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MAN OF STEEL

Release Date: June 14, 2013
Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen)
Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Christopher Meloni, and Richard Schiff.
Plot: A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.

But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Thoughts: I can not wait for Man of Steel to come out. Seriously. I know next to nothing about the movie. I’ve seen the trailer and we all know the very basics; origin story, Zod, and the suit looks a bit different. But I absolutely love the fact that I really don’t know much about the plot.

This is the polar opposite of the advertising of Iron Man 3, a movie that I have not seen but I feel like I know every beat of the movie. The cast is top notch, I love Snyder’s visual style, and more so than the actors that have come before him, Henry Cavill looks the part of Superman without even being in the suit.

Is it June 14th yet?

Release Date: November 23, 2011
Studio: Disney
Director: James Bobin (The Flight of the Conchords, Da Ali G Show)
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, the voices of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, and David Rudman (along with a bunch of cameos!)
Plot: On Vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, his brothers Gary (Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds.

To stage The Greatest Muppett Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million dollars needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary, and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their seperate ways.

Thoughts: I saw The Muppets earlier today and I’ll start off by saying that I was disappointed in it. I’m not a diehard Muppet fan, but I am a fan. This movie was such a love song to the past that I actually felt alienated because I wasn’t a diehard fan. It was like one long inside joke that I wasn’t a part of. And unlike Pixar’s movies or flicks like Shrek that are made for kids but can be enjoyed by adults, The Muppets is aimed directly at kids and was almost work to sit through. Don’t get me wrong, I did not hate The Muppets. The parts of the movie that actually focused on them was enjoyable and there were a lot of laughs and smiles to be had. The big problem was that the film took too long to get us to the actual Muppets that we came to see, and even still there was too much focus on the human characters and the newest muppet Walter. I usually love both Jason Segel and Amy Adams, but their characters and story just did not work here. They were more distracting than anything else.

If you have kids, I recommend you taking them to see this. The same goes for if you are a huge fan of The Muppet Show. If you are a passing fan like me, wait and watch this on Blu-Ray or Cable.

Ever since they announced the new Superman reboot to be directed by Zack Synder and produced by Christopher Nolan, one of the biggest questions has been the suit. Would they redesign it (as it has in the comics)? Make it darker? Or keep the traditional red and blue tights? Well, we finally have our first look of the Man of Steel… (click to enlarge)

The suit is a bit darker than both Reeves and Cain’s Superman versions and is more textured (the suit here does not look like normal cloth, and has shades of Spiderman’s movie costumes). Henry Cavill sure looks the part and definitely has the presence required to portray the first superhero. I love the atmosphere around him and the giant (almost cartoony) safe door that Superman has just broken through. I can’t wait to see more from the film. Now that we have had a look at Superman, I hope we can see Amy Adam’s Lois, Michael Shannon’s Zod, and the Man of Steel supporting cast. We have a long time until June 13, 2013…

What interests me most about this category is that I had one person nailed for this award, and have since completely changed my mind.

Prediction:

Oscar Nominated Penelope Cruz

Penélope Cruz. Originally I thought Viola Davis had this one for sure, but after seeing Vicki Cristina Barcelona, my mind has been completely changed. Cruz’s performance is raw, real, and amazing.

What Should Win:
I’ll go with Cruz. While I thought the Academy would flip for Davis’ performance, I wasn’t completely sold on it to begin with and the same thing goes for Henson. I’d love to say Tomei, but unfortunately for Marisa, The Wrestler is all Mickey’s show.

I saw this film before Christmas, assuming it would be a celebrated film with award worthy performances and would gather tons of nominations this season.

The Oscar Nominated Doubt

Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) is the head mistress at a Catholic school in 1964 Bronx, NY. She begins to suspect foul play when Father Brendan Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) takes a particular interest in the first black student to be enrolled in the school, Donald Miller (Joseph Foster). She enlists the help of her fellow nuns, including Sister James (Amy Adams), a wide-eyed young nun who is not as quick to jump to conclusions.

To be perfectly honest, this film bored me to tears. It’s completely over the top and dramatic with its intense score and quick dialogue. If these actors had taken the stage with this material I’m sure it would have been spectacular, but it simply doesn’t translate to this medium. There is so much build up that never actually goes anywhere and with no resolution this film left me feeling very empty. I’m not surprised that the Academy felt the need to honor such a high-powered cast, though I disagree. Additionally, I don’t see this film taking a single award home.

Nominations:

Best Actress – Meryl Streep
I love Meryl, I really do, but she is so over the top in this one. She plays her character to death with her thick Boston accent and overly judgmental scowl. We get it- you’re a strict Catholic nun. Thankfully, Kate Winslet’s beautiful performance in The Reader should prevail here.

Best Supporting Actor – Phillip Seymour Hoffman
A Philip Seymour Hoffman performance can go either way with me- I either love him or hate him. Usually when he’s a supporting actor he’s more tolerable, for instance last year I loved him in Charlie Wilson’s War. This year, however, he was just too much. We all know this category belongs to Heath Ledger, but there are others I would have rather seen with this nomination.

Best Supporting Actress – Amy Adams
Adams is still growing and developing as an actress, and I felt she brought a small breath of fresh air to this film. She’s a welcome change from the stuffy theater performances and actually looks as though she belongs on film and not on the stage. However, she’s not nearly as good as…

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis
This breakout performance got a lot of early buzz for the Oscar and with good reason. She has but one scene in this film, and it’s an intense one. Still, the material is more shocking than the actual performance- as the mother of the little boy in question, she takes a surprising stance on the matter at hand. With such a small role, and by splitting the vote with Amy Adams, I think this award will go to one of the other deserving nominees.

Best Adapted Screenplay
I’m very undecided in how I feel about this nomination. On the one hand, the dialogue is quick and smart, but on the other, I still felt as though I was watching a play and therefore it didn’t adapt very well. Either way, I don’t think it stands a chance against Slumdog, so I won’t waste much more time on it.

**½

Best Picture

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • The Reader
  • Milk
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director

  • David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
  • Gus van Sant, Milk
  • Stephen Daldry, The Reader

Continue reading to check out the full list of 2009 Oscar Nominees! And keep checking back with the site as Phasekitty watches and takes a look at all of the nominees as we march towards the awards show.

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What can I say? I think this looks like a lot of fun and has an awesome supporting cast that includes Amy Adams, Ricky Gervais, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest, and of course, Robin Williams.

What are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the first one? Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian hits theaters on Memorial Day.