Monday, June 17, 2013

Man of Steel (2013, IMAX Real 3D)

Man of Badass
Rating: 5 out 5 people from another world

Review:  I was a little hesitant about this movie, most of the early previews looked like this was going be some kind crab fishing dramatic documentary type film.  There wasn't a whole lot to grab on to up until the "You Are Not Alone" trailer.  When I saw that I suddenly got very hyped up for it and it exceeded my expectations.

  We spend a lot of time with Jor El on Krypton, which I like, as it grounds a real history for Superman, you get a feeling for his family, for who Zod is and his home planet.  We see Jor El's burden and his bravery, we see the shared ideology of Zod and Jor but we also see how they differ.  Then we go from there to a grown Clark Kent working on a crab fishing boat and we immediately go into an action scene on an oil rig.  From there we flashback to Clark's childhood and how he first learned of his powers and we see his struggle with what he is and witness his first acts of heroism.  The origin is interwoven with the plot beautifully, just how I like it.  By using flashbacks we stay with the character and with the action without having to invest in a bunch of slow plot points early on.

  Which brings me to another great part of this movie, the pacing.  The pacing reminds me a lot of the Avengers movie because this movie is also quite long (around 2.5 hours) with a very long climax but it's paced so well that you never get tired of it.  There isn't a point where the action goes on TOO long where you become kind of immune to action and it get's boring.  You have several action set pieces close to each other with spots to breathe and take inventory of what's happening so it never becomes endless.  The cast is amazing, there isn't a single weak link in the cast and not only isn't there a weak link but everyone who shows up does a really great job.  Beyond this right now I'm not even going to mention the casting of Perry White or Jimmy Olsen because it's irrelevant and the actors they got are really good in their roles.  There are also some good nods to the comic (look for an appearance from Guardian).  The special effects are insane, everything looks amazing and seamless, from the action to the interesting steel colored particle computers.  There's a scene where Jor El tells Clark about the history of Krypton with the Kryptonian computer generating these really interesting scenes that look like pewter sculptures come to life, it is crazy awesome, especially in 3D.  The fight scenes are intense and they way the scenes are filmed and how they use the Kryptonian's powers makes them very exciting.  The way they throw each other around and use their powers brings a whole new perspective on what can be done in these movies.  The highlight of this was how they show the heat vision.  Clark and Zod's whole face changes when they use their heat vision and it's done so well and looks so intimidating.

  There's really not much more for me to say that isn't just more fanboy gushing.  These last two years have been a golden age of superhero movies with each one being as good if not better than the one before it.

*Spoilers start here, this review is basically done, go see the movie if you don't want spoilers*

   But I will address this last thing before I go.  I typically go to these movies alone and it gives me an opportunity to listen to my fellow movie goers as I exit.  Upon leaving I overheard a family talking about the film, a mother, a father and two kids.  The mother liked the movie, the kids loved it but the father hated it.  The phrase that sticks out, and this contains minor spoilers, but nothing that can't be inferred by watching the trailers, is "So he's supposed to save the world but they destroy a major city, it's so stupid.  It's fine, I just didn't expect it to be so stupid." to which I say you, sir, are stupid.  Some people don't want to like stuff and the more they are told to like something the more they will dislike it.  I think it gives people a sense of comfort to distance themselves like this.  It makes them feel like they are too smart to be suckered or taken in by something that everyone else has succumbed to.  So they hate a movie like this, a movie that if you give yourself to it will be that much more enjoyable.

  But a thought like that is stupid because what do you want?  Do you want Superman to effortlessly end the invasion before it begins?  To you want some kind of political ending where everyone comes to an agreement to co-exist peacefully?  What kind of movie to do you want?  Also the reality of the movie was the total extinction of every human being on the planet.  What is the loss of one city?  Even if millions of lives are lost that is nothing compared to the billions of lives across the world and the extinction of the human race.  The stakes are high, they have to be to make Superman interesting, so there's going to be some magnificent destruction.  You, sir, hate this movie because you like to hate things and if you don't like to hate things then you like to be contrary.  Don't blame the movie for your own weird predilections because the movie that you would create, by your criticism, sounds terrible and boring to me.  It sounds like you would have liked the movie to end with a totally action free climax where nothing happens.  Why not make it fifteen minutes long then?  Why not just make it a YouTube video?  Why invest millions of dollars?  We could just take the chunk from "You are not alone." to Superman going to Zod and then that's it.  Is that the movie you wanted? Or would that not be good enough either?

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