Justice League of America >> View Post
Post By
Jeff M

Member Since: Fri Jul 29, 2011
Posts: 179
In Reply To

Member Since: Sun Nov 26, 2017
Posts: 18
Subj: You make many good points.
Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 at 12:00:07 pm CST (Viewed 709 times)
Reply Subj: Re: A more coherent defense of the Justice League film...
Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 at 01:51:23 pm CST (Viewed 734 times)

Previous Post

Jeff, you seem to have the same attitude towards the JLA movie that I do about giant monster movies. My brother and a buddy of mine were incredulous that I liked Jurassic Word, and the last Godzilla movie. They thought they were weak, with poor writing, etc. But, what they didn't understand is that my standards for giant monster movies are pretty low. I want quality graphics, and monsters stomping cities and people. A good story is icing on the cake. Maybe it's because the story-telling of Japan's Godzilla movies (of my youth) was so poor, that I don't mind so much if Kong Skull Island doesn't have Oscar calibre writing. You seem to think this way about super heroes.

I have a much higher standard for super hero movies. And DC has not been delivering. To me, they've made one good movie since the DCEU has begun. That's a dreadful ratio. You're free to be as forgiving as you are, movie appreciation is not a zero sum game. But, you should be able to articulate the whys, and not be so sensitive when someone else picks apart your argument. Otherwise, why post your thoughts for other people to read.

I haven't seen JLA. I refuse to give DC any more money for the tripe they're passing off as entertainment. But, even from the trailers, and the movies that came before, I know this movie is terrible. And many of your points just seem wrong to me. While I agree that a first movie should focus on the League, that doesn't make a shallow threat mandatory. Personally, I wouldn't have chosen Steppenwolf. Darkseid and his minions deserve a trilogy of their own. And Zelf's criticism that Superman shouldn't have been able to drive off the villain alone is spot on. The League becomes irrelevant when one man can do it all.

A movie can have a couple flaws, and still succeed. Marvel has proven that. But, no movie can be riddled with flaws and hope to get widespread applause. It was foolish to allow Snyder to continue on this project when he made two poor movies leading in(mind you, Man of Steel seems like a master piece when compared to the junk that followed). It seems to me that DC doesn't understand their own characters. That's a major, and ultimately fatal, problem. Superman is meant to inspire hope (hence the messiah imagery). He isn't supposed to be the stoic, brooding hero. But, that's what we were given. And what of the stoic, brooding hero we DO love? Well, the JLA is being introduced with a Batman that's at the end of his career. And Robin is apparently dead? That's just mind-numbing stupidity. Why? Because they wanted an actor with name recognition? Are we just supposed to ignore that Ben is middle-aged?

Then there's this whole notion of a trinity. Jeff, if you've been a fan of the League for as long as you say, then you know what an appalling lie this idea is. The Avengers have a Big Three. The JLA never did. When the JLA was first created, it incorporated the major heroes of DC's independent titles. Flash, in particular, was HUGE in the 60s. The JLA was like the formation of the Knights of the Round Table. Each warrior an equal, if not in raw power, than in their competence, specific niche skills, and dedication. There are no newbies on the League of old. That makes the movie treatment of Aquaman, Flash and Green Lantern so infuriating. Instead of honoring the characters that exist in the comics(which is what the fans want to see), they've changed the characters to accommodate perceived popular trends. A tattoed Aquaman that looks more like a heavy metal singer than a noble King. A Flash based on Peter Parker, to add the humor, instead of a straight-laced professional scientist. The erasure of Green Lantern, because they interpreted the failure of his movie as a deficiency in the character, instead of terrible writing. And the shoe-horning of Cyborg, to try and pretend that the League was diverse from the start. Sorry, that's just revisionism. And flagrant tokenism.

Plus, DC keeps putting the cart before the horse. They should never have made a League movie without first doing solo movies for the principle heroes. Joining forces becomes so much more emotionally fulfilling when you know who they are first. Not as an after-thought. Same with Suicide Squad. Imagine that franchise if they'd used villains first introduced in the heroes' movies? Much more rewarding. But, WB wanted big money NOW. Not down the road. They envied Marvel's success, and ironically, they're still beset by envy. They have consistently failed to make movies the equal of their rival. If they can't make a good Superman or Batman movie, they might as well go home.

When the creators of a movie can't respect the source material, then disaster is the more likely result. And from the reviews, both professional and amateur, it would seem that a disaster is what we got. It's great that you liked the movie. But, from your post, it didn't sound like your standards were high. What good is seeing our heroes on the big screen, if they can't get their appearance and personalities right? If the dialogue makes us cringe? If the action is uninspired? That's what I got from watching the trailers. From the reviews, I don't think I would've got my money's worth.

First of all, apologies to Zelf, my reply came off way more defensive and way less funny than I was targeting. I should never post late at night.

I understand the Godzilla reference as I’m a huge fan of all the Japanese films, Showa, Heisei, and Millennium. I recognize higher quality filmmaking in the later ones, but still love the goofy ones. (Though I found the latest American one dull without enough Godzilla. Skull Island gave me hope for the sequel)

My superhero opinion comes from a different place.

I agree that Marvel is doing the films far better. They put the building blocks down first allowing them to pretty much hit any genre they want and have it be true to their universe. If they were on opposite eachother, I’d watch Ragnarok over JLA. The way Marvel developed the movies matches the way DC created their excellent Animated Universe.

I think DCs problem has frequently stemmed from being owned outright by Warner Brothers, and the WB doing whatever they want with the characters, or the character names in many cases. Marvel usually seemed to have more creative control even before the Marvel Studios and Disney days.

I hated Man of Steel, and after watching clips and reading synopses of Batman Vs. Superman, decided not to pay to be annoyed for over two hours. I see Justice League as them learning from the success of Wonder Woman (which I liked a great deal) and organically transforming to a lighter and more “accurate” DCU.

I’ve read pretty much every version of these characters in comics, Golden Age, Silver Age, that really goofy and insane period in the 50’s between them, Bronze Age, and pre and post the parade of Crises from 1985 up to the present day. Maybe that’s how I can enjoy so many versions of the characters.

Cyborg in the league is revisionist, but it's a revisionism that's been comic book cannon since 2011, and was first used way back in 1985 on the Superfriends cartoon.

Aquaman spends half his time as ruler of Atlantis in comics, and half the time as an exile. Justice League goes the exile route, for now, and mixes Peter David’s version with the one from the Brave and Bold cartoon. Flash is probably closest to Justice League Europe era Wally, with some of the DCAU version thrown in.

The Adam West Batman wouldn’t fit in today’s comics or movies, but is a classic and his series matched the comic books of the time, taking some plots from them.

I even enjoy watching the reviled Batman and Robin since it reminds me of those 1950’s insane stories. (Plus under its goofiness, it’s got some of the best Bruce/ Alfred scenes ever done.)

I know that the Dark Knight trilogy are better films than those two versions of Batman, by pretty much every applicable standard of movie reviewing, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the other ones. Though I still can't watch Batman Returns, as I can't find any connection to the source material, sometimes you need to tell Tim Burton, "Stop."

Affleck was less Dark Knight Returns and more of the Morrison, “Yeah, he’s a jerk sometimes, but his heart is in the right place” guy. Maybe they’ll use Flashpoint to recast with a younger version, who knows? That’s a really weird choice for a Flash solo film, but that's an argument for another day.

The comic book Justice League did start as an All Star team (as Kurt Buseik said, comparing them to the Avengers as a championship team.) But it’s gone through a huge number of iterations as well.
No, I don't want to see Justice League Detroit, the movie, I’m not that crazy.

Considering Batman and Superman were members who hardly ever showed up in the early stories, the idea of the “top tier” DC Trinity is relatively new. However, they have been shown that way in comics back to around the Morrison JLA series, I’d guess.
Even before that in the JLI and subsequent days, those three would often take on the “responsible adult” role compared to the rest of the League.

Again, roles and the complexities of stories and characters change over time a great deal. When the Appelaxians were introduced an alien invasion force that led to the Silver Age formation of the Justice League in comics (and in post crisis retellings), they weren’t any more developed or complex villains than Steppenwolf was, because the focus was on introducing the heroes to eachother.

I wonder if the film would have been more well received if it was advertised as “Superman’s Return” with guest stars.

That's a big reason I enjoyed this film. Your point about Superman being done wrong is 100% accurate for the past films.
They fixed that, and made him a brighter, beacon of hope, and grounded his personality though connections to friends and family
While he probably could have taken down Steppenwolf alone, he didn't have to , allowing him to leave the fight and rescue civilians, in a very Supermanish moment.

That’s another advantage Marvel has by doing it right. Deviations from the source material arose organically thorough the individual films before the team ups started. DC hits us in the face with them all at once.

It’s not at the expected quality level of a Marvel film, but it felt like a DC story to me. It provided both entertainment and hope that the upcoming solo films and the future of the universe they created will follow Wonder Woman and not Man of Steel.


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