Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PCP in Theaters - Man of Steel

You know you're busy when you see a movie back on June 14th and finally get around to writing your review of it 3 weeks later. Sorry for the delay on this in theaters review, I usually try to be more timely on these so they go up while the film is still in theaters. But anyways, on to my review of the Superman reboot Man of Steel.

Man of Steel - 2013, rated PG-13.  My rating:  8 out of 10.

Here is my 10 word review of Man of Steel:  Better than Superman Returns, not as good as I hoped.

Okay, that's not exactly a helpful review.  It's pretty hard for the film to not be better than Superman Returns, due to how disappointing that film was. That was the Phantom Menace of the Superman series, where you've been waiting decades for a new film and while it is technically proficient, it just falls flat.  Meanwhile, Man of Steel is a reboot launched in a darker, grittier universe than Superman had previously inhabited, and one hopes a universe that also contains the rest of the Justice League.

There was a lot to like in this film.  I liked the way they told the origin story, by using the narrative structure of mixing in the flashbacks as the film goes on, rather than telling the story in a linear fashion. Had they gone linear, the first 45 minutes of the film would've been rather dull, and most of it was stuff that is already ingrained into most viewers' brains from decades of Superman being a part of the pop culture landscape. I'm glad the film didn't spend too much time dwelling on all of that all over again. Also, I'm glad for the presence of Producer Christopher Nolan.  He must've pulled director Zack Snyder aside and said "stay away from that slo-mo crap you always do." I was expecting the film to be dragged out with massive quantities of slo-mo, like Snyder's 300, Watchmen, & Sucker Punch, but I don't recall slo-mo being used once in this film.

The action sequences were flashy and entertaining, and the CGI was well done albeit used a bit too much, and in some cases the fight sequences got repetitive after awhile. There's only so much back and forth super-punching you can see the hero and villains do before it gets boring. The acting performances were pretty good though, especially Michael Shannon's General Zod. I look forward to seeing more of him as an actor in the future, he does a pretty good villain.

There were a few dislikes as well.  Instead of doing slo-mo, the film uses shaky-cam throughout (that or the projector in the theater was busted and gave the picture a massive wobble) and it gave me a massive headache because it was shaking just so much. I was just glad I didn't see it in 3D.  Also, there were a handful of plot holes that annoyed the heck out of me.

Overall I enjoyed the film, but not as much as The Dark Knight or the Avengers. I still recommend it to all to watch, but I hope the next one in the series is better. Disclaimer - I don't really read DC comics, I've always been more of a Marvel guy, so things in this film that conflict with the comic's canon does not bother me at all.


  1. i was forced into watching it in 3d and imax so i came out of the theatre also with a headache. and while it was a ton better than Superman returns i came away a bit disappointed, but the more i thought about it i wasnt viewing the moving the right away. Im hopeful that this is just the beggining ala first christian bale batman, of a trilogy or like you said a justice league film.

    1. The only thing I'm worried about in terms of a Justice League film is will we have to go through reboots of Batman and Green Lantern, in addition to introducing Wonder Woman, Flash, and whoever else they want to throw in, so any Justice League film is quite a ways off. Christian Bale has already said he won't do a Justice League film so we'll have to reboot Batman again, and the recent Green Lantern wasn't very good, so we might have to reboot that again too. I don't see a Justice League film before 2016 without rushing the hell out of it, which would just make it worse.