The Big Picture: Superman Revisited

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Superman Revisited

MovieBob takes us behind the cape with a look at Superman and his movies.

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The main problem with superman recently is just how ultimately strong and invisible he is. He seems to be running into the mudflation. Someone makes a super strong superhero, and superman has to be stronger. Someone makes a super fast superhero, and superman has to be faster. The portrayal of an ultimate good character only works if they have flaws in other places. If Captain America was as powerful as superman he wouldn't have been any where near as compelling. Even Jesus was flawed and had limited power. Superman is just supposed to be the super ultimate bestest best super hero ever.

New technology doesn't help. The older Superman movies were limited by what visuals you could do, so he comes off as more human in the older ones. Might be Christopher Reeves more down to earth nature helps too. This new movie seems to be attempting a more character driven piece, but I have a feeling they're going to still show him as infinitely strong/fast/ext.

wow i got hear early. BUt yeah super man isn't suppose to be realistic,
I think it will lose some money but it won't be a complete disaster.

I think we'll have some fun.. and as usual i think bob loves "the good old stuff" way to damn much. great argument,
just not behind it.

Based on? When i watched those movies my mind didn't go "i'm having fun!"

I'm sure bob will sit through this one going "not gonna like it.. not gonna like it." with all his might.. i encourage the rest of you to enter with a open mind.

and hay it's a comic movie.. please don't let the bad guy suck.

I'm not a real fan of Superman, but even I hope they don't get this

WRRRRROOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!

DVS BSTrD:
I'm not a real fan of Superman, but even I hope they don't get this

WRRRRROOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!

well to be fair that's just it. can you get superman right for todays fans?

Superman might just be a little to goody goody to sell to this era.

Bob, your distaste towards Nolan's Bane continues to confuse and amuse me, but on every other point I couldn't agree more. Superman has already been adapted almost perfectly, twice, Superman II being at least as good as it's predecessor. It's just a shame both movies are so... 80s.

Well here's hoping Man of Steel is good. Not just cause I love Superman but because I also love a number of the other non-Batman DC heroes I want to see them get the movies like all the Marvel ones out there.

hehe, when we see a review of Man of Steel I guessing Bob is gonna act real black or white. He'll love it or he'll hate, or wait he'll hate it but first for a month or something he'll pretend it was okay, like he did with The Dark Knight Rises.

Awesome episode! Too bad everyone will be blind-sighted by E3, and stupidly expect every single video today will respond to E3, even though videos like this are made several days in advance.

I really hope they let this new Superman have some fun. He's not Batman and if they turn him into some gritty, angst ridden, sullen anti-hero I'll be disapointed. Sure, he can get all serious and resolute when the time comes, but please let's not have him wander around scowling for the entire film. If I want to watch a big screen character assassination of Supes then I'd just watch Superman Returns.

It could be a tricky balancing act - keep Superman as an ultimately upbeat and optimistic character, without trying to impersonate Christopher Reeve. For me at least, Reeve embodies that part in a way that none of the actors who've played Batman come close to doing.

I've always liked Superman in film. I'm not much of a fan of his comics because they have been running for so long that there's so much he's just already done that it's hard to invest in it. But film has, at least for my lifetime, been where Superman could (COULD) shine. The Donner films were great. I even enjoyed Lois&Clark back when it was new. Yeah it's stupid by today's standards, but back then it was pretty good at least. And Smallville wasn't too bad either, at least for the first half. Up until Lex left I'd say it was decent television and had a good momentum to it.

I'm a Zack Snyder fan already (even though I still don't like Sucker Punch) so I'm really excited for Man of Steel. :)

The Avengers 'Kiss' to the Justice Leagues 'beatles' LOL

As usual MovieBob shows a complete disregard for the rest of the world outside the good old US of A. You know, those other 6.5 BILLION people where Marvel is way more popular than DC, Batman being the one exception.

I really hope for DC's sake this movie is not just good, but great, cause anything less and it will be decades before they can catch up to Marvel. Though considering how little I care about the entire DC line-up, apart from Batman, you'll have to forgive me if I don't keep my thumbs crossed.

To do Superman correctly for the modern era there are two options that you can go with.
1) You can depict Superman as the absolute symbol of Golden Age heroism in a world that is demoralized and corrupt.

2) Superman's flaws lie in what he believes is perfect and the right thing to do but his actions cause greater problems in the world, i.e. Infinite Crisis.

I also think that it would be cool if Ruin popped up in Man of Steel.

I actually think that every single one of Superman movies was boring as watching flies fuck. Can't stand them. But the new one looks remarkable.

I agree.

We're living in an age where ever hero has to be an anti-hero. No one understand characters that just want to do good anymore because they think they're just one-dimensional boy scouts, while angry brooding murderous characters like Wolverine supposedly have depth...lol

(not saying I don't like Wolverine...honestly, I love him...but he is just a one-dimensional angry fuck...lol)

Up till now, the only other movie except for the original Superman movies with Chris Reeves that got it right was Captain American. Unfortunately for that movie though, after the genuinely good 1st act, the 2nd and 3rd went to shit as it became a bland mind numbing bore, as if the director just decided to finish it off and pass the character onto the Avengers. Also, HOW THE FUCK do you make Red Skull into a mind numbing bore of a character? Damn, that movie went to shit!

Oh, and as for Sam Raimi's Spiderman? Nope! He was just a one-dimensional forgettable goodie-two-shoes.

:P

Magog1:

DVS BSTrD:
I'm not a real fan of Superman, but even I hope they don't get this

WRRRRROOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG!

well to be fair that's just it. can you get superman right for todays fans?

Superman might just be a little to goody goody to sell to this era.

Goody goody isn't the issue. Captain America is wholesome as corn flakes, and that movie rocked the box office worldwide. The problem is what do you do to challenge a hero that is more or less an omnipotent demigod? We're pretty much talking about someone who could (forgive the cross-publisher referencing here) probably punch out just about every character that has been in any of the Marvel movies aside from Galactus. The Hulk might take a few slugs to get the job done, but we are talking about the guy who is pretty much the apex superhero.

The first movie pretty much had Supes running around rescuing people(and Luthor pulled out the green rocks). The second said "oh yeah? Well I'm going to pull out three Supermen. And they're evil." The rest of them all sucked, so we won't go into what they did. So I'm kind of curious as to what Snyder's answer to the problem will be.

I'm one of those people crossing his fingers for Man of Steel, Bob. Last I checked, Rotten Tomatoes has it rated at 74% but we shall see if those reviews hold up. It has a lot to do in order to get DC movies back on track and getting out from under the shadow of the original Superman movie is one of them. While it has some flaws, it still holds up on its own and proved that comic books could be done right.

Wonder if Bob will cover the other Superman movies in future Big Picture episodes?

wiz828:
The Avengers 'Kiss' to the Justice Leagues 'beatles' LOL

As usual MovieBob shows a complete disregard for the rest of the world outside the good old US of A. You know, those other 6.5 BILLION people where Marvel is way more popular than DC, Batman being the one exception.

I think he was making more of a point about how DC had the headstart in the film world by virtue of the fact that the original Superman and Batman were big success stories a good decade or so before Blade, X-men and Spiderman all hit the big time. That's how it came across to me at least.

I just wish he'd give up piping on about the Avengers, it was a seriously dull film and outside of the impressive coming together of its parts/merging a franchise business it really wasn't that fun to watch.

Ahem!

I actually LIKE 80's Lex luthor. Seriously, the 'mad scientist' Luthor gave Supes a run for his money with his intellect, but ultimately the world knew Lex was a bad guy.

The reason I love the eighties Luthor, is he weilds a different kind of power to Superman, a power that is different to Supes. He weilds wealth and influence alongside the high level IQ. Superman knows he's evil, but when LL dines with presidents, is on the cover of Forbes magazine, has a team of high priced lawyers and appears to be a model captain of industry, he makes supermans life FAR MORE DIFFICULT. Superman can't just fly up and punch him then drag his ass to jail, instead Supes with all his power has to be SMART. Because following his instinct in this case would make him appear to be the bad guy and Lex the victim. This was always more interesting to me, a virtual god who obeys the laws of man and finds himself frustrated by someone physically weaker but who can weild power and influence far more effectively.

Magog1:
well to be fair that's just it. can you get superman right for todays fans?

Superman might just be a little to goody goody to sell to this era.

Of course fans will find things to quibble about, just as there are things to quibble about in the Marvel movies (like that black dude from Thor). But in spite of these quibblings, I think above all that noise we'll hear loud and clear whether or not the film is a success.

And as for the goody-goody thing, the same thing was said about Captain America, and I think they pulled it off pretty well. It's definitely a tricky balance, but it can be done. If they could sell Captain America to the jaded, war-weary, post 9/11 masses, I think they can sell Superman too. It's all a matter of execution.

Looking at the reviews it looks like it's going to be pretty damn divisive. Like Watchmen-type divisive.

I just wish Bob would stop beating around the bush and tell us how he really feels about The Avengers.

Vilealbaniandwarf:
Ahem!

I actually LIKE 80's Lex luthor. Seriously, the 'mad scientist' Luthor gave Supes a run for his money with his intellect, but ultimately the world knew Lex was a bad guy.

The reason I love the eighties Luthor, is he weilds a different kind of power to Superman, a power that is different to Supes. He weilds wealth and influence alongside the high level IQ. Superman knows he's evil, but when LL dines with presidents, is on the cover of Forbes magazine, has a team of high priced lawyers and appears to be a model captain of industry, he makes supermans life FAR MORE DIFFICULT. Superman can't just fly up and punch him then drag his ass to jail, instead Supes with all his power has to be SMART. Because following his instinct in this case would make him appear to be the bad guy and Lex the victim. This was always more interesting to me, a virtual god who obeys the laws of man and finds himself frustrated by someone physically weaker but who can weild power and influence far more effectively.

I agree wholeheartedly here; making Lex a savvy businessman wielding the 'new' kind of power was not only an incredibly smart move, it was one that seems oddly knowing, considering the power that large corporations have in our society and the kinds of crimes we understand they can get away with. Putting that kind of power up against the raw physical power of Superman makes for a more interesting problem.

Also: to anyone complaining about Superman's 'all powerful' nature I would say a couple things:

1) Good writing generally solves this problem.
2) I have found out that the Hulk can 'adapt' his body so that he can survive in space. That is some lazy bullshit, right there.

Ukomba:
The main problem with superman recently is just how ultimately strong and invisible he is. He seems to be running into the mudflation. Someone makes a super strong superhero, and superman has to be stronger. Someone makes a super fast superhero, and superman has to be faster.

You do realise Superman isn't even in the Top 5 of the most powerful Justice League member.

He's not even in the top 100, or even 1000 most powerful DC character.

people considered golden age superman lighthearted children stories? Are you sure you don't mean the silver age?

I like lex luthor as a corrupt corporate executive, it solves the why doesn't he simply sell his inventions plothole.

Sheen Lantern:

Ukomba:
The main problem with superman recently is just how ultimately strong and invisible he is. He seems to be running into the mudflation. Someone makes a super strong superhero, and superman has to be stronger. Someone makes a super fast superhero, and superman has to be faster.

You do realise Superman isn't even in the Top 5 of the most powerful Justice League member.

He's not even in the top 100, or even 1000 most powerful DC character.

A statement like that needs to be backed up by something. I mean, have you seen this?

I for one LOVED Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor!
Until Michael Rosenbaum came along, NOBODY played that character as well as Gene.

I hope this movie FLOPS and flops bad!
When I heard DC was making another Superman film I hoped for 30 version done in the style of Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow.

image

Instead we get a universe 52 shit heap...

image

oh well.

In all honesty even if the movie sucks we got Zack Snyder directicting so we are at least getting some awesome superpower fights.

I just miss the red trunks he used to have...

The original is still a classic, though. "You've got me!... Who's got you?"

Even if "rewind time" is the most stupid cop-out power ever. Right next to "amnesia kiss".

But, hey, can we all agree that Man of Steel HAS to be better than the nearly three-hour-long borefest that was Superman Returns?

The difference between Marvel and DC, and which probably a big reason Marvel is doing better, isn't the characters but the universes.

It was mentioned in a Avengers/Justice League crossover at one point, but in the DC Universe, the heroes are loved and adored. There are parades in the street, statues to the heroes... they're loved. Especially in the case of Superman, the villains often come across as jealous and petty, because that's what they are. As a viewer, it's very difficult to sympathise with the enemy in that situation. I'd argue that The Dark Knight pulled it off more because of Two Face than the Joker. Yeah, I'm serious.

In Marvel, the heroes themselves fight adversity. Captain America is manipulated by the government, Stark is an alcoholic, the mutants are discriminated, Hulk is being hunted down by the army when all he wants is to be left alone. Their progression is against adversity, and about doing the right thing even for those that despise you, or would see you fail. That makes a better short story, which is what films ultimately are.

I'm not holding by breath for Man of Steel, but there is so much potential there. I doubt it'll be used sadly.

Trishbot:

But, hey, can we all agree that Man of Steel HAS to be better than the nearly three-hour-long borefest that was Superman Returns?

being boring was the least of it's problems.

If the movie goes well... I hope they reboot batman... not that I didn't like all 3 new bats (i liked the second one, for it's timing, and music)... they are just NOT BATMAN! I want a batman film that is more like the Arkham series, and perhaps start this one with out going to an origin story... and start with "red hood" (the Robbin gone bad) story, to introduce villeins, and deal with each one, then at the end, deal with Batman's own protege... (Refer to Batman:Hush for world art style)... you'll have battles, super villeins, DETECTIVE WORKS (all batman films missing), and EMOTIONS/DRAMA besides love interest (but throwing in cat is cool too... I guess...)..

Ukomba:
The main problem with superman recently is just how ultimately strong and invisible he is. He seems to be running into the mudflation. Someone makes a super strong superhero, and superman has to be stronger. Someone makes a super fast superhero, and superman has to be faster. The portrayal of an ultimate good character only works if they have flaws in other places. If Captain America was as powerful as superman he wouldn't have been any where near as compelling. Even Jesus was flawed and had limited power. Superman is just supposed to be the super ultimate bestest best super hero ever.

New technology doesn't help. The older Superman movies were limited by what visuals you could do, so he comes off as more human in the older ones. Might be Christopher Reeves more down to earth nature helps too. This new movie seems to be attempting a more character driven piece, but I have a feeling they're going to still show him as infinitely strong/fast/ext.

There are several DC heroes and villains that are stronger and faster than Superman (usually one or the other) or are at least on par with him but have an advantage and/or disadvantage that can give one the edge. Billy Batson/Captain Marvel/SHAZAM (f*ck you, reboot) is arguably completely on par with Superman AND he's magic, which hurts Supes a lot. All the Flashes are faster than him, especially Wally West. Plus he's not immune to hypnotism and he's fallen to that a few times now, even by Poison Ivy.

Superman's best stories are often more about whether or not he should use his powers and finding a balance, a way to give people hope without having them come to rely on him. That or they're about him having to show that while he is an exemplary man and a paragon of what superheroes should strive to be, he can't be everywhere at once and people may suffer due to his inability to help. Goeff Johns' Superman: Secret Origin and New Krypton arc tackled that perfectly (though some of the character changes like Parasite were a little on the weird side).

Sheen Lantern:

Ukomba:
The main problem with superman recently is just how ultimately strong and invisible he is. He seems to be running into the mudflation. Someone makes a super strong superhero, and superman has to be stronger. Someone makes a super fast superhero, and superman has to be faster.

You do realise Superman isn't even in the Top 5 of the most powerful Justice League member.

He's not even in the top 100, or even 1000 most powerful DC character.

What? Is this sarcasm? Never been good at detecting sarcasm that is blatantly wrong or misleading....

Those glowy white outfits the Kryptonians wear are pretty rad.

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