Superwad

The newly revealed Man of Steel logo (which looks like something mounted on the wall of an executive conference room) emphasizes the somber, downish tonalities first revealed in that August 2011 shot of Henry Cavill in his blue-gray Superman suit with the rose-colored cape and the knife pleats. But what about the decision by Man of Steel director Zack Snyder and producer Chris Nolan to have Cavill run around with a hard-to-ignore wad in his pants — a bull-elephant package that would make any Chippendale’s dancer envious?

I don’t know how “big” all the other Supermans were (and I don’t want to know) but over the last sixty-odd years — from George Reeves to Chris Reeve to Brandon Routh — Superman has always worn a disciplined jockstrap that suppressed any hint of exceptional heft or tumescence. But that modest aesthetic is now out the window, I’d say, based on these photos.

A decision has clearly been made to accentuate (or at the very least not hide) the fact that Cavill is well-endowed. That or he happened to be in a state of arousal when his shot was taken.

Man of Steel (Warner Bros., 6.14.13) costars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Superman’s adoptive father and Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White (“And don’t call me chief!”).

I for one feel Superman’ed out. Superman is yesterday’s superhero. Too innocent and upstanding and true-blue for our times. Introduced in the 1930s, ascended big-time with the TV series in the early ’50s, re-ascended with the Salkind-Lester films in the late ’70s and early ’80s, brought back yet again with the Bryan Singer version of 2006. It’s over. No steam left. Move on.

25 thoughts on “Superwad

  1. I will say, Wells, I admire your Zapruder-esque diligence in seeking out the truth about the bulge.

    “It goes down… and to the left. Down… and to the left.”

  2. In the porn age, Superman has to have a great big cock. Those are the times we live in. The internet and its endless collection of monstrous phalluses has unrealistically raised the bar for all of us, and now we can’t take our heroes seriously unless they have enormous schwanzstuckers.

  3. I don’t know that you can’t make a decent Superman movie in this day and age. From the looks of this, however, this isn’t it. Warner’s is apparently convinced by Dark Knight that dark and somber are the way to go. Just doesn’t work with Superman.

  4. I don’t know… I think you have this thing read backwards JLC.

    I think the “somberness” is simply a stylistic/ color tone choice here. For as bright as it was visually, it’s hard to imagine you could make a Superman film more thematically depressing than Superman Returns – and given the box office disappointment that was, I don’t see how Warners could possibly think in retrospect that was a smart move and actually double down on it and push it even further. If they did – they would have brought Bryan Singer back again.

    I think they have to keep it a little “steely” looking colorwise because bright red and blue tights and blown out comic strip colors don’t work in this day and age, and they need to differentiate themselves from the last go around.

    But in terms of story, pace, character, attitude, etc. – I think there’s an obvious direction intended by hiring Snyder. They want him to put the excitement and spectacle and ass-kicking back into it and take the boring, depressing, humanity out. For good or bad.

    And Nolan isn’t some one track minded fool – he has to know what works for Batman doesn’t work for Superman.

    Or I’m wrong and you’re right. But if thats the case… it’s yet another blown opportunity.

  5. These superhero films offer far more eye-candy for women than they do for men. Thor and Captain America, in particular, were pretty much sold on Hemsworth and Evans’ beefy bodies. That lingering slo-mo shot of Thor in the rain, straining to pull the hammer from the ground, and Hayley Atwood gasping as she touched Evans’ giant mantits – these were pretty much the signature shots of each trailer.

    Did women find the old-style action stars attractive? Stallone, Schwarzenegger, etc. I can’t imagine they had the same sort of crossover appeal. Even this generation’s designated hardman, Jason Statham, is a former model.

  6. Also, think of the way James Bond emerging from the ocean in tiny tight swimming shorts was the focus of the Casino Royale marketing, in contrast to Halle Berry doing the same in the previous film. Seems studios are eager to appeal to women by packing blockbusters with Men’s Health ideals, given they they know the guys are gonna go see it anyway.

  7. @bents, that was kind of my thinking. Singer’s film toned down the colors, and especially the humor, like having Lex Luthor stab Superman with a shard of Kryptonite and break it off in his side. A far cry from Hackman putting a necklace on Reeve.

    I just think this will be more of the same. Nolan is a great talent, but I can’t think of any film he’s made that’s really cheery. And both he and Snyder have yet to prove to me he can pull off the breezy romance stuff that Lois and Clark require. Donner did it the right way- a romantic comedy with the derring-do on the side.

  8. Superman doesn’t have to be cheery, but it isn’t super-dark either. There’s plenty of depth in the character and Lex that hasn’t been, and probably won’t be, reached in the movies.

  9. My favorite LexG tweet of the past month … something about Amy Adams turning 39 as Superman is released … some reboot(!)

    Don’t forget Diane Lane … although I don’t know whether to feel happy for her paycheck or sad that she’s been cast as Ma Kent.

  10. LOOOOOK AT HIS BULGE!!!!

    LOOOOOOK AT IT!!!!!

    Jeff, by placing such an emphasis on the Cavill cock, you’re never allowed to be taken seriously again when presenting reviews for indie and/or art, high minded films.

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