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Old June 24 2013, 01:48 AM   #799
stj
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

The movie's thesis that humanity is so fearful that Jonathan Kent would sacrifice his life to keep Clark's secret is a fairly grim one. It really isn't believable when someone insists there's nothing intrinsically darker about this version. And this is especially true if somehow the argument that the earlier Superman was too comic or unserious is regarded as somehow acceptable. If someone can't accept the thesis (admittedly the clumsy writing of Kent's martyrdom doesn't help,) then they can't. The notion that they are not allowed to reject the thesis is wrong.

If you can take the movie on its own terms (I did myself,) it was a much more enjoyable experience. But it should be obvious to anyone that if you couldn't, it would detract from the entertainment. How this is offensive to anyone but stockholders is anybody's guess.

What isn't so obvious is how someone can simultaneously hold two contradictory opinions. The movie benefited tremendously from the plot making a certain kind of sense, in which the villain actually had a reasonable motive and practical method. The mad dog Zod is the opposite. Somehow seeing no difference is pretty uncritical. If being whipped was going to unhinge Zod, you'd think he'd have gone nuts on Krypton. The Kryptonian Zod probably would have started planning another Phantom Zone escape. Hence the creation of the new personality. Well, if they insist, but no one has a right to insist that the audience must let the makers have it both ways.

The heroism of killing is also not so obvious. In Hollywood movies it is all too commonly a childish fantasy, a way to get off on the thrill of the kill while pretending to be realistic. The new Superman's playing around with this may be nastier than the old Superman but fundamentally it's just as unserious.

PS I'd post a link if I remembered where I saw it, but I ran across an estimate of 150 million plus for marketing. It is very likely that the movie will need to gross in excess of a billion for a quick official profit. Given creative accounting and later income it is of course already a guaranteed moneymaker. But true stockholders' greed knows no bounds. It is possible they will be disappointed at waiting for the gravy.

PPS Cross-posting is confusing. It does seem a few people seem to think that Zod really did of his own volition escape the Phantom Zone. It was of course Goyer and Nolan who (clumsily) wrote him as somehow escaping, just to set up the kill. A movie is what it is, and the script said that Zod escaped and conveniently for the bloodthirsty went mad. But this doesn't fit the rest of the script. It is rather uncritical not to notice a problem. It is one thing to accept it regardless but to insist others must as well? Extraordinary.
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Last edited by stj; June 24 2013 at 02:00 AM.
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