Tuesday Releases: Man Of Steel

NOVEMBER 12TH, 2013

MAN OF STEEL // Coming from someone who could have given a shit less about Superman as a character, “Man Of Steel” is the best re-envisioning of the iconic superhero that you could ask for. For starters, having Christopher Nolan’s name on the film as writer and producer sells this hard. With “The Dark Knight” trilogy in his pocket, there’s literally nothing he can’t put his name on and instantly make me more intrigued because of my faith in him. Zack Snyder also proves naysayers wrong by knocking this film out of the park. Henry Cavill brings a darker, more natural approach to old Clark Kent and his chiseled jaw along with heartwarming smile, creates the perfect version of this hero. Michael Shannon as the villain Zod is also one of the major selling points for me, as Shannon is a brilliant actor with very little character work. “Man Of Steel” allows him to create this amazing persona and he delivers one of the most memorable villain performances in recent memory. The visual effects are stunning but at sometimes erratic, becoming too much at times. My major issue with Superman, and his race, is that they’re almost impossible to kill, which means their hand to hand combat sequences mean very little to me, because, ultimately, what are they hoping to do. There’s never a way to take advantage of your opponent’s weakness if they have no weaknesses, which makes the fight sequences in “Man Of Steel” never ending. Snyder handles this about as well as he can, relying on visual effects and amazing sound design to bring these moments to life, but in the end, what’s the end goal? The structure of how the story is told also helps this film immensely, not just playing chronologically, but skipping around the timeline and revealing little moments from Clark’s past when it becomes relevant. Although I questioned whether it was possible, Nolan and Snyder have gotten me excited for a possible “Justice League” movie if they can in fact recreate the grandness of “Man Of Steel”.

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BLACKFISH // Not since “The Cove”, have I felt this strongly about a particular subject and it just so happens they are very similar in nature, with “The Cove” delving into the capture and killing of dolphins in Japan, while “Blackfish” dives into the world of capturing orcas and training them to work at SeaWorld despite their eventual aggression. What Cowperthwaite does best in directing this documentary is collecting all this data about these whales and their actions and putting it into one place. The common denominator from most the present interviews is that no one person was ever told all the facts, apart from the executives of SeaWorld, who were never present in the documentary. With the death of an expert whale trainer Dawn Brancheau as a backdrop, along with the timeline of the whale, Tilikum, the enormous whale that killed her, provides for some interesting and jaw-dropping evidence. Pair with that tons of actual footage of killer whales attacking their trains, the paperwork that over 70 incidents have occurred like this in the last 40 years, and interviews with experts saying that orcas in the wild have the same lifespan as humans (90-100 years), despite SeaWorld’s claim that a) their average lifespan is 25-30 years, because that’s how long they live in captivity, and b) being captured and placed in these tanks actually make them live longer. Cowperthwaite also does a great job at making you understand more about these whales and even feeling for them. Majestic and supposedly extremely intelligent, experts discuss everything from their brains, which in ways are more developed than humans especially in the emotional part of the brain, to the facts that there are no recorded incidents of killer whales being aggressive to humans in the wild and, in fact, are quite friendly, as displayed in many home videos of whales coming up to the side of boats. The more you look at these magnificent creatures, the more you understand the plight that all these former trainers and Cowperthwaite are going through to try and close the doors of SeaWorld. There’s very few documentaries that I’ve seen that truly inspire change but “Blackfish” will, if anything, help parents make a more educated decision in what they expose their children to, and in time, could hopefully show SeaWorld the errors of their ways.

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FRANCES HA // Greta Gerwig re-teams with Noah Baumbach to create this black-and-white, quirky, and often humorous character study of a woman living in New York, trying to find her place while still embracing her child-like sensibilities. Gerwig owns the role of Frances and displays a connection to the character that reflects what may even be her actual personality. The down-home nature of “fake fighting” and inside jokes between friends is mirrored in Frances’ interaction with certain characters who don’t get it and this too could apply to viewers who do not connect with that humor, although, this humor is not at all lost on me. With awkward situations, changing lifestyles around her, and even an eventual maturation of herself, “Frances Ha” is probably Baumbach’s most accessible film yet.

New Releases
Barbara (2012)
Blackfish
Frances Ha
Grabbers
I Declare War
IP Man: The Final Fight 2-denied2
Man Of Steel
Paradise (2013)
Prince Avalanche
Turbo

TV Box Set

  •     Combat!: Complete Series
  •     Deadliest Catch: Season Eight
  •     Dexter: Season Eight   
  •     MADtv: Season Four
  •     The Paradise: Season One
  •     Silk: Season One
  •     World’s Greatest Super Friends: Season Four

Special Editions/Other Releases

  •     Ambushed (2013)
  •     As Night Falls
  •     The Citizen   2-denied2
  •     A Country Christmas
  •     Grizzly Adams: The Capture of Grizzly Adams
  •     Home Again
  •     In Search of Blind Joe Death
  •     Mother (2013)
  •     The Naughty List
  •     Pete’s Christmas
  •     Rising from Ashes
  •     Seasons of Gray
  •     Segregated Sunday
  •     Solo (2013)
  •     To Kill for Love
  •     TuTu Much

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