New in Theaters: ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘This Is the End’

This Is the End

After a few weeks off from summer film hysteria, it’s coming back this weekend with the advent of Christopher Nolan’s latest foray in to the DC Comics world—coming out today, alongside a comedy to temper this titanic venture, is Man of Steel.

This film incarnation of the red-caped hero bears some similarity to previous attempts—some more successful than others—in that early on, Clark Kent discovers that he is not only possessed of some rather interesting abilities, but that he is from another world entirely. However, in true Christopher Nolan form, the plot is darkened just a little bit (not too much—as great as The Dark Knight series was, it’s not a template that applies to every DC hero) by an emphasis on Superman’s existential crisis (which is only natural—not only is he adopted, but his biological parents exploded with his home planet; that can be tough without professional counseling).

Critics were a bit lukewarm on the film, reflected by its almost-fresh rating of 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. Surprisingly, the character development is a little weak, and while the action sequences are sterling as usual, critics say it’s not quite enough to impress audiences in the same way that Christopher Nolan’s previous efforts have. Nevertheless, it’s set to make an impressive $84 million over the weekend, according to Box Office Guru.

On a slightly earthier note, the comedy This Is the End debuted in theaters Wednesday. The film tells of six friends—James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride, all playing themselves—caught in an apocalyptical nightmare that will test the limits of their friendship.

Critics gave the film a very warm reception (especially for a comedy)—it currently rates at 84% on the Tomatometer. While it’s filled with exactly the kind of humor you can expect from these actors, it’s also laced with some subtle criticism of the film industry, and even their own less-successful ventures; combined with the well-executed script, it makes the film well worth watching. It’s set to earn $22 million over the weekend.

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