MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: Early Saturday afternoon I thought I was ahead of the game by buying my tickets to Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel online seven hours ahead. To my surprise, 95% of the theatre was sold out, leaving me with two seats off to the side. In the end, it wasn’t the seating that got on my nerves — it was the useless 3D stereoscopic conversion the producers slapped on the film after it was shot. I don’t mind paying more money to see a film in 3D, but it damn well better be worth it and serve a purpose.
From my experience working as a set designer on IMMORTALS, it is very expensive to shoot a film in 3D. For IMMORTALS, there was only enough cash left to shoot a handful of scenes using the ridiculously expensive 3D camera equipment — just enough to make a kick-ass 3D trailer. For the rest of IMMORTALS — and way too many films like it — the remaining regular footage is later converted to 3D in post production. In the case of Man Of Steel, not only is the 3D effect completely useless, the film’s color palette and lighting are so dim that the 3D glasses make it incredibly frustrating to watch. Keep your glasses on, and the film is too dark to see. Take your glasses off, and your eyes go buggy from the 3D effect. So if you haven’t yet seen Man Of Steel, do yourself a favor and see it in 2D.
Regardless of the technical mistakes described above, Man Of Steel is nowhere near as mediocre as I had read in some reviews. It was an enjoyable thrill ride all around, and a worthy reboot to one of the most beloved legacy franchises in comic book history. Superman is the cornerstone of the DC Comics empire, and embedded throughout Man Of Steel are no less than six explicit or subliminal references to other iconic DC characters. The following is the full list:
1. Bruce Wayne, Batman, and Wayne Enterprises: Late in the film, Superman has an “encounter” with an orbiting satellite charged with a Wayne Enterprises logo.
2. Lex Luthor and LEXCORP: During the film’s explosive finale, Manhattan gets the shit kicked out of it in every possible way. One of the buildings in the background carries the vertical signage of Lex Luthor’s LEXCORP company.
3. The character of Cyborg: Emil Hamilton, the scientist right-hand man to the military in Man Of Steel, is primarily associated with S.T.A.R. Labs. This is the same laboratory that turned Victor Stone into the half-human, half-machine hero Cyborg.
4. Blaze Comics and Booster Gold: At one point we see a very subtle logo on a Manhattan skyscraper for Blaze Comics. Blaze Comics is the fictitious publishing company which publishes comics featuring the character Booster Gold from the 25th century.
5. Supergirl and the mysterious mummy: The centuries-old Kryptonian exploration vessel that Superman discovers (which becomes his Fortress of Solitude) carries an open and empty pod chamber. A prequel comic book to Man Of Steel also tracks Supergirl as she arrives on Earth in this very same vessel. Also contained inside the vessel are the mummified remains of a Kryptonian corpse.
6. Carrie Farris: In one of the film’s final scenes, Superman is having a conversation with a military official. Accompanying this official is a lower-ranking woman, Major Carrie Farris, played by Christina Wren. There is speculation that this is a reboot of the Carol Ferris character from the disastrous Green Lantern film of 2011, originally portrayed by Blake Lively.
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