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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Jeff of Earth-J said:

Incidentally, I took an informal poll of ten co-workers today, five or whom saw the movie, and five did not. None of them were comic book fans. None of them cared one whit that Superman snapped Zod’s neck. Take it for what it’s worth.

I think it's worth quite a bit actually. These movies can't survive if they're only being made for hardcore fans. They're so expensive to make that they need to have a broader appeal.

I don't see how asking questions of five people who didn't care enough to see the movie tells us anything--unless they heard about the reviews of how little fun it was and stayed away. 

I realize that utmost fidelity to one person's antiquated vision of Superman could hamstring the scriptwriters, but I don't see why creating broad appeal translates into the hero snapping the villain's neck to expedite things. Broad appeal goes beyond Bruce Wayne and Walter Kovacs.

-- MSA

Looking at it from our perspective I can certainly blame the scriptwriters for not being (whatever) enough. But I disagree with you. Watch the movie again. Clark was raised as an Earth human and he had good parents and they raised him to be a good person, despite the constant bullying he received. Zod and Superman could have pummelled each other for hours, days maybe, with no headway. There is no Phantom Zone projector. There was no kryptonite he could have used. Heat of the moment (no pun intended), people are going to be killed, Zod himself said that either Superman dies or he does. I can accept that.

And I believe that because he had to kill Zod here, it will make him that much more reluctant to ever take a life again. He WILL work harder and become smarter so that he doesn't have to kill everybody who challenges him. That's my take on it.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Mark Stanislawski said:

After seeing Man of Steel I'm, to be honest, more disappointed in the back and forth storytelling than him killing Zod. They make it pretty clear that Clark is a good guy so you know he didn't kill Zod selfishly and without guilt.

Everyone who likes a Superman-doesn't-kill just has to get over it. That's so 1970's. ;)

Ah, Mark, that's not it ... well, that's not only it....

Yes, I object to the bad scriptwriting that had Superman killing. But my bigger objection is the notion that he HAD to, that there was NO other way. That the character, and his scriptwriters, aren't smart enough -- intelligent enough -- clever enough -- creative enough -- inventive enough -- to find another way.

That's my real objection, that it reduces Superman to being just a musclebound dope in a circus costume. Somebody worthy of the name "Superman" should be more than that. 

Just for the record, in Batman Begins Batman DID technically kill Ras Al Ghul by not saving him. Just sayin'.

Mr. Silver Age said:

I agree with you on that, and that would be my criticism. Given that they decided to show how kick-ass Superman was by having him kill the big-bad, they didn't do a good job of making that his only alternative. If you're going to change the character's essential make-up, it should be done convincingly.

OTOH, I don't remember seeing Batman, Iron Man, Captain America or Thor kill the bad guy in the final scene, so that doesn't seem to be an essential part of a super-hero's character development.

-- MSA



Mr. Silver Age said:

I don't see how asking questions of five people who didn't care enough to see the movie tells us anything--unless they heard about the reviews of how little fun it was and stayed away. 

I realize that utmost fidelity to one person's antiquated vision of Superman could hamstring the scriptwriters, but I don't see why creating broad appeal translates into the hero snapping the villain's neck to expedite things. Broad appeal goes beyond Bruce Wayne and Walter Kovacs.

-- MSA

I'm just referring to the non comic fans who saw the movie. The fact that the killing didn't turn them off could be seen as a good sign in terms of the movie maintaining a broad appeal despite a scene that might be offensive to some of the comic reading audience.

We aren't going to agree, but I will say that just because Zod says this can only end one way--and then gives two choices--doesn't mean Superman has to accept his statement. As we've agreed, the movie didn't put Kal into a position that made it seem that was his only option. 

I imagine that, had Batman pulled a gun and shot the Joker through the head, it wouldn't have turned off most movie-goers (and probably none of the people who didn't see the movie). But that's not who Batman is, and it's not necessary.

There are things I understand they felt they had to do. Superman's costume *should* be bright, because he *wants* to be seen. He wants everyone everywhere to know where he is and he wants to draw attention, so any flash of red or blue might make a crook think twice about doing what he was doing, because he won't get away with it. Batman uses the shadows to his advantage, Superman uses the sunlight.

But that costume allegedly won't sell today. So they gray it down and give it scales, and they eliminate the trunks because they're too embarrassing (as if looking like a Smurf in red boots is better). I get that, even if I think it's the wrong approach and it wouldn't have turned off ticket-buyers to have a bright suit. Better safe than sorry I guess.

But I'm not going to agree that Superman had to snap Zod's neck, either due to story demands or to make ticket-buyers like him enough to buy the next ticket. I wasn't convinced by the storytelling.

More than anything, I was disappointed with how few choices he made. He was told not to save his father, he was told to put on the suit, he was told to start fighting for Earth, he was even told what his *name* was, since it's not really an S on his chest.

And then, of course, he was told he had to kill Zod, and he did. I admit that his anguished scream at the end helped mitigate it, but it only made it seem as if, again, he did something he didn't really want to do. 

At some point, I would have liked to see him decide to do something he thought was a good idea on his own and accomplish it.

-- MSA

I understand, Mr. Silver Age. Everyone's going to look at it differently. I saw it that he was "green" and that this was a learning experience. If there is a sequel then I would expect some growth and maturing on his part otherwise I'll agree wholeheartedly with you that the filmmakers don't know what they're doing.



Mr. Silver Age said:

We aren't going to agree...

No worries. I know I'm not going to change anyone's mind but I appreciate everyone who added to the back and forth here. After seeing this movie, I knew I wanted to discuss it in-depth and this was the place that came immediately to mind because of the quality of the members.

And for the record, I don't necessarily think that snapping Zod's neck was the right story choice. I just wasn't bothered by it to the extent that it affected my overall enjoyment of the film.



Mark Stanislawski said:

I understand, Mr. Silver Age. Everyone's going to look at it differently. I saw it that he was "green" and that this was a learning experience. If there is a sequel then I would expect some growth and maturing on his part otherwise I'll agree wholeheartedly with you that the filmmakers don't know what they're doing.

I agree with you. It brings to mind Joseph Campbell's idea of the monomyth. The basic plotline of the hero's journey almost always contains that moment of self discovery or crisis of conscience. If the hero isn't going through the process of "Who am I?" the story usually becomes much less compelling. I am personally much less interested in a Superman who has already figured out exactly who he is. I would much rather see him struggling to figure it out.

They definitely need to flesh it out some more in the sequel, but if Nolan's Batman movies are any indication, they will probably continue to pursue it.

One other point to consider that gives hope for a more positive direction in the sequel - in the much debated scene Superman holds Zod and seems in genuine anguish, he did not simply drop the body, smirk and toss out a one liner. This seems to indicate that the "Man of Steel-verse" Superman is not heading toward grim and gritty.

On another note - I watched Superman ll The Richard Donner Cut on Friday night. I cannot believe the Salkinds torpedoed their own series by dropping Donner and Brando and having Richard Lester rework the film. The Donner version is far superior to what was released in theatres. Maybe I am getting soft but this one moves way up on my list of favorite super hero flicks. I still have a problem with Superman giving up his powers for Lois but the return of his powers makes more sense with the restored scenes featuring Brando as Jor El. The final confrontation with the Kryptonian villains in the Fortress is also much better than the silliness that Lester filmed.  In a present day interview in the Special Features section, Donner laments being removed and losing the opportunity to continue the series - as a Superman fan I echo his sentiments.



doc photo said:

... he did not simply drop the body, smirk and toss out a one liner.


(In best Austrian accent) "What a pain in the neck!"

can you be more specific about what is different between the Superman II movie that was released and  what you're calling the Richard Donner Cut. Where did you find the Richard Donner Cut?  I've never heard of it.



doc photo said:

One other point to consider that gives hope for a more positive direction in the sequel - in the much debated scene Superman holds Zod and seems in genuine anguish, he did not simply drop the body, smirk and toss out a one liner. This seems to indicate that the "Man of Steel-verse" Superman is not heading toward grim and gritty.

On another note - I watched Superman ll The Richard Donner Cut on Friday night. I cannot believe the Salkinds torpedoed their own series by dropping Donner and Brando and having Richard Lester rework the film. The Donner version is far superior to what was released in theatres. Maybe I am getting soft but this one moves way up on my list of favorite super hero flicks. I still have a problem with Superman giving up his powers for Lois but the return of his powers makes more sense with the restored scenes featuring Brando as Jor El. The final confrontation with the Kryptonian villains in the Fortress is also much better than the silliness that Lester filmed.  In a present day interview in the Special Features section, Donner laments being removed and losing the opportunity to continue the series - as a Superman fan I echo his sentiments.

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