[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]
Man Of Steel
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: November 12, 2013
Audio: DTS-HD MA 7.1English; Dolby Digital 5.1 French
Running Time: 143 minutes
[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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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