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Zack Snyder's Justice

"This is the 'Justice League' we should have gotten in 2017." This was my comment before seeing 'Zack Snyder's Justice League', and also my comment after seeing the movie. This is a 4 hour film that I thought I would have to possibly consider watching in two sittings. Even though I was going to watch it in one sitting anyway, it was something to be considered. That is until I began to watch the film. It keeps the audience engaged for 4 hours straight. Now, I want to go into detail on why: great pace, intricacy, development, emotional connection, witty writing, direction, and plausibility. Before getting into all of those things, let's talk about some opportunities that were missed. Animation, Storyboard miscues, cinematography and color grading.

We are talking about a film that was originally filmed in 2015 - 2016, and released in 2017. So it's difficult to fault faulty animations, but safe to say, remastering animation should have been a bigger discussion in the production room. The animation left a lot to be desired as far as coherency with the highly demanding action sequences which were dynamic, slow motion, and smooth. At times, the animations jumped from their positions, glitched out in others, and just seemed to be reaching for range in others. The amount of drama and tension throughout tried to balance against the animation issues.

"Mother Boards"? I don't know, the story just didn't seem to make you not squint. Going back to the basics of the characters and their comic to live-action depictions, it made sense until they put them together on a story board for a complete story line which was broken and choppy at points. There were also points where the story made perfect sense, but too many moments where it just didn't come together logically. Which could really hurt this film's overall progress.

The cinematography also had its issues. Some of the shots seemed too wide. Causing blurred and unfocused shots throughout. Zooming in, and adding some lighting behind some of the focus points could have really made more of the shots "pop!" But again, there were also a few outstanding cinematic shots.

Color Grading has been the butt of DC's Live-Action films for some time now. We get it, they're too dark. Understandable, and it makes sense to say that here. Brightening up this film? Probably shouldn't. Adding more color in the editing process? Probably should have. A bit more color could have caused the mood of the audience to drag along with the film even more. Which leads directly into the great things about this film.

You may, or may not hear it here first, but this was the most well paced live-action comic film I have ever seen. Which other live-action film comes to mind with great pace? The last one I can remember is MARVEL's original 'BLADE' back in 1998, which had a flow that kept you engaged. The film being 4 hours long could have definitely had an impact on the overall calming sense of the film. With phenomenal musical choice at times causing you to feel what the dynamic of the scenes were intending to achieve. Not one moment was "too fast" or "too slow". There was balance, and it was certainly leveled the entire film.

Along with the pace, the Director most certainly paid close attention to the intricacies with this film. Making sure transitions were seen, outstandingly beautiful, magnificent, and on a grade. Breaking the film into "7 Parts", or acts. Making sure the actors had their chances to exemplify what their characters represented, and made sure they all had fair screen time to act. As simple as that sounds, a lot of these films tend to forget that acting is one of the most important components to a great product.

Which leads to one of my most talked about topics here on 'JHN', "Character Development." With the transitions being so beautiful, along with really good direction as far as giving appropriate screen time allowing actors to do their jobs, it opened up the window for some great acting. Bruce Wayne and Batman [Ben Affleck] were phenomenal. We don't need Batman's back story again, we've heard it. "Shot dead parents..." we get it already. That didn't prevent Affleck from progressively igniting this character's development with his peers. Character development was unique here; usually you see characters develop individually before creating a climatic moment where they're all together. Not here. And it works. The character development was stemmed solely from the "Justice League". That's right. From point A to point B, the goal was to show the progress of a unit. Which sets a new standard for a collective of films that have multiple superstars who stand apart, but come together. This film was about the "Justice League". It was never about Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or The Flash. It was about how the unit started as a bottom of the barrel team, to becoming a well oiled machine to where they clicked on multiple cylinders.

The writing allowed each character to show personality within the unit. There wasn't comedic satire that was overbearing, degrading the art of the film. Using Barry Allen [Ezra Miller] as an example. He was who he was, "Barry Allen". He didn't pour water over high-tension action. He also had high-tension action that could strike emotion himself. Again, back to giving the actors the ability to showcase their talents. He had different dynamics throughout the film even though he was the toted point of comedic relief, but he wasn't one dimensional. Thank you, to the writer Chris Terrio.

Now let's bring things all together now with emotional connection. Each member of the Justice League had their moment to show what was on their heart. And so did Steppenwolf. The verse catalog of dynamics used with each character gave the audience opportunity to connect with each character for different reasons. Which has always been a huge staple for the Justice League team. Some are more drawn to Cyborg, while others appreciate the Superman of the team, and others, the Martian Manhunter. You can feel that throughout with the acting being so expansive. Cyborg [Ray Fisher] had a sense of grimace. Wonder Woman [Gal Gadot] with her usual sense of empowerment. Batman and his lonely yet compulsive demeanor. The Flash with his insecurities wanting to please. Martian Manhunter [Harry Lennix], and his indulging symbolism of upstanding character. Aquaman [Jason Momoa], with his conceited ignorance of reality. And Superman's[Henry Cavill] gift of hope.



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