Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #9: Justice League


My friend Pete Spiliakos and I bring you a discussion of one of the few truly interesting recent cinematic events, Justice League. This was an example of the conflict between artists and businessmen. Zack Snyder, one of the lonely few examplars of first-rate Hollywood talent, had his work destroyed by a studio Warner Bros / DC hellbent on suicide. Warner had the greatest team in Hollywood working on their superhero movies–Christopher Nolan (as writer and director, also with his brother Jonathan in the writing role) and Zack Snyder. The only men who have any grasp on the epic and the tragic as genres and insights. They also made billions of dollars for the studio. So naturally, the studio destroyed their work. Listen and marvel with us at the good, the bad, and the very bad, and the worse.


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  1. Judge Mental Member

    To me, the new Batman feels more like a sequel to the Tim Burton (begun) series. Christian Bale retired at the end of the last movie, and they made reference to exploding wind-up penguins. That’s straight out of Batman Forever.

    • #1
    • May 6, 2018, at 11:38 AM PDT
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  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    You mean the Batman from JL?

    He’s certainly a character without a story these days…

    • #2
    • May 7, 2018, at 1:06 AM PDT
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  3. Judge Mental Member

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    You mean the Batman from JL?

    He’s certainly a character without a story these days…

    Yeah, I mean the Ben Affleck version. He seems to more comfortably tie back to the Michael Keaton version, while the Christian Bale Batman seems isolated in time.

    • #3
    • May 7, 2018, at 5:41 AM PDT
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  4. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Well, yeah–he was a tragic hero introduced in America.

    Now, we’re back to what Batman was before on a big screen–one big misunderstanding.

    The Zack Snyder-David S. Goyer Batman was supposed to offer an alternative to the Nolan-Goyer version (where Batman finds a way from personal heroism to rule of law, so he gets out of the justice business before it kills him). That alternative–he doesn’t get out of trouble by rule of law–is the all-American belief in God. The Snyder Superman for the first time says what the character is: Christ, but with a taste for the sweet science. The rationalist Batman inevitably looks crazy in this situation, but he is still all-American.

    It’s just that the studio completely crippled this other project that was supposed to show American politics & society in our times through myths. From tech oligarchy (Lex Luthor) to unwinnable wars (there’s some Middle East stuff in B v. S) to the Singularity (Cyborg) to broken families & downward mobility (the Flash) to whatever else, demigod heroes were supposed to show what these problems are like in a way that audiences, especially the younger, could understand.

    So you’re back to one big misunderstanding with Joss Whedon laugh lines like Bats saying: What’s my superpower? Money!

    • #4
    • May 7, 2018, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Also, Aquaman is great: You see working class manliness, Hemingway whisky stuff, & a certain love of nature that makes men protectors.

    I have no good idea what the hell Wonderwoman’s about, though. It seems to be Christianizing feminism. That’s the great part of the symbolism of Wonderwoman: It’s not that being is striving, the Greek way–instead, Ares is the Christian devil–the evil in every heart, including the pure-hearted.

    • #5
    • May 7, 2018, at 6:05 AM PDT
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