Sunday, June 16, 2013

Movie Blather: The Man of Steel

It is absolutely no secret that I am a Superman fan. None at all. I have loved the story since I first saw him fly across the screen when I was 4 years old (in the backseat of my mother's Audi at the Route 3 Drive-In).

I have always followed different incarnations of the Blue Boy, in whatever manner they were offered. I even watch the fabled and lost "Superboy", a pathetic and homely offering in the list of not-so-great stories.

No offence, Gerard Christopher, but it was pretty awful.
I am the proud owner of the entire series of the "Life and Death of Superman" -- The Death of Superman, the Reign of the Superman, The Return of Superman, and even the book "The Life and Death of Superman". I thought that there was nothing cooler than Superman. I know a lot of the mythos that escapes other people, though I do kind of choose to ignore "Crisis on Infinite Earths" because really? REALLY!?

I have my own superhero, whom you will meet, who is my interpretation of the Superman myth.

Hearing that there was another movie coming out, after the painfully cerebral "Superman Returns", I was delighted-- then fearful when I heard it was going to be a reboot. Great. Because I have heard that story 1 million times or more.

Still. I'm sucker. And when I saw Henry Cavill in The Suit (oh my yes), I knew I was going.

Hey. I'm a female. I can see a movie for the hotness, too.

You say no to this:

Look, he's even daring you to say no. 
Anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect walking in. The pedigree on the movie was impressive: Christopher Nolan, of the most recent Batman reboot. Zach Snyder, of Watchmen and 300. The cast included Russel Crowe, Kevin Coster, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburn, Harry Lennix (you'll know him when you see him) and of all people, Christopher Meloni. I love him.

I walked in, trying not to have any expectations at all. If this was going to reboot the series, it was going to have to be impressive. After all, we were dealing with Christopher Reeves.

And that's where the critics come in and piss me off.

Now, I don't know if you've been paying attention, but there was something going on the comic book world called the New 52. It was a reboot of all the DC comics, mean that all that Crisis on Infinite Earths thing was history. It all updated the characters for more present day tastes in superheroes. They're not all flag waving boyscouts. And while he's in the Marvel universe, Captain America has serious doubts about his government now. Superman can't go around touting Truth, Justice and the American Way. What does that even mean anymore, as we as a country are rediscovering and reinventing ourselves?

Taking that into account Nolan and Goyer wrote the script for more modern tastes, basing our new Supes on the New 52 ideas. They even changed his tights.

And here is what the critics are saying, in various forms:
Rest easy, Christopher Reeve fans. He's still the best Superman ever, and Margot Kidder is still the number one Lois Lane. -David Kaplan

These are new, rebooted characters. They aren't supposed to be Christopher Reeve or Margot Kidder. These are re-imaginings of characters who haven't changed or adapted since 1939. The world changed around them. Superman can't wave the flag anymore. Chris Reeve's Superman lived in a different world.

... and I've read a few reviews of the new Lois that set me on edge. Doesn't it bother anyone that this supposed Pulitzer Prize winning reporter was a blithering idiot?! Honestly people, the smooth way they actually integrate her into the whole story makes me believe her and like her. Margot Kidder's Lois was just... a blithering idiot. Someone help me come up with something else for her, because I'm going to keep using that phrase.

The movie is violent, and realistically so. Superman destroys things. Oh, and thank you, Nolan and Goyer, for that one line you crossed. I was inordinately pleased by it.

My husband is not a Superman fan. He's always believe that Superman was too strong, didn't have enough flaws or weaknesses. Even he had to concede that he was finally starting to see what it was that made me like Superman as much as I do; the flaws were coming out. He had weaknesses. Things aren't as black and white as they were in the earlier movies.

Just as I was unbelievable 'meh' about the new Spider-Man and wound up falling in love with it (it's on the dvd player right now), is the way I'm going to probably fall in love with the new Superman. Because it's different and it's better and I like what they have done with it. So, critics be damned. If you like Superman, give The Man of Steel a chance.

If not, go see it for the hotness anyway.

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