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Superman wins! At least he wins the question, “Who can destroy Manhattan more, the Avengers or Superman?” (OK it's "Metropolis" in Man of Steel. Whatever.)

Spoiler Warning: I’m assuming you have seen the movie, so there are spoilers ahead, though if anyone goes into this movie not knowing the back story of Superman’s origins, and that Superman wins at the end, and that no one important dies (sorry Pa Kent), were you even born in America?

OK, so...

I just saw the new Superman movie and it was, well... Let me begin by making some observations. Did anyone else think the army of Zod should have been called Necromongers and led by Vin Diesel? Did anyone else think Supes’ battle with the World Engine would have been more fun if Elastigirl, Frozone, and the kids had helped? Did anyone else expect the fighter planes attacking Zod’s space ship to upload a computer virus to bring it down? Did anyone else expect Shoeless Joe Jackson to step out of that cornfield and tell young Clark to build it and they will come? Did anyone else sit through this movie for the first time feeling like they had seen it before?

Not to mention the whole, “Didn’t the Avengers just do this movie?” thing.

I mean, how many times have we seen a city demolished in the last few years? From Independence Day to the Avengers, heck, even to Inception -- but they just bent a city. Still, OK, we know, we know, CGI software can do great cities and crumbling concrete and shattered glass. Cities have been so done. I know Metropolis has a special place in the Superman universe, but couldn’t there have been a line like, “No! Not here. This is between you and me, no more of our people need to die!” Then they go off and fight in the Grand Canyon or at the South Pole (although Clark already did his romp in the arctic, so maybe the Amazon rain forest or the Gobi desert. Whatever). Anywhere but yet another crumbling, shattering, glittering, toppling, exploding city.

Because this does raise a major question about Superman’s morality. He has already destroyed Smallville, the town he grew up in. How many innocent people died in that battle? He has already semi-destroyed Metropolis. How many died? Hasn’t he just knowingly and willingly obliterated the harvesting chamber from the Matrix (I mean the Kryptonian Genesis Chamber thingie -- but seriously wasn’t it almost exactly like the Matrix baby farms, even down to plucking the gooey pink baby bubble off the vine via machine, just like in the Matrix?) thus killing unknown millions of his own Kryptonian people? Hasn’t he then continued to demolish Metropolis, killing even more unknown numbers of innocent humans, only to cry and scream when a small family of people are threatened by Zod’s heat vision, thus giving Supes “justification” for breaking Zod’s neck? And then, and only then, does he weep for having been “forced” to kill. Seriously? Wasn’t he watching the movie for the past hour?

I think this aspect of the film bothered me more than any other. The idea that, as long as Mom, Lois and Perry survive (and that girl trapped under five thousand pounds of rubble that Perry White and Steve Lombard (yeah, me too... Who? Why not just make him Jimmy Olsen?) managed to shift using a street sign as a lever), who cares how many innocent people die? Who weeps for collateral damage? It’s a problem I have been having for years with all these movies but, really, this is the first time I was kind of offended. I mean, usually the heroes (the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Batman, whoever) climb out of the rubble, have a moment, go for Shawarma or whatever, and get back to work. Sure lots of people have died, but that’s war and so on. I was offended by the fact that Superman, apparently, only cares about human life in the abstract, or when he can look into your eyes. If you get crushed under a collapsing building three blocks away, no tears for you.

I just would have liked to see the scene where Supes stands up after killing Zod, looks down sadly at the body, makes eye contact with the family who almost died, and then raises his head to gaze around him at the ruined city and weeps for the thousands who have died before their time, only to be comforted by Lois, big kissy-kissy business. Annnnnnd scene! See? Isn’t that better?

Other than the fact that the film feels like a pastiche, and that Superman has this whole bizarre ethical issue, I rather enjoyed the film. Henry Cavill does a fine job as the Man of Steel and even manages a reasonable mid-western accent (eat your heart out Hugh Laurie!). He is definitely buff enough for the role (Chris Reeve was great, but never looked “super” enough in the muscles department). It was nice to see Laurence Fishburne in a good role again (I like Fishburne, but had to stop watching CSI while he was on, it was just awful. Not his fault, really, but thank god for Ted Danson). Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is top notch. The rest of the cast is fine. Harry Lennix does his patented gruff but compassionate soldier, as does Christopher Meloni. They paid a slight homage to Superman II by giving Zod his female second in command, called Ursa originally and played by Sarah Douglas, this time called Faora-Ul and well-played by Antje Traue. And the giant Kryptonian, Non, originally played by Jack O’Halloran, returns, though in a much diminished role (we never get to see his face) played by 6’ 6” Revard Dufresne and named Dev-Em; at one point he picks up Superman and flops him around by the ankles just like the Hulk did Loki in the Avengers, but that doesn’t stop ol’ Supes! No way! (Loki is a puny god.) The evil Kryptonian scientist, Jax-Ur, played by Mackenzie Gray, is played with a German accent straight from every WWII-influenced movie you have ever seen. There were a few real clunkers of line readings (the “I just think he’s hot” girl at the end, for example) but, for the most part, the performances are solid.

Just a few more points. The storage for the genetic code of every Kryptonian yet to be born is a hominid skull? (Krypto habilis?) Huh? Why wasn’t it a modern Kryptonian skull? Why a skull at all? Were they planning to breed apes?

The entire history of Krypton is expressed through an animated 1930’s WPA mural? Was Diego Rivera from Krypton? Did I see Lenin down there in the corner? Did anyone notice that Kal-El’s little ship in the mural was a combination of the one from this movie and the 1978 film?

And finally, well, maybe I’m just in re-boot overload, or maybe there have just been too many Superman (and other) re-boots, but after Glenn Ford, John Schneider, and now Kevin Costner as Pa Kent, and Jackie Cooper, Frank Langella, and now Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and how many Ma Kents have we had? How many Lois Lanes? And how many Supermans since 1978? Look, I’m kinda done. Can we please just do at least three or four movies with Henry Cavill and the current cast? Can we have a little consistency and a few good stories? Can we please stop telling the story of how Superman, Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman, etc., etc., began and just start telling good super hero stories? Please? Can we just start to assume that most of the audience for these movies already knows the back story? Or doesn’t care? Heck, we never had to be told how James Bond became James Bond. It didn’t matter how James T. Kirk became Captain of the Enterprise (until Chris Pine started playing him). Why do super hero movies all have to be about origin stories? Superman has appeared in at least one comic book a month since 1938 (often more than half a dozen books a month). Not to mention movies, cartoons and TV shows. There are literally thousands upon thousands of stories already written. Pick one. Make a movie. Seriously. Can we please just lose the origin stories for at least a generation? Pretty please?

And maybe, just maybe, give a second thought to the collateral damage?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I just watched the new batman flick on tv (0+ / 0-)

    I couldn't decide which group of fascists I was most against.

    •  Don't get me started on 'Dark Knight Rises' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As far as I'm concerned, the first Batman movie without Batman, even worse than 'Dark Knight'. Nolan's 'Batman' films are horrendously overrated.

      It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

      by Fordmandalay on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:19:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heath Ledger made the Dark Knight (0+ / 0-)

        a good movie. The other two of Nolan's Batman movies were nearly unendurable.

        •  I thought the first one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          was quite good. I liked Nolan and Christian Bale's take on the character. The second was great entirely due to Heath Ledger's Joker, a performance for the history books. The third suffered from many of the problem's Man of Steel does: The plot really doesn't make any sense and it's full of holes. But it was watchable and enjoyable. Far, far better than those 1980's abortions after the first Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson film.

  •  Have you ever been in a fight? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aaraujo, jfromga

    You usually have to focus on what's in front of you. Not to mention, by this point in his career, Superman isn't a hero per se. He's just trying to do his best to stop a threat. Up until now he's just been trying to manage his life.

    BTW: Best Superman movie ever  made. Jesus Loves You.

    by DAISHI on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:13:30 AM PDT

  •  I won't be bothering to go (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Hollywood wants to entice me to enter one of their over-priced American death-traps, then they've got to do better than this.

    The crux of Superman's character is the conflict of morality - given the power to do nearly anything, what compels someone to act morally correct even when doing so is in conflict with their personal wishes and ambitions. Superman's story presents this conflict, in part, as Nature vs. Nurture. Born to an alien race, Superman's advanced intellect and strength could make him King of The Earth (as Zod hoped to be), but for the nurturing Midwestern values instilled in him by his adoptive parents, the Kents.

    That Hollywood is no longer interested in telling the story of rationalized morality and acting non-selfishly for the common good doesn't surprise me in the least. I don't know who this superhero is in a brown-and-slate costume, but I don't recognize him as Superman.

    My other car is a pair of boots.

    by FutureNow on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Cuz we gotta BLOW STUFF UP REAL GOOD!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cynndara, prfb

    Action films are locked into an endless spiral of having to 'top' previous action movies, with bigger 'splosions and more destruction. I think it's tied into the 'dumbing down' of civilization, with the target audience (either 12 year olds physically or mentally) needing to have their adrenalin goosed constantly.

    When films originated, for the most part they chose their 'source' material from great literature, then as they progressed and the public grew less sophisticated, the source became more 'modern' literature, then 'pulp', then 'magazine', then 'comics' - to eventually based on lines of toys and games, which is where we are today.

    Oh, and there IS and forever will be only ONE 'Zod'; Terance Stamp!! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!


    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:16:47 AM PDT

    •  I forgot to mention;this is how comics are now too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, cynndara

      I've been a comic fan my whole life, and for years subscribed to as many as 15 titles at a time (DC recently, haven't liked the Marvel stories since the '60s) - but over the past few years the stories have been getting more violent, especially with DC's 'reboot' of their universe with the 'New 52', which is just awful. It's just incredibly bleak, vicious, with no 'good', only the anti-hero types, and every comic issue involves mass destruction and the deaths of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of innocents. The 'underground' comic world took over the mainstream, and it carries over into the films. You can see the difference in the philosophies of what superheroes used to be just by looking at Superman's costume; in the Reeves films, it was bright, clear red and blue. In 'Man of Steel' it's much darker, with muddied, muddled colors - to reflect the uncertain morals of the modern superhero.

      It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

      by Fordmandalay on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:01:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the desaturated palette was more about not looking like the Marvel universe. The Avengers was all about primary and signature colors Iron Man is red and gold, Hulk is green, Cap is red, white and blue (and so is Thor), Loki is green and gold, Hawkeye and Black Widow dress in matching blacks, and so on.

        Supes' new costume reflects a modern sensibility in cinema: desaturate and texturize. Like the Lord of the RIngs movies: As each one came out it was less colorful than the last. If they had made a fourth in the series, I believe it would have been in black and white.

        I like the fact that Superman no longer wears his underpants on the outside. And they kind of made the point that his uniform is a sort of Kryptonian chain mail armor. I'm OK with all that.

        I don't read comics anymore, but I suspect your analysis is spot on. More's the pity.

        •  Which goes back (0+ / 0-)

          to something I've noticed increasing geometrically in film and video since my childhood: the people who do film live in a video world.  They admire, consume, imitate and recreate other films.  IF IT ISN'T ON FILM, FORGET IT.  It's not on their radar.  They don't read, they don't write, and their scripts have to be re-written as comic books for production (the infamous "storybook").  Hollywood is basically composed of illiterates who learn everything they know from film and TV.  Therefore their fashionable aesthetics mutate and comment upon the latest fashion in film, but take no notice of either the real world or any intellectual or historical information that would have to enter their consciousness by a medium other than video.  They live inside an Idiot Box Bubble.

      •  creeping cynicism (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In this respect, the comics are simply following in a shift in the culture as a whole: towards cynicism but also towards realism.  The time when audiences could uncritically accept a superpowered being acting beyond all restraint except a self-imposed moral code is long past.  We've learned that someone in that position is likely to be far more worthy of fear than of love: real "supers" would probably be like Khan Noonien Singh, and even the good ones would be constantly tempted to go Justice Lord on the world whenever law or morality interferes with their effectiveness.

        And while the heroes themselves get more complex and fragile, you also see the rise of people and institutions charged with controlling supers if possible, destroying them if necessary, but also acting in defense of Earth when (not if) the supers are unavailable or refuse to act because their moral code conflicts with what humanity sees as in its own interest.  Not just fear but also a real lack of faith in the kind of champion that the supers represent and an interest in cultivating a mundane alternative.

    •  I kind of agree about Zod (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy

      In Superman II he was just a megalomaniac. And Stamp was very entertaining. In this film he's just another jar head, indistinguishable from hundreds of other "I'm a sojer" types who say "Arrrrggh!" alot and would rather fight than think. Sort of like the marine commander in Avatar (yet another copy in a film full of copies).

      And his motivations are suspect at best. If he REALLY was determined to revive the race of Krypton, why not come to Earth and demand the Genesis Chamber, which Superman would willing have given him, and ASK politely to make a copy of the genomes in Superman's blood, which, again, Superman would eagerly have agreed to. Then go off back to one of the old colonies -- which we have been told, failed because they lost support from Krypton, not because of anything inimical to Krypotonian life -- and start anew without having to kill everyone on Earth?

      Again, this film is full of holes and non-sequiturs, not to mention rehashed everything.

      •  funny I thought Zod (0+ / 0-)

        was commentary on the current US Security State.  Bred to protect with no understanding of what they were really protecting, a destroy the village to save it type if I ever saw one.  Duty without understanding, blind allegiance to something that doesn't really exist.

      •  Zod would never have asked politely (0+ / 0-)

        Remember, Kal-El's very existence was a heresy to Zod.  Kal-El was the first natural-born Kryptonian in centuries, and was a direct confrontation with Kryptonian social engineering practices.  If Kal-El survives and thrives, it directly undermines the very foundations of Kryptonian society, and Zod's role as the protector of that society.  Zod hated Kal-El, because Kal-El represented the ultimate betrayal of Krypton by Jor-El, one of Zod's former best friends, a betrayal stacked on top of the betrayal by the Kryptonian Council in allowing Krypton's destruction.

        From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. -Immanuel Kant

        by Nellebracht on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  At least the Avengers made an effort to save (0+ / 0-)

    what civilians they could.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:18:34 AM PDT

    •  They did show a lot of civilians escaping in (0+ / 0-)

      The Avengers.  It was almost like the A-Team TV show where everything blows up and no one dies.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:25:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what being PG is all about (0+ / 0-)

        All violence must be without real consequence. No death, no maiming, no pain and suffering. Just ka-booms and pretty lights. And a little trickle of blood at the corner of the mouth.

        Add in hot women in skin-tight outfits with cleavage out to here, legs up to there, and a bare midriff and men in tight pants with no bulges and you get the essence of modern American myth making.

        Our entire world is made for 12 year-old boys.

        •  Remember movie serials? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Our entire world is made for 12 year-old boys.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:06:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  its a man's world still (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I even criticized some fancy tech ad that come on for the previews, male bosses and the women actually aping 20's chorus line moves in tight tops and short skirts.  The movies are no different.  Because somewhere, 12 year old male fantasies still dominate all marketing.   Maybe some mansplaining can explain it.

  •  Collateral damage (0+ / 0-)

    This aspect of contemporary action films really bothers me too. I get plenty of derision from people like my Churchy-Charlie brother-in-law for liking horror films, but deaths in that genre are never insignificant. Death is to be feared as an underscore to the preciousness of life. Mass, amoral, impersonal slaughter is an aspect of the action genre, not the horror genre.

    My other car is a pair of boots.

    by FutureNow on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:22:58 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It seems like World War Z is going to violate your principles, too.

      I agree that death in horror films is personal and significant. This is what they are about: Every "monster" is a stand-in for death itself, the fear thereof, the un-knowable nature of that undiscovered country beyond the grave.

      WWZ look like it's just going to be yet another pile up the bodies, knock down the buildings, kaboom-a-thon.

      I didn't really like the book, but it was about a lot more than that.

      Oh, well.

  •  my experience was different (0+ / 0-)

    there were a lot of pre-teens, early teens in the audience, for them, this was their first adventure, they needed the backstory.   If you like movies as a media, the story has to be told in the movie, no assuming someone read 50 plus years of the comic books and watched old tv series or old movies or the last Superman movie that apparently only I and a small handfull went to see.

    For oldsters to the story, who read comic books, saw all the movies and all the tv shows along the way,  the things that are the same are comforting, the new twists a challenge to confront and either agree with or decide to reject.   I thought in some ways that this movie updated story in ways that made sense for a 21st century audience meeting a venerable Superhero that needs to become their superhero, not mine.

    That means that the awesome in 3D super effects also come as part of the package, and yes, the destruction was overdone, but hey, we're talking 12 and 13 year old boys, build it to knock it down again, in large part.

    I think that this is a coming of age story for Superman, a reluctant and reclusive child who has repressed the expression of his powers, issues reinforced by his parents,  which made retelling the story of his father's death in a new way make sense to me at least, though I still thought it was a lot stupid to show people heading for the underpass in direct contravention of every tornado warning.  And who forgets the dog in the first place.  See it is always easy to pick at a detail and lose the larger thread.   But this is the conflict that want to set up.  Superman isn't ready to be Super, to take control of events instead of being a reluctant hero.

    Hence he gives in , surrenders, he  let's Zod pick the battlefields, and Zod's rather nasty monologue about his superior training in military affairs and where did Superman learn to make war "On a Farm??!!"

    The end of the movie,  Superman kills the drone (who wouldn't love that) and throws it down in front of the general.   He has learned to picked the battlefiedl.

    For all the derivative things you mentioned, to me it was more like the Bond reboot, one whole movie for James Bond to earn the right to say  "Bond, James Bond".   If you are building a franchise, you want a foundation of the character and room to grow.  Based on the reaction of the younger fans, I think Superman has successfully rebooted.

    •  I see your points (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FutureNow, jfromga, cynndara

      But two things: Can we accept that Superman has been re-booted and STAY THERE? They "re-booted" Spiderman after just ten years. I suspect that the next Batman movie will tell the whole Batman Joker thing over again. I understand that 12 year-olds may never have seen the previous films or read the comics, but do ALL movies have to be made for 12 year-olds? And I think my point about James Bond and Captain Kirk is valid. We managed to go 50 years without seeing James Bond as a boy. We never needed to see Doctor Who as a child. We get told a précis of their back story and then watch them tell THIS story: The one we're watching. Not every character needs to be introduced with a 3 hour telling of their childhood. We've just had 11 years of television's Smallville telling us all about Superman's back story. This character is an iconic American hero. Can't we just assume everyone knows who he is? And even if they don't every kid in the world knows what a super hero is (heck, every kid in the world knows who Superman is). Is it really necessary to launch EVERY franchise with a backstory?

      And I do think the "I've seen this all before" aspect is telling. I really did spend a significant portion of this film thinking I had seen it before (and I didn't even go into the fact that most of the Kryptonian tech looked like it had been built by World of Warcraft Blood Elves). So not only is the story one that is rather more than a twice told tale, but even the art direction felt like copies of someone else's work.

      Add in the falsity of the emotional crux of the story and you have a problem.

      I did like the whole, "Dad told me not to use my powers" thing. That was good, but it didn't really pervade the film. It seemed like mostly a throwaway, heck, it was abandoned halfway through. How, in ANY way, did affect the last half of the film? It certainly didn't affect the outcome. Actually it would have been stronger if Clark Kent had punched a kid and killed him as a boy. Set up that whole conflict. Give him more reason to not kill and then present it as a problem when Zod forces him to do so. Something like that.  

      Overall, I think this was a very modern film in that there were a lot of good ideas that never really got explored, and it spent WAY too much time clothed in explosions and scenes that were there ONLY so they looked good in 3D (I saw it in 2D, I hate 3D movies, they give me a headache).

      •  I hate 3d (0+ / 0-)

        can't keep the focus, and the 2D versions sometimes suffer from blurriness where you know a big 3 D effect was planned.

        I don't feel that the story line of can humans accept knowing I exist, can I use my powers and not frighten or provoke the humans, was abandoned half way through.

        The whole being outed, first fight in Smallville was all about how Superman was just another target, a threat.  The Colonel was convinced by the end of the fight, some of the brass clearly less so, but also Superman was still a throwaway, a bargaining chip to them to appease Zod.  

        As to Superman needing to kill things as a kid to set up the conflict, I don't buy that as a necessary part of his conflict.  You just are making the violence more personal, but not more sensible.  He has a reason to not kill, it is wrong and he understood that on an intellectual and emotional level without having to kill.  Many people can relate to that.  Or else murder rates would be much higher than they are.   I think the bully at the bar's truck tells us as much about Clark as some huge childhood trauma.  Not everything has to be pathos to set up conflict.

        I think the movie was what it was supposed to be, not an intellectual exercise first and foremost, but a summer blow em up with enough character development to be interesting.   And how long between reboots is an interesting question.  I think that the stronger the original series, the longer between reboots.  And tv has a rather different audience than a movie.  And movie's belong to the young when it comes to ticket sales.  Old farts like me are all too frequently inclined to wait at home for the DVD.   But I make exceptions for special effects movies that will look so much better on the big screen.

  •  Here's a different take... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I saw the film in a nearly-empty theater in Naples FL 4PM on Saturday. Obviously that didn't affect the quite-respectable box for opening weekend.

    The best review I have read so far was Manohla Dargis' in the NY Times. Even so, for all her perceptiveness, she missed some important points.

    Bear with me. I don't know if David S. Goyer, the screenwriter, meant to do this, but "Man of Steel" is a Jacobean revenge drama. Yes, I am talking about early 17th-century plays like "The Duchess of Malfi", Thomas Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy" and "The Revenger's Tragedy", and, of course, "Hamlet" by someone at least as famous as Superman.

    Think about it: typically a four-act play where in Act I the benevolent king and kingdom is overthrown thanks to perfidy (Jor-El murdered by Zod); Act II, the shade of the slain father visits the avenger to tell the tale (Jor-El's hologram in the erstwhile "Fortress of Solitude"; Act III things go to hell in a hand-basket while the avenger plots his revenge (Jor-El reveals the way to defeat the Kryptonians to Lois); Act IV, the avenger exacts his revenge usually through the sword ("The Man of Steel"). Revenge tragedies were well in keeping with the mayhem and body count as illustrated in the last forty minutes of the film, which does, to be certain, go on a bit too long; but Ms. Dargis says that Zach Snyder loses control of his material in that climax, and I think that is anything but the case.

    The revenge tragedy is known for ambiguous morality and sometimes murky motivations. Audiences by the mid-17th century tired of its excesses, but the form lives on in most 19th-century Italian opera (and the 20th Century operas of Alberto Ginastera viz. "Bomarzo" etc.), and plays a prominent role in Thomas Pynchon's "Crying of Lot 49" as the story of "The Courier's Tragedy" unfolds.

    Superman is a part of the American mythos. This is the FIRST Superman movie that actually accepts that fact and keeps the clowning to a minimum. It is a big step up from the Salkind movies of the 70s-80s and thankfully a great recovery from the wretched "Supreman Returns".

    That's my take on it. I liked it. Three-and-a-half stars.

  •  what did you expect from the ubermensch? (0+ / 0-)

    The ubermensch's battle for what he has arbitrarily decided is "good" is all that matters to him.  Besides, he can't be the ubermensch if he's too afraid to use his strength lest some insect be trampled underfoot.  What kind of morality is that?!  There will never be true greatness in the world until people accept that some things (and the people who do them) are more worthy - of freedom, of honor, of life itself - than others.


  •  Bring Back Commando Cody! (0+ / 0-)

    That is all.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:03:02 AM PDT

  •  Smallville was hardly destroyed (0+ / 0-)

    It was banged up a bit, sure, but there were only a handful of buildings wrecked plus the train-yard.  I would estimate Smallville casualties at less than 50 civilians, with maybe tens of millions of dollars of property damage.

    Metropolis, on the other hand, probably saw a million+ civilian casualties and maybe a couple of trillion dollars in property damage.  That devastation was horrific, but not without purpose.

    There's a very clear narrative set-up in Metropolis' destruction.  Lex Luthor gets to rebuild Metropolis using no doubt salvaged Kryptonian technology, which helps set up Luthor's Power-suit and possibly provides an avenue to introduce either Brainiac or the Eradicator, which are my predictions for the next movie bad-guys.

    I would also suggest that it sets up Superman establishing his cred as a hero and a savior.  I imagine the next movie will begin with a sort of montage of Superman helping find survivors of the the wreckage and saving them, while Luthor rebuilds the city.  I can even see Luthor starting out as an apparent good guy, and teaming up with Supes to get access to Kryptonian technology, all the while scheming to find ways to overpower and control him.

    From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. -Immanuel Kant

    by Nellebracht on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:35:27 PM PDT

  •  I'm giving up. (0+ / 0-)

    I just saw Avengers at a friend's on Sunday night.  I'd been looking forward to it after reading about the shwarma episode.  But really, there just wasn't much there.  Fluff, except it was violent fluff.  Bunches and bunches of loud music and unbelievable CGI action-antics.  Dialog totally forgettable.   Acting mediocre to awful.  The entire thing is nothing but a vehicle for ever-more-fantastic imitations of a video-game, and I quit videogames when they got to be more about the "realistic" graphics than about either story or puzzle, which is to say, twenty years ago.

    And then, finally, the celebrated shwarma scene.  SOOOO?  Only member of the team looking like anything but another scruffy graduate student was Thor, since he lacked a change of clothes.  The anticipated amusement of catching costumed superheroes chowing down on cheap ethnic food was missing.  No dialog whatsoever on the reactions of the team to the "delicacy", although nonverbal reactions were reasonably in character (which itself is poor scripting, because . . . shwarma is the only mostly-unknown ethnic food in America that's worse than AMERICAN fast food).

    About the only thing in the entire movie that caught my emotions for so much as two heartbeats was Tasha's comment about the battle with aliens reminding her of Budapest.  The thought of BUDAPEST being ripped up and trampled like that seriously bothered me, even in such an obviously theatrical setting.  New York . . . . after all the movies of its destruction combined with 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers should be used to it by now.  I was almost rooting for the nuke to actually take it out.  But of course, Nick Fury couldn't allow that.  We all know who our Security Forces really take orders from . . . and they all work on Wall Street.

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