“Man of Steel” Review

We learn in the movie trailer of Man of Steel that the “S” on Superman’s chest is really a symbol meaning “Hope” on the planet Krypton.  That came to mind as Amy Adams spoke at Spike’s Guy’s Choice Awards as Man of Steel won the award for most anticipated movie of the year.  She said, “I hope that the movie lives up to all of the anticipation.” I hoped the same thing as I bought my ticket for the movie yesterday.


You know the story – As a boy, Clark Kent learns that he has extraordinary powers, was born on another plantet, and was adopted by his earth parents.  As a young man, he travels the world to learn more about his origins and his purpose in life.  He learns to harness his powers and becomes a symbol of “Hope” for everyone on earth.

Man of Steel does a few things really well:

  1. The story is familiar but different enough to keep your attention.
  2. The action scenes were done very well.
  3. Henry Cavill was an excellent choice for the role of Superman.

Here’s where the film is really lacking (in my opinion):

There’s way too much action and not enough story.

Come on!  It’s Superman for crying out loud.  Where was the fun?  Where was the romance (besides the lame kiss and cliché)?  Where was the humor?  For that matter, where was the dialogue?

As Tom Long of the Detroit News states, “Man of Steel packs quite a wallop. A few too many wallops, as it turns out.”

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Review of Warm Bodies: a paranormal, romantic, zombie, comedy, narrative film

Warm Bodies: a Paranormal Romantic Zombie Comedy Narrative Film


Relationships can be so difficult…especially when you’re a zombie.

In an attempt to please the wife of my youth, I went to see Warm Bodies, a paranormal romantic zombie comedy narrative film based on Isaac Marion’s 2011 novel.  With a name like Warm Bodies, I was afraid that it would be filled with sexually explicit scenes requiring me to leave before the movie was complete.  However, after seeing that every other movie showing was rated R,   I reluctantly agreed.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the movie:

R is an oddly introspective zombie who spends his days wandering around the Toronto Airport.  His best friend is M, although he’s never called him by name.  R and M only communicate with grunts and moans and occasional words.  R, like all of his fellow zombies, feeds on human flesh.  He especially enjoys eating brains, because it allows him to experience the memories of the one that he is eating.

Julie lives in a walled off area of Toronto with the rest of the city’s human population.  She and her friends are sent out by her father in order to recover medical supplies from an abandoned hospital.  Suddenly, R and a group of zombies attack Julie’s team.  R sees Julie and instantly falls in love with her but is then shot by Perry, Julie’s boyfriend.  In return, R kills Perry and eats his brain, which gives him Perry’s memories, increasing R’s love for Julie.  R then rescues Julie and brings her to his home, an abandoned airplane.  The two become friends and R slowly begins to come back to life.  The effect is contagious and soon other zombies begin to show signs of humanity.  R and Julie’s relationship becomes more romantic as he becomes more human and the two find themselves caught between the paranoid human forces and the bonie zombies, virtually skeletal demons, who are out to destroy the zombie human restoration brought about by R and Julie’s relationship.  With M’s help, R and Julie must find a way for the “regular” zombies and the humans to first join forces against the bonies and to then create a new zombie/human friendly society.


How often has a zombie been the hero in a love story? R’s quirky sense of humor throughout the odd circumstances is part of what gives this movie its charm.  His inner dialogue shows throughout that he really is human at heart. Even as a romantic comedy, Warm Bodies does contain violent scenes, mostly involving zombies’ dining habits, so viewers should be prepared.  There is also the one unmentionable profane word that seems to be in most PG-13 movies nowadays. Fortunately, there’s enough humor to take the bad taste out of your mouth.


Warm Bodies actually could have a parallel in Christian circles.  The humans living inside the walled city could represent Christians separating themselves from the world thereby prohibiting the zombies, or lost people, from the only connection that’s going to allow them to really live.  I suppose the bonies could represent Satan, doing whatever is possible in order to keep this eternal restoration from taking place.  If you look at it from that point of view, Warm Bodies could be a great conversation starter when sharing Christ with a friend. Then again, it could just be your typical paranormal romantic zombie comedy narrative film.  Anyway, I liked it.

Other reviews by John J. Frady

Les Miserables – https://johnjfrady.com/2013/01/07/187/

The Skinny on the Hunger Games – https://johnjfrady.com/2012/10/04/the-skinny-on-the-hunger-games/


The Strangest Poem I Ever Wrote (A Tribute to My High School English Teachers)

I’m feeling nostalgic this morning, which is very unlike me.  I can’t seem to get my high school English classes out of my mind.  Here’s a poem I wrote when I was a Junior for a class assignment that I still have memorized after all of these years.  Enjoy!

I’ve got a little story and yes, of course, it’s true.

And if you do believe me, I’ve got a bridge to sell to you.

It happened just the other day, no, it was night, oh yes. 

Bigfoot came and captured me and wanted to play chess.

He took me to his spaceship.  There were many people there.

Fred, Barney, and Wilma, Prince Charles, Sonny, and Cher.

He took me to a little room and there was Elvis Presley alive,

He shot me with a laser gun, then his leg began to jive.

What happened then, I can’t remember, but I really know,

That Elvis had my baby while on a U.F.O.

Now, you may think my story leaves a lot to be desired,

But I’ll have you know I sold it to the National Enquirer.


Weird, huh?  I still remember that word for word after 25-26 years.

Sorry for the lame content.

See you next time.



The Skinny on the Hunger Games


Even though I had never heard of the movie or the book, a few months ago, I took my wife to see the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  A few weeks later, while on a mission trip in Haiti, I overheard a missionary tell a friend that she was completely fascinated by the book.  Then, while at a Christian Writer’s Conference, The Hunger Games was praised by several of the guest lecturers as the ultimate example of contemporary quality fiction.  Finally, after a pastor friend of mine shared with me about his extreme interest in the book, I was intrigued enough to read it for myself.

A Brief Summary of The Hunger Games

16-year-old Katniss lives with her mother and little sister in district twelve of Panem, the remains of futuristic North America.  Years earlier, the twelve districts waged war on the wealthy Capitol and were soundly defeated.  As a reminder of the follies of rebellion, each district is required to send two tributes, one boy and one girl, to participate in the Hunger Games, an annual televised event.  Each year, the setting for this ultimate Survivor type show may change, but there is one constant:  It is an all out fight to the death between all twenty-four tributes.  When her sister Prim is selected by lottery, Katniss volunteers to go in her place.


The Violence Issue

Because of the violence within the book (and movie), one might think that Suzanne Collins is glorifying violence. In fact, the opposite is true. Throughout the story, she raises serious questions about our culture’s obsession with violence and death and what that obsession has done to the hearts and minds of our society.A popular movie (VHS Rental) when I was in high school was called Faces of Death. It was released in 1978 and guided viewers through explicit scenes depicting a variety of ways to die.  Even though it was banned in some areas, it was successful enough to produce at least three sequels.

1,000 Ways to Die

It’s not all that different from Spike TV’s 1000 Ways To Die, a contemporary spoof show which shows people making stupid decisions which causes their ultimate demise. Here’s an excerpt from an online review of the show:

Amidst a number of shows which try so hard to be cerebral and generally expose themselves as fraudulent, 1000 Ways to Die is an odd breath of sincerity; sincerely stupid and ridiculous, but refreshing. Each show is a collection of ‘shorts’ wherein someone dies, usually in an unusual way. The acting is atrocious. The special effects are mediocre. The narration is often funny. And each scene concludes with a ‘title’ for that death, which is usually a pun. In my opinion, it’s the funniest bit of the show, and you’ll probably find yourself trying to guess what the death will be ‘called’ before it appears on screen.

What have we become?  What sort of culture uses violence as a form of amusement? Although she uses violence to make her point against our obsession with violence (sort of like naked people boycotting pornography), Collins makes her point when all is said and done.

Click on the link below to watch a brief interview segment of Suzanne Collins discussing violence desensitization:


In the end, The Hunger Games should help us examine how we view violence and death. Is it simply entertainment to us? Have we lost touch with reality by watching Kenny die at the end of every episode of Southpark? I’m not sure. I suppose that one could argue the same about the Bible. It is filled with violence. But those of us who have a relationship with God know that God’s character is not one of violence.  Psalm 11:5 states that The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the Lord to hate me.

So, if you’re on the same journey as I in trying to make sense of our culture’s obsession with violence, pray for me and I’ll pray for you.  Oh yes, and may the odds be forever in your favor.