Friday, June 14, 2013

Superman: Man of Steel REVIEW - A Bold (and Awesome) New Superman


For the past 25 years, the world of comics and movies have given a giant middle finger to heroes in favor of the constantly lactating tit that is the anti-hero. The ideals and morals of true heroes like Superman have been deemed "uncool" by the Illuminati or some cynical shit like that and now people love Batman, Wolverine, Iron Man, X-men, and Watchmen. These anti-heroes are not the kind of people that we would want to associate with in real life. These are not the kind of people that we teach our kids to be like. Yeah, they may save the day, but they also drink heavily, lust after married women, break the law, kill people, and generally act like complete assholes.

In fact, it's gotten to the point where I can count all the true heroes on one hand. There's Superman. There's Goku. There's Optimus Prime from Transformers. But that's it. I would include Captain America in that group, but after events like Avengers vs. X-men and Civil War he doesn't deserve to be in that category anymore. Hell, he doesn't even deserve to buff the dings out of Optimus Prime's ass. That's why I was so excited to see a new Superman movie. It's not that I'm burned out on anti-heroes. But I think there's still a place for real heroes in this world where being good, upstanding, and moral is now "uncool" for some reason and being a fucking asshole is a virtue. And if the S on Superman's chest is supposed to stand for hope, then this movie does a great job of reminding people of that hope.

Let me get this out of the way first. Superman: Man of Steel is awesome. It is by far the most awesome movie I have seen this year. It's better than Iron Man 3. Hell, it's better than the first two Iron Man movies, the Green Lantern movie, the Captain America movie, the Thor movie, and every single X-men movie (although that may not be saying much since all those movies sucked). The only movie that is on the same level is Avengers and this movie is awesome for the same reasons that Avengers is awesome.

Superman: Man of Steel doesn't try to reinvent Superman's 75-year-old story. Watching this movie, you will see the same story that people have known for nearly a century. But this movie has a number of changes. The reason Krypton failed is somewhat different, but similar. The life of Clark Kent growing up in Smallville is somewhat different, but similar. The big threat posed by General Zod is somewhat different, but similar. Seeing a pattern here? Director Zack Snyder walked a fine line between changing Superman and respecting the source material. Some of those changes are really trivial. Perry White is black, played by Morpheus himself, Lawrence Fishburne. Jimmy Olson had a sex change and is now Jenny Olson. But some changes are a lot more substantive.

SPOILER ALERT


SPOILER ALERT

The biggest change has to do with Lois Lane. She's not just Superman's love interest if you can believe that. She's not just his human foil either. Lois Lane in this movie has more balls than Wolverine had in any of the X-men movies (again, not saying much). She also figures out who Superman is very early on. He never had to keep his identity from her. She knows because...well, she's a damn good reporter. And good reporters figure this sort of shit out. In fact, it makes you think that Lois Lane was completely inept at her job for not figuring it out sooner. But this shows that she's both resourceful and skilled, someone who you actually feel is worthy of Superman's love. No one else reaches out to him the way Lois does. Also, he didn't knock her up and leave the planet. Sorry, I just had to throw in another big fuck you to Bryan Singer.

Go back to blowing Joel Shumacher.

Beyond Lois, another big change is Krypton itself. Superman isn't exactly the last of his kind in this movie. We already knew from the trailers that General Zod was the big bad guy and not Lex fucking Luthor this time (although Lexcorp is mentioned in an easter egg). But Zod also had an army of fellow Kryptonian exiles that were all loyal to him and dedicated to beating Superman to a pulp. It was actually the first time in a Superman movie where he looked truly overwhelmed. And he was. He actually couldn't defeat them without help from the human race.

And this is the biggest and best change to the Superman mythos. Superman himself is not all power. He's not the one that comes in and saves the day in this movie. He actually teams up with the human race. Hell, even the military folks help him. Yeah, they act like assholes at first, but without them the world becomes Zod's personal toilet. Both the military and Lois Lane are instrumental in saving the world. And the point isn't just that Superman is powerful enough to save the day. The point is that Superman will always make the right decision, even when it's the hard decision. And that's who Superman is supposed to be.

This was still a dick move, but Superman didn't hold it against them.
Beyond just the changes, this movie is very nicely detailed. The motivations and emotions are thoroughly vetted of not just Superman, but all the characters. General Zod is not just a tyrannical douche in this movie. He wants to restore the home he lost. He's a proud Kryptonian. That's not inherently evil unless you bring Nazi metaphors into the mix. And the reason why Krypton as a planet failed is thoroughly vetted too. It's not the same as it was in previous movies or in the comics, but it shows an attention to detail that you don't always see in a comic book movie. And yes, I'm looking at YOU the Dark Knight Rises.

There details extend to some flashbacks of Superman's childhood. It's not exactly like Smallville, but it once again shows that the Kent's are the reason why Superman is who he is. There were some truly emotional moments where Superman learned from his parents the importance of doing the right thing and making hard choices. That all played out later in the story and later in his life in a perfectly harmonious way. It makes this movie somewhat long at times, but every minute is gripping and it fits into a coherent whole. In the same way that I value comics that take the time to make sense, I put this movie on a higher pedestal because it makes sense.

Now I get there are criticisms to this movie. Rotten Tomatoes actually rated this movie lower than Superman Returns. But I say fuck you Rotten Tomatoes! Too much CGI? Who gives a shit! Too much Michael Bay style action? Who gives a shit? It's entertaining! It tells a coherent story! Yes, it's a story we're all familiar with. And yes, it's not as campy as previous Superman movies. And why should it be? It's not grim and gritty. The whole movie is centered around hope and doing the right thing. And it succeeds. If you somehow have a problem with that, then you're not being an intelligent critic. You're just being a douche-bag.

Please take this to heart, motherfucker.
Superman: Man of Steel isn't just a reboot. It's a bold new Superman for a new era. This isn't the same world from which Superman was created. It's not 1938. But this movie shows that there is still a place for the ideals that Superman represents. He, like the symbol on his chest, represents hope. Now Jor-El himself said in the movie that humanity would stumble behind that ideal, but in time we would join Superman in achieving wonderful things. That's a very real message that is a lot better than messages from other movies like Batman can get away with anything, Iron Man can built a suit to make up for the fact that he's an asshole, and Wolverine can be a cold-blooded killer yet still be a hero. None of those movies convey that ideal that Superman represents. When you see this movie, you see the hope that is that ideal for which we should all strive. Not all of us can reach it, but its mere presence is like a beacon of hope that is every bit as powerful as Superman himself.

When this movie was over, I walked out of the theater feeling every bit as satisfied as I felt when I walked out of the Avengers movie. Superman: Man of Steel is more than just another superhero movie. It takes a classic story that we all know and love and reminds us of why we love it. Superman: Man of Steel gets a 5 out of 5 and my highest recommendation. I may be an X-men fan and a lifelong Marvel fan, but I'm not afraid to admit that this movie touched me as both a comic book fan and just a fan in general. Superman is and will always be the standard by which all other heroes and anti-heroes are measured. And if you don't like, then you can go kiss his Kryptonian ass. Nuff said!

31 comments:

  1. Fucking damn straight. Fuck critics. I wanted stand up and scream like I was a little kid again watching christoper reeves. Superman deserves to be back on top in my opinion. The first and last superhero. This movie rocked.

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate your kind words. And please join me every time I say FUCK YOU BRYAN SINGER and FUCK YOU DOUCHE-BAG CRITICS!

      Jack

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    2. Damn! Great review . I totally agree with everything u said. Fuckin douche critics. They tried to make the movie bomb, which they failed although i think MOS could've hit 1 billion if not for the bad reviews but 700 million still ain't too shaby. CBM #1 the avengers #2 man of steel. FUCK THE CRITICS

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    3. Those A-hole critics can go back to their causal Hunger Games and Raimi-era Spider-Man flicks amongst others. Man of Steel rules, and there's no other way of saying that. In fact, I put Man of Steel above The Dark Knight and Watchmen for best superhero movie of all time.

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  2. *applauds* THANK YOU.

    I've been getting angrier by the day as I read more hate and vitriol heaped on this movie.

    Man of Steel has flaws. I will admit that. But it's by far the best Superman entry since 1978, and I enjoyed the crap out of it. For those who say it had no characterization or plot, I want to ask where they were for the first hour and a half.

    My only hope is that the next film gets a little more light-hearted and adds in some humor, like we saw in the last few minutes. I love Nolan, but sometimes, I want to laugh a little.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoyed it too. I know it was lacking in terms of humor, but then again so was Batman Begins. These movies were meant to be serious and I don't hold it against them for keeping it that way. This wasn't Joel Shumacher. This was Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. They have found something special here and fuck Rotten Tomatoes for not seeing that.

      Jack

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    2. Batman Begins had more humor than this. Hell, TDK had more humor than this, mainly in the Batman/Alfred interactions. Batman/Catwoman picked up the slack there in DKR.

      This had almost none, aside from a couple tiny bits with Lois.

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  3. I loved your review !!! I loved the Movie !! it was totally awesome....

    Marc

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  4. Thank you SO MUCH. I feel the exact same way you do and I really hate it when people depend on what critics say in the newspapers. What they usually forget is that those critics are much older than the younger generation that most of the movies now try to reach out to. I mean, take the horrible movie Avatar the Last Airbender. If a super well known critic says that that movie is the best movie ever, does that suddenly make it a good movie? NO. I mean, a critique is just ONE person's opinion which definitely should not be the selling point of a movie.

    Man of Steel was not a perfect movie, but it was entertaining and well worth the money spent. I would see it again. A good revamp of a classic story with an added modern twist. Thanks so much for your review!!

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  5. I love what you wrote here. I'm over 45, female, and a lifelong Superman fan. In 78, I was a teen, and I watched a movie, that appealed to my teen self- a powerful man who rescued the damsel in distress. This movie had the damsel holding her own in terms of bravery and intelligence, had the hero unsure of himself (makes sense) and had the human race naturally suspicious and fearful of the guy with the powers, regardless that he wanted us to know that he was 'a friend'. Even in 78 I thought it was nuts that nobody questioned how disturbing a man with his kind of power was. Except of course Lex, who wanted the power himself.

    This movie was exactly what we needed in 2013. It modernized everything credibly. I loved that Zod had purpose. It made me relate more to him as a character. I might disagree vehemently with his purpose, but it was credible that his purpose would push him as far as it did. People like that actually exist and always have.

    The destruction? Well, you try fighting super powered beings who greatly outnumber you, and ALSO be completely aware and careful of hurting people. When titans clash, people get hurt, and yes... it sucks, but that's the way it is.

    I remember VERY clearly watching Superman II with my parents, and hearing my mother ask 'Why do they attack him one at a time?'. Yes. Why indeed.

    Thanks for htis. And to Anonymous at 10:45 PM on 6/17, WORD on Airbender. Word.

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  6. Thanks for all the kind words guys! I'm still not understanding all the bitching and moaning I'm seeing from other fans about this movie. So Superman kills Zod. So fucking what? It's not the first time. So he caused a lot of damage. Actually, he didn't. Zod did. What the fuck did they expect? And Lois wasn't just a damsel in distress for once. I mean what did this movie not have? I can only assume that the criticisms of this movie amount to plain old bitching and moaning. Nuff said!

    Jack

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  7. fiiinnally someone else who enjoyed the film. What s wrong with people. I just saw the movie. It totally kicked my *ss, glad to see im not the only one. Blew me away, the music, the CGI, the superfights, just like dragon ball z only better and Henry Cavill nailed it. I felt like a kid again
    Im going back tomorrow, already bought the ticket

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  8. I just got out from watching and I'M STILL FUCKING PUMPED!!!

    A Summer "superhero/comic" movie, this freaking awesome, rarely does that for me these days. (sorry, Ironman 3 was a total letdown, and Green Lantern? shit, i don't even want to go there...)
    Anyway, I am usually very critical and held high standards these days after having my bar set so high from The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises.

    I was also really impressed with most of the 3D material of all the EPIC HYPE, and high-octane battles and confrontations of Zod, his right-hand woman Faora? (you guys know who im talking about, that smokin' hot German actress from "Pandorum", she was perfect for this movie and kicks ass very well), and even that fucking big badass Kryptonian (fighting alongside with Faora) who reminded me of Richard "Jaws" Kiel from Superman II

    In fact the whole confrontation of Superman vs. the exiled/rogue Kryptonians reminds of me the hype i had grown up with from Dragonball Z, you know with Goku vs. (his fellow Saiyan race) Radditz (Goku's big bro), Vegeta and Nappa.

    The action was so worth it. Superman Returns was fucking terrible I'm sorry it was, the only thing I liked about Returns was Kevin Spacey playing Lex Luthor.

    If i would go out to see a summer movie for a 2nd or 3rd times its definitely Man of Steel.
    And honestly i love the message of "Hope" in this film, its very deep and holds a grand significant meaning to me personally in spite of all the cyncial bullshit being propagated from our corrupt politics with their outrageous scandals, enduring a shitty economy, while the rest of the world is going to hell, and corrupt corporate news media.

    Man of Steel is indeed a symbolic movie, and I applaud Nolan Bros + Goyer, teaming up Zack Zynder, together those guys have truly made an excellent Superman movie and they fianlly dont it "Justice"

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  9. Just watched man of steel.. Going back for more.. Critics are nuts for dissing this movie. This movie had my full attention the entire time.

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  10. Great review! I thought the movie was terrific. As a kid I remember watching Superman II and sitting completely mesmorized in awe and even some fear as Superman battled Zod & company. So I had a great time watching Man of Steel with my 6 & 3 year olds and watching them experience those very same emotions. Not sure if I'll see it again in the theatres but that's because I'm cheap. Definately buying it on blu-ray though.

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  11. Seriously this was a review worth reading. This movie was so awesome i don't know why critics are hating on it. It might have something to do with the hipster movement and world full cynicism (cynical critics). I felt very moved by this movie something that i haven't felt in years! I've been getting used to this stigma like everyone no matter how great has to have flaws in character and action. Why can't someone aspire to greatness and try to be a stand up citizen? Point is i was inspired to be just that. Thanks Man of Steel

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  12. Thanks a bunch for the comments, guys! Glad to hear that not everyone has become a cynical hipster douche-bag when it comes to movies. Superman is more than just an icon. He's an ideal and knocking him for trying to be that ideal is like bitching at the sky for being blue. Nuff said!

    Jack

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  13. Great review man. I really appreciate how well you presented Superman's morality and why it is important. It is an awesome movie.

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  14. Promised myself I wasn't going to cry. . . . Hnnngh. . . Last time a film made me cry was ET and I was about 6. Man of Steel is fantastic!

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  15. Thanks again guys! Every comment here is another fuck you to the critics so keep the "fuck yous" coming!

    Jack

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  16. Just watched it in South Africa like 3 hours ago, and I must say this is a the Superman movie I've been waiting to see. I must
    confess I usually watch what critic say before watching a movie, and when they said Iron Man 3 was good I couldn't wait to see
    it. Fuck me with a pineapple if I ever listen to those old, degenerate farts. They said MOS had no heart. WTF, I almost cried every
    time Kevin Costner was on screen.I've never been a fan of Superman, for me he was toooo good. I believe heroes must have internal issues. The
    other movies never really potrayed this.

    Now onto the criticisms(not mine, I'm talking about the idiotic fans/critics):
    1)Superman allowed too many people to die.
    My Reply: He's one man. He saved the world and last time I checked there was 7 billion people in the world.Superman should be a fucking
    Time Management Guru if you ask me. He sorted the biggest problem out 1st, namely the World Engine. With the WORLD save, now he can attack
    the remaining "bad guys".

    2)The final 45 minutes leaves out characterisation in favour of loud action and relinquishes any plot development.
    My Reply: Watch the first hour and a half of the fucking movie. What more charaterisation do you need? Earth is being destroyed, so fuck off.

    3)It too serious and not fun.
    My Reply: Go watch Iron Man 3 for laughs.There are so many fun moments. Like the army girls saying he's kinda hot. That was awesome. There are others
    I could mention, but won't. This isn't a comedy. Go watch This is the End.

    My point is : FUCK YOU, if you don't like MOS. This movie was made for ME and I loved IT. Will see it again on Sunday.

    Long comment I know, but it could say way more. Just these Fuckin idiots piss me off with complaining about this movie.

    LOVED YOUR REVIEW BY THE WAY

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    1. Good point, but it's kinda mean to say 'degenerates'. MoS was freaking awesome, but ya, it needed more humor. I mean, this is Superman! Truth, justice, and the American Way! If you want darkness, go watch Batman!

      But I liked MoS a lot and thought there was a lot if Superman's classic ideals in it. Cheers :)

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  17. Your text made me cry.
    Man of Steel is my favorite movie ever.Period.
    Here in Spain it came out 8 days ago,and tomorrow I will be watching it for the third time.
    It gave me hope, in a world full of cynism, and all the bad critics and comments in a way,represent people's darkness ,is cool to like a Nolan film, because it's dark times,but is not ok to dream such think as Superman (hope) can actually exist.
    I think is the most amazing entertaiment experience I've ever had on a theater.I've only been so pumped when I was little and saw E.T. Superman (Reeve), Star Wars...
    It's so sad that all those critics,who can let go the image they have of his childhood and dare to experience new things, are the voices the most people hear. Because like it or not, kids and children these days,do not give a fuck who John Williams and Reeves is,and to them, movie making has changed, is more close to Transformers, Anime, Avengers and Michael bay , and that is exactly what this is. Sorry but this film is for them,not for you,sad critics. You can talk all the shit you want about the loud ending(did u expect enya?), too long fight scene (wtf!?) but I think it's pretty clear who has the bigggest dick; Superman.
    When Batman begins came out,I could hear much more people who did not liked it than liked it,whatever critics said. Now,whatever critics say,there 50 persons who fuckin loved it out of each single soul who didn't. By the time this is a trilogy the whole world will claim this is theirs,as they now do with Batman, people,who of course, didn't even know that Smallville was the name of Clark's town,not the name of a tv show.
    Congrats to all the fans,cause we finally have what we dreamed all our lifes, and its lonly beginning,wait for Lex,Doomsday, Justice league...
    ENJOY!!!!
    Facebook.com/aboynamedsergio

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  18. A.W.E.S.O.M.E say no more and your review was spot on. This is the Superman of now. Well done Zack & co.( and yes ITA w/army chick even as 45yr female fan...Supes is hot! lol yes that`s looking at you Henry Cavill ;p

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  19. Awesome movie. Did not disappoint even after having high expectations. As a kid, I was a DC fan. Marvel came out with some really cool movies over the past few years which made me go on Team Marvel. This brought me back home. If they ever bring out a Justice League movie, that its...game over. How do you top Supes, the Bat, and the beautiful Wonder Woman.

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  20. Great review. The movie was awesome and above all not fake: true to the spirit of superman. Good thing it wasn't a copy of the 1977 film too. Compared to the Disney kid friendly Iron Man 3 this is a breath of fresh air and i can't wait for part II!!! Lexcorp here we go!!!

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  21. So many generous comments. I honestly didn't expect this kind of response from my drunken ravings about a movie. lol Thanks a lot guys! It's good to know that I'm not alone in my sentiment about Superman, Bryan Singer, and the douche-bag critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Jack

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  22. Honestly, sometimes i feel like the critics are bias towards anything DC and are pro-Marvel. But that is just my opinion.

    Anyway, this file is awesome. Contemplating of seeing it a 3rd time. Really enjoyed this movie. I think its even better than the Avengers.

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  23. dude, I love you! I heartily thank you for giving middle fingers to Bryan Singer and RT. Bryan Singer the gay asshole, make Superman pervert and sissy! And assholes think that Superman Returns is a feel good movie WTF!

    I say Man of Steel put a smile on my face when Clarke smiles at end credits! So, yeah this is m feel good movie.

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  24. Fuck the critics, the movie just rocked!

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  25. Italy here. MoS is the quintessential Superman! One of the best CBM ever!
    Fuck the critics and the haters. If you can't tell the difference between a a good movie and a bad movie, just shut up!

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