Superman Returns vs. Man Of Steele

gorfias

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So, I'm watching the airplane scene from Man of Steel and I'm loving it...


And yet there was so much fun in Man of Steel, such as,


I'm conflicted. As "Batman vs. Superman" approaches, where do you think they've gone wrong? What are you hoping for? Comparing and contrasting these two movies, do you come up with advice for the makers of the next Superman movie? What would it be?
 

Trek1701a

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Actually make a Superman movie, but since they (producers/writers/director) don't understand the character, it will never happen. It has nothing to do with the killing thing. One of the cores of the character is that this being of nearly infinite power will stop part of his day and help a single person, or something as simple as getting a cat out of a tree. The idea is that Clark Kent is the real person, his upbringing and values, which Man of Steel screwed up as well, are what drives him; Superman is the secret identity.

One of the reasons people like seeing Superman and Batman together is that they are opposites. They have made Batman and Superman too similar, so trying to contrast them is nearly impossible.

Superman has been my favorite comic character forever, so it pains me as to what WB and DC have been doing to the character. When Lego gets the character more right then your own films, and they are satirizing said character, something is definitely wrong.
 

Johnny Impact

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Returns went wrong by being an inferior retread of a much better movie. Seriously -- Lex Luthor with another Earth-destroying land grab scheme, did they think no one would notice that? The way Kryptonite was used pissed me off but I can bow to writer interpretation on that.

Don't even get me started on Man of Steel. Grimdark does NOT work with Superman. He is the bright spandex beacon of hope. He should make the brown/gray Call-of-Duty-esque humans look like the ineffective result of some professional worrier's paranoid fantasies. He shouldn't blend in, shouldn't stoop to their level. That's pretty much the point of his character, that humans could achieve great things if they could just get the hell over themselves, trust each other for five minutes, and stick to good even (especially) when it has a cost. "No sides, general. We're all in this together.....but I'm going to destroy a city and kill a dude, so really I'm just like you."
 

Kolby Jack

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Man of Steel went for the symbolism angle too hard, for sure, but otherwise I thought it was a pretty great Superman movie. I very much liked how it was all about Superman trying to decide who he was supposed to be: Clark Kent or Kal-El, and in the end choosing Clark Kent definitively. The action was top notch; I thought it was pretty smart to deliberately avoid slow motion in order to preserve the impact of these titans clashing. The ending was... meh. I'm fine with killing Zod, but the bit after that kinda ruined the impact of it.

People reacting as if Superman is some sort of sacred character that can't ever be anything but this farmboy-at-heart, shinign beacon of incorruptible pureness are taking it too seriously, IMO. The purported "perversions" or inaccuracies of his character in man of Steel are NOTHING (NOTHING!!!) compared to what DC Comics is doing to him right now in their own garbage comic books. If anything I'm glad the movies are preserving the dignity of the character, because...



Yeah.

I'm looking forward to BvS.
 

Casual Shinji

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Returns just felt like it was trying to be the Richard Donner movies a bit too much. Also, Brandon Routh was just a kind of a lame casting choice. Still, some good scenes here and there. Terrible Lois Lane though.

Man of Steel had... something going for it. The idea of Clark/Supes not being able to fight back or even stand up for himself at the risk of instantly killing someone was an interesting one. It could've shown how he would need to achieve an impecable degree of dicipline to perform his duty without exerting even slightly too much strength and destroying something or someone. But unfortunately the movie was too keen on its big 'splosions. That bar scene is the perfect example of how this movie sets up something really great and then completely squanders it with the truck bit. And again Lois Lane sucked. Henry Cavill looked excellent as Superman though.
 

tm96

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Kolby Jack said:
Oh sweet tap dancing Jesus. Someone actually gave that the greenlight.Well at least its not a return of Bearded Idiot (Superman at Earth's End) because that would be worse.

Captcha- bees knees
You have awful tastes you know that Captcha.
 

Scarim Coral

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The problem I have with Superman Return is simply they were trying to recapture the Christopher Reeve era of Superman which honestly I feel it kinda outdated. I just find it too corning/ cheesy watching it again and also the lack of a proper villian was also appalling. Yes I know there's Lex Luthor and I think this is the only comicbook based superhero that doesn't feature a hero vs villain smack down sort of fight! Also gain, yes I KNOW Superman is also not a fighter based superhero either but come on! His animated counterpart shown him fighting more than he did and he DOES have a rouge gallery worth of him to put up an fight aswell!

As for Man of Steel. I am just fed of the grim and dark route that DC has went for in a crappy attempt to not copy Marvel theme/ style of their superheroes. Honestly I think are people stupid to make a comparison to Marvel should DC had just went for a normal theme Superman and the rest of the Justice League movies. Copies between copanies happened all the time and sometime there are accidental copies (look up Dennis the Menace UK and US). They can make a non dark theme Superman in the daylight that isn't intend to be Marvel related.
Also sure I admit I did loved the fight in Man of Steel as I felt it did justice to his protective and non agressive manner but I also do agreed that it didn't feel like Superman for doing it. I pretty much view Superman in the same way as Captain American in that he always protect the civilian first which in he Man of Steel case, he pretty much having a grand brawl than to saved people in the cross fire other than at the end.

So I guess what I want for the next Superman film, a non grim and dark theme/ setting and aswell a decent villain and fight while it stayed true to the character (maybe the villain take advantage of the civilian nearby by trying to harm them but Superman act like a shield for them and take a beating).
 

Ihateregistering1

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I think Kevin Smith pretty much summed up my thoughts on Superman Returns:

[youtube.com=w_EkvOCjc9A]

I just found the movie insanely boring. The sub-plot with Superman's kid was just as dumb as could be, Luthor's scheme made little to no sense, and none of the action sequences were particularly good (the plane scene was ok, but that's about it). The whole movie just felt like wasted potential.

I don't think Man of Steel was perfect, but I was at least highly entertained by it, and I thought it had fantastic action sequences.
 

Hero in a half shell

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Trek1701a said:
Actually make a Superman movie, but since they (producers/writers/director) don't understand the character, it will never happen. It has nothing to do with the killing thing. One of the cores of the character is that this being of nearly infinite power will stop part of his day and help a single person, or something as simple as getting a cat out of a tree. The idea is that Clark Kent is the real person, his upbringing and values, which Man of Steel screwed up as well, are what drives him; Superman is the secret identity.

One of the reasons people like seeing Superman and Batman together is that they are opposites. They have made Batman and Superman too similar, so trying to contrast them is nearly impossible.

Superman has been my favorite comic character forever, so it pains me as to what WB and DC have been doing to the character. When Lego gets the character more right then your own films, and they are satirizing said character, something is definitely wrong.
This is such a perfect summation of Superman I feel there is little I need add.

Superman is Hope, Batman is Fear. Batman is trying to clean up Gotham by persecuting criminals severely in order to push them out of the city for fear of being caught.
Superman is trying to clean up the entire world by providing an example for all humanity to follow, guiding them to be better people so they will become a peaceful society through their own choice.

It's the theology of deterrence verses reformation.

So much could be done on that basis, but neither Man of Steel or Superman Returns really caught Superman's theology properly, there were occasional glances in it's direction, but both movies much preferred the quick-and-easy obnoxious Christ imagery scene before getting back to dog cannibalism/apocalyptic destruction.

I fear Batman Verses Superman will go the same way, which is a shame.
 

IOwnTheSpire

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Everyone here saying that the makers of Man of Steel 'didn't understand Superman', you're WRONG.

Just because you didn't like their interpretation of the character doesn't mean they didn't understand the character. Hell, even Bruce Timm, the guy who gave us Harley Quinn, is doing a different spin on Superman by making him Zod's son and having him kill, yet I see no one up in arms about that.

Creators have always and always will try different approaches to such iconic characters, so stop getting so upset when these people don't read your mind and give you exactly what you want to see.

Another thing, Man of Steel wasn't dark/grimdark/whatever buzzword you want to use. Seriousness isn't dark. Exploring a man's purpose in life isn't dark. MAN OF STEEL WASN'T DARK.

I'm just so sick of all these baseless criticisms against the movie. Everyone bashing Man of Steel should watch this:
 

IOwnTheSpire

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MarsAtlas said:
but you must understand who Superman is in the first place to do a different spin on him.
No, you don't, people like Bruce Timm and Frank Miller do their own takes on superheroes, besides, what about Red Son? That's a completely different take on Superman that goes against the core of who he is, yet it's praised all the time.

MarsAtlas said:
Now Man of Steel takes a different approach by... framing him as a being of infinite hope and optimism that humankind is very slow to accept.
Because in real life, people WOULD be slow to accept him. He's an alien with godlike powers; even if he says he's here to help, many people, such as Batman, wouldn't trust him right away. He'll probably earn that trust at some point, possibly by the end of Justice League.

MarsAtlas said:
To try to demonstrate Superman as a being of hope, they have him... haphazardly destroy Metropolis in a reckless duel, leading to the deaths of over a million people.
Wrong, ZS said the death count was 5000. Keep in mind, at this point in time, Superman isn't a being of hope yet, this was his first day on the job, and to think that two super-powered beings are going to fight and there to NOT be collateral damage is absurd. You're acting as though he deliberately destroyed the city, which he certainly did not.

MarsAtlas said:
The movie doesn't frame the destruction of Metropolis as him screwing up supremely, it frames killing Zod as screwing up, and even then he's somewhat redeemed by the fact that he stopped Zod. People have every single reason to be afraid of him and no real reason to be appreciative of him (Zod was brought to earth by Superman, after all).
This is going to be addressed in BvS.

MarsAtlas said:
Even after all of that, the film itself frames him as a hero who deserves to be recognized as hope. Its important to remember that the film himself makes it very clear that he symbolizes hope, as Superman himself outright says it in a conversation, and he film ends off on that note. It doesn't end in melancholy, it doesn't question the value of his existence, it ends trying to frame him as a hero who deserves admiration.
He saved the entire planet, he SHOULD be viewed as a hero. Interestingly, a guy at the end of the Avengers said that they have to be held accountable for the damage done, but the waitress thinks they deserve to be praised, and frankly, she's right.

MarsAtlas said:
"So humans are allowed to be imperfect, but Superman's not?" YES, THATS THE ENTIRE POINT.
But how can anyone relate to him then? Batman himself said that Clark is probably the most human of all the Justice League, and if so, shouldn't he be flawed and have to face moral dilemmas?

MarsAtlas said:
aside from its technical problems
What technical problems?

MarsAtlas said:
We're not supposed to upset at Superman showing little regard for human life
This claim is verifiably false. It's mentioned a few times that Clark has an inherent need to help people. He saved a bus full of children, saved oil rig workers, saved a helicopter crew, saved several soldiers during the battle in Smallville, attempted to save 7 billion by surrendering to Zod, then actually saved 7 billion people by destroying the world engine. That's plenty regard.

MarsAtlas said:
we're not supposed to be upset that he doesn't try to be more diplomatic with Zod than he tries to be, and even though we know he'll refuse, thats not the point. Its the gesture, not the result.
He surrendered because he thought it would make Zod spare the Earth. It didn't work, but he tried it, so you're wrong on that account.

MarsAtlas said:
flattens an entire city in the process, and all around acts unheroic. He's acting more like a bully who tells us that we should be grateful that he's not beating us up.
He acts plenty heroic as I said above. And a bully? Really? That's just blatantly false. Did you actually watch the movie?

MarsAtlas said:
and in all liklihood will do the same for the sequel.
The sequel will address the destruction and the world's reaction to him.

MarsAtlas said:
Thats the real problem with Man of Steel, not that he does these things, but that he does these things and then handwaves the concerns of anybody who thinks that they were wrong. We're not even being told a story where Superman demonstrates his value, we're being talked down to by having his story being recollected to us and then telling us that what he did have been unquestionably good things that should earn him respect and admiration rather than letting his value be self-apparent, which it isn't to many. Again, I bring up Batman Begins, which sets out to do the same thing as Man of Steel but with a different character. Batman demonstrates his value by stopping a villainous plot to destroy the city while acting at the same to try and minimize human suffering.
The film isn't talking down to us, it's showing us what would happen if people like Superman existed. Superman did as much as he could to minimize deaths, and for an inexperienced superbeing, he did quite well. Practically all of your criticisms seem to boil down to personal taste. If you didn't like the movie, fine, but don't hate on it because you think it says things it doesn't say.
 

Kyrian007

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It may not be my only problem with Man of Steel, but it's so big it blurred any other faults it may have had. And that's Snyder's intentionally awful wall-to-wall shaky-cam. It was ok during the entire krypton sequence. Awful, ugly, and off-putting and distracting; but at least you could rationalize it because the planet was kerploding. Then they go to earth. Clark's standing still talking to his mom, camera's shaking. Clark's standing alone talking to his dad, camera's still shaking. Close up shot, camera shakes. Long wide shot, camera's still shaking. Snyder's asinine and pretentious bullshit-o-vision effect made Man-of-Steel even more unwatchable than either superman 3 or 4. Returns is a masterpiece next to Man of Shake. I guess shaky-cam is supposed to add a "feel of realism" to a movie. Realism... which is something no one cares about in a movie about alien superbeings facepunching each other through buildings. No one wants that to look REAL. They want it to look AWESOME. And such a severe case of camera parkinsons makes even the best looking effects unpleasant to look at.

I'm looking forward to BVS as well I guess. But I'm waiting. I went to opening day for MOS. Snyder's only 1 for 3 on movies I've seen from him, and he doesn't get any more 1st run money from me. I'll wait till it hits streaming or my local dollar theater. Unless I can see a clip that isn't shaking like a maraca.
 

TallanKhan

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I don't have a huge amount of love for either movie but for me Superman Returns is a better movie, by a hair. Both were let downs, neither had a strong portrayal of Superman, both had mindcrushingly dumb 3rd acts, however, at least Superman Returns had A) Colour, and B) Kevin Spacey.
 

Kolby Jack

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MarsAtlas said:
IOwnTheSpire said:
Everyone here saying that the makers of Man of Steel 'didn't understand Superman', you're WRONG.

Just because you didn't like their interpretation of the character doesn't mean they didn't understand the character. Hell, even Bruce Timm, the guy who gave us Harley Quinn, is doing a different spin on Superman by making him Zod's son and having him kill, yet I see no one up in arms about that.
People are generally fine with different spins on Superman, there have been many good instances of such with positive reception. but you must understand who Superman is in the first place to do a different spin on him. Superman has typically been a being of infinite hope and optimism.
Even though the much-beloved DCAU portrayed Superman as a very angry, mistrustful, alienated being who was constantly teetering on the edge of dictatorship through much of the Justice League series. True, he didn't start that way, and he did get past it eventually, but the Justice Lord Superman cast a shadow over the character that stayed through multiple seasons. He made mistakes. He let Darkseid go free TWICE, and payed DEARLY for it. He tried to lobotomize Doomsday just like his evil counterpart. He was hardly a being of "infinite hope and optimism." Saying crap like that makes it sound like Superman can never have doubts or make mistakes or get angry. He obviously can, and there's nothing "grimdark" about that.

Please understand, I don't necessarily disagree with your criticisms of the film, but I do take issue with your description of the character. It's flat out wrong and leads to poorly written dreck, either embracing or rejecting too strongly this interpetation, which causes people to think Superman can't be written well.
 

rosac

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EDIT-

Having just rewatched some scene from MoS, there are definitely some "superman moments" The surrendering/interrogation scene is a good example. He allows himself to be captured and taken into custody by the military, even allowing himself to be handcuffed as it makes the general feel safer. He then asks the general to trust him, and allows the general to hand him over to Zod as he believes this is the best chance earth has of surviving.

The bus scene and subsequent challenging of Pa Kents belief (keeping himself hidden may be more important than saving lives) the oil rig scene are also good examples.

The trucker scene doesn't stick well with me. I would've preferred it personally if Superman had taken the taunts and insults and left, only for someone to notice afterwards that he'd gripped a metal mug so hard it had crumpled (or similar). Taking revenge on the trucker A) is petty and B) removes suspension of disbelief (someone would've heard something)

The suspension of disbelief is one of the things that annoys me a lot in this film. Hundreds of tons of debris is sucked into a vortex and superman is struggling to fly away, yet Lois Lane manages to fall at terminal velocity?! How heavy is she?! Also, Zod being able to use his full powers despite it being mentioned that the only reason superman is so strong is because he's been absorbing yellow sunlight for year.

Also, other scenes just strike me as a bit "off" i.e. Pa Kents death featured a randomly occurring tornado and was preventable by Clark, whereas the comic book fate of Pa Kent (died of a heart attack) was not preventable and made Superman rethink his "I can save everyone" view.

Finally, the final fightscene was just a clusterfuck that made little sense, broke rules that had been established in the earlier parts of the film, made superman go complete against his developing character and then ended with little repercussions (no doubt they're saving this for BvS but still).

my 2 cents on MoS

I have never actually seen Superman returns, however I now cannot unsee Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer so I may already have ruined it for myself. Plane scene does look good though.
 

Nazulu

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I rolled my eyes every time they tried to establish character in Man Of Steel, because they're all just so bland and unlikable mush. I could at least tolerate them all in Superman Returns, including I love the "WRONG"! The action in both movies only felt generic like it only relied on special effects so it's not part of my comparison.

As for the advice. Hire a very big Superman nerd who isn't a dickhead to go over everything in the works so he always stays in character, and then make it like Matrix Reloaded with many interesting battles galore. The Matrix Reloaded is my favourite super hero film.