Monday, July 8, 2013

Movie Review: Superman, Man of Steel

The advantage to writing a movie review after most people have seen it or heard about it, is you can dialogue back with me. And that is the focus of my website, to dialogue with you.

Today's movie review is: Superman, Man of Steel

WARNING: Spoilers in this review.

I am all for remakes. New renditions incorporate new technology, take the story to a deeper level, draw out new aspects. I was excited to see this movie with my daughter.

I must admit, from the first opening of this movie I loved it. And then....

Positives and Magnificent moments:  

1. This rendition did a fantastic job showing Kal-El's need to adapt to earth's environment. He struggled as a child with unusual sounds and sights, not understanding what was wrong with him. This was a new component and enabled today's viewer to have new insight into this character.

2. Lois was given a breathing apparatus when boarding the alien ship. This demonstrated an understanding of the difference in air between the planets, but also raised a conflict which will be addressed in another section. 

3.  Kal-El mourns Zod's death, showing his understanding that he was now the sole survivor of his planet. 

4. Every actor and actress performed magnificently. Each one appropriately chosen to bring a fresh and real flavor to their role. Kudos to Henry Cavill (superman, Kal-El), Amy Adams (Lois), Russell Crowe, (Jor-El, Kal-El's biological father), Antje Traue, (Faora-Ul, Kal-El's biological mother), Dylan Sprayberry and Cooper Timberline (young Clark Kent). 

5. Jor-El's consciousness was added to the story line. With this he was able to dialogue more completely with Kal-El and with those on the ship. This aspect truly deepened the story.

These are great additions to this fantastic story. I continued to root for this movie hoping that the wrongs would be overwhelmed by the rights. But as I walked out of the theater, I had to admit, I was so very disappointed. My daughter was too. We made this list of reasons why.

Issues and Problematic moments:

1. We missed Jimmy Olsen. He was not in this movie.

2. Heavy on action...NO humor.

3. Flashbacks throughout the movie, confusing the viewer. There was absolutely no timeline.  The poor viewer who has this for their first exposure to this fantastic story was sure to walk out of the theater thrilled with the action, but lost with a lack of a secure plot.

4. Lois Lane knows who Clark Kent is the whole time.  SERIOUSLY??? Why did they do that?

5. The faulty science went beyond any molecule of acceptance. Science fiction and fantasy should fall back on plausibility. A black hole above the earth is NOT ACCEPTABLE. 

6. The villains did not go through a trial on Krypton in this version. It almost seemed like the leaders of Krypton were judgmental and evil, punishing those they didn't like.

7.  How strange that none of the New Yorkers noticed their city being destroyed. Whole buildings toppled while men and women watch the fight. Why wasn't anyone reasonably scared witless?

8. Insufficient time devoted to Kal-El's visit to the North Pole, and why did Lois have the opportunity to enter the sanctum without Kal-El knowing it?

9. Why wasn't Lois cold at the North Pole? The men at the camp told her not to go out at night because of the temperature drop. Sure enough, Lois goes out. Why isn't she at least shivering or dropping over from freezing?

10. Why did Zod choose to terrorize earth? He had to recreate the planet for their survival anyway. With his intelligence, why didn't he choose a more compatible planet?

11. Justification for Clark Kent's desire to protect the earth not established. He simply saves a few people. The justice, truth, etc not brought out. Early in the movie, Clark saves a boy from drowning in a bus. The boy's character is appropriately used later in the story, but not the girl who was the only one to show Clark compassion on the same bus.

12. No explanation for kryptonite hazard for superman. Too briefly addressed.

13. Clark Kent's father dies saving a dog. SERIOUSLY?? The heart attack in the original movie was MUCH better.

14. Leaps in the story line are disturbing. Baby Kal-El is flying toward earth. The viewer does't see the ship crash, land, or become discovered. Next scene, a man we must assume to be Clark is mocked as a crummy worker on a fishing boat. SERIOUSLY?? It took a few minutes to straighten this out in the viewer's mind.

15. The bully that Clark saves as a child grows up to be a wimp. OH, REALLY??? How does this have ANY plausibility in the story.

16. Uber amounts of product placement. Sears, Nikon...good grief. Big bucks went into this.

17. AND the biggest complaint. Why was Lois able to track down Clark Kent in Kansas but the government with all their resources couldn't? SERIOUSLY?

My heart ached. This movie had great potential at the downbeat. So sorry, DC Comics. I am forced to give this movie a two thumbs down. (One from my daughter and one from me).

Okay, I'm done.  You're turn. 

I hope you saw more positives than I did. Please share.


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

The positive: HENRY CAVILL!!!!!!!!!!!! He could be my hero for all my books. :)

The negative: TOO LONG and TOO MUCH FIGHTING. Seriously, I was so overwhelmed by all the CGI fighting. I felt like I'd been tumbling in a dryer all day when I left the movie.

But then I thought of HENRY. ;)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I agree and like you analogy of tumbling in a dryer all day. It was as if they glued three major fight scenes together. Other movies may have the same amount of fighting, but it is broken up with story components. Tragic movies about 911, tornados, hurricanes, fires, etc. know how to break up these high impact scenes and develop other parts of the story. Perhaps the writers and directors from Superman Man of Steel need to take lessons from them.

And yes, Henry did a great job. I don't recall seeing him in another movie, but hope he gets many more roles.

Arnold said...

I watched this movie with a smile across my face pretty much the whole time (there are some serious moments after all). I will be buying this on blu-ray and recommend you give it a watch.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you, Arnold.

It's great to have a recommendations for this movie. Tell us, what did you like about it? I've listed my positives above, but my list needs to be longer.

Unknown said...

I loved the movie and had a blast watching it, but yeah, it definitely earned a few negative points from me, too. I get that it's a summer blockbuster and action is going to rule the day. And it's a superhero movie, so I don't expect every single plot point to jive.

But I would've loved a little more character development. For instance, there's a part where Perry White is saving some newspaperwoman and it gets all dramatic, but I kept thinking, "Who is this woman and why am I supposed to care sooo much about her?" And like you, I could've used a few more laughs and fun moments in the movie, too.

Mary Vee Writer said...

My daughter had a theory about the newspaperwoman. She thinks the reporter was a replacement for Jimmy Olsen.

Janice said...

I have not seen this movie but it makes me think that a lot of today's movies have sold all out for action and forgotten how important a believable story line is to hold it all together. Writers and avid readers would tend to notice this more than others. Unfortunately, many viewers today are use to the pop, bang and boom happening all too frequently to keep them hyped up for the event. Then it becomes sort of like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs without any interesting times to see the scenery and feel any other emotions.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I suppose I mostly agree with you, Janice. However let me list a few that did a spectacular comeback and not in any specific order: Spiderman, Ironman, The Avengers, Thor (he is cute), um....anyone want to add to this list?