The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

[Movie Review] Man of Steel – The New Age of DC July 21, 2013


IMDB: 7.7

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

My rating: 8/10

When Marvel/Disney got big with Avengers, DC/Warner Brothers got anxious.

They needed to catch up with this golden age of superheroes(aka perfect money-grabbing opportunity), but the situation wasn’t so good for them since they were already done with Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

They tried what they can with Green Lantern, which got a huge amount of hate from both critics and viewers.

Then they decided to team up with Legendary Pictures again, got the director of the considerably successful Watchmen, and try again with the world’s most famous hero of all – Superman.

Why Superman? Because no one, not anyone can ever possibly fail with Superman, it a guaranteed box office success no matter how bad the movie is.

Okay enough with the introduction, I’ll start with the actual review.

I’ve always admired Zack Snyder’s visual style, his movies usually have a color tone given to the entire film, that makes you feel more immersed in it.

Because the color tone is different from reality, you feel like half of you is in a comic book, the other half in the movie.

It also enhances the visual effect, making them blend in much easier than other movies.

He chose a very gloomy dark-blueish color tone for Superman, which is a good choice because Superman’s costume is blue, and it brings an entire serious atmosphere around it.

Throughout the years, one very big problem about Superman, is that no one takes him seriously anymore.

People always ridiculed Superman’s costume, saying that he wears his underwear outside and stuff like that.

This movie made the choice to give Henry Cavill the new costume in the comics, which loses the underwear.

Man of Steel also chose to take itself very seriously, with almost no lightened moment throughout the entire movie.

Some of the choices the movie made, in term of plot, had mixed reception from fans and critics alike.

[Spoilers alert.]

One of it being making Superman kill Zod.

Many are starting to lose faith in Zack Snyder because he was the one who came up with the idea, Christopher Nolan objected the idea initially, and many felt that he should have persisted with his opinion.

In my personal opinion, I think it’s a good choice they made.

Throughout the years, one of Superman’s legacy is to never kill.

However, until today, I have never understood why.

Was it just the teaching of Ma and Pa Kent? Being a good natured person?

Man of Steel chose to give an even stronger reason to why Superman chose to never kill, again.

After he had snapped Zod’s neck, he appeared traumatized by what he had done, and it would be reasonable to think that he would never kill again, because he had killed someone before, he know how it is, and so he won’t do it again.

I believe Warner Brothers are not going to make Superman an ultimate killing machine, I’d really want to tell all the fans to calm down with this one.

[Spoiler end]

The other decision they made that annoyed fans, was their decision to separate itself entirely from the original series.

We did not hear even the slightest hint of the iconic Superman theme, and Zack Snyder also mentioned that he wants this to be a whole new different thing from the series in the past.

Because of this, many felt disconnected with this movie.

A large portion of the fan base are strongly connected with the original Superman movies, and it’s understandable that they would feel a little abandoned when Warner Brothers chose to redo the movie in a completely unconnected manner from the past Superman films.

However, on the other hand, I felt that they needed to do this.

I have a friend, who would cringe whenever she hears of Superman’s name.

It’s heartbreaking, especially when she ridiculed him and tell me why she thinks that Superman sucks.

Like I had mentioned before, Superman is no longer taken seriously.

Most of the people would treat Captain America more seriously than Superman, even though Captain America’s costume in Avengers looked ridiculous as hell.(Really I loved the army costume in First Avenger a lot more)

Man of Steel needed to create a whole new image for Superman, to be taken seriously once again, as the most iconic hero in the entire world.

No longer just the goody two-shoe boy scout, but a hero who everyone can look up to.

The third thing that angered the fans, was how much damage was done to the entire city.

On this one, perhaps I agree with the fans a little bit more.

The movie chose to show very few scenes of Superman actually saving people, instead they show more scenes of him fighting with the villains.

That is not an absolutely wrong choice, but one of the things you can’t take away from Superman, is his strong will of wanting to save people.

If Zod doesn’t want to harm the humans on Earth at all, and simply wanted Kal El to hand him the codex, and would leave immediately afterwards, I bet Superman would gladly hand him the codex and wave goodbye to them all.

But Superman chose to fight against Zod because Zod is going to harm the humans.

This is a point I would really wish to see being improved on in the future sequels.

I must also mention that I absolutely love Lois Lane in this one.

Ever since at the age of 6, when I bought my first Superman cartoon box set DVD, I’ve hated Lois Lane, all the way until this movie, where I finally begin to love her, a lot.

One of the many things that made Lois Lane annoying, was how she’s supposed to be a great journalist, but can’t see through a pair of glasses and a single strand of hair.

She was supposed to be based on Nellie Bly, one of the greatest female journalist of all time, someone who pretended she was crazy, just so she could investigate a mental institute from within.

And in this movie, I finally see that part being portrayed out of Lois Lane, I finally see that fearless journalist, who sometimes may need Superman to save her, but in the most dire times, would aid Superman to save humanity.

I also really like the idea of not making Superman a hero that everyone trust(yet), one of my favorite comics of Superman and Batman, was the Public Enemies story, which touches on the aspect of people’s trust in these heroes.

It has a lot of potential, we get to see Superman earning that trust from everyone, instead of being told that everyone just loved Superman, because he is told to be a hero.

In conclusion, I believe this is a great Superman film, this was what the DC movie-verse needed, and would hang onto for a very long time in a box office fight against Marvel.

I can’t wait to see what DC has to offer next, would it be a whole new Batman franchise? Or will they work on other Justice League members like Flash or Wonder Woman?

On another note, I sort of feel like they should have pushed the release date of this movie a bit later, so that they can have a bigger show than what they have during San Diego Comic Con.

Marvel is sweeping the SDCC like it was entirely dedicated for them, and I’ve actually not heard much news from DC.

Frankly, it’s a bit worrying, whether can DC put up a fight on the cinematic stage with Marvel.

(Especially after the news that they’re splitting with Legendary Pictures)

EDIT:

Right after publishing this review, it’s been announced during SDCC that a Batman Superman film is to be made for 2015 release.

I can’t possibly tell you guys how excited I am for this.

Even though it’s going head to head with Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, I now believe they really can put up this fight with Marvel.

Come on, it’s Superman and Batman team up, how many of us had wanted this for decades?

 

[Movie Review] Chronicle – The Story of a Broken Soul March 30, 2012


Ratings:

IMDB – 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes – 84% Certified Fresh
My own – 8.0

I watched this a while ago with Jelly, wrote some reviews and are just not satisfied with them. (well once was because my computer’s power source got cut off due to the lightning, it’s still raining outside now and I hope it won’t happen again.)

Anyway, it’s a really interesting movie, maybe because I am ignorant, but this is the first time I see a movie like that.

The story begins with showing how the main character – Andrew, is an outcast who is bullied in school, with family problems that he can do nothing about, the only person who truly cared about him is his mother who is dying, and his father hated him to the core, giving him the worst life possible.

His cousin Matt is a much more popular guy compared to him and didn’t bother much about him other than sending him to school.

It only gets to the real story when Matt and Steve called along Andrew into a cave with extraterrestrial object, and accidentally gained telekinesis power.

This is the first time I see a found footage movie, it’s a whole new experience, especially with an interesting plot like this.

Andrew, being a complicated and broken person, with the most talent in the supernatural power out of the three, becomes the super villain in comic books.

This is what I like about this movie, the main protagonist isn’t a good guy who saves the world, he is the one attempting to destroy the world.

A rather interesting concept in my opinion, because I have seen enough of socially awkward teenagers becoming heroes saving the day giving virgin boys some hope instead of improving on themselves.

Also a good thing about this movie is that, because the holder of the camera have telekinesis powers, he is able to hold the camera in the air(in excuse for another person to hold it), so it doesn’t shakes as much and make your head go dizzy while watching it.

The pace of the movie is good, though not perfect, a little too slow at times, or maybe it could be just me not bearing to see the painful things that happens to Andrew. Some people may think the movie is going to suck around the middle of the movie, or may get bored and just give up on it.

A rare production of Hollywood where most/all things in the movie actually makes sense, instead of being unrealistically idealistic.

The idea of the story isn’t exactly original, teenagers gaining powers, but it is presented in a rather different way than other movies, a way which actually makes you want to watch it without thinking it will just be a stupid story of teenager angst. It’s a combination of a few factors, which are usually presented individually, that is why it makes this movie a lot more special compared to others.

Not just that, because of how realistic the movie is, people can actually relate to it, especially teenagers just like the three main characters. When they first gain powers, how they start toying around with their super powers, playing harmless pranks on people, doing all sorts of crazy things.

Also the part where popularity could mean so much to a teenager, yet it could be so fragile, one moment you’re a super star, next moment everyone laughs at you without you turning your back.

The expression of these key factors of being a teenager is presented really well, to the stage I could even feel for the characters at some parts of the movie, I believe when a movie could do that this movie didn’t fail.

Throughout the movie I felt really sorry for Andrew, I wished for a happy ending, despite knowing it’s almost impossible, and it would have been lame if this movie did have a happy ending.

He’s exactly like the type of villains we see the comic books, with a sorrowful story behind him, forcing him to join the dark side, and despite doing all sorts of evil things, we just can’t hate him. Even after he got defeated by the hero(who in this movie isn’t exactly one), we feel sad for him, because we know deep down inside he isn’t a bad person, not the evil being everyone else thought he was.

The other two supporting characters(I wouldn’t call them main because of how Andrew is really the center of the story), Matt and Steve, on the other hand, are slightly less developed.

All I know of Steve is that he is a popular model student living in a rich family, and Matt who is trying to hook onto a Good Girl Gina.

Despite that they still played a key role of making this movie not just about how Andrew got mad at the world and start killing, they gave us hope, a little bit of joy in a movie meant to be a tragedy. They made friends with the friendless, they tried to help him, they did, but failed in the end anyway because the problem behind Andrew is a lot bigger than it seems.

The movie showed how cruel the world is and an explanation to how some people become someone like Andrew, our coldness towards people may indirectly caused the insanity of a person.

A few things might have made Andrew completely different, such as if the pharmacy gave him the medicine his mother desperately needed, that would have made a dramatic twist to the story.

The ending was a bit too short, I wanted to see more of Andrew’s madness and his destruction of the city.

Why? I admit I am sadistic, but that’s not the main reason.

The thing is I could feel his rage and anger, I could almost feel it personally, and want to destroy the world in his place.

This is how strong the emotions are which the movie brought to me.

I actually think if I were Andrew, or even if I weren’t him and I gained the same power with the same talent, I would have become someone just like him.

Which is why I felt that the destruction and damage he did was too little, before Matt finished him, saving both the city and Andrew himself.

Despite thinking the destruction scenes are too little, I’m actually satisfied with the fact Andrew got killed.

There are no other realistic solution to solve the problem, which is why I say this movie follows closely to the most possible things that could happen if it happens in real life.

I won’t suggest people who can’t take things seriously to watch this movie, because I literally felt my heart rage when I walk out of the movie theatre with some teenagers completely misinterpreted the purpose of this movie, and start judging how stupid it is.

However it’s definitely worth watching if you’re looking for something different from the usually Hollywood commercial movies.

 

 
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