Special Edition Podcast

Special Edition Podcast – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Show Notes

Conor Kilpatrick, Josh Flanagan, Ron Richards, and special guest Mike Romo have gathered to talk about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and let’s just say that everyone has some strong opinions on the film and they all want to express them, and express them passionately. We haven’t had a show this fiery in a while. Grab some oven mitts and hold onto your butts!

Running Time: 00:48:33

Batman v Superman_DOJ_Poster

Music:
“Super Friends”
Hoyt Curtain

Download

http://traffic.libsyn.com/ifanboy/iFanbo...
(Right-click and choose "Save As..." and save locally)

Subscribe

Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 3 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!

Comments

  1. SPOILERS AHEAD IN ALL OF THE COMMENTS.

    As further evidence that Zach Snyder and team have no idea what to do with Superman, and, really, seemingly no regard for those characters:

    http://varietylatino.com/english/2016/cine/noticias/jimmy-olsen-secret-appearance-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-229288/

    In which it is revealed that the unnamed photographer/undercover CIA agent who is executed at the beginning of the film by the mercenaries in Africa was, in fact, Jimmy Olsen.

    “We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?” — Zach Snyder

    Anonymous summary execution that is never mentioned again. Fun. For fuck’s sake.

    • I haven’t listened yet, but I look forward to the iFanboy Movie Team discussing it.

      I was one of the crazy folks that liked MOS, and I enjoyed BvS as well, but I can see it’s not going to be for everyone. I just accepted before I went in that it’s a dark version of Batman that I don’t like (similar to to the Injustice book, and the Arkham games) and that Superman never seems to have any joy in his life.

      The most engrossing thing though is outside of the movie itself – it’s the perception of the film. The schadenfreude from folks laughing at the reactions and fans. The disparity between it’s critical response (I think it’s 44% on Meteoritic) and the audience response (B CinemaScore with 7/10 average on IMDB or Meteoritic). The assumption that critics are so mixed because it isn’t a audience friendly film like a Disney/Marvel movie. I respect WB for committing to the vision, but the audience I was in didn’t seem to respond much. It felt a bit overpowering and bombastic.

      For me, that’s what I expect from Snyder, and it’s what I got so I enjoyed myself. I like him as a filmmaker, and I think he has a real talent for creating a mood and capturing a moment, that despite so much of BvS following simplistic “Comic Book Logic” it didn’t bother me like it would for other movies.

    • @RonDev: “I respect WB for committing to the vision, but the audience I was in didn’t seem to respond much.”

      The audience that Mike and I saw it with didn’t react to anything. No clapping, no cheering, no laughing (not much was funny). It had the feeling of “that happened” and then everyone left the theater.

    • Are you happy that Alfred had two hands?

    • @DetectiveCrusader: I will trade a mustache for a hand.

    • <>

      The same at my afternoon show. It wasn’t like the Star Wars show last year (two very different movies, I understand, but both with the same goal – to win over a skeptical/hopeful crowd). Even Wonder Woman gained no response.

    • @RonDev: The reaction was so completely different than STAR WARS and every Marvel Studios movie. I might as well have been watching it at home.

    • I love that Snyder thinks that dismissively killing off Jimmy Olsen off is “fun”. And by “love” I mean “I’m going freak the fuck out if this guy ever touches these characters again”.

    • @spaceagepolymer: “I’m going freak the fuck out if this guy ever touches these characters again”.

      JUSTICE LEAGUE – PART ONE starts shooting in 16 days.

    • So … it’s not too late to stop it?

    • Now that is a hot pile of garbage!!

  2. I’m busting out the wine early today before I start listening. Something tells me I’m going to need it.

  3. Oh boy, here we go!

    The DC Movie Universe is more gonna hinge on Suicide Squad, Mainly because it’s the first movie not directed by Snyder. Giving him complete control over MOS, BVS, and JL was a bad move.

    The movie was a mess, but it scratched an itch. But Justice League absolutely NEEDS to be WAY better than MOS and BVS.

  4. I’ve been eagerly anticipating your review because, despite all the negative criticism, I didn’t feel I’d heard anyone properly articulate what made this film so bad (the “steaming pile of garbage” style of review is not helpful). I came out of that movie knowing I didn’t like it, so I appreciate your ability to help me clarify what it is I didn’t like.

  5. I had a similar reaction to it to what Conor thought: loved the Batman stuff but not so much the Superman stuff. Really Doonsday was the worst for me but otherwise I have to say I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

  6. Listening now after watching the movie this morning . Thanks for providing me with laughs after a two and half hour slog of joylessness.

    Oy veh!

  7. Alright so alternate Superman directors:

    Duncan Jones

    Joe Johnson

    Ava Duvernay

  8. Semi-related: Any way you guys could copy the show notes in the iTunes feed? It’s more of a bummer on the potw podcasts but it would be great to have the notes for the individual shows when you get them on the podcast app.

    I have only seen it once yet (full disclosure: I fell asleep for a bit) but I think the best description I have is an (over) ambitious disappointment. The studios want to rush it so it’s getting rushed whether it’s good or not. The writers and actors were up against a wall and they swung for the fences.

    I’m majorly with you guys on the tragedy of wasting Henry Cavill on this. It took me a while to accept Man of Steel as his modern origin but I do and am mostly okay with it (biggest and probably eternal gripe is Jonathan Kent). This however pretty much makes certain that we will never get the movie I hoped for after the MoS ending at the Planet. Lois romance, first Lex face off, first Batman interaction, actual reporting and trying to help humanity…pretty much never gonna happen.

    I also really liked DKR Affleck Batman. Old, bitter, brooding Batman was awesome, plus I loved the suit.

    Wonder Woman/Dianna was also great.

    With great versions of Batman and Wonder Woman and a perfectly casted Superman this should have been 100x better than what it was.

    Save the wontons!!

    • “Any way you guys could copy the show notes in the iTunes feed? It’s more of a bummer on the potw podcasts but it would be great to have the notes for the individual shows when you get them on the podcast app.”

      The show notes are always in the iTunes feed. If they’re not showing up on the app, that’s really sort of beyond our control at the moment–the app is really wonky; we don’t endorse using it.

    • @connor are you talking about Apple’s iPhone/iPad basic podcast app or another platform? I primarily listen on my iPad and it has had the old old iFanboy description on all the shows. It’s could be worse but I listen to a number of podcasts and this is the only one that has the show notes issue.

      Either way, I have enjoyed listening to the show for years and continue to look forward to the discussion each week. Thanks for keeping it gong!

  9. One other comment: The dual funeral scenes lacked any emotional punch because we *all know* that he’s going to come back. Soon. Like Jesus. And the very last second of the movie removed any doubt. Why even bother “killing” him?

    Such a horribly written and directed movie. (Loved Mike’s comments about the rain was from humanity weeping )

  10. Hey guys,
    Have not chimed in for a long time. My wife passed away just over a year ago. It was sudden and unexpected and I am still dealing with the pain. I did want to start by saying thank you to the Ifanboy group because listening to all of you discuss comic book movies, tv shows, etc has often cheered me up during an extremely difficult time.

    I enjoyed the discussion about Batman v Superman. I also went into it with low expectations due to the initial buzz. I have to say that I actually liked more than I disliked. It was not garbage or a hot mess. I found myself entertained and was not bored. However, I will concede that my love for these characters makes me cut them a ton of slack. More so then say the X-men. Ron, nothing is as bad as the mess that is X-Men: The Last Stand. This movie does not deserve a comparison to that atrocity.

    Agree the Batman stuff was very good. Wonder Woman great. Superman stuff not as much but it really didn’t bother me because Superman has not really interested me as a character for the last decade or so. I only read him in Justice League and not in his individual books. You are all right that going with the Doomsday (Death of Superman) story at this point is a bad idea as it is not earned. DC and Warner Bros clearly learned nothing from Green Lantern as that was a major problem with that movie. While it certainly was not great, this movie does have me looking forward to the Justice League movie (Part 1) coming out in 2017. You wanted a Batman/Wonder Woman team up movie and it sounds like that is what you will be getting with Part 1 as they search out and form the Justice League.

    One more thing. JJ Abrams is great. But he is not infallible. Don’t forget that in Star Trek Into Darkness he made the same mistake about doing an unearned storyline too soon with his redo of the final scene from Wrath of Khan.

    Thanks again for the work that all of you do and the great podcast.

    • I’m very sorry for your loss, and simply cannot imagine it.

      Thanks, and we’re all very glad to be whatever help we can be to you.

      The Star Trek sequel was horrible.

  11. Overall I enjoyed it, just as I did MoS. Enjoyable with reservations. Wasn’t too impressed with the Zuckerberg version of Lex and having to hand out an idiot ball to show him as a genius. Diana was enjoyable, though I expected her in it a bit more, and it felt like it ended on more optimistic note, even for Bruce. Lots of table setting though.

  12. There’s only one person I have in mind who could steer the ship around. He’s been a company man for decades, has the goodwill of comic book fans on lockdown and knows the source material inside out. That man is Bruce Timm. Far as i know he hasn’t done any live action but hey, if Brad Bird can do it so can he. But I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

  13. I had several things to do around the house today to get ready for our Easter Celebration. I kept checking the site anticipating this special edition contest. After listening it did not disappoint!!!! Have mercy, so great.

    I admit I haven’t seen it yet. But I waited for this moment since one of the live anniversary podcasts… during the broadcast they announced Ben Afflleck as Batman and no one could believe it. Since then he has gone on a tear of great films. And it turns out he is one of the better things of the film. Props to him!

    Did Mike Romo say devastatingly irritated? LOL

  14. Some thoughts after hearing this:

    1) So the film apparently ended the way I suspected (Good Friday launch, fighting Doomsday, yep, not too shocked).

    2) Wonder if you guys will revisit this in a month or so when Tony and Steve do this same dance, if you think Marvel does a better job executing it.

    3) The most shocking revelation of this whole podcast – Ron, you actually OWN a copy of X3?! I mean, did you use your actual precious dollars on this, did someone give it to you not knowing, was it a dare? Could not believe it when you said that.

  15. Enjoyed the show. God bless you all for taking one for the team. Most emotional Special Edition since the Phantom Menace 3D podcast. Prequels!

  16. I must be a mutant, because I really enjoyed this film, and while I see the imperfections, I think it captured that Frank Miller kinda feel. It could have used more Joy, more interactions between the supers and the normals, and I fail to see why DC and WB keep trying to make Doomsday a thing. He should have been a one and done character, but the rest of the film, including the weird Lex Luthor, were all great to me.

    I do hope Snyder listens about the joy, though, because too dark and too gritty if continued into JL can be a problem. We need to see what these heroes are fighting for, and part of that is the lighter side of life.

    • I think it’s really funny how everyone’s response to this movie is all over the place. I personally loved it. My theatre was filled to capacity and several times throughout the movie they erupted into cheering. I can’t wait until the Justice League movie.

  17. Fantastic show, guys! I do think there were some good things about it (mostly Batman and Wonder Woman) but the bad stuff was so bad that ultimately I’m kind of with Ron on this. Garbage! I wrote my own review at http://ilanpreskovsky.blogspot.co.za/2016/03/batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice.html if anyone’s interested in my own thoughts. Though, yeah, you guys covered it pretty thoroughly here…

  18. Thank you. I won’t waste my money.

  19. I came into the movie with low expectations but I found myself really enjoying the film.It had its problems from being too long and an awful Doomsday and Lex Luthor but I did like it.I think the bad reviews especially on Rotten Tomatoes are highly exaggerated.

  20. I’m looking forward more to listening to you guys than seeing the movie.

    At this point, I’m hoping the bar is so lowered that BvS can’t disappoint and will now exceed expectations.

  21. I’m kinda on the same page as Connor. I really liked the Batman and Wonder Woman stuff (loved the black & white picture of Diana in WW1). Ben Affleck does a pretty good job as Bruce Wayne and this movie also has the best appearance of Alfred to date).I found this variant of Lex Luthor a good match with the current timeframe of the movie (mad tech guy). The introduction of Aquaman, Cyborg and Flash was ok (although I think I prefer the TV version of the Flash, this one looked too much of a hipster for my taste), and we now know that Darkseid will be the main enemy in the JLA movie (saw the Omega sign and the para demons).

    Negative points for:
    – I think Zack Snyder hates Superman, why else would he manhandle him like this;
    – The dream sequences didn’t add anything to the movie, even worse: it killed it’s pace;
    – Doomsday CGI was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in any movie;
    – Jimmy Olson was the CIA agent and got killed. WTF? And the appearance of a random Russian with the same name as KGBeast feels like cramming in as many Batman references as possible.

    All in all, I still liked the movie (even a bit beter the second time I watched it) and certainly didn’t think it was a hot pile of crap :-). Could help but give at a positive review on Rotten Tomatoes :-).

  22. By the way: i loved the podcast, lots of emotion going around :-). Now it’s time to go listen to Pick of the Week.

  23. PymSlap PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    I liked J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane.” It reminded me of “Psycho.”

  24. My view on this movie definitely falls in line with Conor’s. There are elements that are good, but there are elements that are noticeably bad as well. The fact that they tried to fit a Man of Steel sequel, a new Batman movie, a prologue to Justice League, adapting elements of Dark Knight Returns, Death of Superman, and a weird nod to Crisis on Infinite Earths all in one film definitely feels to much. Plus, the fact that there will be a rated R version of this film on blu-ray this summer meaning there will be a rated R Superman film is just strange. I wonder how Darwyn Cooke feels about that?

    I never had any real doubts with Ben Affleck when it was announced he was cast as Batman, and he did an excellent job. I feel he really does make up for his turn as Daredevil, which I have to say I enjoyed as a teenager when it first came out until i finally read Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil. I finally saw all the problems with that movie. I believe he has grown a bit as an actor, and maybe that was because of the time he stepped away from acting and focused more on directing.

    Henry Cavill definitely deserves better material to work with because he can be a great Superman, and for some unknown reason he hasn’t had it with these past two movies. I think the writers’ should have gave him a great Superman speech during the senate hearing where he could have had him explain his faults and to reassure them that he does need to try to be a better hero that the world needs. Maybe Chris Terrio will give him a “Rebirth” type of change with his motives and characterization in the Justice League film when that comes out next year.

    I thought Jesse Eisenberg was ok as Lex Luthor, there’s definitely moments where it feels like the writers might have changed the characterization of the character in different drafts, and nobody noticed. One moment that stands out is when he’s given his speech at the dinner, and he starts kind of arguing with himself in front of the crowd which felt really weird. His motives aren’t all clear in the film and I think that’s probably due to the writing of the character. I believe that they just assume we know Lex is Superman’s primary villain, due to the history of character being in other films, tv, and the comics. Hopefully, his characterization can be grown and altered to the version we know from the comics in any future films he is in.

    Gal Gadot was great in those brief moments we had with Diana/Wonder Woman. I enjoy the fact that the Doomsday fight might be the first time in a long time, if we are to believe she hasn’t fought in a battle for awhile. I’m definitely looking forward to her movie next year.

    The editing feels definitely wonky, especially with the transition between Bruce’s dream sequences. I don’t believe that the apocalyptic Batman sequenced has anything to do with the Justice League film, I think it’s really just Bruce’s fear of what if Superman is evil,and would Superman create an army of followers, as well as bring other aliens to Earth (in this case aliens that look exactly like Parademons, and all the Darkseid/Apokolips imagery, so we’re just to assume it has to deal with the Justice League film). It’s weird that he wakes up from one dream, and into another when he’s being warned to by the Flash, which right away reminded me of the beginning of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Then he wakes up again.

    In regards to the Justice League cameos, it was strange that Diana views the videos of the other future Justice League members. I felt it should have been shown as Bruce going through and viewing them, and realizing that there are other metahumans out there in the world, if we are to believe that Superman is the first being with super powers the world is introduced to, realizing that the world is changing and that Superman isn’t the only person with powers.

    Hopefully, I didn’t bore anyone with this stuff as some of it has been spoken about on this site and other websites. It was just good to get all my thoughts out to people who have seen the movie and rather than not trying to spoil it to those who haven’t seen it.

  25. webhead921 webhead921 (@Grapes4Lunch) says:

    I hated this movie so much. Ron is 100 percent correct. Even as a big DC fan, I had no attachment to any of the characters. Everyone was either sad or angry all the time. I never really felt that any of the characters cared about one another, even though the movie told us so. I never got any sense of warmth or love between Affleck’s Batman and Irons’ Alfred. Just cold detachment and resentment. The Superman/Lois relationship did not feel earned in any way. I didn’t sense any emotion between Clark and Martha Kent either. I only saw sadness and anger. Batman’s anger with Superman, Superman’s anger towards Batman, Perry White’s annoyance towards Clark, Alfred’s annoyance/resentment towards Bruce, Lex’s anger towards Superman, Superman being sad and alone, Lois’ sadness at the end. Just anger and sadness over and over and over again. The anger and the sadness in this movie were meaningless, because there were no moments of joy or happiness to contrast with the anger/sadness. Even the Nolan movies, for as Dark as they were, showed other emotions. You really got the sense that Alfred and Bruce loved one another. Bruce’s interactions with Fox showed some levity. Ledger’s Joker had some humor. Bruce’s fake drunk birthday speech in Batman Begins gave me a chuckle.

    Even if you put Snyder’s treatment of the characters aside, this movie is just a poorly crafted film. There are rapid scene changes with no transitions or establishing shots. The camera is close for so much of the action, it makes the film disorienting. For example, in the Batmobile chase, the camera is either on Affleck’s face, or right by one of the cars. We don’t really get any shots from further away, so we don’t see the scope of the chase. It just looks disorienting. Compare this with any of the chase scenes in the Nolan movies. Nolan has some closer shots, but he also pulls the camera away so you can get a clear view of the chase, and see the scope of the action. Even Batman’s warehouse fight scene was shot close, and it did not look good at all.

  26. I’m disappointed in y’all. You were reviewing the movie you wanted instead of the movie on the screen. The things everyone was asking for were shoved into this movie. I’m not saying that this movie was perfect just good and entertaining; and most importantly it had a lot of what fans said they wanted. Let’s take this movie for a moment.

    The Batman was great. He was a flawed individual who had seen his life work amount to nothing, was disgruntled, doubting his own legacy and that leaves him open for the idea of being a part of the Justice League. Now this is something that was subtle in the movie, that wasn’t pounded on yet this movie was criticized for not having subtly.

    The Superman in this movie was a talk first, fight second Superman. Is that not what everyone was asking for? Let’s take The scene of the explosion that Superman did not stop. He made the mistake of not always being on guard, which he admitted to in the movie and felt guilty for. He wasn’t perfect. It’s not the Superman that you wanted. Let’s take this scene of the fight between Batman and Superman. The only reason Batman did as well as he did was because Superman was holding back trying to talk, trying to convince Batman to help, join forces. Is that not the Superman we want. Take for instance the last scene of sacrifice going into the battle even though he knows he’s going to die. Is that not the Superman that we want. I don’t understand the criticisms. And by the way if my girlfriend was in a foreign country I would be hanging out in the area just in case there was some kind of problem. He did not respond from half way around the world. I see this Superman as an allegory for modern police work – trying to do the right thing, making the mistake of being human, and being criticized both in the movie and out of the movie for falling short of perfect.

    Wonder Woman was great; all 7 minutes of her in a two and half hour movie. I’m looking forward to her movie. I wonder if the critics will be as hard. If they are it will not matter my daughter will love seeing the Wonder Woman on the big screen.

    In all lighten up. It’s a movie. These are the movie characters. They can not nor should they try to include all 75 years on history.

    • In regards to the fight between Supes and Bats (which I did enjoy watching) there really was little to no reason for Superman to act the way he did prior to the fight. Why didn’t Superman appear to at least try and look for his mom first? Superman didn’t even know if she was still alive when he left and should be smart enough to know to not negotiate with Lex on his terms. Photos don’t prove she is still alive. Why did Superman push Batman so quickly after hardly attempting to explain that Lex manipulated him? Pushing Batman that hard is not going to quickly get Batman to listen to him, it will engage him in battle. While it is pretty easy to just say Superman is still learning, I really would have expected him to learn how to do this better by now. He really didn’t seem that much better about using his powers than he was in Man of Steel. I will give him credit for trying to push Doomsday into space tho, that was good. I hope a potential Man of Steel 2 will more display Superman’s control over his power and a more warm hearted appreciation for humanity and Earth.

      Your spot on with the history comment. If this were a comic it would be a few issues and just one writers interpretation among the dozens that already exist. I did overall really enjoy watching this movie.

  27. Intriguing podcast, that I cant necessarily agree with though as usual Conor seemed the most rational of the group. Ron Im concerned about any mental health issues as you could not recall interviewing zack snyder and your overall attitude and demeanor was bizarre to say the least. Perhaps wantons are in order. In any event I enjoyed the film and I have had multiple opportunities to see it. It is a comic book film that deals with various plots and subplots and rather than go in any detail on that, I will say I am glad to see that the box office was reflective of people wanting to see the film regardless of rotten apples or tomatoes whatever you want to call it. if this is the darkness before the rise, it worked completely and with some thought one can actually understand every characters impetus , however it does require effort to pick up the subtleties. I would suggest others to also read Mark Hughes articles on Forbes which expand on several themes in very rational, intelligent ways vs the rather bizarre ad hominem type attacks that Ron made on this podcast and also some of the staff of the Blastr (one comment being rather racist) podcast. In this sense the ScreenRant podcast was much more balanced and rational. Thank you.

  28. I think this movie is a ten pound bag of shit. The few things in the movie that didn’t make me want to throw a shoe at the screen are so surface level, it hardly even feels worth it to mention.

    I have no plans to give WB another dime of my money for JL. At best I would have hoped JL to be a bit more fun, but I can only assume now that the first half of that movie will be all about Superman coming back to life. And when he does, I’m certain he will once again stand in a room full of fire motionless, while people burn all around him.

    For real…same director and writer working on JL. Waste of time. I would have more fun going to an actual funeral. Thats not even a joke…sure funerals suck, cause ya know, the death. But sitting around laughing and telling stories about people we love (though may have lost) seems far more charming than the death rattle we got from Z-bag.

    This movie can go scratch.

  29. Ron = magnificent!

  30. This piece of garbage of a film was so juvenile and puerile that I actually felt sick at several points in the film. The most sickening moment for me was the titular Batman v Superman battle where we got to see what every 12 year old without a clue thinks comics is all about: who would win in a fight between… None of it was earned and I feel really sorry for people who identify these two monoliths of joylessness with Batman and Superman. I came home after the screening and opened up All-Star Superman and breathed a sigh of relief: joy, colour, hope, it was all there. Yes I should have known better than to give my money to WB and Hack Snyder, but I did, and I regret it. Never again! Fuck this movie.

    Jeremy Irons is a snappy dresser and his wardrobe is the best thing about the film.

  31. I gave it about 6/10. After Man of steel I expected about 0 so I enjoyed certain moments and zoned out in others. A couple of things bugged me, like an overuse of CGI. I felt it’s inclusion in the batmobile scene brought that down a bit and Doomsday didn’t look so great when you compare it to how awesome King Shark looked on tv. Not to mention those crappy CGI energy waves in the fight. I remember feeling really uncomfortable at batman killing all those thugs and using guns.

    It was all over the place but I really enjoyed Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons. I’m a big Superman fan but I’ll freely admit that I went into this hoping Batman would kick the shit out this smug dick, and boy was I, well, kinda happy. There was one frame I really liked with Superman, right at the start where he’s flying in to save Lois. It felt like a panel from Siege with the Sentry flying into Asgard and wrecking up the joint.
    Mostly I’ve been having more fun listening to podcasts’ reactions and this episode was really great. (I have no idea what the “babe in the woods routine” meant but you guys laughing your asses off is always gold).

    Thanks for making this guys.

  32. “WonTon” had me laughing so hard that I woke my wife up. That was the only good thing that came out of this movie.

  33. For the record, I really liked BvS! Have seen it twice now. It suffered greatly from over-promotion, and this film is not at all what we were expecting or hoping for (i.e. easy-to-comprehend fun for kids and adults)… but once you divorce yourself of all that, what you are left with is a surprisingly interesting and realistic take on what superheroes mean to us, as well as what governments, the media, and our own identities (mortal and metahuman alike) mean to us, too.

    This film’s biggest enemy is not Lex, Doomsday, or Darkseid. Or hateful Marvel fans, or disaffected DC fans, or people wishing to trash the rising phenomenon of superhero films/TV. This film’s biggest enemy is its editing; specifically its super-fast pace, but also its deletion of the “Communion” scene (which really helps to show Lex’s motivations from mid-film onward) and its unnecessary inclusion of the scenes depicting the murders of Thomas & Martha Wayne and Little Bruce falling in the Batcave. The murders, especially – because every human on Earth already knows how that couple died, it takes up time in an already long film, and deleting it actually makes the latter “Martha is your mom’s name” scene much less ham-fisted. I’m telling you – if Snyder only let me delete the Wayne murders, then let me reshoot the “Martha is your mom’s name” scene with smoother dialogue? It would’ve been even cooler.

    But back to the editing pace. To me, it truly feels like Snyder et al were trying to stuff 3.5 hours of story into a 2.5 hour movie. Technically, they sort of managed it; but not nearly enough to let people in a theater setting easily follow all the beats of this complex story. For home viewing? This film’s story will play much better. You can pause it, and think about it. There is lots of dialogue there which does set stuff up – it just races by you too fast in a movie theater. I can see how easy it would be for a theater viewer’s frustration to spiral, that way. And if you don’t like the movie in a more general sense, then no change in pacing will change your mind. BUT if you want to give this film the benefit of your doubt, then careful viewing – a second viewing, if you are so inclined – really does help a lot. In that sense, it’s the opposite of something like “The Avengers,” which is written and filmed for the simpler consumption of audiences young and old, in the theater and at home. I’m not saying that in a negative sense; I’m just underscoring that when a movie is produced for all ages versus an older demo, it can have a different tone and pace. I really liked “The Avengers!” But I only needed to see it once, I got it the first time around. This is how I chalk up the editing of BvS: in an era when we have grown so comfortable with the decompressed story style of comic books, and comic book films/TV? The super *compressed* story of BvS justifiably leaves many theater viewers nonplussed, even whiplashed. But if you take time to unpack the compression – there’s a whole lot of great stuff there.

    People also criticize BvS for being a bad Superman story. But for me? – and he is my #1 favorite comic book hero – this film may have been the first time I could watch Superman fight Batman and have FUN with it! Some background on what you may see as my delirium…

    Since news of this film’s title first broke, I had been nervous for BvS to hit theaters. As a Superman fan, I have *hated* how storytellers always, always rig his fights wth Batman – showing Superman as little more than naive, dumb muscle, and Batman as the brainy David to a super-Goliath. This conceit has been enforced especially since the huge success and influence of Miller’s 1986 *The Dark Knight Returns.* Miller’s portrayal of Superman as little more than a tool – as Reagan’s boy scout, a government stooge, and the antagonist (if not through the whole story than definitely during its climactic fight) – and Batman as the reader’s root-for protagonist to take Superman down? That really killed the character of Superman for decades. As much as I respect Miller’s story for helping to reinvigorate a dying comic book industry? I have also resented TDKR specifically for hurting Superman, and heroes over antiheroes, as popular characters.

    So there I was in the theater on March 24… nervously waiting for Zack Snyder to give cinematic proof to the loud Bat-fanboys who incessantly trumpet how Batman would kick Superman’s ass. And how stunned I was… to see how Snyder had GUTTED Batman in this fight (if not the film) so promoted to be “inspired” by Miller’s famous graphic novel! In BvS, Batman is NOT your lone protagonist, he is not your root-for character against Superman (unless you just hate Superman so much you want him dead anyhow). The narrative of this film presents Superman as your co-protagonist. Unlike in TDKR, we are sitting in that theater knowing that Superman is a good-hearted hero who may be more fallible than we’ve seen him before, but he is a hero, and he is no one’s puppet. The movie, unlike the graphic novel, doesn’t want Batman to succeed over Superman – it wants Batman to join forces with Superman. The movie spends 2 hours showing you that Batman is wrong about him (again, as a decades-beaten Superman fan, I gotta love that). So during the fight itself, for the first time? I was able to see it more like seeing your two younger brothers fight. They had a misunderstanding. They were so filled with piss and vinegar that they had to go at each other. But like watching your little brothers fight? You know while watching that they’ll make up and love each other. So I thank BvS for giving me that relief. This movie simply stripped off the chassis of that final fight from TDKR, but then it dropped in a surprisingly pro-Superman engine. In the end? Batman saw that Superman was right 🙂

    Trust me, I know that by liking this film as much as I do, I am in the minority. It also helps that I see it as a mere Elseworld. (i.e., don’t worry about how things are portrayed here, its okay to like some parts over others.) I’ll fully concede that BvS doesn’t come close to 1978’s “Superman: The Movie” – or a lot of other great movies – but I’ll also go to my grave knowing this movie was not as bad as the screeching reviews have made it out to be. Hey, like what you like, hate what you hate. But I liked BvS. And hopefully this post shed some light on why.

    • Okay, for those few of you who DIDN’T hate “Batman v Superman” and aren’t nauseous thinking about it – can you read my take below, and tell me if you agree / disagree? It’s what I got from watching the movie twice, and the deleted scene thrice 🙂

      From Lex’s helipad speech in which he gloats to Superman that he’s been sending letters to Superman/Batman, manipulating both heroes – and from the homeless appearance (if not homeless status) of Legless Wheelchair Guy Wallace Keefe – we can assume the following:

      – Lex has known Superman’s and Batman’s secret identities for a long time now.
      – Homeless-looking Keefe obviously never got Bruce Wayne’s checks, because Lex arranged to have them intercepted and sent back to Bruce Wayne, in an attempt to goose Bruce into seeing yet more human tragedy which Superman has brought to Bruce’s world. Bruce never got these checks (when he sees them, his aide tells him something like “we didn’t want to show them to you”) though by that time, Bruce’s disgust with Superman had risen on its own. He has a hair-trigger – which Lex finally pulls by exploding the capitol building, via which Superman gets blamed in association.

      Here’s how I see Lex’s / Darkseid’s plans and modi operandi:

      As an egomaniac, Lex would naturally hate anyone whose power and reputation threatened his. Easily, he’d hate Superman; a bit less so Batman across the bay – but if Lex has been so obsessed as to track the rise of super-powered metahumans for the past 18-24 months, I can see him fearing/hating the powerful costumed vigilante Batman enough, too. So Lex planned to challenge S/B and planned to turn them against each other even before the current events of this movie (as his early interference with Wallace Keefe’s checks backs up).

      Once Lex steps into Zod’s Kryptonian ship, though, his plans get an intergalactic boost. We see him gaining access to “the hundred thousand known worlds” – and in the deleted scene, we then see him in the thrall of / bowing down before (what we assume is) a Motherbox-wielding Steppenwolf of Apokolips. That, plus Lex’s unleashing of Doomsday, a creature sure to destroy Metropolis, if not much of the world – plus Lex’s dialogue re: “ringing the bell / signaling to his friends out in space” – plus the interplay of footage of the upside-down painting, now revealing that his “demon coming from above” dialogue hints not at Superman, but a devil from space… it all underscores that Darkseid has influenced Lex’s actions.

      Thus, here is how I see the film’s last reel, through Lex’s eyes:
      – That asshole Batman stole my kryptonite but that’s great, I can let him kill Superman with it, it’ll be easier to kill Batman later on anyway. (Or did I always intend for Batman to steal my kryptonite? As long as Superman winds up dead, either works.) /
      – I’ll kidnap Martha Kent to force Superman into the fight with Batman, by this point the two hate each other’s guts anyway and there is no way they won’t fight to the death, and in the slim chance that Superman wins, I’ll keep his mom alive so that he won’t kill me. /
      – Meanwhile, I’ll unleash this Doomsday creature for my soon-to-arrive lord, Darkseid. The creature (which actually looks really cool, contrary to what some say) will devastate Earth and weaken it for Lord Darkseid’s arrival and easy domination. Yes, it sucks that Earth is my home too… but as we all learned from that *truly* awful Superman film, “Superman II,” I am Lex Luthor and I am totally comfortable selling out humanity if it promises me a cushy spot at the right hand of the guy in charge, especially if I am in his thrall and can’t think perfectly straight anyway, like David Edelstein of Vulture.com, whose savaging review of BvS was even worse than Ron’s. /
      – Shit. It didn’t work. They threw me in prison and shaved my head. Batman just scared the living fuck out of me, but look… he hit the wall with his Bat branding iron, he didn’t brand ME with it… that is yet more evidence of his “character growth” for the loudest voices of Big Internet who must prove to the world that they are correct in their hasty rush to chastise a film they haven’t really thought about enough, yes the poor editing and a super-compressed story which is actually really cool didn’t help them much, but still!

  34. Hey so I just saw it so now I can comment. The film was fine. At this point, when you’ve seen several iterations of superman and batman in comic, movie, and animated form, you have to realize that you are bound to see many renditions that miss the target of the source material and take liberties that work against and sometimes in its favor. It’s unfortunate that money and status seemed to have motivated this film’s development causing it to miss great opportunities to develop its world and characters. I liked the Batman parts and felt Superman was an ear mark at best. I didn’t think the guy in Wayne’s dream was the Flash; I thought it was Orion. But, at the end of the day, it’s a movie not made by you meant to make money and they don’t care about the source material like most studios.

  35. Just listened to this, and the Abrams comment stuck out to me. First time commenter here, so you have my apologies if this has been pointed out before, but JJ Abrams DID write a Superman script in the early 2000s. It was codenamed “Flyby” and it made changes to the Superman origin that would have been seismic.

    In his version, Krypton doesn’t blow up, Jor-El and Lara are the king and queen of Krypton and are still alive, they send Superman to earth in order to fulfill “the prophecy” because he is the “chosen one”, Superman’s supersuit has a life of its own (and shoots out of a metal football) and he can’t fly without it, Kryptonians fight with Matrix-like mid-air kung-fu, the main villain is Superman’s cousin Ty-Zor, Superman drowns while saving Lois from a water tank at Cape Canaveral–only to be resurrected when Jor-El commits harakiri with a kryptonite katana–and Lex Luthor is a paranoid alien-hunting CIA agent who in the end turns out to be a Kryptonian.

    McG was going to direct the film in Australia, with Sydney as Metropolis, but WB cut him loose when he wanted to travel to Australia by boat because he was afraid of flying. Then WB hired Brett Ratner, but they couldn’t agree on the casting of Superman. The Abrams version eventually gave way to Superman Returns.

  36. Just watched the move yesterday, feel vindicated that I wasn’t the only one that had major problems with how the movie played out. I liked the beginning, almost fell asleep in the middle, got bored with the might scenes in the last act and was about done with the whole thing at the end. I’m not a DC reader, but do have some knowledge gleamed from your podcasts as you discuss the DC books and their backstory. I agree with Ron about how the story cherry picked the major story plot points from major DC works and it was all jumbled together in no real meaningful way. I like the actors (though I became bored with how Lex become portrayed as a non-funny joker by the end) and it wasn’t like the studio spared any expenses with the rest of the movie making process. In the end, this just felt like a soulless retelling of old stories designed to entice the viewer into getting ready for the larger DCU movie franchises coming soon.

Leave a Comment