Friday, June 28, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel *Spoiler Free*

This is just a press shot but I really wanted to highlight this on the blog.  Look at Lois' stance. She is strong and is not looking at Clark. Clark is mirroring her pose, not the other way around. So often in these things you see the female character hanging off the male leader looking distressed while the male looks like he's ready to go kick butt. Not Lois Lane and not Man of Steel. Thumbs up there!

     Man of Steel is big, loud spectacle. The two worst things you could do to Man of Steel are walk in and expect The Dark Knight or walk in and expect your traditional Superman film. Both of those ideas of Man of Steel are completely incorrect which is pretty evident from immediately in the movie. The opening "scene" if you will on Krypton is more JJ Abrams' Star Trek than The Dark Knight or Superman in general. However, I felt once the movie hit it's stride (and Clark Kent got his suit) that the movie became the Superman version of Batman Begins. While perhaps not as strong as Batman Begins, it is certainly more tailored toward an audience (and a sequel). My only true complaints with Man of Steel are it's over extended battle sequences, which is a complaint I had about the Avengers as well. The final fight, which in my opinion drags the most, does have a wonderfully done conclusion. Many lines are a bit wonky in this film, which I think was intentional at times.   
   The acting in Man of Steel was above my expectations as well. Henry Cavill brought a sense of human emotions to Clark, but with a very strong sense of being an outsider that was crucial to his characterization. I am glad Cavill was not cast in Superman Returns, as his acting seems better suited to something like this. Amy Adams' Lois Lane was just a wonderful, wonderful surprise in my opinion, although I could tell from the press junket photos of Lois something was up. I liked their bantering, it felt organic. I will further divulge into this character in a later post along with the rest of Man of Steel's female characters, but they made Lois smart (like I'm sorry it's 2013 she can't not realize Clark/Superman are the same person) and witty and therefore, likable. Michael Shannon's Zod is certainly impressive. That character seems hard to put a finger on and his characterization was perfect and believable. He had so much yelling I was waiting for his KHANNNN moment but it never came. The ensemble cast of Russel Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Ayelet Zurer, Lawrence Fishburne were also wonderful. Crowe brings a sense of hero to Jor-El that I think has been missing. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner both give wonderful performances as the Kents and it is probably one of the highest points in the film. If Man of Steel got anything right, it was Costner's wonderful characterization.On the lady fan front, Man of Steel provides a decent amount of strong female characters with Lois Lane being at the center.  Adams' characterization of her feels less damsel in distress and more of the sharp as a tack Lois we are told she is.  Faora Ul is a decently cool female character who kicks a TON of butt in this film. Although not necessary deep, her inclusion is well received. On the mother front, Martha Kent is pretty awesome. She tells an alien military leader with a gun to go to hell to protect her son. And...She's just pretty cool. Lara Lor-Van doesn't get a ton of screen time, but for the screen time she gets we get a glimpse of a strong woman. Lara is the one that shoots Kal-El to Earth while Zod begs her not to. Her emotional scenes were wonderful.        Some critics seem to think that Man of Steel never feels like a Superman film. I can see why they say this, but this is honestly the first attempt at rebooting Superman and the departure in tone of Man of Steel is felt. Superman Returns was very much a sequel to Christopher Reeves' Superman. Gone is Superman the boy scout, All American football player. In addition, many critics called Man of Steel "gloomy" and "brooding". While there certainly is some gloom and brooding, I didn't feel that. It certainly is darker than any previous incarnation of Superman but that does not inherently make the film total gloom. In conclusion, I thoroughly liked Man of Steel. I had such low expectations for this film so perhaps that is why. First off, I was never a big Superman fan and I loved comic book heroes. Superman was just too much campy for me. The other is Zack Snyder, whose films I have just never connected with before. If you like superhero films, Man of Steel is your current go to. I liked it better than Iron Man 3. Other than very long, involved action sequences and some odd writing I can't see what there isn't to like. It is not as profound as Nolan's Batman in any sense, but it certainly is a fun ride and a refreshing departure from Marvel's film making if you will. 8.2 out 10 from me

We are Back!

Hey everyone,

This is Jess, the original creator of the Star Wars Female Fan Force.  While we have been down for about a year now I have been seriously considering blogging again.  Would anyone still be interested in reading?  I would be expanding outside of just Star Wars, although we will certainly still be talking about it, and adding other "geek girl" things.  I will be posting over my review of "Man of Steel".  Over the next few days the blog is going to see a few asthetic changes and perhaps a name shortening/change.  Hope you all like and welcome back!

All the best,