1,038 of 1,257 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2013
While I can see and understand some of the complaints against this film, some of them, on the other hand, are hypocritical nonsense.
The internet isn't the best way to put a films reception into perspective. From perusing comic book message boards you would think this is the most hated film of all time. Not so. It is mostly met with favorable praise. But the vocal minority is REALLY vocal on this one. Complaints about structure and editing are one thing (I don't agree with them at all but they are legitimate) but the huge hubbub over the destruction in this film is over the top and frankly all out misguided and downright false.
It seems the internet can't make up it's mind on what they want their Superman to be. For YEARS all fans ever did was say they wanted a Superman movie where he can really show off his powers. They begged and whined and pleaded for a Superman film to deliver the action that the character deserves on screen. And when Superman Returns came out that begging and pleaded grew exponentially. "WE WANT SUPERMAN TO PUNCH SOMETHING!" seemed to be the go-to phrase. People finally get what they were whining for and what do they do? They turn their nose up at it.
The way people complain about the action you would think this is nothing but wall to wall mindless explosions. This is not so at all. After the opening scenes on Krypton and a quick rescue on an oil rig the film doesn't have much action until the last act kicks in. The last act is no longer or drawn out than The Avengers ofr any of the Nolan Batman films. In fact I think I read somewhere the finale to Batman Begins is a few minute longer than Man of Steel.
For one thing this is a superhero movie. Two, this isn't only a superhero movie but a SUPERMAN movie! What, you don't expect insane action and visuals? Really? The action in this film is incredible. It's hard hitting, edge of your seat kind of stuff. THIS IS WHAT SUPERMAN SHOULD LOOK LIKE ON THE BIG SCREEN!
Whiny fanboys go on and on and ON about the amount of destruction in this film like it's Supes fault. They literally blame the destruction on Superman like he caused it all. If one simply watches the film with the most minimal amount of attention they will know this is simply, idiotically false. The most purely destructive thing Superman himself directly does is crash Zod through a gas station. Literally everything else is Zods fault. Superman tries the whole last act to stop them and gets his butt handed to him a lot of the time.
Another HUGE misconception is that the final fight in Metropolis is horrible because it's in the middle of the city and causing more death. Again, if people paid a modicum of attention they would have seen that the entire portion of the city they were fighting in is DESERTED. TOTALLY DESERTED. No people around.
I for one am glad the destruction in this film was so realistic. People were shown to really be dying and in peril. Most other superhero films feel safe in this regard, like nobody is really in jeopardy. It's safe, clean destruction. Not so in Man of Steel. It makes Superman feel MORE like a hero and not a perfect action figure imo that he has to struggle and can't save every living soul. Did people really want him to just fly around catching people out of windows the whole time? "WAH Metropolis got destroyed ans Superman didn't save enough people!" I'm sorry, did you not see him save the ENTIRE world by destroying the World Engine, which damn near took him out as well? I guess not.
I know I'm ranting but I can't help but feel a lot of the reactions to this film are misguided in the extreme. This is the mythic, larger than life Superman film we've been needing. And mythic is exactly what Superman is. This isn't the joyless shell people are making it out to be either. There is light comedy sprinkled throughout the film. It's the Batman Begins of Superman. I have a feeling if this came out around 2005 or so it wouldn't have gotten the fanboy slamming it did.
441 of 552 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2013
Let me say right away that I am fan, so if you imagine that there may be some bias about this film, you'll be right. As much as I enjoy the work done by Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan I am, first and foremost, a fan of Superman the character. Beyond the super powers and god like awe that surrounds the character, he is inherently a symbol for the potential good of the human race. He represents the best of both his worlds and acts as a guide for others. Superman is often referred to as the "constant boy scout". It's easier to understand when you truly see the kind of temperament and control he exhibits on a nearly constant basis. When faced with adversity how easy would it be for him to destroy his opponent in the blink of an eye, and yet he refrains from doing so. He is a symbol for all that we can achieve, good and bad. In some ways he is the embodiment of hope; hope for the future, hope for the world, and hope in our own personal lives. So, when I say that I am a fan I mean to say that this film held high expectations for me and I am glad to say that this film not only met my expectations but exceeded them.
It's difficult to compare comics and movies to one another. They are different animals, and because of that, require different things. For those of you who are fans of the comics it may be best to show that this film has an extremely similar vibe to the "Earth One" story presented a few years back. It is a reboot that while fresh and rewarding for the casual viewer truly gives back to the fans. It's worth mentioning that I believe a movie based on a comic book should remain faithful to its original material it also needs to separate itself and be its own thing. Thankfully that is the case with the "Man of Steel". The Nolan brothers' screenplay brought to life by Zack Snyder is a wonderful homage to past material while remaining original in its own way. The very human aspect brought to the character removes some of the awe that may separate us from him and witnessing the struggle he deals with in understanding his two sides is the needed heart thread that grounds the film. The characters, most of which, are easily picked out by fans of the comics are played by some rather extraordinary actors and actresses. You can tell by the quality of actors how serious Warner Bros. was about making this a legitimate project. I could mention each one in particular and yet somehow I feel as though it doesn't do justice to the ensemble as a whole. Each person fits their character in a natural way and one of the things that I found myself enjoying about the film is that not one person overshadows another, they are each a piece of the puzzle that fits well into the mold.
Another important facet to any Zack Snyder film is the look and feel of the film. While the film itself is grounded in many ways due to the wonderful cast it is hard to forget just how magnificent this movie looks at times. While each shot is truly worthy of a movie still the action scenes are the stuff of legend. Remember that awe I spoke of surrounding the character of Superman? This is where it shines. Snyder is able to envision Superman and his battles in a way that captures the eyes and truly keeps us glued to the screen. The movie has a somber low tone visually, with most of the colors subdued, but when given the opportunity to for action the screen suddenly shines and explodes. For much of the movie I had pure goosebumps traveling up and down my spine. So, if there are any reservations you have about buying this film on blu-ray, get rid of those right now. You'd be doing yourself a disservice buying it on another format. Thankfully, like the "Batman" trilogy Nolan is so well known for, there are a few moments among the drama and action for humor, so it's not a horribly dry film without levity. Also, the amazing Hans Zimmer has lent his talents to this film and truly created a soundtrack befitting the movie. I'd like to point out that any time Hans Zimmer is part of a film I get a bit excited but when it was officially announced that he would do the score for this film I was eager to hear how he would pull it. The movie moves seamlessly with each passing score and Zimmer's soundtrack only enhances the experience.
In this day and age I know the idea of having two options available to customers is nice, in terms of DVD and blu-ray format, but in the case of "Man of Steel" I'd recommend that you buy the bundle pack. Yes, you may not have a blu-ray player but if you ever decide to get it then you'll already have the blu-ray copy along with the DVD one. Truth be told, I have a hard time recommending that this movie be bought solely on DVD cause it's simply too visual a movie to experience any other way than blu-ray.
One of the best indicators I have for a film are the feelings I have the day afterwards. I left my local theater following the midnight premiere and I had a hard time sleeping. Almost a full day later I still have a sense of excitement over the movie. This film has that something truly special. It's not often I sit in a theater and feel like I'm taken back to being that same young kid who had aspirations of saving the world while wearing a cape (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this). It filled me with the awe and wonder of my childhood and left me inspired. It's hard to imagine a better way to pay homage to the dreams of my past than letting them breath a little bit once more in the form of a movie. I can easily say that this is one of my favorite movies of the year.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
This is finally the Superman film I've been waiting for! The film is well-paced with the major delight of Superman himself being humanized and made cool again. Kudos goes to David S. Goyer for writing a mature script and taking cues from some great Superman story-lines: Mark Waid's Birthright along with John Byrne's Man of Steel, Geoff John's Secret Origin & Last Son and J. Michael Straczynski's Earth-One. Henry Cavill is amazing as Superman, along with Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Michael Shannon as General Zod. One of my favorite directors, Zack Snyder delivers on the mind-blowing action but also the emotional character moments of the film. Finally, due to all the criticism on character development, I'm certain that was intentional seeing as the origin story for Superman is very rigid and this film served to show why he becomes Superman and therefore reporter Clark Kent. As for the controversy on Zod's death, Superman HAS KILLED in the comics (when it was necessary) and it's very important to welcome a new Superman for the 21st century and leave the Christopher Reeve version to rest (which I love as well). All in all, this movie is amazing and can't wait for Superman vs. Batman in 2016 and Justice League in 2018!!!
378 of 519 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2013
The "Man of Steel" movie is both action and plot heavy, dealing with complex spiritual issues as well as what it means to be human. On the other hand, the action is heavy-handed, with punches, bullets, and other weaponry being thrown at people on a regular basis. This combination of depth and intensity creates a powerful film, both visually as well as in theme. The performance of the story was breathtaking. As expected, the visuals were stunning; the special effects were phenomenally crisp and the scope of the camera was often wide, presenting the scenery itself as a spectacle. The acting was exceptional as well. Shannon's Zod was angry, driven, and resourceful, everything a good soldier is meant to be. His lines were powerful and his intentions and thoughts were practically visible on his face as he acted. Cavill's Superman also performed exceptionally. Each line was delivered with honesty to the character. His part was not really dialogue heavy, but his role was emotionally demanding, requiring sadness, fury, remorse, and empathy at various points in the film. His character is vulnerable and emotional, unsure of himself, which Cavill communicated well. Adams as Lois Lane was an interesting choice, and her role is not given as much screen time for development, but she did do a good job playing a driven reporter, dedicated to her work, even if it means bending the rules. It will be interesting to see where her character is taken in the next film (which is confirmed as a Batman/Superman movie according to news from Comic Con). The standout performances are definitely the two fathers, Costner and Crowe. The fathers, without giving anything away, are given numerous occasions where emotional scenes are required of them. Their sequences were powerful and convincing. I almost cried in the movie twice, and they were involved in them both. Their performances were moving.
The story itself was the highlight for me. The story fearlessly stepped into religion, humanness, choice, evolution, and power, stepping out unscathed. There will be many who disagree with the film's presentation of the ideas, even I would disagree in places, but, by dealing with them, they gave the film depth. Also, besides philosophical depth, the movie's plot was gripping from the beginning and, overall, solid. The film revealed just enough of the plot to keep the audience informed and then continued, using flashbacks to catch the audience up as necessary. The plot had no real twists, but the plot was not necessarily predictable (I have not read the comics, but the comics could deal with the story. So, comic book fans could be familiar with the plot; I am not sure). The story was compelling, emotional, and relatable. This film ranks, in my opinion, as the best so far this year. The acting, story, and music were all great, giving the Man of Steel a five star return to the big screen.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2015
Received this Blu-Ray case cracked, blue chip pieces, and case spline split. One finger print on one of the four disks! Huh, I don't get that one either.
As for the movie, I have not watched it as yet using this product. I did watch it on HBO and it had cleaver writers, twists, and fairy good acting. I would recommend this one for the special effects in 3D.... very good.
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
Before I saw this movie I heard a lot of people saying that it was mediocre at best. Add that with the fact that most of Zack Snyder's films are missing a good storyline with heart, I was very hesitant to see the film. I was very surprised however when I started watching how it just drew me in from beginning to end. Sure it wasn't top notch all the way through, there was still some cheesy moments, but overall it was a lot better than I thought it would be! I really enjoyed Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, and Kevin Costner as the parents, they did a great job! Personally I thought Amy Adams just didn't fit the role of Lois Lane, I thought they could have found someone better. I did like Laurence Fishburne as Perry, he played that role well. So if you're debating whether or not to watch the film, I'd say give it a shot! I think one of the reasons it turned out well was because Christopher Nolan was behind it, I'm sure he brought some great features to it! Hopefully the next one is even better!
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2013
After seeing this film, I can understand why the critical reaction to it was largely mixed. However, for the life of me, I don't see why it got a worse reception than "Superman Returns". If you're looking for a Superman movie that avoids the mistakes of that film, you have definitely come to the right place - even if "Man of Steel" doesn't succeed on every level.
Here's a rundown of the good and the bad. WARNING: some spoilers within, though I'll try to avoid revealing any major plot twists.
The Effects: I can't say enough good things about this aspect of the film. This is the most truly alien take on Krypton we've seen in any Superman film yet. The harsh yet beautiful landscape, the intricate spaceships, the three-dimensional liquid metal displays...the entire opening sequence featuring Kal-El's home planet was truly jaw-dropping. The same level of quality holds for the scenes with Superman displaying his powers. Zack Snyder's more "violent" take on the hero's flying makes it look remarkably realistic. The visuals in this film never "pop" the viewer out of the story, they draw you in. Actually, if the FX were the only point in the movie's favor, I'd still say it was worth watching once just to see them. Fortunately, there's more.
The Storyline: I was somewhat disappointed when I learned Lex Luthor would not be returning for this film (though his presence in the Man of Steel universe is acknowledged in a very subtle fashion). Fortunately, the plot manages quite well without him, focusing on Superman's alien heritage rather than humans trying to bring him down. The theme of the implications of discovering that an alien walks among us lies at the center of the story, and leads to some interesting conversations among the main characters. The new mythology established for Krypton is very clever, and makes some of the typical elements of Superman's origin more rational. Kryptonite is absent, which is a good thing, in my opinion. Another weakness of Superman from the comics is used to prevent him being completely undefeatable - namely, his reliance on yellow sun radiation. All together, the plot is very coherent, though the actual storytelling suffers at times, as I'll explain later on.
The Main Character: The film's missteps aside, it did give us a worthy new version of the world's greatest superhero. Cavill nails the many faces of Clark Kent. Kansas farm boy, reluctant hero, alien visitor - he skillfully pulls off every aspect of the character...except perhaps for one, which may or may not disappoint the viewer. Clark Kent the bumbling reporter is not really featured here. I won't reveal exactly how the idea of Superman's dual identity plays out, but let's just say it's a bit more complicated than putting on a pair of glasses and magically deflecting suspicion. Also, in regard to a certain difficult decision Superman makes toward the end of the film - in context, it's made very clear that he had no other choice. That's not to say this scene was perfectly executed, but it definitely still belongs in the movie.
The Pacing: This is Man of Steel's biggest flaw. Everything just happens too quickly. In the Batman films, we had time to breathe between fights and dramatic twists, thanks to scenes that helped flesh out the characters and make their journeys more believable. Despite MoS's two-and-a-half hour length, it feels like Snyder and Nolan were struggling to fit everything in that they wanted to show. The first half of the movie is so rapid-fire it feels surreal at times, and the second half is so congested with concrete-smashing fights that by the time I was done watching, I felt exhausted.
The Storytelling: I'm all for innovation in this category, but Man of Steel would have benefited from a good old-fashioned linear storyline. Once the Krypton scenes are done, we start jumping haphazardly between Clark's childhood and his adulthood, then back again. It's enough to make you seasick. I got the feeling that Snyder was trying to reinvent the wheel here. He veered off in another direction just as we were about to see the classic "spaceship in the cornfield" scene - no doubt an attempt to subvert expectations - but it didn't actually improve the film at all. Yes, we've seen the Kents finding Clark a hundred times before, but honestly, I wouldn't have minded seeing it again. And Clark would have seemed more relatable if his childhood scenes had all taken place at the beginning, giving the audience a better perspective on the gradual changes in his motivations and personality.
The Fights: This has been brought up many times before by other reviewers, but there really is too much property damage in Man of Steel. I realize that the locations in question were mostly abandoned, so the death toll from the actual battles was probably zero (not counting what Zod's evil plot probably did to a few unfortunate citizens of Metropolis), but I feel that there's still a problem here. Snyder was obviously trying to show the raw power of Superman and Zod by showing how much damage they did just by tripping over a piece of rebar (that's an exaggeration, but you get what I mean). However, after a while, you start to concentrate more on how many buildings are getting leveled than on who's winning the fight. It's distracting. You can't help but wonder, right in the middle of all the action, how Metropolis will ever recover from all this, and that takes your focus off the story itself.
The Humor: Or rather, the lack thereof. Let's face it - cool as it may be, Superman's story isn't exactly "believable". You could picture a billionaire playboy using gadgets to fight crime in real life, but not an alien with incredible powers living secretly among humans. Some gentle mockery here and there would actually have helped the movie. Instead, every single element of the Superman tale is treated as deadly serious. There are only a handful of funny moments here, and while they work, there aren't nearly enough of them. A few more laughs would have done wonders for the Clark/Lois romance as well. Also, call me old-fashioned, but I feel that a Superman movie should be family-friendly. It's just in the nature of the character. Instead, there are far too many moments of profanity (not from Supes, but still) and a little too much PG-13 violence. It's mostly bloodless, but it could have been toned down without adversely affecting the story. Sorry, but the world doesn't need a gritter Superman.
Amy Adams: Don't get me wrong, she's adorable, and she's a fantastic actress, but she brings nothing new to this role. I don't feel that she had no chemistry with Clark, but she lacked that feistiness that made previous Loises so enjoyable. The more subdued nature of her performance could, of course, be partly blamed on the lack of light-heartedness I mentioned. Erica Durance's Lois would have been asking why everyone was so glum. (I'm not a Smallville fan by any stretch, but she was amazing.)
Michael Shannon: He's not a bad actor, but his Zod came across as more petulant than intimidating. It may sound silly, but a British accent would have done wonders here - possibly because that's what people commonly associate with Zod. Antje Traue's Faora is far more successful as a compelling villain, even if she doesn't get much development.
CONCLUSIONS: Man of Steel is an essentially good film with some elements of greatness, and I believe that it signals a new and better age for the character of Superman. I probably will want to watch it again someday, though I'm still glad I rented it instead of buying it sight unseen. Hence the three stars instead of four. It doesn't quite deserve the 56% it got on Rotten Tomatoes, but it suffers from some unwise directorial decisions, a couple of poorly cast roles, and and a paucity of wit and charm. I highly recommend watching it, but don't expect the Superman movie you've been hoping for since the Christopher Reeve era. Perhaps that day will come in time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2014
A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2014
Let me say up front that I've never seen the original movies or cartoons, have never read the comics, and pretty much all I know about Superman comes from Sheldon (& Leonard, Howard, & Raj). So I really did go into this with a fresh perspective.
I don't know what it is with movies lately, but so many of them suffer from CGI overload. Whether it's Legolas bouncing off people's heads, Kaiju destroying coastal cities, or Superman bouncing across the pavement - it's all a little too ridiculous for my taste. I appreciate cool special effects, but only when they ADD to the movie, not when they ARE the movie. It really seems like Hollywood directors have forgotten how to just tell a great story.
The other major problem I had with this movie was the ENDLESS destruction. Again, what happened to just telling a story? We're not all mindless sheep that need to have things blowing up constantly to keep our attention. This movie just seemed like one battle scene after another, most of which were completely ridiculous. It was cool to see Superman fly. It was tedious to spend two hours watching him repeatedly smash his way through buildings.
It's sad, but action movies seem to have lost their stories and become nothing more than mindless destruction. No heart, no story, no emotion. Glad I get these things free from the library so I know not to waste my money on them.
**UPDATE - I was curious to see how Man of Steel compared to the original, so I went back to the library for the 1978 version. And WOW - what a difference! Now THAT'S how to tell a story! Sure, it was dated and pretty cheesy, but it was still fun to watch.
I have no idea what the mythology of Superman is *supposed* to be. I'm not comparing the two for anything other than entertainment value (for an average person who knows almost nothing about comic book heroes). That said, Man of Steel was a dark, depressing, computer-generated mess. I wish they had spent more time developing the characters & story, and less time on throwing people & cars through buildings. The Man of Steel version of Superman just wasn't heroic - he was attacked by the General and so fought back - thus saving the military who happened to get in the way. But he lacks the heart of the original Superman - a guy who saved people simply because he loved humanity. A guy who rescued cats from trees, for crying out loud.
The original movie may have dated special effects by today's standards, but overall it was a much better movie. Man of Steel made my head hurt and left me feeling bored & angry. The original Superman was silly, but it made me smile and feel good. Not hard to figure out which version I'm going to buy!
102 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
First off, I would like to thank Henry Cavil for stepping into the role of Superman. His presence & prowess has been noted in the film. I would like to think of Henry as our generation Christopher Reeve. Yes. A milestone indeed when you consider Reeve as the iconic Superman. I have been a big fan of "Superman" since growing up. I love "Man Of Steel" because they took a different approach to Superman's life. We never had an in depth look of Krypton. Most of my remembrance of that was readings from comics. Krypton and its people was explained & examined in such a way that led the movie from start to finish. I am a firm believer of needing a story before putting anything on film and everything else comes after. Not only that, but the comic fans will follow the movie closely. Pleasing them will not be easy because of previously failed attempts.
The movie never disappointed me in any way. I actually like this version of Superman better because is more realistic. Especially, the debatable actions of what Superman did towards the end. It really showed how much compassion Superman has for his adopted planet. We all have to make hard choices at one time or another but like Kevin Costner said in the movie, "What you choose to be either bad or good will have a great effect on the planet." Especially, with someone of his god like caliber. Having good parents is the root of having good kids. Whether if your an orphan, adopted, or an alien being from another planet. The rules still applies the same.
As for the actions in this film. Wow! Especially, when watching on IMAX 3D. I had to go see it twice. It was that good! The scale of fight scenes magnified 100x times more than the likeness of Superman 2. Personally, I can't wait for the 2nd Man of Steel movie. Who will the next villain(s) be? Hopefully, with all the Easter Eggs I saw in the film I will eventually get to see the Justice League movie made. I am crossing my fingers! I definitely know that it will beat out the Avengers. The key is how will DC approach Wonder Woman? An iconic female super hero of all times. I believe she will pave the way for the Justice League.
Wait & find out..:)