Science fiction is fantasy in scientific packaging.
I did not make this headline up
Science fiction is fantasy in scientific packaging.
IMHO the best of science fiction has been written by authors who make an honest attempt to place their stories within a scientifically-plausible universe. Yes, it requires a willing suspension of disbelief, but there's a vast difference between stuff written by Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl, Niven/Pournelle, Bear, Robinson, etc. on one hand and comic book superhero stuff on the other end of the spectrum. That doesn't mean the latter can't be fun to read or see in the theater, but real science fiction it ain't, at least by my standards.
And then there's the Sy-Fy Channel, which is produced with the mind of an 11-year old as a target, and not a very bright one at that.
The movie is amazing and IMO the best of the year.
some of you are expecting shakespear. It is a comic book movie.
The only complaint I have is the sudden morale change of heart for the first time in 50+ years with Superman regarding the ending with General Zod.
It goes against everything Superman was for though. He makes Bruce Wayne look vicious, in fact Superman is supposed to be almost too good, that's why the ending was just so bad.
The end is perfect and I'm glad they didn't go cliché with Superman's being too nice.
You're ok with writers/directors changing a character's mythos as they see fit??
My Dad is a comicbook historian.(Yes, you read that correctly). He, like you, was shocked and a little appalled at that. But frankly I liked it. My main issue with Dark Knight is that it refused to have Batman kill anyone. That rather childish aspect reduced the effectiveness of the film in my eyes.
In the world we live in good men sometimes do have to kill. Man of Steel depicts that. It depics him killing Zod even thought he does not want to. That scene alone is paradigm-changing for a movie genre that needs it. Killing is part of our world. Making our superheroes immune from killing belongs to another age and time. In our more sophisticated, reality-based times it is more appropriate to show these superheroes having to make the morally complex decisions that presidents, soldiers, and police officers have to make.
Yeah, but the original Superman killing in the comic was after a whole lot of set up of his morality and how he saw killing as completely wrong, and it was huge thing for him to kill. In this movie, it was not setup pretty much at all, and it was never established that he had issues with killing. Not only that, but a lot of his attacks on Zod likely killed many people too (hitting him into a gas station and causing it to explode, for example).
Regarding the scene being a paradigm changer for the genre... really? Plenty of other superheroes kill. Wolverine. Cyclops. Wonder Woman. The Flash. Mr Fantastic. Captain America. Green Arrow. Spider-Man. Iron Man. Green Lantern. Thor. The list goes on.
Beyond that - superheroes being immune from killing belongs in another time? Because we live in a world where good people kill, but that wasn't the case in the past somehow?
The choice to have Batman and Superman not kill is not something that was just flippantly made. There's a reason it's part of their characters. You should read "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way" (or, barring that, watch Superman vs The Elite).
Other than that, there were some other kind of dumb changes/plot points in the movie. Jor-El is a peaceful scientist, yet is able to beat General Zod in a fight despite Zod being raised solely to be a warrior? The entire character of Jonathan (Superman's earth dad) was just dumb.
Wired wrote up a good article about the movie, much better phrased than I could ever be (and harsher than I'd be): http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/06/man-of-steel-movie-review/
Basically, the movie was decent as a NON-Superman movie, but as a movie using the Superman character it fell short in a number of areas. Redefining small parts of a character willy-nilly is fine. Redefining major aspects of a character without providing a solid reason for it... not so much.
Some of the things he points out were great (18,000 years of Kryptonian Tech), and others are selective memory (you can object to killing Zod but pointing to Superman 2 where he kills two of the three himself isn't really a good counter). But nice fodder for thought.
You want the campy cape dude watch Brandon Routh... This is exactly what i (cant imagine I'm the only one) wanted to see. If the actor sucked it would be different sure... But this Henry guy, the emotion that came pouring out in that last action scene was insane.
And super heroes is they find a way to not reduce themselves to their enemies tactics, and find a way to succeed without killing. (Like they could have in the movie). Bruce Wayne saw his family gunned down, so he never wants anyone else to be subjected to that. To have no other method than to kill is to have failed. Not doing so is what makes them better than us. Something to aspire to.
However the movie didn't bother me that much because you can see how much he agonizes over having to make that decision. Even if the majority of the crowd who cheered him doing it in the theater didn't get it.
You are not seriously arguing that a comic book movie character should behave in a given way because the movie should depict "the world we live in," are you?
If you wanted to see the protagonist kill someone, why go to a Superman movie?
I thought the movie was okay, but over-emphasized the zowie factor and underemphasized the character moments and dialogue. Acting was about what one would expect for a movie like this: a bit wooden, but servicable.
I think all three Batrilogy movies were clearly superior, but I think MOS was better than, say, the new Star Trek movies (which had the same plot and character weaknesses, but which hadn't nearly the same quality of special effects). I'd give this a 6/10 (and, thankfully, a 0/10 for depicting the world we live in).
DC was obviously OK with the script since they allowed it to happen. A new movie does not have to be exactly like the original happened. This is a similar argument with the Transformers movies. I'm a TF freak and have loved them since they came out in the 80s. I also love all three movies and cannot wait for the next one. That being said, there are many TF fans who hate the movies because the characters are not exactly like the comics or cartoons and some stories were changed. Well, Michael Bay even admitted that his movies are simply BASED ON the the Transformers of old. What is the point in making a new movie that is a replica of some old story? That is incredibly lame.
Of course there a going to be changes, I mean the X-men team in the original movie is nowhere near the actual first team. All comic book movies have origins that aren't close to the actual book origins, my point is that having Superman kill an enemy is quite the paradigm shift.
I welcome change. Superman has to do whatever is needed to protect Earth from Zod and if that means killing him, then so be it. The final battle was epic and the killing was the perfect end to Zod. It had to be done.
In what Warner Brothers, who owns them, does ith their properties. They don't make their own movies like Marvel.
I'm a bit of a comic book freak (or I was until having kids priced me out). I used to buy Superman comics. The writers and directors aren't changing mythos. Superman has killed before. Specifically, he's killed Zod and two of Zod's soldiers. Of course, comics constantly reboot and I think currently Zod is back again.
By the way, here's a little Superman trivia for the board. The two guys who created Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) went to Cleveland Glenville High. I doubt they had very good 40 times.
Professor X made a good point. This is an action movie and meant to simply entertain people. If anyone wants a movie that talks about Susie and Mikey and their relationship, then go watch that crap elsewhere. Certain movies are made to just make you say, "WOW, that was awesome."
Ugh. I swear "Idiocracy" was a documentary.
I can't wait till Hollywood smartens up to what the consumers really want and just put "Girls Gone Wild" in theaters with splices of UFC fights and Jackass in between scenes.
the same thought about idiocracy pops into my head when I am teaching.
However, the original point of a blockbuster comic book movie is to entertain. If you want thought provoking plot development that challenges your beliefs and moral code go check out the latest coming out of Cannes.
I am sure the Brown Bunny is more of your cup of tea.
I disagree that entertainment and thought-provoking plot development are mutually exclusive. "No, I am your father" was about as thought-provoking a line as has been unttered in a movie, and it was in the vastly entertaining The Empire Strikes Back.
I think that one of the real problems with Hollywood is that too many people there think like your statement indicates that you do. Thus, the excellent, thought-provoking, and basass The Matrix got turned into the tripefest that was the later two matrix movies.
I think that the problem is that directors are too specialized, and few can do both action and character/plot. So, we end up with movies like Man of Steel instead of Alien.
There's no reason a summer blockbuster can't be action-packed AND thought-provoking. But if people accept lazy stories and defend them with the old "oh, it's only an action movie anyway" line, then why should anyone in Hollywood try to make a thought provoking movie?
Making a good, thought-provoking moving is HARD. Blowing up buildings--pretty much anyone can do that, as Michael Bay proves over and over again.
I'm not saying every movie has to be an Academy-nominated drama. But just because something is a comic-book movie doesn't mean it can't (or shouldn't) have depth.
Agree. Die Hard had excellent action, but stopped the bloodshed long enough to give us a reason to care about John McClane. Die Hard 2 and 4 didn't do this, because they were directed by people who didn't understand why the audience should think of their characters as people. Die Hard 3 match DH's approach, because it had the same director.
All of those movies had exploding buildings, but only good drectors can make exploding buildings more than casually interesting.
Die Hard is nothing but an action franchise (one I love). It features explosions and dudes shooting guns at each other.
Die Hard 1 was a lot more than just "dudes shooting guns at each other". It was actually a heist movie merged with an action movie. Sure, it featured lots of dudes shooting guns at each other, but also featured a lot more.
Same with Die Hard 3. There was a lot more going on than just the action. And just like grumbler said, that is why those 2 movies were so much better than most boiler-plate "action" movies. They actually had good scripts.
Love that you capitalized "Superman", but not "Shakespeare", which you also spelled wrong. Run along back to comic book land now.
Edit: Wow, this reply is 19 comments below Prof X's post that I was replying to.
Puh-leeze. Let me know when The Incredible Hulk 5 or Iron Man 7 comes out
This is clearly the best Superman story of all time. All others have failed (movies and TV I mean). It has just been extremely difficult to make a good iteration of Superman and they finally did.
Really awesome. I do not look to these flocks for life lessons, or some higher meaning. Instead, i put the brain on cruise control and just enjoy it.
Too many people go into a movie expecting artsy fartsy crap. Well, certain movies are not meant to do that and this is one of them. This is just a kick ass movie that is there to just make you have fun.
I don't know. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time was pretty bad.
Dont ever mention that movie again.. I was not asked to be in it therefore it sucked.
Henry Cavill is unbelievably well cast as Superman. The movie is not perfect but highly enjoyable. Snyder & Nolan took some liberties that not everyone will like but I was more or less fine with.
Had to work all weekend so I am going tomorrow night. Just wondering why they can't find an American to play Superman? Just sayin.
no matter where they originate from. British, American, Scottish, Irish..who the hell can tell the difference?
Besides, American actors largely suck.
"American actors largely suck." I'd say most actors suck, but the good ones I can name are all American. Edward Norton, Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Di Caprio, etc. I can barely name any foreign actors (except the ones with nice bust lines, hello Selma). And oh gosh, who is that droopy-eyed Brit in all of those romantic comedies? He's set acting back decades. AND the Brits have to claim that dog who played Bridget Jones.
American actors are culled from the masses to find the "Super Star". British actors are trained professionals. British superstars are far and few between, but british character actors are everywhere. Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellan, Sean Bean, 90% of the Game of thrones cast.
If you're looking for someone to be larger than life, you get an american, if you want something more nuanced, you go for a brit or austrailan.
Because that's not really important. As long as the actor/actress is good and can pull of a convincing accent, then it doesn't matter. David Anders is American but everyone thinks he is English because his two most famous roles required him to have a British accent, which he pulled off flawlessly.
Superman is not a goddamn crumpet loving, tea drinking, pale skinned Brit. He's a cornfed Murican and that's that. This is just as fake as having an American play Sherlock Holmes and this movie was as superficial as that film as well. Although I think my 8th grade self may have really enjoyed the no-plot, punch-em-up script which was as intelligent as "300".
Maybe I'm just getting really tired of half of the big-budget Hollywood movies being based on superheros. I thought there were like 10,000 failed writers living in LA? Can't they think of something NEW for once? Oh well, the population is such that pretty much any movie will make movie if it's budget is managed correctly, dissuading innovation which may lead to disaster or success. Movies are taking after the Pirates... put out a "meh" product year after year if the sheeple are dumb enough to spend money on it, laugh all the way to the bank. Why take the risk and try to win if you're sure to make money just by re-producing the same films which were made poorly 10 years ago.
You do realize that the current Batman, Superman, Captain America, Spider-Man, Green Lantern and Wolverine are not American born right?
Cpt America is US born but the current Thor is not. My mistake.
Wolverine wasn't American anyway.
I think we just found the American version of Don Cherry.
I thought it was good, as good as any comic book movie outside of The Dark Knight. Yes they kind of mess with the Superman mythos, but this is the 21st century, let's not act like this wasn't eventually coming. Hell, they killed Superman in the 90s.
Zod came into being in the Reeves movies, not the comic book. Hollywood has a history of adjusting the Superman story.
Perhaps, but that is good. We can't keep seeing the same or similar story in all movies that were made years ago. I hate it when people complain (not saying you are), "That's not how it happened in <insert old movie, book, comic>." Well, that's OK. It doesn't need to be exact and frankly should not be.