Nazi Julie Andrews (breakattiffanys) wrote,
Nazi Julie Andrews
breakattiffanys

Man of Steel + Before Midnight Reviews



Well at least there's this asshole...

Man of Steel

Pros:

1. Henry Cavill - not only was he extremely delicious but he did a great job as Clark/Superman. A character like this would've suffered had they gotten a super actor-y guy like Christian Bale for the part. Cavill was just a natural, his sincerity came off as genuine and charming, his physical presence is just ridiculous and he makes for a very very likable Clark Kent. I have a lot of confidence in how he will handle the role in sequels. Unfortunately he wasn't allowed to shine as much as he could have because the screenplay just doesn't have much life to it. There were also moments when I swore he looked exactly like Reeves, it was a bit scary. I grew up on the Reeves film, Superman was my favorite superhero by far, so I was very happy to see Cavill do this role justice.

2. The Dads and Martha Kent - Other than Clark Kent, the two more important and well-written characters were Jor-El and Jonathan Kent. Both Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner bring fantastic warmth and command to their roles, despite somewhat thin writing. Plus Crowe's accent at least helped mask how terrible the dialogue was at times. Diane Lane was also very good as Martha; the old make up maybe a little unconvincing at times but the scene at the school with Clark hiding in the janitor's closet was very strong.

3. The 1st half of the film - I really liked the early parts, other than the Krypton parts that was a little too long and got bogged down by nonsense. The stuff with Clark as a child, trying to balance his identity, fitting in, etc. That was some good stuff. The young actor was quite good and it also gives us the only truly powerful moment which is the school bus scene. I personally find the best Superman moments to be when he performs amazing feats to save people. I don't really have that much interest in seeing him punch other superpeople 50 feet over and over again. The "wow" factor of Superman to me is when he's lifting the oil rig so the workers can get to safety or Christopher Reeves catching that helicopter.

4. A lot of potential for a great sequel - This is a very talented cast, you have a perfectly cast Superman and the production team is the cream of the crop. I'm still not a huge fan of Snyder's action style but whatever, I don't particularly blame him for this. All it needs is a stronger screenplay next time around and you could have a true masterpiece.

5. The trailer - If there was an oscar for best marketing, this movie would win. The trailer was amazing but unfortunately pretty much contained all the good parts of the film.


Cons:

1. Goyer's writing - This one is really unforgivable. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn't have done a re-write on this awful script. Just get Jonathan Nolan with this thing in a room for 2 hours and you'd probably get a pretty decent result. As it is though, Goyer's writing is truly amateur. He's a okay ideas man, I do like some of the themes and motifs going on here but holy shit does his dialogue suck. It has no wit, no life, it's literally just to get the plot moving, it doesn't give us much character development. There's nothing memorable about this script at all. It tried very hard to be Nolan-esque but it fails. You need an actual Nolan to write this thing, not a cheap knock-off!

2. Lois Lane - I love Lois/Clark. As I said, I grew up on the old Superman films and the animated series and that Lois & Clark show with Terri Hatcher and Dean Cain. This is one of my favorite relationships. That said, I felt like this movie wasn't quite ready for Lois yet. It's Superman's origin story and I just felt like Lois should've waited for the next film. What I loved about the Lois/Clark relationship was the duality between their kind of screwball relationship as fellow reporters contrasted with Lois' swooning of Superman. I do think this film would've benefited from using Lana Lang first, sort of like the Gwen Stacy of the series. It certainly would've connected the childhood flashbacks better instead of how they used Lois in this film. With Lois, the romance suffers a lot from "too little/too fast", which is like what happened with Thor/Jane as well. I see a spark there but I'm not seeing epic love like the movie wants us to believe. I think Adams does a good job with what she's given but it's again one of those roles where you wonder why this great actress is doing in such a thankless part. The character development is very thin even for the most important characters so it's very hard to judge the chemistry between her and Cavill. It's very different from what we're used to seeing with Lois/Clark but I can't really make a call until they actually gives us some real meat to this relationship.

3. The villains - This is more of a "meh" for me cause I do love Michael Shannon and the actress who played his sidekick was honestly quite good and a real highlight, but yeah, I found the whole villain thing to be dull and senseless. I did like that he had a real motive for once but so much of it just didn't make a shred of sense to me. The final battle was anti-climatic and I also felt like at no point was the villain truly in danger of being in control and getting what he wanted.

4. The action - I really hate this type of action. I felt like it was just one crumbling building after another and they were just going down like they were sandcastles, and then Superman's fighting these giant tentacle things in the ocean that just bored the living crap out of me and then there's a bunch of fights between Superman and the other Kryptonians that just get dull and desensitizing after a few minutes. It also felt like it had no sense of real space. It looked like a bunch of guys in front of a green screen rolling around. It didn't have any weight of the real world behind it. There wasn't a single cheer-worthy moment. I mean, look at it this way. The Avengers had overblown action scenes too but that final battle had so much character development, was fun, witty and took the time to use its character in the right way. When the Hulk shows up and is in control and kicks some serious ass, you were totally swept up in the moment. I was just bored with these action scenes cause there was no creativity, it was like every other disaster movie where a major city gets destroyed and apparently all the people have magically cleared out of the city so the building can come down without having to deal with death on a massive scale.

5. Product placement overload - Smallville has gone full retail! There's not 1, not 2 but 3 fights that take place at retail venues! An IHOP, a 7/11 and a Sears. Yep. I mean at least in one of the Donner films when Superman crashed into a Coca Cola sign, it was actually kind of fun but this was just ridiculous. I couldn't even take the movie seriously at that point.

6. Hans Zimmer's score - This was very disappointing, especially after that amazing trailer score, I thought we were going to get more of that in the film. Nope, that theme does not even show up until the end credits and all we're left with in the film is a bunch of rehashed Batman themes.

Overall, I'm kind of neutral on Snyder's direction cause my big problem was with the screenplay so I can't really blame Snyder for having to work with this piece of shit writing. I really applaud all the actors for giving it their 100% and having to deliver these awful lines. I am still glad it's doing very well at the box office and I hope they can find a better balance between action and character development in the sequels. But seriously, get rid of Goyer asap. Grade: C+/B-


Before Midnight

I'm not even doing a pro/con list cause this movie is all pros. lol. Easily the best film of the year, no contest. If you had any attachment at all to this series, this movie will be a delightful emotional roller coaster ride. Hawke and Delpy have literally inhabited these characters so well that it's probably become second nature. There may be a few controversial points but I found them to be very effective. The location is beautiful, the screenplay completely charming and believable, and I did enjoy the other characters in the film as well besides Jesse and Celine. Grade: A+




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