A recent trend I’ve noticed is that everything concerning the DC Extended Universe gets analyzed and dissected more than most big budget movies. Ever since Joss Whedon took over directing duties for Zack Snyder on Justice League, the microscope has been further analyzed on the film. Recent reports came out that the film was deemed “unwatchable” by Warner Bros. execs. Now if this is true or not, who is to say. But I know personally I am not worried about the reshoots or additional photography, whatever you want to call it, as it is clear that the studio is trying to make the best film possible.
I don’t know why reshoots came to be such a taboo thing. If you see a problem with a film and you have the ability to fix it, why not do it? The fact that everything must be perfect from the start is an insane concept in itself as well. So if there are problems with Justice League and I do think that there are, then take the time to fix them. If the film came out “unwatchable” and was released as that, people would jump on the film even harder than if they didn’t. So it’s kind of a lose lose situation.
Sure these reshoots are a bit more than typical but sometimes that happens. Does not necessarily mean that the film will be a wreck. Apocalypse Now and the recent Rogue One are examples of films that underwent massive reshoots and the films turned out fine. Of course it can turn out the other way but that can happen on films that did not undergo reshoots. So it’s all just a process.
You don’t necessarily turn in a class paper with your first draft. Some people feel content with that and it turns out fine. Others work on it until the very end and it also turns out fine. The opposite effects happen for both situations as well. Making a film is similar to this. I hope that the film is a success as I love the DC superheroes and want them to prosper on film.
So here’s a sort of new poster for the Justice League film
From San Diego Comic Con 2017.
From San Diego Comic Con 2017. One conspicuously missing member whom we all know is in the movie.
How do you tick off The Joker? Well make a casino in his image. When a business tycoon does that just because the construction of the casino bankrupted him, he gets what he wanted and then some. This episode is mostly told from The Joker’s point of view as he learns about the new casino while in the recreation room in Arkham Asylum. Watching the debut of the casino on television, one which Bruce Wayne is conveniently featured and subsequently irritated after the debut, and becoming incised when someone is clearly using his likeness for profit. So escaping from Arkham and heading straight to the casino to kill the owner and destroy the casino.
The Joker immediately heads to the casino and is able to blend right in considering all the dealers are dressed like him. This leads into an interesting dual between Bruce Wayne (who of course is able to recognize The Joker and his distinguished laugh) and The Joker in a game of poker. The Joker was immediately cheating in the group before but Bruce knows what he is up to and able to best. The dialogue between them is interesting because The Joker claims to recognize him and is hinted that he knows Bruce and Batman are one in the same before conceding that he’s just Bruce Wayne. Bruce is not so subtly insulting The Joker and throwing him off his game. You can widely perceive that this is the first meeting between Bruce Wayne and The Joker.
Of course it does not take long for Bruce to suit up as Batman and discover that the whole casino is a insurance fraud. The casino construction bankrupted the owner and he was counting on The Joker to destroy it to collect the insurance. So it becomes a game of Batman trying to stop The Joker while also trying to stop the casino owner from executing his plan. In fact, Batman even informs The Joker what the owner is up to and while The Joker is upset, he just changes his plan to not blowing up the casino and just kill the owner.
There is nothing really special about the episode. But it is the perfect mix of humor with the serious once again. The humor comes from everyone’s various interactions with the casino. Bruce clearly on edge as his greatest enemy is all in his face at every turn. Also keenly aware that The Joker will strike. Though he doesn’t actually kill anyone in the episode, you always have a hint of unease about The Joker. We see just how smart and resourceful he is when he puts his mind to something. Immediately after seeing the casino, he breaks out and that hints that he could do it at any moment but chooses to stay at Arkham for whatever reason.
We also go to see more of Batman not just punching his way out of a situation. Here we get to see Batman being the detective. Wanting to know the exact reason why the owner made the casino in The Joker’s image. It’s another episode that shows that not all villains come with fancy costumes in gimmicks. Something that ran throughout Batman: The Animated Series was the white collar criminals that Batman has to contend with as well. While the super villains may cause wanton destruction, it is these criminals that keep the city down.
It’s also just a fun one off episode. Sometimes that’s needed.
It is titled, The Enemy Within and features my favorite Batman villain (after The Joker)
If you ask me who my favorite Batman villain is outside of The Joker, it would definitely have to be The Riddler. When I was a kid and they sold VHS tapes (remember those?) of episodes of series, my parents bought me one from Batman: The Animated Series and it was his first and last appearance in the series. His first appearance encapsulates everything great and terrifying about The Riddler. From the beginning, we see Edward Nygma (get it?) finishing a crossword puzzle with relative ease. But after being locked out of his episode and fired by his boss, Daniel Mockridge, for suing the company for royalties on a game he developed, Nygma is furious.
Cut to the present day, Mockridge is brokering a deal with Bruce Wayne when a threat appears on a news ticker outside. Hinting that Nygma has been threatening him for some time now. We later see Bruce suiting up as Batman and skulking around trying to figure out the riddle while Dick Grayson aka Robin is conveniently playing the game that Nygma developed. The two manage to discover where Nygma has his threat laid out where they come face to face with The Riddler…whom Batman immediately knows is Edward Nygma due to reading the company’s history.
Within the episode, we really see the value in Batman and Robin. As smart as Batman is, he needs someone to bounce ideas off and there are just things he doesn’t know. Due to Dick being a young adult, he is familiar with the live action version of the video game that he was playing earlier, which Nygma has managed to weaponize. A musical puzzle later is also something that Batman knows nothing about and it is up to Robin to help solve it. Also being familiar with the maze due to video game, he is the key to Batman figuring out loopholes to stop The Riddler’s plan.
The Riddler in the episode shows why he is one of Batman’s greatest villains. Pushing his mental limits as he does not just keep to one type of brain teasers but instead mixes it up and almost everything has a secret meaning. Something that goes unsaid but every episode that features The Riddler also has Robin in it to help Batman. From the beginning, we see how smug and narcissistic Nygma is. Almost all his dialogue with other people has him mentioning how great his intellect is while belittling those he is talking to. But as Mockridge even asks, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” Nygma claims he is so smart yet he couldn’t comprehend that he signed a work for hire contract and while his lawsuit may be justified somewhat, it still seems like something he should have known before. Mockridge also firing him for suing the company also seems highly illegal yet Nygma does nothing about that and jumps straight to murder.
The ending of the episode is also great as The Riddler manages to get away. While he is a wanted man, he did achieve a variation of his goal. While he did not kill Mockridge, Mockridge is a shell of his former self. Having to sleep with a shotgun in his bed just because of his fear of The Riddler. Even though Batman managed to save him, Batman himself does not seem to give the man much sympathy either. It really makes you think about how you treat people whether you are in the right or wrong or in the middle.
What happens when Batman squares off against an efficiency expert? One of the best episodes from the beloved series. Starting with a flashback to seven years prior where we meet Temple Fugit (get it?) as he sternly waits for a train that is always a few seconds late according to him. Sitting across from a not yet Mayor Hill whom Fugit knows despite their only interactions being their joint commute. Seeing how wound up Fugit is, Hill suggests the man break schedule to appear more relaxed in front of a judge later in the day. Taking the Hill’s advice, everything seemingly goes wrong for Fugit and he ends up being late for the court appointment and thus he and his company ruined. Now years have passed and Fugit has spent all these years holding a grudge against Hill for “ruining” him. It is revealed that Hill, a lawyer, worked at the firm that Fugit’s company had the lawsuit with but Hill legitimately knew nothing about that.
Why does this rank among my favorite episodes of the series? Frankly because of just how perfectly they mix the goofy with the dangerous. The Clock King on paper is one of the goofiest villains you can probably perceive. Here making the villain an efficiency expert who knows everything down to the second. Analyzing hours of Batman fighting makes The Clock King one of the few villains that Batman never lays a solid punch on. He’s so good that he knows Batman is well equipped and the world’s greatest detective that all his traps are mostly to just delay Batman and all according to his plan.
Mayor Hill was always at best a peripheral character. This episode shows that he’s a decent man who probably got swallowed by the system when he became Mayor. He certainly deserves to have his efforts to improve the city tarnished or life threatened all because the genuine advice he gave did not go as planned.
This episode hints at something brought up in later episodes. Does Batman drive villainy to the city or would these people end up where we see them? This episode implies the latter. Temple Fugit was an already tightly wound (and it’s hinted that he was a highly functioning sociopath) man who took something highly personal and dedicated years and resources to enact revenge. It’s hinted that in the intervening years that he was still wealthy with him using $6000 watches and warehouses he legally owns in his plan.
Plus there is something funny about seeing Alfred drive Batman around. Not Bruce Wayne. Batman. (The episode takes place in a single day and Bruce Wayne was on the way to work)
First thing first, no Superman. We all know that the Man of Steel is in the movie and probably more than a cameo. They even brought Henry Cavill out at San Diego Comic Con 2016 to show that he was in the movie. We know Lex Luthor and Lois Lane both play important roles in the movie. We even see a brief shot of Lois Lane looking towards the sky. Maybe she’s looking at her returned love. Who’s to say? But I can commend Warner Bros. on playing coy about Superman.
But other than that, I think it was a good trailer. We see how Batman is the one to bring the team together. This was hinted at in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We still don’t know the extent of Wonder Woman’s role in forming the team. She really does not play that much of an element in the trailer. Instead it mainly focuses on the three new heroes who were introduced in cameos in BvS.
The Flash was always going to have the hardest time. The superhero already has a hit television show on The CW. We even see that they have the same origins with the father being in prison after being falsely accused of murder of Barry’s mother. The way that The Flash’s powers work in this universe make him much more faster than any other live action incarnation. Plus Ezra Miller is the total opposite of what Barry Allen traditionally looks like and younger as well. He does look much like Robin than Allen but he looks to be Batman’s sidekick in the movie.
Cyborg is the one who gets the least amount of screentime in the trailer. I figure this may be due to the heavy special effects nature of his character and these shots might not be done. But we do get a sense of his abilities and what he is capable of. In BvS it looked like a Mother Box (powerful tools used by the New Gods…it’s complicated) helped form him into what he is now. We know that the forces of Apokolips play an important part in this movie as the main antagonist but it makes you wonder what Cyborg will function as.
Aquaman looks to be the life of the party. The one who gets off on the thrill of battle. Nothing cooler than seeing Aquaman ride on top of the Batmobile while Batman can only smirk. There is a quick shot of Mera in the trailer as well. It is known that a Mother Box resides with the Atlanteans but we do not know Aquaman’s status with Atlantis. It will be interesting to see his dynamic with Batman as he seems to grate on Batman at best.
We also see a lighter side of Batman in this. I was not a fan of the way Batman was in BvS. Talking about how “you’re not a man” and “men are brave” and all that. It was all a little too xenophobic for me. But this movie seems to have taken a step back. While Batman will probably not be cracking jokes, he does have a dry wit about him. This is apparent in most of his interactions shown in the trailer with Aquaman, The Flash and Commissioner Gordon. By the way, J.K. Simmons looks great as Gordon.
There is not much to the trailer other than mostly battle scenes which are good and bad. Hopefully WB does not do what they did with BvS and ruin all the set pieces before the movie even premieres. Justice League looks to be fluffy fun which is something that the DCEU can use at the moment. Remember The Avengers in 2012, there was not much in terms of plot when it came to that moment. This movie looks to be following suit as well as assemble the team (and possibly resurrect Superman) and kick ass. I honestly hope this movie does not suck.
Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Batman, Aquaman and The Flash stand tall in front of the team logo.
Of course there’s one member we all know that’s in the movie missing.