Film Crit Hulk takes on THE MAN OF STEEL.
Very, very long essay - even by Film Crit Hulk standards - but he really gets at a lot of the major problems I had with Man of Steel and tears them apart in fantastic detail. And then he brings it around at the end by discussing the best filmic treatment of Superman ever. Well worth taking the time to read if you like Superman, movies and/or movies about Superman. Or stories in general, really.
Thoughts on the Man of Steel teaser trailer
I’ve watched the trailer for Man of Steel five times now. And I think the more I watch it, the more I think about it, the more it almost makes me want to cry tears of joy and inspiration and excitement.
They get it. Nolan and Snyder (well, maybe mainly Nolan, as this footage certainly looks much more Dark Knight than Watchmen) understand what the best Superman stories tell us about the character, and about ourselves: that he represents the best of us, that he shows us what humanity can be if we reach far enough, if we love and respect everyone regardless of where they come from or what they have or if we agree with them or not.
Says Russell Crowe’s Jor-El in voiceover to the son who never knew him:
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will rise behind you. They will stumble, and they will fall."
"But in time…they will join you in the sun."
They get it.
And this one minute of footage shows us that we’re getting something new — these images aren’t ones we associate with the legend of Superman. A bearded Clark on a fishing boat? What the hell? And John Williams’ iconic music has been officially retired. Man of Steel is going as far from the fetishistic Richard Donner-worship of Superman Returns displayed as it can get. This will be a new take, a presentation of Nolan’s vision rather than a rewarming of Donner’s — and I’m not sure there’s a filmmaker I trust more at this point than Christopher Nolan.
Those shots of a ten-year-old (Clark?) wearing a red cape, arms akimbo; of Superman speeding up, up and away from Earth…Nolan and Snyder are hitting the “inspiration” buttons hard, and I’m responding. Oh yes indeed, I’m responding. The little bit seen here gives me hope that Nolan will do for Superman with this movie what he did for Batman in Batman Begins.
Yes, I’ve been burned before. Just six years ago, as a matter of fact. But I so badly want to have a Superman movie the character deserves, and just maybe Man of Steel will be it.
(Also: wow, but does Henry Cavill ever have more of a Superman-vibe about him than Brandon Routh did. Holy shit, that jawline and chin.)
Addendum: We watched Batman Begins last night, hopefully in preparation for going to see The Dark Knight Rises today, and that MoS trailer is so clearly going for the same sort of aesthetic and feel. Even the early scenes of BB feature a shaggy, bearded Bruce Wayne in an utterly unfamiliar element, so I think Nolan’s clearly signaling the same intent here.
So, following the immense popularity of my 5 Essential Character Redesigns post, I decided to take a more thorough stab at revamping DC Comic’s Justice League. I’ve already mentioned before that I think their current “New 52” reboot, aimed at gaining new readers, is terribly ineffective,…