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Man of Steel/Rated PG-13 for comic book violence and scary images of giant ugly things who want to hurt Superman but can’t.

We return once again to the world of Superman.  Except with a whole new look, strange unconventional way to sequence the story and special effects that are spectacular but look a lot like those seen recently in other big budget movies.

Director Zack Snyder now helms the series.  His prior films include 300 (the one about the Spartans, but not the college team, and not about bowling) and Watchmen.  These are the two of the few he directed that I have seen.  While gory beyond belief, 300 was a good film.  Watchmen remains a film that is better off unwatched.

This time out they handed ZS $225 million and rolled the dice.  Warner Bros. did most the handing out, and hoped and prayed the project didn’t turn out like the recent flop of flops Jack the Giant Slayer.  MOS runs almost two and a half hours long and has one and a half hours of special effects.  This is where most of the money went.  Like the last successful Superman series with Christopher Reeve, they went with a mainly unknown actor, Henry Cavill, to play the alien from Krypton.  HC does a good job as far as they let him, and is rumored to have the lead in the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboot playing Napoleon Solo.  

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Cute and perky Amy Adams is in the cast as cute and perky Lois Lane.  Russell Crowe is in the Marlon Brando role of Jor-El, Superman’s dad on the soon-to-be-dirt-clods planet of Krypton.  On Earth, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are “Ma” and “Pa” Kent. 

After 30 minutes of seeing the doomed Krypton meet its fate, Superbaby is off to Earth. When he gets there, you will think somehow they have the reels mixed up or another movie has begun playing.  The reason why gives away too much.  See for yourself.  

In MOS, gone is the cute repartee and fun of Superman/Clark Kent romancing while hiding his obvious identity from Lois Lane.  During 99 percent of the film, CK is never seen at the Daily Planet except when he and the evil General Zod are crashing through it while destroying everything that gets in their way during a big fight scene – a really big fight scene.  Not as big as the Thrilla in Manila, but really big nonetheless.

This version of the story is a remake of the Reeves version of Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980).  These films were made at the same time and released two years apart. The basic storyline in MOS follows those plot lines for the most part.

While enjoyable and well paced, the problem with MOS is that about 75 percent of the film is comprised of big special effects and colossal battle sequences.  Within these scenes, there is nothing we haven’t seen before in numerous films over the last three years.  The final climatic battle, which runs for an hour, is almost identical to the one from last year’s big hit, The Avengers.  Apparently ZS and crew were too deep into the production of MOS to realize they were producing an almost carbon copy of TA.

One of the best scenes in MOS is the last one.  It is obviously setting up the next one in a couple of years.  Yes, I’ll be there.  

Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reboots yet to reboot.

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Owens Corning

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