Man of Steel: The reviews are...

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  06 June 2013
I've booked for tomorrow evening, and looking forward to it. Henry Cavill really has great screen presence, and i think he'll do a great job as Superman. I'm not a particular Superman nut, despite growing up with the Christopher Reeve movies, so i'm happy for them to take it in a new direction.
I was quite down about this for a while because it looked like another 'superheros destroying a city' movie, which i'm sure it will be, but the flashes of drama that the trailer show are what got my money. I hope they deliver on that now, because putting it in te trailer even seems to show that the studios know this will attract people. I'd hate to see that cast aside for a few punches.

People seem to think the darker tone of warner bros superhero offerings means theyare taking themselves too seriously, but how many times can a few snappy one-liners and some ever more crazy destruction vfx really keep fillin theatres again and again...? Im shocked it's even lasted this long!
To me, the action and vfx are the least interesting part of superhero movies. I'd much rather see some of the issues surrounding what it means to be in that position explored. It's far more relatable than punch ups 100 meters above the ground, and this type of film really needs grounding in some sort of reality. Maybe that's why i put Unbreakable as my second favourite superhero movie after The Dark Knight.

Just one guys opinion obviously, but i'm hoping to see some really solid drama to go along with the inevitable big screen action sequences.

Nick Marshall
Head of Environments / Generalists
Double Negative :: Vancouver
  06 June 2013
The less-than-ideal percentage of likes on it actually gives me hope.

Something about the trailers has me thinking Cavill might be the Timothy Dalton of the Superman franchise (and I mean that in the 'he's too good to be appreciated yet' way, not the 'shit, not him! Roger Moore was SO much cooler' way that has had me tearing my hair out for over a quarter-century.)
"achievement is its own reward -- pride obscures it."

- Major Garland Briggs
  06 June 2013
I have become to emotionally attached to that awesome trailer so I have to see it. Even if it is just to hear the amazing score in a quality theater.
Posted by Proxy
  06 June 2013
I just returned from the movie. I want to stay away from the storyline so as not to spoil anything so I guess I toss out some immediate observations.

Patina. Everywhere.







Roller Coaster Action. Non stop.






I'm really torn with this. I've read close to several thousand DC comics since the 70s. And I still own all of them. At least a 1/3 of them have Superman in them in some way. I so disliked the Superman movies from the 80's. I so dislike what DC did to Superman in the 90s. So much so that I quit collecting or reading them. I'm stuck hopelessly in the Silver Age genre of Superman and have no idea how he is portrayed by DC in the current day.

Having said that, my take on this movie is in serious conflict. My experience in CGI, my intimate understanding of the character's history, my personal view of the franchise, and my take on the style as an artist. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I was aware of ever specific deviation from the traditional character.

But that's what Hollywood does. Creative license and all that. Regardless, I could easily accept this as an Earth-3 or Earth-4 narrative for the character. It's definitely not so far outside of the Superman realm that it damages the franchise. Its fresh, but I would not describe it as clean. Its far from it.

I guess you realize I'm trying as hard as I can to stay away from the specifics of story. I have a lot to say about what they did with this narrative. The freedom's that the writers/director/producer took, the underlying social and moral topics that were touched upon.

But I will say this. If you know nothing about Superman your absolutely going to love this film. It's gorgeous in character and appearance. If you know something about Superman you are still going to love it.

If you are like me and know way too much about Superman, you are going to love this film but with the kind of reservation we have when Hollywood takes too much creative license. Do they go too far, no I don't think so. But the character they build here is different than you will expect. It's more like you might expect it to happen in real life. You will have to accept some things that you don't like, but I think most purists will find it palatable.

It's not pristine or sanitary like the 80's movies. But you'll like it, I sincerely do. There's less fantasy and more real life drama in this than you might expect from Superman. Not everything ends like a fairy tale. That's all I say at this point.

There are things I did not like, but that's because I'm a purist on this subject. But to share that would require a spoiler, so I'll save it for later.

But for the art, this piece is beautiful. Patina, rust, scars, scratches, age, imperfection everywhere. On rare occasion I thought the quality of some of the action scenes looked a little rushed. But this was rare.

One thing I can say for absolute certain though, I've waited a lifetime to see this movie. I'm old enough to remember when, as kids, we had to imagine what it might be like for Superman to fly around a building and float in midair. The TV shows could never do it, the movies tried but never did it justice, cartoons just never cut it either. This however, there's no sense of camera trickery to fill in the blanks. Kids today might not appreciate my perception about this, seeing as how they grew up on CGI movies. In fact I think there is something lost with CGI realization of so much fantasy imagery. But this is the first time I've ever felt that Superman wasn't held up by a wire. The cape was handled beautifully and the suit was not fluorescent. What a refreshing style.

Finally, I grew up enamored with Neal Adams depictions of Superman. He was the absolute best of them all in my opinion. I had other favorite illustrators in the DC line, but Adams work was just fascinating. I couldn't shake the feeling that the portrait of Superman here does great homage to Adams work back in the 70s and 80s. Cavill, at certain angles, looked like a shot right out of an Adams portfolio. Cavill for his part also played this role extraordinarily well. I just didn't feel he was straining to project "SUPER" all the time, as other have and it made his portrayal very pleasant.

I definitely see a sequel in this franchise's future.


Last edited by JoeyP88 : 06 June 2013 at 03:32 AM.
  06 June 2013
Joey, nice review. after going through imdb board, your post is a breath of fresh air.. its like a troll war over there. why dont you post your review over there too, the board needs some positive stuff.
  06 June 2013

I took a few moments to see what they were saying over there. So much of it isn't criticism but terse statements. You have to read between lines by reading enough when there. Much of it supports my feelings about the movie. But a lot comes across as white noise without much structure to the criticism.

Its clear to me at least that the director here performed massive research. There's a lot creative license that's employed, some I'm not happy about, but in context of everything before it, this is a spectacular film, the best ever made about Superman. And it's about time.

As with every film, sales by Monday will tell us more than we can extrapolate from today. I also think that most people are not even close to having a full understanding of Superman's history. For them, they're are absolutely going to love this.

Having the night to think about it. Its the first movie to ever truly portray Superman as human.

  06 June 2013
It was good. The designs and Krypton were great, it was very alien. I'm not bothered with any changes to the mythos.

But the action seemed a bit over the top to me. Like watching dots smashing each other through buildings like ping pong balls. Everything is made of paper. I'm sure they wouldnt fly through things like that.

They go so far with the cg its just too far beyond the realm of human experience you cant relate to it.

How hard do you have to hit Superman to hurt him? How hard to kill him? Why did that hurt and not the other one? Ironically the fights are ended in a very human manner.

I'd rather see people fighting than Supermen. Where the significance is with them and their struggle as opposed to the things around them that are destructing.

I think I'd like to see movies go back to their origins the theatre, where they fight with words and overacting instead of mindless punching.
  06 June 2013
Saw it today in IMAX 3D. Overall, I thought it was very enjoyable. I thought the critics were a bit too hard on it, although, it's not without it's flaws. I disagree with those who think this Superman is a completely different Superman than the Man Of Steel we all grew up with. The filmmakers took some liberties with him, but he remained essentially the same character, with the same set of values that we've all come to expect in Superman. He does do something that some people felt was out of character for Superman, but, in the context of the situation, I think he did exactly what was necessary. I thought the young actor they got to play Clark as a boy looked very much like Henry Cavill might have looked as a young man. Most of the young actors they use in these films look almost nothing like the actor they are supposed to be portraying as a child. As far as changes to the original story, I didn't like all the changes they made, and there are a few issues with the storyline, but Henry Cavill fit the role and the costume very well, the visuals were exciting, and the film is well worth seeing on the big screen.

[ SPOILER - Click to reveal ]
Some of the issues I had with the film: I don't see how the Kryptonians could have the ability to send ships all over the universe, and send Zod and his co-conspirators in a giant ship into the Phantom Zone, and not have the ability to save at least some of their people. Instead, they should have left Zod and his cohorts to die on Krypton, and used the ship they imprisoned him in, as a way for some of them to survive the destruction of their world. Why send Zod off to think about the error of his ways when there wasn't going to be a planet left for him to return to at the end of his long sentence? They actually did him and his crew a big favor sending them off. Also, why couldn't Jor-El let his wife's consciousness survive with his own to see Kal-El as a grown man? She wanted that more than anything. It would have been a precious gift for a mother who would not be there to watch her son grow up. It would also give Jor-El the company of his beloved wife throughout eternity.
When did Perry White stop being an old, crotchety, hard-nosed, short-tempered boss anyway? He was likable enough in this film, but, just like in SUPERMAN RETURNS, he didn't really have all that much personality.
And, far too many people know Clark Kent is Superman. Besides Lois, two of the people he saved on the school bus, including Lana Lang apparently. Then, Lois led the military right to the Kent farm. She even called him Clark in front of the soldiers who were with her. When Lois had her story published, how much info did she reveal about Clark to the world? She certainly left a trail for people to follow anyway. After Superman destroyed that expensive satellite that was spying on him, he revealed that he grew up in Kansas, which, if the government didn't know that already, as apparently almost everyone else does, then they had another piece of information that could help them spy on Superman. Not very smart Kal! Then, Supes goes to work at the Daily Planet using his real name Clark Kent. It's bad enough that he looks like Superman with glasses, but almost everyone now knows Clark Kent is Superman. Also, I think Superman could have tried a little more to steer the battles away from the populace, Like when he attacks Zod for threatening his mother, he takes the battle right into a populated area. Great for visual excitment, but not so much for the public's safety. Metroplis was almost leveled by all the super-powered battles. Would have been a nice touch at the end of the film if they could have had a shot of Superman using his super powers to help rebuild Metropolis.
Aside from all that, all things considered, I enjoyed the film very much.
I will never be a fan of any kind of political correctness: I think it's instant death to creativity." - Mads Mikkelsen

Last edited by webhead : 06 June 2013 at 01:20 AM.
  06 June 2013
SPOILERS SPOILERS...and frankly, why are you reading this thread if you havent seen the film??

Just saw it. Almost walked out. Briefly:

- WAY too much rewriting of supermans story. The opening scene mixed Avatar, cheap sci fi films and the matrix films. No cohesion in styles whatsoever. And don't even get me started on jor el's "ride"

- watching people who can't really die fight each other for 2 hours is not in any way entertaining

- ZERO drama, sense of danger or humour in the entire film.

- Amy Adams horribly miscast.

- cgi overkill. I never, ever want to see another cloud of digital debris or smoke.

- idiotic supporting cast. I mean, cartoon idiotic.

- plot holes GALORE

- only one goosebumps moment, when he emerges in his uniform with hi father voice over saying how humans will follow and sometimes stumble (from trailer)

- NO opening title sequence with new sup music to stir us up.

Utterly disappointing and forgetful. I never want to watch this film again. And don't listen to people who say they didn't mess with supermans story too much. Yes they did. SPOILER.

For one thing, Lois knows his bloody identity! And I'm sorry, but yes, the S stands for superman. WTF??

Oh, and to any creative directors who told the animators to animate the cameras like that...STOP IT. IT LOOKS SH*t.

As for the designs of the ships and krypton, sooooo over produced. Too much detail, not enough of anything you will remember. Remember how awesome the designs of the sentinels were in the matrix? Simple, effective and terrifying. This looked like transformers 4. Spikes everywhere, nothing stood out. Grey everywhere. Zods uniform was overblown. SPOILER he looked great when he shed it at the end.

Remember in sup2 Zod was so quiet and menacing and authoritative? In this one he's just over the top and hammy. No menace at all.

Last edited by thethule : 06 June 2013 at 12:07 AM.
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by grrinc: I have become to emotionally attached to that awesome trailer so I have to see it. Even if it is just to hear the amazing score in a quality theater.

Well, get ready to be disappointed. No epic opening title scene with the beautiful trailer music.
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by thethule: - watching people who can't really die fight each other for 2 hours is not in any way entertaining

- NO opening title sequence with new sup music to stir us up.

And don't listen to people who say they didn't mess with supermans story too much. Yes they did. SPOILER.
For one thing, Lois knows his bloody identity! And I'm sorry, but yes, the S stands for superman.

[ SPOILER - Click to reveal ]
I have to agree with some of your criticisms. Too many movies nowadays don't have rousing opening title sequences, or even any title sequence at all. Imagine the Donner SUPERMAN movie without it's opening titles! Like you, I am never very happy with changes to these characters, including changes to their costumes, but you were obviously bothered much more by the changes then I was. I do think the filmmakers have lost some huge opportunities for tension/conflict/comedy by having Lois find out Superman's identity right off the bat. That was a big mistake. However, In the comics, she does eventually find out that Clark Kent is Superman, and they have a relationship. So as much as I think it was a mistake to have Lois know his identity, I was even more concerned by how many others in the film seemed to be let in on his big secret.
As far as the "S" emblem on his uniform being a Kryptonian symbol, I guess they thought it was less cheesy that way, then to have it simply stand for Superman. If you think about it, It must have been the same way in the Donner Superman movie, although, not directly stated. Jor-El is wearing the same "S" emblem while on Krypton. It can still come to stand for Superman, even if, it didn't originally. And, though they are super powerful, how can you say they can't die? Didn't Zod die at the end?

I will never be a fan of any kind of political correctness: I think it's instant death to creativity." - Mads Mikkelsen

Last edited by webhead : 06 June 2013 at 12:10 AM.
  06 June 2013


Sure Zod died..too easily as well after all he went through before, but for the hour and half before they are throwing diesel engines over each other, blasting through rows of buildings and not once was there any sense of danger. No one was hurt in ANY way. Even amy's escape pod sequence was hilariously bad.

And the fact that that ONE C-17 made it to the mothership was frankly embarrassingly badly thought out. As was Clarke's fathers death scene. If they had made it so that clarke had to choose between saving a young or old person or his dad from the approaching torandoe, that would have been believable and moving as we know he would have chosen the helpless person

I really wouldnt have minded the changes to Supermans backstory that much had it worked in any way, had any ot made sense, but it didnt. In the originals, his fortress of solitude was made of ice in a barren icy was at least a bit believable that it could stay hidden..his huge ship here would have been found in minutes...just non sensical

I do see your point about the superman logo on Jor-El..never noticed that
  06 June 2013
Yes, on one point in particular...
[ SPOILER - Click to reveal ]
I did feel Jonathan Kent's death was tragically unnecessary. Clark should have gone back for the dog in the first place, not Jonathan. If Clark was caught in the tornado, he could have just let the tornado suck him up, and landed unharmed safely away from the crowd. Then, he could have met his family later back at home. Had anyone ever questioned his survival, he could probably come up with a story to cover himself. There are cases of ordinary people that have somehow miraculously survived being sucked into a tornado.
As far as the Fortress of Solitude: To be honest, I always felt the design of the Fortress Of Solitude in the Donner film seemed a bit unpractical. I also didn't like how easy it was for Lex to just walk right in. No toilet either. Does Superman ever need to use the rest room? Let's face it, even the Donner film had it's flaws. Still a great film, though!
I will never be a fan of any kind of political correctness: I think it's instant death to creativity." - Mads Mikkelsen

Last edited by webhead : 06 June 2013 at 12:44 AM.
  06 June 2013
God yes, Donner's films are in credibly flawed and go downhill fast after #1. Im not THAT in love with them to be honest..They were great for their time, but very silly and cheesy. Im thinking of Richard Pryor adding TAR to the list of elements that make up if tar is a freaking element. Even as a child that bugged the hell out of me..

I just felt this film was more akin to Transformers and it was NOT what i was expecting/hoped for....

I have a very bad feeling that Thor 2 and especially Kick Ass 2 will be awful as well...
  06 June 2013
Well, thule, I guess we can find some things that bug us in all of these movie adaptions. Unless, just maybe, we can convince Warner/DC to let us produce/direct the Justice League!
I will never be a fan of any kind of political correctness: I think it's instant death to creativity." - Mads Mikkelsen
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