Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JoeZhang, Jul 20, 2013.
Concept art of the new batcave
That's a pretty rad bat cave.
No, you don't. It's a movie.
Sigh...are we ever going to get the giant penny?
Very cool. Reminds me of the modernist look of 70s-early 80s Batman, which was my formative period.
And where are all the labels and signs on everything? How will I be able to tell the Interdigital Bat-Sorter from the Hypermetric Lie Detector or the Bat-Terror Control?
How the holy fuck did Wayne get that penny down into that cave without anyone noticing, anyway?
Replaced by QR codes.
There's an app on Lex/OS that reads them.
He had the robot dinosaur carry it in.
So the proper way to frame the story is one of intellectual and moral dishonesty that doesn't make you uncomfortable with the harsh realities of the world and lets people idealize Superman's untested and thus, irrelevant ideals? That's what it sounds like. Sure you may disagree, but the circumstances were the circumstances and that's the context from which you have to judge the character's actions.
MoS wasn't the least bit gritty and superheroes are largely disaster porn. Both Avengers certainly were. People leap to hyperbole with stuff like this because they have formed this supreme vision of saint Superman in their heads.
The Superman people say they want, the one that they claim is popular and works so well, not only doesn't work that well but isn't an actual character. Superman somehow became this perfect messiah when there's no actual comic book evidence to back this up. It just became a "known fact" that I don't feel the actual stories back up.
The bottom of the cave is a mass grave of contracted construction workers.
I'm glad someone finally had sense to put a roof/ceiling over the cave's equipment.
Never understood how bat droppings weren't all over the keyboards and lab equipment.
Plus moisture building up on the electronic equipment.
Also the cave is a major improvement on Nolan's version. We spent 2 movies building up to that and two black cubes are all we get.
Not mention it was torn down and never will be used again. All that work wasted
Again, though, the difference is in how the superheroes respond to the disaster. In both Avengers movies, in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, in Superman Returns, in Supergirl, in the Spider-Man movies, and many others, we see the superheroes functioning as rescue workers, protecting innocent people from the consequences of the disaster. They evacuate civilians, stop rubble from hitting them, stop bad guys from killing them, catch falling cars and buses, stop runaway trains, put out fires, you name it. Heck, the best part of the Tim Story Fantastic Four was the bit where they saved the civilians on the bridge, even though they'd accidentally caused the dangers in the first place.
But in Man of Steel, the filmmakers show no interest in having Superman engage in any way with the victims of the disaster. He's literally on the opposite side of the planet while the Daily Planet staffers are running for their lives from the falling buildings. He shows up, saves Lois, then gets into a fight with Zod, and as far as I recall, there was no attention paid to civilians at all until the end of the fight. The only time in the entire battle that Superman saves an innocent bystander is when he snaps Zod's neck. (And really, twisting his head that way should've sent his heat beams right across the people Superman was supposedly trying to save...)
It's got nothing to do with supreme visions of sainthood, it's a simple question of genre. Saving people is what superheroes do. It's their job. If you make a detective movie, you don't go out of your way to prevent the detective from investigating the case.
Nobody wants Superman to be a messiah. We want him to be effective. His job is to save people. We want to see him doing that. Everyone else who's ever made a Superman movie over the past 75 years has shown him doing that. It's hardly unprecedented. This movie succeeded in showing Clark saving people in the first act, though it rather stupidly had him fail to save Jonathan for no remotely good reason. But that element was missing from the big battles, and that lack of human stakes to the battles made them less interesting to watch.
Humans are a social species. The emotional cues from the people we see around us can amplify our own. That's why laugh tracks work. That's why Charles Addams's skier cartoon has a spectator confused by the skier's trail rather than just presenting the absurdity of the trail itself. Audiences react more strongly to something in a movie or show, especially something unusual and abstract, if they can see or hear other people reacting to it, and empathize with that reaction. So a disaster scene that focuses on the people who are frightened by the disaster and trying to survive it has more emotional impact than a disaster scene that focuses on the physical destruction alone. And the heroes in a disaster story are more effective if they focus on the people as well. And that's why the disaster scene in Man of Steel is a failure while the similar scenes in the Avengers movies and earlier Superman movies were successful. It's got nothing to do with morals or ideals (though that's certainly a factor in the related but distinct discussion of Zod's fate); it's simply a question of effective technique and emphasis.
What, destroying the machine that was going to destroy the world isn't saving people?
Apparently you have to do it one by one for it to count...
Again, it's not about what he does, it's about where the filmmakers place the emphasis. As I said, it's a human grounding that makes an action meaningful and engaging to an audience. What matters isn't the cold hard facts of the story, but how emotionally engaging their depiction is. The same set of events can either captivate an audience or leave them cold depending on the filmmakers' choice of emphasis.
(I just read a neat interview with Drew Goddard about The Martian, and he points out that the key to effectively conveying the science and the mechanics of what Matt Damon's character was doing was to give it a grounding in the character's needs, so that the audience could relate to it. Instead of just giving voiceovers for exposition, Watney's reports were motivated by his personal need to document his work and do his job as a scientist even if he didn't survive, and the mechanics of the science and engineering he did were grounded in his basic drives like hunger and thirst. So it wasn't just the cold facts, it was the feeling, the humanity, that made it work as a story.)
This is why it was a mindbogglingly bad storytelling decision to construct the narrative in such a way that there were two doomsday weapons and Superman had to go to the one that had no people around it. Yes, technically, in the abstract, he saved humanity, but we didn't feel it, because the characters we had reason to identify and empathize with were on the opposite side of the planet from where Superman was doing stuff all by his lonesome.
You realize that pretty much the same thing happened in the first Donner movie? Two nuclear missiles headed for opposite ends of the country. And maybe you didn't feel it but the characters knew what Superman had done and so did the audience. Destroying the world engine in the Indian ocean meant stopping the destruction happening in Metropolis.
Separate names with a comma.