Friday, May 03, 2013

Three Reasons Why Man of Steel Will Suck

1. No Fanfare

I understand the reasons. They want to distinguish the new film from the previous series - and, more specifically, the stillborn Superman Returns pseudo-sequel - in the strongest way possible. They want the new movie to come in clean, without any preconceptions. They didn't use Danny Elfman's fanfare in the Dark Knight movies, either, and those did just fine.

I understand the reasons, but that doesn't make them good reasons.

Used to be that adventure movies always had a memorable theme. Often these themes were composed by John Williams - Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jurassic Park - but not always, as the example of Elfman's excellent score for the first Batman demonstrates. I'm betting you can hum all those themes from memory. I guess rousing fanfares of this kind just aren't seen as popular or as important anymore, because out of all the superhero and / or adventure films of the last decade and change, I can't recall a single memorable melody from the bunch. Elfman himself failed to deliver anything distinctive for the first Spider-Man series. Do you remember any kind of tune from the X-Men films? Or the Dark Knight trilogy? Or The Lord of the Rings? Or Harry Potter? I can sort of recall a kind of refrain from Alan Silvestri's score for The Avengers, but just barely. The most indelible musical moment from recent superhero films is, unfortunately, the AC/DC they play whenever Iron Man comes onscreen. (And can I just say while we're on the subject: how is Tony Stark liking AC/DC in such a conspicuous fashion not just the most offensive type of forced déclassé rich boy condescension I've ever seen? He listens to AC/DC, he's just like us! Git-R-Done!) The less said about this the better.

I don't need to waste any time telling you how iconic Williams' Superman fanfare is. If you're reading this blog you already know that. But eschewing Williams' theme in favor of what is sure to be some awesome, massively memorable minor-key drone that will play for thirty seconds over the credits before they stick on an obligatory Puddle of Mudd song from the soundtrack isn't just a bad idea, it's criminally stupid. For anyone making a Superman movie, inheriting the Williams score is like walking into the SAT and finding the first twenty bubbles already filled in correctly. It's like buying a new wallet and finding a crisp $50 bill inside. It's like getting audited so the government can give you a bigger refund. Even Smallville got that right. I'll say that again: even Smallville got that.

When I see the film, I am certain that I will be humming the Williams song in my head throughout. Hell, I should just put it on my iPod and listen to it on my headphones in the theater. Because that's how I roll, and I'm guessing that's how you roll too.

2. No Brunette

Hey Lois Lane, what color is your hair?

I know they've spent a lot of money on this movie - or at least, I thought they had. I can only surmise that the budget must have been tighter than reported if they ran out of money just before they sent an intern down to CVS to get a $10 box of hair dye. They probably had to bring brown bags from home for lunch.

3. The Cold, Dead Eyes of a Killer


Dan McDaid said...

I love the random shit on the back of Lois' notepad. I'm not even convinced that Donner Lois Lane knows how to read or write.

Cole Moore Odell said...

There is a precedent for Lois' hair, you know:

Christian LeBlanc said...

I will go with "extreme sports mesh" costume, which keeps me from enjoying all of these movies.

Cleofis said...

The almost-certain-to-be dreadfully boring Zimmer score is also my biggest sticking point going in. Well, that and their insistence on continuing the "SUPES IS JESUS" thing in the usual overbearing fashion, and Zod and Ursa, and the origin, and that godawful costume, because there is no other Superman than the Donner Superman in the Hollywood hivemind apparently. That said, I am still desperately hoping this won't suck. The trailers have me cautiously optimistic.

moose n squirrel said...

I'm also pretty sure it's going to suck, but I don't think any of these things has anything to do with it.

Dongo said...

Alan Silvestri at least attempted to make a memorable theme for the Captain America movie. It doesn't touch anything Williams has done or the Elfman Batman theme but it's pretty good nonetheless. Unfortunately I don't recall it actually being used in the movie itself, just the end credits.

CultureWarReporterEvan said...

I actually think that Elfman's Spider-Man theme was wonderfully distinctive and very iconic. It's at least the closest thing we have to a recognizable superhero theme in the past decade.

Alexi Sargeant said...

I can hum several themes from LoTR and the Harry Potter films off the top of my head. But maybe I'm just a freak.

Also, the latest TV spot makes it sound like Zimmer is bringing his a-game, so I wouldn't write the score off yet.

I guess...I'm just more optimistic than you here. We'll find out on June 14th, I suppose.

Dorian Gray said...

Funny to look back on it; I think Zimmer's score was by far the best part of a so-so movie. It seemed to evoke more of the initial fanfare from "Also sprach Zarathustra" than it did of Williams, which I appreciated, given that "Also sprach Zarathustra" is sort of the father of all "superman" themes.