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Movie Review: Man of Steel



Release Date: November 12, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 143 min
Director:Zack Snyder
Studio:Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre:Action, Adventure
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Russell Crowe, Michael Kelly, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff

Amidst a crumbling world headed for imminent destruction, hope is born. The origin story of Superman, the alien who became mankind’s greatest defender, has been told a million times over. The super speed, strength, flight, heat and x-ray vision all made possible by the yellow sun that circles Earth. It’s all there in the new film, Man of Steel from Zack Snyder. After much hype because of the involvement of Producer Christopher Nolan, (whom is responsible for setting the gold standard for comic inspired movies with his Dark Knight trilogy of films) did Man of Steel come off looking heroic or like a crazy hobo wearing his underwear outside his pants?

The story is a revisiting of the plot from 1981 Superman 2 film of sorts. General Zod comes from the Phantom Zone to invade Earth and Superman has to fight off his own people in an epic battle. They add in a more detailed version of Superman’s beginnings, and the motivations behind Zod invading earth. They even touch on the Kryptonian infrastructure and way of life. The details actually make Zod seem a little less evil and more of a misguided hero of sorts. There are quite a few flash back portions that chronicle the early days of adolescent Clark Kent going through an even more confusing version of puberty, as his comes with extra complications. The need for him to keep his abilities a secret brings up some of the most poignant and thought provoking dialogue in the film. At one point his adopted father, Jonathan Kent, suggest that maybe he should’ve let a bus load of his classmates drown in an accident in order to keep his secret. Things like that I don’t think have been put out in the open in Superman stories. It helps to show why Clark / Superman has the outlook on life and sense of justice he is known for.

I’ve always believed that Superman is a boring character as he has infinite powers and it’s hard to believe he’s ever really in peril. But, the handling of his background and interactions with the human race in Man of Steel make his story more enticing than ever before. It’s no doubt that Nolan gave Snyder a few pointers on how to make the film touch a little closer to reality than any other film about Supes before. The acting is pretty much A+, as Henry Cavil pulls off Superman easily. Zod comes off as a cold, angry, hell-bent on accomplishing his goal individual as only Michael Shannon can portray. If you’re familiar with his work on Boardwalk Empire you know what I mean. The effects are top notch on the visual side. The fight between Superman and his Kryptonian brethren and even the many acts of destruction shown throughout the movie are very good. Maybe I’m over it or whatever but, I just didn’t see the reason for 3-D on this film or many films since Avatar made it a trend again.

My biggest complaint was the pacing of the film. It was by no means a boring movie at any point. It’s just that there was a lot of talking, character establishment, and backstory early on with little action. Then when the fighting began it felt like it was a 45 minute action scene. This even when done well is still a bit overwhelming and a bit Michael Bay-ish. It just went on a little too long. So, the tone kind of goes from a drama to an action movie quickly.

All in all, Man of Steel hits all the right notes. The story is solid and the acting as well. The visual effects are spectacular. This movie has breathed new life in to the Superman movie franchise that was seemingly killed by the Doomsday that was Superman Returns. I’m letting this film fly away with 4 out of 5 mainly due to the pacing and exhausting ending. But, I see the sequel you know is to follow, being a better offering as they will perfect an already good formula.

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



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