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When I first saw Man of Steel, it was back in June when it first hit theaters. I have to admit, after originally watching it in IMAX, I had mixed feelings about the film. After watching it again, months later and at home on Blu-ray, I had a totally different perspective on it as a whole. I never got to review Man of Steel, so I’m going to go ahead and do a combined review of the movie itself & the Blu-ray. I don’t normally rate DVD’s or Blu-Rays, so it probably won’t be a regular thing. But let’s give it a shot.
Man of Steel is the latest Superman film. Directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan, it is first film in the long-awaited DC Cinematic Universe (or DCU). This is an origin story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman (played by Henry Cavill), and does very well setting up a world of possibilities for the future of DC films. The movie features a supporting cast of Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne and Russell Crowe.
The thing with Man of Steel was that it wasn’t necessarily acclaimed critically, though it seemed to sit pretty well with fans. And with its sequel coming in 2015 (aka Batman vs. Superman), it has definitely stirred up a lot of anticipation.
I realized early on that the problem I had with it the first time I watched, was that the fast-paced action sequences were extremely difficult to follow on the big IMAX screen. And in the latter half of the movie, there was a large amount of this, and it ended up being really confusing to watch. While watching it on my home TV on Blu-ray, however, it was a whole lot easier for my eyes to follow.
Like I said, watching Man of Steel a second time really brought the best out of it. Sometimes that’s the case with movies, as all good films need a second watching sooner or later. I know a lot of people said that the writing was not that great, and the story was a bit unoriginal and simplistic, but I felt like it was very well-crafted, told a good version of Superman’s origin story, and did a great job as the maiden voyage for the future of the DCU. It actually had a very similar feeling to Iron Man in 2008 to me, which kicked off Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
The film was shot beautifully. The 1080p quality on Blu-ray really defines that. The action sequences are awesome, and the special effects are some of the best you’ll see. The score by legendary composer Hans Zimmer is beyond epic, and is enjoyable to listen to on the side (I actually left the disc’s title screen on and a snippet is playing on repeat as I’m writing). In the end, Man of Steel really is a diamond in the rough in terms of being overlooked upon release.
As for the Blu-ray itself, like I said, the quality is stunning. Incredible detail and effects, as well as the sound quality of Zimmer’s scoring. There are nearly four hours of special features content accompanying the movie. Some of the essential features of the set include:
Disc 1 –
Blu-ray movie (2 hr, 23 min)
“Strong Characters, Legendary Roles”: Commentary from the cast and creators on the evolution of Superman and other characters over the years.
“All-Out Action”: Cast & crew give their take on the behind-the-scenes work necessary to complete the film’s epic action sequences.
“Krypton: Decoded”: Actor Dylan Sprayberry (13-year old Clark Kent) interviews one of the animators to discuss the tech behind Krypton’s weapons and scenery.
Disc 2 –
Blu-ray movie with “Journey of Discovery: Creating Man of Steel”: watch the movie with Zack Snyder as he shares the incredible journey to reimagine Superman. (Runtime is about bit longer)
Overall, Man of Steel really got to me the second time around. I’m glad that I asked for it for Christmas, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have got around to watching it again for a while. It’s an extraordinary film to watch, beautifully delivered and I cannot wait for what comes next from DC. The Blu-ray is definitely worth the buy, or if you’re renting, try to find it that way.
My Reel Rating: 7.5/10
Blu-ray Rating: 9.0/10
Written by Josh Sazin on December 31st, 2013.