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Man of Steel: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 06 2013 - 02:39 AM

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[color=rgb(0,0,255);]What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.[/color]

 

 

 

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Man Of Steel

 

Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: November 12, 2013

Ratio: 2.4:1

Audio:  DTS-HD MA 7.1English; Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Running Time: 143 minutes

Rating: PG-13

 

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[color=rgb(0,0,205);]On A Scale 0-5[/color]

 

Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4

3D Separation: 3

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 1

 

 

It's difficult to fathom that it has been 34 years since the original Superman: The Movie.

Within the years that followed, Warner Bros. has twice attempted to reboot the franchise,

failing miserably with Superman Returns in 2006, and now with a totally reimagined take

of the story in Man of Steel.

 

Actually, the story here hasn't changed as much as the way it's being unveiled -- and that

can be a good thing.  Everything that is familiar about the origins of Superman is still here,  

but the story tends to quickly jump ahead throughout its timeline, eventually answering

many of its questions through numerous flashbacks.  I thought this was an excellent way

to approach the story as it now seems rather fresh than rehashed.

 

Posted Image

 

As the film opens, Jor-El (Russel Crowe) and Lara (Ayalet Zurer) have just brought their

first son, Kal-El,  into the world through natural childbirth, which has been outlawed on their

planet of Krypton since the introduction of natural selection. With their world now crumbling,

and under attack from General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his army, Kal-El is launched into

space, bound for Earth where it is hoped he will be a saviour to its people.

 

Posted Image

 

The film quickly jumps ahead in the Earth timeline, first introducing us to Kal-El (Henry

Cavill) as a young, bearded, Alaskan crab fisherman.  We quickly realize that this man is

still an outsider of sorts -- never quite fitting in with human society.  He is often bullied, but

yet despite those hardships, he risks his secret identity to save the lives of others when

they are greatly threatened. This causes "Kal" to quickly disappear, moving from job to

job never quite realizing the reasons for his existence.  Through flashbacks, we learn

of his human parents (Kevin Kostner and Diane Lane) and how they helped the young

boy deal with his inner struggles while helping him understand his destiny.

 

Posted Image

 

In an attempt not to give too much more of the story away, I'll summarize by saying

that Kal eventually realizes his purpose on Earth, meets a young reporter named 

Lois Lane (expertly portrayed by Amy Adams) who becomes suspicious of his super

powers, and then attempts to save mankind when General Zod breaks free from the

Phantom Zone.  

 

Yes, it all seems so familiar -- and I have to be honest -- I did everything I could to

stay away from this film during its theatrical run.  I read the mix of positive and 

negative reviews and the complaints of its somewhat burdened pace, poor casting

choices and and its failure to capture the essence of its main character.  However,

now having actually watched Man of Steel, I found have to say I thoroughly loved

this re-imagined tale for modern audiences with its underlying message of realizing

one's talents and potentials to become the best person that we can be.  

 

Posted Image

 

As expected, Warner has given us a terrific transfer on Blu-ray.  It's not colorful 

by any means as Director Zach Snyder gives preference towards a more muted

palette.  However, picture is sharp and well detailed.  Earlier I talked about the 

span of 34 years since the original Superman movie.  It's mind-boggling to see

the differences in what was cutting-edge film technology then compared to what

it is now.  And, while I don't particularly care for over-the-top CGI created worlds,

I have to admit that I was rather blown away by the action sequences that took

place on Krypton and throughout the rest of the movie on Earth.  Man of Steel

was shot on 35mm film and contains 1500 visual effects shots -- many of which

that look amazingly complicated, yet perfectly executed.  This is about as cutting

edge as the technology allows today and all of it is rendered perfectly

 

At times I had to struggle with the necessity of 3D for Man of Steel.  Certainly,

the studio saw this as a money-making gimmick, but perhaps it would have 

been pulled off better if the film had been natively filmed in the format.  Instead,

we have something that was unconverted in post production.  If you want to 

know why I think this film was even considered for an upconversion, I would

probably say it was show off the abundant amount of lens flare that shows up

in just about every scene in the movie.  No kidding -- you could make a drinking

game over the amount of times a layer of flare appears -- and it becomes so

exaggerated in 3D that it just becomes plain annoying after awhile.  

 

With varying levels of depth throughout the film, the 3D does tend to make

the landscapes look more vast.  In addition, there always seems to be something

floating within the screen, be it specs of dust in the air (seen even in the opening 

logos), flame embers, snowflakes or flying debris.  Nothing ever protrudes from

the screen with the exception of one moment, towards the end of the film, where 

the woman who plays Zod's second in command is lunging a knife forward.  

 

So, as to the question of whether it's worth paying the premium to buy

Man of Steel on 3D Blu-ray?  It's difficult to say.  I suppose I found myself more

immersed in the action with the added dimensionality, but really, I don't think 

this becomes a better movie because of the upconversion that was done.  

 

Posted Image

 

The one thing about the in-home Blu-ray experience that is really worth talking

about is the film's 7.1 DTS-MA soundtrack (downconverted to 5.1 on my system).

You know, many recent Blu-ray reviews I have done tout the fact that it has one

of the best, most aggressive soundtracks to date.  Well, I am about to say the

same thing about Man of Steel, but really, this one takes the prize as being the

most immersive sonic experience to date.  Every single channel is actively at

play here, seemingly at all times, providing effect sounds (such as the whispering

voices of children to the computer commands in the Genesis chamber) that

seem to emanate from every corner of the room.  However, what really needs to

be talked about is Hans Zimmer's haunting score that just dominates this aural 

experience from its loud, pounding drums, to its soft, sentimental piano chords.

There isn't a hint of John William's Superman theme to be found anywhere in

this track, but damn if the new theme doesn't manage to give one goosebumps.

LFE?  You better believe there is an incredible amount of rumbling support to 

be had here.  This is simply one of the most incredible audio tracks to be heard

on any home presentation.  You can take that to the bank!

 

 

[color=rgb(139,69,19);]CONCLUSION[/color]

 

Posted Image

 

I have to go on record by saying that the original, Superman: The Movie, still

remains the best film in the series.  However, I have to give a huge amount of

kudos to director Zach Snyder for his unique retelling of this story in a manner

that seems completely fresh.  Furthermore, thanks to cutting-edge effects

technology, the action sequences provide a real punch to the senses.

 

I am a bit disappointed that Warner's most expensive film of the year received

the upconversion treatment rather than being natively lensed in 3D.  The 

post conversion looks fine, but doesn't really offer the extra bang for the buck.

Still, Man of Steel in 3D is probably more immersive than its 2D counterpart so

if you are thinking of making the upgrade, it might be worth it.

 

 

[color=rgb(128,0,0);]Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. [/color]

 

[color=rgb(24,24,24);font-family:verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:13px;]Equipment[/color]

 

LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player

Denon 3311CI Receiver

Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

SV Sound Subwoofer


 

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 23 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted November 06 2013 - 10:06 AM

Ron, glad you enjoyed the experience of this fresh take on the Superman saga...it will be interesting to see where Zack Snyder, writer David Goyer and executive producer Christopher Nolan take the character in the 2015 sequel, which everyone in HTF already knows will co-star Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman...I LOVED watching this re-imagining of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's creative brainchild and actually enjoyed it MORE than the 1978 Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve original, which won the Oscar for visual effects that year. I still have a strong affection for it, but was ready for a fresh take on the origin story, which this delivered for me in spades. Looking forward to seeing it on 3D blu-ray when my copy from Amazon Prime arrives next Tuesday... :thumbsup:



#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Jeff Cooper

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Posted November 06 2013 - 11:06 AM

 

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WOW!, did the team who did LotR Fellowship EE do the color grading on this disc?  :D


Edited by Jeff Cooper, November 06 2013 - 11:07 AM.

-Jeff Cooper

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#4 of 23 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted November 06 2013 - 11:21 AM

WOW!, did the team who did LotR Fellowship EE do the color grading on this disc?  :D

I saw this theatrically last June...that's the way it's SUPPOSED to look!!! :lol:



#5 of 23 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted November 06 2013 - 11:59 AM

man of steel was released in dolby atmos. its not surprising that its very active. I noticed when zod is talking with the people of earth about kal-el. it would come from the back left speaker. I would think it would be the same in the home version?

I saw it in 3d. the 3d just sucked. I am hoping the active version is much better. during the smallville fight, there was some scenes where the characters seem abit rubbery. like the original 2002 spiderman in a few shots.

 

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#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Peter Neski

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Posted November 06 2013 - 12:07 PM

This is one ugly looking film, and looks like some of these special effects films, where they look like a video game so the effects

blend in ,the color is the main problem for me,I don't think the director has much of a eye



#7 of 23 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted November 06 2013 - 12:09 PM

I saw this theatrically last June...that's the way it's SUPPOSED to look!!! :lol:

 

 

+1.

 

Jacob



#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Stephen Brooks

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Posted November 09 2013 - 06:51 PM

Color was my main complaint too. There are times where this movie is almost monochrome. I know they were probably deliberately trying to make it look different from the Donner movies, but they went too far. I liked the movie overall, but I kept wishing for more color. I'm hoping for Batman vs. Superman to look a little more like Watchmen than MOS.
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#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Carabimero

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Posted November 09 2013 - 07:15 PM

I thought it was an utterly joyless movie, with one funny line, and too much unnecessary violence at the end. After watching someone fly through a building once, it got old fast. The Man of Steel had emotions of steel, as did this movie, at least for me.


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#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 09 2013 - 11:41 PM

I can understand the mixed opinions towards MAN OF STEEL.

 

It's a totally different approach to the material than we have previously seen.

 

What I enjoyed most about the film was its dark approach.  It's very similar

to The Dark Knight -- the kind of approach I felt the Superman series needed.

 

However, I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea.


 

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#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted November 10 2013 - 12:35 AM

When I was a kid, Superman was George Reeves... What more can I say?



#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Keith Cobby

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Posted November 10 2013 - 03:50 AM

Problem for me is that Christopher Reeve is Superman! Of all the action hero films, The Dark Knight trilogy has been the most enjoyable. I put this down to the skills of Chris Nolan who is for me the finest film-maker of his generation. It will be interesting to see what he can achieve with the sequel.

 

Presumably the difficulty in casting the lead in these types of film is why there hasn't been a Wonder Woman movie. I cannot think of anyone who could supplant Lynda Carter in this role.



#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted November 10 2013 - 04:38 AM

I thought MAN OF STEEL was great. I'm particularly pleased that it was such a serious film without jockey villains which, for me, spoilt the Christopher Reeve films. The 3D was disappointingly muted though and didn't add a lot to it but the whole look of the film - colour etc was excellent.

Edited by Douglas R, November 10 2013 - 04:40 AM.


#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted November 10 2013 - 04:49 AM

I thought it was an utterly joyless movie, with one funny line, and too much unnecessary violence at the end. After watching someone fly through a building once, it got old fast. The Man of Steel had emotions of steel, as did this movie, at least for me.

 

I think this is dead-on. The movie lacks any levity at all. Not saying it should have been Superman III, but I'm forced to agree with Marvel producer Kevin Feige, who said he felt the DC universe movies were creating a world so grim and dark that audiences won't want to live in it, let alone revisit it from time to time. 

 

That said, Man of Steel was a decent science fiction movie, but I thought it failed as a superhero movie. I did not enjoy the color scheme or the way all the special effects sequences had a blurry aspect to them (as seems to be Zack Synder's trademark). The destruction at the end of the movie was way beyond all good taste. Please, enough with the 9/11 references - it's gratuitous. 



#15 of 23 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted November 10 2013 - 05:42 AM

I'm particularly pleased that it was such a serious film without jockey villains which, for me, spoilt the Christopher Reeve films.

I liked the movie but I still think that they made too serious of a movie. Superman is essentially a fun and upbeat character. That doesn't mean that it should be a comedy or be silly but having tens of thousands (or more) of people killed in the final sequences is way too grim for a Superman story. While there has to be a cost, they went way too far into "dark and gritty" territory. Superman should be stopping the bad guys and saving the day but with the level of destruction and death in Metropolis, he won a Pyrrhic victory.



#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted November 10 2013 - 06:58 AM

I can understand the mixed opinions towards MAN OF STEEL.

 

It's a totally different approach to the material than we have previously seen.

 

What I enjoyed most about the film was its dark approach.  It's very similar

to The Dark Knight -- the kind of approach I felt the Superman series needed.

 

However, I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea.

 

Have to disagree.  I love the Dark Knight films and Nolan's tone made sense for those, as Batman is naturally a grim character.

 

But that tone doesn't work for everything.  Superman's supposed to be about hope and optimism doing the right thing - he;s a bright morning to Batman's cloudy midnight.  Attempts to make Superman dark and brooding just don't make sense to me - why even call him "Superman" if he's going to be so different from the original character?


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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 10 2013 - 07:08 AM

Colin,

 

I can't argue with that opinion.

 

I don't read comics.  I can't look at this from the side of fans that know

the character better than I.

 

Just from a personal standpoint, I liked that this film didn't give us the 

same spin that the first remake did (and which failed miserably at doing).


 

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#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Scott Burke

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Posted November 11 2013 - 05:41 AM

I loved the film in theaters, and I really enjoyed the 3D.  I like when 3D adds depth to the scene not necessarily in your face kind of stuff, but that can be fun too.

 

I understand the mixed reviews as well, but it was nice to see Superman in something other than an "awww shucks" kind of characterization.  He has been given an increasingly more serious characterization in the DC Animated Universe, and I thought, it was nice it was finally reflected in film.  This coming from a guy who liked SR.



#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted November 11 2013 - 06:06 AM

Colin,

 

I can't argue with that opinion.

 

I don't read comics.  I can't look at this from the side of fans that know

the character better than I.

 

Just from a personal standpoint, I liked that this film didn't give us the 

same spin that the first remake did (and which failed miserably at doing).

 

I do think "Superman Returns" went too far the other way - it tried to be a near-slavish take on the Donner Superman, and it didn't work.  Still, I liked it more than "Man of Steel" - for all its flaws, at least it "felt like Superman"! ;)


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#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 11 2013 - 06:45 AM

Everyone dogs on Superman Returns.  It's not perfect, but it at least tried to tie in with what came before.  Man of Steel couldn't give a rip about it...which is fine, but how many times do any of us need to see the "Clark as a kid" story?  It's been done...let's do something different.

 

And, here's the key for me, I like Brandon Routh more than Henry Cavill.  Cavill looked too pale, too "make up-y" in Man of Steel.  I don't think Routh is a great actor (the contrary, actually), but he looked the part more.







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