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#316: Ass

#316: Ass published on 3 Comments on #316: Ass

Mike: So Man of Steel was pretty awesome. While I don’t think it’s the definitive Superman movie, it’s pretty close, and it’s by far the most fun. It certainly took the lessons of Superman Returns to heart and filled it will so much action that it was almost too much. I’ve been waiting a long time for a movie to take flying characters and create amazing, fast paced action sequences. Superman’s flying felt so natural and smooth. I thought they did a great job changing up the mythology to be new and interesting but at the same time keep the spirit in perfect match. I only felt the story telling was a bit choppy in the beginning. Almost as if they just couldn’t wait for Zod to show up. I wish they trimmed down the action a bit to fill out the first act and work on the CGI a bit more. While the effects were fantastic there were times when they were obviously CGI but it was still within acceptable tolerance. Henry Cavill was great and there was one brief moment I swore he looked like Christopher Reeves which is always gives you a great feeling. My favorite scene may have been the ending, they pulled that off perfectly. I love it and I sincerely hope DC has finally understood how to make a great movie that isn’t Batman. It’s a great sci-fi action take on Superman.

James: Time for me to poop the party, I guess. I hated Man of Steel something fierce. Thumbs WAY down. Two dimensional characters spouting expositional dialogue in nearly every scene, a forced romance with zero chemistry between the leads, and some truly bad casting choices are the core problems. The highlight of the casting trouble has to be cute-as-a-button Amy Adams’ attempts to play the tough as nails, army-brat turned Pulitzer prize winning reporter. It’s adorable, like watching a kid play dress up in mommy’s business suit adorable. The lowlight has to be Jenny Olsen. Not that they gender-flipped a relatively minor character or that the actress does a poor job, but because the ONLY reason they did it was to have a damsel in distress in the third act besides Lois. Yeesh. One step forward and two steps back, eh ladies? Zack Snyder managed to avoid going slow motion at every turn, but he’s traded in that handicap for some overactive and frankly overly busy camera work that ruined a few otherwise really nice action scenes. The overuse of CGI gets obnoxious at certain points in the film, but we knew that was coming. The real fuck ups come from the script and to discuss that this review is going to get super spoilery, so read on at your peril.

 

You’ve been warned.

 

Turn back now!

 

Still here? Ok, the Jesus symbolism is laid on so thick you can eat it with a spoon, Pa Kent dies in the absolute stupidest and most pointless self-sacrifice in the history of film, Russell Crowe rides a dragon, and Superman snaps a guy’s neck.

SUPERMAN.

SNAPS.

A.

GUY’S.

NECK.

Good luck sleeping tonight 5 year old boy who came to see a freakin’ Superman movie and instead watched the embodiment of goodness straight up murder a dude. For great justice! But hey, he seemed kinda bummed about it so he’s still pretty much the same character whose managed to go 80 years without ever killing anyone in the comics, right? Right? It was an utterly joyless CGI spectacle that completely derailed the character for the second time in less than a decade on the big screen. Marvel Studios has nothing to fear from their Distinguished Competitors, who still can’t get their shit together.

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I just feel the need to counter some of James’ points. SPOILERS to follow.

I thought it worked mainly because it was done so well. It’s been established that Superman does kill, not maliciously, but he is willing to do it. But hey it’s usually monsters and aliens so who cares. But this is the first time he’s killed and actually showed deep remorse for it. Hell it’s not even the first time he’s killed Zod, in the comics or in the films. At the end of Superman 2, Superman and Lois casually toss their powerless and defenseless enemies into a, what might as well be a, bottomless pit. And show zero remorse about it and actually seemed quite pleased.

Also Superman wasn’t just bummed he completely breaks down. This makes it more of a character moment and gives the act the weight it deserves. You didn’t see Ironman show any remorse for the half dozen guards he killed in Ironman 3. If I recalled correctly he even threw a guy’s face into a fountain that had a grenade go off in it. I’m not saying that was wrong to do, just saying keep Superman’s reaction to the act in perspective. Would I have prefer them go another way, sure, but I’m glad with how it was handled for the most part. I would argue that they should have toned it down a bit use a wide shot with no sound effect, just sudden silence would be so effective and less gruesome.

I also think it would be brilliant if, in the next film, he’s haunted by that decision and we see him have to deal with the guilt and consequences of it. Maybe face a similar situation and have him overcome through conviction and sheer force of will, to avoid having to do that again and have him be triumphant. That would provide a great potential character arc for him and make the moment more than an easy way out for the villain.

I don’t think the Jenny Olsen bit was intentional but it is pretty fucked when you think about it. And I feel both Henry and Amy were great and had chemistry but every time they were about to show it the plot interrupted it.

PS 5 year old was way more traumatized by Lois Lane slowly suffocating to death by being buried alive than than potential 5 year old me would have felt about Zod’s neck snapping. But hey Superman magically through time and made it better so it doesn’t matter right? …right?

Well, you’ll notice he doesn’t defend Russell Crowe riding a dragon, does he?

Seriously though, spoilers to follow.

I get what you’re saying here Mike, but I feel the need to counter your counter-statement. Superman shouldn’t kill. Period. End of sentence. There’s always another way for someone with his powers. That’s the whole point of the WAY BETTER THAN THIS Superman VS The Elite straight to DVD animated film that came out not too long ago, based on the WAY BETTER THAN THIS “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, & the American Way?” comic. That’s the reason why he got so pissed at Wonder Woman when she SNAPPED. A. GUY’S. NECK. to save HIM in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #219. Superman does not kill. It’s a pretty simple guideline for a screenwriter and they completely shat the bed. Having him kill shows a complete lack of understanding of the character. It’s fucked up to watch a movie about Superman put together by people who clearly don’t like Superman very much.

That’s my biggest complaint with the film, but hardly the only one. This movie was so dour and downbeat when things weren’t exploding that I have no desire to ever see any of these miserable humps ever again. Seriously, did anyone ever smile in this movie? Anyone at all? Ever? Maybe Christopher Meloni right before he killed himself. Ugh. Just thinking about this movie is a bummer. When did Superman stop being fun? Why is THAT the one thing they kept from Singer’s Superman Returns debacle?

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree about the acting and the chemistry of the two leads as that’s all rather subjective and I don’t really want to start a flame war against my artist.

I’m glad you liked it, but I really don’t ever want to see it again. Under any circumstance.

SPOILERS::: How can anyone defend Russel Crowe riding a dragon? I mean it sounds awesome but since when does Jor-El fly a dragon that he can summon with a whistle? But I could over look that and the generic sci-fi wild life Krypton had. Also anyone founds it comical how short Russell is compared to Henry?

Anyway that’s the problem with comic characters specially ones that have been around as long as Superman. You can name ten instances where Superman is anti-killing, I can find ten where he actually does kill. I felt in this instance of killing it was more inline with his character than any other instance pre/post crisis/new 52 where he has killed/tried to kill that I have seen. It provided a dramatic climax, putting a young Superman in an impossible and emotional situation, one the hopeful effects his character deeply in any future installment.

You must completely forgot the first flight sequence when Superman had a giant grin on his face the whole time. I found this movie fun, far from perfect, a bit much on the action, but I saw a better and mostly faithful adaptation than you did. So basically, sucks to be you pal.

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