Man of Steel - quick review

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    My thoughts

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    It was ok. I don't regret going to have seen it but I think the biggest problem for me was that it lacked charm. Granted, my knowledge of Superman is mostly limited to the Reeve films and it's not my intention to compare this version to Donner's (although admittedly it's hard not to have that version in the back of my mind while watching), but it seemed to me that this one fell more on the side of "being Superman is a curse". I don't begrudge Snyder/Nolan for providing a different take on the character, but they didn't capture the "magic" of Donner's film (and in fairness, that may not have been their intention)Some other criticisms:Jor-El provided way too much Deus Ex Machina (helping Lois escape the ship etc.) and they did make him essentially a "ghost", like he never really died. In Donner's version I could accept that Jor-El could have created a holographic artificial intelligence that could anticipate the questions that Kal-El would ask and educate him. Also, Superman II demonstrated that the holograms weren't sentient. Lex was able to view them without "them" knowing he wasn't Kal-El. The Jor-El in MoS was fully sentient and able to interact and converse with anyone. (Also, I noticed that they couldn't avoid the obvious Christ allegory. Jor-El says "Go save them, my Son" then Supe floats out of the ship and down to Earth with his arms fully outstretched.Thought the effects and fight scenes went over the top on many occasions almost to the point of masturbation. All that shit with the living metal and over the top destruction. And also, the Sears placement thing was ridiculous. In those fight scenes, characters were being tossed around hundreds of feet in all directions, but yet they still always seemed to end up right in front of that Sears store. (Also does anyone ever get bothered in these types of movies that once the threat is neutralized, everything goes back to normal. In MoS Zod destroys like half of Metropolis, I couldn't help but think of that aftermath and the certainty that thousands upon thousands of people were killed. )Also, what was up with the weird sexual imagery. The "cocoons" that Zod and co were put in for their exile to the Phantom Zone looked like penises and the doors in the Scout Ship buried in the North Pole looked like vaginas.What I liked:Movie looked good and was generally entertaining (although again, will never have the lasting impact of the original)Costner, Lane and Adams were good. Did have a few touching Father/Son moments.

    Also, as far as the Superman killing thing goes

    you all do remember that Supe tossed a depowered Zod into an abyss in the Fortress. Since we never saw him again, Zod presumably fell to his death. Also, apparently he just left Luthor at the fortress as well (I know some of the longer cuts of the film show the criminals being taken in by the authorities, but we can only consider the theatrical cut Canon). Supe also "killed" the evil Superman in III and I guess you could say he killed Nuclear Man in IV. Also, he did use his powers in II to get revenge on the diner bully. He lets him punch him by which he likely broke every bone in his hand. Supe spins him on a diner stool which such velocity that the centrifugal force should have killed him. The he threw him into the glass surface of a pinball machine, what if he got stabbed by a shard of glass?
     
  2. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Honestly, Tino, the 3d conversion leaves a LOT to be desired. They mailed this one in. And, even if the HAD done a job worth seeing, the fast action of the last 30 minutes is just too overwhelming to utilize 3d.

    IMAX most DEFINITELY. This film has the biggest action I've ever seen on screen. See it LARGE.
     
  3. Matt Wooten

    Matt Wooten Second Unit

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    The reason people don't seem to care about the ending in Superman 2 is because they just fell into the abyss of the Fortress of Solitude.. Even as a child watching that movie I was never under the impression the same characters could not be brought in again. Maybe that's naive comic thinking, but it is completely different from
    brutally snapping Zod's neck..
    Or to take from another DC film, seeing the Joker's lifeless body after falling countless feet with a gargoyle strapped to his foot.
    The finale of Man of Steel makes be very afraid of the fate of any villain that shows up in the next installments. If Supes can make this kind of decision on his first night on the town, what chance do guys like Lex, Darkseid, etc. stand? Every bad guy is relentless.. This is the answer to all of them too?
    I just get the feeling these guys wrote a movie based off researching Wikipedia.. Next thing The Puinsher will be rebooted.. This time he fights bad guys with Nerf guns. Crazy.
     
  4. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Agreed. I don't mind product placement as long as it's organic and not obtrusive. If Clark is going to drink a beer, it would very likely be Budweiser as it is one of the (if not the) top selling brands in the USA. Like I suggested in my earlier post, the Sears thing in MoS is the opposite of unobtrusive. Very obviously deliberate that they were trying to get as many shots of "Sears" in as they could.

    Another example that comes to mind is in Austin Powers II where he says to someone "Get your hands off my Heiney Baby" and the other person holds out a bottle of Heineken right for the camera to zoom in on.
     
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Yeah, see I always figured they all died at the end of SM2 since they fell down huge chasms and had human strength/mortality when it happened.As for Man of Steel, it would bother me if Zod showed any means of stopping his intent to destroy all humans or if it didn't utterly pain Kal-El completely. It was a necessary last measure.And it IS something SM has had to do in the comics in rare circumstances as well.People don't want their heroes to end the threat by killing, but sometimes there is no other viable option. Take several of the real life shooters at schools in the last decade. When authorities stopped then by killing them no one thinks any less of them taking those measures to save the lives in immediate future danger.
     
  6. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Zod did say that "This either ends by me killing you or you killing me". But yeah, what the hell else was Supe going to do? There was no establishment of kryptonite or molecule chambers. I guess maybe he could have thrown Zod into the sigularity caused by the two engines crashing into each other (more Deus Ex Machina, BTW), but whatever. At that moment, all he could do was kill him. I could see the anger if he killed a human villain, but since he and Zod were evenly matched, it's not as big of a problem
     
  7. Scott Burke

    Scott Burke Second Unit

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    I thought the 3d was amazing. I saw it in IMAX 3d. While it isn't the superman that we grew up with, I think that was the point. I thought the origin was mostly borrowed from "birthrite" but I will have to check since my memory is hazy on that graphic novel.The only thing that bothered me was the constant allusions to the matrix series. That pulled me out of the movie.
     
  8. Stephen Brooks

    Stephen Brooks Second Unit

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    I'm frankly quite glad that they finally eased up on the whole "DC heros never ever kill anyone under any circumstances". It was really getting to be annoying pacifist BS IMO. Iron Man obviously kills people. Even Captain America, who is about as straight-laced goody-two-shoes as they come, is a soldier, and as such he does use guns and kill people when he has to. Are these characters "murderers"? If they are, then all cops and soldiers are murderers too and there are no real heros anywhere! There was no prison on Earth that could hold Zod. He basically had nothing to do with the rest of his life besides kill humans. Superman's actions were perfectly appropriate. Sent from my SCH-S738C using Home Theater Forum mobile app
     
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  9. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    I liked it. It wasn't as fun of a viewing experience as I had hoped it would be, but the spectacle was impressive. I thought Clark, the Kents, Lois, and Zod were all really good in their roles, and I was moved by lots the the stuff with Clark, Martha, and Jonathan (though I would have liked to see more of that). I also enjoyed some of the smaller roles like Perry White and Colonel Hardy.I think maybe the action could have used a bit more interpersonal drama spliced in. I don't understand any issues some people have with the killing of Zod. Zod had said his goal at that point was to kill as many humans as possible, purely for the sake of vengeance. There was no way Clark could hope to simply restrain and imprison him. But still, it wasn't like he was subdued and Clark had to wrestle with a decision of what to do with him. Zod was actively trying to incinerate people as Clark was struggling to keep it from happening. Ultimately, he did what he had to do. And his reaction afterwards says all they need to say about how he felt about having to do it. I also liked Lois tracking down Clark and deciding to keep his secret. So I'd say that, for me, it was a cool and enjoyable film but it was missing "something" keeping it from being great. Sometimes with additional viewings some of these films find more of an emotional resonance with me, so I'll see if maybe that magical "something" pops up with the next viewing. Thing are also now nicely set up for the more traditional Superman/Clark Kent at the Daily Planet scenario for the next one.
     
  10. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    The product placement made me a little nuts for this reason. Shaky cam, shaky cam, perfectly stable, clearly focused shot of product label, shaky cam, shaky cam... That annoyed the hell out of me. It's not whether the items would have occurred in the natural flow of things, it was the fact that they were so clearly identifiable when many other things weren't.

    Other than that, it's another one of those movies I think was great at the time because the action was so overwhelming, and years from now I'm going to remember what a crappy story it had and never pull it off the shelf. I almost hate to say it, but a lot like almost every Michael Bay movie, and I really wanted to avoid that comparison.
     
  11. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
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    Im a fan of Superman Returns and like the fact I now have a sort of unofficial Donner trilogy to enjoy so i was quite open to a reboot. i like the emphasis on the alien/scifi elements as it differentiates it quite well. The score was fairly good ( nothing was going to match Williams) and all the cast are great. I liked it but essentially there were too many competing ideas/themes and storylines to do any of them justice. Not surprising they never got to Clark Kent as a reporter.The film was at its best in the first half and I think Snyder would have been wiser to scale back on the action at the end and present more of the origin story. That was working. The decision to use flashbacks was a poor one IMO as a straight chronological version would surely have allowed these moments to breathe and provide a stronger emotional connection to the characters, especially Costner who I thought was excellent. Either that or more flashbacks before the tornado scene which was still a weak point despite strong performances.Delete the whole Indian Ocean sequence as it adds absolutely nothing except one long ridiculous CGI battle which could easily have been staged in Metropolis. And we had already had the battle of superheroes throwing each other through buildings etc in Smallville so why do the same thing with the final battle? Much better to have Superman take the battle away from the city straight away and still have that final moment where he has to make a choice.And I have to say I really missed the moments of awe and wonder of Superman simply saving people and helping them. Oh for a moment like Reeve helping save the cat in the tree for the little girl or the little boy who fell at Niagara Falls.I actually thought Returns did a much better job at capturing the wonder of flight and Superman's abilities. I get they were going for a different approach but I think it detracts from the character
     
  12. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

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    No, he would just leave some people stranded on a mountain until they die because they found out his secret identity.
     
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  13. MishaLauenstein

    MishaLauenstein Supporting Actor

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    He did have the choice to turn Zod's neck the other way instead of heat-visioning all those people to death.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That's a solution to the immediate problem. It's sure not going to work in the long term. And by long term, I mean in the next 20 or 30 seconds after that.
     
  15. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    IMO, there are two aspects to the point being discussed -
    Superman killing Zod
    .
    The first is the actual event, and while I don't like it, I do, kind of, agree with the others here that it probably had to happen. I think that if it were a cleverer screenplay, another solution could have been reached
    However, the second aspect is the way it was shown.
    The in-your-face neck-cracking, damn-you-we're-you-gonna-make-you-watch-this was gratuitous and, to me, off-putting. Superman II has been brought up, and the fact that Zod was sent down to crevice to his death. But that death was off-screen.
    Too many film-makers today think that just because the can show something, they should show something, regardless of what it does to the story or the tone or the emotions of the audience.
    David
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not buying that cleverer screenplay stuff. The filmmakers made a conscious decision to show Zod's death like it was on the screen. I think all parties concern are intelligent enough to come up with a different way for him to die if they wanted to, but chose this way. It's as simple as that.
     
  17. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Dear Raul:

    I'm with you. I don't understand what's come over directors of late. I understand the necessity to jazz things up for a remake. I mean, you can't just do the same movie over and over again or we just call Gus Van Sant on his almost shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock's Psycho, slap an ice pack over our foreheads and call it a day.

    But we shouldn't be looking to retool a beloved franchise in ways that alter the fundamentals of stories we've come to know and love. Lucas did it with the Star Wars franchise. God knows they've been tinkering waaaaaay too much with the formula for Bond movies ever since Roger Moore left the series - mostly to its own detriment. I mean, a black Moneypenny and kick-boxing Daniel Craig looking like eight miles of bad road while he basically drinks himself into oblivion...these are not the characteristics of our iconic MI6 agent.

    Man of Steel veers to wildly away from the wonderment and joy of the Superman film franchise that, let's be honest, after part II became a badly mangled affair too. My philosophy is to leave well enough alone. There are plenty of other stories to tell. Leave us to our collectively treasured moments.

    I didn't mind Henry Cavill - impossibly muscled and not all that great an actor but salvageable on the whole. But the middle of that film is in desperate need of an editor who isn't in love with his exposition and ditto for the interminably long final battle sequence that becomes an exercise in tedium rather than taut tension.

    Man of Steel will make a ton of money and that's pretty much all the bean counters care about - regrettably so. I wish I could suggest to you that some higher artistic merit was at play. It isn't. Movies today are made to grab that 30 second groundswell of fame and box office and to hell with what will be remembered or resurrected for a 50th anniversary box set fifty years later. That's a sad - but frankly accurate - indictment on film-making today.

    No kidding: the bottom line was always paramount in the industry. But at least in the good old days they were more involved in telling a good story first, and once it took off preserving the legacy of that movie by telling more stories with the same attention to detail. Today, anything goes. That's why Man of Steel will do big business. It's a good popcorn movie for those who know absolutely nothing about the trademark of Superman and those who frankly don't care, and finally, those who don't mind their heroes being unheroic, dark, brooding, and self-destructive in spots. I don't ascribe to that backwater of cultural claptrap but it's paying the bills in Hollywood. So just consider what it says about the general understanding and respect of the average movie fan going to the theater today. I hate to even entertain the thought.

    Best.
     
  18. MattBradley

    MattBradley Stunt Coordinator

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    My super generic review:

    Watched it this morning and loved it. I had a group of 6 and two of us really enjoyed, another two felt like there was no emotional attachment to any of the characters and the last two flat out did not like it.

    I think the movie tried to put too much in it but still worked for me. The relationship between Lois and Supes was a surprise but works for me. Kevin Costner was great and believable. I even got a little choked up while he was helping on the side of the road.

    I was digging the DC Universe references! Lots of little, quick things were flying by on the screen. Can't wait to see what I missed!

    Bring on the sequel! Now that the reboot is out of the way, they can really let loose!
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The introduction was a spectacular renewal of the Superman myth. I was mostly spellbound throughout. I was also figuratively gasping for breath: the first half was a narrative sprint, getting through as much story as possible. It was a good movie.But it was good enough to also be frustrating. A defining character moment happened, and then the story moved on seemingly without consequences. I'm puzzled what to make of superman's victory -- how did he succeed? And what of the toll his victory took?Spoilers:Zod asks the obvious, that I was asking the second half, how does Kal El defeat him? Zod is a trained warrior in armor? Kal isn't. And it isnt answered. Superman is losing the fight, and then he's inexplicably got Zod in a neck lock. I don't mind Superman killing Zod as a plot twist or a new take on the character. But I do mind that the next scene is Clark happy and smiley joining the Daily Planet and telling the military to stay the f* off his trail. The entire movie, the whole backstory, everything Jonathan Kent taught him was against this. There should be consequences. There were no consequences to this tremendous moment.
     
  20. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    People have saying that same basic thing probably since the second movie came out. "That horse running movie was amazing but after that, it all became about the money..."
     

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