Apologetic Preamble - We had attempted to get this posted right after the movie, and we had discussed it and edited it together, and then ... we forgot to post it. Oops. So this might not be current, but I didn't want to see the time and effort of our participants go to waste. Here goes:
So here we go as always, I will be the hostess of the Superman community review, Razzatazz, or for those that don't like my arbitrary username - Tammy. I am joined by Deranged Midget (confirmation of real name withheld), Delphic (confirmation of real name pending) and Sora The Key (Geo). Ssejllenrad also joined us for some answers. We are getting together to discuss the new Superman movie. I haven't seen it, but I am notoriously resilient to spoilers so I am not afraid (editor's note - I saw the movie hafl way through leading this group review). As I have been informed the others joining me today have seen it, so let's get going, shall we?
Say Hello everyone!
: Ladies and gents of ComicVine! KNEEL BEFORE... Wait... wrong crowd. *yells at the stage crew* So uhh... comics amiritie?
: Darn it, how does Superman do that. Changing in those phone booths are next to impossible...Oh! Hello Comic Vine, didn't see you there. I even put on my Superman T-shirt and cape for you. So what are we talking about? Oh, Man of Steel, such a good film. By the way, I'm Delphic, but my friends call me Daniel.
: You're probably wondering why Tammy is hosting this and I'm not... On the other hand, you probably didn't give it much thought until I brought it up. Anyway, I'm Geo, the adjacent member of this review since I'm not a Superman fan.
So let me break down how this will work, we will have a spoiler free section where we discuss what we thought of the movie without giving away too much, then the good and the bad (spoilers) and then the verdict (spolier free-ish).
Spoiler Free Section
So generally what did you think of the movie?
: Alright, before I continue on with my thoughts with the film, it should be established that I have seen the film twice now (third and fourth viewing imminent!). I'd have to say that my first viewing was an overload of emotions, especially in particular to one scene which we can't discuss in the spoiler-free section. Although, I am happy to state that my second viewing increased my enjoyment for the film substantially and probably because I grew to accept that one particular moment that conflicted my feelings! Just to state it outright though, Man of Steel is in no way a perfect film, either in production or plot but personally, I believe it to be the one of the most enjoyable origin films and it has easily grown to top my favourites list regarding superhero films.
The film covers most of it's bases, some better than others, but it's still basically all there. You want action? You won't see much better than Man of Steel. You want emotion? There's some extremely powerful moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat and get your heart pounding. You want some character development? We see Clark evolve greatly over the course of the film.
: Like the fellow before me, I've saw it twice as well, and my reaction was a little different. I went into this movie excited and came out ecstatic and with a grin so big you would have considered the Joker second rate. By the second time my fanboy bias had worn off, and even though I had already acknowledged some of the flaws, I was able to watch the movie without foaming at the mouth. Though, I still had that big toothy grin.
: Like I mentioned, I'm not exactly a Supes fan, I respect the stance this character has gained as the "first" super hero and all, but I've always found it really hard to like the man in general. To answer this first question I'm going to be as concise and spoiler free as I can: This movie was AWESOME!
The origin of Superman has been changed a little bit. As fans of the character does this bother you? (this question I derived from the K4tzm4n CV review)
: Concerning the origin story, I personally do not believe that Man of Steel should be compared to the Superman films of old. Why? Well first off, those films were based off a Superman who has long since aged and disappeared. The character has changed quite a bit since then in the modern age, both Pre and Post new 52. Secondly, this is an origin story for a new age and a new audience. To keep it fresh, you change it up a bit as evidently seen in the comics, there have been numerous origin reboots i.e (John Byrne's) Man of Steel, Secret Origin (Geoff Johns), and Birthright (Mark Waid). The Kryptonian elements are handled brilliantly and arguably better than any other Superman film and it's a delightful treat to witness the redesigned Krypton and it's surviving inhabitants.
: I agree with Deranged Midget. It's not a perfect movie, and it's not fair to compare it to Donner's Superman. They are two totally different films with the only connection being the subject matter. Where the Donner films were extremely campy this movie had a serious tone, and I think that is what threw some people off. Though it had it's flaws in some areas, I felt it was an excellent portrayal of a young Superman that is just beginning to take his place in the world, and overall a very well done film.
: While I've only watched this movie once, unlike the other participants of this review, I did go into the theatre with a well-established critical eye. It is not the perfect comic book movie, but, in my opinion, it does stand up there with past CBMs like X2, The Dark Knight and Avengers.
It can be seen just by the trailers that they are trying to root the character much more in a realistic setting, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done. It has been mentioned above that the Donner movies were campy, but did you walk away from this movie thinking "maybe it could be real"? Not really real of course but more how one might look at the movies like Thor or Batman Begins, with a lot fewer suspensions of disbelief?
: Unlike previous Superman on-screen incarnations, this one did make it more believable or as believable aliens with capes can get. The secondary characters did establish something amazing that previous Superman films never did: While Kal-El is often described as god-like, he still lacks a sense of omnipresence.
: Well for this movie I have mixed feelings as far as a suspension of disbelief is concerned, and I have a pretty large suspension of disbelief . While there were a lot of moments where I could see what was going on happening, there were a couple moments that I just have a hard time believing.
: That's the thing, Snyder's Man of Steel does take some inspiration from the Dark Knight films in regards to a more "grounded" universe. It basically demonstrates how our world would potentially react to not only a godlike being, but an alien first and foremost.
Without giving away any of the major differences in the characters, how did you feel about the design of the costumes and especially of Krypton?
: The costumes were amazing. I don't know enough about Superman's comic book history to really say this, but there was never a definitve look to Krypton's attire until now. Or at least one that looks this good. Even Superman's outfit seemed alien in texture. (At least it wasn't spandex!)
: When I first saw the design for the Superman costume, I was a little uneasy. My problem with this costume, I also had with the new 52 Superman costume when it first debuted, and that was because it was new, and things that are new are always uncertain. I loved the redesign of Krypton, and not just the costumes. I wanted to actually learn more about that Krypton than I had any other that had been shown before.
: I did too! Did anyone else get a Pandora from Avatar vibe? (Can't really tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing)
That was the exact vibe I got.
: The costumes are very modern and I love the redesign. It seems that Clark's suit has taken some inspiration from the New 52 and I'm perfectly fine with that! Sorry to say, but those red undies had to go! As for Krypton, it was easily the most visually impressive spectacle of the entire film! The technology, the culture and the suits of armour they had symbolized a far more advanced civilization!
All right, let's get into the BAD (the bad has spoilers)
There is a lot of controversy from this movie, so let's start with the question I already alluded to. Are the change to Superman's background story a betrayal of the character? Think about this in terms of him potentially being used to colonize Earth, or that Krypton is in a sense a dystopian society.
: I wouldn't consider it a betrayal to his comic book counterpart, I think of it more as a grounded interpretation. This new origin makes more sense to me. I would always wonder what made Kal-El, Kara and Krypto so special that they would have to survive this catastrophe of a planet. Now, he's even more special than he was before, but not just to the humans but to the Kryptonians as well.
: It's not a betrayal at all and the origin is still technically the same. Krypton was going to be destroyed, so Jor and Lara sent their son to earth. Now the interesting change was Jor-El's motives. Jor believed his people were a mistake, so he used his son as a restart button for the Kryptonians. In a way you could say he was genocidal against his own people. When you think about it Zod and Jor weren't that different. Jor was bent on his own people fizzling out to make way for a new kind of Kryptonian, while Zod was bent on bringing back the Kryptonians as they were even though it meant eradicating the human race.
: Changes are expected, especially when these comic book films at large are altered a bit to help appeal to a wider audience. Having said that, I feel that they added a little twist to the origin and revamped it a bit, which is perfectly fine in my opinion. Other than that, they did payed their respects to the source material while adding a bit of their own flair to it.
OK more controversy, Lois knows about Clark Kent from the very start of his introduction to the Daily Planet. Nice update on the story? Or is it taking away a vital aspect of the character's dynamics?
: I felt Lois was one of the flaws in this film, because I felt her role was very rushed and forced at many points. Her knowing who Superman is from the beginning doesn't really take away from the character, but it does change how the character can be used in the future. I feel that her knowing who he is from the beginning can actually be used for the better, but at the same time it does have potential to be used properly.
: I agree with Delphic, one of my biggest, if not the biggest, problems I had with the film was Lois Lane. Not because of what you mention Razz, I actually liked that Pulitzer Prize winning Lois Lane wasn't easily fooled by Clark Kent's glasses. Aside of the good plot, my biggest problem was Amy Adams interpretation. Again, not the biggest Superman fan, but my idea of Lois is that she has a demanding presence, and while this Lois was very brave and very direct, she was not demanding.
She didn't spit into her captor's eye, she didn't jump in at the inappropriate time, she was just there. If not for Zod's request for her to go to the ship she could've easily faded in the background.
Excuse my mini rant here.
: As for Lois' knowledge of Clark's secret, I don't really have a problem with it. A tiny concern I did have with the film was that instead of taking the time to flesh out what their potential relationship could be, it seemed a little rushed just for the sake of being there. It's something that can definitely be improved upon in the sequel though so it doesn't bother me as much.
: I don't feel it's a fresh take. Yes, it's new that she already knows at the start of his Daily Planet Career but her not knowing is much more stupid. And I say it isn't a fresh take because the interaction between the two of them in recent years was that she already knows who Clark is.. That is until the New 5 arrived.
But like DM said, the relationship was quite pushed. I had a bit of a problem with that and they really need to improve on it. Well, at least it wasn't as forced as the Talia-Bruce thingie in TDKR. Nyehehehe...
: Actually, I thought it was even more forced than the Talia-Bruce relationship. The kiss seemed like a simple, lets just kiss for the sake of kissing... There was actually not romantic development, it sort of just appeared. The chemestry was there but the plot didn't cater to this eventual love story. I would've loved it if they didn't kiss and Snyder decided to tease the ineviteble relationship rather than just jump the gun.
Man, I'm ranting way too much about Lois!
So the reasons that I came up with for people not liking this film weren't necessarily such a big deal, anything else I missed? I saw the film in 3D and thought it was better as a result, anyone want to comment on that? Or any other things that they saw wrong with the movie?
: Ok, that is something that just sucks balls on my part. My eyes have different grade levels and so the 3D thing hasn't been much of a help for me lately. I can honestly say that my wife who is not a fan of 3D thoroughly enjoyed the movie much more in 3D than in 2D. Why? Because the film was in-you-face all the time. Not that it's a bad thing. But if you have a movie that is in-your-face, might as well go ahead and up it a notch with 3D.
: I personally haven't seen the film in 3D yet, nor do I have any plans to. I have nothing against it guys, it's just that most of the time, I feel that it ends up being tacked on just for the sake of raising their sales.
: I saw the movie early thanks to a wal-mart promotion, and that was in 2D, but I saw it again a few days later in 3D, and to tell the truth I didn't really notice that much of a difference. I too had a bit of a problem with the Lois and Superman relationship being rushed, but my biggest problem with the movie was with Jenny Olsen. For those, who don't know Superman's best pal Jimmy Olsen has had a gender change. Now at first I didn't even really care about this, but the execution of it in the movie was just god awful. Jenny Olsen was only in the movie so she could exchange a dramatic stare with Perry White (played by Laurence Fishburne) during the climax of the movie, and to serve as a damsel in distress. The role was pointless, and the movie could have done without it completely. Also I suppose Kevin Costner has the ability to stand up and not be blown away by a tornado until it's right on top of him (anything for dramatic tension right?).
I forgot about the Jenny Olsen part, that does seem odd.
: She didn't really seem to affect me that much. I felt the change in gender didn't ruin the character but it sure as hell wasn't necessary either.
: As for Jenny and the lack of Jimmy, it didn't really matter to me that much as the Daily Planet and the majority of Clark's life to be played such a small part in the film that they could just focus on it much, much more in the sequel. I don't really know what their plans with the character is or if Jimmy will even appear but I don't think it should be causing an outrage, if there is one to begin with.
: I didn't mind 3D, I'm not sure if it enhanced the experience but at least I wasn't bothered by it like when I saw Thor. As for Jenny, how I understand it, that wasn't the Jimmy Olsen replacement since her nametag said: Jenny Jurwich. I'm not aware if that's a relevant comic book character but they did make her more prominent than she should've been.
The introduction of Jimmy is probably being withheld until the sequel.
Oh so it wasn't, a Jimmy Olsen replacement. I'm not a fan of Jimmy Olsen, but I had gone into the movie with the impression that replacing him was what was being done. Now that I know that's not the case I guess the only thing I didn't really like about the movie was what I said earlier. The forcing of Lois, and how the death of Pa Kent was handled.
So what did you like about the movie?
What did I like? We already covered it a bit, but I loved getting to see Krypton pre-apocalyptic crisis. Have we ever gotten such a good look at Kal's home planet? It looked amazing!
: What did I love about the film. I feel like I covered some of this before but alrighty! *cracks fingers*
I loved the influence, guidance and inspiration that the writers portrayed with Clark's two fathers. They shaped the man he was going to be but allowed him to find that path himself. The film was all about choice and Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner did brilliant jobs as those influential figures in Clark's life.
Tying into that, I loved the flashbacks and the performances handled by the two main leads; Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon. Every scene between the two was gripping and fantastic. I fel that the two actors really succeeded in modernizing the iconic characters they most definitely had the pleasure of bringing to the big screen!
: I loved the flashbacks, it made this movie even more intense! Simply, another way for the repeated origin story to be told in a different and original way.
Something which I felt was extremely well handled was the aspect of super speed. Unlike some other times when this is shown, the characters simply appeared in a new place.
: I really enjoyed Russel Crowe's interpretation of Jor-El. His performance was magnificent, and that shall be what I think of when I think of Jor-El from now on, but that wasn't what I loved about the movie. What I absolutely loved was Michael Shannon's performance as General Zod. That scene near the end when Zod let's the ash fall from his hands and says, "Everything I do, no matter how violent or cruel, I do for the greater good, of my people, and now I have no people. You have taken my soul." this scene gives me the chills, and it did make me feel a sense of pity for Zod when Superman was forced to kill him. That scene was just so full of raw emotion, and easily makes it the best part of the film.
: Wait what?!? Spoiler alert-- Oh wait, we covered that already!
I'm actually glad you brought this up. According to you guys is this ending categorized as Good or Bad? 'Cause I was incredibly surprised by it. I actually gasped out loud and one of my friends looked at me and asked: "What?". I whispered back: "B-but Superman doesn't kill!".
Well as I pretty much stated, I loved the ending. I really felt the pain that Kal was feeling as he killed the only other one of his kind. You could see in that whole scene that he didn't want to. He had tried everything he knew, but was left with no other choice. Also Superman does kill (it's happened in the comics, and it happened in Superman II) it's just an absolute last resort for him. A lot of people can argue how it could have went down differently, but if you really step back and think nothing would have stopped Zod.
I know Superman has killed in the past, it's just the idea of Superman killing his enemy is uncommon.
Did you guys catch the Lexcorp references?
I barely caught the LexCorp references beyond the blatant one on the truck, although I caught them on the second time around. A nice hint at what is most likely to come and how a certain benefactor may now be able to twist the people's favour into his hand.
I did catch the Lexcorp reference; I also caught the Wayne Enterprises reference, the Booster Gold reference and even the Chloe Sullivan from Smallville reference. Like I said, I went full-critic mode.Oh, I got something else I didn't like. Was I the only one bothered by the constant commercials for IHOP, Sears, and more?
I didn't really interpret those as commercials so much, the fighting has to happen somewhere right?
I saw the Lex-Corp references, but I didn't see all the other references that Geo is referring too. I did see the product placements though. I actually found those to be kind of funny. I mean they throw a train at Superman and it lands inside Sears, yet somehow the sign is still perfectly intact.
So give me your overall impression of the movie in one or two sentences with no spoilers please
This movie should come with a disclaimer assuring it is not faithful to the source material, but even so, if you think about it, the best comic book movies don't follow the comics exactly. They stay true to characters and don't stray from the tone. That's what makes a good CBM, and Man of Steel is not different. To my surprise I enjoyed this movie quite a lot.
This movie is enjoyable, fun, and one huge action packed blast. Not everyone will like this movie, because some things will bother people more than others, but that is no reason not to go see this movie. It's a must see.
: Man of Steel is not a perfect film nor should it be assumed that it is. Although, it's a fantastic re-imagining of the character for a modern audience and one that most definitely does the character justice.
OK thanks everyone for joining in, time to say goodbye
It's been fun; we really need to make this Community Reviews a more constant event. Thanks everyone. As Superman would say: "To infinity and beyond"... or at least I think that's what I would say if I was learning how to fly.
: This was fun, and I hope we can do this again soon. Until next time CV.
So uhh... I guess this is where we part ways then huh? Do I just leave the mic here or...? Guys? This always happens to me...