Friday, December 27, 2013

'Man of Steel' DVD/Blu-Ray: Lackluster Product

OK, I received a DVD/Blu-Ray of the "Man of Steel" movie for Christmas and was grossly disappointed in the product.
ZERO, yes, NO deleted scenes whatsoever were included in the video.
WHY?
I feel shortchanged and ripped off.
I know there were at least six deleted scenes from the theatrical version and so why were they not included as a bonus?
This omission will make me think twice about purchasing a DC Movie  product in the future.
To be blunt, deleted scenes are one of the main reasons I ever purchase movie DVDs.
I'd give DC back all those boring documentaries about the making of the movie, etc., on the DVD just for one deleted scene!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amy Adams was in Season 1 of "Smallville"

I'm slow on this ... but I just got around to watching my "Smallville" series collection on DVD.
I was surprised to see that in episode No. 7, "Craving," that Amy Adams played an overweight student who used liquid kryptonite to help herself lose weight.
Adams donned a fat suit for some of the episode.
She also became a vampire of sorts, sucking fat out of animals and people.
She made a pretty lame villain, but in the end, Clark Kent saved her.
This episode was in 2001.
Who knew that in 2013, Adams would play Lois Lane in "Man of Steel"???????????

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grade A-plus: Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short

If you haven't yet seen the Superman 75th Anniversary animated short, you definitely need to.

I've viewed it 6 times already and pick up some new little tidbit each time, as the 2 minute and 14 second video is packed with history, some that only veteran Superman fans will notice.

So, perhaps you need to see it again and many more times ...

Why can't DC make its major motion picture super-hero movies with the same care and superb quality? One can only wonder as DC beats Marvel in the animated movies, but not the big screen.

Also, I find it striking that what would have been my FIRST choice for the villain in last summer's "Man of Steel" movie -- Darkseid -- is the finale to this short history (and Zod is nowhere to be seen)!

To see this amazing video short, go to:
http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2013/10/15/the-superman-anniversary-short-75-points-of-annotation


Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Superman IV" Press Photographs from 1987



It's nostalgia time!

Above/below are some vintage pictures I stumbled across, that I have from June of 1987, a few days before the premiere of "Superman IV" at a press junket in Washington, D.C.
I was on the press tour ... never dreamed Jon Cryer would make it big, but he did.  ... never thought Chris Reeve would be in a horse-riding accident and die so young either.
Interviewed all 3 stars of the movie, plus Jack Larson ("Jimmy Olsen" in the 1950s TV series).
Admittedly, "Superman IV" was the worst of all Superman movies ever made, though.





Friday, July 19, 2013

"Man of Steel" Home Release -- Extra 5 Minutes of Footage?

While as of July 2013, there is NO official release date yet for "Man of Steel" into home video, it is being assumed this release will happen by sometime in November of 2013.
(Pre-orders are already be taken.)
What is also intriguing is that running time of the blu ray or DVD will be 148 minutes.
That's an extra 5 minutes beyond what played in the theater at 143 minutes.
Might Kal-El's landing on earth be in that home release extra footage? Hopefully.
Also, some sources are claiming that "Man of Steel 2" will come out in 2014.  
That's way too early, UNLESS, some of it was already shot when "Man of Steel" was made.
Rumors are also that another DC Hero will appear in "Man of Steel 2," opening the way for a Justice League movie a year later.


Did You Read The Free, On-Line "Man of Steel" Prequel Comic?

OK, I'm slow, more than a month behind this coming out.
But if you are going to still see the "Man of Steel" movie, or if you have seen it (like me), you really need to read this prequel comic story.
This is about the Kryptonian ship in the Arctic.
(It may also signal that "Supergirl" is or was already on earth.)


To read the comic, go to:

http://imgur.com/a/mMCZm

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How the "Man of Steel" movie should have ended ...

AS usual, the people at howitshouldhaveended.com ,who do these shorts on how movies should have ended, are clever, crafty and funny.
Perhaps these "How" people should be employed to find the big holes in movie scripts BEFORE movies are actually made?
(However, realize this "Man of Steel" Superman had only had the costume on a few hours when he faced General Zod. He was NOT experienced as the regular Superman in these shorts is ....)

Here's a link to how the "Man of Steel" movie should have ended ... http://www.howitshouldhaveended.com/

Thursday, July 11, 2013

3 Utah References in "Superman" in 2013

Another Utah reference has appeared in a Superman comic book.
This one is in "Superman Unchained," No. 2.
Batman mentions to Superman that he lost track of a target over the Utah desert.
So, Superman heads there to check it out. He runs into General Lane, who has black hole laser weapons ready to take on the Man of Steel.
-In issue No. 3 of "Unchained," the first three words in the comic are: "The Utah desert."
Later it is "Eight hundred feet below the Salt Flats."
--About two months ago, the Smallville Season Eleven Special, No. 1, comic, dated July 2013, mentioned Superman being in Utah.
On page 16, the Watchtower reports to Batman that Superman is in Utah, "on mission."
Batman responds, "Of course he is."
--I also noticed what looked like a Utah kind of arch rock formation in the new "Man of Steel" movie.
So, the Beehive State seems to be on Superman's map lately.



"Man of Steel" sequel plot holes

The "Man of Steel" actually seemed like a better movie the second time I saw it on the big screen.
However, there are some plot holes that could resurface in a future sequel to the movie.
1. Although I did see a LexCorp name on a tanker trunk in the movie, Lex himself was nowhere to be seen.
I find it highly out of character that Luthor, a genius, would do nothing in the "Man of Steel" movie while Metropolis was invaded by aliens.
The movie could have easily referenced Luthor, without showing his face, as having a backup plan of his own, if the military and Superman failed in their efforts to stop Zod.
2. Jimmy Olsen was nowhere in the movie. Why?
That Jenny Jurwich character at the Daily Planet was annoying, though -- more so than Lombard. (Also, I'm still 
trying to figure how Clark Kent got a job at the Planet. 
Nowhere in the movie were any journalistic leanings or training mentioned for Clark ....)
3. What happened to any Kryptonian tech/ships leftover from Zod's attack? Did Superman salvage anything, or did 
the government get it?
4. Why wasn't Superman's actual landing and being found by the Kents shown in the movie? Will that be some bonus 
material in the DVD?
5. The fact that Lois Lane knows who Clark Kent is from the onset dramatically changes their future relationship.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Man of Steel' movie -- Great action, but lacked awe and heroism

Here's my review of "Man of Steel" ---

Merits 3 of 4 stars

  "Man of Steel" isn't a bad movie, it just could have easily been a much better one.
  Here are 6 ways the movie went astray .....
  1.  Quite simply, the movie lacked simple heroism -- a vital ingredient in a super-hero movie.
  2. There was little awe and majesty to be found in the film and that's why it never really took off.
 3.  A Superman movie also should not be scary and yet I saw a 5-year-old scream during the middle of the movie and he had to be taken out twice by his mother. A Superman movie should be suspenseful, but not frightening like that.
4. There were only several attempts at humor in the movie -- it could have used at least a dozen more!!! 
5. Superman is unique, because he is the LAST survivor of Krypton -- at least in his early years. To have Zod and crew show up before he even had the name Superman was way too early and ruined that aspect. Darkseid or Brainiac would have been much better villains for "Man of Steel" and Zod needed to come later ....
6. There was lots of action to be found in the movie, I just wish some of it was redirected to show Superman AFTER the General Zod attacks, of him gaining some trust among the common folk, of him helping stop crime and regular day-to-day crisis and the like.
(Why they could have downsized the too-long main battle scene to save time and resources for filming Superman helping people after Zod was stopped.)

  That's pretty much my general take on the "Man of Steel."

  Now here are some specifics and yes, SPOILERS are found below!!!

--What I really really liked about the movie:
1. It was a different take/spin on the Superman story, another "Elseworld" tale, if you read DC Comics. Lots of differences in the movie vs. comics.
2. No Lex Luthor to be seen, but I did see a reference to Lex Corp.
3. It was interesting to see Superman faced with a kill Zod kind of dilemma, or he couldn't be stopped. (However, that take is NOT unique and was also previously done with the pre-"52" Superman back in the late 1980s, when he killed Zod and his cohorts in a pocket universe to prevent future murders by the villains.)
4. That the "S" symbol was reinterpreted to stand for hope in the Kryptonian language.
5. That Henry Cavill was great as Superman, as was Amy Adams as Lois Lane. (However, can we now have an American play "Dr. Who" or "James Bond" to balance the scales?)

--Little things I didn't like in the movie:
1. That Jimmy Olsen was a girl character, Jenny.
2. That there was NO "S" symbol on Superman's cape.
3. That there was NO reference to Superman's education in journalism.
4. That Lois Lane knew Superman as Clark Kent too from the very beginning.
5. That Zod killed  Jor-El on Krypton.
6. That the Phantom Zone was a weird kind of black hole, something that makes no scientific sense to me.
7. That Krypton had so many outposts and no survivors anywhere -- plus, that a ship buried in Arctic and thousands of years old could still fly and allow Jor-El to be a hologram inside it.
8. That you NEVER actually saw a scene where the Kents found Kal-El.
9. That Jonathon Kent died in a tornado ... where was Clark Kent's vaunted super-speed, that could have saved him undetected?
10. That the other Kryptonians became super-powered so quickly, when it took 3 decades for Superman to gain all his powers. In contrast, Superman lost his powers all too quickly on Zod's mother ship.
11. The movie's music was pretty dull. No John Williams kind of excitement to be found.

--Interesting things in the movie:
1. That you saw real-life businesses, I-Hop, Sears, etc.
2. I didn't time them -- but that sure seemed like the longest string of movie preview before "Man of Steel," that I had ever seen before any film begins. Also, the end credits go on in what seems to be record territory too.
3. I spotted at least one former "Smallville" cast character -- Alessandro Juliani who played Officer Sekowski in the Arctic. (He was Dr. Hamilton in the last season of "Smallville.")
4. There are NO scenes during or after the end credits.








Thursday, June 6, 2013

Superman inspired my life and more ... Up, Up and Away!

  Superman greatly affected me at an early age.
   He inspired my imagination and was the ultimate in sci-fi to me. I would watch the 1950s George Reeves "Adventures of Superman" TV series, even though that meant getting up early on Saturday mornings (and made my parents mad). 
  I never had nightmares, because if a bear chased me, I would simply fly away. I learned I could safely jump off a chicken coop and feel like I was flying for a while. 
   I once walked 10 miles to buy a continued issue Superman comic book, as my mother would not drive me to the store, saying comic books were silly. 
  It was always easy to dress up as Clark Kent for Halloween. 
  "What would Superman do?" was a common ethical question, with an answer for myself. 
  I often re-defined the term "impossible" often, as my Superman upbringing caused me to re-think the so-called impossible. 
  I eventually became a real news reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.            When I was assigned to go to Washington, D.C. and report on Superman's 50th anniversary, in 1988, then my mother finally realized my Superman comics and hobby were not silly. 



  I dressed my first child, Roger, up as Superman, for his second Halloween (see accompanying photo). back in 1987 and some other of my children in later years.
  And, 4 years ago (in 2009), after making a post on the official DC Comics message board, I was shocked and thrilled to see that post actually written into a Superman comics story.    Now, I am in my late 50s and I have not outgrown Superman and never will. Up, up and away!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Superman is in Utah ...On mission


I live in Utah and I still get a kick when Superman visits Utah in a comic book story.
There are 50 states and usually Utah is overlooked, or joked about in the entertainment world.
The latest visit by the Man of Steel to Utah is in the Smallville Season Eleven Special, No. 1, comic, dated July 2013.
So, this is the Smallville TV version of Superman who goes to the Beehive State.
On page 16, the Watchtower reports to Batman that Superman is in Utah, "on mission."
Batman responds, "Of course he is."




A map on the Watchtower wall shows the "S" symbol over Utah.
Anyway, Superman "walked" to Ogden, Utah a few years ago in a comic book story.
Superman also visited Utah in a the mid-1970s when he investigated a mystery on the Utah Salt Flats, in one story.
-And, from Utah, I started a new thread on the DC Comics' Superman message board back in 2009, and a few months later, the evil "Superboy Prime" actually  responded to me in a comic story in the Legion of 3 Worlds series, when I wrote: "Can Superboy Prime be redeemed?"
UPDATE: in "Justice League," No. 26 (January 2014), Ultraman, an evil, alternate world counterpart of Superman, is shown to be fighting the U.S. military on the Utah Salt Flats.
So, Utah is firmly in the minds of some DC Comics writers these days.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Superman Unchained" -- Great action and animation


The latest Man of Steel animated video, "Superman Unchained" rates an A- grade ... four stars!!!
It was nearly perfect ...
Plenty of action, as well as dialogue, the new voices for Superman, Lois Lane, Supergirl and Brainiac were excellent.
Without giving away much, the story does differ quite a bit from the past comic book story it is based on, but that just makes it fresher.
For the $7.99 I paid (on an Amazon pre-order months ago) that was less than half the Wal-Mart in-store price, counting tax.
I received the video just two days after its official release date too.
For 75 minutes, this animated production was simply excellent -- and now hopefully the "Man of Steel" live action movie will measure up that well next month.
DC does seem to know how to make BETTER animated movies than Marvel, so will they ever learn how to make better live action movies? One can only hope.

NOTE: If you watch "Superman Unchained," you also need to keep watching for a minute AFTER the credits begin. DC has learned from Marvel in this regard.



DC Comics sinks to new low in values and Superman



I thought I'd seen it all in Superman comics, but no, DC Comics has sunk to a new low.

Not only does Superman seem unable to handle his own problems in DC's "new "52" stories and the new villains are lame, but I'd swear in Actions Comics No. 20, that the artist is seemingly  showing Superman with an erection, in front of a female doctor.
(A reviewer of that comic issue on the Superman Homepage also noticed what I did.)

No, it is only the NON "52" comics that are great these days, like the "Smallville" comic, that shows what happened after the TV show ended.
Sometimes the "Batman Beyond" comic (that co-stars an old Superman) is also pretty good.

I have hopes for "Man of Steel" movie, but I know the movie writers have changed some things for good or bad and I'm not sure how that will play out.
(I still don't see why the movie capes lack a Superman emblem ....)

I just wish DC would give Superman back some strong values and backbone.

The nation's problem with all the shootings?  The problem is not about guns, or bombs. Values are not being taught in schools anymore  (nor in Superman comics either) -- and that's a key cause, I believe, to the decline in our society.
The public seems anxious for heroes, as is evident by the box office sales of super-hero movies. But I wish the values of these heroes, like Superman, were a better example.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Origin For Superboy ...



There are spoilers ahead ...

The origin story for Superboy has changed.
Originally, Superboy was just a younger version of Superman.
However, about 1993, following the "death" of Superman vs. Doomsday, Superboy became a clone -- with DNA from both Superman and Lex Luthor.
Enter the "New 52" in 2011 and Superboy looked for like just a rogue experiment with Superman's DNA.
However, issue No. 19 of "Superboy" has changed that now.
This story titled, "Unreveling the Secret Origin .. of the son of Lois Lane and Superman," was definitely a surprise.
It falls under a rather complicated story, but the sad part is that I had to suspend one of my core beliefs of Superman for the story to work ....
I fail to see why Superman (and Lois Lane) would leave their seemingly dead, 4-year-old child's body unburied, or taken care of -- before they disappeared for good.
I just don't see that happening with ANY version of the Man of Steel. He would not leave with that undone -- no way, period.
His body would have been protected, guarded at the least.
So, the three writers of this comic, Scott Lobdell, R.R. Silva and Diogenes Neves totally failed in that storyline.
How could DC's editors also have missed this key shortcoming?
No, this is one reason why the "New 52" isn't working out for DC Comics as well as they had hoped.
You can't change the core values of Superman like this and expect strong sales and good reactions. Fans, like me, are upset over this.
Lex Luthor stole some DNA in the previous incarnation of Superboy, buy I don't buy that Superman didn't go to the ends of the universe to try and save, or bring back his dead son!
DC is also trying to elevate a new villain, "Harvest" in all this.
Actually, the current Superboy may be a clone of Superman and Lois' son -- and their original son may also be re-animated if Harvest has his way.
A pretty good story, but not when you have to suspend a core value of Superman for it to work.





Sunday, March 17, 2013

Superman vs. Green Arrow -- A Lack of Comic Book Continuity

So I've watched a few of the battles in the "Gods Among Us" series in the Injustice Battle arena.
The Superman vs. Sinestro fight was excellent.
However, watching the next match was a joke -- it was Superman vs. Green Arrow.
I mean in comic book sense, Superman should have been able to take the Arrow out with one single punch, but no!
At one point, the Man of Steel smashed Green Arrow from orbit into the Earth and yet Green Arrow still stands up after hitting the ground!
Superman wins the fight....
Yet, what's the "realism" here in the comic book sense? There is none, it would seem.
Voting by fans seems to be all that matters here,
--UPDATE: Batman beat Superman in the finale. Very, very dumb to see him defeat Superman, when he didn't even have any kryptonite.
Superman hit Batman so hard at times it would have shattered his skeleton -- armor or not. So much for comic book realism in this aspect of "Gods Among Us" -- votes mattered, actual power didn't.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Superboy and Other "Supers" Underplayed On Teams

I just watched the new "Young Justice" episode (March 9). It was well-written and brought together some imaginative sub plots I didn't see coming ... too bad the show is being canceled.
However, Superboy has been totally underplayed as part of the Young Justice Team.
I mean at one point in that latest episode, timeless villain Vandal Savage states that it will be easy to take down the young heroes, except Superboy.
Then, I see Superboy get punched by Black Beetle once and that's it -- he does nothing else and is basically a non-character.
Superboy has NEVER done anything super in Young Justice!
I've seen similar things happen to Superman in the Justice League, both in print and in animated adventures.
I'd rather see the "Supers" not even in a story, if they are going to be so underplayed.
The Young Justice writers ought to be ashamed that they have not used one shred in creativity with Superboy in their stories.
Is that one reason why the show is being cancelled? Could be.
What does anyone else think?



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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Superman is NOT Super in the Justice League

OK. We are to issue No. 15 in the Justice League and with the exception of the first issue, I've seen nothing from Superman to warrant him being the most powerful hero on the planet.
In the latest issue, Aquaman throws him for a loop and he disappears for pages.
Then, he gets zapped by lighting and is imprisoned in water.
Can DC's writers come up with nothing better than that?
De-power Superman, that's the writers' angle to handling the Man of Steel in the JLA.
At least the writers are being somewhat creative with Shazam in the back up story, but Superman aside, the main stories in the JLA since the first several issues have not been exciting or imaginative.