The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


June 21, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: “Man of Steel” entertaining morality tale

Conversation overheard at the offices of Bialystock and Bloom two years ago:

“We’ve got to come up with a summer blockbuster for DC Comics.  Marvel is kicking our tail out there.”

“Well, we tried with Green Lantern and it was horrific.  How about we get Chris Nolan to do one more Batman movie?  He always makes us a lot of money.”

“I’ve already asked and he shot me down in flames.  He did let me contact one of his top writers, David Goyer, who suggests we redo Superman.”

“Superman?  We just did ‘Superman Returns’ in 2006 and it tanked.”

“I know.  But he says we need to start from scratch.  Don’t even call it Superman.  Call it “Man of Steel,” because it’s about a guy learning what he’s made of.  He envisions the story told as a morality play in a nonlinear fashion, with flashbacks and all.  It’ll deal with the same characters but in a new way.  It’ll still have Jor-El sending his infant son Kal-El to Earth to escape that dying planet.  Kal-El will still be adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent in Smallville, Kansas; they will provide a solid moral upbringing for him.  When Clark Kent meets his real father, or the digital/holographicimage of him, that moral instruction will continue.  Then when Clark meets Lois Lane, who is a crusader in her own right, and the Kryptonian exile General Zod threatens Earth, Clark Kent will fight for his adopted planet.  It’ll be like the origins of the hero.”

“Okay, the basic plot sounds good.  Soul-searching, plus action and lots of psychological stuff.  Goyer knows how to do that; he’s proven himself on the Dark Knight series.  But we’ve got to get a top notch director who will deliver the action sequences.”

“I’ve got just the guy!  Zack Snyder.  He directed ‘Watchmen’ and ‘Sucker Punch’ and ‘300’.”

“Great!  And who can we get for the cast?”

“Henry Cavill, the guy who played Theseus in ‘The Immortals’ can furrow his brow and actually has some decent facial expressions,can be Clark Kent.  We can balance him out with someone who really knows how to act as Lois Lane.  How about Amy Adams from ‘Trouble With the Curve’?”

“Perfect.  But who can we get to do the parents and such?  They need to be recognizable faces.  Remember how Marlon Brando played Superman’s father in the original film back in the 1970’s?  We need someone of his stature.  A guy who was a Superman type himself in his younger years.”

“Russell Crowe.  He’s working on ‘Les Miserables’right now.  He can strut around with the best of them.  Takes himself real seriously, which is what the role of Jor-El needs.  And we can balance that with Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.  Costner can aw shucks it, with some good moral stuff thrown in, too, just like Glenn Ford did in the first Superman movie.  And he’s available, too, just finishing up on ‘Hatfields & McCoys’.   I bet we can get Laurence Fishburne, from ‘Contagion’ to play Perry White.  And how about an aging goddess to play Clark Kent’s mother?  Kind of emphasizing the mortality of us all.”

“Diane Lane will do it.  She did ‘Secretariat’ with no love scenes, so she’s definitely the person for Martha Kent.”

“Sounds good.  Now all we have to do is raise a gazillion dollars to make ‘Man of Steel’.”

Second conversation overheard at the offices of Bialystock and Bloom, Friday night:

“Do you think anyone will notice that the fight scenes are way too long and repetitive?”

“Nah.  Everything looks so classy and professional; that’ll only distract a few hard-nosed critics.”


3.0 Stars

1 star= avoid this boring mess of a movie at all costs.  Reading the dictionary is more entertaining.

2 stars= if you're in the right mood or if the subject matter appeals to you, you may like this film; or it is uneven, at times entertaining and believable and at other times sophomoric.  If you've got nothing else to do, it may be worth the price of admission (at least a matinee).

3 stars= this is a generally good movie that most people will enjoy.  If you're looking for an entertaining couple of hours, spend it here and you won't be disappointed.

4 stars= don't miss this film!  I don't care if you have time or not, make the time, because this movie is terrific.


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