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LTTP: Man of Steel/Superman 78/Superman 2

Bleepey

Member
I decided to rewatched MOS and the first two Reeves films because it's been quite a while since I saw the latter two and I defend the former a fair bit. I decided to compare the two films and how they approached certain characters

Johnathan Kent

I think Johnathan Kent was handled way better in MOS than Superman 78 by far. People who say shit like Johnathan Kent taught Superman to be sympathetic and altruistic to a fault clearly aren't basing it on the Reeves film because Johnathan Kent is just as cynical as Costner is in the movie for the 5 minutes he is in it and then dies. Don't believe me other than saving Clarke at the beginning, this is his only scene in the movie. Johnathan Kent was cynical, yes, however he actually taught Clark to be non-violent even in the face of provocation. Even when it came to Johnathan's cynicism regarding how he feared Clark would be viewed, is in my opinion earned in the movie. He shows his superhuman strength by saving his bully and a bus full of kids, it's understandable why people might think he is sent from God and his father worried he taken away as a labrat. Finally, I like the fact Costner was a man of principles, so yes, he was unsure as to whether Clark should have saved a bus full of kids, he at the very least was not a hypocrite and was willing to die for it. A point the movie literally spells out yet people ignore. I liked the dichotomy between the cynicism of Costner and optimism of Crowe and I see what they were intending to do with regards to Clark's character arc.

Lois Lane

Lois Lane in the first two movies seems kinda fiery. Nothing wrong with that and her being willing to hold her own, but I kinda agree with Goyer when he says the Lois lane not realising Clark is Superman makes he look a bit like an idiot. But hey, this is a Superman story so you run with it. Lois does show some guile with how she evades Guards in Paris but she is kinda tempermental. As for Amy Adams, I thought she came across as a far better reporter, you see her put clues together as to Superman's identity and shows how much of a competent journalist she is, rather than Kidder who gets an interview with Superman purely cos he wants to fuck her. Also from her discussions with Perry you get a great idea of her journalistic ethics. Though not as fiery she does come across as brave.

Zod and Co

Stamp is way more quotable but Shannon is way more menacing. Also, I got the feeling Stamp wanted to rule over earth whilst Shannon wanted to kill every person on the planet. In S2 Zod and friends followed Superman when he flew away, whilst in MOS Zod and friends brought him back down to earth and were more proactive in harming every person within arms reach.

Lex


I found it weird how he felt the need to show how smart he was by just repeating he was the greatest criminal mind the world had ever seen. Honestly Lex's conclusions regarding Superman's origin, weakness to kryptonite and other shit show way too many leaps in logic. Say what you will about Eisenberg but he showed how smart he was not by repeating over and over again how smart he was but my manipulating Superman, Batman, journalists and politicians. Also you saw him actually do experiments to see how damaging kryptonite was to Kryptonians rather than knowing because fuck you that's why. Tricking Superman into opening the lead box was alright though.


Superman

I found it weird that Superman didn't start saving anyone till like 50 minutes into the first Superman film. Whilst in MOS Clark starts saving people pretty early on. Other things I liked by Snyder was that Superman in Donner's film just felt like a guy who wanted to play football and was upset by it. In Snyder's film he was tested throughout and I think that's what made him more heroic. He went back to save the bully Pete Ross rather than let him die, he showed restraint when bullied by kids, he didn't save his father because he wanted to do as he wished. You saw young Clark take on these lessens throughout MOS. In Superman 2 when the dude harrasses Lois, Clark needlessly gets into a fight and then goes out of his way to fight the trucker and ruin the diner owner's diner. At least he had the common courtesy to pay for damage. Meanwhile in MOS Clark showed the restraint he was taught to have as a child and walked away from the guy harassing the waitress.

Also, i found it weird Superman felt he had to be a human to be with Lois in S2. Maybe it's to give her a dicking rather than a Superdicking. I get that Superman is supposed to be selfless to a fault but yet he'd give up all the power that comes with being Superman for little to no benefit other than his mum said so for no reason unless i forgot something..

Other weird shit about the Donner flicks is that Superman was the fact he could time travel. It was kinda foreshadowed in that he was told not to interfere with human history but it still felt like it came out of nowhere

World Building

I thought the world building in MOS was way better. Oh and to get the jokes out of the way so was the world destroying. But in Superman 78 after the montage where he saves people everyone is in love with Superman even though a week earlier they wouldn't have believed a man could fly. However in MOS and BVS I feel the impact of Superman on the world is far more realistic. There is a lot more debate about him, some treat him as a God, others an alien, others fear him. Superman earned the soldiers respect after surrendering to Zod, and risking his life against Zod. You get why people say "this man is not our enemy". Great call back later in BVS. Whilst MOS has a lot more collateral damage due to improvements in special effects and Zack Snyder's sensibilities I felt 78 and Superman 2 are true products of their time when people pretty much love Superman universally. That shit would not happen


TLDR: MOS is better than Superman 1 and 2 and you're blinded by nostalgia.
 

jon bones

hot hot hanuman-on-man action
Or you just disagree with the general consensus, and that's fine but doesn't make you objectively correct.

i dont get wasting time typing interesting discussion points and then undercutting your own thread with inciting language 😂
 

Daft_Cat

Member
i dont get wasting time typing interesting discussion points and then undercutting your own thread with inciting language ��

Agreed. The OP has some substance to it, but the TL;DR tag (in bold, no less) screams "don't take me seriously."
 
TLDR: MOS is better than Superman 1 and 2 and you're blinded by nostalgia.

Nope! Can we just stop using "nostalgia" and "overrated" in these types of discussions? It doesn't mean shit.

I disliked Superman 1 as a kid, I just didn't see the appeal.
Fast forward a couple of decades later and Superman and Man of Steel are two of my favorite comic-book movies ever. I love them both equally for widely different reasons. Superman 2 still does absolutely nothing for me though, and I'm talking about both cuts. I'd sooner rewatch the hilariously entertaining Superman 3 than the awkward slow-ass action of 2.

i dont get wasting time typing interesting discussion points and then undercutting your own thread with inciting language ��

Lol, yeah. That tl;dr is pretty much a self-destruct button.
 
I'll always go to bat for BvS. But this one was such a robotic and mediocre superhero flick. no worse than most of them lately. but not much better either.

only things I could give props to is Michael Shannon giving such a committed performance to a one note villain. managed to make Zod one of the better ones in the genre as of late. also Zimmer soundtrack was great, I liked what they were trying to do with Pa Kent's messaging to his son (operative word here is trying) and if nothing else Snyder really knows how to make superpowers look hard hitting.

the first half of Superman 1 is still unmatched for this character. and its influence is seen even now in stuff like Wonder Woman.
 
TLDR: MOS is better than Superman 1 and 2 and you're blinded by nostalgia.

Blinded by nostalgia?

Ok, let's play.

MoS was the *first* Superman film I ever watched. I caught part of "Returns" and fell asleep watching it on TV (towards the 2nd half I think).

I just recently watched Supes '78 and it quickly became one of my favorite cape flicks. WW, Batman Begins, TDK, and Logan are in my top 5, and I think 78 pushed Deadpool out.

So no, you're wrong. No nostalgia at all = I think 78 is a *much* better film.

I'll always go to bat for BvS. But this one was such a robotic and mediocre superhero flick. no worse than most of them lately. but not much better either.

only things I could give props to is Michael Shannon giving such a committed performance to a one note villain. managed to make Zod one of the better ones in the genre as of late. also Zimmer soundtrack was great, I liked what they were trying to do with Pa Kent's messaging to his son (operative word here is trying) and if nothing else Snyder really knows how to make superpowers look hard hitting.

the first half of Superman 1 is still unmatched for this character. and its influence is seen even now in stuff like Wonder Woman.

Agreed very much so on all points. Zod was one of the best villains in recent cape flick history. And Supes 78 clearly had a big influence on WW, which is probably why I really like both films. The rest of MoS dragged it down badly. The scene where he impaled some dudes semi on a telephone pole causing who knows how much puiblic property damage for no reason was where I checked out of MoS. I did like the final fight though and think the hand-wringing is a bit overblown. That fact is that Snyder's "superheroes" just don't act like heroes, at all.
 

Bleepey

Member
Agreed. The OP had some substance to it, but the TL;DR tag (in bold, no less) screams "don't take me seriously."

There's nothing wrong with finding Superman 1 and 2 better, I just kinda think a lot of people are blinded by nostalgia for something that doesn't really exist with regards to certain characters. Superman never killing/ Pa Kent being a paragon of hope and optimism that taught Clark to be selfless/ Lex being a bit cheesy to name a few.
 

Sambrez_

Member
If you liked MOS over the original 2, then you have no idea who Superman is.

That's just not true.
I grew up watching Superman I & II every day of every week when I was a child, it's my bible and I love Man of Steel so much.
For me, it's a updated version of Superman and it brings a new welcome vision to the character. Returns was disappointing, but MoS took everything I wanted to see in a Superman movie to a whole new level.
 

Rookhelm

Member
I can see the argument that the character studies themselves are maybe better in MoS, but goddamn if Reeve wasn't perfect for the role.

He elevates those movies way beyond they have any right to be, being cheesy super hero movies.

If there's one thing that bothers me, it's the time travel thing. Which is probably why I prefer S2.
 

jon bones

hot hot hanuman-on-man action
i'm surprised there isn't an 'action' section in the OP, where MoS well and truly excels, but i guess you are mostly sticking to the characters

I mean, look who it is..lol.

Agreed. The OP has some substance to it, but the TL;DR tag (in bold, no less) screams "don't take me seriously."

Lol, yeah. That tl;dr is pretty much a self-destruct button.

i guess i just don't get that style of internet posting. that's several work e-mails worth of effort to waste lol
 

hobozero

Member
Man I loved those movies as a kid. I still do, but for,,,



(Could be worse - in Tim Burton's script his sigil can be removed to produce 2 knives...)
 
This is just a list of "Superman 78 does this but I prefer the MOS version" and no actual explanation why it's a problem. Like why exactly is it a negative that Superman isn't saving people until 50 minutes into the film in the 78 version? You just find it weird? Why? The same goes for basically every point you make.
 
nah. you could just say you vehemently disagree. nobody owns the character (well except for the company making money off of him haha), such a lame attitude to have.

Superman the character has been around for a long time.
The Donner version depicted the character's spirit as close to what people were seeing in the comics.
 
I like MoS pretty well, but Pa Kent is the weakest part, apart from the scale of the destruction (which completely took me out if the movie).

As far as Lex, he's hammy but Hackman sells it. I didn't like it much at the time (being partial to the comics version in the 70s) but I love it now.

As far as Lois, yeah, I like Amy Adams way more. She should have figured out Clark was Superman, and had in the original cut of Superman 2.

Terence Stamp is great, but the MoS Kryptonians are one of the best things about MoS. No argument there.
 

Bleepey

Member
This is just a list of "Superman 78 does this but I prefer the MOS version" and no actual explanation why it's a problem. Like why exactly is it a negative that Superman isn't saving people until 50 minutes into the film in the 78 version? You just find it weird? Why? The same goes for basically every point you make.

Sorry I should have said I find it weird Man of Steel is acccused of having Superman save no one when Superman 1978 has no one saved till like 50 minutes into the movie and Cavil saves way more people
. AS for my other stuff, I don't know how me saying Johnathan Kent's cynicism served the story and Clark's character arc far better in MOS than in 1978, or Lois Lane is a far more competent journalist in 78 despite whilst in 1978 she seems a bit like an idiot, Lex told and not showed how smart he was, or my reasons as to why the world building was better in MOS and BVS don't count but hey each to their own.
 

Pilgrimzero

Member
nah. you could just say you vehemently disagree. nobody owns the character (well except for the company making money off of him haha), such a lame attitude to have.


As someone who's read and watched Superman for over 35 years, I can say that MoS missed the point.
 

LionPride

Banned
Man of Steel is a better movie than the previous Supermans

It's the best Superman movie we have, now that's not to say that Superman 2 and parts of Superman aren't great

I just personally enjoy Man of Steel more everytime I find myself watchin it
 

jph139

Member
Sorry I should have said I find it weird Man of Steel is acccused of having Superman save no one when Superman 1978 has no one saved till like 50 minutes into the movie and Cavil saves way more people
. AS for my other stuff, I don't know how me saying Johnathan Kent's cynicism served the story and Clark's character arc far better in MOS than in 1978, or Lois Lane is a far more competent journalist in 78 despite whilst in 1978 she seems a bit like an idiot, Lex told and not showed how smart he was, or my reasons as to why the world building was better in MOS and BVS don't count but hey each to their own.

It's not the numbers. It's the tone.

MoS Superman bears the weight of the world with discomfort and obligation. His powers are more of a curse than a gift. He's subsumed in a dark, cruel, violent world, and he looks it. He looks grim at the best of times.

Reeves Superman is, once he puts on the suit, helpful by nature. He saves people, he's good at saving people, he likes saving people. It's effortless. He saves Lois, grabs a helicopter, and chitchats about the safety of commercial air travel on the way back.

They're two different approaches. You can argue preference between them, or discuss execution, but you're coming from the wrong angle if you think "saves more dudes = more heroic."
 
Reeve's Superman is a guy I enjoy watching, someone I'd root for, and even a person I'd want to aspire to be like.

Cavill's Superman is a sullen asshole who doesn't like helping people, looks miserable at all times, and is the kind of person I'd never want to spend any time around.

Without even taking the other parts of the films into account, these differences alone lead me to prefer the Donner films.
 

Sephzilla

Member
TLDR: MOS is better than Superman 1 and 2 and you're blinded by nostalgia.

Or maybe we like a Superman who actually tries to save people?

Superman 1 hasn't aged super well and it has its cringe worthy moments. But Superman 2 is still pretty damn good. The Reeves era movies are also way better acted than Man of Steel.

Superman Returns was also better
 
My problem with MoS isn't so much Superman not being Superman, but that they basically threw a "his darkest hour" scenario at him without us getting to see him enjoy his role. Hence he comes off broody, even though we know he has the innate desire to help people, as shown by his actions. Likewise, it's OK for him to kill Zod, but putting him to that test right off the bat means we've never seen him *not* kill the baddie.

The issue isn't the character, it's the scenario. Superman/Superman II works better because you see Superman defined in 1, and tested in 2. It was originally all one movie, and that shows how MoS could have worked-- show Superman taking down threat 1 and being an outright hero, then have him face the Kryptonians next.
 

vio

Member
Donner's movies aged terribly. Especially first movie. Everything with Lois Lane is bad. That interview, Superman checking her underwear color... that inner monologue during flying with Superman.No,just... no.

That being said, it does not take anything away from how important first movie is. It's just not rewatchable as some other movies that came out around time.
 
Donner's movies aged terribly. Especially first movie. Everything with Lois Lane is bad. That interview, Superman checking her underwear color... that inner monologue during flying with Superman.No,just... no.

That being said, it does not take anything away from how important first movie is. It's just not rewatchable as some other movies that came out around time.

This is odd to me. I'm pretty cringe-averse when it comes to stuff and Supes 78 wasn't really cringeworthy at all. It was honest and well-acted. It was also a product of the time in which it was made. Much like Wonder Woman today.

I enjoyed it a lot.

MoS however, was cringey as hell. The bar scene where he impales some dude's semi on a telephone pole was ginormous wtf-ery. And the entire beginning of the film is a wreck. The Kryptonians were the only redeeming part of the film. Don't ever get me started on them making out while people are dying like, 10 feet away.
 

vio

Member
MOS is for me better. There are scenes where i think, ok thats too much. Or maybe i don't think they belong in the movie (that kiss scene), but never cringe.

Reves was better actor than Cavill, he was by far best thing about those movies and that score by J.W. naturally.
 

Sephzilla

Member
Reeve's acting can't be praised enough. He does so many little things that really help make Clark and Superman feel like two people - which is something the Snyder movies fail at incredibly.

 
I'll admit that I do have a bit of nostalgia when it comes to Donner's original Superman film, but I still recognize all of its faults. Lois' lame poem, the opening comic read, the turning back time plothole, letting space dad mold his destiny. It's all there. That said though, it was 1978 and the first attempt at modernizing the character for a wide audience on the big screen. Dick Donner's vision was that of verisimilitude, and while the final product is more of a hybrid between that realism and the more corny conventions of the character up to that point, it still feels more down to earth and emotionally satisfying than what was on screen up to that point. The Cast is a huge part of that.

Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder had chemistry and played off each other perfectly. Whether it's Lois melting at Superman's charisma, or Clark annoying her with his cowardice and nerdy demeanor, it's very entertaining and fits the tone of the film. Yes, the Clark Kent persona is unbelievably corny, but it's such a large contrast to the charismatic and stern superhero that you can understand how connecting the two wouldn't cross the minds of anyone that knows Clark. The concept of dual identities itself has a certain fun factor, which the filmmakers understood and played with.

Hackman was clearly having a blast with Lex Luthor. He had a cynical sense of humor but could be menacing when needed. A seedy, egotistical genius. A perfect counterpoint to the naive and trustworthy protagonist.

Glen Ford and Marlon Brando gave weight to the dialogue given to the characters as father figures. Glen Ford, especially, comes off as a warm and loving father trying to influence his son to make a greater impression on the world than either of them could imagine. Brando as Jor El fulfills his role as the space dad that gives his son the guidelines and information to complete his destiny.

The writing of the film is flawed in places, but it has good plot construction and hits emotionally on all levels. It can have fun in Clark and Lois' interactions, but still takes her and Jonathan Kent's deaths completely seriously. There's a logical and heartfelt progression in the story from this alien baby to the adult character we know and love.

Also a gorgeous looking movie. The diffusion and softness to the picture compliments the fantastical nature of the story. Great looking effects as well, with front/rear projection, and wire work to make you believe a man can fly.

And dont get me started on John Williams' score.

All in all, the first Superman is a flawed film, but a classic that I think still holds up to this day.
 
I'm old enough to have real nostalgia for Reeves Superman, and I usually end up watching the movies whenever they pop up on Netflix/HBO Go, but even I tend to find them boring.

MoS is a bit flawed, but it's my go-to Superman movies these days.
 

Anth0ny

Member
I saw Donner's Superman once on tv with commercials before watching Man of Steel and didn't think much of it. wasn't really paying attention.

Watched it again last year and it completely shits on Man of Steel. It's not close, and there's no nostalgia here.
 

Tobor

Member
Call me crazy, but i like my Superman movies to have Superman in them.

MoS, I don't know who that is, but it's not Superman.

'78 all day every day. Greatest score and greatest performance(Reeves) in Superhero movie history.

/starts humming Williams theme
 
I've never counted Superman 2 as one completed film. No matter which version you go with, the behind the scenes issues caused serious problems for both. Granted, this started with the first Superman film as the two are connected (the ending of the second film was sloppily slapped onto the first), but it's with Superman 2 that the problems got to be too much for me.

Even on a story level, I have trouble accepting Superman giving up his powers so carelessly and quickly. Continuing the theme of verisimilitude from the first film, the dilemma does bravely try to tackle the idea of Superman wanting to have a normal life, but it comes too quickly and without enough detail to make Superman come off as anything more than a selfish fool. A story idea that big shouldve been built on and explored more. Possibly saved for a third film.

Going back to the behind the scenes issues, You have two completely different directors putting two starkly different tones into one film. Lester's slapstick and crippling corniness dont mesh well with the darker tone Donner was going for, and the result was shots like the Celophane "S" and people slipping on rollerblades during Zods super breath attack on the city. The worst offender has to removal of Zod and co. being captured after being depowered, which depicts Superman as a killer in the final product.

It's a sequel with good ideas and sequences (nearly every scene with the Kryptonians is gold), but a sloppier film overall.
 
Idk why some of you guys are wasting your time with Bleepey, he is not ever going to move from his position, despite how bad his arguments are.
 
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