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Old July 11 2013, 12:05 AM   #57
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
As for what you've said about Superman and Lois, Routh was no more emo than Tom Welling was on Smallville...
That has nothing to do with anything I've said. I did not at any point use the word "emo." I don't believe I have ever used that word except when quoting someone else's use of it, or when discussing comedian Emo Philips (which is something I haven't done in a long time). I'm hard-pressed to contemplate a circumstance in which I ever would earnestly invoke that word. I'm not even entirely sure what it means.

I don't believe that labels constitute meaningful criticism. I speak about individual performances, I don't try to lump them into categories. The only things I actually did say about Mr. Routh's performance were that (a) I didn't feel he worked as Superman and (b) I felt Singer directed him and the rest of the cast to be too understated. I don't understand why any of those comments would suggest this "emo" thing to you. I would assume that "emo" means "emotional," i.e. expressing strong and maudlin feelings, whereas the problem here was that the characters were not expressing enough feeling.

and Lois wasn't any more low-key than anybody was supposed to be
Which is the problem. One or two low-key performances in isolation could've worked, but the entire ensemble was so languid and internalized that it robbed the film of energy.

(she's a hell of a lot more braver than the Margo Kidder version of Lois or the actress on Lois & Clark, facing down Lex Luthor with a ton of backbone...
And bringing a small child into a potentially dangerous situation right along with her. Nobody gets to be called brave for unthinkingly putting other people in danger, especially children, especially their own children. That's not bravery, it's reckless endangerment.

(perhaps he should have done a new story, but what for? Sometimes telling a continuation is better then telling an origin.)
There's no reason why a continuity reboot would require a new origin story. If anything, the problem with comic-book movies these days is the assumption that every one has to be an origin story. Origin stories are a limited formula and we've kind of reached saturation by now. Anyway, Singer's first X-Men movie wasn't an origin story, except for Rogue, and sort of for Magneto. It opened with the X-Men already in place as a team, Wolverine already equipped with adamantium and lacking his memory, Senator Kelly already campaigning to register mutants, and so forth. The origin movies came later in the series.

And I don't think a continuation was the right approach here. Donner's Superman was a movie made in the Bronze Age of comics with Silver Age sensibilities. In the interim, Superman in comics had been radically transformed, with new and influential ideas introduced to the mythos, such as Clark as the real person -- and Lois's love interest -- rather than Superman, or Luthor as a ruthless corporate magnate. Those new ideas were adopted by numerous screen adaptations of Superman, from Lois & Clark to S:TAS to Smallville. They became key aspects of the mythos. So for Singer to go back a quarter-century and try to resurrect a movie built around the pre-Crisis version of Superman felt backward and atavistic compared to what other screen adaptations had been doing for many years. It was ignoring a whole generation of the franchise's evolution, decades' worth of new ideas. And I found that a missed opportunity.

For all of Man of Steel's faults, at least it's up to date in its influences. It draws a lot from Superman: Birthright. It has Lois in on Clark's true identity as she had been in the comics throughout most of the '90s and '00s. It gives us a glimpse of the Luthorcorp logo on a pair of tankers, telling us that it's using the corporate Luthor idea that's now standard. This is the benefit of starting anew: You can be more up-to-date, incorporate the best of the more recent ideas that have come along. And I would've liked to see what Singer would've come up with if he'd started anew, if he'd drawn on post-Crisis ideas instead of trying to rehash something far older.
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