Author Topic: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals  (Read 3358 times)

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Offline podkarpatska

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New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« on: June 19, 2013, 04:42:01 PM »
Fair's fair, since we often rightly critique Roman Catholics for liturgical misadventures (clown, puppet,polka, you name it masses) I thought this cynical marketing ploy by Warner Brothers merited attention.

"Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie. The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.  “How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask."    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/14/superman-coming-to-a-church-near-you/

Apparently, the movie was sermonized in more than a few places

But RNS' blogger  Jonathan Merritt isn't buying what they are selling. Thank God.

"And yet, the whole ordeal makes me a little uncomfortable because it represents another step forward in the commodification of Christianity. In a land of profit and greed, these trends illustrate once again that unchecked capitalism can leverage anything—even faith, even Jesus—to turn a buck. As one comic blogger said, the effort “comes off like a money grab.” It’s hard to disagree with him."  -
http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/06/18/is-hollywood-manipulating-christians/#sthash.WaSDUNF7.dpuf

Sigh. The movie, by the way, was loud, long, tedious and violent. There was little humor as in the prior Superman movies and little to really humanize the hero. In other words, it took itself seriously. Thank God for Ironman - they know it's just stupid fun.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 04:51:17 PM »
For all churches and denominations? Because we all know Clark was raised a Methodist by his human mother. :)

Quote
While growing up in Smallville, Kansas, Clark Kent attended Sunday church services at the local Methodist church with his mother, Martha Kent, every week until he was fourteen years old. These aspects of the character are not speculative, but are canonical - established by in-continuity published DC Comics. Action Comics #850 (August 2007), for example, identifies Methodism by name as the denomination that Clark Kent and his mother attended.

Jonathan also raised his adopted son with staunch Protestant values, but Jonathan has never been much of a churchgoer. Clark stopped attending church services when his super-hearing, X-ray vision and other super senses began developing. As Clark later told his wife, Lois Lane, he stopped attending services becaues he "knew too much about their lives -- their problems -- their lies... [he] was afraid" that he might lose his faith in people. So he decided to distance himself from such close-contact, frequent congregational worship and put his faith in "the best that humanity has to offer" (Action Comics #849, July 2007).
http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Superman.html

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 05:07:34 PM »
Interesting comment from the creator of Earthworm Jim:

Quote
The fact that Superman was born and raised in Kansas by conservative farmers yet he never even talks about the Bible stinks to high hell to me. It's idiotic and it ends up making these characters less human instead of more. Superman has exactly dick to do with any "Smallville" I've ever been to. This is why I actually LOVED the Red Son Superman so much; they finally gave us a contrast of what would happen if Superman didn't carry Kansas in his worldview. More of this! Less of draining worldviews and philosophies out of comics! Especially worldviews that are considered "anti-comic" like certain conservative ones.

It is the pulp nature of comics that makes is such an incredibly powerful medium. I don't think you could get funding to make a Red Son Superman movie with a 250-million-dollar budget, but you could do a limited-run book series to explore a philosophy... no harm done.

It's why I laugh so hard at a vocal minority in comics that just freaks out if my characters bring up Jesus Christ. They don't freak out if a character says the word "____" or decides to be gay in a series, but if Spiderman ever converted to Christianity these critics would have a period. I thought we were farther along than that in the discussion and debate department of comics. I'm shocked at the level of groupthink within a medium that should be anything but a monolith of worldview.

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Superman.html
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2013, 05:41:43 PM »


Sigh. The movie, by the way, was loud, long, tedious and violent. There was little humor as in the prior Superman movies and little to really humanize the hero. In other words, it took itself seriously. Thank God for Ironman - they know it's just stupid fun.

Leaving the marketing aside- this isn't the first time Evangelicals have been targeted in this way- I thought the movie was definitely the best Superman to hit the screens since the first one. What humor was there belonged there, there was none of the Richard Lester shenanigans of II or III (that said, I do love "A Hard Days Night"), the movie had far less sermonizing than the Reeves-penned IV, and the less said about Returns the better. As for the lack of "humanity", I think it fit really well with the theme of this movie- this was more of an exploration of his alien-ness and how he fits in with the world around him. The minor quibble I have would involve major spoilers, so I'll save that for later. All in all, I hope that it continues its performance at the box office so that we can get a sequel, which will hopefully address Clark's humanity in more detail.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 05:42:14 PM by FormerReformer »
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 05:59:55 PM »
Interesting comment from the creator of Earthworm Jim:

Quote
The fact that Superman was born and raised in Kansas by conservative farmers yet he never even talks about the Bible stinks to high hell to me. It's idiotic and it ends up making these characters less human instead of more. Superman has exactly dick to do with any "Smallville" I've ever been to. This is why I actually LOVED the Red Son Superman so much; they finally gave us a contrast of what would happen if Superman didn't carry Kansas in his worldview. More of this! Less of draining worldviews and philosophies out of comics! Especially worldviews that are considered "anti-comic" like certain conservative ones.

It is the pulp nature of comics that makes is such an incredibly powerful medium. I don't think you could get funding to make a Red Son Superman movie with a 250-million-dollar budget, but you could do a limited-run book series to explore a philosophy... no harm done.

It's why I laugh so hard at a vocal minority in comics that just freaks out if my characters bring up Jesus Christ. They don't freak out if a character says the word "____" or decides to be gay in a series, but if Spiderman ever converted to Christianity these critics would have a period. I thought we were farther along than that in the discussion and debate department of comics. I'm shocked at the level of groupthink within a medium that should be anything but a monolith of worldview.

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Superman.html

Sounds like a lovely person. We should meet.

Offline orthoreader

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 06:28:19 PM »
The TV Show "Smallville" alluded to Christianity. The actor John Snyder who played Jonathan Kent is a pretty ardent Christian in real life.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 09:07:40 PM »
Hollywood and Evangelicals. Heads and tails.
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Offline Papist

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 01:33:08 PM »


Sigh. The movie, by the way, was loud, long, tedious and violent. There was little humor as in the prior Superman movies and little to really humanize the hero. In other words, it took itself seriously. Thank God for Ironman - they know it's just stupid fun.

Leaving the marketing aside- this isn't the first time Evangelicals have been targeted in this way- I thought the movie was definitely the best Superman to hit the screens since the first one. What humor was there belonged there, there was none of the Richard Lester shenanigans of II or III (that said, I do love "A Hard Days Night"), the movie had far less sermonizing than the Reeves-penned IV, and the less said about Returns the better. As for the lack of "humanity", I think it fit really well with the theme of this movie- this was more of an exploration of his alien-ness and how he fits in with the world around him. The minor quibble I have would involve major spoilers, so I'll save that for later. All in all, I hope that it continues its performance at the box office so that we can get a sequel, which will hopefully address Clark's humanity in more detail.
I throughouly enjoyed the movie, though I can definitely sympathatize with critics' responses. There were some pacing problems, and I'm NOT a huge fan of that controversial thing that Superman does near the end of the movie. However, as a ridiculous Superman fanatic, it was good to see the man in blue back on the big screen.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 01:37:26 PM »
The TV Show "Smallville" alluded to Christianity. The actor John Snyder who played Jonathan Kent is a pretty ardent Christian in real life.
John Schneider? As in the man who played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard?
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 01:55:05 PM »
The TV Show "Smallville" alluded to Christianity. The actor John Snyder who played Jonathan Kent is a pretty ardent Christian in real life.
John Schneider? As in the man who played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard?

Yeah. Wow. Even I knew that one without a TV for forever.

Offline orthoreader

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 02:04:30 PM »
The TV Show "Smallville" alluded to Christianity. The actor John Snyder who played Jonathan Kent is a pretty ardent Christian in real life.
John Schneider? As in the man who played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard?

looks like minus the misspelling of his name :angel:

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 03:40:32 PM »


Sigh. The movie, by the way, was loud, long, tedious and violent. There was little humor as in the prior Superman movies and little to really humanize the hero. In other words, it took itself seriously. Thank God for Ironman - they know it's just stupid fun.

Leaving the marketing aside- this isn't the first time Evangelicals have been targeted in this way- I thought the movie was definitely the best Superman to hit the screens since the first one. What humor was there belonged there, there was none of the Richard Lester shenanigans of II or III (that said, I do love "A Hard Days Night"), the movie had far less sermonizing than the Reeves-penned IV, and the less said about Returns the better. As for the lack of "humanity", I think it fit really well with the theme of this movie- this was more of an exploration of his alien-ness and how he fits in with the world around him. The minor quibble I have would involve major spoilers, so I'll save that for later. All in all, I hope that it continues its performance at the box office so that we can get a sequel, which will hopefully address Clark's humanity in more detail.
I throughouly enjoyed the movie, though I can definitely sympathatize with critics' responses. There were some pacing problems, and I'm NOT a huge fan of that controversial thing that Superman does near the end of the movie. However, as a ridiculous Superman fanatic, it was good to see the man in blue back on the big screen.

To avoid spoilers, we can carry on a conversation about this in PM, if you wish. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but I can also see why it was necessary and not out of character.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 04:49:31 PM »
Just checked to see what that ending is about. Is there anyone who *does not* know how it ends? :)

I find it interesting that how in the past people enjoyed idealized biographies and idealized heros because you need fixed stars to guide your way at night. And today people enjoy and praise much more those who are flawed like us, who show weaknesses.

In a sense, we have much more like the Joker, obsessed in proving that everybody is as broken as we are, and much less able to acknowledge and appreciate those who are really morally better than us. Hence why not many people read the life of the saints or seek "realistic" ones.

The very fact that we call "realism" the reality of sin tells a lot about our generation.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 04:49:58 PM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Papist

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 05:11:24 PM »
Just checked to see what that ending is about. Is there anyone who *does not* know how it ends? :)

I find it interesting that how in the past people enjoyed idealized biographies and idealized heros because you need fixed stars to guide your way at night. And today people enjoy and praise much more those who are flawed like us, who show weaknesses.

In a sense, we have much more like the Joker, obsessed in proving that everybody is as broken as we are, and much less able to acknowledge and appreciate those who are really morally better than us. Hence why not many people read the life of the saints or seek "realistic" ones.

The very fact that we call "realism" the reality of sin tells a lot about our generation.
Agreed. Some criticized the Lord of the Rings for that very reason. They believed that characters such as Legolas and Aragorn were just too perfect. But don't we need ideals to strive towards?
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 05:24:53 PM »
That reminds me of a Simpsons episode where, to criticize the Church we see Flander's children in a kids party and saying it was the first time they felt really happy and not "church happy". If the Simpsons were a Christian show, it could be read as criticism to people who falsely claim to be happy. But there's more to it. It's reflective of the fact we lost the sensibility to appreciate and be really joyful with the really beautiful, simple realities of God.

Beauty can save the world only if we are sensible to it, but we have come to associate the grotesque with honesty and sincerity. Hence Man of Steel's end. I see it's a situation men would face. But when all we can imagine of a super-man, is exactly what we would do, we have settled in the cave and locked the chains.


Just checked to see what that ending is about. Is there anyone who *does not* know how it ends? :)

I find it interesting that how in the past people enjoyed idealized biographies and idealized heros because you need fixed stars to guide your way at night. And today people enjoy and praise much more those who are flawed like us, who show weaknesses.

In a sense, we have much more like the Joker, obsessed in proving that everybody is as broken as we are, and much less able to acknowledge and appreciate those who are really morally better than us. Hence why not many people read the life of the saints or seek "realistic" ones.

The very fact that we call "realism" the reality of sin tells a lot about our generation.
Agreed. Some criticized the Lord of the Rings for that very reason. They believed that characters such as Legolas and Aragorn were just too perfect. But don't we need ideals to strive towards?
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2013, 06:34:02 PM »
Just checked to see what that ending is about. Is there anyone who *does not* know how it ends? :)

Me.

When I think I am going to see something I avoid trailers, quickly stop reading anything that looks like it could be a spoiler.

I basically didn't listen to much NPR when I was watching The Wire for the first time via DVD. You never know when something might slip.

That being said, I can't imagine any ending in a Superman film not being obvious within the first 15-18 minutes of the show.

In any case, thanks to everyone not ruining the ending for a show I might see soon.

Offline Papist

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Re: New Superman Movie Pitched by Studio to Evangelicals
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2013, 07:09:31 PM »
That reminds me of a Simpsons episode where, to criticize the Church we see Flander's children in a kids party and saying it was the first time they felt really happy and not "church happy". If the Simpsons were a Christian show, it could be read as criticism to people who falsely claim to be happy. But there's more to it. It's reflective of the fact we lost the sensibility to appreciate and be really joyful with the really beautiful, simple realities of God.

Beauty can save the world only if we are sensible to it, but we have come to associate the grotesque with honesty and sincerity. Hence Man of Steel's end. I see it's a situation men would face. But when all we can imagine of a super-man, is exactly what we would do, we have settled in the cave and locked the chains.


Just checked to see what that ending is about. Is there anyone who *does not* know how it ends? :)

I find it interesting that how in the past people enjoyed idealized biographies and idealized heros because you need fixed stars to guide your way at night. And today people enjoy and praise much more those who are flawed like us, who show weaknesses.

In a sense, we have much more like the Joker, obsessed in proving that everybody is as broken as we are, and much less able to acknowledge and appreciate those who are really morally better than us. Hence why not many people read the life of the saints or seek "realistic" ones.

The very fact that we call "realism" the reality of sin tells a lot about our generation.
Agreed. Some criticized the Lord of the Rings for that very reason. They believed that characters such as Legolas and Aragorn were just too perfect. But don't we need ideals to strive towards?
Very well stated, and very insightful.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.