Movie Review: Superman – Man Of Steel

By OckyDub | Posted Jun 16 2013 | 20 Comments  

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Cypher Avenue Rating: 3 of 5      

I have been an avid comic book fan and reader for over 25 years.   Comics helped me with my reading at a younger age.  They allowed me to escape and travel beyond the stars.  They gave me forward thinking visions to imagine variant earths that could be; either threatened with evil or saved and protected with super powered good. Marvel Comics was always my favorite. They were cutting edge and their subject matter was by far ahead of its time. DC comics was a little bit to “boy scout-ish” and conservative.  Many of their characters were clean cut and straight laced.  Even though they evolved, I was already a loyal Marvel Comics fan boy.

I didn’t realize how they spoiled me.  I had already seen unparalleled creativity on glossy pages.  Fight sequences filled with non-stop action and believable physical outcomes. This was all driven by thought provoking and complex stories that fixated me to the margins of the pages.  The real world that was right beyond my peripheral vision did not exist.

Being that I was exposed to and grew up with this world, viewing live action Hollywood movies in their attempts of action was always a disappointment.  True, Asian Kung Fu cinematics feed my unfulfilled imagination with their gravity defying feats; I still knew what existed in print.  Chiseled bodies, unimaginable strength and power, living and housed in capes and tights. This is the reason why I am so critical when I see a lack of creativity in certain media…Exhale.


 

I knew there was hope. When the Wachowskis brothers filled my senses with the Matrix, it took my mental breath away.  Finally, someone captured the essence of comic book panes filled with action and gave it a real world cinematic name; “bullet time”.  The comic book martial arts laced Matrix, let me know that others shared my pain and understood my joy. The Matrix Reloaded surpassed, revolutionized and will forever be timeless.  Neo was a human super hero in an imagined world, well you know the rest.The first and second Batman movies and the first and second Dark Knight movies satisfied me even though Bruce is a human being.  Spawn, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four and Priest were complete fuckery. The two Hulk movies showed me what was possible. Oh the let downs and shrugs of my stupid cinematic super hero high hopes.  All the X-Men movies for me were horrible with the exception of First Class in which the story was cool but the action was very network TV-ish.  I did enjoy the “Night Crawler” sequence in the second X-Men film.  The second Spiderman with Dr. Octopus was fun but the first; third and the reboot were a yawn.  The DC and Marvel animated films are by far superior in almost every way.The origin films, Iron Man 1 (Yes I enjoyed it), Wolverine, Thor, Caption America, Green Lantern all seemed like they were just going through the motion of generating money for the production and film companies…sigh.Finally The Avengers got it right but for me there was still an element that was lacking true comic book action.

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Enter Superman: Man Of Steel

For some reason in 2013 no one knows the origin of Superman, thus Man of Steel needs to tell the story.  For me the scenes and story on Krypton at the beginning of the movie are far more interesting than the remaining story of Kal-El becoming Superman; however one can’t exist without the other in an origin story. I could have done without at least an hour and a half of this movie.

Why?  Because for the most part, this is not a good movie; however it is a new incarnation of Superman that works.  Henry Carvill is the new perfect Superman. Finally there is an actor who physically embodies the characteristics of Kal-El from head to toe.


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Acting wise the stand outs are Russell Crowe (Jor-El), Kevin Costner (Pa Kent) and Antje Traue (Faora Hu-Ul, a minion of Gen. Zod).  Everyone else…meh, particularly the “Pam” from the TV show The Office reject that was Louis Lane. Since when has Louis been a red head?

 
The Jesus Christ Super Star Superman references throughout the movie were disgusting.  From Supes in one scene with his arms spread out like he was on the crucifix to him actually seating in a church pew with a white Jesus directly next to his head for an extended period of time.  The symbolism that Zack Snyder attempts force upon the viewing audience is annoying.  Dude, your personal faith should in no way be attached to an iconic comic book character that is Superman, especially being that his original creators were Jewish.  I can go on and on about how bad the movie was but I would whether tell you about how great the action cinematics in the movie were.

The Evolution Of Super Hero Action

PictureThe Faora Hu-Ul, Non and Kal-El’s fight…EPIC!Man Of Steel has set the bar.  All other superhero fight sequences going forward should use this as a bench mark.  It is as if you can feel the power of the super beings as they are throwing down.  The level of detail is unbelievable and completely made this film an enjoyable experience. You get that there is a true sense of destruction that is taking place on an open free flowing environment that is not confined to a green screen. I was back to being consumed by the four corners of the glossy pages of my comic books.  The Avengers New York fight sequences feels confined to the set (it was still great), The Man of Steel’s Smallville fight sequences feels as if you are hiding in your closet or basement for dear life because of the hell that has broken loose and you are waiting for the tornado to pass by outside.


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This is Matrix pushing cinimatics all over again. KUDOS to Zack for giving me comic book action heaven.  The climatic fight with General Zod fails in comparison to the initial fight with Zod’s  Lieutenants (Faora and Non).  Don’t get me wrong, the final scenes with Zod and the level of “city wide” open world destruction still raises the bar for everything else that may come; however there is nothing like the virginity that was lost with the first Superhuman brawling sequence of the movie.Also it must be noted that the costume designs, the creativity behind the technology designs that is used by the Kryptonians, and the cinematography for Man Of Steel is suburb.  It is rare that I am fascinated by images I see on the big screen.Would I recommend this movie?  This is the Superman of the next generation.  It is darker and can help build the DC Movie Comics franchise into finally bringing us a Justice League movie AND it was better than Superman Returns.  I mean who wouldn’t like a Superman with hair on his chest?

PictureI can go either way…go see it in theaters or wait for DVD or Blue Ray.  Regardless you should SEE it and have a healthy respect and appreciation for the action and special effects because they are in my opinion…revolutionary.  I would give Superman: Man Of Steel, 3 out of 5 stars ONLY because of the ground-breaking special effects.I felt as though I was glad the movie has been completed and the first new Superman is over so the DC universe can continue to evolve.  I can smile because it seems like I am getting closer to the perfect comic book super hero movie.  I can feel it.

Did you see the Man of Steel movie?  Tell us your thoughts.


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About the Author
OckyDub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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