Tag Archives: Kevin Costner

Brian’s Review – Man Of Steel (2013)

download (2)

Man of Steel

Directed by Zack Snyder

4 out of 10

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race:

I blame annoying ass comic book fanboys for this film. After the release of Bryan Singer’s 2006 resurrection of the franchise with Superman Returns, fanboys bitched and moaned up and down with quotes like:

“There’s not enough action.”

“Why is the film all about the romantic element?”

“Why isn’t the film darker?”

“Why can’t it be more like Batman?”

Well asshole fanboys, you got what you wanted. And guess what? Your dream version of Superman isn’t very good. It’s not a complete catastrophe but it’s way too long for such a thin story and it literally sucks the joy out of the Superman experience.

The film opens with a long stretch similar to the far superior 1978 version that shows the end of the planet Krypton. What are the differences? Instead of showing an imaginative ice world filled with overly confident scientists whose own arrogance proves to be the destruction of their planet, we get a rock world filled with too much CGI and fisticuffs between Superman’s Dad and Zod. Despite the obvious advances in special effects, it doesn’t draw the viewer in. It’s cold and boring. The unfortunate part of that is that it permeates through the entire 2 1/2 hour running time.

After the obvious jettison of baby Superman to Earth in his ship that is curiously shaped like a penis, baby Supes goes through growing up bullied, alienated, and rejected. Does he discover new powers? Does he realize he’s capable of abilities that make him God-like? No! He mopes, he whines about how he’s different, and he makes himself the victim all the time. It’s again a far cry from the 1978 version that showed a young Clark Kent laughing and smiling while out running a train. Also, unlike the original film, this version does everything in flashback. Clark is roaming place to place in search of where he comes from and once in a while, he finds people to save. There’s no characters even brought into the experience that we relate to.

download (4) download (5) download

I’ll run down the list of things this films gets wrong:

1. It’s not fun. Superman hates being Superman almost the entire film.

2. Lois feels crowbarred into the story. She’s in it a lot and you’ll scratch your head as to how she got there in the first place.

3. Clark doesn’t work at the Daily Planet. He’s a fisherman or something else for almost the whole film.

4. There’s no chemistry between Superman and Lois. This was the entire backbone of the original film.

5. Zod is terribly boring. He’s single-minded and 2 dimensional.

6. Perry White is in the film but doesn’t have any bearing on the story.

7. Kevin Costner dies trying to save a dog. Yes, a dog…. Remember the original Johnathon Kent. He had a heart attack and Clark couldn’t save him? It added extra meaning because it reminded him that as powerful as was, he couldn’t save everyone. It was poignant. This is not.

8. Action scenes go on and on without purpose, or suspense, or involvement from the viewer.

images (7) images (8) images

What did I like? Henry Cavill could be a terrific Superman in a better film. There’s a few decent moments between Clark and his adopted parents. The problem is that these scenes are few and far between because we keep getting thrown into action scenes that aren’t interesting. It’s a city under destruction that was done better in the Avengers. That films had character development within the action. This does not.

I have always been a fan of the Superman character. He is a representation of the American myth that we are all capable of amazing things. We may not fly, or have super strength, or X-ray vision. But, he represented the inner good and possibility o the human spirit to help his fellow man without the need for reward. It was a character and story-line that was fun, romantic, and made you believe a man could fly. The “Man of Steel” felt like he never left the ground.

Advertisements

Top 5 Baseball Movies

Spring is in the air and baseball is finally here after a long, long winter. We’re big fans of America’s pastime here at The Movie Brothers, so we decided to present to you our Top 5 Baseball Movies. There are a lot of great baseball movies, probably more than any other sport because of its tradition, history and heartfelt place in our country. Many great baseball movies didn’t make the list, like “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “61,” “A League of Their Own” and “The Bad News Bears.” But to get to the Top 5, a lot of them had to be cut.

5. The Sandlot
sand lotThis is definitely as sentimental a movie as they come, but it’s hard not to fall in love with. It’s the story of a new kid on the block who has no club about baseball, but it’s how he connects with the children in his new town. Placed in the 1960s, it’s a coming-of-age story wrapped in a love letter to baseball. It’s a great one for the entire family, with plenty of memorable scenes and moments.

EightMenOut-Still1CR4. Eight Men Out
There  may be no sadder story than that of Shoeless Joe Jackson — who makes two appearance in our Top 5. He went down with the ship when his teammates threw the 1919 World Series, even though he played incredibly well. This is a great film with a great cast that pulls the cover off a sad chapter in baseball with plenty of frustrating drama.

3. Moneyball
Money BallIt could be easy to write this film off as too “inside baseball” — no pun intended — but it’s understandable. It’s a movie about guys who created a numerical system to put together a baseball team on the cheap and win. But it’s more than that. It’s the story of Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane, and what is often a very sad and frustrating existence. It puts a human element to the story and offers some genuine human drama.

the natural2. The Natural
I get goose bumps every time I see Robert Redford in The Natural. That final scene, with the light being blown out, rounding the bases. It just gets me every time. It’s loaded with great performances, especially by Glenn Close and Robert Duvall, and heaps on authentic period uniforms and fields with timeless production value. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a wonderful film full of romance, drama, humor and baseball lore.

1. Field of Dreams
The final scene of this film gets me every time. Who wouldn’t like to have one last catch with their dad. One more chance to heal his pain, and yours in the process through a common glue — baseball. This is a film that has everything to do with baseball, and yet nothing at all to do with the game itself. It’s a wonderful fantasy drama where a farmer hears voices to clear his corn field and build a baseball field — which ends up being a portal for dead ball players to visit and play on. On the surface, illogical. But I like ilogical. This film is an incredibly imaginative film, loaded with nostalgia, history, excellent acting, and engaging as the game itself. Hands down, the best baseball film ever made.

Top 5 Movies Shawn Was Right About

Matt

I tease my cousin Shawn about his taste in movies a little more than I probably should.

Shawn loves classic, critically-acclaimed cinema as much as I do, but he also loves shoot-em-ups, science-fiction, and action movies I would never even consider watching. He loves the, and I quote, “‘splosions,” and “pew pew.” He said he enjoyed “The A-Team” more than “Black Swan,” and said “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was good.

He can be sentimental, too, for movies like “Shrek Forever After.” He loves TV, which I don’t. But he does a superb job on our sister blog, TV-Tastic.

I ran him through the ringer for his review of “The A-Team” and I figured since I beat him up all the time, I should do a Top 5 list of movies Shawn was right about.

5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: In this case, I thought this installment of the Star Trek film franchise was silly and far too wide a sidestep from the franchise. Shawn, a giant Trekker of the most massive scale, explained to me that I shouldn’t over think it. This is the Star Trek comedy. I hadn’t watched it in a long time and went back for a second viewing. Shawn was right. This is a lighthearted, fun Star Trek adventure that is very accessible and I enjoyed far more the second go around.

4. X-Men: Before going to see this  in the theater with Shawn, I really thought it wasn’t going to work. With a massive cast and so many characters to develop in the huge X-Men Universe, I didn’t think they could pull it off. I really wasn’t amped about seeing it, but Shawn really wanted to go. And he was right. It was a blast. The Wolverine performance by Hugh Jackman remains among the best ever in comic book films. I was wrong, yet again.

3. Mr. Brooks: This was a movie I totally would have overlooked. Kevin Costner has passed his peak, and I don’t really seek out his films anymore. But Shawn reviewed this film for us, and based on his recommendation, I checked it out. Very solid little psycho-drama, mystery movie with a really good performance by Costner. Good choice, Shawn.

2. The Other Guys: This was another one of those movies I would have passed over. I like Will Ferrell, and all, but another buddy police comedy? Like that hasn’t been done? Well, this happens to be one of the best ones. We laughed often and hard in the theater when we went to see it. We had a blast, and I’m glad he got me to go.

1. The Matrix: Man oh man oh man, was I wrong about this one. Because Keanu Reeves was in this, I instantly wrote it off as a crap-fest of epic proportions and literally scoffed at Shawn when he glowed about it to me over coffee. When I finally got around to seeing this on video — God, was I late to the party — I was hooked on “The Matrix.” This is one of the best action/sci-fi films of all time. While the sequels may have left a bad taste in our collective mouths, the original remains a modern classic.

Shawn 5, Matt 0.

American Flyers

Sports physician Marcus (Kevin Costner) convinces his estranged brother David (David Marshall Grant) to train and compete in a long-distance bicycle race across the Colorado Rockies. Family friction and a deadly medical condition inherited from the men’s father complicate their relationship during the rigorous training. Director John Badham (Mr. Brooks) captures the breathtaking mountain scenery while giving insight into the tactics of bike racing.

Matt
Rating: 2 out of 10

American Flyers has everything a cheesy 80s movie needs: bad mustaches, blonde-haired jerks, Russian bad guys, a come-from-behind sports story, siblings dealing with the recent death of a parent and an awful pop-rock soundtrack.

This flick is chuck full o’ bad dialogue, corny acting and, it’s worth noting, a distractingly bad mustach on Kevin Costner. I still don’t believe it’s really his. It must be fake. This is an overly sentimentally, sticky sweet sap fest and the soundtrack is laughable with all kinds of overly patriotic songs that are really misplaced.

Every scene with Costner and Marshall Grant slowly rotted my brain with overly dramatic dialogue that made what should have been a dramatic story into a laugh fest.

My mother, a huge Costner fan, watched this with me and said, “Even my boy Kevin can’t save this.”