MAN OF STEEL: Another look

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  2. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  3. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    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.
     
  4. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    My visual take on the arguments:
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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  6. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    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.


    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.
     
  9. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    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.
     
  12. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.

    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.
     
  13. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    ^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.
     
  14. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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).
     
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  17. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  18. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  19. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.