Posts Tagged ‘ Russell Crowe ’

Man of Steel

Man of Steel Poster
Man of Steel
Release date: June 14, 2013
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Cast: Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Lawrence Fishburne, Ayelet Zurer, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix

Man of Steel starts off with Kal-El emerging out of Lara Lor-Van’s vagina with no blood/umbilical cord on him, so obviously he isn’t a mortal. He’s made of Steel. That made me wince, so it’s safer for me to refrain from whining about these moments.

The film has a lengthy backstory to establish the reason why Kal-El’s parents chose to send him to Earth from Krypton and build a new adversary in the form of General Zod (Michael Shannon). It played out once, and Jor-El recapped it once again for his all grown-up son. It hurt my patience irreversibly. I know it’s a reboot and it needs time to grow as a film on screen, but it wouldn’t have been endurable had it not been for the expectation of some action or an interesting turn to the story in the second half.

By the halfway mark, the bad guys resurfaced and there was hope. (Yes, ironic.) For the major part, the usual Clarke Kent-ish Superman (played by Henry Cavill) is Kal-El groping in the dark all the while discovering his cliche real identity. Russell Crowe’s part as Jor-El is testing as he drops into long monologues at every chance that he gets. The only character that induces life into an otherwise grim and dark screenplay is of Lois Lane’s. Fatefully, her budding romance with the man of steel is treated with little regard.

There are non-linear tracks playing simultaneously and I am a fan of that approach, but I couldn’t find much to pull myself into the shockingly predictable endeavors. There are only a few philosphically and symbolically impacful sequences transcending throughout all the parallel tracks.

There are also very limited attempts at forced humor, but the most unintended hilarious scene is where Clarke puts on his reading glasses and no one recognizes him as he goes in front of the same people who saw him at a meter’s distance without them. That one never fails!

Man of Steel is not a particularly good film, it’s just the much-awaited-first-film-that-lays-the-foundation-for-future-sequels and that alone would find takers.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)

Broken City

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Broken City
Release date: January 18, 2013
Directed by: Allen Hughes
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Kyle Chandler

In a city that could have been any place except New York as well, morals are compromised for benefits and that’s what forms the basis of Broken City. Set in the bylanes and bridges, especially bridges, of New York tells a tale of a few in-the-spot bureaucrats who’ve all got their own personal dilemmas.

Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) is involved in a controversial shooting incident while on duty with the New York City Police. He is let off by Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and police authority  Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright) Seven years later, Taggart is a private eye detective now and he’s running high on debts. After much fending and seeking, he’s contacted again by Mayor Hostetler, who’s also involved in a few potentially disdaining decisions. He offers him $50,000 to spy on his wife, Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and find out who she’s having an affair with.

Cathleen is a human rights commission head who simply says something about ‘not being bullied by the powerful’ at a summit and without any background you’re expected to believe that the statement was against her husband’s bet to sell off Bolton Village (a part of NY city) for four billion dollars. Soon Kathy (Alona Tal) – Billy’s assistant figures out that she’s having an affair with rival Councilman Jack Valliant’s (Barry Pepper) man Friday Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler) And there’s obviously more to it than what meets the eye.

Ben Seresin’s cinematography is particularly capturing and riveting, and there are 5 shots of the same bridge. It must be pivotal, but I don’t even know what it’s called. (I’M NOT FROM NY FOR GOD’S SAKE!) The performances of all actors are fine, but there’s not much depth to the actual protagonists’ characters. There’s a reasoning and backstory to the lead’s secretary, his in-laws and even a third party bigshot. The plot is holding but it isn’t knock-you-out-of-the-seat moment when you’re expecting something to pay you off with the entire suspicion angle with Paul Andrew’s murder.

The film delivers to its title but isn’t much what you’ve never seen before. The background score, casting and the look of the film provide the strength to what it lacks in entirety.

My rating: **1/2  (2.5 out of 5)

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