Posts Tagged ‘superman’

Here is my review of “Man of Steel” which I saw at the Odeon Cinema in Stoke today (Released on 14th June 2013).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

I have been looking forward to this reboot of superman for a while. For me Christopher Reeve is Superman so I was keen to find out what director Zack Snyder would do.  And in fact it was the first time I have taken my 5 (nearly 6) old son to the cinema. Like me, he is a huge fan of super hero movies. So, I will also tell you what he thought as well.

The film starts on the the planet Krypton. It faces imminent destruction due to its unstable core, and its ruling council is under the threat of rebel General Zod and his followers. Scientist Jor-El (played by the brilliant Russell Crowe) and his wife save their naturally conceived newborn son Kal-El by placing him on a spacecraft to Earth, infusing his cels with a genetic codex to preserve the Kryptonian race. After Zod murders Jor-El for stealing the codex, he and his followers are captured by Kryptonian soldiers and banished to the Phantom Zone. However, peace is short as Krypton explodes afterwards while the mourning Lara helplessly watches before dying with her planet.

The infant Kal-El is raised as the adopted son of Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent, who name him Clark. Clark’s Kryptonian physiology gives him superhuman abilities on Earth, which initially cause him confusion and ostracization, but he gradually learns to harness his powers to help others. Jonathan reveals to a teenage Clark that he is an alien, and advises him to not use his powers publicly, fearing that society will reject him. After Jonathan’s death during a tornado, an adult Clark (played by Henry Cavill) spends several years living a nomadic lifestyle, working different jobs under false names.

He eventually infiltrates the scientific discovery in the Arctic of a Kryptonian scout spaceship. Clark enters the alien ship and it allows him to communicate with the preserved consciousness of Jor-El in the form of a hologram where he finds out about his origins. Lois Lane, a journalist from the Daily Planet who was sent to make a story on the discovery, sneaks inside the ship while following Clark and is rescued by him when she is injured by the ship’s automated defences. Lois’s editor Perry White rejects her story of a “superhuman” rescuer, so she traces Clark back to Kansas with the intention of writing an exposé. After hearing his story, she decides not to reveal his secret.

Having been freed from the Phantom Zone when Krypton exploded, Zod and his followers seek out other colony worlds only to find the Kryptonian inhabitants all deceased. They eventually follow a Kryptonian distress signal that was sent from the ship discovered in the Arctic, and triangulate it to Earth. Zod demands that humans surrender Kal-El, who he believes has the codex, to him or humanity will suffer the consequences. Clark agrees to surrender to the U.S. military, who  in turn hand Lois and Clark over to Zod’s second-in-command, Faora.

Zod reveals that he intends to use a terraforming “world engine” to transform Earth into a new Krypton, eradicating the human population in the process, and to use the codex inside Clark to repopulate the planet with genetically-engineered Kryptonians.

Clark and Lois manage to escape Zod’s ship with the help of Jor-El’s spirit. There follows a mammoth battle between Clark and General Zod’s followers leaving a trail of destruction in their path. Clark manages to defeat Faora in Kansas and convinces the military that he is on their side.

Zod in turn deploys the world engine and initiates the terraforming in Metropolis and over the Indian Ocean.

Clark, now dubbed “Superman”, manages to stop the world engine in the Indian Ocean. And the military uses the spacecraft that brought Clark to Earth in an aerial strike on Zod’s ship over Metropolis, returning Zod’s crew to the Phantom Zone. However Zod escapes, and he and Clark engage each other in an amazing battle across Metropolis. In the battle Superman is forced to kill General Zod to stop his rampage.

Some time later, Superman continues to earn the U.S. government’s trust, although evading their efforts to spy on him to uncover his secret identity. To create an alias that gives him access to dangerous situations without arousing suspicion, Clark takes a job as a timid, bespectacled reporter at the Daily Planet.

So what did I think?

Well, this was a fantastic film. Russell Crowe was excellent in his role. He portrayed the perfect elements of poise, honor and compassion that one would expect from Superman’s father. Also Kevin Costner was also really good as Mr Kent. It was very sad when he sacrificed himself to protect Clarks Identity.

Michael Shannon was brilliant as Zod. He was extremely villainous and ruthless. And, in the end we were able to understand his motivation. In one short scene, he was able to make everyone understand the culture of the Kryptonian people, which was missing from the original Superman movies. Before we never understood Zod as anything more than a monster.

Laurence Fishburne as Perry is great. Amy Adams as Lois is ok but doesn’t really get a whole lot  to do. And the rest of cast did a superb job.

But I loved Henry Cavill as Superman.  He was brilliant and stole the show as he rightly should. Not only was he dashingly hot and sexy (according to my wife) with his bulging muscles, but Henry was able to portray his character as an innocent, caring, and people oriented person. And at the same time, he was amazingly strong and courageous. He has taken this role as his own and I can’t wait for any sequels. My only gripe is that Superman’s infancy and arrival on earth is mostly told out of order, which at times can be confusing. However, in doing so it reveals a bit more at various times of Superman’s life.

The effects were jaw dropping.  They were truly awesome. I really enjoyed watching the action sequences, explosions and the battle sequences between superman and the other Kryptonians.  It made you realise just how “god” like these beings were.  The choreography is stunning, making for some brilliant bone crunching fight sequences.  Snyder has seriously raised the bar for superhero films and provided much needed competition to the Marvel superhero films.   And unlike the original superman films the violence is real and people die.

Don’t get me wrong I liked the old Superman films, but there’s no denying how dated they have become when compared to this. I have covered this previously. Read my blog, rebooting classics. So in my opinion the “Man of Steel” has successfully reinvented Superman for a modern audience.

In summary, I loved it.  It was a brilliant brilliant brilliant movie :). What more can I say?

But most importantly my son, Oscar, thought the movie was BRILLIANT too. He was transfixed in his seat for the duration of the film, which was well over 2 hours, so it must have been good.  He couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards and when I asked him what he thought the best bit was he said it was when Superman killed Zod. So there you go, a film enjoyed by all the family :).

Oh, and there definitely isn’t a post-credits scene which is a shame. So don’t wait around during the credits as we did.

Anyway, what do you think?

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As you may know I am not a huge fan of rebooting classic films, see Total Recall….Not another remake!!!  but I watched something the other day that may have changed my mind.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I decided to watch superman 2 with my 5 year old son.  I had recorded it for him as I thought he may enjoy it. I have always thought that “superman” and “superman 2” were brilliant (at the time). For me, superman will always be Christopher Reeve.

When it first came out back in 1980 I was still at school and I remember the fuss at the time when I went to see it at the cinema and I remember being blown away by the special effects.  Never before had we seen superheroes fighting super villains with superpowers, except in cartoons. But the other day when I was watching it with my son, it suddenly dawned on me how crap the special effects were compared to say the “Avengers Assemble” or “Iron Man” or even probably the “Man of Steel” (superman reboot) which I haven’t seen yet. My son loved it, but I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong Christopher Reeve is brilliant and the action and story is pretty darn good, well if you ignore the fact superman can wipe somebodies memory just be kissing them, but for me the effects look really bad.

Superman was and still is one of my favourite superheroes. I loved reading the comics and watching the different TV series/films. I still remember when I was young boy (late 70s I think) watching old repeats of “the adventures of superman” on a Saturday morning starring George Reeves.  And I remember the anticipation waiting for Clark Kent to turn into superman and use his powers to thwart the baddies. It was the highlight of the show.  Now if I had watched that now I will probably think what a load of rubbish.

And it got me thinking. Have I gotten too old to enjoy classic blockbusters and television series or I am expecting too much from special effects. Is it me?  Am I being too demanding as a viewer or do we need to reboot now and again just to keep up with current technology/trends

Here is another example to illustrate my point. In 1933 they released a horror movie that set the standard at the time. It had loads of action, state of the art special effects and was a brilliant movie, for its time. Do you know what it was called, “King Kong”. It was remade in 1976, and then again in 2005.  The 2005 version was really good and for me was almost as good as the original. Did it need to be remade/rebooted?

Well I hate admit it but sometimes I think yes things have to rebooted  to keep up with current trends and current technology of film/television program making.  The original “King Kong” is still a masterpiece and the remakes haven’t detracted from that.  In fact I think the remakes have made it relevant to a younger audience and in turn they may seek out the original.

So does that mean change is necessary?

I will give you an example of where change has been paramount to its success. Take Doctor Who, my favourite and the longest running science fiction series on TV. Here is an example of something that keeps reinventing/rebooting itself to keep up to date with modern audiences. And because it does this, in my opinion, it is still as good and keeps getting better.

So does that mean change is good?

No not in all cases.  Take another of my favourite films “Star Wars”.  I can still watch the original “star wars” from 1977 and still be entertained and blown away by the movie. In my opinion the effects are brilliant and the film hasn’t dated. I liked the sequels and prequels, but they didn’t have the magic of the original. And even though they are making some more sequels in the next couple of years (of which I have no interest in at the moment) I don’t think that original should ever ever ever be rebooted.  But then that’s the nostalgic part of me resisting change. And I think “if it ain’t broke why fix it.”.

Anyway, I guess I am rambling now. And what I am trying to say is that some films/TV shows date well and some don’t and therefor some do need rebooting and some don’t.  But who am I to say which ones?

What do you think?

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Superman Requiem is a film made by fans for the fans… It was released on-line only on 11th November 2011. Please don’t read if you have not seen the film yet, spoiler alert…

It was conceived by producer Gene Fallaize who said he decided he was going to make an independent superman fan-film and thus began writing the script.  Tony Cook and Daniella Pellegrini joined the team in early 2011 and thus pre-production began.

Superman Requiem depicts the life of superman several years after the events of Superman Returns and takes into accounts the events of Superman (1978), Superman II (1980) and Superman Returns (2006).

Basically, to cut a long story short, Superman is tricked into losing his powers via exposure to a manipulated version of kryptonite (strong enough to remove his powers, but not kill him). Alexander Luthor (Lex, Jr.) has done this in order to blackmail the powerless Superman into revealing the location of plots of land previously owned by the late Lex, Sr. For leverage, Alexander plans on using Lois Lane, now living and working in Europe. And that’s about it.

Before this was released there was a lot of hype about it on-line and I was actually looking forward to it. I didn’t know what to expect for a fan made film. I didn’t expect great acting or glossy Hollywood visuals and watched the film with an open mind.

First, I have to applaud people who make a film out of pure adoration, knowing they won’t make a penny off of it. And the effects were pretty good for a fan-film made on a modest budget. Which is helped by the fact that Superman has lost his ability of flight.  You can see that a lot of work went into the making of this film.

The opening credit sequence is particularly good. And the overall look of “Superman: Requiem” was very sharp and, for the most part, bright and colorful with some excellent locations.  The acting was good. The best performance comes from Stacy Sobeski who plays Ali Noels (a character who replaces Lois Lane). Paul Khanna, who also appears in two Harry Potter movies, was good as Alexander Luthor  too.  He had just the right amount of evil and cunning to the role while being just as obsessed with land as his father was.  However, in my opinion, I didn’t think Martin Richardson was a very good Superman. He works well as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent but comes across as a bit lost and physically unimposing as Superman.

As to be expected for a fan film the dialogue was ok and there are some sound issues, especially outdoors. The story was alright (a bit predictable at times) but missed something, I don’t know what but in my opinion something was missing.  The film tried to connect important events from the old Reeve Superman films. There were a lot elements from those previous films, which I felt weren’t necessary.

In my opinion, the film suffers from following too loosely in the footsteps of the other Superman films that have come before and maybe should have been an all-new, original version of the hero.  For example there is the famous line from Perry White about great reporters (Superman: The Movie); an amnesia kiss (Superman II) and Superman sacrificing his connection with his birth-mother Lara in order to regain his powers (SupermanII: with Jor-El). .

My main gripe, however, is that Lois Lane never really materializes as a character and we never see the face of the actress playing her, why?. We’re told earlier that Clark and Lois have since parted ways, but they have tried to include her in the film anyway without actually including her, very strange. In addition the character of Superman’s son (superman returns) was completely ignored.

But on the whole, bearing in mind that this is a fan made film, it’s a very good effort and well worth a watch on a rainy sunday afternoon.  Director Gene Fallaize and his amazing team have done something that I could never do and that’s make a feature-length Superman movie which is something they should be proud of.

What do you think?

If you have not seen the film then here it is…..

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Hi all,

This morning, after adding more comics to my science fiction and horror online shop, I started thinking about who my favourite super hero was.  So I decided to compile a top 10 list, shown below. But then I also realised that without super villains, would there even be any super heroes? So I have also included a top 10 list of villains. Not anybody can be bad, to be considered a villain, you have to be ruthless, powerful, and sometimes, downright crazy.

I have based my assessment on a combination of factors including strengths, weaknesses, superpowers, character and likeability.

Anyway, here’s my list of Superheroes……..

Super Heroes

1. Superman

2. Hulk

3. Wolverine from “the X men”

4. Human torch from “the fantastic four”

5. Spiderman

6. The Thing from “the fantastic four”

7. Batman

8. Captain America

9. Cyclops from “the X men”

10. Dr Who

I know some people might not consider Dr Who a superhero but if you can single handily defeat Daleks, Cybermen and other foes then, in my opinion, that must make you some a sort of super hero.

Take a look at my list of the top 10 super villains…….


1. Magneto

2. Dr Doom

3. Skeletor

4. Green goblin

5. Darth Vader

6. Vane

7. Dark phenix

8. Count Dracula

9. Lex Luthor

10. Hannibal Lecter

So does everybody agree with me, what do you think? Let me know your top 10 lists.

If you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop. And for news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.

Hi all,

As it it’s going to be a bumper time with superhero films in the next couple years it got me to thinking about the stinkers, the ones that didn’t quiet make it up to the mark. As not every superhero film is a smash hit. Sometimes a superhero’s biggest nemesis is bad acting, horrible writing and ghastly special effects. There are some really bad ones out so I have complied a list. Here is my Top 5, or should I say worst 5, of the worst superhero films.

5. Captain America (1990)

You’d be forgiven for thinking the forthcoming ‘Captain America’ movie is the first major film featuring the patriotic superhero.

But you’d be wrong; there was a little known ‘Captain America’ effort in 1990.

Expected to capitalise on the success of the previous year’s superhero blockbuster, ‘Batman’, posters sprung everywhere of Captain America’s iconic shield, emblazoned with the claim that the film was “coming Spring 1990 to theatres everywhere”.

Sadly, because of the film’s low budget feel, bizarre character changes (the Nazi Red Skull was changed to an Italian fascist for the movie for no apparent reason) and shoddy make up it bypassed cinemas completely and went straight to DVD.

4. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

Following the box office disappointments of ‘Superman III’ and spin-off ‘Supergirl’ (which also very nearly made this list), producer Ilya Salkind sold the rights to Cannon Films.

In a bid to persuade a reluctant Christopher Reeve to reprise his most famous role, they promised him story input for the fourth film.

Deciding he wanted Superman to end the threat of nuclear war, the story features Superman fighting a goofy looking villain called Nuclear Man – complete with 80s bouffant hairdo.

Superman tackling social issues and Gene Hackman returning as Lex Luthor following his non involvement from the last film – what could go wrong?

Well everything to be honest.  I thought this was really bad, and a shame really.

It did not help that Cannon slashed the budget in half, resulting in a laughably bad climatic fight scene and poor special effects? It was Reeve’s last big screen outing as Superman.

3. Barb Wire (1996)

The movie that made Pam Anderson a superstar! Not quite…actually that movie would come a few years later when she did the sex tape with Tommy Lee. Based on the Dark Horse comic book, Anderson plays the title character who owns a nightclub, dances topless, and who just happens to be a bounty hunter and mercenary on the side. It is so horrifically bad one might think Dark Horse would burn every existing copy of the comic series to distance their selves from the travesty. Only watchable for diehard Anderson fans

2. Batman (1966)

The original Batman film falls squarely into the “so bad it’s good” category. In an effort to take advantage of the enormously popular TV show, 20th Century Fox releases this “big budget” theatrical film.

The budget turned out to be less than $2 million dollars and it shows, particularly in the famous rubber shark sequence where Batman has to use his trusty “Bat Shark Repellent” spray.

The Dynamic Duo squared off against the four greatest villains: Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Cat-Woman who turned the members of the United World Security council to powder by dehydrating them. Sure, it had all the campiness of the TV show and more, but weren’t fans expecting and deserving of more in a theatrical release?

1. The Fantastic Four (1994)

Please Don’t confuse this with the recent versions of the ‘Fantastic Four’ which I thought were pretty good, They were a million miles more impressive than the 1994 effort.

Perhaps it’s not a very fair comparison, considering the ultra low budget film was never intended to be released, and was in fact only shot to ensure that the filmmaker kept the rights.

But I watched this recently and it was truly bad. It is very easy to find on the internet.  The film while goofily enjoyable at times, is, I think, one of the worst superhero films ever made. The low budget charm of the ‘special effects’ soon wears off, and you’re left watching a film that feels more amateur theatre than a movie version of one of Marvel’s best known comic creations.

Here is a trailer to show you how bad it really was….

There are plenty of other films that did not make the list. So,please forgive me if I have left any off. So, what do you think? Do you agree with my top 5. Let me know.

For news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.

Hi folks,

There is yet another remake on the horizon with news that Colin Farrell is to star in a remake of ‘Total Recall’.  Farrell is currently putting himself through a gruelling training regime in a bid to get in shape for the action hero part of Douglas Quaid. Filming on ‘Total Recall’ will begin in May.

The Irish actor will reprise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lead role in the 1990 classic. Here is a reminder of the original.

Why oh why do we need remakes or reboots??

With spiderman and superman being also rebooted this year do we need yet another remake. I personally dont see the point, unless the original was rubbish.  Is there any creativity left in this world? It seems there is an abundance of reboots and remakes. Is that just me or do other people agree and tire of all these remakes.   

I must agree that some remakes are interesting if technology moves forward and a newer version can make an event more “realistic” on film… but I guess it depends on which generation you belong to.  But some people (like me) don’t like seeing younger actors replacing people they associate with a role. For example I really liked Toby Maguire as spiderman or Christopher Reeve as superman and it spoils it for me replacing them with another actor. 

I just dont see the point of another actor replacing them. I guess it just spoils the ellusion for me!

In my opinion, most of the time, the original is much better than the reboot/remake.  The effects of older films might not be upto todays standard but the story is better. 

For example if you take the war of the worlds remake (2005) with Tom cruise. I was really looking forward to this one but it was a real let down compared to the 1955 original. Dont get me wrong, the effects was better but the story was crap…. And Tom Cruise was the totally wrong actor for the main character in the film. There are many other examples but I will stop my rant now otherwise I will be on here all day :).

So what do you think? Do you agree? Are there too many remakes/reboots?

For more news and reviews of other upcoming science fiction and horror films please look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.  And if you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror ebay shop.

Hi all.

I watched Spiderman 3 earlier today and it got me thinking, who is every ones favourite superhero/superheroes?

Well, me, I have a couple of favourites.

Firstly, for their power and industractability I believe its a tie between the hulk and superman. 

Superman has Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability,freezing breath, super hearing, laser eyes, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, longevity, flight, intelligence and regeneration. The hulk possesses the potential for astounding levels of superhuman strength, directly depending on his emotional state, particularly his anger, spawning the famous quote: “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.”  By the way, I have often wondered who would win in a fight between Superman and the Hulk :).

Secondly. for his good sense of humour and wisecracks it has to be spiderman. Unfotunately He isnt as strong as other superheroes but uses his speed, agility, web and wit to comfound enemies. 

And finally my favourite teams is the fantastic four which have a mixute of brain, brawn and power.

The fantastic four are: Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), a scientific genius and the leader of the group, who can stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes; the Invisible Woman (Susan “Sue” Storm), Reed’s wife, who can render herself and others invisible and project powerful force fields; the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Sue’s younger brother, who can generate flames, surround himself with them and fly; and the monstrous Thing (Ben Grimm), their grumpy but benevolent friend, who possesses superhuman strength and endurance due to the nature of his stone-like flesh.

I have to mention the x-men as well which I also like.  The X-men have consisted a number of heroes including Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, wolverine, Rogue, Storm and Jean Grey. They possess special powers due to their possession of the “X-Gene,” a gene normal humans lack but which gives Mutants their abilities.  The abilities vary from one hero to another.

I have loved these superheroes since I was a kid when I read the comics and am glad they have made to the big screen.

So, what does every one else think.  Who is your favourite superhero? or superhero team? 

If you have more than 1, like me, then please give me your top 5 or top 10 superheroes.

Anyway, I will leave you with a clip from Spiderman 3……