I saw " Man Of Steel " at a midnight show last night/this ayem .

  Briefly , I have sort of a liking for super-hero stuff that follows a litle bit more a " real ' science fiction approach - While , admittedly , basically still sticking to the structure of fights and conflict in the story .

  MOS rather fulfilled that .

  It explored how the Superman concept might've been set up , the whole Krypotn thing , and how it might work out down on Earth , pretty well .

  Well , i thought so .

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Okay, I saw Man of Steel yesterday for Father's Day, and will offer some thoughts. I would begin with the usual disclaimer that I am commenting without having read other people's observations, but nobody else has made any!

Anyway ...

  • I didn't load up on reviews before I went in, but I saw that Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post didn't like it much; she found it too grim and humorless. I can't argue with her.
  • I read somewhere (I forget where, but I think it was Entertainment Weekly) that the director had in mind that he was not making yet another sequel to Christopher Reeve's Superman, but was approaching this like he was making the first Superman movie. Bully for him, I say. One drawback of the Reeve movie was that it began with the origin story, so we didn't see Superman in costume until an hour into the movie! Good thing we're doing things differently here!
  • Krypton is dying, and Zod stages a coup attempt?
  • Zod shanks Jor-El?
  • I read Superman: Birthright for the first time only a couple of months ago, but man if they didn't crib from it shamelessly. I hope Mark Waid got a cut of the proceeds.
  • Although I can quibble about the lack of the forelock and the hair being parted on the wrong side, Henry Cavill surely looks the part, As my son once said (albeit about someone else), his abs are unfair. 
  • His pecs are, too.
  • Pete Ross is a bully?
  • Wait -- Jonathan Kent tells Clark he should have let the busload of kids drown rather than out himself? This is homespun Midwestern wisdom?
  • By the way, I never liked that the comics definitively stated that Smallville is in Kansas. When I was growing up, it was always vague and unstated. Thus, I always figured it was in Iowa.
  • Lois Lane's a blonde?
  • Hey -- I didn't know Detective Stabler from Law & Order SVU was a colonel in the Air Force Reserve! So they called him to active duty, huh? And shipped him to the Arctic. Bet he wishes he was still in New York.
  • This is how Lois Lane first meets Clark Kent? Wha ... ?
  • Lois Lane in Perry White's office, reading off her article of her experience: " ... the questions my rescuer raises" 70 years of Superman comics, 65 years of Superman movies, 60 years of Superman TV shows, and they still have no sense of the way a newspaper article reads. *sigh*
  • Perry White ... has an earring?
  • Perry White, the sage, wise newsman ... kills the story? The Perry White in the comics I grew up reading would have told Lois to go dig up more and better proof.
  • Lois leaks the story Perry killed to Matt Drudge Heraldson? 
  • Matt Drudge Heraldson sells Lois out on national television, and Lois doesn't get fired?
  • If we're doing things differently here, then why is Martha Kent still alive? That was an innovation from the first Reeve Superman movie.
  • Now I know I'm watching a science-fiction movie: Lois Lane travels around the world interviewing people on a story that's little more than a rumor. (Yeah, yeah, I know I said she should go get more and better proof. But I also know major, semi-major and even minor newspapers are engaging in relentless cost-cutting. Traveling around the world and across the country on a fishing expedition just won't happen in this day and age.)
  • If we're doing things differently here, then what's with Jor-El's Ghost? That was an innovation from the first Reeve Superman movie.
  • What -- we get Jor-El's Ghost, but we don't get Lara's Ghost? Jor-El didn't even arrange for that?
  • Jonathan Kent is a friggin' idiot. I know we're supposed to think he's full of homespun Midwestern wisdom, but he's just full of crap. You do NOT leave your car during a tornado and go hide under an underpass! And Clark's an idiot, too.
  • Harry Lennix as the general. Always glad to see him around.
  • Superman surrenders. Okay ...
  • If we're doing things differently here, then what's with the S-shield being a Kryptonian symbol of hope, and the family crest of the House of El? .hat was an innovation from the first Reeve Superman movie.
  • Lois Lane: "What's the 'S' stand for?" Superman: "It's not an 'S.' On my world it means 'hope.' Lois Lane: "Well, here, it's an 'S.' " Thanks for reminding us that Lois Lane, at heart, is a jerk. Lana Lang wouldn't have belittled Kal-El's heritage that way.
  • The Kryptonians want Lois along. Um ...why?          
  • Nice touch, that Clark is so acclimated to Earth that he's weakened in a Kryptonian environment, and vice versa for the Kryptonians.
  • Goodbye, Beautiful Downtown Smallville.
  • Man alive, I sure hope 7-Eleven, IHOP and LexCorp got the most out of the rampant product placement here.
  • Nice touch, that Zod is confused and disoriented when his superpowers kick in. But Clark -- WHY ARE YOU TELLING HIM WHAT'S HAPPENING? What are you, stupid?!
  • Goodbye, Beautiful Downtown Metropolis.
  • The Daily Planet building gets destroyed, but there's no globe on the roof?
  • As a rule of thumb, I figure any given movie I'm watching could stand to be a half-hour shorter. Definitely so here. The rampant destruction is just numbing.
  • I had a bad feeling ... the Kryptonians match Superman power for power, strength for strength, so how does he win this? Well, he's Superman; the Superman in the comics I grew up reading always finds a way.
  • I bet Detective Stabler really wishes he was in New York.
  • Well, it was nice to have Professor Hamilton along, but too bad he was sacrificed in the first movie!
  • Wow, the desperate plan worked ... but -- Zod's still around? Oh, no -- !
  • Goodbye, what's left of Beautiful Downtown Metropolis.
  • I've heard that Michael Shannon is a good actor, but his characterization of Zod has gone the entire range from mustache-twirling villain to spittle-spewing fanatic. And now he's about to incinerate a poor family! How does Superman stop him? Well, the the Superman in the comics I grew up reading always finds a way.
  • Superman did WHAT?
  • Wow ... Clark Kent neatly gives the rationale for his being a newspaper reporter. "I'll get a job ... one where I can keep my ear to the ground ... " one where he can be away from his desk without explanation for hours and even days at a time. Very good!
  • However -- we're supposed to believe that a man who didn't graduate from journalism school -- who didn't go to college at all, so far as we saw -- who didn't have any internships, who doesn't have any clips, who is 33 years old, got a job as a reporter (well, a stringer) at one of the most prestigious newspapers in America? Now I know I'm watching a science-fiction movie!

Thems for starters. I didn't hate it, but I wish the writers of this movie had read the Superman comics I did. Clearly, they didn't.

...As for " that " plot twist , at the end , not nessecarily in order of importanc:

(1) Byrne .

(2) Superman is , clearly , shaken up by his killing of General Zod (he just didn';t have an OD handbook nearby !!!!!!!!!) , who is someone on equal terms of strength , remember , with him who he is fighting to the death with . Who has , wot' , ESPECIALLY if w take into account what would have happened when all there buildings in downtown Metropolis collapses (We aren't shown that...PG-13 , remember , so that's why Pete Ross?? can say " dickhead "??)

(3) The 1938-39 " Captain Cleveland " Superman stories . WHERE SUPERMAN KILLS (when ~ basically ~ nessecary/" rules of the game ") .

I don't know exactly what you mean, Emerkeith, but my take on it is this: Superman always finds a way. That's why he's Superman and not "Really Strong Guy."

As for Byrne, I'll repeat what I said over here:

I didn't find it satisfying when John Byrne did it, and I still don't. The Superman I grew up reading didn't have to personally break that rule to understand that breaking it was a bad thing.

In fact, one thing the movie did do well -- only to undermine it with the breaking of the rule -- was to establish that one of Superman's greatest and most underrated powers is the power of self-restraint.

But even in the movie, though, Superman knows that killing is a bad thing. He just doesn't see another way. Perhaps a more mature Superman would have found a way to avoid it. And I wish the movie hadn't put him in that position, or put him in that position with a secret way out. But ultimately, I can only hold the circumstances against the writers, and not as a black mark on the character of this version of Superman. According to the timeline of the movie, he's only been operating publicly for a couple of days, right? 

I know he's Superman, and Superman should always find a way. But we're asking him to be perfect right out of the gate. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

But even in the movie, though, Superman knows that killing is a bad thing. He just doesn't see another way. Perhaps a more mature Superman would have found a way to avoid it. And I wish the movie hadn't put him in that position, or put him in that position with a secret way out. But ultimately, I can only hold the circumstances against the writers, and not as a black mark on the character of this version of Superman. According to the timeline of the movie, he's only been operating publicly for a couple of days, right? 

I know he's Superman, and Superman should always find a way. But we're asking him to be perfect right out of the gate. 

 

Not exactly ... I'm asking him to live up to the name "Superman." I'm asking him to be more than just "Really Strong Guy." The answer this movie Superman came up with is the answer any really strong guy would come up with.

One thing that's truly been lost since the Bronze Age is that Superman isn't just really strong, he's really smart, too. And he is capable of thinking his way through things.

Not only that, Superman is an aspirational figure, one who represents the best in ourselves. There are plenty of people who don't have to kill somebody to understand that killing is bad; shouldn't we think, at minimum, that somebody called "Superman" is one of them? 

...What Rod said .

  Look , Superman is fighting someone of equal strength to him , a demonstrated Bad Guy and said Bad Guy is not exactly showing up at the County Jail door asking to be booked  ( Ahemph !!!!!!!!! )...( Were they in Zod's ship with the ship clipping both Supes' and Zod's powers ????? )...They fight full-out .

  Superman is doing what Superman rarely does , fighting someone of essentially EQUAL STRENGTH to him .

  By the story's logic , there was really nothing else that can be done , this not being the Adventures Of St. Francis of Asissi or Gandhi :-) !!!!!!!!!!!

  The story quite emphasizes Superman's difficulty in restraining himself , his contniuous strain in dealing with weaker Earthians .

  It balances it well , I think , that at the end he lets in out for once , allowed to do it by the circumstances .

  Yes - he is sad at the end , not happy to have killed . It was a rule that should not be broken - But , it had to be done .

[ Even before then I was noting how Jor-El and Lois Lane were willing to kill Zod's soldiers in their escape/self-defense . ]

 

 

I respectfully disagree that it "had" to be done. I was not persuaded by what I saw to accept that conclusion. Moreover, I think it's poor scriptwriting that the writers failed to convincingly sell that conclusion.

Your mileage may vary.

...The point was made that Kal was killing the last remnant of Krypton ( Well ,unless the sequel !!!!!!!!! You know...) , now , binding himself to his new home,  Earth forevermore .

  BY the way , do you consider the killings in action by C-C 1938/-39 Superman - which even include letting , a whole munitions factory , presumably full of civilian munitons workers , blow up (If not perhaps " actively " doing so - In the same story , I think Supes actively knocks down a military plane from said " warlike country "...) , relevant ?

No, I don't think the 1938-39 Superman is at all relevant to this discussion.

Did Churchilland FDR think it was????????? M<aybe they read funny books (E.g.,considering civilian munitions empolyees 2 bee...)! (considered legit-ly in the line of fire...)

  Take It Easy m              POPPA LOU

Religion News Service takes a look at reaction to Man of Steel, and one of the people interviewed is our very own Mike Parnell! "Superman: Jesus Figure or Anti-Christ?" There's even a link to the Comics Cave!

 

“Whenever anyone talks about making comic books more adult, they’re talking about taking the fun out of them.” It’s been said before, and although I’m aware Man of Steel is not a comics book (I am so aware of that!), the sentiment rings true for this movie as well. If ever there was an example of a character which has had the fun sucked out of it, this is it. Let’s tick off the list of adults’ complaints about Superman, shall we?

Superman is too much of a Boy Scout.
How can a pair of glasses disguise Superman’s identity?
If Lois is such a great reporter, how come she hasn’t figured it out?
Why does Superman wear his “briefs” outside his pants?
Why doesn’t Batman just kill the Joker?

One way or another, all of these complaints were addressed and laid to rest in the recent movie (even that last one, after a fashion). In many ways, I think the worst thing that ever happened to Superman was that string of Christopher Reeve movies in the ‘80s. Man of Steel is little more than a darker, “adult” version of the best bits of the first two. It’s ironic how many parents brought their little children to see MoS, at least to the showing I attended. My favorite moment occurred just after Superman snapped Zod’s neck and I overheard the little girl in front of me turn to her dad and ask, “What did he do?” Unfortunately, I didn’t hear her father’s answer.

And let’s talk about that 600 pound gorilla. You may think I’m going to complain about Superman’s use of lethal force, but I’m not really. It’s not that he used it, but rather the way he was forced to use it (i.e., by dint of writer’s fiat) that I object to. John Byrne depicted under what circumstances Superman might be forced to use lethal force, and he (arguably) did it right.



But the circumstance of this movie smacks of the second Spider-Man film in which the director had to set Spidey’s mask on fire in order to show Toby McGuire’s pretty face. Besides, snapping a man’s neck is more Wonder Woman’s schtick than Superman’s. :P

If Zack Snyder wanted to do Miracleman, he should have done Miracleman. I think he’s referencing comics, just not the right ones.



Ultimately, I find it hard to get too worked up about Man of Steel. It’s just a movie.

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