Saturday, June 22, 2013

MAN OF STEEL

Nicole Richards-Sharpe aka "Ambrosia"

When I first heard that Christopher Nolan, director of the Dark Knight series was named producer and Zach Snyder, director of such notables as 300 and Sucker Punch, was named director of Man of Steel, I knew it would be a hit.  I just didn't realize how great it would be.  This film, I must say, is my favorite for the year 2013 thus far.  For all of those Marvel fans, DC has blown you out of the water with this masterful adaptation of a beloved superhero.

From Laurence Fishburne to Kevin Costner to Diane Lane to the uncomparable Russell Crowe, this film is riddled with star power.  Hence, I knew Man of Steel would be great.  (Then again Cloud Atlas was a flop.) Fortunately, Man of Steel rises far above the rest.

SPOILER ALERT!
Man of Steel has a superb screenplay.  The film starts off by giving us more of a look into the world of Krypton; the feuding factions of its society, the army, the scientists and the government.  This concentration on disagreements leads ultimately to the destruction of the entire planet. (Sound familiar?)  I don't mean to sound like a downer.  There is hope on the horizon; literally hope on the horizon of Earth when Kal-El's parents launch him safely to our planet with all the DNA of Krypton downloaded into his being. This concept was such a creative and interesting one to me. 

Telling the story of Kal-El's childhood on Earth as Clark Kent could have been a bore if it wasn't for the great storytelling techniques.  Everytime the adult Clark Kent would get into an impossible situation where he felt weak, similar memories from his childhood would pop up, and give him the strength he needed to overcome discouragement.  His backstory was told this way without the slightest feeling of being subjected to the retelling of an old story. 

The casting was excellent.  Kevin Costner and Diane Lane embodied the quiet and yet powerful character of Superman's parents.  Through the weaving of the story, you can see why he had such character and integrity.  He was taught how to control his powers, not only in the form of superhuman strength but in the form of peace keeping.  How many of us would agree that walking away from a volatile situation takes more strength than giving in to the temptation and blowing up?  I picked up on a set of themes and lessons, but the one that stood out most to me is summed up this way - Just because you can get away with doing something, doesn't mean that you should do it.

Without a doubt, Superman was fashioned after the likeness of Jesus.  Not the physical likeness, but the spiritual.  Every Superman fan knows this but the film exposes this more with particular imagery during significant scenes.  Pay attention to the background.

On another note, I have to say that I loved the character of Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, better than any Lois Lane I have seen.  I am so happy that Lois and Superman's love affair was not paramount in the film. It can not be denied that it exists but in this film, it is not overwhelming.  It's not a Romance after all.  For the first time, I wanted Superman to be with Lois, as opposed to the overly pushy and rude character originally played by Margot Kidder.  I'm sorry Kidder fans but I always wondered what Superman saw in her.

Henry Cavill is simply perfect as Superman. He embodies that innocent, loving spirit that is so Superman.  And he is also soooooo easy on the eyes!

Man of Steel is a must see.  Fly out and experience this great film that I am sure will be nominated for many awards.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Purging "The Purge"


Nicole Richards-Sharpe aka Ambrosia

So I returned to the theaters this weekend to see a film that I had no intention of watching.  With a spur of the moment invitation, I found myself in a theater with this (below) on the screen for 15 minutes before the real show began.



Anyway, I should have seen this computer malfunction as a warning to proceed with caution (or to run for the hills).  I must say that it also took all of the magic out of the movies before The Purge did.  About 20 minutes into the film, I realized I was duped. 

The Purge carries an enticing concept that you would think would be entertaining.  It's 2022 America and a no guilt/no arrest crime spree is instituted each year.  This is born out of the theory that all humans are inherently evil and thus need an opportunity to purge their hatred.  No emergency services are available during this 12-hour period and all crimes are legal, including murder that can only be carried out with class 4 weapons and below.

In this setting, you can imagine that the poor are the overwhelming victims.  The rich can afford top notch security systems. This is where the star, Ethan Hawke comes in.  He is a seller of these security systems.  This successful business has furnished his ticket to affluency, at the same time, inciting jealousy from neighbors. 

The previews with the psychos in the masks hopping around in private school uniforms and virginal white dresses sprinked in blood made the The Purge a hit, but it was totally disappointing.  The script spent too much time bring preachy.  Don't get me wrong, virtues are wonderful but when it is being forced down your throat during a movie that's supposed to be a thriller, it can be an annoyance.

The film was underdeveloped.  Scenes that should have been terrifying, made the audience laugh at the stupidity before their eyes.  People kept disappearing and reappearing with no real explanation.  I actually tried to fall asleep like the man behind me, rolling up my scarf as a make-shift pillow but the laughter and groans from the audience were too loud.
 
If you are bold enough to leave the comfort of your home to throw $14 away to your local theater all in an effort to be annoyed, I am curious as to your take on this film.  I am currently trying to purge my memory of The Purge.

Next: THE MAN OF STEEL!