Slower Than a Falling Spartan and Other Thoughts on the Superman Movie

Comments

1
FUCKING. ADAPT. BIRTHRIGHT.

For fuck's sake! It's that simple! Any time I have a friend who doesn't like Superman because he's "overpowered," I have them read Birthright, and it turns them around.
2
While normally I would agree with your Ben...WE DONT NEED ANOTHER FUCKING ORIGIN. Everyone knows who Supes is and his basic backstory. Move on from that...we don't need that again and again and again.

And as for Zod, (as long as they are just using him again and not trying to tie to S II) I am ok with it... kind of. Superman has PLENTY of other bad guys that would be amazing on the big screen.

Brainiac perhaps? If you want to tie it back to Krypton again...use The Eradicator. Hell, even bring in Doomsday if you want.
3
Zack Snyder's involvement ensures that the film will be a piece of shit.

Christopher Nolan's involvement will certainly add a level of easy bogus gloom that some will mistake for "depth."

Can't you just see Gerard Butler as Jor-El, screaming "THIS! IS! KRYPTON!!!!!"

Save your time and money.
4
Worst superhero film news ever. I went from excited at Nolan's involvement to simultaneously losing all interest in the movie (Superman is my favorite superhero, too) and losing some respect for Nolan in the process. Snyder's Watchmen and 300 were hollow and tone deaf.

The reason to have to live up to Donner's Superman is that it was the first superhero movie blockbuster, and a bona fide classic. It set up the basic structure that nearly all the other supermovies ape.
5
@2: Shit, good point. I'm sick of origin stories, too. I guess I just always think of Birthright as "The best Superman story," and not "Superman's (latest) origin story."

I'm fairly confident at this point that there's never going to be a good DC movie.
6
Superman really bores me. Maybe we should just let him lapse for a couple decades and then maybe he can come back. He's the least compelling comic book character ever. Inertia has kept him rolling for far too long.
7
@5, pretty sure Birthright has already been retconned from DC Comics continuity.

Good DC movies - Superman, Superman II, Batman Begins, Road to Perdition, History of Violence, Superman Returns, The Dark Knight
8
@7, you are correct. Birthright was retconned last year in the new "Superman: Secret Origins"

Your list of good DC movies was great up until Superman Returns. How can you possibly think that was a good movie? TDK was great for the Joker, but everything else just sucked.
9
@7, I loved Superman Returns and The Dark Knight.
10
I thought it would be cool to make a Superman film set in the 1930s. It could be gorgeous and retro, and there wouldn't be a need to modernize the hero for contemporary sensibilities or ground him in indie-film relationship drama.
11
Agree that another origin story would be awful. Disagree that Snyder is a bad guy to direct. In my opinion, Watchmen and 300, while not subtle or even especially thoughtful, are great examples of the kind of balls-out treatment Superman's never gotten. Donner's movies were great in their fashion, but somebody needs to take the kid gloves off this franchise. I want to see the Man of Steel righteously take down bad guys with the full awesomeness of his powers; Snyder can deliver that 100-mph fastball right down the fucking middle.

Superman Returns was ponderous, boring...full of itself. Snyder doesn't even know how to make that movie, and thank God for that.
12
All right. Cool. Now...
Jon Hamm as Superman
Tina Fey as Lois Lane
John Malkovich as Lex Luthor (or Brainiac...whatever)

I dunno who for Zod. Liam Neeson?
13
@4 gets it partially right. The reason WB wants to go back to SM: TM & SM II is because THEY MADE A SHIT-TON OF MONEY!

That's all any of this is about, not about pleasing the fans or doing justice to the character and his pop-culture legacy, but establishing a multi-picture franchise that will allow Jeff Robinov to swim through a pool of hundred dollar bills like Scrooge McDuck. And if he thinks teaming Nolan with Snyder will accomplish that, then that's what he's going to do, regardless of whether the final product ends up sucking sweaty Krypto-balls.
14
@11, I never got the point of a "balls out" Superman - if Superman uses "the full awesomeness of his powers", the movie is over in the first ten seconds. He just dropkicks those bad guys into the sun, or lobotomizes them with gamma ray vision or something, at the speed of light.

I think people who want a badass, action hero Superman aren't actually fans, like dwightmoody @6 -- people who dislike the character at an intrinsic level and want to reimagine him as someone else.
15
I loved Terence Stamp as Zod. They could totally bring him back to be Zod again, and I'd be right there in the front row.
16
Batman Begins was a terrible representation of Batman and a terrible movie.

Dark Knight was a terrible representation of Batman (and the Joker) but an otherwise okay movie.
17
The one thing that Superman the Movie got right is that it wasn't about Superman's fighting, it was about his trying to save people. You don't threaten Supes directly, or you get a very dumb movie.

There was, I believe, a Superman video game once where he didn't have a health bar- Metropolis did, and you lost if too many people died.
18
Tell us something new about Superman? Nobody is into rehashing this stuff because they want anything new. They want more Superman movies for the same reason little kids ask for the same bedtime story over and over. It's why rebooting every two years works so well. "Tell me the story again, daddy..."
19
@16, Batman Begins was exactly like the Batman I grew up with in the 1970s, by Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil, and I thought it was a fantastic movie.

The audience I saw it with stood up and cheered when Gordon turned over the Joker card at the end. The audience I saw Superman Returns with stood up and cheered after the plane rescue scene.
20
@19: Oh, well shit, if an audience full of people I've never met or seen liked it, that totally changes my opinion.

In Batman Begins, Batman decides that he's not going to use guns because a girl slapped him twice. Batman blows up a monastery full of ninjas, presumably killing most if not all of them. Thomas and Martha Wayne's killer is apprehended, removing Batman's motivation to dedicate his life to a war on crime itself. Batman doesn't do any detective work, instead just siphoning gadgets off of his company.

Even as a non-Batman movie, it's bad. All of the action scenes are rendered incomprehensible by the shakey camera work. Two-thirds of the way through the movie, Nolan decided that wasn't enough, and blanketed the city in dense fog. Christian Bale's Batman voice doesn't need me to say anything more than "Christian Bale's Batman voice."

Dark Knight was at least watchable, but Batman still doesn't seem at all intelligent. And he doesn't even throw a single Batarang. I'm not fond of Ledger's "scary clown" interpretation of the Joker; it's too predictable. If Ledger's joker pulled a gun on you, it's not going to pop a flag out and say bang, it's going to be a real gun, and he's going to shoot you.

I didn't like either of them.
21
@2: The Eradicator? In a Superman movie? But... that would mean he could totally wail on an enemy with no restraint (since it's more like an inorganic program designed to rebirth Krypton more than a living thing), and it would introduce subtexts of letting go of his beginnings to embrace his future and defend the people he's grown to identify with. And in introducing the Eradicator, they'd basically be giving a quick synopsis of Supe's beginnings at the same time, making a long rehash of the Superman origin story unnecessary. And all that would possibly lead to a far more entertaining Superman movie than the world can apparently handle.

@1: And Ben, while I disagree with you on Nolan's Batman movies being no good, I'm gonna check out Birthright as soon as possible. Sounds like something I shouldn't be unfamiliar with any longer.
22
@21 I know Knat... scary how easily The Eradicator story would make an awesome Superman movie that would cover all the bases for the various level of Superman fandom. But no....we are gonna get General Zod AGAIN.
23
@20 Ben, thank you. I feared I was the only Batman fan in the world who felt totally let down by both of the Nolan films. I'm all for making Batman plausible in a real world, but doing so at the cost of parts of the Batman myth that shouldn't be messed with are no good.
24
Ben@20, I wasn't trying to change your mind, just saying that the movies were very well received in the packed theaters I saw them in.

I didn't have the same interpretation of Batman Begins that you did, though I understand not liking an adaptation because it breaks what you think of as core concepts of a character -- that's how I felt about Burton's truly terrible 1990s Batfilms.

Not that anyone cares what I think, but I fucking can't stand the Eradicator story, nor Doomsday, nor much of any of the Dark Age Superman tales (I guess that makes that material perfect for this Snyder movie, though, since I have zero interest in seeing it).

Birthright wasn't bad at all, though, and I even kind of liked parts of the first season or two of Smallville, before that went completely off the rails.

Grant Morrison's All Star Superman was completely fantastic, mostly because it embraced the goofy, campy charm of the character.

25
@24: Yeah, I'm with you on the Burton films. It's the problem of DC being owned by Warner Brothers. When Marvel wants to make a film, it's Marvel making the film. They know their characters, so the film is true to them. When DC wants to make a film, Warner Brothers says "Oh, we'll take care of this. We know how to make films." Or maybe I'm totally wrong and don't know anything about how movies get made, I don't know.

But yes, that's the one thing I expect them to get right. I don't really even want them to just adapt a storyline right out of the comics. I don't care if they screw with continuity. But if you're not going to stay true to the core of the characters, why are you even using the characters in the first place?

And yes, All-Star Superman was outstanding.
26
@1: Ben, thanks for the recommendation. I just downloaded the torrent for Superman: Birthright, and after giving it a quick looking over (not really reading it yet), I think I can say that this is worth picking up. Good thing I have a birthday coming up...!