Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Amazing Spider Man 2


 The Amazing Spider Man 2 continued to build on Spider Man and the cost of being a hero along with giving us even more back story on Peter Parker and what happened to his parents. To reboot Spider Man so soon after the previous trilogy seemed like it was too soon yet with the first installment it showed how the Spider Man story could be told. I looked forward to seeing how the story would continue and where the villains could take Spider MAn as they could stretch and make Spider Man question various things throughout his entire life. While I have seen a lot of critics pan this sequel it always makes me wonder what the criteria is that they have when they go to see these various superhero movies.

Andrew Garfield reprises his role of Spider Man/Peter Parker and continues building a strong hero for the audience to root for and care greatly about. Garfield is another example of what the correct casting choice for a superhero can do. He is precisely what I picture Spider Man to be, he is not a big bulked up superhero, but instead is long, toned and super smart to outsmart whoever he is going up against. Emma Stone shows her amazing acting ability once again in the role of Gwen Stacy. Stone practically, stole the show for me as she is able to not only give the audience so many simple emotions effortless and coming across as genuine, but I loved that unlike most love interests she was not a helpless female character, but is instead a strong character that Spider Man could rely on even though he wanted to keep her away from any possible danger. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is so perfect as they brought out the best in each other and really strengthened the entire movie as a whole. Dane Dehan in the role of Harry Osborn/Goblin countered Garfield with a  perfect match. The limited interaction he has on screen he is able to make the most of his time and I really would have preferred him to be the primary villain as I felt Electro played by Jamie Foxx was kind of weird and came across a little campy/cartoonish due to the feeling that he was over computer generated that made him less intimidating and underwhelming.

The story for the Amazing Spider Man 2 was quite the improvement from the first. In this go around the story was more about Peter/Spidey and Gwen, rather then the villains. While this may have irked some movie goers and not been what they wanted in a superhero movie, it is what Spider Man is truly about. Peter is trying to be a regular guy and balance that with being Spider Man and this comes across through the clever use of a montage showing him trying to handle both aspects and that Spider Man is not immune to a cold. Yet the regular problems he has in his life seem to cause him as much pain as his work as Spider Man. From this Spider Man has an easier time dealing with the physical pain caused in his confrontations with the villains and fighting, he is more comfortable with then handling the personal relationships in his life. The story to me through was one that relied heavily on the relationships in his life whether that be Gwen and the guilt he feels in regards to him not being able to save her father or focusing to finding out what really happened to his parents and what his father had done in trying to protect Peter. For some reason this focusing on in particular Peter and Gwen's relationship worked in a superhero movie which I honestly did not expect. Gwen in the story was a key figure as it ends up being because of her that we see more of Peter and Spider Man as characters as she adds a great depth to them. Which only connected Spider Man even more emotionally to the audience. It truly was unique to have the storyline involving Electro and even Goblin with Spider Man to play second fiddle to the love interest relationship. It may have been this that kind of made the roles of Electro lacking and Goblin feeling a little rushed.

The action sequences for The Amazing Spider Man 2 worked well and I felt in many ways worked better then in the previous installment. One of the best aspects used in the film was the "Spidey sense." I loved how it showed what Spider Man saw was going to happen then went back and showed how he counter acted in that split second of needing a decision to prevent that from happening. The rest of the action sequences were done well and I liked how the direction of Marc Webb actually allowed the audience to see and follow what was going on during the fights. The only bad aspect to me of the action sequences was I felt that they had to rush the whole confrontation between Spider Man and the Goblin. I wanted more build and I would have loved to have seen him be the only villain and not have had to deal with Electro. Also, while most of the CGI was seamless and spot on, I had a hard time with the CGI used for Electro. For me it was overdone and made his character overly comical. While that can work and be okay in a comic book movie, that will only work if the entire feel of the movie has the same comic book feel. The feel for The Amazing Spider Man 2 though has a mixture of somber, seriousness and even a slight darkness. So the character of Electro needed to match that feel and not have the comical feel, but instead needed a darkness to him.

The Amazing Spider Man 2 built really well from the first Amazing Spider Man. The chemistry that Emma Stone shared with Andrew Garfield worked perfectly for this sequel and really strengthened each character and was a unique twist for the strongest plot of a superhero movie. The action worked for this movie and I am intrigued to see how the narrative and the action for Spider Man evolve in the next movie. I am giving The Amazing Spider Man 2 three and three quarter buckets of popcorn out of five. This is a film that is well worth the price of a movie ticket and is one that I will be adding to the movie collection. I also, loved the teasing for "The Sinister Six" movie.

-The Movie Man

Monday, April 28, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 Cap is back for the second film in the Captain America movie franchise, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Marvel seems to be able to do no wrong with the super hero movies movies. One of the great things is that the Winter Soldier is able to successfully not just be a super hero movie, but instead has a great spy thriller feel to it that appeals to not just the comic book crowd but an even larger audience base then just the super hero movie genre. This aspect is something important for just the average movie goer to understand about Captain America: The Winter Soldier and not to just dismiss it because they think it is a super hero movie.

Chris Evans reprises his as Captain America/Steve Rogers and in this go around he is able to really grow his character. It was nice that in The Avengers we got a lot of the awkwardness of him adjusting to the new times and this truly allowed him in this movie to be Captain America and "The super hero out of time" was used sparsely and really was simple comic relief without being overdone. While this movie is about Captain America it is really Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow in many ways stole the screen. The character of Black Widow has become more intriguing to me with each film she has been in and it was great for her to get more screen time where she was not just kicking butt. Johannson brought a great vulnerability to the role as we were actually able to learn more about her and her past. This worked because while we learned about her it was like getting just one layer of an onion peeled off. Seeing her in this movie makes me want a stand alone Black Widow movie now. Samuel L. Jackson  as Nick Fury played a little more prominent and we learned more about his past and what led him to being Director Fury. Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier is truly a great nemesis for Captain America to go up against. The ability he has to not only go blow for blow with Cap, but the the ability he has to use his cyborg arm to catch Cap's shield makes him an equal as no one else has been able to catch the shield. A character that talks so little typically ends up being a completely lacking character, yet Stan is able to convey so much with just a look. The rest of the supporting cast all give admirable performances and really work well onscreen.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is going to be a game changer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this story they decided to make a Captain America sequel with some serious, darker plot development and close range hand to hand combat fights. So what should have been a typical super hero film, instead became a conspiracy filled espionage thriller. The Winter Soldier was very well written and it is filled with suspense and yet they are still able to bring about  socio-political issues dealing with "Big Brother" control and surveillance as a theme in the storytelling. The story unfolds gradually and builds throughout the film by using miniature climatic moments. Because of where the screenplay written by McFeely and Markus takes us with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will never be the same. With the game changing plot developments this will truly make Captain America: The Winter Soldier be a movie that is remembered with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the fact that the MCU will never be the same, it only excites me more to see where everything continues to go in future movies and story lines. The pacing the Russo brothers set forth in their directing is nearly perfect as the mixture of telling a story fits so well with the action. Not too mention they still are able to progress story arcs amongst the action whether in a look or a quick comment.

The action for The Winter Soldier was very well done. It was great to see this movie limit the use of CGI. Giving us hand to hand combat action and the use of stunts as much as possible was perfect. The action was made even stronger and exciting in my opinion through the use of Captain America's  shield being featured more in this go around as a primary offensive weapon. One of the best action sequences that I really enjoyed was the elevator scene. With such a confined space that is full of people, the fighting sequence could be tough to make exciting or workable. Yet, they are able to be successful with this scene and only shows the power Captain America has even when heavily outnumbered. I loved the action as it was great to see everything choreographed out so well that it all flowed perfectly within what the Russo brothers were telling in the story.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier surprisingly was not what I expected from the movie as it was a great spy thriller with super heroes. Chris Evans and Scarlett Johannson really worked well on screen together and the chemistry they had really showed and made this movie almost a duo movie that worked perfectly. The quips that they had from time to time worked well and lightened up the tension of the movie at certain moments. Sebastian Stan with his few spoken lines actually gave him an intense performance that allowed him to be the perfect nemesis to Captain America. The story and the action worked so well together and flowed the pace perfectly. This was the best sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the two extra scenes that were directed Joss Whedon have only intensified my interest to see future Marvel movies in the current and future phases. Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave some great twists and turns and because of all of that I am giving Captain America: The Winter Soldier four and a quarter buckets of popcorn out of five. This is a movie that will no doubt be added to the movie collection as soon as possible.

-The Movie Man

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger ended up being one of those movies that was unfairly panned by critics, which I believe led to driving a lot of people from seeing it in theaters and unfortunately that ended up showing in the box office numbers. For some reason Western movies as of late have not done well and to me that is just simply confusing to me because the Western is a big part of cinema history and is one of those genres that is strictly tied to America. To me I have rarely gone to a Disney movie and left feeling let down and The Lone Ranger certainly did not disappoint me. I found it to be a movie that was a great adventure ride from start to finish. I loved how The Lone Ranger gave a new take on the classic characters of The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Not to mention for me it ended up being precisely what I want to see when it comes to a summer movie as it is a perfect mixture of story, action and that perfect pinch of comedy mixed in.

One of the unique aspects from The Lone Ranger was that of the casting. It is not done often where the top billed actor for a film is not the lead role, that is precisely what they have done in casting Johnny Depp as Tonto. Depp plays Tonto with his trademark off the wall and unique traits that he has brought to so many different roles. Depp has great chemistry with everyone on screen that he really seems to be able to elevate others performances. Armie Hammer plays John Reid, who becomes the Lone Ranger. Hammer plays the role well as we see the inner battle that he has in trying to bring the bad guys to justice, while battling a system that is a little corrupt. Hammer seems to take to the role and really envelops his character and the way he interacts with Depp as Tonto absolutely perfect. William Fichtner in the role of Butch Cavendish, the treacherous western villain gives a strong performance, and he fits in so well that you practically forget that he is acting. Fichtner for some reason has an uncanny ability to play villains perfectly that as someone watching the movie you just have immediate revulsion to his character. The supporting cast all provide decent performances, but with some of them I would have enjoyed a little more depth and time given to each character.

The story for The Lone Ranger was in my opinion a fairly well done origin story. I am sure a lot of the critics that saw The Lone Ranger had memories of the old TV show and so they were expecting the character to be the same and not have the origin story feel that was given to all the characters. The origin story was the perfect way to introduce The Lone Ranger to a whole new generation of not only movie goers, but Western movie fans. The story was laid out well and perfectly paced the movie. The use of the old Tonto telling the story to a young boy and from time to time jumping back to the present with the boy and Tonto helped surprisingly and did not make the story feel disjointed like one might imagine it would. Instead using this helped to make the film not feel rushed, but would give a moment to catch your breath before moving back to the action.

To go along with the origin story Gore Verbinski with his directing brings some fun and great action to the old West. Verbinski does a great job at mixing the up close gun fights with large scale explosions that work perfectly for the old West. While The Lone Ranger ended up taking a lot of flak for the amount spent, but when you make an action movie using very little CGI, but instead build sets and trains that you in turn blow up it is not cheap to do. Yet, personally I love to support these movies that use the "old school" way to do action. For me in the action it was great to see the progression of the Lone Ranger's character from one who believes solely in the judicial system for bringing about justice to realizing at times that he must bring about the justice himself to counteract the corruption that is within the judicial system. The action used throughout the film was great and the sequences aboard the train were truly great and fun to watch.

The Lone Ranger while the critics panned this film and will probably be viewed as a box office flop, I greatly ended up enjoying the film. Depp and Hammer give strong performances and really worked well together and played off one another with such a great ease. I can not think of anyone else out there that would have given a better performance as the villain then Fichtner. Personally, I loved the use of an origin story to reintroduce The Lone Ranger to a whole new generation. The lack of CGI was perfect for an old West movie as they instead focused on real sets and real explosions. The Lone Ranger was a decent movie and I am giving The Lone Ranger three and half buckets of popcorn out of five. This is a movie that has ended up in our movie collection, and while the critics did not like it I hope that does not stop Disney from future installments in the Lone Ranger franchise.

-The Movie Man

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was probably one of the top movies that I looked forward to seeing in 2013. For me Desolation of Smaug did not disappoint in the least. While the first movie in the Hobbit trilogy I thought was done really well, Desolation of Smaug takes that success and in the end created an amazingly strong movie. As I have gotten older, the midnight movies do not appeal nearly as much to me simply because of how hard it is to stay completely alert throughout the movie. Yet, this was one of those movies that I was so eager to see that I went to go and see as the midnight movie and it was so well laid out and put together that I was able to easily stray awake. Desolation of Smaug with the abrupt end to the movie only worked to make me even that more excited for when the third movie will come out.

Martin Freeman reprises his role as Bilbo and really not only envelops the role, but he really shines and is completely believable and is a great protagonist. Freeman will definitely become a big name star as he continues to get roles and deliver the great connection ability he has with the audience. The insurgence of Evangeline Lily as the elf Tauriel is a great female heroine addition for the Hobbit. While the original book written by Tolkien did not have this character she brings not only a strength, but a great feminine touch to a predominantly male cast. Richard Armitage in the role of Thorin has matured nicely into the strength of the leader of the Dwarves set to reclaim Erebor. Not surprisingly for me because of how much I have enjoyed the BBC show Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of Smaug was great. While they used effects to give his voice more boom he does a fantastic job as the sneering, wise and boastful dragon. The rest of the supporting cast do a great job and only add to the movie.

The story for Desolation of Smaug ends up doing a great job of not simply just being a middle film that relies and needs the secondary films, but instead even though it does end abruptly to build anticipation for the third movie it really has a great ability to stand on its own. The story builds throughout and is able to really expand on the material. While we are given great set pieces, strong action sequences and while Gandalf's journey happens without being told about it in the book, it was really a fun added aspect to the movie. Yet, the main journey to the Lonely Mountain with Bilbo and the Dwarves remains the constant drive for the pacing for the movie and it never loses sight of that for the true story. While I felt that the first installment had points where for me it kind of dragged, in Desolation of Smaug though the pacing really works and the action sequences end up helping the story to continue to movie without dragging.

The action in Desolation of Smaug is above top notch. Right from the onset the action grabs you and not only pulls you immediately into the movie, but does not let go until the credits start to roll. The use of the CGI for the different action sequences is pretty seamless and spot on, that it truly takes the fight scenes to epic heights. Along with the increasing danger we see how strong these action sequences can be. The dwarves in the barrels down the river sequence was really cool to see, simply as they gave us a different chase sequence that you do not really see in movies, so that one that does not know Tolkien's story is surprised with the way they escape and while still escaping from the Elves, while fighting off the Orc's they still receive a little help from Legolas and Tauriel as it seems that the two of them take out three fourths of the Orc's on their own. The action sequence/story that takes place between Bilbo and Smaug though was pure genius. The interaction between these two is perfect and it really works well to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the build up as to what is going on and seeing finally the dragon Smaug is completely epic.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was a fun movie to watch and it really exceeded my expectations in ways that I did not know The Desolation of Smaug would be able to do. Martin Freeman continues to show that he is a definite breakout star that will only have more and more roles as his career continues. Freeman though shoes his true greatness in the Lonely Mountain as his chemistry he has with Smaug voiced by Cumberbatch just works. Cumberbatch only brings up the film and really gave a performance that while I expected it to be strong it gave me goosebumps. I really enjoyed the story and all the different action sequences that were brought forward only made for a great movie that truly seemed to fly by. I am giving The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug four and a half buckets of popcorn out of five. This is one that will be added to my collection once it comes out and I would urge anyone that is a fan of great movies to make sure to see it in theaters simply because no other viewing format may be able to portray Smaug the way he is viewed on the big screen.

-The Movie Man

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Wolverine

While I did not hate X-men Origins: Wolverine like so many of the movie critics did and while I liked it, each time I watch it there are really so many missed opportunities and some misuse of some great mutant characters. The Wolverine ends up borrowing from the Claremont/Miller Japanese storyline for Wolverine from the comic books. The Wolverine ends up actually having depth and substance to it, and there are not fight scenes happening every couple of minutes. Instead it ends up giving us a deep character study of Wolverine. It is clear that The Wolverine has tried to correct the problems that were complained about in the previous solo Wolverine film. Despite taking place after the events of X-men: The Last Stand, it attempts to distance itself from the rest of the X-men characters and story, instead solely focusing on Wolverine and as a result this film feels very different to all the other X-men films.

Hugh Jackman portrays Logan/Wolverine for the sixth time and he has embodied this role in such a way that I now put Jackman as The Wolverine and so if a day comes when someone else plays this role they will have a huge role to fill and high expectations. Jackman is able to take the character to new levels and gives even more depth as he added further layers to his character as he tries to deal with his demons and shows those to the audience perfectly. To counter Wolverine we have Yashida who is played by Hal Yamanouchi and he does a good job. As the main villain in the film he does not come off as menacing, but instead he is devious as he appeal to want to repay Wolverine for saving his life in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb fell by giving Wolverine the gift of mortality. Yet his villain became quite menacing once in his Silver Samurai suit and is virtually an equal to Wolverine and truly pushes him to the limits during their battle. Svetlana Khodchenkova as our other villain on Viper has her up and down moments. Khodchenkova while beautiful for the role kind of lacks a motivating purpose that the audience needs from villains. Tao Okamoto plays Mariko who is the love interest for Wolverine ends up being capable to handle herself in many situations so she is not just a pretty face who is constantly needed for saving. The rest of the supporting cast give good performances and really help to make this movie a strong solo Wolverine movie.

The story for The Wolverine was leaps and bounds better then what came from the first solo Wolverine film. I really enjoyed the concept of the change of location of Japan somehow this seemed to fit for Wolverine because of his natural wanderer tendency, along with the fact that his claws are so reminiscent to those of the Samurai sword. I loved that we received more back story that shows The Wolverine having an actual connection to Japan from being a prisoner during World War II and when the atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki, Wolverine ends up saving the life of the guard who had unlocked his cell pit  before the bomb dropped so that like the other prisoners could try to get to safety. For me the story was able to work for me because I was never quite sure what the climax was going to be as they kept me guessing who was truly who within the story. The pacing for The wolverine worked very well, while it was a face paced action movie it was not afraid to slow down from time to time to delve in and give depth to the characters. The direction with the pacing was able to work as the movie slowed and picked up precisely when it needed to.

The action for The Wolverine was a strong aspect of this film. While like usual I truly enjoyed the action with The Wolverine I felt that everything was taken to the next level with this installment. Personally, the action sequence for the atomic bomb explosion in Nagasaki was really cool to see and just worked in my opinion to truly help set up the story. Along with that action sequence the black ninjas moving along the rooftops and the fight sequence between them and Wolverine was really cool simply because the stealth of ninjas is simply awesome to watch and in all honesty I am still a kid at heart and what kid did not grow up thinking ninjas were totally awesome? While the fight sequences was a little underwhelming in my opinion, Wolverine in fights is still pretty cool to watch.

The Wolverine was a movie that I really enjoyed. While it did have its flaws and some things that I am still not sure why a character or scene took place they were few and far between. Hugh Jackman has once again completely enveloped himself as Wolverine and only increased the depth in the end of the character. They paired Jackman with a strong cast that he was able to work well with and that chemistry seemed to resonate on the screen. The Wolverine was able to distance itself from other X-men films without truly alienating them which I enjoyed. Another awesome aspect was the after credit scene which I will simply say has got me truly excited for the next X-men installment in 2014. I am giving The Wolverine three and a half buckets of popcorn out of five. This is a movie definitely worth seeing even if you are not much of a comic book fan and is a definite must see for the comic book fan. The Wolverine is one movie that will definitely end up in the movie collection.

-The Movie Man

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher is based on one of the books from the Jack Reacher series of novels written by Lee Childs. While I have not read these books, I had heard  that the main character of Reacher was 6'5", 250lbs and blond, so basically the complete opposite of Tom Cruise who plays Reacher in the movie. So while I was not having high expectations, since I had not read any of the books I really had no idea what to expect from Jack Reacher. Jack Reacher is the tale of an ex-military investigator who is brought in on a heinous crime believe to be committed by an ex-military sniper. As Reacher digs into the evidence, we are taken on the journey as the crime is really not what it seems on the surface. Jack Reacher is a movie that does not try to be anything other then a movie that is a solid one and is one that is on the high end of its genre. It does not try to be revolutionary, but instead it gives a great action thriller that are not given to audiences nearly as often anymore.
First off, while Tom Cruise does not meet the physical appearance of Jack Reacher from the books, yet the way he plays the role he is somehow able to embody the part perfectly. The cerebral aspect that Cruise brings is simply perfect. After having seen the movie I read some about the series and found that while he is physically intimidating in the end it is all about his intellect to work to figure out a crime scene that makes Reacher who he is. Rosamund Pike in the role of Helen, the defense attorney is a different role then most female roles for an action movie, simply put her character is a full character and not the "Bond Girl" or "Lara Croft" type heroine, but we get to see her complete character with glimpses of her doubts, anxieties and her conviction. Werner Herzog plays The Zec, mysterious main antagonist who while extremely creepy, I would have loved to have got a lot more behind the reasoning for his plan. They kept his character so mysterious that while Herzog played this well, it left me wanting more. The supporting cast all work well, particularly the henchmen as they are perfect for what you need in a good action thriller.
The story for Jack Reacher was not exactly what I was expecting going into seeing the movie. This is another one of those movies where the trailers give a completely different feel for this to be an action fill explosion fest of a movie that is simply a pedal to the metal action movie. Instead Jack Reacher is a thought out, methodical action thriller that really has an old school feel to it. With this being based on the novel "One Shot" it has made me want to go and read this story and see how I like it. The direction by McQuarne works really well as he took the story and made it a great journey in which the audience is taken on and makes you just sit on the edge of your seat throughout. The pacing is set at just a perfect pace as it did not move so fast that everything happens that it makes you wonder and say wait what just happened. but instead gives you just enough to keep you salivating for more as the story moves on.
The action sequences in this action thriller are simple and straight forward.  Jack Reacher does not use huge explosion to give the action, but instead gives good thought out fight scenes to even an old school car chase where Cruise himself does all of his own stunt driving. In the end the car chase was very enjoyable and the bus stop portion of it was one of my favorite parts in the entire movie because it just made myself and my wife laugh out loud. To go along with the action and fun story is the amount of funny wit and one liners through the film. At the start of the film the initial crime is very intense that really the one liners are needed to help lighten the intensity, yet they are able to do this in such a way that they do not lose the edge of your seat aspect for the film that you want in an action thriller.
Jack Reacher ends up being a movie that exceeded expectations, I enjoyed Cruise's performance and  found it nice to see Cruise out of the Ethan Hunt mold of the boy scoutish character and instead be a character who is a little more Jason Bourne as well as an almost anti-hero that does not care to follow the rules. I enjoyed the storyline that was laid out and I was a big fan of how the pacing moved without dragging or rushing. The strength of the story also plays well when it is one in which I want to go read the Jack Reacher novels now. I am giving Jack Reacher three and a half buckets of popcorn out of five. This is definitely a movie worth renting and is one n which I plan on adding to the movie collection eventually.
-The Movie Man

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Man of Steel

 So after a break from posting movie reviews, I am back and decided I would start back up with my review of Man of Steel simply because of the announcement over the weekend from San Diego Comic Convention that the follow up to Man of Steel would be Superman teaming up with Batman. Being the superhero geek that I am I could not help but be totally excited about this announcement. I was excited for the Superman reboot since it was tied to Zac Snyder directing and Christopher Nolan producing, I knew that this go around would be pretty strong. While I have somewhat enjoyed Superman movies as well as some of the Superman animated shows, I have never really been a big fan of Superman because he is the superhero that seems to have any and all super powers that a Superhero would want or could have. Man of Steel gives us though a completely different Superman then anything that has been brought to any screen previously. While critics have been harsh on Man of Steel because it is not close to the original Superman movie that has shaped the canon of Superman movies. For me the fact that they moved away and left the original as its own and took Man of Steel to be its own complete story of Superman that made it work and be such an enjoyable movie in my mind.

Henry Cavill stars as Clark Kent/Superman and ends up giving a really strong performance. Especially, when compared to the previous actor that played Superman. Cavill was such a perfect fit for where they were taking Man of Steel and the telling of the Superman story. Amy Adams in the role of Lois Lane works. She has a great ability to play female lead roles in which the female lead really portrays strength and is not a damsel in distress. Adams like Cavill is redefining the role of Lois Lane and hopefully with future movies the characters can take this initial depth we have been given and continue to expand on it. Michael Shannon as our antagonist General Zod epitomizes a Superman villain. He is menacing and is truly an equal for Superman to go up against. He is able to match Superman punch for punch, yet while they are equals it is the upbringing on Earth that Superman has had that separates the two in the end. The supporting cast was well cast and really helped throughout the film. For me Russell Crowe was meant to play the role of Jor-El and gives the audience a great view of how a Kryptonian should be and through his instruction that his conscious is able to give Clark Kent allows Clark to see this as well.

The story for Man of Steel was a great one for the reboot of the franchise and really for me the most enjoyable Superman movie that I have seen. The story for Man of Steel while darker then previous Superman movies, it just works. This works for me simply I think because of the similar feel that the Man of Steel has with Batman Begins and the origin story that it told. As I mentioned earlier I have never been the big Superman fan because he is virtually invincible and has every super power possible, yet with Man of Steel, Snyder's direction through the use of flashbacks of Clark and him trying to deal with his powers and his desire to help those in trouble really humanized Superman. This humanization made him vulnerable and for me it made Superman more likable. Personally, one of the best aspects of the story for me was that we were actually given a great look into the planet of Krypton and a good story  as to why the planet was dying and even the reasoning behind sending Superman to Earth.

To go along with the story Snyder brought great visuals and action to meld almost perfectly with the story. Snyder used the visuals to perfection. the visuals of Krypton were simply inspiring, it is always cool to see how a director will portray another world. Snyder brings stunning visuals that it truly showed a highly advanced society to me for Krypton. The visuals that continued throughout the movie are perfect as Snyder uses contrasting colors to give an amazing feel to the cinematography. It is amazing to me how he can do it so simply yet subtly, a great example of this for me was that of the contrast in colors between the background and the blue and red of Superman's costume and how Snyder makes it virtually pop off the screen. Snyder also gives action that while it had its moments of feeling rushed it still worked a majority of the time. The battle sequences between Superman and the invaders from Krypton were very well done. While I felt like the climatic battle scene was slightly rushed it still was pretty cool to watch and see.

Man of Steel was not only a really good reboot of the Superman franchise, but  I would consider it to be one of the stronger movies that I have seen. Zac Snyder along with Christopher Nolan showed a very strong chemistry together. Man of Steel had a definite touch and feel of Christopher Nolan having a hand, yet it did not overpower the direction of Snyder which the film definitely had his touch especially his contrasting visuals that he does throughout the movie. The acting talents of Cavill, Adams and Shannon really worked well and I felt there chemistry was perfect. I am giving Man of Steel four buckets of popcorn out of five. I would definitely recommend Man of Steel to be one that any movie goer makes sure to see in theaters, and I am now very excited to see the next installment that will have Superman teaming up with Batman.

-The Movie Man