Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Man of Steel is Platinum

Before starting the most-anticipated article of the year (that I have been longing to write), I'd like to say thank you to my avid readers. Namely, Shahwath, Hassan, Ae.Jaye and Rashid. I acknowledge ya'all taking out some precious time to read my blog-posts. I am forever obliged.
  If there was ever any alloy to specify the type of Steel used in the title, it would be Platinum. One of the most expensive metals on planet earth, and singularly of the rarest.. This is the same embodiment that defines MoS. A superhero movie with a budget in the top expensive 10s, also being a prime gem of celluloid. The first screenshot released of Man of Steel was in mid 2011:


  Yup, it couldn't of been more awesome (well unless Superman was surrounded by a thousand kilos of Kryptonite and still breathing). Looking at this single glance, I was able to make out that the recent headliner was that of Immortals (2011). It was a great movie and way better than both of the Titans' films. Henry Cavill also acted superbly. A performance that was better than in MoS. Latterly, picturing Cavill donning the suit I realised at that moment this was a recommencement for sure. Did Superman need another beginning? Of course.


  Superman Returns is a 2006 homage sequel to the 1978 and 1980 comic-book figure flicks. It ignores the events of the 3rd and 4th film. Brandon Routh (atop wallpaper) depicted the nominal hero replacing Christopher Reeve (who played the character in all the predecessors). A former manager of Routh signed him on because he bared a physical resemblance to Reeve. And that Routh might be able to portray the character if there was a following movie.. Another coincidence is that Routh grew up in the same town as George Reeves (who was the first entertainer to render Superman on-screen). So there were many conditions that supported Routh to his destiny. Nevertheless, critics and even movie-goers did not eulogise him in contrast.
  Superman Returns was surprisingly markedly lauded with a 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Box Office 101 scores it with 1.5/4. This is simply because it was a bore of a DC script. Batman Forever was better and that was deemed as a joke by pundits. Not only was the suit cited by viewers as gay but Routh only gave justice to the hero as Clark Kent. He had no silver screen charisma as Superman. There were no amazing scenes. Except the one where Superman amazingly lifts up an entire crater of green crystals into the void, then gravitates downwards receding to earth. This scene was impossible without Superman actually dying. 
  Well I wouldn't blame the shoot-taker Bryan Singer. He is best known for directing X-men and X2 (which I've seen 30 times). His decision to leave the third in the hands of Brett Ratner for Superman was disastrous in my opinion. X-men: The Last Stand was a poor generic effort as a the climax of the grandstand. Albeit, grossing more than SR with even lesser funds. Singer also planned a 2009 sequel but Warner Bros. correctly cancelled it because of the $391m return on a humongous allocation of $204m. This is one of the superlative engendering bulks for any comic-strip hero adaptations ever, and 16th overall in Hollywood.
  Surprisingly, many of the people who delianted Supes either on the small or big screen were inter-related. For example, Brandon Routh tried out for the Smallville auditioning but the role went on to Tom Welling. Then Cavill tried for the Returns part and it went to Routh. In the end, Routh ended up with nothing whilst Welling was cast in all ten seasons that were mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records. And Cavill's film has a $116.6m curtain-raiser. Two weeks ago, BO101 anticipated a $100m-$150m opening in North America. Returns had a mediocre launch in the US with only $52m. By that figure, the studious must have determined that this was a box office bomb.


  The overhead magazine cover shows a perfect comparison between Reeve and Cavill. Notice the lofty cheekbones and greasy jet black hair. Also, the evolution of the suit that is ten times better than the Returns costume. So Superman finally learned to wear his trademark red underwear inside. Other editions were the stylisations to the wrists that are similar to Jor-El's (Superman's father) attire, along with the metallic S. Russel Crowe interpreted Jor-El and his robes was also super-stylish:

  To move on, Man of Steel was a super awesome movie. I was hesitant of watching the inception but when I saw Nolan's name in the trailer I took all reluctance back. Christopher Nolan is the filmmaker of the 2000s and 2010s Batman franchise. But it was a wise call not to be taking the predominant seat in this venture, and rather merchandising and being the alternative contributor of the story, along with genius David S. Goyer. The latter has come a long way from writing the superb first and second Blade films and writing-directing the lower-rated third. He has co-addressed 2005's Batman Begins, and given stories for The Dark Knight and its sequel. Goyer is also well-known for being the vital author of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 campaign (again superb). As I had said before, Goyer has come a long way. 
  Man of Steel's amazing screenplay was solely written by him. With Nolan and him laying out the plot. I was dumbfounded that Jonathan Nolan did not take part in any of the fabrication. Surely, with his inclusion the film would've been perfect. Notwithstanding, Jon Nolan has co-inked The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, with his older brother. It could be that Jon is busy working withing his brother on their next sci-fi thriller Interstellar set to release next year. Also, Person of Interest, an American TV exhibition that airs on CBS. He created the succession and must've been busy co-formulating the finale.
  On the other hand, Goyer deserves a stand-alone credit. And he's done more than justice to the man. I was shocked by his writing skills. It couldn't have been done better. Man of Steel was brilliant, simply brilliant. It is the greatest reboot of all time. The greatest Superman blockbuster of all time. And one of the classiest superhero movies of all time. Man of Steel was bound to fail if Singer and Routh had returned as originally planned. But  Singer dropped out due to the original scripters leaving for other career opportunities, and Warner Bros. reluctance in a sequel. Routh's contract lapsed halfway through 2009, providentially. He wanted to enrobe the emblem again given the stake. That runner-up break came soaring to the ace - in his dreams. This was substantially due to the approximate $400m return of Superman Returns. WB wanted at least $500m and stated later on, that the film should've had more action to satisfy the male audience. Haha! The only stuff to be deemed action was Superman going up against petty burglars and showing his invincibility when a bullet was plunged into his eye. The number of times I watched that scene in the trailers of 2006 is too damn high!
  When Goyer pitched the idea to Nolan and when he delivered the message to WB, is was imminent that Superman Returns 2 be trashed away. Nolan is my treasured cinepreneur of the 21st century. He is even better than James Cameron who was just fortunate with Avatar becoming the paramount-grossing movie in cinema history. Nolan's The Prestige and Inception are also two features featured in my 100 must-watch movies list (when it gets completely finished).
  Man of Steel is a distinct movie. Before Batman Begins the chain was mostly acutely hammered. All critics noticed the somber side of the DC comics legend in the first of The Dark Knight trilogy. Superman Returns only returned the character into a duller state. Even the 1978 ONE was better. At least it had originality for that time. Man of Steel is not a straightforward superhero adventure. It is not about a young Clark Kent running faster than a bus to reach school. Or impressing the cheerleaders with his strength against the jocks. No, this is the lurid side of the foremost cultural icon of the United States. The 'S' stands for hope and the movie stands for getting audiences to awe in excitement. 
  The direction by Zack Snyder is unequal. Nolan is more of a thriller maestro so Snyder is a better choice than Nolan. But without Nolan's provision and story aid I know it could've been less enthralling. Snyder correctly utilises the above 120-minute running time. At the start the terrene of Kal-El (original Superman name) is limned beautifully. No detail from the original comic book is left out, and the eventual explosion is super realistic. 

(Director Zack Snyder,

  Man of Steel does not start, continue or end predictably. Flashbacks are shown at times that were correctly timed by Snyder. The film is a perfect symmetry of the DC universe. There are no flaws in the CGI effects, ensembles or character representations. The cast includes six cardinal actors who have been nominated and/or have won Academy Awards namely Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne Michael Shannon and Russel Crowe. Ironically, the lead thespian Cavill has not even been nominated for a Golden Globe. This is a similar casting method from The Dark Knight trilogy. Christian Bale had no Oscar noms before Batman Begins although fundamental troupers with that criteria were cast: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Liam Neeson. Gary Oldman was cast as police officer James Gordon. However, not being nominated for an Academy Award before the initial film., Oldman had won BAFTAs, and was nominated in 2011 for a Best Actor Oscar for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
  Batman Begins and Man of Steel have also accomplished the same feat. Batman Begins was directed by Nolan when he was not at the height of his career so a $374m cumulative was enough. Man of Steel will likely reach $800m worldwide - on an expense of $225m but the $1 billion milestone might be impossible. It may also make $300m nationwide but anything supplementary is precisely improbable.

( Fan-made banner at

  The action scenes in Man of Steel were not overdone. They actually reminded me of the Japanese video anime Dragon Ball Z. Ironically, much of DBZ's storyline is inspired by Superman. The main character Goku has the same history as Superman: his sphere exploded and he was sent prior to that in a space capsule to earth. I did not expect the action be so high-octane and so suitable to the Superman status. Snyder has surprised me with 300 and Watchmen.
  Yet, there were flaws. Goyer wrote the film a little too gloomy. Batman was of course a nocturnal demeanour. But Superman is awfully colourful. Additional humour should have been comprised. Secondly, the casting of Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Snyder really liked Adams for the role of the feisty journalist. But what I cannot comprehend is leaving out Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis and Kristen Stewart for the predominant female act. Wilde being perfect for the bit, Mila being OK and Stewart as uniformly bad as Adams.
  Adams is nine years older than the 30 year old Cavill. So I don't even want to imagine her in bed with Kent in the sequel or the planned Justice League modification in the coming years. I also wanted the ending to be very innovative. Even though it was not the perfect ending it's as justifiable to the final rating I'll be declaring at the end of this review.
  MoS is not a superhero illustration. It's about the world's reaction to a person from another world's finding on earth. It's about how humans will react to the evidence of such existence. How the curious and narrow-mindedness of the orb impacts Superman's decisions.
  The synopsis: An extraterrestrial must look after his loved ones as further aliens arrive on the cosmos. It's about tough choices that have to be made. What Superman's adoptive dad and real father have taught him. How life on the big blue marble was so distinct from life on Krypton. Costner and Diane Lane are good as the foster couple. Laurence Fishburne plays Perry White, the editor-in-chief of Daily Planet. He is the first African-American to play Lois Lane's executive in a live-action feature, and fittingly so. Frank Langella was the last performer to impersonate Perry in the fifth attempt. Michael Shannon has not only the finesse of General Zod but also an eerie resemblance. Surely, this super-villain role was made for him, as he can never be billed for a hero's act. Russel Crowe delivers the ultimate performance in full length. When he's depressed, it looks as if put every fibre of his being into the soul of the form. Crowe outshines every other star in Man of Steel. And I hope I see him in the sequel as he would be a real miss if he weren't.
  Connoisseurs at RT have given the film a rotten 56% (as of June 18) and I can't give them a rotten frown but all speculations differ. How Superman got that rating is beyond me. The consensus does state: 'Superman's return to the big screen is successful, as Man of Steel provided enough exhilarating action and spectacle to overcome its occasional detours into generic blockbuster territory.' Batman Begins, in comparison has a 85% positive score. I am comparing the two from the viewpoint of onsets though that was when Nolan wasn't this renown. 
  Superman Returns also returned with Superman's primary antagonist Lex Luthor. Kevin Spacey did outline the villain well in Returns. But I am jolly that Lex was not the supreme villain in this scheme. LL has also been the primary opposing figure in the TV series Smallville. There is a reference to Lex in the flick that keen fans will notice.
  The flying scenes are neither too real or unreal, but rather surreal. The major plus points in the film are the character improvisation and Krypton's amazing showcase. Man of Steel is the sci-fi/superhero motion picture of the year, ahead of Iron Man 3, so far. The Wolverine and Thor 2 are unlikely to beat it both analytically and financially. And the second best action film of the year, up till now, behind Fast and Furious Six.

IMDb: 8.2/10.
RT: 56%.
BO101: 3.5/4.




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

After Effects of After Earth

TWLWTitle (click to view)StudioWeekend Gross% ChangeTheater Count /ChangeAverageTotal GrossBudget*Week #
11Fast & Furious 6Uni.$35,164,440-63.9%3,686+28$9,540$171,003,965$1602
2NNow You See MeLG/S$29,254,674-2,925-$10,002$29,254,674$751
3NAfter EarthSony$27,520,040-3,401-$8,092$27,520,040$1301
43Star Trek Into DarknessPar.$16,780,895-55.0%3,585-322$4,681$181,537,381$1903
62The Hangover Part IIIWB$16,385,254-60.7%3,565+10$4,596$88,540,908$1032
75Iron Man 3BV$8,442,451-56.3%2,895-529$2,916$385,187,736$2005
86The Great Gatsby (2013)WB$6,517,317-51.9%2,635-455$2,473$128,508,209$1054
9NYeh Jawaani Hai DeewaniEros$1,568,677-161-$9,743$1,568,677-1

Livin's life in the Fast Lane
Movin' at the speed of light and I can't slow down
Only got a gallon in the gas tank
But I'm almost at the finish line, so I can't stop now

The above verses are from Bad Meets Evil's Fast Lane. Many of the readers will know that this was the soundtrack in the Fast Six trailer. Although it was not used in the opening sequence of the flick itself. It is considered an unusual flaw in Fast and Furious Six for me.
  I still can't forget that . That night I watched it I had dreams of engines whirring in my head. Not only was the chemistry between Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) heightened. But also that of Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). Also, the interracial couple portrayed by Sung Kang and Gal Gadot respectively.

Danger is real. Watching this movie is a choice. Last week in my Fast Six review I stated in the end that it would stay in top place next period. My prediction has become 100% true. I also stated that the silver screen had one major competitor for the crown: After Earth. Yet AE came after Now You See Me. I saw the trailer of it in the cinema before F6 and had this thought: an above-average looking theatrical that will certainly not open above the 5th spot. And I was dead wrong!

(Have to re-edit this meme)

  Courtesy of Hassan Faheem for the upper illustration. After Earth may have been doomed to fail analytically (it has a current 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes), still having the father-son duo return on screen should've prompted at least a $35m debut. Will Smith's last venture was Men in Black 3 and it was a failure for me, on the other hand, gaining both critical and commercial establishment. Now AE that had a chance to at least end with $100m less than MiB 3's worldwide gross has underwhelmed Smith fans  expectations. This interval's box office is a surprise. The top 10 helms approximately $155m when last vacation it was much greater than that figure.
  AE is directed by riches-to-rags director M. Night Shyamalan. His The Last Airbender colossally failed fault-findingly with him even favouring to go ahead with casting Dev Patel in a role that gained him the paramount-achieving Award award he ever had: a Razzie Award nomination for as Worst Supporting Actor. In comparison, Frieda Pinto (his girlfriend) has received grand parts in the hits Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Immortal.
  Sci-fi big-budget in recent years have all acquired low revenues: John Carter is a perfect example and it deserved it. Recent sci-fi has either been plainly good or bad but beautiful: Star Trek, Prometheus being positive and Battleship with a score in between. I won't rule out my score of Oblivion. Still, it might mean that Tom Cruise is turned out to be a more profitable actor than Smith with blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher and financially yes, Oblivion.
  M. Night Shyamalan came back with some spark in Devil for which he gave the story only. So it was like a 50% recovery. After Earth I'll watch half-reluctantly as Smith is my third favourtie African-American actor after Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx.
  AE has consummated a bit of praise on the performance by Jaden Smith and that it is a much greater showcase than The Last Airbender. Also one thing to note is that the latter still had some follow-up because it was based on a very popular kids' TV show. After Earth is based on a story by a hugely renown actor Will Smith.
  In other news, the latest new opener on number 9th is Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. When I started BO101 I did do Bollywood stories and it does say Hollywood+Bollywood on the banner. Still, I haven't mentioned B-wood in a long time and H-town has given me a chance. YJHD translates into 'This Youth Is Crazy' and it has received globally mixed-to-positive reviews.

  As seen in the above poster, the main roles are carried out by none other than ex-couple Ranbir Kapoor, and super-sizzling Deepika Padukone. The film has become a hit in India with 100% occupancy at multiplexes, and $12m on its kickoff 3-day jubilee in Hindustan beating Salman Khan starrer Dabangg 2's commencement. The onset figure in US is $1.6m. YJHD's production cost is $9.2m.
  Iron Man 3 stands a tall man at 7 with a domestic gross of $385m on a budget of $200m. Internationally, the cumulative is $1.18 billion. IM3 is the fifth apically-earning picture of all time. And the 16th feature to reach the $1b mark. I actually predicted it would make $1.2b or $1.3b, however, it relinquished in my expectations. Robert Downey Jr.'s contract as the titular character expires with his  nevertheless it certainly will be extended for The Avengers 2. And there is great cause for Marvel to consider it for a probable Iron Man 4.
  Star Trek: Into Darkness will pass its $190m budget domestically in the next seven days. The Purge and The Internship are up for wide national debuts in the impending weekend. Man of Steel will reign first on its launching season afterwards with a predicted $100m-$150m start-up as by BoxOffice101.
  That's all from me folks, check out the trailer for Now You See Me starring Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo with Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman after the last paragraph. The latter has been appearing in a lot of subsidiary roles in main productions such as The Dark Knight Rises, and a celluloid I hate to mention again, Oblivion.
  This quote is pledged to Fast Six: 'I believe that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' - Maya Angelou. I forgot 100% the dialogues and high-octane scenes though not the feelings that confounded me. Sentimentality is harbouring a cloud over me.

(Chart by Box Office Mojo)