Where Have You Gone, Superman, Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You

Senior Entertainment Writer
11.30.18 19 Comments

Wanrner Bros.

The last time I wrote about the original Superman: The Movie at length was back in 2013, back when Man of Steel came out and, unknowingly, kicked off this whole interconnected DC universe. (I say “unknowingly” because, at the time, there were still talks of tying Man of Steel into the Nolan Batman movies.) Actually, to tell the truth, I still like Man of Steel.

At the time, it seemed like a fresh take on a stale character – a movie the modern people of 2013 could appreciate. Of course, then the big controversy happened, when thousands of digitally created citizens of Metropolis perished while Superman and Zod battled over their heads, neither too concerned about their safety. Then, strangely, Superman snapped Zod’s neck. To be fair, Superman did this to stop Zod from killing innocent people (which, yes, Superman, didn’t seem to care too much about just moments before). But, now, with five years of retrospect, it’s a very jarring scene. At the time I gave Zack Snyder the benefit of the doubt about this new direction for Superman, but then in the next movie Jimmy Olson was shot in the head, execution style, so it was apparent this is just the way it was going to be: Yes, we had ourselves a gritty new Superman.

The inherent problem with Superman is he’s not always “for the time.” But that doesn’t mean he’s never for the time. But he probably wasn’t for 2013, but people tried to shoehorn him in anyway and, well, it didn’t quite work. Look, you can love this iteration of Superman – there are things I do like, including Henry Cavill in general – but it certainly hasn’t been a “success.”

Now that brings up back to Superman: The Movie, which has just been released on 4K and will get a run in theaters to celebrate its 40th anniversary. And a movie that, last time, I still loved, but also called “dated,” but now I want rescind at least some of that.

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