Friday, August 05, 2011

The New "Man of Steel"

Click to enlarge
Given that Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch) is directing this, I'm not very hopeful.  Henry Cavill looks the part, I guess, but I wish they would have stuck with Brandon Routh.  There no denying though, it's got a great cast.  Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Ma and Pa Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. As far as the photo, my initial thoughts are:

a)  This looks more like a promotional photo rather than a still shot from the film.  
b)  That is a REALLY long cape.  And... 
c)  The filmmakers really want to you to know this is a darker, more action-packed Superman movie; not a plodding, character driven film.  In other words, it's not Superman Returns (which I liked a lot by the way).  

What do you think?


James Wood said...

I was tracking with you for a while . . . right up until you said you liked the Superman Returns. Really!?

That was, in my opinion, a terrible movie. It gave me no reason to care about the characters. It starts in the middle where we're supposed to care, but they never develop the characters to the point where they are sympathetic. And the action sucked. And the plot was dumb.

Jake Shore said...

Yeah. A lot of people I know agree with you. It's funny because at the time, the movie got generally positive reviews from the critics. It certainly has its flaws though.

For example, giving him an illegitimate son was stupid. Making Lex Luthor the villain again with a nearly identical scheme as the first movie was lame. And I thinks Singer got bogged down in his homage to the original.

However, it's his respect for the original film, and for nailing many aspects of Superman's character that I loved. The main theme of the movie is about what Superman means to the world, "asking the question, "Do we need a savior"? with some Christological elements thrown in. It may have been a little too mythological and philosophical (rather than entertaining) in its approach.

But the movie has some great moments. The scene where Superman rescues the plane might be the single best action sequence in any superhero movie. And the scene where he takes Lois flying around Metropolis at night is kinda well done, especially the re-arrangement of John Williams' music.

I think the reason the movie avoids some of the character development you wanted is that it was meant to be Superman III, a sequel to the first two movies, which had laid all the character groundwork. But that was a mistake since the originals were nearly 30 years old. For fans like me who have watched those films recently, it was no problem. Everyone else, many which weren't even born then, didn't get it. Add a deliberate, even plodding pace, and folks lose interest.

But I still think it's very thoughtful, well-crafted film. But it failed to meet a lot of people's expectations of what a superhero movie ought to be.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad really that Superman only has two villians to fight according to Hollywood. Ever.

Now I liked General Zod in the first Superman movie that used him, but they really can't honestly find another villian somewhere in the last SEVEN DECADES of comics to use? How about Bizzarro? How about Solomon Grundy? How about Doomsday? How about Brainiac? How about Darkseid? How about Richard Pryor? Wait, forget that last one. I'm not even a Superman fan and I was able to come up with five good villians right of the top of my head. You want a movie that's really fun? Shit, have him fight Lobo. Even if it's just the intro action piece, it'll be the best part of the movie.

And can I say that Zac Snyder is wearing a little thin for me? First he screws up the classic Dawn of the Dead with rage zombies. Then he takes two of the most respected comics ever in 300 and Watchmen and makes movies from them which are incredibly beautiful to look at, but really have nothing beyond that. I've only seen the first half of SuckerPunch so far so I'll withhold judgement there as what I did see had promise to say the least. But what the hell was with that owl movie? And now he's another young director who has more or less proven he can handle a big movie and he's going to get the albatross known as Superman hung around his neck. So in five years who's going to be the next director to get saddled with the last son of Krypton?

Anyway, it's not like I care. DC sucks.


Jake Shore said...

It does make you wonder. If you're willing to go as deep as Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and now Bane in the rogues gallery of the Batman franchise, why not go for Doomsday or Braniac for Superman?

And what made the producers think that adding Richard Pryor to a Superman movie was a good idea? Was Chevy Chase not available?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, for the reboot of Batman a few years ago the main badguys were Scarecrow and freaking Rah's al Ghul, or however you spell it. They didn't bring in Joker, arguably the best known Batman villian, until after the one with the second-stringers had enjoyed a ton of success. But for Superman they feel the need to keep using Lex Luthor in damn near every

What didn't surprise me with Richard Pryor is that he didn't get any superpowers. Whitey gets to be the most powerful guy in the universe and Richard Pryor has to make due with nothing more than his goofy expressions.