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A Person Who Has Never Seen Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Reviews Its Digital Extras

My relationship with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is complicated in that it does not technically exist. By this I mean that, recently, my editor asked me which of the MCU movies I had seen, and I genuinely could not remember. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at least one of the Avengers films, because I remember thinking, “Why is Jeremy Renner an Avenger if he doesn’t have any special powers?” Looking back on this moment now, though, I can’t remember whether Jeremy Renner did or did not have special powers, or if having special powers is important to being an Avenger. This sort of staggering ignorance/mild dementia is why that same editor thought it would be fun for me to review the digital extras of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice without having ever seen the actual movie.

As I write this introduction, though, I’m realizing that I’m not even sure whether Batman v Superman is part of the MCU. It might be its own thing. Oh. My editor just told me it’s DC, which is a different universe entirely. Anyway, please join me as I watch more than two hours’ worth of digital extras for a movie that is two hours and 33 minutes long.

The Digital Extra: “Uniting the World’s Finest”

Runtime: 15 minutes and 3 seconds
Synopsis: The DC Universe is a beautiful tapestry of endless superheroes, and they’re all connected, and anything is possible.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• The first thing a human being says in this entire thing is, “The DC characters really represent that original mythology: what is a superhero.” So this is not a Marvel movie. Good to know.
• “Everybody” knows about DC characters, because they are “embedded in our culture.”
• Everybody except me.
• I am a space alien.
• DC is thirsty as hell for that Marvel money and returns innumerable times, in various ways, to the following sentiment: There is a “massive” DC Cinematic Universe that is “ready to explode onto our movie screens.”
• DC seems to believe it operates in a vacuum and has invented the idea of a cinematic universe.
• “A lot of people don’t realize” that the DC Universe is a “tapestry” made up of “countless superheroes.”
• But it is.
• Even the title is thirsty: Dawn of Justice is “about the future of these characters working as a team.”
• Please understand: DC will never stop making these movies.
• “Once you see Batman and Superman staring at each other in a movie, anything is possible.”
• DC seems to be extremely sensitive to criticism of their depiction of Wonder Woman, and as such, will not stop telling us how “badass” she is.
• Wonder Woman is a “better fighter than Superman.”
• Wonder Woman is “as badass as anybody.”
• Wonder Woman lives in the olden times.
• Yet somehow, Wonder Woman is also cyberstalked.
• Aquaman is “one of the most underrated superheroes out there.”
• His introduction is “the most exciting thing.”
• Aquaman is a “badass.”
• Aquaman is going to connect us to a whole other universe under the sea. I’m stressed out about the number of universes involved here.
• Jason Momoa connects with Aquaman because his “people” are “water gods.”
• Jason Momoa is “enormous.”
• Jason Momoa is “kind of scary.”
• Jason Momoa is fine as hell.
• Everyone on this set and in this review harbors fantasies of being dominated by Jason Momoa.
• There’s a “whole other universe” that The Flash “feeds into” the DC Universe.
• I’m taking deep breaths.
• Cyborg is the only black character.
• But that’s not why nobody knows who he is. Nope. It’s because of another thing.
• Cyborg is “more relevant today than ever” because we “rely on digital technology so much” and we are all cyborgs.
• Cyborg is barely in the movie, though.
• Will Smith says David Ayer is a genius because he has injected “seven or eight other characters” into Suicide Squad. All of them can move about the DC Universe because money.
• Jared Leto didn’t realize The Joker was 75 years old.
• (He means the story of The Joker.)
• Margot Robbie wants to do “another 10 movies.”
• Everyone is milking the literal f*ck out of this franchise.
• I respect and fear this hustle.
• There are “several” DC films in development. There are “countless” paths. There are “multiple” story lines.
• DC is a “mirror to the way we understand the world.”
• “We all need heroes, and that’s why there’s been heroes in every religion and every culture.”
• DC characters are nothing less than the “answer to our problems, personified.”


The Digital Extra: “Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants”

Runtime: 12 minutes and 26 seconds
Synopsis: Batman and Superman hate each other, and yet, they love each other. Here’s why.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• Ben Affleck, in talking-head mode, speaks in a very low register with a very grave face.
• Ben Affleck is terrifyingly serious about this movie.
• Batman and Superman are “THE two seminal, iconic characters of comic mythology,” says Ben Affleck.
• Sorry, Jeremy Renner.
• This statement is reiterated by separate people at least 15 times.
• Everyone in this movie has overthought the concepts of “Batman” and “Superman” so intensely that they are barely making coherent sense.
• Batman is dark and Superman is light.
• Batman is sad and Superman is happy.
• Batman is peanut butter and Superman is jelly.
• Batman is a submarine full of poison and Superman is a hot-air balloon full of Cheez Whiz.
• And yet: “Everyone has two sides.”
• You might think that Batman and Superman would be bros, but they aren’t, because their approaches to superheroing are VASTLY different.
• They’ve “touched everybody all over the world.”
• “You cannot not love Superman.”
• “You cannot not love the Bat.”
• I can’t tell whether everyone in these extras is selling this movie to themselves — a movie they have already made — or to the audience, who has ostensibly paid $19.99 to see these extras.
• Batman and Superman have never been on-screen together in the history of cinema, which is something everyone in this extra says at least twice and in an only infinitesimally different way.
• At some point, Batman throws Superman off a balcony.
• At another point, Batman stink bombs (?) Superman.
• Honestly, Superman seems really outmatched here.
• But “at the root of it all, Batman and Superman are allies and friends.”
• Literally what.
• Ben Affleck has not smiled one time while talking about this movie.
• I’m more than a little worried about Ben Affleck’s stone-faced devotion to this franchise/character and what that suggests about the state of his own internal life.
• There is a “real anger that’s brewing inside Ben’s Batman.”
• Ben Affleck speaks in an even lower register as Batman. He’s basically just whispering forcefully.
• Ben, are you OK?
• I think we can all agree, no.
• Media is “the third character in the movie, and in all of our lives.”
• Except I thought there were 400 characters in this movie.
• This movie has a fundamental misunderstanding of how “media” works in that it assumes reporters dictate their headlines aloud to one another as if they were dictating a text to Siri.
• This movie “isn’t about Superman,” says Henry Cavill, who plays Superman.
• Diane Lane is in this movie.


The Digital Extra: “The Warrior, the Myth, the Wonder”

Runtime: 21 minutes and 14 seconds (help)
Synopsis: Wonder Woman is badass.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• Wonder Woman is “strong.”
• Wonder Woman is “powerful.”
• Wonder Woman is “iconic.”
• Wonder Woman is “an incredible badass.”
• Nobody has ever made a movie about Wonder Woman.
• Nobody says this, but Wonder Woman is, not incidentally, hot.
• I feel like Wonder Woman and I could hang.
• Wonder Woman was developed by an old white dude who did a lot of psychological experiments and determined that “women’s psychology for love was greater.”
• Though, appropriately, it was his wife’s idea to make a female superhero.
• Wonder Woman is described as a “suffragette turned into a pin-up girl.”
• Wonder Woman is “THE” feminist superhero.
• Wonder Woman’s boobs have gotten more and more gigantic and sturdy with each passing decade.
• Gloria Steinem once saved Wonder Woman from a fate of 1970s jumpsuits and saying things like, “That’s my bag [in the figurative sense]!”
• A lot of people in this extra bend over backward to convince each other and us that Wonder Woman’s strapless bathing suit is not a product of the male gaze.
• I like the bathing suit, so fine.
• Where can I buy this bathing suit?
• By 12 minutes in, this extra has turned into a long explainer about how and why Wonder Woman is feminist, even though she’s not “perfectly feminist.”
• This is important because “people look to comics for a moral compass.”
• This explains so much.

The Digital Extra: “Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile”

Runtime: 22 minutes and 43 seconds (HELP)
Synopsis: The new Batmobile is cool and fast.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• There is a job called “Extreme Sports Coordinator.”
• A person with this job narrates this extra, interviewing the team of men who built the Batmobile.
• The structure of this extra is as follows: The Extreme Sports Coordinator shows the Batmobile builders iPad videos of themselves building the Batmobile. The men watch the videos and say things like, “That tire weighed 500 pounds.”
• I’ve never seen anyone closer to self-actualization than these men are when talking about the Batmobile for 22 minutes straight.
• The Batmobile is “just as much a character as Batman himself.” We are at 401 characters in the DCU now.
• The Batmobile is “iconic.”
• When you cut rubber from tires and add to the valving internally, you fix a problem.
• I am slowly losing my mind.

The Digital Extra: “Superman: Complexity & Truth”

Runtime: 7 minutes and 6 seconds
Synopsis: Contrary to this title, this extra is just about Superman’s clothes and Henry Cavill’s bangin’ stunt double.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• Clark Kent’s “civilian” wardrobe is “not ultra sophisticated, just kind of a guy that moves to the city and works in an office and is just beginning to work out who he is.”
• Same.
• There is a Joseph Campbell quote inscribed in Superman’s suit.
• Neither Superman’s suit nor shoes are waterproof, which seems … insane.
• If it rains, the material on the suit stretches and the shoes fill with water.
• Henry Cavill seems bitter about, but ultimately resigned to, this fate.
• Superman’s stunt double, Albert, could get it.
• Ben Affleck uses a bathroom sink as a weapon in this movie.
• I wouldn’t be upset if somebody took a bathroom sink to my head at this particular point in time.
• Amy Adams is in this movie.


The Digital Extra: “Batman: Austerity & Rage”

Runtime: 8 minutes and 13 seconds
Synopsis: Batman is angry, so he has weapons and an “austere” wardrobe.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• The publicity photos of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne are HILARIOUS.
• He is frowning like a cartoon dog.
• The word “austerity” is used 12-plus times in this extra.
• Ben Affleck’s Batman has “new and unusual” weapons, like a grenade launcher and a “long-range rifle that shoots a tracking device.”
• Batman can “take you down in a number of ways.”
• The first time Ben Affleck smiles in this entire thing is when he says, “It’s hard to add muscle to your body, especially at my age.”
• “I ended up putting on about two and a half pounds of muscle a month,” says Ben Affleck, grinning madly.
• I haven’t smiled in a long time.

The Digital Extra: “Wonder Woman: Grace & Power”

Runtime: 6 minutes and 46 seconds
Synopsis: This extra is ostensibly about Wonder Woman’s clothes, but is actually about Gal Gadot’s bangin’ bod.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• Wonder Woman is “the most powerful female superhero that we have.”
• Wonder Woman is “an icon.”
• Wonder Woman is “a badass who kicks ass.”
• Figuring out Wonder Woman’s costume was “the biggest challenge on the movie.”
• To play Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot worked out two hours every day for seven months straight.
• Due to the very limited number of Wonder Woman clips in these extras, I am going to surmise that Batman v Supermanhas maybe three Wonder Woman scenes.
• I have now watched Gal Gadot speak this exact line at least six times: “I’ve killed creatures from other worlds before.”
• Ben Affleck is too old for Gal Gadot.
• I have aged 17 years since I began writing this.

The Digital Extra: “Batcave: Legacy of the Lair”

Runtime: 7 minutes and 10 seconds
Synopsis: Here is some stuff about the Batcave.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• The Batcave is “a juxtaposition between modern technology and kind of this ancient gritty rock.”
• The Batcave is both a prison and a sanctuary for Batman: “You feel like you barely have the space to live in there,” says the designer of the Batcave.
• If you think about it, the human mind is sort of a Batcave.
• Jeremy Irons is in this movie.


The Digital Extra: “The Might and the Power of a Punch”

Runtime: 5 minutes and 13 seconds
Synopsis: Here is how Batman and Superman fight.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• How are there still three extras to go?
• Who is writing these ridiculous titles?
• “It’s time to analyze this epic showdown, blow by crushing blow.”
• No.
• Please no.
• OK.
• “Batman is three inches taller than Superman, but compared with Superman’s Kryptonian superpowers, Batman will need every defense.”
• Superman’s hearing is 2,500 per cent more sensitive than Batman’s.
• Superman can shoot 10,000-degree fire out of his eyes.
• Superman can run 100 miles per hour.
• But Batman has guns.
• None of this matters because I guess they team up in the end.
• The result of this pairing is “virtually unimaginable.”
• Except it is imagined many times in this movie.

The Digital Extra: “Save the Bats”

Runtime: 4 minutes and 35 seconds
Synopsis: Save the bats.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• A lot of people are scared of bats.
• I’m one of them.
• But bats are “incredibly beneficial, and responsible, for, like, a lot of our ecosystem working.”
• Thusly, Batman v Superman thought it would “raise awareness” of bats.
• Here is how they do this: by showing a lot of close-ups of bats, kids stating facts about bats, and a brief shot of Ben Affleck pretending to care about bats.
• This is the most patently absurd extra of all, which is saying a lot, because I have watched hours of patently absurd extras at this point.
• Batman raising awareness of bats is like the Indigo Girls raising awareness of the color indigo.
• Everyone always forgets about indigo, but it is, in fact, part of the rainbow.
• Indigo looks like blue, but it’s not. It’s indigo.
• In conclusion: Don’t forget about indigo.

The Digital Extra: “The Empire of Luthor”

Runtime: 12 minutes and one million billion seconds
Synopsis: I don’t know.
What I Learned From This Extra:
• My capacity for consuming comic-book-centric digital extras is 12 minutes shorter than the Batman v Superman digital extras.
• I need to lie down for the rest of my life and relax in the soothing but claustrophobic Batcave of my own mind.
• Jesse Eisenberg is in this movie.