Yes, we civilians have another week to go before we finally see Big Blue take to the sky and punch Zod repeatedly in the face. Our troops however were treated to a little Man of Steel screening earlier today. Although I am in no way militarized, I do have an old friend on the inside.
Willie is my oldest friend. If I had a brother – he’d be it. We share a deep passion of all things nostalgic. Biggest amongst those are comic book heroes and Power Rangers. We even started working on a proper Power Rangers Reboot project that would make you forget that Power Rangers Samurai ever happened. We love the Rangers so much, we saw Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie in the theater opening weekend and couldn’t shut up about it on Monday.
Our major difference in taste is that he’s an action guy. While I got really into the story and characters, he is a self-described action junkie. Where this balanced out was the Superhero genre. It has enough story and character development to keep me glued, and enough eye candy action to keep him shoveling popcorn in his mouth. (Seriously, that dude is addicted to popcorn. He’ll finish a large tub and get a refill before the trailers are done. I’ve seen it. Plenty of times)
One hero we both love is Superman. We shake our heads at the people who shake their heads at The Man of Tomorrow. They don’t get it. Of course we love Batman (my personal -and everyone else’s it seems- favorite) and The Flash (his favorite) but Supes is special.
As we grew up, Willie started caring more about story and character. This is evident when he talks about our favorite Kryptonian. Kal-El’s paradox as a man of two worlds really pulls him in.
To me, there is no better person the ask about this new version of Superman than the one other guy I know who appreciates the character as much as I do. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the only person I know who has seen it as well.
He let me know when he was in the theater and I asked if he would answer questions when it ended. He agreed. This is what he had to say:
Me:Ok. First Question. Why do you like Superman?
Willie:Because he’s a being with so much power, yet his morals teach him to protect what he loves. He chooses to do good because of how he was raised.
Me:What was your favorite Superman flick growing up?
Willie: 3.(me upon reading this: !?!) I like the comedy relief of Richard Pryer. You also saw his internal struggle when he actually fought himself. He was depressed, trying to find himself.
Me:I have to tell you, if Superman 3 was your favorite, I’m going to need a heavy dose of salt for everything you say about Man of Steel.
Willie:Man of Steel is great. But you know how I am with classic movies. (That’s the nostalgia I was talking about.) I just really love that he has to fight himself to find himself.
Me:Do you have a favorite Superman?
Willie:You mean actor?
Willie:Good Ol’ Chris. But the new guy is outstanding.
Me:So you bought Henry Cavill as Superman? What did he bring to the role?
Willie:I buy him. He was good. Brought that battle within that I was looking for.
Me:Does he stand up next to Christopher Reeve?
Willie:Well, no one can replace Chris. It’s like comparing Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson.
Me:So what were your expectations walking in?
Willie:I was excited and nervous. I expected to like it, but worried it might flop. I was expecting it to show a darker side. How he deals with being different.
Me: Why were you worried about it flopping?
Willie:Because the media likes to hype things up, even if the best part of the movie is the trailer.
Me: Ok. So how was the movie?
Willie:Lived up to the hype.
Me:How does it rank with other comic book movies?
Willie: Right up there with The Dark Knight.
Me:What did you like so much about it?
Willie:The back story. The Struggle. The action. All the surprises.
Me:What about the back story appealed to you? What struggle?
Willie:The flashbacks go more in depth into his life and what happened on Krypton. He struggled to maintain his morals. It gave more of an explanation of who he really is and what he’s meant for.
Me:I’ve heard it said that this feels like Superman in the real world. Do you agree?
Willie:To a certain extent. Clark really is an outsider who tries to live off the grid, by constantly moving and changing his name. Helping people is a dilemma because it could expose his secret.
Me:A lot of people are nervous about the portrayal of Lois Lane. How was Amy Adams?
Willie: She did an OK job. I didn’t feel like she was the stubborn Lois we all grew to love. She didn’t really seem like the reporter who will do anything to get her story.
Me: How about the Villain?
Willie: Zod was determined and would do anything to achieve his goal. They did a good job.
Me: And the action?
Willie: A lotta CGI but nice.
Me: Did the action support the story? Or did the Story support the action? Or did the action overshadow everything?
Willie: Action supported the story.
Me: So it wasn’t meaningless garbage? (Sneering at what I imagine to be Michael Bay’s direction).
Me: How was the music?
Willie: It added feeling to the movie. Went well with the story.
Me: How was it compared to John Williams’ score? One of my all time favorites.
Willie: IDK. Can’t recall it.
Me: Go listen to it. It’s incredible. That first shot of Kypton, with that music build up, makes me weepy.
(For an example of what I’m talking about, here’s the Man of Steel trailer utilizing the John Williams score. Nerdgasmic.)
Me: Are there any emotional moments that got you worked up.
Willie: A few. One more question because I have to get back to my army life.
Me: Is it your new favorite Superman?