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Man of Steel (Spoilers)

 
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2871
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:20 pm    Post subject: Man of Steel (Spoilers) Reply with quote

OK, I saw it tonight. I'll avoid major spoilers, but will have a minor spoiler that, well, really isn't to those who closely follow the DC universe.

* It seemed the writers were torn between whether the overall theme was "Kal-El is the last son of Krypton and doesn't know how to deal with it" or "once Kal-El reveals himself to the world and what he can do, the world won't trust him." They seemed to want the former to be the primary focus, but the latter ends up becoming it.

* I thought Henry Cavill was fine in the title role. The plot line is that Kal-El/Clark Kent hasn't immediately jumped into the "dual identity" role so Cavill doesn't really portray the Superman persona much differently from the Clark Kent persona. I guess we'll see if that route gets taken more in the second film and how he does there. I imagine this is what has put off some of the critics, given what Christopher Reeve did in the first Superman with the two personas.

* And, no, they don't make Kal-El a brooding character. He's a guy looking for answers but he's not despondent for them. They do enough with some flashback scenes to his younger years to get across the idea that he's struggling with who he is, but they don't overdo it.

* The minor spoiler: Lois Lane knows Clark Kent is Superman. All I'll say is this about the film: Lois first comes to know Clark before he adopts the superhero persona. As for it being that way, I'm fine with it given that Superman has revealed his dual identity to Lois in the comics, so there's no sense beating around the bush with it in a reboot.

* Speaking of which, I do think the one thing that some critics are off the mark about is why they have to do the origin story again. That's the whole point of a reboot. It was done with Batman Begins (reboot) and the Amazing Spider-Man (reboot) so of course it was going to happen in Man of Steel. That's the one point brought up by certain critics that I take issue with.

* I do, however, see the point some critics have been made about how there's so much action and battle sequences overwhelming the latter half of the film. I guess the writers figured because they spent so much time developing characters in the first half, to pull out all the stops in the second half, but it did get a little too heavy on the action toward the end.

* After making Zod the antagonist in the film, I'm wondering exactly how they'll make Lex Luthor (who you know will get worked into the trilogy) into being a more formiddable adversary for Superman. Sure, you know they'll do Luthor as the corporate bigwig, likely tied into the military-industrial complex, but I'm not sure how they'll get him to reach a threat level on par with Zod... unless they figure they'll work Brainiac into the mix. *shrug*

So, overall, I enjoyed the film and thought it was a good way to relaunch the franchise. I will say that there were plenty of kids at the theater (a small-town one at that) wearing towels or jackets as capes, so you know kids are excited. Time will tell just how much audience interest there is in this version of Superman.

Oh, and one thought for the tOAites:

* Interesting how they put the bulk of the product placement into the scenes where "everything goes boom." Hey, if Superman is protecting the likes of Sears, 7-11 and IHOP from the forces of evil, he MUST be fighting for truth, justice and the American way!
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2906
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought it was terrible. Very hard to sit thru. Just hated it. A mess.

I didn't see anything wrong with SUPERMAN RETURNS. Everyone liked the first Bonner's first Supermam movie and it was a huge hit, but then they went cheap, firered Bonner, and made a bunch of terrible movies. SUPERMAN RETURNS was a good movie.

MAN OF STEEL has major pacing problems, it's filmed looking dark & you can't even see the blue in Superman's suit, and everything blows up. The music sucks. This CG cartoon isn't as good as the Max Fleischer shorts in 1941.

Henry Cavill is fine but he is so huge & rodded out, that it's unbelievable that any kid would ever bully him. General Zod is a meathead. Perry White is now a black guy. The movie has no heart and it isn't fun.

So Krypton is blown up, the Kent 's farm blows up, Smallville blows up, NYC is blown up, The Daily Planet blows up and Ma Kent is punched out by General Zod.

The SF films of the 50's have been psychoanalyzed as having something to do with the cold war. Has 9-11 influenced all the films today that are about destroying cities & buildings. Kind of like the Japanese creating Godzilla after we dropped A-bombs on them. Or are film makers just doing it.. because they can?

*1/4. Most likely to be my worst film of the year. I think it will make a ton of money this weekend, & then drop 70%. It will sell great overseas because it's Superman.--Steve Yohe
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 16967

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This review:

http://deadspin.com/its-a-turd-its-plain-man-of-steel-reviewed-513356149

Which also links to this piece by comic writer Mark Waid:

http://thrillbent.com/blog/man-of-steel-since-you-asked

Worry the hell out of me.

It sounds like the best part of it is the beginning and most of the Costner stuff. Then it starts going to shit.

John
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first review seems right on. But it's also worst than that.

The kissing scene had me laughing.

OK Big Spoiler
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Superman breaks Zod's neck. Kills him. So I hope Luther is ready for the next film. --Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2871
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve's remarks remind me of at least one review which could be summed thusly: The first two-thirds of the movie are good, the final third is a train wreck.

I agree with Steve that they made Superman too focused on fighting his opponent and not concerned enough about protecting the people.

The way the end scene with Zod came off is a major problem with the film. If it had been built to by Zod rising to his feet and deciding he's going to get at Superman by attacking innocent bystanders, with Superman having to intervene so much he then knows the only way to stop Zod is to snap his neck, then it at least works better.

Instead, we got the angle of Superman wanting to prevent Zod and his minions from committing genocide, even as Superman doesn't know how to handle being "the last son of Krypton" and then Snyder wants his hand forced to one simple scenario. If Zod had taken his genocidal route to "I'll just kill everyone individually" you might have gotten somewhere with the ending.

In response to one of Steve's criticism, I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that DC/Warner seem to think that, because Batman did well, every superhero flick they do needs to be dark. Iron Man isn't exactly "dark" and neither is Captain America. But both deal with complex characters.

Iron Man is the military-industrial complex CEO who thinks nothing about making bigger, badder weapons, until he's kidnapped by the enemy and finds out his weapons are being sold to the enemy. He concludes that isn't right, wants to take the company a different direction, and when others get in the way, he takes matters into his own hands.

I haven't actually seen the first Captain America flick, but know enough about the character to know that he was the wimp who wanted to serve his country, agreed to become the super soldier, lives out his dreams, then gets frozen in ice and is now stuck in a world that has changed so much since the World War II days and struggles with handling it.

DC/Warner seems more interested in making everything like Batman. Bruce Wayne is a complex character, but so is Clark Kent and the rest of the JLA, and there's no reason to make every one of them dark.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2906
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is complex about Superman? He can do anything. He's good looking. He doesn't have to save anyone unless he wants to. He's free as a bird & flys like it. He could just disappear and be human. Batman has problems...too much money? Last we saw of him he was in Paris with a hot chick. If they have problems they are thinking too much. My father died & I got over it. It's my cat Nick I can't forget.---Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2871
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, I take it you haven't seen the expanded edition of the Donner Superman? They originally cut out a scene between Kal-El and Jor-El because of length concerns that illustrated the relationship between the two.

Superman says it felt good to help people that he couldn't stop himself. Jor-El reminds Superman he shouldn't try to solve every problem because there are some problems humans need to learn to solve themselves. Nor can he serve human beings around the clock.

Then there's the plot points that make "turning back time" work.

Young Clark Kent watches Jonathan die from a heart attack. Clark remarks how he has all these powers but he couldn't save his father. And before that happened, he tells his father how he'd be the best player on the football team but Jonathan reminds him that "you are here for a reason" and it's "not to score touchdowns."

It comes full circle when Jor-El tells him he is not to interfere with human history.

Then Clark doesn't get there in time to save Lois. He remembers what Jor-El said, but then remembers how he lost Jonathan and doesn't want to lose another loved one, especially as he feels he's responsible.

Don't tell me that's not a complex situation.

The other film to watch if you haven't, Steve, is the Richard Donner cut of Superman II. I'm sure you are aware that the plan was to two Superman films at the same time and have the first segue into the other.

The Donner cut makes it clear Superman is a more complex character than just the god who saves who he wants. He falls in love with Lois. He wants to be with her. Jor-El says he can't serve mankind and have a relationship with a human at the same time, so he has to make a choice. And then the whole plot line follows the consequences of making that choice.

It's not too difficult to make Superman a complex character. He can have conflicts just as much as anyone else does. That doesn't mean he needs to kill people or engage in fights with no regards to what happens to innocent bystanders. The idea of him wanting to serve as many people as possible, but not being able to do so, is right there. So is his relationship with Lois.

Superman may be a god, but even gods have to make difficult decisions.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dropped 64% the 2nd weekend.

I saw every Superman movie the day they hit theaters. I was the same then as I am now. Read all the comics until about 1962, when they just seemed too stupid. Marvel was better in every way. Saw all the TV shows as they were playing first run. Have all the DVDs. Seen it all many times. I think I remember some of the radio shows.--Yohe
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