Saturday Double Feature: Man of Steel (2013) and…

Saturday on the blog means Saturday Double Feature, right? Remember, the basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before.. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

This pairing was actually kind of tough to come up with, as my feelings about Man of Steel have changed so much over the course of hearing about it, seeing trailers, and then watching the actual movie. Let’s go ahead and take a look at one of the trailers:

Yeah, did you happen to note that part where the female villain says “for every human you save we will kill a million more”? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens in the movie. And this supposed “Superman” in the film does absolutely nothing to stop it. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I’m so late getting this double feature pairing up today is that I wound up spending a lot of time trying to convince myself not to go with a pairing of this movie with the original Japanese Gojira, the movie that in American hands became Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

Yeah, all that death and destruction that’s being rained down on Tokyo? That’s nothing compared to the devastation that occurs in Metropolis. As a matter of fact, at least in Gojira we get scenes of evacuation that show there might be some survivors. In Man of Steel we get only what has to be a three-mile wide crater where the heart of the city once stood, and the destruction comes on so quickly that its obvious there was no time or way for people to escape. And to make things worse, our “hero” never really seems to even care or take notice of the mayhem his personal vendetta is causing. Really, it’s that bleak a film, and that misguided a take on what is supposed to be the exemplar of what a hero should be. And that’s only one of the many, many problems with the movie, and far from the most egregious, (that comes at the movie’s climax) but I’m not going to into them all now.

In the end, though, I finally decided to go a different route, and pair this terrible, terrible take on “Superman” (sorry, but I really can only refer to the main character of Man of Steel by that name by surrounding it with quotation marks) with something of a palate cleanser.

1951’s Superman and the Mole Men was actually the first theatrical feature film based on the Superman character. There had been a couple of movie serials before it, and the fabulous Fleischer animated shorts, but this was the the first real feature. It was also used as a kind of pilot for the Adventures of Superman TV show, and features the same main cast. I couldn’t find an actual trailer for the movie online, but here’s the first part, and the rest, if you’re interested, is easy to find on YouTube:

So what do you think? Have you seen Man of Steel and think I’m being too harsh on it? Or do you agree with mu take? (And I’ll tell you now that this is far from the last that you’re going to hear from me on it, but I’m still working on my full review.) Either way, please let me know in the comments below, along with any ideas you might have for other pairings with Man of Steel or for other upcoming movies you’d like to see “double featured”. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

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