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Going to watch WW1984 later today.

As for Snyder -- I'm not really a fan of his stuff, but I certainly appreciate the physicality he gave Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in contrast to the relative weightlessness of the Donner SUPERMAN films. A lot of Snyder's decisions are fundamentally at odds with why superhero fans enjoy superheroes. The first is collateral damage: very simply, superheroes SAVE people, so presenting Superman standing victorious around the shattered wreckage of the city of Metropolis is horrific and Snyder's blindness to how this would come off to his audience -- that's a serious failure as a director. A director has to be aware of how the audience will react to his content and the fact that he didn't think smashed skyscrapers full of people would be disturbing and his neglecting to have the MAN OF STEEL acknowledge it in any fashion is inept.

Snyder has a deeply disdainful attitude to superheroes, snarking that it's absurd that Superman and Batman don't kill. While I'm not a purist on the subject, Snyder's decision to have Superman kill Zod and Batman knife henchmen to death has a certain contempt for the source material behind it like he's embarrassed to be doing a superhero movie in the first place. This attitude is also present in his comments that he thought it was "fun" to kill off CIA agent Jimmy Olsen in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) and that it would be "fun" to do a prequel comic book where we get to see the Joker murder Dick Grayson.

I think that a creator who feels he has to show Superman and Batman killing should simply say that these are his versions of Superman and Batman, but Snyder actively attacking the non-lethal Superman and Batman presented elsewhere shows a marked disrespect for the characters and other creators. And creators who create based on contempt and trying to denigrate other creators are fundamentally cynical and defeatist and that's also not really why superheroes appeal, at least not to me.

The best I would say of Snyder is that he is technically brilliant and he clearly encouraged Patty Jenkins to do PATTY JENKINS' WONDER WOMAN and not worry about making it match ZACK SNYDER'S WONDER WOMAN.

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WW84 was vapid, and like everything else these days, 45 minutes too long.

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I got distracted again, this time by work and THE KARATE KID: REBORN (or COBRA KAI, as Netflix insists on calling it).

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ireactions wrote:

I think that a creator who feels he has to show Superman and Batman killing should simply say that these are his versions of Superman and Batman, but Snyder actively attacking the non-lethal Superman and Batman presented elsewhere shows a marked disrespect for the characters and other creators. And creators who create based on contempt and trying to denigrate other creators are fundamentally cynical and defeatist and that's also not really why superheroes appeal, at least not to me.

If this were Marvel, I'd just give him the Punisher.  Who would be a good DC character that would work for Snyder?

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If this were Marvel, I'd just give him the Punisher.  Who would be a good DC character that would work for Snyder?

First that comes to mind is Lobo.  It would fit perfectly with his visions of violence, blood, gore and surrealism.

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Grizzlor wrote:

WW84 was vapid, and like everything else these days, 45 minutes too long.

It's interesting for you to say that because I had the opposite thought.  I think somehow this movie needed to be longer - which I know is crazy.  But I feel like if you chopped out 45 minutes, it would suffer from the BvS syndrome of the plot no longer making sense.  I think there's a version of this film that makes sense and be 45 minutes shorter, but I think you'd need to completely remove the Cheetah subplot.  Then the movie loses a couple action sequences and the climax is Wonder Woman making an empassioned speech.  I think it's more likely that they'd cut the Steve Trevor stuff, which is really where the movie works best.

I think the BvS Ultimate Edition is a great comparison because I think the movie is really compelling but falls apart when under scrutiny.  It also has an insane runtime but also doesn't spend the time wisely or efficiently.  BvS had several scenes with Batman and Alfred, but almost none of it helps explain why Batman is acting the way he's acting or whether or not things were ever different.  There's a ton about Superman but almost nothing in it humanizes him.  A ton with Lex but very little to explain his motivations.

So you have a bloated movie that tells a big story but struggles to answer any questions.  And that's what happens with WW84.  I have a ton of questions about how the Dreamstone works, and despite a 150 minute runtime, they don't seem terribly interested in explaining it.  Did Lord have a supernatural understanding of what people cherish the most, or was he randomly picking things he wanted?  With the first Arab oil baron, he asks for the oil without knowing the the oil wasn't his.  Then he takes the security team.  So it seems like he can just take what he wants but he doesn't have any supernatural knowledge.  But then at the end, how does he know what to take?

Are Diana's powers really what Diana treasures the most?  That seems odd.  I know she likes being a hero, but maybe she should've lost her concern for civilians?  Her heroism? 

And what did Lord lose?  I kept thinking that he'd lose his son, but that never happened.  I'm sure they didn't want to kill a kid, but it seems weird that Lord didn't seem to have any downside to his wish.  Did he also lose his humanity?  He definitely went power hungry, but was he always like that?

And the rules seemed different.  Some people lost everything immediately.  Barbara and Diana seemed to lose their treasured thing gradually.  But Max's partner was taken to jail almost immediately.

What was the point of Steve inhabiting some stranger?  Even the movie seemed to forget that plot point at times.

All in all, I don't think cutting things would work unless you cut things and then added other things.  The dreamstone part was the part that was the most confusing, but you can't cut that part out or the movie makes even less sense.  Again, you could cut Barbara, but you lose some fun scenes and lose some action beats.

TemporalFlux wrote:

First that comes to mind is Lobo.  It would fit perfectly with his visions of violence, blood, gore and surrealism.

I actually had that thought.  I think that would be really interesting.

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I finally watched Justice League, and do not understand the complaining???  Movie was fine, yeah sure it was stupid and dull, like any other comic book teamup is.  So?  Ray Fisher's Cyborg character had plenty of screen time, despite his whining.  The infamous Ezra landing on Gal moment lasted all of about 0.75 seconds.  I cannot see how Snyder's additional footage will do anything but bore you even further.

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I think your distaste for superhero movies is probably a factor. Which is fine. Superheroes are a problematic genre to begin with and we’re all going to have genres we don’t like. I myself don’t like horror.

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What I don't understand about the Snyder Cut is the fact that the movie will still have the same skeleton.  Whedon didn't have the time or ability to completely re-write what Snyder had done.  So the story going to be, at its heart, what we've already seen.  I've never seen a movie re-cut to be something completely different.  The Ultimate Edition of BvS added scenes but didn't change how I felt about the movie as I watched it.

I get that it's essentially gonna be a second movie's worth of footage, but at best, it would be a sidequel.

I think this money and energy would've been better used to do his whole triolgy in animation.  They could've rushed through the "Justice League" part (since we've seen it) and then do his finale.  Because at least that would've been new.

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Well, if you saw JUSTICE LEAGUE, a Joss Whedon film -- and if you saw BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTICE ULTIMATE EDITION, a Zach Snyder film -- I think it's pretty clear what the difference will be in tone and style.

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https://film.avclub.com/zack-snyders-ju … 1846373611

Apparently, JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT will end on a cliffhanger that will never be resolved.

Congratulations, DC Extended Universe; you now have your equivalent of "The Seer."

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Okay, I have watched Part 1 of JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT. "Don't Count On It, Batman" is pretty good. There is a terrible sense of dread and danger as eldritch abominations from worlds unknown are emerging across the globe. The parademons are disturbing and eerie and Steppenwolf is a bulky mass of spikes and sharp edges. The Amazon army tries to contain them, several hundred women valiantly sacrificing themselves to contain a strange MacGuffin, the Mother Box, and to no avail; Steppenwolf survives hundreds of arrows and even being buried in the sea in a rigged-to-crumble landmass.

The body count is horrific, but Zack Snyder is surprisingly tender and thoughtful, giving Queen Hippolyta moments of grief and regret as her soldiers give themselves up or die in combat, and Connie Nielsen sells each loss well. This is something at MAN OF STEEL failed to convey in its destruction porn finale; it's something the theatrical cut of BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) also failed to offer but the ULTIMATE EDITION did provide -- which has me wondering if the problem has always been that Zack Snyder films scenes of people grieving the deaths in his films, but the studio always cuts them.

Diana has her scene of rescuing hostages from terrorists and Snyder and Whedon's competing versions of this sequence really shows the difference. Whedon is quick and minimalist, keen to make using superpowers feel effortless. Snyder, however, wants to show the weight and force of each application of speed and strength as Wonder Woman throws each punch, blocks each bullet and coils herself to leap into the air to detonate a bomb in the sky. And Snyder gives Wonder Woman a tender moment of kindness to the hostages after the fight is over -- something I don't really expect from a brutalist storyteller like Snyder, but once again, maybe he does shoot these scenes but studios make him cut them while HBO Max is letting him keep them for a four hour version of JUSTICE LEAGUE.

I'm not particularly in favour of Snyder's approach of depicting superheroes as mythological beings removed from humanity, but he's not really removing them from humanity at all in JUSTICE LEAGUE. I'm not particularly fond of Snyder's work in general, but objectively, JUSTICE LEAGUE is (at least in Part 1) a well-told, well-paced (!), well-done episode of a big budget JUSTICE LEAGUE TV mini series. It isn't the JUSTICE LEAGUE series that I want to see, but it's still a good series regardless.

I'm looking forward to Part 2 when I have time for it, but right now, I have to go to bed and go to work in the morning.

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I watched JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 2: "The Age of Heroes" (actual title) last night. Once again, this is a very good, big budget JUSTICE LEAGUE TV mini series that surely appeals to those who enjoyed the darker fare of TITANS and WATCHMEN. It's not to my taste, but just because something isn't tailored to my obsessions (like the Flash rambling about brunch) doesn't mean it isn't well-made and well-performed and well-presented.

Mythology
JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 2: "The Age of Heroes" (actual title) is all about establishing the past mythology of the last war against Darkseid, some sort of inhuman behemoth of infinite dark power whose army of Parademons seem to combine magic and sci-fi technology into demonic abilities into singlehanded planetary scale war against all of Earth's civilizations in the distant past. "The Age of Heroes" is shown to be when the Greek gods of WONDER WOMAN, the Atlanteans of AQUAMAN, the Green Lanterns and humans joined together and successfully drove back a Darkseid and Parademon army from Earth -- not defeating them wholly, but stalling them for eons.

Scale
There isn't much superhero action here with the Justice League, but Snyder establishes a previous "age of heroes" and explicitly compares Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the deceased Superman and the currently unrecruited Flash to be a new generation of Greek gods and demi gods except they are so divided and damaged they are unlikely to make it happen -- a situation for which Batman holds himself responsible. Compared to fake feminist Joss Whedon, I find that Snyder is really keep to establish an epic, mythological scale to the previous Darkseid incursion whereas Whedon brushed past it quickly with a fast montage and a voiceover. Whedon deconstructs the mythic scale, Snyder builds it up.

Positivity
Snyder's version of Batman in this story is guilt-ridden -- but in a very positive way. He transmutes his self-loathing and shame into action, travelling across the globe in private jets and on horseback, eschewing the luxuries of a billionaire to search for superpowered metahuman heroes, seeking to rebuild something of what he destroyed when he drove Superman to his death. He will go for weeks without shaving, allow a fisherman to mock and assault him, personally attempt to bring a failed troop carrier jet into working order and sink his fortune into this foolhardy pursuit. He is a man who will not be denied even if he has to reduce himself to begging for help -- all to bring heroes back into this cold and lonely world.

This is in stark contrast to Whedon's version where Batman's search for heroes was -- like many feats for Whedon style superheroes -- fast and effortless and barely a few minutes of screentime. Whedon is an abomination of a human being, but I'm not dismissing his approach; I'm just noting that Snyder doesn't like shortcuts.

Sliders and Snyder vs. Whedon
If Snyder were doing SLIDERS: SEASON 6, he'd probably spend an hour splitting the Quinns, an hour recovering Wade, an hour revealing that the wrong Professor slid, an hour having the sliders defeat the Kromaggs and discover that the Earth Prime in "Exodus" and "Genesis" was not their true home and Quinn is not from Kromagg Prime and that Colin is a clone -- he'd do the PVTOnline version of Season 6 where writer Michael W. Hill faced down all these situations one novella at a time. And by the time he'd gotten everyone back, he'd burned himself out and couldn't finish his series (I assume).
https://web.archive.org/web/20020312120 … seasonsix/

In contrast, Whedon's SLIDERS: SEASON 6 would just get to the endpoint and have the sliders alive and well on Page 1 and a quick explanation by Page 23 or so with the sliders back to basics and sliding and all the running arcs cleared away by Page 46 -- Whedon would do Tracy Torme's "Slide Effects" just to get the job done with a minimum of fuss. Whedon is a TV creator and he operates in a world of limited time and mandated minimalism.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11KF … sp=sharing

Both have their merits.

Style
Zack Snyder's direction in JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 2: "The Age of Heroes" (actual title) is discoloured, dour, dark and grim, but the story and the hope of these characters is fundamentally hopeful -- and once again, I have to wonder if the cynicism and brutality and savagery identified with a Zack Snyder movie is due to truncation. When Snyder's hypervisceral violence is shown in a hurried and fast pace, it seems indifferent and more concerned with the cool visual moment than with human emotion. But in a four hour cut, that indifference is replaced with a search for empathy that Ben Affleck's Batman presents beautifully.

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I found it was okay.  I thought Joss's final battle was better, granted it wasn't an HOUR long either.  The backstory for Cyborg was definitely needed, but obviously quite a bit of what is in this cut intends to setup a sequel we'll never get.  Really can't stand the 4:3 ratio though.  In the end, it's just okay, which was what I thought of the theatrical release.  The main issue is that Snyder took zero effort in cutting this down to anything resembling a feature-length film.  This is NOT Apocalypse Now where the director comes back and recuts a super long version (which is inferior) but you give him a pass.  People want to compare this cut with Whedon's but it's impossible because Snyder was lazy and didn't even attempt to release a "film."

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The Snyder Cut was better than the Whedon Cut, but of course it was. Snyder was able to not only put together a cut of his movie that was WAY longer than he’d ever be able to release in theatres, but he also was able to use four years of hindsight to add scenes based on reaction to Snyder Cut leaks and reactions to the Whedon cut. He essentially had the best test screening in cinema history.

Snyder is clearly talented, but he can’t tell a cohesive story in two hours. To me, he shouldn’t be in film. He should be in television. With TV getting movie budgets and the lines between TV and film getting blurred, I think he’d thrive there. Because I think if he had to cut out 90 minutes of this, it would lose most of its impact and wouldn’t be much better than the theatrical cut.

I still don’t like his Superman. Like with BVS, Superman doesn’t seem to care about anything but Lois. And like with BVS, Snyder wants to rewrite Superman to be a universally loved figure when there was no evidence that Superman was anything but very controversial. He’s a little more personable but it’s offset by making him the villain of the new Knightmare sequence again. If Superman is only good as long as Lois is with him, is he really a good guy? What if she wants to leave? Would he threaten the world to make her stay?

And Batman’s change, even in the 7+ hour BVS/JL extended cuts, doesn’t feel earned. Does he regret the murders? Has he made peace with what he’s done? Made peace with what happened to Robin? What does Alfred think? Why does Gordon trust Batman after the branding from BVS?

To me, Snyder likes some aspects of the mainstream universe but also wants to do as much as he can to throw chaos into that. Batman can’t be a killer but also have a great relationship with the GCPD. Superman can’t be this cold alien who seems to reluctantly save people who brings out protests but also be universally loved. 

I did like the other characters. Diana didn’t quite mesh with her solo films but she’s still great. I thought making Barry less awkward made him more competent.  Obviously Cyborg was better. I still don’t know they went with the air bubbles and trilling (?) in the undersea scenes in direct opposition to Aquaman, but I liked Arthur.

I’d watch more of this but I’d prefer another director work on it.

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Funny you should say TV, because Warner's actually offered Snyder to do a mini-series, but he decided just to do the 4 hour job.  He really has no place in either medium.  Great points on Superman, as he has been largely pointless since Man of Steel.

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I have watched JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 3: "Beloved Mother, Beloved Son" (actual title). Once again, Snyder excels in a format where he can take the time to showcase both the brutality and tenderness of his vision of the DC Universe. Steppenwolf is terrifying in his gargantuan size and intimidation factor and the humans on the ground like Commissioner Gordon seem like helpless paper dolls. Victor Stone's Cyborg is both grotesque in visage and beautiful in spirit as he uses his power as a technological marvel to rescue a single mother and her child from eviction and despair.

There is a stunning beauty in seeing the Flash save a woman from a truck. Such moments are 10 seconds of screentime in THE FLASH television show, but in Snyder's hands, it's an operatically romantic ballad as we see every shard of glass become elastic with the Flash manipulating kinetic energy to step through it and pluck Iris West from the horrific fate suffered by a hot dog cart. When Bruce Wayne appears in Barry Allen's flat, there's a true sense of two titanic powers meeting: Wayne is a man of wealth and will, Barry Allen is a boy of spirit and ability, and they are exactly what the other needs.

Amber Heard's accent as Mera is jarring after she went American in the Whedon cut and AQUAMAN.

As for the length -- I don't take issue with it because I love the characters and am happy to have four hours with them instead of two. One of my favourite criticisms of SLIDERS REBORN: Tom of REWATCH PODCAST was relentless and merciless in mocking the length of the scripts. "This one's four pages." "This one's 90 pages -- just a bit longer, just a little bit longer." "This is a ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ONE PAGE script -- have you noticed how it's like the Harry Potter books, you start to notice each one gets longer and longer?" "This ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FOUR PAGE script... was a good way to go out."

And I see that. However -- if you like Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo hanging out and cracking wise and snarking endlessly, are you really going to object to the maximum amount? And I feel the same way here as well; if someone loves Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and the Flash, if a viewer is invested in these concepts and characters, then that hypothetical superhero fan will be happy to have enjoyed two installments of them, will have enjoyed seeing them in JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 3: "Beloved Mother, Beloved Son" (actual title), and will be pleased that there seems to be another two hours left.

That said -- I'm not watching this all at once. I'm watching one episode a night at the most.

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Her accent was quite bizarre indeed.

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Okay, I have watched JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT - PART 4: "Change Machine" (actual title) and once again, it's good. The first Justice League action sequence is dour and dark with the League still not entirely in tune with working with each other. The Flash trips over his own feet, Victor Stone's priority is his father, Wonder Woman and Batman are outmatched, but they manage to survive and win a round.

The most effective part is that Snyder has the space and time to establish the grandeur of the Mother Box which, in Whedon's cut, was just an empty MacGuffin of plot convenience that the heroes nonsensically left lying around for the villains to steal. In JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT - PART 4: "Change Machine" (actual title), the Mother Box represents power; power that is potentially twisted and antithetical and destructive to our world, power that is potentially healing and restorative, life that is almost certainly unpredictable.

Whedon delights in how power draws out the inherent humanity of his characters, but Snyder is a much more suspicious storyteller who is unsure if tampering with life and death can possibly turn out well for anybody. But the true moment of teamwork comes when the heroes agree: they must resurrect Superman.

Whedon didn't really worry about that in his version; in his version, the heroes quickly learn how to work together because they're innately suited. In his version, they coordinate well during the fight scene because superpowers means super teamwork. In his version, superpowers make everything effortless; in Snyder's version, power is another heavy burden.

The Martian Manhunger's appearance was curious and intriguing.

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I have watched JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 5: "All The King's Horses" (actual title).

It's good. It presents the resurrection of Superman not as a lighthearted bit of fun with an amusing fight scene, but as a moment of terrifying otherworldly power being reawakened, potentially for good or evil. Superman's heat vision is so often a lightweight laser in comic books, TV and film. Superman used it to reheat coffee in LOIS AND CLARK and vaporize glass in SUPERMAN RETURNS. In JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 5: "All The King's Horses" (actual title), it is a demonic fire that explodes cars and could conceivably melt anyone with a glance. The glimpse of a horrific future in which Darkseid somehow possesses Superman and turns him into an agent of Apokalips is, I assume, something the movie won't be able to address in full because it was a tease for a sequel that'll never be made.

I'm not sure Superman should ever be presented in such a disturbing, frightening fashion. It's fine to render the Punisher or Wolverine this way, but Zack Snyder has created a Superman that no one would ever trust or feel safe being around and I personally don't feel what this children's character is for. I can see why Warner Bros., having already tolerated MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, balked at this and summoned fake feminist Joss Whedon to lighten things up.

The loss of the Mother Box was, in the Whedon cut, presented as a moment of bizarre incompetence. The heroes leave the Mother Box on top of a car and forget about it until Steppenwolf claims it. Here, they and an ally fight to protect it and the sequence ends with a terrible sacrifice. This makes a lot more sense than the Whedon cut -- but I have to admit, I miss all the jokes ("Pet Semetary!") and the Knightmare material is a road to nowhere and I see why it was removed.

I personally enjoy the Whedon cut a lot, but I see why few people did and why JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 5: "All The King's Horses" (actual title) is preferable even if I really don't want to see Superman attacking civilians and would prefer a world without that image.

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The Superman stuff is what takes me out. Snyder’s Superman is such a mess and the main reason why I end up disliking his films. It’s obvious that Snyder’s only interest in Superman is making him an antagonist. The “how do we make Superman interesting” answer is “make him evil” every time. It’s what he does every time, and even Suicide Squad works on the premise that the team exists in case Superman went bad.

And I think this works if he committed to it. But he doesn’t...at all. “What if Superman was hated like Spider-Man?” might actually make an interesting movie, but Snyder wants the audience to be skeptical of Clark while also making the in-universe population love him. But they don’t ever see a loveable Superman outside of the footage Joss Whedon shot.

If Snyder got his way, Clark would be a villain in 4/5 movies he was in. And in Man of Steel, Clark is only not the villain because he’s fighting three evil Supermen. Clark redeeming himself (even sacrificing himself) to make up for what happened in Metropolis would be really cool. Superman having to earn the people’s trust is a great premise. But Snyder doesn’t care about redeeming Superman because he doesn’t like Superman. I think Snyder thinks he’s boring.  So he engineers ways for Superman to be the bad guy again and again.

If I were Snyder’s script doctor, I would do it this way

BvS - Mostly the same except a) Batman is the champion of the people (maybe even the government) instead of working for revenge. When he realizes Superman is good, he teams up with Clark b) Clark is working his butt off saving people and winning people over. He’s Chris Reeve Superman. He still dies

Justice League - The same except NO Superman. He’s dead. The League has to win without him.

Reign of the Supermen - Do a full movie of this. Four people emerge claiming to be Superman. Batman has to figure out who is who, knowing that they will need a Superman vs Darkseid. Cavill’s Superman comes back.

Justice League 2 - Darkseid shows up but Clark isn’t ready. Or sure of himself. Batman trains him. The League fails and Superman comes in to save the day (like in Justice League) but gets his butt kicked. Cliffhanger

Justice League 3 - If you want to do evil Superman, do it here. Clark is at his lowest and susceptible. But he overpowers it because he’s won everyone back. He’s the hero of Earth now. And United, they take Darkseid down.

Clark goes through a journey of redemption. He has to win over the people, he has to conquer death, he needs to prove to himself that he can, and he needs to destroy the bad guy.

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I finished JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 5: "Something Darker: (actual title) and JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PART 6: "Epilogue" (actual title).

It was good. I like the part where Bruce introduces Alfred and says, "I work for him."

But it's pretty ridiculous to include flash-forwards to Darkseid conquering Earth, corrupting Superman and to have gone to the length of spending apparently $70 million dollars to film an extra flash forward to this dark future that will never be addressed again in a DC superhero movie. That said, Snyder apparently did all the extra work unpaid in order to have the creative control to create these cliffhangers that will go unresolved except in a blanket fashion with THE FLASH introducing a multiverse where Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton will both appear as separate versions of Batman.

I'm glad this four hour version exists for the fans and to have a complete picture of what JUSTICE LEAGUE was meant to be. But I can't say I like it even if I can see the craft and skill. The closing action sequences are terrific with Superman and the Flash and Cyborg working together to split the Mother Boxes while Batman buys the League time and space and Aquaman and Wonder Woman (and later Superman) fight Steppenwolf.

The Whedon cut, in contrast, had Superman effectively end the fight with Steppenwolf alone and there was the sense that Superman made the rest of the League redundant, something Snyder avoids by showing how in the flash forwards, the League are defying a mind-controlled Superman. The indication that Superman's resurrection will provide Darkseid with a perfect soldier, however, pretty much undermines any positivity or hope offered in this single film with no sequels coming.

And it seems to me that Snyder ultimately doesn't really want to do a Superman story. He wants to do a story about a superhero who might be corrupted and whose great power is dangerous and suspicious and potentially demonic -- and Superman is simply not a good choice for that kind of story because even in the Snyder version, Snyder indicates that Superman would have to be mind controlled to be evil and that it isn't anything within his actual characterization but something exterior to him.

Most creators who wanted to tell this sort of story have created Superman analogue characters: INSUFFERABLE by Mark Waid created the Olympian, RISING STARS by J. Michael Straczynski created Flagg -- but Snyder contorts Superman so much, even putting him in an all black costume that Superman only wore for one comic book arc and eliminating the Clark Kent identity by having Clark declared legally dead in BVS, something he was going to maintain for the sequels. If Snyder doesn't like Superman wearing blue and red and doesn't like the Clark Kent identity, I have to wonder why he ever tried to tell any Superman stories in the first place.

Once again, I totally see why Warner Bros. balked at having Superman in name only in JUSTICE LEAGUE and brought in Joss Whedon although that was a disaster of itself judging from the audience response and fallout that's resulted even years after its release.

I like the Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. I love Batman quipping, "Sorry, guys -- I forgot to bring a sword," and remarking on Steppenwolf, "Jesus! He is tall." Batman telling the Flash to save one person is lovely. Superman's sunny disposition is a relief. But I understand it fell flat with the audience who expected more of Snyder's operatic darkness and found themselves watching a big budget sitcom.

And I appreciate the craft and skill and storytelling of JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE SNYDER CUT: PARTS 1 - 5: "Don't Count On It, Batman," "The Age of Heroes," "Beloved Mother," "Beloved Son," "Change Machine," "All the King's Horses," "Something Darker" and "Epilogue" (actual title). But it's a bridge to nowhere due to footage that Snyder went out of his way to film on his own time and unpaid to add to his original material. It also presents a version of Superman that would be better as a new character with a different name and costume. And it's a platform for subsequent productions that will not be made, meaning it's an extremely capable equivalent of SLIDERS' "The Seer."

A two hour version of this film without the cliffhanger elements probably should have been released to theatres. There's one alteration that Whedon made that would have fit well. In Whedon's cut, Batman refers to "the big gun" when Superman is resurrected and out of control. The secret weapon is revealed to be Lois, brought to the scene by Alfred. This neatly addressed the Knightmare situation and quietly laid it to rest. The rest should have been Snyder's movie to stand or fall on its own merits without requiring sequels if it fell. If there were sequels, the Knightmare storyline could come back; if not, the Knightmare scenario was effectively resolved.

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I agree.  When the movie ended and was wrapping up, I felt good.  I felt happy.  I even had the thought "you know, I liked this"

I'd forgotten about the Knightmare sequence.  It was completely unnecessary.  I've already said my piece about Snyder and Superman.  I don't get it.  It's not for me.  But like with you, I'm glad that the hordes of Snyder fans got this.  I wish they'd just be happy with it and not clamor for more.

I still think they should do 2 and 3 in animation.  WB would make their money back and you'd get the cast back.  Snyder wouldn't have to be obsessively involved but it'd still be his vision.  I think it's perfect.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

I rewatched the Whedon cut last night and... I am really upset with Joss Whedon for being a serial abuser of women. There's no doubting that everything his ex-wife said about him was true now that Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson, Jose Molina and ANGEL tie-in writer Jeff Mariotte have come out against him. There are horrific reports that throughout the JUSTICE LEAGUE reshoots, Whedon was mocking Snyder (who'd left to deal with his daughter's suicide) and referring to Wonder Woman as Black Widow (which suggests some serious cognitive difficulties).

Apparently, Gal Gadot refused to film the scene where Barry lands face first into her chest and Whedon threatened to destroy her career if she didn't comply. She refused and escalated it to Warner Bros. executives who told Whedon to film it with Gadot's double, Caitlin Burles. There's also Whedon clearly and deliberately having his own credit on the film come immediately before a shot of a homeless man with a sign that says, "I tried," a bit of passive-aggressiveness that was further reflected when Whedon liked a tweet calling Steppenwolf the worst DC movie villain yet.

That said... I still feel that Whedon's work itself on Snyder's footage and his own additions were strong and turned Snyder's dark, operatic material into a lightweight crowdpleaser that I concede pleased no crowds. There's this absurd myth that artists can be hurtful to others because they produce quality work; it's even more absurd when applied to Whedon whose material, on the whole, is very, very, very average and occasionally above average. By his own assessment, AVENGERS isn't a great movie, but it's a great time. I'd describe pretty much all his work that way. Whedon's products are pleasantly diverting at best.

Whedon did a great job with adding more jokes and humour to Snyder's dour sensibilities from the Flash having a panic attack before facing Steppenwolf to Aquaman confessing his fears because he sits on Wonder Woman's lasso. Whedon's Superman is a sunny joy and Henry Cavill's charisma bursts off the screen (although most viewers seem to be focused on his CG upper lip which I still don't really notice much unless I'm looking for it). Whedon did a strong pastiche of Snyder's style with the opening of racial strife, homelessness and despair set to a Leonard Cohen song that was so gripping that most viewers assumed it was Snyder's work, and gradually transitioned into a lighter style. Whedon ended his version of JUSTICE LEAGUE not with a cliffhanger that would never be resolved but a shot of the Flash and Superman racing for fun.

However, it'd be silly to call Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE 'better.' Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE, despite some voiceovers about "hope," doesn't have anything to say beyond how much fun it is to have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Cyborg in the same movie. Whedon's work has never truly been about anything other than how much fun it is to have a gang of friends whether that gang of friends is headlined by Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent or Buffy and Willow or Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. While I don't like Snyder's vision a lot, Snyder's JUSTICE LEAGUE was about how power can corrupt or be corrupted. Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE was about two hours long.

I can see why fans coming in after BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) were thrown off by the Whedon cut and picking at the seams. Having seen the Snyder Cut now, I can tell now more than ever which Whedon shots are Whedon's: Jason Momoa is wearing a wig in the Whedon version of Aquaman declining to join Bruce, Ezra Miller's hair shifts when he starts talking about brunch -- but Whedon's sensibilities are closer to my own: unfussy storytelling, getting to the point quickly and succinctly, undercutting any grandiosity with a quip, Batman telling Barry, "Save one person. Don't talk. Don't fight. Get in. Get one out" and assuring that after that, Barry will know what to do next. "You'll know." I wish my father had talked to me that way during one of my panic attacks when I was a child.

And interestingly, the average critic responded to the movie the way I did; the average movie critic was not a Snyder-fan, not a superhero junkie and declared that JUSTICE LEAGUE was flawed but sweet and nice enough to satisfy. https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/justice-league-2017 And judging from the box office, there was an audience for pleasant diversion to the sum of $660 million -- which would have been a success if JUSTICE LEAGUE had been budgeted as a $100 million film instead of a $300 million movie.

And for the future... I suspect that no one other than me will ever watch the Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE, but it also looks to me like future DC movies will have a loose connection to any version of the film. WONDER WOMAN contradicted BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (actual title) as Wonder Woman did not sink into isolation and despair after WWI. AQUAMAN contradicts both versions of JUSTICE LEAGUE with Arthur having a totally different relationship with his mother. SHAZAM has Superman wearing the red and blue. I do expect a lot of clamour for more Zack Snyder DC movies, but DC's slate seems to be quite full. They're looking to reboot Superman in another separate continuity film, likely with a black actor.

I think it'd be cool to get a DC Animated feature for Snyder's JL2 and JL3. I'd watch it and probably consider it good without necessarily enjoying it.

Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE seems to be one of the most hated movies of all time and it's sort of fitting that it will be Joss Whedon's last work in film.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I watched WW84.  Non-spoiler review: I really liked so much of it.  I thought the performances were fun.  I thought the story was compelling.  I loved how they seemed to have fun with the 1984 setting, and the romance stuff was good. 

But while I liked all the pieces, the overall movie just sorta didn't work for me.  I was excited to come back and watch (I watched it in three sittings), but when it was over, I felt disappointed.  I thought they spent a lot of good time making everything worked, and I felt like the ending was completely rushed and unsatisfying.  And while I liked Pedro Pascal, I didn't buy Max Lord as a character for about 2/3 of the movie.  I also think the dynamic with the dreamstone didn't quite work.

Patty Jenkins is a good filmmaker and I think a lot of it worked.  But something about it bothered me enough to not really love the film as a whole.

Anyone else see it?

I finally got around to watching WONDER WOMAN 1984 last night. I guess I really have been busy.

It was okay. As Slider_Quinn21 highlighted, the logic of the dreamstone is so fuzzy, undefined, contradictory and vague with characters alternatively not knowing how it works and knowing exactly how it works and Maxwell Lord somehow dependent upon others to make (a single) wish except Barbara Minerva later gets a second wish and Lord somehow able to take something in return once the wish recipient has received their desire through means and methods unclear -- either control of their army or some aspect of their health or a possession.

It's also unclear if Maxwell Lord's power is to rewrite reality to move elements of the world around or if he's magically creating security forces and nuclear weapons that didn't previously exist. It's unclear how Wonder Woman knows that to simply declare her desire to renounce her wish will be sufficient to instantly make Chris Pine disappear. It's unclear whether or not renouncing the wishes reverses the transaction or reverses time itself or simply removes Lord's magically created weapons and cars and whatnot from reality.

It's just too vague to know what Wonder Woman is fighting or how she wins, so I just had to sit back in the end and enjoy watching Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig and Chris Pine onscreen. I was disappointed that Wiig and Gadot didn't get a whole movie to be platonic girlfriends (or more, as the comics have established in the last couple years that Wonder Woman is bisexual), but I just enjoyed the recreated 1984 (which I don't remember because I was less than one year old) and appreciated the spectacle and liked seeing Diana learn how to fly and felt enthusiastic about re-reading Wonder Woman comics from 1987 and it was okay.

Very vague dream logic in this movie.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

Yeah.  It's also a very forgettable movie, unfortunately.  I think it'll end up alongside David Goyer's Suicide Squad, where I often forget to include it in the DCEU.

James Gunn's Suicide Squad movie looks great, by the way.

Re: DC Movie Universe by Informant

TLDR: This post is about Superman and how a couple years ago, he had a four year storyline that resembled a sixth season of SLIDERS that also inspired the current SUPERMAN AND LOIS TV show.

I suspect that writers will sometimes need to ask themselves: what are they most passionate about writing? What do they enjoy producing most when they type? And is their story one that is focused on what they enjoy typing?

I have no idea why teenagers and people in their early 20s are watching SLIDERS even today (on Peacock) and writing new SLIDERS stories, but some are and some occasionally ask me for feedback on their pages. And I am noticing an alarming trend that we saw a lot of back in 2000: young writers producing Season 6 stories with the outlines wholly and totally focused on an interdimensional Kromagg war.

I'm not the final arbiter of taste, and I encourage anyone who really wants to do THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES to write one. I'll help.

But I recently reviewed three clever outlines where three clever writers used time travel / a multiversal butterfly effect / an interdimensional system restore to erase Seasons 3 - 5 and bring back the original sliders on Page 1 of these stories (where I have only ever managed to do it by Page 3 myself).

These brilliant conceptualists then... plunged the restored sliders back into THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES with storylines that insisted on resolving all unfinished plot points from Seasons 3 - 5 in the context of an interdimensional war -- even though these writers had erased Seasons 3 - 5. I asked these writers: were they actually passionate about writing THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES: An Epic in 12 - 16 Parts?

The answer was always no, not really; all they really wanted to do was write SLIDERS stories of Quinn / Wade / Rembrandt / Arturo exploring parallel worlds, but they wanted to connect those original quartet stories to Season 6.

I understand that, but from 2000 to about 2007, we saw numerous brilliant writers attempt THE KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES. I have read them all and none are complete. Some writers got to the point where Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo were back at which point the writers ran out of out of energy to keep going. Most never even made it that far. They were all clearly burnt out and demoralized by writing SLIDERS stories where the fight Kromaggs instead of SLIDERS stories where the sliders slide to parallel worlds and explore them.

The Season 6 stories that were completed were ones that focused on the sliders engaged in sliding -- and made the unresolved plots a far lesser priority.

I think that writers need to ask themselves: what do they enjoy writing? And are they pursuing a plot that's carried by material they would enjoy writing? Because if they don't enjoy it, they are unlikely to finish it, especially when they are doing their writing in their free time for no other reason than pleasure in writing it.

That said, I have read one KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that was completed -- a series of comic books called SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, ACTION COMICS: REBIRTH and DC COMICS: DOOMSDAY CLOCK. This was a two year run of Superman comics that started with Superman and DC Comics in a very bad situation: DC had rebooted Superman in 2011, abruptly changing him from a late-30s husband to Lois Lane into a single twentysomething. 

This rebooted Superman was largely alienated from the Clark Kent identity as Jonathan and Martha Kent, his adoptive parents, had died when Superman was a teenager. This Superman had none of his relationships with Supergirl and Superboy, no decades-long rapport with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White or any of his supporting cast and so removed from humanity that he was dating Wonder Woman. At one point, Superman's identity was revealed to the world as Clark Kent and while it was a good story, the Clark Kent identity had been almost irrelevant to him anyway.

DC Comics soon came to realize: their readership was attached to the version of Superman with his friends and family and history and relationships, but they had destroyed it all, exposed Superman's secret identity to the world, changed his continuity so severely that it was unrecognizable, replaced the original character with a hollow copy -- and the road back to a recognizable status quo would be long and hard and difficult.

Superman had become as muddled and confused as SLIDERS by "The Seer."

DC started the process with an October 2015 mini-series, SUPERMAN: LOIS & CLARK which reveals that the original Superman and Lois are actually still around in this rebooted continuity, believing they are refugees from a destroyed timeline, living in this new universe under the names Clark and Lois White, and they now have a 10 year old son named Jon. They are doing their best to steer clear of this universe's Superman -- except the rebooted Superman suddenly dies of Kryptonite poisoning. The rebooted Lois Lane is also killed.

In SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, the original Superman attempts to fill the void by unveiling himself to the world and offering to help the Justice League. The original Lois impersonates her double, trying to investigate her double's death. Also strangely: Clark Kent reappears at the Daily Planet, declaring that Superman asked him to fake their secret identity being exposed to confuse some supervillains. This restores the secret identity -- but leaves the original Superman and Lois confused as to who this Clark Kent really is. They discover that he is Mr. Mxyztptlk, the fifth dimensional imp who has been confused and disoriented by the reboot.

Superman and Lois also discover: this is not a rebooted universe and they are not refugees; this is their home universe and has been all along, but some unknown force altered history and ripped Lois and Superman's timeline in half, creating the rebooted version and the separate original. The original Superman and Lois are able to locate their deceased counterparts who now exist outside the timestream, and they merge with them.

The result is a new timeline that fuses the rebooted Superman continuity with the original continuity -- and also writes young Jon Kent into the timeline. In this combined universe, Lois and Clark got married and had a son, and all their friends have known Jon all his life. All the reboot adventures (except for Superman dating Wonder Woman) are folded into the original timeline additively. Superman reviews his history and notes one oddity: he remembers Jonathan and Martha Kent being alive right to the present day -- but in this current continuity, his parents are still dead from a car crash when Clark was a teenager.

Superman begins to investigate who altered reality to take away his marriage, his son, his family and his parents. This leads him into the 12 part series DOOMSDAY CLOCK. The culprit is revealed to be Dr. Manhattan from WATCHMEN, a cold observer of reality who found Superman's timeline confusing and convoluted with all its revisions from 1939 onwards.

Dr. Manhattan erased the Justice Society of America (the WWII heroes), finding them unnecessary. This had the subsequent effect of erasing the inspiration for Superman's teenaged career as Superboy and erasing the Superboy adventures completely. Dr. Manhattan created a car accident in Clark's youth to kill Clark's parents, subtracting their influence to make Superman more alien. Dr. Manhattan removed Clark's family and marriage and son, finding them extraneous. And Dr. Manhattan is surprised when the original Superman restores himself to existence.

In the DOOMSDAY CLOCK finale that saw print in December 2019, Superman confronts Dr. Manhattan and pleads with him to understand that being a superhero is not about controlling the world; a superhero saves people. Dr. Manhattan is moved; he reaches back into time and restores the Justice Society. This in turn restores Superman's career as Superboy, altering the past so that Jonathan and Martha Kent were still in a car accident, but Superboy now saved their lives.

In the present day, Clark and Lois go to the Metropolis train station and welcome Jonathan and Martha Kent, the final missing pieces of the Superman family now restored to reality.

This is the only KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES style story that I have ever seen anyone actually start and finish, taking a damaged, muddled series and restoring it point by point, character by character, piece by piece and exploring the multiverse as it did so.

It took four writers (Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Geoff Johns) and a staff of comic book editors. It took four years to write and print it. And the reason this one was finished where all other such stories failed: it unfolded in two monthly comic book serieses and two mini-serieses, it had writers who were being paid to keep the story going. If any one writer got burnt out, DC would have simply hired you or me or Temporal Flux or SOMEBODY to keep writing it until it was done.

It is simply too much for one writer to produce anything like SUPERMAN: REBIRTH, SUPERMAN: REBORN and DOOMSDAY CLOCK, and to do it as an unpaid fanfic project on evenings and weekends. This is a project that needs a team, a group of editors and a living wage -- and trying to do this unpaid and alone is like trying to use a teacup to empty the ocean. You'll never finish it.

Oh, dear fanfic writers. If you want to write Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, just get them back on the page by Page 5 at the latest. Then write the SLIDERS stories that you really, really want to write.

**

After I described this Superman storyline to a few fanfic writers, they got back to me and said that, on balance, they'd just focus on writing SLIDERS stories about the sliders sliding to parallel worlds and they would isolate their KROMAGG WAR CHRONICLES content to brief flashbacks to keep them contained.