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Framing Snyder's Superman - Why people think he doesn't care

And Superman learned to fly literally a day earlier. You're imposing power mastery onto the film that doesn't exist. The only time his edge is relevant is with his senses. Minutes after landing on Earth, Faora could jump to the vessel with precision, Zod could throw a truck with precision, and Nam-Ek plucked an A-10 out of the sky on the first try. You're inventing a nonexistent advantage for Clark.

When's the last time you parked your car, then just sat there in the garage through the middle of the day?

Yeah. Again, just compare Clark and Zod learning to fly. Had the fight gone on, Zod would've continued to get stronger and whatever advantages Clark had would've been gone.

When I read the Dark Knight Returns there was a scene in which Batman and Superman are conversing about something. Superman is being his all American boy routine, and Batman isn't buying any of it. It read as if Batman legit saw Superman as a self important douchebag and not the selfless hero he's always portrayed as.

MoS and BvS are both from that same perspective - this asshole thinks he's SOOO great, but look at him, he's a fraud.

There's a quote in BvS about projecting ourselves onto these icons, and how some people see him as a god and others the devil figure. That's kind of what's happening here, if that's your read on it.

And that quote ends by asking what if Superman is just a guy trying to do the right thing, which is really all he is. Deciding what the right thing is is the troublesome part in the world.
 

Bleepey

Member
What separates him from WW, who is also in that same cynical world and manages to also be innately good?

What criticism did WW or Cap go through before AoU? None whatsoever. The asinine arguments I see about feelings and smiling make me think more and more the fans are wrong.
 

Veelk

Banned
What criticism did WW or Cap go through before AoU? None whatsoever. The asinine arguments I see about feelings and smiling make me think more and more the fans are wrong.

Wonder Woman was constantly told by her mother and mentors how she shouldn't be concerned about being a warrior, not to trust men, etc. And when she gets to man's world, her constant exposure to authority is to be told how she has no part in it. Can't speak to the war council, can't go to the battle, can't take No Man's Land. Captain America was straight up told from the beginning that he ain't shit. Even when he got his serum, the army saw him as propaganda tool at best. It's not until either character seized destiny for themselves and choose to act out on waht they believed was right did they get respect. And Avengers get their own "Why didn't you save the city without damaging it and saving everyone" criticism, that appears as early as the ending of the first Avengers, where politicians are giving them shit for having 'their fight' in NY.

So yeah, both of them have their own detractors. They just never let them get them down.
 
Love how Bleepey had to add in Cap when the chain of quotes was about the appeal of Clark. I can understanding juxtaposing WW bc she and Clark exist within the same universe, but I fail to see how Rogers is relevant. Either way, like Veelk said, Cap had his own shit to go through and despite that, he doesn't get all mopey and emo like Clark does in the face of criticism.
 

Bleepey

Member
Why do people always say this? Where exactly does Superman kill thousands of people? The collateral damage we do see is evacuated buildings. And when they are in populated areas, that's Zod's fault, not his. Zod is the one throwing him through buildings and the one taking the fight into areas where people are. Zod is the one that kicks the satellite and Superman back into the city

I don't get why people always say Superman killed so many people during the fight.

Like the only time damage can be directly attributable to Superman was the petrol station when he was saving his mother and when he brought the ship down unintentionally which probably killed a lot of people. The rest is all Zod. But anyhow, I'll make more comprehensive rebuttals later but if anyone wants to hear a podcast on the themes, actions and characterisations in the DCEU, check out Man of Steel Answers. Check out this episode on the disconnect with audiences.

Man of Steel Answers Insight Commentary: 54 – Justice League SDCC 2017 Trailer
https://overcast.fm/+DhdKDpoD8

His other episodes are great too.
 

Stiler

Member
Superman just doesn't "feel" like Superman to me in the movies.

Captain America legit is the type of character that Superman SHOULD be, he's meant to be the "boy scot" type of hero that does the right thing regardless of others telling him not to.

The whole Pa Kent thing from Man of Steel? He wouldn't have legit let his dad die when he could have saved him, and Pa Kent sure as shit would have NEVER suggested that he let a bus of people die to keep his identity "safe" either.

The entire concept of Superman was about an Alien being raised by HUMAN parents who instill in him his sense of morals, his sense of humanity. He's not meant to feel like an "alien" being living on a "strange" world in the comics, which the movie completely and utterly misses the point of.

Everytime someone brings up Superman being "boring" or being "hard to make" for the movies I ask them if they like Captain America and most of the time they say yes that he's one of their favorite parts of the avengers. Then I tell them THAT is how you write Superman and how he should have been handled.
 
My Hero Academia does Superman better than Snyder ever did.



All Might is warm, friendly and inspiring to people. He smiles to give people hope. MoS superman doesn't inspire confidence, and I wouldn't feel safe around him.
 

Veelk

Banned
Love how Bleepey had to add in Cap when the chain of quotes was about the appeal of Clark. I can understanding juxtaposing WW bc she and Clark exist within the same universe, but I fail to see how Rogers is relevant. Either way, like Veelk said, Cap had his own shit to go through and despite that, he doesn't get all mopey and emo like Clark does in the face of criticism.

I genuinely wonder if Bleepey is constitutionally capable of writing any meaningful argument for Snyder's characters without devolving into irrelevant comparisons to other heroes. It's hard not to think of a post he made that doesn't just end up as "But mahvel/reeves fanboys don't criticize this as hard in the other movies"

It's to the point where he comes off as less of a fan of the DCEU and more just outraged at some bizarre doublestandard in criticism that only he seems to perceive.
 

ReiGun

Member
Good OP that gets at the heart of people's problems with this Superman. Mostly speaks to Synder's weaknesses as a storyteller, but also how ill matched his ethos is to the character of Superman.

I think Synder recognizes what Superman is supposed to be. I think he just has no idea how to portray that. Hence, asking Whedon, whose story sensibilities are more inline with the character, to collaborate on Justice League.
 

atr0cious

Member
.

By framing him as actually being an outsider who doesn't belong amongst the people of his chosen homeland and never will -- to frame that interpretation of him as the correct one that the audience should agree with -- misses the point of his story entirely.
I don't get this at all. Superman is inherently something bigger than the rest of humanity. Treating him as something you can put in a little city and no outside consequences would come from a godlike being is naivete that worked in the old days. Having a farmer live in the dust bowl and not be cynical of the world is an even greater leap of logic. MoS posits a god living on Earth and deciding to do what's "right" despite being rightly told the world doesn't work that way. The movies drop an alien in our reality and ask us to think about the implications this would have beyond metropolis. Do we really think a "God" fearing nation like the US is going to be ok with that? Are the millions who pray everyday really gonna be ok with being told their beliefs may not hold water?

Mos ends on a note of hope where Superman proclaims he doesn't care how the world works he's going to do what he wants and save who he wants. BvS is Batman and lex, melting down over something they have no power over, and their journey to reconcile that.
 

massoluk

Banned
Superman is inherently the story of an immigrant who is told over and over "you are not one of us, you do not belong" but refuses to accept that and works to defend the home he has immigrated to, even in the face of relentless rejection.

By framing him as actually being an outsider who doesn't belong amongst the people of his chosen homeland and never will -- to frame that interpretation of him as the correct one that the audience should agree with -- misses the point of his story entirely.
Well said
 

Bleepey

Member
Wonder Woman was constantly told by her mother and mentors how she shouldn't be concerned about being a warrior, not to trust men, etc. And when she gets to man's world, her constant exposure to authority is to be told how she has no part in it. Can't speak to the war council, can't go to the battle, can't take No Man's Land. Captain America was straight up told from the beginning that he ain't shit. Even when he got his serum, the army saw him as propaganda tool at best. It's not until either character seized destiny for themselves and choose to act out on waht they believed was right did they get respect. And Avengers get their own "Why didn't you save the city without damaging it and saving everyone" criticism, that appears as early as the ending of the first Avengers, where politicians are giving them shit for having 'their fight' in NY.

So yeah, both of them have their own detractors. They just never let them get them down.
None from the press and general members of the public . WW enters man's World and other than the politicians pretty much everyone that's not a villain likes her.

Cap from the general public was viewed positively and was used for propaganda and had fucking trading cards made with him. Oh and I call bullshit at them getting criticism in Avengers. They ate a kebab and the movie ended. AOU starts with them playing party games nothing from the press about collateral damage. The TV universe doesn't have a bad word said about them in Daredevil, JJ or LC. Coincidentally criticism about the actions of the Avengers came after MoS and in AoU.
 

neojubei

Will drop pants for Sony.
None from the press and general members of the public . WW enters man's World and other than the politicians pretty much everyone that's not a villain likes her.

Cap from the general public was viewed positively and was used for propaganda and had fucking trading cards made with him. Oh and I call bullshit at them getting criticism in Avengers. They ate a kebab and the movie ended. AOU starts with them playing party games nothing from the press about collateral damage. The TV universe doesn't have a bad word said about them in Daredevil, JJ or LC. Coincidentally criticism about the actions of the Avengers came after MoS and in AoU.

Stark and damage control help clean up New York. Oh man I’m replaying to bleepey.
 

Veelk

Banned
None from the press and general members of the public . WW enters man's World and other than the politicians pretty much everyone that's not a villain likes her.

Cap from the general public was viewed positively and was used for propaganda and had fucking trading cards made with him. Oh and I call bullshit at them getting criticism in Avengers. They ate a kebab and the movie ended. AOU starts with them playing party games nothing from the press about collateral damage. The TV universe doesn't have a bad word said about them in Daredevil, JJ or LC. Coincidentally criticism about the actions of the Avengers came after MoS and in AoU.

I was wondering where you were gonna move those goalposts. So now it's not criticism, but criticism of the press/general public, who largely don't show up in the origin movies of those characters other than the ones who were directly saved by those heroes.

And as far as avengers go, why would the press criticizing them prevent them from eating Schwarma (not kebab) or having parties?

The end of the Avengers had criticisms from the press and public about Avengers causing all of this mess and someone clamouring for them to clean it up. To act like it's ONLY a Civil War/AoU thing is disingenuous.

Hardly new territory for Bleepey, but I'm more confounded by his assertion that them eating schwarma and partying means they aren't being criticized.
 
The end of the Avengers had criticisms from the press and public about Avengers causing all of this mess and someone clamouring for them to clean it up. To act like it's ONLY a Civil War/AoU thing is disingenuous.
 

ericexpo

Member
I find interesting that if you compare the two dying scenes from superman returns and BvS the one in returns works much better. The crowd shot with ma Kent feels stronger and even tho all he did was throw a rock in space which wasn't any good. I always feel more for returns Boy Scout superman.
 
I have to admit I enjoy Bleepey and Veelk going back and forth, time and time again. Immovable object vs unstoppable force. Very much alike but arguing on opposite ends.

I find interesting that if you compare the two dying scenes from superman returns and BvS the one in returns works much better. The crowd shot with ma Kent feels stronger and even tho all he did was throw a rock in space which wasn't any good. I always feel more for returns Boy Scout superman.

Neither worked, tbh

On one hand it’s a shame Superman’s death hasn’t been handled well in movies, but it also wasn’t handled well in the comics. So there’s that. If they ever intent to end Superman, Whatever Happened to the Man it Tomorrow, All Star, and even Red Son has neater closings.
 
A lot of it comes down to Snyder's lack of awareness and subtlety when it comes to the optics of the situations Superman is in.



Like, Superman, I'm glad you're fine, but you could have just stopped that truck. Now that building is ruined. Do you not care about collateral damage??



Yeah Superman, that guy was a huge scummy douchebag but geez, that comes off more as anger issues than being chivilrous. I'm not sure destroying a man's livelihood is exactly fair punishment.

That scene always came off as bad for me because, well, what is he trying to say? Is he showing off? Is he angry and went too far? Either way it actually comes across more disturbed than heroic.

It's more sight gag and comeuppance than anything, I get it, but it has really unfortunate implications.

Overall, Snyder's Superman comes off as a genuinely unstable person. I wouldn't, and don't, trust him.

Not enough was done to make him truely heroic. He's more a force of nature with questionable morality.

At least he didn't kick the guys ass abusing his power like Reeves superman did no? Remember? Reeves superman kicked a humans ass as revenge or you forgot?
 

Zero-ELEC

Banned
My Hero Academia does Superman better than Snyder ever did.



All Might is warm, friendly and inspiring to people. He smiles to give people hope. MoS superman doesn't inspire confidence, and I wouldn't feel safe around him.

Damn Straight~

"It's fine now. Why? Because I am here!"

Him
and his mentor
are probably the best Superman analogues in fiction.
 

Veelk

Banned
I have to admit I enjoy Bleepey and Veelk going back and forth, time and time again. Immovable object vs unstoppable force. Very much alike but arguing on opposite ends.

I can concede that I can be atleast as stubborn as him, but come on, don't 'both sides' me here. I deserve better than that :(
 

Kasumin

Member
I have to admit I enjoy Bleepey and Veelk going back and forth, time and time again. Immovable object vs unstoppable force. Very much alike but arguing on opposite ends.

That is... not how I see it at all. More like, convincing arguments with a good use of evidence vs. whataboutism and moving goal posts.

Echoing what someone earlier in the thread said: considering Snyder apparently being a fan of Ayn Rand and objectivism, I don't think he's even capable of understanding what exactly Superman is about. Ayn Rand's philosophy, from what I remember, doesn't even allow for the possibility of someone possessing as much power as Superman and being compassionate about it.

The best I can say for Snyder is that he clearly had a vision of a darker Superman but failed to execute anything coherent.

When I heard Batman saying that Superman inspired hope in people in an earlier JL trailer, I burst out laughing. I just could not reconcile that claim with what I'd see in BvS. It's like Snyder showed one thing and then had the gall to try to tell audiences another thing.

It's a compliment, honest. It's fun to read because y'all are passionate about it. And it's a topic that's not very serious at the end of the day, so it's all in good fun.

Just because the topic is fiction, doesn't excuse sloppy arguments.
 

atr0cious

Member
Echoing what someone earlier in the thread said: considering Snyder apparently being a fan of Ayn Rand and objectivism.
The worst thing to come out of this is people's complete misunderstanding of objectivism and trying to apply it to Snyder, all based on a dude who writes screeds in all caps.
 
I can concede that I am atleast as stubborn as him, but come on, don't 'both sides' me here. I deserve better than that :(

It’s a compliment, honest. It’s fun to read because y’all are passionate about it. And it’s a topic that’s not very serious at the end of the day, so it’s all in good fun.
 

Veelk

Banned
It's a compliment, honest. It's fun to read because y'all are passionate about it. And it's a topic that's not very serious at the end of the day, so it's all in good fun.

I don't take it as one. Not only does Bleepey make what I see as exceedingly poor arguments, he's also been extremely rude to various people about it on multiple occasions. Yeah, I can get passionate, but I can respect people with opposing viewpoints. Iconogrist for example is someone I see regularly defending the DCEU in both a competent and respectful manner, despite us butting heads at points. I can respect him, despite our differences. I have no respect for Bleepey at all.
 

atr0cious

Member
I don't take it as one. Not only does Bleepey make what I see as exceedingly poor arguments,
You compared a seasoned war veteran handling a situation to a literal first time user of their powers, unsure of what they can do, but yes, they were the ones arguing in bad faith.
 

Veelk

Banned
You compared a seasoned war veteran handling a situation to a literal first time user of their powers, unsure of what they can do, but yes, they were the ones arguing in bad faith.

I compared how framing affects our perception of characters. The point wasn't "Look at captain america, he so awesome", nor that the way they depicted cap as the only way to do it. The point was to show how his body language, scene, position in shot, etc, all were used to communicate his heroism, and how it contrasts with the way Clark did it.

The diegetic story reasons for why these things are happening are irrelevant to that point. It's about what the framing conveys about the character. Which is essentially the thesis of the OP, that the way things are framed trumps what the writing wants to be when they come into conflict.
 
Superman saves Lex Luthor from Doomsday, after all that heinous things Lex has done. That’s an instance where he maybe cared too much about other people.

I don't take it as one. Not only does Bleepey make what I see as exceedingly poor arguments, he's also been extremely rude to various people about it on multiple occasions. Yeah, I can get passionate, but I can respect people with opposing viewpoints. Iconogrist for example is someone I see regularly defending the DCEU in both a competent and respectful manner, despite us butting heads at points. I can respect him, despite our differences. I have no respect for Bleepey at all.

I apologize for the analogy if that’s how you feel.

I agree it’s best to keep things civil and respectful. Just because people get passionate about comic book movies doesn’t mean we should take it to the (abandoned) airport or (abandoned) warehouse docks.
 
I will offer a counterargument: there's a disconnect between the text of Snyder's films and what people took from it because so much of the critical discourse around movies today has been homogenized, notably through things like review aggregators, but also in the endless youtube hot take industrial complex.

The consensus around Zack Snyder and his movies is that he's some idiot jock who doesn't get the material he's adapting and who just wants to do big crazy visual spectacle. All of his movies are then looked at through this prism, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that people are all too eager to peddle because well, that's the consensus.

The problem is that, in order to make this work, you have to have a viewing of the text so selective that all subtext, and key parts of the text itself, are left completely ignored. It leads to completely sterile platitudes like "this isn't my Superman", "Superman doesn't smile", "okay, Superman does smile, but he isn't shouting directions at people", and that discourages debate in a way that is helpful to no one.

So your answer to "the audience didn't connect with that version of Superman for some reason" is "YouTubers have poisoned an entire audience against Zack Snyder"? That seems to be deflecting at best and ignoring a large swatch of viewers who aren't on the younger side of things.

For example, take the CinemaScore. Now, CinemaScore doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but audiences leaving the film gave it a B. Most films score rather high on CinemaScore's ratings, but usually they begin to fall when there's a divide between what the audience expected when they entered the theater and what they actually got.

Man of Steel got an A-, meaning they disliked it two grades more. Superman Returns got a B+, as an example, showing that audiences were more satisfied with that film than Batman v Superman.

Burton's Batman: A
Batman Returns: B
Batman Forever: A-
Batman & Robin: C+
Catwoman: B
Green Lantern: B
Every Nolan Film: A

So, there was some level dissatisfaction with the average moviegoer. You could talk about a certain amount of drift from YouTube critics, but to that degree?

Let's add the Snyder films for good measure.

Watchmen: B
Sucker Punch: B-
300: A-
Dawn of the Dead: B
Legend of the Guardians: A-

In contrast, Man of Steel was enjoyed more than most of his films. BvS represents a large drop, putting it in line with Sucker Punch, one of Snyder's more personal and creative-driven films. It's not Snyder, it's something with BvS (and Sucker Punch) that isn't resonating.

I'd argue that people were willing to overlook some of the issues they may have had with Superman's portrayal in Man of Steel, given the excellent fights, great casting, and top-notch cinematography. It's when perceived issues weren't addressed a second time that they turned.

If you look at Rotten Tomatoes audience ratings (63% liked, 3.5/5), they show that dip from Man of Steel (75% liked, 3.9/5). Green Lantern sits as a bottom-line (45% liked, 3.1/5), and Batman Begins (94% liked, 3.9/5) offers a decent top-line, thought Dark Knight is higher. Same over at IMDB, where you can see BvS (6.6/10), Man of Steel (7.1/10), Green Lantern (5.6/10), and Batman Begins (8.3/10). Metacritic user scores actually lineup pretty well with the IMDB numbers: BvS (7.0), Man of Steel (7.5), Green Lantern (5.8), and Batman Begins (8.6). And none of this account for Wonder Woman.

So, there's a dip. Why? Why did the audience have a large problem with BvS compared to Man of Steel or other films? DC films make money and get high ratings when they're good. Snyder has had successes in the past in telling stories in film. It's just there's a disconnect with this one and blaming it on poisoning the well doesn't seem to engage with the problem.

Veelk offers that the scenes shot are not portraying the emotion that Snyder and Terrio wanted to get across. That's why he offered the Framing Megan Fox video, which points out that folks see Fox as purely sexualized in the first Transformers, even though the text gives her a great degree of depth and agency. His guess is that Snyder wanted to say one thing, this being the text that folks like Bleepey point out, but the scenes as shot give much of the audience a different feeling. Which is why you have folks grasping for any reason that it didn't resonate, but not necessarily being able to pinpoint the exact reason.
 

atr0cious

Member
I compared how framing affects our perception of characters. The point wasn't "Look at captain america, he so awesome", nor that the way they depicted cap as the only way to do it. The point was to show how his body language, scene, position in shot, etc, all were used to communicate his heroism, and how it contrasts with the way Clark did it.

The diegetic story reasons for why these things are happening are irrelevant to that point. It's about what the framing conveys about the character. Which is essentially the thesis of the OP, that the way things are framed trumps what the writing wants to be when they come into conflict.
No that's not true, you can't throw out all context and expect a certain meaning. Then you're not even watching the movie, you're making up your own text. Cap telling a cop what to do is completely different than supes just trying to get a hold of what's going on.
 

Veelk

Banned
I apologize for the analogy if that's how you feel.

I agree it's best to keep things civil and respectful. Just because people get passionate about comic book movies doesn't mean we should take it to the (abandoned) airport or (abandoned) warehouse docks.

No harm, no foul.

And hey, I certainly wouldn't reply to him at all if there wasn't atleast some entertainment in provoking his reactions, and I certainly try to make it fun for those watching, so I'm happy you find our exchanges enjoyable to watch. :)

No that's not true, you can't throw out all context and expect a certain meaning. Then you're not even watching the movie, you're making up your own text. Cap telling a cop what to do is completely different than supes just trying to get a hold of what's going on.

I'm sorry, but simply said, you do not understand the argument being presented if you think those things are relevent to the specific point I am illustrating. This is about framing Superman. As in, literally. With the camera, with acting, with setting.

If you want to believe that the framing of showing Superman as an incompetent hero is justified by the narrative, fine. I'm not saying, here and now, that it isn't. I'm saying he was framed as an incompetent hero, and the audience walked away with the impression he was bad at heroing as a result. But at this point, I think the audience is meant to think that Superman is a competent hero, and a large part of the audience doesn't believe that, and I think this framing is why. Whether that's narratively justified by the story context is neither here nor there.
 

atr0cious

Member
Veelk offers that the scenes shot are not portraying the emotion that Snyder and Terrio wanted to get across. .
The main problem is veelk and the audience are looking for emotions they're not trying to get across. The many complaints about him not smiling are a shining example.
 

DaveH

Member
Which is why you have folks grasping for any reason that it didn't resonate, but not necessarily being able to pinpoint the exact reason.
At that point you're arguing a self-defining circular tautology impenetrable to discussion, which is why it's a BS card to pull. It's especially BS to pull the card on a film that is explicitly raising framing as an issue.

The facts of what Superman is doing and was doing during his honeymoon period hasn't changed, but Lex presents it in a way where the world turns against him... everything he does, no matter how altruistic, is now a threat, political, unilateral, divine, or demonic. Just because that's the frame, and it's human tendency to follow it, doesn't let the public or the audience off the hook. Awareness of the frame means actually challenging it rather than just swallowing it whole and crafting narratives to fit our feelings... you don't like the frame of Batman, so obviously he's irredeemably evil... you don't like the portrayal, so obviously the director doesn't understand the character.

It's one thing if the film is unaware of the problem, but BvS is specifically exploiting it, calling it out, and putting the audience on the hook for it. It's saying, "Look how easily they'd turn against him... how easy is it for this film to make you turn against him?" It would be remarkably easy to make Batman or Superman more sympathetic, but they're framed badly so you think about it instead of just adopting it... and it calls that out.

They know how to win people over. A joke, a smile, a shirt-rip, a quip... a puppy, some sentiment, a spit-curl, and some John Williams... it's a piece of cake. They were deliberate in avoiding that for the purposes of pointing out how easily we're prejudiced.
 
No that's not true, you can't throw out all context and expect a certain meaning. Then you're not even watching the movie, you're making up your own text. Cap telling a cop what to do is completely different than supes just trying to get a hold of what's going on.

The medium of film is also visual.

Again, the text can say one thing, but the way a film is shot can convey something different to the audience.

If you write a scene that says OUR HERO SAVES X, but you shoot the scene like Halloween:

The feeling the audience takes away from is different. This is why cinematography, editing, and sound are important. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what you shoot as long as the text is faithfully brought across.

Starz has a cool show they did a while back called The Chair. Same script, two different directors. Film 1, Film 2. They each hit different emotional beats and the audience has different takeaways, even though the script is the same.

The main problem is veelk and the audience are looking for emotions they're not trying to get across. The many complaints about him not smiling are a shining example.

I'd argue they did not hit the emotions they were trying to get across.

At that point you're arguing a self-defining circular tautology impenetrable to discussion, which is why it's a BS card to pull. It's especially BS to pull the card on a film that is explicitly raising framing as an issue.

The facts of what Superman is doing and was doing during his honeymoon period hasn't changed, but Lex presents it in a way where the world turns against him... everything he does, no matter how altruistic, is now a threat, political, unilateral, divine, or demonic. Just because that's the frame, and it's human tendency to follow it, doesn't let the public or the audience off the hook. Awareness of the frame means actually challenging it rather than just swallowing it whole and crafting narratives to fit our feelings... you don't like the frame of Batman, so obviously he's irredeemably evil... you don't like the portrayal, so obviously the director doesn't understand the character.

It's one thing if the film is unaware of the problem, but BvS is specifically exploiting it, calling it out, and putting the audience on the hook for it. It's saying, "Look how easily they'd turn against him... how easy is it for this film to make you turn against him?" It would be remarkably easy to make Batman or Superman more sympathetic, but they're framed badly so you think about it instead of just adopting it... and it calls that out.

They know how to win people over. A joke, a smile, a shirt-rip, a quip... a puppy, some sentiment, a spit-curl, and some John Williams... it's a piece of cake. They were deliberate in avoiding that for the purposes of pointing out how easily we're prejudiced.

That wasn't the argument, merely pointing out why some of the audience is unable to present why they had a problem with this version of Superman. That you took it as such is interesting.

And the additional reading is interesting, as Snyder has said no such thing and doesn't seem to portray the overall film as such. He wanted to explore some different aspects of Superman. The feeling of being an unthanked immigrant and the mythology parallels were clear, but the rest is an attempt read additional meaning into the film. Snyder is playing his Clark/Superman straight, not attempting to exploit the audience viewpoint as a mirror. His point was to ground Superman in our world, not to present the information in a way to prejudice the audience. To show his struggle in dealing with that, bringing a literal god to earth. Prometheus bringing fire to man and having it backfire on him. He's said this outright.

”He's been righting wrongs, there have been floods, mines have collapsed, bridges have collapsed, churches have caught on fire. He's basically been a hero. When we find him, he's been dealing with the everyday world of being a superhero, but there's a paradigm shift happening in that the unintended consequences of some of those rescues are starting to come into fruition".

”He's starting to see that every action has a reaction", he continued. ”Like, if you're just taking a cat out of a tree, you can't touch anything or the arborists will say, ‘he damaged the tree branch when he got the cat down.' Or, ‘the cat wasn't neutered, so now there's thousands of cats.' There's no winning anymore for Superman".

I don't think we was trying to do nothing, but I think he fell short of his aim. Something like that would be closer to the Lex Luthor: Man of Steel mini.
 

Kuro

Member
Yeah no, Singer's Superman had problems that I wouldn't necessarily classify as better than Man of Steel's. For me, they're both at the same level of shittiness: Superman being selfish to explore Krypton despite identifying as a human being (which is already a jarring shift from Donner in which the people are enamoured by Superman and vice versa), leaving his child to be taken care of by another character, taking every opportunity to "stalk" on Lois Lane - being completely unaware that his disappearance is why people moved on, AND despite Lois Lane telling him flat-out that she wanted nothing to do with him. Nothing about his actions make sense and it comes off as a creeper who wanted to relive the past instead of moving on, which seems an apt metaphor for the movie as a whole.

Perhaps the biggest indictment against the film (and this is why characters suck IMO), is the decision to be part of the Donner universe at a time where people wanted to see a new take on Superman. Brandon Routh had no freedom to really put his personality into the character because he was forced to play a portrayal of someone else's. For all my issues with MoS and BvS, it at least tried to give a new take (even if I think it was executed terribly).

For one, he left to look for Krypton right after the big break up with Lois where they both realize they can't have a normal relationship and that he'll always be Superman. He was probably feeling really lonely and down when he saw the news they might have found Krypton. There's also the fact that he had no idea it would be a 5 years roundtrip. You see how his mother reacts and his face as he watches the current news in his home. He missed 9/11. He didn't even know he had a son until the end of the movie. As for being a creep I don't buy that. For him it felt like he was only gone for a couple of weeks. It showed a really human side to him when he watches Lois. He was curious to see if she was happy. He only followed her once anyways. His character in that movie was honestly perfect. I'm not saying the movie as a whole was but they got the Clark Kent part of Superman so right and Superman himself. That moment when he takes Lois up and shows her all the people he can hear crying out for a savior. The moment when he's flying towards the sea to save Lois but sees the city in danger and flies right back without a moment's hesitation and we see Superman in his prime saving everyone from falling glass and buildings to exploding gas. Returns wasn't amazing but it was really solid and much much better than whatever Man of Steel and BvS were trying to be.
 

atr0cious

Member
The medium of film is also visual.

Again, the text can say one thing, but the way a film is shot can convey something different to the audience.

If you write a scene that says OUR HERO SAVES X, but you shoot the scene like Halloween:


The feeling the audience takes away from is different. This is why cinematography, editing, and sound are important. Otherwise, it doesn't matter what you shoot as long as the text is faithfully brought across.

Starz has a cool show they did a while back called The Chair. Same script, two different directors. Film 1, Film 2. They each hit different emotional beats and the audience has different takeaways, even though the script is the same.
Of course it is, but if you can't actually look past your pre conceived notions about what a movie should be or have, you're doing the movie and yourself a disservice. This entire thread is about one person expecting something conventional about the character and having it framed differently than they expect so they equivocate it to bad. That's not how art works, even when it's about comic book characters. And yes audiences can watch movies "wrong," the reception speed racer and Ang Lee's Hulk are proof enough of this.
 

Veelk

Banned
This entire thread is about one person expecting something conventional about the character and having it framed differently than they expect so they equivocate it to bad.

Is that supposed to be me? Because as much as I think they're bad movies, I'm not analyzing them from this perspective. The OP was about examining why there is a disconnect at all. That's what the thread is about. Whether it's good, bad, that's a discussion that's been had (and will likely be had another day) in other topics. I'm just saying it is, and trying to examine why.

Also, this is hardly about just me. There are lots of people hwo have offered their own intelligent and thought out takes on the idea. You shouldn't discount them.
 
Problem is, neither we the audience or even Superman/Clark Kent himself thinks that he's so great.

That's exactly the point of the OP. There's a dissonance that doesn't go with what Snyder thinks is what he filmed.
That's just it. Snyder doesn't understand his source - the root of both movies is that same cynicism that Batman shows in the comic scene. You cannot do that and have a convincing Superman. Snyder's Superman didn't even believe in himself, how could anyone else?
 

a916

Member
It would be nice if Diana teaches Clark something that eventually helps him to reach his own convictions about being a hero.

I thought that what Snyder was trying to do in both MoS and BvS with the media and the ethical/philosophical implications of Superman in the real world were actually valuable questions that should be asked. But he stumbled on portraying the internal struggle and cost of this. Worse, it made it look like Clark was having a hard time caring for people.

Contrast that with the way Diana takes the British officers to task in their war room, and then becomes increasingly angry at the resigned way everyone reacts to No Man's Land, and by the time you get through that action sequence, and then see how she interacts with the crowd of villagers once she's saved them and it's a huge contrast in the treatment of heroism.

I get Snyder wanting to start Superman in a less certain place, and then earning his position as part of the DC holy trinity, but I think he put Clark too deep in the hole to begin with to make for a credible "climbing out."

That 6 foot deep hole is actually perfect to complete that turnaround :p
 
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