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Man Of Steel Leaps Over Record With $125.1 Million To Mixed Reviews 364

Posted by samzenpus
from the It's-a-bird-it's-a-plane-it's-a-guy-in-front-of-a-green-screen dept.
The Superman reboot Man of Steel broke the record for the biggest June opening weekend ever with a whopping $125.1 million. Reviews have been mixed so far, ranging from: "DC and Warner Brothers have opted to produce a movie that foregoes a character-driven story. Instead, we're left with a trite blockbuster that holds beautiful special effects, an inspiring music score, a story that panders to the movie-goer who refrains from looking deep into the story, and neglects to define Superman as character, leaving him only as a hollow symbol and stock character, which ultimately leaves the movie about the events that transpire rather than the characters involved in them," to " What this version of the iconic DC Comics superhero does is emote convincingly. Thanks to director Zack Snyder and a serious-minded script by David S. Goyer (who shares story credit with his The Dark Knight collaborator, Christopher Nolan), Man of Steel gives the last son of Krypton an action-packed origin story with a minimum of camp and an intense emotional authenticity. Not bad for somebody who spends half the movie wearing blue tights." Personally, I found it to be the best 2-hour action sequence with 30 minutes of stock romance involving Superman that I am likely to see this summer. What did you think?
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Man Of Steel Leaps Over Record With $125.1 Million To Mixed Reviews

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  • +1, Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:09PM (#44030305)

    and neglects to define Superman as character, leaving him only as a hollow symbol and stock character,

    (dons asbestoes flame suit) Superman's character definition is as a hollow symbol and stock character. I mean seriously, he's supposed to be perfect. No major character flaws. Unerringly good. Massively overpowered... and only weakness is a special mineral that fell to Earth and can only be found in small amounts, glows to alert you of its presence, and can be detected by the hero when brought nearby. In other words, the only weapon that can defeat him he's given ample warning is in play.

    There's not a lot of character development to do there; How exactly do you improve on a guy that's the very personification of "good"? All you can do with a character like that is create dramatic tension and a sense of moral conflict. Superman's only plot device is thus conflict. There will never be any real character change per-se.

    Let the nerd rage boileth over now... for I have smote a loved hero upon the mountainside. (pulls down face mask)

  • by saturnianjourneyman (2913341) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:09PM (#44030321)
    Pretty much describes Superman from his first appearance. Not a whole lot of character complexity there to dig out.
  • Re:Piracy much eh? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:16PM (#44030417)
    Yes. Because this is the one film they'll make this year and flops like The Interns aren't at all a problem for the industry.

    Don't get me wrong, Hollywood talks a tough game but this is also a record setting film. At this rate it'll likely be the top grossing film this year for whatever studio put it out there so the movie certainly isn't 'bullshit' from the consumer standpoint. You're acting like this is a typical result and thus missing most of the point as to why this is on the front page of Slashdot at all.

    Is Hollywood floundering? Not at all. Is piracy part of a larger issue. It is. Both "sides" to this are making things out to be better/worse than what they are.

    And if you don't want to hear them complain then stop following their news and stop using Slashdot. It's not going away anytime soon. You're certainly not going to bother to look at it objectively.
  • Re:+1, Flamebait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:21PM (#44030513)

    One of the great things about Christoper Reeve's version is that Superman had subtle "flaws". He did have a bit of arrogance to him; e.g. when as a teen he raced his friends (and the locomotive) home.

  • I hated it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurhussein (864532) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:26PM (#44030597) Homepage
    Spoilers abound, so stop reading if you haven't seen it yet.

    ----

    The beginning of the movie started promisingly enough. Okay, over the top action sequence on Krypton, but I liked Russell Crowe's Badass Jor-El. Moving on to Superman's beginnings on Earth, the introspective moments and the slowing pace helps. Then finally Clark becomes Superman, and then... shit explodes everywhere. Superman seems completely unconcerned about the tens of thousands of people that are dying from his battle with Zod. In the Christopher Reeve movie with Terence Stamp as Zod, Superman had the sense to draw the bad Kryptonians away to the North Pole. Here, pft, he just doesn't care.

    Also, this is the first time the people of earth has seen Superman. They have no reason at all to trust him, especially not the military (since they were playing that angle). There were no character-establishing moments where Superman doesn't just save the president, he also pulls kittens from trees (see Superman: The Movie).

    Finally, didn't Superman practically lead the army to his mom's house where his spaceship was hidden? Didn't they figure out his identity already from there?

    Frankly I'm tired of huge flaming spectacles with no substance to them. ALIENS! BIG BATTLE IN THE CITY! SPACESHIPS! SUPER-POWERED BEINGS! That describes every final act of most major tentpole summer movies I've seen in recent years - Transformers, Avengers, even Star Trek. Now this.

    Sigh.
  • Slashdot 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:27PM (#44030607)

    If the editor appends "what do you think?" on to the end of the article summary, it's just linkwhoring for ad impressions.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:31PM (#44030655)

    There's not a lot of character development to do there; How exactly do you improve on a guy that's the very personification of "good"?

    It can be done. What you do is give him challenges that his powers and decency are limited to help. How does he stop us from killing each other for example? How does he protect us from our own bad decisions? How does he protect other species from humans when we are behaving badly?

    Put him in situations where there is no obviously correct moral choice. You humanize him. Heck make him a bad guy for a while.

    You have a guy who is something close to perfect and yet seeks to be "normal" among us imperfect humans. Why? What are the consequences? There has to be some interesting tension and character development somewhere in there.

  • Unable to get hurt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paulpach (798828) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:33PM (#44030677)

    For the whole second half of the movie, the characters repeatedly pound each other. No matter how hard they hit, no one seems to be able to get hurt at all.
    At some point superman coughs, and the bad guy gets dizzy that is about it.

    You become numb after a while, there is really no excitement in the fights because they have no consequences, absolutely nothing is at stake in the fights. As stunning visually as they are, the fights are nothing but fillers.

  • Re:Piracy much eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday June 17, 2013 @12:49PM (#44030871) Journal

    Stock market up!

    Movies bring in more money!

    Has anyone considered counting out the patronage of movies instead of the box office revenue? $2 tickets in 1980 become $20 tickets in 2008. Do you fucking monkeys know what inflation is?

  • Re:+1, Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prelelat (201821) on Monday June 17, 2013 @01:00PM (#44031041)

    It's hard but it's not impossible. There is a lot more to Superman than just being good, doing good and being super strong. He's lonely, fear full and caring. Yes he had a large amount of affection from Martha and Johnathan but he has no one who completely understands him in the whole Universe. His parents aren't just dead his whole species is dead. While he isn't hesitant to be a hero he sure is scared about people knowing who he really is. He might be indestructible but his friends and adopted family are not. There are a ton of instances where he fears for the safety of those that are close to him.

    The man would die for Earth, to him they have given so much without knowing what he could have given them in return. Superman isn't just the man of steel he's smart. In some cannons of the story he's working on diseases in his fortress. A fortress of solitude. While he might be lonely he still needs a fortress, some connection to home to make him feel whole. His fortress, is pretty much the only thing he has left to remind him of home. It's his one place where he can feel whole. Superman at one point had to send Zod back to the Phantom Zone. I wonder how that must have felt to him. Sitting there fighting against someone who was his only other link to a life he will never know outside of his fortresses computers.

    Then there is the time that he died. Doomsday came and decimated the justice league I believe he still had a hand tied behind his back. Superman comes in and holds his own against someone who took out the justice league in short order. Not only that he takes him out while at the same time supposivly dying. Everything turns to shit, the world needs him back. But Superman can't die, he awakens after considerable time under intense sunlight. He doesn't have all his powers, he's not the man of steel. He suits up iron-man style, doesn't bother to chop off his mullet and heads out to fight. He shows he's not just a man who fights because there's no fear for him he fights because he loves everything about humanity.

    You can draw a complex feeling god from another world. He's not an emotionless lump. His convictions might be strong but he's second guessed things and made mistakes. He's learned from them and had his mistakes haunt him. He's might be a man of steel but there's so much to Superman that people just don't see because it's so easy to make him fall in love with Louis Lane and beat the crap out of everyone. Everyone knows he's going to win, superman isn't about that. It's about him doing what's right no matter the conflict that's in his head tells him. He can't kill Lex Luthor in cold blood even if he's destroyed millions of peoples lives. He's just a man, an Superman at some level kind of envies that. It might not be easy to make superman a complex character but it's been done a number of times, and when it's done right it can be amazing.

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Monday June 17, 2013 @01:01PM (#44031053)

    ...a whopping $125.1 million....

    With the ever-increasing price of tickets, using revenue as a judge of "record-breaking" is grossly inaccurate, as it erroneously compares unequal ticket prices and ignores the effect of inflation over the years.

    .
    It would be more accurate (though still not completely accurate) to use the number of tickets sold as the basis for judging whether all-time records have been broken.

  • Re:that money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Monday June 17, 2013 @01:02PM (#44031063)

    the 80's Superman wasn't all that good, i remember it very well. the USA was still in the idiotic Good guy vs bad guy phase

    and there is no way a crappy pirated copy is in any way equivalent to seeing the movie in a decent theater.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2013 @01:02PM (#44031069)

    I read all the terrible reviews, but the movie wasn't that bad. Superman Returns was almost shot-for-shot homage to Donner's Superman. And everybody panned it.

    This movie is basically Superman 2, but makes a lot more sense. I think pa Kent got shafted as a character, but they did a lot better job of Jo-El and Zod being real characters with motives that were good. That there wasn't a clear "bad guy" fits our time now versus a comic book version that makes charactitures of important conflicts.

    I think it's realistic.. Clark is out there trying to save people in little ways until his cover is totally blown and he moves on.

  • Re:that money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Monday June 17, 2013 @02:26PM (#44032083) Journal

    There's nothing wrong with a simple "Good Guy vs Bad Guy" presentation in a 2-hour format. If it's an action movie and not a drama, why would you expect any depth of character? Your ability to explore anything in 2 hours of screen time is limited, and different genres spend that time in different areas.

    Also, Superman is the canonical "Good Guy" - that's his whole shtick. He's the one true White Hat, and his stories (in longer formats) explore the difficulties in being that.

  • Re:+1, Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2013 @02:30PM (#44032113)

    There are two major comments I have on any such discussion about Superman.

    First, the fact that he is even an okay guy with godlike powers is impressive. Most stories of power (whether fantasy super-powers or just regular influence) are about people abusing it. Sometimes, we agree with the character and don't even admit to ourselves that it's an abuse. (For example, we may openly cheer for anti-heroes like the Punisher, Charles Bronson's Paul Kersey in Deathwish, "Dirty Harry" Callahan, or even more shallow characters like Kick Ass). Sometimes the whole story is about characters coming to grips with the fact that power has made them horrible people. Sometimes the story is just about the powerless guy succeeding against all odds (read: against the powerful people who are inherently evil). But fundamentally a story about power that doesn't demand the empowered be corrupt is a lot more novel than those that do. You can call such heroics childish, but after a while you're happy there are at least a few stories that don't openly embrace cynicism.

    Second, you have to look at how all of Superman's abilities (generally, being the best guy around) tie together. He doesn't get injured... he doesn't hunger... he doesn't want. And he also doesn't retreat into himself, or waste his life away in lazy hedonism, or try to dominate everything around him. The message of Superman is a message that people are fundamentally good. Stripped away of their wants, their vulnerabilities, and their anxieties, people are at their most free, and still will tend towards good. The message of Superman is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for people if they can get their shit together. That problems, once solved, actually can stay solved. It won't be nearly as easy for us, but he is the "proof" that what's being presented to us as the end state isn't an impossibility. It's the same optimism of the early twentieth century that (for example) made people believe science and engineering were delivering an unambiguously better world as we built bridges, quashed diseases, and connected the globe.

    Real life is ambiguous, of course. Nothing is perfect; everything is a mixed bag. A lot of the point of more cynical stories is to drive that point through. If you get stuck at that point, though, you haven't done yourself any favors. You're still not accepting the world as it is: no good without some bad, but usually a lot more good than bad. That's the time to circle back to the "childish" stories. The stories that remind you that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The stories that remind you -- just as they taught you as a child -- that we're actually going somewhere. That's what Superman does.

    This of course is to say nothing about the most recent film. I haven't seen it, though I've managed to pick up that there's an origin story (again... really, who DOESN'T know the origin of Superman at this point?) and the usual action.

  • Re:Piracy much eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by metrix007 (200091) on Monday June 17, 2013 @06:06PM (#44034235)

    Eh. Given the majority of people who download, literally millions upon millions, most people don't seem to have a problem with it.

    Most societies through history didn't have a concept of IP or a problem with copying for millenia, far longer than those 230 years you mention.

    Now that we have a way to make flawless copies with technology with no cost, thoughts, ethics and laws are going to have to change to reflect that. As they should.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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