Man of Steel Blu-ray Review
Kidzworld reviews the lavish new Superman movie “Man of Steel” out now on home entertainment for you to collect and gift over the holidays.
By: Lynn Barker
Kal-El grows up on Earth to be Superman but there is a lot of teen worry and conflict along the way. Can he fit in at all? Does he dare show his powers? Do his foster parents on Earth love him? Did his real parents care? The Man of Steel is an awful lot like us.
On the planet Krypton which is dying from over-mining and environmental ruin, leading citizen Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends his baby son Kal-El to distant planet Earth to save him. Meanwhile, mad General Zod (Michael Shannon) wants to save his people by controlling an object that contains all their DNA. Jor-El won’t let him have it. General Zod and pals are banished to lie suspended in the Phantom Zone. Krypton implodes!
Cut to Earth some 30 years later. Grown-up Kal-El, now named Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) by his human adoptive parents, rescues workers from a burning oil rig. In flashback to his youth, we see young Clark struggle and be bullied as a teen. Human dad Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) tells young Clark he’s not of this Earth and shows him the ship he landed in. Clark just wants to be normal.
In present day Metropolis, Award-winning “Daily Planet” reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is investigating a story about a huge object buried in ice for 20,000 years. Clark/Kal-El shows up at the site and we learn that it’s a Kryptonian colonization ship that crashed. The “spirit” of Jor-El materializes to tell his son about Krypton and give him the famous red and blue suit and a mission to be a force for good on Earth. Lois has seen too much of this and eventually tracks Clark to the Kent farm. More flashbacks show that dad Kent died in a twister, refusing to let Clark reveal his powers to save him.
A huge starship goes into Earth orbit and Zod broadcasts that he wants Superman turned over to him or he’ll destroy our world. Lois knows Superman’s secret identity so Zod and the military are both after her. Worrying for Earth, Superman turns himself in. Both Superman and Lois end up on Zod’s ship where the baddie reveals that he wants to terraform Earth into a new Krypton but he needs the “device” holding all the DNA of the Krypton people. Superman doesn’t know where it is.
It’s Zod and his forces Vs. Superman and the U.S. military on the streets of Smallville. Zod has finally learned that the DNA of all of Krypton’s people is in Clark’s/Kal-El’s blood! Clark has to die for Zod to extract it to start his new world order. With the help of Lois and the U.S. military, Superman is finally able to conquer Zod and stop his evil plan. Clark goes to work undercover as a reporter at the Daily Planet and we are set up for more Superman stories.
We got the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack which is loaded with extras!
On the same disc with the movie:
Strong Characters, Legendary Roles – Director Zack Snyder, filmmakers and actors talk about their characters and we see overall, how Superman started in the comics and evolved over the years to become a pop culture icon.
We see Henry on set in the suit. The Lois and Superman relationship is explored. Amy says she joked with Henry that he was really Superman on a reality show going through various tortures and she was the host! Henry “gets” how important Superman is to various fans, including the military and a superfan in a wheelchair. He poses for pix and signs autographs. A very nice featurette for fans of the actors and the characters.
All-Out Action – All the many fight sequences in the film are explored. We see Henry (wow, talk about six-pack abs!) working out to get his movie body. It’s brutal but stunt guys and trainers tell us how they helped him finally press about 400 lbs. The other actors, especially those playing Kryptonians are seen working out and flying on rigs.
Russell Crow actually did all his swimming scenes and Henry was suspended underwater for long period of time and found it “peaceful”. Some actors do more of a martial arts type of training. We see various action sequences prepared and executed. Very cool extra for action buffs (and fans of Henry’s abs!)
Krypton Decoded – Cute young actor Dylan Sprayberry (we interviewed him for the film) hosts a sequence that delves into the film’s Special Visual Effects; destroying Krypton, creating various ancient space ships, weapons, armor, the cool organic-looking instruments operating Kryptonian machinery and the Phantom Zone. Very fun!
Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short – a fun animated video taking Superman from his early comic book origins through all the comic book changes over the years, through the 1980’s movies with Christopher Reeve and finally to Henry Cavill. Short and sweet.
New Zealand Home of Middle Earth – Not sure why this tourist-aimed travelogue about how Peter Jackson made The Hobbit in his native New Zealand is on this Man of Steel Blu-ray but hey, the beauty of the country just makes you want to go there really badly! Worth a watch.
On a separate disc entitled “Special Features” you get:
Journey of discovery: Creating the Man of Steel – This featurette takes the place of an ordinary Director’s Commentary in which he would record an audio track of his observations and memories that you can listen to while you watch the film. Instead, this cool extra SHOWS you. In multiple windows on your screen, you see the film running AND behind-the-scenes action of the same scene being filmed AND director Zack Snyder plus various techie guys, stuntmen AND the actors in their own separate windows talking about their memories and special notes about that scene.
This is a very visual extra and although some of what you see is covered in other parts of the extras, a lot isn’t and it is a lot of fun to watch after you see the film through at least once. Very nice way to present the “commentary”.
Planet Krypton – This extra is presented like a real news feature as if Superman, Krypton, Zod, etc. are all real and Mankind has learned from them the history of planet Krypton, its language, writing, history, culture and all kinds of specific facts. Someone did a ton of world-building to create all this and it is both beautiful (artwork included is spectacular) and informative. The extra goes deeper into costumes, ships weapons, the 14 Houses or Guilds of Krypton. The extra plays like a cool little Sci-Fi movie and a cautionary tale about a race of “people” who destroyed their world, just as we are destroying ours! Well worth a watch.
Man of Steel is super action-packed but also explores the “heart” of its characters. Henry Cavill is totally believable as the Man of Steel and all the other actors are great as well. I loved that they made Lois Lane a more pro-active heroine; part of the solution to the problems, not a damsel in distress all the time.
This Blu-ray combo pack is loaded with very enjoyable special features for you to treasure and keep. It would also make an excellent holiday gift for almost anyone on your lists! We loved it and.. although we went 4 stars on the movie review, we go 5 for this thoughtful, informative and entertaining home entertainment set.
Man of Steel Blu-ray Rating:
Man of Steel is available now on Blu-ray + DVD!