Man of Steel (2013)


It’s been a minute guys/bots/spammers. Sorry about it. I’ve been busy, lifein’ it up, making (not enough) money, meeting human beings. I’ve watched a lot of movies that I just haven’t even reviewed. We’ll see if I can get in some belated reviews sometime in the not-too-heinously-distant future.

Moving on. Man of Steel. Honestly? Mediocre. This is the thing about a lot of the superhero movies that have been coming out in the last few years: it seems the new thing is to make these complex, tortured superheroes that are more than just amazing abilities. They’re real and they have issues. The movies are always so moody.

But at the same time, they’re comic book characters. I think so many of these movies fall short because they spend so much time really trying to balance the two. I either want to have a super fun romp, where people get beat up and shoot laser beams out of their eyeballs or whatever. Or I want to see a story about a guy who has issues – family, love, personal, whatever – who happens to have super strength.

When it comes down to it, shouldn’t I be rooting for someone? When I was watching Man of Steel I just didn’t even care. I didn’t care if anyone died. I didn’t care if anyone lived. I didn’t care who won or who lost. It was just so incredibly predictable and mostly bland. I was most compelled with the young instances of Clark Kent dealing with his gift/curse.

(I take that back. I did care at one point. I was going to lose my shit if anything happened to that dog.)

Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to watch. Good effects, cool costumes, an awesome mini-Battlestar Galactica reunion, and Henry Cavill is painfully good looking. Otherwise? Meh.

People really seem to be raving about Michael Shannon’s portrayal of Zod. I wasn’t that impressed, which sucks because I like him and think he’s kind of a terrifying man.

And Lois Lane? It was just a bunch of bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, I’d want to jump his bones, too, but to expect me to believe that she was ~*~in love~*~ with Superman? What, because he saved her? It’s a fucked up, almost the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome trope. Immediately, I think of Lois Lane, Mary Jane Watson, and whatever Natalie Portman’s character’s name was in Thor. All these women just losing their shit because a man – or anyone – uses their superpowers to save them? Please.

** stars

4: Sucker Punch (got me good, Zack Snyder, you dick)

Sucker Punch – March 25, 2011
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jenna Chung, Jon Hamm (for like a hot minute), Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac
Written by: Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya
Directed by: Zack Snyder

The plot: “A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.” – IMDB

My thoughts: Before this movie came out, I was geeking out big time over the trailer. The music, the premise, the way it looked. And now? Boring, boring, boring. So very unfortunate.

First things first, I do not believe that Emily Browning could have been any more lackluster in her performance as a girl bound and determined to escape from a mental institution. With her big pouty lips and her remarkably expressionless face, she made good on her character’s name of Babydoll. With the exception of Aussie actress Abbie Cornish, who gave her character Sweet Pea some depth, all the other girls were completely uninteresting.

One person who gave a good performance was Oscar Isaac, (who in my opinion is totally a clone of David Krumholtz) as Blue Jones, the man running the institution/club and was effectively deplorable and creepy and utterly vile. He had a thin mustache, much like that of Gomez Addams, and always seemed to be maniacally grinning.

David Krumholtz vs Oscar Isaac

Right? It's like if David Krumholtz were a bit less geeky and a bit more sexy/rugged? Amiright?

I’ll only take a minute to talk about the soundtrack. I loved the inclusion of Bjork’s “Army of Me” because that song is wonderful and worked so well with what the tone of the movie should have been the whole time. And the cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” by Emiliana Torrini is gorgeous. Not so awesome? A cover of Pixies “Where Is My Mind?” I love that band and I love that song but can it just be over? I feel like it, or a version of it at least, is in every single thing.

I love a good action movie – shit getting blown up, lots of blood, all kinds of weapons. But in all honesty, I found Zack Snyder’s action sequences a bit uninspired. I wanted to feel overcome with female badassery and humored by the ridiculous feats but I was just bored. There was a dragon – a God damn dragon – and I found myself wondering when they’d get to the conclusion.

And when they finally did get to the conclusion? Yawn. Exactly what you thought was going to happen was going to happen. You knew the ending before anything really started happening. I guess it was supposed to have some sort of message with Abbie Cornish ending the movie with a voiceover saying, “Who decides why we live and what we’ll die to defend? Who chains us and who holds the key that can set us free? It’s you. You have all the weapons you need, now fight.” If this is some sort of social commentary about unchaining ourselves from restrictions and government and Big Brother and economic failure…it didn’t work. I didn’t get a rush of adrenaline where I wanted to fight – literally or figuratively – anyone or anything. I just want to go back and rewatch the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars.

Stars: 1/5