Superman Movies

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  Skyblade on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:03 pm

Yeah, but aside from Emil Hamilton, I don't think they really drew from the comics' mythology anymore than Returns did, it just wasn't as fetishitic about it. And probably the only reason it wasn't was because Returns existed in the first place, since the chaotic, practically apocalyptic punchfest seemed to just be there as a wink-wink "No saving planes and real estate schemes THIS time!"

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:15 pm

The whole redesign and nature of Krypton is influenced, not exclusively but largely, by John Byrne's 1986 reboot, specifically the cloning-as-procreation (which I don't think has ever been used in any other adaptation - even the '90s cartoon went Silver Age for Krypton), the council's costuming, and Kelex and Kelor, the robot butlers. Krypton alone puts this movie in the "deeper in the comic mythology" than Donner/Singer, since aside from the names Jor-El, Zod, and Krypton, nothing about Donner's Krypton had anything to do with the comics.

Steve Lombard is a character that has never been put in live-action before. The notion of Clark wandering the Earth as Clark Kent before becoming Superman is drawn from Byrne's reboot and Waid's Birthright. The supersuit as part of Kryptonian armor is from The New 52 (though which came first and influenced the other is up for grabs, since both were in development at the same time).

The only thing I would say the movie lifts from Donner is the Kryptonian glyph concept - and even that is something that's been part of comic lore since 1986.

Minor details, sure, but more than just "Emil Hamilton".
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  The Dude on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:32 pm

As for reusing Zod, Superman has a crappy Rogues gallery. Lex has been done to death, Bizzaro is a comic character, Darksied would come off as derivative of Darth Vader (even though it's the other way around) and the New Gods stuff is dated and goofy beyond belief. Which leaves Brainiac, who I think Snyder should go with.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:41 pm

I'll admit, he kind of does. Brainiac, Lex, and Zod are really the only heavy hitters that constitute actual characters and could support an entire movie. Parasite's interesting, but not "major villain in a movie" interesting. Doomsday is awesome, but he's a force of nature and a plot device, not a character (despite what Smallville tried to do by giving him a secret identity). Mxyzptlk and Bizarro would be fun to see, but when done correctly neither of them is truly a villain. Metallo requires Lex Luthor or a complete revamp of his origin. And with Lex or without him, Metallo brings in Kryptonite, which I for one was not sorry to see missing this time around.

Most of the others that Superman frequently faces off against - Darkseid, Chemo, Starro, Amazo - are more "DC Universe" villains than "Superman" villains.

Honestly, if WB wants to get out ahead of Marvel, they should be aiming their shared universe at ultimately doing an adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Anti-Monitor for the win!
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  The Dude on Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:01 am

You can also piggy back Zod onto Kal-El's orgin story, which is a narrative advantage.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  QueenSix on Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:45 am

I came across this article which is a bit spoilery in places if you haven't seen the film. Considering the debates I've seen online over certain things that happen in this film, I thought this was interesting: 



  • Possibly spoiler, erring on the side of caution:
    According to Goyer, Superman is given horrible choices where there is no good or safe answer.  Basically, no matter what he does, it will end badly for certain people.


Also spoilering this in case it ruins anything for anyone who hasn't seen Man of Steel yet:
Spoiler:
I'm reminded of what happened in Superman II when Superman manages to turn the tables on Zod et al and renders them powerless. He picks up Zod and throws him over the plateau they're all standing on. As we don't see him land and the impression is that it's really high, I'm guessing he's dead. And neither Superman nor Lois seem too bothered about it. So while I understand why so many people would be up in arms about what happens in Man of Steel, it's not like there isn't cinema precedent for it. 

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  RiverThames on Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:09 am

Yeah, both Mark Waid and Chris Sims have cited their displeasure with
Spoiler:
Superman killing Zod, but at least both of them go on record that they didn't like Superman's characterization with regards to Zod (and picking fights with hick truckers) in Superman II.  Or when he killed Zod in the comics. 

I get it.  I really do.  Same with the "Why didn't Superman move the fight into the cornfield?"  But at the same time... this was, if in practice but not in name, Superman Begins.  In both his fight in Smallville and his fight with Zod... he may be stronger and faster, but still: he's a farmboy fighting elite soldiers.  He's not experienced in fighting anyone ever.  To act like he could control the fight or devote more energy to save buildings is foolish.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:40 am

Mad respect for Mark Waid - Kingdom Come is one of my favorite stories in any medium ever.

But... wow. He's very eloquent in his review and his dislike, but I still come away from it feeling like he's extremely narrow-minded and unwilling to even consider another point of view. That he closed his comments because he was tired of people citing Superman #22 or the ending of Superman II and then ended his last comment with "This is why we can't have nice things"... Fuck him, man. Just fuck him.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  Coneycat on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:05 pm

Very interesting articles-- I notice myself, over the last two or three years, my tolerance for disaster movies and smash-the-whole-city-fighting-the-bad-guy movies has really plummeted. I can't stop thinking about the fictitious body count, and no matter who "started it" I find myself getting pissed off if the good guys ignore the toll. (I make no secret about how much I ended up disliking The Avengers, which was very disappointing after months of excited anticipation, but I did appreciate Whedon's coda acknowledging the fact those buildings that got destroyed were full of people.) Not being a reader of comics or knowledgeable about superheroes, I thought that was just me.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  RiverThames on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:19 pm

I think there is a valid point that the movie has
Spoiler:
no beat between Superman killing Zod and the jokey bit with Gen. Swanwick.  If there had been a scene in between highlighting the cost, the damage, the aftermath a bit better, it would have made a huge difference.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:29 pm

The movie is definitely missing some of its connective tissue.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  RiverThames on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:36 pm

I wonder if it was shot-and-cut-out, or never done.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:51 pm

From all accounts, the final bit of conflict was a late-game revision by Snyder and Goyer because they started feeling that having Zod go back into the Phantom Zone with the other Kryptonians was anti-climactic. So it could go either way, though I'm inclined to say they probably just didn't write it.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  QueenSix on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:53 am

So that thing that's in the film that has people talking so much, David Goyer and Zach Snyder discuss it in the latest Empire magazine podcast. But they have some of the highlights on the website and here's what they have to say about that thing that happens:



From the podcast:

Snyder: "In the original version of the script Zod just got zapped into the Phantom Zone. David [Goyer] and I had long talks about it, and Chris [Nolan] and I talked a lot about it. I was saying, ‘I really feel we should kill Zod and I feel that Superman should kill him.’ For me, the why of it was: if it’s truly an origin story, his aversion to killing is unexplained. It’s just in his DNA. I thought if we put him in an impossible situation, forced him into it, it would work. I felt like that could also make you go, ‘Okay, this is the why of him not killing ever again.’ He’s basically obliterated his entire people and his culture, and he is responsible for it and he is just like… ‘How could I kill ever again?’ Even though Zod says there’s no way this ends without it. ‘What are you going to do? Put me in jail? I don’t know what you’re going to do with me but I’m gonna just keep doing this until you stop me. I’m just a killing machine, especially now. I had a task before but you’ve robbed me of that too.’"
David S. Goyer: "So yes, originally Zod got sucked into The Phantom Zone with the others but I just felt it was unsatisfying and so did Zack. So we started talking to some of the people at DC Comics and asked, ‘Do you think there is ever a way that Superman would kill someone?’ And at first they said, ‘No way.’ ‘But what if he didn’t have a choice…?’ Originally Chris didn’t even want to let us try to write it but Zack and I said, ‘We think we can figure out a way that you’ll buy it.’ So I came up with this idea of the heat vision and these people about to die and I wrote the scene and gave it to Chris… and he said, ‘Okay, you convinced me.’ I’ve seen the film about four times now and everyone always gasps when it happens – they don’t see it coming – and I think it makes some people feel uncomfortable, whereas other people say ‘Right on!’ but that was the point. Hopefully what we have done with the end of this film is we’ve got the the mainstream audience, not the geek audience, to question it all. Hopefully we’ve redefined Superman."
Snyder: "I wanted to create a situation where Superman has gotta do what he’s gotta do or he is going to see these people get chopped in half. And I think Zod knows that. It’s almost like suicide in a way, it’s like death by cop. If Kal has the ability to kill him then that’s a noble way for him to die. It’s echoes the ‘A good death is its own reward’ concept in a movie, and if there were more adventures for Superman in the future, you now don’t know 100 percent what he’s gonna do. When you really put the concept that he won’t kill in stone and you really erase it as an option in the viewer’s mind, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a code.
"But again you’ll always have this thing in the back of your mind. This little thing of… ‘How far can you push him? If he sees Lois get hurt or he sees something like his mother get killed… you just made Superman really mad. A Superman that we know is capable of some really horrible stuff if he wants to do it. That’s the thing that’s cool about him I think, in some ways, the idea that he has the frailties of a human emotionally but you don’t wanna get that guy mad…"



Whether I end up agreeing or not, I still find it interesting to hear about the thought processes that lead to these kinds of decisions.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  whatthedeuce on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:26 pm

I thought all the actors brought the right gravitas and weight to their roles and that Henry and Amy had a mature, grounded chemistry. For some reason though, they don't physically look right together to me, but I don't really know why I feel that way. Maybe part of it is that Amy just seems out of place to me in a big budget superhero movie or something despite the fact that I thought she handled the performance very well. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner were great as the Kents though I was laughing at Diane dressed down in clogs and a gardening apron. Never thought I'd see that since she's always been so glamorous in all the other roles I've seen her in. It's too Diane was playing Clark's mom though cuz the dirty part of my mind wanted to see her and Henry make out. 

EDIT: I really hope no one who hasn't seen the film saw the stupid spoilers I wrote that the damn spoiler tag didn't successfully hide. If you did, I am so sorry! 


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Re: Superman Movies

Post  Gallifrey Girl on Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:18 pm

I saw it and mostly enjoyed it.

The down side to me was I felt the big action sequences just went on too long. I was bored by the end of the Smallville and Metropolis dust-ups. Which isn't to say I didn't think they were amazingly well done, cos they were.

I thought the casting was excellent.  I liked the non-linear story structure. Caville was wonderful. I only know him from The Tudors before this.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  whatthedeuce on Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Yeah, my only real gripe is that the battles went on way longer than they should have or needed to. I wanted a few quiet moments interspersed throughout the last 45 minutes to cut through all the loud ass, never-ending fights. Other than that, I loved the movie and found the ending vastly compelling and realistic. Well, as realistic as a movie about aliens battling for the planet can be.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  Cynara on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:26 am

Of all the things I expected from this movie--a movie I ended up loving, fwiw--being
Spoiler:
balls deep in Judeo-Christian imagery
wasn't one of them.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:14 am

I've heard that, but I really can only recall two instances that are anvilicious, and one that probably went over the heads of most people (the stained glass window, the falling away from the Phantom ship, and then his referring to being on the planet for 33 years). I mean... they didn't sack us with a "Superman's dead!/Not really!" moment. I think Returns was a lot more heavy handed with that.

That's the stuff I caught as a Christian. Not sure about anything specifically Jewish that isn't inherent in the source material ("El = God", the Moses metaphor) being particularly hammered in this movie.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  QueenSix on Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:47 pm

As soon as I heard the age 33 thing, I thought "oh right, like Jesus", and then my mind went to "Leave him alone! He's only 33!" There are some pop culture things you never forget, it seems.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  whatthedeuce on Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:52 pm

It never even occurred to me why they picked such a seemingly random age. However, it did amuse me since Henry barely turned 30 recently.

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Re: Superman Movies

Post  RiverThames on Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:00 pm

I think it's one of those things, if you know it's a Christ reference, it's a REALLY OBVIOUS one. 

I had a friend that, when he turned 33, would splay out his arms as if on a cross as the answer to the question, "How old are you?"
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  laddical on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:19 pm

See, if it's they really want to make it work as a Christ metaphor, then they needed to make Kal 30, not 33. Jesus was 30 when he was baptized by John and began his ministry. And then you can have all kinds of fun with casting Zod in the dual role of John AND Satan and have this whole thing about this first outing being Kal's "baptism of fire" and his temptation.

Then, for the third movie, you make a reference to him being 33 and you bring in Doomsday.

But again... the age thing probably went over most people's heads.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  The Dude on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:59 pm

He was a Royals fan. If that doesn't qualify as a martyrdom I don't know what does.
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Re: Superman Movies

Post  whatthedeuce on Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:49 pm

OMG. He looked so damn fine in that Royals shirt. I confess that is the image most viciously seared into my brain from that entire movie.


Last edited by whatthedeuce on Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Superman Movies

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