Zak Snyder’s Justice League: Released the Snyder Cut – HBO Max Review

We finally get to see what the fans have been begging for.

SUMMARY (Spoilers)

Thousands of years ago, an army of men, Atlanteans, Amazons, gods, and even a Green Lantern helped repel an invasion of “New Gods” led by the evil god Darkseid (Ray Porter). Following the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) in Batman v. Superman, ancient artifacts known as the Mother Boxes, which were used by Darkseid, have been awakened. Darkseid’s lieutenant, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), is sent to retrieve them and use them to destroy the Earth. Batman (Ben Affleck), knowing an attack is coming, tries to recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa), who initially refuses, and then successfully recruits the Flash (Ezra Miller) while Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruits Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Steppenwolf manages to find two of the Mother Boxes, but Batman, realizing that they are outmatched, uses the third one to revive Superman. Superman attacks the rest of the team until Batman reveals Lois Lane (Amy Adams), leading him to leave. Meanwhile, Steppenwolf gets the third Mother Box and takes them to his base where he will use them to destroy Earth.

Batman almost gets killed a bunch in the fight.

The team assaults the base and manages to get inside, but they cannot defeat Steppenwolf until Superman shows up and reminds everyone that he can go full HAM. They manage to stop the boxes from unifying (thanks to Barry Allen messing with time) and kill Steppenwolf. Darkseid indicates that his conquest of Earth will not stop there. The team separates again, with Batman proposing a headquarters in his childhood home. Lex Luthor (Jesse “Dear God Why” Eisenberg) breaks out of jail and meets with mercenary Slade Wilson (Joe Mangianello). 

This would have taken 2 seconds if Superman had been there. And that’s the problem.

END SUMMARY

I realize now that I never actually finished writing my review of the original cut of this film. I started this blog just after the film came out, but I was caught up doing television episodes at that point and decided against reviewing it at the time. Fortunately, my summary that I wrote for that version mostly works for this one. If I had reviewed that one, it would probably have begun with the phrase “this was a giant waste of time and money.” I did not care for the theatrical Justice League film, but, in fairness, I hadn’t liked Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, or Suicide Squad, so the DCEU was not exactly blowing my skirt up at that point, Wonder Woman aside. 

Cyborg was completely wasted in the original cut.

My biggest complaints about the original Justice League were that it had weak or no characterization, the plot was inane, and that the tone was wildly inconsistent. The good news is that this version does, for the most part, fix those problems. This is a fairly well-done story which, admittedly, relies on a lot of visual storytelling for a film that is often needlessly dark or saturated. In this, the characters are expanded upon sufficiently that we can understand their motivations and, even though they might take us to the same plot points as the original, the movements no longer feel random or stupid. I imagine this will be similar to how people will feel about the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire vs. the last season of Game of Thrones when George R.R. Martin finally finishes it. Yes, it’ll probably end up hitting most of the same points, but the journey will feel more full and natural if it isn’t rushed.

Both will have a Night King, though.

This isn’t to say that this is a perfect movie. For one thing, it’s four hours long and even the good parts feel pretty slow when you’ve sat through this much stuff. I’d recommend watching it as a mini-series if possible, because trying to do it in one sitting was tough. And, for another, it’s still not a great movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty good and some of the action sequences, particularly the ones involving the Flash, are excellent, but overall, it’s still not a great movie. It still has a lot of very awkward lines, a lot of scenes that seem to be based more around setting up further properties than progressing the story, and, mostly, it doesn’t have a ton of scenes that really stand out as memorable. I mean, this is supposed to be our first meeting of the live-action Justice League and there just doesn’t feel like enough spectacle was put into it, despite being mostly visually well-done. I dunno how to explain that seeming contradiction, but I feel like it’s the truth. I just watched this movie, and there are only a handful of shots that stick out in my mind. Meanwhile, I can remember tons from Tim Burton’s Batman or the Christopher Reeve Superman

It doesn’t help that this Superman always seems about 10 seconds from going Brightburn.

Overall, it’s not that this is bad, it’s just not what it needed to be. I do hope that DC recognizes that it does have some good things and uses future movies, like Flashpoint, to get rid of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Aquaman – A Review in Rime

By The Grouch on the Couch

Well, the Grouch and I saw the film. While I was going to write a review, he felt particularly inspired and decided to go ahead and do the entire thing in a parody of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

My rebuttal shall be in the form of short limericks. I don’t promise that they’ll work.

 

There was an aquatic superhero

Long mocked for powers and logo.

Producers they decided,

To make him badass through Khal Drogo.

aquaman - 1arthur
Which… yeah, kinda works.

 

But fortune favors not the brave but wise,

And wisdom doth DC lack

For though his hot body might carry a film

This dialogue breaks his back.

 

I start with a story summary

As clear as a winter morning.

And so you assholes don’t complain,

HERE’S YOUR SPOILER WARNING.

aquaman - 2warning

Aquaman, or Arthur Curry,

was born from the strange love

Between a queen from Atlantis below,

And a lighthouse keeper from the world above.

aquaman - 3kidman
Batman Forever was the better superhero film for her. Think about that.

But happiness is forbidden,

When you tell a hero’s genesis,

So soon she was forced to return,

And bear Prince Orm, Arthur’s Nemesis

aquaman - 4orm
They have very different opinions on facial hair.

Following the Justice League’s

Victory in their movie,

Aquaman’s a public hero

That makes the fangirls, and guys, woozy.

 

The opening action sequence

Is actually quite glorious

A bulletproof man fighting normal people

And emerging, smiling and victorious.

aquaman - 5mana
The normal men who try to fight a demigod.

Arthur saves a submarine, the target which

Sea pirates would acquire.

He meets the leader, called Black Manta,

And earns his eternal ire.

 

When Arthur returns to the surface,

He finds Mera, Atlantean Queen

Who tells him his half-brother

Has grown up to be quite mean.

aquaman - 6amberheard

Orm wishes to destroy the surface,

Because the movie needs a plot,

And he needs the support of other sea-kings,

For reasons I forgot.

 

Arthur tries to beat him in a fight

Using their aquatic power

But Orm is slightly stronger

Cuz it’s only been an hour

aquaman - dolph
Dolph Lundgren is one of the other kings. As it should be.

So Mera stops Orm’s fratricide

And says Arthur needs to Quest

For the First Trident of Atlantis

While each ogles the other’s chest.

 

What follows is a fetch quest

That takes a f*cking hour,

And of course the twist is “talks to fish”

Ends up being the greatest power.

Aquaman - 7Atlan.jpg
He basically gets to summon Cthulhu.

He goes through the Sahara,

Defeats Manta in Sicily

Swims below the Marianas Trench

And into an underground sea.

 

Arthur finds the trident

And kicks his brother’s ass

While wearing the green and gold outfit

Cuz royalty means class

aquaman - 8outfit

Here the film is ended,

But now let’s talk about

What things the editor should have left in

And what should have been cut out

 

The acting is pretty solid,

The cast all pretty, too,

From Jason Momoa to Amber Heard

And Patrick Wilson’s Orm, all woo

 

The effects are indeed special,

And, no, that’s not sarcasm

The glowing effects that define the sea,

From building to sargassum

 

The film creates an immersive world

And yes, that is a pun,

But the camera effects that seem like waves

Did make some scenes more fun

 

The direction isn’t terrible,

With some scenes even stirring

The cinematography was oft on point

While fight scenes were occurring.

 

But alas the dialogue is bad

Too bad for me to mention.

It repeated so often and was so dull

It was hard to pay attention.

 

You’d think that’s not enough

To drag a movie down

But really the lines were so damned bad I hoped

That everyone would drown.

 

The plot is so generic

That I swear they say “fetch quest.”

And these two awful elements

Wildly overshadow the rest.

 

So while there were some great scenes

Within this aquamovie

I could not recommend a watch

Even for Mamoa’s booty.

 

I hated this film, not just because

It had so much potential

But also because I fear the profit

Might make it influential.

 

And thus DC has let me down

For five out of six times

So here I end this film review

Cuz I’m now out of rhymes

 

JOKER’S RHYME-BUTTAL

I wish there was a scene in Nantucket
So it’d be easier to tell this film s*ck it.
The plot was mundane
The dialogue insane
And I wish I’d just left and said “f*ck it”

If you say that this doesn’t rebut
Well, I’d try but it’s open and shut
This movie was lousy
I spent half the time drowsy
And wishing someone had yelled “cut”

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.