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] Oz the Great and Powerful – Painfully Cheesy March 10, 2013


NOTE: SPOILERS

IMDB: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 60% fresh

Disney had been known for two things, fairy tales and a good ending no matter what.

It’s no surprise Disney would touch on Oz, after all what’s better to attract the audience other than the nostalgia of our childhood.

Unfortunately when Hollywood attempts that, they often fail.

This movie shares several similarity with the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz, especially from the way they started the movie in sepia/black and white, then transit to color when Oz entered the world of Oz.

However it failed it’s attempt to be a valid prequel, instead it felt more like a stand-alone new franchise.(since they’re already making a sequel)

No doubt this movie is a visual extravaganza, burst of colors, beautiful costumes, amazing effects, I almost regretted not watching this in 3D.

They presented the world of Oz well enough to live up to it’s name, the costumes were good, the citizens of Oz were adorable pleasant people.

If I were to describe the movie in just one word, I know just the perfect word: cheesy.

You know there’s got to be something wrong with this movie when the actors and actresses themselves looked awkward on camera, I’m not even talking about Kristen Stewart sort of awkward, I’m talking about actually being awkward about what they’re told to do.

Rachel Weisz, an Oscar, Golden Globe award winner, looked awkward on camera. Perhaps she’s just not that great of an action star, but whenever the two wicked witches were supposed to summon their powers from their hands, it doesn’t feel very natural, especially so for Evanora since her powers are green colored electricity.

James Franco also felt painfully awkward on screen, it’s worst because he was supposed to be awkward, but he made it extra awkward with how awkward his awkwardness is.(it makes sense, trust me)

Every character felt one-dimensional, especially Mila Kunis’ Theodora.

She’s naive, she’s kind, she fell in love, she’s heart broken, she became wicked, and swore revenge…

The heart break and the process of her becoming wicked really didn’t felt like such a big deal.

Then right after she turns into the Wicked Witch of the West, she started screaming and screeching, becoming a completely different person, with little to no connections to her original self.

That was very hard for me to bear through because I love Mila Kunis, and I love Wicked Witch of the West because of the musical Wicked, instead this movie just ruined both of them for me.

They also gave a very weak reason to why the wicked witches were wicked. In fact they only showed Theodora becoming wicked, they never explained why Evanora was wicked, instead they simply told us, ‘yes she is wicked, she’s evil, she deserved all this’.

I was expecting a prequel of Oz would explain more than just how Oz gets to the land of Oz, at least touch a bit on Evanora’s history, and not make Rachel Weisz look like a one-dimensional villain.

Oz and Glinda the Good got together at the end, proving Theodora that everything her sister said became true.

The love between Oz and Glinda felt forced, I swear even Snow White falling in love with the prince made more sense than this.

It’s a shame that James Franco wasn’t that much of the cowardly Oz I was hoping for, the entire time he was this playboy caught up in a giant cat fight between the three witches.

I must also mention how much I didn’t like the wizard, right after finding out Glinda was the ‘wicked witch’, he immediately sides with Glinda without a single doubt, just because she looked like Annie she must have been the good witch?

Despite being the main cause Theodora became wicked, Oz barely felt sorry for it, if this was the original with Dorothy as the main character, I forgive that, but Oz is the main character, and main characters are supposed to do more than that to earn our respect.

It could also have served as a good lesson for kids, ‘when you do something wrong, apologize, and never lie to others when you know it’ll hurt them’.

The two side kicks are cute, but I believe they could have put a little more effort in making the flying monkey cuter.

I love monkeys, I could stare at them all day long, because of how beautifully innocent their eyes look, but this movie did not manage to capture that.(on this part Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters did better)

The china doll was adorable, but I would give more credit to the visual effects team who made her so realistic, from the way light reflects on her body, to the lines that shows every pieces of her.

That is pure art.

Even though the visual effects was beautiful, this movie didn’t felt as magical as the original.

This is another very common thing about prequel/sequel/remakes of a classical movies, no matter how much the visual effects had improved, the modern version just doesn’t feel as magical as the original.

Another example is Tim Burton’s modern Alice in Wonderland.

The very well done part of the movie has to the connection between Kansas and Oz, in which the flying monkey is a counterpart to Oz’s partner, the china doll being the little girl who wished Oz could let her walk, and of course Annie and Glinda.

That was really well done, and I would applaud the script writers for that, unfortunately the rest of the story was falling in pieces, the writing hardly made me feel enthusiastic or overwhelmed with any feelings.

To be very honest, this movie was a huge disappointment to those who grew up with the original.

I understand that there was a lot of hurdles Disney faced with touching on a classic that currently belongs to Warner Brothers, thus the lack of ruby slippers, actual terrifying flying monkeys, or even the slightest hint that Dorothy might appear in the future sequels of this new franchise.

I don’t have any idea what the sequel is gonna be about, perhaps the witches? Or even another prequel to what happened before Oz appeared?

We’ll only find out when the next Disney Oz movie comes out, meanwhile, perhaps we could pick up the original books by L. Frank Baum and immerse ourselves in the actual magical world of Oz.

Overall, 6.5/10.

Worth it for the effects, the storyline needs a lot more work, if you’re a loyal fan of the original, this won’t be what you’re expecting.

Also, was it just me, or did the witches all had to have their boobs and cleavage shown? Not like I’m complaining but that was definitely done on purpose right?

One more thing, my boyfriend was shaking when this movie kept referring Thomas Edison as the man who invented many things… but truth is, people who worked for him invented those things, not him.

Now I’ll post up the ticket stub if I watched a movie in the cinema~

 

 
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