As Dad walked up to my car after the movie tonight, wiping tears away from his eyes he looked at me and said, “Ya know, I’m pretty sure that’s the best superhero movie ever made.” And I looked at him, same smile and the same tears – and I said, “I absolutely agree, Dad!”
I loved everything about MAN OF STEEL.
As a film about Fathers, belonging, roots and destiny – it’s just fucking awesome! As a film about unleashing the full potential of super powered combat at a level that really does kick the living shit out of the MATRIX battles… yeah, it does that. As a film about making Lois Lane awesome and not Lois Lame… The film does that too. We’re not really given a Clark Kent for this film, but then, that’s not really in the story yet.
MAN OF STEEL is about SUPERMAN’s coming out. Costner’s Pa Kent raised Clark with a great deal of fear about what would happen to him if the world found out what he was. This is a lot for an intelligence to process. I mean, just imagine… instead of spontaneous erections in class… you suddenly start seeing through people, hearing all the whispers – you can make things hot by looking at them… you’ve strength, speed and invulnerability. You find out your parents found you in a fucking Rocket Ship and because you exist, it threatens the belief in GOD. I mean, yeah, Acne ain’t such a terrible phase. We don’t really get much High School Clark, but that’s getting ahead of myself.
MAN OF STEEL begins with the birth of Kal-El – this is a scene between Russell Crowe’s Jor-El and Ayelet Zurer’s Lara Lor-Van. There’s floating assistants that seem to have nifty nanotech screens that can dynamically create images in a sculptural manner. Instead of 3D video – it creates living sculptures and figures that represent the person or ultrasound style image or entire genetic structures or solar systems. Later – when Jor-El and Kal-El finally meet – this tech… it is just spectacular. A living moving sculptural mural constantly changing to illustrate his father’s tale. I felt like I was 10 years old holding a comic book that was blowing my fucking mind.
In addition, we’re watching an engineered society in the final death throes of their existence. They know it, they’re in a panic. Laws break, a military coup is trying to seize absolute power to do what must be done in Zod’s eyes. This isn’t shaking crystals and earth quake types of things. This is real terrible and graphic planetary implosion. It looks… FUCKING AMAZING!
When you see the life on Krypton – that’s the way it should be. For reviewers that like to claim that they were never interested in Krypton… well, read the silver age Krypton tales and get giddy. I loved Kryptonian Science Fantasy stories – in the same way that I love Asgardian realm stories. There’s a great sweeping WOW that came with the various creators just letting their imaginations fucking soar – and that is EXACTLY why I love it. It’s a whole lotta wow!
Everything that is done on Krypton was not only visually cinematic as all hell, but I found myself absolutely awestruck by the tech in a GOSH GEE WHIZ I WANT ONE kind of way. I know we’re all hanging on the details of E3 and Apple’s big show, but this stuff… Yeah, this is an elegant and artistic tech that is more tactile than anything we have. This is Wow Tech. Wow Life. It’s breathtakingly refreshing.
One of the great things about this film is the way we’re given glimpses of things. Everytime Clark sees something that triggers a memory, we get that story – when Jor-El tells a story, we’ll get it. I hope this continues through the series. Superman is the sum of his whole life – his Kryptonian backstory and tech, his upbringing in Kansas and his current affairs.
Goyer, Nolan and Snyder have conspired to completely redefine SUPERMAN. This is not DONNER-verse… here they change fundamental aspects of the story. Like at what point Lois and Clark meet – and the changes they’ve made strengthen Lois and make her less of a ditz… but a vital part of the Superman story from the outset.
I fucking love this. Getting rid of the seemingly blind aspects of Lois’ character only make her a stronger character. If she’s a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, she better be able to follow leads. I love how they come together. Clark has been fairly lonely in his life – having someone discover & respect you – it’s a powerful intoxicant. For Lois, I absolutely see the appeal too. Not only is this the biggest story ever, but it changes everything. Essentially the first date becomes an Earth-rattling catastrophe that only Superman could cease. This is the sort of SUPERMAN scale that we love. BUT – it has a weight – a tremendous weight that is not brought to bare upon our hero yet. But I’m sure will make some industrialist to pull out his hair waiting on the insurance from the disaster relief.
But what I really love – is after the first kiss, when Amy Adams’ Lois spills off a factoid about how it’s all down hill after the first kiss – as a nervous joke and Superman says… I think that’s only true when kissing humans. ABSOLUTELY KILLER. I know this, cuz did you see the look Amy shot him? Loved it.
Yeah, I know – Grow a pair, but I read the Lois comics because they pretended to give me a female perspective. And over the course of that comic series Lois is a complicated lady, but this is the early flirtations. She was the first to really take an interest in him – and she wasn’t terrified. Their first real meeting, there’s no doubting the non-human nature of Clark. It’s a life saving moment of the RAMBO variety and is certainly a powerful bonding experience. That she continued to search and actually found him before he was ready to come out. When his secret meant the absolute most to him, she did it.
Lois is saved from incredibly painful and certain death a couple of times and both times we experience it from her perspective. It is breathtaking to be plucked from certain doom… Snyder nails it.
But these are the early stages. First flirtings, not real courting. She's met the parents. Here they’re experiencing the trauma of this Earth-Shattering threat. One that they are both absolutely invested in.
Sure, the entire reason that the Earth is being threatened is because he is here! The death and destruction caused by this encounter is truly staggering. But then… this isn’t the Superman at the masterful level of his powers. He hasn’t really had that all powerful Daddy talk that imparted all knowledge of everything everywhere. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had the space-time powers that he has manifested in other adaptations of the character, and that's fine. Actions have consequences. This is a BRAWL with astonishing collateral damage. And ZOD isn’t insane.
Have I gotten into that yet? Yeah. Superman essentially has committed Kryptonian Genocide. He’s the last Kryptonian as far as he knows – and that’s what he has to do to earn the trust of a modern America. Jesus. Is that what we expect of our Allies these days? Probably so.
Some folks expect SUPERMAN to instantly be the character he is in the comics today. But folks – this is the first outing of SUPERMAN and it isn’t to pick up a jewelry thief or rescue a cat out of a tree. This is Zod, and it isn’t Terrence Stamp – it’s Michael Shannon – and this Zod was genetically created to be the military leader and protector of the people of Krypton. He doesn’t show up with two thugs, he shows up with PLANET BUILDING MACHINES OF AWESOME DESTRUCTIVE LIFE ENDING AND BEGINNING TECH! Pure Horror show, but to ZOD – he’s going to erase the end of his people – on a new Utopia where they would all be Gods. Imagine the society he was going to create. And this fucking brat with his interspecies crushes… FUCK SUPERMAN!!!!
I love it. I do. I’m a real big fan – and Superman’s Bruce Lee vs Oharra moment – AWESOME!
This film is Superman coming onto the scene in what has to be the biggest threat to Earth… EVER kind of way. What comes next? I can not wait. If Warner’s announced that they had secretly already been shooting the sequel and it was deep in post production and coming out at Christmas – It’d be the biggest movie ever. This is whole new level Comic Book movie spectacle.
I mean, if we stick to the metaphor… Satan came to Earth after killing God and is going to reap the souls of mankind and Space Jesus has to fucking kill Satan. Which is why this is such a rocking double feature with THIS IS THE END! Because that is another apocalyptically awesome film where SATAN gets his but good! And if you drink a six pack on the high of MAN OF STEEL, and go see THIS IS THE END with your friends. GREAT TIMES! GREAT! What an awesome weekend for the movies!!!