Man Of Steel – Review

NOTE: I will attempt to keep this as spoiler free as possible! No major plot points are given away during this review. If you have watched the trailers, you should be fine to continue!

The newest attempt at creating a decent Superman film is out and yesterday I went to see it. So how does “Man Of Steel” stack up? Is it a super attempt at re-establishing Superman’s place amongst the recent titans of superhero films such as Iron Man and the Dark Knight trilogy, or is it simply the kryptonite to cinema goers everywhere that will leave you squirming in your seats, powerless to do anything to stop the terrible, terrible pain that it’s putting you through?

Jumping right in, we start the film following Superman’s father Jor-El during the dying days of Krypton. Russell Crowe is absolutely brilliant as Jor-El, settling right into the role. This, combined with the casting of Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Superman shows that the producers clearly know how to cast a movie. Following the destruction of Krypton, we see Clark Kent working various jobs in various places, saving those in need and then moving on to maintain his anonymity. This section is peppered with flashbacks to Clark’s childhood and we get to see him coping with his powers. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as the Kents are yet another inspired piece of casting, with Costner being the exact image of Jonathon Kent that you expect someone with as strong an ethical compass as Superman to be raised by.

Clark discovering his past, meeting Lois Lane and being tracked down her keeps the movie ticking along comfortably, with some fantastic scenes between Amy Adams and Henry Cavill setting up a spark of romance that could easily be furthered in any future sequels. I particularly enjoyed the brief moments of humour in the scenes with Superman learning how to fly and then being interrogated by the FBI. This film isn’t the comedic take to superhero action that one might expect from an Iron Man film though, the humour is sparse, focusing on a more solemn story of Superman’s origins.

Man of Steel also serves as a slight Matrix reunion for fanboys such as myself with both Laurence Fishburne, playing Daily Planet editor Perry White, and Harry Lennix, as General Swanwick, being part of the supporting cast. Sadly, these two characters never meet and we never have a discussion about the fate of Zion Metropolis or the powers of The One Superman. Shame.

All in all, I thought the film was amazing. Lovely visual effects, great casting, a story that really draws you in and villains that actually feel just a touch villainous. It really was a brilliant film.

Until the last 40 minutes.

When General Zod comes to Earth all of the previous scenes in the movie are wiped completely from the viewer’s minds as we embark of 40 minutes of destruction, culminating in a final confrontation between Zod and Supes. This 40 minutes is LOUD. I know cinemas are usually above the average volume you might normally watch a movie at, but this was taken to another level. Buildings falling down, cars exploding, missiles being fired, the whole of Metropolis is pretty much at threat of becoming a pile of ash, with a large amount of it ending up so. They try to hide the fact that whilst you might see a lot of people escaping the buildings and cars, most of them wouldn’t have made it out and that leads to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people that you just know are dead when that flaming train is launched through the side of a building.

All in all, whilst the relentless final third of the film does detract somewhat from the overall effect, this was in no way a bad film. It just could have been better. The aspect of morality and choice that Superman has makes him a much more relatable and much more human character than he has often been portrayed as and whilst many people may not like that, I think it adds a touch more depth to the series and (hopefully) paves the way for the DC shared universe of films, just like the Marvel counterpart.

If you like superhero movies you’ll love this. If you can forgive the ending for being a bit action heavy then you’ll surely agree that it’s a great film that just could have done with a little more forethought towards the pacing.

OVERALL VERDICT: 8/10

Good, solid film let down slightly by the rather action heavy final third. Hopefully any sequels will only improve upon this. Definitely worth a watch.

 

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Questionable Content

So I’ve hit a little bit of a creative block lately. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of things that I want to talk about, I just can’t quite get them down onto the page so that they look “right”, if you know what I mean. With that in mind, I didn’t want to stop writing things until the issue is fixed, so I’ve fallen back on the old faithful and stolen content from tumblr decided to join in these question and answer tag games, without actually tagging anyone because none of my friends have blogs, seriously why am I friends with them? Though if you happen to be a blogger, please feel free to consider yourself “tagged” and do your own version of this! Be sure to link me in the comments so I can have a read!

Without further waffle, onto the amalgamation of a few question sets that I found under the tag of “nerdy” on tumblr (I take no responsibility for the nerdiness or lack thereof):

 

1. Kirk or Picard?

 

I’m not really a trekkie, but Picard. I like Patrick Stewart in almost anything he’s in.

2. Warrior, thief, or wizard?

Wizard. C’mon, Gandalf’s a wizard. No other reasons needed.

3. Favorite subject in school?

Predictably, Geography.

4. What would your Patronus be?


A dog.

5. Favorite Superhero?

Iron Man. He doesn’t hide his identity and doesn’t care.
http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_md8polzsWt1r6v0ko.gif

6. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars.

7. Marvel or DC?

Marvel, hands down.

8. In what un-sports related way to you keep in shape?

I keep in shape in sports related ways. But i suppose bending down to plug in my iPad charger is an un-sports related way…

9. What is your dream career choice?

Iron Man. ‘Nuff said.

10. Favorite video game?

Too many to name, I’m quite a Ninendo fan nowadays but I suppose the crown goes to the Crash Bandicoot games.

11. Favorite author?

J.R.R Tolkien

 

12. What is the nerdiest thing about yourself?

Probably my love of all the things that I “should have grown out of” such as video games, Pokemon games, books involving swords and sorcery and dragons, superheroes, etc, etc..

13. Playstation3, Xbox360, or Wii?

Wii.

 

 

 

14. Jocks: Friends or foes?

Do we still split the world into Nerds and Jocks? I thought it was just nice people and idiots?

15. Old school bit games, or modern 3D graphics?

New games look amazing, but 8-bit nostalgia is fantastic.

16. Nerdiest Pick-up line?

“If you were an air mass you’d be tropical maritime because you’re so damn hot!”

17. The nerdiest article of clothing you’ve ever owned?

I don’t really know what classes as nerdy, but I like corduroy, tweed and cardigans. True geography style distaster

18. Do you have a random, useless talent? What is it?

I can pick up a lot of things with my feet, although that has proven to be useful on numerous occasions.

19. Do you read the book before seeing the movie?

it’s 50/50 at the moment.

20. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Gonna break my tradition and go with something a little odd that I really like in the latest X-Men film: reactive evolution. The ability to adapt to whatever environment you’re in. Useful? Yep. Cool? Double yep.

21. Theme song for your life? 

Clearly it’s “Handsome Man” by Robbie Williams. Right?

22. Favorite movie? 

Serenity

23. Favorite TV show? 

Castle

24. Favorite book? 

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Cheating I know but sue me)

25. Favorite quote from a movie, TV show or book? 

This, from Firefly:

Zoe: First rule of battle, Little One: Don’t ever let them know where you are.
Mal: (runs in with guns blazing) I’m right here! I’m right here! You wanna come in? Yeah you do! C’mon! C’mon!
Zoe: Course there are other schools of thought.
Mal: That was bracing! They don’t like it when you shoot at ’em. I worked that out myself.

26. One cancelled TV show you would bring back without a doubt? 

Firefly. Obviously. The show was fantastic.

 

 

 

Geek – Fighting The Stereotype

Geek.

Some people see this as a grave insult. Why would anyone want to be considered geeky? To like science, fantasy and all those things that are more often than not percieved as childish and silly. To enjoy learning and constantly want to know more things.

Just think, WHO in their right mind would want to be called a Geek?

The answer is…

Me.

To be called a geek is, to me, a compliment. It’s essentially saying “Hey, you’re smart and care about intelligence andspending your free time doing things that you enjoy, even if they’re not considered to be the popular choice.” Surely that’s a good thing? Surely everyone wants to increase their knowledge base so that they can have stimulating conversation and form well rounded views on topics. If not, i’m not sure I want to live on that planet…

Where does the word come from though? To Wikipedia!

This word comes from English dialect geek, geck: fool, freak; from Low German geck, from Middle Low German. The root geck still survives in Dutch and Afrikaansgek: crazy, as well as some German dialects, and in the Alsatian word Gickeleshut: geek’s hat, used in carnivals

Enlightening.

So it seems that the word geek is all over the place and has been for a while, but always with a negative connotation of being weird. This just seems unfair. The world is still seeing geeks in the way that they have been unfairly stereotyped throughout the years. That all geeks live in ther mothers basements, playing fantasy games and coding computers for fun. The idea that all geeks go LARPing ( Live Action Role Playing) or sit infront of consoles playing video games all day and are therefore either obese or physically inept. I find those ideas outdated and frankly, wrong.

Geeks are getting pushed to the forefront of the media nowadays with television shows like “Beauty and the Geek” where a smart guy and a beauty model team up to win money in a challenge and quiz show format and of course, “The Big Bang Theory” which popularises the idea that geeks are all scientists that can’t talk to women and live with thier mother or love comic books and video games. Never has there been a show that I can recall that has portrayed the ‘New Geek’ of today.

The cast of “The Big Bang Theory” are popularizing the geek stereotype

Today, there are many people, like myself, that consider themselves to be geeks. Personally, I LOVE video games, any genre, any console – I’ll play it if I get a chance. I like Sci-Fi movies and am proud of that fact and I cannot remember the last time that I was as genuinely excited about seeing a film than I was about The Avengers. (Hmmm, Perhaps the third Lord Of The Rings, come to think of it…). I like comic books and the associated Superhero films that are released into the cinema. The Lord of The Rings is still both my favourite book and film to date – I love the whole swords and sorcery stories. I love science and most nights I can be found to be learning something new online through wikipedia, news sites or CrashCourse (Which I’ve mentioned previously). I would say I am a geek. But here is the kicker. I like to socialise with my friends and I can chat to almost anyone without being socially awkward. I also hold a First Degree black belt in Tae Kwon-Do and have a gym membership, where I spend every available minute of my time, when I get a chance. I like cycling and running and took part in my very first Parkrun today (More on that later). I’m a geek but I’m active and social. I have a large group of different friends and I wouldn’t say that I adhere to the stereotype.

So watch out world. There are a new bunch of Geeks on the way and we are ready to surprise you all. 😉

Oh and yes, I DO have this GameBoy phone case on my BlackBerry…

Proud to be Geeky.