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Old July 20 2013, 06:16 PM   #211
davejames
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
That was the point. Clark should not reveal himself by saving just a dog. They already saved everyone from the tornado, Jonathan then saved the dog, and then Jonathan made it clear that he didn't want Clark to reveal himself in front of all these people just to save him. Had it been a child or a whole group of people, Jonathan wouldn't have stopped Clark from saving them.
Yeah I don't think people are reading that scene entirely correctly myself. It appeared to me Jonathan was more concerned with Clark staying and protecting his mom and the other civilians, and didn't want to risk their lives by having Clark rush over and save one guy who went back for a dog.

It was less about protecting Clark's secret than Jonathan giving up his life to safe everyone else under the underpass, at least as I saw it.

And yeah I know we later saw Clark moving at superspeed, but we hadn't seen that ability yet in the flashbacks, so it's very likely Jonathan (and maybe even Clark himself) didn't know it was possible-- just like Clark didn't discover he could fly until much later when he got the supersuit. And even then, Jonathan probably STILL wouldn't want to take the chance of his wife and the others getting hurt.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:31 PM   #212
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
But in the post-Byrne comics, and in Lois and Clark, having regular contact with both his parents made him feel a lot more human. Byrne's innovation was in abandoning the idea that Clark Kent was just a facade the alien wore, and instead making Clark Kent the real person and Superman the facade. That made him much more human and relatable. And that continuing tie to his living parents was the linchpin of the whole thing, the reason why he saw himself as a Kent first and a superhero second. He didn't need to lose Jonathan to be humanized. He was plenty human with both parents alive, more human than he'd ever been before. Because it's not just our grief and loss that makes us human, it's our relationships. The reason loss makes us grieve is because it takes those relationships away from us.
Totally agree with this. Lois & Clark's Superman was the most human of all on-screen incarnations I've seen. I always loved the scenes where he'd go talk to his parents about something that was really bothering him.

Did Jo-El ever show up on L&C? I don't remember ever seeing him at all. I think the episodes where he meets up with Kryptonians were some of the weakest of the series.
Yes, in one first season episode, played by Star Trek's David Warner. He appeared in both flashback and as a recording to Clark.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:48 PM   #213
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah I don't think people are reading that scene entirely correctly myself. It appeared to me Jonathan was more concerned with Clark staying and protecting his mom and the other civilians, and didn't want to risk their lives by having Clark rush over and save one guy who went back for a dog.

It was less about protecting Clark's secret than Jonathan giving up his life to safe everyone else under the underpass, at least as I saw it.
But Jonathan believed (wrongly) that they were safe under the overpass. That's why the misguided fool gave them that horribly wrong advice in the first place.

What Jonathan was telling Clark throughout the movie was "Don't help anyone if it risks exposing your specialness in any way. Put your own fear of exposure above helping others, always." Why would he have changed his tune now? The whole reason he sacrificed himself was to drive home his message that hiding was more important than helping, no matter whose life was at stake. He thought he was sacrificing himself for his son's safety, which was noble and all, but still very stupid because it didn't have to be that way.
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Old July 20 2013, 07:11 PM   #214
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
That doesn't make them good ideas, and it doesn't make it any less irresponsible for the filmmakers to put such horrible advice in their movie.


I'm sorry but if someone is taking tornado safety tips from a summer blockbuster movie, they deserve whatever happens to them.
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Old July 20 2013, 07:40 PM   #215
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
But Jonathan believed (wrongly) that they were safe under the overpass. That's why the misguided fool gave them that horribly wrong advice in the first place.

What Jonathan was telling Clark throughout the movie was "Don't help anyone if it risks exposing your specialness in any way. Put your own fear of exposure above helping others, always." Why would he have changed his tune now? The whole reason he sacrificed himself was to drive home his message that hiding was more important than helping, no matter whose life was at stake. He thought he was sacrificing himself for his son's safety, which was noble and all, but still very stupid because it didn't have to be that way.
It's still a freakin tornado. Even if he thought it was a reasonably safe place to hide, he'd still want Clark to stay and protect his mother and the others just in case.

And this notion that Jonathan was trying to "instill fear" or wanted Clark to just hide in a dark corner his whole life and not ever help anyone is just ridiculous. Yeah he thought it best that Clark keep that side of himself secret for the time being (he was still only a kid after all), and that he be aware how the world might react once it learned the truth about him. But he also made it pretty clear he thought Clark WOULD go on to do great things, and that he was "sent here for a reason" and "would change the world."

Hard to do any of those things if you're just hiding in a corner your whole life and not using your powers.
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Old July 20 2013, 07:55 PM   #216
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
davejames wrote: View Post
Yeah I don't think people are reading that scene entirely correctly myself. It appeared to me Jonathan was more concerned with Clark staying and protecting his mom and the other civilians, and didn't want to risk their lives by having Clark rush over and save one guy who went back for a dog.

It was less about protecting Clark's secret than Jonathan giving up his life to safe everyone else under the underpass, at least as I saw it.
But Jonathan believed (wrongly) that they were safe under the overpass. That's why the misguided fool gave them that horribly wrong advice in the first place.

What Jonathan was telling Clark throughout the movie was "Don't help anyone if it risks exposing your specialness in any way. Put your own fear of exposure above helping others, always." Why would he have changed his tune now? The whole reason he sacrificed himself was to drive home his message that hiding was more important than helping, no matter whose life was at stake. He thought he was sacrificing himself for his son's safety, which was noble and all, but still very stupid because it didn't have to be that way.
No, that's not what Jonathan is telling him.

[Jonathan Kent shows Clark the pod in which they found him in, revealing he is not from Earth]Jonathan Kent: We found you in this. We were sure the government was gonna show up on our doorstep. No one ever came. [He hands him the key] This was in the chamber with you. I took it to a metallurgist at Kansas State. He said whatever it was made from didn't even exist on the periodic table. It's another way of saying it's not from this world, Clark, and neither are you... You're the answer, son. You're the answer to "Are we alone in the universe?".Clark Kent (13 years old): I don't want to be.Jonathan Kent: And I don't blame you, son. It'd be a huge burden for anyone to carry, but you're not just anyone, Clark, and I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason. All these changes you're going through, one day your going to think of them as a blessing and when that day comes, you're going to have to make a choice. A choice for whether to stand proud before the human race, or not.Clark Kent (13 years old): Can't I just... keep pretending I'm your son?Jonathan Kent: [Voice breaks] You are my son. [Hugs Clark tightly] But somewhere out there, you have another father too, who gave you another name. And he sent you here for a reason, Clark, and even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.
And in the end Superman made his choice by destroying the genesis chamber.
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Old July 20 2013, 08:19 PM   #217
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
And this notion that Jonathan was trying to "instill fear" or wanted Clark to just hide in a dark corner his whole life and not ever help anyone is just ridiculous. Yeah he thought it best that Clark keep that side of himself secret for the time being (he was still only a kid after all), and that he be aware how the world might react once it learned the truth about him. But he also made it pretty clear he thought Clark WOULD go on to do great things, and that he was "sent here for a reason" and "would change the world."

Hard to do any of those things if you're just hiding in a corner your whole life and not using your powers.
Which is exactly why Jonathan was so tragically misguided. He thought he was teaching his son that he could do great things, but that was just his words; his actions conveyed a far more timid and selfish message. And as I've remarked before, if a child hears his parents saying one thing and sees them doing the exact opposite, then he'll be more influenced by their actions than their words.

Jonathan meant well, I'm not denying that. But he totally fumbled the execution.
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Old July 20 2013, 08:49 PM   #218
marksound
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Agreed.

If they'd given some of Costner's lines to Diane Lane it might have played better. But the tornado scene just wasn't at all believable to me.

I just didn't think Jonathan was written as a good father figure. I get the "I don't know--maybe" line. He's admitting that he doesn't know how he would react in the same situation. But when you have an adolescent asking the hard questions, you have to have some kind of answer. Especially with one as unique as Clark. "I don't know" doesn't cut it.

Maybe something like, "I don't know, son. You have to use your own judgment, but be careful."
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Old July 20 2013, 09:06 PM   #219
davejames
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

The problem is I think people are presupposing that Jonathan has some concept of what a "superhero" is, and that Clark was just always destined to become that.

If you discovered your son could see through walls, was super strong, and could shoot laser beams out of his eyes, I don't think your first thought would be "Wow, I can't wait to see him become a superhero someday and save the world!!"

No, in the real world you'd probably be thinking "Whoa, this is some really crazy shit he can do! I have to make sure he learns how to control it, doesn't accidentally hurt anybody, and doesn't get locked away and become a lab rat for the CIA to experiment on the rest of his life."
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Old July 20 2013, 09:22 PM   #220
DWF
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
The problem is I think people are presupposing that Jonathan has some concept of what a "superhero" is, and that Clark was just always destined to become that.

If you discovered your son could see through walls, was super strong, and could shoot laser beams out of his eyes, I don't think your first thought would be "Wow, I can't wait to see him become a superhero someday and save the world!!"

No, in the real world you'd probably be thinking "Whoa, this is some really crazy shit he can do! I have to make sure he learns how to control it, doesn't accidentally hurt anybody, and doesn't get locked away and become a lab rat for the CIA to experiment on the rest of his life."
And even non-Krytonian kids don't come with an instruction manual.
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Old July 20 2013, 09:37 PM   #221
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

davejames wrote: View Post
The problem is I think people are presupposing that Jonathan has some concept of what a "superhero" is, and that Clark was just always destined to become that.
I'm not presupposing anything of the sort. You don't have to be a superhero to help people. In other versions, Clark didn't learn to be Superman because his parents groomed him to be a superhero; he learned by watching their example as kind parents and good neighbors, people who always helped out other people who needed it, people who were unselfish and generous -- and people who had faith in the goodness of the people around them and thus inspired the best in them.

That's what this Jonathan lacked: faith in humanity's basic goodness. He was a fearful, paranoid figure who taught his son that humans were just as fearful and paranoid, that they'd never accept him because he was different and so he should perpetually hide himself. And one of the few things the movie got right is that Jonathan was absolutely wrong. Superman did meet with some initial suspicion, but he quickly proved that he was here to help and that he was a force for good (as long as you disregard the ill-conceived, badly-directed action sequences where he totally ignored all the lives being endangered by his superfights in the heart of populated areas). So instead of the usual story where he becomes Superman by embracing what Jonathan taught him about basic human goodness, in this version he becomes Superman by acting on his own basic instinct to help and renouncing everything Jonathan ever taught him about what a bunch of xenophobic, tribalistic creeps humans were. This is a movie about Superman proving Jonathan Kent wrong. The tragedy is that it took him so long to finally step up and defy the bad advice his father kept giving him.
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Old July 20 2013, 09:59 PM   #222
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Seeing as how Superman was a target for the military til he he saved one of them and the satellite scene at the end I'd say Jonathan wasn't off the mark by much.
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Old July 20 2013, 10:40 PM   #223
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Jonathan wasn't wrong, he succeeded at the one thing he set out to do...to ensure that his son kept his secret safe until he was ready to reveal himself to the world. If he hadn't been so strict when Clark was a child, Clark probably would have wound up exposing himself and being taken by the government.

The tornado scene was very poorly executed, but Jonathan's general attitude in this film was the right attitude for the story that this film was trying to tell.
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Old July 20 2013, 11:15 PM   #224
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

But he presented it as an either-or choice between helping people and protecting his secret. He didn't offer his son any guidance in how to do both at once -- which is pretty much an essential ingredient for a career in Supermanning. If Clark's father hadn't held him back so steadily for all those years, maybe he wouldn't have been so tentative when faced with Zod and would've been able to cope with the situation in a way that wouldn't have cost those millions of lives that nobody in the movie seemed to care about.
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Old July 20 2013, 11:20 PM   #225
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Re: Why The Hate For Superman Returns?

Christopher wrote: View Post
But he presented it as an either-or choice between helping people and protecting his secret. He didn't offer his son any guidance in how to do both at once -- which is pretty much an essential ingredient for a career in Supermanning. If Clark's father hadn't held him back so steadily for all those years, maybe he wouldn't have been so tentative when faced with Zod and would've been able to cope with the situation in a way that wouldn't have cost those millions of lives that nobody in the movie seemed to care about.
Clark spent years anonymously helping people, just after the Smallville years, and having to stay on the move under assumed identities. And as others have pointed out, Jonathan wanted Clark to make a difference someday, just not until he had a better idea who he was and what he was supposed to do. It's an origin film, heaven forbid Superman actually has to figure these things out. They were trying to do something a little more naturalistic and complex than "I've been gifted with great powers...I'll put on a costume and fight crime as...Superboy!"
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