Recent User Reviews
Man Of Steel shows some promising aspects but is flawed. the relationship between Kal-El Henry Cavil) and Lois Lane Amy Adams) seemed unnatural and forced the battle scenes were repetitive and the climax was exceedingly disappointing and didn't stir any emotion within me apart from boredom Kevin Costner's touching performance as Jonathan Kent was the highlight of the film.… Full Review »
This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Man of Tin
As you can guess from the title of my review, I did not enjoy “Man of Steel.” It had great effects and the scenes that took place on Krypton were awesome. But overall the MoS was poorly paced, poorly directed, and didn’t provide characters that I could really connect with. The action sequences also lacked a sense of peril because the combatants were invulnerable.
I’ll start off tin what I liked about MoS, Krypton. Krypton was amazing in this film. It looked and felt completely alien. There was a giant flying creature that Jor’El rode on at one point. The structures and plains in the background were uniquely designed. Krypton in this movie was a breathtaking sight to behold. The narrative on Krypton flowed better than the rest of the movie also. Major plot points are setup masterfully on Krypton but soon begin falling apart once the story moves forward to Earth.
On to Earth, and the bad aspects of the film. MoS does a poor job of telling Superman’s origin story and establishing him as a character that we can root for and care about. We get to see Clark Kent roam around aimlessly with a big depression beard, while throwing in flashbacks of his childhood. This part of the movie wasn’t horrible but the pacing was odd. He’s a man, then a boy, then back to a man, then a teen. The individual scenes were good but they were linked in an uncomfortable, schizophrenic manner. The movie begins with Clark’s birth on Krypton, so how about maintaining a linear structure throughout the rest of the movie. Clark discovers his true identity and becomes Superman in a rather matter the fact way also.
Which brings me to another and the most problematic aspect of the movie, unnecessary subplots and superfluous characters. There’s a constant cutting away from Superman to give screen time to characters and subplots that could’ve easily been cut from the movie. Uninteresting shots of military personnel meticulously setting up they’re gear and they’re guns. Scientists who reiterate plot points that General Zod just explained two scenes ago. Lois Lane’s search for Clark after seeing him use his powers really fell flat. All of these subplots detracted from Superman’s story and character development and he felt like a significantly underdeveloped character by the end of the film when we’re supposed to be really rooting for and empathizing with him.
When this movie was first announced I was really put off by the darker tone, but it turns out they stayed true to what and how Superman is supposed to be. Well…. Up until the very end. When the writers put Superman in an impossible situation and he’s forced to do a very Un-Superman like act to save lives.
The villains were not interesting at all in MoS. General Zod is no Joker, Bane, or even Loki for that matter. Zod has zero charisma and he’s completely uninteresting when he’s on screen. I didn't care about what his evil plan was, his fist fights with Superman lacked impact because they were both practically invincible, and his minions were of a dime a dozen seen’em before variety. Zod was the absolute pinnacle of mediocrity. So he fit the rest of this mess of a movie perfectly.
So…… Since Superman and Zod can’t really hurt each other, everything around them gets destroyed. They manage to almost completely level Metropolis during the last 30 minutes of this movie (in between uninteresting shots of military personnel meticulously setting up they’re gear and they’re guns.) I haven’t been this bored watching things blow up since Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I ended up just feeling sorry for all of the fictional people who were going to get stuck with rebuilding Metropolis and cleaning up this mess. During the final battle in Marvel’s Avengers there was destruction, but it was mainly cars and parts of buildings. You didn't feel like there was a catastrophic loss of life during the final showdown in the Avengers. MoS feels like a hundred 9/11s are happening all at once. It felt a little sad, because if city blocks are being completely leveled left and right, you just logically assume that thousands of innocent people are dying during this dumb slug-fest.
That’s my opinion on MoS. It feels like another failed Hollywood attempt to bring Superman to life. Made by people with no respect for the franchise or the comic book art form. Superman’s story has been told correctly in animated form and re-imagined in countless comic books for years. But the director, Zack Snider, and the writers of MoS thought they were all smarter than all of the people who have brought this character to life successfully. Sad. But this movie is still going to make a billion dollars because you people don’t care. You just want mass destruction and explosions. You don’t even care if the plot makes sense or if the characters are fully developed..
wheregeeksgotodie.wordpress… Full Review »
My brother tells me that he actually liked After Earth. So reluctantly, I sat down and watched it. After seeing the movie here is my opinion. The critics are either wrong or they have an agenda. After Earth is a good movie. The performances by both Will and Jaden Smith are great. The movie has a strong and positive theme. The story flows from beginning to end, and I felt connected to the characters and their struggle throughout the film.
After Earth is the classic tale of the young warrior’s journey, both physically and spiritually. It has a very African feel to it, from the set designs, to their strange accents, to their names, to the creatures that young Kitai faces. Unlike much of the pointless trash that comes out of Hollywood these days, After Earth is a morality tale, akin to Star Wars. The hero needs to learn to overcome his faults in order to succeed. There’s also an emphasis on the roles of parents in the film.
Will Smith’s Cypher Raige is a compelling character. Many critics have complained about Will Smith’s performance in this film, calling it “wooden,” because he didn't run around yelling catchy lines like, “it’s raining black folks!” But I think this is one of his best performances in recent years.
In After Earth Will Smith has to play a man who is emotional, but can’t connect with others. He’s the flawed hero. His flaw makes him a powerful warrior but a distant father. He spends more time on the battlefield than with his family. Will smith did an excellent job of portraying this inner turmoil in a very nuanced performance. You constantly see the struggle in his eyes. He wants to connect with his son but just doesn't know how to. At the start of his son’s quest he addresses his son mainly by rank, cadet. But as the story progresses and Kitai encounters escalating danger, Cypher breaks down slightly and starts addressing Kitai as son. You can see the concern and fear of losing his son that he’s keeping in check.
Jaden Smith’s character Kitai Raige is the complete opposite of his father. His emotions are always raw and apparent. He can’t contain his emotions or even control them. You quickly understand why these two characters would have trouble connecting with each other. Criticisms of Jaden’s performance have been overly harsh. He’s not at his father’s level as an actor yet, but he did an admiral job of carrying the bulk of this film. You root for his success and you want him to overcome his fears.
The CGI in After Earth is good enough to get by but no where near the level of “Man of Steel.” I don’t mind mediocre CGI if the movie is good enough to compensate for it and After Earth is that kind of movie. The character development and the story were enough to make me forgive the sometimes unconvincing creatures. I will say this, while Man of Steel had incredible effects, I was still bored during the epic fight scenes. If you can’t invest in the characters then how can you feel anything when they are in peril.
In this age of overly complicated plots/storylines where the villains have to trick the good guy into doing something that they can easily do themselves. Then the villain gets captured on purpose as part of his plan. All leading up to a predictable Shyamalan-ish plot twist at the end. It’s refreshing to see a movie like After Earth where the characters get to shine and the events happening around them takes a back seat to their growth. Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek into darkness, and Iron Man 3 are all movies that misled the audience just to incorporate an “awww crap moment” at the end. DKR actually had two plot twists at the end. So it’s nice to see Shyamalan abandon this tired concept that he was dependent upon in his earlier films.
At the end of the day, After Earth is a good film that is more than worthy of your time. What it lacks in explosions and ridiculous set pieces, it more than makes up for in character development and story.… Full Review »
My wife and I went to this movie because of the overwhelming positive reviews, and ended up disappointed. FYI, we did not see either of the prequels, and knew little of the premise. The movie is extremely well written and acted. The key to our disappointment was that this movie is 95% dialogue! The entire movie could have been done on stage. Certainly, the dialogue was excellent, biting and emotional. At times, I felt like I was back watching "Virginia Woolf" again. For us, the entertainment value was not there. I felt like I might have gotten the same enjoyment from reading this script, as from watching the movie. We go the the movies to be entertained. Ergo the mixed review.....excellent dialogue....minimal entertainment value.… Full Review »
"I can't decide if you think too much of me or too little." Redford keeps enlightening me on issues I wasn't previously aware of. Eye-opening (as to what networks could get away with) and entertaining. It is everything you could possibly ask for in a film.… Full Review »