Man of Steel

“Jesus, I’m behind on this whole blogging thing. Between casting for Avenue Q, watching the Spurs in the finals, family visits, and other shenanigans, I’ve hardly had time for movies. Much less time enough to chill and write them up at home. But I did manage to pack Zipcar full of peeps to catch the midnight Man of Steel at the IMAX a lil over a week ago.

We got there earlier than usual which meant A) we got pretty baller seats for once and 2) we had to put up with 90 minutes of the bored employees’ pathetic attempts to entertain us. Fail. I’m sorry but costume contents where everyone is just wearing t-shirts and there’s no prize or trivia you’ve Googled but don’t even understand what you’re saying does not count as fun. It was like parents trying to entertain kids on a long road trip. If only that were the lowest point of the evening.

Before I start, I guess there’s a couple things I should state. I am pretty die hard for Superman. Even though I consider myself a Marvel girl, Supe is my number one hero. Most of my relationship with him comes from tv. When I was little, it was the George Reeves series on Nick and Nite. As I got a little older, Lois & Clark was on synidcation on TNT playing as soon as I got home from school. Then Smallville started when I was in high school (I was just two years ahead of Clark). For a multitude of reasons that I won’t go into, he’s my man.

Going into this film, I tried to keep an open mind. I wasn’t letting myself get too excited, since the Man of Tomorrow has let me down before (*cough*SupermanReturns*coughcough*). I understood that things were likely to change, but if done correctly, I knew I could just go with it. So when I say how much I disliked it, please understand, I was actively trying not to.

I liked how the film started. We got to see a bit of Krypton and Jor-El giving up his son before the planet exploded. In general, we had more of a scifi vibe than typically goes with Superman, and I liked that angle. However, after those first twenty minutes, things just went downhill. Zack Snyder and company decided to give us an origin story. Um, haven’t we been here before? Don’t we all know how Superman started? Hell, we just finished a 10 year exploration into his beginnings with Smallville. Okay, so we’re changing details of it now, so it’s different? That’s fine if your changes have a reason. But if that reason is “”because it justifies redoing things”” as it seemed to be the case, then sorry, but no. From there, the plot basically went nowhere.

There’s so much territory that hasn’t been explored with Superman on the big screen. And so many bad guys to pick from. Doomsday. Braniac. Bizarro. Nothing against Zod, but I feel we could have gone bigger. Maybe I am just too used to the “”help person in need”” formula of the tv shows, but I don’t feel like we were covering any new ground revisiting the beginning yet again.

Also, it seemed like we were trying to recreate The Dark Knight’s darker approach to superheroes. That might’ve been an interesting concept. However, we ended up with emo Superman. And not the comically bad emo of Spiderman 3, but a whiny aimless drifting Clark Kent who never looked anything other than despondent. Apparently darker also meant humorless. Yeah, the fun winks and one liners and overall charm was gone. Maybe it was left out of the script along with Jimmy Olsen. Sorry, but even Dark Knight had some humor in this.

There were also some core changes to the dynamics of the story. I didn’t like the way in that Jonathan Kent’s death (not a spoiler since if you know your Superman, you know he doesn’t exactly live forever) was used, or how it motivated Clark. The way things played out just left a bad taste in my mouth. I also don’t like the way his relationship with Lois was changed. Gone is the playful tension of her not knowing what she’s always 2 feet away from. Now, I may have been interested to see that variation play out, if I had any interest in the rest of the film. Oh and there’s a BIG line that’s crossed at the end, that I won’t discuss for fear of spoilage. By the time we got there, I was too checked out to even notice. But when an article I read the next day pointed out the huge transgression, I was rather upset.

The cast was fine. I think my disappointment in some of them was mostly in the material they were given. I’m still not sure how I feel about the fact that the man who stands for truth, justice, and the American way is, for the first time, being played by a non-American. I know I shouldn’t care so much about these things, but I’m already at a point where everything else that is not to my liking makes it all that much worse. I feel if Cavil had more material to work with than being conflicted all the time, I’d have had a better sense of him as an actor. I adore Amy Adams, and had been excited to see her Lois. She had the edge, but not the spunk. Yes Lois should be no nonsense, but there’s usually something almost comedically over the top about it. This Lois was way too damn serious. I think it says a lot about this film that my favorite one to watch was Russell Crowe as Jor-El. With the exception of Gladiator, I usually don’t care for Crowe.

Okay, so the effects looked kinda cool. Well, if you’re okay with so much distruction coming from usually conscientious Superman. It just seemed over the top. I do like big action, but it just doesn’t fit this guy. However, the action is exactly why some people liked it. During the end credits, I was chatting with the buddy next to me, going over all the points I’ve just discussed. He was nodding his head in agreement, throwing in comments to support me. I was nearly crying from frustration on the way to the car (didn’t help that it’d been a bad day leading up to this point as well). Once we’re all buckled in, another companion offers an excited “”That was great, you guys!””. I drove off and pretended I didn’t hear.

Man of Steel – \m/ \n

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