Man of Steel (2013) – 6/10 superhero action movie

AmazonBuy Man of Steel at Amazon

Cast / crew
Director: Zack Snyder
Screenplay and Story Writer Based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment: David S. Goyer
Story Writer and Producer Based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment: Christopher Nolan
Producer: Charles Roven
Producer: Emma Thomas
Producer: Deborah Snyder
Characters Creator Superman: Jerry Siegel
Characters Creator Superman: Joe Shuster
Clark Kent / Kal-El: Henry Cavill
Lois Lane: Amy Adams
General Zod: Michael Shannon
Jonathan Kent: Kevin Costner
Martha Kent: Diane Lane
Laurence Fishburne: Perry White
Antje Traue: Faora-Ul
Ayelet Zurer: Lara Lor-Van
Christopher Meloni: Colonel Nathan Hardy
Russell Crowe: Jor-El

Man of Steel (2013)

Sent to Earth to escape the fate of his doomed civilisation, Kryptonian Kal-El, as Clark Kent, grows up into an urban myth, as elusive as he is heroic. When an alien craft is discovered, Clark not only learns more about his origins but brings extinction-level doom to the planet he now calls home.

6/10

This feels like a film that has had all depth edited out in favour of wall-to-wall noise and never earns the dramatic impact it is endlessly punching people through buildings for. Man of Steel does have strengths, though. Critically, Cavill is terrific, looks amazing, instantly is Clark Kent and Superman and is never overwhelmed by the shadow of Christopher Reeve. Amy Adams defies her ridiculous part to connect and convince and Hans Zimmer’s music delivers emotion and grandeur that what remains of the story and characters lack (though he does make the mistake of using extremely similar music for goodies and baddies). Snyder probably shot a much better film than this, but it feels like he’s edited away the heart, soul and any potential magic in favour of super-dudes (and dudette) super-punching each other for two-and-a-half hours.

This movie contains incessant super-violence

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987, Super-Hero Movie) – 4/10 review

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Christopher Reeve: Superman / Clark Kent
Gene Hackman: Lex Luthor
Movie Series Instigator: Alexander Salkind
Jackie Cooper: Perry White
Marc McClure: Jimmy Olsen
Jon Cryer: Lenny
Sam Wanamaker: David Warfield
Mark Pillow: Nuclear Man
Mariel Hemingway: Lacy Warfield
Margot Kidder: Lois Lane
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Writer (Story): Lawrence Konner
Writer (Story): Mark Rosenthal
Writer (Screenplay): Lawrence Konner
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Rosenthal
Producer: Menahem Golan
Producer: Yoram Globus
Susannah York:

Superman IV: Quest for Peace, The (1987)

Superman volunteers to remove all the nuclear armaments in the world and guarantee world peace. Lex Luthor spots an opportunity to use Superman’s preferred disposal site, the Sun, to create a Nuclear Man.

4/10

If Richard Lester took the series to the point of death and placed it in a coffin, the incredibly untalented Sidney J. Furie (a man who has never made a good film and, yes, I have seen The Ipcress File) hammered the final nail in, placed the coffin six feet under and buried it. On the moon. In slow-motion. While Christopher Reeve as Superman and Clark Kent remains definitive, this movie is rescued by the unfettered awesomely immodest genius of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. Whenever he’s on-screen spouting about his staggering amazingness, the film is fun. There is also a kernel of an interesting idea here as Superman exercises his godship and wades into human affairs but what ended up on screen doesn’t make an apeth of sense. Elsewhere, this is so rubbish that you rather feel sorry for it.

This movie contains fantasy violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Superman (1978, Movie) – 10/10 review

Producer (Presents credit): Alexander Salkind
Marlon Brando: Jor-El
Gene Hackman: Lex Luthor
Director: Richard Donner
Christopher Reeve: Superman / Clark Kent
Ned Beatty: Otis
Jackie Cooper: Perry White
Glenn Ford: Pa Kent
Trevor Howard: 1st Elder
Margot Kidder: Lois Lane
Composer: John Williams
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Writer (Story): Mario Puzo
Writer (Screenplay): Mario Puzo
Writer (Screenplay): David Newman
Writer (Screenplay): Leslie Newman
Writer (Screenplay): Robert Benton
Creative Consultant: Tom Mankiewicz
Associate Producer: Charles F. Greenlaw
Executive Producer: Ilya Salkind
Producer: Pierre Spengler
Writer (Additional Script Material): Norman Enfield

Superman (1978)

Kryptonite baby Kal’el is sent to planet Earth to save his life before the planet Krypton itself is destroyed by a nearby Sun.The baby is discovered by the Kent family and brought up as a ‘normal’ human but here on Earth he has extraordinary talents and strengths. After the death of his adopted father, the now Clark Kent is impelled to go North and learns about his real identity. He decides to use his powers for good and is given the tag Superman by love interest Lois Lane. However, super criminal Lex Luthor has plans to destroy all of California in a landscam deal and has discovered a way to prevent Superman stopping him.

10/10

Superlative fantasy action adventure; easily my favourite movie. Even thirty years on, this is the greatest superhero movie ever made and, yes, you will still believe a man can fly. It’s greatest achievement, however, is that the movie has such a clean, good core; Christopher Reeve’s brilliant performance has an innocence with no darkness, no dishonesty, no possibility of corruption. Even Gene Hackman’s villain is effective and fun without being horrible or graphically violent. Thirty years on, filmmakers and writers have simply forgotten how to make superhero movies without extreme violence (see Superman Returns). That said, they also appear to have forgotten how to edit action sequences, how to portray character, how to tell a story, and how to have a point to your movie aside from generating money. The fact that this movie can never be matched for it’s heart due to the deterioration of the world’s morality and ‘movie violence solves everything’ ethos makes Superman even more special.

This movie contains mild adult dialogue and scary scenes (being buried alive).

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Smallville Season Finale 8.22 Doomsday (2009, TV) – 1/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance: Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore: Jimmy Olsen
Cassidy Freeman: Tess Mercer
Sam Witwer: Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley: Oliver Queen
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Alaina Huffman: Dinah "Black Canary" Lance
Kyle Gallner: Bart "Impulse" Allen
Ari Cohen: Regan
Ryan Kennedy: Rokk
Executive Producer: James Marshall
Writer: Kelly Souders
Writer: Brian Peterson
Director: James Marshall

Smallville 8.22 Doomsday (2009)

Wanting to prove that the events of the previous months weren’t the stupidest, rubbishest things that could possibly happen, plans are made to ensure that every fan of Smallville everywhere will want to kill themselves.

1/10

This is an entirely remarkable episode. The writers have just thrown all the scripts for this series into the air and randomly pulled pages from the resulting pile. Continuity and character, sadly, weren’t salvaged. Smallville has been betrayed and horribly mutilated by those entrusted with its care and this episode is just horrific, it’s professionally incompetent. If it was a car, inserting the key into the ignition would castrate you and then mock you for trying to start it in the first place. And for having no bits. John Matta, Chief Operating Officer of The CW Television Network, also announced his intention to run for the title of the world’s stupidest person by allowing a ninth series. Though, to be fair, it’ll probably be revealed he’s actually working as a double-agent for a rival television network. “The name’s Matta, J…, er, I’ve forgotten my first name.”

This Smallville episode contains mild swear words and extreme fantasy violence, strong graphic violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes.

Links

Smallville 8.21 Injustice (2009, TV) – 2/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Cassidy Freeman: Tess Mercer
Justin Hartley: Oliver Queen
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Jessica Parker Kennedy: Plastique
Alessandro Juliani: Dr. Emil Hamilton
Brendan Fletcher: Parasite
Producer: Al Septien
Producer: Turi Meyer
Writer: Al Septien
Writer: Turi Meyer
Director: Tom Welling

Smallville 8.21 Injustice (2009)

Clark hears Chloe crying out for help on the run from Davis Bloome. After he rescues her, he reveals he has come up with a plan to save Earth.

2/10

Even though Justin Hartley gets his abs out and there is no Aaron Ashmore or Sam Witwer, this is bor-or-ing. The scripting is also terrible. No-one seems to have any clue what any other character is saying and so just speak random non-sensical lines to each other. Clark is suffering particularly badly from this as he is being terribly inconsistent. He goes to all this trouble just to fill up forty minutes of screen time, er, I mean, separate Davis Bloome from Doomsday but won’t take two seconds to put across his point of view or explain why he’s being a tool to Oliver Queen. Or Chloe. Or Tess. Or the audience.

This Smallville episode contains adult dialogue and extremely gory and unpleasant scenes.

Links

Smallville 8.20 Beast (2009, TV) – 1/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Aaron Ashmore: Jimmy Olsen
Sam Witwer: Davis Bloome
Justin Hartley: Oliver Queen
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Writer: Genevieve Sparling
Director: Michael Rohl

Smallville 8.20 Beast (2009)

The writers stab you in the eyes and ears for forty minutes while every actor looks like they’re trying to lie back, close their eyes and think of the money without vomiting or suffering a psychotic break. Aaron Ashmore isn’t succeeding.

1/10

It is becoming difficult to find words to describe the deep-seated hatred, the bitter resentment, the utter lack of respect and the despairing drudgery the writers of Smallville have for their audience. Somewhere along the line Aaron Ashmore and Allison Mack must have keyed all of the producers’ cars or left a coffee ring or a perfectly-formed poo on their executive table or something because their characters continue to be on the receiving end of bafflingly awful storylines. If they both move into porn after Smallville, it will be a step up.

This Smallville episode contains extreme violence, gory and extremely unpleasant scenes and sexuality.

Links

Smallville 8.19 Stiletto (2009, TV) – 2/10 review

Tom Welling: Clark Kent
Allison Mack: Chloe Sullivan
Erica Durance: Lois Lane
Aaron Ashmore: Jimmy Olsen
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Developer for Television: Alfred Gough
Developer for Television: Miles Millar
Dominic Zamprogna: Bruno Manheim
Writer: Caroline Dries
Director: Kevin G. Fair

Smallville 8.19 Stiletto (2009)

After saving Chloe from a mugger, Lois spies a chance to get closer to a story with the Red-Blue Blur by, obviously, posing as new superhero vigilante Stiletto.

2/10

This has the cheesy feeling of the 1960’s Batman television show without, unfortunately, the sense of self-knowing glee that Adam West et al brought to that particular endeavour. The central idea of Lois going after a story in an unorthodox and dangerous manner was okay but, as usual for Smallville now, it was handled clumsily and lazily. The writers, director and actors are all on auto-pilot and even Erica Durance – the best thing about Smallville this season, surprisingly – has a permanent let’s-get-this-over-with look about her. There’s a bit of Lois-Clark magic at the end of the show but in almost every way Smallville is embarrassing to watch.

This Smallville episode contains strong melee violence, graphic gun violence.

Links