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How Much is a Movie Allowed to Change

aka when did “Canon” become a bad word?

Obviously, I just watched Man of Steel this weekend, along with a ton of other people, but not everyone was happy with the way Superman was represented on screen. Of course with 75 years of different writers, artists, comic books, TV series, and movies there’s bound to be some discrepancies, but when does it become too far removed that it no longer resembles what the original character is supposed to represent? Personally, I’m on the side that is much more forgiving of liberties with the character. In music, I’m a big fan of remixes and mash ups, and in a way I think this translates to some of these characters. I like both the Sam Raimi and Mark Webb Spider-Man movies for different reasons, just how I like both the original Christopher Reeve Superman as well as Dean Cain’s Lois and Clark, Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel, Tom Welling’s Smallville, and several of the various animated incarnations. They are all very different from each other even though they are essentially the same character.
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Man of Steel

Man of Steel 2013

More than any other movie this summer, the one I’ve been looking forward to the most was Man of Steel, and at least right now just getting home from the theater, it did not disappoint. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but my hopes were high coming off of all the glorious trailers and the incredible cast. Even though it was treading on yet another origin story, I was willing to go with it. With Zack Snyder behind the helm, I was hoping for some visually amazing battles, and with Christopher Nolan overseeing the story, I was hoping for some real character depth. In my opinion, I got both. There may be some problems that come into my head after the fact, but at the moment I just had an amazing time at the movie theater, this review will likely have some spoilers so if you haven’t seen the movie. Go see it! Then come back and read my thoughts on it.
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Steel

Steel 1997

It’s not even halfway through the month and I’m already watching the last non-Blade movie. Sometimes it’s weird working ahead and writing these posts ahead of time, but for as long as I can manage I enjoy having some breathing room. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t go for some crazy project like watching and reviewing a movie daily. Anyway I’m getting really far off the point of the movie. It was late at night on a Friday, Jena was obsessed with wanting to watch this “farting horse movie” as she called it, also known as The Greening of Whitney Brown… I think I liked “farting horse movie” better. So once again I just watched the movie with my wife. But anyway, towards the end of Shaq’s basketball career and near the height of his fame, he decided he wanted to branch out and cash in on that fame. The quickest route apparently was movies and he joined a project based on one of the characters that I believe was introduced during the Death of Superman comic book event, Steel.

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Superman Final Thoughts

It’s week 2 and I’m already slacking on my project. Luckily I’ve worked ahead enough that I won’t be missing any posts just yet. Finally got around to watching the new Captain America tonight, and the next two movies on the list I own so they shouldn’t be a problem to find. I tried to film a video of my daughter’s thoughts about Superman but this was all I was able to get out of her.

I think the Superman franchise is pretty troubled. Superman is a tough character to have good conflict. He only has one weakness, and he’s generally stronger than anything else that can be thrown at him. That’s probably why the two movies that turned out the best are ones that didn’t have him dealing with someone as powerful as him. The first Superman movie and Superman Returns both deal with Lex Luthor and natural (or technically not-so-natural) disasters. They also deal strongly with his personal relationships and the trouble of leading a dual life, without resorting to sitcom-esque hijinks of a double date. The others tried to give Superman a worthy foe to fight and the only one that came close was Superman II, but the Richard Lester version threw too much slapstick into the mix that deflated what drama was there. Superman III and IV were just awful combinations of low budget or shoehorning plots that don’t really fit just because that’s what the filmmakers wanted in their movie.

I have hope for the new Superman movie, although the only thing I have to go on is a few photos and the track record of recent Marvel and DC movies, then again the buzz wasn’t very good for the Green Lantern which I haven’t seen yet. As long as it’s not yet another rehash of the same plot that I’ve seen twice, and there’s no Braniac fighting a polar bear or a giant spider in the third act, I’ll probably enjoy it. What I would like to see in a Superman movie is a real look at the duality of his personality that’s not directly tied to a love interest. I’d like to see him face off against a worthy adversary that’s not Lex Luthor and is something that actually makes sense. But until then, I’ll just have to wait for it, at least I’ve got plenty of movies to watch in the meantime. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.