I have a strong feeling this edit is going to be divisive, as all Snyder related things seem to be. However. For me, this was the most fun I've had watching this movie.
Rather than work from the Snyder Cut as a base, this version of the movie really embraces what was good about the theatrical cut. It's lighter, faster paced, fun and character driven.
The reorganizing do the first act worked incredibly well for me, probably the best version that exists of this chunk of the movie. I thought all the characters played well and felt more in tone with the comic book versions.
My only gripe is the "needle drops" throughout, though I would chalk this more to my personal preferences than anything inherently wrong with the edit. I just found the insertion of known music to be a little too much for me at times. It leans into the "James Gunn" music style, which I'm not the biggest fan of. However. These moments were edited perfectly well and handled with care, so I don't knock any points for that.
Overall, I thought this was a really cool edit and a great version of the film. If you're a Snyder purist stay away, but if you're intrigued by a light, fun superhero team up movie, I think you'll be very impressed!
It's not usual, but yes, sometimes two wrongs DO make a right. It's no secret that I'm no Zack Snyder fan: his visual style doesn't click with me, and in the case of his DC movies, his vision of the characters vastly differs from mine. Plus, in the case of ZSJL, it also commits the cinema sin of being way too plodding and unfocused, apart from still way too overly grimdark. The Whedon cut? Objectively a bad movie, way too silly and with "executive meddling" written all over it. It is tied with 2016's Suicide Squad for the dubious honor of being the DCEU's Batman & Robin. So, having enjoyed neither cut, what hopes could I hold?
Well, the solution was actually surprisingly easy: it needed to be approached by someone that held the same sensibilities about these characters than I do. And fortunately, Bionic Bob is that person. A huge Bronze Age fan, he understands these heroes just as I do: serious but not grimdark, lighthearted but not goofy, essentially beacons of hope. Applying that to the footage, he found the good in both cuts by removing the grimdark from Snyder and the goofiness from Whedon. And what remains feels a lot like a classic Bronze Age JLA story indeed, making the bits I always enjoyed (such as the "save one" exchange or Superman's final shirt rip) shine so much brighter.
If I had to nitpick, I'd bring up some aspects of the audio editing that I would have approached differently, having to do with the levels of music vs. foley (and even lines) in certain flashback scenes, but I talked it over with Bob and it's a deliberate choice out of personal preference, so I can only respect it completely. The needle drops? Well, I'm not as much into James Gunn as Bob is (while certainly preferring him to both Snyder and Whedon) so if it was me editing this I doubt I'd have taken that path, but at the same time I'd lie if I said they didn't work.
So far the only version of Justice League I had been able to enjoy was Gieferg's side-splittingly funny Grindhouse cut, but that was of course all tongue in cheek. The Unity Edition showed me that a form of this film could exist that I'd be able to enjoy unironically. Count me in as a fan of justice!
This is a more balanced movie, neither too light or dark, very much in line with Bronze age sensibilties as laid out in Bob's mandates at the beginning of the edit.
I loved the various choices of music for the edit, that track that plays during Arthur and Steppenwolf is a pure metal banger...the only track I didn't like was the use of "Hurt" by Johnny Cash. I just find that one of the most overplayed songs to use in anything. Doesn't deter from the overall enjoyment of the full edit, but it is a gripe I have.
I appreciated everything leading into the main feature, creating a more authentic theatrical feel and giving kudos to other editors past projects. I'd already seen Bob's end credits in the In The Works thread but it's still good to see form part of the feature, not a whole lot of comic book movies pull from this sort of thing and it'd be nice if they did, just to show the companies aren't embarrassed of where this stuff comes from.
Overall, Bob delivers on his promise and we get a great merger of both directors visions with none of their short-comings too visible or leading to difficult distraction. JL could have been the perfect movie if there was better communication between directors, this at least gives us an insight into how that process could have worked out for the best.
I'd dare call this the most original take on the Justice League movie yet! Most edits predominantly go "full Snyder" or "full Whedon" but this one takes both and interweaves them to create a more balanced take on the story.
Visual it's as good as can be. Looked great on my 60 inch TV. There were only a few times where the Snyder footage was clear to see compared to Whedon footage due to the darker palate. Audio-wise, only one needle drop's fadeout didn't quite work (the one on Themyscira), but the others worked well, ESPECIALLY "You're the Best" during the fight to the plant. Once I understood that Bob was purposefully pulling back the sound effects to let the music take front and center, I applauded this stylistic choice. I think my biggest gripe is that either Snyder or Whedon, they both were so serious that introducing rock-infused music took me out of it, but that is not on Bob, but more on just HEAVY material. The John Williams/Hans Zimmer mixed Superman theme is used to perfection in Superman's transition from a serious and rejected hero to a hopeful and more happy one. His resurrection felt like it brought him to where we'd like to see him.
Narrative.....I can't believe how much was cut and got us to the team getting together in like an hour. WOW! I could barely tell you what was missing. It just came together in a much better pace and so well! What Snyder did in 4.5 hours, Bob was able to do in a little over 2 and it never felt rushed. There was ample time to breathe and Victor Stone was still able to be the "heart" of the movie.
Enjoyment.....I like what Bob went for! On a personal taste note, I just didn't like Whedon's additional humor. My biggest gripe was that The Flash was very annoying and still is to me. That being said, I was saddened that the only scene he has that I like is the turning back time scene from the Snyder Cut was not included, though I understand that narratively that may not have been possible.
With all of the other cuts out there that do their own thing with the footage, I highly suggest you check out Bob's completely original take as it embraces the version of the characters that he loves so dearly and it shows in the fun time he has created in this edit!
Lots of fun! A great vision for the mixing of the two versions of Justice league. As a fan of the ZSJL cut, I do miss a lot that was left on Bob's cutting room floor, but the story told in this edit is complete, well rounded narratively, and definitely has more depth than the theatrical release, and more hope than the ZS release.