OK if you are still reading following a title like that, I applaud you!
I often use a line when I'm lecturing on my book to get people's attention. It goes like this: Many protestants work on this basic understanding of the Scriptures, that in the beginning God created everything and everything was good. Then man sinned and everything went bad. Then God decided to help by sending Israel the Law, only it didn't solve the problem - how could it? Man was so bad he could never keep the Law. So God thought again and sent his only Son, and he sorted the problem.
I know this is really simplified, but does it sound familiar? I hope not because it is total rubbish. The cross isn't plan B! The cross is always gloriously plan A. So why did God give the Law? So that we can understand plan A when we see it. The Law is fundamentally about how to worship God, and then how we should live together in the light of worshipping this God. And if we don't get this meta-story right, this world view, this biggest of big pictures, then all our attempts to understand the stories within, the details that make up the bigger picture, we will inevitably get the detail wrong. Only a church that doesn't understand what the Law is (ie about worship first) would imagine sin was primarily about the moral things we struggle with. This makes us fuss about sexuality as if this is God's fundamental issue with humanity. Drivel. Get the meta-story right, and all the details will fit nicely.
So: Superman. Here's the thing: my big picture, my meta-story (like everyone else's) is set by my first real Superman exposure. I know this. And for me, it wasn't the 1970s films. It was Lois and Clark in the 90s. So Clark as clutz is totally alien (to use an appropriate word) to me. And more importantly, Lois and Clark (and self-evidently Smallville) makes this important choice: which one is real - Clark or Superman? - answer: Clark.
Clark is the real person, and the blue tights are the disguise so that we don't recognise Clark at his other job. Whereas I think if you grew up with Christopher Reeve, and now the new movie, Superman is the real person and Clark is the disguise so we don't recognise Superman at the office.
Which is why I dislike the new movie so much. It makes the wrong choice on the central character. It makes the wrong one the "real" one. Everything else is skewed by this basic choice. Nightmare. Meta-story sets the deatils, and if the wrong picture becomes the big picture, I don't want to see it.
We all agree; Lois is terrible. Everyone I know uses the word "feisty" to describe Lois, and Kate Bosworth just doesn't have that. But the problem with this movie is greater - in terms of my lengthy intro, it misunderstands the cross because it thinks it is plan B. So everything is misunderstood.
Make Clark the real person and everything about Superman works. Make Superman the real person and Houston, we have a problem.