In which rather than write up a nice neat review, I indulge in a stream of consciousness/brain vomit post while watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) at home. These were originally just notes, but no; you deserve to read my impressions as pure as they were as they happened. Cleaned up for clarity and grammar. So maybe they’re not so pure anymore, but then, is anyone pure involved in this movie? These are the deep questions we ask here.
There’s a paragraph or two surmising the whole movie versus the theatrical at the bottom, along with the Geek Stranger Score, but I’m going to make you scroll all the way down to it, because I’ve earned that. (Or you can chicken out and click here, we won’t judge.)
Also, spoilers for the Ultimate Edition. And, I guess, by default, the theatrical, too. So for those brave and bold enough… onward!
“Diamond absolute.” “What falls is fallen.” WTF does that mean? Does Batman do 70s rock concept albums?
Two simultaneous flashbacks. Murder and funeral. We will see ALL the origins again.
Daddy Wayne’s last word was Martha. What a touching gesture.
Jack at Wayne Corp is kind of stupid, not evacuating sooner. He deserves to have a building fall on him. Bruce should have called earlier, though. Like from the helicopter or even from Gotham. He should know how dumb Jack is. Was.
Bruce is the audience stand in. He sees the destruction with human eyes. He is everyone who had a problem with MoS.
There’s a horse. Just because.
Kids being led through the devastation by teacher. WORST FIELD TRIP EVER!
The look on Bruce’s face. He realizes how insignificant he really is right there.
Somewhere in the Indian Ocean- because the alien wreckage outside the US wouldn’t be secured. Nah.
Now it’s Africa. They tell us, but also it’s dusty desert, so it was that or Arizona.
Soooo much product placement!
Lois Lane is not a lady. She’s a Journalist. Like I’m not a dude, I’m a guy writing on the internet
“No one is different. No one is neutral.” The entire movie’s theme, right there.
Jimmy Olsen is CIA?!? That’s kinda awesome. Then he’s totally and literally wasted.
Team Python is going to rescue Lois by horseback because they do the right thing. Team Python doesn’t like drones.
Piling the bodies up before burning. Way better explained frame job.
You know who else doesn’t like drones? Superman! The US should start billing him for those things.
Must be nice having a boyfriend like Superman. Lois doesn’t have to ever get herself out of tough situations. She can be reckless, and get people like awesome new CIA Jimmy killed because of it.
Senate hearings because the US government cares about an African village. Well, it is science fiction.
Is someone holding up a Nixon sign during the Metropolis/Gotham game???
Oh, Gotham is like Detroit to Metropolis’ uh… Canada? Windsor. Windsor, Ontario. I had to look it up.
The Batman knows how to make an entrance. Branding though? What’s that about? Copyright infringement or something?
Lois sorts her laundry LIKE A JOURNALIST, not a lady. And that’s Journalist wine she’s drinking, not lady wine.
Does this conversation have to happen while Lois is naked in the bathtub? Every instance of her on screen so far just makes the character worse.
The Batcave is upgraded. “Too old to die young, but not for lack of trying.” Alfred is saucy.
Oh! Bruce is after the Russian bad guy from the village. Missed that in the theater.
Here’s Lex. And here’s Lex explaining that Dad named the company after/for him.
Lex talks a good game, but then it gets weird. Like… creepy music and putting the lotion on or you get the hose weird. I may never want a jolly rancher ever again.
Kryptonians don’t decay. That’s interesting. It means there’s still some sort of homeostasis there.
“Which lives count, and which ones do not?” is really a good question. Superman can’t be everywhere all the time. 39 people died while he was frying those eggs.
I like the idea of a Superman statute, but not this one. Why kneeling? Why such detail on the uniform? Feels too modern, and not classical enough. The statue is a metaphor for the whole damn movie.
“Follow up on the football.” Perry White isn’t a sports fan.
Is vandalism worth everyone stopping work? Slow news day in Metropolis.
Clark’s on a boat! Heading to Gotham. Knocking on doors. That’s not the football! Going to talk to the village survivor puts him on the Batman. That works.
Batman does Fight Club, but it’s detective work, so yeah!
“Crime wave in Gotham. Other breaking news, water is wet.” Perry is an ass.
“When you assign stories you’re making a choice about who matters, and who’s worth it.” Clark taking the criticism of Superman to heart? There’s a pattern. We get it.
Why would you do a frame job with special prototype bullets not used anywhere?
What’s up with that look between Lois and Clark? Does she need his permission to do her job?
“Coach. No extra leg room.” Heh.
“Some old charity crone that’s got a thing for nerds!” Perry’s wise ass game is on point.
2nd Lex scene. 2nd dad reference.
Bruce is taking flowers to the mausoleum. Lots of parent issues in this movie. Whatever, it’s all a dream, anyway with Man Bat and what gives with this new Wayne Manor? That’s not modern, that’s like an IKEA catalog location.
“Not that there’s likely to be a next generation.” We get it, Alfred. You want grandkids.
Why do they keep referring to “the Bat”. It’s so dramatic. Just say Batman. Joker did when he killed Robin.
Ooohh… Batbutt. Affass? I don’t remember that from the theater.
Old ruins of Wayne manor, all burnt up. We’re going to miss out on a lot of Batman stories.
47 minutes before Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne are in the same scene. Thirty seconds later, there’s unnamed wondrous mystery woman.
Lex talking about Dad again. #3.
There’s Lex’s totally unsecured servers with all Lexcorps’ data, right off the kitchen.
Clark and Bruce’s verbal sparring. That’s, the real “v” in this movie.
Wonder Woman was standing there like she wanted Bruce to catch her stealing his stolen data. Clark had to ditch the party. There was a factory fire on the TV, and if it’s right there in his face, he has to do something.
Montage of saving people and famous pundits wanting to earn cool points by doing cameos as themselves. The ominous music reinforces the suspicion and the fear, and plays into reservations of people who didn’t like MoS. Also, I guess, Batman.
Senator’s claim that there is a Superman somehow ruins Superman’s dinner for him. Never watch news while eating.
Clark’s mom is the only mom who’s son randomly calls. He really is super. But not considerate. She was in bed! What hour is it, young man???
Superman wants a simple life but can’t stop complicating it.
There’s Jena Malone! Crime lab analyst? Lame. (Edit: IMDB lists her as Jenet Klyburn of S.T.A.R. Labs, but she’s never named because names are silly things).
Is Clark projecting on Batman because of his guilt in not doing more?
And why is Wallace in the same jail they send Gotham’s prisoners to? Metropolis doesn’t have jails?? That is a swanky town.
There’s Lex. Will he talk about his Dad?
F Bomb from Wallace! R rating unlocked.
No dad mention.
There’s the Russian bad guy talking to someone, then we’re in the prison yard. Branded guy gets killed good. Why? Because he was branded? He was going to talk?Not sure this is necessary or explains anything.
Wait! Their jackets say Metropolis,? Overcrowding in Gotham? Or maybe the branded guy was sent there for protection. Didn’t work. Not like how I’m working to justify this.
Lois is in another bathroom. But it’s the men’s room. Because she’s a journalist!
Is Major Ferris a Green Lantern reference?
The Daily Planet uses DropBox and print is dying.
Perry is still on Clark about that football story? How many days has it been? IT AIN’T HAPPENING PERRY!!
Jon Stewart on TV! This movie deserves Trevor Noah.
Wonder Woman likes these split down the middle dresses. So do I.
Bruce ain’t even pretending to be a playboy. He’s all in detective mode at the gala.
Ha! Wonder Woman is awesome. She put the stolen data in Bruce’s car. He needs a new alarm system.
Dream sequence time! Batman in a trench coat may not be practical, but it looks badass. If this were my dream, it’d be exactly the same, but I wouldn’t have on any pants.
Is that the Python guy in the dream?
Uh oh, it’s the Law. Superman’s Law.
Superman is pissed. Worst side eye ever.
Moral here? Don’t be in a dry desert-like place in this movie or you will die.
He wakes up in his own dream. Twice. Can you do that? Are we in Inception now?
So taking away Lois makes Superman bad? That’s serious pressure for her. Hey, love Clark, or he becomes a dark tyrannical god.
There’s Flash! We’re jumping into a second source material here.
Oh! The photos are of the dude shanked in prison. Seriously, is that what that scene was for? That’s the pay off?
Why is Bruce stealing the Kryptonite from Lex? On paper they’re on the same side. They could have been allies in this.
Bruce doesn’t realize by his own logic he’s a villain. Or maybe he does. He did say they were criminals. Alfred’s trying, though, bless him.
Clark’s investigating the inmate’s death. At the Gotham police. But he was killed in a Metropolis prison. It hurts my head.
Damn!! They explained the prisoner being moved to Metropolis. Point Snyder. I’m so embarrassed I wish everyone else was dead.
But why would other prisoners go after Batman’s catches? Or maybe they’ve all been frame jobs. Yeah, you ain’t fooling me again, Zack! I’m on to you.
Fists don’t stop Batman, lady, but words do. One word.
Perry can’t find Clark. Seriously though, why does he even still have a job?
Epic Batman on a crane with booming music looking at smuggled in boxes conveniently labeled Lexcorp.
Nicholson terminal? Burton Batman reference?
This isn’t so much Ninja Batman as Punisher Batman. Maybe those are rubber bullets tearing that SUV apart though.
The look on Batman’s face when he makes the corner and there’s Superman, though.
Cape flaps to the right, flames go straight up.
Why would Superman show Batman “mercy”? Considering all the death he’s supposedly caused, Superman should either arrest him, or kill him.
Underwater Batcave. Because you thought underground was cool.
If Batman could trace the rock to the Lexcorp lab, because I guess he didn’t know it was going there anyway, and can steal it from there, why bother with the car chase? Because it was bitchin’, that’s why!
Superman has killed. That technically makes him a killer. Just a reluctant one. And he does owe the world. It’s basically given him a place to live and food.
It’s like the entire movie is setting Superman up to be at a crossroads or something!
Why is the Russian looking for the villager? Oh! The Senator is going to learn the real bad guy now!
The bullet was made by Lexcorp. We’re not surprised. Lois is.
It’s not even half way in, and Lois knows it’s all being forced by Lex. Why would he use his own bullets? Were his fingerprints on it, too, because he loaded each weapon himself?
Batman at work during the day. When does he sleep?
Why wouldn’t Wallace cash the checks? They’re from Wayne, not Superman.
That’s not the oldest lie in America. The oldest lie in America is that everyone is free. Duh.
These mixed up groups of protesters are surprisingly cordial with each other.
Superman does know how to fill out his suit, gotta give him that. They ain’t gonna swear him in, though? Would he swear to himself to tell the truth?
There’s the jar of Granny’s Peach Tea. Lex does like to make statements
NOOOooo! Not Mercy!! oh, and I guess everyone else there, too.
Superman saving people. He can do it while doubting himself, that’s fine, as long as he does it. It shows he’s not completely self centered.
Swing that ax, Alfred! He’s got to chop firewood? Is he Alfred, or Woodhouse?
Of course Lex rides a motorcycle.
Seeing the results of Ninja Batman is more awesome than Punisher Batman.
Clark is living his life the way his father saw it? His father saw him letting people die. So maybe that is right. Go on…
I like how Lex’s taking command of the ship is immediately followed by the Kryptonian Wikipedia.
Bruce is tearing up that tire. Maybe he could go chop some wood and give Alfred a break.
Fast music. Batman discovers the photo of Wonder Woman. They’ve met, talked, traded barbs. This works. What’s coming won’t.
Lex needed all Zod’s body for genetic material? A hair wouldn’t do? And why slice his hand, and not a finger? So much genetic material!!!
Still no Kent at the Daily Planet. Still has a job. Most unrealistic part of the movie.
More frame up stuff. But Lois knows. Not sure why she hasn’t written it all up yet, though. The bullet and metal alone is enough.
More Jena. Almost makes up for no more Mercy, but not really. Inside of the bomb chair was lined with lead! Important detail should have been in film. How did Lex know Clark couldn’t see through lead, anyway? Shhh!! It’s a high point. Don’t question it.
Hallucinated dead dad pep speech about how saving their farm doomed the Langs. 1. Is anyone in this movie mentally stable? 2. Guess the Langs should have been out sandbagging as well. Drowned horses. What is it with horses in this movie?
Pa Kent teaches Clark that right and wrong don’t exist unless you’re trying to impress chicks. I may be paraphrasing.
Bruce takes a break from crossfit to tour the rubble of Wayne Manor and lament that he’s old and Alfred goes all Shakespeare.
1:48:00 and Ma Kent is taken- I’m both happy that the movie doesn’t pretend it’s hard to figure out who Batman and Superman really are, and annoyed they don’t explain how Lex knew. If it’s so easy, why haven’t others figured it out?
Batarmor. Frank Miller approved.
“The Night is here.” Everyone’s a bad poet in this movie. Or took dialogue lessons from George Lucas.
There goes Lois getting kidnapped to use against Clark again. Ugh. Lois is the worst. Also, every major named woman in this movie is now kidnapped.
The secret to the building’s height is the light metal, so it sways in the wind, but we’re gonna stand up here on the roof.
Push him off the building Lois!! Before he… never mind.
Clark got from that mountain top to her pretty fast. Maybe he was already on his way. We’ll go with that.
Daddy reference #4,297.
Lex got those Polaroids of Ma Kent faster than Clark can fly.
Blackmailing Superman into trying to kill Batman cheapens it. His righteousness is gone.
Why didn’t Ma Kent just scream again? I think they explain it, maybe?
“No one stays good in this world.” Snyder really took that quote from the Dark Knight to heart, didn’t he?
I mean, here’s Wonder Woman, who’s four or five times- at least- older than Superman, but she’s still good. Like, really, just got out of the shower, good.
I’m digging the Wonder Woman theme, though.
Flash surveillance video. Aquaman, looking very Dothraki, and Cyborg. Clips were awesome, but the set up fails.
Why does “it’s not for a story?” suddenly loosen the purse strings? Perry is really a softie at heart.
SUPER HERO LANDING!
2:03:00 and the fight starts!
I don’t think Clark gets to be impatient with Bruce considering their last meeting.
So much Frank Miller inspired everything!
Temper, temper, Clark.
Superman lost him in a smoke grenade? Really?
Batman is kicking alien ass.
Superman is pretty arrogant. He keeps letting Batman get the upper hand.
To be fair, Batman never seals the deal when he does have the upper hand, though.
Why doesn’t Clark just hold his breath with the Kryptonite gas?
That support beam is made of good wood to support Batman. Real good wood. Like, Aflred couldn’t chop it, good.
Stop monologuing, Bruce!
This abandoned building set reminds me of the station from MoS where Zod won/lost, but ruined and dark.
There it is. The Martha. Still doesn’t work. Still doesn’t make sense. That’s probably the first time Clark has ever even said her name aloud.
Cue flashback again. This movie thinks we’re smart by not explaining how Lex knew who Superman and Batman were, but dumb in that it has to immediately here remind us who Martha is.
Not sure why we needed to see Bruce fall down the hole again, though.
It’s his mother’s name. Maybe it’s just another secret alien telepathic ploy. After all, he can talk to his dead dad. IF THERE’S A 1% CHANCE, BATMAN!!!
Now all the super friends engage in the most awkward conversation about power drains and finding Martha.
Batman promises to save Martha. Didn’t he also promise to end Superman? What if the Russian’s name is Martha??
If Batman can track the Russian’s phone, why did he need to put a tracer on the truck that had the Russian and his phone?
Lois finds the spear. This will be handled smartly.
The Batjet is awesome. I’m sure those are rubber bullets destroying those trucks.
Anyone who says the Batman in the warehouse fight scene isn’t epic is a lying-freedom-hating-paleo-dieting-destroyer of all things fun.
Did we ever see Batman take off the Batarmor and put on a new bullet proof cowl? No. No we didn’t. He’s just that good. And keeps a spare in his pocket.
Martha made a funny! But, like, really Bruce, calling yourself Superman’s friend? Bit fast, don’t you think? And no, they never explained why Ma Kent didn’t scream.
Lois and the spear. Oh, look, she’s tossing it in water. That won’t come back to be a problem. Still the worst, Lois, still the worst.
Still not sure why Lex needed Batman, though. He could make his own Kryptonite gadgets, too. What did Batman ever do to him? But whatever, we’re onto new source material inspiration.
Orc Troll Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle! Doomsday!
Did Lex just breath in deep Doomsday breath? Smells like abomination!
Superman saves Lex. That’s Superman right there. Amen.
So does Doomsday get his lack of junk from Lex or Zod? That’s why he hates Superman. I’d be mad, too.
Ms. Prince! 2:25:27 in and she gets a name. Sort of. Same in MoS where Superman was named off handedly. Snyder really misses opportunities in these movies.
Sorry, but nuking Superman/Doomsday is the right idea. A Kryptonite silver bullet would have been a better idea, though.
How is Supe’s face still cut?
Stryker’s Island is uninhabited. They make a point of saying it. Snyder’s learning. Or can take direction.
Shedded skin Doomsday looks more like himself.
How is it easier to get Doomsday to chase him than it is to go back for the spear? Batman, Doomsday was happy just chilling on his island!
Desiccated Superman in space recharging from the sun. The Miller is strong here.
Woman Woman music. She just saved your ass, Bruce. And here’s Clark! The trifecta together again for the first time.
Port is abandoned. Yeah, someone gave Snyder notes.
There goes Lois for the spear. In the water. Where she put it. Like an idiot. This totally won’t backfire. Hey, this would be a great opportunity for Aquaman to make a quick and integral and meaningful and awesome cameo.
Wonder Woman has killed things from other worlds before. I am so looking forward to her movie.
Three of them together. Great shot. Batman with the gun makes total sense here. Shame the Batarmor is gone, though.
Now Lois is trapped. She is less than pointless. She is a liability.
Clark can hear Lois underwater, but couldn’t hear his mother.
Superman saves Lois for THIRD time in this movie.
Great frames of Batman dodging Doomsday. Snyder has eye for the shot.
Superman gets the glowing spear because Lois is useless.
I see gentrification in the future of Port Gotham.
“This is my world.” Yes, Superman. Yes it is. Glad you realized it.
Golden lasso so Doomsday has to be honest, green gas so he’s weakened, and in comes Superman with the spear of Destiny.
But Doomsday ain’t going down alone.
Batman lowering Superman from the
cross wreckage, into the arms of women. Nothing Jesus like at all here, people.
It’s a good shot, and if I didn’t know how not permanent it was, I’d be emotional about it.
OMG OMG. Is that supposed to be Steppenwolf and Lex in the ship!?! Okay… that’s, uh, four? yeah, I think four source inspirations. I can totally see how that would confuse the regular movie goer. I’m slightly confused and I know he’s in the JL movie this sets up.
And now Lex is bald. Did he have lice? No other prisoners’ heads were shaved.
Headline: Superman Dead: Night of Terror Morning of Loss because Knight of Terror and Dawn of Mourning were too bad prose even for this movie?
There’s Clark’s obit. Sad face emoji. MAYBE IF YOU HAD COVERED THE SPORTS YOU’D BE ALIVE, CLARK! -Perry.
Empty streets. Leaves in the wind. Stores closed. Cubicles empty. Holiday! Superman’s last parting gift to earth is really sort of the best.
That’s a nice spread at the Kent farm. Perry didn’t bring anything. Still cheap to the end. Probably carpooled with Jenny, too.
Clark was gonna propose, by sending the ring to his mother. Somehow. Why not? I’m trying to think how Lois ruined this. I don’t know, but I’m sure she did.
Bagpipe funerals remind me of Spock dying.
I remember Kirk saying Spock’s soul was the most… human… he’d ever encountered. That sort of applies here. Superman, at his best,in the end, is the most human of us all.
Even the casket with the S looks like the polished up photon torpedo tube.
All talk of resurrection, so much talk.
Funeral director needs a check right then and there? They can’t bill Ma Kent? That’s cold.
I guess Bruce figured out who Clark was through Lois? And Wonder Woman did, too? Why are we still pretending they have secret identities?
Bruce has been inspired by Clark’s sacrifice to be better by bringing together all the people who could destroy the world. When he 180°s, he 540°s.
Bruce knows what’s coming because he’s dreamed it. Why hasn’t he been institutionalized yet? Because he’s filthy rich.
Lex is getting visited by Batman. Why doesn’t he reveal Batman’s true identity? Never mind. He’s been declared insane. Still, though.
Shot of someone walking into a field. No idea who. No idea why.
Dirt floats up. I guess it was three days later. Credits roll.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has a good idea. It actually has about a half a dozen good ideas, but it’s trying so hard to live up to those ambitions that it fails at nearly everything. The Ultimate Edition does nothing to improve the structural flaws of the movie. There’s no fixing “Martha” or the “email”, and Snyder’s always going to have his directing, let’s say… ticks, but it goes a long way toward filling out the spaces between and explaining a lot of the smaller inconsistencies. I don’t know if it helps with Lex, but then, I didn’t have a problem with him. I rather liked this version of Luthor. His plan is still crazy as all, but so is the character. All around, the casting and acting were as good or better than the material they were given, and the extra half an hour gives the stars a chance to prove it.
So is it worth it? That depends how much of a hate-on you have for the movie. This release improves on the theatrical version as much as the theatrical BvS improved upon Man of Steel. Going into it having seen the original takes the pressure off so you can just sit back and enjoy it for what it is; a really not that bad comic book super hero origin movie. Just ignore it’s two or three movies shoved into one, and realize the POV of the entire movie is Batman’s, with Superman just being a guest star. But a guest star who fundamentally changes throughout the course of the film.
I hope you enjoyed the crazy ride. Despite how it may have appeared in the off the cuff in the moment thoughts, we did! But no matter how much we may like something, or how crazy we are, with regards to the Geek Stranger Score we have to be impartial. Using technology as good as anything at LexCorp or Wayne Industries we crunch the numbers and get…
So if you’ve got the time, and your mind is open enough to consider change, check it out. The Ultimate Edition scrapes by with a low “B”, maybe because we’re nice, or maybe because it’s gotten something of a bad rap it doesn’t deserve. Despite what many say, there really are worse ways to spend three hours. And remember, Suicide Squad is almost here!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on the Web:
This may be my favorite version of — let’s call it a “review” — on this movie that I’ve read. It was like being there. 😉