Saturday, June 22, 2013

Movie review: Man of Steel

Normally I'd never waste my time or yours with my thoughts on a movie, but I'm stuck in Bellevue, Washington until my 6 a.m. flight, and I just saw it, so I've got nothing better to do than regale you with my thoughts on this particular cinematic attempt at capturing the Superman story.

First off, I enjoyed the movie. It wasn't an atrocity of film. However, while it was a very interesting alien movie, it was a terrible Superman movie.

We spend too much time on Krypton. I don't care about CGI animals of Krypton, and we don't need to see baby farms. This isn't Avatar. This isn't the Matrix. Nobody gives a shit. I know the director was trying to give General Zod some sort of sympathetic foot to stand on, so that his character wasn't a one-dimensional warmonger, but he failed. Don't care. Krypton scenes were way too long and pointless.

So then the US government finds an alien ship in a glacier and Lois Lane shows up with her Nikon D3s thanks to the permissiveness of the Canadian government? Seriously, your camera batteries would be dead so fast in that kind of cold. But putting that aside, if Lois Lane is the number one reporter in the world and the ONLY reporter that gets that kind of access, what the HELL was going on when Zod's ship arrived and nobody at the Daily Planet had a clue? She's trying to find toner for the printer, and the entire Daily Planet staff is staring at the TV saying, "What's going on?" and "It's all over the news." HELLO! The Daily Planet IS the news. They would have known about this the second it happened. Lois would have been the first reporter contacted. Why was the Daily Planet even featured in this film because they did zero reporting the entire film and just stood around as helpless foils to Superman.

Continuing on the Daily Planet rant, how the eff does Clark Kent, who has spent all of his 20s working in bars and on fishing boats, walk into the Daily Planet, the top newspaper in the world, and get a job as a stringer? Where's his portfolio of stories? Has he really mastered AP Style? This is complete bullshit and it's insulting to journalists. (At least to non-Gawker journalists.) Clark Kent should have gone to college instead of wandering the arctic. (Note to Gawker journalists, yes there is an extra C in arctic.)

Now let's touch on casting. Could every director on earth please stop trying to re-cast Christopher Reeve? Seriously, Superman is an alien. He doesn't need to be a Christopher Reeve clone. He doesn't even need to be muscular since it's his alien anatomy, not body building, that makes him strong. However, I understand that making him muscular makes him more aesthetically pleasing and heroic in the eyes of the viewer, but I'm saying, take a chance with a new vision.

As for Amy Adams, I love her as the fun, plucky character, but she's not Lois Lane. With all due respect because I like her immensely, she's not attractive enough to be Lois Lane. Do you know why I switched my major from engineering to journalism? Because the journalism girls are HOT! News girls are hot. The most succesful female reporters are hot. It's a sad fact of life that most people would rather speak to a hot female than a pudgy male any day of the week, and female journalists use that to their advantage. It's not fair, but it's a fact of life. Amy Adams is not going to seduce a scoop out of anyone.

Now for the biggest casting atrocity -- Non. Back in 1978 when Zod invaded the first time, Jack O'Halloran did a wonderful job playing the simple-minded yet large enforcer. Guess what? This time Non doesn't even have a face! He's 100 percent CGI. You're telling me you took the time to make that stupid, pointless flying dragon on Krypton, but you didn't have time to develop Zod's crew and at least give each one a face?!!! Travesty.

Now here's the immense plot hole that bugged me this entire movie. Zod, being a power hungry general with the ability to repopulate the earth with Kryptonians using the baby factory, is insistent on terraforming the planet despite the fact that he can be a virtual god on earth. He's already all about genocide, why wouldn't he want to create a supreme race? He has the power to conquer earth with his small band of warriors, and if he just plays it cool with Superman, he could have grown an entire army. Yet despite this, he's deadset on terraforming the place. Does he miss CGI dragons THAT much?!!! And seriously, he's only got the genetic equipment to grow people. If he world builds the planet and it kills all humans and animals, it will be a desolate planet with NO PLANTS OR ANIMALS. It's like, nice job Zod, now you can breathe easier, but you have no super powers and you've killed all manner of sustenance. Brilliant move.

Now let's talk about Christopher Meloni. He's a Colonel. Why is he flying his own planes? Does Zach Snyder not know how the military works?

One last nitpick. Lois knows Superman is Clark Kent by the middle of the movie. When he comes to work at the Daily Planet, she knows who he is. That's just stupid. It ruins everything. Watching Superman hide his identity is half the fun.

The LexCorp tanker truck was some not-so-subtle foreshadowing that Lex Luthor will be the villian in the next installment if this Superman doesn't get fired. Let's hope there's a more engaging plot with less holes next time. I want to see Clark Kent being sneaky. I want to see some journalism. I want to see some non-American cultures represented as our favorite alien unites mankind. Superman shouldn't be good enough, he should be great.
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