Advice From a Fanboy: Superman Edition

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Batsamaritan:
woah, i LIKED smallville... I say liked, it should have ended two seasons ago but for a tv superman show i thought it was pretty good.

Ok i'm not the worlds biggest superman fan, personally i was always more into batman, vertigo and marvel when it comes to my comics, but smallville had the best lex luthor on screen (sorry gene hackman and kevin spacey but its true)

maybe its just movie bobs inner troll looking for a flame war?

While I actually agree about the luthors of smallville being somewhat awesome, they are also the only ones. The rest of the characters and plot/dialogue is so horrible awful that...just....BLARG...its unwatchable.

i didnt get that, maybe its my reccolections of supes being an overgrown boy scout or recollections of god awful characters like krypto the superdog, but the cheesier stuff with superman seemed to fit. I also like the animated superman series and that came across as a bit cheesy too.

SpaceMedarotterX:

The thing is no one is looking for Supermans 'Secret Identity' because he gives them no reason to. He doesn't wear a mask, he acts completely normal. Lex Luthor isn't going "Who's Superman's secret identity" he just goes "That damn ALIEN!" because there is no mask!, John Stewert and Guy Gardner didn't wear masks as Green Lanterns, hell they went by there real names! Kyle Rayner wore a mask and everyone close to him (and far from him) figured it out. Superman is like John and Guy, he isn't giving them a mystery to solve so they don't care! He's not Spiderman who wears a full body suit to hide his identity.

That's just BS. Sorry but it is. A lot of stories center around the people close to Clark trying to stop figuring out Supermans identity. I just don't buy it. It's like the breaking point where I'm no longer bothered to suspend my imagination

I swear to fucking God, if they make Luthor the villain again, I am going to find a Warner Bros. executive and stab him with a ball point pen. ENOUGH WITH LUTHOR ALREADY!

Varya:

SpaceMedarotterX:

The thing is no one is looking for Supermans 'Secret Identity' because he gives them no reason to. He doesn't wear a mask, he acts completely normal. Lex Luthor isn't going "Who's Superman's secret identity" he just goes "That damn ALIEN!" because there is no mask!, John Stewert and Guy Gardner didn't wear masks as Green Lanterns, hell they went by there real names! Kyle Rayner wore a mask and everyone close to him (and far from him) figured it out. Superman is like John and Guy, he isn't giving them a mystery to solve so they don't care! He's not Spiderman who wears a full body suit to hide his identity.

That's just BS. Sorry but it is. A lot of stories center around the people close to Clark trying to stop figuring out Supermans identity. I just don't buy it. It's like the breaking point where I'm no longer bothered to suspend my imagination

No there WERE a lot of stories, in the silver age. In the Silver Age everything was stupid.

And way back then it was always something like 'super hypnotism' or something else, or using a body double to appear as Superman and Clark Kent at the same time. Although no if you can, show me a recent story where someones tried to find his real identity.

Think huge. Think Godzilla huge. Hell, think Roland Emmerich huge - remember Independence Day? 2012? Imagine that, but if Superman was there.

That's something that'd have people talking.

Oh hell ya! Make this Superman movie with a threat that big and I can guarantee it won't fail. Maybe they should bring Brainiac into the picture... Maybe, but they might be reserving him for a Justice League movie.

SpaceMedarotterX:

Varya:

SpaceMedarotterX:

The thing is no one is looking for Supermans 'Secret Identity' because he gives them no reason to. He doesn't wear a mask, he acts completely normal. Lex Luthor isn't going "Who's Superman's secret identity" he just goes "That damn ALIEN!" because there is no mask!, John Stewert and Guy Gardner didn't wear masks as Green Lanterns, hell they went by there real names! Kyle Rayner wore a mask and everyone close to him (and far from him) figured it out. Superman is like John and Guy, he isn't giving them a mystery to solve so they don't care! He's not Spiderman who wears a full body suit to hide his identity.

That's just BS. Sorry but it is. A lot of stories center around the people close to Clark trying to stop figuring out Supermans identity. I just don't buy it. It's like the breaking point where I'm no longer bothered to suspend my imagination

No there WERE a lot of stories, in the silver age. In the Silver Age everything was stupid.

And way back then it was always something like 'super hypnotism' or something else, or using a body double to appear as Superman and Clark Kent at the same time. Although no if you can, show me a recent story where someones tried to find his real identity.

Admittedly, my contact with the comic is limited, I am talking about what I've seen from movies and DCAU, where it at least is touched upon several times.
However, even if what you say is true, I don't buy it. You mean to say that people just don't care that the guy working on a NEWSPAPER look a lot like the worlds greatest superhero? Simply never bringing up the fact isn't enough. Has all bad guys decided suddenly that you simply do not try to kill his family and friends anymore? Doesn't the tabloids and paparazzi care about shit like superheroes? Even a Superman-robot would be totally worthless. If I saw Clark next to Superman I would still wonder why the hell Supermans twin-brother doesn't have superpowers.

Varya:
Admittedly, my contact with the comic is limited, I am talking about what I've seen from movies and DCAU, where it at least is touched upon several times.
However, even if what you say is true, I don't buy it. You mean to say that people just don't care that the guy working on a NEWSPAPER look a lot like the worlds greatest superhero? Simply never bringing up the fact isn't enough. Has all bad guys decided suddenly that you simply do not try to kill his family and friends anymore? Doesn't the tabloids and paparazzi care about shit like superheroes? Even a Superman-robot would be totally worthless. If I saw Clark next to Superman I would still wonder why the hell Supermans twin-brother doesn't have superpowers.

Well firstly the reason he doesn't have a mask is largely due to concept of a "grandfather clause", an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations, when a new rule will apply to all future situations. Because Superman was created in the 30's, where there wasn't tv or internet, there were less risks with his identity. Because he's a classic we let it slide because it's part of his character, but if a new hero didn't wear a mask we'd have to write about them dealing with the consequences.

But it's touched on in Birthright, that Clark has a very generic face (but distintive blue eyes), however he also wears heavy prescription glasses (his eyesight immediately corrects for the thick lenses), as you might know from real life these tend distort the shape of the eyes. Anyone who tried to look through Clark's glasss would think he was nearly blind.

A big thing is how he acts and talks, he can see peoples reactions and facial expressions in slow motion and has amazing comprehension of sound. So modifying the way he acts and talks to be completely different is very easy. There are many talented actors in real life able to make you think they're two different people and Clark's possibly the best. In All Star Superman it's pretty amazing in that he's drawn identical in facial features when Clark and Superman but simply in posture, actions and expressions he looks completely different. Reading this comic you could believe they were too different people.

And honestly who would believe a god worked a day job?

WolfThomas:

Varya:
Admittedly, my contact with the comic is limited, I am talking about what I've seen from movies and DCAU, where it at least is touched upon several times.
However, even if what you say is true, I don't buy it. You mean to say that people just don't care that the guy working on a NEWSPAPER look a lot like the worlds greatest superhero? Simply never bringing up the fact isn't enough. Has all bad guys decided suddenly that you simply do not try to kill his family and friends anymore? Doesn't the tabloids and paparazzi care about shit like superheroes? Even a Superman-robot would be totally worthless. If I saw Clark next to Superman I would still wonder why the hell Supermans twin-brother doesn't have superpowers.

Well firstly the reason he doesn't have a mask is largely due to concept of a "grandfather clause", an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations, when a new rule will apply to all future situations. Because Superman was created in the 30's, where there wasn't tv or internet, there were less risks with his identity. Because he's a classic we let it slide because it's part of his character, but if a new hero didn't wear a mask we'd have to write about them dealing with the consequences.

But it's touched on in Birthright, that Clark has a very generic face (but distintive blue eyes), however he also wears heavy prescription glasses (his eyesight immediately corrects for the thick lenses), as you might know from real life these tend distort the shape of the eyes. Anyone who tried to look through Clark's glasss would think he was nearly blind.

A big thing is how he acts and talks, he can see peoples reactions and facial expressions in slow motion and has amazing comprehension of sound. So modifying the way he acts and talks to be completely different is very easy. There are many talented actors in real life able to make you think they're two different people and Clark's possibly the best. In All Star Superman it's pretty amazing in that he's drawn identical in facial features when Clark and Superman but simply in posture, actions and expressions he looks completely different. Reading this comic you could believe they were too different people.

And honestly who would believe a god worked a day job?

This is the first somewhat satisfying answer I've heard. Sure, there are plot-holes, but I still kinda buy it. This, however, doesn't translate very well on the big screen, since I can't see any actor who can pull of this.

Varya:
This is the first somewhat satisfying answer I've heard. Sure, there are plot-holes, but I still kinda buy it. This, however, doesn't translate very well on the big screen, since I can't see any actor who can pull of this.

Yeah getting an actor who both looks like him and can pull of the switch is very hard. Christopher Reeves was quite good at this despite the ridiculousness (and poor quality) of his movies.

Whispering Death:
This has failure written all over it. It's like they're trying to re-create Batman Begins and just insert another main character which is not what the Superman character is.

How do you know that? have any other details about the film been released yet?

Yeah, making things realistic rarely works. Also, I would like to see many characters interract in a Superhero movie. Look at the spider-man movies. Only spider-man and the bad guys, with the small exception of Harry Osborne being a good guy in the end. I would love to see a Spider-man movie where for instance Maddam Web was in it. Good old MW deserves to be in a movie.

Superman is and always has been a dull, terrible superhero. He is the original Mary Sue character, and it kills any possibility of being intriguing. He is interesting only as an archetypal superhero, which leads to some cool deconstructions, but that's it. Superman Returns is an awful movie for the reasons movies are usually awful (shallow, poorly defined characters, gaping plot holes, etc), not because "they did Superman wrong."

Glad to get that off my chest. Stay frosty, folks.

Here's my thoughts.

One, please do not include the kid from the last film.

Two, bring in either Brainiac or Darkseid into the film. Brainiac if you want to give the film a much more sci-fi feel for it, or Darkseid if you want it more action packed. If it's Brainiac, let it be based on somewhat of the Brainiac of the Superman Animated Cartoon that used to be on the WB (now CW), an AI that used to work for Krypton and Jor-el before leaving the planet once it found out it was going to blow up, or even better, say he's the one who caused it to blow up in the first place. If it's Darkseid, make it as if he and his forces are going to invade the planet Earth. Making it apolcaylptic somewhat as they swarm the planet, and make Superman the guy who stands as the only thing that can fight off the invasion.

With Lex, instead of making him a guy who obsesses over real estate, make him as how the Superman animated series made him look like. An arms dealer. A guy who sells advanced technology to bad guys in the black market, while doing military arms dealing for a good public image. Make him into a guy who teams up with either Brainiac or Darkseid to access to whatever terrible device or BFG that they have with them, that can cause great trouble for Earth and even kill Superman, and then have him double-cross them so that he has the only access to the terrible device or BFG. Possibly even making him the guy who might be responsible for either Darkseid or Brainiac's defeat or death, then have Lex try and use that device or BFG to try and kill Superman.

Also, I don't like the idea of a silly villian like Toyman put in the film. If anything, should the villian be Darkseid, bring in the Female Furies. Hopefully adding Lashina into their ranks for fan service. Granny Goodness can be used as the silly villian, since she's after all, somewhat of an old hag.

BaronFelX:
Superman is and always has been a dull, terrible superhero. He is the original Mary Sue character, and it kills any possibility of being intriguing. He is interesting only as an archetypal superhero, which leads to some cool deconstructions, but that's it. Superman Returns is an awful movie for the reasons movies are usually awful (shallow, poorly defined characters, gaping plot holes, etc), not because "they did Superman wrong."

Glad to get that off my chest. Stay frosty, folks.

I do have to somewhat agree with this. To me, Superman is, above all else, uninteresting. He's basically "too awesome to relate to"- unless the situation involves either glowing green space rocks or an opponent who regularly eats entire civilizations before washing them down with their morning coffee, Superman is not going to even break a sweat. There's no point in even watching, unless you like seeing bullets bounce off of a perfectly-sculpted chest. And in situations where he's teamed up with other, less omnipotent characters, his vulnerability suddenly comes from him holding himself back to give the B-squad a chance to look good.

You could take almost any other hero from any fictional universe and they'd be far more interesting than Superman. Why? There's always the chance of failure, even death, for them without ridiculously contrived or over-the-top circumstances. Rooting for Superman feels like rooting for the New York Yankees against a Little League team. Even if Hank Aaron shows up in the bottom of the 7th to bat for Tony's Auto Service, I think we all know what the final score will look like.

I apologize to our international audience, and those who are less than familiar with baseball, for the American-sports-centric metaphor in the previous paragraph. Please pretend I instead referenced football [American or international], rugby, cricket, jai alai or whatever other sport you prefer.)

The Rogue Wolf:

I do have to somewhat agree with this. To me, Superman is, above all else, uninteresting. He's basically "too awesome to relate to"- unless the situation involves either glowing green space rocks or an opponent who regularly eats entire civilizations before washing them down with their morning coffee, Superman is not going to even break a sweat. There's no point in even watching, unless you like seeing bullets bounce off of a perfectly-sculpted chest. And in situations where he's teamed up with other, less omnipotent characters, his vulnerability suddenly comes from him holding himself back to give the B-squad a chance to look good.

You could take almost any other hero from any fictional universe and they'd be far more interesting than Superman. Why? There's always the chance of failure, even death, for them without ridiculously contrived or over-the-top circumstances. Rooting for Superman feels like rooting for the New York Yankees against a Little League team. Even if Hank Aaron shows up in the bottom of the 7th to bat for Tony's Auto Service, I think we all know what the final score will look like.

Glad to see someone who agrees with me. This is pretty much what I think every time I see Superman do anything.

Superman vs. Dr Manhattan.

Superman Views his own Colon

I wasn't a fan of Watchmen at all. If only they picked another comic series to adapt-

Well it doesn't matter. Snyder will give us good fight scenes and all, but I can't say I'm thrilled at him directing Soupes.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Zod Is in the Details

Where is your Zod now?

Nobody Cares About Smallville

AHEM!...Lex Luthor? Lionel Luthor? Two of the greatest evil guys since evil was invented. The Seto Kaiba's of Metropolis.

Apart from that it's toss, but it isn't The New Adventures of Lois and Clarke now, is it?

What, you mean the greatest television series ever made?

Seriously though, Terri Hatcher...

ChromeAlchemist:

Seriously though, Terri Hatcher...

Not even with yours. Desperate Housewives is spot on.

On the whole issue of properly portraying a Superman character without stripping him down or whatever, I can't help but kill a little shout-out to my favorite Supes-type character, Majestros.

See, Majestros is better than everyone, and he knows it. He selfishly imposes his own view of what's right on everyone else. He won't get busy with women, not because he doesn't want to, but because he actually believes there are no worthy females on Earth. He's an alien with an alien mindset. And because of that, I love the guy. He's awesome.

No surprise the Wildcats comics are good, 'cause Alan Moore wrote at least some of them. Hopefully Snyder will go the right way with a Superman movie. He already has experience characterizing omnipotent super beings.

Superman just sucks. He's good because somebody has to be, and all-powerful because somebody has to be. His "weakness" is readily dealt with at every opportunity and hardly ever feels like a legit threat. Apart from a series of Superman stories Alan Moore wrote as well as Final Crisis, I have to say I've hated everything Supes has ever been in... EXCEPT the first 3 seasons or so of Smallville. Say what you will, but Smallville did start off good. Just a shame it turned to complete bilge.

I like smallville. It's an alternate reality where things happened different than they did im the movies or comics. It was interesting how they statred out with kryotnite effecting people to make the 'villian of the week' and now they are bringing in all kinds of other heroes from the comics in one form or another. I'm looking forward to him putting on the suit and flying away at the end of the series (he can't fly yet!).

Darkseid. Nigh apocalypse. World of Cardboard Speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl_5UwS57X8

I know the dude is perfect and all, but you have to give him a little sympathy. His very existence is a threat to the world he calls home, and to his family and friends. His day to day activities, no matter what they happen to be, takes great restraint on his part. His strength and speed doesn't just lie dormant until he decides he needs it. He has to hold himself back. Give him a villain or situation where he can let loose. Then give him a reason get vengeful (because after all, he may be super, but he's still a man).

Superman isn't a deep character. In fact, he's pretty one note. But this just means you don't have to bog the film down in useless melodrama, because it doesn't work with Supes, and everyone already knows this. This is a good opportunity to just let the special effects fly and have him do amazing things. Then when he meets his match, the audience will be completely glued to the screen.

>.> My two cents. Probably what my opinion is actually worth. ^o^

I've never really understood the criticism of Superman being too-powerful to be engaging, mostly because he's fictional. It's not like there's some kind of official "everybody knows" strength-chart telling us EXACTLY what he can do so we always know whether or not a given situation is within his capability.

Thusly, it's a pretty simple fix: Just don't make him TOO strong in the movie, comic or TV episode in question. DC Comics did this in the 80s, when "too damn powerful" actually HAD become a storytelling issue for them after so many decades. They "powered him down" editorially, essentially telling writers that stuff like shoving planets out of orbit was no longer on the "can do" list and encouraging artists to depict him exerting energy when doing especially superhuman tasks. "Stronger than any living man" instead of "stronger than anything ever," basically.

And even failing that, there's still the matter of simple storytelling to contend with: Technically, there shouldn't be any suspense in the "Harry Potter" series either, because almost everyone is a wizard who can conjure damn near anything they need. Solution? Bad guys with better wand-fu and scenarios where magic ain't gonna cut it. Luthor's scheme in the first Christopher Reeve film actually showed a near-perfect example of this: stage TWO evil acts, each which can ONLY be thwarted by Superman... but not at the same time. What was especially great about that was how well it also played into reaffirming the character - Superman is such an earnest do-gooder that a choice where no matter what SOMEONE is doomed actually would be nearly-impossible for him to manage.

You know, given what I've said about hating Superman in the thread on the Buried review, if they make good on that last paragraph and have him fly through the core of the moon just to get to the villain's dark-side-of-the-moon-fortress faster or some such, I might actually go see this movie.

By my lonesome.

Because nobody I know cares about Supes.

unabomberman:
Utterly idiotic. Nobody cares about Smallville? I certainly don't, but a tv show that makes just marginal bussiness does not stay on the air for close to 10 years without a modicum of success.

The proper response to Smallville is to just treat it as an alternate universe and ignore it. Bob got that one right. Whether or not the show is succesful or not should be beside the point, yeah, so Bob is a bit overzealous here and there, what else is new? (Sorry Bob.)

MovieBob:
I've never really understood the criticism of Superman being too-powerful to be engaging, mostly because he's fictional. It's not like there's some kind of official "everybody knows" strength-chart telling us EXACTLY what he can do so we always know whether or not a given situation is within his capability.

Sure there's no exact measure but he's done so much over the years that its become completely ridiculous. In Harry Potter they realized the problem and killed Dumbledore just because of this exact reason. He's too powerful and kills the suspense.

Of course you know the good guys are going to win, but Supes makes it too obvious, he can solve any problem in a million ways once he actually wakes up and gets on with it. He practically never uses his power in an interesting way, and when he does it looks rather pointless or overly gratuitous, like the time reversal madness, if he can do that he should be able to solve every problem that way and be done with it.

It's like if Harry Potter were the villain and the books were about the adventures of Voldemort. Sure, Voldy doesn't know how Harry survived way back when but if it ever comes to a straight up confrontation he's going to beat him hands down and any other outcome would come across like cheating.

You make your villain more powerful than your hero to allow for surprise and growth. It's an interesting situation to see it turned upside down with Superman but its been proven time and again writers can't seem to be able to handle it properly. That's the most important point. Because of the inverted power-relationship between hero and villain people get weirded out, not only the audience, but also the writers who are used to handle it the other way around.

The only way anyone can beat Superman is by cheating in some way, like the two evil acts at the same time dilemma. Or make a play on his ethical beliefs, with randomized innocent suicide bombers or something. The problem with Superman is that in the end the only way you can beat him is by making his powers irrelevant, in which case you can start to wonder why he has these powers to begin with.

I'd even go so far as those problems Supes can't deal with are of such a magnitude that the army would probably have been involved ages ago. Making it a case of why is Supes even doing this at all? This scenario would've been better off on 24 or House or Numbers or whatever as Superman is not made to deal with this type of problem, like milking a cow with a hammer.

I think that to say that "Nobody watches Smallville." is a bit generalizing, I personally love it and have a few friends who've watched it for years too. But neeeever mind that.

The Bandit:
I think it's safe to say that MovieBob has some of the worst ideas ever. I like his reviews, but Jesus Christ. I do not want to see silliness, and no one else does either. Superman lifting a continent is the type of shit that turns people off to him.

I don't think Moviebob meant silliness literally, the correct word or words would be awe inspiring. Superman has always been about being the man capable of doing feats that are suppose to be unimaginable, being faster than a bullet leaping tall buildings in a single bound, putting the Super in man, and if you take that away he will cease being Superman.

Now granted there is a boundary that shouldn't be crossed, for instance flying so fast to turn the earth the other direction just to turn back time. Superman has been known to nuke the fridge a whole bunch of times but have you noticed he's the only character that's been able to get away with it.

Moviebob is totally right in his last paragraph, they need to go nuts, but as long as what he's doing upholds the laws of physics and the space time continuum, I don't think there would be a problem.

Oh and...

Smallville sucks!!

What is with all the smallville hate?

Seriously it's better then Louis and Clark ever was by far....and in my opinion that was better then the previous Superman TV shows (although those were still quite good in their time).

Yeah, so it's a bit Dawson's Creak, but it was also about a Teen aged Clark growing up....it made sense. And in my opinion Micheal Rosembloom (not sure how to spell his last name) was freaking awesome. It was a sad day when he left the show especially since it picked up in so many ways at that point (stopped having all the enemies be meteor freaks and started incorporating the justice league etc)

I've watched the show for what 10 years now? I watched Louis and Clark before that as well (never missed an episode of either show). I'm a superman fan and I just can't see why everyone is so down on smallville. Yes it's not perfect, but it's kept me entertained for years.

The original Law and Order had the record as the show that I have watched consistently the longest...but it's gone now. Smallville has taken it's place as the longest show I watch every week and never miss an episode. This is the last season it will be on though and then almost everything I watch consistently will be fairly new (in the last 5 years or so), which I find very sad.

I am going to miss Smallville when it is gone and I highly doubt that Wonder Woman is going to do a good job taking it's place. Maybe I'll get lucky and the girl who plays Wonder Woman will at least be hot. I am very disappointed in "No ordinary Family" especially since the girl from Angel and more recently Dexter is a main character. Talk about a soap oprah, family show with a dash of super hero in it.

Smallville may have gone to Dawson's creek a few times (or many times early on) but at least it had some cool villains and story lines (at least I thought so) over the years. There are very few television shows that I have watched as many episodes of as Smallville and there were quite a few of them that I really enjoyed.

Gildan Bladeborn:

KEM10:
You can't alienate the Smallville fanbase. Yes, they watch Smallville. However, because of them watching Smallville they will be more likely to see the Superman movie. More people seeing the movie means more chances that more superhero movies will come into play. They have Batman, Green Lantern, Superman is coming out, Wonder Woman TV show. Now to get Green Arrow.

The point isn't to alienate them, the point is to simply not care about what transpires on Smallville, a show that barely anyone watches, which is thus entirely irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of folks likely to go watch a new Superman movie. It's Dawson's Creek with superheroes - the dedicated fans of that show are the folks who would be happy just watching Dawson's Creek.

Those people are not really the audience for a new Superman movie, and designing the film to appeal to them is going to alienate all the people who don't watch Smallville now (which is almost everyone, because very few people actually watch Smallville). Ergo, do what you like, and if the Smallville viewership doesn't like the results than that's their tough luck.

Woah! I absolutley hated Dawsons Creek! I do however like Smallville. It started out pretty slow and did have a bit too much tween drama but over the past 5 seasons or so has grown up quite a bit. Yeah, there is still a bit of the old soapy crap but by and large the mythology has come to the fore and the show is all the better for it.

I was never a big Supes fan but watching Smallville got me interested in reading more of the books than the few I own.

Frankly I think that a link to Smallvlle wouldn't be a bad thing, but as the show does not follow the mythology too strictly it might be a wiser idea to just look at the books from the past decade or so and weave a plot from them.

Then again, a lot of the people who will go to see this movie wont be comic readers so WB would probably get better gross if they used the film to cap Smallville, in a gigantic, hugely destructive way of course >:D

I find the "don't listen to the fans" part a bit ironic, but you and I both know that they should listen to you on this stuff. I really hope they at least read the part about going all out for Superman, FREAKIN. SUPERMAN. Grabbing a plane isn't ANYTHING compared to lifting the Chrysler Building! As somebody in high school who wants to make movies someday, I'd like to say that your advice is worth taking.

I think if the forum posts can be considered a reasonable sample, you might be off the mark in your assessment of Smallville, Bob. Which is not to say you aren't right that it ought to have no place in the making of the movie.

Regarding spectacle, I think it's worth remembering that both 2012 and Independence Day were bad movies. Okay, yes, the latter was a fairly successful bad movie. But there was nothing in it that wasn't straight out of Screenwriting 101, not a single memorable character, not a single moment that bore thinking about for fifteen seconds after the credits. From the token gay character dying in a fireball to the President of the United States strapping into a jetfighter, there was nothing there that wasn't aimed at getting a brain-dead visceral response (never mind the queasiness later.) For that matter, Superman Returns didn't exactly skimp on spectacle. I agree that this shouldn't be downplayed into Dark Knight-style quasi-realism, but I'd strongly advise against making a CGriffic short-attention-span-fest, either. We've had plenty of those... And frankly, even of the good superhero movies of late have been at their weakest in the scenes when they gave in to the impulse to go that route.

Finally, I think there's one utterly crucial element that goes unmentioned in your piece: Superman is likable. The reason a site like Superdickery is so funny in part is because it so goes against our expectations. If Batman is the fans' fantasy that, pushed to the wall, they too could be the Baddest Motherf@$%#er on Earth (to borrow a phrase from Neal Stephenson), Superman is the fantasy that, given the powers of a demigod, we wouldn't change- we'd still be basically decent people who would seek to use those powers for good. Part of Superman Returns's fail was that we never really got any picture of the man behind the suit- we were to busy watching him do epic things. You don't have to go overboard, you shouldn't turn Superman into some sort of moody angst-fest by any means, but if Singer's X-Men movies showed us one thing, it's that handled properly you can get a real sense of a character if you're willing to take five minutes from things going boom. Just five minutes. Seriously.

Whereas I don't personally care about Smallville, it's not fair to say -nobody- cares about it. The people who love that show like it for a reason that, well, eludes me, but doesn't surprise me, and quite frankly adds a wonderful dimension to the mythos of Superman. Do you remember Lois and Clark? It's in a very similar vein! I would say its success was responsible for Smallville, and if you don't count its existence, you're not including one of the most amazing things about Superman. Superman, if you think about it, does what no other superhero has been able to do: he has managed to appeal both to the geekdom and to the sweetheart femme audience out there; the Grey's Anatomy crowd, for example, has a show that gives them some credence to not look down on the comic book world. My sister, for example, a 30 year old novelist, absolutely -loves- Lois and Clark AND Smallville, and she's no dumby. Like I said, I don't care for it myself, but it should say something to his credit that Superman can have the die-hard following of somebody like Quentin Tarantino AND have what is almost the equivalent of chibi-otaku-charm in North America. He unifies in unheard of capacities. Dude, he's Superman. :) Good article, though.

I thought superman wasn't going to fly in this movie?

"That way leads to squeezing the Electra storyline into the first Daredevil movie. That way leads to thinking you can build a good Spider-Man movie around Venom."

To be fair, both of those were horribly implemented. I have to say I would've preferred Daredevil to be just his origin story since it's basically the best shot Marvel had at a 4-star movie, but the Elektra story had potential too. Bad casting, a worse script and no ambition whatsoever killed it dead though.

Spider-man 3 is just a mess altogether. Venom could certainly work in a movie. Any villain could. It's just a matter of doing solid work.

I'm a bit worried about Snyder, because he doesn't seem to notice when a line is too awkward to keep. Watchmen was, as many will say, about as faithful to the source material as a movie would allow. Most of the dialog is directly from the book, and unfortunately that doesn't work very well. Tons of lines end up sounding weird and deliberate, as if the actors are reading their lines in a language they don't actually understand. Hopefully he won't make the same mistake here.

Having Watchmen as a tagline makes this the highest pedigree a superhero movie can get?

Watchmen was such a "meh" film! It was honestly a really forgettable movie, why can't you let it go Bob!?

OT: I just hope Zack Snyder doesn't mess it up with too much slow mo. I kinda agree with Bob on the not listening to fans completely thing.

MovieBob:
I've never really understood the criticism of Superman being too-powerful to be engaging, mostly because he's fictional. It's not like there's some kind of official "everybody knows" strength-chart telling us EXACTLY what he can do so we always know whether or not a given situation is within his capability.

Thusly, it's a pretty simple fix: Just don't make him TOO strong in the movie, comic or TV episode in question. DC Comics did this in the 80s, when "too damn powerful" actually HAD become a storytelling issue for them after so many decades. They "powered him down" editorially, essentially telling writers that stuff like shoving planets out of orbit was no longer on the "can do" list and encouraging artists to depict him exerting energy when doing especially superhuman tasks. "Stronger than any living man" instead of "stronger than anything ever," basically.

And even failing that, there's still the matter of simple storytelling to contend with: Technically, there shouldn't be any suspense in the "Harry Potter" series either, because almost everyone is a wizard who can conjure damn near anything they need. Solution? Bad guys with better wand-fu and scenarios where magic ain't gonna cut it. Luthor's scheme in the first Christopher Reeve film actually showed a near-perfect example of this: stage TWO evil acts, each which can ONLY be thwarted by Superman... but not at the same time. What was especially great about that was how well it also played into reaffirming the character - Superman is such an earnest do-gooder that a choice where no matter what SOMEONE is doomed actually would be nearly-impossible for him to manage.

It's worth noting that DC Entertainment has given the comics division of their company extensive oversight on what happens with the movies. Geoff Johns, (Who is arguably the current architect of the DCU outside of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, AND was Richard Donner's Assistant) is in charge of overseeing DC properties outside of comics. Beyond that Warner Bros actually hired Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, and Grant Morrison as consultants for their comics propertied, meaning most likely that all of them will have a say.

Also, it wouldn't be a Superman movie post if I didn't tout the same thing I always do whenever these come up. If you want a successful Superman movie, there is a 12 issue Miniseries called All Star Superman. There you go. Just lift it off the page (Snyder could totally do it too, until the end Watchmen almost seemed Panel for Panel)

The Bandit:
I think it's safe to say that MovieBob has some of the worst ideas ever. I like his reviews, but Jesus Christ. I do not want to see silliness, and no one else does either. Superman lifting a continent is the type of shit that turns people off to him.

Funny that you say "nobody does" as if you speak for everyone.
What would you rather see? Superman dealing with serious personal emotional issues for 2 hours?
There are plenty of other movies perfect for that, superman has always been the super powerful alien that shoots lasers. If you don't want to see an epic fight with insane amounts of action, you really don't need to be talking about what a good superman movie would be. You can't make a dark gritty movie with a guy in a colorful outfit and superpowers without changing everything about the character.
Nobody is talking about superman lifting heavy stuff for 2 hours, it's about real conflict and action, something the last movie lacked. We don't need to see another "Lex has kryptonite" plot when there are so many great stories in the comics. Why not have him fighting someone of equal or greater strength? Doesn't mean it can't have a story, just that it would be fun to watch too.

It seems like if you were making the decisions on the dark knight, you would probably demand that they remove joker (because a clown would be too silly) and remove the costume (because it's too silly) and have batman, I'm sorry, bruce wayne killing drug dealers for two hours while he broodingly monologues, questioning his actions.
Yeah that sounds great.

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