Fire & Water #204 – Justice League

Rob & Shag share their thoughts on the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie! They're goin' deeeep!

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18 responses to “Fire & Water #204 – Justice League

  1. Would not be surprised if you see more of the Marvel template of multiple heroes under a single character’s banner – like Civil War or Ragnarsuck.

  2. I haven’t listened to your episode yet but I did enjoy the film quite a bit more than the 1st 2 Avengers and the most recent Star Wars.

    I saw it again last night for the second time and the audience applauded at the end. The crowd’s biggest reactions were to Flash and Aquaman.

    1. Forgot to add this to my initial post:

      Now that you covered Aquaman onscreen, I hope you fellas discuss Firestorm and CW’s Crisis on Earth X in the near future. Also, I’d love to hear you comments on the first image of Robin/Dick Grayson from the upcoming Titans TV series.

  3. Another great episode guys. I’m glad that Rob was happy with Mamoa’s Aquaman… Me personally, while I’m not a HUGE Aquaman fan, I do like the character. And this was close but wasn’t really Aquaman. Much like Darling Tracy, the whole downing the booze and smashing the bottle in to the ocean, wasn’t Aquaman. My wife calls him FratAquaman. But seeing how we have had a definite lack of Aquaman in live action, I can understand Rob’s like of this version. But I wonder in 5-10 years, if we get a “real” Aquaman, and we look back at Momoa’s Aquaman, will people be as forgiving of him….

    Regarding the Injutice League/Hall of Doom sub-ending, I would love to see the Hall of Doom as you guys talked about… but I doubt we’ll get it. The Superfriends (IMO) is part of why we got FratAquaman, to try and get away from the “goofy” version the Superfriends gave us, so I really doubt that they”ll want to re-visit it in anyway…. but much like Shag, I would love to see a Justice League 2 (maybe call it Justice League of America (though in our PC climate, I’d doubt they’d ever pigeon toe it to just America)) and have them fight the Injustice League. I know they’ve been setting up Darkseid, but never having been a fan of the 4th World (other than Mr. Miracle), I’d much rather see a counter Justice League.

    I also have to agree with you guys about the beginning with “happy Superman”, wasn’t really deserved, as we never saw that Superman in the other two movies (as you guys mentioned)…. While over all, I enjoyed the movie, the part about with Superman gone the world’s in mourning, just wasn’t deserved… not with the previous Superman movies we got.

    And while I didn’t have a problem with the CGI (probably cuz I’m half blind), like I think Rob said, the CGI for Cyborg was terrible. To me it looked like a face on a CGI body that didn’t move right… Though I did like the track suit he worse, cuz like Rob menitoned, that’s what he wore in the Teen Titans to “fit in” in public (kind of like The Thing’s trenchcoat….)

    Anyway guys… keep up the great work.
    And remember to Fire up the Flametorches and Ride the Red Head.

  4. I put my moderately happy opinion out on Waiting For Doom, but given a bit of time and distance the thing that irritates me the most is the misguided co-opting of the Motherbox concept.

  5. WW is the only film worth seeing before going into JL. Batman suddenly leading the Clark Kent fan club. “He didn’t just save people, he made them see the best parts of themselves.” These are attitudes coming from prior Snyderverse films we didn’t get to see.

    “Forget the journey.” Motto of the cinematic DCU.

    Glad that you guys enjoyed your boy’s portrayal, which I think has given the general public better insight into Aquaman’s power scale.

    I’d rather they had just cut-and-paste the CW Flash if they weren’t going to give us a different character like ginger Wally. The lightning is a part of the hero but too much and he looks more like Lightning Lad.

    Unlike some, I think Cyborg has as much a place in the League as he does the Titans. Not a fan of his presentation – similar to Robocop 2014 – but he’s no more conspicuous than the rest of the CG.

    Batman and Alfred were solid enough though this version has a far stronger Bruce presence than Dark Knight.

    As the Snyderverse plods on, its Superman could have stayed dead and I wouldn’t have cared. While not a big fan of WW in the comics, here she really is the hero we deserve and need.

    Sometimes I wonder where the cinematic DCU would stand had it just rolled with 2011 Green Lantern’s lackluster performance instead of rebooting with 2013’s Man of Steel.

  6. I saw Justice League on the Sunday of opening weekend, so some aspects of the film have already faded from my memory. However, I distinctly remember thinking during the recruitment scenes, “What’s going on? I’m enjoying this.” I recognized the flaws: Flash being more Bart than Barry; Wonder Woman needing to be encouraged to be a leader; Steppenwolf; etc., but I refused to let them get in the way of my enjoyment. The movie managed to avoid major problems, unlike MoS and BvS, and as such it succeeded, as far as I’m concerned. Is that a low bar? Undoubtedly, but that’s what DC movies have earned at this point (Wonder Woman raised the bar from “I will never see another DC movie” to “I hope this is good, but I doubt that it will be.”)

  7. Ok firstly, Shagg why would you point out the Throne of Atlantis movie being bundled with the trade as if it’s a good thing? I’m not going to go through my whole rant but that movie was a mess for very very very stupid reasons, best epitomized by the moment where Ocean Master summons a massive wave that’s about to wipe out a city (Metropolis I think) and the League actually says that they can’t stop it, but instead of destroying the city the wave stops dead and parts like a curtain revealing an army of soldiers which the League CAN stop. Are you F&#%ING KIDDING ME?!?!

    Ok that aside, I had fun with this movie, though I freely admit that I went in with expectations somewhere around the level that could probably only be spotted through the bottom of a glass boat. But I actually found I enjoyed all of the League members here… actually except for Batman. I feel like Affleck was a better fit when we had the dark and broken Batman of BvS (still a bad movie, but he worked for that kind of approach to the character) and lightening him up here just doesn’t seem to mesh with Affleck and he feels out of place. Not to mention that costume looks AWFUL when it’s brightly lit. It’s so obvious it was meant to be in heavy shadows. But to my own shock I liked Aquaman (was convinced I would hate him,) I liked Flash (was pretty sure he’d be irritating,) and I liked Cyborg (I expected him to be a non-entity.)

    I do find it interesting that the movie basically tried to gaslight audiences about the previous film and Superman in particular, going all “Oh, no, no, no, he was ALWAYS this really great amazing guy, don’t you remember?” I’ve heard the “they were building an arc where he would eventually become the Superman we all know” argument before, and I get the theory but it just doesn’t work. It’d be one thing to have him spend his first movie getting there, but even that can go either way. If you want an example where it does work: by the end of Batman Begins we have a recognizable Batman (not just in outfit but behavior) who maybe still has some growth but still is recognizable as the hero even though we spend a huge chunk of that movie with him not being that. If you want where it goes wrong: anybody remember that Russell Crowe Robin Hood movie where it was basically Robin Hood: Origins, with the implication that he’d be doing all the stuff that people love (robbing the rich, giving the poor, merry men, etc.) later on. But even that is less egregious than MoS and BvS because that’s two whole movies where you’re theoretically going “don’t worry, the things you actually like about this character are coming soon.” Audiences don’t stand for that, and it’s BS when you’re selling what’s supposed to be a complete movie going experience. Again, I get the theory, but they push it too far and made bad movies besides.

    But overall I’m glad I went to this. It feels like the awkward middle step necessary to shake off the bad mojo of the last film before we can get a genuinely good one… which probably won’t matter because they’re likely going to reset everything with Flashpoint and throw everything except Wonder Woman out with the bath water anyways.

    1. Just saw Justice League.

      I didn’t notice the CGI lip, but then my myopic CNV makes it look like everyone has a wavy, CGI’ed face.

      You’re right about gaslighting us about what Superman was like in the previous two films. And while they tried here, Cavill just can’t do it. He can’t be the classic Superman. He’s just not comfortable with it.

      Films with two directors can work. I love the classic 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood which has two directors. But then aside for a couple odd moments (that come from adapting standalone ballads into an overall plot with a narrative thrust), both directors of that film knew what they are doing. I’m not convinced either director in this Firestorm-matrix of a film did. Scenes were just inert.

      I’ve always meant to write a review of the Russell Crowe film, but I just sour on life after watching it. And not just because it shows Robin becoming champion of the 1%.

  8. Nice episode fellas. I enjoyed the movie far more than I ever anticipated. I do agree that a lot of feel good vibe wasn’t earned, like Snyder’s Superman never inspiring anyone for instance, but I think the whole film, as screened, seemed like a HUGE apology for BvS and even MoS to a lesser degree. And yes, you can chalk that up to “the journey”, but I think it’s kind of BS. Maybe the intent was to somewhat lighten the mood beginning with JL, but I think it has far more to do with Wonder Woman’s upbeat tone and Snyder’s departure.

    Unfortunately, JL seems to be suffering the sins of it’s father in BvS. I’m not sure what kind of films we’ll get, but a few team-up movies does make a LOT of sense. Maybe if they all do well enough, they can build that thread of the Legion of Doom, and culminate in a JL slobberknocker in like 2025 or something.


  9. Thanks for the great discussion, gentlemen. I walked out of the theater not being sure of how I felt about JL. By the time I’d gotten home, I’d realized that I did indeed enjoy the movie, and I definitely want to see it again. Now, some random thoughts I had on the movie:

    Aquaman: I was really pleased by how this version of Aquaman turned out. In particular, the Atlantis scene got me excited for Aquaman’s solo film, and I’m looking forward to see how they flesh out this cinematic Sea King.

    Superman: This is the Superman I’d been looking for in the previous two films. In particular, I like how he was portrayed as a team-player, rather than a show-stealer. He helped to turn the tide, but didn’t completely save the day in the final conflict. I like that he trusted Wonder Woman and Aquaman to deal with Steppenwolf, while he rescued the civilians with Flash. Upon returning to the fight, I like that he offered an assist to Wonder Woman, but allowed her the coup de grace.

    Wonder Woman: My favorite part of this movie was Wonder Woman’s emergence as the leader of the Justice League. I hope that’s something that is not forgotten, and is carried forward in future films.

    Flash: His role as comic relief was a little too in-your-face for me. Why not spread the humor out amongst the other characters a bit more?

  10. Hi Rob and Shag,

    I was very happy to hear this episode. Ruth and I really enjoyed the Justice League movie. It wasn’t great, but it was closer in spirit to Wonder Woman and that was what was needed.

    I like Shag’s comments about Jason Momoa looking comfortable in the water. On our recent vacation, he was actually on the cover of the American Airlines magazine and we enjoyed reading the article.

    The writer actually commented about him being more comfortable in the water than on land. Maybe not surprising for a Hawaiian native.

    However, when his parents divorced, he moved with his mother to Iowa as a kid and from then on he’s always felt out of place. He didn’t fit in in Iowa where he was seen as an outsider, but he also didn’t fit in when he later returned to Hawaii because after living in Iowa for years, he was also seen as an outsider in his home.

    Now, even though he works regularly in Hollywood, he lives in the rural mountains far from LA where there is no cell phone coverage and no TV reception. Again, not quite fitting in.

    That makes Aquaman an appealing character to him, because he feels that Aquaman is an outsider on both the surface and in Atlantis.

    I agree completely with Rob. If we are going to have a long-haired Conan-esq Aquaman, then this version played by Jason Momoa is completely fine with me. I can’t wait for the Aquaman movie.

    My only quibble was that we didn’t get a post-credit scene related to Aquaman since that is the next big movie in the series.

    For the other characters, I was very pleased with Henry Cavill finally being given the opportunity to play a heroic Superman. I sincerely wish we had gotten that in the two previous films. Gal Gadot was again great as Wonder Woman and I was pleasantly surprised with Ezra Miller as The Flash and Ben Affleck actually made me like Batman for the first time in this series of movies.

    A really fun movie and a fun episode. Darrin

  11. Yay! Shag’s a Chuck fan too. We love Chuck. We had the chance to meet Zachery Levi at DragonCon this year. I have to wonder if he already knew he had been cast at that time. I think he’ll be great as Shazam / Captain Marvel. He is such a positive person in real life. He really is just like Chuck.


  12. Hi Shag and Rob,
    I’m a long time listener, starting in the early episode of Fire and Water. I really enjoying listening to this show and so many of the shows on this great podcast network you’ve built. I was happy to see your review of Justice League go up as I was curious to hear your thoughts. I really enjoyed the movie. Listening to this episode I realized how much I want to go and see the movie again. I did like Man of Steel and even Batman v. Superman, though I did want to like them more than I did. I am very happy with where Justice League has ended up. I can say without any reservation that I did really like it. I want to see more of these characters as they have now been developed. I’m hoping that the box office result doesn’t hurt the future of DC movies too much. I really don’t understand how it’s not making more money because it was a lot of fun.
    Keep up the great work with all the shows! My favorites are still when the two of you are on together. Your “friendship” always makes it fun.

  13. I’m a bit late to the party, but wanted to reply to Shag’s remark about the butt shots in this film. It would not surprise me if Mr. Whedon was responsible for those. Have another look at the Avengers film and take a drink for every Black Widow or Maria Hill butt shot in the movie. You’ll be wasted before its over.

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