Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2013 summer review - Man of Steel

After recently sitting through almost two and a half hours of Man of Steel, well directed by Zack Snyder, I had to pee, and in the men's room, why I have no idea, a man stopped me and said "That was the greatest Superman movie I ever saw!" Did he know I was going to review it? Doubtful, but who knows, as my photo is visible online and more people recognize me these days than I care to think of!

Getting back to the film, I enjoyed it, but there were times that the special effects got to me. "Enough of buildings crashing and planets exploding already!" I wanted to scream out, "Where's the heart, the humor, the magic of the 1978 and 1980 films starring Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder?" Have people forgotten how delicious they were? And with Terence Stamp as Zod, with naughty Sarah Douglas, his partner in crime in Superman II, and Phyllis Thaxter and Glen Ford as his earth parents in the first Superman, as well as Marlon Brando as Jorel, and Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine a trio of bad guys? Both films were delightful, with miles of humor and heart! High heart! But the times, they are a changin', and what was deemed a bright hit over 30 years ago, is spurned today as unreal and...boring. OMG, if I hear that word out of the mouths of babies one more time, I swear, I'll spit! Technology has ruined us all. We want everything fast, big ...and now! And so, young people want a movie that keeps them on the edge of their seats for a full two hours. I guess I shouldn't blame them! If I were fool enough to pay $12 a ticket or $24 with a date and then $25+ dollars for popcorn, soda and candy, I would consider myself deserving of great entertainment, as my mom would have put it "lined with gold!"

Warner Bros.' Man of Steel is certainly exciting and its pace is fast, fast, fast. As I sat expecting Clark Kent and Lois Lane to meet up traditionally at the Daily Planet, it just didn't happen...well, I won't spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it yet, but...screenwriter David S. Goyer has not forgotten the original plot. He has made some changes, and for the most part, it works. And Henry Cavill as Supie is quite an eyeful, with or without the cape - and I say without, as we get to see him bare-chested in plentiful frames at the onset...he's quite spectacular to look at! A handsome lad, if I do say so myself, and quite a good actor to boot! Amy Adams, an always dependable actress, is adorable as Lois, and it's great to see the precious Diane Lane and sturdy Kevin Costner as the Kents, Lawrence Fishburne as Perry King and Russell Crowe, a wonderfully impressive Jorel. The whole opening sequence on Krypton is monumentally filmed, as is the duel much later between Superman and Zod, played brilliantly by Michael Shannon (below). His razor-sharp acting stole the entire movie for me!

And the musical score by Hans Zimmer ain't bad either!

Go see Man of Steel. I still think the 1978/80 films are very good, so rent them on Netflix! This new one is assuredly thrilling, with a few laugh lines. A young Asian reporter exclaims about the Man of Steel "He's hot!" Today's audience thinks that's funny. In my day, it took a little bit more intelligent humor than that silly throwaway line to make us laugh out loud. Anyway, go see Man of Steel, it's not a bad way to spend two and a half hours at an air-conditioned movie theatre!

3++++/5 stars