Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Advance Man of Steel Movie Review

First and foremost I'd like to inform my readers that this is a non-spoiler review. In the digital age it's very difficult not to have a highly anticipated book, movie or television show ruined for you. I personally find it frustrating and I do not want to damage anyones experience seeing this film. This is my gift to you, dear readers.

On Monday June 10th, the Man of Steel premiered in New York City in addition to premiering at 5 other theatres across the country. One of them was in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania where I attended as a guest of my cousin, who obtained advanced tickets. Before the film began, audience members were shown the Black Carpet premier in New York live. Cast members such as Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Micheal Shannon were interviewed as well as director Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer. We were encouraged to tweet questions to the cast and cameras were also set up inside our theatre so that the cast could see us and wave. After the Black Carpet premiere, the movie immediately began without any previews. It was shown in IMAX 3D.

In an effort to write a spoiler free review, I will be breaking down different categories of the film.

Special Effects

Krypton is finally brought to life in a visually stunning way that is reminiscent of the Kevin J. Anderson novel "The Last Days of Krypton".  Every aspect of kryptonian culture is highly detailed in the environment, animals, technology, vehicles and wardrobe. This is Krypton like we've never seen  but it's also eerily familiar because it's the planet that Superman fans have envisioned for decades. The battle scenes throughout the film were well choreographed and super speed played a very big role. It resulted  in very intense and often ruthless fighting sequences. And believe me when I say we've never seen Superman fly quite like this. The sonic boom alone is enough to make you stare at the screen in child like wonder.

The Plot

As with any film adaptation, some creative liberties were taken and there are changes from the comic book. It is done however, in good taste and in my opinion, nothing was far off enough to release the "angry geek girl" in me. Screenwriter David Goyer wrote for the Justice Society of America for 4 years and has a good understanding and perspective on earths greatest hero. There is so much going on in terms of the characters as individuals, their relationships with each other, action sequences and plot progression that it's hard to be bored with this film.

The Cast

When casting was first announced, it was met with mixed reaction. A British Superman? An African-American as Perry White? Lois Lane is a red head? Rumors were swirling at early screenings that Lois was a weak character in the story. Even I had my doubts but waited to reserve judgement for the films release. In my opinion the cast did a superb job on playing their roles. Henry Cavill in particular is the most believable Superman I've seen. He brought the many different layers of the Man of Steel to life with realism and conviction. I was afraid that I would be comparing Micheal Shannon's preformace of General Zod to that of Terrance Stamp, but Micheal truly made it his own and gave a brilliant preformance. Lois Lane was anything but weak. Amy Adams was the strong, independent, spunky reporter that we all love. The only character I felt was a weak link was Perry White. He wasn't however essential to the films plot. He does  have a moving scene towards the end which shows his strength, integrity and honor as a character.

The Score

Admit it. When you think of Superman you hear John Williams infamous score from the Christopher Reeves films (that was also used for Superman Returns), running through your head. It's classic and iconic but don't expect to hear it in Man of Steel. The theme has officially been retired, a decision I wholeheartedly agree with and replaced by new music by the legendary Hans Zimmer. During seating at the advance screening, audience members were treated to selections of the soundtrack and it was stunning.

Final Thoughts

I would like to report that there was a scene towards the end of the film that will be viewed as controversial. I'm anxious for the rest of the world to see it and gage their thoughts and opinions. I personally sat in my seat stunned. That's not to say that I disagreed with it. It just genuinely shocked me and it's something I never thought I would see nor can I recall it ever taking place in the comics (although it's something very similar to a different character in the DCU). It drew applause from audience members but one angry fan was yelling about the context of the scene outside the theatre.

I grew up watching the Superfriends, the Fleischer Superman cartoons, the Ruby Spears Superman cartoon show and the Christopher Reeves films. I collected Superman memorabilia and just when I dove head first into  his comics, DC killed him off in the Death of Superman. I often dreamed of flying through the air with him and being his Lois Lane. Superman captured my imagination like no other. The alien who fell to earth and raised by farmers. He looked like one of us but didn't belong. He was the most powerful being on earth and yet used his gifts to protect, not hurt mankind. He was a shining example on how we should stand for truth, justice and the American way.

In 2006 Warner Brothers release Superman Return which resulted in disappointing box office records and disgruntled fans. Trust me when I say that Man of Steel is the Superman film we have been waiting for. It's the perfect combination of sci-fi, action, love and comic book lore. Where others have failed, Zack Snyder and his creative team have gotten it right. The result is not only the greatest Superman film ever to grace the screen but is now arguably one of the best superhero movies of all time.

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