The Man of Steel: Best Superhero Flick Ever ( with Spoilers )

yummyIf you haven’t seen the Man of Steel movie, do not read this. This review is intended for those who have seen the flick. I might write a spoiler-free review if I feel like it. But for now, this review is going to be spoiler-laden.

In anticipation of the Man of Steel movie release, I reviewed the first 2 Superman flicks and the 2006 Superman Returns movie. I just wanted to go into the movie and be able to give a really good comparative review. I am a Christopher Reeve Superman fan and believe him to be the best Superman ever but Henry Cavill as Superman, nails the role. I don’t know if I want to compare the two Supermen since their roles are very different. They may play the same hero but the circumstances of their lives are different. Henry Cavill’s Superman is much darker and more conflicted. Christopher Reeve’s Superman is lighter. It’s just that Christopher Reeve with his presence and classical acting training, just makes us believe in the possibility that a man can fly based on his ACTING alone. Henry Cavill has a pretty much easier time since he is aided by CGI effects. But I loved how he played Superman and Clark. This is perhaps the first movie where Superman has no Clark alter-ego and vice versa.

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I also love the writer’s direction of making Superman emotionally-vulnerable. There may be no Kryptonite this time but Superman still has a weakness– his emotional pain of being bullied as a child because he was ‘different’. I guess, the theme here is about ALIENATION and how Superman has struggled all his life to find out who he is, where he comes from and what his purpose in life is. I like how the writer has created an emotionally vulnerable Superman who is not accepted by both the humans and the Kryptonian rebels. He really is struggling to find his place in the world. And I’m glad that at the end of the movie, they’ve somehow managed to make him choose his path in the world which was what his parents, Jor-El and Lara, wanted for him– the power to choose his own destiny.

Another thing that I loved about the movie is the beginning. In other Superman flicks, the audience never got a chance to really get to know Superman’s parents and his home planet. Finally, the filmmaker has allowed the audience a glimpse of Krypton. We see a Krpton unlike anything else we’ve seen– a world with a sort-of caste system and a fixed political system. The movie audience also get to know Jor-El better. I think it is great that the casting director chose Russell Crowe to play Superman’s father. In this movie, at least in the first few minutes, we see Crowe reprising his role as a gladiator or warrior. It is interesting to note that Crowe had influenced Cavill to go into acting. The two actors had met years ago, when Cavill was still a student. Crowe somehow inspired Cavill to become an actor. It’s such a great coincidence that Crowe now plays Cavill’s father in the movie.

man of steelI really like the casting choices which includes their choice for Lara, Superman’s mother. Although she only appeared briefly in the film, she gave the role some sense of justice because of her dignified acting. I love how they chose Kevin Costner as the father. I wished that his role as Jonathan Kent was more expounded but in the brief scenes that Costner was in, he was able to convey Costner’s values and his sense of responsibility for raising a special son. I love how Diane Lane played Martha Kent. Her acting gave the role more ‘meat’ and her character didn’t feel like it was written just because. She plays an integral part in the making of a noble Clark Kent. I love Michael Shannon as General Zod. He is not the typical bad guy.  In a way, I can understand why he is doing bad things. He just wants to save Krpton and the Kryptonians. I understand why he would reject Kal-El since he sees Kal-El as someone who has become more ‘human’ than Kryptonian. He is one tough baddie and a worthy villain for someone like Superman. I kind of felt bad that they killed off his character.

All the characters are great in this movie except for Lois Lane. Amy Adams is a good actress but I don’t think she was a good choice for Lois Lane. I mean, to tell you frankly, there’s no chemistry between Clark and Lois in this film. There are actors that have on-screen chemistry and it kind of works but not these two. Perhaps in time, they can make the ‘spark’ happen during the sequel.

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Although I LOVE the film to bits and now prefer it over the original Superman movie, what I don’t like about the flick is that it somehow derivative of the other movies I’ve seen over the years. Or perhaps I’ve been watching too many movies? Anyway, I feel that the movie is like a mish-mash of ideas from other flicks. First, the concept of creating Kryptonians through cloning. During the scene where Jor-el swam to the genesis chamber and stole the Codex, the babies floating in water somehow reminded me of The Matrix. In The Matrix, the humans were being seeded and created artificially. In Superman, the same thing happens. The Kryptonians are created artificially and we see babies floating in the artificial womb. It may also be coincidental that Lawrence Fishburne, who plays Morpheus in the Matrix flicks also plays Perry White. Perhaps, Fishburne had an input somehow?

In Krypton as Jor-El was escaping from the rebels, he was riding some kind of flying animal or dragon. The animal kind of reminds me of the creature that Jake Sully rode on in the movie Avatar. The winged creature looks the same. Perhaps they have the same creature designer?

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In Metropolis, the buildings were being pounded to bits and falling apart much like in the third Transformers movie. They had similar shots and angles. The buildings were falling like dominoes and they really had the same camera angle. Perhaps Zach Snyder was influenced by Michael Bay?

The helmets and the ships used by the Kryptonians were very similar to the helmets and the ship in the movie Prometheus. General Zod’s army even wore similar-looking uniform/armour that the Engineers in Prometheus wore. And the computers in Krypton with their 3D metallic pixels looks like the 3D metallic pixellated map that the Prometheus crew used. The helmets/suits that Zod’s army used were similar to the helmets/suits that the Prometheus crew used. The look of the Kryptonian Elders somehow reminded me of the look of the evil dude in Hellraiser. Did they have the same costume designer? It’s worth checking out.

Another thing, the destruction of Krypton sort of reminds me of the destruction of Vulcan. Interestingly enough, in the movie, Star Trek, Spock’s mother dies with the dying planet. In Superman, Lara, Kal-El’s mother also dies in the dying planet.

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Even though the film’s ‘look’ isn’t original at least the concept of Krypton, Superman’s past, the concept of General Zod– is all-original. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they made this into a purely SCI-FI flick because duh, Superman is an alien. I’m a sci-fi fan and I am sure the sci-fi fanatics are just crazy about this movie! I also like their twist on Lois Lane figuring out Clark Kent as Superman before he ever came out as Superman. At least now, it is more believable that Lois is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. Overall, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the film. I doubt though that they could top this flick. Even Iron Man 3 can’t top this flick. It’s just so GREAT. However, they will have a harder time pushing the envelope in the sequel. I mean, how can they re-conceptualize Lex Luthor? How can they top the special effects? The CGI in this film is just crazy! I mean, we saw it on IMAX and it was just CRAZY! There are scenes however that are too fast that it takes a long time for my eyes and brain to process the information. Other than that… This movie is probably the BEST SUPERHERO FLICK EVER! It has action, sci-fi, romance, adventure, CGI effects, great acting, a great story! This Superman flick is light years apart from the previous Superman incarnations! I can’t wait to watch it again!

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Beautiful Creatures Movie Review: Flawed Beautiful Creatures

Cover of "Beautiful Creatures"

Cover of Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a movie that has a rather complicated plot. It has characters that are not that well fleshed out. The exposition is circuituous and the dialogue can be funny, charming and sometimes not that well thought out. You can sense that the director is really trying hard to sell and tell the story of star-crossed lovers, Lena played by Alice Englert and Ethan played byAlden Ehrenreich. The movie mostly works and mostly doesn’t. But what keeps the movie afloat isn’t the main character but the side characters played by veteran actors Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson. Emma Thompson is so great here trying to do a Southern accent. She’s such a talented actress and I think she may have chosen this project only so she could play a Southern Belle.

What I loved about the movie is Ethan played oh so perfectly by Alden Ehrenreich. Ethan is this small town boy who dreams of escaping to the big city. His character is witty, charming, funny, literate but at the same time kind of innocent. You really believe that a boy like him could fall in love with a brooding witch. Ethan plays the damsel in distress so to speak since his lady love, Lena, is a powerful witch or rather as she would prefer to be called a ‘caster’. The visuals are great but I would rather that the director focus on developing the characters rather than focusing on the visuals.

To those who haven’t read the novel where the movie is based, the plot may be a bit confusing. There’s a part where the past must intersect with the future but the transition didn’t work out as well as the director had hoped. It ended up being a confusing mess. The movie jumps from scene to scene and somehow there isn’t even a smooth transition between scenes. We don’t know how many days have passed. There were scenes that were totally uneccessary or redundant.

The director of the movie, Richard LaGravenese worked mostly as a screenwriter but he has directed a few films. He also wrote the screenplay for this movie. Perhaps he should work with a good film editor because not everything you write should end up on the movie screen. There are several things you need to leave out. Apparenlty, he wanted to cram a lot of elements from the novel into the film.

I love the visuals of the film though. The beginning of the movie was haunting and a bit soulful. I would have thought that the opening scene would have set the mood for the entire film, unfortunately, it didn’t. The film would have been perfect if the kinks were smoothed out. The character of Lena was okay but the scene stealer has to be Ethan’s character played by handsome and charming actor, Alden Ehrenreich. He is almost perfect in this film. He is such a talented actor and I can sense that he would transcend this mess of a film. He will have many more movies to come. I just hope he makes a few more romantic movies because he has that boy-next-door charm that sadly doesn’t exist in Hollywood anymore. He plays innocent and charming so convincingly that he steals every scene that he is in. I’d watch the movie again just to see his performance. This girl needs her eye candy you know.

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I give the movie an overall rating of 2 over 4 popcorns.

I give Alden Ehrenreich’s performance a 4 over 4 rating.

I give the visuals a rating of 3.5 popcorns.

Overall rating of 3 popcorns.

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Mama Movie Review: Oh My Mama!

Mama is one scary movie. I don’t easily get scared but this movie is so creepy and has many ‘jump in your seat’ moments which makes it a really scary flick. The movie is based loosely on the true story of the feral girls named Amala and Kamala. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. The two girls were found in an Indian jungle during the 1920s. The girls grew up wild after being raised by wolves.

Mama incorporated this true story but added a twist. In Mama, the two girls, named Lily and Victoria, were raised by an overprotective ghost whom they called Mama. The two girls lived in the forest with the motherly ghost until they were discovered by their Uncle, after having been missing for 5 years.After their discovery, the girls were made to live with their Uncle Lucas and his devoted girlfriend, Annabel. Annabel is played by the almost unrecognizable Jessica Chastain. Chastain plays a dark-haired, eyeliner wearing, tattooed rocker chick who ironically enough, doesn’t like kids. The character of Annabel slowly warms up to the kids even if she’s become suspicious of their strange actions. She also experiences strange dreams after spending time with the kids.

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Mama isn’t your usual gore fest with blood, dismembered bodies and the like. It’s just a straight out horror flick with scary sounds, dark shadows and scary chase scenes. The movie is atmospheric, disturbing and will probably make a grown man pee in his pants. There are deaths in the film but most of these deaths are stupid and unnecessary. You find yourself shouting at the screen, “Don’t go there at night! You’re asking for it, stupid potential victim person!” There are two characters made redundant by the exposition. And there are characters created just so they could die a very horrible death. Another negative thing about the movie is the CGI Mama. It is obvious that the ghost is CGI. Can’t they make a CGI character less CGI-ey?

Overall though, Mama is one scary movie. I like how they incorporate certain elements of fact with fiction. I like Jessica Chastain’s acting in this film. She takes the more subdued approach and we rarely even hear her scream. I love how scary and unpredictable the kids are. I swear I love kids, but if I were taking care of feral kids, I’d probably pass. I don’t necessary love the ending but I like how
unpredictable the ending was. It’s the type of horror flick that makes you look over your shoulder after emerging from the theater. 

I give it a grade of 3.5 pop corns over 4.

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“THE AVENGERS” – 4 1/2 STARS

Top 5 Movies of 2012

5. Sinister

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I’ve never been scared of a horror movie ever. But Sinister managed to give a few chills and scares. To make sure that you really get scared they added a serial killer, a few ghosts and a demon.  This movie is from the same makers of Insidious. It’s original in a way because it combines several genres into one film. It’s a combination of a thriller,mystery and a horror movie.

4. Prometheus

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This movie has many plot holes. The characters did pretty stupid things. But still it can’t be denied that the movie is visually breathtaking. We watched it on Imax. There is also a memorable scene where the lead character gives birth to an alien. How cool is that? It combines elements of Ancient Aliens and the Aliens movie. The aliens on the film are kind of enigmatic. We don’t really know what their motives are for creating humans. Guess that’s why we need to watch the sequel. What makes this film remarkable is the talented Michael Fassbender. His take on the android, David, is so spot on. David is creepy and morally ambiguous. But at the same time, he’s adorable even if he is a bit homicidal. That’s why I just love Michael Fassbender.

3. The Amazing Spiderman

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Some critics say that we don’t need another Spiderman movie. But after the terrible third Spiderman flick, I say, it was time to REBOOT! I love the casting of this movie. Andrew Garfield makes the best Spiderman. What’s more, he’s an actual fan. I’m not saying that Tobey Maguire sucked as Spiderman, I’m just saying that he was just playing a character named Peter Parker. Andrew embodies the character of Peter Parker. The actor knows what the character is really all about. Peter Parker is not a dorky teenager. He’s a teenager who feels incomplete because of the mystery of his past. Martin Sheen did a really great job playing Uncle Ben. Sally Field was underutilized in this film as Aunt Martha, but I’m sure she’ll have a bigger role in the sequel.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

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I was disappointed when this movie first came out. I mean, the movie felt bloated. It was also rushed. It’s like they wanted to tie up all the loose ends in 2 hours time. I didn’t want the franchise to end yet. But after watching the film again, I dare say that it’s a great movie. Finally, the film focused on the character of Bruce Wayne again. They also have great villains. The Bane is badass. The character of Catwoman is just perfect. I love the ending. The director finally gave Bruce Wayne the happy ending he deserved. I just feel sad that Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy has come to an end. I wish he would make 10 more Batman films. The ending gave me goosebumps. It was the same feeling that I had after Batman Begins ended. Perhaps the end is only the beginning?

1. The Avengers


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I love Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man separately. Combine them all together and you have a billion dollar hit! The movie was fun to watch on the first outing. But after you watch it too many times, you get to see the plot holes. I hated how superficial they made Loki in this film. After Thor, Loki’s character has downgraded. I mean, he’s not just your typical villain. He has more depth than that. I wished though that they had utilized another villain. I mean, I kind of like Loki’s character. He was complex and intelligent in the movie, Thor. In this film, he just comes off as rather stupid and crazy. I mean, trying to rule Earth because of a grudge? Come on, that’s just too shallow. This movie should be number two on my list but it has all my favorite superhero characters. I can’t wait for Avengers 2. I hope they find a better villain next time.

Walking Dead Season 3 Midseason Ender

I hate the fact that I have to wait until February to watch what happens to Rick and company. Things are starting to heat up as The Governor loses one eye care of Michonne. Andrea in the meantime is conflicted when she rescues the Governor from sure death under the hands of Michonne. But Andrea can’t reconcile the goody image she has of the governor versus the sinister Governor who collects zombie heads in an aquarium. The Governor is probably one of the most bipolar characters we’ve seen so far. When his beloved zombie daughter, Penny, is killed by Michonne, you really feel pity for him. He obviously has his sentimental and human side. It would be great if the writers showed a little flashback as to what the Governor was like before her lost his family. I’m pretty sure he was just a regular family man. The zombie infestation has certainly not left a single character unscathed.

Merle is reunited with Daryl after he gets captured following Rick and Co.’s daring rescue of Maggie and Glenn. Merle has been branded a traitor by the good ol’ Governor, so I hope we see Merle switching sides. I doubt that is going to happen though as his temperament doesn’t belong to Rick’s camp. But who knows? Stranger things have happened?

Back in the prison, Carl takes charge. He daringly rescues humans who have gotten lost in the prison. There will certainly be more new characters in the group. It is only a matter of time before we find out if any of them survive and get incorporated into Rick’s dwindling group.

I’m hoping to get to see more of the bipolar Governor. He truly is the best new character introduced since well, day 1. I like how duplicitous and cunning he is. But his love for his daughter Penny, is a bit moving. We might see more darkness from him in the next couple of episodes, seeing that he has nothing much to live for.

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The Governator VS Rickator: Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 Review With Spoilers

I knew that it was too good to be true. Rick receiving a phone call in the prison from people claiming to have a safe haven of some sorts. As I suspected, the phone call was all in Rick’s deluded head as he couldn’t cope with the loss of his wife.

Unfortunately, this episode is a filler episode. Nothing much happens in terms of action. Michonne ends up in Rick’s camp and the lovebirds, Maggie and Glenn, end up in the Governor’s camp. So, as to be expected, there is going to be some Rick vs Governor showdown. My money is on Rick since he’s the protagonist. If the Governor wasn’t duplicitous and kinda crazy, I would like him. But since he’s the bad guy, we have to root for Rick.

By the end of the episode, Rick has managed to pulls himself back together again for his baby, for his son and for his group. Next week is a  more promising episode as Rick attempts to rescue people from his team.

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The final Twilight movie is like a porn film with action figures

The End of the Twilight Era: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Movie Review ( Minor Spoilers )

I don’t particularly hate Twilight but I don’t particularly love it either. I just like to watch it because it is fun to watch. Plus there are hot guys who strip for no other reason than to show their washboard abs. Anyway, I’m a sucker for sequels. There’s just something about a ‘TO BE CONTINUED’ that keeps me wanting for more. It’s no surprise that I’ve probably seen almost all James Bond films, Resident Evil films, Lord of the Rings films, Harry Potter films and just about every other movie that has a sequel. Movies with sequels are compelling to watch.

Everyone probably knows the plot to the last Twilight film. But let’s just pretend that you’ve been hiding in a cave so here’s the plot: Bella and Edward have an immortal baby but apparently, because of faulty intel, the Volturi clan (a group of elite and powerful Italian vampires who surprisingly have British accents) is led to believe that Bella and Edward have created a vampire child. Turing a child into a vampire is a big No-No for the Volturis since it violates one of their many absurd vampire laws. So the Volturi come in full force to the territory of the Cullens in order to punish them for breaking the law.

Okay, the whole brouhaha could have been avoided if only Irina, the one who provided false intel, communicated with the Cullens. I mean, come on, in the age of cellphones, the internet, Facebook and Twitter, couldn’t she just have at least sent a text message  for confirmation. Something along the lines of “Hello Bella and Edward, I happen to have seen your daughter levitating, just confirming, have you created some kind of monster child?” Or she could have gone to Facebook or Twitter. I’m sure the proud parents of Renesmee would announce to the whole world that they have created an immortal child. I bet Bells and Ed would tweet, “#Renesmee can drink blood and or normal human food if she chooses to. Oh and she has super powers to boot!” Bet they’ll even add Instagram photos of their rapidly growing child. The proud parents would be happily posting pictures of Renesmee every 5 seconds since their baby girl is growing at an exceptionally rapid rate. But sadly, that is not to be since the movie producers have to recoup their investment. Heck, half of the movie’s budget goes to the insanely ridiculous salaries of the actors. The producers need to make some money so plot twists are necessary!

Breaking Dawn Part 2 is a surprisingly fun movie to watch. I mean, the ending is so cool! Let’s just say it is reminiscent of the ending of the movies Sourcecode and The Prince of Persia. I don’t want to give anything away. But there were several vampires who lost their heads.There were also many wolves who got killed. Or did they? I’m just trying to mess with your head.

The movie starts slow. In the first few scenes we get to see how Bella enjoys being a vampire. Who knew that becoming a vampire is equivalent to watching everything in HD (Hi-Definition) and in Dolby surround sound? Just to prove that she’s really a vampire, we see Bella jumping and running around like crazy. There’s even one scene where she’s glistening under the sunlight. I asked my sister why vampires get sparkly under the sunlight and she explained rather scientifically that since vampires have no circulatory system, their bodies are probably made of minerals. Hence, they sparkle under the sunlight. Okay, like that makes a lot of sense.I must add that Bella is meant to be a vampire since she’s so stiff anyway.

In Breaking Dawn Part Deux there are gratuitous sex scenes between Bella and Edward but only this time, Bella has turned into a vampire. Is it just me or do vampires have a boring sex life? I kind of liked the sex scene in Breaking Dawn Part 1 back when Bella was still human. At least the bed gets torn apart. Nothing exciting happens in Part 2. They didn’t even trash their house. I thought that vampires sound like cats when they make love. They didn’t even make any noise.

The most awkward and accidentally funny scene was when Jacob stripped in front of Charlie, Bella’s father. That was AWKWARD. The director figured that seeing Jacob’s pecs and abs would bring more dollars in. The only reason Jacob’s character has been added is to make young girls swoon. Poor Charlie, he must have been traumatized after seeing a young boy stripping naked in front of him.

What I didn’t like about the film are the strange scenes where Bella’s baby is obviously a fake CGI child. I don’t know why they couldn’t just hire a newborn baby to play the part. I know they had to get the baby to ‘stare’ in a certain way, but making the baby fake just makes it all the more creepy.

After five Twilight films, I still completely hate Alice’s wig. Can’t they get her a more natural looking hair? Her hair is totally distracting. Just like the other four Twilight films, the other characters are relegated to the sidelines. Most of their characters are underdeveloped and serve only to drive the plot forward. It’s all about Edward and Bella. There is however, one notable vampire named Garrett, played by Lee Pace (from Pushing Daisies). His character is exceptionally sexy and just oozes with sex appeal. He has that whole disheveled, aging rock star look. But I doubt that they would make a Twilight: Middle Aged Edition. But boy is that character steaming hot. So instead of Edward, I’ll post Garrett’s picture here.

As to be expected from a movie that teaches abstinence first before marriage, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 gets a happy ending. But does it really? Again, I’m just messing with your head.

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