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Man of Steel Review

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My most anticipated movie of the year has finally arrived. Man of Steel. Even though Superman isn’t my favorite in DC’s lineup, it’s hard not to be excited about a new Superman movie after the disappointing Superman Returns was released about seven years ago. The trailers for Man of Steel have been awesome and I’m ready for Superman to fly back into my life. Despite mixed reviews from other critics, I’m happy to say that Man of Steel is a fantastic superhero movie with great performances by its cast and excellent action scenes and special effects. The screenplay might not flow all that well with a particularly choppy first half but the direction writer David S. Goyer took made a reboot somehow seem fresh. It hasn’t been a good first half of 2013 for movies so go treat yourself to something awesome.

Man of Steel retells Superman’s origin which was seen in 1978’s Superman film (although there are many differences).

With their home planet, Krypton, facing destruction due to its unstable core and their military leader, General Zod, taking over the council of leaders of the world, a scientist named Jor-El, aware of the destruction of the planet, places his infant son, Kal-El, into a spacecraft and sends him to Earth along with a genetic codex. General Zod is placed in the “Phantom Zone” (another dimension for prisoners) but when Krypton explodes (killing all of its inhabitants), Zod and his henchmen are set free. They learn of Kal-El’s location and head there to retrieve the genetic codex to recreate Krypton but with Zod as the leader.

Meanwhile, Kal-El crash lands in Smallville, Kansas where he is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Kal-El has superhuman abilities due to his Kryptonian anatomy. He hides his identity and superhuman abilities by disguising himself as Clark Kent but when Zod threatens to destroy the planet unless he surrenders, it’s time for Clark to become the “man of steel” and save the world.

I don’t like remakes or retellings. I’ve seen the story done right before (1978’s Superman is one of my favorite movies of all time) and want to see something new. What writer David S. Goyer does is slightly tweak the mythology thus creating a whole new story thus making the film feel like “something new.” I’m speechless that this was the direction the film went and I loved almost every second of it. It’s the same story but told in a new way that hasn’t been seen before (at least on film). In terms of personal preference, I still prefer the original more straightforward origin of 1978’s Superman, but this breath of fresh air was a warm welcome.

The screenplay doesn’t have a good flow to it though. The scenes in the first half of the film didn’t really align with one another which made the movie feel a little choppy. It’s not because of the great flashback scenes, it’s because Clark is in a location in one scene and then in a completely different setting in the next with no real explanation other than he’s constantly moving so nobody figures out he has superhuman abilities. The movie felt disjointed although I was still entertained mainly due to the solid performances by its cast.

Henry Cavill is a great Clark/Kal-El/Superman. What he nails is the human side of the character. Instead of Clark feeling like an almighty emotionless god, you feel he’s a person. He gets excited, angry, and upset just like every person on this Earth and Cavill absolutely nailed the role. Michael Shannon as Zod might go a little over the top at times but he plays a great psychotic villain and I hope to see him in other villain roles. Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishburn are all well portrayed although it’s Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe who steal the show due to the emotion they brought to their roles even when they’re surrounded by lots of special effects.

Those visual effects by the way. Awesome. The movie doesn’t have too many action scenes but when Superman is throwing down, it’s entertaining largely in part to the incredible visuals in the movie. Zack Snyder and visual effects are like peanut butter and jelly, they blend together oh so nicely. From the creatures of Krypton to Metropolis falling apart, when Man of Steel goes above and beyond with its visuals, it’s hard not to be amazed.

THE VERDICT 

It’s always a shame when a movie isn’t getting the praise it deserves with Man of Steel being the most recent example. Not only does the movie somehow break movie logic and make a retelling feel fresh but it has outstanding visuals and solid performances by the cast. Besides the choppy first half, Man of Steel is the Superman movie we deserve. Welcome back Superman, I missed you.9 out of 10

For reviews and more from me, Petey Oneto, you can check out my blog but be sure to check back with Resident Entertainment for more of my posts in the future.

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  1. Bryan Weatherall

    June 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    great review Petey! I’m excited to see this movie, i love Zack Snyder films

    • Petey Oneto

      June 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Then you’ll love this one, especially if you like superhero films.

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Crawl Review

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Crawl Review

Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.

Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?

Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!

Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.

The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.

As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.

The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.

The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.

Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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