The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.The Man from U.N.C.L.E. while not as wildly successful as it could have been was, in my opinion, an awesome movie that was truly underappreciated. No doubt for the intensely blatant innuendo of a gay relationship that, sadly, didn’t actually exist between the two main characters.

D4D_3324.dngStaring Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin, the CIA and KGB’s best agents respectively in 1963. Both are known for dubious actions but are, for the most part, intensely loyal to their countries. They first meet in Berlin when they are sent after the same woman, Gaby Teller (Alicia Vikander) for the same reason. Gaby’s father, an important person in the development of nuclear weapons, has gone missing and is believed to have been taken by the cunning villainess Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki). Both are told to do the same thing, reclaim the Dr.’s research and eliminate the other in order to make sure that it doesn’t fall into enemy hands.

I’ve mentioned, to many people, that this movie could have easily slashed Debicki and Vikander from the film and I would have been completely fine. Both women, while playing D3S_2026.DNGhugely important roles in the plot are simply negligible to the relationship between Cavill and Hammer’s characters. The sexual innuendo is ever-present and the sexual tension is practically palpable throughout the film. Aside from being the basis for the entire plot (Gaby Teller) and the one running the show (Victoria The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 8Vinciguerra) both women also serve to remind us that Solo and Kuryakin are one hundred percent heterosexual. Can you imagine a big budget film with two white male leads actually being heterosexual without sex having to be used to remind us? Oh you can? Oh that’s right, we use sex to make sure you understand that a character is not heterosexual! Aside from that, their relationship starts out hostile (as can be The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 1expected of enemy spies who have tried to kill one another in the recent past) but over time Solo and Kuryakin learn important, intimate really, details about one another that evolves their relationship over the course of the film. If it weren’t for that whole “I want to blow up the world for reasons that don’t make sense other than I’m certain it will somehow net me a profit” thing, than the relationship between the The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 10two spies would have been the entire plot. And I would have had absolutely no problem with that. I think the movie would have been far more satisfactory if that had been the case but it was still in awesome movie. It had high comedy points while at the same time it always was able to deliver on the drama of the situation that the trio were in. It pays direct homage to the television series it was based on and has a fantastic love affair with the sixties, especially fashion and style. All in all, this is a movie that you should sit down and enjoy without delay. I know I’m going to.

 

Man of Steel

It may not seem like a deconstruction at first, if only because it manages to play many of its mythos straight, but at the same time it manages to change so many of them that adaptation just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel is a deconstruction of Superman, at its core. Everyone knows who and what Superman is. He is the pinnacle of good, he helps everyone he can, he has absolute control over his ability, and he is in love with Lois Lane for explainable reasons. Over the course of this film there are many aspects of Superman that are explored, and that we expect to be explored in an adaptation of Superman. For one, we expect Krypton to explode, for Kal El to travel space until he crash lands on Earth during a meteor storm, for the Kents to find and raise him rather than sell him for spare parts, and for them to raise ‘Clark’ (Henry Cavill)  as a normal human being.

Seeing as how they glossed over his years as Superboy and still managed to kill of an important person in Clark’s life, Man of Steel managed to hit all of the highlights of Clark’s youth. They just went about it a lot differently. Rather than supporting Clark from the beginning, Jonathan fears what might happen to Clark if anyone were to discover he was an alien and so even after revealing this information to Clark, he tells his son not to use his powers. Of course things conspire against the Kent’s and, because they live in Kansas, a tornado happens upon them one day and… oh, well there goes Jonathan Kent because he wouldn’t send his son who (mind you wouldn’t of needed his powers to move faster than Jonathan) to save the dog and then…. Then just stands there. At least Smallville had the decency to give him a heart attack after letting him win a Senatorial election.

From there Clark grows up as a nomad, when the U.S. military finds a Kryptonian space ship and, us being U.S., we investigate it! For some reason Lois Lane is here at a top secret military operation even though she’s a reporter and her job is to report on… well everything. Why would you have a reporter at a top secret military outpost…? Why? I mean seriously? I know Lois Lane (played by Amy Adams who, incidentally, was in episode of Smallville before Enchanted happened and fame became overnight for her) is a military brat but I really, really hope that personal string pulling doesn’t reach this far. I mean… this is the military and they can’t prevent the media from showing up?

Herein enters another change, Lois Lane meets Superman and, being a reporter manages to deduce precisely who he is by actually doing her job with some semblance of investigative skill and intelligence. Who would have thought? So falls away a typical part of the Superman mythos, the Lois Lane-Clark Kent-Superman love triangle is thankfully forgotten about.

Possibly one of the biggest changes, though, and the one most complained about, is the final battle against Zod (Michael Shannon) which results in untold casualties (by which I mean literally, we aren’t told the number of casualties in Metropolis alone, but considering how many skyscrapers came crashing down it’s clear that here were at least several hundred). Superman is known for not killing people, at all, and not only does he indirectly kill a lot of people, he directly kills Zod. It is an interesting change, and with a sequel on the way (which has managed to jam pack almost the entire Justice League) we’ll see how things go.

Batman V Superman

With Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent, Russel Crowe as Jor-El, Christopher Meloni as Colonel Nathan Hardy, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White the film features an ensemble of powerful actors in supporting roles that flesh out the film in different ways. Some were better than others, but all in all they helped make the film more interesting amidst the changes.

Wonder_Womanaquaman

At least Wonder Woman is finally going to debut in film and we’ll finally get to rub Aquaman from Super Friends from our memories!