Hello, Spongey here.
It’s time once again to face the DCEU with their latest film. If you need a recap, for awhile I found their movies to be okay. They had some good and some bad, they were not nearly as bad as people made them out to be.
But boy was I glad when Wonder Woman proved they can devlier something really solid. Although even that has flaws that aren’t as bad as people make it out to be. The 3rd act was fine!
Now we have the big team up movie this was all leading up to. Let’s be honest: Many of us had little hope for this one. Because it’s going off what BvS set up, there’s no way they could course correct as much as they did with Wonder Woman.
I knew ahead of time we’d have to muddle through this before getting to their bright future, even if this was another “not that bad” one. But then director Zack Synder just gad to step down because of a tragedy in his family, meaning Joss Whedon had to step in during post production.
Everything was against this one but for once I decided to shut all that out because the landscape can be toxic with us digesting all this news about movies we haven’t seen yet. For once I wanted to ignore all the crap going and try and enjoy the film the best I can.
I won’t even mention the reviews so far (“which I would have known of earlier if RT didn’t cave in to the fanboys and made us for a dumb Facebook show to reveal the score). For the creative team, I already mentioned it.
Aside from that Argo writer was also a writer on BvS. So with that, let’s dive in. Will Dc give us the fun teamup we need?
This, is Justice League
After the events of Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne/Batman learns of a new threat so he gathers Diana Prince/Wonder Woman along with some new faces to take it on.
If you recall, my problem with the DCEU Movies before Wonder Woiman is that they were Average but in a very hit or miss way. They had some good, some bad but mostly stuff had mixed feelings on. Thus, Average overall.
Wonder Woman finally gave us a consistent DC movie and it was good! The good news is that Justice League is consistent….the bad news is it’s consistently….eh. Yep, I’m pulling the “It’s okay” card.
The thing is, the film itself is fine as it is. I was never mad or baffled at the script as it is but I wasn’t amazed at enough. At best I laughed or was mildly entertained. Before we move on, we gotta addressed the elephant in the room.
Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, had to do some reshoots but he had a mustache that he needed to keep for another movie he was also shooting at the time. Thus, they had to CGI out his mustache.
It’s….really noticeable. Doesn’t ruin the movie but the thing is, you can tell when the scene was shot before the reshoots because he has some obvious stubble but in other scenes he completely and total clean shaven.
Why did they not get rid of the stubble? If it wasn’t for that then I might not have been bothered by it, but alas. The CG in general isn’t nearly as bad as everyone in saying but a fair amount is clearly fake and doesn’t work that well. This reportedly cost 300 MILLION. (Only 2 other movies cost that much!)
Another big issue is regarding Superman Oh you know he’s here in some way but I won’t go into further spoiler-y detail. He himself is actually better here than he was in his previous movies.
Too bad they carry one certain problem from BvS which shows just how much they messed up a certain part of that movie. The only thing I can give away is that I wanted more Superman.
Also, the villain sucks so much I had to add this after I wrote the next few paragraphs cuz I forgot about him.
Outside of those, it’s hard to pin point exactly why it’s not flat out good. I can try though. The first 40 minutes feel like a long trailer for the movie we paid to see, not quite as much as the start of Suicide Squad though.
Some of it feels a bit workman like with how it sets up each character and gets us into the story. They clearly wanted to cheer up a tad compared to the other movies so they can make DC’s Avengers.
And in terms of structure, it was pretty much DC’s Avengers. I wouldn’t say they gold out as it still feels like the DCEU, just a bit less darker and more joke-y but it ends up being a bit standard to me.
It’s not without it’s good points that help make it palatable. The cast is still quite good, including the new players like Ezrea Miller. Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa didn’t stick out as much but they still did okay.
The best to me were Ezra and Gal Gadot. The former because I just enjoyed his enthusiasm and the latter because she already had 2 movies to be great so that carried over. I do like that there aren’t 50 other characters outside the main group to juggle. People like Gordon and Lois Lane show up as much as they need to, which makes it odd that Amy Adams got higher billing than some of the group members.
I wasn’t too emotionally attached to some of these members since their development is mostly shown at the start but for some like Cyborg, it gets the job done. I mostly liked the humor as the cast made it work even if some of it was forced.
“What’s your superpower?”
Haw haw. My audience clearly liked the humor even more than I did, minus the guy next to me who was having none of this movie. Amazing. The action is decent enough especially near the end when we see them work together a bit more.
I can see some enjoying this one since it has it’s fun parts and I see some being let down by it. I don’t see the full hate as usual but I’m used to it. It’s just that overall the mostly was just fine.
It did it’s job to be certain but that’s more or less it. It doesn’t need to be amazingly ambitious for the big Justice League movie I was hoping for something hugely epic, not something that’s mildly enjoyable at points.
I figured it wouldn’t be the former going on, after all the shit that went on with it. But given certain reviews I was expect slightly more in terms of the fun parts, you know? It’s certainly clear what parts were Zack and which were Joss.
(Oddly, Joss is not credited as director but he is credited as Co-writer).
I can’t say exactly why I’m on the average side, it’s just that the film mostly coasted and played it safe compared to even other DCEU movies. I feel like it’s trying a bit too hard to please the detractors, while Wonder Woman was able to lighten up but still be a high Good.
Did the length hurt it? Well, it’s 2 hours…including credits. It’s only about an hour and 49/50 without them. It’s not like making it longer would fix certain problems but trust me, Marvel always does well with 2 plus hour runtimes, there’s no reason you couldn’t.
Oh and there’s a Mid and Post Credits scene because Marvel. Mid Credits Scene was amusing and the post credits scene is typical set up stuff. Neat but not something that gets me too hyped.
Overall, Justice League is fine. It brings more fun to the DCEU with a solid cast and fun moments but it plays a bit too safe and doesn’t make the impact it needed to. It does nothing too bad but it’s sad that I just saw it and a solid amount of it is already just blending together to me.
If you’re interested, go ahead. If you mostly like these movies, you will enjoy it as well as people not asking for me too much. But if you want a bit more or are just fed up at this point, see it at your own risk.
I will say this shouldn’t hurt anyone’s faith in the DCEU since they said they’d do more stand alones and only did this as it is cuz it was too late to change too much by the time Wonder Woman came out.
I hope they have a good future. This isn’t a bad foundation, but please do more films like Wonder Woman that was smartly written and fun instead or just one or the other.
I’m not as down on it as some but I can’t say it’s anything more than fine. It’s sadly back to the Average-ness that I’ve come to know the DCEU film. Hopefully Aquaman is good.
Too Average films in one week, yikes. Sorry I couldn’t say more but I do want to make these shorter and the effect it had on me stands out more than certain parts.
Next week, Pixar brings us a Non-Sequel that is nothing like any movie people are unfairly comparing it to.
Hello, Spongey here.
We’ve got another double feature of reviews this weekend with two companies having trouble to say the least. Thanks to another Matinee Pre Screening, we’ll start at Sony as we look at a…Religious movie.
Oh boy, I’m playing with fire today. Anyway, after The Emoji Movie, Sony is on shakey ground for a lot of people because of one movie which of course ruins all credibly they had. Yes, people really think this.
Because Dreamworks pretty much died after Shark Tale, right? They never made anything good again after that disaster!
But whatever, they have a new film out and it’s an interesting one. This one is all about the story of the Nativity which is an interesting topic to go into for a mainstream family film.
Religious media re usually reserved for younger kids like Veggie tales or adults like Miracles From Heaven. I figured this would be a more serious film from them but the marketing suggests it’ll be more comedic which is fine I guess, being a family film.
I will admit the trailers didn’t really do anything for me as it made the film kinda annoying but trailers are always crap, even when they aren’t so I won’t let that keep me from being interested in seeing where they go with this.
This is clearly a smaller film for them, being aimed at a niche audience. Although it is odd the trailer said this is from the studio that bought you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Miracles from Heaven.
Cuz those films clearly have the exact same audiences.
Anyone, this was made on a small budget of only 20 million which is crazy for a Star Studded film like this one. But that’s why I’m liking Sony a bit more than others this year since they aren’t say, spending over 100 million on a movie about aliens in trucks.
The director has done nothing of note and the writer has credits on Rio 2 and Open Season 4. Eh.
So, will Sony give us a good perspective of the first Christmas or this star not gonna be shining at all?
This, is The Star
You know the Nativity story. It’s that but we focus on the animals ala The Wild Life as a Donkey named Bo goes with Mary and Joseph and has own little journey on their way to birthing Jesus.
I’ll just get this out of the way: This movie was the epitome of So Okay It’s Average. Nothing about it was anything that special but nothing in it was that bad. The best parts aren’t great, the worst parts aren’t terrible.
It’s all so…eh. It’s a lot better than the trailers made it look, but it’s not as good as it could have been. We’ll start with the more explicit negatives. For one, this movie is full of stunt casting.
Half of the big names that fill the credits are just there to be there. They don’t add much and barely even do anything. So if you were hyped to see Tyler Perry the camel, you will be very disappointed.
While the humor mostly isn’t the worst, there are some bad pandeirng jokes like the one but with that bird’s butt you see in the trailer. That’s Dave, the worst character because he gets the worst jokes.
The camels get some bad ones too, mostly doing that thing where a movie set in the past has them subtly reference future events that’s funny because those things totally do happen and they don’t know it yet!
The characters are mostly one note and just get blander as it goes on. No one is hatable but not too many stick out. Plus, Joesph’s hate of Bo can be a bit forced at points. The story hits all the beats you would expect, all to be fair it’s not really supposed to be unpredictable.
But it should engage and it didn’t quite do that for me as it was just dull to me. We have a lead who wants more and of course there’s the end of act 2 split up. It’s not done horrible but it is done in a very typical way.
As for the positives, some of the actors add some charm like Gina Rodriguez as Mary To be honest, I found the parts focused on Mary and Joseph more engaging even though that does not take up too much of the film. They were charming and had nice moments.
Even if Zachary Levi just sounds like Flynn Rider to me in this one.
The animation, while clearly not great, is decently done. It’s a more realistic style which fits even if it doesn’t quite stand out as amazing. And at the end of the day, you can tell they have respect for this story and want to give families a new version of it.
Even with the dumb jokes. Heck, there’s text in the credits more or less saying “We had fun here but we respect this great story” which was on the nose but whatever. There is some heart which does put it above other rushed and generic animated features.
But sadly, it’s not enough to make for a good movie. It’s all just very….okay. There’s enough good to make it work for kids but too many flaws for adults to enjoy it. Is strictly kids and Christians with not too much appeal outside of that.
I’m somewhat fine with that as it’s not quite insulting but I do think they could have done so much more with it, instead of doing the bare minimum. I don’t feel like going into more detail because there just isn’t much to really say.
It’s more competent than some other Average movies but also blander so it’s hard to fully judge. Still, it is very average. It’s got heart to it but it doesn’t do anything special with the story or characters to make me invested. My mind wandered a lot in this one because it just didn’t quite grip me.
It’s easy to see what my recombination is: Wait til you can rent it. The only people that should see this are religious families but even then there’s no reason they can’t just watch this at home instead of paying theater price for it.
This review sounds more negative than it is, but that’s only because I expected more given the talent involved and what it could have bee, you know? I like that Sony calmed down for this one but as a result it lacks ambition.
It’s textbook fine. Kids will like it fine, but the rest will find it passable at best. I know it was made for a niche audience but I still expected a bit more. I imagine it won’t do well since for the 3rd time this year, my screening was empty. Ouch.
So yeah, it’s fine I suppose and I can see some liking it, hence it’s positive RT score but it’s all too average for anyone to go out of their way to see. Eh
Shortest review in awhile but you can imagine why. I was expecting a disaster or a surprise but instead I got…average-ness. Ah well.
Come back later (as it will be Friday when this goes up) as we finally see what DC has been building towards.