[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8714:]]Just got back from the Walmart advanced screening of the Man of Steel in 3D.
We were treated to a special introduction by new Superman Henry Cavill as well as director Zack Snyder and a featurette for the movie.
The movie was incredible.
My "raw" thoughts and spoilers follow.
First off, there is no post-credit scene; that was sort of a disappointment, but with the recent news of a Man of Steel sequel and possible Justice League movie, it wasn't all that of a let down. Plus the last scene of the movie with Clark, the glasses and the Daily Planet kind of fits that bill.
Let's talk Easter Eggs of which I only noticed one (Update: Should have said one more as I knew about the Supergirl Easter Egg from the prequel comic book, and also the opened pod in the Fortress). I saw a couple of LexCorp trucks getting demolished at some point in the movie; didn't see LexCorp Tower as depicted in the trailer.
The "Wayne Enterprises" Easter Egg was barely noticeable. There's no way in heck you will notice it, even if you been told prior to the viewing. All you really notice is a "W" of some kind on a Satellite as Zod and Superman battle. You have to really look for it, though.
No mention of Mars or the Martian Manhunter. Only possible Easter Egg regarding that happens at the end between Superman and General Swanick (Harry Lennix). They talk about what side Superman is on with Supes stating things have to go his way. Superman then tells General Swanick that he trusts he will be able to convince Washington. Possibly as to why - because Superman knows he is the Martian Manhunter through use of his powers (x-ray vision, hearing etc)? Could be a stretch, though.
No Annette O'Toole and no Christopher Reeve in the background Easter Egg.
Also no Star Labs that I saw as well as Booster Gold reference.
Update: One I missed: Major Carrie Farris was at the end with Swanick, obvious a reference to "Carol Ferris" from Green Lantern lore. Farris is on her name tag.
The cast was incredible as well. Every actor nailed their part. Cavill is now the man, too. Superman that is.
Michael Shannon was fantastic as was Antje Trau. Most bad ass woman in movies today.
It was pretty awesome when Zod finally got a grip on his powers and flew for the first time.
I liked Amy Adams as Lois Lane, too, but wasn't sold on the super kiss or really her and Supes becoming involved or what have you. Seemed forced. Probably should have saved that for the sequel.
Russell Crowe had a heck of a large role in the movie. He gets offed by Zod, but his consciousness is downloaded into the command key. So he basically helps Superman and such here and there.
Diane Lane and Kevin Costner were spot on. Costner is pretty adamant that Clark doesn't use his powers, because the world isn't ready, and so much so, that he gives up his own life for that belief (tornado scene).
The scene Diane Lane previously mentioned in an interview with the Kent house getting destroyed wasn't the tornado, but was because Zod threw the Kent truck into it.
Christopher Meloni did a fine job as did Richard Schiff. Actually, I found myself relating to Schiff as he was a scientist (again: no mention of Star Labs that I saw), who was basically in awe of the Kryptonians and their tech. Too bad they both sacrifice themselves at the end to destroy Zod's ship. Well done, though.
Jimmy Olsen fans can relax, as Jenny was in the movie, but I never heard "Olsen." So he can always be brought in at some time.
Laurence Fishburne had a small role, but played mentor and boss to Lois as Perry White. He was sort of a father figure in the movie in addition to Crowe and Costner, with Perry White's views agreeing with Costner's when he, too, mentioned humanity isn't ready for someone like Superman early on in the movie.
Dylan Sprayberry was a good young Clark Kent, and as Cosmic Book News first told you, Lana did see him use his powers to save the bus.
From the get-go, Snyder and Goyer have been stating the movie is about finding oneself as well as being alone in the world.
Wow. There was an abundance of that.
From the beginning we saw Jor-El and Lara alone giving birth.
We saw baby Kal-El alone being sent off to space.
We saw Jor-El killed leaving Lara alone.
We saw Zod going into the Phantom Zone with Lara their alone, without Jor-El or Kal-El.
We saw Lara alone as Krypton exploded.
Of course, young Clark was alone as we were shown his powers getting out of control and hiding in a school closet, with him over super-hearing how much a freak he is etc.
We saw how alone Dylan Sprayberry was as he couldn't fight back when picked on etc.
We then saw Henry Cavill alone as he made his way to the Fortress of Solitude (not named that in the movie - it's a Kryptonian scout ship as depicted in the Man of Steel prequel comic book).
We saw Diane Lane/Ma Kent alone after Clark had left and Jonathan had died.
And we also saw Zod alone, as at the end all the Kryptonians were dead or back into the Phantom Zone.
I suppose it could also be argued that the planet of Krypton was sort of alone as well, as previously they attempted to explore the universe, but gave up on that, becoming sort of reclusive.
Quickly going back to Superman and Lois hooking up; my guess is that Lois was alone as well and found something within Superman (actually, they probably found something mutual within each other); however, it really wasn't shown or came through to my liking in the movie.
The plot and overall story for the movie was pretty darn good. What I liked about it was it kept you entertained at ALL times. For example, last night my 8-year-old and I watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon (me for the second time) and my son was asking how much longer the movie was numerous times, but with Man of Steel, I didn't hear one peep out of him. And he fell asleep twice watching The Avengers and has yet to see the whole movie.
Man of Steel is action-packed, you are not bored at all.
Krypton was rather interesting, and the opening was a big one. Now, this wasn't just "send baby Kal-El out to space because Krypton was doomed," - there was A LOT more to it. Basically, Kal-El is the first natural birth in thousands of years as all the Kyrptonians are bred through some sort of Genesis Chamber that resembles the birthing chambers found in The Matrix.
Each Kryptonian is bred to fulfill a certain job, but Jor-El and Lara want their baby to be totally free etc.
We see Jor-El take the source of the Genesis power - the codex - and transfer it into baby Kal-El. It looked to be stored in an ancient Kryptonian skull, perhaps when it was first brought online. Or it's quite possibly that the skull was the codex, meaning that all the bred Kryptonians were of the exact same DnA? Interesting.
Basic gist of the story is that Zod wants to remake Earth as Krypton by terra-forming the planet killing all the humans in the process to which Superman battles against this.
Question: How did the Genesis chamber get on board Zod;s ship? Was it Jax-Ur using Superman's blood? Then they needed the codex from within Superman?
Fortress of Solitude
This is when we are introduced to Lois Lane and Colonel Hardy. Something happened in Canada that the U.S. Govt. has their mits in, but as it is foreign territory, they can't keep Lois Lane, Daily Planet reporter, out. She starts snapping pics and notices a man in the images leading her to discover Clark in the scout ship.
Now, Lois just happening to snap pics at the right moment, I thought was a stretch, and it also wasn't explained why Clark was heading North (was it?). Snyder just cut to a scene with Clark on a fishing boat, saves the oil rig, works at a diner, hitch hikes further north? So how exactly did Clark know to go North?
The explanation I came up with (unless I missed it in the movie) was seeing how Lois Lane was aware of whatever was there, so was the rest of the world? Still doesn't explain how Clark would know how to go there? Again, maybe I missed it (had kids with me)? Let me know in the comments below.
Clark discovering the scout ship also alerts Zod to its and Superman's presence on Earth.
Battle of Smallville
By far, my favorite action sequence of the movie.
Faora is an ass kicker! The giant Kryptonian was cool as heck, too. What a battle! I also liked how the military was involved and weren't just "insects." They were bad ass as well and actually took Faora out! Awesome!
We got some great scenes and explanations how Zod acquired his tech and how everything effected Superman, Zod and the Kryptonians in a certain way. Take a page out of John Carter(?), we see it's the atmosphere and gravity. Snyder ditched the green Kryptonite rock and in its place used the atmosphere. Thought it worked, and the Kryptonian space suits looked cool as heck.
We also see that Zod visited some of the Kryptonian outposts and grabbed tech from there, which is where he got the Black Zero terra-forming machine.
Mackenzie Grey was a Kryptonian (not Lex!) and was one creepy SOB.
Superman Vs. Zod
Two times we got a Zod vs. Superman battle, which were both pretty good. The CGI scenes with Superman were well done. My son's only complaint was he wanted more from the last battle between the two. That's sure to be a controversial ending with Superman breaking Zod's neck. Basically what it came down to - again - was Zod forcing Superman's hand: Krypton or Earth. Superman had to make the choice to let the humans die, siding with Zod, or killing Zod. My first thought was to deflect the heat vision with a hand, but that probably somehow wouldn't have worked (lol).
Regarding Superman killing - it was war. I think it also shows how serious and real Snyder and Goyer's Superman is.
Overall, Man of Steel was really well done. Great special effects, deep and involved story - and the hope of more to come!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.