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Old 11-15-2013, 10:25 AM   #251
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Default Re: The Double Standards Against Superman

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In the standard mythology, the Kents decide (for obvious reasons) to keep Clark’s abilities hidden. Of course, the understanding is that when Clark comes of age he will “come out” and do great and noble things with his powers. But until then, maintaining the family secret is vitally important. And somewhat conveniently, the moral/life-and-death implications of Clark waiting until he’s ready are simply avoided by narrative conceit. Any super-saves (a neighbor trapped under tractor, etc.) are modest enough that they can be performed clandestinely.

Clearly, MOS challenged this “convenience” by fashioning a dramatic choice: saving lives vs. keeping the secret. Now you can argue (as in the Zod scenario) that Superman stories shouldn’t be dealing with such hard dilemmas; they should be inspiring wish fulfillments, about always “finding a way.” But given that MOS decided to explore this area, the actual construction was fairly straightforward and coherent. By sacrificing his life, Jonathan set in motion a series of events that would culminate in the existence of Superman (which is the end goal of any Superman origin story). And at the movie’s dénouement (at the graveyard) Clark understands the wisdom of his father’s sacrifice.

Again, one can criticize this somewhat darker interpretation of the mythos. But the internal “narrative logic” works just fine.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #252
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I think if someone were to want a DARKER version of Superman, one would have to look no further than this:



There was a regression in tone with Superman. They went backwards. It surprises me that such a serious and pulp-inspired tone turned into camp by 1945 in the comics and lasted until about 1970:



DAMN YOU WEISINGER. DAMN YOU CODE!

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Old 11-16-2013, 08:02 AM   #253
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After watching MOS last night, I think a simple fade out/fade in could have gone a long way to ease the tonal shift between the killing of Zod and the epilogue.

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Old 11-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #254
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The reason for the tonal shift is ultimately do to the fact that the "Neck Twist" came as an 11th hour decision.Had Zod been sent back to the PZ as originally intended,it wouldn't have transitioned so awkwardly.

And they couldn't really scrap the "lighthearted" ending,given the film felt like attending a funeral to begin with.They had to have some kind of jocularity to try and convince viewers they had a "good time" at the picture.

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Old 11-16-2013, 07:49 PM   #255
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But... I had a good time. How was it like attending a funereal? It was a rip roaring adventure, with SFX and action that frankly puts almost all recent superhero movies to shame. It's finale doesn't just peter out like so many CBM's save AVENGERS do. Zod's end is heavy but we get the memory of Pa Kent and the hopeful future of Clark with Lois at the Planet. It deftly handles it's dramatic material which is more than I can say the last two post Avengers Marvel films have. Those films are not lackluster to me because of humor being included but because more care went into the comedic and witty elements than the action and dramatic ones. You can kinda get a pass when you have a Shane Black and a RDJ performing their verbal magic, but when those types aren't present to do that you get in trouble and it'll show in a narrative whose main thrust is unengaging and whose character and action sequences feel much less than they could have been, for me anyway. Plus on a level of cinematography and production design there's a clear winner in MOS to my eyes. Snyder made a great looking film that has way more overall texture despite all the green screen shooting in the film.

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Old 11-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #256
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Default Re: The Double Standards Against Superman

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The reason for the tonal shift is ultimately do to the fact that the "Neck Twist" came as an 11th hour decision.
I don't think that's true. Yeah, originally, it was different, but I don't think they changed their minds the day before they shot it or anything. I doubt they were even shooting when they had those discussions. I know it was Nolan who argued not to have it and his involvement was almost entirely during preproduction. Additionally the whole big fight at the end is predicated on the World Engine and the Genesis chamber being destroyed, and his fellow Kryptonians being banished back into the phantom zone, Zod abandoned on Earth forever. They couldn't have rushed what was one of the most complicated and time consuming parts of the movie.

Unless you have a specific quote, I don't buy this as an 11th hour decision.

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They had to have some kind of jocularity to try and convince viewers they had a "good time" at the picture.
"Convinced" my ass. I had an exhilarating, breathless, wonderful time seeing Man of Steel. Let's get some perspective here. Yes, it's darker than what Marvel's been doing, but it wasn't a freakin' Gaspar Noe film either. I was joyfully cackling like a madman all through it.


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Old 11-16-2013, 10:07 PM   #257
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While I'm not sure on how well they were able to execution it, I think one of the goals with presenting the theme of "Hope" within this film was showing that despite all the bad things that could happen, that a person can still find the will to survive and endure from having hope for a better tomorrow.

Lara, despite facing the impending doom of Krypton and the death of her husband, found some comfort in hoping that her son would live a better life than her and Krypton's society and that he could make a better world than theirs.

And despite the fact that Superman is traumatized from having to kill Zod, the hope of continuing on and helping to make the world a better place, along with finding a comfort zone with someone he can trust in the form of Lois definitely made things better for him.

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Old 11-17-2013, 01:27 AM   #258
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Convinced. LOL.

I dont understand the issue with the tonal shift. I wasnt that awkward as people make it out to be. Zod's killing wasnt followed by little Clark with cape scene and Daily Planet scene.

The immediate scene was a conversation between Kal and General Swannick. The conversation was about "trust" and possibly and working partnership. A scene similar to Batman's and Gordon's end scene from Batman Begins.

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Old 11-17-2013, 01:59 AM   #259
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^And after meeting with Swanwick we get a scene at a cemetery and a remembrance of Pa Kent, and that eases us into the hopeful ending of Clark, in glasses, being welcomed by Lois. So... Yeah it was not some big emotional whiplash to me.

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Old 11-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #260
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I think people erroneously associate "lightheartedness", "camp", "jokes" and "humor" with Superman.

Superman was never intended to be a happy go lucky - jolly fella since his inception, the creators had him sent from a dying world to Earth, only to be raised in an orphanage (Kent family did not exist then.) then he turned into a reporter with an alter ego, who brought the bullies and corrupt to justice.

In fact Superman was so serious, that when DC wanted another hero for their comics, Bob Kane took inspiration from Superman for Batman !

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:33 AM   #261
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The reason for the tonal shift is ultimately do to the fact that the "Neck Twist" came as an 11th hour decision.Had Zod been sent back to the PZ as originally intended,it wouldn't have transitioned so awkwardly.

And they couldn't really scrap the "lighthearted" ending,given the film felt like attending a funeral to begin with.They had to have some kind of jocularity to try and convince viewers they had a "good time" at the picture.
Seeing as I think a fade would go along way, I'm clearly not going to agree with this.

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Old 11-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #262
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Watched my Blu-ray last night. Liked the movie even better than the first time.

I don't have an ideal image of Superman in my mind, but what I took from the film was that he was a really good guy (with super powers) trying to do the right thing and he did the best he could in the situations he ended up in.

Expecting Superman to save random bystanders while Zod was beating him down (that would have put them even more in harm's way) or stop a building from falling while they were crumbling to pieces around him is laughable.

I think the film really needed a scene after Zod's death of Superman helping in the aftermath. Superman using his x-ray vision and finding people trapped under rubble, moving the rubble out of the way and lending a hand to the person who was trapped, they hesitate for a moment but then take his hand and he helps them out. Short, simple, but conveys a lot.

Even without that scene, how the character was presented in the film I can surmise that he did stick around afterwards to help. It would be out of character for him to abandon the city when there are people around him hurt and trapped and only he has the "tools" to rescue those who could be overlooked.

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Old 11-17-2013, 02:21 PM   #263
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Watched my Blu-ray last night. Liked the movie even better than the first time.

I don't have an ideal image of Superman in my mind, but what I took from the film was that he was a really good guy (with super powers) trying to do the right thing and he did the best he could in the situations he ended up in.

Expecting Superman to save random bystanders while Zod was beating him down (that would have put them even more in harm's way) or stop a building from falling while they were crumbling to pieces around him is laughable.

I think the film really needed a scene after Zod's death of Superman helping in the aftermath. Superman using his x-ray vision and finding people trapped under rubble, moving the rubble out of the way and lending a hand to the person who was trapped, they hesitate for a moment but then take his hand and he helps them out. Short, simple, but conveys a lot.

Even without that scene, how the character was presented in the film I can surmise that he did stick around afterwards to help. It would be out of character for him to abandon the city when there are people around him hurt and trapped and only he has the "tools" to rescue those who could be overlooked.
That would have helped the movie a lot. Damn. They should have had that. That would have been clear visual that Superman has supporters.

A city divided regarding Superman.

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Old 11-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #264
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Watched my Blu-ray last night. Liked the movie even better than the first time.

I don't have an ideal image of Superman in my mind, but what I took from the film was that he was a really good guy (with super powers) trying to do the right thing and he did the best he could in the situations he ended up in.

Expecting Superman to save random bystanders while Zod was beating him down (that would have put them even more in harm's way) or stop a building from falling while they were crumbling to pieces around him is laughable.

I think the film really needed a scene after Zod's death of Superman helping in the aftermath. Superman using his x-ray vision and finding people trapped under rubble, moving the rubble out of the way and lending a hand to the person who was trapped, they hesitate for a moment but then take his hand and he helps them out. Short, simple, but conveys a lot.

Even without that scene, how the character was presented in the film I can surmise that he did stick around afterwards to help. It would be out of character for him to abandon the city when there are people around him hurt and trapped and only he has the "tools" to rescue those who could be overlooked.
Hey that's pretty good right there! I like that.

I'm also glad somebody else understands in a fight with they physical gifts being equal, Superman is much more a man. He can't do everything and save everyone when the other guy can legitimately beat his ***

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Old 11-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #265
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In the standard mythology, the Kents decide (for obvious reasons) to keep Clark’s abilities hidden. Of course, the understanding is that when Clark comes of age he will “come out” and do great and noble things with his powers. But until then, maintaining the family secret is vitally important. And somewhat conveniently, the moral/life-and-death implications of Clark waiting until he’s ready are simply avoided by narrative conceit. Any super-saves (a neighbor trapped under tractor, etc.) are modest enough that they can be performed clandestinely.

Clearly, MOS challenged this “convenience” by fashioning a dramatic choice: saving lives vs. keeping the secret. Now you can argue (as in the Zod scenario) that Superman stories shouldn’t be dealing with such hard dilemmas; they should be inspiring wish fulfillments, about always “finding a way.” But given that MOS decided to explore this area, the actual construction was fairly straightforward and coherent. By sacrificing his life, Jonathan set in motion a series of events that would culminate in the existence of Superman (which is the end goal of any Superman origin story). And at the movie’s dénouement (at the graveyard) Clark understands the wisdom of his father’s sacrifice.

Again, one can criticize this somewhat darker interpretation of the mythos. But the internal “narrative logic” works just fine.
Great analysis. I will only say, the film didn't feel 'darker' to me, just more visceral and primal. Dark is Watchmen. That's a dark film. Good, but darker. MOS just took the subject seriously and actually gave the hero a real threat. Out of the 5 previous Superman movies, he never had an actual threat, sure Zod in SII was of equal power, but he was a dictator/ruler not a murderer. Zod in MOS was on an entirely different level, he was trying to kill everyone on the planet..that's a much more serious threat.

And I think Superman absolutely should deal with these difficult scenarios. Heroes are defined by their obstacles. If Superman's greatest obstacle is stopping Lex Luthor from a super-real estate scam or saving a plane is he honestly as 'heroic' as the legend claims he should be? I loved the fact that he had to make incredibly difficult decisions and most of all HELP humanity save the world, not save the world while the rest of humanity is on the bench watching (a la Avengers).

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Old 12-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #266
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Great analysis. I will only say, the film didn't feel 'darker' to me, just more visceral and primal. Dark is Watchmen. That's a dark film. Good, but darker. MOS just took the subject seriously and actually gave the hero a real threat. Out of the 5 previous Superman movies, he never had an actual threat, sure Zod in SII was of equal power, but he was a dictator/ruler not a murderer. Zod in MOS was on an entirely different level, he was trying to kill everyone on the planet..that's a much more serious threat.

And I think Superman absolutely should deal with these difficult scenarios. Heroes are defined by their obstacles. If Superman's greatest obstacle is stopping Lex Luthor from a super-real estate scam or saving a plane is he honestly as 'heroic' as the legend claims he should be? I loved the fact that he had to make incredibly difficult decisions and most of all HELP humanity save the world, not save the world while the rest of humanity is on the bench watching (a la Avengers).
I beg to differ. The enslaving of an entire planet by Stamp's Zod and the destruction of the west coast and millions of lives by Hackman's Lex most definitely are real threats. Plus, Stamp's Zod IS a murderer. He wasn't planning to wipe out the human race with a terraforming device but you can bet he'd kill anyone who tries to overthrow him. He isn't a benevolent dictator, and malevolent dictators are very much known to be mass murderers.

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Old 12-10-2013, 02:37 AM   #267
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I beg to differ. The enslaving of an entire planet by Stamp's Zod and the destruction of the west coast and millions of lives by Hackman's Lex most definitely are real threats. Plus, Stamp's Zod IS a murderer. He wasn't planning to wipe out the human race with a terraforming device but you can bet he'd kill anyone who tries to overthrow him. He isn't a benevolent dictator, and malevolent dictators are very much known to be mass murderers.
Your whole argument is operating on the (real life) fact that people try to overthrow malevolent dictators. Even if we assume Zod would kill people who were against him, that doesn't mean that it was his intention/motivation to do so. Furthermore, who's going to even try and overthrow a superhuman? Especially if they know they're dead anyway. Having said that, Zod's intention was never really to kill people, the whole point of his character is that he wants to be revered as a ruler (it's implied when he caused the insurrection in Krypton, and even more so when he forced the President to kneel before him). For this characterization of Zod, it's all about his ego and megalomania.

Having said all of that, when you compare the evil plans between SII and MOS, you'd be hard-pressed to see legitimacy in Superman's (Reeve) heroics. If you're talking solely from the standpoint of saving people and getting rid of a dictator, then yes, Superman is heroic in SII. But now, this definition doesn't hold up all that well. The whole point of being a hero is that the hero is representative of the choices he/she makes in his/her life. That's why moral dilemmas such as Superman killing Zod, Batman killing Harvey Dent is that much more effective (IMO) in shaping the hero.


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Old 12-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #268
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So Reeve's Superman is less of a hero than Cavill's because Reeve never broke necks.

Never change you "I have to bash Donner to make MOS look good" Fans.

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Old 12-13-2013, 02:38 PM   #269
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MOS fans (I'm a moderate one) are mad because Donner's movie was so pure and delightful 30+ years ago and today, filmmakers can't top it with contemporary writing and current technology. OUCH!

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Old 12-13-2013, 04:26 PM   #270
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Or maybe MOS fans resent that Donner's Supes literally got away with murder because he did it with a smile? It has nothing to do with Superman 78's reception back then in what was a much different cinematic world. What's annoying is that people call Snyder's remorseful Supes a murderer and say nothing about Donner's.

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Old 12-13-2013, 05:02 PM   #271
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MOS fans (I'm a moderate one) are mad because Donner's movie was so pure and delightful 30+ years ago and today, filmmakers can't top it with contemporary writing and current technology. OUCH!
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Or maybe MOS fans resent that Donner's Supes literally got away with murder because he did it with a smile? It has nothing to do with Superman 78's reception back then in what was a much different cinematic world. What's annoying is that people call Snyder's remorseful Supes a murderer and say nothing about Donner's.
The reason MOS fans resent Donner's Superman is because ignorant critics believe that Donner's Superman is the ONLY way to approach Superman cinematically and violently bash the film for deviating from this path and taking cues from less-wacky modern Post-Crisis onward takes which sometimes have darker stories like Death & Return of Superman. MOS fans resent Donner's Superman as critics fail to realize that Supes is a lot bigger than Reeve/Donner and resent that those movies are still following the character around. Too often in reviews you see the Reeve movies constantly brought up which is just plain distasteful as Snyder said from the get-go that this is a RE-IMAGINING where they ignore those films and try to approach the character from a new way, using THE COMICS as a guide. Is there anything wrong from that? It's like critiquing Batman Begins using all the previous Batman films as a reference instead of say using books like Year One, The Dark Knight Returns etc.

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Old 12-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #272
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I just want to point out that as a huge fan of EVERYTHING that was done in MOS that I myself still very much love and respect Richard Donner's masterpiece of a movie. It is hard for me to concieve having any resentment against THE UR text for all modern comic book films, Burton's Bat '89 being one of the notable exceptions.

Snyder and Co. made a great film to my eyes. Donner and Co. also made a great film. One doesn't HAVE to drag down either film if you like one or both. If critics have hang ups about MOS not being S:TM that's on them. It does not change how much I loved MOS, or how happy that a true integrated DCCU has it's start with Superman, as it should be. Have a Coke and a smile Superfans. I'd say in this scenario, WE win.

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:12 PM   #273
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I just want to point out that as a huge fan of EVERYTHING that was done in MOS that I myself still very much love and respect Richard Donner's masterpiece of a movie. It is hard for me to concieve having any resentment against THE UR text for all modern comic book films, Burton's Bat '89 being one of the notable exceptions.

Snyder and Co. made a great film to my eyes. Donner and Co. also made a great film. One doesn't HAVE to drag down either film if you like one or both. If critics have hang ups about MOS not being S:TM that's on them. It does not change how much I loved MOS, or how happy that a true integrated DCCU has it's start with Superman, as it should be. Have a Coke and a smile Superfans. I'd say in this scenario, WE win.
I like both films myself and as you could tell I will defend MOS to the day I die. But those hang-ups unfortunately influenced Man of Steel's success which should not have happened, hence the resentment. I do not recall Batman Begins getting that much scrutiny when nearly the same amount of time has passed since Batman & Robin.

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:48 PM   #274
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I think the context is that BEGINS was coming of the widely viewed disaster that was BATMAN & ROBIN. To many eyes they had no where to go but up withBatman in feature films. I disagree, but SUPERMAN RETURNS was never considered quite the Hollywood boondoggle that B&R was. People also did still have a set view of Superman, rightly or wrongly, shaped by Chris Reeve's portrayal. That was not the case for Nolan. He had the luxury if you will, of a public that had seen recently 3 different actors and one voice actor perform Batman in the public eye in projects that ran the gamut of what one would call "Batman". MOS had a different row to hoe for many, I think.

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Old 12-15-2013, 11:28 PM   #275
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MOS fans (I'm a moderate one) are mad because Donner's movie was so pure and delightful 30+ years ago and today, filmmakers can't top it with contemporary writing and current technology. OUCH!
Well maybe that's not what they want. Pure and delightful do not explain the 21st superhero. We want badass and epic. With heart.

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