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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Man of Steel (Spoilers)

Let’s start by setting the scene. As you all know by now, I consider myself a nerd. Does that mean I have read every piece of canon work to all of the DC and Marvel comic characters and I am familiar with everything? Absolutely not. But I have developed a sense of the fictional characters that have been my heroes throughout my life as a child raised on cartoons, comic books, movies, and video games. Therefore, as a disclaimer, this movie review is done by me and not an objective or professional movie reviewer.

Phantom Menace 3D glasses what up

Phantom Menace 3D glasses what up

With that being said, I am actually somewhat picky when it comes to “recent” superhero moviesespecially the blockbusters. I did not like any of the five recent X-Men movies except First Class. All 3 Spiderman movies were trash. I enjoyed but wasn’t thrilled with Nolan’s Batman series. Superman Returns was far from great. The Incredible Hulk’s were incredibly lacking. Punisher was solid but its sequel wasn’t appealing enough for me to watch it. Iron Man‘s star made the movies enjoyable although I had a lot of issues with all three, especially the second one. Ghost Rider was awful but entertaining, the sequel never even got a chance. Green Lantern was similar. And I actually really enjoyed Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers. Did I forget any? I’m neglecting the older Batman movies, Superman movies, Supergirl, actually… now that I think about I could list a hundred superhero movies so this paragraph ends now and might find itself continued in a new post. (Because Blade, Spawn, and Hellboy will not be ignored)

Essentially, I have not been thrilled with many adaptations. And a lot of it is just a feeling… while a lot is me nitpicking these characters and story lines I know so well. I tried not to do that in Man of Steel and I tried so hard to not enjoy it because the reviews have been so on the fence after I was so ridiculously pumped for it for months and months. They made such a tremendous trailer and it seemed that they dropped the ball on the main project. However, I don’t completely agree after seeing it.

I think that Henry Cavill has the ability of being the Superman we need and deserve. It wasn’t completely evident in this film as Snyder and Nolan applied their darkness that cast over the Dark Knight and Watchmen. I feel that darkness doesn’t belong with Superman compared to the others but I’m being open to their effort. Amy Adams did an admirable job as well. I think the casting and acting all in all was good. All four of Clark’s/Kal’s parents really stole the show in my book, and I was questionable about Kevin Costner ahead of time. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack, which removed John Williams’ iconic Superman March for the first time in decades, was spectacular and fit the movie perfectly. The sets and CGI for Krypton and Earth were stunning visuals. However, the movie, as a movie and as an interpretation of Superman was a steady downhill in my book.

Let me say that I did enjoy this movie tremendously. It might be my favorite Superman movie yet, even if the original movies are an overall better package. I would hope they make this a trilogy in order to fix some issues that I have, otherwise, this movie will lose points over the years. Clark Kent and Lois Lane first met in 1933 when Action Comics #1 was written. It was released in 1938. For 75 years their romance has been the most prominent in comic books and arguably in popular culture. This movie was seriously lacking that romantic spark and chemistry and it will be up to the team that led this project to develop that further in the sequels. While I don’t mind changing Clark’s background that much (All-American football star vs. the kid that was always bullied, etc.), I do mind the fact that they changed who Superman is so early on in a potential series.

man-of-steel-poster

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS INCOMING

Superman does not kill. He said it himself when he killed the only person he has ever killed in 75 years. At that point, Lois comforted him and he reacted with that iconic line. In this movie, when a similar event occurred, they moved on quickly like it never happened. This is a monumental change in who Superman is. He would not ignore a city being completely destroyed and millions dying in order to continue a punching contest with one person. He does this only to snap his neck in the end? All of Superman’s powers and he simply breaks a neck with a headlock instead of trying to not kill. I hope they aren’t recreating the character completely and are rather plotting a series where it will take many trials and tribulations for Superman to develop his array of powers. I hope they touch back on this point and how it will haunt him forever to some degree. Killing is not okay and if any superhero embodies that… it’s Superman.

But this happens at the end of the movie! In the beginning, Russell Crowe and a beautiful Krypton provide us (or at least me) with a tear-jerking early origin story. The flashbacks that compliment his current endeavors are not accurate to the story completely but they continue to build the man who is Superman. It gives a look into his origin on Earth with the Kents in Smallville, by having memories in his thirty year old form triggered by things that he sees. As the movie progresses, however, it gets worse in every way. The action picks up but mostly to the degree of lots of punching and loud noises. This culminates with Superman yelling a lot as he flies around the world and runs through machines and aliens with his fists. Back to the Zod point I made earlier.

Nevertheless, the beginning was so tremendous that my overall feeling for this movie was positive. Perry White’s antics, Jor-El in the escape scene and Superman’s crash landing provide comic relief. Clark’s moments with his mother provide joy and warmth. And his scenes with Lois have small hints of romance and chemistry. Thus, that feeling could become more positive if they develop their romance, his life at the Daily Planet, the development of his powers, introduce exciting new villains (there are many) and show that Superman thinks that killing is not okay.

This could be a great jumping off point for a trilogy. And while Henry Cavill may never be the Superman that Christopher Reeves was, he could still be the one this reboot deserves. Hungry gives this a double thumbs up, with potential for more (or less) depending on sequels or deleted scenes. (A date with Lois or a grieving scene of his murdering of Zod would make this movie VERY amazingly good for me.) I do very much so want a sequel. Sorry, this was not organized and was just me speaking my mind.

Try to watch movies but make sure to stay hungry and fit if you do!

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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Star Trek Into Darkness

Either one of us could have and wanted to write this movie review, but our hectic schedule recently it fell onto my shoulders. With that being said, I am pleased and almost even honored to be able to review this movie. I have seen all of the previous Star Trek feature films in the franchise although I remember some better than others. I have seen most of the original series, nearly all of The Next Generation, most of Deep Space Nine, all of Voyager, and nearly none of Enterprise. I have attended some minor conventions but I do not consider myself a Trekkie.

Honestly, I was usually forced or felt obligated to be so involved in the Star Trek universe because my father and brother were such large fans. I believe that my brother knows more about Star Trek than nearly anyone but all of those hours I spent watching him play every Star Trek video game led to my own absurd knowledge on the subject. That is why I feel that I am a capable critic for this movie. I am objective because I never loved the series but I am knowledgeable because of my vast experience in the field.

Alana loves the team that created 2009’s Star Trek because they also brought her Lost. She is a huge fan of the first movie and was far more excited than I was about this sequel. The first point I would like to make is that the soundtrack is stellar. It utilizes themes from previous movies and television shows but remasters them. This brings about a very nice nostalgic atmosphere for fans old and new. The soundtrack also fit the context of the movie perfectly and was honestly what I feel was the most successful element of the movie. Special effects, makeup, costumes, and sets were all very streamlined and stylized compared to what was offered decades ago. It accomplished this effect, for me, without diverging too far from being authentic.

The original crew returned and continued to provide solid performances. Zachary Quinto was phenomenal. Chris Pine was good. Simon Pegg provided great comic relief. JJ Abrams was successful in many ways and it is reflected by critic reviews, box office numbers, and some fanboys’ feelings.

Here is my only qualm and it is a major spoiler so please do not continue if you are a Star Trek fan who is familiar with the back story… the WAY back story. Cumberbatch was perfect as Harrison but he is not Kahn. He did not live up to Ricardo Moltoban’s performance in what is widely seen as the best film of the series. They completely ignored the back story and history of the most prominent individual villain in Star Trek, period. Luckily, it did not take away from the context of the movie that Abram’s built. All of these successes, mixed with solid plot twists supported by a misleading trailer, make Star Trek Into Darkness as one of the most entertaining entries in the series. I would rank it in my top 5 all time of the 12 total choices. Off the top of my head, my list would look as follows.

1. The Wrath of Kahn – The greatest villain in the series creates the Enterprise’s greatest challenge.

2. A Voyage Home – Childhood memories and a comedic self-reflecting take make this one enjoyable.

3. First Contact – A powerful race tries to assimilate humanity as TNG crew fights back.

4. Star Trek – The series reboot provides fresh faces and style as Star Trek “enters pop-culture.”

5. Star Trek Into Darkness – Arguably the greatest back to back delivery, depending on how you feel about The Search for Spock.

6. A Search for Spock – Nimoy’s directorial debut takes Star Trek further outside its box and ties together two great films.

7-12. Final Frontier and Undiscovered Country were enjoyable as a child but were not more than that. Generations fail to capitalize on its title’s concept. Nemesis loses fans as it fails to achieve blockbuster status. Insurrection is nothing more than a bright mess. The Motion Picture bores all with its symbolic and body-less villain.

Watch Star Trek Into Darkness Online

We may go back and watch the classics again because it’s been so long and Alana hasn’t seen them all but from my memory that is how the list stands. Whether you’re a movie fan, a Trekkie, someone like me, or just someone looking for a good time, I highly recommend you go out to theaters and watch Star Trek Into Darkness.