With Man Of Steel released this week on DVD, Blu-ray 3D, and Digital Download this week, this was a nice opportunity to re-watch the movie in 2D (not having a swanky 3D TV at home), and to see if my opinion had changed in the intervening months since my original review.
Using a similar approach exec producer Chris Nolan and writer David S. Goyer took with Batman, they take the origin story we know, but mix it up adding a modern twist. Although they do start with Krypton exploding, we get far more of Jor-El’s (Russell Crowe) back story, and his conflict with General Zod (Michael Shannon). If you’re a fan of the more recent Superman comic books, this should be a world your more comfortable in than previous big screen outings for the man in red, yellow and blue, and I think a lot of that is down to director Zack Snyder.
As much as I love Nolan’s take on Batman, it wasn’t really ‘my’ Batman. By that, I mean, I’ve still not seen a good on screen representation of the current Batman comic book world. For me, Nolan pushed a little too far away from the comics, making the movies a brilliant, but rather serious affair. Snyder seems to have much more of a comic book sensibility about him. He’s a fan of the source material, as much as he is a movie director. I’m not sure how Nolan would have coped with the rather more fantastical world Superman, by his very nature, has to inhabit. Having said that, i’m also not sure Snyder, left to his own devices, would have created the movie he did. What makes it work is the team of Nolan, Goyer, and Snyder, who seem to have found a reasonable balance of comic book and realism, and come out with an interesting movie that still retains a lot of it’s comic book roots. It’s not perfect – Superman could still could do with lightening up a little… I can’t help feeling that it’s missing the zinginess that Whedon brings to the script of that ‘other superhero franchise’. The realism does help the DC movies stand apart from Marvel, but… I would like just a few more laughs in there… To quote the Joker, “Why So Serious?”
What has become rather more apparent since Man Of Steel’s cinematic release, is that DC’s seem to be prepping their own ‘phase 1′, and, like many fans, i’m really hoping DC are finally getting their act together and heading towards a Justice League movie. We already know that Batman Vs. Superman will be the follow up, with Ben Affleck donning the cape and cowl. That film will also introduce Dick Grayson/Nightwing (as yet uncast), and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. With DC’s Trinity (Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman) now all getting big screen time, and Green Arrow, and The Flash appearing on the small screen, it does look like things are finally coming together.
Affleck has taken some flack for taking on Batman, but personally I’m looking forward to seeing him in the role, and it seems Henry is too…
He also goes on to talk about his thoughts on Batman Vs. Superman…
Overall, Man of Steel is a good solid reboot of the Superman mythos, and also a great starting point for future DC movies. Roll on 2015!
- Strong Characters, Legendary Roles - Explore the legendary characters of the Superman mythology and how they have evolved in this new iteration of the Superman story.
- All-Out-Action - Go inside the intense training regimen that sculpted Henry Cavill into the Man of Steel and Michael Shannon and Antje Traue into his Kyptonian nemeses. Includes interviews with cast and crew.
- Krypton Decoded – Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent, age 13) gives the lowdown on all the amazing Krypton tech, weapons and spaceships featured in “Man of Steel.”
- Exclusive to UltraViolet – Journey of Discovery: Creating “Man of Steel” – This immersive feature-length experience allows you to watch the movie with director Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and others as they share the incredible journey to re-imagine Superman.
9/10 – Great, if a little too serious superhero movie.
With the Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg movie 2 Guns out on DVD & Blu-ray on 9 December, we had a chance to ask a few questions of Steve Grant, author of the the original 2 Guns graphic novel (available from Boom! Studios).
Are there any mainstream (DC/Marvel) characters you’d like to get your hands on which you haven’t worked with yet?
Not really. I’ve done so many of them already that the novelty has pretty much worn off. Not that I think nothing can be done with them – I still have a juvenile affection for the John Broome/Gil Kane version of Green Lantern, my favourite comic when I was a kid, and I’d always be tempted to try that character again if the opportunity came up – but my main thrust at the moment is creating original comics for Boom! Other people deserve a chance to try their hand at the old stuff.
Which of your, or other comics do you think would make good tv shows rather than movies?
A series I did at Dark Horse called Enemy almost was a TV show once, done by David Goyer. The pilot got made for Fox, I was told it was on the schedule for three or four days but I’ve never gotten that verified, and ultimately it didn’t get picked up. I’d say it still has potential, but I would. Whisper might make a good TV series, and given the interest in superheroes some interesting things could be done with Edge, a superhero book Gil Kane and I created for Malibu, in a cable TV format like The Walking Dead or Justified. My Flesh Is Cool, a really strange book I created at Avatar, has been bandied as a TV series, and that may happen yet. Pretty much anything that can be serialized as a monthly comic book can be serialized as a TV series. Virtually any of Ed Brubaker’s comics would make very contemporary TV, and I’ve always wished someone would so something with Matt Howarth’s Those Annoying Post Bros. But the issue really isn’t whether something would work for TV or movies, but the extent to which the people on that side of the aisle are willing to share your vision. I wouldn’t, for instance, want someone to pick up Whisper then try to turn it into an Alias or Buffy The Vampire Slayer knockoff. I got very lucky with 2 Guns, but that kind of luck isn’t all that common in Hollywood.
Do you prefer working for smaller indy publishers or the big boys?
Both have their faults and virtues. As I said, these days I’m mainly creating new comics like 2 Guns and Deceivers, and that’s just not something The Big Boys have much sympathy for. When you’re a comics freelancer trying to keep the bills paid, it’s rarely your choice who you work with, it’s theirs. Fortunately, I have a decent situation at Boom! where aside from encouragement, I’m as good as left to my own devices to do the books I want the way I want. So right now that’s where my heart is. But we’re all migrant workers. Unless you get lucky enough that you don’t have to take finances into consideration, you try to go where the paychecks are.
You had a very popular run on Marvel’s Punisher. Why do you think that character has never seems to cross over to the screen particularly well?
The character was almost perfectly suited to deal with things I wanted to talk about, but he’s really too complicated a character for the screen and too simple a character at the same time. He’s all nuance and no depth. Film and TV have a secret mandate to humanize their characters. Done right, there’s nothing in the character to humanize. You can’t plumb his emotional depths. He’s dead emotionally. There are ways to deal with that, but none that are generally considered acceptable by Hollywood. It probably doesn’t help that when it all comes down to dust he’s really a villain, a clinical psychopath in the sense that he’s incapable of an emotional connection to anything. He’s not a homicidal maniac but he is a psychopath, and he feels no compulsion to explain himself. It’s just not something they’re familiar with. I do think Thomas Jane got the character across in his movie and understood how The Punisher ticks, but no one else connected with the film did.
Mayhem Behind Movies is an Award Winning action packed comedy following Kevin Knight, an ambitious struggling no-budget filmmaker, on his mission to complete his first big-break movie before the United Kingdom Movie Awards. Kevin soon finds himself in turmoil as he races against the clock in a make or break scenario packed with side-splitting and nail-biting moments. Will Kevin finish the Movie in enough time with all the odds stacked up against him?..
He’s currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the final bit of filming, and as regular readers will know, we like to support little indie projects like this here at Geektown, so if you’d like to help Nigel with that final push over the finish line, hop on over to his Kickstarter page and donate. Completing the film would fulfill Nigel Moran’s life ambition, and will help the careers of over 150 young talented filmmakers to putting a smile on the elderly involved.
Mayhem Behind Movies stars Phil Perez (Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie Exodus), Carl Wharton ( Uwe Boll’s Apocalypse Z) and Sarah Keating (Following The Wicca Man).
Pledging will get you anything from a credit in the movie, to signed DVD, to an exec producer credit! I should also point out, if the goal isn’t reached in time people will automatically have their funds returned, so what do you have to lose!
This is the first UK trailer for Vampire Academy, based on the popular teen novels by Richelle Mead about Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch – Ringer) who is a Dhampir - half human, half vampire – and serves as bodyguard to her ‘Moroi’ (aka Vampire) best friend, Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry – Lightning Point). It follows the girls as the try to get through life at St Vladimir’s, better known as the Vampire Academy… Think ‘Mean Vampire Girls’ crossed with ‘Buffy’.
Also stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Olga Kurylenko (Magic City), Joely Richardson (The Tudors, Nip/Tuck), Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment, The Usual Suspects) and directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls).
Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/VampireAcademyUK
Vampire Academy Gallery
“In the future with autonomous robots you can have a robot in the middle of the desert going after terrorists and you don’t even know the robot is there and the robot is making its own decisions. And let’s say this robot kills a kid, who is to blame? Is it the company that made the robot, is it the army that deployed the robot, the software handler or the manufacturer? Who is to blame? When you start making machines who make decisions over life and death, something fundamental changes…” – José Padilha **
As we grow more and more dependent on machines and computers, should we start to wonder who is ultimately in control of the world we live in? Where does humanity stop, and technology begin? These are the questions which drive director José Padilha’s thrilling new interpretation of RoboCop.
In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Kinnaman – The Killing US) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.
Sam (Sheridan Smith) is an adorable, clumsy, nervous young lady whose life is not going the way she had hoped. Caught up in dreams of doing better, she meets up with Michelle (Kate Nash), an old friend from college, and her glamorous, beautiful Parisian friend Jess (Oona Chaplin). Sam has been enviously following Michelle’s life on Facebook ever since she moved to France, and hearing about her engagement and successful job first-hand only serves to increase her envy. Sam finds herself painting her life in a more positive light than it really appears: she invents a career as a lawyer and pretends she’s still with her old boyfriend, Sean.
All seems to be going to plan and she appears to have been accepted by the glamorous ladies. But then her old friends show up. Loud, bawdy and thoroughly dysfunctional, Chanel (Jaime Winstone), Saskia (Sarah Hoare) and Paige (Riann Steele) do not back up the impression that Sam is trying to give. Desperate not to let her carefully constructed lies fall down around her, Sam spends the evening avoiding both groups of women in turn, trying to pretend that nothing is wrong whilst desperately hoping she can keep it together just for one night.
It’s a bit of an odd premise, a film set almost entirely in the women’s toilets, and it’s not the best acting I’ve ever seen. There were parts that felt very much like an A level drama performance; a good one, admittedly, but not quite movie quality. And yet, despite all this and despite the storyline being quite bleak, I left the cinema feeling strangely uplifted. Sam was lost, that was plain to see, and we’ve all been there. Her friends were adorable, if a bit crazy, and the allure of getting out and finding a better existence is one that many people have felt at some point in their lives.
The band deserve a shout-out, too: Fake Club were one of my favourite parts of the movie, and definitely helped to move it from A-level drama into something I’d probably watch again.
Worth a night out with the girls if you’re feeling like seeing something unusual, comical and quintessentially English in the most current sense of the term.
Powder Room comes out in cinemas on the 6th of December 2013.