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Old June 23 2013, 08:22 PM   #767
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

My review:
I'm a huge fan of Superman on film. I even have my own "fan explanation" for the spinning around the globe thing in the first film. Film is such a literal medium, and, as a result, people think that he's spinning around the world in one direction so fast that he's causing the world to spin the other direction. Because it's on film, people think it's a literal physical process. I don't. My POV: There are hints throughout the original Donner film that the Kryptonians have some kind of access to time itself, as if it's part of their senses and faculties, and they can manipulate it. Which is why Jor-El can interact with Kal-El even thousands of years after his death. Which is why Kal-El can spend twelve years in the Fortress but actually was in there for far longer, learning so much more and in essence traveling the galaxy with his father. When Jor-El tells him not to interfere with human history, he was being literal, and whereas he could dismiss the flying around and the parlor tricks, he doesn't want Clark to interfere with the timeline. So the "spinning around the globe" thing isn't literal, but it was analogous to what he must do (notice his rage) in order to actually move back in time just a few minutes, in defiance of Jor-El's orders.

That's my fan theory, like it or not. Needless to say, I'm a fan. Even if Donner himself would tell me different (he has, on commentaries, etc) I still like it. Superman Returns was a film I was psyched for. I wonder why they waited so long to bring the character back to not have him do anything.

Man of Steel is like the Bill Clinton of movies, it tries to please everyone. They were overcompensating from Returns. To be fair, there are a few new twists to the mythos that I could appreciate. I might not like these twists compared with a the straightforward, classic Superman story, but I can understand their appeal: These include:
- Mild Mannered reporter coming at the end.
- Clark and Lois meeting as they did, and she knows who he is.
- getting his powers all at once, and he needs all that time to control his senses.

these are pretty good. And some of the scenes worked. But this film was Transformers with Supermen. And while I'd argue that Transformers had some great characters (it definitely did) it was always about giant robots causing destruction as they fight their war here. That's what it was about. And how glorious in the first TF film to see buildings being wrecked as robots change from helicopters and planes to robots and back. It hadn't been done in live action. But the ending of Man of Steel was indistinguishable form TF. It is glorious seeing two superhuman guys go at it. It is nice to see superman punch someone. But The giant robots had more presence than two little people. So this was never as interesting.

The story jumped so much, discarding the epic structure of the Donner films, but in doing so, Snyder failed to assert a tone of his own.. it never felt like the different parts of the film were of a piece. How disappointing.

And the scenes involving the military here scenes were so anemic that it reminded how good Michael Bay was at directing scenes involving the military.. he would often instruct them to do what they would do in a given hypothetical situation but he'd give it an energy that's lacking here. Particularly the performances of the various soldiers all seem to lack energy. There was more meaningful energy onscreen during the Skorponok attack in TF1 than for the entirety of MoS.
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