13 QUICK THOUGHTS on the ‘Dawn of the Justice League’ Special

Well, it didn’t exactly speak to me …



I’m not a grouch. You know that if you read this site with any regularity. But this “special” did almost nothing to allay the misgivings I have about DC’s cinematic universe.


1. Who was this 30-minute infomercial made for? I gotta figure 95 percent of the people who tuned in already knew who all these characters are.

2. Example: Did they really need to tell people the Flash’s story — when this show aired after the Flash? I mean, I’m sure this programming will be used elsewhere, but still …

3. Speaking of the Flash. I like Ezra Miller as an actor. I still think he was a colossal misstep in casting. And the backstory remains the Geoff Johns version that forms the basis of the show. That story’s fine, but it kind of inhibits the excitement factor of seeing the Flash up there, y’know? It’s not like we can expect much new there.

4. I do like that they’re calling it DC Films now.

5. OK, so it looks like it’s going to be Hal Jordan and John Stewart at the center of the next Green Lantern go-around. That’s cool.


6. DC really needs to stop it with trying to make us forget that Cyborg has been shoehorned into the A-List. I have always liked him but I almost sprained by eyeballs rolling them when Johns said with a straight face, “He’s an icon now. Just like the rest of them.”

7. We don’t need Kevin Smith as a cheerleader. We really don’t.

8. One of the most basic rules of storytelling is, “Show, don’t tell.” Marvel didn’t need a half hour to tell the world how great their characters were. They showed it by giving us consistently good movies. This little vehicle smelled like desperation. It doesn’t fill me with optimism. (UPDATED: Reader Kim Vander Dussen points out that ABC ran an Avengers special before Age of Ultron came out. Looks like there was one about a year prior. So I stand duly corrected and chastened!)

9. Wonder Woman has been the best part of the Batman v. Superman trailers so far but it was impossible to get any real feel for her own movie. One thing I will say: Every single bit of footage in all these movies and ads and clips and whatever looks like it was shot through a grimy lens — and it is so off-putting.

10. On the other hand, I liked this Suicide Squad trailer better than the first. I thought using “Bohemian Rhapsody” was great … until my 17-year-old son pointed out that Guardians of the Galaxy was a story about an unlikely group of antiheroes saving a world/universe to the beat of a ’70s soundtrack.


11. Sam also said that he was looking forward to Aquaman and thought it has the chance to be the most interesting of all of these movies. I’m inclined to agree. I’m also inclined to agree with his point when he asked rhetorically, “Do all of these guys have to struggle with being a superhero?”

12. I have zero problem with Jared Leto’s Joker. The Joker, like Batman, is one of those characters for whom there is plenty of room for interpretation. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor? He better nail it in the movie because everything, and I mean everything, I’ve seen of him has been downright terrible so far.

13. What’s wrong with making a movie like the show these guys made … ?


Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. 1. The short answer is advertisement. Every little bit helps. Advertising movies is a very difficult business. A movie isn’t something you “use” like a car is. On a car commercial, they’ll tell you every single thing you need to know about that car: speed, towing capacity, safety awards, etc. If car companies had statistics on how well their car could work at getting you laid, you’d start hearing, “this years Lexus was ranked #2 on Pussy Magnet’s Top Ten.” Where most advertisements are meant to be both informative and enticing the the maximum of both qualities, movie advertising is trying to maximize one (enticing) while minimizing the other (informative). Movies are one of the few things that the more and more you learn about the product, the less interested you are. You may download the manual and specs of a computer you want to buy, but you try as hell to avoid reading a leaked script or seeing spoilers for a movie. You want to hit beats with your campaign, constantly creating a feeling of ramping up energy, but you still can’t show much of anything. The special, which was mostly talking heads and showing scenes from trailers and movies we’ve already seen, is trying to maximize on the content we’ve already received, stretching it out to make it feel new. It’s kind of luck when you have to write a three page essay, but only have one page of material. You have to bullshit in two more pages. And believe it or not, the vast majority of the average person out there doesn’t get their movie news from the internet. They don’t get movie news at all. They either see trailers when they go to the movies, or see commercials on TV. It should not be assumed that every fan of Arrow and Flash is a millennial with their finger on the pulse of what is going on. My 70 year old mother watches Arrow, but has no idea about these movies. And from watching just Arrow, she doesn’t know what Cyborg is.
    2. They used to introduce and explain each X-men at the beginning of the X-men comics back in the 80’s under the thought that for someone, that was their first X-men book. You can never know if someone watching is seeing a story they’ve heard before or if it is the first time

    6. Arguably, Cyborg is more well known to general mass audience than that of Martian Manhunter or Hawkman. Cyborg is known from the role on Smallville, and appearances in two Teen Titans cartoons and the old Super Powers show. Martian Manhunter is known from the Justice League cartoon and most recently on Supergirl, but his being on Supergirl was done way after they had decided on Cyborg being in the Justice League movie, which is the whole point of the NEW 52 comics reboot, which started out with Justice League number 1 and the lineup of the upcoming Justice League movie. Also, Cyborg adds much needed diversity that the other two do not (and yes, I recognize a green alien is pretty diverse. If any green aliens out there are offended, please write me).

    10. If you think Suicide Squad is like Guardians, hold on to your seat:
    Iron Man/Batman = Most popular character, heart of the universe of movies, is like us a normal guy, but becomes extraordinary using wits and technology.
    Superman/Hulk = difficult character to do anything with on their own given how powerful they are, tried one movie, wasn’t received well, will be more popular and liked when pared off against other characters. Maybe even have a scene in a movie where this character fights against the heart of the universe (BvS, AOU)
    Wonder Woman/Captain America = hero with purest and mobile intentions, the ultimate morality character, from a different time period, with a movie set in that time period. Very popular and liked character before the movie came out, and even more after.
    Aquaman/Thor = probably the least popular off all the members of the team before their movie came out, set in a different foreign world/culture different than our own with more themes of fantasy adventure. In our world, becomes a fish out of water (pun intended). Alpha male joke type, very strong and funny.
    Flash may compare to Antman, hard to tell, but you see what I mean.

    11 and 13. Not sure if these points fit the “13 quick thoughts on the ‘dawn of justice league’ special, in that the thoughts themselves are general about the subject matter, but not about the special itself. 11 maybe gets a pass, but not 13. I get that you needed 13 though, given the name of the site, and this takes us back to the “1 page of content vs 3 pages needed” that I mentioned above.

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      • 1 – not abnormal to promo the movie – dont forget, the Capt America: 75 yrs was also on
        2 – true
        3 – he doesnt seem like a good choice
        4 – smart
        5 – lets hope they dont botch it, but the 1st GL movie i liked
        6 – i laughed out loud when i heard this part
        7 – Kevin Smith PLEASE JUST GO AWAY, and learn how to dress for god’s sake
        8 – didnt see that
        9 – Gal Gadot is looking good
        10 – you’re kid is smart
        11 – no wait, he’s a genius
        12 – joker is growing on me easily…Lex could go either way, no one beats Smallville’s
        13 – IF ONLY!

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    • how do you say Cyborg is known from Smallville and then NOT say John Jonzz is not ALSO even MORE known from Smallville? ive seen them all, and J.J. was in a lot more episodes then Cyborg

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