FILM: MAN OF STEEL
A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind. This is the simple, yet timeless premise of ‘Man Of Steel’, the latest film to tackle the story of Superman – the most iconic of superheroes.
The evolution of a modern super hero
“In the world of Super Heroes, Superman is the completely uncompromising figure who exists to represent the best that all of us can be,” director Zack Snyder states. “He is the ideal; he’s what we strive for, that magical, golden god, the kind of icon that has extended beyond the comics world and into all of popular culture.”
Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster and first appearing in the comic book Action Comics 1, published on April 18, 1938, Superman quickly became a cultural phenomenon, winning fans around the world in live-action and animated form in nearly every known entertainment medium. In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, social media and literature, he has battled some of the greatest villains of all time.
Given the character’s iconic status, Henry Cavill, who soars through the skies in Snyder’s action adventure, was both excited and humbled to play the titular character in ‘Man of Steel’. “Superman is one of the truly special figures man has created throughout history,” he relates. “He stands for hope, for the ability to conquer adversity against all odds. That’s something we can always hold onto, no matter where we are in life or what’s going on in the world. We will always face hardships in one way or another, and therefore hope will always play a significant part in our lives. To take on that mantle of hope as Superman was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Though known for his ability to bring high energy action to his films, and create fantastical worlds on screen, Snyder was initially hesitant to take on the responsibility of bringing one of the first comic book Super Heroes back to the silver screen. “I was pretty into comics when I was growing up, and Superman was a favorite of mine, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it,” he acknowledges. “I wasn’t sure where I could take the character that he hadn’t gone before.”
Then he read the screenplay David S. Goyer had written, based on a story Goyer devised with one of the film’s producers, Christopher Nolan. “Without breaking the canon, without taking away the things that make him Superman, they were able to make him totally relatable,” Snyder says. “They took me on a journey that was interesting to me, and that was the reason to do it.”
Nolan offers, “Audiences will be very familiar with ‘Man of Steel’s’ portrayal of Superman as the ultimate superhero, but where he was an impenetrable, god-like figure in previous iterations of his story, we show him as a rather more relatable figure who deals with very human issues of love, divided loyalties and family, even as he is anything but human himself.”
CAST: HENRY CAVILL, AMY ADAMS, MICHAEL SHANNON, KEVIN COSTNER, DIANE LANE, LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ANTJE TRAUE, AYELET ZURER, CHRISTOPHER MELONI, RUSSELL CROWE
DIRECTOR: ZACK SNYDER
Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it’s up to Cale to save his daughter, the president, and the country.
‘White House Down’ is the new film from director Roland Emmerich, whose films, that include ‘Independence Day’, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, ‘2012’ and ‘Anonymous,’ have taken in more than $3 billion worldwide.
His latest entry is an action movie on an epic scale starring the most recognizable home on the planet, which is very familiar territory for Emmerich. “Actually, that was the one thing holding me off – I wondered, ‘Can I really do the White House again?’” laughs the man who had aliens blow up the building in ‘Independence Day’ and sent the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy through it in 2012. “Ultimately, I wanted to tell this story because it features strong characters and a very different and unusual narrative, combining action elements with those of a political thriller of worldwide significance.”
The character at the centre of ‘White House Down’ is John Cale, an ex-soldier and divorced father who’s trying to put his life back on solid footing – especially when it concerns his relationship with his daughter. “Cale’s been trying to figure out his life for years, to get it together.
He doesn’t really have the tools to put it all into place,” says Channing Tatum. “But his heart is good – he’s always wanted to be his daughter’s hero. And now that he’s realizing that he can’t be that, due to mistakes he’s made, he thinks, ‘Well, she idolizes the president – if I can’t be her hero, maybe I can help protect the guy who is.’”
CAST: CHANNING TATUM, JAMIE FOXX, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, JOEY KING, JAMES WOODS, JASON CLARKE
DIRECTOR: ROLAND EMMERICH