MAN OF STEEL WATCH – EMPIRE MAGAZINE

So the hype leading up to Man of Steel is starting to really crank up.  More bits and pieces about the merchandising are making their way around the web and there is even word of a new trailer in April.  Magazines are getting in on the action too.

Empire Magazine 2013 AThis cover got quite a bit of play when it hit the Internet.  It’s been interesting to see actually.  A new image from this film pops up on a website and suddenly all of my friends on Facebook that like Superman are either posting it, making it their profile picture or both.  It’s not something I necessarily like to do but more power to them.

What I love most about this cover is that Superman is front and center.  Even with Iron Man 3 coming out in the same summer Empire chose to go with Superman as their main image, which gives me some hope that this film will be the big deal it needs to be.  What I don’t like about the cover is that it states that Superman is getting the “Dark Knight treatment”.  My first thought when I read that was, “Wow, that is written by someone is trying to sell magazines.”  Yes, the recent Batman films and Man of Steel share some creative personnel but everything that I have read regarding Man of Steel is that Superman is going to be a figure of hope, not a dark knight in red and blue.  The people responsible for the cover copy on this magazine don’t care about that.  Their goal is to get the average person on the street to purchase their magazine and if they can associate this movie with a very successful film franchise then maybe that average man and woman on the street will be more likely to plunk down the cash to buy this issue.

Is it misleading?  Yes.  Is it morally wrong?  I don’t know if I would go that far, but it is still annoying.

There was a variant to the cover without the obnoxious copy.

Empire Magazine 2013 BThe more I see of that suit the more I like the way it looks.

As I was searching for a post worthy version of this cover I stumbled across this image and smiled.

Empire Magazine 2006It’s nice to see that when a Superman film comes out he gets the cover of Empire Magazine.

MAN OF STEEL WATCH INSTALLMENT 2

After a two week and change delay the wife and I finally got to see Amazing Spider-Man last Saturday.  We had been meaning to since the day it came out but the time just wasn’t there.  Because we were seeing ASM and not Dark Knight Rises I was faced with a bit of a dilemma; how do we see ASM but still manage to see the Man of Steel teaser trailer that was going to be shown before Dark Knight Rises?  I concocted a plan where my wife and I would time when we would choose to see ASM at just a few minutes after DKR started so I could sneak into the DKR theater all Mission Impossible style complete with the Danny Elfman version of the theme, watch the trailer, sneak back out and go see ASM.  This plan was full of peril (and by”peril” I mean “we might have gotten kicked out of the theater and wasted $17.50”) but I was determined to see the MOS teaser.

Turns out I don’t have to do any of that because the teaser is online.

Now I don’t want to say too much about the teaser itself because we don’t see a whole lot of footage.  There are images of a bearded Clark in Alaska, an image of Clark hitchhiking like David Banner, some footage of a kid running around his backyard and the bad ass shot at the end of Superman breaking the sound barrier.  I do like the tone of Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent’s narration and am more convinced that the darkness and seriousness of this film is going to hinge on Clark choosing his destiny.  I have some thoughts on that but those will have to wait.  There is another version of the trailer with Russell Crowe as Jor-El narration that I like quite a bit.

Because the Internet is, well, the Internet my first reaction to the teaser was that people were probably going to complain about how short it was and Facebook soon proved me right.  This is not a judgment call, merely a cynical observation.  This led to my second reaction, which was to think about about the first teaser trailer to Superman: The Movie.

I don’t know how audiences reacted to the teaser in 1977/78 but given the fact that comic book based movies were pretty much non-existent at the time I am working under the assumption that some people probably lost their damn minds when they saw the big, red S on the screen at the end of the trailer.  I am sure there were people that thought it was crap but I think it shows how far we have come in terms of movie trailers, comic book movies and as a viewing audience that a bunch of guys in suits sitting around a conference table in 1977 watched the video above and said, “Yup, that’s the trailer for us.  People will love this!”

The second teaser had a bit more information about the film.

This is actually my favorite of the teaser trailers for Superman: The Movie as it shows stills from the film, has some great narration and puts the John Williams’ music to good use.  I first saw this trailer in 1999 or so back when the web was still pretty much in its infancy and in all honesty I get the same hairs standing on the back of my neck feeling now that I did back then.  It’s just an excellent teaser trailer.

There was a third teaser released after the film was in theaters, which is kind of weird but I like it anyway.  It’s not nearly as epic as the previous trailer but it does the job.

If your tastes run towards the more bombastic here’s another teaser.

There was a joke trailer that I have kicking around my hard drive but I can’t seem to find it on YouTube.  I feel bad about discussing it and then not showing the video but I wanted to mention it just to cover all of the bases.

In all honesty it is extremely unfair to compare the Man of Steel teaser with the one released for Superman: The Movie.  As I hinted at earlier movie trailers and comic book movies themselves were different beasts back then.  It would be more appropriate to compare Man of Steel with 2006’s Superman Returns.

I really liked this trailer when it first hit the Internet.  At the time I was excited that they were playing in the same universe as the Christopher Reeve films and while I have changed my mind on that subject the trailer still works for me.  My favorite part is the shot of the people looking up in the sky, which gave the movie a sense of wonder.  I am still a bit miffed that the Krypton scenes hinted at in this trailer were excised from the final cut.

All in all I am satisfied with the trailer we were given for Man of Steel.  Sure I would have preferred more footage and a better shot of Superman but I see what they were going for.  I kind of like the air of mystery this film has about it.  It isn’t as exciting or even epic as the previous trailers but it gets the job done.

It’s going to be a long wait until the first full trailer is released.

More to follow…

MAN OF STEEL WATCH: INSTALLMENT 1

In an effort to get things going again around here (and there is more Death and Return of Superman stuff coming folks, I promise) I thought it would be fun to start a new feature that will have no set release schedule called Man of Steel Watch.  With the new Superman film less than a year away I felt it was time to start commenting on the production here at the Fortress.  I had thought about doing something like this before but frankly in this day and age of camera phone set pictures showing costumes in the wrong light and the minute by minute coverage that sites better equipped to handle such things were and are giving that it was best to leave that sort of things to the professionals.  However when the big announcements and trailers and posters are released I thought it would be fun to post about them as well as the random thought that occurs to me about the movie.  In this first installment I wanted to talk about the poster that was released in July of 2012.

As the copy suggests this poster was released at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con.  I have yet to sit down and watch the whole Man of Steel panel but I did get to see the footage from the film that was shown, though to be fair that footage was taken by a camera phone towards the back of the room, so the quality was…not so good.  I did like what I saw and heard, though and much like the Spider-Man costume from the recent Amazing Spider-Man film the Superman costume looks a lot better on screen than in the previous mentioned camera phone pictures that were floating around some months ago.

They also released this poster and I have to say I rather like it.  Sure it’s all shadowy but I am assuming that Warner Bros and more importantly the marketing department are trying to keep a full, public showing off of the costume to a minimum to create a sense of mystery about it, kind of like that first image they released towards the end of 2011 of Superman and the vault.  Also I have a feeling that the movie is going to have a darker, more introspective tone to it, which I still have mixed feelings about but I am trying to stay positive and as long as they get the basics of the character right I should be fine with it.  So a poster bathed in shadow does make more sense if that is the direction they want to go in.

What I can say for certain is that I love the S shield design they have gone with.  I was going to write that it is very much like the S worn by the Earth-2 Superman before the Crisis on Infinite Earths but that design went through a number of changes through the sixties, seventies and eighties.  I guess I should say it is very much like the S shield of the Pre-Crisis Earth-2 Superman as drawn by George Perez or even Wayne Boring and Jerry Ordway.

I have loved that S design since I first saw it at the age of 13 so the fact that the movie S has a similar look and feel makes me very happy.  It’s not that I hate the classic S or even the S from Superman Returns.  On a personal level I just prefer this one.

And that is it for this installment.  As I mentioned at the top this is going to be a very irregular feature here at the Fortress though I can promise a new installment in just a day or two since the first teaser trailer has hit the Internet and I have a few things to say about it.

As always…more to follow…