Josephine (Docma)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Random notes (mostly because it was a long time since I did one of these and I don’t have a thread for what to take this film)
-Nick Cave's Distant Sky is a song that doesn’t fail to make me cry. It’s so indebted to the context in which it was made: a grieving father trying to make an album after the death of his son and how that song translates to the promises that our idols and our loved ones made to us or we made to them before life itself takes them away from us and the only thing we have is memories that we hold dearly until death get to us as well.
So of course I’m the bitch who fucking cried when Snyder uses that song when Lois goes to see the broken monument of Clark only to transition into the national grief of this idol. And how well that connects to the entire conception of this movie.
-I praise the fact that this is technically within the few personal Hollywood films, despite his overall belonging to the entire superhero canon. You can say the fans make it happen, but no. This is a movie made for no one, but the man himself.
What it surprises me is how whimsical and unpretentious this film is and how that relates to Snyder as a filmmaker. You see his entire career: from his music videos, that weird Michael Jordan documentary, and what it proceeded from his involvement to the horror genre, the brightness of his animated films, and that before going full into the myth making of his comic book characters.
-The key word of the Snyderverse wasn’t realism. It never was. The key word is romantic. Snyder’s a very romantic director. And here he is just flexing with that romanticism. And it contrasts so good with Whedon's version.
Joss Whedon never left the tv format so it’s strange how his version fails so badly when the episodic structure of this movie might as well be the one of a big tv season and works so well within the interests of Snyder’s formalism.
Contrast Aquaman walking to the ocean in both versions. Whedon tries so hard to deliver an Epic Moment, but feels so force, it has no sense of space or rhythm, and never feels build up to that music choice in the first place. What does his relation to The White Stripes “Icky Thump” beyond saying that he likes to drink?
Instead, Snyder drowns the entire thing into a sense of cacophony. This is the another time he chooses to engage with his heritage and return to his people and we just get that weight from him exiting the bar to being touch by the ocean. The Nick Cave needle drop is so on the nose yet so in line of who he is at this point of the story and with the movement of the waves and Momoa’s walking we are technically drive by these coordination between subject and environment and it translates a normal day into the most beautiful glimpses of Snyder’s interest.
This also takes beautiful shape when it has Flash operating in its own displacement of time and space.
-I’m glad this movie is 4 hours long. The thing with Snyder is that he’s so faithful to the comic roots of his characters he needs time to operate in so many levels. For moments, we see the little textures of the bodies in movement given intensity to the action while simultaneously giving momentum in which we are allow to absorb the punches/emotions that these people are feeling. The more it drags the better it gets. In others is the fact that these actions are so sudden within their placement and progression that they also have the same effect.
No moment here’s a waste.
-I actually love the entire 4:3 format, because, not only complements this idea perfectly and gives a more classical feel to the entire endeavor, it goes so far to make this images more bigger than they actually are, where the people and the emotions in display are so enormous the entire frame can’t portray it all (specially the last time we see Flash run and that moment is given more sense of freedom, his catharsis from actually finding balance in his life, thanks to the frame himself being not capable to perceive everything in that moment, but the ones that makes it so important to him)
-The tone of the film oscillates between the somber and meditative at first, then just into the epic, exhilarating and until nothing is left but the Saturday morning cartoon vibe with a world so inexplicable yet so beautiful, so promising, constantly evolving into a universe of so many possibilities. The many plot points without resolutions surprisingly makes this universe more lived in than just another backdrop for our character story navigate.
But if I have to compared it to something (and there are already so many comparisons to bother with the most “elitist” one), I think I will probably do it with Robert Rodriguez children’s films. I know, not as “high art” as Kurosawa or Tarkovsky, or even Star Wars or Heaven’s Gate which I think is probably the closest comparison one will get, but i can only see this movie as just a love letter from a father to his daughter. It’s usual for superheroes to be driven by their paternal figures, and this might be the most paternal of them all. Even Steppenwolf is driven by a desire for to make his own parental figure appreciate him more. And yeah, it’s charming and there’s blood and that’s cool, but is also surprisingly melancholic.
Cyborg is the key. Really a shame that this version of the character was cut. It’s not only that he’s alienated by the world itself, is that he continues what Clark and Bruce had endured in their lives. The impotence of not being capable to help the people close to you, the tragedy of having your identity being mold by the circumstances of a failed parenthood and failed connection with your roots. But there’s a beauty at the end.
-Maybe the promises of this future will never be made (Snyder himself has said this to be his last superhero film), but it seems that in the end it doesn’t matter.
You can create your own canon, choose your own future, or at least help and build the one of many others. It’s a movie that tells that your pain is one that can be shared, that can be accepted and be heal with the union of people as broken as you. It tells you that maybe this stories won’t become true, they are still worthy to fight for.
It’s probably the only time I actually care about these films without becoming cynical in the process. And it’s the weirdest yet quite logical conclusion to this trilogy.
Cinema at its most free and restraint. Its most spectacular and intimate. Uncompromising and committed in delivering the most crowd pleasing experiences of them all. Flawed and beautifully delivered.
-Hope Zack the best. I know is easy to look at him as a genius or a hack, but is best to perceiving him as a person, an artist with a vision like many others, and as a father himself. The same for his family, the people who battle with depression constantly and the many who supported this project by donating to suicide prevention organizations. You all deserve the world. And she deserved it as well.