Quick Thoughts on MAN OF STEEL and THIS IS THE END

Double feature!!!!!! Which should you see this weekend?

Man of Steel

6.4

No doubt you’ve recently heard someone say “The new Superman movie is going to be great! Christopher Nolan is doing it!”

It drives me crazy to hear that.  Nolan is listed as an executive producer for Man of Steel, but people really need to learn to take this title with a huge grain of salt.  In the TV world, the executive producer is typically the show runner and is heavily involved.  In movies?  Anything goes, but it usually means jack shit.  A lot of times, and I suspect it is the case here, it is simply a marketing scheme.  Wouldn’t you be more inclined to see a movie if you thought Stephen Spielberg[1] played some part in the production of it?

Does that mean Nolan had absolutely no part in this movie? Not necessarily, but it feels conspicuously un-Nolan.  David S. Goyer, one of the writers, along with Nolan, of the Dark Knight trilogy, wrote the script.  I’m sure Nolan was consulted here and there, but Man of Steel felt much more like a Goyer work.

So make no mistake, this is Zach Snyder’s movie.  Do not go into it expecting a Nolan film or you will be severely disappointed.

Snyder is sort of hit or miss in Hollywood.  For what it’s worth, I enjoyed 300, Dawn of the Dead, and Sucker Punch for what they were.  I didn’t even hate Watchmen.  Snyder has always been at least decent in my book and I had been thinking/hoping that Man of Steel would be his breakout film.  I regret to say that it is not.

MoS is a mess from a plot standpoint.  The opening act shows Krypton amidst war and destruction in an Attack of the Clones sort of way (yuck!) and it drags on just a little too much.  From here on, the movie moves too fast.  There’s so little character development and we jump from flashback to flashback of hobo Clark Kent’s past for a while, until we get into the actual plot of the story.  There’s certainly no shortage of action in between.  Seeing Superman fight fellow Kryptonians in over-the-top brawls that destroy building after building is pretty cool, but even that gets old after a while.  It felt like watching the same scene over and over again.

Oh, and it ends as abruptly as this paragraph.

The film is light on humor.  I suppose they were going for a darker vibe, but it didn’t feel dark so much as it did….bland.  Perhaps this was the representation. In typical Snyder fashion, there’s a constant filter placed on the screen that makes it look sort of dusky.  I found it to be incredibly annoying.

This is nitpicking, but they manage to go probably two hours before actually saying Superman.  I think it would have been a lot cooler if they didn’t say it at all.

There are some decent performances from Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and the always-intense Michael Shannon.  Amy Adams[2] does well in spite of a weak character.  I think Henry Cavill makes a pretty good Superman, even if he is a little underwhelming.  He’s jacked beyond belief and looks a good deal like Tom Welling’s Clark Kent from Smallville.  It might be worth it to see Man of Steel just to catch a glimpse of those chiseled jaw bones and pects.

After the movie, I complained that I wasn’t a fan of Superman’s origin story.  After some thinking, I think I’m just not a fan of origin stories in general.  It’s just so tried in the superhero cannon of film and the only one I truly enjoy is Batman Begins.[3]

 So yeah, pretty disappointed with Man of Steel.  It felt like it could have been so much more, but fell flat on the potential.  It’s better than Superman Returns, no doubt.  It’s awesome to see Superman flying with modern CGI; I just wish the movie itself were as awesome.

 I’m holding out hope for a sequel.  I think it has potential to get something going in a second round.  We shall see.

6.4

 

 

This is the End

8.4

It’s Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny Mcbride, James Franco, and Jonah Hill stuck in a house together during the apocalypse. Why would you not see it?!

I’d say it’s not quite as good as Pineapple Express, but it’s still great.  Really entertaining.  It’s completely ridiculous and over the top.  You’ve probably already heard this.  You already know about all the cameos and how great Michael Cera is in his five minutes of screen time. So just go see it, you don’t need a review!

“What is this?! You can’t even write 100 words about it after reaming Man of Steal for 700???!!!!” Sorry! I just don’t think there’s much that needs to be said about This is the End.  Everyone should just go experience it for themselves.  You’ll enjoy it!

8.4

You’ll probably have a better time seeing This is the End than you would seeing Man of Steel.  Thought it would be the opposite.


[1] Spielberg has got to be the pioneer of this executive producer business and record holder of most-producer-credits-without-ever-doing-any-work-on-the-film-whatsoever awards.

[2] Do we qualify Amy Adams as hot? After some discussion with my buddy Tyler, the answer is an unenthusiastic yes…I think.

[3] Are you sick of me raving about the Dark Knight trilogy yet? I don’t care. I’ll defend it to the grave.

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