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Old April 22 2014, 03:47 PM   #31
The Festivus Awakens
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Anwar wrote: View Post
They did that in the JLU Cartoon, when he fought Captain Marvel.

Difference was, the whole situation made Superman out to be a Bad Guy and it was repeatedly stated that the city was totally empty.
The exact details of the fight weren't really my concern, though. It was that I recall many people complimenting the fact that a superhero battle carried some real weight in terms of mass destruction and consequences as one would expect, rather than just being a bunch of sky-punching.

And yet when we get exactly that sense of weight and consequence in MoS, the complaint most often seems to be that it was too much. Now, that's not hypocrisy or anything, because I don't know if it's the same people obviously, I was just surprised by the massive backlash against it in this case.

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
Personally speaking (obviously) I was, at first, thrilled to see a truly apocalyptic battle between Supes and the baddies. It's what one would expect if a handful of god-like beings did battle in a metropolitan setting. It's impressive to look at.

But I am continually dismayed by the hand-waving over the casualties that such a battle would have created. It wouldn't have taken much within the film to address this, either - a simple line from Supes about it as the battle intensified, would have at least acknowledged what was happening. Perhaps a line or two after the fact. But as it stands now, for all its visual beauty and realistic portrayal, the scene has all the emotional impact of the Transformers gorging themselves on Chicago.
Well, they did show people getting hurt and killed by the falling debris and missiles/planes in the first battle, so it wasn't glossed over.

Plus, we got the human element and emotional impact with a pair of scenes:

Firstly Perry White and the guy from House of Cards deciding to stay behind to rescue Jenny from the rubble, and ultimately choosing to stay with her and comfort her even after they couldn't get her out, even though that meant that they would die too (or so they thought, but Supes stopped the world engine at the last second). That scene is pivotal, because it shows exactly the kind of human compassion and bravery that Jor-El is referring to earlier, and that he hopes Kal can inspire in others.

Jor-El: You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.

Jor-El: The people of Earth are different from us, it's true, but ultimately I believe that is a good thing. They won't necessarily make the same mistakes we did, but if you guide them, Kal, if you give them hope, that's what this symbol means. The symbol of the House of El means hope. Embodied within that hope is the fundamental belief the potential of every person to be a force for good. That's what you can bring them.

Also Jor-El's "they're a great people" speech from Superman.

The second scene involves the family in the train station and Kal's anguish after saving them by having to kill Zod, who as far as he knows is the last remaining survivor and link to his homeworld. That's shows the lengths he's willing to go to and the sacrifices he's willing to make for his adopted people, and was a very emotional scene, IMO.
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Old April 22 2014, 03:51 PM   #32
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
While I hesitate to give the Avengers too much praise, the final action scene in that film was really well done, for what it was. It was built up well for most of the film. Instead of it being two supermen fighting and not caring about the massive amounts of collateral damage, it was a half dozen heroes that had to work together, each offering some unique way to contribute talents. It also was bright and colorful and really looked and felt like a comic book. There was a progression to the fight. Each character got involved in their own unique way, an eventually they had to figure out how to deal with the threat. Man of Steel's fight seemed long, tedious, repetitive, humorless, boring, shallow, preachy and all of that. As well as dull, and colorless, and it felt like the stakes were less important than its own showiness. The Avengers took time to save people from what was happening. Superman in the original films spent more time saving people than actually engaging Zod and his cronies. Man of Steel's fight seemed, endless, excessive, and utterly pointless. That's why the minutes dragged and dragged, because it was all listless and there was nothing to hook the audience after the initial minute or two of seeing two Supermen duking it out.
This. You expressed it much better than me.
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Old April 22 2014, 03:53 PM   #33
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

One other thing, I hate the Jesus analogy but Superman needs to inspire us to work as a hero. Did you feel inspired by Superman in MoS? If you said no, no matter how "good" you thought the movie was than it failed. Do you know what does inspire me? Captain America, Batman (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight only) Iron Man, Green Arrow and yeah even Thor.
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Old April 22 2014, 04:13 PM   #34
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

I only saw it this past weekend and I hadn't read any reviews previously. I knew there was a lot of negativity around the film but I tried to give it a fair shake.

The prologue set on Krypton had a visual style that reminded me too much of The Chronicles of Riddick. The constant lighting/lens flare abuse brought to mind 2009's Star Trek. A lot of scenes were staged in incredibly contrived ways, which I "get" as being part of the film's mythic quality, but most of it fell flat. The flashbacks to Clark's childhood felt both jarring and unnecessary. I feel like we didn't actually get to spend that much time with Superman as an adult, seeing him interact with other people. It was hard to get a sense of what kind of man he's supposed to be. His first flight was a great moment--finding that connection to his heritage and discovering who he is and being enthralled by it. Some beats like that really work. But a lot more don't.

It felt like it was trying to be three different films in one, and so none of them work particularly well. Having him fight Zod--perhaps one of his most powerful enemies--as his first real challenge seems awfully premature. My gripe with the final battle sequence is mainly that Zod had already lost so everything that followed felt incredibly perfunctory. I can't lay the carnage at Supes' feet, of course, though I feel like the film had no time to take the repercussions of that seriously. The damage to Metropolis was quite a bit worse than 9/11 given the size of the area devastated. It's also hard to ignore that, without Superman being present on Earth, none of the stuff with Zod would have happened, so in that sense it was Supes' fault (even if unintentionally.) The final battle just felt interminable once Zod's ship had been destroyed. It smacked very obviously of there being some mandate to have a huge climactic battle between Superman and Zod amid the skyscrapers of Metropolis but it played out as a silly ripoff the Neo/Smith battle from the last Matrix film. Not exactly a good thing to be reminded of.

After watching it, I felt like it was a soulless endeavor. This effort to humanize Superman was more successful, I think, than past attempts, but not altogether an actual success.

I didn't think it was terrible, but it also isn't all that good, definitely not compared with Marvel's efforts or the Nolan Batman films (which I sort of like but don't gush about the way others do.)
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Old April 22 2014, 04:16 PM   #35
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
While I hesitate to give the Avengers too much praise, the final action scene in that film was really well done, for what it was. It was built up well for most of the film. Instead of it being two supermen fighting and not caring about the massive amounts of collateral damage, it was a half dozen heroes that had to work together, each offering some unique way to contribute talents. It also was bright and colorful and really looked and felt like a comic book. There was a progression to the fight. Each character got involved in their own unique way, an eventually they had to figure out how to deal with the threat. Man of Steel's fight seemed long, tedious, repetitive, humorless, boring, shallow, preachy and all of that. As well as dull, and colorless, and it felt like the stakes were less important than its own showiness. The Avengers took time to save people from what was happening. Superman in the original films spent more time saving people than actually engaging Zod and his cronies. Man of Steel's fight seemed, endless, excessive, and utterly pointless. That's why the minutes dragged and dragged, because it was all listless and there was nothing to hook the audience after the initial minute or two of seeing two Supermen duking it out.
Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.
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Old April 22 2014, 04:16 PM   #36
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Thank you, Forbin! And Kelthaz

So many little moments worked in that last Avengers battle. But when Thor heps Captain America to his feet and asks if he's "ready for another bout," you really feel the camaraderie. It's almost tangible. And that's the moment when you realize that you are so involved in what's happening on the screen that there is no screen anymore, that you aren't just watching a movie, but experiencing it.

The one thing about the new Avengers is that the novelty of seeing these guys work together has already passed. Hopefully the new film can bring something new to the table.

Zod is a contradiction for me. He's so close to being my favorite comic book movie villain - at least until Ledger's Joker came around, that it was a real shame to see the new Zod become my absolute least favorite movie villain.

I can enjoy Man of Steel mainly as a B-movie, like thinking of it as if it was made in the 50's.. makes it fun by embracing how much of a B movie it is!
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Old April 22 2014, 04:27 PM   #37
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Zod is a contradiction for me. He's so close to being my favorite comic book movie villain - at least until Ledger's Joker came around, that it was a real shame to see the new Zod become my absolute least favorite movie villain.
I missed Terrence Stamp and "Kneel Before Zod" but the new Zod is actually an improvement. He actually has a character and a motivation you can relate to. The problem with Zod is the same as Bane, he just became a plot device plus he shouted way too much.

I can enjoy Man of Steel mainly as a B-movie, like thinking of it as if it was made in the 50's.. makes it fun by embracing how much of a B movie it is!
How can you since it's so dark and serious? There is absolutely no humor or any lighthearted moments.
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Old April 22 2014, 04:36 PM   #38
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Yminale wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Zod is a contradiction for me. He's so close to being my favorite comic book movie villain - at least until Ledger's Joker came around, that it was a real shame to see the new Zod become my absolute least favorite movie villain.
I missed Terrence Stamp and "Kneel Before Zod" but the new Zod is actually an improvement. He actually has a character and a motivation you can relate to. The problem with Zod is the same as Bane, he just became a plot device plus he shouted way too much.

I can enjoy Man of Steel mainly as a B-movie, like thinking of it as if it was made in the 50's.. makes it fun by embracing how much of a B movie it is!
How can you since it's so dark and serious? There is absolutely no humor or any lighthearted moments.
The original Zod wasn't especially deep, but he did have motivations for what he did. But his main thing was his superiority complex. He wanted to command. And Stamp had such gravitas that you can't help but watch him. He wanted revenge on his jailer, and he wanted to rule. The new Zod's motives were too complex, and the whole Codex thing and the new Krypton just gave him too many motives. There was almost no person left.

The movies of the 50's thought they were serious but are somewhat absurd in retrospect, like This Island Earth. That was considered a legitimate and intelligent science fiction movie at the time, but it is silly and trite now. That's how I watch Man of Steel
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Old April 22 2014, 05:05 PM   #39
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
While I hesitate to give the Avengers too much praise, the final action scene in that film was really well done, for what it was. It was built up well for most of the film. Instead of it being two supermen fighting and not caring about the massive amounts of collateral damage, it was a half dozen heroes that had to work together, each offering some unique way to contribute talents. It also was bright and colorful and really looked and felt like a comic book. There was a progression to the fight. Each character got involved in their own unique way, an eventually they had to figure out how to deal with the threat. Man of Steel's fight seemed long, tedious, repetitive, humorless, boring, shallow, preachy and all of that. As well as dull, and colorless, and it felt like the stakes were less important than its own showiness. The Avengers took time to save people from what was happening. Superman in the original films spent more time saving people than actually engaging Zod and his cronies. Man of Steel's fight seemed, endless, excessive, and utterly pointless. That's why the minutes dragged and dragged, because it was all listless and there was nothing to hook the audience after the initial minute or two of seeing two Supermen duking it out.
The biggest difference between MOS and Avengers is what the focus is.

MOS focus is on Superman facing a challenge (on screen at least) bigger than he has ever faced before. Zod and his followers were fully complacent with wiping out humanity and colonizing Earth. We cheer for Superman because he is facing such adversity and is overmatched. In previous movies (Superman II) he fought Superbeings as well. However they mixed their attacks with standing on buildings, posturing and expositing dialogue. The villains of MOS are hardpressed to cause as much physical harm to Superman and everyone in their way. In the end Superman was able to save the planet. That's all that should matter.

The focus of Avengers is the gathering of the Avengers. The big 30 minute action scene at the end was just something to bring them all together. The assembling of the Avengers and their interactions is all that matters. It's why the threat in Avengers isn't that important and is essentially a fodder army there to give the Avengers something to hit in the finale. There are 2 scenes of the Avengers rescuing people: Hawkeye and Capt rescuing people in a bus, and Capt by himself rescuing people in a bank.

I'm not sure we can adequately compare the action scenes in Avengers and MOS in that regard. Since both films are trying to accomplish different things with their respective stories.

I complied every action scene in both movies. Judge for yourself.

Action scene length in Avengers:

The Intro: Beginning with Loki shooting his first bolt from his staff and ending with Fury saying "We are at war" is roughly 6 minutes.

Loki, Capt. America and Iron Man in Germany - roughly 4 minutes including dialogue from the moment Loki strikes that guy with a cane.

Iron Man vs Thor on the mountain: About 3:30 minutes. From the time Iron Man tackles Thor to Thor, Cap and Iron Man standing together and the "Are we done here" line.

The fight on the Helicarrier: Beginning when Hawkeye destroys the first turbine to Nick Fury running up to Agent Coulson it's about 14 minutes.

The Battle of New York: Beginning when Iron Man engaging the Chitauri and ending when Hulk catches Iron Man is about 26 minutes.


Action scene length in MOS:

On Krytpon: Starting with Jor-El escaping his guards and arriving home is about 4 minutes.

On Krypton: Jor-El vs Zod and his two guards and ending with Kal-El's ship warping away is about 2:30 minutes.

Superman rescuing the people on the oil tanker takes a little over a minute and 20 seconds.

Superman learning to fly sequence is roughly 2 minutes.

Lois Lane shooting her way through the ship and Superman rescuing her (including dialogue from Jor-El to Lois and Kal) is just under 4 minutes.

The Smallville Battle between Supes,Nam-Ek, Faora takes 6 minutes.

The World Engine pulse and Superman attempting to stop it takes roughly 10 mintues.

Superman destroying the scout ship and Faora attacking the B37 before being pulled into the phantom zone takes a little over 2 minutes.

The final fight between Zod and Supes, takes 6 minutes. Beginning when Zod tackles Supes.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:16 PM   #40
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

The length of action scenes is utterly beside the point, because a well-constructed and well-paced action scene will never feel its length, while a tedious and dull one will feel twice as long (if not longer.)

The final action sequence in MOS, to me, felt very long and overdone. The prior action scenes were fine, in my opinion. It was just the final fight with Zod that seemed to go on far too long.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:18 PM   #41
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

I saw Man of Steel in the theater and thought it was a decent flick but have had no real urge to revisit it. Much like The Avengers and Iron Man 3.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:31 PM   #42
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
The length of action scenes is utterly beside the point, because a well-constructed and well-paced action scene will never feel its length, while a tedious and dull one will feel twice as long (if not longer.)

The final action sequence in MOS, to me, felt very long and overdone. The prior action scenes were fine, in my opinion. It was just the final fight with Zod that seemed to go on far too long.
People complain about the length of the action scenes. So there is a point to be made there.

That's the trick I suppose. How do you make an action scene with super strong and invincible people interesting? It's a needle that MOS didn't thread very well, but even in the comics, the fight scenes between megaton characters doesn't mesh well. There is only a victor when one of the combatant is irrefutably stronger than his opponent.

I was quite satisfied that they showed Superman was equal in terms of abilities with the other Krytponians. As opposed to doing what happens in comics and giving Superman a "plus 1" because he's the hero and her has to triumph.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:33 PM   #43
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

People don't really care how long the scene is, only how long it feels. Any complaints about length are always down to one's perception, not the actual length. When people complain that a film/scene was too short, usually it's meant as a compliment, not a critique.

You have a good point about Superman not one-upping the Kryptonians, though I would say he acquits himself a bit too well considering he's basically a rookie and Zod is the top military mind of his planet and presumably his henchpeople are also top-flight. That Superman was able to take them on as a neophyte is a bit silly.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:44 PM   #44
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
You have a good point about Superman not one-upping the Kryptonians, though I would say he acquits himself a bit too well considering he's basically a rookie and Zod is the top military mind of his planet and presumably his henchpeople are also top-flight. That Superman was able to take them on as a neophyte is a bit silly.
That's the problem with the pacing in general. It spends way too much time on Krypton, then slows down spending too much time with Clark and his "issues" and then brings in Zod to quickly and then speeds up again. The original Superman pace was near perfect saving Zod for the second movie.
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Old April 22 2014, 05:56 PM   #45
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

My visual take on the arguments:

[resize=480][/resize]
For me, the fight would have been better if Superman had been more established (i.e. even more in control of his abilities, evening the odds & helping avoid death of earthlings). And i really would have liked more "midwestern values" taught to Clark over the years, so that he may have been "the Blur" for a number of years and not just on occasion, but also have a moral background. Captain America was able to make it happen without CA being cheesy.
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