June 14, 2013, - 12:02 am

“Man of Steel”: UnAmerican UnSuperman of Dull; “Truth, Justice & The American Way” MIA

By Debbie Schlussel

The first thing you need to know about “Man of Steel” is that there is no “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” The iconic, patriotic Superman phrase is never uttered in this new movie, allegedly about Superman.

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Bland of Steel

After all, the filmmakers hope to make mega-millions overseas, and why offend the mega-millions of America-hating foreign movie-goers with anything positive about America? I suppose this is liberal Hollywood’s version of “evolution,” since the last incarnation of Superman, “Superman Returns”–which stank and was far worse than this one (read my review)–had Daily Planet Editor Perry White say, “Truth, justice, and all that other stuff.”

In fact, it’s hard to tell if the new “Man of Steel” movie, in theaters today, is really even about Superman. The word “Superman” is only mentioned once, and only in the last third of this very long, quite dull, and incredibly uninspired movie. It’s like they’re embarrassed by the guy. And it’s like he’s in perpetual embarrassment the whole way through, since I can’t remember seeing the guy (played by British actor Henry Cavill) smile until the very end of the movie. He’s in perpetual gravitas. Also not in the movie: photographer Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, and kryptonite. They don’t exist in this version of Metropolis. There is however, a Black Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) and “Jenny” (with no last name), who is presumably the new chickified Jimmy. But the PC stuff isn’t completely down pat yet, because Superman hasn’t revealed himself yet as a vegan Muslim Wonder Woman trapped in an carnivorous atheist Superman’s body, struggling to come out and get a sex change.






Though we see a few scenes of the American flag and some bumbling U.S. Army Generals (who mostly view Superman as the enemy), if you’ve seen the trailers and posters, the new Superman’s uniform is reptilian, dark, and dingy, and looks black and dark burgundy. That, too, is Hollywood lib evolution, since in the last Supe movie, “Superman Returns,” it was navy and maroon.

Also missing is any sense of morality, which was ample in most of the previous Superman products. In this movie, young Clark Kent’s dad (Kevin Costner) tells him that instead of saving a bus full of his classmates (after the bus careened off a bridge and sank in a river), he “maybe” should have let them die, in order to keep secret that he has super powers. Later in the movie, the dad stops Clark Kent from saving him from a tornado, in order to keep his special power a secret.

But here’s what is in the movie: the word, “d*cks”–not once, but twice . . . in two different scenes. Just GUH-REAT for a superhero movie filmmakers know will be attended by gazillions of young kids. Completely unnecessary. In one scene, a school bully calls a young Clark Kent, “a d*ckhead,” and in another scene, Lois Lane chides American generals, proclaiming that “if we’re done measuring d*cks,” she wants to look into mysterious developments near an arctic military base. In another scene, there is a field of skulls, but I guess today’s kids have already been exposed to such graphic stuff.

For me, Clark Kent will always be the late Christopher Reeve. He had charm, he had personality, he had chutzpah and was witty, and he was self-deprecating, humorous, and cool. There is none of that in this Superman. In fact, Henry Cavill is more the anti-Superman or unSuperman than anything. He’s almost more shlemiel than “Man of Steel.” He’s like a college professor activist for Greenpeace, not a superhero. Or maybe he thinks he’s a male supermodel, stuck forever in a pretentious pouting, brooding pose of extreme seriousness and pensive “thought.” Or, toward the beginning of the movie, he’s “The Incredible Hulk,” minus the green, but complete with shirtless, sculpted chest and torn up pants ripped off at the knees, stealing some people’s laundry for a change of clothes. But there is none of the magic or fun that Reeve and the writers and directors brought to his Superman movies in the late ’70s and early to mid-’80s. Those were entertaining. This is just a long slow slog that gets off to a decent stat, but just dies the rest of the way.

This movie did remind me a lot of the one bad Reeve “Superman” movie, “Superman III,” in which Superman is drunk, destroys a lot of buildings, and fails to save quite a few people. In “Man of Steel,” Superman destroys a lot of buildings while he’s fighting off his enemies from Krypton who come to planet earth, and a lot of people die. But I thought Superman was about peace and saving people. Hard to tell in this. And there are boring, prolonged, repetitive scenes of mass destruction of downtown Metropolis that are straight out of the “Transformers” (and “The Avengers”) movies’ playbook. Been there, seen that. And a little goes a long way. This was overkill.

There’s a lot in this movie that’s dull. Amy Adams is dull as Lois Lane, and she doesn’t seem right for the part. She phones it in when uttering her lines, completely devoid of any emotion or inflection most of the time . . . like vacant Brad Pitt in that weird, New Age Chanel No. 5 commercial. The movie is mostly washed-out sepia tones. I didn’t care for the flashbacks and flash forwards of this movie, which are constant. It was herky-jerky and ruined the continuity of the story and the plot. That apparently was by design because the plot is flat, and the villain, played by the one-note Michael Shannon, is dull, too.

The basic story is the one you’ve come to know about Superman–that he was born “Kal-El” on the planet of Krypton to parents. This time, his father, Jor-El, is a bloated Russell Crowe who is killed by rival, General Zod (Shannon). As they are about to be killed and their planet destroyed, the parents send their son to Planet Earth, where he is found and raised by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner. They are the only bright points in this movie.

We see Clark Kent as a kid in Smallville, where his special powers make him a pariah of sorts, so his father demands that he hide them from people. Later, because of this, he’s a drifter trying to find himself–first working on a rig, then in a restaurant in a small town. When Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane hears stories about a mysterious structure hidden near an arctic military base, she heads there, after winning a lawsuit against the U.S. military, which tried to keep her out. She comes upon Clark Kent, who rescues her as she explores a mysterious set of caves and tunnels in a mountain and sees strange robots flying in the air inside those tunnels. She writes it up, and her editor, Perry White, refuses to print it. So she seeks a Matt-Drudge-like website to release the story. But just before their encounter, Clark has released a beacon that alerts General Zod of Clark Kent’s whereabouts, and General Zod comes to earth, threatening the world unless Clark Kent is turned in to him. The FBI arrests Lois, and so Superman surrenders to the U.S. military, who surrenders him to Zod.

For the rest of the movie, it’s mostly non-stop fighting between Superman and Zod and his fellow criminals from Krypton, who broke free when the planet was destroyed. They want to re-establish Krypton on Earth, which will mean the end of human civilization, and Superman wants to save the Earth. At this point, you’ll probably be reminded of “Superman II,” in which Superman fought off three villains from Krypton (in fact, the female villain in this one looks a lot like the female villain in that movie). And like in that movie, they are stronger than he is. Also, like that movie, he inexplicably overcomes them and is victorious. I didn’t quite understand how Superman beat the much stronger villains from Krypton in this, and it’s kind of confusing and a bore for the last third of the movie.

This movie is nearly 2.5 hours. At least a half hour should have been lopped off. The script should have been tightened, and some magic, charm, and personality inserted somewhere. Many critics describe this Superman as “dark.” But, if anything, it’s more of a “cold” movie. It’s just not that entertaining. And it’s definitely not amusing. The movie was better than I expected, but that’s because I expected to absolutely hate it. It’s far better than the last outing, “Superman Returns.” But it still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s missing something, many things actually. It was just an okay movie (I saw it in 3D, which didn’t help make it better). And it didn’t seem like a Superman movie at all. “Man of Steel” is an imposter.

Near the end of the movie, Superman tries to convince the inept U.S. Army generals that he’s American and will work with them. “I grew up in Kansas. You can’t get more American than that.” (I wonder if they’ll keep that line in the film as they show it overseas.) It seems he’s trying to convince us in the American audience more than the generals onscreen.

No sale for me. In “Man of Steel,” we’re not in Kansas anymore.

HALF A MARX PLUS AN OBAMA
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Watch the trailer . . .

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57 Responses

I will not watch the trailer. All’s quiet on the Western front. That’s because America’s dead. The reason the movie was missing certain reporters is because you just might be the last real reporter in America, Debbie. I know this is your job. Glad you have the stomach for it. Keep reporting. I’ll keep reading, . . .

until the nukes start hitting us.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on June 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

They lost me in an early trailer where Clark asks Pa Kent if he should have let the other kids die and he answers “maybe”. So the father that helped form Superman’s moral compass tells him it is ok to let people die to keep your secret.

Seems the only way to watch these movies anymore is to completely lower your expectations. To bad, I will wait for it on Netflix.

E: I’m glad you mentioned that b/c I forgot to and it bothered me also. He also makes his son stay away when a tornado strikes, so he dies. Also to keep the secret. There is no morality in this movie whatsoever. Noted and adding this to my review. DS

ender on June 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

    @ender, how strange is it that the moral compass is out of wack on the “keeping things secret” during this particular time when all the scandals have rocked the country?
    I too will take my disappointed attitude and seek entertainment elsewhere.
    The last Superman really really did disappoint. Bad.

    samurai on June 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    In every previous incarnation of Superman the character of Johnathan Kent has always been a font of good advice, wisdom, kindness and morality. In this movie he is IMO utterly INSANE!

    Stephen Schochet on June 16, 2013 at 7:40 pm

How many times is Hollywood going to keep regurgitating the same crap over and over?

AR on June 14, 2013 at 1:09 am

Superman is a classic timeless story of good vs evil. Its about mild-mannered people whom no one would given a second thought to, that discover they have a hidden hero inside them.

That’s why it has such universal appeal! But I agree with Debbie that this reboot of the Marvel Comics franchise isn’t what it should be. As a kid, I hugely enjoyed the comics and the original films.

The late Christopher Reeve will always be the quintessential “Superman.” I don’t think any one can replace him in the role and some things simply don’t improve with age. We don’t need more politically correct portrayals of American superheroes.

“Man Of Steel” just falls way short of what I read and saw as a kid and a young man.

NormanF on June 14, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Superman isn’t Marvel, just FYI. He’s DC.

    Actually I’m a huge fan of most of the superhero films – and of Henry Cavill, but even I’m not bothered whether I see this or not. I probably will at some stage, but I doubt I’ll be queuing up.

    Alison on June 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Didn’t see movie…won’t be seeing movie.

    Eight dollars a ticket X4 = $32.00. Add about $10.00/person for snacks, you get $72.00 total. What’s worth that?

    Occam's Tool on August 5, 2013 at 2:15 am

When these Hollywood types put adult language in movies aimed at kids, there are 3 possibilties: 1. It was an oversight. 2. They really didn’t know it was inappropriate. 3. It’s intentional. The first two are ridiculous, so that means it’s intentional. Think about what kind of sick fetish a person has to have to intentionally swear in front of children. Imagine yourself intentionally using that kind of language in front of people’s kid. You begin to understand just how sick Hollywood is.

David Lanham on June 14, 2013 at 1:57 am

Agreed on several counts- the movie is pretty boring, the fight/destruction scenes were pointlessly over the top, and as I didn’t grow up with the Superman movies (first and only other I saw was the bomb from 2006), I still don’t have any experience with a GREAT Superman movie.

However, I disagree on the absence of morality claim, as sacrifice for the greater good, or for loved ones is repeated several times.

-Father Kent decides his son’s safety is more important than his own life, and tells Clark to let him die.

-Kal-el gives himself up to Zod in the hopes of saving Earth. While I have mixed feelings about it, I do find it an interesting touch that while Kal is speaking to the priest about his true identity and about turning himself over to Zod, stained glass images of Jesus are clearly in view from multiple angles.

-When the demand for Lois Lane is made, Lois doesn’t risk the wrath of Zod’s forces, and similarly goes willingly with Kal.

As this is clearly about a Superman-in-progress, it works that he hasn’t fleshed out a full platform. Granted, that means it may be developed in yet another boring movie.

And as for the language- the “horror” of d!cks being uttered in a PG-13 movie that would be seen by kids: I never saw ET (rated PG) until I was in college, but I was way more stunned at Elliott calling his brother “Penis-breath” (made his mom chuckle long enough before she told him to sit down), which simply told me that even in 1982, a 10 year-old knew the worst insult in the book was any variant of c0cksuck3r. Also used in ET: “douche-bag” and a “Uranus/your anus”. So on the metric of language alone, ET was far more inappropriate than MoS, but yet it’s still considered a quintessential family movie 30 years later.

Robert on June 14, 2013 at 3:40 am

Christopher Reeve was a jerk that never cared about disabilities until he broke his own neck riding on a horse. Then he went around trying to make money from personal appearances to talk about it.

Hopewell on June 14, 2013 at 7:45 am

Well thanks Debbie. My kids won’t be seeing this.

The washing out of the “American” part is nothing new, but has been going on for several years. For overseas markets, Captain America wasn’t referred to as such, but instead was called “The First Avenger” in trailers, posters, official title, etc. More important, Superman renounced his American citizenship in order to be accepted by the Iranians. He is now “a citizen of the world”.

But this movie is just more feminist male-bashing. In years past, men were encouraged to enjoy their exceptional gifts – such as athleticism, intelligence, excellence at inventing things/making music/making money, etc. Not to be selfish vain destructive menaces to society of course. But to use your abilities in a redeeming fashion while enjoying doing so as a benefit.

But now, for a super MAN (and the emphasis is on man, not super) to actually embrace and like having his abilities and enjoy taking risks and enjoy the fruits of his labor: that is wrong. Not only is it not particularly socialist (people without exceptional or even above average ability are made to feel bad) but it terrifies feminists. For Superman to be confident in his abilities, to like them and embrace them, for him to want to be the best and to be confident in both his superhero identity and secret identity alter-ego (Clark Kent was a very successful and competitive reporter, with Lois Lane his main rival I should point out) would drive feminists bonkers.

So that is why they have to make him dark, burdened, a drifter and a loser, and why they had to totally ruin the character of his stepfather, one of the best father figures in fiction. Fathers cannot be good, only bad influences or worse. And men cannot be happy or with or embrace their abilities or success. It has to give them conflicts, torments, etc. because their abilities are the result of their oppressing more deserving and qualified women, and if they are white males, minorities.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Batman trilogy and found it to be extremely entertaining, I did notice that about Batman. Earlier depictions of Batman, even the Michael Keaton one, depicted him as a genius who did take real pleasure in his success in cleaning up Gotham, the trappings of his wealth (which he earned, not just inherited, the Batman of the comics and earlier cartoons and movies was a good businessman) and dating attractive women. The Nolan Batman (and Nolan produced this film) was filled with self-hate and loathing over being a wealthy white male (and they depicted him as being a dunce who was useless without Lucius Fox by the way!) as much as he was mourning his late parents (and pining over the one delusional plain looking feminist chick who didn’t want him when he could have used his wealth and abilities to get a far better looking woman to cook his dinner and have his babies). Pretty much all of the good male characters in Nolan’s Batman were emasculated, making the villains (except for Two Face and the Scarecrow, who for some reason they got some effete closet case to depict) more masculine and easier for a male to identify with than, say, Batman or Commissioner Gordon. Sure, they were bad guys, but I much preferred Bane and Ra’s Al Ghul to the good guys, because at least they weren’t conflicted by or ashamed of their own masculinity.

Maybe that’s why of all the superhero characters out now, I like the ones played by Chris Evans the best. His Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Five (in contrast to how they totally ruined Mr. Fantastic and The Thing … Jessica Alba was “the male” and the leader when it came to those two) and his Steve Rogers in Captain America are the only ones that are allowed to be – and embrace being – male. Even the new Incredible Hulk … instead of being a scientist in an experiment gone bad, his turning into the Hulk is an allegory for the negative effects of masculinity (from capitalism on down). So he goes from being the sensitive feminist intellectual to being a masculine mindless monster. The same really with Iron Man … he goes from being this billionaire military industrialist playboy to feminist environmentalist who neglects his business to promote clean energy and becomes the chick in his relationship to his plain-looking secretary (though in fairness in the comics Pepper Potts looked A LOT better than Gwyneth Paltrow) when again he could have continued making tons of money legitimately making weapons to fight terrorists and communists and found any gorgeous chick on the planet to have his kids.

Ugh. THe real story here is Hollywood training women to hate men and men to hate themselves. Even if you do have a talent that you can’t suppress – which you are normally supposed to do because you aren’t allowed to do something better than any random woman can do in most instances – you are supposed to use it to advance “the common good” and not yourself, and to be morally conflicted and fearful about it. That pretty much explains all the “men” who write for the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine etc. They hate being male and successful so they endlessly try to atone for it by advocating for feminism, abortion, gay rights, socialism etc.

I am getting closer and closer to saying goodbye to Hollywood with each passing disappointing movie.

Gerald on June 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

    VERY interesting post, Gerald!

    So much food for thought! I think I may differ with you on Nolan’s “Batmans”…not the chick thing…you are spot on about that!

    Nolan did pick the WORST women to cast in them (but Hathaway did a great job I must admit thru’ gritted teeth…would have preferred someone else thou’ )…but the last two I saw I really enjoyed for the almost HIDDEN Conservative message. Doing the right thing is not easy and/or popular and the dregs of society won’t appreciate your help and sacrifice anyway..and will cast you out as vermin. And although the Conservatives HERE know the truth about why GWB was terrible for USA (not the un-truthful Libtard meme…) the movie very gently tackled his 9/11 issue in a very sneaky and understated way…defending him in a very covert way.

    I liked the hidden Conservativism…even though I don’t agree with it regarding GWB (in context of GWB). That made me like the movie even more.

    Bane was the BEST! Tom Hardy is a *short dude, but he’s an awesome actor! Good stuff!

    (*I was excited to see Ben Mendolsohn in that final Batman (as a bad guy) but when there was a scene where Bain was towering over him, I knew they had TH step on a box or something, LOL!)

    Skunky on June 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I’m sorry…Sarah Douglas played “Ursa” in “Superman 2″, not “Mala”…

      Skunky on June 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Gerald,

    Just to reassure you, Captain America WAS called Captain America in the UK at least. It’s full title was “Captain America: The First Avenger”. The use of the second part of the title was to tie him in firmly with the forthcoming Avengers film which, over here was called “Avengers Assemble” since we had a very famous TV show called “The Avengers” (of which a diabolical film was made some years ago).

    These things are done for a reason, but NOT for the detriment of the US abroad.

    Alison on June 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm

On his world the ‘S’ stands for hope! Hmmmm, did the producers get the script from Team Obama? He’ll be known as Hopeman from now on and all the world shall adore him!

Frank on June 14, 2013 at 8:41 am

    @Frank Err, actually, that was in the comics LONG before Obama showed up.

    Also, lack of morality? Right, that’s totally why Clark let Zod destroy the earth at the end… except he didn’t, Superman managed to stop him.

    And the complaints about cursing, really? What’s the big deal, people curse in real life. So would bullies.

    Man of Steel may not have been the Superman movie we deserved, but it was definitely the one we needed; here’s hoping the sequel is better.

    Adam Sherman on June 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm

I haven’t seen the movie, and don’t plan to. But I was wondering whether there were any Jewish references, positive or negative, in the movie.

There have been several books published in the last year about Superman, since this is his 75th anniversary. A number of them have traced the Jewish origins of his creators, and of DC Comics, and have traced Superman to Samson, or to golems. The comparisons go much further, e.g. Superman symbolizing Jewish kids getting back at their anti-semitic tormentors, etc.

LA: There are no Jewish references in the movie whatsoever. DS

Little Al on June 14, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Well, you know, in Superman II, during the waterfall rescue scene, you can hear someone say “Such a nice man, of course he’s Jewish”.

    No way would that be in a 2013 movie. In 1981, though…

    dee on June 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Although this Superman movie may not have any direct references to Judaism, the story of Superman is indelibly linked to Judaism. For example, Superman’s real name, Kal-El, in Hebrew, literally means “easy to,” Jerry Siegel and/or Joe Shuster probably also knew the name to mean “Voice of G-d” in Hebrew. Further, “El” is associated with angels who fly. Also, the entire birth story of Superman is drawn directly from early life of Moses. And the theme of the stranger in a foreign land that is prominent in Superman, has often been a common part of the Jewish experience.

    RA: Kol-El would mean “voice of G-d.” Kal means “easy” or “simple” in Hebrew. And, since I doubt Siegel and Shuster knew a lot of Hebrew beyond the basics, I doubt they used Kal or Jor for Hebrew, just the second part, which they knew meant G-d in Hebrew. And, yes, while Superman was created by Jews (in response to anti-Semitism they experienced as kids in Cleveland), there is nothing Jewish in this movie. DS

    Ralph Adamo on June 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      DS: “And, yes, while Superman was created by Jews (in response to anti-Semitism they experienced as kids in Cleveland), there is nothing Jewish in this movie.”

      Well, the screenplay for “Man of Steel” was written by David Samuel Goyer, who is Jewish on his mother’s side and attended Hebrew School. His writing sounds like it would be better if he would draw more on his own background and roots, as Siegel and Shuster did.

      Ralph Adamo on June 16, 2013 at 1:29 am

        Superman’s biological mother is played by Israeli Ayelet Zurer, which is something.

        dee on June 16, 2013 at 2:06 am

Thz! Great review and you saved me time and money not wasted on another PC-BS flick.

CG on June 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

‘He’s almost more shlemiel than “Man of Steel.”’

I LOL’d.

DS_ROCKS! on June 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

First, I am soooo sick of remakes and restructures and regurgitation of “superhero” movies. You want superheroes? General Patton, Col. Mickey Marcus, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, John Adams, and so, so, many others.

The first year of the 1950’s Superman (1950? 1951?) starring George Reeves and Phyllis Coates (the original Louis Lane) was still the best Superman portrayal of all of the movies, cartoons etc. And yes, there was a Superman serial in movie houses in the 1940’s, but the first year, and only the first year, of the 1950’s serial was still the best. Noel Neil as Louis Lane was terrible.

Actually, Superman, when spotting someone in trouble, should say, “Vos iz?” and then leave by saying, “Gai gezunterhait!”

Better yet, let’s have a Superman movie starring Mel Brooks!!!

Jonathan E. Grant on June 14, 2013 at 10:38 am

Norman F, Superman is DC not Marvel, sacrilege lol.

The biggest problem with all these “reboots” is the people involved want to “reimagine” or put their “spin” on the character. They have 75 years of source material yet with out reading a single comic book they want to change things based on their opinion, a focus group or on what they think will sell. This movie has more product placement and corporate tie in’s than any other movie ever made. They could sell tickets for $1 and still make a huge profit.

The last Superman movie bombed, which shocked Hollywood. Everything was there for a sequel, rip off from the original; and just update it a little. Keep it enough of the same so the audience is comfortable and nostalgic. So same bad guy, same story, same lines and mix in some of the old music. So now they figure people today didn’t get it because it wasn’t an “origin” story, so ta da, yet another origin story. So origin that we actually get to see Superman slide out of the womb.

One producer in an interview actually said that “people forget that he is an alien and they never touched on that before in the movies” really? Of course they use words like “reimagen” or “reinvent” and you know they will screw it up/

ender on June 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the review Debbie. I’m still planning on seeing it with the kids because my youngest son just like his dad is a diehard Superman fan. To me though the first Christopher Reeve movie back in 78 did it for me. It truly made a nine year old kid believe that a man could fly. Also for me it will always be truth justice and the AMERICAN way. Not truth justice and all that stuff.

Ken b on June 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Henry Cavill is very handsome but I will only see this if a teen family member wants to. Otherwise, not interested. But at least ladies can perve on the profoundly handsome Pom playing Superman!

Excellent and well written review! I agree with you on Chris Reeve as “Superman” (was not a fan but I liked him as SM). I didn’t mind the first one but I LOVED the 2nd one. (Oh, I REALLY liked Reeve in “Death Trap”…what a great but forgotten flick (based on a play!) that was!!!)

Awesome Sarah Douglas played “Mala” in Superman 2. She was my favourite part of the movie. She looked like Pat Benatar and was wicked badass!! I liked her more than Lois Lane (even thou’ I did not like the bad guys…) because I never liked Margot Kidder. Of course I am sorry about her personal tragedies, but I never liked her as an actress. I found her grating. I prolly would have liked the Superman franchise if they had a better Lois Lane. I would have picked Rachel Ward (yet, another Pom!)

Terrence Stamp was AWESOME as “General Zod”. He’s just a great actor. LOVED him in “Priscilla:Queen Of The Dessert” and “The Limey”.

Oh, I also never saw any “Superman”‘s beyond 2. I knew it would never get better! (And I HATED, HATED “Supergirl”!)

That’s too bad about Michael Shannon. He can be a powerful actor…maybe more of a character one as he plays creeps superbly. Glad Russell Crowe exits early. I cannot bare him.

Great review. Henry Cavill is a lure but only if I gotta go!

Skunky on June 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I plan to see the new “Superman.” I was not disappointed by the last one, and I doubt I shall be by the newest. The trailer shows great CGI effects and staging, but that’s to be expected.

No film review, favorable or unfavorable, influences my viewing habits. Still, Debbie is always highly entertaining, even if I don’t always see things her way.

Seek on June 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

What a disappointment. Apparently the MoS filmmakers never watch “Smallville” or read past Superboy comic books, in which there were ways to conceal young Clark Kent’s “special powers” by going like a blur (move at super-speed pace like the Flash) or pretending to be a klutz (similar to what Christopher Reeves did in character in the Superman movies). The filmmakers’ moral compass on this Superman identity is truly off and into the abyss.

I also blame DC Comics for the lack of moral compass and integrity in the Superman comics in the last several years.

Rob on June 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Dark and somber can work for Batman and a few other comic book characters, but Superman isn’t Superman unless it’s bright, colorful, tongue-in-cheek corny and optimistic. All of the comic book movies lately all seem to come in the same tedious flavor.

Mark R.Y. on June 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I don’t like the fact that Superman is British for one, and most these people producing these age old franchises have no historical affiliation them. They didn’t grow with George or Christopher Reeves and most of them are born from single mothers so there’s no idea what a real father would be like. The only fathers they knew were from Growing Pains and Married with Children. They grow travel to Hollywood and want to put their spin on a time honored 70 year old franchise and wind up corrupting it with their lack perspective or morality.
I’ll probably watch it because I like action and special effects plus Debbie can be one the most harsh critics on planet earth and Kripton. But as usual I’ll wait till it hits 5 dollar bin in Walmart.

MANGOG on June 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the creators of the character), George Reeves (who first played the character on TV), and even Christopher Reeves are rolling over. What’s next? Captain UnAmerica?

Ralph Adamo on June 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I suspect its now called Man of Steel instead of Superman for the same contractual reasons Batman is now called the Dark Knight where Jack Nicholson gets a cut of anything related to Batman for the rest of his life just for playing the Joker in the first Batman movie in 1989.

MANGOG on June 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I won’t waste my money on this. I feel sorry for you Debbie having to sit through so much crap. There hasn’t been a good movie since 2010, Winter’s Bone & King’s Speech. Since then it’s been all garbage.

Joe Cox on June 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I don’t think Superman IV was so great, either. What a mess that movie was! And Superman Returns…wasn’t all that bad until the love child thing!

I’m going to see Man of Steel this week just the same. I’d like to see for myself. Other critics who have panned it were expecting something closer along the lines of the 60s Batman TV show “Bam! Zip! Pow!” stuff.

Alan on June 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Don’t forget about George Reeves. I think he was the best Superman, and in those days Superman did promote positive values. And the show always began with “truth, justice and the American way,” In those days, Superman actually fought real-life criminals, not strange beings from other worlds that deliberately seem to be made as so remote that they won’t offend anyone.

And Lois Lane was actually well liked by millions of viewers,even if she didn’t use words like ‘dickhead’. If anyone remembers the Torchy Blaine movies with Glenda Ferrell, Blaine was the prototype for Lois, an in-your-face news reporter whose movies were released right around the 1938 period when Superman came into being.

Little Al on June 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Raplh Adamo, were you not paying attention? The last Captain America was titled “The First Avenger” for the overseas market. Only in America was the movie referred to as Captain America.

What is funny is the last Superman train wreck the director wanted to call it Man of Steel but Warner Brothers didn’t think enough of the target audience would get the reference. Now they are going with it to distance it from Superman Returns.

Ender on June 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Dear Ender, it WAS called Captain America in tons of places, including the UK and all Scandinavian countries. They just added The First Avenger as a sub-title as a form of pre-marketing for The Avengers.

    Riazumichin on June 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

There’s a “superman” in each of us, we just have to find him again. Time to take that metrosexual sh*t off, boys, and man up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2l4bz1FT8U

’nuff said …

Pray Hard on June 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

wow i love you debbie from afar

tony on June 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm

It was so dull, so awful, I honestly didn’t notice the PC Stuff.

Stephen Schochet on June 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Well,the way I’ve been hearing about this movie,casting a Brit to play Superman was the least of this film’s problems. I’m not going to see this film anyway,so it’s no skin off my back.

Ghostwriter on June 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Try as many times as they like but Superman will always be a flop and the fundamental reason that DC superheroes will always fail at the box office (save Batman or perhaps a well written Flash) is the DC universe has heroes without relatable flaws and bland story writing. DC does have some colorful villians, mostly belonging to Batman, whereas Superman’s arch nemesis is a balding guy or to a lessor extent some home world variety of himself both of which are rather insignificant. There are no meaningful Superman classic stories (yeah he got married to Lois) to draw from so they wish to recreate him in the vien of Marvel or Batman and will forever succeed to mess themselves up in the process. The top classic stories belong to Daredevil, X-men, and the non-hokey stage of Batman with the most colorful villians belonging to Spiderman and Batman. There will be a future reboot and future blunder of Superman because of the branding potential but unless they bribe Frank Miller to pen a story for them it’ll be a waste of time.

Fred on June 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

I saw the movie today and overall I liked it.
The line by Costner about “maybe” Clark should have let the kids die in the bus was over the top.
And Clark letting his father die in a tornado was just absolutely stupid.
But the moral compass that made Clark save the kids came from his father. The father dying the way he did was because he thought he was protecting his son. The whole scene was just bizarrely stupid. They are from Kansas. They know about tornadoes.
And the dad goes back to get the family dog when a tornado is bearing down on them!! No Kansan is that stupid.
The screenwriters obviously have never seen Kansas, except maybe flying over it from New York to LA and back.

I did like the way they showed more of the private life of Clark. With him being an alien he is afraid to make close friends and the loneliness he goes through.
The difference between this movie and the Smallville series is that Clark hardly develops his powers until he’s an adult.
He’s almost autistic as a child and you get the impression that he still isn’t very functional as a teenager.
So maybe he hadn’t developed his super speed yet when his dad died.
Yes, they showed some American military as dumb they also showed some as fearlessly brave and intelligent.
I’m 90% of the time right in line with Debbie, but I rank it a little higher than she did.

Steve G. on June 15, 2013 at 2:32 am

The thing that Schlussel doesn’t realize is that the reference to “truth, justice, and the American way” in the 1978 version was FIRMLY tongue-in-cheek. Basically, they were making fun of the 1950s tv show.

The latest “Superman” is the best incarnation since Part 2 in 1981. But that’s not much to brag about. This one depended FAR too much on CGI “eye candy.” The actors were just going through the motions.

SPEAKING of Part 2 from 1981, even that movie had its faults. For example, after Superman tricks Zod & his henchmen into losing all their powers, he kneels before Zod and makes all these defeated faces before – surprise! – he crushes Zod’s hand. Why would he go through that routine, exactly? Did he just want to have his little joke at their expense?

St atuusM onkKey on June 15, 2013 at 4:28 am

    @SM
    YES! I know I would. Wouldn’t you?

    theShadow on June 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Boycott this trash. Why do they need any profanity? The left took over Hollywood decades ago. BOYCOTT is the answer.

Fred on June 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

An IMAX ticket in 3D is 20 bucks and 8 bucks for a small popcorn. Is it worth it to wait two hours in line and then sit in a crowded theater, where there were four separate shootings in which a total of 16 people were shot, with a bunch of libs constantly texting and talking on their phone? No because I work too hard for my money to see a movie that has been remade so many times. I did, however, see it free of charge, so it was worth the price even though there was no meaningful plot and the actors were pretty much horrible. Today’s writers pretty much rely on computerized special effects to carry a movie. As long as Hollywood keeps churning out crap, people will continue to plunk down their hard earned dollars.

AR on June 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I agreed with her overall synopsis after I saw the movie for the first time. By accident (I was given tix by Walmart for the early 7:00 screening) and saw it again Saturday when and where (IMAX3D) I originally ordered tickets. The first time I saw it I was could not decide if I even liked the movie. It was so different than my expectations from my childhood experience with the Chris Reeves version and original comic books. I absolutely loved it the second time. On all fronts.

Obi Wan on June 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Actually, for me, the best Superman was actually the TV series in the 90s – Dean Cain as Clark Kent, and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. Towards the end, they did take on some PC themes, such as never using a nuke even against an asteroid.

But yeah, I saw the movie this weekend, and was disappointed. For starters, in the original story, Jor El did manage to save Kal and send him into space before Krypton exploded, and there were no survivors. Here, they had Gen Zod come back to haunt Superman.

The main thing about this story – aside from the lack of a moral compass, as well as the lack of truth, justice & the American Way – was that w/ most Supermans, the theme is about Clark Kent taking on powerful criminals, and usually caught when it comes to transitioning into Superman w/o exposing his secret. In this movie, they had him take on Krypton aliens, but as Debbie noted, there was no Kryptonite. In fact, in the first part of the movie, they almost made it resemble one of the Star Wars movies in terms of the sets and everything else.

Also, did they timeshift everything? How do Lois or others have smartphones or tablets? If this took place in the 1950s, when the original Superman was out, then this sort of hazing didn’t seem to happen then – not to mention that Superman didn’t discover his powers until he was a teen. Also, his parents were alive to the end – too bad they had to kill off his dad in this movie – that did spoil it for me. And Ender’s noting his lack of a moral compass was right on.

I’d say it’s best to stay away from such remakes

Also, the last part of the movie, it was hard to tell what he was doing and when – one moment, he was in the south Indian Ocean, another moment in Manhattan, and it was too confusing to figure out what.

Infidel on June 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Seems you are not as familiar with the “original story” (which has been retconned by DC several times) as you think you are, Infidel. Other kryptonians, including General Zod and his buddies, Supermans cousin Kara Zor-el, the super-dog Krypto and the entire bottled city of kandor. Some Retcons and reboots has tried to rectify this, but Kal-El never remains the last kryptonian for long.
    Also, yes, they did timeshift it from the 50’s to the modern day.

    Riazumichin on June 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

Maybe what bothers all of you is that THIS version of Superman exists in 2013. Look out your front window, people…it ain’t 1950 anymore. Movies are at their best when they reflect who we are, not some antiseptic goody-two-shoes version of what we would like to be. Perfect example is at the end of the movie when the army general asks Superman if he will have “America’s” interest at heart. Really? Not the world’s interests, or mankind’s interest, but our own selfish interests. And the government even went as far as to send drones to spy on him…a page right out of the Obama playbook. This is who we are, like it or not, and I think the movie hits it right on the head. And to respond to someone else’s post…if the movie HAD been a light-hearted, goody-two-shoes, kryptonite, Jimmy Olsen, all smiles filled version, then it WOULD have been a regurgitation of every other Superman interpretation we’ve seen. Nolan’s version was fresh, different, relevant, and REAL. The idea of an entire society of Kryptonians being per-programmed since birth, and Kal-el being the first one of natural birth in centuries! Free to make his own choices! What other version of Superman took THAT approach? None. Rock on Nolan.

Robert Soroky on June 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Thought this was an outstanding movie! Couldn’t be better!

Of course this wasn’t the ‘American way’ bc morality is GONE from America

Superman turns the other cheek quite a few times! He seeks spiritual advising from the local priest (how dare they put Our Blessed Lord’s agony in the garden in the movie), & brings down a SPY satellite (Debbie you forgot context of why he said “I grew up in Kansas”) bc the gov’t wanted to keep tracks on him.
It is a pro life movie & notice the anti evolution idea as well where the bad woman says “evolution always wins” bc Superman had morals. They lost ;)

I have no idea why the dislike for this movie. Looked great! Oh & LexCorp was seen in the film (building & a truck). Can’t wait for more!

Sorry, Deb. Avengers & Superman you got wrong but hey everyone has an opinion :)

Steve Cunningham on July 26, 2013 at 2:35 pm

My son asked me to watch superman on DVD last night, well I did and decided to see what your review said. I know this stuff is supposed entertainment but there seemed to be a bit of Obama propaganda to me. I dislike Obama and am not looking to find weird conspiracy connections concerning him. However, the S symbol stands for hope, his mission is doing stuff for the greater good even if it hurts some now, he’s American as you can get – he’s from Kansas, just like Obama’s mom. Superman = Obama

Richard on February 16, 2014 at 10:10 am

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