what struck Fisher as a servile posture. To Fisher, there was a big difference between portraying a character who was born with a disability versus one who had been transformed by trauma. And he felt Cyborg was a kind of modern-day Frankenstein. "I didn't have any intention of playing him as a jovial, cathedral-cleaning individual," he says.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:42 AM on April 6 [4 favorites]


Wow, that whole THR piece is something else. And I'm not surprised that Geoff Johns, maybe the most overpromoted writer in the history of comics, was involved.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:52 AM on April 20


"He has the most pronounced character arc of any of the heroes,"

Is that more of an arc than dead to alive?
posted by biffa at 5:24 PM on May 1


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