DC Comics on Film

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: DC Comics on Film

#451 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:38 pm

Well, I never thought I'd say this but I too watched the Snyder cut, following back-to-back viewings of BvS and the Whedon JL last night (thanks Amy Adams completism project, aka cinephile self-flagellation). Perhaps it's because both of those were so horrendous, or because I had less than 24 hours to compare the Justice League cuts, but Snyder's version is infinitely better for many reasons that Sausage already mentioned. As I've made clear on this board, I love recontextualizing a work through non-objective, or non-insular, frameworks, so I would doubtlessly subscribe to feihong's impressions had I seen this alone in a vacuum without accounting for the knowledge of its history, as well as subjecting myself to the alternate edit. However, I have no interest in doing such things and history is often critical to comprehending what an artist is doing. It's not as simple as the Whedon cut being bright and the Snyder cut being noticeably grimmer, but the requiems coating every frame of this passably-generic superhero flick communicate Snyder's baseline mood, a melancholic state posturing toward hopelessness unironically populating a narrative about humanity's last hope.

Snyder's heroes are like many people in the human services fields who struggle with their own mental health while providing services to help others, and I can't help but sense that his gloomy aesthetics don't so much resemble his rigid beliefs but rather his ethos: Snyder accepts that life is a challenging, brutal place from his vantage point, but is interested in characters resembling extensions of his self (active psychology and dreamy wish fulfillment) who push to survive not in spite of their emotional and philosophical handicaps, but wearing them as weights on the same armor that bares their strengths. There is no overcoming hardships in psychological trauma and core beliefs with finality for Snyder, but working through them and reframing their value as parts of yourself.

I also found it impossible to ignore reading the film as woven with the thread of his daughter's memory, which of course makes sense considering he put this together once he was able to work but obviously still grieving. An early scene of Amy Adams attempting to move on with her life, transmitting small gifts like giving coffee to the cop and trying to smile to support herself with these small but meaningful connections, is so apt to the sisyphean process following acute grief into static 'being': experiencing melancholia and yet also able to see peripherally enough to also grasp the fringes of gratitude. That this scene plays to Distant Sky, arguably the saddest song from Nick Cave's album dedicated to his unpredictable loss of his son, moved me as I understood what Snyder was communicating using the tools available to him under- and slightly to the left of- the confines of a big-budget blockbuster flick.

That goes for Aquaman's bar-departure into the ocean, and the Icelandic singing and smelling meditation, and so much more. Perhaps most affecting is The Flash's heroic saving of the girl from the car wreck, where he halts to gaze at her beauty as she is about to die for what feels like eternity. This seems like such a personal moment of pause, Snyder desperately living vicariously through his characters for as long as he can, to convey how he wishes to not only save, but observe and absorb his daughter's energy, to be with her for just one more second- an invaluable second that would last like a lifetime. I noticed a similar pensive tenderness in Cyborg's provision of a tangible miracle in the form of a slots-jackpot for a struggling mother at an ATM in the rain, who reminds him of his own mother that he cannot bring back. The images are shot deliberately to impart the spacious distance between himself and this woman, translating Snyder's wishful ability to be philanthropic in the same frame as his recognition of the futility to actualize what he really wants, and his inherent isolation from those he does help.

Is it a good movie? Well, I can't really be impartial at this point to say, but I will credit that outside of my personal interest in self-reflexive analyses, things just make sense now. Obviously from a narrative level, we actually get to know and somewhat care about these characters- especially Cyborg (I'm in awe of how every emotional beat was sucked away in the Whedon version). But even on a purely structuralist level, the film is edited with respect to the consumer. Take the opening bank robbery in the Whedon cut, which was so sloppy and thrust upon us in a rushed, nonsensical manner, but now emerges after gradual acceleration and with a sense of grace that is inviting instead of alienating. The shots of Wonder Woman engaging with the terrorist feel slowed down just a fraction of a second longer, and from what appear to be alternate angles for the long shot and their shot-reverse-shot conversation edited differently- which might be trivial to some but that exchange was uncomfortably jarring last night, defying basic rules of cinema's digestibility shaped in the editing room, now able to be consumed with a much smoother momentum.

The same goes for how other scenes are concocted that play almost the same- Barry Allen/The Flash and his dad in prison is awkward in the Whedon cut, with Barry much more hastily reactive to his dad's advice not to visit anymore (to the point of intending to produce an embarrassing comic effect..) but in the Snyder cut he keeps his hand on the glass and takes in what his father is telling him with his eyes closed before responding the same way. This makes the scene play entirely different, and Crudup's own retort to Barry's quip keeps with the mournful vibe without skipping a beat. It's a sad scene and Snyder lets is remain that way, while Whedon made it silly in a misjudgment that allowed Barry's tendency to compensate for depression with humor to transform the tone of the scene into his solipsistic projection; a nervous retreat from dramatic material into safe hibernation of avoidance, instead of showing the defense mechanism objectively for what it is, with simultaneous sincerity to the grave material. The following scene with Wayne and Barry had plenty of humor (without the whole extended "brunch" bit- thank god, the punchline of needing friends was good enough) but the faint austere score permeating the background, and restraint (yes) of the slo-mo ninja star action, tightened the encounter and was simply-put, all around better filmmaking. It really is amazing how cutting a few seconds or paring back some of the superficial extravagance (yes again, Snyder does eliminate a lot of Whedon's own pompous additions with- dare I say- humility) can make such a huge difference.

The aspect ratio didn't bother me either, but funneled my appreciation toward the somber mise en scene in a paradoxical claustrophobic epic. I think the choice worked well at earning the prioritization of compassion to the characters on screen, without (more) distractions filling out the margins. I don't know, I'm not a Snyder fan outside of Dawn of the Dead and Sucker Punch, but this absurd bombastic tone poem was cool to see in context. I can't really recommend it any other way, though I'm admittedly not a fan of modern action or superhero movies (and perhaps this is why I enjoyed the setup of the first three hours drastically more than the last hour). Although the Marvel movies are unquestionably more interesting and involving than this DC franchise (not that I like either, but come on), the Snyder cut commits its focus to the emotions of individual human beings and eliminates a lot of big action setpieces, while still retaining a loud force of stylization, and it may be the best superhero film since the Nolan Batmans. There's one thing I can say for it: the action scenes never felt aggravatingly disengaging like most Marvel movies- not that I cared for them much, but they were so clearly secondary that I felt connected to where Snyder's heart was, at the very least.

Cde.
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:56 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: DC Comics on Film

#452 Post by Cde. » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:29 am

I'll say that I loved the action scenes, particularly anything involving The Flash, but I too appreciated that Snyder saw them as just one part of the spectacle and not the justification for the whole endeavour. As a hater of Snyder and superhero films generally I was stunned by this very sincere and beautiful film.

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cantinflas
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:48 am
Location: sydney

Re: DC Comics on Film

#453 Post by cantinflas » Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:31 am


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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: DC Comics on Film

#454 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:20 am

Haha now TWBB has to watch it again to truly be a completist

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: DC Comics on Film

#455 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:29 am

If it ain't listed separately on LB, I'm letting myself off the hook (please nobody add this to LB)

hanshotfirst1138
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:06 pm

Re: DC Comics on Film

#456 Post by hanshotfirst1138 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:49 pm

Peter Jackson couldn’t make a film as excessive as the Snyder Cut in 1970s Italy.


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cantinflas
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Re: DC Comics on Film

#457 Post by cantinflas » Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:54 pm


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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: DC Comics on Film

#458 Post by reaky » Sun Oct 17, 2021 6:39 am

So excited they’ve finally made a Dark take on Batman.

RIP Film
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: DC Comics on Film

#459 Post by RIP Film » Sun Oct 17, 2021 12:03 pm

I felt exhausted just watching that.

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