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Man of Steel 3D(2013)
In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El is a young twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone's imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question 'Why am I here?' Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha and Jonathan Kent, Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. When the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as Superman, not only to shine as the world's last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.
For more about Man of Steel 3D and the Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray release, see Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on November 11, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon
Director: Zack Snyder
» See full cast & crew
Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray Review
Up, up and... away?
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, November 11, 2013
With newly anointed DC Comics-to-film saint Christopher Nolan declining offers to helm Man of Steel, Warner Bros. turned to another studio visionary responsible for two entirely different comicbook adaptations: Zack Snyder, who, in 2006, gave audiences the stunning slow-mo spectacle that is 300 and, just three years later, worked nothing short of a miracle with the long-in-hiatus Watchmen. Both of which suggested the Nolan-produced, Snyder-directed superhero epic in the making would surely be the Superman to end all Superman movies. Man of Steel's breathtaking three-minute theatrical trailer -- one of the most invigorating genre previews in recent memory -- only made the inevitable blockbuster's success as a film that much more inevitable. There was just one little problem; something more of us should have anticipated and only a few of us seemed willing to accept. Unlike Nolan, storytelling isn't Snyder's forte. 300 remains a gorgeous, hypnotic spectacle. No argument here. But it's also light on plot and heavy on visual pomp and circumstance, without much in the way of complex characters or iconic superheroes. Watchmen certainly offers more in the way of story, but much of its success traces back to Alan Moore's original text and David Hayter, Alex Tse's reverent screenplay, and Snyder's faithfulness to the comic that spawned the film. Nolan revitalized the Bat. Snyder comes oh so close but falls oh so short of greatness.
The film's biggest issues? Clark's struggles with conflicting identities and divergent paths are too on-the-nose. David S. Goyer's script is overly simplistic and unnecessarily schizophrenic, both of which Snyder only aggravates. Action is methodically, almost painstakingly heaped atop more action, yet crucial dramatic scenes feel hurried and truncated. Then there's the rapidfire nonlinear indulgences, which tend to undermine the film's emotional undercurrent, and the sprawling third act Supes-v-Zod punch-fest, which misses too many opportunities and takes little advantage of the tantalizing possibilities. Imagine Superman desperately racing to save every bystander in Metropolis mid- climactic fight; hurtling from collapsing building to collapsing building, losing the upper hand each time he prioritizes saving lives rather than smacking the mad space-general in the jaw. Imagine how immensely satisfying, even unique, that superhero experience might have been. Where's Superman the selfless hero? The indecisive recluse turned reluctant savior here wears out his welcome.
I'll be the first to admit Man of Steel is marvelous to behold and thrilling to watch. In all honesty, I enjoyed it far more than my issues with the film might suggest. I was wowed... only in part, and only during my first viewing. Even then, nestled in the comfort of my local theater, I knew things weren't as tight as they could be; that the opening chapter of Snyder's Superman saga wasn't quite as legendary or nearly as revolutionary as it was meant to be. Worse, I knew the trailer I had replayed so many times in the months leading up to the film's release was for a better, more effective superhero adaptation than the one I was watching. Subsequent viewings have only resulted in diminishing returns, with style pummeling substance again and again and again. Man of Steel is left hovering somewhere between Watchmen and Snyder's Sucker Punch, although putting Man of Steel and Sucker Punch in the same orbit is a tad cruel. Ultimately, many will love it, many more will loathe it, and those like me will be left wanting; entertained yet underwhelmed.
For a more in-depth look at Man of Steel, refer to Jeffrey Kauffman's review, which covers further points I would only end up reiterating if I were to go on. For a less enthusiastic but no less valid opinion of the movie, you can also read Brian Orndorf's theatrical review.
Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Man of Steel tosses yet another 3D conversion into the superhero fray and, like many valiant efforts before it, the resulting 3D experience is too hit or miss to emerge from the battle victorious. Depth is reasonably convincing as conversions go, particularly in wide shots of Kansas farmland, the opening Krypton prologue, and flyovers of the Metropolis cityscape. Skyscrapers loom large, massive warships larger, and clashing titans larger still... not that there's much time to admire any of it with the Kryptonian super-beings so ferociously punching and pounding their way through the foreground. Snyder's dark, Earthbound action hits hard and fast, without the slow motion flourishes that grace his past films. In 3D, the split-second, hyper-hitting chaos is almost too chaotic. Had it all been filmed in 3D, and more importantly with a 3D presentation in mind, the effect might be more satisfying. As is, though, the action is flat and somewhat one-dimensional, without much in the way of pop or dazzling dimensionality. On a positive note, the presentation doesn't suffer from the dreaded "pop-up storybook" layering that spoils many a conversion, making for a more naturally enveloping experience free from glaring artificiality. It certainly helps that significant aliasing and other anomalies are nowhere to be found, and, for those with displays prone to crosstalk, ghosting is largely absent save a few problematic shots in the third act that feature swirling debris.
2D is really the way to go here, and Warner's 1080p/AVC-encoded beauty definitely doesn't disappoint. Jeffrey Kauffman writes: "Whatever qualms some may have with the dramatic content of the film, few are going to have even slight quibbles with the stunning visual allure of Snyder's latest opus. The film seamlessly blends live action and lots of CGI, something that surely should come as no huge surprise to fans of Snyder's previous films. Some of that CGI is just slightly soft looking, as tends to be the case, but it also gives the film some amazing set pieces, both Earthbound (when Clark rescues workers off of an exploding oil rig) and in space (courtesy of both the long Krypton sequence as well as Zod's incursions later in the film). The image here is sharp, precise, and full of superb fine detail (just take a look at that weirdly rubbery lizard like suit Superman wears, or the close-ups of faces, where every pore is visible). As is the standard operating practice these days, things have been variously color graded. The Krypton sequence is kind of amber-brown, while the final act featuring the wholesale destruction of Metropolis is largely made up of ice cold blues and slate grays, but never is fine detail compromised. Contrast and black levels are rock solid and consistent throughout the presentation. Some may have passing qualms with the brief moments of softness, or even mere seconds of murky shadow detail here and there, but given the overall excellence of this presentation, which I personally would rate as reference quality, I don't think anyone is going to have major issues with the video presentation of Man of Steel."
Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The same five-star quality extends to Warner's impressive lossless audio track. "You don't have to wait long at all for Man of Steel's incredibly forceful DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix to announce its very visceral presence. As soon as the seemingly endless series of production entity logos starts unspooling, the listener is greeted with an almost chthonic rumbling gurgling up from the subwoofer, in an approximation of what being in a live volcano probably sounds (and feels) like. That's just the opening salvo in what is a nonstop barrage of artful surround activity. Both the opening half hour as well as the final half hour-plus of the film are incredibly loud and sonically hyperbolic, which will no doubt delight those who like their home theater setups pushed to their limit. But even in quieter moments, there's great attention to detail. Listen to the rush of the water when a school bus the young Clark is riding in crashes into a river, or even better, the simple ambient environmental noises —quiet, but very present—in the Kansas farmhouse scenes. Dialogue is cleanly and clearly presented, even in the busiest aural environments, as are the ubiquitous foley effects, which effortlessly create nonstop immersion with a wealth of both discrete channelization and fantastic panning. This is certainly one of the most impressive soundtracks in recent memory. It frankly bludgeons the listener quite a bit of the time, but it's an incredibly visceral experience from the first moment until the last."
Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: I had a more favorable reaction to the film's supplemental package than my colleague. Our special features scores are different, but the same extras are included on both the 2D and 3D releases.
3D Blu-ray/BD/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack Contents (Subject to Change): The initial 3D combo pack release of Man of Steel features a slipcover (with the original pressing); three BD-50 discs (the first for the film's 3D presentation, the second for the 2D presentation and select special features, the third for additional special features); a standard DVD copy of the film; and a Digital HD UltraViolet digital copy (Flixster download via redemption code, expires 11/12/2015). Please note: the Man of Steel UltraViolet digital copy "does not include iTunes file, but is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and most Android devices."
Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Man of Steel shows tremendous potential throughout but squanders its dramatic promise on action that spills from one kinetic act to the next, sometimes with barely a breath between beatdowns. It's all thrilling stuff; visually it's as rousing as Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, not to mention one of the more effective realizations of what it might look like if superpowered beings went toe to toe on Earth. The Kryptonians' speed alone is a sight to behold. But these rather empty thrills lack the impact of more refined superhero adaptations. Fortunately, Warner's Blu- ray release is stronger all around thanks to a stunning 2D presentation, a decidedly decent 3D experience, a thunderous DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, and a host of special features that include a Maximum Movie Mode in-film track (on a separate Blu-ray disc to boot). All told, Man of Steel skims the superhero surface but its Blu-ray combo packs fly high.
Man of Steel: Other Editions
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Man of Steel 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Man of Steel - November 9, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are offering three members the opportunity to win a copy of director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe. ...
• Man of Steel 2D, 3D & Collector's Edition Blu-rays - August 19, 2013
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has officially announced the 2D, 3D, and 3D Collector's Edition Blu-ray release of director Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell ...
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