Showing posts from June, 2013

Man of Steel

Man of Steel is of course the newest Superman film, and it is a reboot of the series. It stars Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon.With a fresh face in the Superman Role, and a new director at the helm, is this the film to reignite the franchise?

Clark Kent is a man searching for who he is, he knows he isn't from earth, but doesn't know where he is from. Once he finally discovers that he is from the planet Krypton and why he was sent to Earth, an invasion of Earth by General Zod forces him to finally reveal himself to the world. The question on the worlds mind: is this person a threat to our way of life? The question on Clark's mind: can I trust these humans?

The directing of the film was great, and was a real departure from what Zack Snyder has done in the past. While the tone is certainly one he is familiar with as his other comic book film "Watchmen" did have a darker tone. He certainly didn't use his trademark slow motion in this f…

Hansel and Gretel:Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch hunters is an interesting twist on the classic fairy tale. It stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen. It caught my interest with its plot and a tone darker than most fantasy films have. In a time where making movies based on fantasy films seem to be all the rage, This one stood out with its creativity and I decided to give it a watch.

The story is that after Hansel and Gretel killed the witch they met as kids, they grow up to be witch hunters. They discover a witch who is cooking up something sinister and only they can stop her. As it turns out she is also the most powerful witch they've ever fought and might be too much for them to handle. During the film they discover things about their past and gain some allies along the way.

The plot was a nice departure from more recent fantasy films which seem to be straight forward by the book and very bland adaptations. The fact that they took a well known story and added a twist on it was what hook…

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows is a 2012 Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Eva Green. A remake of the 1966 television series of the same name, it is a dark comedy / fantasy film set in 1972. Now the question is, was it any good?

Barnabas Collins is a vampire who has been trapped in a coffin in the ground for 200 years. After being freed from his prison by some construction workers, he returns to his family estate to find his family is dysfunctional and in need of his help. Along the way we discover how he came to be a vampire, who trapped him in the coffin and why as well as see him find a love interest.

Now the direction of this film isn't really what I've come to expect from Tim Burton. It wasn't really as outlandish and stylistic as his previous films, for example BeetleJuice. Also unlike other Burton films I expect there to be a little more fun and drive from it. Here its just like getting a present all wrapped up in flashy paper, but fi…

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Bio-pics are usually something I don't enjoy. In my opinion they either are too depressing as they only focus on the time when the persons life was at its darkest, or they turn into a history lesson. With Tucker: The Man and His Dream, its the complete opposite. While some of the details are changed, such as the time frame and number of children he had, the story mirrors the real life events as best as they could and still make an entertaining film.

Plot Summary: The true story of Preston Tucker, the innovative automobile designer, who was frustrated, and ultimately destroyed, in his efforts to manufacture the perfect American car in the years following World War II.

The plot I found to be thoroughly enjoyable, and it was still educational in the fact that you learned about the man and the story of the roadblocks that were put in front of his dream. The film strikes a balance between focusing on Tucker and his car, though sometimes it is unbalanced in my eyes. Despite this it cer…

Superman Week: Superman Returns

Superman Returns is a very polarizing film. You either love it or hate it, and when it came out in 2006 some people liked it and some didn't. While I wasn't a part of either side, I enjoyed it for what it was at the time. Has my opinion of this film changed over the last 7 years? Lets take a look.

Plot Summary: After 5 years in space, looking for the remains of planet Krypton, Superman returns to Earth. He misses Lois Lane, who lives with Richard White and has a son. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor plots an evil plan, using crystals he stole from the Fortress of Solitude, to create a new land and submerge the USA.

The film's plot is one of the most criticized that I have seen. Most people have an issue with it, specifically with Superman showing more emotion than ever before. To me that's what makes this story shine. One of the most often criticized things about Superman is that he is too powerful, in that he can't be hurt unless kryptonite is involved, and he also doesn…

Superman Week:Superman 4: The Quest For Peace

By the time Superman 4 began production, a new studio had the rights to it. Cannon films, notorious for their low budget films had purchased the rights for the series. Without a script for a film and their only desire was to have Christopher Reeve reprise the title role. He admittedly didn't want to play the role after the treatment of the character in Superman 3, even calling it an insult to fans. As part of the deal for him to return was he would have input on the films story. How well did it turn out? lets take a look.

Plot Summary: Superman tries to save the world from nuclear destruction at the hands of Lex Luthor. In a speech to the United Nations, Superman declares he will rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Arch-villain Luthor emerges from prison obsessed with killing Superman and creates an adversary known as Nuclear Man . The two engage in a fight to the finish in various landmarks on Earth before taking their battle into outer space.

The plot, despite having a decent…

Superman Week: Superman III

Superman 3 is one of the oddest films I've ever seen. It stars Christopher Reeve once again playing Superman and Richard Pryor as Gus Gorman. I say its odd as instead of it being a Superman film with Richard Pryor, it feels more like a Richard Pryor film featuring Superman.

Plot Summary: Wealthy businessman Ross Webster discovers the hidden talents of Gus Gorman, a mischievous computer genius. Ross decides to abuse his talents, in a way to help Webster with his plans for economic control. When the man of steel interferes, something must be done. When Gus' synthetic Kryptonite fails to kill Superman, it turns him in an evil incarnation of his former self.

The plot has the potential to be good, and bits of it were entertaining. My issue with the story is it focused too much on Pryor's character. It wasn't a horrible plot though and it did had its moments. Had it focused more on the corrupted Superman subplot I would have found it a great deal more entertaining. Hell the…

Superman Week: Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut

You may have been wondering why I said "this version of the film" at points in the Superman 2 review. Well that's because there are in fact 2 versions of this film. Overall they do tell the same story and the acting is the same. I wont go on into a full in depth review of it, just say why I feel it's the superior version . So lets take a look at Superman 2: The Richard Donner cut.

Let me say first that if you do view this version, you have to be a little forgiving and can't be too critical of some things. There are cases where there were bits of Lester's film used along side Donner's footage in order to make a complete story. There were also some things that Donner wanted in the film which he never got to shoot except for a screen test, which was used. If you can get past that and the points where you'll notice some minor inconsistencies such as change in a characters hair and Clark's glasses, you should be able to enjoy this film.

One of the thi…

Superman Week: Superman II

Superman 2 is an interesting case of not only a film being as good if not a little better than its predecessor but also having a major change in production. when around 75% of the film was shot, Richard Donner left  the production. After Donner's exit, Richard Lester took over and had to shoot much of the film over again in order to receive directors credit. How well did this work? It turned out one of the better film sequels ever made, but its not without its faults.

Plot Summary: Three criminals from the planet Krypton, General Zod, Ursa and Nod,  are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane, who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals.

The plot of the film is really richer than most people would give it credit for. It also has a big lesson that sometimes t…

Superman Week: Superman The movie

With The Man of Steel coming out this Friday, I thought it would be a good chance to look back at the past Superman films beginning with Superman The Movie and going all the way to Superman Returns. Lets jump right in to it and see how the worlds most well known superhero has fared on the silver screen.

Superman The Movie was the first big budget take on a superhero film. In a lot of ways its the blueprint of the modern comic book movie, and in some eyes still the standard for them. It featured an unknown actor by the name of Christopher Reeve in the title role as well as some well known actors including Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando. 

Plot Summary: An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest super-hero.

The plot is pretty standard for a superhero movie and gives us the Superman story from the start. What I love about it though is how smooth and not drawn out it was on screen. Normally the character w…