Man of Steel takes the familiar Superman legend and transforms it into an original, truly epic and personal story about identity, individual responsibility and what it means to be human. It is the rare superhero movie that manages to combine first- rate special effects and action with three dimensional characters that you care about and real heart and emotion.

The opening sequence on Krypton fully envisions this world in a way that it’s never been realized before. The depiction of Superman’s home planet is darkly imaginative and spectacularly sets  up one of the film’s main themes that of predestination over free will.

Russell Crowe is convincing and imposing as Jor-El, Krypton’s leading scientist who warns his people that Kyrpton is doomed. Aware that it’s too late to save his planet, he and his wife Lara jettison their son Kal-El, the product of the first natural birth on Krypton in hundreds of years, to Earth.

British actor Henry Cavill with his handsome chiseled face and piercing blue eyes is the embodiment of the iconic American superhero. He is a great Superman able to convey vulnerability, ambivalence, strength, and finally a man willing to accept the responsibility that comes with his extraordinary abilities. Cavill has real chemistry with Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Adams continues the tradition of the independent and gutsy reporter Lois who doesn’t exist just to be rescued by Superman. Continue reading »

Baz Luhrmann is back with a spectacular, kaleidoscope sensory bang The Great Gatsby. The memory of the pseudo mystical, everything but the kitchen sink misfire Australia is instantly wiped away as you’re plunged into decadent 1920s New York and the gleaming estates of Long Island.

Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) a writer and bond trader trying to make it on Wall Street guides the viewer on this journey. Nick’s wealthy cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her old money, unfaithful husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) introduce him to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. As is typical of Luhrmann, the first twenty minutes of the film is on overload and there is one especially frantic scene of drunken excess that could cause a brain seizure but thankfully the film settles down after that.

Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect as J. Gatsby the handsome, mysterious millionaire who further draws Nick into this world of free flowing liquor, beautiful women and sleepless nights when he invites Nick to one of his never-ending, lavish, over the top parties on his castle-like estate. The invitation, like the parties, is by design engineered to lure the object of Gatsby’s affections Daisy back to his side. Continue reading »

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