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 Post subject: Man Of Steel
PostPosted: June 17th, 2013, 9:12 pm 
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I don't go out to the movies very often, but a friend of mine (Vrash) works at a theatre and he took me and Ogre to this one. For free.

I didn't have the highest expectations either, especially after our host himself said "It's good but not great".

Grife on a stick...I actually enjoyed it a great deal, probably more than Vrash did.

Okay. Extensive spoilers ahead. You have been warned.

I think the biggest reason I liked it? There's a lot of Post-Crisis blood in this movie, which is ironic after the comics have spent the last decade pretty much shitting all over Crisis on Infinite Earths and the version of Superman created by it. In 1986 John Byrne came in with a flamethrower and incinerated a lot of the cornball bullshit that the Silver Age had tacked into the legend. The dumbass flying dog; the Mary Sue cousin; Lex Luthor as a criminal who built billion dollar robots to rob banks because Superman accidentally made his hair fall out; Kryptonite clogging every ditch around Metropolis and Smallville; and so many Kryptonians it really did start to seem Jor-El and Lara were the only ones who died when the planet blew up. Byrne brought us a better defined, more human Superman than ever before.

I guess I shouldn't be totally surprised by the similarities in the new movie--the name of the mini-series was Man of Steel. Zack Snyder had previously directed the Watchmen movie, which was from the same era as the MOS comic; he's just a few years older than I am, maybe he read many of the same comics.

There was MOS comic in MOS movie's Krypton, a stagnant, decaying world with children born out of pods; in the comic, Jor-El actually fell in love with Lara, which was unheard of. In the movie, they actually bumped uglies and had Kal-El the Old Fashioned Way, which was even more unheard of. The design and art direction was awesome; MOS movie Kryptonians were kind of a neat mix of Byrne Kryptonians, Time Lords, and Star Trek XI/XII with a nifty motif of liquid metal technology. The use of code keys to work the technology provided a little echo (to me at least) to the sunstone tech from the Donner movies. And the name of the El's servant robot, Kelex, is straight from World of Krypton.

Like the MOS comic, Clark grows up unaware of his alien origin, his powers developing slowly instead of the Silver Age Superbaby nonsense. As far as he or anyone knows, he's Johnathan and Martha's natural son, until they reveal the space ship that brought him to Earth.

And even the battle with Zod and it's shocking conclusion have echoes in Post-Crisis continuity; Byrne's very last story had Clark going to a parallel universe....where Zod, Faora, and Jax-Ur had escaped from the Phantom Zone and killed everyone on Earth. Clark ends up killing Zod and his henchmen, which only steels (heh...couldn't resist...) his resolve to NOT be a killer.

And dear grife did I love their version of Lois. They short circuit the "Triangle for two" bullcrap pretty much right out of the gate. She does the legwork, figures out who Superman really is, and he doesn't try to convince her otherwise with dickish tricks or magic mind-wiping kisses. Hey, you know what? The comics let her in on the secret back in 1990, and that was the status quo for twenty-one years; it seemed shocking at the time, but it worked, because it makes Lois look less stupid and gullible, Clark look less like a manipulative dick, and both of them a team to be reckoned with.

Other things I really enjoyed:

Christopher Meloni as an Army Colonel. Well, we know what happened to Stabler now...

Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White. I wonder if this means DC will reintroduce Perry White Jr into New 52 continuity, except now instead of Lex Luthor his biological father will be John Henry Irons :lol:

Speaking of Luthor: the Lexcorp logo hints at a hopefully Post-Crisis based Lex, an evil businessman who hates Superman because he can't control him. Comic Lex's xenophobia would certainly make more sense--and maybe even be more understandable--in a world where the first appearance of aliens, Kal-El included, led to so much death and destruction.

Another Post-Crisis nod: Emil Hamilton. Too bad they kill him.

A bit surprised they blew up the colony ship Clark found in the Arctic. I thought for sure this was going to be his Fortress of Solitude.

I admit to finding the battles a little bit overlong, loud, and drawn out--good grief, is there anything left of Smallville and Metropolis?--but all in all, I found it probably the best Superman origin story since, well, Man of Steel.

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 Post subject: Re: Man Of Steel
PostPosted: June 21st, 2013, 8:10 pm 
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I went to see the film a couple of days ago. I wasn't expecting to like it, and in fact, I didn't. I don't read the comic books, and never have, so my opinions have nothing to do with those. I am someone who feels that the Christopher Reeve movies can never be beaten (the first two, anyway), but I really try not to let things like that prejudice me. Man of Steel was obviously going to be very different, and I wasn't going to let that bother me. But if it wasn't good for what it was, then fair enough my not liking it, I think. Now, this may be a tad ranty.

SPOILERS!

There was a lot wrong with the script, I thought. There were some grammar issues, and some very silly lines, all in keeping with the current trend for pretentiousness. A big thing was that I did not care for the characterisation of Jonathan. The tornado scene was pretty bad. Jonathan was standing by his assertion that Clark should maybe just let people get killed, so we can't accuse him of hypocrisy, but I didn't like him saying that in the first place. Also, if I was Superman, and I wanted to save him from the tornado, I would have done it anyway. A very annoying scene, all in all.

I did like Lois, and I enjoyed her following Clark's trail to find out who he was. She's an investigative reporter - that's what she's supposed to do! When she and Clark met face to face, and the Daily Planet was nowhere around - nor the glasses Clark would later wear (much later!) - it became obvious that she had to know who he was. That was different to anything I'd ever seen, and where I can see that some purists might have a problem with it, I don't. Whenever I think about Lois not knowing, it reminds me how annoying Teri Hatcher's obliviousness got after a while. Of course, there is a but; when she was done with all that, they did not make good use of Lois, I don't think. Different is fine, but there are certain things one wants to see, and I was disappointed that she didn't walk into dangerous situations for the sake of her journalism - something Margot Kidder had down to a fine art. Instead she goes onto the space ship with Zod, at his insistence... why, exactly? It wasn't at all clear what he wanted her for. Again, that's a problem with the script.

It seems that too many people found out that Clark was an alien with superpowers. There's Lois, obviously - but also everyone in Smallville seems to realise, and he even told that General character, 'I grew up in Kansas', when he had the Superman suit on and everything - that might be giving a bit too much away!

I had some small issues too. I forgot all about that intern character before she got buried and stuff, so I couldn't really care about that, and I wasn't fond of all the preamble on Krypton. I'm not a Russell Crowe fan anyway, and the dinosaurs and explosions and stuff were all a bit much. I agree with you about the fight scenes, Fritz, and adding to that, CGI gets so over-used nowadays, it's a shame these new superhero movies are so much animated I think. I heart Christopher Reeve's Superman, and he even did his own flying! But anyway, back to Krypton - it seems silly to punish criminals when you know your planet is exploding, and everyone's about to die. Okay, Marlon Brando knew, but the Elders didn't. And this time, it was even the explosion of the planet that freed them. Totally pointless! But convenient enough for the scriptwriter, I suppose (snark, snark).

But what about Henry Cavill? I already knew him from the BBC's The Tudors, a show I enjoyed very much, and Cavill was the only actor to make it through all four seasons with Henry VIII. I really liked him on that show, but in this movie, not so much. I don't think his American accent was that great, but it is hard for me to tell. Either way, I think it affected his acting. He can do better.

Pretty much everything else - Zod's motivation, Clark on his fishing boat, the acclimatisation issues, stuff like that - I can take or leave, really. My brother pointed out that it's not really a superhero movie, so much as a movie about Earth's first contact with alien life. I do agree with him that it's better to see Clark established as Superman, and known by the people of Earth, before Zod and friends start to show up.

So, those are my opinions, damning as they are. I feel like I'm grumpy about a lot of things lately. I must be getting old.

I'll be glad to give the sequel a chance, though, assuming it'll happen (which I very much do). I say different is fine, but I was reassured to see everyone finishing up in the status quo I'm familiar and comfortable with, and we have promises of Lex Luthor to come. Jimmy Olson and Kryptonite as well, perhaps? Let's hope so - and maybe Henry Cavill will grow into the role.

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