Saturday, June 15, 2013

Movie Review - Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Kevin Costner, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne, Dylan Sprayberry, Cooper Timberline, and more.

Directed by: Zack Snyder Screenplay by: David S Goyer Story by: David S Goyer and Christopher Nolan Based on the Characters Created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster Cinematography by: Amir Mokri Original Music by: Hans Zimmer

Premise: On the throes of a dying Krypton, General Zod attempts a takeover, but Jor-El beats him to the coveted Codex containing all the DNA information for the Kryptonian race. Already having broken several laws by conceiving of a child physically rather than through the Genesis chamber, Jor-El uses the Codex and sends his baby son, Kal, to Earth. Unable to stop Jor-El, Zod is then caught and sent to the Phantom Zone, but he vows revenge. (Rated  PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Henry Cavill was a great Kal-El/Clark Kent. Charming, yet reserved, and even a little rough around the edges. Dylan Sprayberry and Cooper Timberline were outstanding as the younger Clark Kents - they conveyed Clark's clashing emotions when dealing with his blossoming powers, not fitting in, and trying live as an outsider. Amy Adams conveyed a very competent and energetic Lois Lane. I also totally enjoyed Kevin Costner's take on Johnathan Kent - overprotective of his son and his need to not stand out and yet wanting him to aim for greatness at the same time - great emotional conflict.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects were fantastic! A lot of trouble was taken to make Krypton a unique place, with its own science, culture, look and feel. The moldable bits of metal were used to awesome effect several times, especially when the computer tells Kal-El the story of his people.

Lots of explosions and great battle scenes both on Krypton and Earth. And the scenes of the machine pulsing and the way it affected cars and buildings were phenomenal. There was almost too much going on at times to keep track.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The story of Superman is one that's been done many times in both comic books and films. So trying to create a new take on the old story can sometimes be something of a hit and miss. Overall though, I thought the take on "Man of Steel" worked well. They tried to make it unique while still keeping the core story mostly intact. It also introduced issues and concerns not necessarily covered before, making the story more 'real' than previous versions in several respects.

There is a substantial amount of flashbacks in the movie. I felt the use of the technique added more depth and imparted more information than they could have othwerwise, but others might find it a little confusing, or not as enjoyable as a straight timeline story.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Aided by a lot of CGI, there was still a large amount of physical combat stunts, which were done quite well. Add in all the city mayhem scenes and it's obvious the stunt department was kept very busy. Great job!

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Most of the film was done in Illinois, but there was enough variation and consistency in the chosen locations to suit the different places being depicted. There were plenty of sweeping camera shots in the real and CGI worlds to ground viewers and also help them appreciate the different locals. This also worked particularly well for Metropolis. (And don't miss the little caveat on the side of some tanker trucks in the city during the final battle.)

Conclusion: "Man of Steel" was visually awesome and the story pretty entertaining. DC is definitely proving it can dish it out as well as Marvel with regards to movies about our favorite heroes. A fun ride! Definitely worth seeing in IMAX 3D.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

There was also an awesome caption moment around midway through the film - "He wishes he were a perky, red haired reporter right now." See if you can find it. :)

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