Zero Dark Thirty -
I'm still unsure as to why this was thrown together so quickly after finally nailing Osama. Was it a rights issue? Just trying to beat other filmmakers to the punch? Whatever it was, I was immediately suspicious as to the potential quality of this film. Once I knew Kathryn Bigelow was directed, who made the fantastic Hurt Locker, I was calmed somewhat.
I've finally seen it, and I'm happy to say that it's a damn fine picture. Wonderfully shot, acted, and paced. Very similar in feel to Best Picture winner Argo, but not quite as good.
Jessica Chastain pretty much IS this picture, and is wonderful in her role as the CIA operative hunting Osama for 12 years. She's really proving to be a very versatile actress. I really like her looks, too, as she isn't classic "Hollywood beautiful". Certainly attractive, but in a more down to earth, not plasticed up, kind of way. She's destined for greatness, no doubt.
The buildup is so well done, and leads into the final conflict perfectly, notching up the tension just right.
I DID think it was a tad too long, and wouldn't have suffered much by cutting some scenes short, or removing them altogether.
I also wonder about the torture scenes, and how truthful they are. I have no doubt the U.S. has tortured war prisoners/terrorists for information, no matter how much they deny it. But are the tactics taken in this movie indicative of what we really do? If so, I am embarrassed for our country.
Overall, a great movie. I'm sure some people are turned off by the subject matter, but I think it works simply as a well made thriller, and is definitely worth seeing.
Man of Steel -
My immediate impression as the credits rolled was that this movie was desperately trying to outdo all the Marvel Superhero movies, The Avengers in specific. I have never witnessed as much destruction on screen as I saw while watching this movie. Somebody REALLY has it out for New York(aka Metropolis).
Sure, the super battles, powers, and heroic deeds were fun to watch, but by the end it really felt like a bit too much. Especially considering how great some of the quieter moments are.
Henry Cavill is PERFECT as superman. He nails this role big time. And he's one buff dude! Christoper Reeve was downright flabby compared to Cavill. They must have had him train a lot for the role.
Russel Crowe was surprisingly good as his Kryptonian father.
Michael Shannon is short-changed a bit as Zod, and really just gets to yell a lot.
Amy Adams, who I totally love, was just fine as Lois.
I didn't quite buy any kind of proper relationship forming between Lois and Clark, though. We needed more build up with them.
That's kind of the problem with the movie. Too much overblown super battling, and not enough character building.
Was I entertained? Yes. 14-year old me would have gone gaga over this 100%. 38-year old me still very much enjoys a great action movie, but demands a good story, and fleshed out characters, to accompany it.
I really hope we get a sequel that can balance thongs out a bit better.