13 QUICK THOUGHTS — Batman v. Superman: Ultimate Edition

Sometimes a second look can make a difference. But, uh, sometimes not.


When I saw Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice the first time, I knew there was little likelihood I’d want to see it again. (Click here to find out why — if you dare.)

They even came out with the Ultimate Edition, adding 30 minutes of material that’s supposed to explain a lot of the plot holes. The response has been markedly better among critics and fans. Still, I have no desire to revisit it any time soon.

Then I heard from Van Sias, fan and occasional contributor to 13th Dimension. Van was willing to be brave and bold — and give BvS a second chance, extra half-hour and all.

Here’s what he came away with… — Dan




On my first-ever trip to California a couple of years ago, a prime destination spot for me was In-N-Out Burger.

I know you’re asking yourself, “What in the world does that have to do with Batman v. Superman?”

Not much, but it will give you a little insight into how I operate.

You see, I was very disappointed by the burger and fries I had at the venerable West Coast chain after hearing so many raves about it. (Sorry, In-N-Out fans!) But I wanted to go back and try it again: Maybe my family and I just didn’t go to the right one. Maybe the grease was bad in the fry cooker.

This baffles my wife, but I’m always willing to give something I don’t like initially a second chance.

And that brings us to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Like many fans, I was let down after catching it in the theater. However, reading stories about the different Easter eggs in it intrigued me and I figured I’d give it another shot. And if I’m going back in, why not go the Ultimate Edition route?

What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment! Anyway, here are my 13 QUICK THOUGHTS:


1. It took me four days to watch this. Granted, time becomes a premium when you’re working a 9 to 5 and have a young kid, which is my sitch. But I can’t recall watching a comic-book movie — even one I’d caught before — where I didn’t want to see what was coming next. I don’t know, maybe Watchmen? Man of Steel? (Hmmm, I’m sensing a pattern…) Anyway, watching this felt like a homework assignment.

2. Way back, when the trailer first debuted, I couldn’t believe how much Jesse Eisenberg irritated me. Here’s something about that, though: It’s not that the acting is bad, it’s that no one would ever expect Lex Luthor to be written like that. It’s as if he was a cross between the Riddler and the Joker, but not in a good way. Lex should never be portrayed like that again.

3. I guess I could see why this would get an R-rating, with more blood spilled, Ben Affleck’s pill popping and near moon shot, and an F-bomb thrown in, but it felt pretty tame, compared with Deadpool.

That's OK, Ben. I'm upset too.

4. More thoughts on that extra footage: The Darkseid connection is made clearer toward the end, so you get further info on what Lex is raving about when he’s in jail. As far as the majority of it, unless you were really tossing and turning at night wondering what the whole Lois Lane in the desert thing was really about, there’s not much that added to the overall movie. How can something be three hours long and still not really be fulfilling?

5. Since Bruce is so prone to having nightmares, why not work in one where he’s cradling a broken Robin for even more insight into what shaped him?

6. How cool would it have been if Jena Malone, cut from the theatrical version, had turned out to be Barbara Gordon, as rumored? Or maybe Carrie Kelley? That would’ve blown many a mind.

7. I was really, really hoping for more clarity around Batman/Bruce Wayne: The whole timeline/his place in the world is so confusing to me. Before Superman came along, Batman had been fighting crime for 20 years, right, as noted by Bruce and Alfred? I know he “operates in the shadows,” but still, wouldn’t his actions essentially make him the most famous person in the world? I would assume word would’ve gotten out about “the Batman.” Driving a tank around town, there’s a giant light shining in the sky with a bat symbol…it’s hard to cover that stuff up. So WHY in the world did Clark Kent go around at the beginning like, “Umm, what’s the story with this bat vigilante?” That drove me crazy the first time I saw the movie and this time, too!


8. Following up on that: In the Justice League trailer, Cyborg said something along the lines of hearing about Batman, but not believing that he was real. Of course you heard about him, and of course he’s real: He’s been out there for 20 years! Somebody in Gotham at the very least had to have posted a video of him on YouTube chasing the Joker and Harley Quinn, as seen in Suicide Squad!

9. It’s been interesting for DC since San Diego Comic-Con, with the Justice League and Wonder Woman spots debuting and The Killing Joke controversy (that Batman-Batgirl twist is horrible, IMO). It’s almost as if BvS: Ultimate Edition has flown under the radar. Wonder if DC wanted it that way? Then again, Suicide Squad has been savaged by critics …

10. I watched it a few times and nothing’s changed: That Cyborg cameo is pretty gross.

11. To me, the best scene in the whole movie is when Batman took on all the bad guys to rescue Martha Kent. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite action sequences in comics is watching a Batman, Daredevil or Captain America charge into a gang of henchmen and leave none of them standing. Aside from what’s been happening in the Daredevil Netflix show, this was the best live-action portrayal of one man against a near-army and coming out on top.


12. Henry Cavill as Superman was fine; Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was pretty good. But honestly, I can’t wait to see what happens with a full-on Affleck Batman movie. Let’s see how it goes when he’s calling the shots.

13. I gave BvS its second shot, but I think I’m done. It’s just so tough to get through. Did you know that in the first hour, there’s less than two minutes total time of men-in-costume action happening? You don’t need battles and explosions going on all the time, but less than two minutes in an hour? That’s inexcusable.

And in case you were wondering, I never made it back to In-N-Out. Maybe I should’ve gone that route with BvS.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I personally really liked the slow build. I don’t have to have action right away in a superhero film. The slower pace was a refreshing change from the Marvel formula. In the original King Kong you don’t see Kong until at least 45 minutes into the film.

    I enjoyed all the different aspects of the plot and how they came together. I enjoyed the introspective and interpersonal bits and some of the sociopoltical commenting. I enjoyed the pacing and particularly the cinematography.

    Eisenberg was not exactly the take on Luthor I was expecting but having watched the film several times I appreciated what they were trying to do; little bits like where he referred to his father having to submit to dictators. It gave depth to his motivations.

    As for Cyborg not quite believing Batman was real, as I understand BvS, Batman has been away for some years and become something of a legend. Any footage of him from the past, given his modus operandi, would likely not show him very well. Shadowy, fleeting and more than likely out of focus.

    I understand the film didn’t work for some but I enjoyed the Extended Cut immensely. I don’t mind different interpretations of the characters. There have been so many over the years even before I started reading Superman and Batman 51 years ago.

    To each his own.

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  2. -Oh lordy, Lex bugged the hell out of me too. I really thought I was watching a riff on Ledgers Joker… only a really bad, irritating one. I doubt they can rescue what bothered me the most. The reason for a fight between the big two. So silver age comicky(?). Not the best but not the worst cape movie.
    -Double meat, no cheese, ‘grilled onions’! Gotta add salt and pepper to the fries, bland otherwise. Fries animal style is a high cal treat that is pretty damn good.

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  3. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman reminded me of Yvonne Craig in the Batman TV series: she operated on an entirely different frequency than the other actors and I always wanted to see more of her! BvS showed the limits of what Henry Cavill can do with Superman, and how Lamont Cranston-y Ben Affleck can make his Bruce Wayne — which was a pleasant surprise. But even though Gal Gadot did not turn the tide of the battle against Doomsday, her Wonder Woman in the field actually looked dangerous, far moreso than Batman or Superman, did. Considering that Zack Snyder gave Gal Gadot a blind audition for Wonder Woman, she completely knocked it out of the park; her casting in this part is the smartest thing Zack has ever done and will reap benefits in the DC Cinematic Universe for years to come!

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  4. As a DC guy and long time Batman fan, I’m bummed this film has been so divisive and poisonous. I enjoyed it, but probably only because I was willing to be open to the filmmakers interpretations of these characters. While I enjoyed it when I first saw it, MOS took me about five or six additionally home viewings before I was finally able to not filter what I saw with my fifty years of history (i.e., “baggage”) with Superman and see the “The Day the Earth Stood Still” movie they made. Sure, that’s not a comic book movie, but when I saw what they were going for, I really enjoyed it a lot more. I’ve talked to many friends who hate MOS and BvS. And I completely understand why. Many of them haven’t devoured comic books for decades like I have. Many of them really know and expect Batman and Superman to be like Adam West, Michael Keaton, Christopher Reeve and the Superfriends. They’d never been read The Dark Knight Returns nor Byrne’s Man of Steel miniseries. They were lost when BvS’s title suggested they were foes, not friends. So from that standpoint, it was clearly a “mistake” to present a film to that audience that would be so 180° from their experience. But I thought BvS was a better film than MOS. I get that Batman is so destructive because of Robin’s death, and he’s old and tired and fed up. I didn’t get so hung up with “why doesn’t the world know about Batman after his 20 years fighting crime”, tho’ maybe I should have. But I didn’t. BvS ultimately was a Batman story. He’s the one who goes from a$$ to finally finding hope in the world, because of Superman. I’ve read people upset that if they’re going to do a Doomsday story, do the real one. And the same for doing a TDKR movie. That’s a lame complaint. Marvel has not done word for word adaptations in their films, and their films are still audience pleasers. Like I said, it’s a shame many consider BvS a cancer. That fans like me have to justify why we like it to those who were disappointed by it. I appreciated the challenging story, but I can see why it fails in fans eyes too. If JL does as well satisfying fans as I hope it does, it’ll still be in many eyes in spite of Snyder’s first two DC films.

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