Thursday, November 30, 2017

Justice League

LC and I finally made it out to the "Justice League" film last night, one of four (I think) we're still hoping to see before the end of the year (the others being "The Man Who Invented Christmas", possibly "Coco", and of course "The Last Jedi").

But before that, a word about Vue cinemas: I can't say I'm impressed. There are a number of reasons for this. One is the price, which is significantly higher than Cineworld (which was already getting out of hand). A second is that they're still stuck in the dark ages of charging a booking fee for ordering online (it should be the opposite - if we're booking online, not only are we paying in advance, and for tickets we might end up not even using, but we're also saving you staffing costs). The third is the absence of any sort of Unlimited card - given the above, that would be a major boon.

But my biggest issue is the concessions stand. Now, my understanding is that these days cinemas, even grotesquely overpriced cinemas, actually barely break even on the films, and instead make their money on the drinks, popcorn, etc. So I do generally take the view that if you want those things you should get them (and, in particular, not sneak in your own, reasonably-priced, drinks and snacks). However, the flip side of that is that the cinemas really need their staff to be on the ball - it's no good if you get to the cinema, find there's virtually no queue, and then still have to wait to be served, wait while the staff mess around with something else (in this case, "no milk!"), then have to repeat your order several times, and then eventually get it.

On the plus side, that disappointment prepared me nicely for the film.

"Justice League" is fine. It's far, far better than "Batman v Superman", though not as 'good' as "Wonder Woman" (though that film is also vastly overrated - probably due to a combination of being a DC film that doesn't suck, and also being a female-led superhero film that actually made money). There's nothing much wrong with it: there's a coherent story, with a beginning, middle, and end; the actors do their jobs well enough; there's at least some little hint of levity and humour. Basically, it doesn't suck.

But... there's also not really anything in the film that really demands a viewing, and certainly not at £30 for two tickets plus popcorn.

To be honest, I think the only thing in the film that really made any impression was the music, and in particular the reuse of the old Danny Elfman "Batman" theme and the John Williams "Superman" theme. On the one hand, this was a great move, since those are great themes (and since the latest DC versions don't have good themes for those characters). On the other hand, the biggest effect of this was to remind me of other, older versions of the characters that, frankly, I liked more - it's not that Cavill is doing a bad job as Superman, but he's just not Christopher Reeve; and it's not like Affleck's Batman is bad, as such, but both Bale and Keaton did it better.

So, yeah. "Justice League" is okay. But I have no burning desire to see it again, and frankly I'd recommend going to see "Thor: Ragnarok" a second time instead. Or just watching the "Infinity War" trailer, which packs more greatness in two minutes.

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