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#602225 - 07/04/13 06:02 PM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
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You could have saved some time and just wrote: "I liked all the cool CGI fights and buildings getting smashed and stuff. Not enough blood, though."

The baseline issue with MoS is how does one person (Zack Snyder) direct a thousand video game programmers sitting in their dark little cubicles? Short answer: he doesn't. He just gathers the rotten fruits of their labor and then attempts to edit it all into some kind of cohesive narrative. Ask a pre-school teacher to tell you about the kinds of stories that [male] toddlers come up with. You'll discover something very much like MoS horrendous scenes of destruction with scant substance holding the story together.


Your other point the Christ parallels is also weak. Compared with the biblical references in Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake, it's once again just a case of using loaded imagery for its own sake. If one wanted to read a point into it at all (which would be extremely generous to Snyder), it's not that Superman is Christ-like. It's that he is above Christ. You say Superman displays humility by seeking advice from a priest, whereas that scene showed that the priest not only couldn't help, but also that he was frightened in Superman's presence.

Towards the end, another opportunity is taken to smack down supernatural religious thinking when Superman laments Pa Kent not being alive to witness his presence being revealed to the world (because the only reason for wanting your father alive is to witness his son's glory, right). Ma Kent says something like, "Oh, he saw it." The implication being, for about two seconds, that Pa is looking down right now from Heaven. No, what she meant was a flashback montage. The unintentional message here is that, while Superman may be greater than Jesus, the director of a Hollywood summer tentpole is greater than God.


You don't address any of the gaping plot holes, and that's fine, but you also give the most important thematic point a miss. Why is Superman super? Is it because he's got superpowers? No. Superman isn't super because he's a super-alien; it's because he's a super *MAN*. Even if he had no powers at all he'd still be the same upstanding Clark Kent, because of the upbringing provided to him by his parents. Clark didn't develop his impeccable moral judgment through the trial-and-error process of leveling Metropolis and killing his enemies with his bare hands and then deciding maybe those are things he should try to avoid in the future. Clark wouldn't allow his father to die a preventable death because the "time wasn't right," but Pa Kent himself serves as no solid foundation. The real Pa Kent would certainly have never suggested children should die just to keep Clark's powers secret. I was bothered that Pa Kent was dead and inconsequential in Superman Returns, but at least there he wasn't the contradictory mess that Pa Kent was written as in MoS.

Keep in mind that this film was originally slated for release last Christmas, but was released instead on the weekend celebrating Father's Day.
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#602226 - 07/05/13 12:43 PM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Jimbo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery

You don't address any of the gaping plot holes, and that's fine, but you also give the most important thematic point a miss. Why is Superman super? Is it because he's got superpowers? No. Superman isn't super because he's a super-alien; it's because he's a super *MAN*. Even if he had no powers at all he'd still be the same upstanding Clark Kent, because of the upbringing provided to him by his parents. Clark didn't develop his impeccable moral judgment through the trial-and-error process of leveling Metropolis and killing his enemies with his bare hands and then deciding maybe those are things he should try to avoid in the future. Clark wouldn't allow his father to die a preventable death because the "time wasn't right," but Pa Kent himself serves as no solid foundation. The real Pa Kent would certainly have never suggested children should die just to keep Clark's powers secret. I was bothered that Pa Kent was dead and inconsequential in Superman Returns, but at least there he wasn't the contradictory mess that Pa Kent was written as in MoS.


BAM, nailed it. Ignoring the film's other glaring issues, this right here is why Man of Steel stunk on toast.
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#602227 - 07/06/13 12:19 AM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Charles Reece Offline
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"Your other point the Christ parallels is also weak."

1. You never mentioned the first point that's weak.
2. It's not clear what's weak about the "second" point: that Snyder made Christ parallels? Surely, he did, which is obvious if you watched the movie. Or, is the weak point supposedly that these are the strongest Christ parallels Snyder has ever made? Since I never made that point, it's irrelevant what he did in Dawn of the Dead (but I don't remember any figure being Christ-like in that film).

Waid and others don't agree with you that Superman is portrayed as greater than God. Their view is what I was arguing against. Although, I agree with them that the film makes Superman too fallible to be greater than God.

The movie wasn't very good, to be sure (but it's the best Superman movie so far, for whatever that's worth). I just didn't feel like pointing out all the dumb problems. For me, the dumbest was why all the Kryptonians had to die when they could achieve space travel so easily. I mean, it was part of their regular day to day living, and part of their imperialist cultural heritage. In fact, it was so normal for them that even the phantom zone prison could be easily converted into an intergalactic starship by some soldiers. But, yeah, Pa choosing to rescue the dog when he had an indestructible son was pretty stupid, too.
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#602228 - 07/06/13 02:03 AM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Charles Reece]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7082
Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
You never mentioned the first point that's weak.

That the level of destruction displayed has any inherent messaging value or deeper significance.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I don't remember any figure being Christ-like in [Dawn].

I said biblical, not necessarily of Christ. Take the image of someone washing their hands in the fountain, as one example I can easily recall. That was clearly a reference to Pontius Pilate imagery. How it fits into the zombie apocalypse narrative... it doesn't. That's the point. Snyder uses imagery for its personal aesthetic appeal to himself, not as a representation anything else.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
I agree with them that the film makes Superman too fallible to be greater than God.

And yet His representative quivers in Superman's presence.


Originally Posted By: Charles Reece
The movie wasn't very good, to be sure (but it's the best Superman movie so far, for whatever that's worth).

Oh, good lord, no. Even Superman Returns was better than this dreck.
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#602294 - 08/12/13 05:35 AM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
Allen Montogmery,

Good points made in your review.

Charlels Reece,

I always enjoy reading your films reviews. One part of me was craving to see a really epic and evenly matched fight between Superman and a villain (not Doomsday). But after seeing it, I realized it was very disappointing. The greedy trend of trying to PG-13ify mass destruction and violence is pretty sad. Especially in a film like this where at the end...it's all back to normal.
In Miracleman I'm sure Alan Moore was writing his own teenage fantasy of what a fight between two superpowered beings would REALLY be like: bloodshed, death, destruction etc. However, the mature mind of Alan Moore utilized that for a purpose. Things DIDN'T go back to normal at the end of the story. There were consequences for everything, not just for the actions of the supervillains.
I have no real desire right now to see Miracleman VS Kid Miracleman done on the screen with Disney's characters or WB's. It was already done in comic book form by Alan Moore and John Totleben. Despite the source of Alan Moore's story, and the fantasy setting, the story, IMO, is a very serious one and still carries some significance that is helped by the fact that there's no Miracleman action figures, lunch boxes, video games, etc.

Oh yeah, it's pretty weird to think that way back when, we were laughing at some WB exec for saying "The Dark Knight was successful. We need to make the next Superman film dark too, to be successful." I had forgotten that thread completely, even when seeing the trailers for Man of Steel.



Edited by Gerald (08/12/13 05:38 AM)
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#602316 - 08/22/13 10:10 PM Re: Man of Steel [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Offline
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7082
Entertainment Weekly is reporting that in the MoS sequel/Batman crossover, Batman will be played by... Ben Affleck.
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