Monday, February 22, 2021

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Man of Steel Scene 12

 This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on Scene 12 (flashback to school) of Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder.

  • Clark adrift
  • Clark's powers begin to manifest
  • "Swim toward it" [the island]
  •  What's wrong with Clark?

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Bonus content at

Sam's children's book

<Transcript below>

Sunday, February 21, 2021

DC and Marvel Comic Book Movies: Personal Ratings

Inspired by the Flitecast's full rundown of his opinions on the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in short, he is a fan of nearly all the MCU movies, but he gets frustrated by the segments of Marvel fandom that are "sore winners," and I agree with him), and given that I finally watched Avengers: Endgame a couple months ago, I thought it was a good time to revisit my personal ratings of the Marvel and DC comic book films.

The last time I did this personal ratings rundown, I was attempting to show that, although I prefer DC, I still like most of the MCU films. I use a 10-point rating scale, and for me a 6+ means that I liked the film, and back in 2016 my MCU average was 6.6. So yes, I did at the time like the MCU in general. For DC, my average was 8.1 so my tastes clearly align with that brand more.

Here is my updated graph of personal ratings, from 2008 when the MCU started until 2021 with Wonder Woman 1984. I focus on the DCEU films but in order to even up the numbers a little bit I also included the DC Films from 2008-2012 which were The Dark Knight, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, and The Dark Knight Rises. Note that I am not adding these films to pad my DC numbers; in fact, my average rating for those 4 films is 7.6, so it is actually pulling down my DC average.

My personal ratings on a 10-point scale of Marvel and DC movies from 2008-2021.

Even with the addition of 15 more films onto this graph since 2016, my personal averages have actually remained unchanged. I am still a 6.6 on the Marvel side (standard deviation = 1.05) and an 8.1 on the DC side (standard deviation = 1.08). The means and medians are equal in both cases, suggesting that my opinions are symmetrical around the means, and both sets having basically the same standard deviation of 1.1, which means that my rating scale is fairly appropriate.

There are only a few films on this list that I really didn't like. They all happen to be Marvel (e.g., Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Ant-Man). And there are only 4 films that I really love, and those all happen to be DC (with BvS at the very top).

So the story here is pretty clear --- I like most of the MCU films, but they are typically around a 6 or 7 on my scale. Whereas the DC films tend to sit at 7 or above, and the films that have really connected with me in the deepest ways are MoS, BvS, The Dark Knight, and Wonder Woman. Hopefully Zack Snyder's Justice League is another one of those films that really resonates with me, completing a magnificent Dawn of Justice trilogy.

What about the fan wars between the Snyderverse and the more recent DC Films?

I basically try to avoid all the fan wars. While I do really appreciate the Snyder films in the DCEU thus far and I'm very much looking forward to Zack Snyder's Justice League, I have not tried to take my love for Snyder's work and turn it into hate toward other people's work. I really enjoyed Aquaman, Birds of Prey, and especially Shazam!. For me, they are still above the vast majority of the MCU films. WW84 was a little bit of a miss on the action and some of the story beats, but I still liked the film.

Really the only problem I've had with the DC films are the severe instances of studio interference, namely, Suicide Squad and Justice League. In my view, the studio interference prevented those films from reaching even higher heights in my book. But I still think the casting and the characters are fairly good, and both films have enough of the directors' and creative teams' touch that I can still find parts to enjoy. So I don't hate them, and when I'm in the right frame of mind, I can enjoy both of them, but it's just a shame to think about how much better they could've been without the interference.

The good news is that this will be largely rectified in a few weeks on HBO Max. And who knows, maybe Suicide Squad will get a new life, too (and I don't just mean The Suicide Squad). If this happens, that will replace two of the lower scores on my personal DC ratings and will leave a very solid track record, in my book.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Man of Steel Scene 11

 This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on Scene 11 (oil rig rescue at seat) of Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder.

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • The Human Perspective of a Superhero
  • Clark's Screams
  • Helicopters/Helipads
  • Forging a Hero

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Bonus content at

Sam's new children's book

<Transcript below>

Monday, October 12, 2020

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Man of Steel Scene 10

This episode of the JLU Podcast focuses on Scene 10 (Greenhorn on the Debbie Sue) of Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder.

  • Snyder's commentary on the Krypton prologue
  • Escape pod into the Debbie Sue ship at sea
  • Greenhorn
  • Clark roaming like Superman: Earth One
  • Can you push Superman down?
  • Clark's natural instinct to help

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<Transcript below>

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Snyder Cut Round Tables - Episode 9 - RTSnyderCut

Back in June, right after the glorious announcement that Zack Snyder's Justice League would be coming to HBO Max, Sam and Alessandro co-hosted a roundtable for the @RTSnyderCut YouTube channel. They were joined by Omesh and Hamad to discuss the aspects of Batman v Superman that they think will be continued into the director's version of Justice League.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Discussion of DC FanDome Trailer for JUSTICE LEAGUE: The Snyder Cut

In this episode of the Justice League Universe podcast, Sam and Alessandro discuss the amazing trailer that Zack Snyder premiered at DC FanDome.

They share their general reactions, the new connections to Batman v Superman, the upgrade in villains, the emotional elements of the film, and various other tidbits (including parallels to the Leonard Cohen lyrics).

See also Rebecca Johnson's analysis of the trailer:

Discussion of additional DC Films at

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Man of Steel Scene 9

This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on Scene 9 (Lara's goodbye) of Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder.

  • Symbol of hope
  • Krypton's destruction and columns of fire
  • Lara's poise and call for a better world
  • Music and destruction juxtaposition
  • Armor

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<Transcript below>