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4.1 out of 5 stars1,397
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on 1 April 2016
This is a thoroughly enjoyable super-hero film.

I originally watched it at the cinema (in 3D), and subsequently on Blu-ray (both 2D and 3D). The Blu-ray quality is fantastic (excellent audio and picture). While the 3D version is fun, it doesn't add a great deal. So when I choose to re-watch this film, I opt for the 2D version.

This is a re-boot of the Superman franchise, following the less than financially successful 'Superman Returns' (2006) film. While I enjoyed the 2006 film, which sought in various ways to fit-in with the Christopher Reeve's film-series, I thought that this 2013 movie was superior.

This film seeks to tell the story of Superman's origins ... starting with the destruction of the planet Krypton, the orphaned baby Kal-El arriving on Earth and being raised by the Kent's in Smallville, and Clark Kent's transformation into the Man of Steel. All of this has been done before - both in film and in TV series. So it's difficult to add something fresh and imaginative. Yet the film succeeds in this regard. Rather than draw on the earlier movies (or the TV series), this film is inspired by the wealth of comic books that comprise the 70+ year history of Superman. The 'origin story' has been depicted several times in the comic books, and this film borrows from many of these. In addition, it offers new elements - especially in terms of the 'look' of Krypton, of the various space ships, etc.

The story focuses on Clark Kent, and how he's forced to become a super-hero. While he's been a 'good guy' (saving people), he's never adopted a public persona as a known hero. That is, until General Zod (and a gang of criminals previously imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Krypton's judicial system) arrives at planet Earth and demands to see Kal-El. The General is a nasty piece of work (just as he was in 'Superman 2'), and decides to re-design the Earth into a new Krypton! And so Clark must save the world ... he becomes Superman, and battles the villainous Kryptonian criminals.

There's mayhem and destruction ... but just enough opportunity for Superman to gain a love interest, in reporter Lois Lane. The great city of Metropolis is ruined, and - finally - it's a battle to the death between Superman and Zod. This all happens as the world watches in awe and fright. Fortunately, Superman is victorious.

This film serves as a starting point for the wider DC movie universe. The first cross-over film is 'Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice' (2016) ... which will, eventually, lead into the Justice League saga. This initial installment is a serious tale, offering a complex Man of Steel. He struggles to accept his 'destiny' as Superman, although he knows it's the right thing to do. This is a super-hero who has such vast abilities - powers he himself is unaware of until he chooses to use them - that he's almost utterly separate and distinct from all other people. Yet he wants to live a normal life. He struggles with inner-demons, with the loss of his home world, and with the death of his adoptive father. But he succeeds in overcoming these, for the good of humankind.

The movie is superbly directed by Zack Snyder. Yet it's not his best work (both '300' and 'Watchmen' are superior). I get the impression that he's not had complete freedom to direct, and was operating within parameters set by Nolan (producer; direct of the 'Dark Knight' trilogy). In my view, Snyder is a superior film-maker as compared to Nolan, and I wish the latter had not been involved.

The acting is done well. I was particularly impressed by Henry Cavill, who not only looks the part (and is more in-keeping with the comic book depiction of Superman than any previous film incarnation), but he portrays the tragic aspects of the Man of Steel excellently. In addition to Cavill, I thought Amy Adams was perfect for the role of investigative reporter Lois Lane (brining both intelligence and beauty to the role). Finally, Zod was brilliantly played by Michael Shannon.

I was also impressed by the music - overall, an excellent sound track. It sought to establish itself in a distinct manner, totally separate from the earlier films. In my view, this music elevated the film to a higher level than might otherwise have been the case.

This is a movie I will re-watch every so often, as it's a good super-hero action film. Yet it's not perfect. I think that the Krypton scenes were rushed, and ought to have been extended. And I think Zod should have interacted more with the people of Earth, clearly establishing his dominance (and thereby creating more of a need for Superman). Nonetheless, it's a very good film. 8 out of 10.
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on 5 January 2016
I loved it, brilliantly envisioned recreation of the original story with a more modern and thoughtful approach. Terrific acting, effects to die for, a great story, music, everything, and all for free on Amazon Prime, what could be better. Very surprised some people slated this film, I suppose it takes all sorts but after all it's total fantasy, lets not get bogged down in nerdy comparisons, love it for what it is, a fantastic movie you will want to watch again.
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Before I start my review I would just like say this steelbook looks brilliant, and for a steelbook collector this would look great in your collection. Now for the film, this film is just awesome, I can not believe how good this film was, I have seen many films in my life including all the other superman films, but this film just blew me away, i just thought it was just wonderful and so gripping up to a point I think this is the best superman film, don't get me wrong I love all the other superman films but this just edges it for me.

Oh the 3D is ok, and the 3D depth looks quality but as per normal there is nothing popping of of your screen, but then again the picture quality and sound is truly amazing, and the 5.1 surround sound is up there with Saving Private Ryan.
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I was a huge comic book fan growing up and seeing the slew of superhero movies on screen makes me absolutely giddy with joy. I love both Marvel and DC movies but I’ve noticed that Marvel movies aren’t necessary repeat viewing. Man of Steel is such a good movie that I’ve watched it multiple times and it still feels fresh and new.

Talking briefly about Marvel and DC, Marvel is family viewing and there's nothing wrong with that. But as my tastes mature I’ve come to prefer the nuanced and darker stories of the DC universe which are ground more in reality than anything else on offer.

A lot of the criticism levelled at this movie is from people who reminisce about growing up with the Christopher Reeve movies. These were great family viewing (Superman II is a personal favourite!), but these movies belong in a different time. Certainly the last superman outing from Brian Singer tried to recapture the Richard Donner era and it was neither a critical or commercial success.

Man of Steel bases its premise that if Superman did exist it would completely change the nature of humanity. Not only comes the knowledge that we are not alone in the universe but a Demigod walks amongst us.

Everything about this movie just works. Henry Cavil is excellent as Superman a role he was born to play. You have to admire his work ethic in terms of the effort it must have taken to achieve that Superman physique. He totally looks the part. Amy Adams plays determined reporter Lois Lane perfectly. Russell Crowe channels Jor-El with wisdom and compassion. Michael Shannon who plays Zod is absolutely brilliant. A superb actor who deserves higher recognition. I was moved by his amazing performance in Take Shelter and his take on Zod is superb. Full of rage and anger a man breed for war without a war or a planet to fight for. All the actors here including Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne and Christopher Meloni do a sterling job.

It's not only the actors but everything else in this movies just works. The Superman costume looks fantastic. The effects made to show Krypton are amazing visuals. The set actions pieces (which are numerous) do not distract and look incredible.

There’s been some criticism levelled at the destruction near the end of the movie and I personally don't understand why. If superhuman beings with these powers fought, the destruction would be immense and that’s exactly what happens. it’s based on realism and buildings would fall and areas decimated. I've watched a couple of transformers movies and they tend to go overboard on the SFX at the expense of storyline and becomes mindless destruction. This does not happen here. it's integral and it works to bring the story to an inevitable conclusion.

I'll no doubt watch this movie again before Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad. DC has (rightly in my opinion) adopted a path toward a more mature comic universe compared to Marvel. This is not your father’s Superman. If you're feeling nostalgic rewatch those older movies and maybe you'll come to a conclusion, as good as they were, they belong to a different era. They are still available to view and enjoy. But in this brave new comic book world, Man of Steel will stand out as the lynchpin to the DC universe, get used to it and get on board. It will be a hell of a ride!
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VIDEO (3D):

It should be first pointed out that Man Of Steel is another product of post-conversion. The 1080p MVC 3D picture was converted from native 2D by Legend 3D with stereography by Curus Gladstone and James Prola. Shot with a combination of traditional 35mm film and the Red Epic digital camera system, this latest iteration of the legendary superhero is far more impressive in its native 2D format. This transfer comes with a good deal of depth and dimensionality in various scenes. The action-packed sequences full of CGI spectacle are comparatively the best, as near field objects show great separation from the background and often seem to float in midair. Overall, the post-conversion is nicely done but it lacks the sort of immersive effect we expect from the format. (4/5)

VIDEO (2D):

Man of Steel (2D) flies onto blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. This transfer has a thin-layer of grain throughout, providing the movie with an attractive cinematic quality. Facial complexions are very revealing with excellent lifelike textures, and the clothing, especially the Kryptonian outfits, exposes every stitch and thread of the fabric. The gritty cinematography of Amir Mokri favours a stylized and heavily subdued look, giving the film an overcast and somber appeal. In spite of a noticeable toned-down contrast, the picture still yields remarkable clarity and resolution in the far distance, revealing the smallest window or tiniest antenna atop buildings. Black levels are inky and true. Overall, this transfer is top-notch. (5/5)

AUDIO (3D & 2D):

Man of Steel has an incredibly forceful DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix. From the start, the movie opens with a wall of sound that doesn't let up until the last of the end credits, filling the screen and the room in general with the music of Hans Zimmer. With a remarkably detailed and sharply extensive mid-range, the listener can enjoy each note and individual instrument within the orchestration. The dynamic design is full of warmth and fidelity, peaking into the upper frequencies with incredible, room-penetrating clarity while still maintaining superb distinction and intelligibility in the dialogue. During action-packed sequences, anything from jets, helicopters, alien spacecrafts and Kryptonians speeding across the sky pan from one speaker to the next with exhilarating realism and flawless movement. Every explosion unloads a surge of gravel, dirt and rock that then rains down all around with amazing clarity and continues to bounce further away. Subtle atmospherics, like leaves blowing in the wind, birds flying overhead or city traffic, are employed to fill in the quieter, dialogue-driven moments. Simply an excellent immersive soundtrack. (5/5)

TRIVIA:

Man of Steel has an estimated budget of $225 million, but has a worldwide gross of $661 million.

CRITICISM:

Packaging: I do not appreciate Warner Bros to be so cheap as to stack on the 3D blu ray disc onto of the 2D version. A flipcase housing each disc is not that much more expensive.

Major criticism: Just like Star Trek Into Darkness, where the Special Features were split among different retailers, the same applies to this movie too. Walmart got an exclusive 2 extra featurettes, while Target got 5 extra featurettes, when compared to the version that I bought from Amazon. This is not the fault of Amazon, but the studios’ greed. I am sure that some time in the future, a Super Deluxe Special Collector’s Edition will be released combining all the Special Features.

By the way, this type of Special Feature splitting also happened to Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3, etc. Interestingly, it did not happen to The Hobbit: An Extended Journey – Extended Edition. And I’d bet that it was director Peter Jackson who wisely stopped it from happening.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

From a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, Man of Steel surprises with its thoughtful reimagining of Superman's origins and the personal challenges he faces in his journey to becoming the iconic hero he's known for being. Director Zack Snyder brings his usual bombastic flair but manages to deliver the sort of comic book adaptation fans love to watch and will hopefully serve as the beginning of a new franchise. I bought the 3D version because I like to collect all the blockbuster 3D movies. Since this 3D is a post-conversion, the 2D version is cheaper and of more value.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 January 2015
So I have to admit this film did something that films rarely do. It surprised me. Having never been a huge Superman fan (never read the comics) my expectations weren't all that high but Man of Steel modernizes Superman in a completely new way making Superman feel not only more grounded but also making him cool.

The story starts off with a fairly large sequence on Krypton showing the fall of the planet as well as setting up Superman coming to earth and his nemesis General Zod. The film actually then jumps to Kent as an adult finding his way through the world with flashbacks to his childhood showing how he became how he is today. I really liked this approach as it splits up the pace of the film more rather than having a slow heavy focus on him growing up at the start.

Although I rather liked the way the film is set up and the actual plot it does have quite a few plot holes if you look hard enough like Krypton knowing disaster was coming, having spaceships everywhere but saving nobody except Superman or being such a hugely advanced race yet having no back up copies of data etc. It doesn't ruin the film or anything but a few things I noticed.

The acting was actually very good, Henry Cavill was fantastic as Superman and his new suit really looked fantastic, both the material and design really brings him into the modern age. Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Michael Shannon as General Zod were also excellent in their roles, especially Zod and his troops, they looked great and came off as pretty menacing.

The film is also full of over the top special effects and quite a lot of heavy action. In some films that really doesn't work but in Man of Steel I found many of the sequences really well done and exciting. The special effects are also as you would expect from a big budget blockbuster, superb.

The Blu-Ray extras largely consist of some making of featurettes, a Superman animated short. Perhaps not a great amount for those who love all the extra features but it had the sort of bits I enjoy.

To sum up, I regret having waited so long to watch this little gem. It looks fantastic, brings Superman into the modern age and is generally a well paced exciting superhero movie.

+ Reboot is fresh.
+ Supermans new costume is great, completely modern.
+ Special effects and action are exciting.
+ Loved General Zod.

- A few plot holes here and there.
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on 9 April 2016
I decided to watch the film again, in light of all the publicity surrounding the new Batman V Superman film. A lot of negativity had surrounded Man of Steel and there had been some talk of Superman's role in the new film being played down because of it. I managed to find it suspiciously cheap for second hand and watched it - and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are flaws there, but they are not insurmountable or even that significant unless you are going into watching it with a pedantic mindset.

So the weaknesses: The main areas that reviewers have targeted have related to: a) The extended battle at the end, b) the conflicted representation of Superman himself, c) slips in logic that are exposed when you pick it apart.

a) The battle is too long and insanely destructive. This seems to be addressed in the beginning of the new film, but needs some thought or reference to it within this one. The huge amount of destruction in itself isn't problematic, it just needed to touch on the doubt surrounding his influence / effect in the last few minutes - but instead it goes a little lighter.

It is pleasing that an element of teamwork is involved, although the soldier Hardy does have more of a role in the final conflct that Lois Lane. It does mean, though, that we jump very quickly between 4 or 5 different action scenes in quick succession and a more effecient approach to the storytelling might have streamlined this and made it less over-bearing.

Although it is flawed, it does not revolve around spinning the earth to go back in time, a magic amnesia kiss or a Doctor Who level robot-woman, so it's not all bad.

b) Superman is full of doubt in this movie but, unless you intend to aim young with the film, the purely heroic Superman of Reeve would not really work in modern films. He needs to have conflict, otherwise he is just too powerful. Cavill does a very good job of balancing the past and present of the character - possibly he would be better served by offering up a little more of the running time to character building, rather than action scenes.

The contentious final act of violence is well-handled and established in the context of the scene. It's all about introducing conflict and turmoil to the character to make him more unpredictable and interesting. It was something new for the character and, unless you intend to do something new, there really is little point (As well-crafted as Superman Returns was, it really struggled to justify its existence).

c) There are slips in logic (notably inconsistencies over Superman's need for oxygen etc). They are frustrating, because you would hope that the myriad readers who would have gone through the script really should have been able to pick up and iron out such inconsistencies.

The strengths:

Henry Cavill: he handles the character well, developing conflict whilst projecting the more classical aura. His motivation is clearly established, which gives him a more engaging arc than is often present in blockbuster films.

General Zod/ Michael Shannon: the character has been significantly developed since Stamp's portrayal in Superman 2 and, as charasmatic as he was, it's all progress. The idea of understanding his point of view and motivation really helps with exploring the morality of the story. He brings a fierce intensity ("I will find him!") which interestingly conflicts with his reluctance to fight with Jor-El.

Special effects: consistently excellent, they really sell the adrenaline of flying and the ferocity of the villains. Indeed, their ridiculous superiority over the soldiers is unnerving (swatting away at flies).

Secondary characters: Hardy seemed particularly interesting, seeing that he was the one with a real arc - moving from miliary jackass to significant ally. And his own ongoing conflict with the female supervillain is particularly well-handled. That said, one or two were skimmed over (notably the reporters) and could have been developed to give the threat of the ending a little more weight.

I did enjoy the film and its a little frustrating that so many seemed distracted by the ending and forgot the good film that set it up.
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on 13 February 2014
Good film for a remake of the superman film still have the main part of the story line in it but with more added in and bought up with todays graphics glad I bought it have watched it a few times with the kids
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on 10 August 2014
I can only really review what I have seen in this film. Whether other people think there are avenues that were not opened up is irrelevant I think... So ..., from what I've seen, this film deserves 5 stars because we finally see Superman express himself in an angry state, something that's never really been done properly before. Christopher Reeve, bless him, you have to admire him for the gentle nature he gave his character and those films also have to be admired. It's good to see this side of Superman, whoever you are, you're bound to get angry if someone poses a threat to your mother, it was a quite a nice surprise to see that happen. The only thing that I think wasn't necessary, was the kiss between Superman and Lois. Traditionally, we get to explore Clark and the kiss comes later, so that felt a little out of place. Overall, I'd happily watch this again! The suit by the way is epic! Superman actually looks like a man, natural but different in his own way, this is evidenced by the upper chest hair you see momentarily when you get a close-up of the big guy!
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on 26 February 2015
One way this film scores heavily is that it doesn't got overly bogged down in Superman's origin while still providing interesting background and motivation for his actions. It clearly draws less upon the original fun but simplistic comics and more on later meatier graphic novels. Superman may still stand for justice but in a world recognised to be riddled with injustice. Still not the most intellectually stimulating of movies, but arguably more than mere escapist entertainment.
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