Superman

Mar. 25th, 2016 11:39 am
[personal profile] mabfan
Many years ago, there was a teacher named Tim Lynch who was a big Star Trek fan. I got to know him through the Star Trek newsgroups on Usenet, where he would review every episode of each new Star Trek series with respectful and insightful criticism.


I remember the day when he announced in the middle of the show's run that he would not be watching Star Trek: Voyager anymore. He cited a lot of issues with the show, such as how they were supposedly low on resources and yet kept running through shuttlecraft, that made no sense. (From what I understand, one of the show's own writers had his own, similar, objections to the show as they were making it, and so went on to create other shows that acknowledged reality better.)


Now, personally, in retrospect, I think Voyager was a good show, but what you need to understand was that Tim Lynch's words sent shockwaves through the Usenet Star Trek community. The idea that such a dedicated and intelligent fan would make the decision to stop watching Star Trek was unthinkable to many of us. It pointed out to a lot of us how deeply flawed aspects of the franchise had seemed to become by that time.


[Pause]


I have been a fan of Superman since before I can remember. Yes, I'm a fan of many characters and stories from popular culture, but Superman is the first one I remember and the one that has stayed with me for my whole life. Except for a short period of about six years, my whole life I have been an avid collector and reader of Superman comics. I went to the three Christopher Reeve movies when they came out (yes, I said three), and I've always been eager for any new Superman TV show or movie.


Today, the new "Supeman" movie comes out, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It's exactly the sort of movie that should make me want to drop everything and see it the first chance I have. I should be moving heaven and earth to try to see a new Superman movie, in the way I did to see the new Star Wars movie last year.


But I find I have no enthusiasm for it. I was on the edge of my set for the release of Man of Steel, and the film disappointed me. For this new film, I have heard mixed reviews from all quarters. Perhaps I would find it entertaining. At the very least, I'd be delighted to see Wonder Woman up on the big screen. But this Superman, whoever he is, is not *my* Superman, and so I shrug off this opening weekend and wonder if I'll even bother to seek out the movie when it is finally released to DVD and streaming.

Perhaps this is not as significant to the rest of the world as I think it might be; I'm not someone who has been writing about Superman for years for websites, nor am I someone who has even written the character for DC Comics and then pointed out the flaws in the first new film. I'm just a fan, someone who has loved Superman and what he has stood for my entire life. But I'm sad to say that *my* Superman is not the one on the big screen today.


Maybe one day, he will be again. For now, I will let the movie pass me by, and instead continue to enjoy and share the character in the other media in which he is still who he should be.

Date: 2016-03-25 04:38 pm (UTC)
sdelmonte: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sdelmonte
I honestly don't think this is a Superman film at all. Or a Batman film. Everything sounds so utterly, utterly wrong. It's like Snyder made a list of things that define the heroes and then did the opposite. (I think he also made a list of things that define Marvel movies and did the opposite.)

Someday, we will get a Superman film to our liking again. In the meantime, the Chris Reeve films are still out there. All the really good adaptations on film and on TV, with actors or with animation, are still out there. And I suspect that at some point soon, we will see Superman on Supergirl, and he will be done right.

Date: 2016-03-25 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldsquare.livejournal.com
I'm reminded of some tweets from Wil Wheaton when the trailers for the upcoming Star Trek movie were released - that he'd had a bad dream, where he'd seen an action movie, but the regular characters were wearing Star Trek uniforms.

Date: 2016-03-25 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldsquare.livejournal.com
I have "calibrated" my movie viewing taste. If The New York Times and The New Yorker dislike a movie, I tend to as well.

Boy - do they dislike this movie.

NYT: "The corporations that produce movies like this one, and the ambitious hacks who sign up to make them, have no evident motive beyond their own aggrandizement."

TNY: "All are sacrificed to the plot—the usual farrago of childhood trauma, lumps of kryptonite, and panic in the streets—or, rather, to the very loud noises that the plot creates."

For bonus snideness - consider this side comment from TNY: "You could argue that the Avengers movies beat it to the punch; to the purist, however, those are not so much authentic crossovers as kindly support groups, where people with a wide range of personality disorders can meet under the Marvel banner and exchange thumps."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/movies/review-batman-v-superman-dawn-of-justice-when-super-friends-fight.html

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/04/batman-v-superman-and-francofonia
Edited Date: 2016-03-25 05:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-03-25 08:41 pm (UTC)
sdelmonte: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sdelmonte
Will note that Anthony Lane of The New Yorker generally hates superhero films. I discount his opinion about such things, and wish they would assign someone else to review them.

Date: 2016-03-25 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldsquare.livejournal.com
He does.

So do I, as a rule.

When I do watch and enjoy "superhero media", it's because there is acting and story that more-than-justify the frequent fight scenes and climactic bigbad being destroyed.

For example: Iron Man was a series of duet-scenes. Iron Man 2 was "gotta blow up more things".

I'm in love with the first season of Daredevil on Netflix, for example, and well into the second season. Hated Green Arrow and The Flash, though.

Date: 2016-03-25 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delkytlar.livejournal.com
I've liked Superman ever since I watched (reruns of) the George Reeves TV series as a kid. I liked him in the comics. Although I bought a lot of Shazam and a few Batman titles, it was Superman who claimed the most dimes and nickels from my allowance. And I liked him on SuperFriends.

I am an outlier, in that I disliked the Christopher Reeve movies from the first, though I did see all of them. I thought his Clark Kent was dull in a way that Clark never was in the comics or TV show. His Superman was too earnest ("uptight" is probably a better word). I never saw any reason for that version of Lois to care for him. I wanted Super movies from Superman, and I got "meh".

I very much liked the Lois and Clark TV show. I thought Dean Cain's Clark/Superman was well done, and I bought the relationship there.

I've never seen Smallville, so I have no opinion. I've been tempted to try it since the Berlantiverse launched, since I understand it does some of the same twists on the origins of many DC characters. At worst, I won't like it or will see it as a form of visual fanfic.

I saw Superman Returns. I thought Brandon Routh did a great job recreating C Reeve's character, which is faint praise in my eyes. Terrible movie, though I've come really like Routh on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow.

I saw Man of Steel (see how hard I'm trying to like a Superman movie?). Overblown, and not at all a version of Superman I could come to appreciate. But, I think the reason for this is the same reason I got tired of Superman comics - he's too damned powerful, and Snyder amped that up further to appeal to modern movie audiences. Spinach, I say! (You understand the meaning of that cliche, even if I actually do enjoy eating spinach.)

I watch Supergirl. I almost gave up after episode 2, but it's grown on me. I like Melissa Benoist, even if I don't like the retconning and the early coyness about mentioning "her cousin" by name. I'm enjoying it, and I think this coming week's Supergirl/Flash crossover may cement my viewership.

As for Batman v. Superman (plaintiff always comes first, I guess), I have little interest. I may watch it on TV or Netflix someday for the heck of it, but I won't be contributing to the box-office returns. I've already seen Affleck destroy a nighttime vigilante in Daredevil, and I already know that Cavill's Superman isn't my cuppa. I'm not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, so I can't imagine his Lex winning me over (actually, I did sort of like Kevin Spacey as Lex, though he was surrounded by so much terribleness, I'd forgotten until just now). I was excited to hear that Aquaman would be appearing in BvS, but what I've seen of his reboot isn't interesting enough to me. I often think I liked him because he had blonde hair and wore a gold shirt, like Captain Kirk. I'm looking forward to seeing Gadot's Wonder Woman in something someday.

Meanwhile, I may just try to find my old Superman comics if I need a fix. The modern versions just don't work for me.

Excelsior!

Date: 2016-03-25 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delkytlar.livejournal.com
My apologies. I didn't realize the quick comment I had in my head would turn into a post of its own.

Date: 2016-03-28 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vettecat.livejournal.com
You have my complete sympathies. As you know I am a lifelong WW fan who dropped the title with the 52 relaunch, because I couldn't stand what they were doing with the character. Part of me wants to see the movie because it's WW's first appearance on the big screen, and part of me... really doesn't. On the whole DC is going much too dark for me lately. With everything going on in the world, I think we need to be uplifted, not depressed further. (And I think this is why the more upbeat Marvel movies have been so much more successful.)

And I have been enjoying the new Supergirl show, in large part because it's bringing back some of that optimistic spirit.
Edited Date: 2016-03-28 05:28 pm (UTC)

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