Man of Steel – Review Without Joy

Man of SteelIn the past 10 years, I’ve seen 27 superhero movies. Only one, Green Lantern, got a thumbs down from me. That means I found enough redeeming features to marginally recommend such mediocrity as Iron Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Hancock, The Amazing Spider-Man, Watchmen, and even Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Until today.

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Best Films of 2012

bestmovies 2012As an armchair film critic, it takes me a while to finish seeing most of the “best” films of a year. There are still a half dozen smaller films that got great reviews I haven’t seen from 2012, about 15 films I’d still really like to see, and others I’ll discover down the road. So my Top Films list is always a work in progress. I feel no obligation to establish it in stone right this second.

As a whole, I thought 2012 was an outstanding year – one of the best overall in a while in depth. And, unlike some recent years, the best films weren’t all completely depressing. Of the 9 films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, 8 of them made my top 20. Only Amour (AKA 2 hours of incredible sadness) didn’t quite make it.

Just before the Oscars, I will reveal my picks and predictions, but here is (ever-evolving) Top films of 2013.

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Les Closé Up – The Pieces of Les Misérables

Need a Les Mis: The Movie drinking game? Drink every time a character sheds one tear. You’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning before the first dead revolutionary. The intimacy, close-ups, and emotion of Les Misérables are well summed up in those copious single tears.

The arrival of Les Misérables to the big screen was met with eager anticipation and a great deal of nervousness by her die hard fans. Previous “stage to screen” adaptations range from the good (Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera) to decent (Hairspray, Rent) to lousy (The Producers) to the complicated (Sweeney Todd). How would they ruin this amazing show in the conversion to a Hollywood movie? For those less familiar or not at all familiar with the musical, would they be drawn in to see it and would it make any sense?les-mis-poster-main-630x350

Well, they didn’t ruin Les Misérables. If you loved it before, you are likely enjoyed most of it. If you disliked it or musicals in general, this will make it worse. If you never really knew it, and like musicals, you’re probably okay.

So here’s a quick review of different aspects of the film.

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