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View Poll Results: Grade the movie...
A+ 28 11.16%
A 53 21.12%
A- 46 18.33%
B+ 25 9.96%
B 27 10.76%
B- 11 4.38%
C+ 13 5.18%
C 12 4.78%
C- 9 3.59%
D+ 8 3.19%
D 10 3.98%
D- 5 1.99%
F 4 1.59%
Voters: 251. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 4 2013, 08:50 PM   #1096
davejames
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
On the other hand, when Zod said "There is just one way this can end, either I'll kill you or you'll kill me (quote by memory), I wished for a moment that Supes would reply with the obvious and logical comeback: "Well, technically, those are two ways". But they set it up and squandered the opportunity.
Um, no that's still just "one way". That way being: one of them kills the other.

It would be two ways if he said "Either I kill you... or we stop fighting each other and go out for sundaes."
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Old July 4 2013, 09:58 PM   #1097
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

AvBaur wrote: View Post
In what I think is the best piece written about MOS so far, Film Crit Hulk totally nails all the things that don't work about the movie: http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/03/f...k-man-of-steel
Interesting read, but the idea that people like the movie only because they "don't understand character and drama" is just ridiculous. We ALL have movies that we love that others don't respond to, and vice versa.

MOS obviously has a different kind of plot structure than people are used to, so I can understand why some may have a hard time connecting with it (and maybe the filmmakers should have been more aware that would be a problem). But there were many others who had no problem at all adjusting.

And I disagree that Clark has no character arc in this, or that the flashbacks serve no purpose. Yeah Clark has an innate goodness to him (as he should), but he still goes from being this fearful, uncertain boy who thinks he's a freak, to a man wandering the world looking for answers, to a confident hero who finally realizes his destiny as the protector of mankind. He's hardly the exact same person all the way through.

And the flashbacks do a great job getting us into his head, and understanding why he's so hesitant to reveal the truth about himself (the reaction of the bus children's parents), or why he's so conflicted about what to do with his powers (because so was his father). And when we see the flashback with the bullies, we understand how hard it must be for Clark to actually fight someone for the first time (and yet at the same time how liberating it must feel to finally let out all that pent-up anger he must have).

Last edited by davejames; July 4 2013 at 10:10 PM.
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Old July 5 2013, 12:50 AM   #1098
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

davejames wrote: View Post
AvBaur wrote: View Post
In what I think is the best piece written about MOS so far, Film Crit Hulk totally nails all the things that don't work about the movie: http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/03/f...k-man-of-steel
Interesting read, but the idea that people like the movie only because they "don't understand character and drama" is just ridiculous. We ALL have movies that we love that others don't respond to, and vice versa.

MOS obviously has a different kind of plot structure than people are used to, so I can understand why some may have a hard time connecting with it (and maybe the filmmakers should have been more aware that would be a problem). But there were many others who had no problem at all adjusting.

And I disagree that Clark has no character arc in this, or that the flashbacks serve no purpose. Yeah Clark has an innate goodness to him (as he should), but he still goes from being this fearful, uncertain boy who thinks he's a freak, to a man wandering the world looking for answers, to a confident hero who finally realizes his destiny as the protector of mankind. He's hardly the exact same person all the way through.

And the flashbacks do a great job getting us into his head, and understanding why he's so hesitant to reveal the truth about himself (the reaction of the bus children's parents), or why he's so conflicted about what to do with his powers (because so was his father). And when we see the flashback with the bullies, we understand how hard it must be for Clark to actually fight someone for the first time (and yet at the same time how liberating it must feel to finally let out all that pent-up anger he must have).
Thanks for this thoughtful reply. I certainly didn't need to read Hulk's screenwriting 101 course--his exposure to film must certainly be limited. I would like to suggest a number of classic films from the sixties and seventies, and directors, who do things contrary to his beliefs.
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Old July 5 2013, 02:14 AM   #1099
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

^ Come on now, we're not talking about art films from the 60s & 70s here (and I'm 100% certain Film Crit Hulk has seen his fair share of those, as have I), but about a big, mainstream summer blockbuster. And as such, Man of Steel doesn't really work on a dramatic level.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things about the movie that are quite enjoyable and I actually mostly had a pretty good time with it while it was playing. But it didn't resonate for me beyond the surface level in the way the very best blockbuster movies do and I never really cared about the characters, and that's precisely because of all the things Hulk lists in the article.
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Old July 5 2013, 03:35 AM   #1100
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

AvBaur wrote: View Post
^ Come on now, we're not talking about art films from the 60s & 70s here (and I'm 100% certain Film Crit Hulk has seen his fair share of those, as have I), but about a big, mainstream summer blockbuster. And as such, Man of Steel doesn't really work on a dramatic level.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things about the movie that are quite enjoyable and I actually mostly had a pretty good time with it while it was playing. But it didn't resonate for me beyond the surface level in the way the very best blockbuster movies do and I never really cared about the characters, and that's precisely because of all the things Hulk lists in the article.
I guess we have to disagree there. I really enjoyed the movie quite well and liked Kal-El's character arc quite a bit. Apart from that Kevin Costner was the only one of the supporting cast who really had any development.

But on the story side, it was quite refreshing to not get the same old story structure that we've had so many times before. You can make great movies without following the same formula.

I remember Ang Lee's Hulk as another movie that got a lot of similar criticism that I really enjoyed.
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Old July 5 2013, 03:06 PM   #1101
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

AvBaur wrote: View Post
^ Come on now, we're not talking about art films from the 60s & 70s here (and I'm 100% certain Film Crit Hulk has seen his fair share of those, as have I), but about a big, mainstream summer blockbuster. And as such, Man of Steel doesn't really work on a dramatic level.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things about the movie that are quite enjoyable and I actually mostly had a pretty good time with it while it was playing. But it didn't resonate for me beyond the surface level in the way the very best blockbuster movies do and I never really cared about the characters, and that's precisely because of all the things Hulk lists in the article.
Superman, the character, resonated with me. As a Pansexual man, as an atheist, I have tasted being an outsider. The longing to be normal ("Can't I just pretend I'm still your son?") to other people's reactions (Hearing "What a freak" when he was in the closet) and the military's reaction to his power is perfect. It is about being different, accepting those differences, and being comfortable enough with yourself to still be who you are when society says that you are not normal.

I thought Lois Lane was a capable and believable journalist. The writing that they show of hers is really good. As someone aspired, at one point, to be a journalist, I wish that I could have written like that, and pursued a story with as much temerity as she did.

I thought Zod was an extremist, but I saw his character as an element of our society. Someone who is nationalistic, someone who is bent on preserving only one kind of people, it is something we deal with in our political discussions. The first 10 minutes of the movie scared me. With as much animosity and dissatisfaction as we have with Congress (the council of "fools"), I wondered if this was our future--a military coup. If not, just look at the countries around us to see it. The movie is almost anti-Western culture because it paints it as the bad guy. Western societies fit children into their schedule now, and they treat children like status symbols and we have abortions when it isn't convenient to have them. What we are doing to the planet, our technology, our lack of exploration and respect for science, this is a part of America as much as Apple pie is. I saw this as a reflection of our own society.

All of the characters mentioned above were believable. Perry not running with the "alien saved me" story. The argument about Lois being under contract, that she cannot just quit. It's fantastic to show the differences between our movie heroes of yesteryear and the realistic problems we face today.

I disagree with you that this movie doesn't communicate some truth and show elements of our society.
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Old July 5 2013, 07:06 PM   #1102
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

After seeing that movie, it's not really necessary to even acknowledge that there were Superman movies prior to the Man of Steel. That's what Superman should be like.

Thought it was brilliant from start to finish. First time I've ever given a movie an A+ here.
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Old July 5 2013, 11:13 PM   #1103
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

After reading some of Hulk's review, I am struck at how much I disagree with it. The purpose of this origin story was to show Superman struggle to be the man we know. He hesitates to help people for fear they will find out who he is. He doesn't stop hesitating until his father dies in that storm. So the flashbacks serve a purpose. They show us how he became Superman, because we already know he's a "god" on Earth. Lois Lane is there to tell Superman's story, to be a narrator of sorts for him. The attraction is instantaneous, and really unnecessary. But Lane serves a purpose to show that, again, people are hesitating because of how crazy the idea is. She simply is protecting a source. She becomes his first friend outside of his family, the first person to believe in him, she represents the good in society while the military represents the fear, she is the ones that will trust him. Lois has a lot to do in this film. As for "show me, don't tell me" I think some of the worst action scenes in this film are following his rule.

And lastly, let me say that there is a reason that his reference is to a child's movie. People have been watching movies long enough, studied the dramatic structure enough, that they see through, and do not enjoy, when the characters relate the way he wants. If something always happens to the three people on-screen, if a friend is shown and then a problem arises that that friend dies, we see it coming a mile down the road. Go back 15 years and you'll see these stories done the way he wants, sometimes poorly. We are in a post-modernism society of film making. Logic and plot and realism are more important than being told a story. Some celebrate that, some don't. But if I know Superman's journey before he ever takes it, I'm not going to connect with him on any level if it's predictable. He could get what he wants, and the movie wouldn't be better for it.
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Old July 6 2013, 12:47 AM   #1104
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Yeah, I won't deny that certain characters and story points couldn't have been fleshed out a bit more. But I still thought we got as much as we needed for the story to still work.

Perry may have had a limited role, but it was an important one as he explained what the world's reaction might be to the discovery of Superman. And we may not have seen a full-fledged romance develop between Lois and Supes, but we at least saw that they had been through enough to develop an attachment to one another.
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Old July 7 2013, 02:28 AM   #1105
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Saw it a second time tonight. Liked it a little better knowing where everything was going, but hope for a sequel that improves upon what we got here. The theater was healthily packed for a film in its fourth weekend....
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Old July 7 2013, 06:15 AM   #1106
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

I really enjoyed this movie. The flashbacks worked, and the story worked for me. I really liked the Krypton ships as well. It was refreshing to see that Lois Lane had some character development as well, and that we got to see some things from her point of view. It must have been really scary for her on Zod's ship.

The only point that really jarred was the utter destruction of Metropolis, as it was so exaggerated that it no longer affected me in an emotional way. It was just pointless destruction.

I didn't notice it at the time, but as a Trek fan it was fun to note afterwards that one of the languages in Zod's broadcast was Klingon...

A mini personal claim to fame: Allison Crowe, the singer at Cassidy's, is an online acquaintance of mine from way back, even if we haven't talked much since she became a professional performing artist.

They must have done something right, since they got Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner to sign up. Both had relatively little screen time, but crucial roles.
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Old July 7 2013, 06:23 AM   #1107
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

I just speed-rewatched Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don't want to argue that one is better than the other, just mention some scenes that really stood out in comparison with Man of Steel:

- As good as it was/still is, the Smallville section of S:TM was not nearly as long as I remembered; if anything, MoS has far more screentime devoted to Smallville (albeit in flashback). In particular, there is only one discussion between Clark and Jonathan Kent, and his words of advice to Clark are not inconsistent with MoS's Pa Kent. Where MoS may have taken shortcuts is that we don't see the Kents realize Kal-El is a superpowerful alien, and we don't see Clark leave home for good. But in S:TM Clark doesn't help anyone in Smallville with his powers.

- A large part of S:TM is devoted to Daily Planet Lois & Clark, along with Lex Luthor and the development of his schemes. Similarly in SII, Zod's introduction and the buildup to the first confrontation is quite lengthy. By contrast, it's pretty striking how quickly things unfold in MoS, and how prolonged and extensive the conflict between Superman and the Kryptonians is.

- The first battle in SII between Superman and Zod/Ursa/Non, which prior to MoS I had always considered one of the best superhero battles ever on film, is also surprisingly brief. Unlike MoS, Superman clearly rescues civilians who are caught in the crossfire, but only once - Superman throws Non into a radio tower, which comes crashing down and is about to crush a woman and her baby, but Superman saves her, leading to Zod & Ursa's classic conversation: 'This 'Super-man' is nothing of the kind.'

- With the exception of the water from the cracked dam about to flood the valley, the special effects in S:TM of the devastation in CA and Superman's efforts to save people is still impressive to this day. I got goosebumps watching him fill in the railroad tracks; a terrific scene! In general the flying scenes still hold up as well.

- The scene where Clark journeys through space with Jor-El in S:TM is all about John Williams' music; the words really don't matter! In MoS, the visual telling of the history is most memorable.

- The Superman DVD I have has two deleted scenes added into the body of the film which should never again be viewed in the film itself: 1) the Council saying Jor-El is using a lot of power in his quarters - DELETE! 2) Superman talking with Jor-El after he makes his grand appearance - interesting from a character perspective, but totally vitiates the impression we get of Superman in action. No thanks!

Would love to hear other's opinions!
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Old July 7 2013, 11:49 AM   #1108
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Crystalline Entity wrote: View Post
Where MoS may have taken shortcuts is that we don't see the Kents realize Kal-El is a superpowerful alien, and we don't see Clark leave home for good.
They know he is an alien.

"You're the answer, son. You're the answer to 'Are we alone in the universe?'"

They also know about his x-ray vision, heat rays, super hearing, super strength, etc., and Martha learns about his ability to fly later on.

While we don't see the actual moment of Clark leaving home, we see the argument between 18-year-old Clark and Jonathan about him wanting to leave and be his own man (and not a farmer), immediately followed by Jonathan's sacrifice in the tornado, which is presumably the final catalyst for his departure.
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Old July 7 2013, 02:44 PM   #1109
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

An anecdote from my viewing last night. Before the film, a woman behind me was explaining to somebody, possibly a child, who they were there to see, explaining, "He's an alien in this one." A second woman corrected her: "He's always been an alien."
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Old July 7 2013, 03:03 PM   #1110
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Re: MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
An anecdote from my viewing last night. Before the film, a woman behind me was explaining to somebody, possibly a child, who they were there to see, explaining, "He's an alien in this one." A second woman corrected her: "He's always been an alien."
Okay, I have to ask: What part of "strange visitor from another planet" did the first woman not get?
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