Henry Cavell battles in the streets of Smallville, Kan., against Krypton’s General Zod in the recreation of superhero Superman in ‘Man of Steel.’ The movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray as well as on 3D Tuesday. Courtesy photo
From the 'SPOTLIGHT PAGE'
By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Kansas has had its fair share of movie mentions, from Westerns to the “Wizard of Oz.”
None have done more to depict the all-American values that are a part of life in the Sunflower State than the recent resurrection of the world’s ultimate superhero in “Man of Steel.”
This is not a tired re-creation of an old stand-by.
“Man of Steel” provides a new look at a story that has kept to its roots while using the modern filming techniques and graphics to tell the story that grips the imagination and brings it to life.
Comic book purists will be able to nit-pick some of finer details, but don’t let that get in the way of seeing Krypton in a way never attempted before or see how Clark Kent’s upbringing had a profound impact on how we would become a hero.
This is also not the time to get nostalgic or defensive for Christopher Reeve.
I grew up with the bumbling Clark Kent, and Reeve pulled off the character with class.
Henry Cavill’s portrayal of Jor-El’s son is all his own. No, it’s not as a clumsy news reporter, but it is mild-mannered, and that is one of the beauties of this movie.
In the era of superhero reprisals, from Iron Man to Thor, Superman’s story is the original, which is a blessing and a curse.
How can you retell a story that is a part of American culture?
Warner Brothers pulls it off by sharing glimpses into the back story in new and creative ways.
I have to admit while watching this at Southgate 6, there were moments that my Kansas pride was about to burst out of my chest like the emblazoned ‘S’ on the chest of Clark Kent, and anyone who considers themselves a dyed-in-the-wool Kansan will have a quiver in the lip when they see the connection to Kansas and the Man of Steel.
First, no movie could ever match the dual father roles for Superman like Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner.
But dive beyond the roles when Superman was created to think if another planet was experiencing impending doom and had to send a child to Earth to save the entire race, where would they send them?
This is a critical part of the movie. Hollywood steps away from its perceived liberal agenda and shares the true Kansas story about family, self-control, patience and voluntarily contributing to the greater good.
Costner’s version of Jonathan Kent is the role of a father trying to protect his out-of-the-ordinary son from the only person who could harm him — himself. In doing so, Clark’s dad is passing on the wisdom of humility.
The messaging could not be better, and the graphics are absolutely stunning.
From the ultra-advanced Krytpon to a humble Kansas farm, it is believable and answers the question, “If this could happen, what would it really look like?”
It would look exactly like this.
This is a must-rent, and short of a couple of expletives that really weren’t needed and some wicked violent battle scenes, it is safe for the kids.
Don’t try to relive the magic of the Superman you used to know, but experience the classic tale in a whole new way, and in a way that stays true to what Kansas is all about.
Truth, justice and the American way, as Clark will tell you, it doesn’t get any more Kansas than that.
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