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Russell Crowe promises a “complicated” and “really complex” “Man of Steel”

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Could “Man of Steel” actually be as good as everyone involved says it is? Judging by the most recent comments by Russell Crowe, yes. He praised the movie as being “complicated” and “really complex,” and teased that it gets inside the psyche of Superman. Consider us intrigued.

“I don’t think anybody has really tried to get into the psychology of what it must be like to be Superman and what people would really respond like in a modern society if somebody like that just popped up,” Crowe told Reelz. “I think Zack Snyder was given a great deal of responsibility because, when it comes to comic book heroes and superhero films, the top of the food chain is Superman. I think the biggest indicator for me of how it’s looking is that the financier of the film has sent me gushing emails; he just loves it.”

Crowe plays Jor-El, the Kryptonian father of Superman, in the film. Apparently Snyder will put his CGI skills to the test by bringing Krypton to life, and Crowe said the results are fantastic.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing it, it’s a massive undertaking,” he said. “It takes you on the ground to Krypton, it takes you to a planet where the sun is four times larger than ours and you get to experience that stuff and if you’ve seen the trailers you realize that this Superman is not just floating through the air held up by a wire, this Superman is super sonic. I’m really looking forward to the way that people will respond to it.”

“Man of Steel” stars Crowe, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne. It is due in theaters on June 14, 2013 in IMAX and 3D.

What are your thoughts on “Man of Steel”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

“Justice League” character roster revealed?

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There is a lot we think we know about “Justice League,” and not a lot we know for sure. It’s been rumored that the villain is Darkseid and the story for the film will be based on comics issues 183-185, but Warner Bros. has neither confirmed nor denied either story. Now a new report claims to have the list of the character being featured in the film, though we’re going to have to take it with a grain of salt.

Cosmic Book News has a list of DC characters from Superman to Alfred Pennyworth who will allegedly be featured in the new movie. Though none really come as a shock, it’s still debatable if this will be the lineup in “Justice League.”

- Superman is essentially the same character from Man of Steel, and Zack Snyder is consulting regarding the writing of the character.
– Batman: The strategist of the group. Batman doesn’t really want to be involved with these super powered beings he considers too powerful. Easily the most complex written.
– Wonder Woman: She has only been in man’s world a few short months. The Wonder Woman script Michael Goldenberg is developing will be set before the Justice League movie.
– Green Lantern: Will be Ryan Reynold’s character from the Green Lantern movie, but will be freshly written with a more serious tone.
– Flash: The most popular hero in civilian eyes who loves media attention, but when called upon is very serious.
– Martian Manhunter: Alien who has lived on Earth in secret for over a hundred years who has knowledge of Darkseid and his reign.
– Aquaman: Will be the King of Atlantis who has a key role in the film.
– There will also be a heavy military presence in the film which in future rewrites could include characters featured in Man of Steel or even Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett) of which neither are included in the first draft.
– Alfred Pennyworth is in the film in a minor appearance.
– Lois Lane is also in the film in a cameo.
– Darkseid’s Elite will be featured who go up against the Justice League early on in the film.

“Justice League” is due out in the summer of 2015. Thus far, no director has been chosen to helm the project, though many names have been rumored for the role. “Gangster Squad” scribe Will Beall is currently writing the script.

Do you think this character list is accurate? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Man Of Steel” trailer: The top 5 scenes that tell a lot

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The new trailer for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” has arrived online, and like many of the “300” filmmaker’s other projects, the Superman reboot packs a lot into its teasers.

This time around, the footage covers a wide array of scenes from the film, including some angsty moments from Superman’s childhood and some explosive battle scenes both on the ground and in space. And like most trailers for high-profile projects like this one, there’s a lot we can learn from the footage.

Here are five scenes that offer some new details about what we’ll see when “Man of Steel” hits theaters next year.


No Good Deed

Early in the trailer, we get a few different scenes showing a young Clark Kent dealing with his developing powers. When he rescues a bus full of children that went into the water, it would seem that his abilities are revealed — though we later witness a conversation between Clark and his father in which Jonathan Kent suggests that letting the kids die might have been a better choice. This is certainly a different take on Clark’s father than we’ve ever seen before, and Superman’s dialogue near the end of the trailer about his father’s belief that the world wasn’t ready for someone like him only further distances this version of the character from prior films.


The Orphaned Son

It’s been over 30 years since Superman’s origin story was told on the big screen, and “Man of Steel” makes its “reboot” status official with some scenes featuring a new spin on the character’s origin. Not only do we get some scenes that appear to show an exploding Krypton, but atthe 1:48 mark we also get a good look at Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Superman’s Kryptonian father.


Not Alone?

A considerable amount of footage in the new trailer is dedicated to scenes of alien spacecraft flying (and exploding) in space and around the sky here on Earth. There’s clearly a greater focus on the sci-fi aspect of Superman’s origin in this new film, and the footage would seem to indicate that we’ll see the Man of Steel do battle well outside the confines of Earth. Whether the visitors will be Kryptonian or from some other world is uncertain, but we will be treated to at least one other man from Krypton in the film, that’s for sure…


Zod!

Given that one of Superman’s most iconic enemies made his debut in the movie franchise (and not in the comics), it’s only fitting that the new franchise is wasting no time introducing Zod, the vicious soldier from Krypton who has tormented the Man of Steel on the screen and in the comics. The trailer gives us our first good look at Michael Shannon as Zod right around the 1:52 mark, and he looks like a force to be reckoned with — as Superman appears to learn for himself in a brief scene that appears shortly thereafter.


Superman Bound

Along with giving us a different look at Clark Kent’s childhood, the new trailer also seems to indicate that “Man of Steel” will give us a different perspective on Superman’s place in the world. In several scenes sprinkled throughout the trailer, we see Superman cuffed and under military watch, and even being targeted by the military in a later scene. Will Superman’s relationship with the world he protects take on a more adversarial tone in the new franchise, or do these scenes offer an entirely different context for the Man of Steel’s public image? We won’t know the answers any time soon, but hey, speculation is half the fun!

Are you looking forward to “Man of Steel”? Let us know in the comments below.

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