19 – Ellesmere, Tornado Topics, Blame

coverblackWe continue our film commentary on Ellesmere, take on some tornado scene related topics (speed / durability / limits), and look at if Clark is culpable for Zod’s crimes.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Hitch hiking is optimistic
  • Civilian contractors at Ellesmere
  • Degrees of separation between MOS and genre media
  • How cold is 40 below zero
  • How much did Lois’s camera cost
  • Assumptions about speed, surprise, and durability
  • Did Jonathan know Clark would survive a tornado?
  • Testing your powers like Claire Bennet
  • Why Jonathan dying of a heart attack doesn’t teach Clark anything here
  • The elements of moral culpability or justifiable blame

…and more. Happy Easter!

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  1. I dug through the countless likes on my Tumblr to link you to this great gif set of Superman/Lois Lane/Helicopters.


    I was SO excited to see that Lois Lane was associated with a helicopter in “Man Of Steel” because it’s become such an iconic thing with her character and her relationship with Clark/Superman.

  2. I still feel like you and I are two out of the five people on the planet that liked this scene lol.

  3. You are not alone, Johnathan. Hey Doc, I got a question which I would like you to answer. I have heard that Captain America in Cap 2: TWS is more Superman than Superman in character in MOS. I however disagree with them and I would like to see how you think of that. I also got another , I heard that people are saying that Superman is a monster and enjoys destroying stuff, do you think that is true? Definitely would like to heard you back and keep up the good work man. 😀

  4. Sorry, what I mean is that I heard that people said that Captain America is more in character in the The Winter Solider than Superman in Man of Steel. Now that’s a question that I think is interesting to answer.
    That is also anyone that they said that Rocket Racoon saves more people than Superman and that the movie is humourless and has no joy or fun in the it. Sorry for the long paragraph but these comments seems to be going on over and over again. Hopefully you can try and answer these questions.

    • The questions are:
      1. Is it true Superman enjoys destroying stuff?
      2. Is Cap or Supes more in character in their respective films?
      3. Does Superman or Rocket save more people?
      4. Is MOS humorless, joyless, and without fun?

      Quickish answers:

      1. No, it isn’t true.

      2. There’s an extremely long answer to this but I think the short version is that Superman had to show more real character in alignment with his tradition, whereas Cap was in more traditional situations in alignment with his tradition… the former truly tests the character and shows he can stand up like steel under even extreme circumstances and the latter stayed in safer waters where basically any good guy would fare okay… the moral hurdles, challenges, and test of character were so relatively low that even ex-KGB, sketchy head of covert-ops organization, and brainwashed assassins could all clear them without much effort. There are merits to each approach… one is trying to stop the audience from taking an icon for granted and the other is trying to familiarize the audience with an icon forgotten / faded.

      3. I haven’t watched GTG with the same eye for analysis as MOS, but I think this phrasing is ripe for nitpicky analysis of proximate cause and division of labor. Both cooperated with others to accomplish their saves, both arguably contributed to the saving of the planet… but how much? Can I say that I’ve saved 7 billion people every time I recycle and “save the planet”? In other words, we could have this fight and argument and massage the facts and figures so one wins over the other, but so much of that is in the phrasing of the argument and the terms of the comparison that it’s ultimately more subjective than fact.

      Generally, the critics are probably less concerned about an absolute or actual number but more about their subjective impression or the feeling of rescue or effort taken to rescue. However, recognizing that as subjective, reasonable minds are going to differ. My take is that GTG took more time to celebrate heroism and roll it around in the audiences’ mouths deliberately highlighting how this differed from Rocket’s selfish nature, whereas Superman’s heroism was more matter-of-fact and second-nature, the lack of hesitation showing it to be who he is at his core. In real life, emergency services just does their job… they don’t get each heroic act made into melodrama. MOS took the latter creative approach which doesn’t make the heroism any less… just less pre-chewed and presented obviously to the audience. There’s room for both takes.

      4. Nope.

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