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TMOS Review & Speculation Thread (Spoilers) - Part 3

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DarthSkywalker, you're right. Superhero films do have a lack of tension to them sometimes in regards to the action sequences, but guess what? Most films know this and hence reduce the reliance on those moments. Look at Batman Begins and Iron Man. There's action beats but they're measured and controlled for maximum impact.

Look at the Avengers for example. The final battle is the biggest and most pivotal battle, but the ones prior to it have their weight to them and are also controlled in size. Loki v Cap/Iron Man. Thor v Cap/Iron Man. Thor/Black Widow vs Hulk and Cap/Iron Man vs Shield's defectors. They've all got a goal to them and were most importantly exciting. I was happy to nod off during the fights in this film because there was no gravity to them.

Zod vs Clark Round 1? He drives him through the Smallville and Zod then gets the **** out of there. No real effect on the story. Faora/Robot vs Clark? They fight and Faora/Robot escape. No real effect on the story. Clark vs World Engine? He destroys it with almost minimal resistance from sentient enemies. He's competing against gravity. And so on. More to the point, they're all big and noisy without any engaging dialogue, entertainment value or emotional weight driving them. Sure, Zod was threatening Martha but the the treatment of the scene was so sterile that the only reward was seeing Clark fly. That's it. Same for every other scene.

Sure, he's saving people already before that but there's no emotional involvement behind any of it. He saves some faceless engineers on an oil rig. Great. He saves a bus load of kids we don't know or don't get the chance to know. Whoop. Oh and he saves an unnamed waitress from a pervert. Good job.

Guess what? As an audience members I haven't gotten to know any of those endangered parties and as a result I absolutely do not care whether he saves them or not. More so because there's no doubt he'll do it and normally in the least exciting way possible. 'Go, move, get onto the helicopter'. They get onto the helicopter. The rig collapses. They successfully escape with no real element of danger.

As far as the Priest scene is concerned, it's the same as the Black Zero scene. It's too damn late. Like I said before, these controlling questions or the goal of the hero's journey need to be established way early on. Not in the second or third act. By that point most audience members have given up unless they're happy to watch explosions that are more statistical than anything else.

At that point there's nothing separating this film from the Transformers trilogy or something Roland Emmerich's made. To be fair to Roland, he's always putting key characters or relations to key characters in danger, so I'll redact that comparison. He gets it. To a point. I'll stick to the Transformers comparison and it's not a favorable one.

P.S I'm assuming DotM is Dark of the Moon. The third grey-scale explosion fest in the Transformers trilogy.
Just going to address the action scene here.

Superman vs. Zod the first time, isn't even a fight. It is a moment of retribution for his mother, and my niece's favorite moment by the way. He clobbers Zod for even daring to look at his mother the wrong way. I love it and it shows plenty of character. Also shows the importance of the helmets and the fact that Zod and his people haven't truly adapted yet.

Faora/Nam-Ek vs. Superman fight, where we learn what these beings have and how the US military is going to react. It also shows the military what side he is on. Why it is bookend with "should we attack him" and "he isn't our enemy". Plenty of effect on the story.

Don't know what you mean by the World Engine sequence. Far more then gravity that he is fighting against. The machine has defensive capabilities and well the actual process it is going through is detrimental to Clark abilities.

Superman vs. Zod and the stopping of the Black Zero are both full of character moments, memorable dialogue and great action imo.
 
I will say all the stuff I've wanted to see Superman do from the comics was present for the most part. I knew Snyder wasn't skimping on that. Overall it was an enjoyable experience, but I think they almost tried to make it a little too arthouse a few times with all the random flashbacks and ****. That works in the comics (and even then it's weird) but in motion.....eh.
 
Were the flashbacks really random though? They seem to come when triggered.
 
I might have missed it, but is there a reason why Faora seemed to outmatch Supes more than Zod did?
 
Superman vs. Zod the first time, isn't even a fight. It is a moment of retribution for his mother, and my niece's favorite moment by the way. He clobbers Zod for even daring to look at his mother the wrong way. I love it and it shows plenty of character. Also shows the importance of the helmets and the fact that Zod and his people haven't truly adapted yet.

I don't think it was specifically required. It could've easily been combined with the fight below without needing to introduce Zod at that point. In fact, I'd be far more impressed if Faora had fought Clark, learned of this weakness and relayed it to Zod who then made preparations to overcome this hurdle.

Faora/Nam-Ek vs. Superman fight, where we learn what these beings have and how the US military is going to react. It also shows the military what side he is on. Why it is bookend with "should we attack him" and "he isn't our enemy". Plenty of effect on the story.

And it needed an additional action scene to the one above to establish that? Also, weren't the military aware of Lois' investigation regarding a guardian angel? They didn't need to launch a full scale attack on a town and three aliens to determine what Clark's motivations and inclinations were. Sure, it's worthwhile but not on the level shown.

Don't know what you mean by the World Engine sequence. Far more then gravity that he is fighting against. The machine has defensive capabilities and well the actual process it is going through is detrimental to Clark abilities.

You mean the T-1000 like nano-tech that was snaking around Clark? Sure, but I'd have rather seen Zod present at the scene with reinforcements ready to stop Clark instead of relying on robot arms to stop a supposed Superman.

Superman vs. Zod and the stopping of the Black Zero are both full of character moments, memorable dialogue and great action imo.

By this point the value of action has been saturated. Two reasonably scaled action sequences would've been far more appreciated than four wallops. It's about being economic with the action so that it doesn't become saturated. The ending was sweet with Zod's end but again he's not actually killed anyone as far as I'm aware. Not on Earth. It's only been collapsing buildings or gravity generators or lackeys. He's supposed to be the big bad, not some Bond villain that doesn't get his hands dirty.

The triggered flashback explanation is acceptable but not emotionally engaging. A film is about telling a story. Doing this in a jerky manner isn't a problem but again by the time we see Jonathan die, I'm ready to be done with flashbacks. But the film isn't. It throws more out of sequence flashbacks in that really don't have the emotional weight considering we know what's already gone on.
 
I might have missed it, but is there a reason why Faora seemed to outmatch Supes more than Zod did?
Faora got the upperhand early on because of her speed. She was ridiculously quick and actually knows how to fight. But once Superman landed a solid blow on her, Nam-Ek showed up.

Don't think she had as much for him as final fight Zod did. That was something else.
 
BlueLantern said:
Whilst I agree with you on that one, Kal, I'm looking back at films that have been made golden through editing. Gone With The Wind, the Godfather Part II, Iron Man and even Shakespeare In Love. They were all claimed to be distinctly average or even borderline incomplete until edited into shape.

I think a good editor could salvage the film since the flashbacks could be addressed along with the action scenes' lengths and hence a better film could come through the mist. It's there, but it's just mired by basic flaws at a story-telling and visual level.

But yes, Snyder's definitely responsible for the final cut. No mistaking that. I just think a good and strong editor is as vital to a good film as a good screenplay and director.
I had a much more complete response but it was lost because the last thread was closed/moved. :D

Suffice to say, we obviously can't know for sure unless we were there in the edit and saw what they had. I just know in being a professional film editor myself, sometimes there is a point where it's garbage in=garbage out. Obviously, lots of times we see signs in a film that something better should be in there. But then again, that could be the best it can get...its best being 'less worse'. Based on what I saw in MOS, another edit could have maybe made it better that what we saw, but I think it needed more from the beginning to actually be good.
 
I'm going to disagree on the final point. I think there's a lot of good in it but it's drowned out by a poorly structured story format and bloated action sequences.
 
I might have missed it, but is there a reason why Faora seemed to outmatch Supes more than Zod did?

Maybe she was more specifically bred to be a humanoid weapon and operative, whereas Zod whilst a warrior was destined a little more for higher rank and strategy. Or...because Snyder likes ass-kicking chicks more.
 
The triggered flashback explanation is acceptable but not emotionally engaging. A film is about telling a story. Doing this in a jerky manner isn't a problem but again by the time [BLACKOUT]we see Jonathan die[/BLACKOUT], I'm ready to be done with flashbacks. But the film isn't. It throws more out of sequence flashbacks in that really don't have the emotional weight considering we know what's already gone on.
Wait, how many flashbacks are there after that scene? I am honestly having trouble remembering. The only two I can remember involve Johnathan and were quite appropriate. I found them plenty emotionally engaging, especially as I liked their focus. The only one that seemed a little bizarre was the bus sequence until they got home. Then it made sense.
 
I'm going to disagree on the final point. I think there's a lot of good in it but it's drowned out by a poorly structured story format and bloated action sequences.

I like the story concepts, but I see decisions to abbreviate and shoehorn it in the final script being a major pitfall. Saw the same things in TDK, but in this we've got an even lesser director, too. And yeah, the action in the second half was bloated and to me a bit too monotone. I just don't see an editor changing the fact that there was yet another punch/throw/crash contest with Zod after having 40 minutes of it already. Don't know if cutting the before down would have helped much.....for example. Maybe help with the bloating. :O
 
Were the flashbacks really random though? They seem to come when triggered.

Agreed. Going to watch it again to more carefully analyze now that I absolutely enjoyed the film, but first viewing I felt that it wasn't random. The bullying flashback, for example, came as he is being called out by Zod and he is trying to decide what to do. Similar "connections" are found in the other flashbacks. I like it big time.

And going back to the suit discussion of the previous thread.... When Clark first puts it on, to me it's not a big deal that it's just an acceptance of his new-found heritage instead of it being symbolic of his acceptance of the role of savior of mankind. I understand those that say and are disappointed if they felt an opportunity for emotional resonance was lost here, and thus think the film was mishandled. It wasn't, it's just a different interpretation going on in the film. Clark decides to save mankind when all hell breaks loose and Zod tips his plans of genocide. That's when it stops being about heritage, and becomes about saving the world. Zod corrupts the Kryptonian heritage of Superman, and Clark will stop that.

Like DarthSkywalker said previously, it's the man that makes the savior here...... the man of steel, not the costume. Anyway, good discussion going on about the movie.
 
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I will say all the stuff I've wanted to see Superman do from the comics was present for the most part. I knew Snyder wasn't skimping on that. Overall it was an enjoyable experience, but I think they almost tried to make it a little too arthouse a few times with all the random flashbacks and ****. That works in the comics (and even then it's weird) but in motion.....eh.

Well...the movie started off as Dune, then became Terence Malick's Smallville...then it got all mixed up in a Zack Snyder movie. ;)
 
I like the story concepts, but I see decisions to abbreviate and shoehorn it in the final script being a major pitfall. Saw the same things in TDK, but in this we've got an even lesser director, too. And yeah, the action in the second half was bloated and to me a bit too monotone. I just don't see an editor changing the fact that there was yet another punch/throw/crash contest with Zod after having 40 minutes of it already. Don't know if cutting the before down would have helped much.....for example. Maybe help with the bloating. :O

I guess the clearest way to say what I'm saying is that someone, be it an editor or a strong producer steering the wheel would've tempered the over abundance of crash bang wallop spoiling the film's impact.

I know it's frowned upon to compare such films to others, but Chris Nolan really nailed the structuring of flashbacks in Batman Begins. Once he gets his training by Ducard done with, the flashbacks are over. We're in chronological territory.

And that's around the thirty-five minute mark in Batman Begins. In Man of Steel we're going way past the one hour and a half mark and still getting them. Whether triggered or not, they're just plain jarring.
 
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it's the man that makes the savior here...... the man of steel, not the costume. Anyway, good discussion going on about the movie.
True, but that's the thing to me...the man has chosen (with strong egging on by his ghost dad ;)) to be the hero at that point...and that decision by that man is what the suit represents. If not to be presented that way, then it shouldn't have been where it was in the story....or they shouldn't have put him in a locale/situation that was basically screaming for it. Decision is one thing, execution in this case is another.
 
I don't think it was specifically required. It could've easily been combined with the fight below without needing to introduce Zod at that point. In fact, I'd be far more impressed if Faora had fought Clark, learned of this weakness and relayed it to Zod who then made preparations to overcome this hurdle.
Well to be fair, nothing in any of these films is necessarily required.

It is also what Zod does. It is established in the Krypton scenes when he follows Jor-El and the codex. Considering that is what he was looking for again, I think it fits very well.

And it needed an additional action scene to the one above to establish that? Also, weren't the military aware of Lois' investigation regarding a guardian angel? They didn't need to launch a full scale attack on a town and three aliens to determine what Clark's motivations and inclinations were. Sure, it's worthwhile but not on the level shown.
It is all one big scene.

Not sure why you are bringing up the article. They are fully aware. They still don't trust the alien, especially when his kind is orbiting Earth in a space ship making threats. Especially when he can fly and is apparently very close to indestructible.

You mean the T-1000 like nano-tech that was snaking around Clark? Sure, but I'd have rather seen Zod present at the scene with reinforcements ready to stop Clark instead of relying on robot arms to stop a supposed Superman.
So wait, you wanted another fist fight? Not sure if Zod or reinforcements could be there. The crew seemed to be running the Black Zero and Zod was desperate to get the [BLACKOUT]genesis chamber[/BLACKOUT].

By this point the value of action has been saturated. Two reasonably scaled action sequences would've been far more appreciated than four wallops. It's about being economic with the action so that it doesn't become saturated. The ending was sweet with Zod's end but again he's not actually killed anyone as far as I'm aware. Not on Earth. It's only been collapsing buildings or gravity generators or lackeys. He's supposed to be the big bad, not some Bond villain that doesn't get his hands dirty.
Don't agree at all. I found all the action to be smart and varied. Never overstayed its welcome.

The difference between Superman vs. Zod and Superman vs. Nam-Ek/Faora itself is something I could right a bit on. The different camera work, the structure.

And honestly, I don't know what you mean by "Zod didn't kill anyone". You see what the Black Zero does. Jenny and Perry's reaction is all you need, especially after having already seen many people lifted by it.
 
I guess the clearest way to say what I'm saying is that someone, be it an editor or a strong producer steering the wheel would've tempered the over abundance of crash bang wallop spoiling the film's impact.

But is that just less worse, or better? :O

I get you...but I think it should have been Snyder tempering it...so it's still his fault if they could have helped but didn't. :jedi

SNY-DERRRR!!!!!!


:oldrazz:
 
Agreed. Going to watch it again to more carefully analyze now that I absolutely enjoyed the film, but first viewing I felt that it wasn't random. The bullying flashback, for example, came as he is being called out by Zod and he is trying to decide what to do. Similar "connections" are found in the other flashbacks. I like it big time.

And going back to the suit discussion of the previous thread.... When Clark first puts it on, to me it's not a big deal that it's just an acceptance of his new-found heritage instead of it being symbolic of his acceptance of the role of savior of mankind. I understand those that say and are disappointed if they felt an opportunity for emotional resonance was lost here, and thus think the film was mishandled. It wasn't, it's just a different interpretation going on in the film. Clark decides to save mankind when all hell breaks loose and Zod tips his plans of genocide. That's when it stops being about heritage, and becomes about saving the world. Zod corrupts the Kryptonian heritage of Superman, and Clark will stop that.

Like DarthSkywalker said previously, it's the man that makes the savior here...... the man of steel, not the costume. Anyway, good discussion going on about the movie.

Why put the suit on then? Why not show up to the military in jeans? Movie should explain that better IF that's what they were going for. I don't think they were. Some parts of Superman will always remain a constant and putting on the suit is one of them.
 
True, but that's the thing to me...the man has chosen (with strong egging on by his ghost dad ;)) to be the hero at that point...and that decision by that man is what the suit represents. If not to be presented that way, then it shouldn't have been where it was in the story....or they shouldn't have put him in a locale/situation that was basically screaming for it. Decision is one thing, execution in this case is another.
My response, again.

I don't think it was handled badly at all. It worked wonders for me. I don't think the suit makes him Superman.

You are placing the suit in a different context then what it is in the film imo. The suit doesn't make the man here. He doesn't make the suit to be a superhero, to be Earth's protector. He puts it on and tries it out. Jor-El is trying to push him in that direction, but nothing is close to settled. He then goes home.

What is important is what happens when Zod arrives. Clark is still making decision on who he is going to be, on whether he is willing to give himself up. How is that not important to this conversation? Earth's champion is unsure he is willing to save us. He is still harboring Lara and Johnathan's fears. That he is already Superman at that point doesn't fit for me, not at all. Heck, I'd be willing to give you the "Attention" scene, but not before that.

I also think it is quite telling when the name "Superman" is revealed. It is after the Smallville fight. After he shows himself not to be our enemy.

Those scenes with Hardy and Swanwick come when they do for a reason imo.
 
Why put the suit on then? Why not show up to the military in jeans? Movie should explain that better IF that's what they were going for. I don't think they were. Some parts of Superman will always remain a constant and putting on the suit is one of them.
He shows up like that because he is hiding his identity. He shows up as Kal-El, the alien they are looking for, not Clark Kent.

And not sure what you mean by the last line. Are you saying Superman can not exist without the suit? Because Superman is about the man, not the suit. It is about his morals, what he does, his action. Not the suit's.
 
By having a Superman that actually throws punches, we've sacrificed all the little things that really made him Superman...
 
Well to be fair, nothing in any of these films is necessarily required.

If you're going down that route then there's really no point in you defending this film even.

It is also what Zod does. It is established in the Krypton scenes when he follows Jor-El and the codex. Considering that is what he was looking for again, I think it fits very well.

Fits how? Him coming down, getting beaten up and hauling ass? That's not really cementing him as a very real threat besides empty threat and soon-to-be-collapsing buildings.

It is all one big scene.

Well let's put it this way then. That scene was so overlong and disengaging that it had zero impact besides satisfying fans of big explosions and punches.

Not sure why you are bringing up the article. They are fully aware. They still don't trust the alien, especially when his kind is orbiting Earth in a space ship making threats. Especially when he can fly and is apparently very close to indestructible.

If they know he's so indestructible then why are antagonizing him and others like him by hurling more fire at them? You'd think the army would be portrayed as a peacekeeping force that would facilitate an evacuation of area, create a perimeter around these supposed hostiles and limit the damage? Or are we supposed to buy into the cliché of the military being dunderheads?

So wait, you wanted another fist fight? Not sure if Zod or reinforcements could be there. The crew seemed to be running the Black Zero and Zod was desperate to get the [BLACKOUT]genesis chamber[/BLACKOUT].

So are you saying that the forces at his disposal are so thin that he couldn't send someone else like Jax-Ur to reclaim the Genesis Chamber or at the very least send Faora and some lackeys to defend the World Engine? Ultimately there's so many different macguffins that the filmmakers didn't know what direction to pull the story in even. Genesis Chamber, World Engine, Black Zero and Codex. Which one to defend and protect? Well, **** it we'll just leave it to chance despite the race's survival depending on ALL of it.

Don't agree at all. I found all the action to be smart and varied. Never overstayed its welcome.

The action essentially relied on Kryptonians in Black fighting a Kryptonian in Blue whilst buildings and military equipment exploded and fired around them. Good move.

The difference between Superman vs. Zod and Superman vs. Nam-Ek/Faora itself is something I could right a bit on. The different camera work, the structure.

And honestly, I don't know what you mean by "Zod didn't kill anyone". You see what the Black Zero does. Jenny and Perry's reaction is all you need, especially after having already seen many people lifted by it.

Again, we saw buildings collapse and a few nameless soldiers get their necks snapped by Faora all whilst Zod walks around scowling. The first and only time he put anyone's life in serious danger he dies by Kal-El's hand. So much for a super villain. Reeks of Tarkin/Khan/Palpatine/Nero/Loki/Countless Other Megalomaniacs/Bane who just expected the heroes to give in without a fight. Boring and repetitive. Considering Zod is co-written by the folks who gave us an amazingly compelling villain in the form of the Joker, color me underwhelmed.

...
 
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