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  1. #1
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    Default 'Man of Steel' may be what will make or break Superman for generations to come...

    Few would deny that 'Superman The Movie' defined the character for a generation (or two). Sure, Superman had been a Boy Scout for quiet a while already, but it was Christopher Reeves' interpretation of the Big Blue that really cemented the character in the public consciousness in a way he never had been before. And so, all over the people, the name 'Superman' was associated with a pure, selfless, Boy-Scoutish hero who was admired and worshipped by all, and who rescued kittens from trees!

    And that's the image of Superman that has persisted in pop culture for decades. Much like how, today, the idea of an Adam West-styled Batman punching out villains with a POW! or a ZAP! would be anathema to most Batman fans, the idea that Superman could be a more complex, and somewhat grayer character, who isn't necessarily accepted as mankind's savior at first, tends to make certain sections of the Superman fandom very uncomfortable indeed.

    Which is why there is a LOT riding on 'Man of Steel' as far as the future of Superman as a character and a franchise goes. Because its up to MOS to redefine Superman for future generations. The New 52 reboot and the Earth One OGN's can only do so much. MOS needs to be a great enough film that people all over the world feel that Henry Cavill's character IS Superman, the same way they believed Christopher Reeves' character IS Superman 35 years ago! The film needs to successfully convince people that Superman isn't a Boy Scout but rather a powerful albeit sometimes flawed individual who may or may not be the best thing which happened to the world.

    If MOS fails, then it will be condemned as an aberration, much like Schumacher's Batman and Robin was an aberration to the Batman franchise, or as a forgettable 'alternate' take on the character and the 'Boy Scout' image of Superman that Reeves and Donner masterfully perfected will persist in public memory. And Superman being a 'Boy Scout' just DOESN'T work in today's world, leaving the Man of Steel biting the dust while the Dark Knight continues to reign supreme.

  2. #2
    Cavilling Metropolitan Self-DCeit's Avatar
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    Just a wee bit melodramatic, but you're not wrong.

  3. #3
    Da?!?!?! bobbyraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post

    .......the idea that Superman could be a more complex, and somewhat grayer character, who isn't necessarily accepted as mankind's savior at first.....
    .
    Being dark and gritty doesn't make a character complex. Just because superman's a great guy rather than a broody bastard doesn't make his stories simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbyraw View Post
    Being dark and gritty doesn't make a character complex. Just because superman's a great guy rather than a broody bastard doesn't make his stories simple.
    No one says he has to be a 'broody b@stard' as you put it. But not being a Boy Scout doesn't equal being a 'broody b@stard'.

  5. #5
    Senior Member manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    I want this movie to succeed as well. I think it's essential to the viability of the character in other media and outside of comics.

    However, while I think it's ok to add a bit of complexity to Superman's character, the idea that Superman needs to be made "edgy" or "greyer" to be relevant is wrong.

    You can change the context of the world he lives in and raise the stakes, and put him against darker threats and situations, but Superman himself should always be the bright beacon that shows the way. He should still be the force of ultimate good in a dangerous world. Now, that doesn't mean Superman needs to always be smiling and making speeches, while drinking milk and saluting the American flag, but it should ALWAYS be clear that he's the good guy, he's our protector and still fights for Truth or Justice, even if not everyone outright trusts him. As I've said in the past, a little more of a George Reeves circa Season 1 of the 50's TV series type attitude would be fine. That Superman was still the ultimate good guy, but he took no crap either. That's the kind of Superman we haven't seen on the screen since. That's the kind of Superman that would work in today's world without making him Batman with bulletproof skin, no mask,and lighter colors as some seem convinced is the only way to do Superman today.

    I think from what I've read and seen so far, I like the way things are going with this movie. Superman will still be Superman at his core, just in a more hightened reality, which is fine. I think Cavill gets the character, the costume looks good and he looks good in it, the writing looks strong so far, and the cast is fantastic. Again, I could be wrong and this will be a huge pile of crap, but I don't think so.

    I think and hope it will do well.

  6. #6
    Da?!?!?! bobbyraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    No one says he has to be a 'broody b@stard' as you put it. But not being a Boy Scout doesn't equal being a 'broody b@stard'.
    I'm not saying that you said he NEEDED to be broody. I was arguing your statement that gritty stories are more complex. A story about Bloodpuncher hunting down Stabbybadass for murdering a hooker who owed him drug money is not in any way more complex or mature than say, Superman handing out money to hobos. It may be more complex, but it's not because of the grittiness. Superman giving hobos $5 may be incredibely deep, commenting on human generosity, the need to care for your fellow man, etc. You can't just say that stories about a great guy doing heroic things are simple.
    Last edited by bobbyraw; 02-05-2013 at 06:49 AM.

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    Da?!?!?! bobbyraw's Avatar
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    That being said, I'm really looking forward to MoS. I just hope it doesn't end up being as big of a disappointment as Amazing Spider-man

  8. #8
    It's Lexrules... GET HIM. Lexrules's Avatar
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    Still like to know what is so wrong with have morals now a days. People should look up to people who live there lives good and pure with no reward but the fact that you were able to help.

    That is what Superman is and has always been about. This Boy Scout garbage is ridiculous and needs to stop. Superman is Pure at heart like we as a people should be, we are the only ones keeping it from happening because we are to stupid or blind to see what we as a people have become.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rhymeswithparc's Avatar
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    "Modernizing" Superman to make him like virtually every other protagonist in any movie is probably the worst thing that they could do to kill my anticipation for future Superman movies. I hope this movie succeeds, also, but that's because I think that if it doesn't, then WB will probably give up on Superman as a whole effectively killing that franchise for a long while. I am personally still waiting to see something that is more Superman and less superhero action movie. I feel like, so far, there has been nothing in the trailers to say that it is doing something new but just that they are doing something new for Superman. It is my belief that if they went with a more traditional (Boy Scout if you prefer) Superman, MOS would stand out a bit more as a movie.

    I also don't understand the logic that a "boy scout" type of person won't work in today's world. Is that because it wouldn't be realistic or because people wouldn't like the character?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    I want this movie to succeed as well. I think it's essential to the viability of the character in other media and outside of comics.

    However, while I think it's ok to add a bit of complexity to Superman's character, the idea that Superman needs to be made "edgy" or "greyer" to be relevant is wrong.

    You can change the context of the world he lives in and raise the stakes, and put him against darker threats and situations, but Superman himself should always be the bright beacon that shows the way. He should still be the force of ultimate good in a dangerous world. Now, that doesn't mean Superman needs to always be smiling and making speeches, while drinking milk and saluting the American flag, but it should ALWAYS be clear that he's the good guy, he's our protector and still fights for Truth or Justice, even if not everyone outright trusts him. As I've said in the past, a little more of a George Reeves circa Season 1 of the 50's TV series type attitude would be fine. That Superman was still the ultimate good guy, but he took no crap either. That's the kind of Superman we haven't seen on the screen since. That's the kind of Superman that would work in today's world without making him Batman with bulletproof skin, no mask,and lighter colors as some seem convinced is the only way to do Superman today.

    I think from what I've read and seen so far, I like the way things are going with this movie. Superman will still be Superman at his core, just in a more hightened reality, which is fine. I think Cavill gets the character, the costume looks good and he looks good in it, the writing looks strong so far, and the cast is fantastic. Again, I could be wrong and this will be a huge pile of crap, but I don't think so.

    I think and hope it will do well.
    Agree with you completely!

    Superman should always be the 'good guy'. But 'good' does not necessarily equal 'nice'...especially in situations where the cause of good is not at all served by being nice.

  11. #11
    It's Lexrules... GET HIM. Lexrules's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Agree with you completely!

    Superman should always be the 'good guy'. But 'good' does not necessarily equal 'nice'...especially in situations where the cause of good is not at all served by being nice.
    Superman should always be nice as should we as human beings.

    Being nice and polite is just the right thing to do and something our parents should have taught us from day one. I still to this day say Thank You or Your Welcome. I still say Mister or Miss when talking to someone who is older then me or even someone who I respect. I still say Yes Sir or Yes Mam when asked a question and I'm a 40 year old man.

    Being nice and being respectful should always be a part everyone's everyday life.

  12. #12
    Senior Member manduck37's Avatar
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    There is a simple saying when it comes to movies: give the people what they want. I don't know why everyone insists that in order for Superman to be successful, he has to get away from this whole "boy scout" image or be more "gray". Do you want to know why Christopher Reeve is so iconic as Superman? Because people love it. No like it or thought it was ok, they love it. So much so, that it's a permanent part of pop culture. Even considered among the greatest American films ever made. What was Superman like in those movies? He was a good guy.

    There is nothing simple about being a good guy. There is nothing simple about doing the right thing or being a nice guy. In fact, it's alway more difficult to do the right thing than the wrong thing. That's what makes Superman so interesting and complex. With his power, he could do whatever he wanted. Yet he chooses the right thing. He come from a people that missed their chance, sometimes screwed up, and were wiped out. He doesn't want that to happen to his adopted world. So he strives to set the example so that it doesn't happen again. He sets out to be the good guy. The person who leads by example so that everyone can do better. That's what makes him unique and interesting. He's optimistic and has a good heart. That's what his movies need. That's waht sets him apart.

    Now, I'm certaily not saying tha MOS will be all grimdark or anything. It looks pretty good. I hope Snyder can deliver a good film. If you're going to have a successful Superman film, you should show why the world needs him beyond punching aliens and robots. You need to show him as the man trying to be that example to the rest of the world. That's incredibly complex, yet also bright and optimistic. That's what sets Superman apart for the other superheroes and what you need for a successful Superman movie. I hope that's a big part of MOS.

    It's perfectly fine for the world to not trust him at the start or to have him face difficult situations. That's how characters are defined and how they grow. The point of any story is conflict. So mix it up a bit. Show that he wasn't trusted at first. The idea of an all powerful alien can be pretty scary. Then you get to have some real fun showing how Superman handles that and why he still decides to be that good man. That would be an awesome Superman movie. That's what I'm hoping for.

    And when did "boy scout" become a derogitory term? Last time I checked, they were still around and people who were boy scouts grew up to become productive members of society like everyone else. There motto is always be prepared. So really, Batman was always more of a boy scout than Superman. Batman seems to be doing fine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    When we have a champion high school wrestler willingly enabling a wrestler with Downs Syndrome to win and in a manner which didn't disrespect that wrestler;

    When we have another champion high school wrestler willingly enabling a wrestler with Cerebral Palsy to win and in a manner which didn't disrespect that wrestler;

    When we have women standing up to oppression at the risk of death (from those purporting to be 'of faith' but behaving in a manner wholly contrary to the teachings of that faith);

    When we have girls fighting for their right to an education at the risk of death (from those purporting to be 'of faith' but behaving in a manner wholly contrary to the teachings of that faith);

    When we have people willingly giving up their time in order to volunteer at homes for the elderly;

    When we have people willingly giving up their time in order to volunteer at schools and orphanages;

    When we have doctors going out to war zones and 'backwards' countries in order to provide treatment to those suffering (and with no intention of receiving payment);

    When we have people pulling communities together to strive for something better;

    When we have all this and more, all these 'aspects' of superhumanity, then having someone embody that completely, with a smile and a firm hand...maybe something like that is the 'uplift' some people need..?

    *shrug*

  14. #14
    Senior Member adkal's Avatar
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    @manduck37 - where's the gosh darn 'like' button?

  15. #15
    Inf‚me et fier de l'Ítre Auguste Dupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manduck37 View Post
    There is a simple saying when it comes to movies: give the people what they want. I don't know why everyone insists that in order for Superman to be successful, he has to get away from this whole "boy scout" image or be more "gray". Do you want to know why Christopher Reeve is so iconic as Superman? Because people love it. No like it or thought it was ok, they love it. So much so, that it's a permanent part of pop culture. Even considered among the greatest American films ever made. What was Superman like in those movies? He was a good guy.

    There is nothing simple about being a good guy. There is nothing simple about doing the right thing or being a nice guy. In fact, it's alway more difficult to do the right thing than the wrong thing. That's what makes Superman so interesting and complex. With his power, he could do whatever he wanted. Yet he chooses the right thing. He come from a people that missed their chance, sometimes screwed up, and were wiped out. He doesn't want that to happen to his adopted world. So he strives to set the example so that it doesn't happen again. He sets out to be the good guy. The person who leads by example so that everyone can do better. That's what makes him unique and interesting. He's optimistic and has a good heart. That's what his movies need. That's waht sets him apart.

    Now, I'm certaily not saying tha MOS will be all grimdark or anything. It looks pretty good. I hope Snyder can deliver a good film. If you're going to have a successful Superman film, you should show why the world needs him beyond punching aliens and robots. You need to show him as the man trying to be that example to the rest of the world. That's incredibly complex, yet also bright and optimistic. That's what sets Superman apart for the other superheroes and what you need for a successful Superman movie. I hope that's a big part of MOS.

    It's perfectly fine for the world to not trust him at the start or to have him face difficult situations. That's how characters are defined and how they grow. The point of any story is conflict. So mix it up a bit. Show that he wasn't trusted at first. The idea of an all powerful alien can be pretty scary. Then you get to have some real fun showing how Superman handles that and why he still decides to be that good man. That would be an awesome Superman movie. That's what I'm hoping for.

    And when did "boy scout" become a derogitory term? Last time I checked, they were still around and people who were boy scouts grew up to become productive members of society like everyone else. There motto is always be prepared. So really, Batman was always more of a boy scout than Superman. Batman seems to be doing fine.
    Because people like to put other people in cases?
    You talk about people's wants as if these desires never changed. But that's not actually true. The 70's were a period where people wanted (if by wanted, you go with the big successes of that time) serious instropective movies that questionned our way of life. In contrast, by the time the 80's comes in (and yes, it started in the end of the 70's), the american audience wants feel good movies about how great America is and how evil their ennemies (mostly communist) were. In the 40's, comic book readers wanted superheroes fighting for the flag against evil nazies. By the time the 50's arrived, the concept lost all its appeal to them and they started reading horror comics, romance comics, crime comics. So, just because people wanted a nice patriotic Superman in the 80's doesn't mean they want that same Superman now. In the 60's, people wanted a campy Batman. Try to sell that today.
    I remember reading a text written by Mark Waid he made as a "pitch" for Birthright (the book had another release in France, probably due to the upcoming movie). In it, he talks about how the casual audience has a different relationship with the concept of heroism, and that, for them, it is a much more tragic concept.
    I'm paraphrasing a bit, but he says at one point something in the likes of : "kids nowadays are more aware of the things that are wrong in our world, and that heroes like Ghandi or Luther King had for sole reward of their heroism a bullet in the head". I think he's unto something here, and that explains why nearly every retelling of his story since the post 9-11 era shows a Superman that the governement tries to kill at first. Just like the Brittish governement tried to get rid of Ghandi, or how some nutcase decided the world would be a better place without Luther King.
    "I'm going to paraphrase Nietzsche, when you judge a work, the work judges you."

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