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Old April 22 2014, 06:00 PM   #46
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Another issue I had with Man of Steel was the clumsy combination of two aspects of the Superman mythos.

In the first film, JorEl sentences Zod to the Phantom Zone, then he meets with the council to talk about Krypton's fate. These were separate events, despite the fact that he knew all along that Krypton would explode. He just wanted to go through business as usual and take care of matters of the state before engaging the Council on Krypton's imminent destruction. Sure, it seemed a bit abrupt to go from Zod's punishment to the destruction of Krypton, but they were treated as separate events. The storytelling was simple and clean.

Goyer's script muddied the waters a bit. He combined these two distinct threads and his script became really messy really fast as a result, like tangled wires, all in the first ten minutes.
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Old April 22 2014, 08:21 PM   #47
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Upon second viewing on HBO, I felt a little better about some of the flying scenes but overall, the movie still lacks heart. It is emotionally stunted in favor of trashing buildings.
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Old April 22 2014, 09:32 PM   #48
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Another issue I had with Man of Steel was the clumsy combination of two aspects of the Superman mythos.

In the first film, JorEl sentences Zod to the Phantom Zone, then he meets with the council to talk about Krypton's fate. These were separate events, despite the fact that he knew all along that Krypton would explode. He just wanted to go through business as usual and take care of matters of the state before engaging the Council on Krypton's imminent destruction. Sure, it seemed a bit abrupt to go from Zod's punishment to the destruction of Krypton, but they were treated as separate events. The storytelling was simple and clean.

Goyer's script muddied the waters a bit. He combined these two distinct threads and his script became really messy really fast as a result, like tangled wires, all in the first ten minutes.
What matters is the ends,. While the means are secondary and have changed from incarnation to incarnation. The ends being that Krypton blows up and Kal-El is sent away before it does.

The means vary between:
Jor-El warning the council about Kryton's impending doom and the council doing nothing. (Superman 1978, MOS, various comics)

Krypton being sucked in to a black hole. (Silver Age)

Krypton being blown up by Brainiac after he steals Kandor (Silver Age)

In the end all that matters is Krytpon is gone. If Zod is to be a villain he has to be established before Krypton explodes. Most incarnations have Zod alive on Krypton's last day. Before he is sent to the phantom zone.


gblews wrote: View Post
Upon second viewing on HBO, I felt a little better about some of the flying scenes but overall, the movie still lacks heart. It is emotionally stunted in favor of trashing buildings.
I too found MOS better the second viewing.

Would you care to amplify what "heart" means? Most people say MOS lacked emotional resonance but don't clarify how it could've been incorporated in to the film.
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Old April 22 2014, 09:51 PM   #49
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Rewrites are supposed to make things better, but Goyer took the mythos and shuffled elements together, added more useless aspects (like the Codex) and made it confusing. Sure, now Zod has more motivation than he did. The drawback, he's motivated by too many things. He's more of a plot device than a character. And Goyer's mixture of the plot elements makes it so the film makes no sense.

In the old films, JorEl informed the council but they didn't believe him.

The council knew that Krypton would definitely explode, no doubt, but instead of evacuating anyone is spaceships, they hold trials for criminals and send them off (which ends up saving them).

This is easily Goyer's worst writing, and he has had some bad scripts.
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Old April 22 2014, 10:20 PM   #50
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Rewrites are supposed to make things better, but Goyer took the mythos and shuffled elements together, added more useless aspects (like the Codex) and made it confusing. .
Yeah I never understood that. If Jor-El accepted the fact that Superman was the last son of Krypton, why save the codex. He also didn't seem to care about the seed ship either. Classic Superman with the magic crystal made more sense.
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Old April 22 2014, 10:44 PM   #51
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Wasn't Kal given the codex because he was to decide whether or not Krypton should be recreated on Earth and to act as a bridge between the two peoples if they are reborn on Earth.

I will say, I liked the random sci-fi elements with Krypton selected who people are to be before they are born with the exception of Kal. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was an interesting idea. It gave Zod some motivation in that way as well.
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Old April 22 2014, 10:56 PM   #52
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Wasn't Kal given the codex because he was to decide whether or not Krypton should be recreated on Earth and to act as a bridge between the two peoples if they are reborn on Earth.
That's assuming that Jor-EL knew that Superman had a way to access both Jor-El's program and the codex. There is no evidence that Jor-El knew there was a seed ship on Earth. That was an accident (which allowed Zod to find Earth in the first place). The comics and classic movie made Superman's purpose more clear. He was to both set an example and share Kryptonian knowledge. MoS just muddled things.

I will say, I liked the random sci-fi elements with Krypton selected who people are to be before they are born with the exception of Kal. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was an interesting idea. It gave Zod some motivation in that way as well.
But that's another thematic problem. Kal-El was born naturally so he could have freedom to chose but then the movie saddles him with destiny to be Superman. MoS tries to whitewash this by making Superman question his destiny but in the end he HAS NO CHOICE. No tights no movie.

I think Mark Millar in "Jupiter Legacy" had a better take on the whole destiny angle especially issue no 4.
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Old April 22 2014, 11:03 PM   #53
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Wasn't Kal given the codex because he was to decide whether or not Krypton should be recreated on Earth and to act as a bridge between the two peoples if they are reborn on Earth.

I will say, I liked the random sci-fi elements with Krypton selected who people are to be before they are born with the exception of Kal. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was an interesting idea. It gave Zod some motivation in that way as well.
^This . It was stated in the film multiple times what Jor-El's motivations were for the codex and his son. Either Kal would create a New Krypton on Earth by procreating with the humans, or he would stay out of humanity's way and allow them to evolve on their own.

It's explained in the comics and touched upon briefly by Zod and Jor-El in MOS, that Krypton is a guild/caste society. Babies are born by combining the genetic material of parents (or from the genetic material of the codex in MOS); absent the act of sex. A child's occupation is chosen before birth. Artists, scientists, military personnel, engineers, politicians etc. It's why Zod screamed heresy when Jor-El told him that him and Lara had conceived a child under natural birth.

It's also the reason why Krypton and all the outposts died. The people were locked in to a singular way of thinking and couldn't change or think outside of their assigned occupation. It's why the council did nothing to save the people of Krytpon despite the world falling apart underneath them. They had gone so long without giving a damn about anything that they lost the capacity to care. When Jor-El says "Everyone on this planet is already dead" that's what he means. It's the same thing when Kal asks AI Jor-El why didn't he (Jor-El) or his mother join him on Earth.
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Old April 22 2014, 11:15 PM   #54
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
It's also the reason why Krypton and all the outposts died. The people were locked in to a singular way of thinking and couldn't change or think outside of their assigned occupation. It's why the council did nothing to save the people of Krytpon despite the world falling apart underneath them. They had gone so long without giving a damn about anything that they lost the capacity to care. When Jor-El says "Everyone on this planet is already dead" that's what he means. It's the same thing when Kal asks AI Jor-El why didn't he (Jor-El) or his mother join him on Earth.
I have a hard time believing that having a caste based society would lead to a level of apathy that people didn't care that their world would blow up (and then throw away their last space ship to criminals).
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Old April 22 2014, 11:21 PM   #55
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Another issue I had with Man of Steel was the clumsy combination of two aspects of the Superman mythos.

In the first film, JorEl sentences Zod to the Phantom Zone, then he meets with the council to talk about Krypton's fate. These were separate events, despite the fact that he knew all along that Krypton would explode. He just wanted to go through business as usual and take care of matters of the state before engaging the Council on Krypton's imminent destruction. Sure, it seemed a bit abrupt to go from Zod's punishment to the destruction of Krypton, but they were treated as separate events. The storytelling was simple and clean.

Goyer's script muddied the waters a bit. He combined these two distinct threads and his script became really messy really fast as a result, like tangled wires, all in the first ten minutes.
What matters is the ends,. While the means are secondary and have changed from incarnation to incarnation. The ends being that Krypton blows up and Kal-El is sent away before it does.

The means vary between:
Jor-El warning the council about Kryton's impending doom and the council doing nothing. (Superman 1978, MOS, various comics)

Krypton being sucked in to a black hole. (Silver Age)

Krypton being blown up by Brainiac after he steals Kandor (Silver Age)

In the end all that matters is Krytpon is gone. If Zod is to be a villain he has to be established before Krypton explodes. Most incarnations have Zod alive on Krypton's last day. Before he is sent to the phantom zone.


gblews wrote: View Post
Upon second viewing on HBO, I felt a little better about some of the flying scenes but overall, the movie still lacks heart. It is emotionally stunted in favor of trashing buildings.
I too found MOS better the second viewing.

Would you care to amplify what "heart" means? Most people say MOS lacked emotional resonance but don't clarify how it could've been incorporated in to the film.
It was clear that the movie was attempting to connect with the audience emotionally with Pa Kent's death and the scene in which Superman reluctantly kills Zod, but those scenes were flat and not at all moving.

The first Donner Superman movie and Superman Returns both contained multiple moments that elicited an emotional response from the audience -- Pa Kent's heart attack, the wide shot of Clark and Ma Kent on the farm, Lois' apparent death. In SR, Superman's heartfelt "goodbye" to Lois in the plane, the shot of him flying up through the clouds to gather strength from our yellow Sun before perhaps his final battle.

MoS had nothing that made an emotional connection with the audience. That part of the movie was given short shrift in order to emphasize action which, IMO, the powers that be wanted more than anything else. Even the scenes with Supes and Lois fell flat. Their romance appeared to come out of nowhere, probably because the producers could get in a few more explosions and falling buildings rather than showing the build of their relationship.

MoS lacked one of those iconic Superman scenes or shots that lets you know you are watching a Superman movie.
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Old April 22 2014, 11:23 PM   #56
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

I had to wait a week before seeing MOS in the theater. Curiosity got the better of me, I peeked in on the discussion thread, learned what some people didn't like about it, so I had 50/50 expectations going in.

It blew me away. I had a big smile plastered across my face coming out of the theater. But the BD release was even better. It is too textured a film to see everything in one big screen viewing.

One thing detractors may consider is this isn't "Superman", it's "Man of Steel" and is supposed to be different. Just as the Dark Knight isn't the same as the Burton era Batman's, or the Raimi Spiderman isn't the same as the Amazing Spiderman, neither is MOS the same as Superman.

It's fair not to like it but it isn't fair measure MOS with the same kind of ruler as you do Superman, they are totally different entities.
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Old April 22 2014, 11:56 PM   #57
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

The word "Superman" is only spoken twice in the film, by the same guy, some random soldier. I'll admit to feeling something when it was spoken. I don't know why, but it was the closest the film ever got to making me feel like I was watching a Superman movie.

I wonder how much they paid that guy to say those lines?
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Old April 23 2014, 12:00 AM   #58
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

The Keeper wrote: View Post
I had to wait a week before seeing MOS in the theater. Curiosity got the better of me, I peeked in on the discussion thread, learned what some people didn't like about it, so I had 50/50 expectations going in.

It blew me away. I had a big smile plastered across my face coming out of the theater. But the BD release was even better. It is too textured a film to see everything in one big screen viewing.

One thing detractors may consider is this isn't "Superman", it's "Man of Steel" and is supposed to be different. Just as the Dark Knight isn't the same as the Burton era Batman's, or the Raimi Spiderman isn't the same as the Amazing Spiderman, neither is MOS the same as Superman.

It's fair not to like it but it isn't fair measure MOS with the same kind of ruler as you do Superman, they are totally different entities.
That's cool. I had a huge smile on face when watching the absurd "G.I. Joe Retaliation." Shows that movies are subjective. Now I smile every time I watch that film. Love the cliches, love the dialogue, love the set-pieces, I love Cobra's absurd plan.


I wish I felt that way for Man of Steel. Hope they can make a real comic book film with the sequel.
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Old April 23 2014, 12:34 AM   #59
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Forbin wrote: View Post
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.
You did a great job expressing this. Many Marvel movies have done a great job translating the characters to the "real world" and making them work.
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Old April 23 2014, 12:48 AM   #60
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Re: MAN OF STEEL: Another look

AllStarEntprise wrote: View Post
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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.
Sorry, but Superman almost always thinks his way to victory. The comics often showing him facing a superior opponent that he needs to outwit or solve the mystery in order to defeat.
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