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Man of Steel (2013)


Man of Steel Poster 2

Man of Steel (2013)

With the countless number of sequels, remakes, and superhero movies that are being spewed out these days, I have become very skeptical and picky when it comes to deciding which of these movies I will see and which I will avoid like the plague.

Honestly, Man of Steel was a difficult choice at first.  My initial reaction was derision.  I rolled my eyes and scoffed.  How many Superman movies does this world really need?

Man of Steel Cavill Adams

Superman and Batman are probably my favorite superheroes.  What I always enjoyed about those characters was the fact that they both had alter egos and they both were always trying to do good by helping people.

The thing is I like Batman better than Superman.  Batman is more real.  He puts on a costume and goes out, mostly at night, to right wrongs in his city.  Batman is fed up with the scum in his city and he tries to clean up the streets.  Superman on the other hand, is an alien from another planet who ends up on earth.  Superman looks human, but has a number of superpowers that make him almost godlike.  He disguises himself as a human, but puts on a costume when its time to fight the bad guys.  He is faster than a speeding bullet, can fly, has x-ray vision, and is virtually invincible except around kryptonite, etc. etc.  Superman is a godlike alien from another planet.  Batman is a human vigilante.  Which is more believable to you?

Man of Steel Crowe

Following my initial reaction about the new Superman, I learned who all was cast in the movie.  I raised one eyebrow as I contemplated the film’s potential.  The cast includes Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Antje Traue, and Ayelet Zurer.  Great cast right?  Except Henry Cavill is a dud and he was cast as Superman.

Man of Steel Cuffs

In my opinion, they needed a far superior actor to play the lead role.  Sort of like Christian Bale played Batman.  Instead they surrounded an almost nobody with an awesome cast.  The part will boost Henry Cavill’s career, but that doesn’t make him a better actor.  They needed someone like Mark Wahlberg, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jake Gyllenhaal, or even Matt Damon.

Still, the strong cast was enough to make me want to see Man of Steel.  It also helped that Christopher Nolan produced the film and both he and David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay and story.  Of course, Nolan and Goyer also both wrote The Dark Knight Trilogy, which Nolan also directed.  However, Nolan did not direct Man of Steel, Zach Snyder did instead.  Snyder is a capable director, but Nolan is far superior.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel is about a boy who finds out that his parents on earth are not his real parents.  It is believed that he was sent to earth from a different planet.  These details are revealed to him by his earth parents after he figures out that he has super powers.  Now he must learn what he was sent to earth to do and what type of man he will become.

Man of Steel on fire

The film was bursting at the seams with special effects.  The aspects of Superman that I do not enjoy were highly prevalent in the movie.  I don’t like the overuse of super powers and Michael Bay-esque explosions, along with multiple superhuman aliens in an endless battle of invulnerability.  Everything in their path becomes obliterated and it all seems so unrealistic.  With that being said, I expected the film to be that way.  But, I also hoped that the film would concentrate more on the humans on earth than the aliens on Superman’s home planet.  That hope was shattered.  It became more about Superman stopping an alien invasion on earth than Superman just stopping bad guys on earth.

MAN OF STEEL

Although there were a few things about the movie that I did not like, I will admit that those things were done tastefully.  The special effects were amazing.  They were too much at times, but they were also insanely awesome at times.  The cast was great, but Henry Cavill could have been replaced with someone better.  Everybody else’s performance made up for his.  It’s not that he was bad, but he just could have been much better.  The supporting cast should not be better than the main character.  That is not a solid foundation for a film.

Crowe, Costner, Shannon, Adams, and Lane all made the movie worth watching.  They used their acting super powers to totally make the film.

Man of Steel Shannon

Man of Steel is a worthy update to previous Superman movies.  Even a superhero skeptic like myself, enjoyed the movie.  With the obscene amount of action in the film, it will certainly be better on the big screen.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Pain & Gain (2013)


Pain and Gain Poster

Pain & Gain (2013)

Michael Bay took a true story about bodybuilding thieves and kidnappers, and chewed it up and spit it out bigger and better than before.  The producer and director has a tendency to go big or go home.  Pain & Gain went huge with a super sized Mark Wahlberg, a bulkier Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”, and an extra beefed up Anthony Mackie.

Pain & Gain Trio

I should not have enjoyed this movie, but I did.  It is supposedly a true story, but you have to believe that with Michael Bay involved, the film could very well be far from the truth.  Everything about the movie was way over-the-top.

Pain & Gain Over the top

The movie was raunchy, vulgar, and went totally off the deep end.  It’s filled with drugs, cussing, nudity, and brutality.  I was caught off guard at how funny the movie was though.  I expected an action/adventure and I got an action/comedy.  The story is pretty twisted and it needed a lot of comedy to help you get through it, so kudos to the filmmakers for recognizing this fact.  The real story was probably not that funny.  The real story was probably not that entertaining either.

If you are not a fan of dark comedy, then you might not like this movie.  It is mostly filled with dark comedy and stupid comedy.  After all, all brawn and no brains is the underlined theme of this film.  The movie could also be considered very offensive.  If you are easily offended, you might not like the film.

Pain & Gain Wahlberg hit

The rest of the notable cast includes Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Bar Paly, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Risponi, Larry Hankin, Tony Plana, and Peter Stormare.

The characters were far out, but very well-acted.  The casting was perfect.  I don’t think that you could find a funnier bunch of giants anywhere.  With that being said, if this movie had a different cast, it probably would have just been awful.  I am certain that the actual people that the characters are based on are not nearly as likable as the actors who play them in the movie.

Pain & Gain Wahlberg Pool

With how big Mark Wahlberg is now, if he could go back in time and fight his character in The Fighter (2010), he would beat the crap out of that guy.  He gained 40lbs. to make Pain & Gain and he looks gigantic.  Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” somehow became more enormous for his role.  It just goes to show the dedication that these guys had to make the movie.

Pain & Gain Johnson Crazy

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked Pain & Gain, then you will most likely enjoy:

2 Guns (2013)

Broken City (2013)

Ted (2013)