Patrick and Mark Ahn kneel before Zod.
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Also discussed this episode: Mud
(2013), Holy Motors
(1985), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
I look forward to buying "Patrick is the Asshole: The Home Game" in the F This Movie Store!ReplyDelete
I was out of town all weekend in the remote fishing village that is my hometown so, though I did see Superman hauling lobster traps in the harbour, I did not see Man of Steel and won't be able to catch it until tomorrow. Looking forward to that and the rest of the podcast. Thanks to you guys and some of the reviews I've read I am prepared to be a little disappointed, but hopefully it won't totally be Meh of Steel (fuck I'm awesome) for me...
Way to bring it home Mark!Delete
I agree with Patrick the Asshole, I had to play Dave the Asshole right after the film. I did like the movie, and I loved all the Krypton stuff, but I felt that Zak Snyder watched every awesome special effects movie starting with Stargate, and lifted his action pieces from from them. Examples:ReplyDelete
Shakey cam footage from Attack of the Clones/ Battlestar Galatica.
Embryos from the Matrix.
Falling off the genesis chamber from Attack of the Clones and Revenge of The Sith.
Smallville battle (done better) from Thor.
All the World engine shit from ID4, Transformers, and off course the last Matrix movie.
But The movie didn't give itself any breathing room, or gave us a moment to think, or gave us a glimpse into Supes dealing with conseqences of all the destruction.
I personally feel there should have been a shot of young Clark accidently snapping his dogs neck because he doesn't know his own strength, to make him killing Zod a little heavier. Does that make sense? (I actually thought of that before he killed Zod.)
But overall I liked the movie, and I will watch it a million times, but that's only because it's the best Superman movie we have for right now. Just like we watched the Star Wars prequels because that was the only new Star Wars we have right now.
I like this hypothetical example of snapping a dog's neck because it would show some kind of growth or progression. His ability to feel that would also have helped with building a connection to the people that he's trying to save later on.Delete
I THINK I like the movie, but it was not what I had hope it would be. I wanted more realism and more attention to be paid on the sacrificial element and the humanity in the character, and this movie gave me exactly that. Unfortunately, it seemed to throw the baby (Tchotchke) out with the bath water. This film was like a funeral. Are we so cynical in our post 9/11 world that even Superman has to be dour? I came home and immediately started watching season 1 of Smallville because, for all it's faults, it focuses foremost on the character of Clark and the relationships in his life. I wish more attention had been paid to those relationships and less to the fighting and destruction.ReplyDelete
How can a sequel even be made for this? It can't maintain the tone that this one did, and it seems like they are setting themselves up for failure. By making this movie feel as tonaly grave as it is, they've essentially removed the joy from Superman. It's not a bad movie. It has flashes of greatness, but it has gotten rid of the FUN that makes Superman so relateable to all ages. There's no way I'd let my seven year old see this. War, mass murder, and terrorist imagery? Cities laid to waste? That's not the Superman I want her to grow up with.
Again, I do think I liked the movie (one can't really say they "enjoyed" it), but I prefer my superheroes with a little more hope.
Yes, except for two half-hearted "jokes" at the end of the film, Man of Steel is just so god-damned humorless.ReplyDelete
The one thing I can say about this movie is that it actually has people talking. I just got in a long drawn out conversation as to why it was important to have a Montage of Superman saving things like in Richard Donner's so the people would know he was a hero and not just doing the greatest American hero thing. I hope that made sense. The person I was talking to turn 32 today and I had to point out to him he wasn't'even born and had no idea how awesome it was to have that black and white beginning with the action comic and how the screen just opened up and swallowed you with that score. No matter how awesome the special effects. There still needs to be the simple magic of the human condition. Not just every FX shot of the last 20 years being reused with no avail.ReplyDelete
Just recently re-watched the Donner movie and it's just so good. MOS is definitely more dour, but that doesn't make it more adult or mature. Saving a kid's cat or a train full of people would actually be what a mature Superman would do. Perhaps MOS can defend itself by saying this is a "younger" Superman who is still figuring things out.Delete
Speaking of Spoilers...ReplyDelete
I think you've found the right balance between spoiler-free and spoiler sections. Just a quick discussion about whether you liked it, and then jump into spoilers. When I recommended dumping the non-spoiler section, I was thinking of past podcasts where the non-spoiler section would go on for 20 minutes or so, and it seemed frustrating both for listener and podcaster.
I almost agree, but personally I would have liked just a bit of general discussion as to WHY they did or didn't like it - like just a few minutes more. Most movie reviews give a rating along with at least a paragraph or two of spoiler-free explanation. I got the sense that Mark mostly liked it and Patrick kinda liked it but had a lot of problems with it, but with no idea why, I can't make much judgment as to whether or not I would like it.Delete
I think we have now entered into lose/lose territory.Delete
No way - a free podcast starring people I love to listen to and whose opinions I'm always interested to hear? That's a win/win no matter how you slice it. I'm prepared to adjust to however a particular podcast goes and for a movie like this, well, the point is almost moot because I'm going to go see it no matter what anyway. In 4 hours to be exact! Then listen to the rest of the podcast on the walk home - win/win!Delete
Oh, thanks Sol. We'll keep trying to find the right balance, but it's never going to be all things to all people. We just want to do the best show possible.Delete
Looking forward to your thoughts on MoS!
As they say (whoever "they" are), you can please some of the people some of the time, but unfortunately you can't please all of the people all of the time.Delete
During the destruction of Metropolis at the end of the film I was practically begging them to stop. We just went through this with Star Trek and you guys discussed it throughly on the show so I was on high alert and it really took me out of the film. NO acknowledgement of the thousands of dead in those buildings. Such a calculated exploitation of unseen, average, non-superhuman citizens. And for no reason! Isolate the action. Make it more believable. And Superman stops to save NO ONE. Not even a cat in a tree. I just wanted to be able to hold this flick to a higher standard and clearly that is not possible.ReplyDelete
It makes me worried about directors who tend to be technical wizards because they seem to hold the image above whatever possible ramifications those images might have. It's a weirdly disjointed way to look at art when the artist creating it thinks the audience will view the image in exactly the way he/she does.Delete
The movie isnt out here yet so I had to stop after the quick opening discussion.ReplyDelete
Meh! doesnt instill me with much hope, but it was kind of what I was expecting. Im glad to hear that mark liked it. I just wish the rest of the episode isnt a case of Patrick beating the enjoyment out of Mark, as seen with Star Trek and the old Green Lantern. (j/k, sorta).
"Beat", with his weapons of choice: Reason and Logic.Delete
Reason and Logic? Thank you sir, may I have another?Delete
Be strong Brother MarkDelete
I know Man of Steel has its’ problems but it’s a big improvement over Superman Returns. The casting in Returns is just awful. Brandon Routh gave a decent performance but in the suit he looks more like Superboy than Superman. Kate Bosworth was too young & made for a boring Lois Lane. I even thought that Kevin Spacey was lackluster as Lex Luthor. Also, “Superman having a bastard child subplot” did nothing for me. The biggest problem for me was the finale where they try to convince us that Superman was dead (& just like a major “death” in Star Trek Into Darkness) for 10-15 minutes & I wasn’t buying it for one second. Like Trek, it didn’t feel organic or the hero hadn’t earned it yet. I also had a problem with the lack of Superman type action, but I never was a big fan of Bryan Singer’s action direction.ReplyDelete
They almost did the same thing with The Incredible Hulk. The producers heard there wasn’t enough “HULK SMASH!” in Ang Lee’s Hulk, so they made sure to overload on the action in the sequel. Like Mark said, at least it’s true to the Hulk’s character not to care about all the damage & casualties he was causing. This may be unpopular but Incredible Hulk is better than MOS because it has way more heart, & character moments to balance the action.
Like Mark, I liked MOS but the big destruction finale went on way too long & got repetitive after the 4th major skyscraper got trashed. The last 45 minutes felt like a Transformers movie without the racist, sexist, & lowest common denominator humor or dialogue. The military & Superman were causing almost as much destruction as Zod’s crew that it reminded of me of Hancock where the so called good guys do the most property damage. I just wished they could’ve ADR’d at least one line of dialogue of Supes concerned about the destruction or telling Zod, “Not here” or “The People!” I’m not a hardcore Superman geek, the only stuff I know is from the other movies & the 90’s WB cartoon, so I was shocked but I didn’t have a much of a problem with Supes killing Zod. At least, they showed him having some remorse over it. The theater crowd I was with cheered it.
I just wonder if most of today’s blockbuster producers & directors think something loud has to happen every two minutes or a big 30+minute action finale to satisfy movie audience’s these days. Did Supes really have to crash that drone right in front of the general’s jeep? Another loud explosion after the finale? There was still enough good in here for me to be interested in the sequel. I just hope there’s more focus on the characters because this is a cast that can deliver.
BTW, JB is wrong and there were humorous parts in the 1st half. It was the jerk in the dinner who tried to beat up Clark with no results & what happened to his truck after it. The crowd enjoyed MOS but I can only recall maybe 4 or 5 laughs during it.
Come on Patrick & Mark, summer isn’t over yet. We still have Pacific Rim & Elysium to look forward to.
I think we're still excited for the summer, but admittedly, these engorged finales are pummeling our senses into submission.Delete
PACIFIC RIM is the Robotech movie that I always dreamed of! (I'm hoping.)
Mark, do you think there will be a musical number from Minmei in Pacific Rim?Delete
"Stage lights, flashing...."
Haha. That tune is now stuck in my head.Delete
Minmei annoyed the living crap out of 12-year-old me; I was always jonesing for some more Max Sterling veritech action. If you know what I mean.
Ok, so I just saw Man of Steel and listened to the rest of the podcast and I'm pretty much with you guys - more on that below, but first, I'll mention the SPOILER FREE thing I LOVED about the movie and reason enough to go see it: Superman has never LOOKED so awesome kicking ass as Superman as he does in this movie. For whatever disappointments there are in the development of Superman's character, I am completely satisfied with the presentation of Superman doing Superman shit. Okay, with one small exception and that's the first couple minutes of him flying. The early trailer (and god damn trailers for being able to make things look so awesome) that showed him rocketing up into space gave me goosebumps - I got nothing during the actual movie, but that has more to do with editing than the actual effect. Superman has never looked better, PERIOD.ReplyDelete
Ok, on to some quick points in no particular order:
I think I pretty much noticed every glaring problem that you guys did. I had the EXACT same thought that the "Thank you for trusting me" from Supes to Lois wasn't EARNED. And yeah, as much as I liked Amy Adams as Lois, they totally botched the development of their relationship.
Ugh, and the priest thing and the messianic themes in general - UGH.
And you're absolutely right that Superman's connection to humanity is never properly explored and there were ample, easy opportunities to do so (e.g. I too noticed that the family Zod almost fried were just gone). I'm also not sure that I liked Zod forcing Superman's reveal to the world, just when he was maybe about to himself. Donner's version of him suddenly appearing in public to save the day was better. As you kinda say, we never get a sense of humanity's awe over what is going on - only our own (perhaps) of what we're seeing on the screen.
It's funny you should joke about this being "Clark Kent Begins" as it calls to mind one of my favourite cinematic rants about Superman from Bill of Kill Bill about how unlike all of the other superheroes, Superman puts on a Clark Kent costume. I've always liked that idea, so maybe this being "Clark Kent Begins" isn't such a bad thing and bodes well for the sequel (not that a movie deserves points for setting up a good sequel - see: Prometheus).
This movie seems to be catching a lot of flack for its murdering of what must be tens of thousands of people but I didn't have much of a problem with that. The stakes were high - literally the complete extinction of all of humanity - sacrifices had to be made. They could have and maybe should have shown some emotional consequences, but did you want this movie to be THREE hours long? Valid beef, but not one of mine.
Product Placement! In the "Confronting Bully in a Bar" scene, I saw a sign for my favourite local beer, "Alexander Keiths Imported from Nova Scotia" - did EVERYONE else notice that or was it just me? :)
So yeah, Man of Steel wasn't the GREAT Superman movie I was hoping for, but more worked for me than didn't and I definitely liked it. Basically, if Patrick's Opinion of MoS and Mark's Opinion of MoS got a little drunk and made sweet, sweet love without a condom (they like it raw), the unholy offspring would look a lot like My Opinion of MoS.
Really great podcast. Maybe it's because I saw the film this weekend, but not getting into spoiled territory quickly seemed fairly natural.ReplyDelete
The discussion really it it on the head on what worked, and what should have been set aside. The relationship between Clark and Lois seemed somewhere between forced and insincere. Those product placements were incredibly distracting. As mentioned here, I thought the origin story was pretty cool, but it was hard to get invested in the cardboard personalities of the characters or fight sequences. But yeah, rating it between "meh" and "blah" seems about right.
"Holy Motors" is incredibly daring and original in my opinion. Although, I could see why people don't have the patience for it and it's bizarre internal logic.
Looking through the comments, I feel like I liked "MoS" more than anyone did. Mostly, this is because overall the problems everyone seems to have with it really didn't bother me.ReplyDelete
This surprises me more than anyone. Honestly, I've always thought that I wasn't that big of a Superman fan. But looking back I liked the first Reeves' Superman, the Fleischer shorts and the Timm animated series. Hell, I even liked the early seasons of "Smallville" and "Lois & Clark". I came in extremely skeptical about "MoS", and I think it's the second best Superman movie.
I acknowledge the problems you brought up and agree the screenplay(as with "The Avengers") is the weak link. The "He is kind of hot" line was the worst, but got a big laugh from my audience. The last 45 minutes of action didn't seem as tedious as compared to a lot of more well-recieved superhero movies. A lot of the other problems you guys brought up(the church stuff, the 9/11 symbolism, the lack of human interest in the Metropolis/Small ville citizens) are all good points, but they as a whole was not a deal-breaker.
I can't believe I'm psyched about "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters", but with Patrick and Adam's recommendations of it, I am.
Great podcast, Patrick and Mark!
Wow... who would've thought Superman would elicit such divisive responses. Kind of reminds me of a certain religious figure who also harbors a messianic complex... Come to think of it, when Superman is around, Jesus is nowhere to be found... Hmmmmmmmmmm.ReplyDelete
I really liked the movie. A lot! Carnage and humorless dourness be damned, it was a Superman film I felt that's time had finally come. I had minor problems with some of the pacing, by no means was it a perfect movie. For example, a lot of time is devoted to explain how Jor-El is trying to give his son a choice in his destiny, but then gives him the Superman suit and says, "you must be this." They could've explored some character connections just a little bit longer, on that I do not disagree. But this, on the whole, was not a deal-breaker. I was relieved, because before the trailers I didn't know if we'd get Superman Returns or Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands of Krypton debacle. We didn't get either. What we got, I felt, was a post-9/11 Superman whose innocence was lost along with the rest of "The American Way". And while I might've enjoyed a golly-gee throwback to the Reagan '80's, I think on the whole we just don't find that character genuine anymore. I think this movie is dour and somber about trying to find a way back to those ideals, but recognizes we're living in a compromised world where there are villains (who feel they are in the right, btw) trying to wipe a whole civilization off the map. I think beyond the spectacle, beneath all the show... there is a tell that not many are giving much of a chance. I agree the movie relishes in its violence, but I actually had a more cathartic reaction to seeing (and hearing, boy was it loud!) all the destruction than be really offended by it.
I feel a lot of the criticism the film is getting, good and bad, has more to do with personal expectations of WHO Superman is and to me, it's kind of a good thing the character is being talked about at all. Most critics (not all) reminisce about the Donner film and fanboys are excited to see their bad ass Superman brought to life. As Patrick said in his Fast and Furious podcast, a lot, I think comes down to expectation. As a summer blockbuster, I feel the movie delivers more than beautifully. As a "FILM" (as admittedly, it tries to be at times), yeah, I can see why not so much.
Really love your point about the somberness of the tone, about coming back to ideals. Walking out of MOS, I thought this would be the direction of the sequels; Superman comes to fully live and reason out his idealogy of truth, justice, etc. It feels a little awkward to say "American Way" in the world that we currently live, doesn't it? And closer to your point, I think would be interested in a movie that has a thoughtful response to that.
I hope it will, Mark. I'm hoping there is some kind of response to all the violence depicted, that it will inform the story going forward in some way. It would be great to use the character of Superman as a stand in for what this country has done for the so called "good fight". I like my Superman being imperfect.Delete
It's funny the kind of response this movie has from some critics as not being the Superman they remember... but if you ask them, in the next sentence many of them would say Superman isn't their favorite character because of his goody goody reputation. The thing they "remember" the character for is the same thing that makes him less interesting. I think, if anything, Man of Steel has opened up more possibilities of what the character can be.
Forgive the grammatical errors... it is very late, doing a lot of drawing and finally catching up on a bunch of your shows and just HAD to chime in on your review of Man of Steel... my most favoritist superhero! P.S. Currently working on a little image you are going to be VERY happy with, Patrick!ReplyDelete
Oh my God. "Prepared to be disappointed"? Why? Since when is any one person saying any one thing a guarantee of. . .anything? What if you weren't disappointed? Are we doing it wrong?ReplyDelete
I loved it. Many, many other people do too. Does that mean we're right? No. It means WE love it. Speaking for myself, I made up my own mind about it; all I was "prepared" for was a movie.
I think speaking for yourself is a good idea. That's what I was doing too.ReplyDelete
I was "prepared for disappointment" not really based on reviews, but as a counterbalance to how high I had set my own expectations for this movie - how much I was hoping to LOVE it. In the end I was a little disappointed - it gets a few simple things wrong in my opinion - but really, I liked it quite a bit (elements of it I LOVED) and the further I get away from it the MORE I like it. I may even go see it again and I haven't done that since Jurassic Park.
I don't think anybody is wrong when it comes to how they go into, or come out of, a movie. I appreciate your zen-like approach of going into movies with an empty mind, my only question for you is, if all you ever expect is a movie, how do you even decide what movies you want to see?
Caught "Man of Steel" this morning and listened to the rest of the podcast, finally. I'm totally aboard with Patrick this time (sorry Mark, but do give "Holy Motors" another chance; think of it as the foreign language 'ying' to the "Cloud Atlas" yang): I didn't hate "MOS" as much as clearly recognize it's an excellent version of a different vision of the Superman character and myth that is not meant for me. As a 40 year-old I recognize that this is a Supes for a new generation, the same way Chris Reeve and Margot Kidder will always be my Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane, respectively. But damn, between the nobody dies and slapstick Donner/Lester movies and thousands dying and humorless angst of these Snyder/Nolan/Singer versions, can't we find a happy middle ground?ReplyDelete
I'm sorry but, between soldiers being punched into instant blood stains by Zod's female lieutenant to the destruction of Metropolis with thousands dying without any acknowledgement (Daily Planet is still going about its business when "MOS" ends), this movie was the least fun times I've had at the movies all year. "The Lone Ranger," flawed as it was, still bent over backwards trying to at least entertain me (and, like the opening of the first Donner "Superman," acknowledges the character's history via its flashback structure). "MOS" wants to pummel me into submission with its God fights, so much so that when Supes and Zod were about to have their final one-on-one I actually thought 'Oh, no, not more of this!' Cavill and Adams have zero chemistry together, same as Routh and Bosworth in "Superman Returns." Costner was OK as Pa' Kent but Diane Lane was too young and smokin' to be believable as Clark's mother. BTW, just for a cheap laugh, couldn't they have Supes take the truck off of Martha's living room and make light of the moment? Even the stuff in Krypton that worked (the metal liquid technology thingies, which were awesome) feels like it comes from a variety of movies from the past 15 or so years.
BTW, Patrick, not 100% sure, but wasn't the kid that was bullying Clark in front of the garage the same character that then shows up as a priest in the church immediately after? Both the bully and the priest were kind-of similar-looking, which would explain why Clark would go see him in the first place: Clark noticed this once-mean boy became a peaceful person (same way the school bus bully became an Ihop manager) and he'd seek his advice. The scene still doesn't work, but its existence would make more sense if the bully in the flashback becomes the Smallville priest in the present.
I'll give "MOS" this much complement: if you want your Superman both 100% alien (in origin, personality and what beings from his world look/act like, on Earth and in Krypton) and your destruction of stuff and people completely random and off-the-charts epic (which makes the Stephen Sommers "Mummy" movies seem like Woody Allen movies by comparison) "Man of Steel" is the movie for you. Me? I'm dying to rewatch every other "Superman" movie (including "III" and "The Quest for Peace" with commentary track) a few more times before I feel like watching "MOS" again... if ever.
I watched Superman Returns last night (for some reason) and wasn't hating it - the plane/shuttle rescue stuff was pretty awesome and I was thinking Man of Steel really needed more stuff like that, but the minute Brandon Routh stepped on to the landed plane with his lanky-ish frame and weird hairdo and told everyone to remember flying was still the safest way to travel, it started losing me. And when he was floating in the trees watching Lois's house I damn near shut it off.ReplyDelete
I get that it's very much a part of the original franchise and is paying tribute to it and Reeve in a lot of ways, but I'd rather watch Man of Steel every day for a month than watch Superman Returns again. Like Mark, I was wondering if I'd judged it too harshly, but no, it really does suck pretty bad.
I'm convinced there's probably a pretty darn good 105-minute movie wrapped inside this unwieldy 143-minute one -- not that we'll ever see itReplyDelete