Archive for June, 2013

The Humanity of the Man of Steel

Warning: This review / analysis of Man of Steel is loaded with super-sized spoilers that are more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings with a single bound.

Man of Steel

Lore is a tricky subject for filmmakers to try to tackle, especially when making movies based on well-loved, well-established franchises. This is particularly evident in the science fiction genre, where ‘fandoms’ protect their cult icons from mainstream homogenization that is geared towards the masses. In many ways, there is nothing wrong with this mentality; a watered-down characterization or one that misses the point of the source material not only produces a disappointing story, but also prevents more faithful adaptations from being created.

Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel is an amazing film, one that I consider to be amongst the best superhero films ever created. With breath-taking action sequences, smart casting decisions, a menacing, yet potentially justified villain in General Zod, and intriguing flashbacks which focus on Superman’s origins as young Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, Man of Steel does not fail to deliver an edge-of-your-seat experience. In fact, I was such a fan of this film that at the time of this writing, I can comfortably argue that it is the only 10/10 film of 2013. Even more so, Man of Steel is an interesting study in how a film can remain true to the origins and character traits of a pop culture icon while still attempting to move the character forward. Read the rest of this entry »


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The Purge

The Purge

There are few crimes in the world of film-making that are more egregious than insulting the intelligence of your audience. James DeMonaco’s 2013 home invasion thriller The Purge does precisely that by crafting an intriguing premise for a near-future United States of America that sanctions a 12 hour ‘purge,’ where citizens are permitted, and even encouraged, to commit violent crimes against one another to purge themselves of violent tendencies. Using the film’s logic, venting these acts of aggression has led to an America with 1% unemployment, an abundance of personal wealth, and crime at an all-time low. This is a brilliant premise, rife with possibilities. Since police and emergency services are off-line during this 12 hour period, how many people die of hearth attacks or other medical issues during the purge? Are mom and pop businesses more likely to be looted and vandalized than large big box stores, since larger corporations are likely able to afford better defenses? What about white-collar crime? Are embezzlement and cyber crimes on the rise during the 12 hour period?

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