Man of Steel (2013)

Man of Steel

The folks at How It Should Have Ended have once again found the humor in a major release, this time taking aim at Superman’s latest appearance in Man of Steel. As you might remember from the time around the film’s release, there was a great deal of rumbling around the ending of Zack Snyder’s film. For one, Superman and Zod face off in the middle of Metropolis, their fight causing an immeasurable amount of damage. Experts in the field of damage assessment even went as far as to say that the fight caused upwards of $2 trillion in damages to Metropolis. There’s no arguing that such destruction is ridiculous. Then again, others have argued that it’s a mostly realistic vision of what a fight between two god-like alien beings would look like in the middle of a city the size of say, New York. Wherever you fall on Damagegate, it’s hard to argue with the questions about the necessity of having the fight in the middle of the city. This point, above all, is brought to light with a playful sense of imagination by the HISHE crew. Yes, they’ve found the answer — one that might have caused less damage, but surely would have made a less entertaining film.

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david-goyer

Screenwriter David S. Goyer and his bank account must be very pleased with the audience turnout for Man of Steel, but this Superman reboot wasn’t always an easy bet. Remember in 2006 the months leading up to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns? The buzz and box-office expectations were all around hyperbolic. So much so even Entertainment Weekly predicted it would make over 300 million dollars domestically It didn’t. Was that because audiences no longer had an interest in Superman or that they just couldn’t get behind Singer’s idealistic ode to the Donner films? Maybe both. Goyer, producer Christopher Nolan, and director Zack Snyder realized audiences needed a more modern take on the character, which they delivered on with large-scale action sequences, shades of science-fiction, and no bumbling Lex Luthor goons. We spoke with screenwriter David Goyer after the film’s opening weekend about the project’s conception, grounding an alien who flies, and how we still haven’t seen a fully-formed Superman in our SPOILER-filled discussion:

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nicholas-cage-superman-lives

Few franchises have crashed and burned as spectacularly as the Superman films, which reached their nadir with 1987’s fourth installment, The Quest for Peace, which grossed barely a tenth the box office of Richard Donner’s classic origin story a decade earlier. SUPERMAN’S DIMINISHING RETURNS Superman (1978) $134M Superman II (1980) $108M Superman III (1983) $60M Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987) $15M With Tim Burton’s dark, gritty Batman demolishing box office records in 1989, Warner Bros. had no reason to think audiences would respond to the brighter, more colorful Man of Steel mythos – at least, not until 1992, when DC Comics’ bestselling “The Death and Return of Superman” cycle put The Daily Planet’s most famous reporter back on the front page. In the comics (later turned into a 2007 animated film, Superman: Doomsday), Superman is killed by a creature called Doomsday, before being resurrected after a three-month publishing hiatus which became a publicity magnet. Deciding that the death-and-rebirth story merited a movie, Warner placed a full-page ad in the trade press announcing a working-titled Superman: The New Movie, with Batman producer Jon Peters at the wheel, and screenwriter Jonathan Lemkin (Lethal Weapon 4, Devil’s Advocate, Demolition Man), at the typewriter.

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Man of Steel

Man of Steel made all the money this weekend, rocking the third highest opening June weekend (adjusted) with $125M domestic and another $71.6M international for good measure. The extent of its success will depend on whether audience reactions are positive enough to propel it to large numbers in the following weeks (because getting to a billion isn’t easy), but it’s not surprising that the team at Warners is excited about the sequel/franchise possibilities. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, they might be looking to release Man of Steel 2 as early as next year. But how realistic is that? It’s true that Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer are both back as director and writer respectively, but even with main talent in place, the timeline seems truncated. After all, it was three years between Christopher Nolan sharing Goyer’s concept with Warners and the release of the new Superman. Plus, Man of Steel took at least 7 months to shoot — that’s without counting post-production and effects. So, essentially, they’d better start tomorrow if they want a Summer 2014 slot.

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Man of Steel

Spoilers Ahead: This article contains advanced talking points for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. We recommend reading it after you see the film. Anyone who called Iron Man 3 or any other blockbuster in the past few years an “epic” will be eating their words once they see Zack Snyder‘s giant toy set called Man of Steel. It’s as if Shane Black and J.J. Abrams were playing with plastic action figures and then, all the sudden, Snyder showed up with real heroes. His Superman reboot is exciting, a visual marvel, and gives fans the movie they wanted to see from Bryan Singer. Finally, we have a 21st century Superman who punches somebody, but is there more here than a few wicked brawls? For the most part, yes. There’s some heart present, especially with Russell Crowe taking part in the film’s emotional peak within the first twenty minutes. After that, the movie loses some of that patient drama with certain structural and character choices. This isn’t, let’s say, a Star Trek Into Darkness situation where the experience falls flat by Abrams & Co. consistently choosing spectacle over logic. For every confounding choice made in Man of Steel, there’s plenty of right choices made. Some of those puzzling choices raise questions, though. There’s no plot holes to drive buses through here, but they feel like issues that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Superman vs Hatchet

This week, we kneel before Zod and Hatchet III star Danielle Harris, who describes her Pussy Posse and explains what it’s like to have hoses filled with fake blood aimed at your face. Plus, Geoff faces an Interrogation Review of Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel, and Scott talks with a budding filmmaker who’ll learn this weekend if his new project gets funding or not. For more from us on a daily basis, follow Danielle Harris (@halloweengal), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #20 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Man of Steel

It has happened before and it will happen again – the Internet rumor perpetual-motion machine got some stuff wrong about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While Snyder doesn’t ascribe to something even remotely like J.J. Abrams’ “Mystery Box” way of hiding information (including the barest of facts) about his films, fans of Superman have been so revved up about the new Henry Cavill-starring film for so long that it’s understandable that a ton of rumors would be cooked up about the film before and during its production. After all, who wouldn’t expect to see Lex Luthor in a Superman film? In the wake of the film actually being released in theaters, let’s recap eleven big rumors about Man of Steel that got root on the interwebs (either via traditional reportage or speculative message boards) and have now been proven to be patently false. While a few of these have already been debunked, the release of the film finally signals the most formal of debunkings for all of them. Fortunately for fans of Supes, most of these are rumors we definitely didn’t want to see pan out (even if they did take some serious chatter wing for a bit there), at least in a newly rebooted origin story. Of course, there are tons of spoilers ahead for anyone who has yet to see Man of Steel, so beware.

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Man of Steel

Warning: there are mild spoilers ahead for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Haven’t seen the movie yet? Go see it, then come on back. Man of Steel couldn’t have a more perfect release date. This Sunday is Father’s Day, which makes it a very appropriate weekend for an action flick about a superhero with two dads and the wisdom imparted by each of them. Meanwhile, today is also Flag Day, and while the latest Superman movie isn’t overbearingly jingoistic, it is significant for explicitly returning the character’s national allegiance. “I’m about as American as you get,” he says when his loyalty to the U.S. is questioned. The line wouldn’t be so notable if it weren’t for the way the previous live-action movie we got, Superman Returns, represented the hero. When Perry White (Frank Langella) references a familiar catchphrase by asking if Superman still stands for “truth, justice and all that stuff,” that made many conservative fans upset. Never mind that the original “American way” version wasn’t even introduced until years after his comics debut (on the radio show in 1942 and then resurfacing on the 1950s TV series). “The truth is he’s an alien,” said Returns co-writer Dan Harris in 2006, “He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He’s an international superhero.”

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Lois Lane

Warning: there are spoilers ahead for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Haven’t seen the movie yet? Go see it, then come on back. It’s long been the running gag of the Superman universe – that the world’s populace and his closest friends are unable to comprehend that Superman and Clark Kent are one in the same, only one of them happens to be wearing glasses. While it is somewhat conceivable that Supes’ fans and Clark’s acquaintances are too knuckle-headed to see the truth (particularly in the early days of his existence, as we suspect that modern day Superman will have some major problems when it comes to social media, smart phones, and citizen reportership), it’s always been dunderheaded that Superman’s perennial love interest, Lois Lane, is consistently in the dark as to who is who. The main issue with the lovely Lois not seeing the obvious is that she is not only a highly intelligent woman, she is a woman who investigates things for a living. Rooting out truths and seeing beyond the status quo is not only what Lois does, but it’s who she is. Open your eyes, Lois! In traditional Superman comic history, Lois first became suspicious of Clark Kent’s true identity (or Superman’s true identity, whichever, really) back in the Golden Age of DC Comics. Lois, like Superman, was first introduced in Action Comics #1 in 1938, though she didn’t start putting the Clark/Supes pieces together until sometime in the early 1940’s. To get into the rest […]

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Man of Steel

We first meet Kal-El exiting his mother’s alien vagina. It’s no different from an Earth woman’s vagina aside from, presumably, its reinforced structural walls, but the birth is of extreme importance on the dying planet of Krypton. The infant’s father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), has accused Kryptonian politicians of dooming the planet and its people through short-sightedness and ignorance. General Zod (Michael Shannon) agrees with Jor-El, but instead of talking it out with those in power, he orchestrates a violent coup to seize control. It’s amid the ensuing chaos, both natural and man-made, that the baby boy is shipped off to Earth. More than two decades later Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is a quiet loner, traveling the world anonymously in search of answers to who he really is and performing amazing feats of rescue along the way. His lack of identity never gets in the way of his desire to help people, but when an alien ship is discovered frozen beneath the ice, his curiosity triggers a chain reaction of events that provides him with answers while simultaneously leading to the brink of mankind’s destruction. Man of Steel is every inch a Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan production, and there’s both good and bad in that statement. Snyder’s directorial hand ensures the film is a visual powerhouse filled with real spectacle while Nolan uses his producer powers to find the traditionally bright and colorful superhero’s darker, grittier and more angst-ridden tones, but they also bring with them a shared preference of imagery and […]

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Mondo

Superman has always been about “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” Except for that time he was reimagined as a child of the Soviet Union. Alas, either way he seems to always be a man of the people. He fights for the right of every human on Earth to live a healthy life full of potential. He has and always will be an enduring icon of freedom. It makes sense, then, that the folks at Mondo have decided to release a movie poster for Man of Steel that will be available to every man woman and child who wants one. Because even in the limited quantity tyranny of movie art collection, even Superman can be a symbol of hope.

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Superman 1978

Look, up on the marquee! It’s a sequel, it’s a remake…no, it’s another Superman reboot! A mere seven years after Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns leaped into theaters in a single bound, Zack Snyder now has his chance to reset the Superman dial and hopefully make the series more powerful than a locomotive. However, if Man of Steel is to represent the future of the franchise, it must first train its superpowered eyesight upon its own filmic past. Whether revisiting these films on DVD, Blu-ray or Kryptonian crystal, the franchise’s successes and failures must be weighed in order to ensure the triumph of Man of Steel. Here is what each movie has taught us, and how those lessons have refined our expectations.

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Man of Steel

The first superhero in comic book history and famous instigator of the most profitable movie genre of all time (a.k.a. the one who started it all) is flying back to theaters this Friday in Man of Steel. Few industry analysts seem to agree on a common lockstep to pin down box-office predictions for the one we now like to refer to as the “Man of Steel.” According to most recent reports, distributors expect a $130M opening week-end domestically and a healthy run that could fly as far as late August. There are many arguments against the movie doing great business and many arguments in favor. I personally think the Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan joint effort will perform exceedingly well, and one reason I consider relevant is the current state of the world and how we could all use a hero in light of recent times. Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie opened in theaters on December 15, 1978 and would have made $455M with today’s 3D ticket prices. Perhaps it was Marlon Brando’s infamous 15 minutes of screen time with his nicely coiffed hairdo that infused enough credibility into the production to seduce audiences at the time. Or perhaps there was more. The movie’s very first frames took us back to June 1938 – showing the original issue of Action Comics featuring Superman – as you can hear a young boy uttering these words: “In the decade of the 1930’s, even the great city of Metropolis was not spared from the ravages […]

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Superman Returns

In celebration of the release of Man of Steel, we will be publishing a series of articles that take a look back at Superman’s cinematic roots, analyze his successes and failures and hopefully add some context to your Superman-centric movie week. We begin with another splendid guest editorial from The Bitter Script Reader. If everything had gone to plan, this summer we’d probably be getting the concluding chapter of a Bryan Singer-helmed Superman trilogy. Indeed, for a while, it appeared we might get it. The film opened in Summer 2006 to a bigger 5-day opening than Batman Begins had a year earlier. Its worldwide gross was also about $17 million more than the Nolan Batman prequel as well. It even earned a decent amount of critical acclaim, coming in at 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. So while the film might not have been a Spider-Man-sized hit, it was a promising debut by some of the more superficial standards the industry uses to measure success. The film certainly was far from being an outright bomb. Some time ago, Quentin Tarantino mentioned that he was writing a 20-page review of Superman Returns, explaining why he loved it so much. We’re still waiting on that, and since I’m about one-fourth the filmmaker he is, it seems fitting that my own review is that much shorter.

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superman 1941

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s (or character’s) career. As we get excited about Man of Steel this week, it’s once again worth considering Hollywood’s incessant need to re-tell superhero origin stories every time they begin or reboot a franchise. The new Superman movie does indeed go back to the beginning and tell of Kal-El’s birth on Krypton and travel to Earth, where he grew up with the Kent family. Sure, this one is not as quick a rehash as the Spider-Man or even Batman properties have done. The last time we saw Superman’s start on the big screen was 35 years ago (never mind that there have been TV tellings since). Before that we’d already seen the origin story done perfectly well in the 1948 serial version (his first live-action film appearance). Interestingly enough, though, the character’s earlier debut on the silver screen barely bothered with his origins at all. This short start is an animated film titled Superman (some refer to it as “The Mad Scientist”), which arrived only three years after the superhero made his first appearance in any media, in the pages of “Action Comics” #1 (take that, adaptations in development hell for decades). And after a very, very brief introduction telling of Superman’s backstory, this ten-minute work gets right into an original, isolated adventure in which the character must destroy a mad scientist’s death ray and also save Lois […]

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Man of Steel Infographic

Beyond busting up what appears to be a bank vault door in next week’s highly anticipated release Man of Steel, Superman has always had a positive relationship with money. In fact, even off the big screen, the Man of Steel has found himself to be a great financial success. Remember that one Superman comic that grossed $30 million dollars? Of course, it took his death, but still. The following new infographic, courtesy of the folks at FinancesOnline, charts the success of he who is faster than a speeding bullet. From the success of the film franchise to record comic sales, there seems to be no amount of Kryptonite in green money. Okay, enough puns. The infographic has a bunch of interesting stats and some fun facts about Superman. Just skip on down and see for yourself.

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Man of Steel: Final Trailer

One thing is certain, the progression of the trailers for the pole holding up summer movie season, otherwise known as Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, has been excellent. Kudos to whomever is running that particular show in the Warner Bros. marketing department. Each trailer has shown us just a little bit more each time, at every turn succeeding in whetting our appetites. As someone who has not been high on this project since the beginning, the footage progression I’ve seen in the trailers has brought me around. Now I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m excited about next weekend. You might be, as well, once you get a look at this epic final trailer.

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Man of Steel

It’s a story about the potential for every person to be a force for good. Yes Russell Crowe, that’s exactly what the story of Superman is about. And as we see here in this brand new behind the scenes featurette for Warner Bros.’ upcoming film Man of Steel, it’s also about the potential of a Christopher Nolan Dark Knight-esque reinvention of a character who is a 75-year old that wears his underwear on the outside. “It’s not a comic book Superman,” explains writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight). “We wanted a Superman that exists in the real world.” A tall task, to say the very least. Needless to say, after 12 minutes of behind the scenes B-roll and cast interviews, you might start to believe that Zack Snyder could pull off his greatest trick of all: making Superman feel new again.

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Man of Steel

Last month was all over the map in terms of reactions. Almost every major, and a few of the minor, releases were met with raves and naysayers: Iron Man 3 made up for the second Tony Stark film, but wasn’t without its own issues; The Great Gatsby, which yours truly ate up, saw some critical venom; Star Trek Into Darkness has its feverishly passionate fans, despite a clunky villain and plenty of leaps in character and dramatic logic; Now You See Me was good fun, but didn’t fare well with critics; and some took Noah Baumbach‘s charming Frances Ha to task for following a character who can go to Paris for two days. There’s a handful of releases this month which are destined for heated discussion, at least during their opening weekend. A few of those movies make up the must-see releases of June 2013.

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Man of Steel Zod

It’s official. Supervillains breaking into our TV feeds to deliver sloppily edited messages to the masses is something we have to deal with in our summer comic book blockbusters now. We saw The Mandarin do it continually in Iron Man 3, and apparently he gave Zod the log-in codes, because the Superman baddie is interrupting your Sports Center rerun in this new trailer for Man of Steel. What to say at this point? By now we’ve all seen a half dozen trailers for the Zack Snyder movie coming June 14th, and you probably already know whether you’re buying a ticket for opening weekend or not. It’s doubtful that anything in this new look will convince the unconvinced or suddenly shock the true believers (no matter how many punches they line up with musical beats). On the other hand, it’s great to see a movie finally have a villain ransom a superhero’s identity/capture against the well-being of society at large. Check out Zod’s demands for yourself:

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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