Archive for June, 2013

20
Jun
13

Man Of Steel (Superman) Movie Review (Spoilers)

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OK, I decided to wait a week to post my review until I read other reviews, feedback and other media takes about this new re-imagined version of the the Superman. Before I go on notice that i said “re-imagined”. Take a chill pill and remember this as I go on.

First off. I did not want a new Superman film. I was over it. Superman Returns was fun, but not what I wanted from a new Superman movie. My problem with all of the Superman films is that the origins and basic storylines were all the same. Same backstory, same bad guy, same, same, and oh yeah same boring predictable Superman lore. Boring. I liked what the TV show Smallville did cause it was a “re-imagined” take on young Clark and the lead into the Superman mythology. But Superman Returns was a rehash with over the top Lex as the bad guy, blah blah blah, oh and Superkid.

As I said, I didn’t want another Superman movie. When I first saw the trailers for Man of Steel, I couldn’t care less, which surprised me cause I care alot about seeing all superhero movies. I expected a similar background and current plot from Zack Snyder and Dark Knight collaborators Nolan & Goyer. I didn’t want to see Man of Steel, until I learned that Michael Shannon was playing bad guy General Zod. This peaked my interest because I’ve become a huge fan of his work over this past year. Please check out my movie review of Michael Shannon’s other little known movie out now called “The Iceman” here: https://spartanphoenix.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/the-ice-man-movie-review-best-movie-no-one-is-watching/

The Iceman is one of my favorite movies this year.

As for Man of Steel, I am happy to say this “re-imagined” version of Superman was a great big breath of fresh air, and it completely caught me off gaurd on how much I liked this refreshing new take on this superhero. For those of you who have your panties in bunch because of how much it strayed from the original origins and that Superman broke his own golden rule and killed someone on purpose, take a breath and listen to me here.

First off, this was a “re-imagined” take on the old tired out story of this Kryptonian legend. There’s that word again, “re-imagined”. Let’s dissect this, and start with the biggest issue most people have with this new film. In the final battle, Clark as Superman kills General Zod in a fit of anger, to finally put this bad guy down and end his terror of destruction. Ask yourself, why does Superman pledge to not kill anyone? There are many past origin stories that shed light on Superman’s golden rule. Well, in Man of Steel, I believe, we are seeing why Clark AKA Superman, will never kill again, on purpose. With his understanding of humanity and his Kryptonian heritage and his one time brief loss of control in this new dark take on the Superman lore, and not to mention the depressing current state of world affairs, Superman, will NOW not take anymore lives. This new version of the film had to bring Superman to his “emotional knees” to understand the value of human life, by taking the life of a Kryptonian one, even as bad as Zod was. This is what I took from the film. And thats why this movie is a “re-imagined” version.

I think that majority of fans that are upset with most of the changes to the origin and Superman golden rule, were expecting the same old back story and not open to change. They wanted the traditional take on the same old story. Relax my nerdy fans! When it comes to “re-imagined” takes on past beloved superheroes, don’t go into the movie thinking “the movie better be as good as the book” mentality. You have to separate the emotion of the books, comics, past movies, etc and go in with an open mind to change, This is my biggest issue with most nerdy superhero movie snobs. 

Back to Man of Steel. I really enjoyed the new take on Supermans back story as a young man trying to find himself as he lends a hand helping to save human lives on the way. I liked how Lois Lane, searches out this “hero loner” doing good deeds and finds out who he really is. My favorite part of the back story was learning that Kryptonians sent out colonization probe ships while looking to expand their race across space and galaxies. I thought it was cool that one of these was discovered on Earth and in a way forced Clark to come to grips of what action he must take to protect Earth and become Superman.

The other thing I really liked about this film is that Metropolis finally gets its ass kicked big time! The destruction to this huge city was astronomical. Twice and maybe three times as much damage that New York got in The Avengers. The destruction of Metropolis did get out of hand, but at least you saw the magnitude of how big this city really is. I didn’t care, it was awesome!!!! It was also interesting that Zod wanted Clark’s blood, literally as it was the key to his master plan, of a master Kryptonian race.

I liked the cast too. It was nice to see Superman fight with General Zod’s cronies in Smallville, which also got messed up as well. The movie was paced well and the script was smooth and entertaining. The movie did have a lack of humor, only because it was a darker take on the Superman story. Henry Cavill was awesome as Clark & Superman. Great casting! Like I said, this new movie was very entertaining for me, on all levels. In my opinion, its the best Superman movie yet. Yep I said, take it and like it!

My only problem with the movie is, what’s next? The destruction and power of Zod was so big, its hard to see what can beat Superman next time. I’m sure the sequel will introduce Lex and another baddie. As well as expose more weaknesses for Clark AKA Superman in some green form? Or will it be a “re-imagined” weakness? Either way, I can’t wait for the sequel!

By the way, this movie was awesome in 3D IMAX!!!!!

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13
Jun
13

Now You See Me Movie Review

Plot:
Four magicians each answer a mysterious summons to an obscure address with secrets inside. A year later, they are the Four Horseman, big time stage illusionists who climax their sold out Las Vegas show with a bank apparently robbed for real. This puts agents Dylan Rhodes of the FBI and Alma Vargas of Interpol on the case to find out how they did it.

This was a fun movie with a great big cast with fun personalities. It’s funny and the stage shows are big and showy. I liked it too cause it was nice to see a Zombieland reunion with Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. There was a lot of fun banter between the cast as the script showed how well it was written.

The movie had a fun heist film drama too it. It also had a “Catch Me If You Can” feel to it too. From the beginning the movie keeps you guessing. My only problem was the storyline was too “scripted”. Everything fell into place too well. Still, the movie was a fun ride and fun to watch.

It’s a good movie to see in the theater cause it lends well to the feel of the film. I recommend this film!

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05
Jun
13

After Earth Movie Review

Plot: A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.

Many people have scorned M. Night Shyamalan for his recent work. Probably because most of his recent work over the past 10 years has sucked. His last good movies in my opinion has been Unbreakable and Signs. It’s interesting that his recent movies don’t promote his name anymore, with good reason I guess.

Also, Will Smith had taken heat for leading his son to his pet movie projects, which I don’t have a problem with. I actually enjoyed the Karate Kid remake, it just should had been called Kung Fu Kid.

After Earth brings an M. Night & Will Smith collaboration together. Well the movie wasn’t bad. I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t expect to like it. Well I did like it. It’s not a great movie, trust me on that. But I did enjoy the ride.

Will Smith may not be a guarantee block buster movie draw like he used to be. But I still enjoy most if his movie choices. However I won’t forgive him for Seven Pounds, I want my money back for that piece of crap. I liked both Will and his son Jayden’s role in After Earth. There is a part of me pulling for Jayden Smith and his movie career. He’s got a good teacher, and I hope he realizes how lucky he is.

After Earth had an interesting plot and future look to it. I only wish there was more family and history back story. The movie gave you a glimpse into this, but not enough for my taste.

This movie is worth a see. But ….. see a matinee or wait for video. In the meantime Will Smith, please please give me Bad Boys 3!!!!! You need to complete this trilogy!

Oh, and M. Night, keep NOT promoting yourself, and let others write for your directing roles, for now, until you come out of your funk. You can help do the screenplays, just let someone else come up the story, like Will Smith did for After Earth.

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05
Jun
13

The Ice Man Movie Review / Best Movie No One Is Watching

Plot: The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.

This is one of the best movies in the theaters now that no one is seeing or talking about. I hope to change this. It’s getting lost in the Hollywood manufactured blockbusters.

This movie is based on a true story and the real life jail interview of convicted killer or hire Richard Kuklinski. This movie is based on a tell all book and a jail interview done with Kuklinski called “The Iceman Interviews” in 2003. I remember seeing this documentary several years ago and being mesmerized by the first hand dirty deeds that Kuklinski admitted too. If you get a chance I recommend you searching out this video and watching it for yourself. It is believed that Kuklinski has killed over 100 people. Most of which he couldn’t be connected to.

As for the movie, this new flick The Iceman, it really delivers on all parts. If you’re a fan of the mob movie genre, you will be pleased.

Lets start with the cast. Lead actor Michael Shannon nails the cold lying killer role of Kuklinski to the tee! He commands the screen at all times. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Michael Shannon’s work, you won’t be soon. For my nerdy friends you will know him as baddy General Zod in the new Superman “Man of Steal” 2013 movie by director Zack Snyder coming out soon. Michael can also be seen as a regular in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as Agent Nelson. Michael is a great character actor. I especially liked him as Kim Fowley, the producer who launched the ultimate all girl punk band in the movie “The Runaways”. Michael Shannon has become one of my favorite actors, I wish him more successes, he deserves it.

The rest of the cast of The Iceman deserves mad props too! Winona Ryder plays Kuklinski’s unknowing wife. Ray Liotta plays an mob under boss. Robert Davi (best remembered as the Goonies gangster) plays a cool old school mobster. David Schwimmer (Friends) who is unrecognizable in his part (until he speaks) has a key role. But my favorite supporting cast member is Mr. Freezy played (and also unrecognizable) by Chris Evans, also known by my nerdy friends as the current Captain America! Chris Evans really gets to work on his acting chops in this movie. He’s one cool creepy dude in this flick. Other notables with cool parts is James Franco and Stephen Dorff.

Like I said, I believe this movie delivered on all parts, acting, script, costumes, sets, props and the music. The movie does a great job recreating New York & New Jersey from the 1960’s through the early 80’s. If you look closely in the back ground in one scene you can see the original World Trade Center Towers nearing completion in one scene.

As for Israeli born director Ariel Vromen, I’m not familiar with his recent work. He’s only got about six films under his professional directors belt. But his direction in The Iceman was superb. I hope he an Michael Shannon get some Oscar or Golden Globe attention. Check this film out now! It’s a breath of fresh air and an awesome dramatic ride!

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01
Jun
13

Hangover Part 3 Movie Review

Plot: After Chow escapes prison, the Wolfpack is forced to find Chow for a gangster with a vendetta.

“This is the end” Says the tag line for this movie. But I’m sure, where’s there’s money to be made, there will be a fourth installment.

Overall I thought this movie was, well OK. Trust me, it made me laugh at times. This movie should be called “Chow’s Return co-staring Alan”. This movie mostly focuses on Chow & Alan’s characters. Which isn’t a bad thing cause when they get together it is funny. But the rest of the Wolfpack does get overshadowed.

John Goodman plays the gangster looking for Chow. He was ok, but his character reminded me of a lesser version of his iconic character in The Big Lebowski. There was a return of a few characters from the first and second movies that help tie the character development together.

I don’t wanna spend too much time on this review. It’s worth seeing out of curiosity if you wanna see what happens to these characters. But this movie is only worth a cheaper matinee theater visit or wait for video.

Don’t leave too soon as the credits roll by the way, there is a final scene to see near the beginning of the credits.

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