Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods Written Review

I’m a big fan of Dragon Ball Z. Perhaps I’ll review it at some point in my webseries. It’s a dumb series, but it’s fun. It’s badly written, but Akira Toriyama is very aware that he’s not a good writer, and his goal was to create something fun for preteen to teenage boys, which he did.

Even though I dig the series, I don’t like most of the Dragon Ball Z movies. Many of them are poor retellings of a saga, with boring villains, and often follow the same formula. Threat appears, Goku and friends go to meet them. Quite often, Gohan will be in trouble to be saved by Piccolo from the secondary villain and then get owned by the main villain, the heroes almost lose, and then they win at the end, often with a spirit bomb.

There are only 4 films I liked. Dead Zone, which I enjoyed for it’s perfect blend of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z tone which didn’t take itself too seriously. The Garlic Jr. fight was pretty good too. My favorite DBZ before was The World’s Strongest, which the fans don’t like, but I really like how it went with a weird Sci-Fi route with mad scientists and a boss that didn’t transform, as well as the most epic Spirit Bomb in the series (I’m not even kidding) before it wore out its welcome. The last of the original 13 films I liked was Wrath of the Dragon, which featured a more original story and for once, a new sympathetic protagonist in the form of Tapion. Also, the Kaiju fighting is something I like to mix with my DBZ. Then there is The Path to Power, which is a great retelling of the Red Ribbon Saga that’s very exciting.

This film sucks? There are giant robot mad scientists!

Onto Battle of the Gods. This is a very fun film. The main plot revolves around a purple Egyptian cat humanoid named “Bills” or “Beers” (depending on translation, no English dub name has been chosen yet), who is a God of Destruction. Bills wakes up as part of his cycle of destroying planets and stars so new ones can be made. He’s awoken and looks to find a “Super Saiyan God”, a new transformation of a Saiyan that was made to retcon the crap that is Super Saiyan 4. So, Bills and his buddy Whis go to Earth to find out about the Super Saiyan God, while Bulma is having a birthday party. As expected, Goku manages to become a Super Saiyan God and fights Bills for the fate of the Earth.

First, of note, the plot is mostly recycled from a 2008 special “Hey Ya! Son Goku and His Friends Return” which involved a group of villains crashing a party, and the tone are not nearly as dark as any of those other films that took themselves too seriously. This film does it better. First of all, Bills is very likable, written in stark contrast to most of Dragon Ball’s villains since King Piccolo, who were often the incarnation of evil. Bills is actually pretty adorable in his cat-like mannerisms, and he spends much of the movie trying out foods. He even breakdances at one point. His assistant Whis is also exceptionally friendly. It’s a cool departure from movie villains like Broly or Janemba.

Bills: What do you mean I’m supposed to be sadistic?

The film’s action sequences are freaking amazing, as well as the updated animation from DBZ’s 90s. There are mostly seamless blends of CG with traditional animation, and the last battle with Goku and Bills is exceptionally animated. The movie is worth watching for that battle alone. It definitely captures the kinetic energy of Dragon Ball Z that the fans so wanted to see, and the animation budget is used wonderfully for the most beautiful DB animation yet seen.

It’s really nice to see all these characters we’re used to. There is even a subplot of Emperor Pilaf’s group as children, who had accidentally wished themselves young. Trunks pretends that child Mai is his girlfriend, and it’s very playful. Unfortunately, a lot of the characters don’t have anything more than cameos. The only characters with focus in this film are Goku, Vegeta, Bills, Whis, King Kai, and Bulma. Despite this, there is decent character development in this film. Goku has to deal with the only enemy (besides Perfect Cell), that he was completely unable to defeat. Vegeta has to put his pride aside to keep Bills calm during the party to protect the people he loves. There is even a touching/badass moment where Vegeta manages to hurt Bills quite a bit after he slaps Bulma. Vegeta even has to act out of character, but it does reflect the fact that Vegeta has always been the most dynamic DBZ character.

Also, people are complaining about Super Saiyan God, it looks like this:

Most powerful Super Saiyan form = Kaioken?

It makes sense thematically, because Bills does differentiate between Ki and God Ki, and interestingly, he’s quite scrawny compared villains like Cell and Broly, which is a feasible response to why Goku appears much leaner. Plus, Kaioken was King Kai’s technique, which implies that its godly in some way, so the appearance makes sense. I appreciate that it didn’t look comically overblown like Super Saiyan 4. However, I’m not getting a “Saiyan” vibe from this. Maybe I’d like it more if it was renamed from Super Saiyan God to something else…

If I have one more complaint, the film’s trailers are incredibly deceptive. They basically all drew Bills to be a monstrous opponent who kills for fun, especially with the lines they used in the trailers being like:

Bills: The must be destruction before creation!

Goku: How many planets will you destroy!?

and shots of Bills like this:

Evil Cat God? Well….

And then it turns out it’s pretty lighthearted, but I still really liked it. DBZ fans should definitely give it a watch.

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What is Project 13?

So, what the hell is this Project 13 thing?

Project 13′ is a story arc created to supplement the reviews created of various DC heroes media in the Watcher of the 2000s webseries. It departs from comedic, lighthearted, storytelling that is popular for a review series and aims to create a tone similar to the Bruce Timm’s dramatic style with snarky character dialogue as comedy.

This is a Science Fiction themed story of our hero being taken to a place deep in space to meet a group of space rebels called “The Freedom Warriors”, who rebel against the regime of Khathulon, a mysterious space squid that the Watcher has interacted with since he started his show. The Watcher begins to see very harsh realities.

Characters:

The Watcher: An 18 year old boy who grew up in middle class America. He is fond of talking about his childhood media to his audience, and even though he was caught off guard by his kidnapping into space, he’s ready for all sorts of fun adventures. Voiced by Cuttleboss.

Rosette Daedela: A 24 year old scientist from the planet Jyolaven that is working with the Freedom Warriors. She is a cold woman who has gotten sick of the bloody nature of the rebellion against Khathulon due to the number of casualties that were her friends. She’s really good at inventing weapons. Originally voiced by Hazelshotgun and later by SerenaMidori.

Joffrey: The eccentric service robot to the Freedom Warriors who is prone to saying the most unhelpful things. He is excellent at cleaning however. Voiced by Cuttleboss.

Mr. Magnetic: The 52 year old leader of the Freedom Warriors. He originates from a planet called Olivoi. He is fighting for democracy in the galaxy. As a powerful individual he has the ability to telekinetically move objects made of metal. Originally voiced by Katsuhicon, later by “KW”.

Zandos Portrait

Zandos: A captain of the FF, known for his brutality. He was the one that killed Mr. Magnetic’s young daughter Taira before his eyes. Voiced by Christian Willis.

Lord Khathulon: The leader of an empire of over half a million civilized planets. He was the first one to interact with the Watcher when he first started his show, and now it appears he’s far bigger than was first thought. He is said to be horrifically powerful. Voiced by Cuttleboss.

All Character Sprites and Computer Generated Imagery is created by Dave Hicks.

Project 13′ is created in honor of Dwayne McDuffie.

Persona 4 Game Review

I don’t normally do game reviews, I’ve never been much of a player, but I decided that I have some thoughts I want to share, even though this game is 5 years old.

Persona 4 has been looming around in my knowledge for years. The way I became familiar with it is with the music that I heard from places like the Autarch of Flame’s channel. I wanted to play Persona 3 multiple times because of the great things I heard about it. It turns out that my PS3 was not backwards compatible, so that was not an option. I lost interest in playing Persona 3 when I heard some quirks about its gameplay (not being able to control your allies in battle, the game is hard as balls, you are on a very tight schedule if you want to finish a lot of the social links, some Social Links you have to say the things to them that would not help them but only make them feel better at that moment, etc.) that I don’t think I would’ve been able to stand, plus there was the very anime-angsty nature of its plot.

Eventually, I saw Persona 4: The Animation (which I may write a review of) while I was bored during Winter Break. I was impressed with it, so I decided to give the game it was based on a spin pretty recently.

So, finally, onto the game. Persona 4 is a JRPG / Life Simulation game created by Atlus. It follows the story of a boy in Japan who has recently landed in a new town to live with his relatives. In this new world, you encounter a new life, many classmates, and a mysterious world in the television. The world is filled with embodiments of repressed human emotions, called Shadows. The heroes discover abilities inside themselves that manifest in the form of magical mental Pokemon, called Personas. All your party members except the Protagonist obtain their persona by beating their Shadow selves, which represent a part of themselves they’ve locked away. Additionally, the main plot also revolves around you and your friends solving a murder mystery.

Here is our sexy protagonist, with the ability to kick ass without saying much, and seduce almost all the female characters. You wish you were him.

The RPG gameplay is excellent, if a little difficult (I hope you like bosses that take 20+ minutes to beat). The Battle System features every combatant going once (some opponents go twice) in a round. I mentioned this was like Pokemon because the 4 elements involved play a very large role in the battle. Every character, based on their persona, has elemental strengths and weaknesses. Hitting these weaknesses or getting a critical can knock down an opponent, which allows a follow up move. Knocking down someone twice leads to them getting stunned by dizziness. If all monsters are down/dizzy, you can perform a highly cartoonish assault, where everyone attacks at once.

I gotta admit… the Protagonist looks a little silly here.

Dungeons can be explored as long as you have the SP (your energy bar) to sustain yourself, and you can resume wherever you left off if you leave a dungeon and come back. The battle system in this game is fun and heavy on element moves, which might be appealing to some. I guess if there’s anything to complain about, it’s that a lot of the monsters don’t have easily identifiable elemental weaknesses. When you run into certain palette swaps, you expect it to be weak to the same thing as the same modeled monster from before, but this is rarely the case, so just start testing out your elements…. There’s an obvious favor towards Yukiko as a party member, cause she’s quite possibly the strongest offensive and supportive caster and has the largest mana pool, and there is a heavy disinterest in Kanji because he has a small mana pool and is the slowest team member. I felt bad for him, so I used him in my playthrough, and I really liked him.
There is also the Velvet Room, where your hero can fuse personas into stronger personas. This is really cool, but was a little confusing for me to use, so I often had to consult guides online to know what I needed to fuse if I got too reckless.

The Life Sim gameplay is also good. You have many options of things to do (especially since in the story, you’re in the middle of nowhere). You can work a job, spend time with people, kill shadows, fish, the list goes on. You actually have a decently long time to do many things. There’s a ton of dialogue options, but 95% of them don’t really mean anything. Still, it’s nice to add that sense of roleplaying. The Social Links are the heart and soul of game and in this game, they are mostly solid (except the ones that level up automatically and the Moon Arcana [hint: She sucks]). They all offer strong character development (except maybe Teddie and his damn Bear puns) and quite often get emotional and touching, as well as offer battle boosts (you gain extra EXP for high leveled social links, and party member social links allow them to die for you).

All you have to do is talk to your cousin at night and you will gain massive superpower boosts. How great is that? She’s also really cute.

Then there’s the sound. The voice acting is great. My favorites in this game include Troy Baker as Kanji, one of his star making roles whose humane gruffness was perfect. There’s also J.B. Blanc as Ryotaro Dojima, one of characters with more emotional range in the story, and his voice acting was exceptional as well. Some I’m not fond of, like Johnny Yong Bosch as Detective Adachi, who sounds a bit too much like the Protagonist (same voice actor, I know), or Tracey Rooney as Chie, who sounds like she’s 25 (this was fixed in Golden by recasting to Erin Fitzgerald). Since the game is low budget, there are a lot of absent voice acting clips in Social Link events too…

The soundtrack is just full of win. It’s very different that any videogame music I’ve heard. However, there’s not that much variety (low budget game after all) in the soundtrack, as the ost adds up to only about 2 hours, which is quite low for an RPG. They got ~4 tracks for chilling around during the day, and ~7 battle tracks total, and most bosses share the same theme (better than Xenosaga I, which has two). If I had to pick my favorite theme off the top of my head, it’s this one:

As for the story, it’s good. Since this is an RPG and not an action game, story matters. The main event of maxing social links is great, as it leaves a lot of room for character development. It’s mostly lighthearted and almost always packed with a good sense of fun. There is plenty of replay value too, thanks to character attributes and personas carrying over from playthroughs. You grow to like most of the characters, and it really gets intense near the end.The mystery element is a welcome addition. Even though it was release after PS2 games were out of fashion, I highly recommend every person who enjoys RPGs give this game a play.

Blazblue Alter Memory First Impressions

Here is that badass logo. Not clear what the “Alter Memory” subtitle means yet though.

I’m a big Blazblue fan. I’m not very good at the game, cause I’m just not much a gamer, but I actually liked its story and it was very much my high school obsession, and anyone who’s seen my series is aware of my love for the series, from the way the cutscenes are presented.

The series is full of anime tropes, but it’s still a whole lot of fun is is heavy on character and art, so when I learned this year that was going to be an anime adaptation of it, I was excited.

The first episode came out earlier this week and I gave it a look. You can watch it at Funimation’s site here.

I really wanted to love this. Unfortunately, it’s kind of disappointing. It really came down to several issues. First, the animation is actually better than the animated scenes in the first two games, which I’ll leave a sample of below:

Calamity Trigger, “Meh” animation.

Continuum Shift, “Derp” animation (Just check the clip between 0:25 and 1:16, it’s actually kind of funny).

However, with the two newer games, the animation has since improved quite a bit, seriously, the intro the Continuum Shift Extend looks great (refer to clip below if you don’t know it).

So, onto my thoughts of Alter Memory, the series takes an interesting step with its narrative. In Calamity Trigger, we had no idea what was happening other than the fact that was a time loop until near the end of the first game when the true Big Bad, Terumi was revealed (which was the only major twist in that game, sorry if you didn’t know that). Alter Memory dispenses with that element of ambiguity and makes it abundantly clear that Hazama is the main villain from the get-go. If you watch the ending credits, the existence of several other spoiler characters are there too. The main story drops us off in the whole thing in Continuum Shift about observers, loops, and endless time (it’s confusing).

The series feels kind of cheap. It’s one of those shows that reuses animation for the intro, which is a pet peeve of mine. Like… we’re about to watch the episode, stop showing us clips of what we’re gonna watch. It just makes the animation feel cheap, though it mostly looks okay. The action scenes are actually pretty good, and character emotions are right. All the characters feel like the characters from the games we grew to love, especially the adorable Noel and the snooty Rachel.

One big distracting factor of this first episode was the notable number of perverted fanservice shots. First minute or so of the episode, we get two of Nu-13, one shot of her breasts that lasts about 3 seconds, and one of her ass that lasts about 2. It was distracting from the action that was occuring. The last instance I can recall off my head was when we first meet Taokaka, Ragna steps over her, and we get a shot in between her legs looking up her skirt.

The direction Blazblue has been going with the increased fanservice has been annoying me. In the first game, none of the female characters except Litchi felt like they were there to satisfy the sexual fantasies of men (though as an improvement over characters like Mai Shiranui, Litchi is not written to act very flirtatious), and with Continuum Shift, we got the conservatively dressed Tsubaki added to the roster, even though I don’t like her character at all, she fit right in. Then came Makoto Nanaya as a fighter…. Jesus Christ, look at her:

I’m sorry, I’m really distracted and confused right now…

And then we have this character Bullet in Chronophantasma continuing this trend….

Those proportions are insane, also, what’s wrong with those pants? How short can they get?

But as for the anime, I’m going to keep hoping, but it is a bit of a letdown. I’ll keep watching.

Only God Forgives Written Review

I haven’t seen much of Nicolas Refn’s work. I still need to dedicate some time to watching Valhalla Rising, I saw Bronson, and I thought it was pretty good. What I saw was Drive, and that film was great. It had a cool retro 70s crime film feel to it with a nice 80s soundtrack. The film was cemented with a power actor trio of Albert Brooks reaching Ledger Joker or Anton Chigurh levels of intimidation, Ron Perlman being his normal cool self as a crime boss, and Bryan Cranston being the father figure to the protagonist, played by Ryan Gosling. The protagonist of the film was cool and appropriately mysterious, like Blondie. And the film, as all of Refn’s films are, looks spectacular.

So, I was excited to see his follow up film, Only God Forgives, which had Cliff Martinez, who did the Drive soundtrack, and Ryan Gosling returning. I was excited, the trailers to this film made it look great, especially the Red Band version.

 

This movie is not great. It’s a disappointment. It’s not fun to sit through, at all. Refn’s gift of making the movie look good is present, and Cliff Martinez gives a good soundtrack. Kristen Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm give good performances, especially Pansringarm. Those are the good parts of the film.

The bad parts? Everything else. This film is one of the most poorly structured and edited films I’ve seen in a while. The plot was difficult for me to follow. Nothing is explained in this film. It’s all done with long visual shots that look pretty, but don’t say anything. Drive had Ryan Gosling being stoic and expressionless, and that was acceptable because other characters expressed emotions. In this film however, Gosling is even more expressionless, and no one else besides Kristen Scott Thomas shows any emotion whatsoever.

 

Ryan Gosling’s entire range of emotions in this film is this.
The story is that a drug dealer named Julian is in Bangkok running a ring as a front. His brother gets killed and his mother comes back and encourages Julian to find the murderers. Also, there is a cop going around looking intimidating. Of course, that’s what the movie claims to be about, not that you’d be able to follow it.
The film doesn’t flow together at all. One scene Gosling is staring at a prostitute, and then the cop, Chang shows up, or does he? Wait no, it was a surreal vision. This film lacks what we call a narrative.
This film disappointed me a lot because the trailer shows cool bits of the film, like in the redband trailer above, there is a part where Ryan Gosling’s character grabs a guy and drags him down a hallway by the mouth. When you see that scene in the film, it has no lead up, no motivation, and he literally drags the guy for about 3 seconds before it cuts away. The scene was pointless, and only looked cool.
There is also some crappy pretentious symbols, but don’t ask me what they mean, cause I got no idea. Shots like hands becoming fists are obviously supposed to symbolize….something. Then there’s the fact that after the cop uses his sword to brutalize somebody, it cuts to him, or in one instance, some girl, performing very nice sounding karaoke. Connection? Maybe it’s an Eastern thing. Then there’s the incestuous overtones with Julian and his mother. And that’s not resolved either. Julian likes watching prostitutes do stuff, you can tell by the expression on his face. His relationship with one prostitute in the film doesn’t go anywhere either.
Also, the film is really brutal, but it all feels like there’s no purpose to it. Okay, so, Chang likes to cut people with a sword he always carries for some reason. He thinks he’s some sort of divine punisher, which if you watch the movie, you’ll see in this one scene where he tortures a guy.
This film is so egotistical for Refn, cause he’s probably the only person who gets it, and someone is going to use an interpretation of this film as an excuse to elevate themselves above others when in fact, there is nothing really here.
I can’t really say the film is terrible, because its well shot and soundtracked, but like… there is no narrative, and it presents itself as high art without anything intelligent to back it up. I don’t want to dissuade people from watching it though. Someone else might get something out of this. I didn’t.

Here’s your film, you can have it back, Refn.

Pacific Rim Written Review

Pacific Rim. Robots punching giant monsters. Sounds fun right?It is. It’s a lot of fun. If anyone wants the review as concise as possible, that’s it.

Going into this movie, I was expecting some cool things. Guillermo Del Toro is a very gifted director, especially at creating worlds and moreso, monsters. I bet Del Toro spent a good amount of time working on the monster designs. Also, giant robots punching monsters seems promising enough. The trailer did make the premise of the film sound quite ridiculous though. Like, monsters came from another dimension through an undersea portal so be build giant robots to fight them. My reaction: That sounds so stupid, who’s directing this? Ohhh… damn… fine, I’ll give it a chance.

Strangely, the film was much more intelligent about it than I expected it to be, not that it actually reaches something smart, I just expected Transformers quality of stupid, and it wasn’t. The opening narration introduced the war and quickly tells the story of the Kaijus (the monsters), and there is even a small little section where companies started making Kaiju merchandise.

The film gets right into the action, and keeps its strong pace throughout. I didn’t get bored and start wondering when the climax was going to be like when I watched Man of Steel. Interestingly, this film doesn’t build the movie around the robots, but around the humans. The characters are interesting enough that I don’t want to punch them.

Because Michael Bay sucks at this writing thing

Why can’t you be a decently likeable character?

The film’s main appeal of monsters fighting robots is great, and there’s lots of it. It’s intense action, and most importantly, it’s easy to see which guys are the good guys and which guys are the bad guys. I mean, there’s small things I could complain about if I feel like it, for example, plan A is to always try to punch the giant monsters out. The machines are equipped with rockets and a giant sword, and the idea is to punch it? I mean, some spikes at the end of the fists would be nice if that was the case? The only problem with these robots is that only two of them are featured. You’ll see what I mean.

The monster designs are badass and cool. It’s hard to descibe, so I’ll just let this cool money shot from the movie explain for me.

This image is an explanation of something…

Casting in this film is… full of people I don’t know. The two of the three people I did know, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman put in good performances as a commander of the Jaeger (robot) division and an eccentric Kaiju black market dealer. Elba is a strong commanding figure and Ron Perlman is one of those guys who resonates awesomeness. Charlie Day was playing a Kaiju fanboy, which you’d think wouldn’t exist with how destructive these things are, but I thought back to the merchandising in the beginning of the film, and it became acceptable. Charlie Day is okay, he’s a standard comic relief character. I preferred the English guy more.

The main characters were decent. I didn’t think much of them. They had motivations, and both have some traumas to deal with, it’s standard stuff, though getting less and less standard.

This film is also very beautiful to look at. It’s even better looking than the Great Gatsby. Del Toro knows how to shoot his films ti be very visceral as well, and it helps that the action scenes are packed with money shots that made this trailer so appealing to me. Just many shots leave me saying “whoa, that’s pretty, I’m glad I came to a theatre to see this film” and that’s all that really needs to be said, this movie does its job very well, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to have a fun time. This is a proper summer blockbuster. However, I hear that Grown Ups 2, a film that looks absolutely atrocious, is out-grossing this film…. and now I’m sad.

Man of Steel (Superman Z) Written Review

Superman, an American symbol of heroism and a completely godly character to the point where he’s often really boring. He’s always been a difficult character to write well. The DCAU (which I will partly review soon in Wot2k) probably did it best in a mainstream adaptation, focusing on what Superman represents and his power being something that would be catastrophic to lose control of, instead of him being strong and fighting opponents weaker than him.

When I first heard about Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder, I felt nothing short of apathy. “Oh cool, if Sucker Punch is any hint, this is gonna be boring as hell”, an initial sentiment that was not completely untrue. However, when the third trailer came out, I was stunned, and it soon became my most anticipated film of this summer, having action scenes that actually look fitting for a character who is strong enough to carry a battleship (or planet, depending on the writer) and moves like a bullet (or light, also depending on the writer). Additionally, Hans Zimmer making a very heroic sounding and non-cheesy theme song impressed me more than I can say I deserved to be impressed for a film made by Zack Snyder.

Did this movie disappoint me? Well, since I saw the reviews beforehand, not really. With Goyer, a very hit or miss screenwriter, and Snyder, a person who does everything in a film “because it looks cool” (no really, in his commentaries of his films, that tends to be his explanation for everything), the movie I got was about as good as I thought it would get.

So, first, what the hell happens in this film? It’s Superman’s origin story, which was copied by Akira Toriyama when Dragon Ball got to Dragon Ball Z, and this film returns the favor by copying a ton of fight choreography from Dragon Ball Z. Jor-El, father of Kal-El, sends his son to Earth while Krypton is about to asplode, and General Zod tries to start a coup, stuff happens, Krypton goes boom, then the story becomes completely non-linear, and it no longer worth trying to explain, because there’s too much of it, all that’s worth noting is that Superman learns to use his powers for good and Zod invades Earth to rebuild Krypton.

Let’s cycle through the performances. Henry Cavill is a very good Superman, he goes through every emotion he should and most of all feels like Superman. Amy Adams is one of the larger shining beacons of this film. She’s a strong actress and she made Lois into someone who is not a damsel in distress, and smart enough to actually figure out who Superman is, and strong enough to have a scene where she gets to be a badass. Russell Crowe as Jor-El is about as Russell Crowe-y as is always is, as in he doesn’t really feel like emoting, and he just kinda delivers his monologues in British English. Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent is… well, Kevin Costner, as in he’s not very good, but at the very least, it feels like he’s trying harder than normal, which would be not at all. And then Michael Shannon as General Zod. Terrence Stamp had previously defined the character as a really hammy character who likes to make people kneel before him, and the trailers made it seem like it was gonna be the case here too, with his screaming “I WILL FIND HIM!” at the top of his lungs, as demonstrated in this clip below.

He was not what I was expecting. He was actually quite serious and sympathetic, not that it was bad, Shannon is an excellent actor, but it threw me off. All the cartoonish villainy is instead handled by a German Actress as Zod’s consort, who spends most of the movie taunting Superman and being brutal to other characters. As for the other characters, we have Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, who doesn’t do much, and Toby from the West Wing as Dr Emil Hamilton, who also doesn’t do much, and Diane Lane as Marsha Kent, who does only a little bit. This lack of activity and development is justified because adding any more to this film would’ve made it quite convoluted and unfocused.

The film’s visual design is really cool, one of Snyder’s talents. He makes the film look good with a cool design to Krypton technology and armor, as well as a Pandora style dragon that Jor-El rides in the opening scene. Zod’s technology all looks like some kind of deformed cybernetic monster.

The dialogue is really blunt force trauma with exposition. Lois Lane’s first lines to Perry White in the film is the fact that she’s won a Pulitzer Prize, which is to establish that she’s a talented writer, but it comes out as very awkward. The complete non-linearity of the story actually works to the films advantage. It’s clear that after Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder made an effort for this film to not drag, which is almost expected in an origin story film. The film breaks up a lot of the teenage angst scenes with advancements in the main story, though the angst is justified, this kid has the worst luck. Clark is just sitting on the bus, and suddenly a tire pops and it falls into the water. When Clark saves everyone, he’s treated badly for saving everyone, then later, he loses someone important to him because they went back for a dog and told Clark not to use his superpowers to save them, no seriously. Also, a lot of scenes don’t flow into each other. In one scene, Superman is getting his outfit and still has his Wolverine beard, and then in the next scene, he’s suddenly shaven and in the suit in the snow, how did you get from Point A to Point B?

Now, for the film’s real strength, the exhilarating action scenes mixed with Hans Zimmer’s score. If anyone was ever going to direct action scenes in a Dragon Ball film, it should be Zack Snyder. This film lets you see the action pretty clearly and most importantly, the action climax of the film starts right around the time where the film begins to drag. It’s not one of those things where every punch is full of emotion, but its certainly fun to watch, and I would even say the action is better than “The Avengers”. Unlike the scenes with talking, these scenes flow very impressively. All the action is just so spectacular and great to look at, and doesn’t feel as ridiculous as “Iron Man 3″‘s climactic battle. It’s how a Superman film’s action scenes should look like.

Also, Lexcorp appears in the background of this film, most notably in the final battle where a truck labeled “Lexcorp” appears in the background, but it’s even in the trailer. It’s a really big sequel hook.

Those bastards…

I’m kind of worried about this sequel that Zack Snyder is already set to direct. There is no way that doing a story of this large scale is going to work again, and it seems likely that Luthor is going to be the villain of the next film (by the way Snyder, if you cast Clancy Brown as Luthor, everyone is going to love you forever and forgive you for Sucker Punch). However, if Luthor is the villain, Zack Snyder will likely ruin it by adding in random action scenes in a film that should deal with moral struggles.

As for the up and coming DCFU, I wish you best of luck Warner Bros, I’m willing to give it a chance after this, and I’ll give you this, Man of Steel is better paced than the first film of Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Iron Man”.

I want to see this film next

I want to see this film next