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Zack Snyder's Justice League - Official Trailer

ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
Yes. Superman kills Zod. Just like Superman killed Zod in Superman II. Just like Superman killed Zod in the comic book. Superman kills Zod. It's part of the story. The difference is that in Superman II, Superman happily kills a Zod who has been depowered and is not a threat, while in MoS, Superman reluctantly kills Zod to save a family and who will always be an existential threat to Earth.
I'm with you on this one. Superman doesn't WANT to kill. He wont kill casually. Within a certain context he'll put himself in great LIFE THREATENING DANGER to avoid having to kill or cause undue harm to anyone, even an enemy.

But when the threat is too great and life will be threatened on an immense scale? He wont WANT TO do it. He might even have a mental / emotional breakdown afterwards because it's not in his nature to. But Kal will do the long term calculations of the safety of millions vs his moral code and if the math doesn't work?

HE WILL TAKE OUT THAT THREAT.
See SUPERMAN #22 (John Byrne's run)

That's why I had no problem with his decision at the end of MOS. As long as the ramifications of that action is touched on in later films I'm fine with it. The fact that to his knowledge that Zod was literally the only other Kryptonian left and that he was forced to kill him would affect ANYONE other than the coldest sociopath.
 

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embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Kal is who he is because of his moral, midwestern upbringing. In every iteration he's a good person because he was raised to be altruistic, not to take advantage of those weaker than him and to HELP those who cant help themselves.

Arguably, this character? The ZS version? ISNT SUPERMAN. because of John Kent would never have said "Maybe". He might have said "YES, but there's going to be a price to pay for your exposure". But never "maybe".

My son, who was 10 years old when I took him to see it on Fathers Day had HUGE problems with this movie. Specifically Clark NOT saving Johnathan from the tornado. He was so troubled that a son would NOT save his dad that we had an extensive conversation about it walking to the subway from the theater.

I tried to explain to him that as a parent our first and strongest obligation is to protect our children. He listened and understood.

But after a long pause said: "I would STILL would have saved you. You would have been mad. But you would have been ALIVE."

That was one of my biggest problems with MAN OF STEEL as a "superman" movie. Not Kal himself, but the tone and world around him. It's not inspirational. It's not hopeful. It's not humanity looking up at the sky and saying "hey maybe we can be better just like HE is."

It's people suck and even a school bus FULL OF YOUR CLASSMATES might not be worth saving.

Even with me saying all to this MAN OF STEEL is probably my favorite DCU movie. Visually it's AMAZING looking. But it's mostly because I don't view it as a Superman movie. I just look at it as a generic first contact/alien invasion movie. Maybe even an Elseworlds type thing. But (to me) that's not Superman, more importantly it's not the message that Superman would propagate.
But here's the thing...

It's supposed to be a different take. A different angle.

Jon Kent has the same problem, IMHO, that Thomas Wayne has. He's always a one-dimensional paragon. And as a result, you always get a superhero who was given a perfect moral code (usually from his father) who never had to find his own moral compass.

What do people remember from Superman? Not Superman living up to Jon Kent's ideal. It's Superman defying Jor-El's dictate not to interfere in human events. In that scene, Superman is finding his own moral compass.

In MoS, if Jon had said, "Yeah. You did the right thing by saving them," then there is no arc for Superman to find out what the right answer is. This Superman has no Jor-El proscription against interference and so it falls to Jon Kent to give that proscription.

Why didn't Clark just superspeed-save Jon? Because plot hole. This is something that Superman did better. Jon Kent dies of a heart attack and now Clark has to accept that, in spite of everything he can do, he's not perfect and can't save everyone. It's a powerful moment and, frankly, ZS should have used that.

I'm not saying that MoS is a perfect movie. Quite the opposite. It is a movie of missed opportunities that is still very good because it has the courage to re-examine Superman.

Case in point: A plot point in the Batman RIP arc from years ago posited the possiblity that Thomas Wayne wasn't a perfect role model, and that he was an abusive husband and father. Granted, it was a bit of a red herring but still...

That's an interesting story. Instead of a hero living up to his dead father's ideals, it's a hero coming to grips with his dead father's failings and then transcending them.

I don't want my kids to be as good a person as I am. I want them to be better than I am.
 


ShinHakkaider

Adventurer
There is no point trying to tell anybody you like Man of Steel. I love it too, but I've given up having that conversation long ago.
I like MAN OF STEEL too. I said upthread that it's my favorite DCU movie. It's the only one I own on BluRay (I'm a big proponent of physical media) and to me it's the only one that feels like a COMPLETE movie with a consistent tone and message (despite my feelings about that particular message). I'm not debating whether the movie is good or not. It IS GOOD. I'm just not a big fan of this particular iteration of Superman.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So I'm going to start by saying a few unpopular things, and then hopefully get to a decent recommendation.

First, I don't much like Superman as a character or a hero. He's just ... too much. Too powerful. Too perfect. Too deus ex machina. He is not interesting, to me, in the way that other characters are. My favorite Superman arcs are always those that deliberately play against type; those that imagine him in other contexts (growing up in the Soviet Union in Red Son) or shackling himself to an arguably unjust cause (such as in Dark Knight Returns).

Second, I didn't much like either Man of Steel or the Zack Snyder Universe. I have often thought that Snyder has mostly dined out on the unexpected success of 300, and hasn't much changed since then. Watchmen, while it had some good (even great) parts, such as the bravura opening sequence, was arguably his best superhero movie ... and it just wasn't a great movie, overall. It suffered the twin problems of both being too slavish to the original, and also not illuminating anything interesting through the use of a different medium. It was ... inert. While I appreciate that he took the DCEU in a different direction than the MCU, it just never felt right. Man of Steel soared to the heights of being perfectly cromulent at times, while still failing to either a satisfying version of Superman for fans of the hero, or providing a compelling alternate take that resonated. It was just there ... in shades of de-saturation.

Despite those harsh words, I think he also gets too much blame; for example, as bad as some of BvS is (Martha ....), watching the director's cut was a perfectly ... fine ... experience. It was fine. The biggest problem with Justice League wasn't Snyder, it was the awkward shoehorning in of a different style and different dialogue that obviously didn't fit. I'm intrigued to see how much color desaturation and very ... slow .... motion .... action sequences he can fit into 4 hours or so. :)

Now, for those of you are fans of the idealistic Superman, I have to admit that even I was moved when I watched All-Star Superman (based on the mini-series by Grant Morrison). It's an excellent DC Animated Film, and even someone that doesn't like "Boy Scout" Superman, like me ... well, it's powerful. So if you found Man of Steel a little grimdark and against the usual Supes ethos, go seek it out (it's streaming on HBO Max, and available other places I am sure).
 



Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
No, they're popular things. Unpopular would be saying you do like Superman and you do like Snyder.

Good point.

Then again, there are corners of the internet that will keelhaul you for so much as intimating that Zach Snyder, and Man of Steel, is anything less than the second coming of Kubrick ... but point well taken.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
So I'm going to start by saying a few unpopular things, and then hopefully get to a decent recommendation.

First, I don't much like Superman as a character or a hero. He's just ... too much. Too powerful. Too perfect. Too deus ex machina. He is not interesting, to me, in the way that other characters are. My favorite Superman arcs are always those that deliberately play against type; those that imagine him in other contexts (growing up in the Soviet Union in Red Son) or shackling himself to an arguably unjust cause (such as in Dark Knight Returns).

Second, I didn't much like either Man of Steel or the Zack Snyder Universe. I have often thought that Snyder has mostly dined out on the unexpected success of 300, and hasn't much changed since then. Watchmen, while it had some good (even great) parts, such as the bravura opening sequence, was arguably his best superhero movie ... and it just wasn't a great movie, overall. It suffered the twin problems of both being too slavish to the original, and also not illuminating anything interesting through the use of a different medium. It was ... inert. While I appreciate that he took the DCEU in a different direction than the MCU, it just never felt right. Man of Steel soared to the heights of being perfectly cromulent at times, while still failing to either a satisfying version of Superman for fans of the hero, or providing a compelling alternate take that resonated. It was just there ... in shades of de-saturation.

Despite those harsh words, I think he also gets too much blame; for example, as bad as some of BvS is (Martha ....), watching the director's cut was a perfectly ... fine ... experience. It was fine. The biggest problem with Justice League wasn't Snyder, it was the awkward shoehorning in of a different style and different dialogue that obviously didn't fit. I'm intrigued to see how much color desaturation and very ... slow .... motion .... action sequences he can fit into 4 hours or so. :)

Now, for those of you are fans of the idealistic Superman, I have to admit that even I was moved when I watched All-Star Superman (based on the mini-series by Grant Morrison). It's an excellent DC Animated Film, and even someone that doesn't like "Boy Scout" Superman, like me ... well, it's powerful. So if you found Man of Steel a little grimdark and against the usual Supes ethos, go seek it out (it's streaming on HBO Max, and available other places I am sure).
Zack Snyder definitely misunderstands some of the visual aspects of comic book movies.

A good comparison is one of his (many) static shots that lingers on screen for like 5 seconds. Think of the scene in MoS where Superman is going to surrender to Zod. It's a wide shot of him and Lois. It is intended to evoke a comic book frame. Instead, it just feels stiff. Now contrast that to, arguably, the best comic book shot in all of movies - the Avengers all coming together for the final battle. It's fluid and dynamic and evokes the feeling of a full page image.

That's one thing that Whedon got that Snyder often misses - not just that you can get the feeling of a comic book without a still shot, but also that if every shot in the movie is static, then the whole movie will feel bogged down.

To look again at a great illustration of this, we can look to the Leviathan sequence from Avengers. A fluid sequence showing the heroes ends with us seeing Hulk and Thor attacking the Leviathan. They kill it and it comes to rest in Grand Central Station. The camera now stops moving and Hulk and Thor are left standing. Then Hulk punches Thor. It's a great moment and it is obvious how it would be on the page. But there, the camera stopping is highlighted because of all the movement before.

Snyder generally misses that point. He falls into the same trap that Ang Lee fell in with Hulk. He thinks that a comic book movie needs to have framed shots to convey that it's a comic book. And it's a shame because it's obvious that he understands and loves comic books and has a very deep knowledge of the lore.

As to Superman, the problem is that his power creep can never be undone. If you had a Superman that can't fly, people would complain, even though he originally couldn't fly. The same goes for any of his other powers. Conversely, people complain when other heroes' powers finally do make it to the screen, such as in Wonder Woman '84.

Superman and Spider-Man are victims of their own success.
 

Vael

Hero
I don't really have a dog in the fight over Superman. Haven't read his comics, the most Superman content I consumed was watching Lois and Clark as a kid. I have no memory of Superman Returns, I fell asleep watching it. Man of Steel was just as uninspiring, it was such a dour and joyless movie.
 




Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist

It's a weird thing.

On the one hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) is often held-up as a sort of "gold standard" of easy internet mockability.

On the other hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) have such a vocal internet fan base, that they managed to make a major studio pay tens of millions of dollars so that Snyder could re-shoot and re-cut and make a 4 hour version of a movie.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's a weird thing.

On the one hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) is often held-up as a sort of "gold standard" of easy internet mockability.

On the other hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) have such a vocal internet fan base, that they managed to make a major studio pay tens of millions of dollars so that Snyder could re-shoot and re-cut and make a 4 hour version of a movie.
I dunno. All I know is I'm not allowed to have a public conversation about liking MoS without being shouted down about how it's apparently the worst thing that ever existed. It's quite unpleasant.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
It's a weird thing.

On the one hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) is often held-up as a sort of "gold standard" of easy internet mockability.

On the other hand, Zach Snyder (and his DC Films) have such a vocal internet fan base, that they managed to make a major studio pay tens of millions of dollars so that Snyder could re-shoot and re-cut and make a 4 hour version of a movie.
OTOOH - HBO Max costs $15 a month. JL made about $230 million domestic. So even being conservative, that's about 15 million tickets sold.

Being even more conservative, let's say that JLSC gets 5 million new subs for WB, that's $75 million. PER MONTH.

I think that, not the internet peanut gallery, is what gave it the green light.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Man of Steel is a really, really good film. In my top 3 superhero films. So good.

BvS is really good up until the Doomsday bit (that ending and the ending of WW1 were the same special effects package, I think)

Justice League was awful. But we know now it was only 30% original footage. I am keen to see the original vision.
This is pretty much my view on these three movies, with the slight caveat that MoS--which I really like--is probably not top 3 for me, but definitely top 10. I also hold a special place in my heart for the first two Reeves films and would consider the first the best Superman movie, the "Can you read my mind?" bit notwithstanding.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
This is pretty much my view on these three movies, with the slight caveat that MoS--which I really like--is probably not top 3 for me, but definitely top 10. I also hold a special place in my heart for the first two Reeves films and would consider the first the best Superman movie, the "Can you read my mind?" bit notwithstanding.
Superman 1&2, for sure. Batman 89 and the first Avengers flick are better. And The Dark Knight is the best superhero flick ever made. I liked Infinity War a lot (Endgame wasn't as good). And Iron Man 1 is pretty good.

So yeah, without ranking them, top 10 I guess.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Superman 1&2, for sure. Batman 89 and the first Avengers flick are better. And The Dark Knight is the best superhero flick ever made. I liked Infinity War a lot (Endgame wasn't as good). And Iron Man 1 is pretty good.

So yeah, without ranking them, top 10 I guess.
We have a similar top 10. I'd add in X2 and Days of Future Past, but I may be biased as I was much more of an X-Men fan back in the day than Avengers etc.

My top 9 superhero flicks would probably be, in no particular order: X2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Avengers, Iron Man, Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire), Superman, Man of Steel, Batman (1989), Dark Knight.

Not sure which film to slot in as the 10th - there are a half a dozen candidates.
 

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