Directed By: Zack Snyder
Written By: David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan
If you would like to read my initial reaction to the film check this out.
Watching this movie for a second time I relived all the same feelings I wrote about in the post linked above. I felt to a great extent that the film was even better a second time around. I think the casting was great, Zack Synder did his greatest job ever in the director’s chair, and the story put together by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan was excellent. I specifically like that they went against the grain with this Superman movie. Until the very final moments there is no Clark Kent, and instead we get a much broader look at Superman’s actual origins and his home planet of Krypton.
I am not and never have been a fan of Superman. I think his seemingly omnipotent power is too much for any superhero and I just don’t think there is much excitement to a character that can’t be beaten. Yeah there is always Kryptonite to weaken him and make him vulnerable but I just think that is lame. The planet was destroyed and with a character that has been around for nearly a hundred years you would think any Kryptonite resources on the planet would have long since been exhausted. The only time I have ever been a fan of Superman in comics is in The Dark Knight Strikes Again when an aged Batman beats the shit out of him. With the assistance of Kryptonite, go figure. Yet despite the fact that I am not a fan of the character I still think this was an awesome movie and I think that says a lot about how good it actually is.
Speaking about The Dark Knight Strikes Again I think that it’s significant because to the best of my knowledge it is a main source of inspiration with this franchise going forward. When they announced that the follow up would be Batman vs. Superman they actually quoted a line from the epic fight in that comic to precede the announcement.
As to the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman I will let you read my initial reaction to that. You can read that post here. I was not and am not happy with that casting but now that I have had time to mull it over I’m willing to wait and see how it turns out. I wouldn’t say I’m optimistic about it but I will at least say my pessimism has subsided a bit. It has subsided some when it comes to Affleck donning the cape and cowl but my fears for the sequel go far beyond simply that casting choice. I think one of the biggest reasons that this movie was great was the involvement of Christopher Nolan, and he is not hanging around for the sequel. In his absence I have a lot less faith in what the ultimate product will be and I kind of think they are getting carried away with the whole thing.
The film has already been pushed back a year and I think that is just the beginning of these guys realizing they have put too much on their plate. Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman who we will definitely see in the film but there have been rumors of a number of DC comic characters popping up in the film. Of course nothing is written in stone right now and there is no telling what they have in store but it seems to be shaping up to be a tall order. Batman vs. Superman alone should be plenty to work with and build a story that will blow us away. Adding in other characters, even if it is only Wonder Woman, seems like overkill and a rush to get a Justice League going. I think that would be a mistake. They are obviously looking for something that will rival The Avengers but Marvel did everything differently. Marvel was patient with the process, making a number of films that all built up to this bigger one that blew us all away.
The epic scale they started off with in this Superman movie will call for something larger in the sequel because they destroyed so much of Metropolis. I will hold out hope that they do something that blows us all away but I have plenty of doubts. I’ll list some of the rumors that I have read:
-Batman’s suit will be completely different than anything we have seen on screen to date, it is being hailed as awesome by those who have seen it (Ben Affleck’s best friend, comic fanatic Kevin Smith, and his wife Jennifer Garner. Could be biased opinions so take them as you will). I am anticipating a classic batsuit featuring the blue and gray of the old days. Just a guess but that seems to be what a lot of people are thinking it will be.
–Joaquin Phoenix has been in talks to play a role in the movie, it has been rumored that he is up for Lex Luthor. I am a huge fan of Phoenix, as an actor not the crazy guy in real life. If he is cast in the movie it will go a long way in rebuilding my optimism.
–Bryan Cranston has denied rumors that he will play Lex Luthor in the film. I think most of that talk simply came from his hype during the final days of Breaking Bad, and because the guy looks really badass with a bald head and has proved he can play a great villain.
–Denzel Washington has been rumored to be considered for the Green Lantern. I don’t remember where that rumor came from but it should only be treated as such. There are so many reasons that would be a mistake considering Washington’s age and the fact that they have already made a Green Lantern film with Ryan Reynolds in the role, although if they scrap that incarnation I don’t think many will be surprised.
Most of this means nothing right now because rumors are nothing to take seriously at this stage of production. Based on what we do know for certain I do not have the most confidence in the highly anticipated sequel. Nevertheless they definitely hit a home run with this one. Whether the next movie is everything anybody could hope for it to be or it crashes and burns it will still take nothing away from this movie. This was an awesome movie and dare I say the best Superman movie to date. We will eventually get to the Christopher Reeve/Richard Donner Superman film and we will discuss it then. That movie was great and stands on its own but it should never stand next to this one because it will get lost in the shadows.
2/1/14 UPDATE: I wrote all of this before the news dropped yesterday that Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons had been cast in the movie as Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth. I am more disheartened by this news than I was at the news that Ben Affleck was playing Batman. I like Jeremy Irons but have a hard time seeing him fill the shoes of Michael Caine. Irons is just such a great person to cast as a villain because he can be so sinister. I can’t see him as Alfred but can at least be optimistic about that casting. When it comes to Jesse Eisenberg I am just lost in the dark trying to figure out what they were thinking. Jesse freaking Eisenberg!!! Are you kidding me??? I’ve liked him before, I thought he was good as that wimpy guy in Zombieland and he did a great job playing a douche bag in Social Network. Yet I couldn’t even sit through Now You See Me specifically because he was trying to play an adult. I also had a hard time watching Rio with my daughters because I find his voice so annoying. This is the guy they chose to take on the role of Superman’s greatest nemesis? I don’t understand and I don’t know what to think. I have seen that people aren’t reacting to it well and I guess I will just let the voice of the internet cry out in disgust in lieu of going any farther with my own feelings. This movie really needs to be something incredible for it to be successful and in this stage of production it looks like it’s shaping up to be a train wreck.
Let’s check out this Superman logo through the years. Shall we?
This one is just a quick shot at looking at the changes over the years. If you search around the internet you can find a ton more infographics on the subject. I just liked this one because it was short and concise and designed nicely. For me the biggest jump was from ’41 to ’48. In the 1941 version the S looks simply placed into a diamond shape. That’s literally all there is to it. Someone decided to make it better by actually fitting the S within the shape making it more of a superhero-like look. From there it only ever got very subtle changes, which is important. They had to keep it the same while changing just very subtle and minor details. The 2006 version is my least favorite. I don’t think it needed the dimension the designer gave it. For me, 2013 is a great logo. It holds together all the things that are important to the Superman logo, while updating it for today’s audience. It’s clean and easily recognizable. The S shape fits in better than ever. Also the yellow is subdued. No more 100 percent yellow color! I like that a lot better because the new one was a lot more serious than say the Adam West versions of Batman. That’s where I would expect to see the bright yellow color. It’s amazing to me that this logo has been around so long, and truly has only gone very simple changes. When something isn’t broken, don’t go trying to fix it.
NEXT MOVIE: The Man with Two Brains (1983)