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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Yes and you usually do, I just more have an issue with using that quote in general.

    IDK, they seem to be on even ground depending on which posters are involved in the discussion. I've been accused of being an MCU shill for coming around to criticisms of Snyder's output and becoming worn out on him, and I'm not even overly invested in the MCU films beyond a few and will call out how same-y a lot of them are. I think the opposing opinions that this is a great, deep developed version of classic Superman or a psycho whose little better than Ultraman or Homelander are both missing the mark. Like a lot of valid criticisms are usually met with "you just want kid stuff and don't like Snyder making your favorite characters sophisticated for adults" responses. How is that NOT hyperbole?
    I could not have a conversation face to face with some who wanted to argue the "complexity" of the "Superman" presented by MOS and BVS without laughing. Th at version of Supes came across as simplistic to a fault and very junior. But my problem with it and the DC EU in general largely lay with Waste.

    There was just so much of it. They had no plan and no infrastructure as a result they just blew through the catalogue in haste and stuck not one landing.

  2. #47
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I think Snyder understood the characters in many respects, but not in *every* way. I think where the film stumbles the most though, is in trying to take those base characters and inject them into a grounded setting that isn't designed to operate with a Superman in it.

    Like, take the Kents. Everyone bitches about Pa Kent and the whole thing with the bus but his morality and motivations remain the same as always...the difference is he lives in a world where Clark being discovered as a child means Clark dead or manipulated. Johnathan's trapped trying to balance his son's life, mental health and family against the burdens that Clark will grow up to carry. Sit back and think about it; think about what it would mean to be that guy, raising that kid, in *this* world. Gods, imagine what some governments right now would do to a kid like Clark? Worse if it's some corporation or agenda-based organization that get ahold of him. Are you *really* going to tell the ten year old child that doing the right thing is *always* worth the cost, *no matter what?* Even if it ends with your son being dissected in some lab somewhere, or brain washed into obedience?

    That's the thing with MoS Pa Kent; comic book John (most adaptations really) lives in a world with a binary morality where moral/ethical shades of gray are, really, fairly uncommon and true vileness is relatively rare. MoS John lives in a world much more compromised, and a lot of the dissonance we experience with the film is due to taking that "black/white" character view and forcing it to contend with shades of gray.

    Some scenes were just bad. Bad in concept, bad in execution (John's death for instance). And there's things Snyder doesn't get about the characters, like the fact that Clark has a inborn optimism, nurtured by the Kents, and while sometimes he has his doubts about both himself and us, generally he's always been a dude who looks on the bright side. That, among other character traits, was missing from MoS. But generally I think Snyder understood the characters and his mistakes are mostly found in how he tried to adapt them to a "real world" setting. Interesting idea, and I think he did well with certain aspects of it, but in others....yeah, pretty big miss.

    And I think Snyder was actually too subtle about some stuff (odd to say that). Like, everyone bitches about Clark not moving the big fight out of the city. There's actually a couple times you see him fly away, where he seems to be trying to lure Zod off, and Zod just blows up a building or stops him or what have you. Clark was not in control of that fight at all. But Snyder did a piss poor job of making sure it actually registers, it just looks like chaos (and most of it is).

    But MoS is still my favorite Superman film and I think it's far better than stuff like Aquaman or Shazam. I liked those films, but I wouldn't call them great. MoS might not be great in every respect, but it at least keeps it interesting.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I think Snyder understood the characters in many respects, but not in *every* way. I think where the film stumbles the most though, is in trying to take those base characters and inject them into a grounded setting that isn't designed to operate with a Superman in it.

    Like, take the Kents. Everyone bitches about Pa Kent and the whole thing with the bus but his morality and motivations remain the same as always...the difference is he lives in a world where Clark being discovered as a child means Clark dead or manipulated. Johnathan's trapped trying to balance his son's life, mental health and family against the burdens that Clark will grow up to carry. Sit back and think about it; think about what it would mean to be that guy, raising that kid, in *this* world. Gods, imagine what some governments right now would do to a kid like Clark? Worse if it's some corporation or agenda-based organization that get ahold of him. Are you *really* going to tell the ten year old child that doing the right thing is *always* worth the cost, *no matter what?* Even if it ends with your son being dissected in some lab somewhere, or brain washed into obedience?

    That's the thing with MoS Pa Kent; comic book John (most adaptations really) lives in a world with a binary morality where moral/ethical shades of gray are, really, fairly uncommon and true vileness is relatively rare. MoS John lives in a world much more compromised, and a lot of the dissonance we experience with the film is due to taking that "black/white" character view and forcing it to contend with shades of gray.

    Some scenes were just bad. Bad in concept, bad in execution (John's death for instance). And there's things Snyder doesn't get about the characters, like the fact that Clark has a inborn optimism, nurtured by the Kents, and while sometimes he has his doubts about both himself and us, generally he's always been a dude who looks on the bright side. That, among other character traits, was missing from MoS. But generally I think Snyder understood the characters and his mistakes are mostly found in how he tried to adapt them to a "real world" setting. Interesting idea, and I think he did well with certain aspects of it, but in others....yeah, pretty big miss.

    And I think Snyder was actually too subtle about some stuff (odd to say that). Like, everyone bitches about Clark not moving the big fight out of the city. There's actually a couple times you see him fly away, where he seems to be trying to lure Zod off, and Zod just blows up a building or stops him or what have you. Clark was not in control of that fight at all. But Snyder did a piss poor job of making sure it actually registers, it just looks like chaos (and most of it is).

    But MoS is still my favorite Superman film and I think it's far better than stuff like Aquaman or Shazam. I liked those films, but I wouldn't call them great. MoS might not be great in every respect, but it at least keeps it interesting.
    You are not wrong. A lot of it is complaining about not making four color comic book choices in a world where people are far more realistic. Jonathan Kent's fears are a prime example. But, as you said, the problem is also some really unbelievable stuff. Most of my problems are things you criticize too such as not making Superman's lack of experience in a fight clear enough or not spending enough time on why the people of that world come to see him as an inspiring hero whose death would throw the world into chaos.
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  4. #49
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    I think it understands Superman more than Superman Returns does, at least... and the Superman it wants to understand is very much my kind of Superman, with the more hard sci-fi aspects of the Post-Crisis era and an idea towards treating Lois seriously as an investigator.

    I think the main issue it has is in understanding the Kent’s - especially Pa Kent, but also Clark, to some extent. Pa Kent being willing to go Devil’s Advocate for letting people die is just a step too far, especially when the film is otherwise handling the “humanity on trial” idea actually pretty well, especially regarding Smallville; I’d say the second they decided to have the town of Smallville implicitly figure out what’s up with Clark enough that they refuse to turn on him when Zod’s makes his demands, and the second that Pete’s mom actually expresses gratitude for him being saved, they weren’t going to be served by trying to make Pa Kent be more cynical. And the tornado death scene is just stupid - as a Missourian who graduated from a high school in Kansas, it’s not just the pretentious stab at a moral lesson they do that annoys me, but also the attempt to use an overpass as a safe place when you don’t do that.

    Clark is overall better... but needed more personality conveyed through dialogue. Yes, Cavill’s very good at facial dialogue, and I like what elements fo Clark’s personality are in the film... but he honestly could have used more banter with Lois, more verbally expressed clashes between his idealism and pessimism, and I think if he had a Morrison style “take no $#!+” attitude, it would have dovetailed nicely with the film’s themes.

    But otherwise... there’s a lot I li’e about the film. I think the portrayal of the Kryptonains and humanity actually works very well, and I love the theme of stagnation and an inability to adapt as part of Zod’s character. Lois could have used more explicit Action Girl credentials, but otherwise she’s great.
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  5. #50
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I think a lot of people go too far criticizing Jon for not really knowing what to do about the bus situation. Keep in mind, he doesn't say, "Yes, absolutely, let people die to preserve your secret!" He says "maybe," in a quiet, unsure voice. He doesn't know what he thinks is right in this complex situation.

    Eddie Jones' Jon told Dean Cain's Clark that he needs to be careful about his rescues, because he worries people will capture him and try to "dissect you like a frog," and Glen Ford's Jon tells Jeff East that he used to fear that people would try to take him away from his family! And in the Smallville pilot, John Schneider even expresses concern about the fact that Clark potentially revealed himself by saving the life of a man who went over a bridge in a vehicle - in that case, Lex Luthor, who absolutely did figure out that something was up. A desire for secrecy, for his son's protection, is absolutely in line with the various Jon Kent portrayals of years past, and frankly I've gotten kind of sick over the last seven years of seeing people demonize Jon's very human desire to protect his boy.

    It's easy for us to say "Come on, he's Superman, nothing really bad could actually happen to him," but oh yes it could, because he's not Superman, he's a teenage boy making a split second decision and having to live with the consequences, whether he acts or not.

    My one and only concern is over the fact that in the scene where Jon dies, Clark's youth might not have come across. He's supposed to be seventeen, but played by Henry Cavill, he may have come across as old as maybe 25 to some viewers. Clark probably should not have been played by Cavill in that scene. But that's really my only complaint about that scene.

    As for the rest of the movie, yeah, I think Man of Steel understands Superman really well. One of my favorite conceptions of Kal/Clark out there, and more surprisingly, it does so largely drawing on source material that I'm not the biggest fan of. I don't love John Byrne's Superman, but I love Zack Snyder's.

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    Some highlights of Superman's characterization:

    • When Clark first meets Lois, he holds her hand, talks to her, explains what he's going to do, keeps her calm.
    • Clark describes his powers with the very neutral phrase, "I can do things other people can't," rather than saying he's better in any way than anyone else.
    • When he learns that his name is "Kal-El" for the first time, the look of absolute wonder on his face!
    • The way he gives up his entire life so readily, just because someone nearby is in trouble and he knows he can help.
    • His relationship with Lois, obviously built on mutual respect and trust.
    • His desire to trust humanity, countered with his knowledge that sometimes we're pretty shitty.
    • The way Clark just can't wait to tell his mom that he found out about his heritage. Adorable.
    • His absolute willingness to put the living over the dead, despite the fact that he's just encountered this incredible culture that has already given him a whole new way of being himself, he still doesn't hesitate to write them off in favor of living humans, even knowing how flawed we can be.
    • I love him???
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