Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
All Star Superman.
The “All Star” label is similar to “Elseworlds” – it’s DC’s way of letting people experiment with their characters, without affecting the continuity of the DC world.
The first AS title was AS Batman & Robin – written by the great Frank Miller who is the Two-Face of comics. He’s either the best, or worst. In the case of ASBM&R he was the worst. Maybe the worst of all time. I actually got the first few issues and got to see Batman beat Robin, and act like dick to all the other heroes. Needless to say I was turned off by the AS title and I was done.
All Star Superman came out soon after and although I collected all S titles, I didn’t bother with this. Come the comicon – some guy was pushing AS Superman LARGE. I didn’t buy it.
By that point I stopped collecting Superman and only got the trades. The trades didn’t collect all Superman stories, but the main ones. I was only missing 2 Superman trades, the All Star ones. So I said, F it, ill get them.
AS SUPERMAN has to be one of the best Superman Stories of all time. I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU BUY IT – I will be getting the Absolute edition as well.
The story is very tough to explain, since it spans a long period of time, but it’s basically every Superman idea in one – BUT with new stuff you never thought of.
How about a Bizarro Jor-EL! How about Superman keeping a pet that eats SUNS!!! He creates artificial suns to feed it!!!!!!! How about seeing all the future Supermen? (Including a 5th Dimension one!). How about Superman entering the sun – which is the source of his power! There are so many things going on this book, it’s just so awesome! All the characters are true to form too, and I heard through some of guys here that this was being considered as a live action film.
First off, that would be wicked, so it’s not gonna happen. Plus it would have to run 5 hours or something to get it all in there, and to take out anything would be death.
Let me explain – the premise is that Lex Luthor won. He has killed Superman. Lex sabotaged man’s first trip to the sun! Superman flies to the rescue but his cells absorb too much yellow sun and he is overcharged to with so much energy that his cells cant take it anymore (Lex figured this would happen). Superman will soon die. Before he dies he must complete 12 challenges (Heracles’ style). Does he die in the end? I’m not gonna tell you! Read it and find out.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
District B13 Ultimatum.
I still liked this movie! The first one was so amazing and surprisingly well made and acted! I really liked the story of the first movie as well as the jaw-dropping parkour and fight sequences! The second one delivers more of the same. This time the story is a bit more complex and the action is slightly (very slightly) less. But that doesn’t hurt the movie.
This is a fast-paced action movie with great characters, Damien and Leito both return and they even better than they were in part one because they team up instantly! I cannot wait for a third film.
This is kind of like Lethal Weapon on steroids!
Just buy this – it’s a must for those who bought part one – which I think is literally everyone who reads this!
It’s World War 2 and Clint Eastwood learns of 16 million dollars worth of gold is hidden in a small bank in a town behind German lines. He recruits a bunch of guys to help him get it.
By doing so, he liberates the town, inspires the general, and leads a squad to victory in a major battle.
They are heroes, but they were motivated by greed. This movie is kind of a comedy, and it’s funny – Donald Sutherland steals the show as “Oddball” a sort of hippie soldier? If that makes any sense? But it’s not just a comedy, I like the idea that we don’t know what heroes are really thinking? They are heroes in their deeds, but not in their motivations. I thought this was a fun and interesting movie.
I will say that it’s a bit slow at parts and the beginning takes a while to set up the story, but once you get past that, it’s all pretty good!
Check it out.
His Girl Friday
Cary Grant is so wicked and so funny, yet again he proves it with this fun little film. He plays a newspaper owner, and he is so sneaky and shady, as any good newspaper man should be (according to him). Anyway, his former wife is getting re-married and he wants her back – so he tries to get her to come back to the paper – she was his star reporter before they were married. In order to get her back he will do anything!
He may sound like a bad guy and he kinda is, but not really. He is so funny and the dialogue moves so fast in this picture that its hard to figure out his intentions. Maybe he truly believes she is better off with him at the newspaper, than with the man she is marrying (he’s kind of boring).
Anyway, there is at least 50 jokes a min in this film, and you will find yourself laughing and the rewinding for fear of missing something. One of the funnier jokes was when Grant was explaining how he was a bad husband to his former wife’s new fiancé. He starts to cry fake tears and wipes them with his hankey, well the fiancé didn’t see him wipe, so Grant stops crying, taps the man on his shoulder so he looks, then starts the fake tears again! HAHAHAHAHA.
It was so fake, I was crying of laughter, but the fiancé is so gullible he falls for it!
Finally got around to seeing this one, and I’m glad I did! It’s a fun movie about Hollywood and how a mob collector gets into the business. You find that the film industry isn’t much different!
Travolta was just wicked in this movie and the supporting cast was crazy too! Just a really fun fast paced movie to kill some time!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I'm going to break my tradition and write about a movie already reviewed on this blog. Why? Because it's Iron Man. Growing up, Iron Man was not one of the comics I read, but since getting back into comics, I've noted how enormously important Iron Man is, both to Marvel's comic book world, as well as the films they are trying to make. Iron Man is sort of like, the lynch pin (in my opinion) of the whole Avengers concept, so any film adaptation they do, bears comment.
What did I like? I liked the humour, for th most part. I liked parts of the story, such as Howard Stark leaving clues to the new element to his son in the design of the Expo. Iliked Robert Downey Jr, and Sam Rockwell. Robert Downey Jr. is great...as Tony Stark. Let's face it, any yahoo could be in the Iron Man suit. But Downey just plays the part of the Tony Stark so well, and infuses him both with a half-serious superficiality, and a determination to do what's right, that you have to admire it. Likewise, Rockwell really stood out for me, as a villain who is trying to capitalize on an opportunity he sees. He's not totally evil, but he's sort of like the standard selfish, capitalistic corporate head. Except Rockwell makes him 10 times more memorable. Dancing to the podium, eating ice cream flown in from San Francisco, he's got nice little touches that I really liked.
Then there's War Machine. Okay, they didn't really call him War Machine, but I really dug his look, and his arsenal. I liked too, that War Machine didn't give the suit back in the end. Likewise, I enjoyed the drones, that they had certain drones for certain parts of the military (though that concept did not really play out), and the fact they were so effective an adversary to Iron Man.
Okay, so that's all well and good. Now let's get on with the bad. Pepper Potts. Annoying as hell, I could not stand her. From the beginning to the end, all she does is whine and complain to Tony. You didn't tell me you were dying, this job is so hard, what are you doing, I can't take this anymore, etc, etc. Umm, you've worked for this guy for years, how about a little gratitude when he makes you CEO? How about the benefit of the doubt? "Tony, you're acting a little weird, what's wrong?" Nope. She was just a bitch from beginning to end, and I wished that drone had blown up and killed her.
What else? Not enough Iron Man. J-Man brought this up, and he's right. He should have appeared more in the 2nd film (as we've already established how Iron Man was put together), the fights should have been longer (the end fight was really pathetic for an end fight). Whiplash and Black Widow were completely wasted. I've rarely seen an ineffective villain like Whiplash, he didn't really engage Iron Man after his first appearance at the racetrack, but tinkered in Justin Hammer's compound. The real villain of the film was the faulty arclight generator in Tony Stark's chest. Nice concept, but I want to see Iron Man fight someone worthy, not worry if his chest generator is going to kill him. Some of these problems may seem nitpicky, but I don't think so: this is 2010, we know how good superhero movies work, and how the rest don't. We're running out of time for excuses.
My rating may seem generous, but I do like Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and I like the universe they've created here. I just think this one was a little on the weaker side, compared to the first film, and a lot of the concepts, while neat, either didn't play out to their maximum potential (such as Whiplash and Justin Hammer teaming up), or were given too much attention (the arclight generator failing in his chest).
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
I wish thee a fond goodnight
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Frazetta was a fantastic painter, and artist. His works have been used for so many different types of media. He is best known for cover art to fantasy books and movie posters.
Everyone who reads this blog (all 5 of you) know that Conan the Barbarian is my favourite film of all time, but that movie wouldn’t have been made without the work of Frazetta. When Conan first came about his books were doing ok, nothing to die over, it was only when they re-published the books with Frazetta’s cover art did the books start to sell out. I was fortunate enough to recently purchase the book with the most famous Frazetta Conan cover art of all time (last weekend at the pulp show for those who missed it).
Frazetta defined Conan’s look and made him a man of adventure and of intelligence – just by the small details in his face. His artwork helped form the Hyborian world where Conan lived. He brought Conan to life on the cover of every book. Conan was his most famous work, but not his only.
He was also responsible for a series of paintings about “The Death Dealer” which you can see was the inspiration for many fantasy villains.
Frazetta was also the subject of the documentary “Painting with Fire” – a 2 disc history of his life’s work. I was lucky enough to have my wife get me the full 2 disc version and I must say it’s worth buying. I own the full version (2 disc) and the single disc version that comes with the collectors edition of Fire and Ice.
Frazetta was a great artist and visionary who I will miss. I constantly check his website for new artwork and was close to buying a few prints from Fire and Ice but decided to hold off – which I am regretting as I believe they will be pretty hard to get now. In any case, he will be missed, but his work will live on.
Iron Man 2.
The first 2/3 of the first Iron Man shows Tony Stark building the various Iron Man units.
I know that the MARK 1 suit is technically Iron Man and the MARK 2 is close but the “real” Iron Man to me is the red and gold (or red and silver as I was used to him from West Coast Avengers). But when the real iron man appeared, it was pretty darn cool. He fought Iron Monger in a pretty darn good battle. The first movie was good but I wanted more of iron man in it. But it was part one and the new concept of part one is that you don’t get much of the hero (see batman begins).
Iron man 2 then, theoretically should have more of him in it (see dark knight). But I think we got equal to or LESS or iron man in this one that in the first one.
Look the story here is simple, and simple stories don’t interest me. Especially when they use fake science to explain the creation of a new element that will be used to power the suit. WAIT A SECOND, Tony Stark made a NEW element!!! Will it save the world’s power problems? Will we no longer need oil? Will he try to increase its power? Probably not. It was just an excuse to show more building. Why not just have a montage? OR why not just not use that story line? Who cares about the power source. Just say that his gizmo doesn’t run low at all. No one cares about the logistics’ of it, since its fake anyway. This is a prime example of how current movies feel the need to explain everything to audiences. I just wanna see iron man fight and fly and shoot. Like the poster – I want him and War Machine to destroy bad guys.
That being said I liked the movie, but not really liked it. I wanted more. War Machine is wicked and can stand alone I think in a movie. Don Cheadle was great!
Scarlett Johansson is attractive (ok so she’s really attractive – sorry Megan Fox – you are out large – not that you were that in mind you – just my opinion) but wasted in this role as Black Widow (who they don’t name). Why not just make her a Shield agent, and where is her Russian accent (I guess Russian girls aren’t hot enough – aren’t they the most mail ordered brides though?).
Nick Fury is just too comical for me. But I don’t know the character enough to comment. Justin Hammer was great – a funny dweeb trying to be tough. Whiplash (not named) was cool, but doesn’t really fight Iron man – and come to think of it, there were only 3 actions scenes.
The race car part – ok at best. A small scuffle in Tony’s mansion – not a bad little fight, but nothing to get excited about and the end battle. Which consists of fast flying robots shooting each other, but I cant tell who is shooting who?
The battle after that is way too fast for a 2 hour movie where 1 hour and 40 mins is comedic and/or senseless plot.
I still liked this movie – it was enjoyable and the comedy was good, and the characters are still good too, but I mean where is the action? There should’ve been way more action and a bit more inventive action. Iron man should always be shooting something or the other. Spiderman swings and climbs, Hulk smashes, and Iron Man shoots energy and flies around – but we didn’t get much of that!
I think stars are to blame. We constantly need to be reminded that Robert Downey Jr is in the outfit, so his helmet must be opened every 2 mins. Just show iron man. At least Thor doesn’t wear a mask, so I wont get that problem. Wait till the end credits for more on Thor.
Anyway I will buy this movie for sure, and all the iron man stuff (in his suit) and war machine stuff was REALLY WICKED! I mean it’s the REAL iron man, and war machine. They are not reimagined or anything, and the drones that Whiplash creates are really cool too. More toys to come! (on a side note the toys are WICKED too).
Monday, May 10, 2010
Conan, Red Sonya (not the “j” version), Bran Mak Morn, Kull, and Solomon Kane are all the creation of Robert E Howard. I have to say that I love them all! I own stories and comics for all of them – except BMM, and they are all great characters. Till date, all of them had movies except for Kane and Morn – until now.
Solomon Kane is an A-Grade film, that was given the B-Grade treatment. It’s not playing anywhere – except festivals – and it’s not being advertised, unless you are an REH guy – which I am.
Anyway for the film itself I have to say that is bloody amazing!!!!!!!! It’s definitely the second best REH film – the first is Conan the Barbarian – DUH!!!!!!!!! I also must admit here that even though I own a lot of Kane stories, I have never read them (hey I have like 500 movies to watch and tons of comics to read – I cant do it all!). So I don’t really know how accurate the film is. But Conan wasn’t really accurate to what REH wanted either, but it was more of the tone that was accurate in Conan. I suspect it’s the same here. Kane looks EXACTLY how he does in the books and he behaves pretty accurately too.
The action is awesome and you can see it. The cinematography is super amazing and Kane fights, demons, ghosts, monsters, sorcerers, witches, evil children, slave armies and a giant hellbeast of satan who is made up of bones and armor!
You really have to see this to believe how much is in it. You wont believe what you saw!
You will finish the movie and think you imagined how cool it was. Like it cannot be as awesome as what you just saw, but then you watch it again and you were right!
I will buy this LARGE when it comes on dvd – and BLURAY TOO!
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
First film in the Vengeance Trilogy (followed by Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance).
This film is a perfect example of how revenge is pointless and only starts a vicious cycle of death.
Ryu – yup, that’s his name. Is deaf and has a sister who needs a kidney. He cant give his since he has a different blood type. He saves his money up only to lose his job and find out that there is no donor. He finds a shady organization that sells…organs. They rip him off of his life savings and steal his kidney. So he is left with no choice and he decides to kidnap his former boss’ daughter and hold her for ransom. That’s all Ill say. What happens next causes a complex cycle of revenge.
Who is justified – well everyone. In most films we see a person getting revenge on someone who deserves it, but in this film all parties deserved it, BUT all parties really didn’t deserve it – if you took the time to learn about them.
It’s hard to explain without giving away the plot, but this film really deals with a lot of moral dilemmas. The three films together represent all types of revenge stories told from all angles. In fact, it would make one hell of a great revenge anthology movie. A 6 hour epic of revenge and the way it ruins the lives of all involved.
If you ask me, I still like Oldboy the best, but only because of the mystery element – You were left guessing as to who wants revenge, and why. But other than that, all three films are great.
Buy the trilogy.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Missed this one in the theatre, as well. That's right, I am making up for all past wrongs! Pretty soon, a guy named Mike Phillips is going to have me knocking on his door, demanding "why did you pick on me all that time in high school? WHY? What did I ever do to you?" before collapsing into a sobbing heap at his feet. Yes, that will surely intimidate him.
So, this is one that it was wise we didn't end up paying money for. Why? It just doesn't work. Maybe the original doesn't, either (I somehow doubt it though, considering George A. Romero made it, and he is the MAN), but this remake just didn't do it for me. Why? I'll explain.
Firstly, this film was made in the wrong time period. When Romero made it in the 70's, America was just getting around to the idea that hey, maybe our government really isn't that good! Maybe they don't have our best interests at heart! Maybe the army is a bunch of macho idiots who can't do anything right, and would panic and shoot their own citizens at a moment's notice! Stuff that would be really, you know, revolutionary and thought provoking in that era. Nowadays, we know the government is corrupt. We know the army is their enforcers, and the ideals they stood for no longer has the quote unquote "higher moral" ground. We know all this, there's been a gazillion movies on this theme. Well, now it's a gazillion and one. Hardly a feature that makes it stand out.
Number 2, what really makes an effective horror film is a) a really neat story, or b) a really neat or charasmatic monster, or c) funny, interesting teens that at least keep us entertained while the bad guy slices them to bits, or best of all d) all of the above. This film does not have any letter of the alphabet. I will give them this, there's no long lead-up, people are crazy like 4 minutes into the film, but if there's no buildup or establishment of the characters, than you need a lot of crazy (pardon the pun) action, or extreme gore, or something. It' just paint by the numbers (the sheriff realizes something is wrong, the sheriff grabs his doctor wife, conveniently, neither are affected, the army moves in, it becomes a question of avoiding the Crazies and the military, sheriff, wife, and hangers-on look for a way out, people die). There's nothing there you haven't seen before, and it was done better before. This is just mediocre, run-of-the-mill stuff.
Finally, 3rd point, if you're going to make a horror movie, at least have some good deaths. There's nothing. Most people die off-screen, the one potentially tense scene, where people are tied to beds, and a Crazie is walking around, impaling people with a pitchfork, is partially ruined by the filming technique. Crazy lifts up pitchfork, and then the next shot, pitchfork goes through bottom of the bed. Wow. You know you're in trouble, when your Aunt Selma can watch the horror film with you. It was pretty watered down, no gore, no suspense, just Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, and the supporting actors running from one spot to the next.
So, I would not bother with this one, or if you're feeling that my review has peaked your interest (which I doubt), find a way to watch it for free. Better yet, watch the original...it's probably better.
Rating 2.5 out of 5 stars.
I bid thee a fond goodnight.
Monday, May 3, 2010
A true masterpiece of revenge and horror. If you think horror is Freddy and Jason killing people you are mistaken. That kind of horror is fake. Freddy is not gonna attack you and Jason is not gonna kill you. Ghosts and aliens are not out to get you, if they exist at all. But this little psychological thriller will make you sick.
I have never before seen such a disturbing movie as this that when I was watching it and pieced together what would happen I actually called out “Oh my god.” I NEVER EVER EVER SPEAK OUT ON MOVIES. I just sit and watch them, but this one drove me to it.
Basic plot. A man is imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years. He is not sure why. He gets fed, and watches tv, but his captors also hypnotise him from time to time and screw with his mind. Anyway, after 15 years they let him go. Why.
Well it’s all answered. This movie is hard to follow – subtitles don’t help, and the fact that his mind is in question, we have to pay attention to what is going on. At times I was confused – why is this happening? But all questions are answered and the answers are very disturbing and explore the depths of evil that some will sink too in order to get revenge. It is very sickening to think that this could actually happen.
If you can handle the emotional impact of the finale of this film, then by all means buy it. You will not be disappointed, even though you’ll be disturbed.
Third film in the Vengeance Trilogy (following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy – reviewed above).
The Lady in question is imprisoned for 13 years for killing a small boy. She is innocent and was forced to confess by the villain Mr. Baek. He killed the boy and took his marble as a souvenir of the crime. Lady confesses after her infant daughter is kidnapped by Baek. She confesses, and her daughter (Jenny) is set free.
After some good behaviour and a Priest’s forgiveness, she is let out and begins thinking of her revenge. Actually she has been planning her revenge since day one. She has other convicts on her side, that she did favours for in prison. When she gets out, she cashes in those favours for a variety of things, weapons, money, a place to stay etc.
She is now ready to get the bad guy. And she gets him, but learns something disturbing. I wont reveal it here, but at that point the movie takes a turn for the better. You see I had watched Oldboy first (review above – if you read the blog the proper way) and after seeing the first half of this I found it to be less interesting because Oldboy had a mystery to solve, and this was clearly laid out for you – well not super clear, but I am good a figuring things out with little info. The movie is 2 hours and the first hour and 20mins was really good, but nothing to really die over – but the last 40 mins is GOLD!
The emotional punch of the last 40 mins is so great that it makes it all worth it. The movie was good throughout, but great in the end – which is almost the point of it. Anyway, I wont reveal what happens but don’t worry, its pretty damn good man!!! I would highly suggest buying this movie and the others in the series.
Man and woman get married. Man has a crippled brother, woman gets annoyed that crippled brother is taking up time with her husband, so she lets the boy drown. That is the premise behind this psychological thriller – and for the time it was made, it’s pretty shocking, actually, its shocking now! What does next is even more shocking. Although I was able to predict this movie I liked it.
It took a while to get going, but I know why. Everything was going well, but there always seemed to be something a little off. So when the drowning happens, you kind of expected it, but you are shocked that it happened.
From there on, it really picks up and eventually gets really crazy! Good movie to watch if you’re in the mood for a bit of psychosis, but don’t wanna watch a horror movie.