(2013/Superman/Warner Blu-ray 3D w/+Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
B/A-/B Sound: A/A/B Extras: C+ Film: B
have overtaken the world! Well, at least cinema.
seemingly can't get enough super human feature films so of course a
reboot of Superman was on the list. With Zak Snyder directing a film
written by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer it seemed like
anything could happen. Whereas I had high hopes and low
of Steel was
an excellent take on a classic hero.
in the past Superman (along with many other heroes) were kept very
archetypical with only surface level emotions; Snyder explores a
darker, emotionally torn side of the hero which is admirable. The
film kicks off with the destruction of Krypton as Jor-El (Russell
Crowe) attempts to protect his family and race from the impending
destruction of the merciless General Zod (played By Michael Shannon).
From here we are taken on a journey through Kal-El [Clark Kent's]
life as he struggles with his existence as superhuman looking for a
place in the world. His adoptive mother and father (played
respectively by Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) are loving individuals
who do their best to bring him up ‘normally’ while teaching him
to never forget who he is; in an attempt to protect him from the
harsh world that awaits. Clark (played by Henry Cavill) puts up a
good front, but it is more than apparent that inside he is torn
between two selves and really two worlds.
we spend half the film exploring the inner workings of the man that
is Clark Kent (Kal-El) the second act is an all out battle and race
against time as Superman attempts to save humanity. The combination
of emotional exploration, full fledged action, and brilliant acting
of Steel a
memorable film. Amy Adams appears as Lois Lane in an equally
emotional role that differs from the way the character was ever
played in the past on film or in the comics. Lawrence Fishburne is
Perry White acting as the questionable moral compass for Lois Lane as
she pursues the mystery hero that saved her in the Arctic.
the film stylistically is well done and displays beautifully; I would
call the editing somewhat questionable. The film bounces around a
bit much, disturbing flow and consistency; making Man
of Steel a
bit of a choppy cinematic experience. I find the overall exploration
of the character admirable and refreshing; couple this with the
explosive action that General Zod (Michael Shannon) brings to the
picture and you have one entertaining film.
technical features of this 3D Blu-ray set are nice, but there is a
clear winner in terms of presentation. Whereas home video
presentations of 3D feature films have drastically improved over the
last several years, in the case of Man
of Steel the
3D Blu-ray is not all too impressive with the standard Blu-ray being
of a much greater quality. The 3D Blu-ray is presented in a 1080p
MPEG-4, MVC encoded 2.40 x 1 image that was converted to 3D in post
production and it shows. The plus side of the 3D is that it does not
use ‘burst off the screen’ gimmicks, but instead merely adds a
layer of depth and dimensionality to the film. The film in 3D
manages to maintain a fine layer of detail, texture, and framing inky
black levels. I do feel that the colors were a bit muted and even as
this is an intentionally darker film stylistically the 3D bogs down
the image a tad.
standard Blu-ray in comparison is near perfection; granted the style
choices by cinematographer Amir Mokri are not for everyone (having a
grittier/darker feel), I quite enjoyed the direction. In the
standard Blu-ray the audience is treated to brilliant 1080p MPEG-4,
AVC Encoded 2.40 X 1 feature that is stunning with deep blacks,
natural textures, and (when needed) bursts of vibrant color. If the
detail on the 3D was good the standard Blu-ray is out of this world!
Again, the presentation (shot on 35mm film in real anamorphic
Panavision and Red Epic Digital) is stylized to an extent (modified
in post production) as the somewhat blue, toned down was intentional
to give the film a darker aura (like that of The
People want their heroes darker these days and it seems the creators
of these films agree. The sound on both the 3D and standard Blu-ray
is perfection as the entire speaker range is utilized. The well
balanced presentation uses admirable panning effects, heart pounding
bass, and immersive action from beginning to end. Throughout the 7.1
DTS HD- Master Audio lossless presentation (based on the 11.1 Dolby
Atmos theatrical presentations) the audience will feel surrounded,
while concurrently never losing prioritization as the dialogue,
musical scores, and action are within perfect balance of each other.
DVD doesn't compare to the stunning presentation of the Blu-ray and
should only be explored when no other options available.
extras are few and short (as I am sure a super special edition is on
the way), but a something worth a look. Extras include:
Characters, Legendary Roles
Zealand: home of Middle Earth
Anniversary Animated Short
of Discovery: Creating Man of Steel
the end, Man
of Steel was
a surprisingly well made film that stands on its own. I would not
put it on the level of excellence with The
but it is certainly one of the better made superhero films.
Michael P. Dougherty II