Images of Henry Cavill filming MAN OF STEEL (Updated)

Superman’s origin story is well-known and audiences seem to be unable to get enough of it. Many different movies and television shows detail the background and rise of this beloved alien superhero. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel offers yet another take on Clark Kent’s beginnings with a slightly different portrayal of our hero’s home planet and history.

The film begins where Superman’s very life begins, on the planet Krypton. Russell Crowe plays a much more gruff-looking but paternal Jor-El, little Kal-El’s father, who largely has an expository role. Rather than just focusing on the destruction of the planet and the escape of the newborn superhero, there is backstory involving a failed coup on Krypton by a General Zod (Michael Shannon) and his subsequent exile. It is after this plot point that we see baby Kal-El being shuttled off to Earth as Krypton is obliterated and his father seeks to save his son and his race in a last ditch attempt.

The Ol’ Good Daily Planet

This version mostly skips over Clark Kent’s childhood and the audience soon meets him as a drifting adult without any journalism degree or job at the Daily Planet. The few flashbacks we get of his youth have Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. They are seen encouraging him to hide his identity in order to protect humans from his own strength.

Clark, played by a handsome Henry Cavill, most known for his role on The Tudors, is aimless and unsure of where he belongs on this planet. He wants to save others with his abilities, but also save himself. Kent soon meets reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) at the site of a Krypton aircraft enclosed in ice and as one might expect from Clark and Lois, he saves her and she becomes fascinated with him. Soon it is revealed that the exiled General Zod has been looking for Kal-El for years and publicly demands his surrender — or else. He has a planet destroying super weapon, and so our reluctant hero must step up.

henry cavill filming man of steel

The script is written by David S. Goyer, who also worked on Batman Begins, and Snyder has directed other popular movies such as Watchmen and 300. From this information the audience can then expect the same sort of well-written, stylistic and exciting display, and although the writing isn’t as nuanced as it should be considering the dark nature of the film, this is mostly what the audience gets.

There is hardly any joy or humor in this movie. The film is devoid of any of the campiness of previous Superman portrayals. The plot goes for a cutting display of human emotion and seriousness, which is interesting considering the backstory is really about the destruction of an alien world with an alien hero.

The action, with Clark Kent coming into his superhero identity, is exciting and intense. There’s a mix of martial art-style fighting and alien military gear laying low Metropolis in a visually stunning and stimulating display of destruction. The pace is quick and concise, the plot unraveling coherently amid the action. The final battle is an tense stand-off that feels surprisingly human — considering it’s between two aliens, and this is a delight, seeing that there was so much military gear and high-tech destruction for the majority of the film.


The question of whether you will enjoy this movie may come down to how you enjoy your superhero movies. Do you like them to be campy, with a guarded identity and traditional costumes, some humor to lighten the destruction the planet faces — or do you like them dark, Batman-style, with complex and cutting questions of morality? This iteration of Superman switches most definitely from the former to the latter. If you are a fan of the old format, then this bitter re-imagining may not sit right with you. There is a lot of angst, and Clark Kent questions himself far more than most fans are probably used to. If you want something different, however, then this is definitely an alternate approach.
With it’s new talented, impressive cast of actors, praised director and producer, and unique approach to the Superman lore, Man of Steel is worth a watch, even if you’re skeptical of the dark nature. For more photos of Henry Cavill click here.

Martin Freeman Charms as Bilbo in The Hobbit Movie

Peter Jackson, director of the acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, apparently always had his heart set on casting Martin Freeman as a young Bilbo Baggins. Jackson never even imagined anyone else playing the role, even at the last minute when it looked as if this almost wouldn’t be the case.

Freeman, at the time of casting 39 years old, gained popularity playing many different dramatic and comedic roles which the director knew him from. He was first made famous as Tim Canterbury in the original British production of The Office, he appeared in the popular British romantic comedy Love Actually, he was the main character Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy film adaptation, and he also had short cameos in the Simon Pegg movies Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. When MGM’s bankruptcy caused difficulties in presenting Freeman with a contract and the start of shooting approached, Jackson nearly freaked out. During the delay, Freeman was offered a role in the television series Sherlock, which he accepted.

But in the end, everything worked out. Jackson was flexible with Freeman on his recently cast Sherlock schedule and did editing on the movie while Bilbo was away filming.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo in Hobbit Movie – Scene

Martin Freeman – Perfect for the Role of Bilbo

The role of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit requires a down-to-earth (down-to-Middle Earth?) character that the

King Thorin and Bilbo fantasy adventure “THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES”

viewers can relate with, compared to the ax-wielding, dragon-slaying dwarfs and ancient wizard that comprises the rest of the cast. Freeman is soft and charming, perfect for a role that demands a character that needs to primarily above all else love loafing about in a Shire hobbit hole, enjoying snacks and tea.

In the film, his quirky and stuttering response to a wizard and battle-worn dwarfs showing up at his door is perfect, and it truly is hard to imagine anyone else performing this role. He just seems so…. absolutely normal and delightfully English compared to his fantasy film companions. He is the absolute anti-thesis of the other lead character in The Hobbit, Thoren Oakenshield, and it works wonderfully.

5 Stars – Compliments

philippa boyen

Philippa Boyens @premiere “The Hobbit the Battle of the Five Armies”

One of the film’s writers, Phillipa Boyens, described Martin Freeman as “quintessentially English“, and while it maybe unclear what that exactly means, it is an important essence for the Bilbo Baggins role. Perhaps its his everyman sound and round nose, or something else abstract that is hard to put a finger on, it’s hard not to agree with both Boyens and Jackson on his charming perfection in the role.

Multiple Genres Incorporated Well in Bilbo

Although Bilbo’s character development is spread across the three Hobbit films, Freeman’s talent as a dramatic actor who has a deep understanding of comedy and how to embody it in even the most intense scenarios, effectively displays the gradual change from a homebody couch potato to a heroic adventurer — who would still prefer sitting on the couch. And Freeman makes it fun to go on that journey with him, embodying an empathetic character that reluctantly accepts change but still rises to the occasion against adversity.

Green Hornet (2011) Movie Review & Photo Set

Funnyman Seth Rogen’s 2011 superhero comedy The Green Hornet is meant to be a different approach to the popular superhero movie format compared to more serious vigilante stories like Batman and the Avengers. Rogen, of Superbad and Pineapple Express comedy fame, both co-produced and starred in this film, with the assistance of longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg (Da Ali G Show, Knocked Up) as co-writer. The director isn’t quite who you would expect for a superhero movie either: Michel Gondry, known for such whimsical favorites as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep.

the green hornet 2011 movie set1

Right off the bat, the strange mix of genre, director, writers and star create different expectations for this superhero flick.

The story of the superhero Green Hornet originated as a radio show before it moved to comic books, movie poster of Green Hornettelevision and movies, around just as long as Batman and even longer than other fan favorites like X-men. The eponymous hero is rich boy Britt Reid, played by Rogen in this movie, an elite newspaper publisher who inherits the Daily Sentinal from his estranged father and becomes a crime fighter alongside his late dad’s multi-talented auto-mechanic and martial artist Kato, played in this movie by the Taiwanese actor Jay Chou. Their ensuing antics together lead them to upset the mob leader Chudnofsky (played by Christoph Waltz from Inglorious Basterds). In a nutshell, there’s the plot — a more silly version of Batman, essentially.

The Length of The Green Hornet Movie – Problem or Advantage?

Cameron Diaz Los Angeles at the Premiere of The Green Hornet

When it comes to editing, The Green Hornet is a bit too long for a superhero movie at 118 minutes, and it isn’t a random & suitable length for people that usually stream over the internet to watch free movies online. There is notably a lot of filler that doesn’t exactly add to the overall plot and characterization. Viewers could have gone without the filler for a better viewing experience, since the length is pushing it for a comedy and even an action flick. Considering Rogen isn’t exactly pulling off the most smooth and stylish action sequences, we don’t really need well over an hour and a half of them. Cameron Diaz is also in the movie as well, but her character is all but useless and thus her scenes are an unfortunate waste of time.

Superhero -“Teenagers”

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Los Angeles Premiere at the The Green Hornet

The dynamics between Rogen and Chou work well and together — they’re a humorous buddy/buddy duo. The pair are a relief, compared to the more serious and smug superheroes topping the box office these days, and the bromantic quality of their relationship is honestly the best thing about this film. They are charming. They drink together, banter together, come up with bad ideas together, and it’s fun. Their juvenile behavior and the bro humor matches the likes found in Superbad, but of course that’s exactly what you expect from a relaxed, comedic superhero movie starring Seth Rogen. He’s immature and amazed by everything, far more incompetent than his capable sidekick, and this adds to the overall amusing quality of the storyline. After all, he’s not really being noble — just looking for an adrenaline rush — and so is the viewer.

The whimsy you might expect from a film directed by Gondry is lacking here, perhaps lost in his desire

to make a hit superhero movie with big special effects. His perfectionism and vision does still look gorgeous for what it is, not causing the viewers disappointment in the visuals of the action sequences, even if it’s mostly Kato pulling off the action and Rogen pulling off the slapstick. There is nothing particularly unique going on with the visuals however, which one would assume Gondry would have brought to the film. This is certainly a disappointment and causes one to wonder why Gondry didn’t feel he could do more here.

The Characters Should Have Been More Exposed!

Jay Chou Los Angeles Premiere The Green Hornet

This movie doesn’t ever extend beyond the realm of a simple, fun movie. There’s nothing profound or different going on here, and the combination of talents doesn’t produce a movie that lives up to its full potential. However, it’s still fun and different from other superhero flicks, which is enough to recommend it. This film is especially good if you’re looking for a less-than-serious take on the superhero craze that’s been taking the big screen by storm. Also, if you’re a fan of Rogen’s shtick in general, he’s not doing anything all that different here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Series Review & Trailer

Daniel Radcliffe picture

Daniel Radcliffe

English filmmaker David Yates returned for his third movie in the Harry Potter series with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the first of two installments that completes the story that took the world by storm for well over a decade.

Emma Watson Picture

Emma Watson

The series’ child stars are now mature, and the themes and internal conflicts have also subsequently grown more mature, including complicated dynamics between the leads. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have all grown substantially, and this shows in this start to the series’ finale. Helena Bonham Carter also puts on a spectacular show as Belletrix Lestrange.

The conflict and tension at the very onset of the film is profound. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is taking over and the powers meant to stop him — the Ministry of Magic — are corrupt themselves. Harry Potter, a hero for so long, is wanted. He and his companions are on the run throughout a bleak landscape, fraught with grave troubles and conflicts between themselves. Their allies are scattered. The responsibility of finding the remainder of the horcruxes, in order to ultimately defeat the Dark Lord, is on them.

Rupert Grint PictureThe emotions are turbulent and for viewers who have followed these characters for years, they might find themselves shedding a tear or two by the end of the movie. The deaths happen very rapidfire. Considering that the target audience has probably also matured alongside the main characters, the heightened level of conflict and devastation seems a natural development.

The action is sometimes a little awkward, since the films have largely been a fantasy school children story, but that awkwardness isn’t so distracting in the end. The events are thrilling, as this film builds up to the ultimate series finale in part 2. It’s hard to not get excited, even if you’re only a mild fan of Harry Potter. If you happened to be in love with Hogwarts as a setting itself, sadly the school is left behind in this movie as the characters roam about the world to complete their mission. The magical whimsy is also sorely missed, making it seem as if something is lacking. There’s no classes, no quidditch.

James and Oliver Phelps arriving for the World Premiere of ‘Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

Glimpse of Horror

Alan Rickman attends the premiere of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows”

There is a lot of dialogue and explanation, which makes the film seem clunky and may disengage some viewers, especially if they aren’t into all the canon and buzzwords of the series. Also, the darkest scenes might be a frightening for very young viewers, as they do often involve torture. It’s also somewhat unsettling to see the long-time friends suffer and mature so much.

Just like the previous films in the series, the visuals are gorgeous, even if they are more bleak. The magic is fun — especially Hermione’s little bag of gear — and skillfully the director has mixed in some much needed humor and wit throughout. There’s a great scene where the epic trio must break into the Ministry of Magic, dressing up like employees in order to accomplish this and using the bathrooms as a route of travel. These scenes are much appreciated in a movie that also presents its fair share of trauma. There’s also a surprisingly sexual scene — at least, compared to the more childish nature of the previous films — between two of the characters.

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Another Great Hit – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


This is Part 1 of 2, so it’s appropriate that the film ends in a cliffhanger — an amazing scene involving Lord

Voldemort and a visually stunning feat. The stellar cast, full of many big names and brilliant actors, as well as the matured younger actors, makes this movie along with the visuals and dramatic roll of the tension. This movie builds in such a way to make you want to watch the second part of the finale immediately, to see what happens. In that way, this movie can be considered a great success.

Play The Trailer