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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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Man of Steel

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe | PG-13 |


Star Henry Cavill didn’t have to be shirtless and on fire in his first few minutes onscreen for me to call him smoldering, but Lord, did it help. Yes, the new Superman (Cavill) fills out the suit exquisitely. (You could build a Fortress of Solitude on that jaw.) He’s so exciting, in fact, that I can’t wait to get to know his Clark Kent. It’s a pity the movie doesn’t let that happen.

The film is so fanboyish in its recrafting of the Superman origin story that it neglects to color in his earthly form. This Clark is a ghost, a drifter who stays off the radar on the advice of his adoptive dad Jonathan (Costner). That all changes when Clark finds an alien ship frozen in ancient ice. The discovery gives him answers, putting him closer to his birth father, Jor-El (Crowe, as fiercely noble as Costner), but it also attracts the attention of Kryptonian villain General Zod (Michael Shannon) and a tenacious reporter named Lois Lane (Adams).

I’d love to tell you that Steel finally gets its flirt on then, but there’s no time for that, as Zod and Superman come to blows. When the wrecking crew stops, we get a peek at what could be, of Clark settling into his life as a superhero and as a man. That’s a movie I want to see.

20 Feet from Stardom

PG-13 |


They’ve sung on music’s biggest hits, they have dishy stories, and not enough people know their names. Stardom tries to change that with a fan letter to session musicians like Merry Clayton, Darlene Love and my girl crush, Lisa Fischer. You’ll hear those glorious voices and wonder why they were ever in the background.

The Bling Ring

Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard | R |


Director Sofia Coppola has a talent for making art out of the vapid. Take this devilishly amusing film based on the real-life case of a group of teens so desperate to look like celebrities, they robbed a bunch of stars blind. Ringleader Rebecca (Chang), bratty Nicki (Watson) and skittish Marc (Broussard) soon have a crew of kids fighting over Orlando Bloom‘s watches, Lindsay Lohan‘s clothes and Paris Hilton‘s dog. They’re so morally bankrupt I ached for them to get caught, even while I enjoyed the vicarious thrill of raiding Hollywood’s best-stocked closets. Given how much dirty laundry is in there, you’d think stars would’ve known to lock their doors. Oh well. I’ll bet they do now.