Posts Tagged ‘Man of Steel’

They got Superman wrong. Again.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I’ve tried and tried to write a review of the steaming turd known as Man of Steel. I can’t do it, a written explanation of what’s wrong with it read aloud would take longer than the movie.

Because I love the Superman mythos too much and am too close to the subject matter, I’ve decided instead to highlight two scenes, one which sinks the movie and one which could have (almost) saved it, and by saved I mean doubled whatever its final box office gross will be.

Clark, inexplicably miserable after saving the lives of two dozen men on a burning oil platform is shown walking around a family’s house. He has pants but needs a shirt, so he ‘borrows’ one folded on the tailgate of a car. I waited patiently for the next moment when Clark would see some sort of yardwork or project that the homeowners had left halfway completed and finished it at superspeed as payment, but it didn’t happen. Due to the dreary, depressed tone of the movie I knew there would also be no later scene of Clark shipping the laundered clothing back, maybe with a little thank-you cash. No, in Man of Steal, Clark is a common thief. A quarter of a million dollars spent creating a movie, including meticulous Easter eggs to delight the nerds, and nobody involved remembered that while humans steal, Clark Kent/Superman DOES NOT steal. Ever. It’s as egregious an error as having Batman grab a machine gun and kill a criminal.

So what might have saved Man of Steel? 

A recent, far better movie called Chronicle, about three teens who develop telekinetic powers, has a scene where they use their powers to fly around. They whoop and holler through the sky and have a great time, like real people would. When Clark dons the suit the first time, it’s starting a job. He practices speeding around, joylessly. There’s maybe a split second when he cracks a smile, but that’s it. We’ve seen better flying, done more creatively, in dozens of other movies. 

A scene missing from MoS more than any other is Clark admiring earth from space. Superman Returns had one, but it failed because it depicted Superman as messiah, towering over the earth.

Superman should simply have floated there, awestruck. He can’t do it all, but he’s here to do what he can, earth is his home. Because he was raised with the best values humanity can offer, he is humbled by the very planet he could easily rule with a steel fist. Even the suit is optional for such a scene, it would have been far more striking to have Clark floating there in normal clothing, perhaps with a backpack slung over one shoulder. (That would have been a far more impressive movie poster too).

A floating-above-earth scene probably wouldn’t have redeemed this clumsy disaster movie, but it would have provided a reason for Clark to save earth from Zod and partially justify the endless and callous destruction to come.

So there you have it, the scene that ruined this movie’s depiction of Superman and the nonexistent scene that would have almost redeemed it.

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Smallville yanks the football once again, Charlie Brown

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Just finished the latest ep of Smallville.

As Lionel Luthor flew (straight down) to his death he neither shouted nor flailed but smiled enigmatically. At that moment I knew it wasn’t the character but character actor John Glover who was smiling, because except for probably a few flashbacks he’s done with the ongoing disaster my once-favorite show has become.

Once again, after waiting weeks, a new episode rewards we idiot faithful with less than a minute of action in a story that stretched 10 minutes of plot into 40 minutes of shit dialogue and uninspired acting.

Everyone responsible for this show has given up. No one gives a shit. Except for the Vancouver crew behind the camera (you know a show stinks when you’re thinking about how many crew members it took to create the sets) I sense everyone is as tired and fed-up of this show as its long-suffering fans.

So now Lionel Luthor is dead, murdered by Lex. No one knows how to react to this, including the people that wrote this crap. And no one cares.

Here’s a brief eulogy:

Lionel Luthor was a character created in probably 5 minutes. He was created as a symbol of the ruthless greed and lack of creativity of Smallville’s producers. Lionel’s creation was a risky move, since there were no comic books with his backstory to fall back on then ignore.

Depending on the Thursday at hand Lionel was many things to many people: plot device, cartoon villain, Darth Vader figure to his iconic son, sociopath, evil non-genius, corporate cutthroat, philanthropist, blind man, wife abuser, killer of his own parents, government agent puppetmaster, secret society secretary, serial murderer, kidnap victim, assassination target, organized crime dabbler, exploiter of Native American Canadians, borrower of Clark’s powers and shameless flirt with Martha Kent.

He was also a foil for Bo Duke, er, Jonathan Kent, when Jonathan was alive, but that was so long ago no one remembers.

While played with sincere competence by actor John Glover, Lionel was never a likable or interesting character. Even after he was morally “changed” by discovering Clark’s secret + getting a zap from the Jor-El ex machina, he remained more or less the same, only with a flared mullet to remind others of his ruthless leonine prowess.

Speaking of leonine, Lionel Luthor was passionately in love with the letter L. Not only did he marry a woman whose name began with an L (Lillian), there was son Lex, half-brother one-shot Lucas, Lulian the dead baby, Lana, Lason, Lhloe, Limmy Olsen, Lois and Clark. (Had Clark been named Lark, Lionel would’ve adopted him outright).

All in all, Lionel Luthor was a wonderful character who helped explain why Lex Luthor has been, is, or will be evil, except when he was used by lazy writers as filler and to put the brakes on an already plodding and tedious jalopy of a plot, or once-again threatening Ms. Sullivan.

Lionel will not just be missed but SUPER-missed until the next flashback, dream sequence or the T-1000 Brainiac replicates him to fool Lex into thinking Lex is crazy. The end……………..OR IS IT?

I also got to see the rerun of the months-old episode where Lex goes to Detroit-couver to rescue Super-Blondie. I, like the other 50 or so Smallville fans left in the world, audibly gasped (or didn’t) when Lex got shot exactly where the third eye is in meditation! I was worried Lex was going to die!–just like I was worried that girl that was Luke’s mother in Star Wars Episode 2 would die in the Willy Wonka Robot Factory before getting pregnant with Luke!

Though I still have the ep starring a pack of gum to look forward to, I still pray:

Sweet Kara, Mother of Clark, make this awful season end already.


Smallville blues

Friday, 21 March 2008

I’m trying like hell to stay interested in Smallville because I love the Superman mythos but I’m only fooling myself, the show is a fucking travesty.

Due partially to 2008 being one big Kryptonite enema for me, I’ve missed the last 4 or so episodes and would have missed tonight’s had I not bothered on a whim to poke around the worthless CW website (watch full episodes of CW shows! But only the crap ones)!

I don’t know how dead fucking Jor-El keeps meddling all the way to the point he can strip superpowers away like God, or why this same omnipotent ghost-in-the-machine can’t/won’t do anything to stop Clark’s many foes (at least 3 have actually been in the Fortress so far). Why can’t Ghost Jor-El ever explain to Clark what the fuck is going on?   Because a more complex plot would require good writing, and the lazy, sloppy hacks are content to simply drag things out while violating the logic of the Superman universe.

The last ep I saw was the one where Jor-El punishes Clark via Kara/Stuporgirl (the UNstacked blonde), inflicting her with amnesia and beaming her to Detroit, a plot twist even I found tacky and subtly racist. Oh look, a pretty blonde White woman be lost on deh mean streets of Motown! YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? YOU’RE IN THE JUNGLE BABY!

While away I’ve also missed key moments like the return of Pete, who drove into town solely to pimp Stride gum.

Later Chloe and Lana hop into Chloe’s impossibly clean and detailed car (commercial) and drive away. I wouldn’t mind these in-show ads (a la Truman Show) except a) they’re badly blatant and distracting and B) unlike the Truman Show concept, there are still regular commercial breaks.

The cheap CW motherfuckers are also skimping on the effects…we’re lucky to get a minute of action per episode anymore.

If you look at the numbers, Smallville peaked in its second season, when it was Smallville High and everyone was still young enough to look like a teen at age 24 and there was always a reason for a girl to be in a bikini or cheerleader outfit and the plots were simple Freak-of-the-Week fun. As the show progressed they knew it wouldn’t last, yet when the time came to deliver More, the shit writers seemed to have been caught completely unprepared. More likely, they just didn’t give a shit.

I don’t know if this is the final season of Smallville. I believe so; if not it should be. Both Welling and Rosenbaum seem tired, with a fullness of face signaling the arrival of early middle age.

Some day, if I’m still alive, I’ll end up dropping a hundred at Costco for Smallville: the Complete Series. It’s sad that I want them to get it over with rather than celebrate what was a great idea in its prime. Smallville fans (I’m the only one I know) and the Man of Steel deserve better.