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Strength feats required to appreciate?

29 Mar 2020 19:36 - 29 Mar 2020 19:40 #67289 by Fred9101
Strength feats required to appreciate? was created by Fred9101
When we give our opinion on movies or TV series that we like, I often see people commenting on the number of feats of strength found there (and sometimes the quality of theses). Overall, I think we all agree that the more there is, the more we appreciate. 

On the other hand, personally I also find it very exciting to know the simple fact that a super woman has these abilities, even if she does not use them for a while. Its a kind of a suspense, we know that she can use her super strength at any time, as she wants, and I find that it makes listening even more interesting. Especially if this super woman meets our personal beauty criteria. For me, the more beautiful the super woman, the more I enjoy listening to the film or the series. Best exemple at the moment in Project Anna (russian tv-series).



What do you think ? Do you appreciate it only when there is a lot of super strength demonstrations?

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Last edit: 29 Mar 2020 19:40 by Fred9101.
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29 Mar 2020 20:28 #67290 by derekh48
Replied by derekh48 on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
i like strength feats in general. little displays are good but one overall superior one is the best for me

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31 Mar 2020 09:53 - 31 Mar 2020 21:07 #67303 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
A good scene in the Supergirl film that reflects this was when she flies over Ethan's head on the beach to confront him.

wtte, He says "You just flew over my head!"

Kara/Helen replies non-commitedly with a shrug as if to say 'What's the Big Deal?'

Ethan; "You can leap over tall buildings in a single bound!"

Helen, a bit confused; "Yes?..."

Ethan "You can bend steel bars with your bare hands! "

Now Helen gets it and crosses her arms across her chest and gives out a resounding "YUUSS!" in a deep, show-off but flirty voice with a proud smile on her face.

One of the best scenes I reckon!
Last edit: 31 Mar 2020 21:07 by Monty.
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31 Mar 2020 10:07 #67304 by Dumano1r
Replied by Dumano1r on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
Speaking as a writer, I try to include a balance of elements in my stories. I usually aim to have some casually displayed superstrength, an element of transformation and empowerment and a developing plot that showcases these elements of the genre. I try to regularly include elements of power, beauty and sensuality, in part because I feel it helps to hold the attention!
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31 Mar 2020 10:22 - 31 Mar 2020 10:23 #67305 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
Personally I find super strength scenes much more exciting than just being told a character is strong.  It doesn't matter how strong someone is meant to be if all they ever do is talk about it and fight other strong characters then they might as well be human.  If someone is strong then prove it.  
Last edit: 31 Mar 2020 10:23 by The Highlander.
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31 Mar 2020 13:07 #67312 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
To answer, it's Chekov's gun. If you mention/illustrate that the character is capable of this or that (ie super strength) but don't make relevant use of it then it makes that element inconsequential. 
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31 Mar 2020 15:54 #67316 by njae
Replied by njae on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

Dumano1r wrote: Speaking as a writer, I try to include a balance of elements in my stories. I usually aim to have some casually displayed superstrength, an element of transformation and empowerment and a developing plot that showcases these elements of the genre. I try to regularly include elements of power, beauty and sensuality, in part because I feel it helps to hold the attention!


There's a bit of a difference between written fiction and TV show/movies. In a written story, a man and a woman could meet and the man's inner monologue could be all about how that woman is a thousand times stronger than him and that he should be very careful not to piss her off in any way. In a movie that scene could just be him stammering in a conversation with little to no explanation as to why he's doing that.

For movies, one rule is "show, don't tell". I saw a video on youtube that compared the 2016 Ghostbuster remake with the original and used the scenes in which their weapons are explained as comparison. The remake had a lot of techno-babble explaining things and a training montage with some gags, while the original just had them switch on the first proton pack and everybody else trying to get some distance to it. A much shorter scene that explained all the audience needed to know at that point. And the original scene is more memorable because of that.

Back to our man scared of a ubergirl. The obvious solution: Make her use her super strength once, afterwards the audience can fill in the gaps why someone might be scared of her.

And that's where TV series tend to fail. In the pilot they pay a lot of attention to show the supernatural abilities, demonstrating it on small obstacles or including casual uses of them. Buffy uses her slayer powers to jump over a fence when no one is looking, Kara uses her powers at work and accidentally runs into someone and fails to hide her strength.
Starting with episode 2, this focus is lost, casual uses are few and far between and the powers are sometimes even ignored for the sake of the episodes plot. The fastest man alive? There were a lot of criminals that managed to get away by distracting him for a few seconds. Supergirl? Same thing, just that her super strength and invulnerability are also forgotten so the villain isn't caught in the first act.

I guess that's where the preference for strength feats in an episode comes from. The series tend to forget about the characters powers so they don't feel like they have them at times.

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31 Mar 2020 20:07 #67323 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
I would say that the "show, don't tell" rule applies equally to written fiction as it does to video.

A properly-written super strength scene doesn't require any description of strength, but has plenty of showing and reacting to that strength via feats, etc. 

A detailed scene where a cute teenage girl rips the turret off a main battle tank, along with the sounds and feel of it, is vastly better than telling someone that she can wreck a tank. All the sounds of screaming, rending overstressed steel and machinery being slowly torn apart as her clothing tears, her body suddenly looking ridiculously strong, the reactions of the men in the tank who are terrified and are trying to get away, the way the ground shakes when she slams the now freed twenty-ton turret against the ground by its barrel, turning it into a monstrous hammer to smash other tanks and trucks, etc.

That kind of showing never gets old. 

It doesn't require a single word of "telling" or exposition, just a lot of showing. And, of course, describing people's reactions to watching that go down, especially if she's the insanely cute teenage girl who lives next door who has long been a fascination to the guy next door. 

Shadar
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01 Apr 2020 03:15 #67326 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
I expect I'll be in the minority here, but the actual feats of strength don't do a thing for me. I appreciate the protagonists of the stories here for their awakening, and confidence, and their ability to be themselves and do what they want. Then question becomes "if you can do anything, what do you choose to do?" If they go out picking fights, ripping apart tanks, tearing the head off a guy who spilled a drink on them, that rather spoils the character for me. If bullets don't hurt you, why get so angry when someone shoots you? Why break into a bank vault when there's no place you'll be able to spend the money? I just can't figure out a character whose abilities are so extreme, but whose thoughts are still so petty.

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01 Apr 2020 04:14 #67328 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

Pepper wrote: I expect I'll be in the minority here, but the actual feats of strength don't do a thing for me. I appreciate the protagonists of the stories here for their awakening, and confidence, and their ability to be themselves and do what they want. Then question becomes "if you can do anything, what do you choose to do?" If they go out picking fights, ripping apart tanks, tearing the head off a guy who spilled a drink on them, that rather spoils the character for me. If bullets don't hurt you, why get so angry when someone shoots you? Why break into a bank vault when there's no place you'll be able to spend the money? I just can't figure out a character whose abilities are so extreme, but whose thoughts are still so petty.


There are many sub-genres in the SWM genre, and some of those involve bad girls who pick fights etc. Or become violent bullies, as you suggest. 

But there are others where they chose to use those powers to do good. But even that might turn into ripping apart a tank if it was shooting up civilians or whatever. If a cop can kill someone who is dangerous to others in order to protect the population, so can a super. 

For me, it all has to sum up in the end to saving lives. But I only work in the one of the sub-subgenres. And saving lives doesn't mean not taking the lives when it's necessary. 

SWM is neat because is has lots of diversity of thought and different flavors of fantasies when it comes to such things. How horrible if we all thought alike. 

Shadar
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01 Apr 2020 06:48 #67329 by ChaozCloud
Replied by ChaozCloud on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
Personally I want to see feats of some kind. I enjoy the entire kryptonian power set and while super strength and invulnerability is on the top of the list, I still enjoy some good speed, heat vision and super breath feats. And in general the more powerful the better.

Pepper wrote: I expect I'll be in the minority here, but the actual feats of strength don't do a thing for me. I appreciate the protagonists of the stories here for their awakening, and confidence, and their ability to be themselves and do what they want. Then question becomes "if you can do anything, what do you choose to do?" If they go out picking fights, ripping apart tanks, tearing the head off a guy who spilled a drink on them, that rather spoils the character for me. If bullets don't hurt you, why get so angry when someone shoots you? Why break into a bank vault when there's no place you'll be able to spend the money? I just can't figure out a character whose abilities are so extreme, but whose thoughts are still so petty.


I agree that personality and character definetely enhances a story. But with the correct motivation I can see a supergirl robbing a bank and with the "right" personality ripping a head off for a minor slight.
Even if a girl is super she may still need food and a home and if she is unemployed or working a low wage job I can see her robbing a place to make ends meet. Or lets say a family member or a friend needs an expensive medical procedure to survive, then she may rob a bank to get the money. After that it becomes more a how. If she has some kind of transformation or disguise power then she can do it in broad daylight and if she doesn't she may go for a stealthier approach at night.

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01 Apr 2020 10:04 - 01 Apr 2020 10:06 #67330 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

Idylls wrote: To answer, it'sChekov's gun. If you mention/illustrate that the character is capable of this
or that (ie super strength) but don't make relevant use of it then it makes that element inconsequential. 


Exactly. I got rather annoyed with a series a while ago where one of the main cast took something at made her stronger temporarily (admittedly it was a kids show but still). What did she do with her new strength? Open a jar someone was struggling with and pick up a book that had been magically stuck down. A complete waste of time, they could have easily had her move some foam rock or break a door handle just to show how strong she was.

Pepper wrote: I expect I'll be int he minority here, but the actual feats of strength don't do a thing for me. I appreciate the protagonists of the stories here for their awakening, and confidence, and their ability to be themselves and do what they want. Then question becomes "if you can do anything, what do you choose to do?" If they go out picking fights, ripping apart tanks, tearing the head off a guy
who spilled a drink on them, that rather spoils the character for me. If bullets don't hurt you, why get so angry when someone shoots you? Why break into a bank vault when there's no place you'll be able to spend the money? I just can't figure out a character whose abilities are so extreme, but whose thoughts are still so petty.


There are plenty of ways for a character to show off their strength without causing death and destruction. The classic ones are probably holding up a car while someone changes a wheel or helping to move heavy objects like furniture around. And they could tear apart some scrap vehicle to help dispose of it or just to show off to someone.

After all if someone has super strength but never uses it then what is the point of having it in the first place.
Last edit: 01 Apr 2020 10:06 by The Highlander.
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01 Apr 2020 14:28 #67331 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

ChaozCloud wrote: Even if a girl is super she may still need food and a home and if she is unemployed or working a low wage job I can see her robbing a place to make ends meet. Or lets say a family member or a friend needs an expensive medical procedure to survive, then she may rob a bank to get the money. After that it becomes more a how. If she has some kind of transformation or disguise power then she can do it in broad daylight and if she doesn't she may go for a stealthier approach at night.

I was thinking of the ones who rip the vault door off in the middle of the day, take out bags of cash, and then stand in the street mocking the police while every news camera in the city is filming it. Why? Word will get around. Honest businesses won't sell to such a gleeful thief, and even the black market won't deal with someone who could double cross them so easily. Or, if the point of the robbery was to be seen and make people afraid of her, she still doesn't need the money. Rather than buying things, she could just steal them.  At the very least, the instant notoriety should be part of the story, and not necessarily to the super woman's benefit.

I'm not saying super strength should never be used by a character; just that there ought to be a point to it that makes sense. I don't go out in my yard to see which is the biggest rock I can lift. If I gained super powers, I don't think I'd go to a rail yard and see how far I could throw a locomotive.

As i said, I expect this to be a minority view here.

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01 Apr 2020 21:44 #67335 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

Pepper wrote: I expect I'll be in the minority here, but the actual feats of strength don't do a thing for me. I appreciate the protagonists of the stories here for their awakening, and confidence, and their ability to be themselves and do what they want. Then question becomes "if you can do anything, what do you choose to do?" If they go out picking fights, ripping apart tanks, tearing the head off a guy who spilled a drink on them, that rather spoils the character for me. If bullets don't hurt you, why get so angry when someone shoots you? Why break into a bank vault when there's no place you'll be able to spend the money? I just can't figure out a character whose abilities are so extreme, but whose thoughts are still so petty.


I think the word you are looking for is "shallow". I agree with you but you have to realize some are just for the "fun" of it.

"Deep" stories are difficult. To delve to one's character; their motivations, desires and hopes; to simply ask "why". Many just don't make the effort I'm not condemning them or anything there are those that are just here for some escapist entertainment and it's as valid a reason as any.

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01 Apr 2020 22:57 #67336 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?
Strength feats are, like any element of a story primarily a narrative tool and I think that what a feat achieves in terms of story is more important than the act itself.
Idyllis mentioned the Checkov gun and that's more or less the core of my idea: having our main character twisting a metal bar to tie a policeman to a post quickly establish two elements: she has superstrength enough to bend steel and she has no problem going against the authorities when the situation requires it. From that moment on, twisting a metal bar becomes an established part of her power-set, so it's pointless to have her replicate this feat, unless serves a completely different purpose (for example intimidate a newly introduced character).
On the other end, once you're firmly established a character's limits, what she can do within those limits is much more interesting than pushing her levels even further. The perception of power can be a much more effective tool than the power itself. It's the reverse of the old "Shooting Superman" moment: when a character is so well known that her opponents just give up before even trying.

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01 Apr 2020 23:39 #67338 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

Woodclaw wrote: Strength feats are, like any element of a story primarily a narrative tool and I think that what a feat achieves in terms of story is more important than the act itself.
Idyllis mentioned the Checkov gun and that's more or less the core of my idea: having our main character twisting a metal bar to tie a policeman to a post quickly establish two elements: she has superstrength enough to bend steel and she has no problem going against the authorities when the situation requires it. From that moment on, twisting a metal bar becomes an established part of her power-set, so it's pointless to have her replicate this feat, unless serves a completely different purpose (for example intimidate a newly introduced character).
On the other end, once you're firmly established a character's limits, what she can do within those limits is much more interesting than pushing her levels even further. The perception of power can be a much more effective tool than the power itself. It's the reverse of the old "Shooting Superman" moment: when a character is so well known that her opponents just give up before even trying.


In the better comics that involved Kryptonian characters, we seemed to have three types of villains, or so I recall:

1) Stupid ones who uselessly shoot at them because they are stupid.

2) Ones who threatened others, which forces Superman or Supergirl to save them, and thus bought the villain time to get away. 

3) Those who developed various kinds of super weapons that at least briefly stopped a Kryptonian. I'm not talking Kryptonite, which was never fun in my thinking, but other kinds of devices. 

Type 1 villains are useless in a story, but Type 2 villains were sometimes very clever in their diversions, and that led to good stories.

But my real love was Type 3 villains who found some new kind of weapons or rays or mind games, including alien weapons, that would take a Krypt down for a bit.

I guess there are also Type 4's who used Kryptonite, but I've never been fond of Kryptonite stories.  They are the laziest of all. 

My point is that some really good, imaginative and creative stories can be done with Type 3 villains, which explore the limits of the invulnerability and skills. 

Shadar
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02 Apr 2020 03:04 #67344 by Idylls
Replied by Idylls on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

shadar wrote:
3) Those who developed various kinds of super weapons that at least briefly stopped a Kryptonian. I'm not talking Kryptonite, which was never fun in my thinking, but other kinds of devices. 

But my real love was Type 3 villains who found some new kind of weapons or rays or mind games, including alien weapons, that would take a Krypt down for a bit.

My point is that some really good, imaginative and creative stories can be done with Type 3 villains, which explore the limits of the invulnerability and skills. 

Shadar


Funny the first one that came to mind as I read this is Batman. Nowadays their "first encounters" consist of Batman trying every sort of gadget to stop him (and not using basic guns so it really has to be imaginative) with Superman just shrugging them off. 

Now I wish there is something like that but with Supergirl.
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03 Apr 2020 02:43 - 03 Apr 2020 02:46 #67358 by Fred9101
Replied by Fred9101 on topic Strength feats required to appreciate?

The Highlander wrote: There are plenty of ways for a character to show off their strength without causing death and destruction. The classic ones are probably holding up a car while someone changes a wheel or helping to move heavy objects like furniture around. And they could tear apart some scrap vehicle to help dispose of it or just to show off to someone.


I agree so much. I would even say that this is what I like most, when the super woman shows her superhuman strength in more everyday things (opening a tin can with her nails, forcing a closed door, crushing a padlock in her hand...). I hate magic things or fighting with superhuman people, as we see too much in Supergirl.

In fact, I prefer to see the super woman use her power on elements for which we know very well that it takes an extraordinary strength to do what she does. A good example would be Molly, in Runaway, when she rips a toilet off the floor. Have you ever tried to tear off a toilet? We have a good idea of the force that it must take and it's these moments that I like to see.

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Last edit: 03 Apr 2020 02:46 by Fred9101.
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05 Apr 2020 19:08 #67398 by slim36
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Ursa's casual but painful hand hold
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