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Woof, it’s hot.

So, “Man of Steel” wasn’t very good, overall. SPOILERS follow.

Here’s what I liked:

Krypton. Very alien, very interesting.

Lois Lane: When she said she had a Pulitzer, I believed her. She’s a committed journalist and willing to stand up to authority figures. She even holds her own against alien invaders. And she doesn’t go all moon-eyed for Supes.

The Flashbacks: Very neat. Spreading them throughout the flick was a good move. Scared little X-Ray Clark was the best one.

Jor-El: Very cool take on the character. Even-tempered and confident.

Here’s what I was ambivalent about:

Henry Cavill: He looks right for the part, but I thought his performance was pretty bland.

Zod: Also bland. Meh. I prefer his “dictator monologues” to his “insane maniac screaming monologues”.

Here’s what I disliked:

Trying to Follow Kryptonians’ Strength Levels: At various points in the flick, Superman and the other Kryptonians either have all, some or no superpowers, depending on whether they are on Earth, or if they’re on the Kryptonian ship, or if they’re in their suits, etc. I found it confusing, so it was hard to understand the stakes. Am I dealing with a weakened Superman vs a full-strength Zod? Full-strength Faora vs full-strength Supes?

“It’s too bad your mother couldn’t be here”: Why couldn’t she, Jor-El? Why couldn’t you program her hologram into that fancy prism? Not enough disk space? Why are all of Kal/Clark’s most important lessons imparted by his fathers, and none by his mothers?

Here’s what I intensely disliked:

Superman kills Zod: That’s just bullcrap. Apparently Snyder wanted to put that in as the “origin” of his no-killing rule. I’m not on board, at all. Throughout the battle scenes, I was worried that Superman wasn’t demonstrating enough concern for the collateral damage he was causing. Then he capped it off by snapping Zod’s neck. Likely anticipating backlash, they gave Zod a bunch of dialogue leading up to Superman killing him, trying to clarify that Zod was a monster who would never give up. It’s still unacceptable. I’ve talked before about how Nolan’s Batman, in my mind, has violated his no-killing rule before. Now that Supes and Bats have been shown killing when necessary, at least they’ll get along well with Wonder Woman when she eventually shows up.

Commander Says “What is it, solider?”, Soldier Says “He’s just really hot”: I don’t want to spend too much time unpacking my problems with this exchange, so I’ll just say that it was a missed opportunity to do something progressive.

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What’s the Joke, Projectionist? Mindy is severely overheated, but is unwilling to watch crap like “White House Down”, even if it would provide relief.