Tag Archives: comic book movies

Brian’s Review – Man Of Steel (2013)

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Man of Steel

Directed by Zack Snyder

4 out of 10

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race:

I blame annoying ass comic book fanboys for this film. After the release of Bryan Singer’s 2006 resurrection of the franchise with Superman Returns, fanboys bitched and moaned up and down with quotes like:

“There’s not enough action.”

“Why is the film all about the romantic element?”

“Why isn’t the film darker?”

“Why can’t it be more like Batman?”

Well asshole fanboys, you got what you wanted. And guess what? Your dream version of Superman isn’t very good. It’s not a complete catastrophe but it’s way too long for such a thin story and it literally sucks the joy out of the Superman experience.

The film opens with a long stretch similar to the far superior 1978 version that shows the end of the planet Krypton. What are the differences? Instead of showing an imaginative ice world filled with overly confident scientists whose own arrogance proves to be the destruction of their planet, we get a rock world filled with too much CGI and fisticuffs between Superman’s Dad and Zod. Despite the obvious advances in special effects, it doesn’t draw the viewer in. It’s cold and boring. The unfortunate part of that is that it permeates through the entire 2 1/2 hour running time.

After the obvious jettison of baby Superman to Earth in his ship that is curiously shaped like a penis, baby Supes goes through growing up bullied, alienated, and rejected. Does he discover new powers? Does he realize he’s capable of abilities that make him God-like? No! He mopes, he whines about how he’s different, and he makes himself the victim all the time. It’s again a far cry from the 1978 version that showed a young Clark Kent laughing and smiling while out running a train. Also, unlike the original film, this version does everything in flashback. Clark is roaming place to place in search of where he comes from and once in a while, he finds people to save. There’s no characters even brought into the experience that we relate to.

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I’ll run down the list of things this films gets wrong:

1. It’s not fun. Superman hates being Superman almost the entire film.

2. Lois feels crowbarred into the story. She’s in it a lot and you’ll scratch your head as to how she got there in the first place.

3. Clark doesn’t work at the Daily Planet. He’s a fisherman or something else for almost the whole film.

4. There’s no chemistry between Superman and Lois. This was the entire backbone of the original film.

5. Zod is terribly boring. He’s single-minded and 2 dimensional.

6. Perry White is in the film but doesn’t have any bearing on the story.

7. Kevin Costner dies trying to save a dog. Yes, a dog…. Remember the original Johnathon Kent. He had a heart attack and Clark couldn’t save him? It added extra meaning because it reminded him that as powerful as was, he couldn’t save everyone. It was poignant. This is not.

8. Action scenes go on and on without purpose, or suspense, or involvement from the viewer.

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What did I like? Henry Cavill could be a terrific Superman in a better film. There’s a few decent moments between Clark and his adopted parents. The problem is that these scenes are few and far between because we keep getting thrown into action scenes that aren’t interesting. It’s a city under destruction that was done better in the Avengers. That films had character development within the action. This does not.

I have always been a fan of the Superman character. He is a representation of the American myth that we are all capable of amazing things. We may not fly, or have super strength, or X-ray vision. But, he represented the inner good and possibility o the human spirit to help his fellow man without the need for reward. It was a character and story-line that was fun, romantic, and made you believe a man could fly. The “Man of Steel” felt like he never left the ground.

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Brian’s Review – “Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance”

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I have no one to blame for the abysmal, wretched, horrible, pitiful and downright painful experience of watching this pile of shit but myself. I watched the original Ghost Rider and thought that movie sucked and yet somewhere in my mind I said, “Well, let’s give another Ghost Rider movie one more day in court. They can’t possible do worse.” Well, guess what? It’s worse…..a lot worse. This is my pic for the turkey of the year.

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The script is pointless, Nicholas Cage’s acting is laughably horrid as is the rest of the cast, you don’t know what’s going on and when you do you won’t care and the direction is completely rudderless and full of so many bad ideas that I don’t know how the producers green lit it. I cannot overstate for you to avoid this film. I’m sure many of you will have the line, “It’s a Ghost Rider film, what did you expect?” I’ll respond with: A MOVIE!! You know, a reason for me to sit for 2 hours and say that I experienced SOMETHING….ANYTHING!!!

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I would rather sit and stare at a fucking wall! Who in their right mind ever considered this acceptable for a major release? There’s no story, no progression of the characters, terrible special effects, confusing and pointless action scenes, miscast characters, and nothing even resembling a cohesive plot. Do NOT bother with this film even to pique your curiosity as to how bad it may be. It’s a full on exercise of what zero ideas and zero talent can accomplish with millions of dollars…

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Amazing Spider-Man trailer leaked

Kyle

As some of you may know, I’m a huge Spider-Man fan. He’s my favorite comic book character in the Marvel universe. He’s a smart and misunderstood kid who gains superhuman abilities and, after an incident involving his uncle, tries to make the best of it, as hard at times as it can be. Even as Spider-Man, he was never is well liked or trusted.

I was not disappointed from what I saw after watching the trailer. Marc Webb is definitely coming at this with a different approach. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect seeing as he had just finished “500 Days of Summer.”

The trailer began with Parker’s parents going away. I’m not sure if this essential to the story, a flashback or a brief introduction but I’m really hoping it’s essential to the story. None of the three films went into Parker’s past with his parents but from the comics, there’s a lot there. Anyway, there are cuts of him in school, at home, and of course him going to where he meets his fate. In those images, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is wearing a lab coat, which pretty much shows they’re being consistent in the comics with her pursue of science (unlike in SM3); she is also the first love of Peter.

The one thing that threw me off, though, was at the end of the clip. Yesterday I read on First Showing that Webb was trying to do as many effects physically as opposed to CG; which took them months to capture. What threw me off was the clip was a first-person shot of Webhead swinging about NYC, obviously using lots of CG. I’m guessing this is one of the few shots that they had to succumb to using CG. It is heartening to read a director trying to avoid CG on their film (didn’t Lucas give Jackson shit for not using CG in LotR?). Spider-Man is probably the worst superhero character to shoot a movie with regards to trying to avoid a lot of CG because of his abilities and all the web-slinging he does.
Even though I am getting sick of the reboots, remakes, prequels, sequels, and adaptations, Spider-Man is one I will never get sick of… wait, I said the same thing prior to seeing SM3. Oh shit. Let’s cross our fingers for no SM3, you guys.

X-Men: First Class

In this exciting prequel to the X-Men series, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) — the future Professor X and Magneto — are best friends dedicated to harnessing their powers and promoting the education of fellow mutants during the turbulent 1960s. The duo works together to stop a powerful adversary that threatens mankind, but their ideological differences drive them apart and turn them into ferocious enemies.

Rating: 8 out of 10

It’s amazing how popular and influential the Wolverine character can be. That characters’ inclusion in the original X-Men series caused a lot of the others to be largely ignored.  Professor X, Magneto, Cyclops, Iceman, and many others were barely glazed over, much less explored in any satisfying way.  In fact, Wolverine was such a popular character that Fox gave the green light to a $150 million budget for his own film and origin story. So, with “X-men First Class,” and no Wolverine to be found (except for maybe the quick funny cameo), how would an X-men film fare? 

Well, it turns out to be the best in the entire series.  A lot of the credit for that goes to director Matthew Vaughn ( Kick-Ass, Stardust) who makes sure  action never comes at the expense of plot and character development. Each of the primary characters in the X-Men First Class are perfectly cast and fleshed out in a way that makes us care what happens to them.  I remember when I watched the first 3 flicks in the series that I thought they were all well-made films but none ever engaged me enough to truly care what happened to any of them. The effects were great, the action was great, and the plots were decent. However, many other comic book films made since have caused me to ignore them. The first two Spiderman films, “Batman Begins,” “Dark Knight,” and the Hellboy films are all better. I suppose the difficulty with the X-Men series is that it never truly lended itself to a two hour movie format. There’s just too much back story, too many characters, and too big a world to explore that it’s impossible to explain it all, especially to the non-comic book readers. That’s where “X-Men: First Class” gets it just right.  It takes a step back and allows us to slowly get initiated into the world and character relationships to the point where all the other films will make a lot more sense. Is it on par with the greatest comic book films?  No, but it’s a lot of fun and works even for those that have never opened a comic book. 

Will the Next Spider-Man Be ‘Amazing?’

Kyle

Sony Pictures released another photo this week of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, a release date of July 3, 2012 and the title “The Amazing Spider-Man.” As you can tell from the photo above, looks like Parker will actually be making his web shooters like in the comics.

From what I’ve seen with photos and have been reading, looks like the new-new Spider-Man is going to probably be like the upcoming “X-Men: First Class” in that there’s a young cast, the crew seem like they really want to stay true to the comic, and it’s a very recent reimagining of the previous franchise. Spider-Man Turd was horrendous and it took me three trips to the movies to convince the Spider-Man fanatic side of me that it was bad.

After some extensive Googling, I can’t seem to find if Garfield, cast in the title role, has signed a contract for three films. Luckily, he doesn’t want to be stained as Spider-Man and wants to remain a respectable, working actor who doesn’t do huge blockbusters. If he really means this, he might want to be careful what he chooses to take on after “The Amazing Spider-Man” comes out as he already was in the very successful “The Social Network.” We all know, even if it’s terrible like SM3, it still will make box office bucks.

X-Men: First Class Trailer Premier

matt

I have a bit of interest in this new addition to the franchise, which I was never a huge fan of. When you have as many superheros as you do in X-Men, it’s incredibly hard to wedge them all into a meaningful story.

OK, so this screenshot looks a bit corny.

The first X-Men was a solid flick, though a bit corny with sooooo many heroes, villains, and a plot that had to be forced between character development. The sequels were just plain awful. However, with this prequel they have a chance to go back to square one, develop only the truly meaningful characters, introduce us to some new ones, and give the franchise a much-needed lift — along with all its fans. They can also strip down it’s over-the-top glitz, costumes, weaponry and vehicles because none of that exists yet. This could be a refreshing comic book movie. It’s directed by Matthew Vaughn, who directed “Layer Cake,” “Stardust,” and “Kick Ass” — all movies I very much enjoyed. The film is set for a June 3 release, and could be the best comic book film of the summer — going up against “Thor,” “Captain America” and “Green Lantern.”