George. Washington Coliseum. 2/11/64. Mike Mitchell courtesy of DCPL | WIRED.com
you can never have too many
A poached egg resting on a bed of frisée. And beneath that a slice of bacon flan. At Gorge on sunset with yahoo foodies!
View over Paris | France (by Matthieu Legrand - www.mathieulegrand.fr)
This is a terrific review that also serves as a recap of the entire conversation Matt, Jennie, Igor, Colleen and Austin had after seeing this movie….
Man of Steel…
Saw it this morning and there was a lot to like although it is sad to have a Superman film that I can’t recommend kids see both because of the level of “spectacle” violence as well as general crassness. I could have done without the half-dozen gratuitous, unnecessary curse words in the film.
I am really not ready to explain what “dick splash” is to my daughter just yet.
The supporting cast is the best thing about the film, with Russell Crow and Kevin Costner leading the pack. The reinterpretation of the Kents is easily the most powerful contribution this movie makes to Superman’s on-screen mythos. All of their moments are gold. And as a parent myself, relatable.
Crowe is great in his own right - in fact I’d be pretty interested in a Jor-El movie at this point - but the character suffers a bit in comparison to the Brando iteration simply because this Jor-El offers somewhat less thematic contrast to what Clark learns from his Earthly adoptive parents.
The much-discussed science fictioniness of the film ultimately adds little of merit and just mitochondiranizes the central conflict. Unnecessary and, once again for Chris Nolan, the climax all boils down to some bullshit tech gobbledygook - I AM LOOKING AT YOU, The Dark Knight - making Superman’s actions to save the world secondary.
Y’know that’s something I would have liked to see more of - Superman actually SAVING people. In this film he spends a lot of time charging around and punching things with very little thought to the people around him that he supposedly cares so much about. In this, both the script and Henry Cavil’s performance fall short.
There is plenty that has not aged well about the Donner films but Chris Reeve’s portrayal of Superman reflected such depth of humanity and such earnest care for the people of Metropolis (of course the Clark of those films actually lived in Metropolis) that the much less spectacular 1970s battle with Zod in Superman II carries far more emotional resonance than the apocalyptic shrapnel-fest you see here.
And if I was the people of earth in this flick, let me just say, I might be much less sanguine than they appear to be in the few glimpses we get about embracing a heretofore alien fugitive that has brought the hammer of these otherworldly gods down on our planet.
By having a script that is obsessed with holding down the fast-forward button we never get to see the world react to Superman. We get little to no sense of how the world comes to see Superman as its benefactor, rather than its greatest threat. Every such moment we do get happens through the eyes of a few military types or Lois Lane. For me it really doesn’t play.
A final note of merit and mention for Michael Shannon, who absolutely CRUSHES the Zod role. He’s fantastic. Different and distinct from the previous iterations of the character and his thread is the only one where the added sci-fi stuff has any meaningful pay off. He’s exceptionally good and Cavil’s uneven performance (must mix and match any two: confident, wooden, charismatic, plagued with doubt) suffers by comparison.
The biggest miss? Lois Lane.
I mean, Amy Adams has been trying to play this role for like ten years and this is all she got out of the deal? The character and actress deserved better.
All in all, a film worth seeing but there is nothing here that is generationally defining for the character. Maybe it will spawn sequels and maybe they’ll be good or bad but this movie doesn’t show the patience, the savvy world building or, frankly, the capacity for joy that the Marvel films have managed to pull off over the last few years.
And that makes it feel behind the times when the goal entire for Man of Steel seems to have been to steal a march on DC’s cross-town rivals.