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REVISITED: Doubt

Good day to you ladies and gents, and welcome to another review in the REVISITED series where I’ll be reviewing films I haven’t seen for a while and see if they still hold up since or not. And today’s review will be of a film I haven’t seen for a few years, Doubt.

Now I remember renting this film from Blockbuster back in 2010 during my film discovery phase in college doing media production, and I remember once it was over I was really impressed with the film overall but was deeply unsettled. And that is a feeling I have never forgotten. So after getting into films a heck of a lot more since I was 20, I wanted to rewatch this film and see how it was, and in all honesty, I feel about the same, both impressed and disturbed. Even as I type this review, there’s a feeling in my heart and a bit of tremble in my movements because this film affected me so. Straight from the beginning you know something is off, there’s a smell in the air, but you don’t know what it is just yet, however, once certain plot points and character motivations and suspicions come to light, then things get intriguing. What we have is a very horrible situation with the priest and a child, and the head nun trying to ascertain whether something indecent has happened or not. The situation is shrouded in mystery, allegations and hearsay and because there’s no clear evidence it makes it makes for some awkward and intense moments throughout. As the film progressed, I felt more and more troubled and just goes to show well this film was crafted, there is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the tone, dialogue, pacing and ambivalence of this situation, and it felt very realistic in the way certain situations were set up and the complicated battles that followed between the priest and head nun. I liked how not only the cinematography helped accentuate the uneasy nature of the plot (especially with Dutch angles), but also how the weather played a big part in elevating the mood from being calm to being quite ferocious. The performances in the film were fantastic, this was the first serious film I’d seen both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep in and both of them impressed me greatly. Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius is this very strict and scary principal who doesn’t seem too likeable at times, but because she’s so mean it does lead to some funny moments, but beyond her surface level, she does care about the kids and does not let unjust things happen under her watch which makes her very crafty, tenacious and more aggressive. Streep is magnetic and acts with style and finesse, but also a great level of intensity, and it was this film that made me understand why Streep is talked about so much in the film community. Not to be outdone, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn is a kind and warm, and yet at times he seems off and untrustworthy, and there are times when he shows a darker side which is very creepy and unexpected. Hoffman’s performance is very captivating as he handles every situation with subtly and dangerous levels of realism, and along with Streep, they have some powerful scenes together. Amy Adams is also really great as Sister James, she’s a cute and kind-hearted soul who wants to believe in the best of people but has reason to doubt the priest. And finally, there’s Viola Davis who plays a significant role as Mrs. Miller and good gravy that woman can sell anything because her acting is that good, such power and sincerity. Overall Doubt is an incredible film with great direction performances and a solid and haunting film score from Howard Shore.

So have you seen Doubt and if so what do you think? Also if you’ve seen it more than once does it hold up better, worse or the same as before? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on October 14, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Arrival

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review and today I’ll be talking about Arrival. Now this is a film I’ve heard a great deal about from film festivals and considering that it’s the next big film from Denis Villeneuve, there was a lot of hype surrounding it. All I’ve seen is glowing reviews for this left, right and center, so is it good or not? Well read on and find out!

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The plot can be summed up as the following: “A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.Arrival is an interesting film, it takes a very different approach to the alien invading earth format that we’ve seen in recent years and instead goes for a more methodical, psychological and dramatic style instead. What I appreciate about this plot was how well-thought out it was, it was incredibly smart, insightful, dramatic and had all of the key elements of mystery intrigue that comes with really good sci-fi films. Not only were the aliens handled incredibly well, but also the humans and their reaction to the invasion. The overall film has a great sense of realism and logic, and the tension and suspense is handled well throughout the film. It is just the third act when a major revelation gets revealed that changed my perspective on the film completely and it is not that it wasn’t impressive, it was really cool and inventive, however, it kind of took away from the realism of the film and came out of nowhere in a way. When it comes to the cast they were all really good, Amy Adams was really good as Dr. Louise Banks, this kind of role required a very strong performance and Adams gave it in spades, while Jeremy Renner was equally impressive as Ian Donnelly, and the both of them have really good chemistry together, Forest Whitaker was also good as Colonel Weber,  while Michael Stuhlbarg continues to impress me from role to role as Agent Halpern, and Tzi Ma (who I remember from a brief appearance in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was good as General Shang too. Visually the film looks really great with some awesome cinematography and visual effects, and the film score from Jóhann Jóhannsson is well-suited to the action on-screen with an eery, atmospheric and subtly disturbing vibe, but with some moments of beauty and drama too. In conclusion Arrival was a pretty fascinating experience in the cinema that I think a lot of fans of sci-fi will enjoy, the film’s not for everyone and the pacing will definitely be on the slow side for a lot of audiences, but if you can get over that then you’ll have a good time.

So have you seen Arrival and if so what do you think of it? Is it “best of the year” material or not? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Howdy people of the internet, today I’m finally getting around to reviewing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now I saw this film during the midnight screening yesterday and I’ve been meaning to talk about it since then, but I’ve had work. But I’m free now and after having some time to think about it I think I’m ready to pass judgement.Oh and before we begin I’m just gonna state right now that I’m throwing the rating system out of the window for this review because it would be irrelevant and troublesome.

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The story can be described as the following:

“Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.”

Annoyingly the film’s story starts out well connecting to the events of Man of Steel, but after that things get a little messy. This film had a lot to do especially when it came to introducing us to what’s taken place since MoS, showing us the public’s view on Superman and his actions, why Bruce Wayne has come into play and showing other key elements that place in the main and sub plots. But not too long after the film began the problems arose, what became immediately noticeable to me was the fact that there was a multiple things happening with at once with the story, but not all of it was relevant or engaging, plus some of the editing was strange as we cut to a from several things that messed with the film’s pacing and coherency. We also have plot points that go nowhere or are failed to be properly explained and a lack of proper character motivations lead to some questionable choices as the film progresses. The film jumps all over the place with flashbacks, visions, dreams and current day stuff and it ranged from being interesting to downright annoying as they would show up when up least expected them to. As for being a “Batman vs Superman” film it did some of those elements well with could drama and set up, but some of the motivations and story elements that lead up to their major confrontation felt convoluted and out of character for each of these characters (especially when you compare them to the comics). And the “Dawn of Justice” aspects of the film with the connections to the future DC films was certainly interesting and some of it got me hyped to see some of these solo films, it’s too bad that their place felt random and shoehorned into the film. Oh and I don’t think I can talk about this film without mentioned the length, dear god  I felt the length of this film, so much happens, but believe me if certain plot points had been streamlined or taken out altogether this film would have been so much better for it.

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As for the cast they were pretty good, though some people were really wasted or did not well at all. Let’s start with Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Easily the best part of the film was Affleck as Batman, this man was able to capture the duality of the character well and just the delivery of his dialogue to his facial expression just made me love him. And can I just say that this is the most badass Batman we’ve ever had? This dude in a monster! Batman rolls around like the boogeyman brutally taking people out, he’s scary as hell and you don’t want to mess with him, and while I don’t entirely agree with his characterization (because he’s more like Wolverine or the Punisher), I can’t deny that this version of the Dark Knight was kick ass. Henry Cavill was fine as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, but I had hoped for more. Superman is interesting here because he’s got a lot of stuff to deal with him saving people, having the world both love and hate him and trying to sustain a relationship with Lois too. I feel bad for Cavill as he is a good Superman, but he’s given such uninteresting material to work with and he’s a bit plain and dull. Amy Adams as Lois Lane was a character I didn’t really like in the last film and in this film I think she may have gotten worse. Lois has her own little sub plot which wasn’t all that interesting, she made a lot of stupid decisions, was the damsel in distress again and I still don’t buy the relationship between her and Superman.

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Oh and then there’s Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor… Just gonna say it now, he is as bad as you feared. Okay to his credit there were moments, small moments where the guy was actually pretty smart and dangerous, but those glimmers of hope were squashed by Eisenberg’s silly and cooky mannerisms, the guy is just strange and hardly a threat. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was surprisingly good, I mean the acting was amazing, however, the characters was a lot more interesting than I expected and this film has made me want to see the new solo film in 2017. Diane Lane as Martha Kent was fine, but was more a backseat character until the story required her to show up and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White was decent as well but his appearance in this film has no significance on the main story. Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth was awesome, every time he was around he was insightful, funny and delightful, I just wish there had been more scenes with him in the film. And finally Holly Hunter as fine as Senator June Finch but her character didn’t add up to much in the grand scheme of things.

When it comes to the presentation it was pretty cool. As with most Zack Snyder films the action is pretty hardcore with very crazy and intricate cinematography and visual effects which were put to good use in a lot of action sequences for sure. Though some of the action wasn’t as well-choreographed as I’d hoped considering that this was moment to be major confrontation between Batman and Superman. But I will say the best material was the Batman material, his fights were so insanely hardcore, well-made and man this is the best material we’ve ever gotten in live-action. The film score provided by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL was a mixed bag, whenever the soundtrack was playing in the background I could tell the difference between Zimmer and XL’s style with Zimmer being a little more classical and XL’s style being a little more aggressive and electronic in sound which felt a little out of place at times. But I will say that the Wonder Woman theme that played during her scenes was pretty cool.

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In conclusion Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a mixed back. Not since Man of Steel have I been this divided about whether I liked a film or not. On the one hand the film gave me what I wanted and it certainly had moments of badassery and drama, but at the same time the film never became more than it could have been and a lot of the problems I knew I’d have with the film were realised. I could talk about this film for days but I don’t think you’ll stick around for that haha, I recommend BvS to everyone just so you can form your own opinion on it as everyone’s views will be different as it has been shown to be online so far, this film wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.

So what do you think of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Did you love it, hate it or fall somewhere in between like me? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Her Review

Howdy ladies and gents, its time for me to review a film and today’s film will be Her. From the time I saw the trailer for this around 2 months ago I knew I had to watch it because of the premise of the story from the trailer and plus there was a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding this one. So I watched it today and I am ready to share my thoughts.

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So the story of the film in a nutshell centers on a man who develops a relationship with an intelligent computer operating system (OS) with a female voice and personality.

I thought the story in this film was nice as it had a great emotional pull, some complexity and drama. That being said at times the film felt very bizarre and uncomfortable and thing that is due to the whole connection between Theodore and Samantha. When it comes to films dealing with AI I prefer them to be like HAL 20009 from 2001: A Space Odyssey or Skynet from the Terminator film series because they’re less human and more interesting as devious or dangerous threats to humanity. The story started out interestingly enough but really got a bit dull for me at points. It wasn’t until the complexities in the relationship got brought up or when Theodore’s ex-wife comes into play when the story got a lot better. Also one of thing that I found really interesting was the whole future setting where humans are interacting with technology so heavily, in addition to having the new OS blur the line between the connect between humans and machines. I can’t say I was completely invested in the story like I thought I would be which is a shame because I really liked some of the subtle moments of beauty or when things got heated and dramatic I was having a good time.

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When it comes to the cast they were all really good with the stand-out performances coming from Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. So let’s start with Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, Phoenix was really incredible in this role. I have never seen too much from Phoenix in films and my most memorable role from him was when he was in Signs, in this film we get to see his full emotional range as this recluse character who has issues with letting go of the past and other personal issues that he must overcome. Also Scarlett Johansson was great as Samantha, even though it is just a voice role, you can tell Johansson really puts her heart into the character as you can really feel her emotions through her voice and it is really impressive. Just the way she talks and says specific things, you can almost imagine that she’s on-set in the film somewhere.

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Amy Adams as Amy was good, it was nice to see her play a role that was a little more subtle and more down-to-earth and relatable, Amy is a kind and thoughtful friend of Theodore and I liked her. Rooney Mara was also really nice as Catherine, Mara is good actress and it is great to see her in roles that require her to be both nice and kind of cruel too. Olivia Wilde was really as Amelia, I didn’t even know she was gonna be in the film but she was an interesting and emotive character and Wilde did a wonderful job. I also really enjoyed seeing Chris Pratt in this film as Paul. Pratt was almost unrecognisable with that moustache and interesting dress attire, he was this delightful character who had this great aura about him and was pretty funny in a subtle kind of way where it wasn’t too goofy. Love how he’s just popping up in films all over the place now.

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In conclusion Her is really beautiful if somewhat bizarre film. Joaquin Phoenix does a great job in the central role and Scarlett Johansson does some great voice work to and the film is shot really well and looks pretty too. I don’t think it was as amazing as I had heard and it didn’t connect with me on the emotional level that other films have in 2013, but for those looking for a different kind of film viewing experience I would recommend this one.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A strange and yet beautiful kind of film)

So what did you think of Her? Have you seen or are you going to see it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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American Hustle Review

Yo yo ladies and gents, time to FINALLY review American Hustle! I know this review is a lot later than I anticipated, but for the longest time I put off watching this film even though I really wanted to see it as soon as it came out. But after all the faffing around I saw it at the cinema and I’m ready yo give my thoughts.

The story is loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early ’80s, where two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey.

I thought the story was decent but not as good as I thought it’d be. It started out well and had a non-linear style of storytelling (a form of storytelling that I think loads of films are taking on these days) and from there we’re introduced to characters and plot elements and see how some of these individual stories eventually tie into each other. At its core the films about people conning each other. Lies and deceit is the name of the game. Normally I’m really into this kind of story in film stories, but in this film into gets a bit to convoluted for my liking and takes a bit too long for actions to play out. I actually looked at the time on my phone and that RARELY happens. by the time the film ended I just felt average and that’s massive difference from the joyful feeling I felt when I left Silver Linings Playbook.

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It’s really the cast that make the film for me as they bring these characters to life and make them worth caring about. Let’s start with Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld. I’ve heard people talk shit about Bale and some say he can’t act, well to them I say bullshit! I swear he’s like a frigging chameleon and goes to highest efforts to fit into his roles and that is clearly apparent here as he’s fat, corrupt, in love, but also got emotional issues to deal with involving is former and current love interests and his connect to the mayor. I thought Bale’s performance was great. Bradley Cooper as FBI Agent Richard “Richie” DiMaso was pretty great too, I’ve definitely become more a Bradley Cooper fan over the last 2 years and in this film he’s great as this FBI guy who strives for success and loves to be control and freaks out when he isn’t. Seeing Cooper lose his cool and go mental was wonderful and he does aggression very well. Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser / Lady Edith Greensly was pretty good. There was something incredibly alluring about her (it was probably those revealing outfits), I liked her backstory and her chemistry with Bale was great. The only thing iffy about her was the accent which was sometimes good and at other points very questionable. While not Adams’ best role, she was still really good.

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Jeremy Renner as Mayor Carmine Polito was actually my favourite character purely because he was practically the most innocent member of the main cast, he was just a nice guy, loved by all, trying to do right by the people of his city but got caught up this world of lies and corruption. Renner is an actor who is always up and down for me in films, he’s a good actor, no doubt about it, but sometimes his roles can make him come across as a bit flat. In this film I loved him, just his charisma, the accent his hair, everything was just nice and I think this is my favourite role I’ve seen him in. And then there’s Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, I’m gonna get this out there first, I really disliked her character. So annoying, unbearable and it doesn’t that I’ve known people like that so when people get annoyed in the film by her actions I can sympathise. That being said Lawrence turned in another good performance with some funny scenes and she continues to do no wrong in the world of film.

Other people I feel I should mention is my two men from Boardwalk Empire; Jack Huston (Richard Harrow) as Pete Musane and Shea Whigham (Eli Thompson) as Carl Elway. Huston was great and had a really interesting, subtle and yet aggressive part to play and Whigham’s character was really funky-looking and definitely a different kind of role for him but was really enjoyable.

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In conclusion American Hustle is a good film but nowhere near as good as some critics and other people are making it out to be. The amazing performances from the cast is what really sells the film and makes it worth watching. The word that comes to mind is “disappointed” and while I can still recommend this film, I can’t say that I walked out of the film loving it the way I wanted to.

Rating: 7/10 (A good film only elevated by the incredible of the cast)

So what did you think of American Hustle? Were you in love with it or did you think like me that it wasn’t as amazing as some have made it out to be? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, I’ll catch ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Man of Steel Review

Okay then, now it’s time review what is probably the biggest film of the year, Man of Steel. There has been a lot of hype and marketing promotions going around to make sue that people know that this film is coming out. It has been suggested many moons ago that this would be the film of the year. So now that I’ve seen it, is Man of Steel the triumphant return of Superman? Well I can say that this is finest Superman film that’s come to exist since the original 1978 film.

The premise for this film is as follows:

“Clark Kent is a humanoid alien who after being transported to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton, was adopted as a child by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Raised with the values of his adoptive parents, he feels alienated because of his unique super powers and struggles to find his own place in life. When the world is attacked, he becomes the hero named Superman to protect Earth and its people.”

The story in this film definitely was different. In comparison to the previous Superman films it is a lot more serious, realistic and modernized from the original source material. We get to see more of Krypton, learn Zod and his crew and have more for Superman do too. The film’s overall narrative works though it doesn’t always feel cohesive at points. This film finds a way to tells Clark’s story through flashbacks and for the most part it works, though sometimes it doesn’t work as effectively. In truth I found the first half of the film not as interesting as the second half, some points just felt like they dragged or didn’t properly connect, but eventually the film finds its feet and gets really cool especially towards the end.

Also for those who have seen Superman 1 & 2, you’ll notice the similarities to the previous films and how some of these story elements or characters have been updated/changed for this film. Some of it works a lot better in this film whereas some of it works in the classic films instead. I can’t go into spoilers so watch the film and then you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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When it comes to the characters of the film the cast do a great job of bringing these characters to life.

Let’s start with Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman/Kal-El (he has many names lol). Cavill shows that he has true star power as he gives us probably our best version of Superman. I like how this version of the character is conflicted, isolated and a little more serious and had a good sense of justice too. I guess my only nitpick would be that Cavill was a little too serious and wasn’t too jolly and that’s something I missed from the Reeve version of the character. Then there’s Amy Adams as Lois Lane, I like Adams as an actress and I thought she was good in the film, all I need to say really. Now to talk about Michael Shannon as General Zod. I really was looking forward to seeing Shannon in this film because I’m a massive fa of his and while he was good in the film, I guess he wasn’t as epic as I thought he’d be (believe me he can be even more intense than this.

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Russell Crowe as Jor-El was definitely different and had a more active role than Marlon Brando back in the old films, I did like this version of the character Crowe did it was cool. Also Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent were awesome, I loved their portrayals of the characters, they were active in Clark’s life and offered some great advice and life lessons for him and I felt like this was the best version of the characters I’ve seen so far. Laurence Fishburne was as Perry White but I wish I’d seen much more of him. Antje Traue as Faora, one of Zod’s followers, she was pretty badass in the film but I didn’t really care for her character as much as Superman and Zod. And lastly Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van was lovely as Kal-El’s mother, she had a much more active role than the actress in the first film and I liked how this film made her feel a lot more relevant.

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When it comes to the presentation I can easily say that it’s the BEST aspect of the film. This film looks amazing, the cinematography is great, the look and style of the film was nice and the CGI was great. The visual feats crafted in this film was nothing short of amazing. This film finally gave us a film where Superman looks and feels like Superman. His powers were beastly and really came to life in this film in ways the previous films couldn’t do (like Superman’s laser eyes, they were perfect in this film). Plus we get to see Superman fight people IN ACTUAL COMBAT AND IT WAS BADASS. The scenes were intense, epic in scale and great to watch. As for the soundtrack, it was handled by the brilliant Hans Zimmer and I really liked it. Obviously it was a tough challenge to follow-up the iconic score and themes created by John Williams, but Zimmer does a great job at giving us some beautiful and dramatic that sometimes sounds similar to Inception on occasions too.

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In conclusion Man of Steel wasn’t a disappointment by any means, I guess I just expected more because of the critics who hyped this film up to the heavens. I had absurdly high expectations and I guess some of them weren’t met. That being said, Man of Steel is the definitely a good modernized and dramatic take on the classic character and its also most action-packed DC film I’ve seen for a while now. While I’ll probably have to see the film again before I can truly tell whether I love it or not, most people will fall in love with it straight away. Go check this film out, it’s finally a Superman film that works in the present realm of superhero films.

Rating: 7/10 (The most epic Superman film that’s come into existence)

So what did you think of Man of Steel? Did it met your expectations or were you let down? Do you agree with me or think I am mental for my score? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I’ll see ya one the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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