Thursday, June 20, 2013

What Superman Needed

"Man of Steel" is being either loved by many or hated by many.  I guess I can see why a little.  But we should remember first and foremost:  It's a movie.

What I enjoyed was the fact that the film makers did a true REBOOT of Superman instead of a fanboy film like Superman Returns.  I might add that "Returns" in and of itself wasn't a terrible movie, but Bryan Singer purposely made it a sequel to prior works.  Big mistake.

Hell, that was the biggest problems with the last two Star Trek movies,

But I digress...

There were no "Holy rusted metal, Batman" moment, with a wink and a nod to previous Superman incarnations.  They acted as if the other films never existed but they knew about Superman, that's for sure.

As with many modern-day Hollywood big-budget films, the plot was a little too "busy" for my liking.  They really didn't need anything more than what the Richard Donner films gave us.  The whole subplot of Superman's blood and such was just pointless.

Most every actor in this film has given good performances in past projects but in this they really were bland and could have done way better with better material.  That might be Zach Snyder's Kryptonite (pun intended):  Original work.  He's done well with 300 and Watchmen but he goes almost directly off of the subject matter which were both incredibly strong works.  Here, he sure didn't invent the characters or their back stories but the plot and dialog were all original.

Jonathan Kent saying that Clark "Maybe" should have let the kids die on the school bus?  Hell no...NO NO NO NO NO...

I guess my personal biggest issue was the fact that it was serious, maybe a bit TOO serious.  I understand they're dealing with some serious matters, but hey it's a movie and it's supposed to be a summer popcorn flick.

Some people didn't like the flashbacks but I think they worked to the story's advantage.  Imagine if they didn't have any flashbacks;  then you'd have an action-packed beginning, a LONG middle and we wouldn't have seen Superman for over an hour into the film.

I will say this for the story, I liked how they were able to meld Lois Lane into meeting Kal-El and "GASP"...holy crap...she was able to find him in Kansas!  Gosh, it's like she's some kind of reporter or something.  I was excited about Amy Adams playing Lois and I'm glad that they went for an actress instead of a supermodel, which is what would have happened if Michael Bay directed it.

Michael Shannon did well I think for General Zod, not letting the iconic performance of Terrance Stamp get in the way.  Shannon didn't, at any point, try to emulate Stamp.  This Zod is original and maybe not as iconic but you take him seriously as a baddie.

In Superman 2, Zod merely wanted to rule, he didn't care who really.  But here his motivation is more complex as he loves Krypton and will do anything to protect it.  Granted, he's willing to kill billions....that's where the evil part kicks in.  At the very beginning, he's almost jedi-like in his devotion to his world and not the government that rules it.

I was not blown away by this movie but I think many fanboys/girls are just annoyed that their movie didn't live up to their expectations.  If your points are major like the dialog was wooden, then maybe you have something there.  But please...PLEASE don't nitpick.  I appreciate that the filmmakers had a tremendous task ahead of them and when it comes to Superman, you're looking at the crown jewel of Superhero films.  Being a writer myself, I guess I can appreciate the fact that writing is a difficult craft where anyone can criticize.

I applaud Zach Snyder for getting away from his usual elements of his films, primarily his slow motion fight scenes but he still sucked the color out of the film.

This movie is superior in many ways to prior attempts at Superman, but Richard Donner still remains the best primarily because of its writing.  I would say this film finishes third in that regards.  It passes in many ways with only a few flaws but those flaws are kinda big.  This IS a strong start for what possibly could be a great franchise...I'm not holding my breath though.

One last note:  Lois Lane not having those damn glasses fool her?  HELL YEAH.  Something that always bugged me about the character is that she was always a damn fool in every incarnation...except this one.  Lois might be one of the best elements of this story though she still primarily exists to be the love interest, she does play an important part.