Superman

The Avengers

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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ff6truth_5

Whether you get into the Fast & Furious franchise or not, there is no denying its massive popularity and ability to rule at the box office. A lot of the success of the franchise has come from the fact that in the past three movies, it has moved from a street racing series to basically a mix of muscle-car James Bond with the Oceans Eleven films hopped up on NoS. This past summer, Fast & Furious 6 went head-to-head in the summer box office with some of the biggest names in blockbusters, including Iron Man, Superman, and Gru’s Minions. While there’s no comparing the characters in Fast & Furious 6 with the Minions (although Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson try their hardest to be that charming), Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) gave Superman a run for his money. Not only did Fast & Furious 6 best Man of Steel’s international box office, Dom performed his own Superman-like stunt to save his amnesiac lover Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) from certain death. This got me thinking: Is Dominic Toretto actually Superman?

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Superman and The Joker

It’s totally fine for Superman to kill people. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again, and in every instance he’ll most likely have strong reasons for doing so. Obviously this question came up over the summer when Man of Steel hit theaters, but it has sustainably permeated the cultural conversation and returned with enthusiasm now that writer David Goyer has weighed in on the subject. Fanning the flame wars of a divisive issue, it’s launched a thousand opinions from those standing their ground on why Superman (as a representation of God, or America or merely the best of the superheroes) shouldn’t take lives. The intention is understandable and powerfully compelling, but it’s still wrong.

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Lost Finale

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Batman vs Superman

This week we answer the most important question of our time: how can a city the size of Detroit go bankrupt? It’s crazy, and after figuring that out in about three minutes, we then spend twenty trying to game out what Warners has planned for Batman vs. Superman before pitching actors we want to see take the cowl from Christian Bale. Plus, we’ve got an Interrogation Review of The Wolverine, and in case your brain is overwhelmed by things in capes, Geoff and screenwriter Brian Duffield explain what to do when you get an extreme case of writer’s block. You can follow  Brian Duffield (@brianduffield), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #26 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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supermantruth-1

When Superman and Batman finally team up for a movie, will Batman take Supes to task for allowing such widespread destruction in Metropolis? Will Superman counter with Batman allowing his city to be taken hostage for months while he was cured of a broken back with a rope in a dirty dungeon? These (and many other lingering questions) demand to be addressed. Either way, movie fans know that Superman has faced some pretty huge threats over the years. From killer computers to the genetically engineered Nuclear Man, massive city-wide destruction has always been in the cards. In Richard Donner’s 1978  Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor stands to literally make a killing in the real estate market by wiping out the California coastline, transforming the tracks of worthless desert the new West Coast. His plan involved detonating a 500-megaton bomb in the San Adreas Fault, causing the unstable land to shift, resulting in everything to the west would “fall into the sea.” This got us thinking (and worrying, since some of FSR’s best writers live on the West Coast): Could Lex Luthor, or some other super villain, cause part of California to fall into the ocean?

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The LEGO Movie

“The Lego Movie combines all your favorite pop-culture characters: Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern, (most likely) Hobbits and Harry Potter, all for one giant commercial for Lego!” Good thing for us, that’s not the animated picture directors Chris Miller, Chris McKay, and Phil Lord are making. A movie that literally has “Lego” in the title could easily be interpreted as just that, but at the film’s Comic-Con press conference, the three filmmakers stressed the actual movie is far from an ad. This was a project treated with a good deal of skepticism when it was announced, but after the trailer, it’s shown skeptics they’re not going to see the movie they were dreading. We learned plenty more about the film while in attendance at Comic-Con, so if you’re curious in how the film is more than a payed advertisement, read what the the three men had to say about Michael Bay, Morgan Freeman voicing a crazy wizard, and more.

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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

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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966243

You can tell Man of Steel is the movie of the summer because none of us can stop writing about it. Would it be more or less covered if the Superman movie actually got mostly favorable reviews? It’s hard to say, as much of our and other outlets’ think pieces are a mix of pre-planned stuff on the character in general as well as superhero movies in general and reaction posts both about what the new movie gets wrong and right. All I know is I could have devoted this week’s whole Reject Recap to the ol’ Caped Kryptonian (is that not one of his nicknames?). Let me just point out that it’s deserving. While the official FSR review is fairly negative, I’ll admit that I love it. And it’s definitely worth seeing even if you have problems with much of it. As is clear, there’s so much to talk about. There’s a bunch to discuss on other topics and movies, too. We had two big stories involving the future of Hollywood, thoughts on some older favorites and some other characters’ announced returns, an update on real-life versions of characters from one of this week’s new releases and also a geeky comparison between video game consoles complete with their relevance to movie fans. Before we get to your week in review, here’s some trivia regarding the headline above: all are tied to Superman. Steven Spielberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger were both linked to Superman: The Movie and, well, some interns probably […]

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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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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 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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IntroPrisons

Prison sounds like hell. You’re locked in one room, barely going outside while you are forced to sit around all day and like… read and watch TV and shit. I hear there are movie nights and exercise equipment as well. You’d probably get really fit, and hell – you’d be socializing for once in your life. Okay, when I describe it like that, prison sounds all right. In movies it varies, especially when the film doesn’t exactly take place in our own reality. They cane be comedic, nightmarish and, in some cases, musical. They can also be like hell. Here are the ones that look like the biggest pains to reside in – places where, in a world where you have to either get busy living or get busy dying, the latter would probably be best.

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IntroMundaneBadass

In reality, no job is actually mundane unless you make it that way. Washing dishes or delivering mail can be terrific if you’re happy, and you’re with people who make you happy. My point is – a job is whatever you want it to be. You can quote me on that. “A job is whatever you want it to be.” – Man wearing pajama pants Anyhoo – in the movie world this tends to be different. Very rarely do we see a character shuffling fries and acting completely content. The best however, is when a mundane job is used to juxtapose the badassness of the character – or better yet, the badass character just happens to have a mundane job attached to them. These are by far the best combinations of “boring” vs “badass” I could think up in a single afternoon while not wearing any pants. Shop smart, everyone:

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