Superman the Movie vs. Man of Steel

Which do you think is the better film, and why?

Superman the Movie.

It’s just a better story. In it, Superman is taught the value of life and how he can use his powers for good by his parents and learns the bitter lesson by his father dying by basically the one way Clark couldn’t save him. Reeve is very good in this role and Gene Hackman is great as Luthor.

Man of Steel has Jor-El imitating Avatar, Pa Kent teaching Clark that he should hide and not try to help anyone and then he dies. There’s way too much destruction in Metropolis and then Superman breaks Zod’s neck. Just because movie makers can destroy a whole city through CGI that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Not every sci-fi/superhero/action movie has to be an analog of 9/11 and the war on terror.

Yeah, there’s definitely that warm, optimistic quality to Superman the Movie.

I saw Man of Steel for the first time at my friend’s house, yesterday. He’s not a big fan of the character but really liked it. I personally thought it was a bit joyless and dull.

Both have a lot of problems and some good bits (Superman II is still the only good Superman movie).

MoS has a weak cast in the lead roles. But it also makes being a Kryptonian just look really cool. Supes powers are pretty well realized, and the final fight scene (which I seem to be alone in liking) really made it feel like two demi-gods were duking it out. And I thought the plot was pretty solid.

Superman is a pretty weak movie that’s saved by having Chris Reeve play Clark Kent. Its fun watching him bumble around pretending to be a doof, while winking at the camera, and he has good chemistry with Lois.

But other then that its a mess. Deciding to make the villain basically a comic relief character means there’s almost no tension and the time-travel ending is beyond stupid. As if Superman isn’t overpowered enough, he can go back in time!

I like MoS okay, but thanks to Frank Miller’s DKR everyone’s got to be dark and angsty and traumatized; I wish we’d seen Kal-El enjoying his powers more, and had a chance to see people wonder at his abilities rather than be freaking terrified of them. I almost miss all the thrill-seeking, financially independent, genius white dudes.

I like S:TM more because it’s just plain fun to watch, and it’s got much better writing, with Perry and Lex getting some great lines and some funny light moments (“Elevator broken” and Tony Hagman’s bit). The only light moments I remember from MoS is Kal-El asking Lois to step back (“Maybe a bit more.”) and his expression when the atmosphere changed on Zod’s ship and he broke his restraints.

Outside of it’s implausibility, I liked the time travel sequence. Supes pushing himself to save Lois was really emotional, and showed how much he’d grown to care about her.

Though I understand why others might feel differently.

While I liked some elements of Man of Steel, I didn’t think the dark tone was really in line with the character. The whole point of Superman is to be a role model for society. To be better than us. And I just never got that from this version.

I didn’t really like either (though I suppose each had their random good points), so it’s a wash for me.

Well, to be fair, my 9 year-old self was probably really impressed by Superman: The Movie. Ah, what a stupid stupid kid that kid was…

Everyone criticizes Man of Steel for this, forgetting that Superman: The Movie was to cover pretty much all the same territory, including Supes fighting Zod and the other Krytonians - it was studio meddling that split a lot of footage off the first and then padded it to make a sequel (hence the issues with Brando and Hackman). Push the two back together and it’s the same.

Both films show tremendous property destruction (Metropolis in one, California in the other) with almost no actual deaths portrayed. In the original version of the Reeves’ film, there was no going back in time - he pushed the fault back together, saved Lois, and later discovered that the first missile released Zod and crew. The quake damage (including the dam breaking) were still part of the aftermath. Heck, he even kills Zod in the first one, removing his powers and throwing him down into an icy crevasse no non-Kryptonian would survive (sans Super Soldier serum).

Mostly, it’s the different tone that makes the earlier one(s) palatable, even before studio meddling.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Lester’s Superman II. Had Donner got around to finishing both movies, I’m sure the finished products would’ve been better overall. His original ending to Superman II made it clear that Zod wasn’t killed, and that Lois would keep Clark’s secret (as opposed to the amnesia kiss).

This is like comparing apples to oranges isn’t it?

Superman is a feel good, lots of humor, watch it with your kids type movie.

MoS, is a dark, edgy, existential type movie.

The two couldn’t be further apart. Both are good on their own merits.
Next question: Which is better? Steak or ice cream?

But it didn’t do that. This was one of those rare cases where studio meddling made for a better movie.

Also, give Donner points for switching things up elsewhere: hate on the final product, but Margot Kidder was originally supposed to sing “Can You Read My Mind”.

Definitely steak. It’s much more expensive.

I didn’t care for MoS at all. The dialogue was extremely clunky, the planet Krypton made no sense (a super-advanced technological civilization that commutes to work on flying lizards?Or did I dream that?), and Supes and Lois had no chemistry. And don’t get me started on Pa Kent’s stupid death scene. Plus the overdone destruction of Metropolis without thought to the hundreds of thousands dead.

Superman the Movie had some missteps, and of course the movie looks pretty dated now, but it had a lot more emotional heart and more wit to it. The plot was more straightforward - more engaging - and the action sequences didn’t look like cutscenes from a video game.

For taking the character more seriously than anyone had up to that point, I always gotta give Donner credit. If it wasn’t for him, STM would’ve been as campy as the 60’s batman show.

I thought the action was amazing, but yeah, the aftermath left much to be desired. It didn’t seem right to have Lois and Supes kissing in the middle of a graveyard. Made worse, because they joked right afterwards.

Superman travels through time all the time in the comics though, so it’s not totally out of left field.

I remember thinking about the impossibility though because during that time, DC often showed Superman or others traveling back into the recent past but being ghosts because it’s not possible to be in two places at once. I don’t think they’ve interpreted it that way for a long time.

True. Though it definitely would’ve silenced alot of criticisms if they explained why the earthquake effects didn’t just start up again (evidenced by Jimmy).

It personally doesn’t bother me (the power of that scene was enough to overcome it’s flaws imo) , but I definitely get people’s gripes with it.

Interesting to say the least. I haven’t read a bronze age comic in a while. The last issue I remember having time travel was “The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent”. Though that might’ve been a silver age comic.

I might have to re-read it again to see if that’s the case.

Something that wasn’t obvious (at least to me at the time) was how Superman was too slow to catch both missiles, yet fast enough to travel through time.