Scott Marks 3:30 p.m., Dec. 24
Man of Steel
Director Zack Snyder sucker-punches Richard Lester’s Superman II, to date Hollywood’s final say on how to film a comic book. Credit the man of steal and screenwriters David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan with adding a couple of new wrinkles to the designedly faded red cape of Krypton’s favorite son. Turns out it’s not that easy being invincible; for once, we have a Superman whose greatest enemies are boredom and his own indestructibility. But in place of hanging a left down this avenue of pursuit, Snyder hit a brick wall by staging an endless (and paradoxical) third act battle to the death between CG immortals. As this year’s Zod, Michael Shannon comes off looking uncomfortable beneath his Penn Jillette chin-bristles. With Snyder to guide him, Shannon pitches his performance at two levels: growl and grumble. With Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, and Laurence Fishburne as the first black Perry White. 2013.