Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DC Comics Mock Marvel In MAN OF STEEL! Here Is My Movie Review: 9.5 Stars!! One Minor Spoiler...

That's right, DC comics mocked Marvel in MAN OF STEEL and I believe it was intentional! :-) Of course everyone who watches the movie will see the scene I am talking about. But will it dawn on you that may have recently seen this same scene in THE AVENGERS? I'm talking about when one of General Zod's accomplices jumps on the canopy of a jet smashing and ripping it open. Remember the scene in the avengers when the Hulk jumps on a jet's canopy and does the exact same thing? So Marvel fans, are you take this sitting down? Zack Snyder's inclusion of the scene was not necessary and I believe was put in to show that the natives of Krypton have just as much godlike strength as Marvel's strongest character, but in Superman's case, that's just one of his abilities. Or is it not all that important to you? Let me know in the comments. In my view, DC has slapped Marvel with a fairly sizable gauntlet.

But other than that smack in the face of Marvel fans, I really loved the movie. Christopher Nolan and  David S. Goyer did an amazing job of putting together an origin story for what is arguably the greatest comic book hero of all time. Not an easy task to be sure. Was it perfect? No. But it was exactly what Warner Bros. and DC comics needed: A relevant, timely well-written, well executed movie for Superman fans.

Let's talk about what's near and dear to my heart, 3D. For those of you who don't know Zack Snyder Warner Bros. and DC comics selected Legend 3D for the conversion and let me tell you it was a great decision. If there was any doubt before there isn't now: Of the top-tier 3-D conversion houses there are only two that are now in Tier A in my opinion: Stereo D and Legend 3D. And from what we've seen lately, Legend 3D is the best in the world. This time last year I would've told you Stereo D was on the top with that magnificent project, THE AVENGERS. But subsequent conversion work from them in the past 12 months have not been stellar (IRON MAN 3 for example). Which brings me to Legend 3D. They turned a lot of heads with the 3D conversion of TOP GUN and now with MAN OF STEEL. They are wielding their amazing talents with greater and greater prowess.

Everything about the movie was just about perfectly converted – I can only see one trouble spot and I had to try hard to find that. There was one shot, looking through windowpane with the weathervane in the background and the reflection on the window was not quite believable as the camera moved. So was I happy with the 3-D? Absolutely almost flawless. I still would've loved to see MAN OF STEEL in native 3-D, don't get me wrong (and that's why its 3D didn't score as high as say THE GREAT GATSBY), but believe me when I say this, the 3D is amazing, especially action scenes with those jaw-dropping visual effects.

I thought the casting was bang on. I've never been a fan of Amy Adams, but I must admit she's a great actress. I just don't see her as a leading lady, but more of a character actor. Sort of like a Bruce Greenwood. But Henry Cavell is Superman. There is no doubt and for the record, I like him better than Christopher Reeve. There is a vulnerability that Cavell has that Reeve lacked. He is perfectly cast, which was oh so important for DC comics to get right. Michael Shannon was spectacular and I can go on listing everyone that was cast in the movie regurgitating superlatives over and over again, but I think you get the drift.

Now let's talk story. Here's where some mistakes were made, not huge glaring mistakes, but of note. The overwhelming thing that bothered me most was that Snyder had the opportunity to truly delve into the human aspects of the movie: The pain. The emotion. The character building. He didn't go far enough!! It was superficial and begged for more. I don't have to spell out all these moments in the movie, you'll see it too. He doesn't have the camera linger long enough... didn't have the characters go deep enough... didn't allow their human emotions to come to life the way they should have.

But human aspects aside, it was very well written and certainly provides the foundation for strong Superman franchise for the studios. If DC comics can nail couple more key characters (THE FLASH PLEASE!!) and add them to Superman and Batman in JUSTICE LEAGUE, then we can finally have what most comic book fans have been hoping for since the beginning: Marvel versus DC battling it out for superhero supremacy at the cinema. Christopher Nolan's impact on this movie was definitely detected by me. Some of the darker scenes in the origins had his touch, the flashes of memory, using time as a storytelling tool and the pounding and inspiring score of Hans Zimmer.

But this is Zack Snyder's baby and I am truly impressed. Yes, he had a huge budget, but he has proven himself to be an innovative filmmaker and was certainly worth the gamble. Now Warner Bros. has a true franchise on their hands with a strong base to build from.

I've seen MAN OF STEEL twice now. Once in IMAX 3-D and once an Empire theaters soundstage screen [Empire extra]. I must admit I liked it better the second time around. The first time seemed a little bit disjointed, but the second viewing, helped solidify the experience.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, definitely go and see it on the largest screen possible and in 3-D. This is one of those movies you have to see in the theater and in three dimensions. Just do it. And if you're a Marvel fan you just going to have to grin and bear it when the jet hopping scene happens. I know I did!

Man of steel is now playing.

Special thanks to Empire theaters for my screening.
As usual, the lighting, sound, and service were impeccable.

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Jim Dorey
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