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Issue #86: Man Of Steel Review | Comic Book Podcast | Talking Comics

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One of the biggest blockbusters this summer is Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, Man of Steel. The crew had a chance to all see the movie before this week’s show, so everyone shares their thoughts on the film.

But before we get to that, we of course need to talk about our Books of the Week which include: World’s Finest, Doomsday 1.0, Princeless, Batgirl, Avengers Assemble, Womanthology: Space, Thumbprint, Ten Grand, American Vampire, Suicide Squad, Six-Gun Gorilla, The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, Batman, Superman Unchained and more.

Annnnnnnnnnd… we say it on the show, but just in case you missed it, the Talking Comics crew on Twitter are:

Bobby: @bobbyshortle
Steve: @dead_anchoress
Stephanie: @hellocookie
And Bob’s email is bobreyer@talkingcomicbooks.com

FYI: the crew have gone all superhero on the world, thanks to the wonderful Hanie Mohd. Like them? Make sure to follow her and let us know what you think of our new superhero pictures.

The Comic Book Podcast is brought to you by Talking Comics (www.talkingcomicbooks.com), a blog dedicated to covering the latest and greatest in comic book releases. The editorial staff is composed of Editor-in-Chief Bobby Shortle (Fanboy Remix, Doctor Whocast), Stephanie Cooke (Misfortune Cookie) and Steve Seigh (JoBlo.com contributor) who weekly dissect the releases and give you, the consumer, a simple Roman yay or nay regarding them. Our Twitter handle is @TalkingComics and you can email us at info@talkingcomicbooks.com.

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36 Responses

  1. Christian

    I think maybe you guys missed the point of this Superman, he was not yet Superman, he was pushed into a situation that he did not see a way out and had to take the only course he saw. I was ok with it, the moment was really felt for me anyways.

    I think that the next movie will be what maybe you guys were expecting.

    The moment that says “Superman” was the choice he was forced to make do to inexperience against a very experienced Zod. Also, he did try to take Zod away from the city by taking him into space, but Zod stopped that quick. Zod would not have left the city because he was on a path to do what he did.

    I felt the hope there, but I suppose I took it a bit differently and did NOT have expectations when I watched it.

    For what it was, in context, it was a great story. I am not going to compare it to the source material because it not the same Superman, it is a different take on it.

    • Christian

      Remember, it is always easier to comment from the armchair then to be in the situation. Superman did what he thought was the only choice, at least that is how I felt it and I can accept it.

  2. Christian

    Also, I went to see it with my wife, a comic book friend and his wife. Everyone loved it. My wife was pretty into it, though she wished for more shirtless scenes, lol.

    I think that this is a movie for non-comic book fans rather than the comic book fans. I would say that if the movie brings people into the comic book stores then it is a success.

  3. Christian

    Batman allowed for Ra’s Al Ghul to die.

    Batman lets Harvey Dent die.

    Batman basically kills Talia.

    So, that argument is moot.

    • Steve Seigh

      There really was no room for it on the podcast. I do and will always hate blatant product placement regardless of its purpose and place in film. I don’t like trying to be sold products while trying to immerse myself in a world – even if that world is a fantasy one that was paid for by “X” brand. It’s just not my thing.

      • Christian

        I felt it helped to ground it in our reality rather than some fantasy. So, rather than Smallville Appliance shop we got Sears.

  4. ajamos

    Hey guys…listening to your podcasts is probably one of my favorite times of the week. I download first thing Wednesday and look forward to getting all of your opinions about which books to pick up each week. Unfortunately I couldn’t get through the entire podcast this week because your waves of hatred and disgust for Man of Steel was simply put…sucking the life out of me. I was especially disappointed because you stated early on that you would keep it classy, but there were obviously points where you forgot that. Hey, not trying to bash on you…just hoping that in the future we can find a better way to talk about topics like this because I need my Talking Comics weekly podcast to be a positive experience.

    With regard to the movie, I went in with very low expectations because I never fall for the carefully edited trailers designed to show you everything you want to see. I also had no interest in seeing another origin movie. That being said I didn’t hate it or love it. I felt like it was hitting the summer blockbuster buttons but didn’t break new ground as a film. What’s funnier to me is that i predicted months ago that none of you would like this movie. I discussed it with a friend and gave very specific reasons why based on what I’ve learned of your personalities from listening to the show. Can’t believe how spot on I was about this, which leads me to believe that this movie was almost doomed critically from the beginning because everyone already has their idealistic view of who Superman is or should be, and the minute you move away from that view the claws come out. Anyway…just some feedback from a loyal listener. Keep up the good work…P.S. seems like Stephanie is back on her meds…she’s seemed more engaged lately. Just kidding…love you Stephanie

    • Stephanie Cooke

      I totally get that. We definitely went off the rails a bit and after all was said and done, I felt a little dirty about the whole thing. However, it was our thoughts on it, it kind of sucks that none of us liked it though as it would’ve made for much better discussion. I think we tried to even things out by reading emails from people who DID enjoy it, but I know it was a bit of a bash fest for the film. I hope you’ll still listen to future shows though as it’s rare for superhero movies to hit theaters anyways, so we’ll be cheery again (for the most part) soon.

      And HEY! I am always on my meds. If by meds, you mean wine. ;) And to be fair, sometimes it’s a bit harder for me to jump in since Bob, Bobby and Steve all record together in the same room and I’m on Skype so I can’t always hop in on the conversation the same way that the guys can. But I know… I can be a space cadet sometimes. Either way, thanks for the love!

  5. Steve Seigh

    Unlike Steph, I do not feel “dirty” for giving out honest opinions on the film. All four of us had high hopes and expectations for the film that unfortunately were not met by the product that Zack Snyder and David Goyer put forth.

    As a website and podcast built on honesty and never bending to the whims of any one publisher, character, or medium, we owe it to our fans to always shoot straight – even if that means collectively not enjoying something that others thought was amazing.

    Upon finding out that all four of us did not care for the film we knew that we were going to be opening up the floodgates for disappointed fans of the show, but please try to remember that it’s simply our opinions and nothing more. The world will keep turning and more comic book movies will be made. Some of them will be amazing, some of them will be just okay, and others will be an embarrassment to the source material as a whole. It’s just the way this industry works.

    I wanted to love the movie. I really did. I wanted so badly to walk out of that theater telling everyone that I loved the film. Unfortunately, this did not happen. I’m also a little disappointed to think that we’ve become “predictable” to some of our fans. There’s no way of truly knowing how we’ll react to things. You buy the ticket and you take the ride. And as you’ve seen in the past week or so – many people are divided on how they feel about Man of Steel. We just happen to be four people who collectively were disappointed by the film and have a means by which to share it with others.

    There’s a whole lot of people who have enjoyed the film immensely and we salute them. We even represented them toward the end of the show by reading a series of positive comments based on fan reactions to the film. Because honestly, at the end of the day, having people who loved the film will ensure that more comic book related films get made, and I’m sure that we can all agree on the fact that THAT is awesome.

    I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about the film and about our show. We are not always going to agree because difference in opinion is what makes this world go round. If everyone shared the same opinion life would get pretty boring real quick.

    Cheers and once again, thank you for your comments and love.

    • Christian

      Steve,

      I really think you should watch it again. I watched it last night for the second time and there were a lot of things I caught the second time that don’t fit with some of the gripes y’all had. Also, go in without expectations or you will suffer from the Godzilla effect.

      Just a point, the first time I saw it the volume was fine but last night there was an idiot at the helm of the volume, wow, that movie can hurt your ears bad.

      Christian

  6. Adam Shaw

    Well, you know what I have to say to people that either love or hate it? A big old ‘SHHHHHHHhhhhh!’ It doesn’t come out until August 30th over here! I don’t even get to have an opinion yet… However, all the negative reactions from all around the web have lowered my expectations enough, that I will probably enjoy it.

    • Christian

      Keep those low expectations and pay close attention to subtle key points that explain a lot of the stuff the podcasters griped about.

      • Christopher

        With all due respect (I’m being serious), there is nothing subtle about this movie. Goyer and Snyder don’t know the meaning of the word.

      • Christian

        Well, in the second viewing I caught some more subtle mentions to things that people were complaining about.

  7. Luciano M

    I agree with ajamous that its fine that you guys don’t like it and even that you trashed it but don’t start by saying you’ll be classy and speak respectfully about it at the start of the podcast. I wish you would have just said “hey guys we hated this movie we’re about to trash the shit out of it so turn off now if you liked it” That would have been classy.

  8. ajamos

    Hey guys I just want to clear up my comments I tried to write it as clear as possible as not to imply that you were not able to have your opinions. I just meant that of all of the podcasts that I have listened to over the past year, this one seemed to take an overwhelmingly negative tone, which seemed so out of character. One of the reasons that I love listening to your podcast is because even when you don’t enjoy the book you still give me a chuckle or giggle with your reviews because you’re so light hearted about your thoughts.

    I absolutely want you all to continue to be honest with your opinions so that I know what’s good and what’s not. I was just trying to give some feedback. Anyway Stephanie wine could absolutely be used for medicinal purposes keep up the dosages , true love from a true fan thanks

  9. Steve Seigh

    I hear you all, but I’d also like to point out that while some of you are upset that we only “focused on the negative” it seems unfair that no one has recognized that we did periodically praise the film for its cast (well, except for my one gripe with Kal-El’s mother) and a series of redeeming beats throughout the film. It’s kind of hard for me (personally) to feel like we’re bullying the film when being bullied ourselves for our overall opinions. Particularly when it’s not being recognized that we represented the positive feedback from our listeners in the hopes of balancing things out. We gave everyone a platform to speak their minds and share their thoughts – positive or negative. I think we deserve our shot to do the same. Just sayin.

    • Christian

      Kal-El’s mother needs a second viewing. I saw it again and did not find what you were saying to fit with it. I agreed with you on it in the first pass but the second time I did not see it.

      • Lauren Kolligs

        I saw this movie twice, to give it a second chance and to be emotional support for a friend.

        This movie did worse the second time around. I went from dislike to completely offending me. I refuse to buy the DVD, if only to MST3K this film.

        Glad you enjoyed it, but as a comic fan, and someone who does not have a lot of disposable income, and spent around $30 on both viewings, I have high expectations, and standards on beloved comic characters.

        To compare this to Batman is irrelevant. Superman IS NOT Batman. That’s why when they are buddied up, the one contradicts the other, however both with the same goal. By sticking their own ground, one better appreciates, learns and grows with the other.

      • Christian

        I am a big comic book fan too. I have high standards as well, but that did not take away from my enjoyment of a movie.

        I really wasn’t interested in seeing Superman (1978), which seems to be what everyone wants to see. It has been done before.

        Again, this is a very inexperienced version of Superman.

        I know that Superman IS NOT Batman.

  10. ajamos

    You know, I think I’m just going to retract my previous comment as it continues to be misconstrued as either bullying or attempting to oppress opinions. I can honestly say that it was neither and really only an attempt to reach out and provide some feedback and poke a little fun at you guys. Sorry if I’m not able to get that across or if doing so offends you. However, for the record let me be crystal clear…

    1. I welcome and appreciate all opinions

    2. I Never intended to scold or bully you for having your own opinion; in fact if you read my comment you’ll see where I agree with one of your statements “That being said I didn’t hate it or love it. I felt like it was hitting the summer blockbuster buttons but didn’t break new ground as a film.”

    3. My opening comment was just in reference to the tone of the show, not the content, not your opinions and certainly not your right to share them.

    What’s interesting to me is that each week you close the podcast by recommending that we reach out to you. I tried to do so in a constructive way and I already have regrets. Stephanie, I’m glad YOU understood that my comment was all out of love for the podcast and you guys as my go to resources. Like I said, I look forward to each new episode being downloaded to my IPad (Steve you should really get one) on Wednesday mornings and will continue to do so.

    Take care

  11. Christopher

    I have a lot of issues with the film and many of them have been discussed to death already, but I think one of the biggest is this film’s idea of morality – specifically in regards to the Kents.

    There was a comment on a YouTube video or some article somewhere that really sums up what makes this character so special. It goes something like this… he’s not Superman because of all these amazing powers. He’s Superman because two people in Kansas loved him.

    If that rocket had landed anywhere else, he could very well have been the worst thing to ever happen to our planet. Because he landed where he did, it was the opposite.

    It was because of the way the Kents raised him and the morals and values they instilled in him that he became who he was.

    Where is the morality in Man of Steel? What lessons does Clark learn from his adoptive parents? What does this Superman stand for exactly? I’m going to hit each one of those, but first let’s get this out of the way – claiming this is all going to be dealt with in a sequel is a lazy and dismissive excuse. Batman learns as he goes. That’s why his early years are so ripe for examination and reinterpretation. His early days in the cape and cowl are his formative years. By the time Superman puts on that suit, he more or less knows what he’s all about. For Bruce, putting on the batsuit is ultimately the start of his journey. For Clark, putting on that suit is the answer to the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”

    The message of most Superman comics and the other films is figuring out what makes you special or unique, embracing that, honoring that, and using it to help better all of mankid. Even in Birthright, Jonathan Kent is scared about what might happen to his son – but he still understands that he has to go his own way. He’s raised him, done his best to teach him right vs. wrong, and now all he can do is let him go and hope for the best. Isn’t that the difficult decision most parents wrestle with?

    But Man of Steel’s Jonathan has a very different message: hide what makes you special, assume the worst in people, and live in fear. Suppress, suppress, suppress. Assimilate and live a quiet, cautious life. What’s so bonkers about that is that is completely contradicts other speeches he makes. “Some day you’ll have to figure out what kind of man you’re going to be…” Really? It sounds like you already have a pretty good idea what you want for him, Jon. Or what? Just don’t decide right now? Wait until I’m gone and THEN sort it out? Make up your mind.

    Speaking of conflicted lessons in morality… beating up bullies won’t make you feel better, Clark. Violence isn’t the answer. Oh, except when it is. In fact, you’ll use that to solve 99% of your problems.

    And why is this Clark so moody? The film absolves him of all responsibility. It’s not his fault his dad dies. It’s his dad’s fault. You can’t fight back against the jerk in the bar, but you can trash his truck and not feel remotely bad about it. You just destroyed his life, but hey… at least you didn’t break any of his bones. Seems legit.

    The problem is the film doesn’t present this as Clark sorting all of this out and figuring out who he is. Because we never see him feel bad or remorseful about any of it. They use the truck as a punchline even though it contradicts the noble choice he just made. You CAN be a dick, Clark… just make sure no one sees you.

    And who cares about the family of four at the very end when you’ve just decimated half a city? Look… I understand there’s going to be collateral damage. That’s a given. But show him TRYING to save people. Give me some indication that he understands and his upset by the level of destruction HE caused. And yes, HE causes it. This might be the first superhero movie where every terrible thing that happens is BECAUSE of our hero.

    If this is morality, I’m the tooth fairy. Quite frankly, I can deal with the fact there’s another mediocre Superman movie. It happens. What’s really disturbing is the lessons or takeaways that this “hero” might teach a child.

    This whole film seems like a two and a half hour validation of the “Superman is a Dick” blog.

  12. thisjohnd

    I thought the discussion on Man of Steel was handled rather well given that all four of you didn’t like film. I didn’t agree with your opinions but I definitely saw where you all were coming from. There were moments toward the end of the discussion where some of you got a little too nit-picky for my tastes but Bobby rightfully reigned in the conversation. I especially enjoyed hearing the lengthy comments in support of the film and I respect the fact that none of you commented on them. You choose not to crap all over the reviews of your listeners so there’s no way I could conceivably crap on your opinions by telling you that you’re wrong or “missed the point.” Besides, I don’t think the film was deep enough to warrant anymore discussion after this.

    Although this will probably will lost in the din of Man of Steel responses, I did have a few things I wanted to say regarding the rest of the show:

    -Much to Steve’s possible delight, there were no copies of Six-Gun Gorilla left at my LCS when I went in yesterday. This might be because the shop didn’t order many of them, but I like to think the positive reviews have convinced people to check it out.

    -Not that you asked, but I wanted to share one strange book that I found while perusing the discount comics at my local used book shop. It was titled The OJ Simpson Story and was a comic version of the OJ Simpson trial. It was bonkers. I didn’t pick it up because WHY WOULD I? but it’s definitely the strangest find that I can remember.

  13. Ryan Carroll

    I thought that this week’s podcas was excellent–I didn’t agree with all of your opinions, but I’m happy that you guys got them out there, and by the end, I felt like I was agreeing more than when you began. Just like you might have near-universal positive remarks for a spectacular film, you had a lot of bad feelings with this film. In fact, this is one of my favorite podcast episodes yet!

    Keep it up, guys!

  14. Matt

    I share most if not all of the same feelings the four of you had with this film. The whole morality thing being my biggest issue with the it. Personally when I think of Superman I think a happy, fun, uplifting movie that even young kids can go see. This film was anything but that, it was depressing, emo, dark, cold and just plain out bad in my opinion.

    Like I said in the FB post the entire time all I could think of was the “Oh you wanted dark and ominous?!!” quote from ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’. I knew when I saw Goyer and Nolan involved that this was going in the direction of the Nolan Batman Trilogy, which is ok for that character. That is Batman! But to me Man of Steel is not Superman.

    If this is the trend that DC/WB is going then I’d really hate to see what they’re going to do to poor Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and lets be honest Aquaman really needs a good movie so he isnt mocked 24/7.

  15. Ethan

    Hi. So, I have to say I completely disagree with you guys on a couple of items for this show. I’ll start with the 800 pound Kryptonian in the room – Man of Steel. My wife and I just saw it and we both loved it. Why?
    1. The cast. The whole cast was excellent. Kevin Costner gave an brilliant portrayal of a father who is doing his best to protect his son, and maybe even being overprotective of him. Henry Cavill OWNED his role as Kal-El/Superman/Clark Kent. Plus, my wife got some great eye-candy out of it as a bonus. :-)
    2. The morality of the film. Pa Kent is overprotective of his son to the point of even telling him not to save people. From my perspective, this may not be the perfect Pa Kent, but it is very human. He wants his son to be safe, and finally even sacrifices himself to keep what he feels is a fatal secret from coming out. At the end, Kal-El is faced with the devil’s own choice of a. killing Zod, another sentient being or b. allowing Zod to continue to kill humans. He chooses a, to kill Zod. I think he made the right choice, but it clearly hurt him. He screams in pain afterward. But, these are the kinds of choices that come up in the real world. Sometimes we don’t get to choose between doing evil and doing good. Sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that’s what he does in the movie. The movie doesn’t sugar-coat it. It hurts to make a choice like that, but it has to be done.
    3. The portrayal of Krypton and Kryptonian technology is just awesome!
    4. The hopefulness. I realize a lot of people are saying this is a “dark” portrayal of Superman. I disagree. I think it is a very hopeful Superman put into dark circumstances. In the end, however, he is still hopeful. He tells the General that he’s on their side. But, he’s not stupid about it – he’s on their side but on his own terms (just after he destroys a drone that was trying to track him). He’s willing to work with the powers that be because he believes in the good of people, but he’s not naive about it. Far from being dark, this is an expression of hopefulness without any rose-colored glasses to get in the way.

    So, the other thing that I have to vociferously disagree with, now Bob, specifically, is World’s Finest #13. I bought a copy because of Bob’s review along with a couple of older issues, and I have to say, I love the new art in #13. This is more closely like the “House Style” of DC (which I’ve said before, I love). I think the portrayal of Power Girl is fantastic. She looks great and not over the top. Comparing this to the older issues, I have to say the art in the older issues does not wow me the way this art does. It’s not bad in my opinion, but not great. Just a comment – since there was some discussion of the low distribution numbers for Wonder Woman – has anyone thought that it could be the art? Every time I’m tempted to pick up Wonder Woman, I look at the art on the cover and immediately put it back. It looks just “blahh” to me. Whereas, if they did it in the “House Style” of DC, I probably would pick up at least an issue or two. Maybe other DC fans also like the “House Style”? They are still the second biggest comic book company so someone besides me must like them.

    Thanks and regards.
    -Ethan

    • Bob Reyer

      Ethan,

      Thanks for adding to the conversation! However, I will be sitting out any bantering about simians for the nonce!

      As to the art in World’s Finest #13, we will have to agree to disagree, or as the French so much more eloquently put it “There is no discussion in taste or color.” I would like however, to put my position on this particular problem on the record.

      For me personally, the Jim Lee/”Image-y” style that is DC’s approach has grated on my sensibilities since …well, the actual Image days! That World’s Finest, which features Paul Levitz’ superb Bronze Age story-telling acumen, would be illustrated in such a “pose-y” fashion is incongruous and jarring, particularly in going from the pencils of Kevin Maguire and the legendary George Perez (surely one of the Top Ten comics artists ever!) who both perfectly captured the “buddy movie” direction that Mr. Levitz’ was seeking: a charming, fun book with two strong female leads. That said, of course the title wasn’t selling well, a fact that plagues nearly all books with female leads, although I would bet that World’s Finest hit a different demographic than most DC books, with higher percentages of older and female readers.

      Turning to Robson Rocha’s second page of this latest issue and seeing Power Girl in what would turn out to be the first of many brokeback or cheesecake poses truly made me sad. Here was a book that had been celebrating the friendship between two of the most dynamic, most attitudinal “I’ll do this myself, thanks” female characters, and one of the few DC titles that you could say was nearly “younger reader friendly”, which now in my eyes has been reduced by this new pandering art style that is a rank insult to the admittedly small but passionate group who were actually supporting the title.

      So Ethan, that’s why World’s Finest #13 vexed me so much!
      Bob

  16. Lauren Kolligs

    If one good thing comes out of this particular podcast is that it got everyone fired up and talking.

    Well done!

  17. Ethan

    Hi. So, I finally listened to the spoilers portion of the podcast, and I have a few more things to say.

    First, someone said, why didn’t Superman put his hand in front of Zod’s eyes? My answer to that is, and then what? Hold his hand there for eternity? As a fellow listener pointed out, no prison could hold him, and the Phantom Zone generator was gone. Moreover, suppose the battle had continued, and then Zod had gotten Superman into a similar position? He would not have hesitated to kill Superman, and humanity would have been doomed. If Superman had broken Zod’s neck and then said something like, “Terraform this!”, then I would have been upset. But he didn’t. Instead, it really hurt him. Again, I thought it was fitting.

    Second, Steve asked about small children seeing the movie. My answer to that is that the movie is rated PG-13 for a very good reason. When I was five, my parents watched Star Wars first on their own before they took me to see it. Parents should exercise similar caution with this movie. Now, this does bring up whether such PG-13 movies should have so much merchandise aimed at children, but I feel that is a separate discussion since that touches on nearly all modern superhero movies.

    Third, I re-read my comments above and felt they could have been stated better. I apologize to anyone who feels this is overkill, but let me re-post them with some edits to clarify them a bit:

    Okay, so as I said, my wife and I both loved Man of Steel. Here are our reasons:
    1. The cast. The whole cast was excellent. Kevin Costner gave an brilliant portrayal of a father who is doing his best to protect his son, and maybe even being overprotective of him. Henry Cavill OWNED his role as Kal-El/Superman/Clark Kent. Plus, my wife got some great eye-candy out of it as a bonus.
    2. The humanity of the film. Pa Kent is overprotective of his son to the point of even telling him not to save people. From my perspective, this may not be the perfect Pa Kent, but it is very human. He wants his son to be safe, and finally even sacrifices himself to keep what he feels is a fatal secret from coming out. Clark sees that these choices all have consequences – if he had saved his father, his secret would have been lost, possibly to his and the world’s detriment. By choosing otherwise, he loses his father. The greatness of Superman is that he overcomes Pa Kent’s protectiveness and continues to strive to do good.
    3. The morality of the film. At the end, Kal-El is faced with the devil’s own choice of either killing Zod, another sentient being or of allowing Zod to continue to kill humans. He chooses to kill Zod. I think he made the right choice, but it clearly hurt him. He screams in pain afterward. But, these are the kinds of choices that come up in the real world. Sometimes we don’t get to choose between doing evil and doing good. Sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that’s what he does in the movie. The movie doesn’t sugar-coat it. It hurts to make a choice like that, but it has to be done.
    4. The portrayal of Krypton and Kryptonian technology is just awesome! I particularly like the metal-imagery technology.
    5. The hopefulness. I realize a lot of people are saying this is a “dark” portrayal of Superman. I disagree. I think it is a very hopeful Superman put into dark circumstances. In the end, however, he is still hopeful. He tells the General that he’s on their side. But, he’s not stupid about it – he’s on their side but on his own terms (just after he destroys a drone that was trying to track him). He’s willing to work with the powers that be because he believes in the good of people, but he’s not naive about it. He is willing to work with power, but not necessarily trust it. Far from being dark, this is an expression of hopefulness without any rose-colored glasses to get in the way.

  18. Sean Lamont

    I know I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to toss something out there.

    As far as pacing, characterization, story elements, cinematography, and tone; there isn’t much to argue since they are all subjective in nature. I personally didn’t walk away from the ‘ZOMG BEST MOVIE EVAR MADE’, but I did walk away thoroughly entertained by what had been offered to me. But again, that is all opinion.

    When we get to the ‘think of the children’ complaints though, well, they ring rather false when put in comparison against all of the superhero movies that have recently dominated the modern era. Batman has killed more than his fair share, Iron Man guns down foreigners by the boatload, Captain America is like a permanent Nazi pest removal service, and the Avengers would have E.T. pissing himself before fleeing for the hills. But because this one singular alien that was killed by our protagonist looked human, it’s somehow MORE detrimental to the upbringing of children than the oft-praised family friendly Avengers film? Nay I say. Nay!

    Children are not innocent little sunbeams of purity. (I have an XBOX Live account, I know what these little hellions are actually like.) They have been exposed to far worse through their daily lives than one man trying to do the right thing and being forced to do something he regrets. To even help in that segregation, there was no celebration in that scene. No pithy lines of badassery. It was a tragedy that even my 8 year old son recognized as emotionally painful for Superman, and made him vocally state that he felt bad for the big guy in blue because of it. And it’s that type of emotional resonance that caused my son to embrace the movie even more; by allowing him to connect with Superman on a human level instead of whitewashing the film in golly-gee’isms and treating him as an infant.

    Kids understand there is collateral damage in super-heroics. They’ve been conditioned to understand it by every super-hero movie that has recently come out to date. So, for my opinion, it is just one tick too far on the list of complaints when putting it into modern contexts instead of comparing it to 30+ year old predecessors.

    Otherwise, a bit vitriolic and less constructive on parts of the review, but I could tell Bobby was trying to moderate fairly (which is nigh impossible when all representatives are negative). Thanks for the hard work and looking forward to a hopefully bit happier show this week!

    -Sean

    • Bob Reyer

      So I’ve moved past “curmudgeonly” clear into “vitriolic”?!?

      There’s something to be said for progress, I guess.

      Obediently (and laughingly) yours,
      Cranky Old Uncle Bob

  19. Mathute87

    Well, just wanted to say “thank you” for pointing out every damn problem I have with this movie.

    That said, I get that the general idea is that Pa Kent is protecting his son because he doesn’t want the goverment or whatever to take him away… This is not entirely accurate. In fact, the reality is more pretentious.

    The Jesus analogies are all over the place, and while I have no problem whatsoever with the idea that Superman is a modern day Moises or a modern day Jesus Christ, the constant imagery and forced scenes are the ones that I dislike, but I digress…

    Pa Kent’s biggest fear is that by blowing out the secret, the world will surely reject Clark, ergo, they will be left without a messiah. It is implied by the end of the film that he always knew that Clark would end up being a good guy (when young Clark is emulating who knows what with the cape and the pose).

    These are the kind of stuff that bother the shit out of me, because not only they got rid of one of Pa Kent’s biggest contributions to the mythos of the character, but they also took the general idea and hid it behind all this non-sense of “don’t save me. The world is not ready yet”. That isn’t realistic at all. No matter how much Mark Waid loves that scene or wishes he would’ve written it, it will never make sense to me that an avoidable death will leave a bigger message than the old, really inevitable death.

    In fact, if Pa Kent’s REAL fear was that they would take Clark away, I would be “ok” with it. Wouldn’t encourage it, but I would find it logical.

    This whole utilitarism bullshit that the script wanted to shove down my throat will never be logical from my humble point of view.

    Aside from that, AMAZING episode. Really well moderated, and I loved when the line was drawm between criticism and nitpicking. And you know? A lot of people complain about you all reacting like you did, but that only means that you love the character and the comics as much as you do. If people wouldn’t react this way, there would be no debating ever, and art would be a really boring hobby.

    Great job. Keep it up!

  20. Steve

    I was saving this podcast until after I saw the movie, and I have to say I was disgusted with how long the negative review went on. And on. And on.

    It’s rated PG-13 and it’s the parents responsibility to know what their kids watch. The argument that little kids will hurt each other because they watched this movie is laughable.

    I didn’t hear the violence complaints with the Nolan Batman movies. And that violence was much more realistic and dark. Not to mention, Batman Begins was an origin story. I don’t get the argument that Man of Steel suffered because it included an origin.

    Love the podcast, but I have to say I was really disappointed with some of the horrible comments made during this review.

    Really over the top guys, you’re better than that.

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