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I Want to Spend a Night in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

In Movies on October 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm

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Last night, I was fortunate enough to go to a free screening of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and witness a Q&A following the screening with Jeremy Dawson a producer on the film who has worked with Wes Anderson, the director of the aforementioned film, on several other films as well.

For those of you who don’t know what “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is or who the heck Wes Anderson is, let me enlighten you. This movie contains within it three stories. The most important and lavish story, is the one that contains young Zero Mustafah, played by Tony Reveolori, who is the Lobby Boy for the hotel and M. Gustave, played by Ralph Fiennes, who is the concierge for the hotel. These two meet after M. Gustave has an unusual encounter with Madame D., played by Tilda Swinton, who appears to believe that her life is in danger. What befalls after that includes an advernture involving a henchman, played fantastically by Willem DaFoe as Jopling, and includes Dmitrie, Madam D.’s son, played by Adrien Brody and a long cast containing Harvey Keitel as Prisoner inmate Ludwig, Jeff Goldlbum, as Deputy Kovacs, Edward Norton as Police Chief Henckels, Bill Murray as M. Ivan, Owen Wilson as M. Chuck, and Jason Scwatrzman as M. Jean. Without spoiling the entirety of this brilliant picture, this movie is about love, humanity, and courage in the face of danger. But, you may ask, isn’t just about every movie about something like that? Why, yes it is. However, this movie is also immensely funny and I believe one of the best, if he were to die today, I would say the best We Anderson movie out there. Who is Wes Anderson you ask?

Well he’s a director known for his unusual oddly humorous characters, intense color schemes, fantastic set designs, and mixing humor and drama quite effectively. He’s directed such works as “Rushmore”, “The Royal Tenebaums” and my personal favorite, second, of course to “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”. Mr. Anderson bits and pieces from his prior films to make something authentic and worth seeing in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

The set design for this movie was fantastic and outrageous. The chandeliers, the alley ways, the bakery shop, were all incredibly done and done with such detail. There was also several uses of stop-motion animation throughout the film that were hilarious but still kept the story moving. Revolori and Fiennes were fantastic and I guess what really drew me to enjoying this film was that I liked their relationship. I didn’t care for many of the characters in both “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenebaums” and maybe I wasn’t supposed to but Zero and M. Gustave I enjoyed. I wanted them to succeed. I am also a sucker for a good adventure and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was exactly that. From prison breakouts to infiltrating a priest hood, Zero and M. Gustave had an adventure that they surely will not forget.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” contains the best parts of any Wes Anderson film and it is one that I think people everywhere should watch.

P.S. Also, just something funny to note, the producer revealed to us that Harvey Keitel was so intent upon nailing his prison inmate character, that he spent the night in the East German prison that they filmed it, because, well….he wanted to. There was no heating, no lights, just blankets and warm bodies. Just Harvey Keitel and a few German extras spending the night in an old East German prison. No big deal or anything.

I Wish I Was Here with Zach Braff

In Movies on July 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

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Last Thursday, I had the awesome privilege of seeing “Wish I Was Here” the infamous Kickstarter Zach Braff film that I have followed since its fruition. Many people have viewed Braff’s use of Kickstarter as smart while others have viewed it as overreaching. After seeing this film, I think what Braff did was smart because if he left “the final say” up to anyone else, I don’t believe that the movie would have been nearly as good or as beautiful as it was.

“Wish I was Here” stars Zach Braff as an out of work actor struggling to fulfill his dream while sustaining his marriage wish Sarah, played by Kate Hudson, and being a decent father to Tucker, played by Pierce Gagnon and Grace, played by Joey King. Braff, as Aidan, struggles with his job, his life, and his father, played by Mandy Patinkin, who is equal parts awful and broken. “Wish I was Here” takes place at a point in Adien’s life when a change is necessary, he must rise to the occasion to help deal with his father’s illness while also coming to terms with his children growing up and that his dream of being a star actor may not be obtainable. Hudson, Braff, and Patinkin are excellent in this film and I truly believe Patinkin was the star of this film. His facial expressions and his phrasing made me believe that he truly was the struggling grandfather while Hudson displays sides of her acting strength that I haven’t witnessed in quite some time. Braff is an excellent director/actor/producer within this film. You can feel how much he wanted to make it and how much he loved it, from the perfect song choices to camera angles, to the poem that is read throughout. This movie is tear-jerking and beautiful and I will own it once it comes out on DVD.

See this movie in theaters, support this great film, and go an witness something special for 2 hours. 

The Grandmaster of Confusion

In Movies on January 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm

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I’m back! Yes, after a change in living situation, I am back and writing once again and what an event to write about. Yes, I said event because tonight thanks to my lovely girlfriend, I was able to see a screening of “The Grandmaster” that was followed by a question and answer session with the director Kar Wai Wong and none other then Martin Scorsese. That’s right! That is absolutely right. I saw Martin Casino Scorsese in the flesh! And it was amazing. I have a video and pictures to prove it.

But I digress, this is a movie review site after all and I should review the movie. “The Grandmaster” tells the story of Ip Man who trained Bruce Lee and helped make kung fu what it is today. Tony Leung plays Ip Man and Ziyi Zhang plays his love interest Gong Er. “The Grandmaster” begins in the 30s and ends in the 50s covering the wars and strife that occurred in between, all the while showing the struggles of Ip Man and his lady Gong Er to make kung fu the best that it can possibly be.

This movie begins as one film and ends as another. The first scene involves a series of fights with unknown assailants against, you guessed it, Ip Man. This scene appears to set the tone for how the film will continue, with various fight scenes and some amazing cinematography. But, alas it does not. Half way through the film, it changes from a kung fu action film to a slow paced historical romance, with scenes often dragging on. There are also a few documentary elements thrown in there when individuals on screen have their names written directly below them. It was a bit confusing. The climax fight of this film suffers from this confusion and just falls apart into a bland unexpected fight.

Now, I understand this film should be viewed as what it is, meaning that I wouldn’t compare “Scary Movie” to “The Last of the Mohicans” because both of these films were made for different reasons. This film was made to depict the life of Ip Man which I understand but what the director should have done is shown it either as a historical drama or a kung fu action film. In the beginning, we see Ip Man training and learning various fighting styles similar to that of a Rocky montage and this would have been great if it was solely a kung fu film, but sadly, it wasn’t. The director tried to cover too much in different ways.

I also wish to comment on the way these fight scenes were shot, in that, they were shot in a very unoriginal kung fu style, in that there were close ups of hands, feet, and faces. Now, I understand that these shots were a form of homage to old school kung fu films, however, I personally do not like these shots. I think they take away from the scene as a whole and often come across too quickly and because of this, I have some difficulty following how the fight scenes are occurring. My personal preference for a way to shoot fight scenes were how they were done in “The Raid: Redemption” and “Oldboy”. I love the long continuous shots that encompass everything within the scene. Those type of shots are my absolute favorite because you can see how a fight progresses and just how painful some of the blows actually are.

Conclusion: This movie is a possibly stream-worthy or not even watchable in my opinion. It’s two films pushed together and suffers from this.

But before I leave you, I just want to say that the director Kar Wai Wong was absolutely fantastic and equally hilarious. He put a lot of time and effort into this film and even informed the audience that it took him 3 years to shoot it and that many master of various kung fu schools were involved with the making of this film. Truly inspiring. I’ve included a video clip where Martin Scorsese and Kar Wai Wong discuss the use of music while filming. Enjoy!

Chiwetel Ejoifor Deserves an Oscar For This Film.

In Movies on November 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

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If he doesn’t win one, Michael Fassbender should. So should Steve McQueen, so should Hans Zimmer. This movie deserves as much recognition as it should get because not only is it a film featuring great actors portraying the best of their work, it also depicts a raw and disgusting topic occurring in a beautiful and picturesque setting. I’ll explain more about what I mean, later on in this review.

“12 Years a Slave” stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup a free African American in the 1800s who is tricked into slavery. Directed by Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” offers an unflinching depiction of slavery that is incredibly difficult to watch while also keeping the audience’s attention locked. Solomon begins his slavery with Mr. Ford, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the best among slaveowners, which isn’t saying a lot. Reading scripture on Sunday and doting upon his slaves, Solomon appears to have a decent life while working under Mr. Ford. However, things quickly run amiss when Solomon encounters Mr. Tibeats, played by Paul Dano, who will not be usurped by a slave and will use any incident to beat one. Things quickly become heated between Mr. Tibeats and Solomon and Mr. Ford transfers his debt, and thus his slave, to a Mr. Edwin Epps, played disgustingly well by Michael Fassbender, and his wife Mistress Epps, played gut-wrenchingly well by Sarah Paulson. Mr. Epps is a known slave beater and uses every instance he have to mock, hit, or rape any of the slaves that he owns. While there Solomon meets Patsey, played by Lupita Nyong’o, who is the subject of Mr. Epps’s infatuation because she is his best cotton picker and because she is a female. Solomon struggles throughout this film, to remain unseen and thus unbeaten while also trying to find those who can help him top freedom. It is a terrible story and a true one at that.

See. This. Movie. Ejiofor owns the screen and has many shots that simply are of his face in which he shows what an astounding actor he is. It is tear-jerking how he shows the misery that Solomon was facing while also portraying his hope that he will someday break out of his chains. Michael Fassbender is unrecognizable in his role. He is unlike any villain I have seen before, who is just cruel beyond measure. Sarah Paulson is equally unrecognizable in her role as the mistress as she vacillates from one extreme emotion to the other in the blink of an eye.

The cinematography was incredible, often juxtaposing the terrifying cruelty that existed within this place with these beautiful scenic shots. One shot, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, is absolutely disgusting while also beautiful. This shot must have been incredibly difficult to make just for the sheer toll it must have taken on the collective psyche of this filming crew.

Which brings me to my next point. This film must have been hard for everyone involved. Hard for the filmmakers, the actors, the editing staff, as well as the composers. It was so beautifully done and such a tragic film that if it doesn’t walk away with several awards, I don’t believe in the Academy anymore.

Someone Should Have Counseled Ridley Scott About This Film..

In Movies on October 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm

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..it was that bad. Really. Every review was spot on and this movie totally deserves the 34% rating it has received on Rotten Tomatoes. Seriously.

“The Counselor”, directed by Ridley Scott, stars an amazing cast consisting of Michael Fassbender, as the Counselor, yes that is how he is addressed throughout the film, Javier Bardem, as Reiner a crazy-haired excentric drug dealer, I think, Cameron Diaz, as Malkina, the sensual unpredictable evil counterpart to Reiner, Penelope Cruz, as Laura the counselor’s love interest, and Brad Pitt, as Westray, a smart slick southerner who has no problem pulling up his roots when he fears that his drug deals go south.

“The Counselor” tells the story of a man who has everything and wants more. The counselor is wealthy but when we encounter him he is about to become even richer by becoming involved in a drug deal and then investing that money into a club, part owned by Reiner. Things begin to go south and this movie just drags it on..and on.. and on.

The straw that killed this film is mainly due to the lethargic and obese script written by Cormac McCarthy. Comarc, Cormac, Cormac…I love you man. I love “No Country For Old Men” I also rather enjoyed The Road but damn man, enough is enough. There is only so much philosphy and lengthy speeches explaining this aforementioned philosophy you can have in a film before it becomes dull and confusing. That’s what happened with this film. It became tedious to the point where people left the theater. You heard that correct. People bought 14 dollars tickets and left the theater because this movie was so dry and mired in dialogue. The performances were alright but they were absolutely held back by the lengthy speeches that they had to give. More action, less talking! I have a few more points to make about this film but I fear doing so here will only spoil it for those that really are interested in seeing this mess. For those that have, read on, for those that haven’t, don’t.

What was Malkina’s motivation? Greed obviously, but how the hell was she able to target that shipment of drugs. What was her back story? Are we going to have any character development?

Who was the counselor making a deal with? It clearly wasn’t the cartel because they went on a killing spree even after they got their shipment back. The major plot point was lot on me.

That ending. Ugh. So anti-climatic and yes, Cormac, we know you’re one for the anti-climatic endings, but God, really? She’s dead, everyone’s dead, except for Malkina of course. But I hate her character, so why does she live? I had no attachment to her character and I had very slight attachment to everyone else’s and yet she’s the one that gets away. Awful.

That philosophical bartender. You know that one I’m talking about. The Mexican bartender. Sweet. Jesus. Why does every single person have a distinct understanding of life within this film and why did they fee the need to share it? He also spoke impeccable English with a slight accent but was able to have an understandable discourse with the counselor even though he appeared to have very little education. Do extras exist in this film or is everyone given about 87 lines of dialogue.

Writing about how bad this movie was makes me even more upset. Don’t go see this, you’ll thank me for it.

“Gravity” Had Me Floored

In Movies on October 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm

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Go see this movie. Go see this movie if you like thrillers, if you like character development, if you like suspense, if you like cinematography, if you like George Clooney, if you like Sandra Bullock, and if you like Alfonso Cuaron, director of “Children of Men” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien” Go. See. This. Movie.

Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone who is up in space on  her first mission alongside commander Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney, who is equal parts light-hearted and concern. Ed Harris, IMDB informed me of this, did the voice for Houston: Mission Control in this film and is worth mentioning because I didn’t know this. While up in space, Dr. Stone is a raw nerve held together by work. She is up there to complete a task, not to make any friends along the way. While uploading a new program to the Hubble telescope, Stone and Kowalski are informed by Mission Control to get back to the International Space Station because Russia has detonated a series of satellites, the debris of which is heading directly towards them. The rest of this movie is profound and edge of your seat terrifying.

I had the pleasure of seeing this film in 3-D and it was completely worth it. My God. I was immersed in it. This was due in part to the 3-D but mostly due to Mr. Cuaron. Seriously. The lack of sound in precise moments, the use of first person point-of-view, made it seem like you were right up there with them.

The length of his shots were really what stood out in this film. I don’t know how long the first shot is, but it is long, and it give the viewer a glimpse into the vastness of space as well as the characters that are bouncing around in it. Just astounding.

Sandra Bullock was excellent in this film and if she doesn’t walk away with an Oscar then the person who beat her to it better be astounding. She was unlike anything I have ever seen from her before. It was mostly her within this film which made her performance that much greater. It was just you and her. You experienced every bump, every anxiety, every chance of hope, right alongside her.

George Clooney appeared at home in this film, like he truly was Commander Kowalski who had a slew of stories up his sleeve but was read to become exacting at a moment’s notice.

This film was absolutely everything anyone said it would be. It was a simple and short story but it was powerful. Go see it for yourself and tell me otherwise if you truly feel different.

I BEASTED IT!

In Movies on August 19, 2013 at 11:30 am

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“Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a film that I have been wanting to catch for quite some time now. Seriously, I have been yearning to finally catch this film and just the other day, I finally did. In a setting that was so spectacular that it added to the experience exponentially.

I had the privilege of viewing “Beasts of the Southern Wild” in the Prospect Park band shell with a live orchestra who scored the movie while it was being played. Best part about it, the actress Quvenzhané Wallis, who plays Hushpuppy was there, in person!, to conduct the orchestra and thank the audience for being there. It was incredible. The lighting. The music. The massive amount of people who were all there to see this great film and listen to this great score. I cannot express how happy it makes me to have seen this film in that setting.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” stars Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy a little girl who is struggling to “be the man” that her father Wink, played by Dwight Henry, wants her to be. Yearning for a maternal figure while creating the tough skin she needs to survive, Hushpuppy and her father try to survive the flodding that is threatening their survival as they live in “The Bathtub” a fictional piece of land that is outside the levies that have been constructed. This land is prone to flooding but the food is plentiful as is the drink compared to the inner dry land, which the viewer is shown glimpses of, which appears stark and sterile compared to “The Bathtub”. Determined to prove that she can hold her own, Hushpuppy enlists the help of several of her compatriots setting off to find herself and stare danger in the face. “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a beautiful story focusing on the relationship between a daughter and her father in a wolrd where tears cannot be wasted nor are they afforded.

This movie was tear-jerkingly beautiful. From the “Beast It!” scene to the last shot of Hushpuppy we see. I am not afraid to admit that there were tears in my eyes for how beautiful this movie was and how great Quvenzhané Wallis was. She enraptured me with her soft spoken sayings and her scowls at her daddy and the other men who thought they had it hard. She looked the part and acted like a girl who needed no man to tell her what needed to be done, even setting fire to a house in protest to the words that her father lashed her with.

The music to this movie is excellent as well and appeared to be a mix of Irish jig and Cajun soul. I listen to the main theme for this movie every now and thn and am instantly transported back to the moment when Hushpuppy was running through a field fearlessly carrying two fireworks as they are spouting red flames.

The scenes were equally as beautiful and the dialogue kept to a minimum because, well, how many ways can someone say that the world is coming to an end and the flooding is getting worse. Action was important in this movie, action and decision. The choices people made the behaviors people engaged in, were all with a purpose and were all shot wonderfully.

If you haven’t seen this phenomenal movie shot by first timer Benh Zeitlin. Then please check it out. It is awe inspiring.

Wolverine Slashes His Way Straight To My Heart

In Movies on July 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

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“The Wolverine” directed by James Mangold finds our man with claws a few years after “X-Men: The Last Stand”. Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, is living a life away from humanity because, well, he’s just kind of sick of humanity and death. Despite this, a young girl by the name of Yukio, played by Rila Fukushima, seeks out Wolverine, offering him solace and a chance to say goodbye to an old friend. This old friend, played by Hal Yamanouchi, was an individual Wolverine saved during World War II who has since become quite rich and powerful forming the company Yashida, after his own name, and offers Wolverine the ability to be human and normal. During this visit, Wolverine also encounters Yashida’s granddaughter, Mariko, played by Tao Okamoto, his own son Shingen, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, and Viper, Yashida’s personal doctor, played by Svetlana Khodchenkova. While in Tokyo, Wolverine becomes enmeshed in the Yakuza, family politics, and samurai warriors. In short, this movie was a huge improvement on “Wolverine: Origins” offering a darker version of everyone’s favorite X-Men. Hugh Jackman will forever be known as Wolverine and this role will only help solidify him as this iconic character.

 

One thing I thoroughly enjoyed about this movie, was how it logically flowed from one end to the other. I compared this to “Star Wars” when talking about it with my friends following the movie. Luke Skywalker is shown as a farmer in the beginning of “A New Hope” and is suddenly piloting space ships by the end of it. To look at these instances back to back, it seems like a huge leap, but the movie itself makes sense and you understand how Luke got to where he was. “The Wolverine” begins with Wolverine as a reclusive woodsmen in Alaska and then displays Wolverine slicing and dicing on a bullet train in Japan. Every choice that Wolverine makes to get there, makes sense and this movie truly benefits from it.

 

The darker tone also elevates this movie, because, well, in my opinion, I like darker, grittier, more realistic movies. I like seeing Wolverine struggle with the death of Jean Grey. I like seeing him ram an arrow through a hunter’s hand, and I also like seeing Wolverine pushed to his limits. I like when superheroes struggle and I think this movie benefitted greatly from that.

 

I also really like Yukio. I thought she was a great character who was quite funny and offered a bit of a side kick feel to Wolverine, who, as we all know, never really wants one. She was also quite fierce and I do appreciate a female character who can hold her own in the ring.

 

 

 

 

The one thing I did not enjoy about this movie was that it was a bit predictable. I knew what was going to happen and I knew some very key plot points that I wish I would have been wrong about, but, I still enjoyed this film nonetheless. So, if you have a chance, check out this movie. It was action packed, well acted, and fairly dark. 

 

Pacific Rim-Tastic!!!

In Movies on July 15, 2013 at 10:57 am

 

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I have been tracking this movie since its inception and I have been incredibly pumped about it. Seriously. Like really really looking forward to this movie. When, I first heard that the numbers weren’t going to be strong for it, I was disappointed because well this movie sounded like it would be a Blockbuster hit and for some reason it wasn’t being predicted as such. It was what I wanted Transformers to be and that movie was playing every half an hour at my theater, but for some reason this movie had only two show times, which is very concerning. Despite this, I recommend you check this movie out. THIS, will be a movie I buy, especially if the director’s cut includes more robot fighting.

“Pacific Rim” tells the story of David vs. Goliath where instead of David hitting Goliath in the head with a stone and a slingshot, he gets a whole bunch of people together, they build a massive robot, equipped with swords and a plasma cannon, and then they murder Goliath and all of his family. The story begins with a montage courtesy of Charlie Hunnam playing Raleigh Becket. Raleigh tells the story of how monsters emerged from the Pacific and began destroying the major cities of the world. Not one to back down, the human race bands together and created the Jaeger program which is German for fighter. These huge machines battle the monsters in order to keep the rest of us safe. Raleigh is an ace pilot with his brother Yancy Becket, played by Diego Klattenhoff from “Homeland”. Two individuals need to pilot a Jaeger because the human brain can’t synchronize with the robot all by itself. The best fighters are the ones that have the best drift, meaning that they think the same and react in the same way. The story jumps forward to a point where the Jaeger program is being decommissioned because nobody has any money anymore and a giant wall just appears to be a much better idea. Stacker Pentecoast, Idris Elba, asks that Raleigh return to the Jaeger program in order to have one last battle to save humanity once and for all. Raleigh, without a partner, meets Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi, who he feels in instant connection, drift compatibility, and wishes to pilot his old Jaeger Gypsy Danger with, much to the chagrin of Marshal Pentecoast. The research department consisting of Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) believe that a dramatic last stand might not be the best way to defeat these creatures and Newton, AKA Newt, believes that the Kaiju are smarter than the humans think and enlists the help of Kaiju dealer Hannibal Chau (Ron Pearlman) to learn about the creatures in more detail.

There are a lot more characters and Jaegers, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. In total, this movie was amazing. The fight scenes were fun, the action was great, the acting was a bit clunky.

I’m not sure how Guillermo Del Toro chose Charlie Hunnam or why really because he wasn’t that strong of an actor. There were a lot of flubs and missteps I felt throughout his scenes that could have been better and stronger. I also get a little sick of his Jax swagger that he always walk with. I’m not sure if he has a condition or something and must constantly bounce upon his feet but seriously that man walks like he wants everyone to know how legit he is.

Idris Elba held his own in this film all the way up to his great cancelling the apocalypse monologue. I believe he had a great gasp on his character and that came through completely well. He was strong, stoic, and commanding. Not a lot to ask from an actor as good as Elba, but he still hit the nail on the head.

Charlie Day was alright in this film, again, he too suffered from some missteps and clunkiness. I felt like he understood the character but his delivery was off. Some of his scenes were great, especially the ones with Ron Pearlman, but the scenes he shared with Hunnam could have been better.

Despite the acting glitches, this movie was beautiful to watch. The computer generation was fantastic and brutal, portraying the Kaiju’s teeth breaking while the Jaeger’s arm was getting ripped off. A lot of it was also quite upsetting. These battles often occurred in a very slow and heavy motion and when things went wrong, they were jaw dropping. The same can be said for when things went write.

The only thing I ask of this film is to see more Jaeger fighting the Kaiju. That’s all I ask. I’m hoping the rumors are true that the director’s cut will have more scenes like this and, if this is so, I will definitely be buying it. Please check this movie out I assure that it is much better than “Grown Ups 2” and it is completely worth it.

This Man is Made of Some Tough Stuff!

In Movies on June 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

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Let me begin by saying that I have been anticipating this movie since the day I first caught a glimpse of him cruising across planet earth with this awesome little cloud trailing after. I have been expecting a great movie that was well written, cohesive, and real. No “Batman and Robin” with full body armor that has nipples. No awful fight/dance sequences that occurred in “Daredevil”. I was expecting a Superman version of Batman and I got exactly what I wanted.

“Man of Steel” tells the humble origins of Superman, beginning, first, on Krypton with Jor-El, Russel Crowe, trying to not only save the Kryptonians but his son and his wife Faora-Ul, played by Antje Traue, as well. Jor-El faces off against Zod, Michael Shannon. as his son takes off in a cradle/space pod, who is determined to take control of Krypton and save the planet. During this process, Jor-El also sneaks the codex, the collective memory of Krypton, into the baby carriage alongside Clark in order to save Krypton from its destruction.

Flash forward to modern day an the audience witness Clark Kent, Henry Caville, as a drifter coming to terms with what he can and cannot do. Determined to keep his identity a secret, Kent travels the world taking up various jobs all the while saving various individuals from peril and understanding the teachings of his earth father, Johnathan Kent,  played by Kevin Costner, and his earth mother, Martha Kent,  played by Diane Lane,. Things begin to pick up speed when an alien space craft is found upon earth and Lois Lane is the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, determined to figure out what this spacecraft is. During her investigations, she encounters this nameless hero and much to the chagrin of her editor, Perry White, played by Laurence Fishburne, she is determined to find out who this individual is. However, the investigation is halted when Zod comes to planet earth determined to find Ka-El and the codex that he believes will restore Krypton once again.

I hope that summary suffices because there is a lot to this story and I really wanted to give you enough to just sink your teeth in, without giving too much away.

Let me begin by saying that this movie is increased a hundred fold by the performance that Costner and Crowe bring to the table. Both are Superman’s fathers and both believe his future holds very different things. As a result of this, they both teach Clark in different yet similar ways. Bother are incredibly powerful, without exuding much of a physical prowess. That’s not to say that either of them are weak, Crowe is involved in some Batman style fight scenes, but his power does not come from his fists, rather it comes from his convictions, from his ideals. The same thing can be said for Costner, who’s sheer dedication to his beliefs is mind alteringly powerful and tragic all at the same time. Both of these actors had very little screen time and yet stole the show all the same.

Henry Caville is an incredible Superman. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not see “Superman Returns” but I can safely say that I thoroughly enjoyed him as Superman. He played his role well, with meaning, despite his script being incredibly short. It was in the smirks and the grief that was shown, that made me realize that Caville will be my favorite Superman.

The score is worth mentioning as well. The tornado scene and the reunion Kent experiences with his mother were made incredibly powerful due to the orchestra. Incredibly powerful. On the verge of tears powerful. The lack of music in precise instances, makes the music even more resonant. You feel it when it is there and you feel nothing when it isn’t and it is between these two instances that this movie becomes something more. Hans Zimmer, this was an incredible score and I will be playing this soundtrack, probably, all week.

The story is also worth mentioning because it is the first time that I, personally, have  seen Clark Kent as a young man struggling with his powers physically, emotionally, and socially. I loved the direction Snyder took with this movie and I think he did an incredibly good job with this film.