Man of Steel Preview

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Everyone’s favourite red caped superhero flies back onto our screens in June with the Zack Snyder directed ‘Man of Steel’. The franchise has been dormant ever since the 2006 film, ‘Superman Returns’, a film that left many disappointed. However, with Snyder in the director’s chair and Christopher Nolan, the director of the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy attached as producer, this film has the potential to be a storming success.

The trailers we have seen so far offer a fascinating look into the direction that Snyder has taken on the franchise, as he appears to have humanised Superman. He is not the invincible and unstoppable force that we have come to see from so many Superman films of the past.

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Instead, Snyder has a darker perspective on the film, as Superman struggles to adapt to life on his new home, Earth. There are some superb moments in the trailer as we see the iconic red cape, the destruction of a city, and finally Superman together with his love interest Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams. We also have glimpses of Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Superman’s father, and of Michael Shannon as General Zod, the villain All in all, this trailer is very exciting.

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From what we have seen from the trailers, the film certainly seems to offer a new and promising direction for the Superman franchise. Snyder’s films of the past include the visually magnificent ‘Watchmen’ and ‘300’. With Nolan producing, and Snyder directing, this film has got what it takes to be the best Superhero film of 2013 and could be the first part of a ‘Justice League’ film, which is currently in development. 

Martin Richmond

 

The Best Films of 2012 – Part Two

5. ‘Argo’

argoWords by Yazen Al Samen

In ‘Argo’, Ben Affleck breaks into the Hollywood elite, by embracing what made Hollywood great. The true story of 6 escaped American hostages in Iran in 1980 and the plan to rescue them is too crazy to be true, and Ben Affleck’s movie takes this story and turns it into one hell of a thrill ride.

But the film goes to show the effect the media and the cinema has on the mind of the people, wherever they come from, and how they can influence politics. Affleck also embraces Hollywood “escapism”, by making a movie so fine tuned that even when you think it’s cheesy and predictable it enthralls and captures you. “Argo” is for the ages, and one of the leading contenders for Best Picture at the Oscars.

4. ‘Skyfall’

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Here is Bond for the 21st century. The 23rd installment into the Bond franchise is one of the best, probably the best. It is also quite a bold film, with the question in the center of it “Is Bond needed in today’s world?” This film takes Bond from Cold War antiquity and into 21st century technology, it is a film of a confused Bond, of a confused MI6, facing a whole new terror what they were used to, a more personal terror.

It is also a very self aware film, and with that it tests us the audience with relics of the past from Bond himself or his gadgets. It culminates into a movie about moving on, letting go, and effect of time itself on the human soul and the objects around it. Sam Mendes’ movie is quite a rare thing, a downright philosophical, entertaining, personal, blockbuster.

3. ‘Amour’ 

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Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ (‘Love’) probably has the most fitting title of any of this year’s films. It stars of cinema’s most memorable actors, Jean Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, as Georges and Anne, an 80-something couple living a quiet life in the twilight of their lives. Soon, Anne has a stroke and starts descending into paralysis, leaving Georges to care for her.

The film goes into Georges’ struggle to care for Ann, and provides a test for his love and their enduring marriage. “Amour” ends up presenting quite a strong and powerful exploration of what love is, and where it comes from, and how it transforms along the ages. It is one of the most heartfelt and hard hitting films of recent years, and one of Haneke’s best films.

2. ‘Life of Pi’

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‘Life of Pi’ is one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen. It has outright the best use of 3D in movies, and surely some of the best special effects set pieces. It is quite an experience. Adapted from Yann Martel’s novel, it is about a young Indian boy who is left in the middle of the sea after a shipwreck, on a lifeboat, alone with a Bengal tiger. Very few modern films are this un-cynical of their mention of God, and the film’s hero starts off by saying that “this story will make you believe in God”.

But this is not the direction the movie is interested in. It is more about the nature of religion, the nature of belief and faith, and how the human mind works to give meaning and acquire comfort and relief, and how experiences shape our lives, in ways we may not know, and it touches on how “God” and nature work, and where we, and animals, stand in the world. Ang Lee’s film is of the most joyously uplifting spiritual experiences you can have at the movies. ‘Life Of Pi’ is tied in my eyes for the year’s best film, but my number 1 pick left me in more shock and awe, simply…

1. ‘The Master’

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This film has divided people. It is one of the most baffling of films. Yet it remains there, imprinted in our minds. An out of the body experience. No film has taken so much effort and detail in bringing onto the screen a relationship between two people.

Joaquin Phoenix’s alcoholic WWII vet is drifting in Fifties America, when he meets a cult leader, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who takes him under his wing. The two men bounce off each to other, two men of different styles, behaviors and mindsets. The movie leaves them there, as we see them in 70mm, and we stay mesmerized by how human interactions work, and how conversations, demeanors and charisma influence the mind and the body.

The film is a heightened experience, and its highly human and psychological content is well concealed within 50s American society, yet the film first and foremost is an experience, that works on the mind and the senses, and amazes you as it baffles you. No other film has been made like this.

International Online Film Critics 2012 – The Winners

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Words by Naomi Jeffreys

And so, the moment has arrived, the votes have been counted – but did your favourite win?

Check out in the content below;

Best Film – Motion Picture

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Top Ten Films (Alphabetical Order)

Argo

The Artist

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Black Swan

Lincoln

The King’s Speech

The Master

Skyfall

The Tree of Life

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Director

Tomas Alfredson – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor

Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – The Master

Best Cast

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Original Screenplay

Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master

Best Adapted Screenplay

Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

 

Best Cinematography

Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln

 

Best Production Design

Maria Djurkovic – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

                                                                                                                                                      

Best Film Editing

Tariq Anwar – The King’s Speech

Best Original Score

Ludovic Bource – The Artist

 

Best Visual Effects

The Dark Knight Rises

Disclaimer – Naomi Jeffreys is a voting member of the International Online Film Critics. 

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