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The “Choosy” Perspective – 4 Things We Know About Henry Cavill’s Superman

4

Aug

Posted by Derek

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Early this morning, Warner Bros. released the first official promotional photo of Henry Cavill as
Superman in 2013′s Zack Snyder reboot, “The Man of Steel”.

This image has raised a lot of questions on the Internet today: a lot of fawning from the ladies, a lot of complaining from fanboys, and a ton of bashing from Smallville fans. But the image does give us the first insight into a new
franchise, and with that we are able to discern some things we have speculated on, and some new ideas to contemplate for the next two years.

1.) The first place you have to start with this breakdown is the suit.

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Blink too quickly and you’ll think you’re seeing Aquaman’s suit with Thor’s cape. Ultimately it’s a bold
choice to go with such a dramatic suit adaptation that features one of the longest Superman capes in history, a larger \S/ on the front, and…no red undies? If they were truly going to make this look more
like DCnU then why did we go more Kryptonian Formal Wear than Battle Suit like the comics will soon suggest?

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The boots and belt sure don’t line up -
nor does the material of the suit. It’s very water-tight-ish – very
water-resistant…very…

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Oh. I see what you did there, Mr. Snyder. True to form, Zack Snyder’s look and feel carries over in his
films. The new Superman outfit looks very Watchmen-ish in its nature. It doesn’t hurt that the promo looks like Supes has been thrown against a wall and is getting up to retaliate in a fast to slow motion
battle royale. Ultimately, I like the suit – I think there are some odd choices but we’re seeing it in a low light setting at an odd angle. I want to see what that suit can do. Shine some yellow sun on
it and let’s see how it really looks (that cape is going to look amazing in flight, by the way.) I say again, it looks like Kryptonian formal wear – not something Martha Kent stitched together for her baby
boy. If Zod’s suit is similar in the film, that will make it all the better.

2.) A form fitting \S/?

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I can tell you right now, this is going
to be a hard \S/ to sell. And this is coming from someone who loved
the Routh/Returns emblem. The S itself is VERY classic in nature:

oldsCompare the curvatures and you will see what I’m talking about – however if you offer that up as a
standalone option on promotional materials like posters and kids toys…it’s going to look a bit wonky. I do like going back to the larger size for its proportion but when you have posters and logos that only show the shield, this one is going to look weird for one reason and one reason alone: it’s form fitted. It works based around a chest and not a stand alone flat design – so when Cavill is wearing it, it’s going to probably look awesome. When shown as a teaser poster
or on kid’s band-aids, it might fall a bit flat. But we’ll reserve judgement on that until we see some more hi-res imaging of the shield itself.

3.) One of the biggest gripes I’ve seen: the hair.

I’ll sum this one up fast. It’s a promotional image. They haven’t started filming. That is not
necessarily how Cavill will look when the cameras start rolling. It does beg the question, if that’s Kal-El’s look, what is Clark’s? I don’t need a spit-curl, but I’m also not one of the ones complaining
with the style. Right now, if I were you, I’d be far more concerned about the fact that it looks like Cavill has no eyebrows in the picture than how he’s got his hair styled. One thing is for certain,
this is going to be a very different Superman but I think Cavill has got the chops and the jawline to pull it off. I’ve never been disappointed in an actor who has played the part (I love Reeve,
Welling, and Routh as well as the older guys) so I’ve got faith in the casting that Nolan and crew have collected, as well as their choices for Lois, Martha/Jonathan, Zod, and most recently Lawrence Fishburne
as Perry White (which I think is an inspired choice) – but it leaves one glaring thought…

4.) In a world of promotional materials and press releases with cast listings…are we Lex-less?

Not a single thing has been said about Lex Luthor for this film (my number one choice still being Michael C. Hall) – no casting, no story involving him, no nothing. Is it possible we won’t have a Lex presence this go-around? Any more than maybe a LexCorp mention or a quick cameo/reference? It’s possible. Though we just got our Perry White a few days ago, and still no word on Jimmy Olsen, so we may be in for an impending treat on that front.
Ultimately the other players have been set (I was expecting an announcement that Law and Order’s Chris Meloni would be portraying Sam Lane, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case) so we’re still in detail land as far as all this goes.

These are just things to ponder that
the image has brought forth. With two years to go, so much more is
left to uncover.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Movie That Bombed – Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

7

Jul

Posted by Steve

superman4.jpgThe year was 1987.  I was ten years old and was super excited that a new Superman movie was on the horizon.  I had worn out our copies of  SUPERMAN THE MOVIE and SUPERMAN II that we recorded from the ABC Sunday night movie.   I had gone with some friends of our family to see SUPERMAN III and now we got a new a Superman movie?

In my book, Superman movies were just below Star Wars in my little guy geek spectrum.   So it was that my dad took me to see what would be Christopher Reeve’s final portrayal of The Man of Steel.

Even as a chunky ten year old kid I knew something was off about this movie.  There was too much humor.  Superman always looked just the same when he came flying onto the screen.  By “looked the same,” I mean that it appeared that someone had cut out a picture of Superman flying and pasted it onto the film.  (Apparently that’s exactly what they did.)

In the years that followed, whenever I talked to friends or fans about SUPERMAN IV, it was always the same thing.  “That’s the worst Superman movie EVER!”  “They should have stopped with three.” “It’s sooo bad.”

The problem is I could never not watch it.  If it happened to be on TV, or if it was in a video store to rent, I loved to watch it.  When I finally got the first set of Superman movie DVDs that were released back in 2001 I would often come home on a Sunday afternoon, pop in SUPERMAN IV and watch it again and again.

For a few years, this was something I would never admit to my geekier friends except jokingly.  Why?  Because everywhere I turned, whenever Superman IV was mentioned, it was mentioned in groans and moans.

I refuse to accept that SUPERMAN IV is a movie with NO redeeming qualities, and I refuse to believe that it’s simple childhood memories that fuel my love for SUPERMAN IV.  In fact, I maintain that were it not for the poor special effects, SUPERMAN IV may not be held in such disdain.

(more…)

Superman Gets the Boot…the REboot.

22

Aug

Posted by Steve

superman_1.jpgIt’s official. Superman is getting reboot. Earlier this week Warner Bros. said that nothing was going on with Superman right now as they were trying to figure out just what to do with the property.

It’s no secret to anyone, much less comic book and super hero fans, that Warner Brothers hasn’t quite been able to appropriately tap into what should be an easily accessible cavalcade of characters.

I have my opinions on this ranging from too many people trying to get in on the action to legal reasonings (what with the the ongoing battle between DC/WB and the Siegels and all) to ineptness on the part of the studio. While there may be some truth to all of these, one thing is certain. THE DARK KNIGHT has set a new standard for what Warner Brothers thinks a super hero movie should do for the studio. That’s good and bad.

Another certainty is that SUPERMAN RETURNS didn’t blow the doors off as everyone expected. I have my opinions on that as well. I loved SUPERMAN RETURNS, but I also see and understand the criticisms of the film. WB’s biggest criticism? It didn’t make enough money. Which, from a studio’s point of view, is a legit criticism of a film that was so costly in it’s production.

The final piece of the certainty equation? THE INCREDIBLE HULK from Universal and Marvel Studios showed movie-goers and movie makers that the reboot format can work and work well.

Armed with those facts, Warner Brothers has made the decision to reboot the Superman franchise on the big screen. (Can you hear the noise as half of fandom rises and cheers and the other half rises to grab their torches and pitchforks?) So, we will never know the fate of Jason, we will never see if Richard dies heroically or makes the turn to become Superman’s greatest nemesis, Lex Luthor and Kitty Kowalski are forever doomed to remain on a tiny uncharted piece of beach in God-knows-where, and most tragically Brandon Routh may never get to don the suit again.

In an article by the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Robinov, Warner Brothers’ Picture Group President, spilled the beans as to why WB is making this move in the here and now. Sadly, the success of THE DARK KNIGHT is leading the company to think that darker is the way to go with it’s heroes. That’s just dumb. Superman is not a dark character like Batman. My fear is that WB will attempt to do just that though, make every character Batman. Hopefully, the creators chosen to tackle not only Superman, but the vast amount of other properties Warners has at it’s disposal will not try to mimic what Christopher Nolan has done with BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT, but instead will explore the characters as we all know and love them.

This situation is good and it’s bad. That’s all there is to it. If you loved SUEPRMAN RETURNS then this news will come as a blow to you. If you hated SUPERMAN RETURNS then you are in the half of geekdom that is cheering. If, like me, you loved SUPERMAN RETURNS but are well aware of the problems the movie had, then, like me, you are waiting with very…extremely…cautions optimism that in the next few years we will once again believe that a man can fly.

To read the article in it’s entirity from the Wall Street Journal, click here.

A Cool Interview from ’78

15

Jul

Posted by Steve

Sorry, I haven’t posted anything in a while. I am gearing up for a few things including but not limited to my top 10 favorite super villains, a Dark Knight review (of course), and a few other things. Life has just been one thing after another lately and blogging has taken a back seat. Also, I’m going to try to get a new episode of Geek Out Loud up soon.

For now, though, I stumbled across this clip from The Tonight Show on YouTube. It’s fun to hear the audience laugh at a joke that isn’t all that fresh to any of us anymore, but you have to remember the audience, for the most part, is probably seeing this clip for the first time. Also, I thought it was an interesting clip to bring to a talk show. Nowadays, the temptation would be to bring a quicker more action packed moment.

Then, there’s the talk about the second film. I can only imagine if there were internet in those days. Movie news sites and the blogosphere would light up with speculation on what the sequel would hold for the audiences of the day.

The thing that strikes me most, however, is the humility and passion with which Reeve approaches this interview. The opening moments of the interview are some classic interactions between a few legends of the stage and screen. So, enjoy this interview with Christopher Reeve from The Tonight Show circa 1978:

My Top Ten Favorite Superheroes:
Number 1 – Superman

14

Jun

Posted by Steve

superman_1.jpgIs there really any surprise here? I think the minute that Superman wasn’t number 2 and Batman wasn’t number 1, everyone knew where this thing was going.

I am unashamedly a fan of Superman. I have been for years, even though I forgot that for a while. I said from the outset of my top ten list, and I have said several times on Geek Out Loud, that my favorite super heroes are the ones who are heroes. Superman epitomizes this. He is a hero at his very core. Every villain he’s ever faced, every evildoer to ever cross his path, even those who claim to fight for the same tenants of truth and justice have pointed out that Superman’s biggest weakness is not krypronite, rather it is his concern for the people he has chosen to protect.

I also think it’s important to point out that Superman has CHOSEN to protect the people of the world. Wonder Woman is a warrior. Batman is on a crusade. Superman would love to be able to live a normal life, but he realizes he can’t sit back with all of his power and do nothing to save mankind. It can be a bit cheesy at times, and Superman has for years suffered criticism because of his do-gooder nature. It is that nature that interests me about the Man of Steel.

A lot of people complain about how powerful Superman is, but that appeals to me as well. It is a strong individual that can wield the power of Superman and not abuse it. His immense power speaks volumes about the strength of his character.

I guess I was introduced to Superman on a bath towel in our home. Seriously. It’s a towel with an image of Superman in the pose from the famous Superman #1 cover. Only instead of the Metropolis skyline as a background, there’s space and some kind of domed city. As a kid, I watched Superfriends on Saturday mornings, and reruns on whatever channels would show them. Christopher_Reeve.jpgI also watched the old Filmation cartoons thanks to Bozo the Clown every now and again. I also watched the classic George Reeves Superman show every now and again when it happened to be showing on a Saturday afternoon. Then, of course, there was Superman the Movie and Superman II. I vaguely remember when these movies were being shown on television and how my family scrambled for a blank video tape on which to record them when they aired. Superman II was recorded after a Little House on the Prairie reunion movie. I never watched that movie…except for the end, the littel town was destroyed and there were bunnies all over the place. I digress.

My point is, that Superman has been with me for as long as I can remember, in many different forms, and he has been my favorite super hero for a long time.

Over the years, there have been many criticisms leveled at the Man of Steel. Among those criticisms are that he’s too good, he’s too powerful, and the combination of these things makes Superman boring. Therefore, I think the best way to explain my enjoyment of the character is by answering those criticisms.

As I’ve already said, I like the fact that Superman is so powerful. Let’s face it, through the years, Superman has been given some of the coolest super powers of any super hero. Invulnerability, super strength, x-ray vision, heat vision, super speed, and of course flight. Some would argue that his super breath is kinda lame. I like the power, but I can’t argue with that particular opinion. The thing about Superman is that his powers do not define him. Rather, what defines him is the use of his power. Ask anyone what they would do with the power Superman possesses and the real world answer would be something that would benefit the wielder of the power nine times out of ten. Superman, is completely different. He chooses to use his power to help others rather than himself. He chooses to serve rather than to lead. He chooses to inspire rather than to enforce. The most interesting stories to read about Superman are the stories where he has to make the decision to continue to walk that line. Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s KINGDOM COME is an excellent example of this. Superman crosses the line just slightly and begins to force others to do things his way and the results are quite destructive.

The other main criticism that people level at the last son of Krypton is that he is too good.  Referring to Superman as a boy scout has become somewhat of a backhanded comment, a little bit of an insult.   I disagree with people who think that he’s too good and that makes him boring.   Quite frankly, the fact that Superman chooses right and tries never to skirt the line of darkness makes him more interesting than Batman, Wolverine, The Punisher, or any number of anti-heroes.   Why?  Because in a world as filled with darkness and people who choose moral ambiguity over moral fiber, it’s harder to be a light than ever.  Superman is not naive.  He is not ignorant of the way the world is, but he chooses to keep his light shining as brightly as he possibly can.  That’s something that few super heroes are seen doing anymore.   It’s easy to blend in to the shadows and be a Dark Knight, there are a lot of shadows.  It’s easy to allow rage and revenge to consume the soul and become a Punisher.  It’s easy to shut out the world and ferociously attack like a Wolverine.  What’s not easy is to never cross the line.   It’s not easy to choose the light.  It’s not easy to carry the burden of doing the right thing over and over again.  Superman does it though.  Even when it’s hard to know what is right, when everything seems to be shades of gray, Superman chooses right.  That’s intriguing to me.  That’s interesting.

Finally, I find it amazing that an alien would inspire humanity the way Superman has.  How is this possible?  I think it’s because within every child there is the desire to grow up and be great.  Every child dreams of doing something with his life.  No one ever plans to fail.  No one every plans on being stuck in a monotonous job.  No one every plans on being ordinary their entire life.  Superman appeals to the child that still resides in all of us saying, “You can take what you have and do great things with it.  Don’t abuse your talent, your abilities, you time.  Use them to do the greatest things you can do.”  Though, we often don’t, we always wish we did.  Superman uses what he has to it’s fullest for the best of reasons.  That’s inspirational.  That’s something to work for.  That’s why he’s my favorite.

You know, I just realized that for the past two or three paragraphs, I’ve been writing about Superman as if he were real.  That’s what talking about the character does to me, he gets me talking like a kid again.  So, that’s it, that’s my top ten.  Now, up, up, and away.