28 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War



I was afraid this could be a bit of a hot mess after Age of Ultron, I mean that had less people involved and was quite overstuffed. I'm pleased to say that my expectations were exceeded. This wasn't as much of a pleasant surprise as Avengers Assemble (mostly because we all feared that'd be dreadful and then  it really wasn't and we didn't even know such a thing could work), but it was in some ways better as a thing because there's more background and complexity for the characters.

I didn't take a side (I can be that way sometimes, I haven't picked a side in the British Civil War either despite that my A level history teacher insisted that we would) and I felt that the viewpoints and motivations of most characters were given space and explored. This is nice because it could easily have been more on Cap's side (it's technically his film, and I understand the comic story line has Stark as a right jerk). The story made sense from a character point of view and the tension was built by the knowledge that there was more to the situation and we (or the characters) knew. It was cool that there were a few times when Steve and Tony almost sorted things out, but then something would happen or something would be sent that made it all worse. The action was exciting and interesting, groups of people using their powers and skills for fighting while mostly not wanting to properly hurt anyone else. There was room for surprises despite all the trailer clips and there was variety to the action that's different to what we've seen before. It's nice that Marvel have realised that you don't have to have a city in danger or something in the sky at the climax of a superhero film. A conflict can have tension and impact and be dramatic without trashing buildings and creating loads of collateral damage. I think this is one of my favourite Marvel films.


The Return Of The Random List of Spoilery Thoughts
Again this won't make sense if you haven't seen the film, plus it's probably going to be spoilery for previous Marvel films, so you were warned.



How did the Dean get a job at MIT? Seriously, he could barely run a community college.
Maybe they didn't want me to make this comparison, but they should have put a wig or beard or something on him. I am easily confused by people having different hair, so if I spotted it was the same man they couldn't have been trying hard to hide it.

Ma Stark has a name and a face and a voice!
I've been waiting for this for years! I mean she's only there so Stark can avenge(r)* his mum's death (what else are superhero mothers for?) but at least she's acknowledged as a person after 5 films with Iron Man and 2 films and a TV show featuring Howard Stark.
Maria Stark, about damn time

No! They killed Peggy! How could you! I mean it was obviously coming, but still, sadness. I pulled a sad face at my husband in the cinema. And then the 3rd series of Agent Carter isn't happening. Further sadness!

Sharon does not replace Peggy. At all! Don't try this Marvel. I know she's good at her work and helps Steve loads, but seriously that doesn't mean they've gotta kiss. Is it kissing as a reward? Not that I feel Steve would do such a thing himself, but plot-wise that's how it feels to me. She's been helpful so she gets to kiss Cap, I mean it's a gender-switched version of a trope, but it turns out I still don't like it. The problem is that there's little background or build up to this kiss, just Nat suggesting he ask her out a few years ago before he knew she was surveilling him. Plus the whole Peggy connection makes it feel weirder. Though the MCU has no history of good romances, in fact that's main place where they do badly, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised they've fluffed this. Or maybe it was to counteract the weight of all the Steve/Bucky online shipping, but this opposite-sex chemistry-free kiss does not convince that this pairing is better.

Vision's outfits! My first reaction to Vision was that he was so otherworldly compared to the rest of the characters, now his preppy-looking outfits are totally incongruous.

Vision and Wanda are kinda cute. They're the two most powerful (with Thor and Hulk absent),  but also in many ways the most mysterious. I wonder if things will be going in the same direction as the comics? At least if they do there's some build up here, rather than a seemingly arbitrary decision about which two characters are attracted to each other. Part of me thinks that a version of the Gillon/McKelvie Young Avengers run would be awesome (gay teenagers smooching on the moon!), but in all honesty the backstory/origin of Wanda's kids is all a bit too weird for film.

Spidey is great, really enjoyed him, but I am judging Stark so heavily for involving a child in this. Him not doing that kinda thing was the main thing that made him less of a jerk than Batman.

Ant Man was just happy to be invited, cos it's so cool. Plus he's a bit anti-corporate and anti-Stark, so it makes sense.

No one explains why Hawkeye does what he does, and I'm not that bothered.

Black Panther was very cool and his putting aside of revenge was the most sensible and mature action here.

No Marvel ending, they're doing a different thing, finally. Nothing in sky. No city in peril. Just three people with massive emotion stakes in the situation beating the shit out of each other in a bunker.

Stark shouldn't have had Wanda held, not cool. Why didn't he just ask her to stay put, explain why he wanted her out of the way for a bit. Using Vision that way wasn't great, I guess he still has vestigal butler reflexes. Having done that to Wanda he probably shouldn't have told Cap. Stark's not the best team player and I think he doesn't entirely get that the others aren't his employees. Not that he's treating them that way on purpose, but I think he has limited ways of interacting with people and assuming he's in charge is one of his main social strategies.

Falcon has totally imprinted on Cap. His hatred of Bucky is understandable and hilarious.

It makes sense they had to fight among themselves as Loki's the only compelling villain they've done so far (they're almost as bad at villains as they are at romance) and he's Thor's issue. Plus this works so well because we care for and have history with most of these characters while also wanting to discover more about the newer ones.


*Not sorry.

21 May 2016

The Drumhead

Episode: s4, ep 21

What Happens
There was a Klingon on the Enterprise as a part of a science exchange programme, but after a small explosion damaged the engine and Federation info was leaked to the Romulans he's suspected to be a spy and saboteur. The Enterprise crew question him, but due to the severity of what happened Star Fleet sends retired Admiral Satie to work with Picard on the investigation. At first the partnership works well, everyone respects each other and the admiral's Betazoid investigator knows the Klingon scientist is lying. Worf discovers the scientist had adapted one of his medical syringes to convert information from Federation chips into proteins that could be carried as a message in a person's bloodstream. When questioned again and confronted with the evidence the scientist admits that he passed information, and that he hates the Klingon treaty with the Federation, seeing the Romulans as more worthy allies. He still insists he had nothing to do with the damage to the engine though, leading Picard, Admiral Satie and Worf to suspect that there might be someone else involved. The Admiral says that she's impressed with Worf and Picard even though she admits that she doesn't usually like working with others. It helps that Picard is familiar with the work of her father, a legendary judge whose shadow she has clearly been living in all her life.
Dr Crusher is questioned about the Klingon scientist, he came into sickbay to get the regular injections he needs, but she didn't do it herself. One of her medical staff Simon Tarses -who is mostly human but has pointy, Vulcan ears from a grandparent- is questioned, he did administer the scientist's injections but says he never spoke with him socially. He's clearly nervous and after he leaves the Betazoid investigator says he's hiding something big and declares that he must be the one they're looking for. Picard isn't convinced that they can tell anything from a feeling and refuses to let extra security measures to be imposed on Simon. The Admiral disagrees, but they're interrupted by Geordi who's finished checking the explosion site in the engine.
Data and Geordi show Picard and Admiral Satie the area where a hatch cover came loose. A thorough investigation has revealed nothing besides signs of wear, meaning that the hatch cover simply had a tiny flaw that couldn't be detected. It really does look like it was a coincidental accident, and Picard is fine with that but Admiral Satie isn't. She points out that a traitorous scientist shouldn't have been able to get on board the flagship at all and so probably had help. Picard grudgingly agrees that Simon can be questioned again, but only to prove his innocence. Picard is surprised to find that the next questioning session has an audience, and the Betazoid investigator lies to Simon about the cause of the engine damage, very clearly insinuating that Simon has the means to help the Klingon scientist and sabotage the ship. Simon is really nervous and then the investigator reveals that Simon lied on his Star Fleet application, his grandparent is Romulan not Vulcan. Simply being 1/4 Romulan seems to be enough for some, plus of course the lying is also bad.
Picard tells Admiral Satie not to continue, he tries to persuade her that what's happening is wrong. She points out that she doesn't have family or friends or a home, she just travels around doing her job and protecting their society. She starts to sound somewhat nationalistic and again cites her father. She wants to hold more inquests and will question whoever she has to. Worf is happily doing investigations into Simon's family and friends. Picard tries to convince him that this is wrong and Worf says people with nothing to hide shouldn't be afraid of the truth, which is pretty hypocritical when you consider Worf's situation.
The Admiral sends for a non-retired Admiral to make things more official, he mostly just sits there while Satie and her Betazoid staff member interrogate Picard, who is apparently not an equal partner in this anymore. Satie brings up the nine times Picard has breached the Prime Directive and also the events of Data's Day, when the Enterprise unknowingly transported a deep-cover Romulan spy to her people. Then Worf tries to defend Picard and the Betazoid turns on him and asks about his father being a Romulan collaborator. Picard recites a speech that Judge Satie once made, about people's freedom and Admiral Satie flips out and starts shouting because she's decided Picard is a traitor and believes he's tarnishing her father's name. The silent, visiting Admiral looks well dubious then walks out, at which point Satie realises that she might have appeared a bit unstable and the session is ended. Later Worf tells Picard it's all been called off and admits that he had believed in Satie and what she was doing. Picard warns about people like her.


Guest Star
Admiral Norah Satie is played by Jean Simmons, admittedly I did have to look this up because it turns out that although I know her name (not to be confused with Gene Simmons from Kiss) I didn't really know what she looked like as I've not seen her films. The main thing I know her from is the voice of Old Sophie in the English dub of Howl's Moving Castle.
Though I got distracted imagining Dame Judi Dench -who I guess might've been a bit young when this was filmed- in the role, because it did seem like a version of M from Bond mixed with Dolores Umbridge. OMG, they should totally cast Dame Judi with a cameo/one-episode role in the new Star Trek series!

Oh Captain, My Captain
Picard is happy to be working with Admiral Satie while investigation is still needed, and he's an admirer of her father's work. When action is being taken on the basis of a feeling Picard is cautious, though admittedly his own Betazoid is much vaguer than hers. As Picard gets increasingly angry about the way Simon is being targeted and public incriminated and he tries to convince Satie and Worf that what they're doing is wrong, but neither gets it. Satie initially makes a show of taking his point on board and being careful, but then just does as she pleases. You can tell she's not used to working collaboratively as she placates then ignores Picard and reports to Star Fleet, even summoning another Admiral without his knowledge.
Picard invites Simon for a private chat, probably not the way he'd have wanted to get the ear of the Captain. Picard asks about Simon's background and (as ever) it's all focused on Star Fleet and career aspirations and poor Simon's fear that it's all over for him. When Picard later says that he's determined Simon's innocence through talking to him the Admiral dismisses the idea. She's really not a people person, but doesn't seem to get that others can be.
Picard's hearing, which is before an Admiral and he gets no notice about, isn't really about the information breach or the accident, it's about Picard's record. He knows the rules, so he takes an opportunity to give a small speech, but neither Admiral seems to respond to his speeching powers. Now I'm not surprised to hear he's breached the Prime Directive nine times, but I get the impression that's not normal for a Captain. Picard doesn't deny it and says that he reported the circumstances each time that happened. Then the events of Data's Day are raised and Picard is obviously weary (such facepalm) but he isn't scared. Then he combines his speeching powers with quotation by reciting some words he learned at school, and instead of cursing (as many of us would) he quotes Judge Satie at Admiral Satie she flips out revealing that she's already made her decision. He saw just how much she admired her father and knew that would get through to her somehow, though I don;t know whether he was trying to freak her out or whether he hoped she would be convinced.

Klingon Warrior
When the scientist says his being discriminated against because he's Klingon Troi points to Worf as why that isn't the case (not always true, but probably correct here). The scientist taunts Worf about his dishonour and terrible status in Klingon society, then he tries to bribe Worf by suggesting he has powerful firneds who could help Worf regain his honour. Once they're out of the ccorridor Worf attacks him and refuses his bribe, though I suspect that's how Klingons refuse bribes. It does seem a bit dumb to taunt someone you were hoping would help you, plus the scientist seems to think that Worf could be pro-Romulan like him so why not approach like he might be on your side. The Betazoid investigator says that his father's reputation as a Romulan collaborator means Worf was considered a suspect, but his discovery of how the scientist got the secrets out and his work in the interrogation convinces Satie and her people that Worf will be very useful. I suppose that humans aren't intimidating to Klingons, whereas Worf could be.Worf really gets into the investigating and delegating stuff to his staff and he's finally allowed to be as suspicious as he usually wants to be. Picard tries to explain why this is wrong, but Worf believes Satie and says innocent people aren't afraid of the truth. This is a hypocritical stance considering how many family secrets he's got: Hey Worf, what's the deal with your father? Do you have any siblings? Any children? Hmmm?
 At the Captain's hearing Worf speaks up to defend Picard's actions regarding the Romulan spy from Data's Day, he points out that any aggressive action then could have endangered the whole ship. The the Betazoid, who previously praised him and disregarded his father's supposed collaboration throws it back into his face and says he's not worthy of his job. Worf approaches menacingly, but Picard -the only person there who knows truth about Worf's father- stops him from taking regretable action.

Random Crewmember: Crewman First Class Simon Tarses, medical technician
Poor Simon is nervy about questions because he hid his Romulan heritage in his application to Star Fleet, pretending his elf ears are due to Vulcan relatives. Though it's not really explored much the implication is that Romulan heritage can be a severe hinderance to Star Fleet entry, or at least that he expected to experience prejudice if the truth was known. He talks to Picard about his aspirations growing up, they bond a little over memories of a particular bench near the Academy and Simon mentions how eager he was to go to space, and so he didn't take the Officer route. Though I wonder if he didn't take that route because he feared his heritage would be more of a problem, though that doesn't explain why his parents wanted him to try. Now he's terrified that his career is over and though we know a lot more about Simon than any other Random Crewmember, we don't know how this all impacts on him afterwards.

Too Many Admirals
Admirals are rarely a good sign on this show. Satie clearly loved and admired her father greatly, though her upbringing sounds a little odd, with family meals being enforced a discussion exercises. Of course to her that's normal and to someone with respect for oratory like Picard it probably sounds pretty good. Picard mentions that Satie's investigation exposed an alien conspiracy 3 years earlier, I assume that's refering to the events of Conspiracy with the brainlice who mind controlled a load of Admirals. I don't remember seeing or hearing about her in that episode? Did she give the info to that other Admiral who rised his concerns with Picard, or did she clear up what happened after. I mean that entire thing seemed to disappear without a trace, which isn't surprising cos that's TNG, but equally is kinda ridiculous because it should have caused a real shake-up across the ranks. Early on Satie mentions how frightening a conspiracy on a star ship can be, I wonder if that's because she's done this sort of thing everywhere else she's been? It's not clear if this is how she's always operated, or whether she's gotten worse over time. I almost feel bad for her when she tells Picard she's spent the last four years without seeing family or having a home or friends, she's just travelled around fulfilling her purpose of keeping the Federation safe. It's odd because she's supposed to have been retired. Sounds like she's been investigating on her own and maybe someone should have made sure she was fully retired. She also mentions that people have doubted her before and they've regretted it, which suggests a reign of terror. Of course it sounds like she's got nothing else in her life, or she has built her life around this. It's clear she's a nationalistic, paranoid zealot who enjoys the power and righteousness of her investigations, what isn't clear is whether she's specifically xenophobic against Romulans or whether any perceived threat gets her going, I figure it's the latter. When she goes off the deep end at Picard it's satisfying from a story point of view, though part of me wonders if it's exacerbated by her being a woman, and an older woman at that.
 Silent Admiral is silent, watchful, unimpressed and then gone.

The End
Worf tells Picard that silent Admiral has stopped things and Satie has left. Picard muses on how the history of witch hunts is still with people. Worf says he believed her and didn't see what she was. Picard says that people like her hide themselves behind good deeds, fear and righteousness, flourishing in the right climate. Society has to be vigilant for such people, always.


It's such a relevant message for nowadays. Well as Picard says any days really. I was recently listening to a podcast about Titus Oates and his Popish Plot, yet another historical example of paranoia about a certain group being exploited to create panic and aggrandise the accuser.

16 May 2016

Planetfall

Planetfall
by Emma Newman


Ren lives in a community on a planet far from Earth, she looks after the printers which keep the settlement running. Ren is a very private person who is plagued by regrets and secrets and worries. When someone comes from outside the settlement it seems impossible, perhaps a miracle, it was assumed no one could survive outside the settlement. The new arrival is welcomed but his presence stirs up things Ren does want to think about, pulling her further into a deception. When he gets involved in her life she finds she's closer to the revelations she's long dreaded.

This is the first book in a sequence, with the second volume out later this year. Emma Newman also has a series of fantasy books (which I really should have blogged about by now, because they are excellent, but apparently haven't because I'm so slow at book blogging) The Split Worlds, which has a fourth volume also out later this year.


This is a very powerful story and I can't think that I've encountered much like it, though I don't read as much science fiction as I do fantasy. The story is told in first person POV by Ren, and as well as getting her thoughts on events as they're happening we also get her memories, meaning that a strong feeling of her is created throughout the book. From early on it's clear that Ren is a very private person, and not always comfortable with people. Ren's anxiety and worries make her sympathetic, and this aspect of her viewpoint is very important to the story. Everything is filtered through her perspective and we know that there are secrets and deceptions, but because Ren doesn't like to think about certain aspects of her life and past the reader is pulled through the book intrigued to find out not just what will happen next, but also what happened in the past. In fact there are a couple of places where a narrative sleight-of-hand is used so that something common for Ren is presented to the reader as a revelation without breaking the viewpoint. I won't go into more detail as that would spoil things. It's interesting that even in this future setting, when a lot of human problems have been overcome by technology, mental health problems are clearly still present and still seem to have some stigma attached.

The setting itself is very interesting. There's a lot of technology which seems to be logical advancements of what we have today, 3-D printing is major part of the story, as is a very personal form of social networking. There's also advances to healthcare and buildings. The book contains a limited population within one settlement, and so it's hard to know how these advancements have affected humanity as whole. In fact it sounds as though the situation on Earth wasn't great, and the background details we are given sound like many of today's worries, environmental disaster, overpopulation, restrictive governments. There's an element of the utopian in the main setting, but science fiction stories aren't ever good for utopias. Though this leads to the other fascinating part of the setting, which is the religious aspect. The reason for the settlement on a planet far distant from Earth has to do with vision, spirituality and the idea of God being an entity that can be found, that wants to be found. There's exploration of how faith can be important to people, how it can be used to both support and deceive. Ren's discomfort with the spiritual leanings of others in her may be familiar to some readers in a time when we're often encouraged to be skeptical.

As I said before the reader is pulled through the story by a growing sense of a potential disaster which mirrors some past disaster, both of which we want to learn more about. Details about the past inform the present and create a sense of dread. As you think you might have figured out how things will go you get a new detail that subtly changes the game. The story isn't very fast-paced to begin with, but there's a lot of interest in learning about Ren and her environment and her life, and as plot move on things get faster and there are a few emotional blows that are very effective. This is not a terrifically happy book, but it has humour and hope and peace within it. I could not have anticipated the ending, and it is something that could merit a lot of discussion about its implication, which is a good thing.

10 May 2016

30

I turned 30 recently, which was nice because I was determined to have a good time with it and not focus on my age or where I am in my life and all of that stuff. Plus I can't complain as my husband is 5 years older than me and he took it all in his stride a while ago.

I had a short break to Copenhagen for my actual birthday, I've never been to Scandinavia before but have long wanted to go. That was a very nice few days, did a lot of walking as I often do -reminding me that in normal life I need more exercise and should probably walk more. We visited a couple of castles, the little mermaid statue (which is small but larger than I thought after so many people told me how small it is), Tivoli gardens (which was smaller and more commercial than I'd expected), the National Museum and walked along the beach area. We also met Margr├ęt, which was lovely. She has also been published with Fox Spirit Books and has edited some anthologies with them, so we know a lot of people in common but hadn't met before. She told us a bit about Copenhagen and the surrounding area, showed us part of the museum and was the one to suggest where we could walk up the beach.

Me on my 30th, with giraffes invading through mirrors

I got a good haul of books and graphic novels for my birthday, so much to read, which is nice. I'll try and blog about what I've read a bit more, but I'm already behind on that, so will see how I go.

The day after coming back from Copenhagen I went out to lunch with my extended family, then back to my parents' house. In collusion with my husband my mum had ordered me a cake with little models of our pet rats on the top. It was really lovely and tasted great too. 

Last weekend I got together with a load of my friends for a birthday party. The parties I like tend to have a lot of people gathered around chatting about all sorts of (often-but-not-always geeky) stuff. I'd booked a room in a bar and got a buffet, and it was all really nice. A few people came from out of town and I saw some people I don't see often and it just felt really nice.

So, having organised most of this I've gotten a bit behind on other things. I've various blog posts half done but I'm hoping to get them all sorted soon and catch up with actually posting about books and film and TV and all that stuff. Plus I guess I should decide what's next in general.


Did I mention I have glasses now? I may not have done so on the blog. My vision's gotten worse in last few years (couldn't see words on the TV bad) and now I need them most of the time. I'm considering contact lenses.

8 May 2016

Superman Vs Batman: Dawn of Justice

Catching up with blogging? Or cunningly waiting until most people have seen the film?



As the main story after the release was that this film wasn't very good I wasn't expecting much going in, and so I was reasonably satisfied with what I got. It wasn't a bad film, it was fine. Of course at the moment it seems as though if something isn't brilliant that means it's terrible automatically, polarised opinions, blah blah blah. Plus I suppose this film came with a lot of baggage and the way studios are trying to chain films together meant that it had more riding on it than whether it entertained people for a couple of hours.

I quite enjoyed Man of Steel when it came out, and felt the version of Superman was continued here successfully. This guy zipping around saving people seemed the same as the guy doing occasional super-powered good deeds while he was travelling. I liked Ben Affleck's performance as an older Batman, one whose seen some stuff and has already got the whole Bat-thing down. I didn't get why people were so freaked out by Batfleck a couple of years ago and I think he did well here even if there were issues. I thought the way the two characters were brought together as men and as superheroes was OK. I thought Lex Luthor was an interesting, modern take on the character, though I'm not sure how off-putting he was meant to be. I think it would have been better if his overall plan hadn't been so weird, bits worked and bits really didn't, though it at least it wasn't yet another weird real estate plot like in previous Superman films. In fact plot-wise some stuff worked and some stuff was just really strange (especially the last act), but I can see the reasons why all of it was there even when it didn't gel. As in the previous film I liked Amy Adam's Lois Lane, though she didn't get lots to do but in an ensemble piece that was to be expected. I really liked Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, she struck me as fun and also as the only character (with the arguable exception of Lex Luthor) who seemed to know what she was doing. She was a bit skinnier than I'd pictured Wonder Woman (but hey, that's Hollywood I guess),  but I suppose the point is that with her powers it's not about size so much.

And now to go into more detail on specifics...

A Random List of Spoilery Thoughts
Spoilers below in case you hadn't guessed, plus a lot of this won't make sense if you haven't seen the film.


It's cool to see that the events of Man of Steel shown from ground level and that there are repercussions for all that violence, though it's taken long enough to show that. I didn't really comment on it here after I watched the previous film, but the fight scenes and destruction were too big and took too long. Nice to see some aftermath. Also cool that Bruce Wayne runs towards the danger.

Why is there a horse in the chaos? After the film my husband said that was a 9/11 reference. Grr.

Why are the people in Bruce Wayne's Metropolis office waiting until he gives them permission (in person?) to leave. There are aliens having a giant fight outside, I think you can run away regardless of what the CEO says. Also who was that older guy? It seemed like he and Bruce had some strong connection that never got explained. Though I might be confused because I thought Bruce was calling him "Dad" initially.

You know what I think we all know how Bruce Wayne became Batman. I think that is a thing with which we are all familiar, you do not need to show us, even if it's a quick flashback. I mean I get that this film is full of this odd dream 'n' vision quality, which I don't object to per se, but there could have been less of this thing we know already. I also get that his mum's name is important, but they could've done that with the name on the grave alone. After my comment about fathers in Man of Steel it's good that mothers have more weight here, admittedly they play a mostly symbolic role, but they're present.

Lex Luthor (I'd totally forgotten his name is Alexander) is clearly supposed to be a massively entitled dick who's a bit manic and socially inept, which works very as a villain concept. Though I feel like the film has not realised how big a dick he is and also wants us to feel admiration of him in some way, which I will not. Of course that could be me reading into things. The way he manipulated stuff to do with people and organisations and power structures was good. Anything to do with him and Kryptonian stuff made no sense at all and was deeply stupid. (It's possible Jesse Eisenberg is a perfectly nice chap but -like with Chris Pine- I've never seen him play a character I didn't want to slap.)

Seeing Lex Luthor and Batman in the same film made me think very strongly that they're really just two sides of the same coin. I know people say Batman should be admired because he did it all himself and he doesn't have super powers, but extreme wealth basically is his super power. Both Wayne and Luthor have looked at the world, seen something they'd like to change/do and used their ridiculous wealth -combined with extra-legal methods- to do as they please regardless of how authority/society views them. This leads to an interesting line of thought about how much they get to judge each other...

This Wondermark strip makes an excellent point in this matter and cracks me up.   Weird car!

Speaking of people judging each other... it seems a bit like Superman can't judge Batman for what he's doing too much. I get that Superman is primarily saving people (oh look there's that saviour imagery from Man of Steel, alright Snyder, we get it - at least there's less this time) and Batman is branding criminals, but neither is exactly official or registered. I understand Batman's motivation more what with Supes destroying a large part of a city and being a terrifyingly powerful alien.

Yay, more Clark! He was kinda missing in previous film, maybe it's because my Superman background comes from The New Adventures, and Smallville to a lesser extent, but I always feel Clark should be as much of the story as Superman. It's so cool that Clark can hear Batman's comms. I'd never considered that before! Superman would be very hard to spy on, I want to see a thing where someone tries. Say what you will for these films they are doing things with Superman's abilities that I've not seen on TV/film before (see also how young Clark adjusts to his hearing and vision powers).

If I hadn't seen someone mention it on Twitter I probably wouldn't even have seen that hip in bed with Bruce Wayne, though it served so little purpose. It's more subtle than most films that demonstrate that a character has sex with random ladies who have nothing to do with the story/the character's life, but I don't think that's required at all and so doing it this subtly is just confusing. My assumption was that this type of thing was also done for eye candy, which it didn't do and that's just added to my confusion.

I like that Batman's older and worn in and experienced. I liked that there are hints to the stuff that's happened before and that he and Alfred have been doing this a while, even though Alfred's obviously a bit dubious about some stuff Bruce does. I do like the traditional posh Alfred (more butlery one feels), but of the recent Alfreds I like Irons better than Caine - I mean Caine's Alfred is nicer, but he just never felt like Alfred to me. (Plus I kept thinking he was about to launch into an explanation of how magic tricks work which Christian Bale didn't need as he and his twin were already obsessively committed and... that's a different film.)
Also my short story My Guardian's Guardian, published in the Guardians Fox Pocket mini-anthology from Fox Spirit Books deals with stuff in this area. I don't normally plug things, maybe you can tell.

As I said above I liked Lois Lane in this film and the last one, but she felt oddly used here. She's kind of bait really and that irritates a bit and I wish she had been able to show more anger at being used as she is. I do think it's cool that she and Supes rescue each other (sort of) and both are shown helping each other out of the water at different points in the film. It seemed at one point like she was going to be a lot more important in the plot and then she didn't get a lot to do.
 
Speaking of which water seems to be an important element/image for Superman in these films, noticed it strongly in Man of Steel too. It's here as well, though less prominent.

What's with the Elseworld scene? I get that it's a wider continuity, but it just made it seem like the film was leading to this really interesting, weird thing that never actually arrived. I've since heard people say that they can't do an end credits scene cos that's Marvel's shtick, which I totally get, but I was largely confused and it just kinda added to the fact that Lois isn't really that important here after all.

Yay, Holly Hunter is doing things and taking no crap and trying to get stuff sorted. No, she got exploded.

Why couldn't Batman and Superman just talk things through like people? I mean there's all this squaring off and fighting, and it wasn't needed. Again I get what Batman was doing more, he was afraid of someone dangerous and powerful, probably a new feeling for him. But why didn't Superman just hover nearby and explain that this terrible guy kidnapped his mother to force a fight, and hey you seem pretty resourceful, maybe you could help with that.

Yay Wonder Woman! When she sees the TV on the plane (do they show news on planes, idk I've never been on the posh bit of a plane) you can just see her thinking she's gonna have to sort out someone elses mess. Then Supes and Bats assume she's with the other and it's like, no dudes this lady is here on her own terms. Plus it's amazing the casual way she says she's dealt with creatures from other worlds before. It's like these guys have no clue how clueless they even are.

She has the best theme music! It is so amazing. When Bruce is looking at her photo there's the thing with the drums and I thought that was pretty cool. Then when she shows up in full outfit, OMG! The drums and the guitars and the awesome! I don't run, but if I did run, I feel like that would be excellent music to run to.

So Doomsday and Lex Luthor's plan, WTF? Nothing in that spaceship made any sense whatsoever, which means much of Lex Luthor's plan doesn't make sense. I get that there needed to be some implacable threat to bring Bats and Supes together, but couldn't they have come up with something that wasn't immensely nonsensical?
Why does splashing some human blood into a pool with a dead Kryptonian General create a big monster?
Why would the human whose blood it is be able to control the monster? That's not how blood works.
Why would Lex even think this is a thing he could do?
I get that the film probably didn't show the timing very well, and maybe he was doing a lot of really thorough research and not just going paddling with a dead alien, but still. Up to that point I'd been impressed with his scheming, but after it I was not on board.

Seems a bit early to do Death of Superman. I'm not that invested in the characters yet, but I suppose it goes back to the weight of subsequent films so I get why it happened. Also it seemed a bit weird that Batman was so sad and acting like they were such good friends, when actually they hated each other up until the end bit, and then they were allies during one fight that seemed like it was about half an hour. Don't start telling people they've got to this and that in the name of your friend when you only knew him for half an hour, ok Batman.

Why did they shave Lex Luthor's head when he was in prison? That's not how prison works. (I feel the timing of him even being in prison was a bit quick, but films often do this sort of thing.) You lose your liberty, but you can keep your hair. I mean if he was joining the army I'd get it; I don't know if that's a real thing in the US Army, but it's a trope I've seen before - and those guys do hate extra hair. If he was shaving his own head or tearing his hair out that'd seem like it made more sense. Maybe being as he's small and white he figured he'd go skinhead for protection, but that's not what we're seeing. I know many famous incarnations of Luthor are bald, but if he wasn't bald from the start I don't see why it happened randomly at the end.
Also, does Batman have Alfred flicking the light switches in the prison? Doesn't seem safe.