Amph This Movie Didn't Use Slow Motion: Man of Steel

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jedi_Master_Conor, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    Ender, at no point does Jonathan (or Martha really) Clark about human morality and justice. He is chastised for saving a bus full of kids who would have died otherwise because it wasn't safe. Not because it wasn't right but because it wasn't safe. All Jonathan teaches him is about restraint -- be careful, be hidden -- we get no sense of morality. Again, not to compare Donner-origin to Snyder-origin, but there's nothing akin to a "... with all of my powers, I couldn't save him..." moment that showcases any humility learned.

    I don't need "Whatever it is you're here to do I know it's not scoring touchdowns" but something more than a scenario where Jonathan is asking Clark "Did they hurt you" with a response of "You know they can't," and telling Clark to let kids die and then ultimately telling Clark to let him die. It's the antithesis of "... with all of my powers, I couldn't save him..." because he could save him and it was a total boneheaded moment of stupidity that the film tries to sell us that he doesn't.

    He then spends his time wandering and stealing, acting petty (or worse, in the case of the truck driver -- destroying the man's entire source of livelihood as well as, very likely, much of the town's power) and saving people because he can not because he wants to (and implied only when he can stay hidden).
  2. Eeth-my-Koth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2001
    star 9
    Finally saw this last week. Very meh.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    Do you not get why he couldn't save Jonathon?

    One of the things MoS did that I really liked was it stopped pretending we live in a world of imbeciles. Lois Lane is no longer too clueless to see Superman/Clark based on glasses. People in Smallville understood Clark had powers, but it wasn't remarked upon - privacy or thereabouts. If he saved his father during that twister then there's no way it escapes attention. Too many people, too big a miracle. The government gets involved, Clark becomes a labrat or gets pushed into fighting back against the government, and it all collapses. In that moment, Coster Kent trusted his son and showed him that sometimes you make the sacrifice for the greater good.

    I mean, the whole point in this one of him going to the Planet at the end was so he could reconcile that lesson from his dad. So he could be Clark the regular man, and Clark the Superman.

    And honestly, in either situation Clark loses his dad to forces outside of his control and has to accept there are limits to what he does. Jor-El (Brando version) backs this up with the concept that humanity would rely on Superman like a crutch if he let them - you have to hold back. (Peace on Earth, the gorgeous large format Paul Dini/Alex Ross book, also deals with this theme). The contention for you here is that a heart attack is much harder for Clark to fix than pulling a broken-legged old man to safety during a twister. Fine, but I submit you haven't thought through Jonathon's thought process or the consequences of Clark acting to save him. Moreover, you haven't seen how thematically it's crucial that Jonathon dies and his death is a powerful lesson for Clark.
  4. Kenneth Morgan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 3
    First of all, crediting the idea of Pa Kent dying from an illness and Clark not being able to save him isn't a Richard Donner invention. It was the canonical story in the comics years before that. I'm pretty sure I still have the giant-sized Superman omnibus that includes that version.

    Second, for a much better presentation of Pa Kent worrying about Clark's moral sense, as well as Superman's vow to never take a life, I still recommend Miracle Monday by Eliot S. Maggin.
  5. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    I wasn't crediting the death to Donner (and, really, the Parental Kent Units' status fluctuated... wildly... for decades -- Pa Kent was still alive at the time of The Death of Superman) but stylistically comparing the deaths in Donner's film to Snyder's film in how the deaths were handled.
  6. Volderon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2007
    star 4
    Yeah but Saturn is defeated conveniently in that novel which is why this movie doesn't use something like that. They chose to have Superman make an actual choice with consequences. Not to bad mouth that novel, I love it but...
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  7. Slowpokeking Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    I don't think the death of Kent was too weird, but it could have been written better. Overall, Superman could kill Zod when he was trying to kill people, I think he would have tried to save his dad even though it might get himself into big trouble.
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
  9. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    It's still possible Hawkman secretly saved Pa Kent and that he'll return in the sequel.
  10. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
  11. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Pa Kent is actually Resurrection Man, you heard it here first.
    Penguinator likes this.
  12. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6

    This kid is awesome. When he puts his own arms up it is just adorable!
  13. Slowpokeking Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    He later killed Zod to save people, he should try to save his dad.
  14. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8

    OK, but what about the other extremely valid point I raised about saving his dad?
  15. AstroFan428 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 2
    That is awesome!
    Souderwan likes this.
  16. Slowpokeking Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4
    I don't think that plot was a big problem, but it could have been handled a little bit better.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8

    OK, but what about the other extremely valid point I raised about saving his dad?
    Jedi Merkurian and heels1785 like this.
  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I think you were wrong about the dad but I don't want to get involved in the middle of you and He Who Shall Hodorly Be Named...
    Ender Sai likes this.
  19. Slowpokeking Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2012
    star 4

    I think it's possible to give 100 logical reason for not saving Kent, but I prefer to think about Clark's personality, he isn't someone "I have to think everything clear, make sure I won't expose my power before I use my power to save people". He's a very nice guy, who was always willing to help people even though it might cause trouble to himself, like we saw in the movie, both before and after Zod came. When his own dad was in life danger, I don't think someone like him would stop there, not try to save his dad because of some backlash. Before that, he already risked himself to save others at least once during the schoolbus accident.
    Last edited by Slowpokeking, Feb 10, 2014
  20. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Small nitpick there: I'm not sure that anyone in Smallville ever thought Clark had powers as such. When Clark saves the schoolbus, Pete Ross's mother calls it an act of God, not something inherent to Clark as such. The only other occasion of "weirdness" that's widely observed in Smallville is when the schoolteacher gets her hand burned on the doorknob after Clark heats it up with his vision. The implication I took away - up to the point where Clark runs into Pete Ross again - was that the good, god-fearin' people of Smallville took these as small miracles rather than making Clark out to be the Messiah. I got the impression that, whether because of these experiences or maybe because it got around that Clark was adopted, Clark was always seen as the creepy kid who wasn't quite like everyone else and therefore to be picked on. Because he was an outsider, people knew very little about him and that therefore helped him stay in the shadows.

    On that score, Smallville seems to be portrayed as small-minded-ville; Jonathan Kent, with a spaceship in the basement surrounded by lots of faded yellow maps and charts, is portrayed as about the closest thing to a Renaissance Man that Smallville's capable of having. That plays in nicely to the theme that Jonathan is perhaps more afraid of what people will do to Clark if they find out he's not from this planet. That might not be the stereotypical way we demand superheroes' father figures behave, but it is at least a human response. That line, "Maybe", from Jonathan Kent is jarring, shocking to us because we are expecting Kevin Costner to channel Glenn Ford. In reality it's just an attempt at showing a more human Jonathan Kent - one who has no certainty of what the future will bring, one who doesn't know what his young son is going to be capable of. It also preserves some tension to the story because it does leave open the possibility that Superman will turn out a much darker version than he is - that he might allow his fear of humanity to rule him. It also foreshadows the death of Zod to some extent - because Jonathan Kent, being human, and fallible, has left that moral door open for Clark.

    I mean, you could easily argue that Glenn Ford in the Donner Superman is being just as unrealistic (paraphrasing it): "When we first found you we were afraid that people would come and try to take you away ... but then a man gets older, and things start to get very clear. And I know you were put on this Earth for a reason - I don't know whose reason, or ... but I do know one thing: it's not to score touchdowns." Is that a terribly logical thing for Jonathan Kent to do? Probably not. Jonathan Kent has no reason given on film to think the government will not eventually come back for Kal-El someday. And his assumption of a "reason" for Clark to be on Earth is all terribly theistic and fatalistic, especially for these cynical times. Does it work in the film's universe? Yes - because the film is bright colours, simple, Biblical themes, and a caricature of reality just as the Snyder version of Superman is.
  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8

    OK, but I made a specific point you aren't addressing but is pertinent.
  22. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    He was going to save his dad until his dad held up his hands and said 'don't' and as a nice guy and a good son he trusted his father to know what was best for him. If Johnathon hadn't told him to stop Clark would've outed himself right there, but luckily Johnathon was smart and brave enough to do what was best for his son and die so his son could live a normal life until he was ready for humanity to discover him.
    Last edited by GenAntilles, Feb 10, 2014
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 8
    @Saintheart, I thought I recalled Snyder saying people had come to accept over time that Clark could just do strange stuff. Might've been the fan Q&A with Kevin Smith.
    Saintheart likes this.
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    [IMG]
  25. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    This was written well enough I actually CAN'T tell if serious... :p (so I won't post the Joker for you)