From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill (Immortals TV's The Tudors) in the role of Clark Kent/Superman under the direction of Zack Snyder (300 Watchmen). 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. The film also stars four-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams (The Master)... as Daily Planet journalist Lois Lane and Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do with It) as her editor-in-chief Perry White. Starring as Clark Kent's adoptive parents Martha and Jonathan Kent are Oscar nominee Diane Lane (Unfaithful) and Academy Award& winner Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves). Squaring off against the superhero are two other surviving Kryptonians the villainous General Zod played by Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Faora Zod's evil partner played by Antje Traue (upcoming The Seventh Son). Also from Superman's native Krypton are Lara Lor-Van Superman's mother played by Ayelet Zurer (Angels and Demons) and Superman's father Jor-El portrayed by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator). Rounding out the cast are Christopher Meloni (42) as U.S. military man Colonel Hardy Harry Lennix (State of Play) as General Swanwick Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau) as Steve Lombard and Richard Schiff (TV's The West Wing) as Dr. Emil Hamilton. Man of Steel is being produced by Charles Roven Christopher Nolan Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and Nolan based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are serving as executive producers. Special Features: Pacific Rim International English Trailer Pacific Rim International Spanish Trailer Pacific Rim International Italian Trailer Strong Characters Legendary Roles All Out Action Krypton Decoded-Dylan Sprayberry New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short [show more]
Man of Steel is an odd film, as it manages to sum up both everything that's great and everything that's terrible about today's blockbuster movies. The latest attempt to resurrect the Superman franchise, it mixes some moments of greatness with some very odd creative choices that leave it feeling very unbalanced, as though there could be a great movie in here trying to get out, but it's being held back by its misguided counterpart.
On the great side: well, it's impossible not to be blown away by the impressive effects and imagery that the film tosses around casually in every shot. Special effects have today developed to the point where directors can realise on-screen anything that they can imagine, and there's plenty of imagination on display here. Superman's home planet of Krypton is brought to life as an exotic, alien realm of advanced technologies and fantastical flying creatures, which contrasts well with the more grounded and realistic visuals on Earth. And the action sequences - particularly the battles that dominate the second half of the movie - are as epic and explosive as you'd expect from a modern big-budget superhero movie, with Superman's conflict with his Kryptonian enemies ending up being so destructive that entire skyscrapers are levelled in their wake. The marketing campaign for the 1970s Superman movies may have boasted that "you'll believe a man can fly" - but in Man of Steel you'll not only believe that he can fly, but also that he comes from a fully-realised alien world and that he contains more power in his little finger than all of the Avengers put together.
So what's the downside? Well, for me, the film's entire approach to Superman feels 'off', as though the character has been dropped into a different movie altogether. If there's one single trend that has dominated superhero and fantasy films for the last few years, it's "darkness", with every superhero or fantasy film that has sought to prove its serious, adult credentials having to position itself as a more "dark" version of those that came before it. And Man of Steel is no different. Unfortunately, though, this gritty approach (which extends to director Zack Snyder's washed-out, blue-grey visuals too) just doesn't suit the hopeful, bright, colourful character that is Superman. So we get endless scenes of a serious, dour, brooding Superman trying to come to terms with his heritage and his place in the world, and very little of the levity and humanity that (say) Christopher Reeve brought to the character.
This being a new telling of the "origin" of Superman, the film also has a lot of work to do to establish who he is and where he came from - as well as telling a decent story with him, of course - and unfortunately these competing concerns end up unbalancing one another. Adopting a 'flashback' structure (a bit like Batman Begins) to fill us in on Superman's early life at the same time as we see things playing out in the present might have seemed like a good way to avoid a dull hour of exposition before the story can really begin, but unfortunately all the temporal flitting-about feels pointless - as though the scenes have been jumbled up in no particular order just to disguise the fact that they're not particularly interesting.
It's a shame, too, to see some fairly decent actors wasted as part of this constant chopping and changing. Kevin Costner gives a great performance as Clark Kent's father, Jonathan, but unfortunately we get to see far too little of him - and at far too irregular intervals - before he's shuffled off-screen (in one of the film's worst scenes - which I won't spoil, except to say that it involves a whirlwind, a dog, and a very stupid decision).
Henry Cavill does his best to inject some real feeling into the character of Clark Kent/Superman, but while he obviously looks the part and has a decent amount of acting ability, he's saddled with a leaden script that rarely gives him the chance to let the audience fully sympathise or empathise with the character. And Amy Adams (as Lois Lane) and Lawrence Fishburne (as her editor at the Daily Planet, Perry White) are given so little to do that you forget that they're there half the time. The most entertaining performance is probably that of Michael Shannon as General Zod, and even then it's fairly standard one-note scenery-chewing villain schtick.
The final problem I had with the movie is that at its halfway point, it seems to abandon all hope of telling a deep or complex story in favour of a relentless all-out action approach that lasts for the best part of an hour (Michael Bay would be proud). A pitched battle in Smallville between Superman and the evil Kryptonians leads to a showdown in Metropolis that then branches out to incorporate the rest of the world too - but at no point do you ever really feel that the stakes are being raised by this escalation. Instead, the impact of the constantly-epic, always-larger-than-life action sequences feels like it's being endlessly diluted through over-familiarity, leaving me numb by the end of the movie - which I'm sure wasn't the intention.
As I said at the start of this review, it really does feel like there's a great movie in here trying to get out - but unfortunately, it's impossible to ignore all of the less successful elements that get in its way. What you're left with is a hollow, frustrating and incomplete-feeling movie that squanders its best attributes (the visuals; the cast) in favour of an attempt to turn Superman into another 'dark', conflicted, gritty superhero character. Note to producers: this isn't Batman, and what worked for him isn't necessarily going to work for everyone. Let's hope that the sequel finds more room for the levity, lightness, warmth and humanity that Superman deserves.
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Zack Snyder directs this action adventure feature, produced by Christopher Nolan and based on the DC Comics hero. After being sent to Earth by his parents to prevent him from dying in the destruction of his home planet Krypton, an infant boy is taken in by Kansas farmer Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his wife Martha (Diane Lane), who name the child Clark. Growing up, Clark (Cooper Timberline/Dylan Sprayberry) begins to discover the true potential of the superpowers he possesses but with this comes a sense of responsibility. In his 20s, while exploring the nature of his origins, Clark (Henry Cavill) meets and later becomes romantically involved with Lois Lane (Amy Adams), an inquisitive reporter from 'The Daily Planet' newspaper. When an evil force threatens the Earth and its inhabitants, Clark resumes his true identity as a superhero and fights to save the planet. Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe and Laurence Fishburne co-star.
Please note this is a region B blu-ray and will require a region B or region free blu-ray player in order to play. Zack Snyder directs this action adventure feature, produced by Christopher Nolan and based on the DC Comics hero. After being sent to Earth by his parents to prevent him from dying in the destruction of his home planet Krypton, an infant boy is taken in by Kansas farmer Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and his wife Martha (Diane Lane), who name the child Clark. Growing up Clark (Cooper Timberline/Dylan Sprayberry) begins to discover the true potential of the superpowers he possesses but with this comes a sense of responsibility. In his 20s Clark (Henry Cavill) gets a job as a newspaper reporter at 'The Daily Planet' where he meets and later becomes romantically involved with colleague Lois Lane (Amy Adams). When an evil force threatens the Earth and its inhabitants, Clark resumes his true identity as a superhero and fights to save the planet. Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe and Laurence Fishburne co-star. Ultraviolet Expiry Date: 02/12/2015 Extra Content: Strong Characters All Out Action Krypton Decoded New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short