‘Man of Steel’ flies higher than this franchise has ever soared

Superman (Henry Cavill) stands tall in 'Man of Steel'
Superman (Henry Cavill) stands tall in ‘Man of Steel’

The reboot of the Superman film franchise, Man of Steel hits the big screen with frenetic energy, astonishing visuals and some outstanding acting and writing.  After the disappointing Superman Returns in 2006, it was a real treat to see this film.  Written by David S. Goyer from a story he and the director of the Batman trilogy, Christopher Nolan; came up with, we see the origins of the Man from Krypton and how he came to be on Earth.

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‘Apocalypse Now’ gets the full treatment with ‘The Complete Dossier’ DVD

[rating=3]Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Jay ‘Chef’ Hicks, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Albert Hall, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper
Director(s): Francis Coppola
Writer(s): Screenplay by John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola; Narration by Michael Herr

Martin Sheen stars in 'Apocalypse Now'
Martin Sheen stars in ‘Apocalypse Now’

In the last fifteen years, I have made three or four different attempts to watch Apocalypse Now. In all those attempts, I was never able to get through the entire film. In each case I fell asleep at different points and never once saw the film all the way through.

Was this a commentary on the film? I wasn’t really certain, to be honest. Perhaps it was just the timing. Maybe I was particularly tired on those days. So, when the opportunity came for me to really watch the film, I took it. Last week I sat down and watchedApocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier, which was released this past Tuesday on DVD. This two-disc set includes the original theatrical cut of the film, as well as the extended Apocalypse Now: Redux which was released in 2001.

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘Mystic River’ is richly performed, beautifully executed

Kevin Bacon in 'Mystic River'
Kevin Bacon in ‘Mystic River’

[rating=3]Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney
Director(s): Clint Eastwood
Writer(s): Screenplay by Brian Helgeland; Based upon the novel by Dennis Lehane

Deeply nuanced performances breathe reality into the film’s somewhat tried plot devices, and ultimately overshadow a director’s visible manipulation and a studio’s heavy handed marketing to deliver an intensely satisfying film.

Read moreClint Eastwood’s ‘Mystic River’ is richly performed, beautifully executed