Man of Steel
You cant say this film doesnt break new ground. When youre offering the origin story for the grandfather of all superheroes, you better bring something new or youll risk boring the audience or being bashed with comparisons by fanboys. Enough has been said about uber-director Christopher Nolan recreating the Batman franchise with his own cinematic license, and now as a producer, Nolan is in charge of redirecting the world of D.C. Comics to the big screen. He brought along his writer/comic-book translator David S. Goyer and enlisted young visionary director Zack Snyder (300 and Watchmen). This team supplies a certain antihero grit mixed with dirty science-fiction that works. The casting hits on all pistons Henry Cavill plays a broken hero with mastery. Amy Adams is a fast-talking femme fatale, and Michael Shannon makes you actually care for the villain. It needs to be noted that Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner show a veteran team spirit playing Supermans two dads. This casting should give us confidence in this teams decision to make Ben Affleck the next Batman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. Its a strong step forward in superhero film-lore and worth a steely watch.
Though theyve been in several movies together, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilsons most memorable pairing has to be Wedding Crashers the story of two despicable characters finding redemption by age and true love. Now, they reunite in a movie about forty-somethings trying to acclimate into a techie workforce thats left them behind. Director Shawn Levy is used to putting his characters in over their heads. He did the same with Ben Stiller in the Night at the Museum films and Steve Carell and Tina Fey in Date Night. This time he sets Vaughn and Wilson as old-school salesmen trying to survive a Google summer internship. Their chemistry still works, and for the DVD/Blu-ray release, they amped it up in an unrated version that slingshots this film out of the safe PG-13 territory and into some unchained hilarious moments. The lighter version is a pass, but the raunchy version is worth a watch.
The Stories We Tell
Sarah Polley has been an actress since 1985 and about 80 percent of her career has been in art house flicks. Shes also written and directed a couple of thinking dramas, Take This Waltz and Away from Her. This one is a bit more personal for her as she produces a documentary about her family, the secrets kept and the stories they tell to make sense of their lives. She lays her life out on the reel and dissects herself and those closest to her. The film mixes up time and stories, fact and fiction, while trying to find a truth along the way. It moves slow at times, but its never boring. Its emotional - life happens on the screen while were watching and makes for a story that should be told worth a watch.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge