Davis: Go big or go campy for Superman

It was 35 years ago, director Richard Donner and producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind made the world’s most famous comic book superhero into an epic motion picture.

Coming out just a year after Star Wars’ special effects wowed audiences and before the age of digital special effects, they managed to live up to their own promotional line “You’ll believe a man can fly.”

Superman II was a success but numbers three and four became campy and while the 2006 reboot Superman Returns tried to recapture the magic of the first two movies, it was not well received.

If you are going to reignite the movie career of Superman, you bring some of the biggest talent in Hollywood. Behind the camera, Man of Steel has producer Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy), writer David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Blade) and director Zack Snyder (300, and the brilliant adaptation of The Watchmen).

In front of the camera is an impressive cast: Henry Cavill (Immortals) as Clark Kent/Superman, Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe as Superman’s father Jor-El, Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner as his adoptive father Jonathan Kent, Academy Award-nominee Diane Lane as his adoptive mother Martha Kent, Academy Award-nominee Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Academy Award-nominee Michael Shannon as General Zod.

And although the soundtrack will not have John William’s familiar tune, it has been composed by Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception).

Like Richard Donner’s 1978 classic, Man of Steel is an epic origin story but the question is, will it be as epic as the original?

According to early reviews, it is and not only will it spawn sequels, it is intended to launch a shared fictional universe of DC Comics characters on film like Marvel did with The Avengers. Therefore watch for a Justice League movie in the future, which will include characters like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and more.

This is the End is the brainchild of writer Seth Rogen who brings together friends James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, all of them playing fictional versions of themselves.

This crude comedy follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside.

Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, face their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.

Critics are heaping praise on Rogen’s take on the “end of the world” genre, some of them calling it the wildest and funniest screen comedy in a long time.

Watch for guest appearances from Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and even The Backstreet Boys and Rihanna.

On the topic of end of the world, Brad Pitt’s World War Z opens next week with a special sneak preview next Thursday night.

Yet another strong entry in this summer’s blockbuster race, it is an apocalyptic thriller about a global zombie pandemic that is defeating armies and collapsing governments.

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