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Old 10-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #51
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Default Re: "Joyless" ?

"This is no fantasy... This is no careless act of wild imagination..."

"Peter Pan flew with children Lois. In a fairy tale."

Two quotes from Superman:The Movie. S:TM was meta before meta was cool, because it is a fantasy, it is a glorious act of pure wild imagination, and indeed Lois is flying with a hero out of a fairy tale. The fantasy/fairy tale aspect of Superman is what Donner brilliantly gave us. Man of Steel was the gestalt scifi side of Superman. It made no bones about it being a big scifi epic of biblical proportions. As a fan that in fact would have been satisfied with a simple update of what Donner did (which is NOT what Superman Returns was), signifiers and all with modern sfx and the addition of a physical threat of some kind I got the Superman film in MOS I did not even know I wanted. What many see as it's flaws (i.e.. pacing, the scope of it's battles) I see as it's strengths. I believe that such a presentation of the character gave me great "joy". I came out of the theatre happy as a clam at high tide, even though it most certainly was not the film I would have made in the least. I got what Snyder and Co. were going for and would say, real flaws and all, I got a film that can stand toe to toe with SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE, BATMAN, SPIDER-MAN 2, BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT , IRON MAN and THE AVENGERS.

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Old 10-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #52
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I'm not big on the complaint, "It was too dark", because that's saying that dark movies are bad in concept, which is ridiculous.

What people mean to say is that they think it was "too crappy/uninteresting/boring" etc.

When some people come out of Man of Steel unimpressed and remember that there was another representation of Superman that they liked which was 'light', they attribute their dislike of Man of Steel to the fact that it wasn't 'light'.

Same thing with the 'joyless' comment. Joyless movies aren't bad in theory. All of Tarkovsky's movies are dour as F, and they're excellent.

Of course, there are people who just prefer the light Superman, no matter how much they liked Man of Steel. Which is fair enough. But joyless shouldn't be a complaint in itself, because that's more of a taste issue.

---

Anyways, I personally think that Man of Steel, given in its narrative arc, needed a hopeful climax. I think the dour climax is a big reason why people leave that climax saying "thank god it's over", instead of "that was worth it".

Since the movie is about hard choices, it makes sense that he has to make the hardest one during the climax, and it makes sense that the scene should emphasize how bad it makes Clark feel.

However, I feel that the scene doesn't communicate the flip side of that unpleasant action: that he saved the world, and that Clark is a hero for making the sacrifice of making the necessary hard choice.

TDKR, which also had an exhausting third act, does a good job of taking the tragic note and transitioning into a heroic note for the last ten captivating minutes of the movie, making the entire somewhat depressing movie feel worth it.

Man of Steel's climax fades out on a down-note, however, and as a result the audience leaves the climax feeling like Superman failed in some regards. They feel like all that boring destruction and all that tragic back-story is all for naught because the plot is wrapped up on a negative note as well. The heroism and hope don't come through as much, despite those being set up as the main themes that the bulk of the movie sets up; the foreshadowed payoff that doesn't come in the climax.

When Lois comes to comfort Superman, I would have had that emphasize the heroism. She tells him to look at the family he saved, etc, getting him to get back on his feet, not to 'kneel before Zod' (hehe), and to continue with saving the day. Now that he's made the hard choice, he's earned the ability to go back helping the people directly in front of him -- his natural instinct that he's had to suppress for so long. Cue the piano theme and the drums, slower than usual, with a montage of Superman helping awe-struck people in the rubble, trying to hold back the emotions from the prior scene, trying to smile to the people he's saving to comfort them, while he's still visibly hurt inside. Then fade out after one round of the chord progression on a sad, but hopeful/heroic note.

---

I also would have taken out the World Engine fight, because it led to monotony/boredom, which I am sure is what people mean when they say it's "joyless".


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Old 10-23-2013, 03:49 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by FeedOnATreeFrog View Post
I'm not big on the complaint, "It was too dark", because that's saying that dark movies are bad in concept, which is ridiculous.

What people mean to say is that they think it was "too crappy/uninteresting/boring" etc.

When some people come out of Man of Steel unimpressed and remember that there was another representation of Superman that they liked which was 'light', they attribute their dislike of Man of Steel to the fact that it wasn't 'light'.

Same thing with the 'joyless' comment. Joyless movies aren't bad in theory. All of Tarkovsky's movies are dour as F, and they're excellent.

Of course, there are people who just prefer the light Superman, no matter how much they liked Man of Steel. Which is fair enough. But joyless shouldn't be a complaint in itself, because that's more of a taste issue.

---

Anyways, I personally think that Man of Steel, given in its narrative arc, needed a hopeful climax. I think the dour climax is a big reason why people leave that climax saying "thank god it's over", instead of "that was worth it".

Since the movie is about hard choices, it makes sense that he has to make the hardest one during the climax, and it makes sense that the scene should emphasize how bad it makes Clark feel.

However, I feel that the scene doesn't communicate the flip side of that unpleasant action: that he saved the world, and that Clark is a hero for making the sacrifice of making the necessary hard choice.

TDKR, which also had an exhausting third act, does a good job of taking the tragic note and transitioning into a heroic note for the last ten captivating minutes of the movie, making the entire somewhat depressing movie feel worth it.

Man of Steel's climax fades out on a down-note, however, and as a result the audience leaves the climax feeling like Superman failed in some regards. They feel like all that boring destruction and all that tragic back-story is all for naught because the plot is wrapped up on a negative note as well. The heroism and hope don't come through as much, despite those being set up as the main themes that the bulk of the movie sets up; the foreshadowed payoff that doesn't come in the climax.

When Lois comes to comfort Superman, I would have had that emphasize the heroism. She tells him to look at the family he saved, etc, getting him to get back on his feet, not to 'kneel before Zod' (hehe), and to continue with saving the day. Now that he's made the hard choice, he's earned the ability to go back helping the people directly in front of him -- his natural instinct that he's had to suppress for so long. Cue the piano theme and the drums, slower than usual, with a montage of Superman helping awe-struck people in the rubble, trying to hold back the emotions from the prior scene, trying to smile to the people he's saving to comfort them, while he's still visibly hurt inside. Then fade out after one round of the chord progression on a sad, but hopeful/heroic note.

---

I also would have taken out the World Engine fight, because it led to monotony/boredom, which I am sure is what people mean when they say it's "joyless".
so in short, most of the complaints can be addressed if they had put in a few scenes of superman saving the innocents in the end?

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Old 10-23-2013, 07:36 AM   #54
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This is my bugbear with Snyder as a director in that he can perfectly replicate, on the surface, the tone of the material he's adapted for all but 2 of his movies to date but somehow they all lack that extra quality that made the originals stand out.

WATCHMEN, DAWN OF THE DEAD and to a lesser extent 300 were all satirical stories something you never get a sense of when redone by Zack. Making a 'darker' Superman story isn't a problem the problem is in the end when people walk away without the sense of hope a Superman story, irrespective of tone, should give.

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:03 AM   #55
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Default Re: "Joyless" ?

At this point in time, Man Of Steel is my all time favorite comicbook/superhero movie. I refuse to let anybody ruin it for me.

If anything, the somber ending represented and showcased a Superman we've never seen. When he realized what he did to Zod, it reminded me of when Lois died in Superman The Movie. I think we will see these emotional and moral conflicts resolved in the next movie. I will be disappointed however if that involves being dealt with the entire movie though.

I felt hope throughout the movie and feel that he may have already come to terms with what happened with Zod and who he is and what he is suppose to do and the code he must stand by. That's just the feeling I got.

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:14 AM   #56
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This is my bugbear with Snyder as a director in that he can perfectly replicate, on the surface, the tone of the material he's adapted for all but 2 of his movies to date but somehow they all lack that extra quality that made the originals stand out.

WATCHMEN, DAWN OF THE DEAD and to a lesser extent 300 were all satirical stories something you never get a sense of when redone by Zack. Making a 'darker' Superman story isn't a problem the problem is in the end when people walk away without the sense of hope a Superman story, irrespective of tone, should give.
??? I thought MOS has the best, positive and hopeful ending- seeing clark kent being welcomed to the planet and he smiles back.

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Old 10-23-2013, 08:28 AM   #57
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At this point in time, Man Of Steel is my all time favorite comicbook/superhero movie. I refuse to let anybody ruin it for me.

If anything, the somber ending represented and showcased a Superman we've never seen. When he realized what he did to Zod, it reminded me of when Lois died in Superman The Movie. I think we will see these emotional and moral conflicts resolved in the next movie. I will be disappointed however if that involves being dealt with the entire movie though.

I felt hope throughout the movie and feel that he may have already come to terms with what happened with Zod and who he is and what he is suppose to do and the code he must stand by. That's just the feeling I got.
Yes exactly. The movie's a first act of a much larger story. There is stuff that's better left for future movies to explore as it's just too big for one movie. I wish it went through some people's heads

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:58 AM   #58
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??? I thought MOS has the best, positive and hopeful ending- seeing clark kent being welcomed to the planet and he smiles back.
And yet on this thread, elsewhere and ppl who've seen MOS that I've spoken to have repeated the criticism of it not feeling upbeat.

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Old 10-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #59
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....I find it baffling how the past three Batman films, with all their "realism", still had more feel good/fun/inspirational moments than MOS.

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Old 10-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #60
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so in short, most of the complaints can be addressed if they had put in a few scenes of superman saving the innocents in the end?

For me personally, it could have made a huge difference. (just like how I think TDKR's climax makes its exhausting third act feel worth it).

The climax focuses solely on the hardship of the action Superman has to take, instead of also showing what it was for and what it accomplished (and how the public view Superman). Compare that to the climax in TDKR which was both tragic and heroic at the same time by showing the kids alive on the bridge, the people coming out of their homes (Gordon's speech), the statue, etc.

I think the scene at least should have shown the family alive and grateful (ala TASM bridge scene or SM2 train scene). It didn't have to go to full-blown trumpets-blaring heroism, but I would have liked the music to turn around and show the heroism/hopefulness underlining that climax/sacrifice, not just the hardship.


I would have wanted the movie to communicate that he has (or could) become a symbol of hope. Since it might be a little tricky to do that in the scene where he just killed someone, that's why I think they could have followed that scene with him helping people out of the rubble, in buildings, etc, paralleling his first heroic scene on the bus (though this time, it's without hiding the truth. Now he can actually be that symbol).


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Old 10-24-2013, 12:03 AM   #61
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I wonder why they didn't do it. I mean it was logical n easier to do. Were they too concentrate to establish a powerful superman n overlooked the kindness part of him? But the last scene, he did save the family...

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Old 10-28-2013, 02:57 PM   #62
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The film was not joyless. But it was not joyful. I didn't expect an upbeat film.

From the trailers it looked like a war. It looked like a lost Clark.

When the movie ended I got relatable Superman. All I kept thinking and even to today is "How is he going to get through this?"

What MOS does better than any live action film is challenge him. It set the mountain for him to climb. It set a mess for Superman to clean up.

While doing that it was such a visually stunning film. The fight scenes were awesome. Him flying is breath taking. Its fast and turbulent. I had a good time watching this film.

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Old 10-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #63
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I wonder why they didn't do it. I mean it was logical n easier to do. Were they too concentrate to establish a powerful superman n overlooked the kindness part of him? But the last scene, he did save the family...
Maybe they are still trying to figure out how to handle his secret identity issue. They dodged that in this film. There was a few moments of him being exposed. But he never really got near any person. And when he was he was fighting and people were ducking and hiding for their lives.

To personally save a family he would have to show his face to them.

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Old 10-31-2013, 03:23 AM   #64
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I really don't like how Superman is now suddenly obligated to be happy-go-lucky and funny just because the Donner films said so. In my opinion, they held the character back from reaching the sort of potential I wanted to see, and is probably the reason to why many prefer Batman to Superman.

I personally believe Superman can be interpreted to be even a more tragic, angsty and somber character(as seen in some episodes of Smallville) than Batman, except he chose rise above all that tragedy and make things better and hopeful about it rather than go deep and vengeful about it like Batman.

In my perception of how a Superman origin should go(which MOS nailed btw) it should carry the theme of sacrifice(as emphasized in the Krypton sequence as Jor-El had to betray his people to save his son and sacrifice his life to save Kal-El, the Tornado scene where Jonathan Kent told his son not to save his life just to sacrifice his life for protecting his secret and in many instances in Smallville, the show). For anybody, knowing that your loved ones will always sacrifice their lives and die for you because of what you will bring to the world(even though you are practically a god) and that "the world will always need you" would weigh anybody down.

Plus the fact that he "lives in a world of cardboard" and that he lived as a human only to realize he was never one of us, plus always having to hold himself back creates many hardships for him, another somber and perhaps angsty theme that comes with being Superman. This was seen a lot in Smallville(for example in the early years he felt he could never truly be with Lana even when the door was wide open and of course in the movie with the flashbacks).

All in all, the bottom line here is: Superman, especially in modern years is not as happy go lucky as some people think he is. I think in later movies there will be a progression in tone and things will become more hopeful.

Dude !!!! You're speaking the justice !

MOS was meant to be Superman for the 21st century. Turn on the news folks, the 21st century isn't a particularly happy go lucky or cheerful time. What internet connectivity and unlimited access has revealed is that human suffering and conflict are going on everywhere, and war where the enemy is clearly identifiable and civilians aren't targets has changed to terrorism and warfare that specifically targets the innocent, and people slaughter each other along ethnic and religious lines. Sure, that happened back in WW II, but it was carried out by nation states, and other nation states eventually put an end to it. Today it's so common that it runs unchecked.

Anyway, the Superman of 1978 would be woefully out of place in this world. Instead, we have a beer-drinking, watching football while doing the dishes working-class Superman. Yeah, he frowns a lot but that's because for the first half of the movie, he's feels lost and isolated from the human race.

The look on Clark's face when he first learns to fly, that's ****ing magic.
He laughs ! Remember how Reeve serenely soars away ? Well in MOS learning to fly isn't easy, in fact nothing Clark does is easy, when he exerts himself he grunts and strains (lifting the oilrig tower, flying up the gravity beam, tackling Faora ....). Anyway, at that moment when he first is learning to fly, it's the first time he feels free, so he laughs.
That's pure joy, at last his powers are a gift, not a curse.

And when he explains to Ma Kent that he's found his people, there's joy on his face. Cavill does a great job.

All in all, MOS is a much darker and more serious film but it reflects the times. All those who *****ed about MOS being too dark, are too wrapped up in holding on to 1978.

I see Superman still being quite serious as time goes by, as he begins to understand the enormous burden that Jor-El put on him, by suggesting that he be the hope for the entire human race. Being Superman is a staggering responsibility, having the power to actually make a difference, but still only being one person.
Essentially, when Superman gets involved it means that things are getting pretty serious, and the fate of the world is at stake....a job for Superman.



I hope they don't lighten the mood too much. The place where there's humour is in the interactions of the characters (rather than the story) and
Adams did a great job with her role -she was probably the lightest element of the film.

And as for joy. Let me tell you, I remember seeing Superman the movie back in 1978, and the thrill I felt coming out of the theatre, I felt the same thrill coming out of MOS. When Lois says "welcome to the planet" she's not welcoming clark to the newspaper, she's acknowledging that at last he's stopped hiding (as in pretending he doesn't exist) and has decided to join the human race ( true he's still in disguise, but at least he's no longer just an urban legend). From there his real journey begins,
I found that pretty hopeful, sorry to hear that many didn't

In summary, MOS rocked, Superman for our time, plenty of joy there.

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Old 10-31-2013, 10:48 PM   #65
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Maybe they are still trying to figure out how to handle his secret identity issue. They dodged that in this film. There was a few moments of him being exposed. But he never really got near any person. And when he was he was fighting and people were ducking and hiding for their lives.

To personally save a family he would have to show his face to them.
all the soldiers have seen him up close and personal...

the secret identity is not an issue. audience is willing to buy the glasses because that's part of the legend.

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Old 11-01-2013, 04:48 AM   #66
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all the soldiers have seen him up close and personal...

the secret identity is not an issue. audience is willing to buy the glasses because that's part of the legend.
but also the military has a vested interest in keeping his identity secret so they can call on him as they need it. If Clark was known he'd be a flight risk, he couldn't be anywhere without attention reserved for the second coming of Jesus. People would bow to him, radicals would scorn him as a devil spawn, all sorts of radical reactions.
The military know who he is, where he is, and would be able to contact him privately as an "american agent" so to speak.

Except for a few people in smallville (who were probably under too much stress to remember his features) and that family (again probably packing brown cakes in their pants) no one else has seen him.

One suspects Perry will figure it out.

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #67
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Dude !!!! You're speaking the justice !

MOS was meant to be Superman for the 21st century. Turn on the news folks, the 21st century isn't a particularly happy go lucky or cheerful time.
The problem that most people seem to have (and I'm not saying you alone) is thinking "We can't have the DONNER Superman today!That Chris Reeve was a nice guy and all,but nobody would buy him today."

But let me tell you where it's at kids: The 70's were (if possible) even more cynical than today.Even Reeve said at the time people can't help but smirk at the line "Truth,Justice & The American Way" but he still says it convincingly. Because Superman is supposed to stand for optimism,even in the most bleak and cynical times.He's the ideal that we strive to follow.

Instead the "modern" Superman has to be brought down to our level.Look!He's as depressed and moody as I am! Hooray!

I don't necessarily feel I should identify with Superman as I should admire him.

It's something that Kevin Smith has brought up.In the same way most modern films approach Jesus.I don't want to see Jesus as the guy next door,brought down to my pitiful level.That's not who He was,so that's not what I want to see.Superman is similar in that respect.He's not defined by what he can't do,but by what he can do.And it's much more than any of us can,that's for sure.

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #68
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The problem that most people seem to have (and I'm not saying you alone) is thinking "We can't have the DONNER Superman today!That Chris Reeve was a nice guy and all,but nobody would buy him today."

But let me tell you where it's at kids: The 70's were (if possible) even more cynical than today.Even Reeve said at the time people can't help but smirk at the line "Truth,Justice & The American Way" but he still says it convincingly. Because Superman is supposed to stand for optimism,even in the most bleak and cynical times.He's the ideal that we strive to follow.

Instead the "modern" Superman has to be brought down to our level.Look!He's as depressed and moody as I am! Hooray!

I don't necessarily feel I should identify with Superman as I should admire him.

It's something that Kevin Smith has brought up.In the same way most modern films approach Jesus.I don't want to see Jesus as the guy next door,brought down to my pitiful level.That's not who He was,so that's not what I want to see.Superman is similar in that respect.He's not defined by what he can't do,but by what he can do.And it's much more than any of us can,that's for sure.
The films to come will likely chronicle how Superman/Kal-El ascends to that level of status. So it makes sense that he starts off as relatable. The first seasons of Smallville had Clark, for all intensive purposes a normal teenage high school kid facing high school problems etc etc, then as the show progressed, we saw more growth into Superman.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:37 PM   #69
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The problem that most people seem to have (and I'm not saying you alone) is thinking "We can't have the DONNER Superman today!That Chris Reeve was a nice guy and all,but nobody would buy him today."

But let me tell you where it's at kids: The 70's were (if possible) even more cynical than today.Even Reeve said at the time people can't help but smirk at the line "Truth,Justice & The American Way" but he still says it convincingly. Because Superman is supposed to stand for optimism,even in the most bleak and cynical times.He's the ideal that we strive to follow.

Instead the "modern" Superman has to be brought down to our level.Look!He's as depressed and moody as I am! Hooray!

I don't necessarily feel I should identify with Superman as I should admire him.

It's something that Kevin Smith has brought up.In the same way most modern films approach Jesus.I don't want to see Jesus as the guy next door,brought down to my pitiful level.That's not who He was,so that's not what I want to see.Superman is similar in that respect.He's not defined by what he can't do,but by what he can do.And it's much more than any of us can,that's for sure.
I never really liked the Superman Jesus comparisons. There are alot of similarities but once you get pass the origin stories it is very different. Batman has more Jesus to him than Superman.

Superman is a superpowered being. He fights super villains. Supervillains will impose their physical will on earth. Thats all they need to use. That is how Superman will fight back. With force. That story is not very interesting. So to make the story interesting the challenge must be within. What MOS does is sets a huge mountain for Superman to climb to be the people's champion. He has to gain their trust.

Jesus came here with a mission. The enemy of the people of earth were themselves. It became a battle of philosophy and spirituality. It was a battle for the human soul. Batman is the same. The city of Gotham was corruptted and he wanted to inspire people to stand for their city. Batman's enemies are not superpowered. What they used was tactics philosophy to sway the people to go their way.

Superman is suppose to inspire. I agree. But how can he inspire when most of the time it will be a battle physicality. The people of earth will just say "Hey Supes take care of that guy". What MOS does is make Superman the enemy. Some will defend him but soem wil blame him fr bringing the fight to earth.

I find it inspiring to see how one perseveres to be an inspiration. As one who comes in already the inspiration. Jesus sacrificed his life and went through so much pain. Thats what makes him inspirational. How can Superman be as inspirational as Jesus (as most people think) if Superman does not suffer, and is not persecuted.

Not one time in any of the Superman films has the hero suffered in a matter that was more than just a scuffle versus another.

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Old 11-04-2013, 10:46 PM   #70
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The problem that most people seem to have (and I'm not saying you alone) is thinking "We can't have the DONNER Superman today!That Chris Reeve was a nice guy and all,but nobody would buy him today."

But let me tell you where it's at kids: The 70's were (if possible) even more cynical than today.Even Reeve said at the time people can't help but smirk at the line "Truth,Justice & The American Way" but he still says it convincingly. Because Superman is supposed to stand for optimism,even in the most bleak and cynical times.He's the ideal that we strive to follow.

Instead the "modern" Superman has to be brought down to our level.Look!He's as depressed and moody as I am! Hooray!

I don't necessarily feel I should identify with Superman as I should admire him.

It's something that Kevin Smith has brought up.In the same way most modern films approach Jesus.I don't want to see Jesus as the guy next door,brought down to my pitiful level.That's not who He was,so that's not what I want to see.Superman is similar in that respect.He's not defined by what he can't do,but by what he can do.And it's much more than any of us can,that's for sure.
Disagree. In MOS, Superman isn't brought down to the level of a pitiful next door guy. He might be depressed at the beginning when he was alone, but he was showing all the possitive attitudes when he was with the people and dealing with the troubles. He facing them head on n doing all his best to solve the problems.

I have no idea what did u see in MOS.

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Old 11-04-2013, 11:22 PM   #71
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One cannot be a beacon of light if no darkness is experienced. There is no joy without pain. No true thrill without agony.

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Old 11-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #72
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #73
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I never really liked the Superman Jesus comparisons. There are alot of similarities but once you get pass the origin stories it is very different. Batman has more Jesus to him than Superman.

Superman is a superpowered being. He fights super villains. Supervillains will impose their physical will on earth. Thats all they need to use. That is how Superman will fight back. With force. That story is not very interesting.
Superman is more than Earth's protector, he is essentially Earth's ambassador. He does more than just fight the alien bad guys. He's also out there forging alliances with other beings and other civilizations on our behalf preventing disaster before it even occurs.

I think both Superman AND Batman share a lot in common with Jesus. They're all here to "save" us in some way or another. And it's not just by beating up bad guys.

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Old 11-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #74
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Batman Begins was actually a more happy and uplifting film than Man Of Steel.

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #75
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Superman is more than Earth's protector, he is essentially Earth's ambassador. He does more than just fight the alien bad guys. He's also out there forging alliances with other beings and other civilizations on our behalf preventing disaster before it even occurs.

I think both Superman AND Batman share a lot in common with Jesus. They're all here to "save" us in some way or another. And it's not just by beating up bad guys.
I agree. Im more speaking movie wise. It very difficult to be an ambassador of a people when you are not one of them. How do you earn their trust in an origin film. Even in a span of 3 movies that starts with an origin.

It very difficult to cover a 75 history in 2 - 9 hours (sequels). I love the Nolan Batman but its has not covered everything that Batman is.

Batman tried to do do it my example, but it blew up in his face a few times.

My point is when it comes to the vulnerability of people in Gotham its more about corruption via politics, financial, and moral etc.

For the people of Metropolis its ant vs boot at the outset. So the drama must come from within and it would be in bad taste for the hero to solve its inner demons in one film (a la Thor).

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