Sing (movie 2016)

I missed quite a lot of movies in theatres lately and now that they’re slowly being released on Blu-Ray/DVD, I’m finally catching up. My latest additions are “Moana” and “Sing”.

sing011I had fun. It’s just very unfortunate for Sing that I watched Moana first. Do’t get me wrong, it’s a nice movie, it’s fun, has some pretty unique and enjoyable characters, but it’s not a “must see”. While Moana is not Disney’s greatest movie ever, it’s at least one of their better recent ones, that’s for sure. It’s not flawless and while the budget clearly shows (like, seriously, that’s got to be arguably the most beautiful animated movie I’ve ever seen), it has some shortcommings. This is criticism on a very high level, though. Still… I support Zootopia for winning the best animated movie Oscar, it really was the best animated movie of 2016.

Either way, back to sing: The plot is pretty thin. This wouldn’t really be much of a problem, if the characters were strong… which they aren’t. And here’s the problem I have with the movie: the characters don’t interact. You have this cast of awesome and interesting personalities and they’re just there for the sake of being there. All of them come with their own sets of problems, which all of them more or less solve by the end. They solve these problems by themselves, because they sing.

The singers in the show barely talk to each other outside of their respective groups. Even Buster Moon doesn’t really talk to them that much, he basically chooses them, chooses their songs and dresses, puts them into rehearsal rooms to practice and that’s it. The first and last time you see them interact is when they’re building the “outdoor theatre” together. Buster and Meena are the clostest, because Buster lets her work behind the scenes instead of sing, so he has to pay attention to her and teach her how stuff works.

I personally feel the main problem is, the movie tried to do too much at the same time. I personally cared the most about Johnny and his storyline, but that would’ve easily been enough to fill the entire movie and then there’s all the other characters, too. Frankly speaking, there’s simply not enough time to give each character the time they deserve for growth and developments to solve theie own problems in a satisfying way. Instead, I guess they focussed on Butster Moon and indended to have this story revolve around him, but his story is the least interesting. I mean, yeah, he loves his theatre and he doesn’t want to loose it, because of his dad, but when it comes to it it’s a money problem first and foremost. The other characters have emotional hurdles to take. Well, except Mike, Mike is an asshole and only cares about money and reputation.

Meena is very shy and needs to overcome her natural timid nature in order to follow her dream of being a musician. Ash needs to free herself of her boyfriend, who’s stopping and constricting her own artistic talent, but she catched him cheating on her and has to deal with a broken heart. Johnny… well, poor boy has a criminal as a father, who wants him to join the gang and doesn’t acknowledge Johnny’s interest in music. Rosita is the burned out mom of too many kids and not enough support from her husband who needs her personal life to kick off in order to be happy again.

All of this ^ sounds more interesting than the Koala with money problems. Here’s two l3vQZEUEKUvbvsFsAdifferent approaches: a) reduce the backstory of the singers, because their backstories don’t matter that much anyway, to properly build Buster Moon into a likable character with an actual emotionally connectable problem and that would most likely include giving more backstory to Buster and his father. Take your time to build emotions and don’t just throw stuff at out faces and expect us to care. Does anyone really cares about Buster? I don’t even think so, in the movie itself it was said all of Busters shows were flops, so it’s HIS fault he’s in this situation anyway and he expects these singers to get him out of it. Besides, he’s committing crime along the way, stealing electricity and water and illegally employ these squids.

b) reduce the backstory of everyone expect one of the singers and explore him or her properly and include the other caracters present into his or her healing process.

This movie tried to do everything at the same time and that’s just too much. It’s still fun, the music is great, but I never connected with the characters as much as I expected I would. Unfortunately, Meena seems to be the one from the artists who’s the “main” and for me she was the least interesting one, because she had the most trivial problem. Yes, being timid is not a piece of cake and getting over your fears is very hard and challenging and I’m not trying tot alk that down, but she had such a picture perfect life besides that. It’s like… girl, you have a way better life than any of your competitiors, why should I root for you over them? You will get your next chance, your family will catch you if you fall and help you come back. Rosita doesn’t have anyone like that, she will just fall deeper into depression. Johnny might end up in freaking prison as a criminal. Meena is basically the princess of the group.

It doesn’t really help much her song in the show was my least favorite. It’s not the song itself, Stevie Woner’s original version is awesome, I just don’t like Meena’s cover and I was glad when it was over. The other characters did a much better job covering/presenting their songs, in my opinion. I mean, have you listend to the orinal version of “Don’t you worry ’bout a thing”? It’s Latin-ish with lot’s of piano inviting you to dance Chachacha (if I’m not entirely mistaken, you can dance a Chacha to this), it’s a feel good song. Meena’s version doesn’t do it any justice. I loved her sining Halleluja so much more, why couldn’t she have sung something like that? Or … at least some kind of ballad, instead of latin? I don’t think it was the right song for her.

sourceBy the way, I loved Gunther. He was so cool. He was flat as a board in terms of characterization, but he was the comic relief and he was doing a great job being just that. They tried to give all these characters background and problems and failed to explore them properly and it’s the one character with no background whatsoever and barely and charcter to him, that I love the most. The things he was supposed to do, he was doing  extreamly well and that was: being funny and helping Rosita to loosen up. That’s all, but he did his job and he did it good.

Enough rambling. It was okay. Visuals were good, not quite as amazing as Moana, but good. Thin plot, interesting characters that don’t interact and (for the most part) pretty good music. It’s mild entertainment, but not a must-see.

Man of Steel

henry-cavill-15I  recently watched Man of Steel and I guess I had some issues with the movie. The visuals looked great, the action was cool and I kind of liked the new suit. I mean, there’s pretty much no chance making this suit not looking ridiculous by default, but at least this version did’t have underwear on top. And it didn’t look like some cheap halloween costume with the alien material actually adding a lot stucture and depth to it.

Sadly, I liked my Superman much better without the suit. Not because of the tights, or let’s say not only becasue of the tights. My main problem is, that he just lookled so much cooler half naked, hair on chest and with a fullgrown beared. He looked so badass when he rescued the people at the platform in the middle of the ocean. I was so happy to see SuperMAN, with the emphasis of MAN. And what did they do? Yeah, they got rid of the beard and for some reason Clark kind of looked like a puppy for the entire rest of the movie, which was a lot considering he shaved very early into the adult-part of the movie. henry-cavill-kal-elGreat. Thanks, now we’re back to SuperSonInLaw or maybe you’d prefer SuperBoy? My man disappeared with the beard. I’m sad.

Also, I’d like to add that Clark had his best moments before he’s gotten into the suit. Or at least that’s how I see it, because the moment he became Superman, he pretty much was the embodiment of justice and wasn’t allowed to be a character anymore. As a child, he was angry and upset that he wasn’t allowed to show his powers or to fight back when bullied. When he was an adult he stole clothes, this might sound minor, but that’s still a criminal act. And when this douche at the bar mistreated Clark’s girlfriend? Vandalism. I have to admit I really liked what he did to the truck in order to get some revenge, but he was acting on instinct, becasue he was angry and was acting outside of law boundaries without any question. Sadly, that’s about it. He’s Mister Super-Nice Guy for the rest of the movie, 100% good to the point where he had a mental breakdown over the death of his mortal enemy who tried to kill the entire population of Earth. When this happend, I was just like: “Ok, guess that’s what had to happen.” Instead of a mental breakdown, why not let him do something completely unexpected, something not “good”, something like looking down on Zod’s corpse in disgust, heck, I would’ve preferred to see him spit at Zod or something. Becasue that shows character. Being the embodiment of justice is not being a character, because a character has good and bad sides and acts on it. Super man is not allowed to do that and I had a feeling that a lot of potential was wasted there.

MAN OF STEELAnd Superman was not the only one. This movie has serious issues getting it’s characters and character development right. Lois Lane was pretty much completely exchangable. It felt a bit like she was there to be his love interest, but the entire love story was very poorly done. Just because we all know Lois is Supermans one big love, doesn’t mean their love story doesn’t need to be told. It’s a bit disappointing, but the few moments where spraks were supposed to fly, it just didn’t really… happen. It hardly ever felt romantic at all and then near the end of the movie, suddenly you have the big passioante kissing show and I was seriously wondering where that just came from. When did they fall in love again? It’s not like they even talked this much, the fact that Superman was as silent as a fish for most the movie, didn’t really help that much either. Not with thewir relationship and also not with Clarks character.

michael-shannon-zodActually, when I think about it, even Preey White had more character than Superman and that’s a bit sad. He was actually pretty cool for the few moments he had. Strict boss, unerstanding leader and willing to give his life, because he doesn’t want to give up on this life of his subordinate.

The villain, Zod, I guess his motives weren’t even bad, it’s just that the execution is extreamly radical. He’s very loyal to his home and is willing to sacrifice an entire race to rebuild his old one. He might’ve been acting very strongly against humans, but with the best intentions for his own people. He wasn’t insane, he was just very loyal to his world and as a being created for war he did what his instincts told him to do, something completely different from Superman. I don’t think he was such a bad villain to be honest. Could’ve been worse, at least he had a legit motive for his actions and I can somewhat relate to what he was trying to do and why.

temp1Another problem of this movie was, that it was trying to tell a story that was too big for a 2-hour movie. Personally, I think this entire thing would’ve worked out much better, if they would’ve done a 2-parter. The structure of the storytelling was so weird, especially in the beginning, it felt like half of the movie was cut out and I’m watching the remaining pieces thrown together. There was Krypton’s story, Clark’s childhood, his quest to find himself and a his true identity, Clark becomming Superman,  Zod’s Story and I guess there was also supposed to be a Love Story of some kind. If they would’ve had more time, they would’ve been able to look at certain storyparts more closely and actually tell a story where character interact and are allowed to have enough time to become real characters developing. The entire movie felt very rushed. Ok, this rushing actually did help that moment when Clark was in the arctic or soomething taking off into the sky, wherne he was walking very very slowly, taking in his surroundings and everything. I think that moment worked pretty good. The rest… not so much.

The-Man-of-Steel-dc-comics-34648365-2880-1800I though it was a bit unfortunate that Clark’s quest to find himself and his true identity was done so quickly and then he immediately had to choose between Earth and Kryton. The find-your-identity quest could’ve been it’s own movie, I would’ve loved to see more of that, of the time when Clark was still searching for who he was. I was a bit shocked when I heared that he was already 33 years old at the time of the movie and this means, he was probably walking around living this very unsteady life for a pretty long time. That would’ve made a good movie in itself, I was very disappointed we only saw so litte of that.

What I did like, though, was how they explained his weakness and that they dared to step away from Krytonite, or whatever it’s called. That was just such a lame excuse to give him a weakness to begin with. Hey, we have a Superalien here, let’s think of a weakness… oh well, just give him some alien rocks. In this universe, his alien body reacted different to the atmosphere, the sun and the readiation of Earth than a human’s body does and this is where his strengh comes from. On the other hand, without this surrounding, he’s weak as a human. Of course, it’s much harder to play this weakness out, but it makes a lot more sense at the very least.

man-of-steel-19Now, the movie did so well getting rid of Supermans ridiculous weekness and they still couldn’t think of a way to explain why a pair of glasses is apparently the best camouflage ever? You know, the ending szene when Clark walks into the Daily Planet and despite the unimportant fact that his colleagues and his boss Perry had a first row seat watching him making out with Lois in the ruins of the city, they failed to recognize the guy, becasue he’s wearing a pair of glasses. Yes, I know, Superman has always been that way, but this doesn’t justify the stipud things this franchise has embraced since… well, forever? They really tried to break some boundaries with this movie, but couldn’t think of anything in this matter? Were they even trying? Probably not.

Also, something I would like to point out is something the movie absolutely failed to mention at all. And this is a topic apparently so imporant every single Man of Steel fanfiction manages to adress it. I mean, if Teenagers who think they possess writing skills for some unknown reason and write cheesy love stories about Lois and Clark think far enough to adress this point, why doesn’t the movie? Again, no time? I’m really blaming it on that, actually. What I’m taking about is the destruction of Metropolis during the last fight Superman vs Zod. Not only is the city heavly damaged to the point where it should take years (even with the help of Superman) to transform it into a state that could be considered normal – different from before, but back to being a normal functioning city, but there’s also the issue that many people in the buildings that were destroyed during the fight will not have been able to leave the building in time. In other words. Hundrets of people died, probably thousands and the movie completely dismisses this. Not even mentioned once. If Clark is so upset about killing his enemy, what’s his reaktion to accidentally killing countless of innocent people during his fight?  That would’ve been intersting to see how he deals with that. Whom does he turn to? His mother? Lois? Maybe he tries to deal with it alone? Who knows and the movie doesn’t give us answers to these questions, it completely avoids these questions in the beginning.

movies-man-of-steel-henry-cavill-beardOk, for the ending of my little… rant about this movie, have another picture of SuperMAN. Just for the heck of it, because it’s so damn cool and it sets me into a better mood. Now, did I enjoy this movie? Yes. I guess, I did. I kinda liked it, even though there are many faults and lot’s of things could’ve been done better. I was more disappointed than anything else, because I feel like this movie coould’ve been much more than it turned out to be. It’s still probably and easily one of the best Superman movies in the past 30 years or so, but the TV series Smallville was a lot better to be honest and that was a TV production. The TV series was furtunate enough to be able to tell Clarks story in 10 seasons, that’s a lot of time to build a character and it’s so sad to see how much character Superman lacks in Man of Steel. It’s still an enjoyable movie and like I said, I consider it one of the better Superman movies, so it’s worth to be checked out I guess, there’s just a lot of wasted potential, too.

So, final verdict… I’d say 6/10 symbols of hope.

superman logo 6 out of 10