Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russel Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Harry Lennix, Christopher Meloni, Richard Schiff
Directed by Zack Snyder
Based on the DC Comics
Run Time: 143 min
Genre: Superhero, Science Fiction, Action
Release Date: June 14, 2013
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%
My Score: 10 out of 10
Jor-El (Crowe) sends his only son Kal-El (Cavill) to Earth to escape Krpyton’s destruction. On Earth, Kal-El is raised as Clark Kent by Jonathan (Costner) and Martha Kent (Lane), where he learns of his alien heritage and keeps his true powers hidden from the world as suggested by Jonathan as the world is not ready for him yet. But years later, when Earth is visited by General Zod (Shannon), a Kryptonian who was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone but released upon Krypton’s destruction, calling out Kal-El or allow the Earth to be destroyed. Clark must face his true nature and powers and will be faced with the decision of whether he should be come the man he is destined to be or not.
I was very hesitant sitting down in the crowded theater last night as the initial review from most critics for Man of Steel was anything but positive. But what I experienced, was easily one of the best movies of the year and the Superman film that Hollywood has always been waiting for. Leave it to Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan to create a summer blockbuster extravaganza which blends Nolan’s unique story telling and Snyder’s very visual and action packed direction style to make what is easily my favourite Superman movie ever!!
First off, the cast for the movie was perfect!! Henry Cavill was an amazing Superman, he wasn’t the cheesy superhero that most of us are accustomed to, but he truly had the inner-conflict part of the role perfectly, and it really gave depth to the movie while he was both Superman and Clark Kent. And he looked the part perfectly too! Just perfect. Amy Adams was an amazing Lois Lane as well! I was worried at first as Amy Adams is very sweet, don’t get me wrong she is a phenomenal actress and I love her, but I had my doubts. But she brought something to the role of Lois that no other performance I have seen has done so well: her determination. She was never bossy or mouthy (but don’t get me wrong, it was there) as we all know and love Lois to be, but she was very determined in everything she did, wouldn’t take no for an answer and was right in there on the action and it was great! Michael Shannon also made a good Zod, similar in some ways to Terence Stamp’s version of Zod, but you definitely saw a more violent version with Shannon’s performance which helped make the movie a lot more exciting. He also benefited from having the back story with Jor-El in the movie so it gave his Zod more purpose to destroy Superman versus the original Zod as you weren’t given much and he just wanted to rule. Shannon’s Zod wanted to destroy Superman because he could, lot more exciting form of the villain. For Superman’s two dads, Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner were both very good respectively as Jor-El and Jonathan Kent. Each was exactly what they needed to be and gave great performances given there smaller roles in the film. Diane Lane was the perfect Martha Kent, she truly just felt like that loving mother who would never let anything bad happen to her son.
Plot wise, the movie followed the basic Superman origin story, with some changes. The changes are definitely going to throw fans as I was, but give it time and you will see how amazing it turns out to be. It truly creates a different version of Superman, but its because its so different that this movie soars so high as it is like no Superman film or TV show you have ever seen before. And then there is Nolan’s famous flashbacks through out the film, which truly made the movie feel more emotional as you had Clark have flash backs of his childhood as he is facing off against Zod, which is the exact opposite of any other Superman film which always plays through Clark’s life chronologically. And the ending to the film, I thought it was absolutely perfect!! The final flashback gave the audience the closer it needed for Clark’s journey, and then the final scene was perfect!! It was what I had been waiting for, to see if Snyder, Nolan and Cavill could pull off that classic Clark Kent move without messing it up, and it was honestly the best way possible to end the movie!!
Action wise, the movie was full of it and it never showed any sign of slowing down, and every scene kept on topping the previous one!! This is where Zack Snyder’s strength truly shines in the film, as the rest of it feels way to much like Christopher Nolan’s work to be entirely Snyder’s, but his action sequences are quick, smart, and always something new and exciting!! And there was never any use of slow motion or any other typical, cheesy Snyder action shot, which was perfect as Superman deserves so much more than that. The movie begins with Zod’s attempt to take over Krypton, which has not been seen in film before and it was truly a awesome way to start the movie, as it gives you the extra background to Zod versus just starting with him being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. The next notable one was the Battle of Smallville which was highly entertaining, and then the final fight scene between Superman and Zod was amazing!! Went to entirely new heights (literally) and in the stunning 3D this is one action flick that you do not want to miss!! The 3D was very well done, it added to the scenes and especially for the big action sequences. Wasn’t necessarily stuff flying out at you, but it just added enormous depth to the film.
The other part I loved about this movie was Hans Zimmer’s score. Hans Zimmer always produces excellent music scores, and teaming him again with Christopher Nolan, he has yet again created another epic score. Playing off the incredible success of the Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel’s score features the same signature Hans Zimmer style, but the tone is a bit lighter for some of the pieces, but its none the less beautiful and just fits the movie perfectly. It elevates every scene, whether it be the big action sequences or the more dramatic moments, Hans Zimmer doesn’t disappoint at all! The IMAX 3D version of the film did wonders for Zimmer’s score. The IMAX sound system made it its own character in the film, and despite it being my third time seeing the movie, the IMAX format made it feel like the first time all over again. The 3D portion was a little better, but the picture clarity surpassed regular 3D by far, and with the amazing sound system makes the IMAX format the best way to experience this epic film.
Easily one of the best movies of the year, Man of Steel is perfectly created so that is Superman like you have never seen it before with both an excellent group of actors and behind the scenes crew that makes this one movie you will regret missing in theaters!!
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, Kurtwood Smith, Toni Collette, Danny Huston
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Based on the True Story
Run Time: 98 min
Release Date: November 23, 2012
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%
My Score: 6 out of 10
Famous film maker Alfred Hitchock (Hopkins) chooses for his next movie the story Psycho, of a mentally unstable killer who believed he was his mother and killed young women. Unable to convince any studio to finance the film, Hitchcock and his wife Alma (Mirren) risk their own money to create Psycho.
There is no doubting that Psycho is one of the most brilliantly made horror movies of all time, and Hitchcock is an interesting look at the behind the scenes story of the making of the movie and the impact it had on Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma. The movie plays out like a typical drama, boosted by both Anthony Hopkin’s and Helen Mirren’s strong performances, but there isn’t much more to elevate this movie to anything more.
Plot wise, the movie is interesting as the story is not well known as to what lengths Hitchcock went to get Psycho made into a movie, and to a movie fanatic like me its just fascinating. But you know the outcome to some extent as most have either heard of or seen Psycho. There are no major twists in the plot, its very linear and a bit slow at parts but is saved due to the excellent performances from Hopkins and Mirren and that the movie has a shorter run time so it doesn’t drag on either. The rest of the cast is fine, but none of them make any impact on the film as they don’t have the role to do so nor do they have enough screen time to make an impression and are otherwise easily forgotten.
Hitchcock is an interesting watch for any movie fan, and with strong performances that makes it very fun to watch, but its nothing that you would ever expect to watch more than once.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halley Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Doona Bae, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi
Directed by Lana Wachoswski, Andy Wachoswski & Tom Tykwer
Based on the Novel by David Mitchell
Run Time: 172 min
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama, Action
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67
My Score: 7 out of 10
A single act of kindness ripples across six different situations in different times as one soul and truly displays that everything is connected as one soul turns from a killer to a hero.
I don’t think I have ever seen such a complex yet simple movie, but this is definitely an extraordinary watch just based on what is happening. The movie intertwines six different stories from different times but the actions of each story are felt across all stories, and they are all interconnected and the actors re-appear in all stories but in different stories. If this isn’t science fiction, then I don’t know what it is! The movie is a very interesting watch as you see all the stories unfold, but at times its very confusing to follow as there is too much happening, and the one story line with Tom Cruise as a native, his accent is so hard to understand it begs you to put on the subtitles to follow what is happening.
The special effects of the movie were amazing, it truly was a visual masterpiece if you had problems following some of the plots. And then you had an amazing cast including Tom Hanks, Halley Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and Jim Sturgess, and they all gave great performances in their many roles, but they each had one or two that stood out where their character was the main one in that specific plot. I wish there was maybe one less plot line so that the movie didn’t jump around so much and that would allow for more from these actors, but oh well. It was still a very fun watch to see them all play different characters, especially when Tom Hanks played the crazy author who threw someone out a window killing him, it’s not everyday you see Tom Hanks in that type of role!!
Plot wise, the overall plot was a bit hard to find at times as there was so much jumping from each storyline, but overall it was intriguing enough to keep this almost three hour movie feel like it was moving at a fair pace. Some story lines were more interesting than others, while some were funnier than others. There was a nice balance of every type of plot in the film so that every story felt truly different, and then puzzled you as how they all can be connected, but that just made the movie all the more entertaining in my mind.
Some people are calling this the most brilliantly made movie ever, and some are calling it the worst. I’m in between. The movie is crafted very well, but the overall feeling of the movie is that it is a memorable science fiction film, but I would never call it one of my favourite movies. I like to think during movies, but that was a bit too much as if you zoned out even for a second, you were lost, and that is a bit too much work for my liking.
Very smartly crafted and with a great cast, Cloud Atlas is definitely one of the more interesting movies I have ever seen, but I wouldn’t go much further than that.
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Arabella Field, Vicki Lewis
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Release Date:May 20, 1998
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 25%
My Score: 5.5 out of 10
After a scientific experiment goes wrong, an unknown creature begins to reek havoc on New York City and its up to Dr. Niko Tatopoulus (Broderick) to discover the biological reasons for his action before its to late.
I never thought I would enjoy Godzilla, but it actually wasn’t half bad. Roland Emmerich was definitely the man to direct the film, only he can get the disaster genre correct. He’s got a decent cast together, but unfortunately its got a weak script and plot so there is no opportunity for anything close to a good performance. They’re just fine. The special effects are great for 1998 standards, and the fact that you don’t see a full shot of Godzilla till about one hour into the film is just brilliant. Builds the suspense of what exactly is coming, but when it actually does come its a bit of a let down. The story starts throwing stuff at you that feels like its from Jurassic Park, and its just a bit much to take in, and then it flies back to the Godzilla story, and you get the feeling of story whiplash a bit. But none the less, the action is fast moving and there is a lot of it, so its more than enough to entertain, but nothing ever warranting a second watch in my opinion.
Godzilla is big, special effect loaded and just pure fun despite it having no real substance.
New Entertainment Weekly Cover featuring “Man of Steel”
In Theaters, 3D and IMAX 3D Today
New Poster for “Paranoia”
In Theaters August 16, 2013
New Poster for “Elysium”
In Theaters and IMAX August 9, 2013
New Poster for “300: Rise of an Empire”
In Theaters, 3D and IMAX 3D March 7, 2013
Teaser Poster for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
In Theaters, 3D and IMAX 3D December 13, 2013
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, Jack O’Halloran, Marlon Brando, Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Valerie Pernie, Ned Beatty
Directed by Richard Donner
Based on the DC Comics
Genre: Superhero, Science Fiction, Action
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
My Score: 7 out of 10
Following Superman (Reeve) saving the Earth from Lex Luthor’s (Hackman) attempt to destroy it with nuclear missiles, he unexpectedly releases General Zod (Stamp) and the other Kryptonian prisoners in the Phantom Zone. Zod heads to Earth where he begins his quest for world domination so that the entire Earth will kneel before Zod, while Lois Lane (Kidder) is beginning to discover that Clark Kent may not be the man he claims to be.
Superman II in my opinion was far superior to the first film which I watched a few weeks ago and did not really enjoy. Superman II easily fixed everything that was wrong with it, and used the plot from the first film to create the second film, playing off key scenes of the film to make it feel as a continuation of the story rather than a sequel.
First off, General Zod makes a much better villain for Superman for movie purposes as you are able to have the big fight sequences and Superman has finally physical met his match. In the world of the comics, Lex easily wins, but for film its just more exciting to have Zod. Action wise, the movie had a great sequence near the three quarter mark that continued up to the climax of the film, and all though the special effects were quite questionable at times, it truly felt like a Superman film as you got to see all of his powers in action. Also, the movie’s plot also allows for this big confrontation between Zod and Superman to build up over the course of the film in an exciting way that doesn’t make the movie feel incredibly long (which was my problem with the original film.) The plot takes from the first scene of the original film where we saw Zod being imprisoned by Jor-El, and now Zod and the other Kryptonian prisoners escape from the Phantom Zone due to Superman sending the missile form the first film into space. Ties it together very nicely, so you see the story of this movie a direct result of the first film.
Acting wise, the movie is pretty much the same as the first film, and that’s fine. The first film had decent acting, and this one really had nothing much more to add to it. Terence Stamp in my mind was a good Zod, he had the very reserved evil look mastered (watch any scene with him) and it worked, but I wish he had a bit more kick in him (as previews for Man of Steel are showing with Michael Shannon’s performance.)
All in all, this movie gave me faith in the original Superman films by proving that at least one of them was worth watching.