VIDEO: Steel (1997)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIfj4zoECvU

Solkir reviews the dumb (yet fascinating) Steel, starring Shaquille O’Neal as a weapons designer who grows a conscience and designs a powerful suit of armor so he can be a superhero (why does that sound familiar?). In the comics, Steel’s origin was tied up in the ’90s Death of Superman saga, but there’s no sign of Superman here. Instead, we get Judd Nelson, the Not-Oracle, and a brand new dialect created by future sex tape star Ray J.

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  • chromesthesia

    Good video. I would like to see more black superheroes and less stereotypes. In fact, I want to write one. After I finish writing this other thing.

    • Solkir

      Coincidentally, hollywood gave us three comic book movies in a row with black protagonists. Next week is the good one

  • spaceman spiff

    Y’know, I thought it was pretty cool that they got black actors to play the likes of Heimdall, The Kingpin, and Nick Fury. Hell, when I saw “Batman” back in 89 I was really hoping to see Billy Dee Williams down the road as Two Face. But I think a line has to be drawn at somebody like Johnny Storm. I hope I’m not sounding racist, but he’s just too iconic of a character for them to be doing something like that. To me, it would be like getting a white actor to play Luke Cage, or T’Challa, the Black Panther.

    • Solkir

      Why does it matter?

  • Marshall Oliver Estes

    OMG could you imagine the storm o’crazy that would ensue if they ever made a Superman movie played by a nonwhite actor? You’d get comic book fans mad because he doesn’t look like he does in the comics, and then you’d also get racists who are mad because Superman’s black but they would use the “I’m not racist, I just want him to look like he does in the comics” card.

    • Cristiona

      I still remember someone nerd-raging over the last Superman movie because his spitcurl went the wrong way.

      God, I wish I was making that up.

      • The_Stig

        That makes me facepalm, especially considering that there are so many legitimate reasons to utterly despise Superman Returns.

      • kamenrider

        Too bad SR sucked.

    • kamenrider

      They did. Dean Cain.

  • Liz

    Thank you for such a wonderful review. As a Black woman, it’s great to see someone look at race in superhero films as well as films in general. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • MephLord

    I don’t see why the insult is not enough black people in superhero movies. The bigger insult is how few Asians and Latinos are in superhero movies, especially as protagonists. Who wouldn’t want to see Donnie Yen as Shang-Chi? Or Devon Aoki as Yukio? There was a bit of a backlash for the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, but since everyone admires Ben Kingsley and with how the Mandarin was eventually portrayed it got a free pass.

    I wonder if we’ll see any backlash with Johnny Depp playing Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie, since he’s clearly not Native American. If that casting isn’t a slap in the face I don’t know what is. We all know how much grief DC got with the Catwoman movie with Halle Berry in it, and yet I don’t know anyone that watched Vixen in Justice League Unlimited that didn’t think “Well, Halle Berry was meant to be Vixen, but some executive got confused and mixed up Vixen and Catwoman.”

    As for the Human Torch, I wonder how that will impact the casting of the Invisible Woman. I didn’t really care for Jessica Alba in the role in the first two movies, and the only one that seemed at all interesting was Michael Chitlis as the Thing (and to everyone that groaned about the rubber suit I say I didn’t mind it). The first FF movie didn’t have any real character to like, whereas the second movie had the great performance by the Silver Surfer even though Galactus was such a tragic letdown.

  • Alexa

    You forgot about Lawrence Fishbourne playing Perry White in Man of Steel, and how people had quite a snit about that as well. But really who cares, I mean remember when Nick Fury was white and he became black, and now nobody really cares because he’s still the same character just a different race.

    • MephLord

      Nick Fury is a special case. No one likes the Hoff (and wow was that movie bad) and everyone likes Samuel L Jackson, so that change was one that was universally applauded. And not even because Samuel L Jackson is black but because he’s a total badass and is believable. It’s the same reason I think Pam Grier should have been Storm in X-Men in 2000. Storm isn’t a character that is meant to be “hot” in the way of Jean Grey or Rogue. She is a character that commands attention with her words and mannerisms, and at the time Pam was 51 and was still looking the part of Storm.

      I don’t even hate Halle Berry for playing Storm I think she’s a great actress I just think Pam would’ve been so much better of a choice. In 2000 Patrick Stewart was 60 so roughly a decade of age difference wouldn’t mean much; if anything she’d be second in command with her age being relatively close to his and her role as leader much more defined. Most people also probably remembered Storm more from the cartoon than the comic books with her kind of convoluted backstory of being de-aged and then re-aged and all the other nonsense they did.

      As for Lawrence Fishbourne playing Perry White…why would anyone care? He’s a pretty boring character so getting an actor that actually can breathe life into him isn’t a bad thing at all. He’s not a JJJ so I don’t see why replacing him with a minority is going to hurt the movie in any way. I still hope that Man of Steel is good, because I think if that movie fails, then other DC comics movies will never happen.

      • Alexa

        Yeah but people get all defensive about it, and you are completely right about Perry White being not all that interesting to begin with that it really shouldn’t have mattered.

      • Cristiona

        Well, there’s also Marvel Ultimates where Nick Fury was, I believe, black; so there was a hook for people to hang their acceptance on.

    • Solkir

      Oh, I did not know about that, but it sounds awesome

      • Alexa

        Yeah people forget how awesome Lawrence Fishbourne is, and they sort of gender swapped Jimmy Olsen. Sort of as in, its his sister or something. Yeah that movie is gonna be kind of interesting.

        • Solkir

          I really hope it does well. I’m a big fan of Superman and I just want more people to like him

    • $36060516

      I don’t think he’s really the same character, though — at least not the way he acted and spoke before they courted Samuel Jackson to play him. Mark Millar redesigned the existing character to look like and act like Samuel Jackson because that’s a trick he likes to do in order to encourage Hollywood to make movies of his comic books so he can make money from the adaptations (he designed the lead of his comic book “Wanted” to look like Eminem, though they didn’t cast him in the movie version), and after the Samuel Jackson version took off in the movies they put the original Nick Fury in retirement.

      • The_Stig

        I don’t really mind the Perry White ethnicity swap because Lawrence Fishburne is fucking awesome, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of the Jimmy Olsen gender swap though. It just seems rather pointless. Change for the sake of change.

        • I think the “Jenny Olsen” thing was just a rumor, somebody CSI’d a still of her and she’s wearing a press pass that says “Jenny Jurwich”.

  • kamenrider

    I wonder if they’ll reboot Steel. He’s the only clone I like.