Sunday, July 15, 2012

Comic-Con: "Man of Steel" poster online, footage shown

I don't like this "Man of Steel" teaser poster. At all. I get what it's going for, but it's dour and moody and all the stuff I thought the frachise was supposed to be jettisoning after "Superman Returns." It's also unmistakably reminiscent of the "Dark Knight" key-art, which couldn't be more of a wrong direction to take a Superman movie. It's very, very Christopher Nolan, and great filmmaker or not now that his Batman cycle is concluded I want Nolan and his "dark realism" as far-removed from Superman and other DC Universe movies as humanly possible.

Also, can we please stop with the over-designed textures on these fucking costumes?

This is really the first thing I've seen/heard of this movie that I've actively disliked; which bums me out because A.) I want this to be good and B.) if it turns out to be bad and I've said something negative about pre-release I'll be hearing about my "BIAS!!!" for another month after it comes out...

Footage was also shown at Comic-Con, supposedly encompassing the teaser-trailer which will be attached to "The Dark Knight." It's not online yet, though the usual stills and grainy bootlegs (none of which I'll be linking to so don't ask) are out there along with a lot of descriptions. What I've seen of this (read: not much) I actually like a lot better.

It's definitely a "new" take on Superman at least in terms of how we've seen him in live-action movies - big, sweeping, action-heavy and leaning on the painterly/iconic staging that Zack Snyder does better than almost anyone playing at this level. Amusing, one of the "this looks likes" being heavily invoked is Terrence Mallick; probably because the first half of the teaser is heavy on montage and pastoral/Americana imagery and the whole thing is cut to "Journey to The Line" - one of the all-time great "THIS IS EPIC AND MEANINGFUL AND YOU! ARE! MOVED!!!!!" pieces of film-music ever. Here, listen.

Not a tremendous amount of story/context stuff coming out from people so far, but what was already known (it's an "origin story" at least in as much as it's a "Clark is told he's actually an alien and becomes Superman" story) what was rumored (seems like the main plot is an amalgam of Donner's "Superman" and "Superman II") are all-but confirmed; and my old guess that the "major" tone/theme change would be making the military/government not immediately trusting of Superman seems to be right-on. Some of the descriptions make it sound as though Clark is almost living like The Hulk (re: people are afraid of the freakishly-strong guy) before he's Superman.

Warner Bros? Please don't punk-out and NOT attach this to the TDKR prints you screen to critics - that would be uncool.

41 comments:

Lido said...

I agree that poster is for shit, the texture is all wrong and clashes with the midevil armor style of the rest costumes, the S shield is down right terrible and doesn't look nearly as great as the foundry/forge works previous poster. Also the costume itself lacks a belt and has replaced it with lines pointing toward Superman's crotch and a yellow circle on his dick as if to imply it's the source of his powers

patrick.b.healy said...

Is his costume chain-mail?
What is up with that?
I agree with everything you said. As soon as Marvel's flamboyant no-holds-barred comic mythos, WB and DC will be looking at their "Grim, Gritty, realism" bullshit and weep.

Which is a shame. I want Marvel to have some real competition.

Anonymous said...

People please stop treating Nolan's "gritty realism" like it's a fucking crime! Personally, my favourite Batman comics and stories have been the down to earth moody ones because I find it suits the character. It could only work with Batman and it has!

I don't get how this poster is "very Nolan"? Because the lighting is dark? Because Superman has his face down? Doesn't seem like anything I wouldn't see in a Watchmen poster or any other Superman art out there.

I have to admit, I hate(d?) that Snyder is directing this. Yes Bob proceed to call me whatever you want but all the usual Snyder tropes irritate me to no end and nothing he's done screams what Superman is all about to me (though apparently being visually "comic booky" is all that matters anymore). However the positive buzz from the footage and what the film seems to entail does intrigue me. I want to be wrong because I love Superman so much, hopefully this teaser will end my fears!

Anonymous said...

Regarding supposed later accustations of bias, I think provided you avoid consistently taking unrelated potshots at the film in articles/videos for no apparent reason other than to remind people that don't like the looks of it, then yeah I think you'll be fine.

Though I know the absurd idea of people actually taking your comments into account and having your public thoughts brought up later is clearly such a stunning and outrageously offensive idea to you it might just take you by surprise yet again.

Anonymous said...

It looks pretty good from the Trailer minus some stuff. And I don't see anything particularly wrong with the poster other than it just being a quick photo shoot and photoshop design.

Though we just had 10 years of Superman origin so I don't know why we need to go back there so soon but eh, that origin stuff wasn't too good anyway so maybe there needed to be a pallet cleansing for the mass public.
I'm also kinda hoping we get an industrialist hating classic Supes to maybe mix things up a bit, and it looks like they're focusing on him being more of a Symbol than a hero or a man which is good news to me.

On a side note, I thought you already had your final word on that other thing there Bob.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the teaser poster is to do exactly what it says...tease. not give u a full on shot of superman so Id say the lighting is well done.. Plus its blatantly paying homage to one of the great comic book artists by takin inspiration from Alex Ross superman. Last proper origin on big screen was over 30 years ago. I like that its got a Batman begins feel but obviously its still gonna be different n have different themes coz at their core they're massively different characters. I'm buzzin with what wev seen so far.
http://liveforfilms.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/alex-ross-superman.jpg

Joshua the Anarchist said...

I don't really have a problem with the military antagonizing Superman. DC tends to use General Lane (I assume he's in the movie if the military features heavily) as a General Ross stand-in anyway. Now the public at large mistrusting him and making him a fugitive on the run? THAT I have a problem with.

As for the over-detailed costume, I was never a fan of the new costume from the beginning. Call me rigid if you want, but some things are just too iconic to change. It's like changing James Bond's drink of choice to scotch and soda, technically nothing wrong with it but why fuck with something so well-established without good cause? Besides, without the red briefs he looks a little too Ultraman-ish

And I hate to beat a dead horse, but does anyone left on this planet not yet know Superman's origin? Can we not just take the All-Star Superman route and just assume everyone's onboard, or at the very least sum it up in the credits and get it over with so Superman can get on with the business of being FRIGGIN' SUPERMAN!

lemonvampire said...

I personally love the whole textured costume trend. I loved the original Spider-Man costume, how it looked exactly like the iconic comic book costume, only tweaked slightly with textures and a redesigned logo on the back that made it work perfectly on screen. The greatest thing about that movie and the introduction of the texturing trend is that it convinced Hollywood it was possible to adapt comic characters to film without having to completely change their costumes and stick everyone in black leather all the time.
Most of all I loved the costume design for Superman Returns. It was the film that made Superman my favorite superhero character and will always be my favorite superhero film. I even love the way his "S" shield is made up of tiny little "S" shields.
That said, I absolutely agree that it has begun to go too far. This design, as well as the Amazing Spider-Man design, takes the concept beyond simply using a textured fabric and seems to have the texture as an overlaid mesh on top of the fabric, thick and black and bold.
I ultimately really enjoyed Amazing Spider-Man, but I'll always prefer the Raimi costume. And this, while I don't completely hate it, I don't exactly like it either.
And as an aside, I'm really sick of how much DC has been focusing on Superman not having the red shorts anymore. It didn't initially bother me so much when they started the New52 reboot last year, but since then there have been at least four new Superman designs, including this one, that specifically do not have them and all it does is draw attention to that absence. And, besides, the lack of the red shorts to break up the blue makes him look more than ever like he's wearing pajamas.

CJ said...

Everyone note this as the day that Bob pre-emptivly started hating Superman.

Dominic said...

Well, I disagree. I see the "dark 'n' dour" look as a use of shadows to simplify the image to the bare recognisable iconography of the character, and the soft background colour and light source make it appear more saintly than Nolan-Batman's angry reds and scummy browns. And the texture makes complete sense to me, at least in this context. MAN OF STEEL. Metallic armour. Fair enough, I feel.

BobHollyJr said...

I can see the bat needing an armored costume, he's just a guy after all and "Knights" wear armor.
I can see Spidey in super tight tights to reduce drag and maybe, if oiled, give him a bonus to his escape artist checks...
but Superman? Armor? His ass is one of the hardest things in the DC Universe! Wtf, hollywood? W? T? F?

Anonymous said...

The suit in this movie is not supposed to be armor. People are thinking it's like the New 52 suit. It isn't. The reason it looks the way it does is because they wanted the suit to look like it was made of material that is alien to Earth.

More information about the suit can be seen in this interview with the Costume Illustrator on the movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYwzCFd7B4&feature=g-user-u

motyr said...

The Nolan comparisons don't really make sense to me. Nolan's Batman suit emphasizes practicality and realism, but this Superman one doesn't seem to. It may be considered "over designed" in comparison to the previous films, but I don't think that "more design" necessarily equals bad. I think the suit looks more alien and less human. It also looks more weighty and less "thin"/"cheap" to me. It reminds me of Snyder's Watchmen, actually. I am really looking forward to seeing more from this film.

Blue Highwind said...

I'm still waiting for the black-suit Superman that will fight a giant robot spider, personally. But this looks like it could be decent. Modern CG means that we can finally make a Superman adventure with his full power.

I'm with Moviebob, I really don't understand the weird textures on this suit or Spiderman's. Is it supposed to be some kind of chain mail? And its too dark. Its like if they made a movie where Superman is the bad guy.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the new outfit either, but I have no enthusiasm or expectations for the new Superman movie either. I think his time has passed as a superhero; he's too powerful to be interesting, too invincible for any drama that doesn't involve a ludicrous contrivance. Supes could have been interesting back in pulpy days, when little green men from the planet Norg were standard issue monsters in these things, but comic books and related stories have to veer more realistic (or at least relatable) to find a mass audience. And there's nothing relatable about Superman.

And regarding the last comment, please try not to get defensive and start to react against criticism before it even forms. The people who want to criticize won't be deterred (only encouraged), and given that they're just text on a screen, not people who are actually in a position to get in your face, they can and should be ignored once you've given your two cents on the matter. Be above it.

Anonymous said...

@Blue Highwind Your question about the suit has already been answered one post above yours. Here is the link again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYwzCFd7B4

Aiddon said...

I could care less. As long as they do a HUGE threat like General Zod I'm fine with the movie's tone (Luthor just didn't come off as a good villain for him). He'll still probably be punching mountains out and flying into space, so nothing to worry about

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

The texturing on superhero costumes has gotten ridiculous as of late, and this is probably the most egregious example of it.

Why on Earth does the S shield need that frikkin' texture? It's annoying and deadens from costume's visual impact.

I guess it doesn't really matter to me, though, since there's literally nothing about this movie that looks good. I don't care for Zach Snyder, Amy Adams as Lois Lane is a joke, and the only other time I saw Henry Cavill as a protaganist (Immortals), I found him to be weak and ineffectual.

I just wanted to comment on the costume. Peace out!

Vinny Andreotti said...

The textures don't so much bother me (it is what it is) as does the shameless aping of Christopher Nolan's marketing department. Hopefully, that's all they ape.

My inaugural review of "Savages" and some Neil Blomkamp news is up on http://vinnyandreotti.blogspot.com/

Dave from canada said...

So like a day and change after saying you were done talking about spider-man.....you continue to talk about spider-man. Man you can't even be honest with yourself, can you?

Anonymous said...

Could you at least wait until you've actually SEEN any of the movie before you start bitching about too much Nolan influence? It was bad enough when you cried foul over Hans fucking Zimmer doing the score (b/c Zimmer works EXCLUSIVELY with Nolan, of course)but you're going to pull this shit over a POSTER? Grow the fuck up.

Taylor said...

"Could you at least wait until you've actually SEEN any of the movie before you start bitching about too much Nolan influence? It was bad enough when you cried foul over Hans fucking Zimmer doing the score (b/c Zimmer works EXCLUSIVELY with Nolan, of course)but you're going to pull this shit over a POSTER? Grow the fuck up."

He isn't judging the movie, he's judging the poster.

OMFG how dare he have a reaction to something that the studio released specifically so that they'd have a reaction to it. Stop bullying Hollywood... don't you know they're sensitive?

If it's so ridiculous to bitch about a poster, bitching about a blog post is a hell of a lot more trivial. Maybe you can grow up.

Michael Harris said...

I suppose this is the LAST last word on Spider-Man, eh? Sheesh.

Lloyd Miller said...

I actually agree to an extent about the exaggerated textures, but c'mon, it's a poster. You're a movie critic... Wait for the official trailer at least, would ya?

Anonymous said...

@Taylor

Bitching about a comment that is bitching about a blog post that is bitching about a poster?

Maybe you should grow up?

Anonymous said...

@Taylor

Was referring to his criticism of the "Nolan" aesthetic (whatever the hell that is), not of the movie itself. If he doesn't want any of it, well, it's a Nolan-produced movie partially based his story idea, so I don't know what to tell him. It'd be like looking at material for a Tim Burton-produced movie and complaining about seeing German Expressionism. Or looking at a Michael Bay-produced film and complaining that it looks like shit.

Anonymous said...

Can we just get an adaptation of Superman Red Son now and get it over with so we can have at least ONE good modern Superman movie? Please!

Zeno said...

"the whole thing is cut to "Journey to The Line" - one of the all-time great "THIS IS EPIC AND MEANINGFUL AND YOU! ARE! MOVED!!!!!" pieces of film-music ever. Here, listen."

Film scores in general are terrible. There are a few exceptions(Dances with Wolves, Koyaanisqatsi, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, some stuff by Jerry Goldsmith is passable), but most scores are just emotional cue-cards that can't stand on their own two feet. If you're going to recycle music from another source why not just pay EMI Classics for the permission to use Tennstedt's rendition of Bruckner's 8th? It'd probably be cheaper.

Popcorn Dave said...

I really can't behind Zack Snyder directing this. He's good at making things "look cool" but apart from that, his approach is all wrong for this character. He favours Frank Miller style jaded hardasses and if he portrays Superman anything like that, the whole thing's going to fall apart.

Even if he gets the big boy scout thing right, Snyder has no interest at all in the everyman stuff that made Christopher Reeve's version so relatable in the first place. He's likely to heavily downplay Clark Kent's role and make it all about the fights. He clearly had no idea what to do with the "normal people" Silk Spectre and Nite Owl in Watchmen, and I think he'd similarly struggle with that aspect of Superman.

Superman's a really tough character to get right, and Snyder is a blunt instrument. There's a reason most of his films have flopped - he's a cynical showman with very little understanding of drama or pathos. There's nothing for audiences to relate to beyond the superficial.

Maybe he'll pull it off, maybe he'll manage to tone down his bad habits and turn it into something special, but right now, what I'm seeing doesn't look good.

The worst part of all this is that if it fails, a Justice League film will be set back five years at the very least.

if it turns out to be bad and I've said something negative about pre-release I'll be hearing about my "BIAS!!!" for another month after it comes out...

For a while now, you've been gearing up to love this movie no matter what (giving a thumbs up to the shitty costume while tearing apart those of Spider-Man and Catwoman), so a bit of negativity at this point is okay in my book.

lemonvampire said...

Bob, the reason everyone keeps accusing you of being bias toward Amazing Spider-Man isn't just because you didn't like the movie. If you just didn't like the movie that's fine and perfectly understandable. But the fact is that your review ascribed so much vitriolic hate, so much outrage to the film, stating that every moment of it was unbearable agony and that it was the most heinous piece of trash in existence. You leveled more accusations of incompetence and hate toward this movie than you've ever even accused Michael Bay of. And all this toward a movie that just objectively doesn't deserve that, that is, at worst, just an average summer action film.
You don't have to like the movie, Bob, but it's your responsibility as a critic to look at it as a movie first, and to criticize it on its merits as one, which you simply did not. And the fact that you keep acting so outraged at everyone pointing that out, rather than just admit you were a little too hard on this one, is the reason why this whole thing keeps coming back up.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan said...

One more thing: to people who are saying they don't see any influence of Christopher Nolan in this, you do realize he's one of the producers on this film, right?

Yeah, he isn't an Executive Producer or anything, but if you think Warner Bros. wouldn't strongly consider the advice/input of the guy who's helming the only DC Comics film franchise to turn a profit, then you're crazy.

Just sayin'.

motyr said...

@Sam Robards

I'm one of the guys who said he didn't see the Nolan comparison. I am aware he is a producer; his name is being thrown around all over the place, the film's media so far definitely leans closer to TDK than Captain America.... but I (for one) just meant it in relation to this suit vs. the Batman suit. I still like it.

Sylocat said...

Bob, the reason everyone keeps accusing you of being bias toward Amazing Spider-Man isn't just because you didn't like the movie.

Oh bullshit, these comments are overflowing with butthurt fans trying to prove to themselves that nobody could possibly dislike a movie they liked for non-disingenuous reasons.

motyr said...

Holy shit man, you ARE deleting my posts! That's fucking disingenuous.

motyr said...

Everyone, I just posted a comment regarding Superman's shield not having a yellow backdrop, even though it does in other promos. I guess Bob realized he didn't notice this first and deleted my post. Then I politely asked if he deleted it or if it's a problem on my end. That comment was also deleted. I am very unimpressed.

lemonvampire said...

@ Sylocat
Okay, yeah, there are definitely a lot of posters behaving as you say, but my point was that the reason it keeps coming up in the first place is, as I said, because Bob really did go too far with the hyperbole in his review. If he had just given the film a negative review, rationally criticizing its faults, that would have been fine. Sure some people would still have complained, but it wouldn't have gone on as much as it has.
But the absurd way that he lambasts ever single element of the film, every aspect, from cinematography to effects to lighting to make-up, to practically insulting the catering department, with the most over-the-top accusations of incompetence, not allowing for the possibility that anyone involved in this production ever did anything right, makes Bob's review of this particular film stand out as obviously fueled by his own biased resentment toward its existence. He made it sound as if this film is so objectively, universally awful that it should cause actual physical pain to anyone it's exposed to. And of course anyone that disagrees at all with that assessment is just a mindless, Michael Bay-loving, lowest-common-denominator moron that eats up everything Hollywood shovels down their throats.
That's why people are mad at Bob. He's just been too emotional about this film from the start, let his objectivity cloud his reason, and lost a little of his credibility.

Anonymous said...

Is motyr right about that, Bob?

MovieBob said...

@motyr

I have not manually deleted any replies of yours or anyone elses in this post.

If anyone else is having "dissapearing response" issues, please let me know so I can check and see if something is going wrong with Blogger's coding.

Paul said...

I imagine they are selecting the poster to play on the success and hype of Dark Knight.

It's annoying when they do this. Misleading trailers caused me to not bother with Fight Club and The Grey in the cinema, both films being absolutely amazing. But then again would they have been as good if I had more of an idea what sort of film they were going to be. Sometimes it is nice to be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I always find it hilarious how Nolan's Batman is somehow 'Dark and Gritty' despite each individual film having more day shots than all previous versions combined, and features no stylized 'grit' of any kind.

motyr said...

@Anon, 8:09

In cases like these, "dark and gritty" or "grim and gritty" refers to tone, not visual aesthetic.

@Bob

Thanks for addressing my concern. Sorry for the name-calling and general flippancy. Also, I've come to notice that the yellow on the shield is present in this shot, but the whole thing is so friggin dark and artificially-lit that you can't actually make it out very easily from the blue. That's more telling to me than the chain-mail-like scales.