Man of Steel Countdown – Superman and me

ManofSteelCountdown


In just twenty four days (well 21 days for me :D), THE most anticipated movie of the year will arrive in theaters. There have been few movie events in the past decade, but for me, THIS would count as the one of the biggest one to date. In preparation for Man of Steel, I’ll be posting various Superman-related posts in the next three weeks. Stay tuned for posts from Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet, Terrence @ The Focused Filmographer and Bubbawheat @ Flights, Tights and Movie Nights in the coming days and weeks!


Superman and Me

I have been a fan of Superman all my life. It’s perhaps not a surprise to most of you if you’ve been following my blog for some time. A throng of superheroes have come and gone in the last three decades since I saw Superman: The Movie for the first time. In fact, the number of comic-based films have quadruppled in the last ten years and there’s no end in sight, but for me, the Kryptonian hero shall always be my favorite.

SupermanTheMoviePosterIf you ask me why that it, I don’t know where to start really. I mean, I was far to young to know the cultural or social allegory of the time, that the hero was created in the context of the Great Depression in the early 30s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. After all, I was in preschool when the movie was released. But somehow, it appealed to me and was way more indelible than any other movie I had seen in my youth and perhaps since.

I wish I could find it, but I remember seeing a photo of me in my family album dressed in a Superman outfit that my mother must’ve bought me. One of my aunts who was living with my family at the time often told me how much I was so in love with Superman that I wore that suit often and I had gone to the theater a few times to see it. Now I don’t remember that part, but I definitely remember renting Superman I and II repeatedly when I was a teenager.

No surprise I included Richard Donner’s movie in the Films That Define Us blogathon back in 2010. And this is what I said:

This is the first movie I saw a the theater… and I think I’ve gone more than once. I remember my uncle finally buying me the VHS as I kept renting it over and over again. This is probably what makes me love the superhero genre, so even if the technology looks dated now, it’s got all the ingredients that makes this one stand the test of time: the perfect actor to play Superman, a rousing score and epic, memorable scenes that truly made us believe that yes, a man can fly!

Of course the ‘flying’ thing is truly a fantastical element in and of itself. The first time I saw Superman fly, in the iconic chopper rescue scene that never fails to render me awestruck and teary-eyed, there’s such a huge rush and excitement. Even in so-so Superman movies and shows, the moment his feet leaves the ground and wooosh!!! Up, up and away he soars to the sky, it always leave me giddy like a school girl.

He chose goodness

I know a lot of people think Superman is boring because well, he’s such a goody goody, a model of piety that even Lois made fun of him when he asked Perry White to transfer half of his Daily Planet salary to his earthly mom Martha Kent in Smallville. “Anymore at home like you?” She asked. “Uh, no, not really.” Clark replies. No, there isn’t of course, well, not one from a planet called Krypton anyway.

The Biblical allegory of Superman as a Christ-figure is more than obvious. JK Muir’s splendidly-perceptive review of Superman: The Movie said it best:

… Superman: The Movie lyrically captures the mythic, spiritual nature of the long-lived Superman legend… Jor-El (Marlon Brando), an Elder God-figure, sends his only son (a Jesus Christ surrogate…) to Earth to walk (and fly…) amongst humanity. Immaculate white and gleaming, Krypton is a visualization of an extra-terrestrial “Heaven,” a world far in advance of our own. But just as Heaven faced an insurrection in the form of Lucifer, so does Krypton quell an insurrectionist named Zod… one who is cast to a Hell-like dimension (The Phantom Zone) for his crimes…

Ok so God the Father and his Heavenly realm was never in any danger so it’s not like He sent Christ as a ‘refuge’ for His Son, but the pronounced parallel is Kal-El’s love for humanity. So to me, the fact that the Kryptonian luminary epitomizes GOOD doesn’t make him boring at all. In fact, it makes him utterly fascinating as he’s such a rarity… a being who’s SUPER because he not only epitomizes perfection on the outside with his external powers, he also represents inner goodness we all aspire to. Superman has all this power at his disposal, and really, he could practically do anything he wanted. After all, what does he owe us earthlings anyway? Nothing. We can’t expect him to protect nor save us as we don’t even deserve it, but yet, he takes it upon himself to be our savior.

SupermanRailTrack

He’s not without his share of tragedies, after all he not only lost his parents but his entire home world of Krypton, if that’s not ‘excess baggage’ I don’t know what is. But yet he doesn’t wallow in self pity and spend his days sulking or rebelling against his adoptive parents because he feels ‘entitled.’ I love how Mr. Muir puts it:

A real hero can still choose to take to the skies instead of lurking in the shadows, or seething in the dark of night.

I may not be able to relate to Superman with all his superpowers but power is a relative term and each of us has a certain degree of power and the choice to use that power for evil or for good. So in that sense, I can surely aspire for greatness, to be inspired by his heroism and altruistic notion. Superman has always been about hope and I’m sure glad Man of Steel will be so as well. As you’ve seen at the end of the second trailer, Superman tells Lois that the ‘S’ on his chest means hope. So long as there’s tragedy and misfortune in our world, hope shall never go out of style.

The Ultimate Immigrant

SiegelShusterSuperman
Siegel (writer) and Shuster (artist) creating the iconic character

Now, later on, as I move to the United States to go to college, I soon identify with the Man of Steel because he too is an immigrant. No, I didn’t come from a dying planet like Krypton nor did I have adoptive parents in the US, but the idea of feeling alienated and an outsider in the community I live in is something I definitely identify with. Reversely, I was born in a Metropolitan City (Jakarta) and came to live in a small town in the US (St. Cloud, about 1 hr away from Minneapolis), but just like Clark Kent, I too have long come to love my ‘adopted’ country.

Superman is very much an American, but he’s also very much an alien. As they were raised by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Siegel and Shuster perhaps also struggled with issues of immigration and assimilation as Clark/Superman does on earth. But through his struggles of concealing his identity and living a dual life – like many immigrants trying to fit in — Superman rise above all that and choose to be a champion for humanity, a citizen and protector of the entire planet Earth, not just United States.

Wanting to be Lois Lane

If there was a movie character I wish I could be for a day (or even weeks), it’d be Lois Lane. I mean, she’s a cool career woman with a spunky personality. She was the best reporter at the Daily Planet and lives in a swanky apartment in NYC even Carrie Bradshaw would envy. As if that weren’t enough, she doesn’t only get to interview Superman, she becomes the only woman who captures his heart.

Growing up, I had always wanted to be a journalist. Yes I even enrolled in a Mass Communications major and was intent on pursuing that degree with a focus in journalism. Well, after a few classes, I realized it’s not for me (I got into Advertising & Graphic Design) instead, but that goes to show how much the character from the Superman comics resonated with me.

SupermanTheMovie_LoisDailyPlanet
Who doesn’t want this kind of ‘friend’ stalking you at the office, ahah

It’s in the genes

Seems that my connection with Superman have began even before I was born. Back in 1974, my late father produced and wrote Rama, Superman Indonesia (perhaps the first Indonesian superhero movie ever – at least as far as I know). I actually have never seen the film on the big screen, the only token I have of that movie is this photo of the movie poster (I knew my dad used to do some poster illustrations too but I’m not sure if he did this one).

RamaSupermanIndonesia

Now, even though it has the word ‘Superman’ in it, the story is quite different as it’s actually closer to The Greatest American Hero as a young paperboy named Andi is given a magic necklace by an old man he helped, which could transform him into a superhero. Veteran Indonesian actor August Melasz played Rama in one of his earliest roles. According to the Indo Wiki, the film can’t ever be Internationally-marketed due to copyright infringement of the use of the word ‘Superman’ [sigh]

Now if you’re curious about and wants to see a super cheesy, SFX-free superhero movie ( I mean, the entire movie’s production cost probably only amounts to Man of Steel‘s catering budget for a day, ahah!), someone actually uploaded the entire movie on Youtube!

When the actor and the character meets

My admiration for Christopher Reeve, who shall always be my favorite Superman, pretty much set the bar in terms of my Hollywood crushes. I’m glad I was able to separate fantasy from reality though as Superman is, in Lois’ own words, a tough act to follow 😉 But when it comes to movie star crushes, I guess Reeve sets the bar high. You never forget your first one, they say, and Reeve was my first ever crush. But not only that, he’s the ONLY actor I’ve written a fan letter to in my entire life, and he’d also be the last. I was in my Junior High, I finally did it with the encouragement from my late mother who also helped me write it in English. It took nearly a year to receive a reply, but I ended up getting not one, but two autographed photos from him (arrived separately).

Later in his life, Mr. Reeve himself suffered a personal tragedy when he was thrown from a horse in an equestrian competition in May 1995. He became a quadriplegic due to his spinal cord injury. I remember crying when I heard the news. But in the nine years that he lived with such an extreme physical disability, he became a champion for people with disabilities through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He was a hero even when he couldn’t walk, let alone fly, but then again, inner strength and courage is what truly makes a hero.

Speaking of actors playing Superman, I also had a premonition in regards to Henry Cavill. Back in 2002 when I saw The Count of Monte Cristo on the big screen, I distinctly remember whispering to my hubby when I saw the then 18-year-old Cavill came on screen that he could play Superman when he grows up. Now a decade later, imagine my delight when I first heard he was indeed cast!

HenryCavillCountMonteCristo

Interestingly enough, the actor playing his father in that film, Jim Caviezel, was also considered by Bryan Singer to play Superman in Superman Returns. But reportedly, Singer was hesitant to cast Caviezel as he had just played the ultimate Savior in The Passion of the Christ.

It’s been a while since I’m THIS giddy with anticipation the way I am with Man of Steel. I was stoked for Superman Returns seven years ago, but nowhere near at this level. So I’ll end this post with this awesome featurette that talks about the characterization of who Superman as a ‘conflicted, lonely and lost person’ and ‘the most powerful but also the most vulnerable.’ I’m liking these themes here, which makes the message about hope all the more compelling.


Well lookie here!! Turns out that the latest Man of Steel trailer titled Fate of Your Planet was out the same time I posted this.


Oh boy, is it ever intense!! It made me reflect on just how much Supes truly love people of earth and how much is at stake against a ruthless enemy like Zod and Faora…

For every human you save we will kill a million more. – Faora

OMG! That quote made me shudder! I think it’s wise that they save the most action-packed trailer to last, starting with a more dramatic and emotive one first. This convinces me more that the movie’s gonna have a good balance of being action-packed and packs an emotional punch!

BRING! IT! ON!


Hope I still have your attention after all my personal rambling, ahah.

What are your thoughts about Superman and/or Man of Steel? Let’s hear it!

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117 thoughts on “Man of Steel Countdown – Superman and me

  1. Love This! I think you’ve related a great part of you into this piece celebrating a motion picture many still take joy in, Ruth. Outstanding. It really makes me more pumped for the upcoming Man of Steel, as well as wanting to re-screen this ’78 superhero classic once again. Great way to launch a countdown, my friend. Thanks for this.

    1. Thanks Michael! I’ve shortened this quite a bit, believe it or not. Stayed pretty late last nite and rambled on and on, ahah. Writing this and watching some clips renewed my love for the character and made me realize just how much I LOVE Superman and what he stands for. I figure the one way to kick this countdown off that’d be different from the rest is go with a personal angle. So hope I didn’t bore you to tears, he..he..

      Btw, THANKS for the reblog!! 😀

    1. Hey THANK YOU! Really appreciate you taking the time to comment as you’re relaxing by the pool 😉

      It’s been a while since I looked at those signed pics but last nite I took ’em out and looked at ’em fondly 😀

  2. Wow you’re REALLY excited for this one! You made me more excited for it too! I was not a big fan of superhero movies until recently, when my friends made me watch a bunch of them. Have never seen a superman movie though, really only the batmans and the avengers ones. The trailers for this one look really good though. Plus Superman cracks me up in how it should have ended videos 🙂

    1. Hi Hunter. Yes I’m REALLY excited for this, can’t you tell? 😀 I like a bunch of other superheroes, both DC and Marvel, but Superman is the one I really hold dear and you can see why 😀 Oh you must give Superman: The Movie a watch, I mean it’s essential viewing for movie fans!

    1. Hi Tim! Yeah that rarely happens but Cavill has such a Superman-y look to him and he’s got the perfect temperament too.

      Great clip! Thanks for sending that. Lois is awesomely spunky! 😀

  3. Ted S.

    Great write up Ruth, as you know I too saw Superman when I was very young and got me into American movies, Superman and Raiders of the Lost Ark convinced me to start watching more American films. Before then I only watched kung fu and samurai movies from Hong Kong and Japan, but I was very young then.

    Nice little shout out to your dad’s superhero flick there, ha ha.

    I’m excited for Man of Steel but I’ll keep my expectations low since I still have my doubts about Zack Snyder, I hope he’ll prove me wrong and made a great Superman flick.

    1. Thank you Ted! Oh cool that Superman got you into American movies! And Indy too, I know I used to watch that w/ my two brothers, both such American icons! I was never into Kung Fu movies though, even tho my brother was into it.

      Ahah well I can’t possibly NOT mention about my dad’s movie. I mean it’s sooo hilarious w/ a shoe-string budget. I think the flying scene was shot w/ the actor standing and they just rotate it in post production, ahahaha. C’mon Ted, Snyder is not a horrible director. I don’t think he’s a hack either as he actually has a strong vision (visually speaking) for his films even if it’s not for everyone obviously. He’s not a good storyteller though, but fortunately he’s not writing this one 😀

  4. Man of steel is the one for me this year. He has been surpassed in the movies in recent years but if they get this right it’s no contest. Superman is the ultimate in people hearts too, I had that goosebumps feeling at the trailer. Please please please be awesome!

    1. Hi Kev, glad you agree! I think this is Supes’ year, I really believe that. The past few years have been Marvel’s year and his co-DC hero Batman’s but 2013 is for Superman 😀 Yes, I’m hopeful he’ll be awesome but for me, even if the film disappoints, I’ll always love Superman the character. But I have a feeling Man of Steel will NOT disappoint [fingers crossed!!]

      1. fingers, legs, toes everything crossed. I am a DC fan first even though Marvel have been exceptional franchise builders. All the ingredients are there -gooooo Supes’

        1. Ahah yeah, if I had three arms ALL of them would be crossed too! 😀 You’re a DC fan first too? LOVE it. Me too! Well obviously as Supes is my first everything, ahah. Yes, GO Supes indeed!

          1. Yep, I’ve done plenty of Superhero reviews, can’t get enough! DC just seems to mean more. Part of why I liked Somewhere in time you took a look at was because of Reeves. He is the ultimate.

    1. Ahah, I knew you’d call me out on it somehow. Well I actually did read some of ’em, I think I owned a couple growing up but the only comics I was really into as a kid was Tintin (a Belgian comic) and this anime one called Candy Candy, that’s it! I don’t know why but I’ve never been into any other comics since. I don’t think one has to be a regular comics reader to love Superman.

  5. Beautiful post Ruth! As if I already wasn’t giddy enough about “Man of Steel”. I knew you were a huge Superman fan but I honestly didn’t know HOW big. I think it’s awesome.

    I REALLY want “Man of Steel” to be good. It would be such a shame if we didn’t have a really good superman franchise during this current superhero explosion. He deserves one. My fingures are crossed and my hopes are high. Please “Man of Steel” deliver!!!

    1. Thank you Keith! He’s not our Savior but perhaps the most worthy amongst all other superheroes in terms of his ‘capacity for good.’ The Christian allegory is largely part of why I LOVE Superman so much. My grandpa from my dad’s side was a Minister so it must’ve appealed to my dad to make Rama 🙂

      “It would be such a shame if we didn’t have a really good superman franchise during this current superhero explosion” Yes it would!! But it won’t happen. Man of Steel WILL be good 😀

      1. The allegory is strong and it’s a pretty moving one. That’s one of the reasons I had such a problem with Superman Returns. particularly the end. Superman is such an example of good and I love the fact that he’s a hero without a gray area.

        Just reread your post. So good!

        1. Some people equate his journey to Moses too w/ being put into a vessel by his parent and being raised by people who are not his own. But I think the Christ allegory is just as strong. Yep, Supes is pretty much black and white (like our Savior) and that’s why I think some people have issues w/ him, he’s not ‘edgy’ enough or ‘cool’ enough. So be it, I don’t follow someone because he/she is cool on the surface, in fact, it’s the ‘meeks who shall inherit the earth’ and it doesn’t get more meek than Clark Kent w/ his humble beginnings 😀

              1. Blabbering? Maybe to some but definitely not to those of us of like mind. I see exactly what you’re saying and the comparisons are undeniable. The imagery fits in perfectly with what our Savior did and personally I never get tired of hearing it. 😉

  6. What a great post Ruth, so informative but so personal. I knew you love Superman, but I never knew the whole story. Plus bonus points for calling this casting so many years ago. That’s awesome that Reeve sent you two pictures…very cool of him.

    1. Thanks Paula! He..he.. yeah, I was contemplating about how personal I was gonna make it but I thought what the heck, it’s not like it’s a big secret, ahah. When I looked at Henry’s pics again at that age, I’m astounded how Superman-y he is. I mean his face w/ that jawline obviously, but mostly his demeanor and his aura, I think actors playing Supes have to also be a nice guy y’know, I mean relatively speaking. He can’t be a party animal or going in and out of rehab for substance abuse and all that. But yet it can’t be for show, w/ Henry I feel that it’s genuine.

  7. I’m glad you wrote it the way you did. I see the jaw, definitely…Time has been good to him 😉 I too feel like he’s genuinely nice and decent. With his role in Tudors, which I think he was great in, I always figured he wasn’t anything like that character.

    1. Oh right, he did play a slimy guy in The Tudors, well not as slimy as Henry VIII though, ahah. You’re right, he seems like he’s got his head screwed on tight. Even when he failed to nab any of the roles he auditioned for (Bond, Superman, Twilight) he didn’t become bitter. LOVE him!

  8. a beautiful read, Ruth.

    I used to be more of a fan of Superman than I am now. I always found it frustrating that villains all over just kept, somehow, finding more kryptonite to hurt him or more schemes to fool Superman who always got duped. and he disappointed me when he was killed by Doomsday. he was the strongest.

    ha.

    I still like him as a superhero and like that DC rebooted him in the New 52. I also loved Christopher Reeve as Supes. Thanks for sharing your cool photos. I look forward to seeing Cavill as the Man of Steel. I do still, however, have reservations…but my concerns are slowly fading.

      1. concerns about how well they blend the DC movie trend of “real life” scenarios and possible events with the “fantasy.” (i.e. Zod and leading to the possibility of future DC films such as Wonder Woman and the Justice League). I also have had a few concerns about the character development and just hope that they took really good notes from Superman Returns and what NOT to do.

        I also hope that there is more crossover tidbits throughout.

        I am interested in seeing Man of Steel and just hope not to be burned like the last 3-4 Superman movies. I don’t think I will.

        1. Legitimate concerns, all of them. I am with you in hoping that Nolan, Snyder and all the rest watched Superman Returns before embarking on this project just to remind themselves of what not to do with Superman….. I trust Nolan, and to some extent Snyder, not to completely screw it up. From the trailers though, there’s a ****load more action in this film by comparison – hell, MOS’s 3rd trailer had more action in it than the entirety of Superman Returns, so that’s a good start.

          As for the blend of reality and fantasy, I think the approach should be to treat it as realistically where possible, but obviously allow room for growth in the gantastical realm. DC doesn’t have to stick to the same template as Marvel, say, but as we saw with Marvel, a fantastical element (Thor, for example) can mix easily with a relatively realistic element (Iron Man) with no real problems.

          Don’t worry about being burned like you have previously, mate. Odds are short that this film is going to kick all kinds of ass.

    1. Thanks T! I hear ya about being disappointed and that Kryptonite thing can get tiresome. That’s why I’m thrilled that they’re doing away w/ that in this film though I’m sure it’ll be back in future iterations.

      Glad that your concerns are slowly fading. Of course I’m naturally hopeful about Supes, the films may disappoint me, but the character never will 😀

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  10. Ruth, you know how excited I am for this film – moreso than Superman Returns, for which I was excited but not mind-blowingly so, largely thanks to an underwhelming advertising campaign – and you’ve hit on a lot of salient points here with your post. As a long-time Superman comic reader, I’m among what appears to be the minority who aren’t fussed about the changes within the film: the costume, the Jenny/Jimmy Olsen character, and others – truthfully, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a film since the first Lord Of The Rings movie….. or perhaps even ever!

    Nice work!

    1. Yay Rodney! That’s cool to hear that as comic-book fan you’re fine w/ the creative liberties the filmmakers are taking w/ this one. I know haters are gonna hate but I think for a clean reboot, I’m glad they’re taking brave choices!!

  11. Love this, Ruth. Superman is one of my favorite superheroes, and it’s interesting to see the impact he’s had on you. Actually, now I want to go back and watch the first two Superman films again. 🙂

    1. Thank you Josh! I guess Superman came into my life and never left, he..he.. A bit dramatic perhaps but as you can see, there are lots of reasons to love this character. Thank you Siegel & Shuster!

  12. Your heartfelt affiliation with Superman is touching, Ruth. Films mean much because they are more than characters on a screen; films change our perceptions and create empathy. A powerful medium indeed! My only wish for the film is that it lives up to your expectations….

    1. Awww… thank you for the sweet comment, Cindy! Yes absolutely… some characters resonate with us more than others and I for one gravitate more towards more positive characters than the dark, evil ones. Yes I hope your wish comes true! 😀

  13. armanddc

    Great post, Ruth. Although you made me insecure. I thought I was the biggest Superman fan in all of the universe.

    1. Ahah well, I know for sure I’m not THE biggest fan, I’m sure people who collects all kinds of Superman memorabilia would beg to differ 😀 Glad you’re a fan though!

  14. Beautiful article! Did you watch Superman series with Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane? I always enjoyed it as a kid, and I liked Smallville, I really need to finish the series one day I ave up after season 4. I really love Cavilll as new Superman and Amy as Lois but it’s a bit weird she is not a brunette 🙂

    1. Thanks Sati! No I actually have never followed that particular series. Sorry but I never thought Dean Cain was right as Superman. I did watch the first 2 seasons of Smallville and the episode w/ Reeve. But I think Cavill will be my second fave Supes after Reeve. Btw, you know that Amy also had a guest stint in Smallville once, right?

  15. Fascinating post, Ruth! I can see why you’re so excited for it. I’ve always been a huge Batman fan, especially growing up, so I definitely know what it’s like looking up to a superhero. And I love how you talk about the Biblical allegory as well. Again, great post! 😀

    1. Thanks Garrett! Well I hope I give a decent argument why Supes isn’t boring, au contraire! 😀 I like Batman too, for different reasons, but only recently in Nolan’s versions. But Supes has always been close to my heart 😀 Well, as a Christian myself, I especially appreciate the Biblical allegory, that’s kind of what makes the story so timeless.

  16. Incredible write up. I’ve never been the biggest Superman fan, but I love your reasoning behind your love. Gives the character a bit more humanity. As for heroes, I’m a Bat-fan.

    1. Ooooh, thanks for calling it incredible… I’m verklempt! 😀 I know not everyone loves Supes as much as I do but if my writeup at least makes people like you think of him in a different light even just a teeny bit, then I’m VERY happy!

    1. Coming around to Man of Steel? What, what? 😀 I think when Henry was cast and Nolan overseeing the project, I was all in, ahah. Of course I have doubts but I’m more than willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt.

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      1. I know! I get goosebumps each and every time I watch the trailers. Ooooooooh exciting! Sadly it only released 28 June 2013 here 😦 😦 WHY, CRUEL WORLD?!

        1. I’ve watched that trailer a dozen times yesterday, ahah. You’re in South Africa right? That’s a bummer it opens 2 weeks later than here!

          1. Yep, I am in South Africa, and I get so depro each and every time I think about the release date. Some evil marketers out there!

            1. Oh no don’t be. Even us in the US don’t always get stuff right away either. Some European films, even James Bond which was technically produced in the US are released weeks after UK.

              1. You know?! I remember that. Then we got it a month after UK release, two weeks after you guys. Pffffffft. Worldwide releases, people! A way to bind us all!

  18. Fantastic piece Ruth, really insightful. I have always liked Superman but never been a massive fan. I remember watching the older movies and The New Adventures TV show but I always felt like he was a little too perfect, if you know what I mean? Most of the other superheroes always felt a lot more vulnerable to me and I think that’s why I liked them a little more, whereas Supes is practically perfect.

    I am super hyped about the new film now, I’ve really got swept up in the hype and I can’t wait to sit down and become completely absorbed in it. Fingers crossed it lives up to expectations!

    1. Thanks Chris!! I think that’s a lot of people’s perception that he’s TOO perfect, but like I mentioned above, I think there’s more to him than that. I think the fact that he can’t even have a ‘normal’ relationship with people of earth and always living like an outsider must not be a walk in the park for him, but yet he isn’t embittered by it all, which is what I find admirable.

      I know what you mean, I can’t wait to become completely absorbed in this, it’ll be a a heck of a ride. YAY!!!

    1. Ahah, well I don’t know that I’m the blogosphere’s BIGGEST Superman fan but hey, I don’t mind that title 😀 I know you’re still not fully on board with it but I REALLY hope this one will prove you wrong, Fogs!!

  19. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Excellent post and dissertation!

    From my point of view:

    Best and most memorable Superman(s).

    Television. George Reeves. With the Warner Brothers’, Superman: The Animated Series.

    Film: Christopher Reeve. I enjoyed watching him stumble around as Clark Kent opposite his assurance and confidence flying around Metropolis. Though, as his forerunners, Chris did duck empty pistols thrown his way after having that pistols bullets bounce harmlessly off his chest. Never figured that one out. 😀

    That is all.
    Securing my Soapbox.
    Carry on.

    1. Ahahaha, your comment made me laugh Jack! Yeah, why did he have to duck?? 😀 That’s why that scene in Superman Returns when the bullet just bounced off his eye when he was shot at close range is VERY cool! But yeah, Christopher Reeve will always be my fave Superman!

      1. jackdeth72

        Hi, Ruth:

        And if Gerard Butler could play General, or later, Emperor Zod. All would be well in the world! 🙂

        1. Ahah, y’know what, I think he’d make a great Zod! I’m surprised Snyder didn’t consider him since they worked so well together in 300. But nah, Shannon looks pretty sick in this one!

  20. Excellent post Ruth. I know your gearing up for this one and I hope it lives up to your expectations. I actually think it will.
    Great little personal history involved in this post also. Very nicely done!

    1. Hello there Mark! Thanks for taking time from your cabin-building to stop by. Yeah I’m very optimistic about this one, can’t you tell? 😉 Glad you enjoyed the personal history I have with Superman.

  21. Fantastic red this Ruth, and despite not liking any superhero style movies, Superman has always been the one exception. Loved and seen them all, and I’ll be there opening day to see this 🙂

    1. Right on Tyson!! Glad to hear Superman is your superhero of choice, that makes me happy! Glad to hear you’re enthused about Man of Steel, too!

  22. Joe Rispoli

    Ruth,

    I found your comments to be very interesting and enjoyable, sharing many of my own feelings for the characters and the movie. As a matter of fact, while

    reading the comments to your review, I started up the Superman movie, and am watching it as I write my own comments. I was born in the 50s, and grew up watching

    the original Superman TV series, and reading my uncles’ comic book collections. I was in my late 20s when Superman The Movie came out, 2 months after my own son

    had been born, so I could relate quite well to how Kal-El’s parents were feeling as they sent him off into an uncertain but infinitely preferable future. As was

    brought out in the movie, Kal-El’s presumed role in Earth’s history was to be an inspiration to others who lived there, a role which the appearance of his

    character fulfilled in real life. His acceptance by the general public created the entire comic book “Super”-Hero genre back in the late 30s.

    Reading your comments about your younger self’s super costume brings back my own memories of running around with a towel draping my own younger self’s

    back… and I see a quick shot in the Man of Steel trailers of young Clark doing much the same… The question which came to mind was: “Who inspired him to do

    that?” I’ve since then decided that young Clark might have seen his older self in action during a time travel incident/mission (and it might have been either

    way.) I just like the idea of the younger Clark fixating on his own alter ego, and deciding he had to live up to the future self he had met, but not aware that

    it was him.

    Lois in the movies was a bit of a ditz, but I excused her behavior since A) She had just met a guy she had fallen head over heels in love with and was

    quite disoriented. and B) It was a much more enjoyable treatment of the character than the schemeing manipulative harpy she had been portrayed as in many of the

    60’s and 70’s Superman comics I had read.

    If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you read the Trade Paperback or watch the animated feature All-Star Superman. The comic was written in the last ten

    years, so is a fairly modern interpretation of the character, but with quite a few nods to some of the quirky features of the 60s style comics. It concerns a

    storyline arc that starts with the rescue of a manned solar observation post, causing Superman to receive a massive overdose of Solar radiation, which boosts his

    powers to previously unseen levels, but will cause him to die within a year. Superman’s response to this news is to request it be kept confidential as long as

    possible, and he sets out to do things he wants to do, and things he HAS to do. (I think you’ll love Superman’s birthday present to Lois.) Early in the

    animation, a previously unknown link between Lois and Superman is revealed, which changes the end of the story from a disaster to a triumph on many levels. (Now

    I have to watch All-Star Superman again, too.)

    I remember watching Christopher Reeve playing a college-aged character on one of my wife’s soap operas back in the mid-70s, and when I heard he got the

    role, I was wondering how they’d pull the whole thing off. Well, with a lot of hard work and dedication on Christopher’s part (and others working on the

    production) he pulled it off quite well. To this day, Christopher Reeve is my idea of Clark/Kal-El. It’s a shame Brandon Routh was saddled with such a dog of a

    script in Superman Returns, he showed how closely he could duplicate Reeve’s performance on both levels, and I don’t blame the failure of the project on him at

    all.

    I’ve had my doubts about Man of Steel, starting with the ‘modern = dark and moody’ accept that seems to be all over DC/Warner Bros recent attempts at

    live action super-hero films. It works quite well for Batman, but just blurs/muddies/demeans a character meant to be a shining inspiration such as Superman.

    All of the trailers have had something to recommend the film despite my doubts, and I am anxiously awaiting my chance to see Man of Steel when it opens.

    1. Hi Joe! Welcome to FC and THANKS for your wonderful comment. That is so cool that my post got you to rematch the movie again, that makes me happy! It’s been great to hear other’s own personal connection with Superman. As a new dad at the time, no doubt you identified with Jor-El sending his only son into an uncertain universe.

      How perceptive you are about young Clark putting on the red cloth as a cape when he was younger. I never thought of that, but you’re right, who inspired him to do that?? Your time travel idea is interesting, though I never read that there’s a time travel thing involved, well apart from the whole Supes-rotating-earth thing to save Lois in Superman: The Movie. I’d like to think that when he was growing up, there must’ve been somekind of superhero comics as well that would have the hero clad in a cape?? Maybe it ignited something in him as he’s always had this super strength since he was a baby??

      Oh yeah, he was in Love of Life. I’ll see if there’s a clip of that available on youtube. You’re right Chris Reeve was so skinny when he was cast but he really worked out to get the buff physique, though I think today’s actors have to work out more, I mean just look at Henry Cavill. I like Routh as Supes, but like you said, the material was well, ill-advised I’d say. But at the same time I think it’s time to reinvent the character instead of channeling Reeve.

      I see your point about Man of Steel’s being dark and moody, but I think that could’ve been more on the marketing side as I’ve been reading lots of interviews w/ the writer and director that it’s not going to be a dark movie. Goyer who wrote Nolan’s Batman films realize that it won’t work for Superman to make the tone darker like Batman. So I think it’ll be less campy but not exactly a gloomy affair. I can’t wait for Man of Steel. Thanks again for the comment, Joe, hope to see you around more 😀

  23. You a fan of Superman? I can’t believe it. Well actually based on what I no about you via your blog it makes perfect sense. While I am not usually a huge fan of Supes I am eagerly looking forward to Man of Steel as that trailer looks great.

  24. Wonderful post, Ruth. I agree about how Superman works as a figure of hope and goodness — it annoys me when I hear people say he’s boring because he’s too much of a goody-goody (Captain America gets this treatment too). It makes me think that those people don’t really “get” superheroes, they just like vigilante action… even Batman is ultimately more about hope than vengeance.

    It’s great that your father made a superhero movie of his own. Seems like it should be possible to get it marketed over here, though; it would just need a minor adjustment to the title. The internal dialogue shouldn’t matter much (similar to Disney-Pixar being able to use the name “Elastigirl” in The Incredibles but not the promo material, thanks to an obscure DC Comics character).

    The last few bits of promotional material have raised my hopes for the new film. I’m still a little leery of it, but it at least looks like it’s possible for it to be good now. Hopefully it lives up to your expectations.

    1. Thanks Morgan! Yep, people forget that most superheroes are essentially agents of good, though I think in the case of Superman, the fact that he’s an alien but yet he cares more about humanity than most humans, is an extra admirable trait IMO.

      Ahah no, I doubt my dad’s film would work for western audiences, not even sure if it was marketed anywhere else outside of Indo at the time, maybe India or Malaysia.

      I hope the film would erase your doubts Morgan, I know I’m perhaps the most optimistic about it on the blogosphere, ahah.

      1. And I’m probably the most pessimistic, at least among those who actually want to like it. 😀 Certainly I seem to be the one with the least faith in Zack Snyder… most people seem to view him as a guy with a few great films and one failure (Sucker Punch); I view him as a guy with a few lousy films and one good one (Watchmen).

  25. Didn’t know that Superman have such big impact on you. Man of Steel is one of the movies I anticipated this year, because of the gorgeous trailer. Well honestly I dislike Superman the series when I was a teenager, because you said, he’s such a goody goody and I didn’t like Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane. I don’t know if I will like it now if I watch the series again. But maybe Man of Steel could change that. I also want to see Amy Adams, I never hated her performances before.

    1. Hi Andina. Well, I don’t blame you that you didn’t like THAT Superman series, I can’t stand Dean Cain either, ahah. I wouldn’t really call that one a Superman series per se as it’s more on Lois and Clark though. But Man of Steel and the Christopher Reeve’s versions, are all about our Kryptonian hero 😀

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  28. Wow…this is a great post Ruth…at least I know I am not the only one who wrote passionately over movies/characters I love 😉

    Superman 2 was the first movie I saw in the cinema, as far as I renember, I think I was 4 years old.

    I wish the movie will live up to your expectation, Ruth 🙂

    ps. TOday is Cillian’s birthday 🙂

    1. Ahah, well I think I can quite passionate about certain actors when I choose to be 😀

      That’s cool that you saw Superman II on the big screen too, like me.

  29. This is a great read. You definitely seem to have a personal connection with Superman, and you seem to really get what he’s truly all about. Sometimes I think I’m a bit too cynical to really appreciate the character. I can’t wait for Man of Steel… and I’m absolutely going to have to check out Rama, Superman Indonesia because I just have to.

    1. Hi there, welcome to FC! Thanks so much for reading and the kind words. I realize most people are cynical about Supes, and that’s kind of why I wrote this. He..he.. well, enjoy the inherent cheesy-ness of Rama 😀

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  31. Great post, Ruth! I share your passion for Superman, but I have only recently rediscovered it. I was a big fan as a kid, but as I got older I gravitated towards other heroes and thought Superman was boring because he could do anything. But in my anticipation for Man of Steel I started reviewing all the Superman movies, I have very happily found that Superman is just as great as I remember him being. I also get real giddy every time his feet leave the ground. It’s just so magical, and honestly I think it still looks great FX-wise.

    And I have to say: Rama, Superman Indonesia looks fantastic! I might just have to watch that one too! I’m a big fan of low-budget superhero films, and I’ve never heard of that one. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Will! Always nice to ‘meet’ a fellow Superman fan! See, I was distracted by other superheroes over the years but I never forget that Supes is my first love and thus I’m thrilled to see people seem to be excited for him again w/ Man of Steel coming out. The whole flying thing is magical indeed, and seems like Snyder realizes that and REALLY made the flying sequence so darn cool!!

      Ahah, well I don’t think a lot of ppl know about Rama. I probably wouldn’t either if it weren’t such a close personal connection to me 😉

  32. Wonderful post! I am really unsure whether I can like Man of Steel as much as I liked Smallville’s 10 seasons. I have watched those episodes over and over again, so unconsciously I will be definitely comparing the two productions.

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