MAN OF STEEL: Another look

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by david g, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    I don't think Superman was responsible for any of the damages here though, Zod was.
     
  2. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think the main criticism was the actual story element. I think it was the destruction porn level of the movie itself. The fight went on for a long time and there were a lot of scenes detailing the level of death and destruction in Metropolis.

    This is not my personal opinion, I am just trying to summarize the discussion from the movie thread that you can search out.
     
  3. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This movie forgets why Superman is an iconic character and idol of millions. Jor El keeps telling him he's a symbol of hope but all you see is violence and scenes of destruction. Watching it you get the sense that humanity would be better off if he wasn't there...along with his Kryptonian pals. The final straw was at the end when takes that satellite down. No, this living alien god is not a loose canon AT ALL. Hell, if I was the US gov, I'd be on the line to Lex Luthor that night, and I'd be perfectly justified.
     
  4. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    What if I told you the action scenes in MOS were shorter than they were in Avengers?

    The fight between Superman, Faora and Nam-Ek in Smallville lasts 6 minutes. The scene to stop the World Engine from the moment it is turned on, lasts 10 minutes. That includes dialogue between certain characters. The final fight between Superman and Zod last 6 minutes.
     
  5. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    With regards to Transformers:
    I wouldn't say that. Transformers 3 was viscious. We saw civilians being blasted to dust. Reminded me of the Tripods in War of the Worlds (2005) and their attack on humanity. MOS was mass destruction but glossing over the human element for the sake of keeping the action moving. Star Trek Into Darkness did the same thing when Khan crashed the Vengeance into San Fransico, and nary a line is brought up about it when it happened or in the final moments of the film. The crash happens and we have a chase scene and a battle of fisticuffs between Spock and Khan.

    We the audience are supposed to fill in the blanks ourselves I suppose. The Dark Knight Rises probably had thousands of people die in the 3 months Gotham was basically "No Man Land". However there is never a seen in TDKR which address the civilian casualties. I suppose the creative and executive teams don't think it's worth mentioning.
     
  7. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's my objection in a nutshell ... the "glossing over the human element for the sake of keeping the action moving." And the fact that the deaths of thousands isn't "worth mentioning" - even though these characters are all about saving lives, rather than sacrificing them. It really wouldn't have taken much to acknowledge the human element, and it really wouldn't have hindered the action to have a line or two of dialogue tossed in between the demolition of buildings. So the fact that it's not there is what I object to.

    It's not something that keeps me from enjoying MoS, mind you. I liked it quite a bit. But it's the biggest, most problematic element to the film (IMO).
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Well, yeah, I agree that they'd have been better off without both Superman and Zod, but that doesn't mean Superman could have stopped Zod from doing all that he was doing. Of course, I realize that Zod wouldn't have tried to destroy Earth but for Superman being there, but the everyone else doesn't necessarily know that and I think it's apparent that Superman couldn't have minimized the destruction any other way besides simply stopping Zod.

    While I believe you, the final fight scene seemed too long. I'm not sure why. The 10 minute World Engine scene seemed fine, but the six minute final fight didn't. Maybe it's because it felt like a continuation of the previous fight (making it a 16 minute fight) or maybe it was just too repetitive. That's the only one that I felt seemed gratuitous and it's the only one that most people complain about.
     
  9. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with everybody on MoS but the problem wasn't the violence but Superman. Superman is completely cold and unlikable. Unlike Christopher Reeves Superman, there is no sense that MoS Superman feels anything but blind anger. I know people are saying we should wait for "Superman vs. Batman" to see how MoS affected Superman but come on do you really believe that. I liked how "Iron Man 3" didn't hand wave the destruction in New York but used it's psychological toll on Tony Stark as one of it's premise. I like how the end of season one of "Arrow" made the main character in to a better hero.
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    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.

    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.
     
  12. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    This. You expressed it much better than me.
     
  13. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    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.)
     
  15. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, this pretty much sums it up.
     
  16. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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!
     
  17. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I missed Terrence Stamp and "Kneel Before Zod" :lol: 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.

    How can you since it's so dark and serious? There is absolutely no humor or any lighthearted moments.
     
  18. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  19. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  20. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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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.