Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Origin Story

The clock keeps ticking down to the release of "Man of Steel." I'm not slated to see it until the week it comes out (at least so far,) but it's been shown to the NY/LA junket press and there are supposedly sneaks happening around starting this week. So far, nobody I know or trust has given me a solid reaction one way or another, so... the waiting game continues.

While we wait, Warners has released this 13 minute "making of" piece to the web. Nothing in the way of new footage or plot details, but always interesting all the same. It doesn't do much to change the overall impression I've held since this ball got rolling: Looks really good, will almost-definitely do the job of making Superman "cool" in the eyes of the popular-culture again... but there's this omnipresent "moodiness" hanging over everything they've shown that can't help but make me worried that they somehow still. Managed. To. Not. GET. It.

If nothing else, I'm encouraged by the fact that Christopher Nolan has basically no presence in the piece. Sure, that's probably more of a scheduling thing, but I've maintained all along that he's completely wrong for a Superman project and if his role here really was just laying his "Director of The Dark Knight" blessing on the film and hanging back as a figurehead... fine by me. On the less-encouraging side, everything out of David Goyer's mouth in this makes me physically cringe, and it's his "reimagining" pitch that apparently made Nolan throw his weight behind this in the first place.

Just a pair of observations:

1. Pretty-much every single "new" version of Lois Lane get's talked up as "more proactive" than the previous; which is endlessly amusing if you have even cursory knowledge of the real history of these characters. Lois is the most well-known superhero love-interest, so people tend to imagine her as being the "useless shrieking damsel-in-distress" believed typical of the type - ignoring the idea that "unusually proactive, assertive and independent" has been the default for Lois since the beginning of the comics. Yes, she got captured by bad guys a lot... usually because she was going into dangerous places alone of her own volition rather than waiting for anyone else to nut up and do it.

2. I'm not going to say that working stuff like this out as part of establishing a cohesive design aesthetic is a "bad" approach, BUT... if you really are enough of a miserable party-pooper that the question of why an alien's costume has an "S" on it's chest will be the thing that would negate your enjoyment of a movie, you were never going to enjoy a Superman movie.