MAN OF STEEL - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jun 11, 2013.


Grade the movie...

  1. A+

  2. A

  3. A-

  4. B+

  5. B

  6. B-

  7. C+

  8. C

  9. C-

  10. D+

  11. D

  12. D-

  13. F

  1. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 6, 2011
    Superman, the character, resonated with me. As a Pansexual man, as an atheist, I have tasted being an outsider. The longing to be normal ("Can't I just pretend I'm still your son?") to other people's reactions (Hearing "What a freak" when he was in the closet) and the military's reaction to his power is perfect. It is about being different, accepting those differences, and being comfortable enough with yourself to still be who you are when society says that you are not normal.

    I thought Lois Lane was a capable and believable journalist. The writing that they show of hers is really good. As someone aspired, at one point, to be a journalist, I wish that I could have written like that, and pursued a story with as much temerity as she did.

    I thought Zod was an extremist, but I saw his character as an element of our society. Someone who is nationalistic, someone who is bent on preserving only one kind of people, it is something we deal with in our political discussions. The first 10 minutes of the movie scared me. With as much animosity and dissatisfaction as we have with Congress (the council of "fools"), I wondered if this was our future--a military coup. If not, just look at the countries around us to see it. The movie is almost anti-Western culture because it paints it as the bad guy. Western societies fit children into their schedule now, and they treat children like status symbols and we have abortions when it isn't convenient to have them. What we are doing to the planet, our technology, our lack of exploration and respect for science, this is a part of America as much as Apple pie is. I saw this as a reflection of our own society.

    All of the characters mentioned above were believable. Perry not running with the "alien saved me" story. The argument about Lois being under contract, that she cannot just quit. It's fantastic to show the differences between our movie heroes of yesteryear and the realistic problems we face today.

    I disagree with you that this movie doesn't communicate some truth and show elements of our society.
  2. Garak

    Garak Salty Dog Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    After seeing that movie, it's not really necessary to even acknowledge that there were Superman movies prior to the Man of Steel. That's what Superman should be like.

    Thought it was brilliant from start to finish. First time I've ever given a movie an A+ here.
  3. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 6, 2011
    After reading some of Hulk's review, I am struck at how much I disagree with it. The purpose of this origin story was to show Superman struggle to be the man we know. He hesitates to help people for fear they will find out who he is. He doesn't stop hesitating until his father dies in that storm. So the flashbacks serve a purpose. They show us how he became Superman, because we already know he's a "god" on Earth. Lois Lane is there to tell Superman's story, to be a narrator of sorts for him. The attraction is instantaneous, and really unnecessary. But Lane serves a purpose to show that, again, people are hesitating because of how crazy the idea is. She simply is protecting a source. She becomes his first friend outside of his family, the first person to believe in him, she represents the good in society while the military represents the fear, she is the ones that will trust him. Lois has a lot to do in this film. As for "show me, don't tell me" I think some of the worst action scenes in this film are following his rule.

    And lastly, let me say that there is a reason that his reference is to a child's movie. People have been watching movies long enough, studied the dramatic structure enough, that they see through, and do not enjoy, when the characters relate the way he wants. If something always happens to the three people on-screen, if a friend is shown and then a problem arises that that friend dies, we see it coming a mile down the road. Go back 15 years and you'll see these stories done the way he wants, sometimes poorly. We are in a post-modernism society of film making. Logic and plot and realism are more important than being told a story. Some celebrate that, some don't. But if I know Superman's journey before he ever takes it, I'm not going to connect with him on any level if it's predictable. He could get what he wants, and the movie wouldn't be better for it.
  4. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Yeah, I won't deny that certain characters and story points couldn't have been fleshed out a bit more. But I still thought we got as much as we needed for the story to still work.

    Perry may have had a limited role, but it was an important one as he explained what the world's reaction might be to the discovery of Superman. And we may not have seen a full-fledged romance develop between Lois and Supes, but we at least saw that they had been through enough to develop an attachment to one another.
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer The Mod You've Known for All These Years Moderator

    Saw it a second time tonight. Liked it a little better knowing where everything was going, but hope for a sequel that improves upon what we got here. The theater was healthily packed for a film in its fourth weekend....
  6. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2010
    I really enjoyed this movie. The flashbacks worked, and the story worked for me. I really liked the Krypton ships as well. It was refreshing to see that Lois Lane had some character development as well, and that we got to see some things from her point of view. It must have been really scary for her on Zod's ship.

    The only point that really jarred was the utter destruction of Metropolis, as it was so exaggerated that it no longer affected me in an emotional way. It was just pointless destruction.

    I didn't notice it at the time, but as a Trek fan it was fun to note afterwards that one of the languages in Zod's broadcast was Klingon...

    A mini personal claim to fame: Allison Crowe, the singer at Cassidy's, is an online acquaintance of mine from way back, even if we haven't talked much since she became a professional performing artist.

    They must have done something right, since they got Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner to sign up. Both had relatively little screen time, but crucial roles.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  7. Crystalline Entity

    Crystalline Entity Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Feb 18, 2004
    I just speed-rewatched Superman: The Movie and Superman II. I don't want to argue that one is better than the other, just mention some scenes that really stood out in comparison with Man of Steel:

    - As good as it was/still is, the Smallville section of S:TM was not nearly as long as I remembered; if anything, MoS has far more screentime devoted to Smallville (albeit in flashback). In particular, there is only one discussion between Clark and Jonathan Kent, and his words of advice to Clark are not inconsistent with MoS's Pa Kent. Where MoS may have taken shortcuts is that we don't see the Kents realize Kal-El is a superpowerful alien, and we don't see Clark leave home for good. But in S:TM Clark doesn't help anyone in Smallville with his powers.

    - A large part of S:TM is devoted to Daily Planet Lois & Clark, along with Lex Luthor and the development of his schemes. Similarly in SII, Zod's introduction and the buildup to the first confrontation is quite lengthy. By contrast, it's pretty striking how quickly things unfold in MoS, and how prolonged and extensive the conflict between Superman and the Kryptonians is.

    - The first battle in SII between Superman and Zod/Ursa/Non, which prior to MoS I had always considered one of the best superhero battles ever on film, is also surprisingly brief. Unlike MoS, Superman clearly rescues civilians who are caught in the crossfire, but only once - Superman throws Non into a radio tower, which comes crashing down and is about to crush a woman and her baby, but Superman saves her, leading to Zod & Ursa's classic conversation: 'This 'Super-man' is nothing of the kind.'

    - With the exception of the water from the cracked dam about to flood the valley, the special effects in S:TM of the devastation in CA and Superman's efforts to save people is still impressive to this day. I got goosebumps watching him fill in the railroad tracks; a terrific scene! In general the flying scenes still hold up as well.

    - The scene where Clark journeys through space with Jor-El in S:TM is all about John Williams' music; the words really don't matter! In MoS, the visual telling of the history is most memorable.

    - The Superman DVD I have has two deleted scenes added into the body of the film which should never again be viewed in the film itself: 1) the Council saying Jor-El is using a lot of power in his quarters - DELETE! 2) Superman talking with Jor-El after he makes his grand appearance - interesting from a character perspective, but totally vitiates the impression we get of Superman in action. No thanks!

    Would love to hear other's opinions!
  8. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Member of the Resistance Since Jan. 20, 2017 Moderator

    Jul 5, 2004
    A Galaxy Far Far Away
    They know he is an alien.

    "You're the answer, son. You're the answer to 'Are we alone in the universe?'"

    They also know about his x-ray vision, heat rays, super hearing, super strength, etc., and Martha learns about his ability to fly later on.

    While we don't see the actual moment of Clark leaving home, we see the argument between 18-year-old Clark and Jonathan about him wanting to leave and be his own man (and not a farmer), immediately followed by Jonathan's sacrifice in the tornado, which is presumably the final catalyst for his departure.
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer The Mod You've Known for All These Years Moderator

    An anecdote from my viewing last night. Before the film, a woman behind me was explaining to somebody, possibly a child, who they were there to see, explaining, "He's an alien in this one." A second woman corrected her: "He's always been an alien."
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Oxford, PA
    Okay, I have to ask: What part of "strange visitor from another planet" did the first woman not get?
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    I don't think he's saying that don't know he's an alien, he's saying we don't see the moment where they realize it for the first time.
  12. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

    Apr 27, 2001
    Ottawa, ON
    I'm sure they are saving that flashback for the next one.
  13. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 19, 2008
    Planet Carcazed
    Finally saw it last night. Wow. I really thought it was going to be better than that. It wasn't awful, but there were so many things that could have been done better. They tried to cram too much stuff into one movie.

    Two and a half hours is too long. If you need that long to tell a story, maybe you're trying too hard to get it all in.

    I think I agree with some here that there were just too many action scenes. The story could have been cleaned up and made a tighter movie by just trimming some of the fat.

    Overall though, I gave it a B.
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    May 12, 2004
    Oxford, PA
    I suspecting that finding the baby in a crashed alien spaceship was a big clue . . . :)
  15. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

    Mar 3, 2003
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Finally saw MOS this weekend. It wasn't bad.....but certainly not great either. I must echo the current sentiments. Too many action scenes. I hated the visuals during Kal El and Zod's fight in the city--the constant crashing into buildings. It was like watching a Transformers video. Very poor. Shannon was just too manic as Zod.

    Cavill and Adams were quite good. I also liked the philosophical questions that Jonathan Kent's character presented about what Clark should and shouldn't do in terms of being revealed. Letting people die and whatnot. Very well done....but.....the movie didn't resonate with me emotionally. It didn't stay with me, if that makes any sense. I didn't care enough about the characters. I cared, but not enough. Once thing's for certain and yes, I'm going to get in the way back machine:

    With all due respect to Mr. Cavill, Christopher Reeve is still the gold standard of Superman performances. He possessed a genuine warmth and charm that the others playing the role have always lacked. He made you believe it. Of course, Reeve was a classically trained actor. I actually appreciate his performance more in retrospect when I see it as an adult after having viewed him in the Bostonians, Street Smart, and on stage.
  16. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Jun 20, 2001
    ^ I watched all the Christopher Reeve movies over the weekend and something about his take on the character doesn't sit well with me. Too handsome, too much of a boy scout and too much of an ideal in general. My favorites right now are Dean Cain and Henry Cavill. Their versions of Superman are more humanized and real.
  17. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 27, 2001
    Milky Way Galaxy
    His Superman is one step away from saying "And always remember to eat your vegetables Timmy!"
  18. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    I certainly agree with your approval of Dean Cain (but then, LOIS & CLARK has been my favorite take on the Superman characters for the past twenty years, too bad it doesn't get more recognition.), but I also loved Christopher Reeve, and what he did with the character.

    And Henry Cavil is okay.
  19. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 27, 2007

    Well that was when Superheroes were *gasp* good and moral

    Now everyone has to be troubled and conflicted

    Reeve did have one or two times where he tried to modernize the character

    "Peter pan flys with kids"

    and his primal scream
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Reeve's Superman will always be my favorite, but I agree the character was a bit of an enigma in those movies. Other than the fact he liked Lois and wanted to fight for "truth, justice, and the American way", we didn't really learn much about him, or what made him tick as a person.

    Even with the brief glimpses we got, I thought MOS did a much better job getting inside Superman's head, and making him feel like a real, fleshed out character.