Man of Steel (2013 Film) Review

Man of Steel 2013 movie poster

While Superman is not exactly my favorite superhero, I have watched most of the feature-films and animated movies featuring the Man of Steel himself. Man of Steel re-starts the whole story over again (unlike Superman Returns), and takes it’s own style that’s much different than the Christopher Reeve films.

Young Clark Kent Man of Steel 2013 movie

The film starts out with several flashbacks about Clark Kent’s life. Including his birth on his home-world (which he’ll later learn about) Krypton which was destroyed after the planet’s core was unstable. It also shows Clark’s early life and personal struggles trying to cope with his abilities and trying to fit in with society. As a young man he is rather lost with no sense of purpose, and rarely uses his powers (even in a time of need) as his adoptive father feared that Earth was not ready to learn about Clark’s true origin.

General Zod Man of Steel 2013 movie

The film’s antagonist is the ruthless Kryptonian General Zod who was sentenced to the Phantom Zone after trying to overthrow its government. When Krypton was no more, Zod broke free from the Phantom Zone but is now on a hunt for Kal-El (Superman) whose father Jor-El gave his newborn son a device that could build a new Krypton. When General Zod arrives on Earth, he tries to befriend Superman, but the Man of Steel refuses after learning that General Zod plans to destroy the entire human race to make way for the new Krypton. Superman then realizes his purpose is to save the world, but his first challenge is immense as Zod and his crew all have strength that rivals Superman’s.

Superman in handcuffs Man of Steel 2013 movie

I originally feared that Man of Steel would be disappointing after hearing mixed reviews from fans and critics. But I ended up loving it, and I personally think it’s the best Superman film to date. One of the problems I’ve always had with Superman stories is that both the heroes and villains are rather vanilla and tame. The new film is darker, and doesn’t hold back. I will have to say the final battle had too much action, but overall I can’t wait for the sequel.

Superman Returns (2006 Film) Review

Superman Returns movie poster

With Man of Steel already in theaters, I’ve been trying to watch all the Superman films except Superman III and Superman IV since they’re regarded as terrible movies. Another reason is that Superman Returns is a sequel to the original films that ignores any events in the third and fourth movies.

Clark Kent Superman Returns

It takes place a few years after the defeat of General Zod. Superman left Earth to see the remains of his homeworld Krypton, and returns five years later. When he gets back home, he is devastated to see that Lois Lane is now married and a mother. Regardless both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent return in Lois’ life.

Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor Superman ReturnsSuperman

While Superman was away, Lex Luthor managed to avoid prison time thanks to Superman not being able to testify against him. Luthor returns to the Fortress of Solitude and takes the Kryptonian crystals which are able to form land masses when put in water. He plans to use the technology to create a new super continent which will endanger billions with rising sea-levels. It is up to Superman to defeat his old nemesis once more.

Superman in space Superman Returns

Don’t get me wrong, I think Superman Returns is a decent film. But the fact that they are using the same characters and story from Richard Donner’s version of Superman don’t work out too well. Lois Lane may be more beautiful, but her attitude and personality don’t remind me of the old Lois. And while Kevin Spacey may have the look and attitude of a classic Lex Luthor, he lacks the comedic brilliance of Gene Hackman’s take on the character. To make matters worse is that the final battle is actually a little boring. I actually wished they had decided to restart the story all over again, because this sequel fell a good bit below its potential.

Supergirl (1984 Film) Review

Supergirl 1984 movie poster

With the new Man of Steel movie coming to theaters soon, I thought I’d watch the old Superman films. While the first two Superman films are cherished and well remembered, I was shocked to learn that his cousin Kara Zor-El also got a movie of her own. And I learned that was a big red flag.

Kara Zor-El flying in the sky Supergirl 1984

The film starts out in the Kryptonian community (which survived the destruction of their home planet) of Argo City. Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El is given the chance to examine a powerful sphere that powers the whole city. But in an accident, it is blasted out of the city and towards Earth. Kara follows soon after it, and when she arrives on Earth, she notices her new super powers thanks to the Earth’s yellow sun.

Kara Zor-El linda Lee Supergirl 1984

She almost instantly becomes Supergirl, but later adapts the human persona of Linda Lee when she isn’t ready to be a super-hero. Through both her role as Supergirl and Linda, she discovers the powerful sphere is now in the hands of a witch named Selena who uses it to multiply her strength. Even though she has powers that rival Superman’s, she must use all of her skills to counter Selena’s magic.

Kara Zor-El vs bad thug Supergirl 1984

While I’ve always liked the character of Supergirl, her movie is pretty mediocre. The plot barely makes sense, and some of the scenes are laughably stupid. And to make matters worse, is that despite her super-strength Supergirl somehow turns into a damsel-in-distress a few times. I also loathed that her nemesis is a witch, and it makes me wonder why they couldn’t just use a well-known villain from the comics. Kara Zor-El may be beautiful and sweet, but her movie is total garbage.

Superman II (1980 Film) Review

Superman II 1980 movie poster

Since the new Man of Steel film is coming out soon, I been meaning to check out the previous Superman films. I liked the original Superman film, and I heard Superman II was even better.

General zod vs the president of the United States Superman II 1980

Superman II is set shortly after the events of the first film. Superman is a well-known hero, but as he saves Paris, France from a nuclear devices it’s hurled into space. The explosion causes three former Kryptonian criminals (who were punished by Superman’s father) to be freed from the the phantom zone. They travel to Earth and realize their new-found abilities thanks to the Earth’s yellow sun.

Christopher Reeve Superman II 1980

Evil General Zod and his two companions attempt to conquer the Earth. After devastating a small-town, General Zod forces the President of the United States to abdicate all his powers to him. With the Earth at his mercy, the only person capable of stopping is Superman. Now the Man of Steel must face three villains with powers that rivals his own.

Superman vs general zod Superman II 1980

I ended up liking Superman II more than the first film, as I felt it went by a little quicker and had better action. While I loved Lex Luthor in the first film, he never felt like a real threat to Superman. The new trio of evil Kryptonians definitely give Superman quite the challenge. The special effects at times are rather laughable but I think it holds up quite well.