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Man of Steel

perfect specimen

I loved this movie so much I want to absorb it, Borg-style.  It’s easily my favorite film of the year so far and by far.  If it weren’t for the last twenty minutes of this excellent film, I’d probably label it perfect, but of course, it’s not.

But it’s fantastic. Dare I say, super?

I never really liked the Superman saga because he was a little too perfect. A little too goody-goody. And because no one recognized him when he wore glasses.

He bored me. Sure, he angsted over not being able to tell Lois who he really was. And as Superboy he angsted over not being able to tell people things too.

But something was always missing.  And in this movie, we find out what we always knew – it’s tough being an extraterrestrial on a provincial planet. It sucks knowing that if people knew who and what you were they would seek to destroy you, even if who and what you are is a hero.

Plus, his parents were destroyed cataclysmically before he could ever really meet them. It bothered him in previous iterations, sure, but did it bother him enough? Not until now.

In other words, Superman always should have been the most tormented of the superheroes, yet he was always the most superficial.

MAN OF STEEL changes all that. Now I can respect Kal-El/Clark in a way I couldn’t when he was too superficially perfect. And the old version was glib as well! Yes, I know my favorite superhero IRON MAN is glib too, but he earned it. Now that Superman has depth, he actually isn’t glib at all. He’s solid as a rock. Okay, solid as steel.

So we finally have a Superman story that makes us care. And a Superman who makes us fall in love. Because honestly, did anyone ever fall in love with the movie Superman of the past? No. The closest video contender was on Smallville, and even there, all the angst was centered on: I wish I could tell everyone, especially Lana, how SUPER I am.

That’s my favorite thing about MAN OF STEEL. Sure, as a kid, this hero focused on juvenile stuff like being able to tell. But also deeper problems, like wanting to help more – a lot more.  And with a bevy of related issues about humantiy -- ours and his.

This movie transforms the myth, at least in my eyes.

So here we are in 2013, and so far, I’d say IRON MAN III was good, but not as good as the other two. STAR TREK II was good, but not as good as the first in the new series.  And MAN OF STEEL leaves them both in his dust.

You should see it. And see it with an open mind. The critics seem to focus on the strangest things in regard to this movie. For example, most of the criticism accuses it of being too dark, whereas seriously, it was always too light, too silly, in the past. So darkening it up makes sense to me. They also talk about too many explosions, et cetera. Really? As much as I agree that the final blast-em-up scenes made me yawn, I feel that way about almost every action movie from the last two years. 

And not romantic enough? Sheesh, for once I feel like there was a real connection between Clark and Lois, not the silly “I love you when you’re in your underwear but not when you're in a suit, and I love you when you save me” basis for true love in the older versions. Also, I appreciate it that the new Lois doesn’t get the vapors every time she looks at his muscles, because seriously, either she’s a professional or she’s not. (I’m looking at you, Uhura of Star Trek II.)

Other big surprises of the positive variety: (1) I loved Russell Crowe in this and I didn’t think I would. I broke up with him a while back, so it’s fun to love him again. (2) Fleshed-out villains!! (3) A fortress of solitude that actually makes sense. (4) Amy Adams in a role that doesn’t just say: “Isn’t she adorable, and so feisty too?”

Minor quibbles: (1) Kal? Over and over again?  Not Kal-El? Even though Jor-El is never referred to as Jor? (2) hmm, I have a few more, but seriously, this movie is awesome, so never mind.

I’m still trying to decide if this movie is honestly great, or if it’s just soooooo, soooo much better than preceding Superman movies.

I will give Christopher Nolan his due – he made me appreciate Batman, who always seemed like a pretender. And now he has made me see the awesomeness that is Superman.

I’m so grateful.

Kate

p.s. I saw this a couple of weeks ago, and I saw Star Trek the Wrath of Yawn a while back too. I just didn't have time to post because of a new job (and general laziness).


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mizkit
Jun. 24th, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
Jor-El was called "Jor" at least a couple of times, by Lara if no one else. "El" *is* their last name, or their patronym, anyway; they are of the House of El, so although we humans usually call them by the full name I can see why Kryptonians might not. Also, there may be an argument in this particular case for the "El" connotating honor, as well, and Kal hasn't earned the right to it on Zod & Co's opinion...

*I* got the vapors every time I looked at his muscles. Jesus. *fans self*
katedonovan
Jun. 24th, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
Oh did he have muscles? I didn't notice. Ha! I already had a crush on HC before this, but now, it's probably diagnosable. (but hopefully not treatable)

Anyway, I get that it's a last name, but it seemed like mostly they called Jor-El by the full name, and it sounds so impressive. And Kal-El sounds impressive too. But Kal sounds like Cal, which is so regular guy-ish. Plus, I never liked the name Clark for him, so his other name needs to be extra cool.

Let me know what you think when you see it the second time. I'm not sure I can get anyone around here to go again with me since they were more lukewarm on it. Drat, I might have to go alone (haven't ever gone to the movies alone before, but for this one, I might just break with tradition!)
msbhaven
Jul. 6th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
I loved it! I loved, loved, loved it! Lois Lane was... I can't quite put my finger on it but she didn't do a lot for me. I generally love whatever Amy Adams does but it must've been how Lois was written. I would gladly see this movie again though.
katedonovan
Jul. 7th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
Amy Adams fatigue
Before this movie, I was actually getting sick of her even though I orginally liked her a lot. So was sure I'd be underwhelmed by her version of Lois Lane, but she actually won me over (again). Anyway, I'm glad you loved it! If you see it again, let me know if you loved it more, less or the same the second time around. (I can't get anyone to go back with me!! [waah] so I guess I won't know until the DVD)
msbhaven
Jul. 10th, 2013 06:11 am (UTC)
Re: Amy Adams fatigue
You could always come see it with me again! I must add that Russell Crowe... sigh.

I'm not sure what it was about Lois but she bugged me. Not as much as Stacy Haiduk's Lana in Superboy.
katedonovan
Jul. 10th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Amy Adams fatigue
Can we get popcorn? Oh, and I don't know how to send a direct message on livejournal other than through comments, but I wanted to let you know I checked out your friend's website and it's gorgeous. Show me a picture of Scotland and I'm happy for the rest of the day!!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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