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Superman: Man of Steel


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I don't know I kind of like the destruction. It could add some serious depth to the story if they handle it appropriately in the inevitable sequels (looks like its going to be a pretty huge blockbuster).

 

Is anyone familiar with the comic book Invincible? This EXACT thing happens at the end of the first major arc. At first it just looks like a cool set piece for super heroes to fight through-massive destruction, buildings falling, etc. but it turns into a major part of the story as it continues.

 

Maybe the Snyder Trilogy? Is a story about Superman BECOMING the protector of humanity, with bumps along the way.

 

Or maybe it was just a stupid plot hole that they'll never address and they just used it because it looked cool.

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I'm just sick of Superman origin stories. We all know the ****ing origin story by now! WHAT ELSE YA GOT?!?

Seriously...died saving a dog and then not letting Kal save him? Superspeed, Jonathan! Do you know it?! OG movies did it better, have him die from something Superman cannot save someone from.

Go watch ten years of Smallville and you'll change your mind.

Ixion's links contain excellent points from within their comments.

 

1) Superman does indeed flat-out kill Doomsday in the comics - if you can ignore the fact that Doomsday can come back to life, if for no reason other than to sell comics...but Superman didn't know that when he chose to kill him for many of the same reasons Man of Steel killed Michael Shannon Zod. What the hell else do you do with someone/ something that can cause such damage to innocent people?

 

2) The concept of "heroes don't kill" is all over the place, and yet...how many Chitauri are killed in The Avengers by The Avengers? There was no panic, no outcry. Kind of makes me lol. I get that this killing thing is a more Superman-specific, gripe, however...

 

3) Isn't this "no killing" concept moreso Batman's golden rule than Supermans?

 

4) With as key of an emphasized plot point as "not killing" was in The Dark Knight, doesn't it make sense to rationalize that it wasn't ignored/glossed over/forgotten in Man of Steel...but perhaps, done on purpose? Perhaps for a reason yet to be revealed? Part of his developement? To be touched on later as part of a planned progression, and not what may ultimately be referred to as "fixing lazy writing" or "listening to unhappy movie goers" even though it was planned before said movie goers were unhappy with it upon seeing it?

 

5) Maybe it was intentional contrast. Again, it was touched on hugely with The Dark Knight. Maybe they wanted variance so their two biggest name characters aren't too similar.

 

6) Maybe it is being put there to show differences between Batman and Superman for later down the road when they meet, and the lesser/less powerful of the two has the restraint to not take life while the other worldly being hasn't yet shown such restraint and must learn it. Which again, another point...

 

7) The Superman we saw in Man of Steel...why does he have to be a finished product? Is it such a bad thing if the value of life is an ongoing lesson he must learn? He's new to being a hero, so maybe all things come in good time.

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I didn't see Begins until almost 3 years later so I missed the boat on all that, but...killing and not saving are obviously very different, especially in the case of a villain.

 

Ironic because Ras (or his decoy, at least) says that Gotham "must be allowed to die," but is is Ras who is allowed to die instead. Not killed, just not saved. Batman is there to save Gotham, not to save those from whom he is saving Gotham.

 

That's a little easier I guess than the Supes/Zod debate, though I find it easy to rationalize that one too in the movies context...especially given the list I gave, IMO.

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The only problem I had with the killing scene was how silly it was executed (the family had a long time to simply get out of the way) and everything after it being played for laughs.

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1) Superman does indeed flat-out kill Doomsday in the comics - if you can ignore the fact that Doomsday can come back to life, if for no reason other than to sell comics.

 

Yeah, that was the 90s, when everything in comics was sensationalized and I quit reading. Let's also remember that this was a Superman that had continuity behind him of years to establish how that fight was different from all that preceded it. It wasn't the establishing story, like this movie.

 

but Superman didn't know that when he chose to kill him for many of the same reasons Man of Steel killed Michael Shannon Zod. What the hell else do you do with someone/ something that can cause such damage to innocent people?

 

Again, and this is what I said to you on facebook, is that I don't think saying Superman had no choice isn't a valid argument because Goyer and Snyder wrote him into the situation. They literally could have come up with anything. They had a blank page. Having Superman kill was a decision they made, and I just don't like it.

 

2) The concept of "heroes don't kill" is all over the place, and yet...how many Chitauri are killed in The Avengers by The Avengers? There was no panic, no outcry. Kind of makes me lol. I get that this killing thing is a more Superman-specific, gripe, however...

 

Yeah, I don't hold Marvel as responsible. Maybe it's cause i'm more f a Marvel fan-- but Marvel heroes have always been more willing to cross the line, some more than others. That's just how they've evolved, and it's true to character. Superman is the gold standard.

 

3) Isn't this "no killing" concept moreso Batman's golden rule than Supermans?

 

Not at all, it's the one place they agree-- which has been said in all their canonical meetings. Superman is always referred to as leading humanity to being better, a shining example, and it's one of his core values.

 

4) With as key of an emphasized plot point as "not killing" was in The Dark Knight, doesn't it make sense to rationalize that it wasn't ignored/glossed over/forgotten in Man of Steel...but perhaps, done on purpose? Perhaps for a reason yet to be revealed? Part of his developement? To be touched on later as part of a planned progression, and not what may ultimately be referred to as "fixing lazy writing" or "listening to unhappy movie goers" even though it was planned before said movie goers were unhappy with it upon seeing it?

 

I'm okay with agreeing that this was their plan-- I just think it's a bad one cause it runs contrary to what Superman is about.

 

5) Maybe it was intentional contrast. Again, it was touched on hugely with The Dark Knight. Maybe they wanted variance so their two biggest name characters aren't too similar.

 

6) Maybe it is being put there to show differences between Batman and Superman for later down the road when they meet, and the lesser/less powerful of the two has the restraint to not take life while the other worldly being hasn't yet shown such restraint and must learn it.

 

Maybe-- but to say "Batman doesn't kill people so it's okay if Superman does." seems like a really weird idea given how different they are anyway. Why choose the one thing they agree on to be the one point of contention? I don't think the treatment of Batman had any bearing on how this movie was made.

 

7) The Superman we saw in Man of Steel...why does he have to be a finished product? Is it such a bad thing if the value of life is an ongoing lesson he must learn? He's new to being a hero, so maybe all things come in good time.

 

This is pretty much the only way I'll accept it. I think it's lazy since there was no guarantee when they wrote it that they'd get sequels-- but if the next movie has Superman effected by what he did I'd be all for it.

 

The only problem I had with the killing scene was how silly it was executed (the family had a long time to simply get out of the way) and everything after it being played for laughs.

 

Yeah, it actually reminded me a lot of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdctnPIR5kA

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This was really bad... I don't even know where to begin. I feel like I just watched a 2 1/2 hour version of the Matrix Revolutions final fight. The narrative was laughably predictable and generic, the pacing was choppy, the dialogue was trite and the moral speeches were all straight from greeting cards.

 

And the worst offender of all - and something that I don't think will ever be fixed - Superman's godlike invulnerability. He doesn't even bleed. Why exactly are we supposed to care about a character when we know there isn't a possibility of anything happening to him? He gets thrown around like a rag doll and it immediately dissolves the tension.

 

How exactly does someone survive being thrown through multiple buildings but can still

get a broken neck?

They didn't even bother to try and establish a set of rules for this particular iteration of Superman.

 

Overall Superman Returns did a much better job portraying the burden of fragile humanity placed on Supe's shoulders... and, yeah, it was dull but at least I cared about the characters.

 

Oh, and hey, Deer-in-the-headlights family, ya wanna shuffle a few paces to your left, there? Thanks. Or just wait for it, if you'd like. I hear lasers tickle.

 

I might just be mixed up on this one but doesn't the government (FBI, local law enforcement etc) pretty much know that Clark is Superman? I mean that one cop drops off Lois at Ma Kent's house, what exactly did he think she was doing there? The whole identity angle seems like an even bigger inside joke this time around.

 

There was no reason whatsoever for Lois to be brought aboard Zod's ship. Clark knew everything she did. Lazy screenwriting.

 

Thanks for the two minute scene of "generic office temp #2423545" stuck under rubble. That was truly heart wrenching, I would have cried myself to sleep if that person hadn't survived.

 

Not only does that truck driver's rig get demolished, but right after Clark leaves the bar Steven Seagal just so happened to walk in and proceeded to kick the dude's ass. Bad day for him.

 

I don't think Hans Zimmer even attempted to give Supe's memorable theme music.

 

Ascent of the space-penises... that was cool.

 

Thanks for the Superman-Jesus parallels. That's always a great idea and not super obvious at all. Let's get that stain glass portrait of Christ just a liiittle bit more over his shoulder... there, perfect. Oh, and they're both 33? ...perfect. I'm surprised he wasn't a carpenter instead of a... a fisherman... ohhhh.

 

I can't believe I survived the Attack of the Clones flashbacks during the Krypton sequence. And is it really a good idea to start your film with the climax to something that probably could have been its own movie?

 

I never thought I'd say this but I don't think Snyder had enough creative free reign with this one. I was actually looking forward to seeing a Superman movie with his trademark stylistic gloss.

 

Things I liked: Cavill, he's not a particularly good actor (from what little I've seen) but there were definite glimpses of a potentially good Superman and I'd like to see what he could do with better dialogue.

I was happy to finally see more sci-fi elements incorporated into a Superman movie.

I liked that Zod didn't get himself purposefully captured for some reason... I would have blown chunks on the screen.

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Worth a separate post:

 

My theatre was like 2/3rds full (at least) for an 11:20 AM showing on a Friday. Even for an opening Friday... does that seem like a lot to anyone else? I had fewer people in the same showing when I saw Avengers in Chicago. Not trying to insinuate that Superman could pull down that kind of scratch, but do you think it was a coincidence we all had the same idea to see the movie at that time or does that bode well for the box office returns?

 

Biggest June opening ever. Even if word of mouth kills this movie it's still looking at a total in the high 200s.

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Meh. I thought it was good.

 

I've no preconceived notions about that character. I've seen Superman I and II probably twice each and my major exposure comes from Justice League cartoons. I guess I just couldn't care less whether Superman was Superman enough in the film.

 

Neither can I imagine going to movies knowing that little things like 2/3rds of Brett's list will get stuck in my craw and make me dislike the movie. Isn't that a burden? Aren't you disappointed 95% of the time? I make a conscious decision to let stuff like that go or else I'll hate every movie I see. I'm not interested in that.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

Superman killed. Not acceptable.

 

 

 

Minor edit: Supes has killed on rare occasions. Why don't you think it was acceptable in MOS?

 

In the 1940s Supes used to through people out buildings, etc, and it was never shown if they lived or not.

 

In the original theatrical version, Superman KILLS Zod, and Lois KILLS Ursa in Superman II! Wasn't until the televised version with added footage from the Donner cut is it shown Zod, Ursa, and Non were arrested.

 

In Crisis, Superman (Earth 2 supes) killed the Antimonitor.

 

In the then newly rebooted (1988), post Crisis superman EXECUTED Zod, Zaora, and Quex Ui from the Pocket Universe with Green Kryptonite, after they had destroyed "their" Earth, and threatened to destroy Superman's Earth, after he defeated them.

 

I think he killed Metallo once.

 

Superman has killed Doomsday at least once, and arguably 2 more times.

 

Superman also killed Brainiac and Imperiex during Our Worlds At War.

 

He has nearly killed Darkseid a few times.

 

Superman indirectly caused the death Luthor and Hank Henshaw, though they both came back.

 

In the Armageddon 2001 alternate reality, Superman killed people.

 

....and if you count Superboy Prime, he has killed millions!

 

That's the stuff I can think of off the top of my head, anyway. and I haven't been a regular Supes reader since the late 90s or so...

 

 

 

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Neither can I imagine going to movies knowing that little things like 2/3rds of Brett's list will get stuck in my craw and make me dislike the movie. Isn't that a burden? Aren't you disappointed 95% of the time? I make a conscious decision to let stuff like that go or else I'll hate every movie I see. I'm not interested in that.

 

Yes, my list has some nit-picky items, but those things do add up. I shut my brain off for big, loud movies all the time, I just did for 'Star Trek Into Darkness', mostly because it allowed me to. This didn't. The first few things I listed were more than enough to kill the film for me, the rest was just icing on the cake.

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Minor edit: Supes has killed on rare occasions. Why don't you think it was acceptable in MOS?

 

 

I think in most all those cases, at east the modern ones, there was a build up to those deaths. They were played off as a big deal and had major build up. These comic creators themselves who were against a lot of those, Mark Waid being one of them. This movie is establishing a new Superman. We JUST met him and he kills somebody.

 

Aren't you disappointed 95% of the time? I make a conscious decision to let stuff like that go or else I'll hate every movie I see. I'm not interested in that.

 

I am, frequently. I am really hard on movies, and I over analyze them because of what I do. But they don't have to be iron clad-- it's rare that a movie is. If you're going to have holes, at least distract me with something. Avengers was full of plot issues too, but the action and charisma of the characters was so fun, I gave it a pass.

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Wow - guess I am one of the few who liked it. The flashbacks were nicely placed and better than having a slower start to the film (post krypton..) where we see him grow up.

The angle of how a child would be somewhat messed up by being told not to be who you are, keep your true self hidden, was nicely done. So when he is finally able to use his powers that he hid from his childhood "bully's", he goes for it.

 

Liked the idea of introducing the image of Jor-El through a ship that had been there due to Earth being a former outpost for the Kryptonians, but now presumably he has lost that link now with all the ships gone and the interface key that he had also gone. That seems a shame as I enjoyed the interaction between them.

 

What happens to Zod is necessary, but I agree the family just cowering there was weak.

 

I came out of the film quite happy. Maybe a second viewing might change my opinion, we shall see how it stands up over time.

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Not impressed as a Superman film, or as one of the building blocks of the DC film universe. Just a ho-hum experience overall...honestly, that's all I can say about it.

 

My friends were vocal--and really mixed on this. Some took it as noted in this thread: a general summer film, while others--more into the direction of superhero films--thought there was too much "Marvelizing" (their word) of Superman. So far, no one is saying they were swept away by a larger than life fantasy. Oh, well.

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I was impressed, but did not geek out. Does that make sense? Like if David Tennant voices Rocket Raccoon, I'll geek out for that **** for sure. But I enjoyed Man of Steel without geeking out.

 

Well okay...maybe I geeked out when Superman took off after crashing that first time.

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The film was a summer blockbuster full of super punching. I liked it, thought the cast was neat and I can dig the changes/style, only two gripes.

 

One of the gripes is not...

 

 

Superman killing. I adore Superman, I don't use that term lightly. Under normal circumstances Supes doesn't kill, true. That scene made sense to me. Anyone annoyed with the family not moving however doesn't understand the basic fear response. Fight, flight, freeze.

 

 

1) Pa Kent

 

 

Pa Kent died stupidly in this version, infuriatingly so for me. It took me right out of the film. That scene should be propped up everywhere as the definition of forced drama.

 

Clark should have got the dog (regular speed just like Pa was) and Pa Kent died of a heart attack under the bridge while Clark was away rescuing a dog.

 

 

Kostner was cool, though.

 

2) Destruction

 

 

All of the destruction of places only bothers me because they wrote and filmed epilogues but neglected to show any Super Clean-Up. The end was primed for a quick, concise scene displaying do-goodery as Supes is shown helping rescue crews and construction crews. The scene could be thirty seconds or less that's how quick, but the visual would have been superb. Then cut to Supes punking General Swanwhatever and the glasses.

 

 

Overall: It's Superman Begins. If you want to see what a Nolanverse Superman might be and you like CG capes, this is your movie. I'm interested in a sequel. I'm hoping for a brighter suit though. Primary red. I mean why the hate against it?

 

Netflix scale: "I liked it" 3 stars out of 5

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Didn't you tell me at one point you weren't even going to see this in theatres, at which point I said there's no way I believe that? Was that you? Was that this movie? I know I had that discussion with someone...

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When Superman attacks Zod at the farm and flies him into the town, was I the only one who kept wondering why he'd just left his Mother with those other Kryptonians (one who had just had her by the throat). I was sure they were going to show up with her as a hostage.

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I really hope they improve massively for the sequel, there is enough in this film to establish a solid series however it isn't a fantastic start.

 

One of my fave images of Superman history is Jor-El and Lara holding each other as Clarks pod jets off and the planet blows up around them. Having Zod kill him before the planet goes felt like cheap motivation for a line to Supes later about killing his father.

 

Very little chemistry between Adams and Cavill for me.

 

The Pa Kent death was so dumb, would have been far better the way Torch put it.

 

The score was bland.

 

Supes went from having little knowledge of who he is and 30 seconds later has a costume and can fly.

 

Supes disregarding all the damage, even using Zods face to smash up a building at one point just didn't feel like Supes. He needs to be taking time out from the fight to save innocent people, it's his one weakness besides kryptonite is that he puts peoples safety first.

 

Shannon was amazing in the role, loved Faora aswell.

 

The easter eggs like the Wayne Enterprises satellite, the Lexcorp truck and the 'Fordham' kid (reference to Whitney) were cool little geek moments.

 

For a sequel I'd love to see that Lex is mayor of Metropolis due to his clean up efforts for the city (meanwhile hoarding Kryptonian tech and possibly creating Metallo) and is doing a smear campaign of Supes due to the damage that was done to the city. We can also see Lois and Clark trying to do some digging for dirt on Lex.

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I was never a huge fan of Superman II either, though its quality-control issues were numerous enough that debating its morality would've just been pouring salt in the wounds it opened.

 

So...not all of us are, no.

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A 20 year old movie that is practically a cartoon now, while loved, was not something I ever took that seriously. A super hammy Zod screaming NOOOOO and vanishing down a foggy hole is quite a bit different then being shown a new Superman to reboot the franchise snapping a dude's neck.

 

If they build from it like that article says-- I'd be willing to accept it. But I agree with Mark Waid, this story and this version of Superman didn't quite earn it.

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