I’m still busy while out-of-town and bracing for the impact of the incoming footage, but in lieu of original content, here’s some assorted materials, linked in a bit of a stream-of-consciousness, which could be applicable to analysis of Man of Steel and the DCCU.
- FX Guide and other Behind-The-Scenes content
- What If Quicksilver Ran Past You?
- Superman vs. Hollywood
- The Science of Awkwardness
- Harvard’s “Justice with Michael Sandel”
- Box Office Quant: Sequel Map
- Could NASA Start the Zombie Apocalypse
- Intuition: Veritasium, Ludology, & Optimism Bias
- Will Superman’s New Power Change the Status Quo?
- A-10 vs. F-35
FX Guide #174 – [Audio] Three person panel of VFX professionals reacting to Man of Steel both as a story and through the lens of their expertise.
FX Podcast #251 – [Audio] Talking specifically with WETA about Liquid Geo in greater detail than the WIRED feature; a video version is available… somewhere, no time to find it now, sorry!
FX Guide: MOS VFX Milestones – [Article] Exhaustive look at Man of Steel‘s VFX, understanding the amount of work that went into the film and knowing that many, if not all, of these VFX houses will be called upon again for future DCCU films.
More VFX… – [Links] Assorted VFX related materials
Effects of Days Past: Making Superman Fly – [Article] Wonderful in-depth article about the titular topic
Collider MOS Set Visit – [Article] A look back into the process and behind the scenes
What If Quicksilver Ran Past You?
A short but visceral analysis of some of the collateral effects of incredible speed, applicable to Superman, which we’ve touched on many times in the podcast.
Superman vs. Hollywood
Superman vs. Hollywood: How Fiendish Producers, Devious Directors, and Warring Writers Grounded an American Icon (Cappella Books) – [Book] Essentially Superman’s multimedia history from inception to 2005’s Superman Returns. It takes an intentionally tabloid tone which is very readable, but is still reasonably researched even if covering mostly well-trod territory. Its main contribution is insight into the 2000s era of development hell and is a great companion piece to the upcoming The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? documentary.
The Science of Awkwardness
The main takeaway is the tiers of behavioral regulation and its applicability to what kind of moral figure Superman is meant to represent in a pluralistic society. When or if Superman should be dictating our behavior for things that are outside the realm of truth and justice. Also, a bit of justification for my palindromic anonym.
Perhaps the point was lost in my grades of gray podcast, but suggesting that black and white rules lack the nuance to tackle complicated moral situations is not the same as advocating for moral relativism necessarily. I did receive some feedback assuming that was my position and it isn’t. It’s more a question of whether our values can be perfectly codified into simple and straight forward rules.
Harvard University’s “Justice with Michael Sandel”
If you’ve never taken a similar course and enjoy critical thinking, this lecture series is a polished condensation of modern moral philosophy (and worth a refresher even if you have taken such courses in the past). Sandel deftly applies the Socratic method and tests the edges of our beliefs to try and find a consistent philosophy.
A common example that we often use is some variation of The Case of The Speluncean Explorers. When one is put into such circumstances and forced to make a choice, reasonable minds differ… whether judges with decades of jurisprudence under their belts, a lecture hall full of Harvard undergraduates, or moral philosophers who have wrestled with such questions for centuries… much less asking a down-to-earth Kansas farmer to make an impossible decision that everyone will agree with in less than half a minute.
[Analysis] In 2011, Box Office Quant did a mathematical breakdown on the critical reception via RT score of sequels against their predecessors while also displaying their box office impact. Sequels that exceed the original are the exception rather than the rule.
Even when they do exceed their predecessors, it generally isn’t by as great a degree as how scores fall for sequels. Bear this in mind in terms of anticipating the RT score for Batman v Superman… it could be received better than Man of Steel critically, but for it to be received better by a substantial margin would make it a significant outlier.
Could NASA Start the Zombie Apocalypse
Uses zombies as a context to discuss microbes in space, but ties back into our topic of Kryptonian microorganisms discussed in the podcast.
Will Superman’s New Power Change the Status Quo? | Comic Misconceptions
Watch this and his follow up on how canon and characters change over time but how are reactions can be rooted in our age rather than, necessarily, the intrinsic merit of the work during that period. It’s actually completely fine to have a bias, just important to acknowledge and recognize one exists in ourselves and others.
The A-10 vs. F-35 controversy continues to make headlines while both are featured in Man of Steel. I’m not sure if that’s something I want to comment on yet.
Okay, that’s it for now. I’m sure there’s more bubbling around in my head but I’ve got to get back to work! Hope to have some original content for you soon. Have an uneventful tax day!