Sunday, June 16, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel - How Does it Rate for Families?

For a short housekeeping issue - I turned off the requirement to put in a Captcha image in order to leave a comment. I am bringing that back, but hope it won't stop you from adding your two cents. With it off I got more comments, most of them SPAM. Thankyewno. So it's going back on today!

I can't put the "official" Man of Steel logo, of course, because it is copyright protected - for all I know so is the movie title, but I hope they'll forgive my use of it, since it's really hard to do a review of something (even an unofficial review!) without using the name of that thing! Anyway, for Father's Day, the White Knight wanted to take the Crew to do something fun, but it was a truly hot, above-90-degree day, so Busch Gardens was NOT at the top of this Pregnant Mama's list, so we headed for the cool dark of the movie theater. 

We considered a couple of options and settled on Man of Steel (as I'm sure you've guessed by now) because it seemed most likely to appeal to the spread of ages we have going with our kids - 2, 4, 8, 11, and 13 now. The long and short of it: The movie was enjoyed by everyone, but (as other reviewers have said), sometimes it seems like they used action scenes (and long ones at that!) to replace having to focus on character or plot development. If you have seen the earlier movies from way back, and know the history line of Clark Kent in those flicks, then you'll be okay, but just jumping into this one, it can be difficult to follow.

That said, here are some family-type things that parents might be looking for answers to (I'll even try to be clever and use my highlighter tool there to give some indication of just how bad or good the movie was in a particular category):

Profanity:  A very light orange for the handful of swear words used in the movie - unfortunately most of them, but not all, were used by younger folks. 

Sexual Scenes: A bright green, GO for that portion - there was ONE kiss pretty far into the movie, otherwise, there were no flashes of flesh, no lingerie scenes, no gratuitous anything. The biggest thing I can say to this portion is that Lois Lanes' shirts were always zipped or unbuttoned just down to where her breasts start, but she always had another shirt beneath so even there no flesh was showing really - it was more "mildly suggestive" than anything.

Blood and Gore/Possibly Scary Stuff for Younger Kids: I gave this a a yellow because it is an action flick, so there are some scenes that our four year old jumped at or hid her eyes for - but in truth they weren't that bad, just loud. The fight scenes didn't even have much blood in them - more buildings falling, tear-up-the-city mayhem than anything else. The few close up death scenes were even pretty muted so you knew the person died but didn't see the exact method right up close.

Overall Moral Message: It's Superman, of course, so the good guys have to win, but overall, the messages were of being a better man/person, loyalty, conversely that loyalty is not the ultimate value to hold against all else, that we're created/put where we are for a purpose was also present in the show, and similar themes run throughout the movie.

Ability to Hold the Attention of Even the Youngest Ages:  Okay I'm giving this portion a very light yellow - our 2 year old was mesmerized  and totally into it - he was shooting the bad guys, putting his hands over his head to take off and fly when Superman went up, and cheering on the good guys. The 4 yo Girlie was not as enamored of all of the action - and to be fair, in a few instances it seemed to go on... and on... and on... and on... where even I wondered when it would end! So she ended up twirling her chair, moving from parent to parent, etc. staying quietly occupied, but not really into the movie - and asked me if it was "over now" at least three times. The older boys - 8, 11, and 13 - enjoyed the movie more and would recommend going. 

So, what's the bottom line? Is it a good show to take kids to? I'd say if you can overlook the slight following-the-plot, long-action sequences stuff it can be a fun movie to see with the kids and worth the time out of the hot sun. 

So, what did you think?

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