Friday, November 15, 2013

It's always hard to judge a film that has a relation to other films, TV shows and comic books attached to it.
 Occasionally, I will refer this to the Christopher Reeve films, since that is the closest I know. I know the comic books, but even then, we're talkin' over 20 years ago.
There's my disclaimer.

Krypton is about to be destroyed due to its alignment from it's sun. Jor-El tries to warn the planet's council of it's destruction. Ironically, General Zod was warning as well. Unlike the previous version of General Zod in the Reeve films, Zod actually seemed like he really wanted to help.
 You think of most bad guys as dark men who actually desire harm and talk about being bad (join the dark side). Zod actually seems to care about his people in Man of Steel. He's just a little mis-guided.

Jor-El saves his son by sending him with to Earth with a sample of Krypton's technology. Added to this is Krypton's genetic makeup. These are cells that can repopulate Krypton, this is an added part of the story never really told before on film. Not sure on the comic book story lines.

Zod and his crew were spared destruction because they were locked up in the Phantom Zone in Space, just watching Krypton's destruction from a distance. But the planets explosion results in the Phantom Zone breaking open.

Man of Steel is a combination of Superman the movie and Superman II put together. I truly loved the first half of the film. Kevin Costner was an interesting pick for Jonathan Kent. I pictured someone a little older, but Costner did well.

The topics brought up during those "growing up"years were great emotional moments for both the teenage Clark and the grown up Clark. One good point given by Costner is the shock that Clark is from another planet. In most depictions, more emphasis is put on a strong guy that can fly, rather then solving the big mystery of aliens existence. There was also many religions undertones focused on both Moses and Christ when it came to the mission of Clark Kent.

The film's first half does get swallowed up by the explosive second half. This is where I almost turned it off. I understand that when Superman is fighting other people from Krypton, things can get pretty speedy. And with the advent of better film technology, it is obvious that faster and more destruction is at hand. This just seemed to go over the top.

I liken Man of Steel to a cake that has two layers with frosting. Imagine cutting the cake with a little frosting, then a nice thick layer of actual cake, then a huge second layer of frosting, then a final short piece of cake at the bottom. That is the storyline of Man of Steel.

My concern is that the destruction and flight sequences of Man of Steel are SO over-the-top and so fast, what would a sequel look like, especially when the rule in Hollywood is the sequel always has to be bigger. Not sure how much bigger it can be.

I will have to say, Henry Cavill was a great Superman and hope to have him back for a sequel (Stephanie would hope to have him and his large chest back as well). Russell Crowe is great in anything he's in (at least in what I've seen, I'm sure there are a few lemons). Costner was great. Michael Shannon really brought an interesting tone to Zod. I was oddly thinking he was my favorite character, though at first he would seem like just another bad guy. Amy Adams was fine, but could have been easily been replaced.

The DVD/Bluray has some great features, but it seemed with all the legacy of Superman, it lacked a little on the history of Superman. The documentary of the making was very entertaining, but there was a segment that seemed like a mistake. There was a feature on the bonus section that was about the Hobit filming in New Zealand. Not exactly sure what that was doing there. It seemed terribly out of place on a Man of Steel Disc.

Otherwise, the film is a great leave-brain-at-the-door kind of fun. A little too intense for the young ones. Parents, you be the judge. I was surprised to find as one of the reasons for the PG-13 rating is for "Sci Fi Destruction"...and there's a lot of that.



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