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Superman: Man of Steel


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#1001
The Human Torch

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I enjoy the idea that the cape-wearing childhood Clark Kent was imagining he was a Spartan.


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#1002
El Chalupacabra

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I think it would have been cool if it had been revealed that Clark was pretending to be Captain Marvel, which I think it is about time someone made a Shazam movie of, BTW. 


Edited by El Chalupacabra, 25 November 2013 - 12:14 PM.


#1003
Carrie Mathison

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Well, Chalup, I said it kinda sucked.  Not that it outright sucked.  It currently has a 56% on RT, which is basically how I felt about it- a solid "meh."

 

Now, I realize that there have been some 40 pages on this thread, so I'm late to the party here, and I'm posting this at risk that I'm just repeating other people.  Also, I don't really know anything about the Superman universe, so this is an opinion coming from a lay-person.  But here's why I thought Returns was better: I just found the performances and character stories to be a little more interesting.  The villain in Man of Steel was pretty good, but I think Kevin Spacey in Returns gives one of his all-time most under-rated performances.  I thought the interplay between Lois Lane and Superman was much more interesting in Returns, especially with the son side-plot.  Whereas Lois Lane in Steel seemed like a character in search of something to do, and the interaction between her and Superman was sorta tacked-on at best, and perhaps just non-existent.

 

Now where Steel was good, I thought, was in its first half.  The opening sequence with Russell Crowe was pretty cool, I thought, and I enjoyed the scenes of Superman's youth.  I thought those were some of the best scenes, because when you have a superhero movie where the protagonist is nearly invulnerable and you already know he's going to live at the end, you can't create much dramatic tension or suspense in action sequences, so you build that instead through character drama.  Thus, I thought those early scenes where he's struggling with his powers to be some of the best in the movie, but then about half way through, the film turns into an hour long action sequence, and by the end I was just kinda bored.  Yeah, it looked neat and everything, but Superman's god like and he's not gonna die at the end, so there's basically no suspense and I'm yawning after about 15 min of it.  I would've like to see more development into a catharsis scene where Superman came to accept his role/powers.  Maybe that, plus some more development between Lois Lane/Superman, and I think we would've had a much better film.

 

So yeah, just my opinion.  For some reason I think that most people tend to dislike Returns, though I'm not sure why.  It has a 76% on RT (better than Steel) which is more or less, how I felt about it- not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but solid.


Edited by Carrie Mathison, 25 November 2013 - 01:08 PM.

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#1004
El Chalupacabra

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Well, Chalup, I said it kinda sucked.  Not that it outright sucked.  It currently has a 56% on RT, which is basically how I felt about it- a solid "meh."

 

Now, I realize that there have been some 40 pages on this thread, so I'm late to the party here, and I'm posting this at risk that I'm just repeating other people.  Also, I don't really know anything about the Superman universe, so this is an opinion coming from a lay-person.  But here's why I thought Returns was better: I just found the performances and character stories to be a little more interesting.  The villain in Man of Steel was pretty good, but I think Kevin Spacey in Returns gives one of his all-time most under-rated performances.  I thought the interplay between Lois Lane and Superman was much more interesting in Returns, especially with the son side-plot.  Whereas Lois Lane in Steel seemed like a character in search of something to do, and the interaction between her and Superman was sorta tacked-on at best, and perhaps just non-existent.

 

Now where Steel was good, I thought, was in its first half.  The opening sequence with Russell Crowe was pretty cool, I thought, and I enjoyed the scenes of Superman's youth.  I thought those were some of the best scenes, because when you have a superhero movie where the protagonist is nearly invulnerable and you already know he's going to live at the end, you can't create much dramatic tension or suspense in action sequences, so you build that instead through character drama.  Thus, I thought those early scenes where he's struggling with his powers to be some of the best in the movie, but then about half way through, the film turns into an hour long action sequence, and by the end I was just kinda bored.  Yeah, it looked neat and everything, but Superman's god like and he's not gonna die at the end, so there's basically no suspense and I'm yawning after about 15 min of it.  I would've like to see more development into a catharsis scene where Superman came to accept his role/powers.  Maybe that, plus some more development between Lois Lane/Superman, and I think we would've had a much better film.

 

So yeah, just my opinion.  For some reason I think that most people tend to dislike Returns, though I'm not sure why.  It has a 76% on RT (better than Steel) which is more or less, how I felt about it- not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but solid.

Well when I said it didn't suck, I was only speaking for myself, but I am in the "Meh, pretty forgettable, but could have been worse," camp. 

 

Michael Shannon was a pretty good villain, but you are right, he is not Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor (probably even better than Gene Hackman's Luthor).  I really like Shannon on Boardwalk Empire,  but I kept comparing him to who I have known as Zod most of my life, Terence Stamp.  This is totally like asking which Kirk is better: Shatner or Pine. 

 

But one plus MOS gets is the fact they DID try to make their own mythos, and their own Zod, separate from the Donner/Salkind era, which as Driver pointed out, was Returns' Achilles heal.  Had Returns been the second movie in a rebooted franchise, it would have been a lot better for it, and probably accepted by more fans, IMHO.



#1005
ShadowDog

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Wow ... Carrie and I actually agree on something. Stop the presses!
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#1006
R.CAllen

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Superman Returns versus Man of Steel?

 

I suppose it all depends on which variety of not-quite-Superman you prefer : feckless stalker or browbeaten murderer.


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#1007
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I'm pretty sure I'm in the Returns > Steel side too. I always thought Superman Returns got **** on way more than it deserved.


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#1008
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I agree. For ONCE a Director goes the sequel route over yet another ****ing reboot. We got reboots coming outta our asses so it was refreshing for a filmmaker try something different for once. So it was annoying he got ripped for it.

So for me Returns worked except it needed more action. The casting and acting was great, and it had a sense of humor Steel lacked.
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#1009
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Returns sucked because it lacked one major thing you need in a movie with the Kryptonian and that's Superman doing super ****. We got him catching a plane and picking up a  boat. It didn't even have a good sense of humor to it. It didn't even make sense as a sequel, either. Superman II ended with Kal apologizing for being away and that he would never let them down again...so he leaves the ****ing planet for five years? Singer might have tried rewatching the first two Donner movies before making his.


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#1010
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What Dom said.  Lots of Super-bench-pressing; the whole thing about Super-absentee-father and his Super-love-child; and so slavishly Super-imitating the iconic aspects of first two films (while failing to replicate their actual aesthetic strengths) that I'm surprised they didn't just Photoshop Christopher Reeve's head onto Routh's body and replace all his line readings with Reeve soundbites.

 

Spacey's interpretation of Lex was adequate, but gruff, charmless, and one-note compared to Gene Hackman and Clancy Brown.

 

Honestly, I thought James Marsden as Lois' noble copter-pilot boyfriend stole the show.  By the time it was over, I wanted a sequel starring him.


Edited by NumberSix, 25 November 2013 - 09:22 PM.

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#1011
El Chalupacabra

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Returns sucked because it lacked one major thing you need in a movie with the Kryptonian and that's Superman doing super ****.

Huh? Lifting and then hurling an entire continent into outer space, with a kryptonite shard in his back isn't super enough for you? 

 

I am not trashing MOS, but most of the super feats involved Superman trading punches and kicks to the head with other Kryptonians, and sending one another flying into buildings, and causing more destruction than Hiroshima.  Superman isn't supposed to stomp cities like Godzilla or snap necks Jack Bauer style. 


Edited by El Chalupacabra, 26 November 2013 - 12:08 AM.


#1012
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Which is the better film? The one portraying the greatest criminal mind on the planet as a man obsessed with land who keeps around bumbling sidekicks and where Superman becomes a stalker and has an asthmatic son or the one where Superman lets hundreds of thousands of people die, including his father (even more illogical than Superman IV), costs hundreds of millions in property damage and makes jokes after destroying government equipment just one scene later.

Neither, both do nothing to honour the fantastic characters of the comics.


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#1013
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The one portraying the greatest criminal mind on the planet as a man obsessed with land who keeps around bumbling sidekicks


In other words ... the Lex Luthor from the first Chris Reeve movie.

#1014
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Well Returns is basically Superman The Movie. Villain with bumbling sidekick has a plan to destroy mass amounts of land to create his own, uses kryptonite to injure Supes, but in the end Supes stops the plot.

Except we don't have the ridiculousness of reversing the entire planet.



#1015
Dom

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Huh? Lifting and then hurling an entire continent into outer space, with a kryptonite shard in his back isn't super enough for you? 

 

I am not trashing MOS, but most of the super feats involved Superman trading punches and kicks to the head with other Kryptonians, and sending one another flying into buildings, and causing more destruction than Hiroshima.  Superman isn't supposed to stomp cities like Godzilla or snap necks Jack Bauer style.

 

 That's his average Thursday in the comics. I want to see a movie where he demonstrates all his abilities in battle and after finding out Lex was going to be the main villain (again), that hope pretty much faded. Best part of the movie, the plane rescue, was shown in the trailer anyway. Couple that with his stalking **** and Lex wanting to make Kryptonite real estate (yes Lex, people will be flocking there, no doubt) and you have one ****ty movie.

     Man of Steel's problem, while chock full of action,  just didn't have enough heart to it. The action may have looked cool but I never felt that there was any real substance to it. I think a part of this is with the fact he was never really hurt throughout the whole movie. He doesn't even have a scratch by the end of it. If you have two characters causing major destruction while fighting, you want there to be something that shows the struggle they went through. Avengers, for example, has the characters beat, bruised and dirty by the time the battle ends, they look tired. Superman looks ready to zip off like nothing happened after his fight.

    I don't know why people keep saying Superman was responsible for the deaths of thousands, though. The majority of people died when the World Engine was trashing the city, Superman was busy on the other side of the planet. It's not like he could ask Zod to be careful during their fight, either. I don't begrudge him killing Zod too much, there wasn't a prison to hold him and it has happened in the comics when he was put in a similar situation. Lets face it, he killed Zod in Superman II as well and did it with a smirk after crushing his hand.
 



#1016
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Well Returns is basically Superman The Movie. Villain with bumbling sidekick has a plan to destroy mass amounts of land to create his own, uses kryptonite to injure Supes, but in the end Supes stops the plot.

Except we don't have the ridiculousness of reversing the entire planet.

Good point. Can you IMAGINE the internet firestorm if that reversing the planet to go back in time crap had happened these days?



#1017
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I'm with Dom and Six. If I'm going to watch Superman, I want him doing awesome actiony stuff. 

 

And Henry Cavill is hotter than Brandon Routh. And Kate Bosworth annoys me. 



#1018
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I don't understand how people can watch ****ty movies just because an actor is hot. I think Natalie Portman is hotter than the sun but I've only seen about 10% of her movies because most of them suck 1,000 asses.

 

Or watch bad actors because they're hot. Megan Fox is liquid awesome but she can't act for **** so i can't watch her in anything.

 

Maybe it's just a guys vs girls thing.


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#1019
The Human Torch

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You know what is crazy? It's 2013 there have been 6 Superman feature films, 1 animated film, multiple animated series and several TV series. Out of all of them the closest live action has gotten to the Superman from modern comic books is Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman... and that series is 20 years old this year.



#1020
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I don't understand how people can watch ****ty movies just because an actor is hot. I think Natalie Portman is hotter than the sun but I've only seen about 10% of her movies because most of them suck 1,000 asses.

 

Or watch bad actors because they're hot. Megan Fox is liquid awesome but she can't act for **** so i can't watch her in anything.

 

Maybe it's just a guys vs girls thing.

:shrug:



#1021
Carrie Mathison

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Returns sucked because it lacked one major thing you need in a movie with the Kryptonian and that's Superman doing super ****. We got him catching a plane and picking up a  boat. It didn't even have a good sense of humor to it. It didn't even make sense as a sequel, either. Superman II ended with Kal apologizing for being away and that he would never let them down again...so he leaves the ****ing planet for five years? Singer might have tried rewatching the first two Donner movies before making his.

 

We'll probably just have to agree to disagree on this one, but I think I've figured out why we (as well as a majority of critics) have a differing opinion than you (and Six).  By your posts, it looks like you're going into these movies with a very specific and particular vision of what you want to see happen.  I'm watching the movies more as a lay person.  I don't know much about the comics, I'm not expecting anything to unfold on the screen.  I'm evaluating the movies more in isolation.  I enjoy superhero movies, but beyond that, I don't have much in the way of expectations.  I don't know all the details about Superman's powers or the history of the comics, or whatever.  So viewed in that light, Returns is the pretty clearly superior film- the acting performances (particularly Spacey) and character stories were better, and I think that's also why it was more critically acclaimed.  Now to be fair, as I said, I think Man of Steel had a lot of potential, and the opening sequences and the scenes of Superman's youth were particularly well done.  But the movie turned into an extended, boring action sequence where the viewer had no real emotional investment in.  This was compounded by the fact that there was no compelling character story by the end and there were characters (Lois Lane, specifically) that were searching for something to do for almost the entire film.

 

Now as far as your (and Cerina's) comments about wanting more "action," I mean, I know you say that's what you want, but at the end of the day, simply more impressive action scenes do not make a film.  As I said above, especially in a movie where the main character is basically invulnerable and there is no chance of him dying, or even being seriously injured, by the end.  And this is a general theme amongst superhero movies in general- it's hard as a writer, to create suspense in that way.  This is why some superhero films as of late (e.g. The Dark Knight, or Iron Man) were so well received- they hit all the right notes on the basics: acting, dialogue, atmosphere, and compelling character stories.  It's also the reason why The Empire Strikes Back is usually considered the best Star Wars film.  I mean, all the films have the same elements- light sabers, jedi, and the force.  And ESB probably has the least amount of action of any of the films.  So why do people like it the most?  Same concept.  A 6 year old is somebody that just wants to see more explosions.  An adult wants drama.


Edited by Carrie Mathison, 26 November 2013 - 01:55 PM.


#1022
Driver

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I didn't go i expecting more or less action, I just went in wanting them to be good. And both let me down.

#1023
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We'll probably just have to agree to disagree on this one, but I think I've figured out why we (as well as a majority of critics) have a differing opinion than you (and Six).  By your posts, it looks like you're going into these movies with a very specific and particular vision of what you want to see happen.  I'm watching the movies more as a lay person.  I don't know much about the comics, I'm not expecting anything to unfold on the screen.  I'm evaluating the movies more in isolation.  I enjoy superhero movies, but beyond that, I don't have much in the way of expectations.  I don't know all the details about Superman's powers or the history of the comics, or whatever.

It's not just a comic fan that expects that, it's everyone. Even the layperson knows enough about Superman to know that what we received in SR was subpar to what could have been delivered.

So viewed in that light, Returns is the pretty clearly superior film- the acting performances (particularly Spacey) and character stories were better, and I think that's also why it was more critically acclaimed.


To put it kindly, bull****. SR was boring garbage that couldn't even keep the continuity it sprang from straight. Superman leaves after vowing never to again? He needed to verify Krypton was destroyed why, exactly? Were the recordings from his dead father and the chunks of his planet hurtling through space not proof enough? If he was looking for Krypton survivors, did he not hear about Supergirl when she showed up? Lois knows her son is Superman's...how? Did he not make her forget their whole relationship ever happened? Add those errors with a story about a mopey man of steel, Lex creating a Kryptonite country and just an utter lack of anything remotely interesting, and you've got a great cure for insomnia.

Now to be fair, as I said, I think Man of Steel had a lot of potential, and the opening sequences and the scenes of Superman's youth were particularly well done.  But the movie turned into an extended, boring action sequence where the viewer had no real emotional investment in.  This was compounded by the fact that there was no compelling character story by the end and there were characters (Lois Lane, specifically) that were searching for something to do for almost the entire film.


This we agree on. I'll also add that I just didn't feel any sort of real chemistry between Kal and Lois at all. Of course, who cares about chemistry when two people are making out amongst the rubble of thousands of dead citizens?
Zod I didn't like much, either. I'm not familiar with Michael Shannon but I didn't feel any sense of real dread from his screaming caricature versus the quiet menace of Terence Stamp's version.

 

Now as far as your (and Cerina's) comments about wanting more "action," I mean, I know you say that's what you want, but at the end of the day, simply more impressive action scenes do not make a film.  As I said above, especially in a movie where the main character is basically invulnerable and there is no chance of him dying, or even being seriously injured, by the end.  And this is a general theme amongst superhero movies in general- it's hard as a writer, to create suspense in that way.  This is why some superhero films as of late (e.g. The Dark Knight, or Iron Man) were so well received- they hit all the right notes on the basics: acting, dialogue, atmosphere, and compelling character stories.  It's also the reason why The Empire Strikes Back is usually considered the best Star Wars film.  I mean, all the films have the same elements- light sabers, jedi, and the force.  And ESB probably has the least amount of action of any of the films.  So why do people like it the most?  Same concept.  A 6 year old is somebody that just wants to see more explosions.  An adult wants drama.


The thing is, it can be done. I don't need a movie to be all action, that **** gets dull. Thor is a character with abilities right up there with Superman but at least his movies are entertaining and I don't mean just action. Some of the better scenes are the ones between him and Loki or with Odin. The Marvel movies seem to always get that nice niche of characterization and visual candy. MoS could have used a bit more of that slight humor that the original Superman had. Chris Reeves was ****ing brilliant for being able to pull off that calm dignity of Superman and then fall right in with bumbling Clark.

 


And why the hell is my entire post in a quote? ****ing Nightly.



#1024
Lucas1138

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I still liked it, and no amount of bitching from you guys will change that!



#1025
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You stop liking it RIGHT NOW, mister!  OR ELSE.





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