I just took part in what is fast becoming the next great American pastime. The dollar movie theater! Where every movie is a five-star cinematic experience. Because at that price, how bad could it be?
The Dollar Movie isn’t always exactly a dollar, here its $2 everyday except Tuesday, on that auspicious day the price drops in half. Combine that with the $1 hot dogs and sometimes Tuesdays the Team and I even go for a double feature if we feel like staying out late!
When I say “hot dog” I am using the most liberal definition possible. It’s a hot dog, in a bun, in an aluminum foil wrapper. This magic missile of salt and preservatives has been sitting in the steamer since the underpaid 15 year-old
slave intern wrapped them up with no gloves on, right after he got done cleaning the bathroom stalls when his shift started a few hours ago. I’m sure that the steam table will kill all the bacteria that built up since they keep it at an inconsistent 80-130 degrees, right?
Now back to The Man Of Steel, the best movie I’d seen that day. I want to be clear, if you compare the 2013 version to the iconic Christopher Reeve Superman you will be disappointed. Not because Man Of Steel is a bad movie per se, but because Christopher Reeve has been canonized by hollywood due to his tragic death after a stellar career as an actor. If the new Man Of Steel was just called “Flying Superhero/Alien Dude and His Crazy Inbred Cousins!” , the ratings would have been much higher, because it wouldn’t try to live up to the Superman legacy. It was a passable action movie with no more or fewer gaping potholes and poor use of CGI that any other major production. Still, for me it was a genuinely awesome movie.
Awesome because I only paid $1 to see it, and I was snacking on a pile of delicious hot dogs the entire time!
Henry Cavill traded in the red, yellow and blue uniform we’re used to seeing for a slick, textured, nearly all black latex suit that isn’t too far off from Batmans uniform. He does a good job of portraying a drifter who randomly travels the countryside and wilderness quietly righting wrongs until he is forced out of obscurity by General Zod and his crew of fellow Kryptonians. The closest thing to relatives that Kal-El (Supermans real name) has to a family. He shouldn’t have been billed as the star of the show.
The real tragic hero in this sordid tale is General Dru-Zod, played by Michael Shannon. A man with a forehead so big it cold drive nails through concrete.
The tone of the movie is set when the start shows the final days of Krypton, a world that suffered the same fiery fate as Herculaneum. The Kryptonians were being led by a group of incestuous politicians and royals that refused to listen to the wisdom of the scientists that told them not to over-tax the natural resources.
As the world falls apart General Zod realizes that he has to stage a coup d’état and wrest power away from the ruling elites. Up until his world was about to die he followed the rules and only used his military influence in the capacity it was intended. What the ruling party didn’t factor in was that he was literally genetically programmed to protect Krypton against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When the rulers of his planet threatened the lives of the citizens, they became the enemy. He failed, and was imprisoned with his co-conspirators on an off world prison. That’s the only reason they survived the apocalypse, later to land on earth.
General Zod and Supermans father, Jor-El were close friends. During the time of the apocalypse they clashed and General Zod killed Jor-El. Even through all that hatred and bitterness he did not set out to kill Superman because they were countrymen. General Zod has a specific prime directive to protect Kryptonians, even the ones he didn’t like.
Over the course of the movie it becomes clear that they will never see eye to eye and the movie, despite its potential, goes along a predictably action-packed two-hour adventure. An adventure complete with all the essential plot devices you’d expect. General Zod delivers an “I exist only to protect Krypton” speech that was one of the high points of the movie. My favorite is the monologue that Sub-Commander Faora-Ul gives during her fight with Superman.
It was followed closely by her quoting a piece of classical Samurai philosophy. I’m guessing the prison library had a fairly complete Japanese Literature section.
I purposely avoided most of the major plot-points, in case you’re one of the 17 people who haven’t
illegally downloaded it seen it at the dollar movie yet.
Remember,”A good death is its own reward!”
Hat Tip: I’ve been reading The Proper Villains for a few weeks and it’s always fun. They drop a few jewels now and then. This one takes my Dollar Movie theme in the other direction and talks about something I’ve used, but hadn’t shared yet on how to get into Advanced/Pre-Screenings of movies for free. Check it out -> http://thepropervillains.com/get-free-movie-tickets-advance-screenings/