There's two new things on my television today. One I've been dying to see ever since I first learned it was coming. The other one I know full well is going to be a steaming pile of shit and dread the idea of watching it, but am going to give it a look anyway because I kinda have to.
Nate Bargatze: Greatest Average American
is exactly what I need right now. Smart, brilliant, comedy which doesn't have to rely on punching down on people or swearing to be funny. I don't think it's funnier than his first special... The Tennessee Kid... but it's still darn entertaining and must-see television.
DAVE RATING: ☆★★★★★★★★★
Zack Snyder's Justice League
I've not been shy with my opinion on Zack Snyder's DC Universe films. Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman were absolute shit. Horrific perversions of the source material that were full of changes nobody asked for and nobody wanted to see. Justice League was supposed to change all that. But Warner Bros. hated the direction Snyder was going with it... his dark, dour, deadly-serious, joyless take on the material was in stark contrast to the Marvel Studios films which were joyful, hopeful, fun, and faithful to the comics. Also? Marvel was raking in billions of dollars with their superior methods. So when Zack Snyder tragically lost his daughter, Warner Bros. took the opportunity to squeeze him out and bring Joss Whedon onboard to "fix" the film and make it more like The Avengers. To that end, he re-shot a huge amount of the footage to make the movie more jokey and slapsticky. It was awful. Which lead to Snyder fans to relentlessly ask for "The Snyder Cut" to be released. And here we are with the four-hour version that Snyder intended. Except it's still shitty. It's just more consistently shitty than it used to be. My notes on this tragic affair are in an extended entry, if you care to read them.
DAVE RATING (Snyder version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★★
DAVE RATING (Theatrical version): ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆★
ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERAL NOTES!
- Still an unbelievably shitty, boring, and lackluster film that I enjoyed only marginally more than the theatrical cut. This is better largely because Whedon's ending was fucking stupid, but also because the many idiotic Whedon character moments were eradicated.
- Scenes go on for way too long. Some scenes are just worthless in the grand scheme of things. A capable editor could have got this down to 3 hours and it would have been a much stronger movie.
- The musical score is okay. The musical tracks are good songs used so very badly. They never seem to mesh with what's happening and are mostly a distraction. I'm sure Zack Snyder has many talents. Picking music for his movies is not one of them.
- Everything is absurdly over-dramatic with Batman having none of the subtlety which makes him such a great character. I kept waiting for a scene of Batman wiping his ass while thunderous music blasts from every speaker. Outside that, we get dialogue like "I'm real when it's useful" which is about the most un-Batman thing he could possibly say.
- The Flash costume is still the absolute worst... and his un-funny bullshit, which I assumed came from Whedon, was from Snyder all along!
- SERIOUSLY, FOR FUCK'S SAKE BARRY... DO YOU HAVE TO BE A STUPID FUCKING DUMBASS IN EVERY FUCKING SCENE?!?
- Case in point? "Aliens, bad guys, sword lady!" had me screaming "FUCK, BARRY! JUST DIE ALREADY!" at my television.
- Having Cyborg look like a fucking trash heap is and inexplicable choice that makes no sense. At least Whedon had him turn into a much better comic book version design at the end.
- Aquaman being played by Jason Momoa is brilliant casting. But turning him into a frat bro was idiotic to extreme levels, and that's all on Snyder.
- Wonder Woman is just poorly handled from start to finish. She uses her thunder-bracelets move when she really shouldn't be, causing more destruction than the villains do! WTF? And I still don't understand if Wonder Woman has been exiled from Themyscira or what. Sounds like she hasn't been back since World War One. Was that by choice?
- Superman's resurrection still makes absolutely no sense even though Snyder jettisoned some of the most offensively stupid shit that was in it ("Do you bleed?!?" — "YOU JUST FUCKING USED YOUR X-RAY VISION ON MY GUTS, YOU TELL ME, DUMBASS!").
- The new Steppenwolf armor is hilariously stupid. It gets all spikey and likes to move around for no reason. I guess Zack Snyder thought it looked cool, and that made that a priority over practicality. I still do not understand why in the hell some absurdly minor villain which most people have never even heard of was selected as the big bad here.
- The ancient earth battle between Darkseid and The Amazons, The Atlanteans, The Olympians, The Guardians, and Mankind is very cool. And actually makes sense. Why the fuck wasn't Darkseid the actual villain for this movie? Yet another stupid filmmaker who doesn't put ALL the cool stuff in the first movie, but "saves it" for a sequel that might not ever happen.
- Lois Lane's sole purpose in this movie is to have cut scenes where she can be all weepy over dead Superman, then "wake him up" once he's resurrected? Senseless. What a waste.
- The editing on this film is horrific. Constant jumps that make no sense. It just leaves us with a choppy mess that has no easy narrative. I don't know if I'd be better or worse off if I had ADD. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut.
- We get a new Batman future-dream where Aquaman is dead and everybody is stuck in a post-apocalyptic wasteland while trying to find a way to reverse what happened. This is where the new Joker scenes happen, and they add absolutely nothing to the movie (unless you get off seeing Jared Leto be Joker).
And so... no thanks. Hopefully this is the end of the "Snyderverse" era so DC can reboot with the "Flashpoint" movie and move on to something that's actually entertaining. The entire budget that the phenomenal HBO Watchmen series got was $130 million. In total it ran just under 9 hours. And it absolutely killed it. Fantastic show where every cent was on your television screen. Snyder got $70 million to finish his "Snyder Cut" after already having spent $275 million on his initial filming. So... Snyder's Justice League ultimately cost THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for four hours of less-than-mediocre crap?
Apparently I'm in entirely the wrong business. Somebody hook me up to be a director in Hollywood.