Man of Steel: The reviews are...

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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by kelgy: John Barry was a respected production designer--I suspect they didnt set out to cut the budget for sets at all--it was probably designed that way to tie into the fact that the Fortress of Solitude would be in the North Pole so to make him seem more at home--thus Krypton also had an ice and crystal appearance. The crystal was a clever symbolic image for his alien origin and very cinematic.

One of the hardest things to portray is a futuristic setting--smart of them to not attempt to guess the future and have computer banks or displays around that would appear completely dated now.
One thing about ice and crystals--they are timeless.


From a cinematography point of view--they probably also wanted to contrast Superman's colorful appearance with the background--and that all white and crystal appearance worked well for it.
If they had made the background with reds and blues he would disappear.

They couldnt have been expected to follow the comics closely--it was a miracle that a director was selected who treated the dramatic story seriously as he did (Lex Luther was comical but not Superman). It could have easily gone in a different direction.



But it had no foundation in the comic book mythology. All anyone had to do was read one Superman comic book which had any significant inclusion of the FoS and they would see that this interpretation was false and a significant unnecessary reach. It's also based on a false premise if that was their take.

Anyone who ever read enough Superman, Action, Superman Family, or JLA comics of that time knew that the FoS had no relationship to his home world. It was laboratory, a safe house, it had a zoo in it, it had to be large enough to hold an immense stock of trophies and had to be concealed easy enough. Inside the FoS there is no crystalline environment, no icy cold look. Its basically the "Batcave" for Superman. It was practical and functional and made from barren walls that he carved out with his own hands. It's his own unique creation, his home. He built it to be impenetrable and away from others. Difficult to get to, impossible to get in. The premise of the FoS growing out a single crystalline shard is too contradictory to the actual mythology, its not his someone else made it for him, it took him no effort, there no reasoning behind its existence other than its from Krypton. But worst, Kryptonian architecture was never crystalline.

As for the contrast I agree, they indeed successfully generated an enormous amount of contrast. So much so that I can't stand the imagery. It's cold, hard, and at time's fluorescent. Granted much of comic book style, color wise, in that day was similar I give that up. But I look at it in comparison to this movie, and I dislike the 78 movie now more than I did last Wednesday.

Sorry, can't agree that they couldn't have been expected to follow the comic lore. This is bad mojo. First its what many in the audience expected, that they adhere to the mythos. Second when you deviate too much from the history and inject too much creative license, you separate yourself from the franchise. The product doesn't have staying power and will eventually be replaced by something else that does respect the true history and mythos. If that is the attitude they had then it will be the mistake that ends up sending those films to the trash heap of film history.

I'm embarrassed to admit I saw 1, 2, and 3 in the theatre. I didn't watch Quest for Peace or Returns in the theatre because of them. Because from the beginning they were just wrong in so many ways and it continued to devolve. The crystal thing was the root to most of my ills with it but in the end, that series did become comical. Richard Pryor? Seriously? Maybe if he had played Mr. MXYZPTLK, maybe I could have accepted that.

I learned to accept that it would just be that way, always. I have the same issues with the first Batman movie. Until "Begins" came along the franchise was floundering looking something to give it meaning. Why, the director's didn't successfully make the interpretation from paper to screen. It's really critical.

CGI came along and Marvel got it right. They did everything they could to maintain credibility with Spiderman, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four etc. The first DC character to ever come along until now, that their history and story was respected by Hollywood was Green Lantern. Its among my all time favorite movies. I could find very little that was unhappy about or thought was not authentic. The scene on OA with the Corps when he first meets them sent chill bumps up my spine. It's how I imagined it 40 years ago. That's the kind of magic the director needs to accomplish. Not crystals which have no foundation in the mythology.

And ironically CGI was made to realize these kinds of movies. Without CGI Green Lantern would have been impossible to make.

Further, movie going audiences allow Hollywood to get away with too much sometimes. People like myself, who had read hundreds upon hundreds of comic books, when I was younger, want to see the things we have imagined the way we read them. Not as something which is a caricature, or ridiculous, the way the 78 Superman movie was made. I was so excited as an teenager when that movie first came out. 35 years later and after numerous other super hero translations have made it to the screen I think its absolutely horrid.

No doubt, the 78 movie could have been much worse. But my how times have changed. I recall how much effort was spent finding the right actor who looked just like Superman down to the signature curl in his hair. How much time and effort and money was spent on the new, and at that time undisclosed, technologies to generate the FX of Superman flying.

In contrast Cavill has no curl in his hair, but he portrays the part far better than Reeves ever did. Reeves, as with so many of his parts couldn't get away from the romantic projection he was good at. I thought Reeves performed Clark Kent superbly but Superman poorly. Cavill gets the human part of this really well right from the start. He grows into the role with the rest of us. It remains to be seen how well he captures the mature, focused Clark Kent.

To be sure, there is creative license occurring in Man of Steel. I've not given any opinions about the storyline up to this point, on purpose. Indeed I do have conflicts about the visual of the Roman General Maximus playing Jor-El, but it's nowhere near the conflict I had with Marlon Brando playing that part. Alternatively the visual of Ray Kinsella playing Jonathan Kent, absolutely perfect. There are several other conflicts, but overall this movie is solidly rooted in Superman mythology. And as a result I predict it will stand at the beginning of a long line of successful sequels because its foundation is respected from the beginning.

Joey
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Tangled-Universe: @earthboyjacobus

Dude, did it ever occur to you that others aren't able to see it yet?

I just scanned through your post and tripped over one spoiler after the other. Thanks! :(



Im sorry, but would people read these threads if they have not seen the film. That doesnt make sense, of course there will be spoilers. Sheesh
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by JoeyP88: they spent something like 50 million mostly to make Superman "fly". With that much funding at that time there should have been plenty of funding for better sets.


They should have spent more then as the sequence where he flies across various terrains around the world looked really bad, blurry and fake.

And to various post houses, i say this: We get it. You guys can do debris and smoke very well. You didn't have to include it in every single scene...talk about overload
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by JoeyP88: But it had no foundation in the comic book mythology.


Their concern was making a movie for mass audiences--not recreating a comic book for specific fans.
If they wanted to follow canon they would have a super dog and a super cat and a talking gorilla and while that would work in a cartoon it certainly wouldnt work in a 70s movie.

Its a well made film--carefully thought out--using an all star cast. Its impressive that Superman is the main character despite the stars being Hackman, Brando etc.
It is probably the best Superman movie that could have been made in the major studios in the 70s (using inhouse fx I believe).
Its quite an achievement for that.


I wasnt a Superman comic fan so I dont have any complaints.
Different story with Spider-man--although my complaint is that Stan Lee's original story run already had a lot of cinematic-friendly elements and they tried to make it more appealing to those who were reading the comics in the 90s.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by thethule: Im sorry, but would people read these threads if they have not seen the film.


It has the word 'review' in it.... so.. YES.
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  06 June 2013
I saw it tonight. I liked it a lot. I am not overly invested in Superman mythos and I also like to see reboots take a new angle - otherwise what's the point?

However. The slow build was great and all but then all that destruction became silly. I know this stuff is supposed to 'awesome' but it peaked too early then got boring and then plain daft. I didnt care for the final showdown with zod because the previous scraps were superb. And what about all those people who surely died by the thousands as a result of a flattened city? Did they seriously all duck into an alley?

I find a good old fashioned simple rescue, like a caught fallen damsel or child, to be as thrilling as any 20 million dollar destruction scene. But we missed this. We didn't see the people love and thank Superman. It was always about the people. I don't care a damned about the government and the US military.

I also missed his bolder and brighter colours. Superman is super hero royalty and his costume needs to be more regal. I wanted to clearly see the his bright red cape stand out amongst the carnage.

I still liked it though 7.5 /10
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by grrinc: And what about all those people who surely died by the thousands as a result of a flattened city? Did they seriously all duck into an alley?

I find a good old fashioned simple rescue, like a caught fallen damsel or child, to be as thrilling as any 20 million dollar destruction scene. But we missed this. We didn't see the people love and thank Superman. It was always about the people. I don't care a damned about the government and the US military.

I also missed his bolder and brighter colours. Superman is super hero royalty and his costume needs to be more regal. I wanted to clearly see the his bright red cape stand out amongst the carnage.

I still liked it though 7.5 /10


MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

I agree with several of your points here. I had mentioned in one of my comments how Superman seemed to have little concern about keeping the battle away from densely populated areas.
In Superman 2, Superman moves the battle from Metropolis to his Fortress Of Solitude to prevent any more people from being hurt, or killed. I also would have liked to have seen Superman use his super powers to help rebuild what was left of Metropolis as he did the White House in Superman 2.
I also agree that the focus should have been more on the adoring public, rather than, focusing so much on the military. There is a reason for it, however. It's financial.

"The new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will fly its first mission on June 14, 2013, but it won’t be over Afghanistan, Syria or Yemen. It’ll be over the mythical town of Smallville, in the upcoming Man of Steel. In reality, the F-35 may never fly. The program is currently grounded, due to flight difficulties, after the government poured $400 billion into it. Reuters reports that the final cost of the program might be, sit down… $1.5 trillion dollars."

"Whenever movie producers want to use Pentagon equipment: helicopters, bases, submarines, etc. they send a request to the Pentagon, along with five copies of the script. The Pentagon replies with proposed changes to the script, which the producer must either accept, or forgo the equipment (which disinclines studios to finance the film, since it entails extra costs). Then, while the movie is shot, a “minder” hangs along, to ensure the director sticks to the script. Final approval comes from Pentagon brass who pre-screen and censor the film."


http://www.salon.com/2013/05/06/man...a_flic_partner/

http://www.davidsirota.com/articles...payers-expense/
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Last edited by webhead : 06 June 2013 at 12:06 AM.
 
  06 June 2013
Anyone ever see Superman the Animated Series from the 90's? That show was great just like Batman the Animated Series. In Man of Steel, Brainiac could of been a cool villian or Bizarro with Lex would be interesting too. Coulda, Shoulda, didn't though. Unfortunately Netflix Streaming doesn't have any of the original Superman movies to watch and it doesn't even have Smallville. The new movies makes me want to brush up on all things Superman.

I kind of want to see it but thanks to Hollywood every super hero action movie trailer and marketing posters look the same. I guess I'm tepid mainly because Superman doesn't have that baby faced look that makes him so welcoming. Henry Cavil's Superman looks pissed off like "Why the hell am I doing this? Can't you humans take care of yourself? Lazy a**holes." LOL, anyway I wonder if I'm the only one that gets that impression from the posters and trailer. They should have Superman's brothers be Johnny Knoxville, Hayden Christensen and like Jason Schwartzman. Sorry but that's the impression I get. My intent is not to offend so sorry if I do. I can understand trying something new but it seems alienating (no pun intended) that this Superman looks so unfriendly. It worked for Batman though since he's suppose to scare everyone away. I was unsure of Bale at the time but I was glad I was wrong.

The costume is pretty cool but it feels that Superman needs like a belt of yellow or red to offset all that blue. It is nice though that they got rid of the outer red undies.

I guess without Roger Ebert it's hard to know whether it's worth going to see a movie again as it's hard to find a replacement for his reviews. The weird thing is that Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie a 57% yet Superman Returns, the movie everyone hated, gets a 75%. But then IMdb gives Man of Steel a 8.4/10 and Superman Returns gets a 6.2 on IMdb. I guess I'll just to mull it over.

On a side note, has anyone seen House of Cards? Kevin Spacey on that show reminds me a lot of his Lex Luthor from Superman Returns but just with a southern accent. The character Zoe Barnes reminds me of a manipulative Lois Lane. Would be interesting to see the two in a Superman movie but that's just a fantasy that won't happen as Spacey has already been Lex.
 
  06 June 2013
I came out feeling it was pretty enjoyable, and Cavill was a great Superman! Way better than Ironman 3 anyway.

Spoilery bits below:

[ SPOILER - Click to reveal ]
Spoiler:


Things I liked:

- The visual effects were pretty damn impressive throughout, except for a couple of tough shots of a wobbly superman first learning to fly where the closeups were very comp-y, but those type of helmetcam shots almost never look good.

- The most fleshed out Krypton i've seen (not that i'm a big superman fan) and they really gave him a lot of history.

- Awesome score again from Zimmer.

- i saw this in 2D. Cinematography was good, noticed a few shots of Zod early on when he's first introduced that looked soft, almost like they didnt have another good take, but other than that everything was visually great. Nice to see some grain, and i can't understand people who think it's too grey, i'm so pleased they didn't just turn the saturation up to 20 like The Hobbit. The frenetic cameras and crash zooms were a bit much at times, but did add an air of believability to the vfx i think. If you actually tried to shoot a guy taking off at 200 miles per hour, the footage wouldn't be cinematic and smooth, it would look shit, so it worked ok for me when it wasn't overused.

Things not to like:

- My main issue with it all was the lack of humanity. I have this problem all the time with the big tentpole vfx extraveganza's - SO many people would have died, Americas economy might never recover from something like that, but none of it had any gravity. It was too big in scale for its own good, and just got boring through the fight scenes.

- Where was the epic? The only moments where i got any hint of the real goosebumps moments was when Superman first appeared in the costume, and when Pa Kent gets the hint of what he will become when he sees him in the cape as a kid. I never felt much of the sacrafice that I got with The Dark Knight where batman takes the fall for Harvey Dent. The trailers were more epic than the movie actually.

- Lack of chemistry between Clarke and Lois. I think Amy Adams is great, but i do think she is a bit miscast in this. Either that or the character just isn't that well written.

- I felt they went a bit too far with all the alien technology, suits and vehicles. It makes it too sci-fi, which made it feel a bit Battle:LA. Too much military and not enough human POV made it feel a bit Michael Bay in places too.

All in all, was very enjoyable, and I hope it warrants a sequel because Cavill owned that role. I didnt miss Marvel's humour at all, i just think if they are going darker in tone they needed to pull back on the OTT action and replace the humour and action with more character moments. The moments of Clarke as a child dealing with being an outcast with amazing abilities that he is trying to hide, in many ways were more interesting to me than the fully formed superhero he becomes by the end of the movie...



Anyway, good luck to it at the box office, and a massive high five to whoever was doing their trailers, as they were more epic and used Zimmer's score better than the movie.

Worth a watch - 7/10
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Last edited by nickmarshallvfx : 06 June 2013 at 12:11 AM.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by nickmarshallvfx: Anyway, good luck to it at the box office, and a massive high five to whoever was doing their trailers, as they were more epic and ised Zimmer's score better than the movie.

Worth a watch - 7/10


Looks like it's doing quite well at the box office so far:

"Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel” is hovering just above expectations with a Friday haul of $44.1 million and a new three-day estimate around $115 million."

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/b...bow-1200497484/

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Man-...kend-38092.html
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  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by ebbandflow: Anyone ever see Superman the Animated Series from the 90's? That show was great just like Batman the Animated Series.


I remember it though I didnt watch it as much as the Batman show.
It did have some great ideas like Superman rescuing people on a giant rocketship/plane. That sort of scene would have been good in a live action film.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by kelgy: Their concern was making a movie for mass audiences--not recreating a comic book for specific fans.
If they wanted to follow canon they would have a super dog and a super cat and a talking gorilla and while that would work in a cartoon it certainly wouldnt work in a 70s movie.



But you don't have to replicate every historical fact to follow canon. You only have to respect the canon. Theres a difference between painting a portrait and taking a photo. The photo is not real but captures everything exactly the way it was. The portrait captures the essence of the subject, you can tell who and what the subject was, it obviously has some of the artist's own influence. But further it respects the subject. You don't change the color of the subject's eyes and expect to get away with that. That's what the 78 film did with the crystal thing.

The Marvel franchises handle this so well. They respect the canon. Why can't the DC franchises do the same? Why do DC superheros and their canon have to be so mutilated by Hollywood? I've blamed Warner Bros for this for decades, they shouldn't let these things get made if the studios can't have the decency to produce a respectful portrait. With Green Lantern I really started to think this was beginning to change.

Joey
 
  06 June 2013
Terrific movie.

Haters gonna hate no matter what.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by JoeyP88: You only have to respect the canon.


I think you ask too much of the filmmakers in the 70s and one's definition of respecting canon can vary depending on what story details you refer to.

At one point Nick Nolte was considered for the role. If he had done it he said he would have played Superman as psychotic. Imagine what it would have done to canon then.
 
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by kelgy: I think you ask too much of the filmmakers in the 70s and one's definition of respecting canon can vary depending on what story details you refer to.

At one point Nick Nolte was considered for the role. If he had done it he said he would have played Superman as psychotic. Imagine what it would have done to canon then.


How is it asking too much? Do the people in Hollywood have that much control over everything creative? Really?

I think people confuse interpretation of the canon with visual representation of the canon. In the case of Superman there's been 75 years of blood sweat and tears poured into the Superman franchise by the likes of Siegel, Shuster, Infantino, Swan, Schwartz, Giordano, Adams, etc etc. That list goes on don. What about them? What about their work? Why should their contributions here be insulted and disrespected by altering the canon in the wrong ways. Without them there would be no Superman. How did they feel about what was created in 78? But what they created has no relevance? Hollywood knows best? Can't accept that. Ever.

Its perfectly fair for them to interpret a visual representation, but its not up to them to write a new canon, at least not without WB's permission, and even then if WB permits it to go too far, they're to blame. Radically new canon was forged with the 78 movie. New canon was created with this movie. But when I compare the two, the first crosses a boundary the second one doesn't. The interpretation has to be believable within the context of that which precedes it. Even with all the controversial things this movie did, they're all believable or acceptable in the context of the canon. It has to add distinctiveness without be disrespectful. For the 78 movie there is no way to excuse what they did. As a movie, just simply a movie its fine, but as being an extension of the Syperman mythos, it really sucked.

Granted the process is evolutionary. Every month something new gets added. There are and will be conflicts. But giving a studio the opportunity to transfer the image from paper to screen should not include the right to disrespect the canon. The canon is established. Well understood by those who have taken the time to create it, read it, study it, or enjoy it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Allowing the director to decide that everything which preceded him is stupid and that his new radical vision is better is insulting.

I clearly understand one artist's desire to interpret and add their own contribution to the portrait. But its ultimately Warner Bros who has to answer for it. They are the keeper of the canon and they can stop it. With this installment, and following on GL, I'm beginning to think they finally get it. If only they had figured this out sooner.

I'm not even a Marvel fan, but thank God for Stan Lee.

Joey
 
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