Friday, December 1, 2017

Justice League - Best DC Comics Movie In a Long Time

Bottom line first: Justice League is thoroughly enjoyable fun and worth seeing.  It's the story of the formation of what DC Comics fans all know of as The Justice League of America.  As far as I can tell, it's about the tenth or 12th version of the story.  A month ago, I pretty much raved about Thor Ragnaraok, and if I had to see only one, I'd see Thor simply because it's more fun, and I like the characters more.  However (and you that was coming, right?) this is easily the best DC comics movie in a long time; possibly ever.  I recall the 1989 Batman movie, with Jack Nicholson as the Joker, had its dark side, but it also had music by Prince that gave it a light feeling, and I recall it as a lot of fun.  (disclaimer about DC movies: I didn't see Suicide Squad.  Never read the comics; don't know anything about it)

Ever since then, the DC movie folks have emphasized the dark side of their characters; for example that Batman is a "broken" man from losing his parents, and the costumes for all of them have gotten darker than the comic book version.  Like this comparison of new and old Superman colors.
In this promo photo, you can see how muted all the character costumes have become. 

Superman is central to the story, but the majority of screen time goes to the others.  The story centers on Batman (Ben Affleck) getting a group together to fight off a planetary invasion.  In the previous Batman movie, he meets Diana, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the two of them are the team.  He first recruits Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) who initially rejects him until he realizes the seriousness of the problem.  Then he recruits Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) with varying degrees of ease.  The invasion begins almost immediately. 

Y'all know I'm a fan of these light, comic book movies, but if Thor: Ragnarok was a full five stars this one is four stars.  It simply wasn't as much fun of a romp as Thor was.  Both Mrs. Graybeard and I thought that Gal Godot pretty much owned the movie, but I also liked the baby-faced kid they got as the Flash.  He injected a few good pieces of light, comic relief into the movie.

Oh, and DC decided to pick up the Marvel habit of adding some teasers into the credits.  Stay for the whole thing.  If you're into that.


  1. Got it: Avengers - DC version, but not quite as good. Now that Marvel's unlocked how to do comic book movies near flawlessly, Warner Bros finally has a bare hope of aping their success, by rote, with the DC 'verse. (They had to do something. Harry Potter is over, and Eastwood's in his 80s, so they can't lean on his talents forever to keep the lights on.)
    After failing on almost every prior outing, with the occasional decent flick scattered throughout three or four decades, including the Dark Knight trilogy, which they've now thrown out completely.

    This is like the time everybody was making a volcano eruption movie at the same time.
    See film tropes: 17th guy to say "I am Spartacus!".

    I'll absolutely take your word for it on the quality. When it hits the discount bin at ChinaMart, I'll be there to check it out.

    But since there's already a great comic book franchise, and DC isn't it, maybe WB could focus on the once-every-five-years resurrection of a decent western. Disney pretty much screwed that pooch with their craptastic everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attempt in Lone Ranger, and I have it on good authority that the long-departed Louis L'Amour only has about 70 bestselling western novels that still haven't made it onto the silver screen yet, including most of the Sackett storyline. And as a bonus, L'Amour, unlike Stan Lee, isn't around anymore to require getting a cameo in every flick. Downside: since he's not around, unlike Stan Lee, there's no one handy to keep them from screwing around with success "because they can", and doing to his westerns what they did to DC Comics.

    Every once in awhile (Harry Potter, LOTR/Hobbitt) Hollyweird finds directors and producers who don't gut the written work and actually make decent flicks because of that restraint. (I'm always amused when twenty- and thirty-something directors and producers with nothing notable in their resume think they can "improve" the work of beloved and best-selling authors. In a grab-the-vomit-bag sort of way.)

    Then there's all the other ones they make, which usually couldn't get the dog interested in, even if you tied a pork chop to the flick.

    Thanks for the heads up on Justice League.
    When they can get four good ones in a row, I'll pay closer attention.

    1. Then there's all the other ones they make, which usually couldn't get the dog interested in, even if you tied a pork chop to the flick.

      I should have you write my reviews!

      For us, catching this movie was cheap and easy. We caught the 11AM showing at the local 10-plex and it was a whole $4.30 each. I wouldn't touch popcorn or a drink at their prices, even "if they tied a pork chop to it", and it's about 6 whole miles from home, so it's not a big deal in any way. I know some people drive farther and have to pay more but if I spend $8.60 for a movie and it sucks, oh well. Don't care.

      When I was a kid, I read DC comics. That stopped roughly 50 years ago. Vaguely recall reading Marvel but only recall the Fantastic Four. Today, I find the Marvel Universe orders of magnitude more fun and more entertaining. On the other hand, seeing the other movies isn't infidelity. Each movie cares about how much money it makes and I think Justice League has not broken even. It can't be too bad because they already have Justice League 2 announced, as well as Wonder Woman 2 and another Superman movie with Aquaman and Flash Movies planned.

      This May, Avengers Infinity War is out, part of a story arc that runs at least a decade. I'll be catching that one, too.

    2. Your reviews are just fine for a movie I won't see this side of BD release.

      I mostly do write reviews of flicks I see, but this year has been so abysmal I can count them on my hands.
      A good year was one a week, sometimes more, but those days are long gone.

      The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War went viral (74M views in 4 days so far) the minute after it hit YouTube.

      And the end brings Guardians Of The Galaxy into the party mix.

      Can't wait.

  2. I'd take Gal Godot home and I would NOT toss her out of bed for snoring. Yes, the teasers in the credits are a fun part of the film.

  3. You thought Justice League was better than the Wonder Woman movie?

    1. Yes, because I thought WW was too slow-paced. They spent too much time on the back story. At one point, my wife leaned over to me and said, "let's get on with the Wonder Womaning".

      They had to do some character development in this one, too, for Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg, but they painted broader pictures with fewer onscreen minutes. How few? I got home without knowing Cyborg's name. Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but I had to look it up on the IMDB site.

      WW was still an enjoyable movie, but I'm sure you know the saying about writing: edit ruthlessly. It applies to movies, too.

      Just IMO, of course, worth every penny you paid for it ;-)

  4. I just can't pay to watch afflect, now that I know his political leanings.