Monday, June 17, 2013

A Mixed Man of Steel

Man of Steel
           I went into Man of Steel yesterday with relatively high expectations.  While Superman isn't my favorite of the super hero legends (with his lack of complex, human weaknesses), the trailers built Man of Steel up as a human story worth seeing.  So the question is, was it?
          I'd say Man of Steel is worth seeing, but is not without flaws.  All of Clark Kent's human moments (growing up, facing his powers...) are told in glimpses and flashback.  These moments are the best part of his story and we are only given tastes of them.  Though I wanted more, I was at least able to enjoy what the film gave, especially the scene when young Clark is overwhelmed by his power, saying "The world is too big." Diane Lane as his mother tells him, "Then make it small."  The power of the film is in these human moments.
          A huge portion of the film focuses on Krypton, which is an interesting spin, especially as General Zod is a formidable foe for Superman.  Scenes with Lois Lane are a bit too rushed, as are scenes with both Clark's biological and adoptive fathers.  Instead, huge portions of the film are dedicated to destructive battle scenes.  I'm all for some action, but there must be plot and character development to accompany it.  (See Star Trek Into Darkness) Instead, sometimes Man of Steel just gives us more destruction.  Spoiler Warning: While the movie controversially allows Superman to kill a foe, in truth Superman probably accidentally hurts and destroys huge chunks of a city during his extended battle with Zod.
          The end of the film offers a glimpse into what the next film may look like, paying homage to his roots.  Even though I didn't absolutely love the film, I liked Henry Cavill as Superman, loved some of Hans Zimmer's music, and appreciated the almost poetic portions of Kent's backstory.  I would certainly see a sequel.  I would also see this, just because:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: A Fresh Approach to Entertainment

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

           I'd heard of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries before, but finally pressed play on more than just the first episode (bare in mind episodes are 3-7 minutes each and posted on Youtube). Believe me, the series gets better and better. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries follows Lizzie Bennet, a mass communications grad student living at home with her marriage-crazed mother, stoic father, crazed sister Lydia, and sweet sister Jane.  Lizzie chronicles her adventures and misadventures in  her vlog.  As a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, I was impressed with the fresh modernization of the story. No unforgivable changes were made, and in fact, some made for happier endings for certain characters and more realistic problems in the 2010's.  While the formidable Darcy doesn't make an actual appearance until episode 59 (out of 100), he is a strong presence in Lizzie's life.  The emphasis on friendship and sister relationships certainly honors a focus of Jane Austen's.  All in all the series was just plain addictive. Start watching here.