Saturday, 22 December 2012

Animation, On the Rise.

Some of the most wonderful moments, not just in animation, but
in cinematic history.

When did it happen? It just seemed to sneak up behind us. How did animation go from a spattering of episodes loosely written around a villain of the week to a series that doesn't shy away from the adult themes of loss, sacrifice and real characters not just pretty pictures with noises? People always wonder why I still watch cartoons when there are programs with such high calibre writing and acting such as 'The Walking Dead', 'Game of Thrones' and 'Breaking Bad'. I tell them simply this, no matter how high the budget of a live action series, there is a certain wonder to the artistic styles of animation that live action still to this day in my opinion have not achieved.

Throughout the years I have found that animation has just grown, in storytelling, in presentation and in the level of detail of every facet of its production. Where did it all start? What was the first animation where we knew things had changed? A lot of you might think that the obvious answer is one of the films from the extensive Disney collection. I would disagree with you, I think it all changed when a toy cowboy came to life and a world of possibilities was opened to us all.  When 'Toy Story' came out in 1995 I don't think the world was prepared for what this film offered to the audience. When it came out I remember going to seeing it and falling in love with every character, from Woody, the sheriff, to Slinky, the slinky dog.

I truly think that when 'Pixar' came along they changed the landscape of animation forever. When 'Toy Story' came out, it treated the children as the intelligent people they were. No one up to that point really did that, sure there were exceptions, 'Animaniacs', 'Batman TAS' and one of my personal favourites, 'Gargoyles'. If you noticed a trend with these animated series you are very intelligent. These were all Warner Bros. property. Warner Bros. had the right idea but they never truly took advantage of this( they would eventually, but more on that later).

A well acted and well executed masterpiece that was ahead of its time.

As I stated earlier, 'Pixar' opened the door with intelligent and witty animation to a large audience yet it would still be awhile before it would become an integral part of every animation. Everyone loved 'Toy Story', the level of character depth and the acting was of  a pedigree unheard of in animation at the time. After this, a lot of things changed, lets skip 4 years and dozens of wonderful animated films later.

I would like to discuss an animated film quite close to my heart, 'The Iron Giant'. This 1999 film rounded out the end of the 90's for me as a child. I watch it with such fondness, now it was a huge commercial hit, yet it felt to me quite grounded. There was nothing that screamed award winning film, it was a very humble animation. You know how you feel when you see a film, for example 'A Kings  Speech', you know that film is up for an Oscar or whatever award, with 'The Iron Giant' there was no expectations just a simple story about a boy and his friend. It also has one of the most beautiful lines delivered by a character, that as I write this I tear up a little, if you have not seen 'The Iron Giant' I cannot recommend it enough. It perfectly exemplifies the point I am hopefully getting across to you.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Now let us travel another 6 years, to 2005 where I will discuss the beginning of an epic fantasy animation that I just adore. This however is not a film but a cartoon series, its title, 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'. This series had everything. Wonderful artistic designs, a completely original story, superb voice acting and engaging and unforgettable characters. It dealt with issues that a lot of cartoons still didn't really deal with, death, self-sacrifice and a credible understanding of the morals that a lot of people deal with every day in their lives. It hit its demographic and beyond, adults, teens and children watched this series. It was an absolute wonder of a program, of course there were episodes that hit bum notes, but you always forgot about them because the rest of the series shined with such brilliance. When it ended its run after 3 wonderful years after its conception it ended with a powerful three part mini- film. With such a diverse cast of characters they will always be missed and to hammer home the point that animation can be far superior to live action no matter the budget all you have to do is glance and grimace at the live action adaptation of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' directed by M. Nigh Shymalan.


Starts off good, ends strong.

I hope you all enjoyed my walk through the evolution of animation over the years and I'd love to hear your comments and views on the subject. Is there a particular animation close to your heart? If so let me know.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Death; Which is more potent? Overkill or precision strikes. A Fantasy analysis.

Death, we deal with every day of our lives. It's a harsh and depressing topic at the worst of times, life affirming at the best of times. When we open our minds to the escapism that is fantasy we wish to enjoy the wonders of another world, sometimes another universe. I know that is what I want to do when I jump right in to J.R.R Tolkiens Middle-Earth,  the Island of Surprises from 'The Wishing Chair' series and the eccentric world of Robert Jordans, 'Wheel of Time' series. These worlds have a wonderful and diverse cast of characters, each different and unique. 

 I feel that as the decades have gone on, death has become more and more prominent in fantasy. Fantasy used to be about going to exotic and wondrous lands, meeting interesting characters and learning the unusual and often mind-boggling rules that governed their particular world. Now when death would inevitably come into most of these pieces of literature it was treated well in my opinion. For example 'Lord of The Rings', the epitomy of epic fantasy, has in my opinion some of the fewest named deaths in epic fantasy history. In 'The Fellowship of the Ring' there are really only two key characters who die, Boromir, who died heroically saving Merry and Pippin and Gandalf the Grey who plummeted to his doom fighting with a Balrog.

I know it doesn't look it, but he's winning.

The treatment of their deaths was superb and the proper amount of time was given to them. What makes it interesting is that within the rest of the series there are only three more notable deaths, Theoden, King of Rohan, Denethor, Steward of Gondor and Gollum....of the smelly wet caves. Compare this to 'A Song Of Ice and Fire' which by 'A Storm of Swords', the third book in the series by the way, there are roughly twenty prominent deaths. This to me is ridiculous, at what stage does using death as a plot point just get pointless?

 What is the point in becoming emotionally invested in a character when their deaths begin to become just simple cannon fodder? It is this horrible realization that the characters full potential will never be achieved that just puts me off George R R Martins work. It's not that I don't like his series and characters, I love them, I just wish that they lasted longer. I know what a lot of people will say," it's the fact that characters don't achieve their full potential that makes it so real, edgy and interesting a read". I don't get that point, if you want real and gritty why are you reading a fantasy novel?

And that is one.

When you go to read a fantasy novel do you look for a realistic world that reads like a history tome or are you looking for a world that will knock you on your backside? With equal measures triumph and tragedy I think that is what makes a truly memorable fantasy epic, with 'A Song of Ice and Fire' does anyone honestly believe there will be a happy ending there? Really think about it and I think we all know the answer. Now take 'Wheel of Time', there could easily be any number of endings, ranging from the Dragon Reborn saving the world and restoring balance to the world, to the unraveling of the pattern and the breaking of the world. Unlike 'A Song of Ice and Fire' which in some peoples opinion has lost its way, 'A Wheel of Time' has always had the quests end in sight.

In conclusion I feel that fantasy has now relied too much on the prospect of death and its impact on the characters within and not enough on the journey itself. Some writers have simply written in death after death for what I believe is sheer shock value. It's not the sign of a good writer to kill a character but it is the sign of a great writer who can keep a character alive and relevant. I hope I have made an interesting case and I welcome all your comments and views.

Friday, 14 December 2012

A New Generation to fall in Love with some mutants.

'TMNT, Rise of the Turtles' Review.

It's been a little while but a new generation of television viewers have their own iteration of The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' to enjoy.

No, they're not blind.

With the series having started back in September I've left this review for awhile, mainly due to the fact  that I wanted it to build up over the months so I could watch it in bulk. I'm glad that I did, after the hour special I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. It's decent, the most interesting part of the whole special was the chemistry between the brothers which always has to be paramount in any series that has these fellas in it. Now the oddest part of the series isn't the mutated plant man thing called "Snake", you'd think it is but no the oddest part is the choice of art direction. Now the turtles are no strangers to CGI in fact a lot of people would say it's the only direction they can truly take as live action is always a bit clunky.

However unlike the 2007 'TMNT', this iteration of the turtles takes a much more stylized angle to the team and their world. After watching the first hour long episode I can say that this new style has many pros but almost as many cons.The unfortunate quality of the CGI style comes off as a bit juvenile and the cityscape comes off as an unfinished fresco. The characters themselves are quite nice, being somewhat angular I was not sure how the emotions would come across, but the end product is satisfactory. An unusual touch, that is clearly a nod to the early years of the turtles comics, is that when the turtles go into battle-mode is that their pupils disappear and they come across as ninjas. It's a bold step and I like it. It does nothing for the story but is really just an artistic choice.

Now onto the the story, no spoilers obviously, which was one of the highlights of the episode for me. We got to see the origin of many different aspects of the turtle universe. It was a nice nod to every bit of the turtles we love. One of the other great aspects of this episode was the humour, it was just brilliant, absolutely hilarious. Some of the elements just really gelled together and made the episode great.
The final verdict on this episode will be a respectable 7.5/10
Watchable, because I will watch it again.

P.S Yes, we get a little bit of a teaser of Shredder, voiced by the fantastic Kevin Michael Richardson and its pretty sweet. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Legends; Why a Justice League Film will never work.

4 years ago 'Iron Man' redefined what films inspired by graphic novels could achieve. Robert Downey Jr was superb as Tony Stark. He perfectly represented the self proclaimed "futurist" from Marvel. This film was a game changer, not just for films but for Robert Downey Jr himself who received a resurgence in his career. Now at the end of 'Iron Man', after the credits had rolled, there was one final scene. What was it? Probably just a tease at the next films villain. What we got was Samuel L. Jackson in a trench-coat telling Tony that he wasn't the only hero out there. Then he said he wanted to talk to him about 'The Avengers Initiative'....
I came here to tell you about a project, How we're gonna knock Batman off his high horse!

After 4 years and several well done films 'The Avengers' film was upon us. It was an unprecedented success. Why was it a success? Simple, Marvel invested time and a lot of money into this. They decided that they should ensure that this film series would have a cast of dozens of well known actors that would be in a cohesive world that felt real, that felt like they all were a part of. This worked because they didn't rush themselves in its execution. In the end it payed off, massively. 
So who's your favourite?, I call Hulk.

Now when you think of 'Marvel', you think of super humans, relatable characters and modern storytelling. Spiderman, Iron Man, Hulk etc. They all have relatable aspects to them that make them easy for you understand them as characters but more importantly people. That is why I think the 'Avengers' film universe works, though it is fantastical there are so many elements that ground it. Thor may be a God but really, in some aspects he simply comes from a highly advanced race. Captain America is a product of science, his abilities come from a scientific formula. The Hulk is the bi-product of a science experiment gone horribly wrong. This world is full of wonders but these can all be explained, because all of them are super humans.

 Here is where I will begin my main topic,Why a Justice League film will never work. As I explained above, the reasons that 'The Avengers' film worked are the main reasons why a 'Justice League' will not. In a world where a credible realistic Batman lives with his repertoire of rogues how can you believe that a God from another galaxy like Superman exists? This is one of the key reasons why it can't work, Nolan's 'Dark Knight' would shit a brick if he saw the 'Flash' break the sound barrier during a morning jog. However Batman is not to blame, the DC universe is in part to blame, because in my eyes it's very difficult to bring super heroes to the big screen. 'Marvel' deals with super humans, ' DC ' deals with super heroes. In my opinion 'Marvel' have super humans, ' DC ' have legends, which makes it very difficult for them to translate at times to another form of media. With case in point, Batman is not just considered a hero, but a legend. Superman is a legend because he exemplifies everything that represents the moniker of a true hero, he was the first after all. Now these two together could work well together, the right villain, the right tone, the right director. That however is where it ends for me, in my opinion Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman  all just too big as characters. There would be no time between them all someone would always be left out and we all know it's not going to be the Man of Steel or the Dark Knight.

When you bring legends to the big screen you better treat them with care and respect and that is not what DC and Warner Bros. are doing. They need to pull back, take a look at the bigger picture, examine how 'Man of Steel' does and create a DC universe around this franchise. Forget about the 'Dark Knight' series, it's gone and let it grow old with dignity. I think it would be a nice nod to Nolan's series if Joseph Gordon Levitt was cast as Batman but please, do not try and connect the two franchises.
There have been so many rumours about who will be directing it,a major contender for the role was Ben Affleck for a time. I would have liked his interpretation of the league as his direction in his previous projects was superb. Then it came to the villain and who do they tease at but the big, the bad, the Lord of Apokolips, Darkseid. This was, in a lot of peoples eyes a great idea, but this could not be further from the truth. Rule no.1 of graphic novel film making; Do Not open with your biggest bad, Darkseid should be teased at as the franchise builds. Look once again at 'The Avengers', at the final scene we saw Thanos, 'Marvels' Darkseid equivalent. It was a great play and that is what DC has to learn. Then there is the time frame, 'Marvel' invested fours years of film-making as well as establishing a whole universe filled with these larger than life characters. ' DC ', have no universe established and each of their legends stand alone.

Batman has ended his reign in Gotham, Green Lantern has crashed and burned and Superman has only just re-entered our orbit. Wonder Woman has failed to get back into the mainstream with her television series failing to spark any interest. Aquaman has no presence whatsoever in the world of television or cinema except for a failed television pilot. The closest thing we ever got to a live action league was the specials during the run of the television series 'Smallville'.

So close...yet so far.

In conclusion, I honestly don't know how they expect to build a strong universe with so many things not going for them as well as this really big scary fact. They want to release the Justice League film in 2015, same year as the 'Avengers' sequel and the 'Avatar' sequel. I'll end with this, good luck ' DC '.

It could work, but not for a very long time.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Interview Treat.

I thought, that as a way to celebrate my interview on the red carpet of 'The Hobbit' with Aidan Turner i would sketch out a few key moments from the interview.
I think this will be a nice little touch after every interview I get. It'll add a uniqueness.
I hope you guys like my sketches.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

'The Man of Steel'. A journey through cinema

'The Man of Steel'.

What can honestly be done to showcase Superman in a new light, honestly it's all been done before. Turn him evil-done, Make him darker and edgier-done, make him black-done, make him British-done.....That last one was an odd iteration. It's been so many years since there has been a Superman film which wowed the world over. It's been close to 4 decades, we've had 5 Superman films in that time. The first 4 were with the great Christopher Reeve, the last was with the newcomer Brandon Routh. Only 2 were considered successes. There was 'Smallville', but that only teased at the possibility of Superman. We only had a glimpse of him in the ol' red and blue in the end.

Why is it that Batman can go 5 decades in the film business, have 8 films and only have 3 bad ones. On average, Batman is coming up tops. I'm not dissing the man from Gotham, I just wish that Superman was treated with the same respect and dignity. I mean a super villain who gets weak by being in shade.....c'mon guys seriously and that douche from 'Two and a Half Men' as Lex's nephew....pathetic. If you read my earlier post abot 'The Man of Steel' vs 'Superman Returns' you know how I feel on the subject of Bryan Singers "love story with Superman in it", so we come to it, a film that we, the fans have pleaded with Warner Bros. for 3 decades to make. 

After what seemed like an age I heard news about a new film. 'The Dark Knight Rises' was coming and when it was finished, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer were immediately onto another film project with Zack Snyder attached to direct. The film was wonderfully titled 'The Man of Steel'. To the laymen this title meant little, but to us, the fans, the followers, it was a ray of sunshine( yes I made a pun, I like it). With this title we were shown that the people behind this film knew who he is, knew what he represents. 

This brings us to the next stage, the dual teaser trailer, Jor-El( Russell Crowe) and Jonathan Kent( Kevin Costner) each give their son fatherly advice albeit in very different ways. The trailers are available here at your convenience;


They're both wonderful trailers, yes the visuals are identical but with the audio the 2 trailers become completely different entities. Each on 2 sides of the spectrum when it comes to raising your child. Nature and  nurture, who knows best? who does a man listen to? His long dead father who he reveres but has never actually faced him or the man who has raised him, taught him the values he holds dear to his heart yet can never understand the loneliness of walking through a world made of glass, that could shatter at a single misstep. 

After months of waiting for the next trailer I found out that it would be shown before 'The Hobbit', which meant that when I went to see 'The Hobbit' I'd be happy twice over. Then, today, the 11th of the 12th, 2012 I was shown something that made me proud that I've never given up on Superman. I saw a glimpse at what I can only describe as the possible beginning of an epic journey told through one of the greatest mediums available to our generation. I saw a man, not only fly but soar back to relevance in the worlds eyes.This is a film that could finally show everyone what I've been trying to tell everyone. A film that will hopefully have both heart and intensity in equal measures. Hope you enjoyed reading as much I enjoyed writing. 
Here are a few screen grabs and the full trailer.

A tender moment.

It's already got more Superman than the entirety of 'Smallville'.

This scene never gets old.

Kneel know the rest.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Aidan Turner Interview.

Right guys, here we go. The audio may a bit low but i'll release another one later on with improved audio.
It was an interesting interview, was a lot of fun and Aidan was a real treat to interview. I wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career. Here is the link to my interview, enjoy;

Aidan Turner and 'The Phantom Menace' Interview

I'll tell you right now when I got the e-mail that I'd be interviewing Aidan Turner for his role in the 'The Hobbit' I expected a lot of things, hoped even more and got something I only dreamed of. The premiere was a strange beast to be at, especially when you're there as a journalist. I went through so many various questions in my head, the biggest question I asked myself was, Am I ready? Followed by, Have I fooled myself into believing I'll get anything of substance,will I fall at the first hurdle? 

When the day came, I went to the screening and thought everything through and then went up to the press grouping where I would interview Aidan Turner. Here you go guys, a bunch of photo's and a video interview to come. Hope you all enjoy.

'The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey' Premiere Review.

He's probably thinking, "I better check the fine print".

'The Hobbit', many years have come and gone since 'Return of The King' graced our screens and the curtain dropped on the piece of cinematic wonder that was 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy. Yet throughout the world there were rumors, hushed whispers where people dared to believe that Bilbo Baggins adventure, that was so tentatively teased at in 'The Fellowship of The Ring' might come to the big screen.

Ten years on and a huge amount of drama  later we've come to the place where it all began. 
Many people wondered who would be the director to bring this film to the screen, would Peter Jackson return for another jaunt through Middle Earth or would we get a completely new world with new wonders from the creative genius of Guilermo Del Toro. People were unsure but in both cases I believed that we'd still get a great film. Due to delays and other problems Del Toro dropped out as director and people cried out for a hero, and he answered. Peter Jackson returned to his people and the realm he defined for a generation and as if that wasn't enough, Del Toro stayed on to help take some of the weight for Jackson. It was a win win in my eyes. 

Then the day came closer and closer, actors were announced and a single film was turned into a two part series and then it was shifted into a trilogy. How can this even be achieved? As I hoped this wouldn't diminish the film going experience I found out from a reliable source that the reason Jackson turned 'The Hobbit ' into a trilogy was because he was including EVERYTHING, every little bit of information and character development from 'The Hobbit' and its appendixes. How will this turn out? Only seeing the full trilogy will answer that question but I tell you now after 'The Hobbit' my hopes are high.

After watching 'The Hobbit' in IMAX I have to say it was mindblowing, the experience was wonderful and the sheer level of detail was outstanding. There was amazing cinematography and the acting was top class. Martin Freeman may as well be the son of Ian Holm, he plays a younger yet much more tense filled hobbit. He brings a wonderful innocence to the role which will remind you very much of Elijah Woods portrayal of Frodo( before the rings messed with Frodos head.) Ian Mckellen makes a welcome return as Gandalf the Grey, much more jovial than he was in 'The Lord of The Rings', you some times forget how powerful he really is, until those moments happen and then you're reminded just how great he is. After finding out that Ian Mckellen almost didn't return as Gandalf I find that I appreciated him even more in the role, apparently he didn't find it challenging to return to the same role but for the fans Ian couldn't say no, how lovely.

Now onto the Dwarves, if you, like me, felt that  'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy didn't have enough Dwarves then prepare to be very happy, I know I was. Twelve dwarves, twelve dwarves that are just so much fun. From the opening scene of Erebor to the battle at Moria, the dwarves just keep showcasing their boldness, their drive and their determination. No dwarf exemplifies this more than Thorin Oakenshield, played by the fantastic Richard Armitage, he is a King with no Kingdom and you see it in the way he walks and in his face. There is rage only tempered by shame, the shame brought on by failure. He feels he owes his people there home and he will reclaim or perish trying.

The other dwarves are a motley crew of misfits who show many different sides to the dwarf race through there own little perspectives. It's here that I'll talk about Kili the dwarf or as we know him, Aidan Turner, a Dublin born actor from 'Being Human' fame. Kili is brother to Fili, two of the younger dwarves in the company, cousins to Thorin they are the more mischievous and adventurous of everyone in the film and at times come off as kids not sure what they've gotten themselves into. 

Aidan, like many of the other actors is spot on as the young dwarf, mixing humor and daring to make for an interesting character. If I had to say 'The Lord of The Rings' missed anything it had to be humor and 'The Hobbit' has it in spades. This may have something to do with the lack of elves to the group but I don't want to be called racist. The film is superb in every way but if I had one problem with it I would say that at times the camera can be a bit jarring, but once you get used to that it's grand. I give this film 9.5/10

My final word on the film is a quote from the film that just caught me by surprise and made me laugh, it perfectly exemplifies the film.

"That'll do it".

Friday, 7 December 2012

The Hobbit; An Unexpected Interview.

My first official interview as a journalist, and it's with a

Well for the past few months I've been going on and on about 'The Hobbit' and how it's going to be fantastic and how it would be amazing to be apart of it in some small way, maybe win a competition and get to the Irish premiere. Well two weeks ago I was given valuable info about the film by a friend of mine at Spin. He helped me take the first step to beginning my journalistic career. 

Now after some networking and back and forth e-mails I finally got the great news today.
I will be interviewing Aidan Turner of 'Being Human' fame. Homegrown talent coming home to speak on the amazing film franchise he is now a part of.

Not only will I be interviewing Turner but I will also be seeing the film, with my girlfriend Brid, in the new IMAX cinema screen in Cineworld. Now for those of you who know me, know for a fact that I win a lot of competitions to get to these kind of events. I will tell you right now I did this as a professional not a simple giddy fanboy looking to see the new big film. I am going to this premiere as a journalist and on Sunday night I will report back to you all on how it went and the interview will be posted on my blog. If any of you would like to suggest some questions you'd like to ask Aidan Turner, follow me and tell me then and i'll try my best.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Silver Linings Playbook; Are Cooper and Lawrence onto a winner?

Cooper and Lawrence...sounds like a law firm.

Right so i'm just out of the cinema, and I'll explain to you how I gauge a film. It's a simple procedure but in my opinion it gets the job done.I see if I can remember the names of the characters and NOT the name of the actors. For example isn't 'Ron Perlman' hilarious in 'Pathfinder' along with 'Jim Caviezel'. I remember watching that film and shouting at the top of my lungs, Ron Perlman!? every time he would appear on-screen. It made for a lot of fun with the lads, especially because there was alcohol already involved. Now you understand that when I say the character Pat has shown me an incredible moment in his life where he meets the eccentric Tiffany and goes on a very real and powerful journey. 

Before this film I was pretty much on the fence with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. They both had film franchises on their C.Vs, Cooper with 'The Hangover' and Lawrence has not only the 'X-Men' franchise but also 'The Hunger Games'. Now everyone loves these films, maybe 'The Hunger Games' more so since it's very much in the style of 'Twilight'. Now when I saw Jennifer Lawrence in 'X-Men First Class' as Mystique I thought yeah she's decent but she's no Rebecca Romain Stamos. She brought an interesting side to Mystique a character we have seen with multiple angles and iterations. In the end she was passable, not the biggest draw of the film but not the worst, January Jones anyone?. Now in 'The Hunger Games' Lawrence takes leaps and bounds in her portrayal as 'Katniss Everdeen' a distraught and troubled woman in a dystopian future. She was much more believable and honest, and I really enjoyed her in it, the film was okay, she was great. 

With Bradley it was a harder sell for me because I can't think of a film, apart from 'The Hangover', where he I was even slightly interested in his character. In my opinion he is the least comedic of the ensemble in both Hangover films and I will argue that until my dying day. Now when I saw the trailer to this film I was genuinely interested in the idea, the subject matter of mental problems has been dealt before, time and time again. This time however it felt more genuine, more honest and when I saw the chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence I was sold. When I mean sold, I mean that I would use my Cineworld unlimited card, which allows me to see as many films as I want a month for 20 euro, to see it. 

From the opening scene you know almost immediately that this is a different Bradley Cooper than you've seen in previous films. He's vulnerable, he's broken and yet there is a roughness to him, a frankness which comes off as unusually charming. I won't spoil the plot for you all but it's fantastic, a while back I found out that Bradley Cooper was in the running for the part of Hal Jordan in the now royally ripped apart 'Green Lantern' film. I believe that he would have been a much more welcome man behind the green mask. 

With wonderful chemistry between the two leads, a fantastic supporting cast lead by the wonderful Robert De Niro( Who is back doing what he does best, great acting, not another 'Meet the Parents' sequel) and a soundtrack by Danny Elfman you do not want to miss this.

P.S Chris Tucker is in this and does the best acting of his career I kid you not.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Marvel Films; Phase Two Part 1

Right, so as to keep some continuity for the foreseeable future I'm going to be discussing the upcoming slew of Marvel films coming our way in 2013. We've got;

Iron Man 3
May 3rd, 2013

He's back and it's promised as "a gritty thriller" by its new director, Shane Black.

Thor: The Dark World
November 8th, 2013
With a Game of Thrones epicness thanks to the great Alan Taylor  I expect great things from what is still
the riskiest Avenger to translate to screen.

I'll be discussing these first two films before the week is up. I've found out a lot about each of these films and would like to see other peoples views on them. Tomorrow Iron Man 3 is coming to my blog.

New 52 Introduction; Batman

Here is a much needed explanation to The New 52 for all you people who are thinking, Do I really need to start again with the DC universe? I mean didn't they just revamp the whole universe a couple years ago. Well you'd be right but I will tell you right now that it's on a whole new scale with a much higher level of quality(for the most part, but we'll get to that that part later). With this post I'd hope to show people why they should get into the New 52.

In particular I will speak on the subject of....The Batman, The main title, which is written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo. It is without a doubt the strongest title in the New 52(Next to Action Comics obviously). Never has there been such urgency in the Bat universe, you actually feel like Batman could lose. It's not that he's written with less boldness, no no, it's simply because the stakes have never been higher and the enemies have never been deadlier. By the end of the first arc you will never look at owls the same way again. The fact that Scott Snyder has made owls threatening has a profound effect on me, well not really but still he made everything to do with these creatures haunting. What was really astounding was the fact that it had such a powerful effect on Bruce, he was visibly shaken and what will always stay with me is the issue where he actually freaks out. Scott Snyder wrote a story where Batman freaks out!? if that doesn't interest then the second part of my introduction will surely entice you further.

Just outstanding, this is one of a collection of moments which will stay with you.

Now when I say Batman you say what.....I hope it was Joker because I'm bringing him into the fold. Now if it was unknown to you the Joker has been missing for just over a year in the DC universe. In the early issues of one of the other Batman titles Joker had his face removed and then left Gotham for parts unknown. A year later and he's back, the obvious plot-line would be that Batman is still nursing wounds from his battle with the court and he's in no shape to take on the Joker. Instead Bruce is at full health again, with a renewed sense of purpose after his encounter with the court and then Joker arrives. I've never read a comic, especially a DC comic, where I have been as disturbed and freaked out by the introductory issue of a villain. Jokers conversation with Gordon is absolutely terrifying and when you read Gordon's explanation of what Joker did to his men you will shiver. I guarantee it. With the artwork Greg Capullo has given Batman and the people of Gotham a refreshing burst of life. He knows how to showcase bombastic action panels and then compliment them with intimate panels between characters which seem to be just as wonderful and full of life. Greg's character designs are fantastic and at times jarring, especially the Joker, when he returns you'll feel the pain, anger and horror that he plans to shower upon Batman and his family. They don't call this arc 'Death of the Family' for nothing, and with Scott Snyder at the helm you really can believe that Batman's world is going to fall apart.

He's back and if he's going to hell he's taking Batman's family with him.

I hope that after reading this, whoever you are out there, you want to delve right into the New 52 Batman. Now that 'Night of the Owls' is in TPB and HC  it's easy to join the Dark Knight on his crusade from an excellent jump-off point. In the end don't worry about continuity, it's been worked out and will be explained nicely in various conversations throughout 'Batman'. This is a new part of the Batman mythos and an excellent contribution. Please comment your thoughts and views. Thanks.

Man Of Steel Vs. Superman Returns



That's right, you read correctly. I'm doing a comparison between two films with the same subject matter. A subject I consider myself an expert on. The Man of Steel, The Last Son of Krypton, Kal-El...Clark Kent. Without a doubt the impact Superman, the character has had on the world is vast and yet, its been almost four decades since there has been a completely credible and relevant piece of Superman cinema for our viewing pleasure. Yes you could argue that Smallville sated our hunger for a relevant hero from across a multitude of galaxies, but he was never called Superman, we did not see Clark Kent take flight until the final few minutes of the final episode. It took 218 episodes before we saw him in the suit that we all recognize from his conception in the late 1930's. In my opinion it was a suitable ending to the series that was labelled "Dawson's Creek with powers", especially since towards the end we saw a slew of DC favorites pop up.

Returning to my main point, I remember going to see Superman Returns in the cinema in 2006 with such excitement. I was excited by the prospect that Bryan Singer had opted out of X-Men 3 to director this film because he was such a fan of Richard Donner's work with Christopher Reeves and Gene Hackman. Being a child who grew up with Superman the film as a kind of moral compass, I was speechless. At this point you should understand that Bryan Singer had done no wrong in my eyes. The Usual Suspects, and the first two X-Men films were treated with such respect and excellent writing that I couldn't see a problem.

Now we get to the morning after, I had seen the film, Brandon Routh in my opinion was a different type of Superman. Yes, he was more emotional and vulnerable than previous Supermen we've seen in other iterations of the comic characters. A lot of people saw this as a negative but at the time I thought the film and the performances were a shining dedication to Christopher Reeves and what he gave to the world in his portrayal of The Man of Steel. After mulling it over for a long time and several viewings later I had come to realize that yes there were flaws with this film. Brandon Routh, though he was a great Clark Kent, was not the right fit for Superman. There was no presence, there was no feeling that when this guy lets loose cities crumble. As my girlfriend put perfectly,"he was always Clark Kent, there was never a shift in the dynamic". As I write this I realize how true those words are. I still stand by my opinion, it is a thoroughly enjoyable film, but it is not the film Superman deserves.

So close.....

Now I bring to your attention something that I hold close to my heart. I honestly don't know why I let myself get hurt like this. I mean I imagine this is the feeling people felt as the fourth Indiana Jones film was first announced to the fans. I'm excited but honestly, I'm mainly worried. Zack Snyder has proven that he can do what everyone thought for a long time was impossible, make a comic come to life through the cinema screen in a genuine way. It's not just because of '300' and 'Watchmen', it's mainly because of 'Legend of the Guardians:The Owls of Ga'Hoole'. Watch that film and you'll see a different side to Zack Snyder, a side that proves he can give us not just intense brawls but also real heartfelt moments. It is this combination of visual beauty and genuine emotion that only a man, who has brought such a difficult piece of fiction like 'Watchmen' to the big screen, can achieve. Add to this the dedication that Henry Cavill has brought to the dual roles of Clark Kent/Kal-El that has given me hope again. Then you add Christopher Nolan, Christopher Nolan!?!! to the equation, a man who can bring different dimensions to any project he is a part of. I mean try this, forget that it's Superman for a minute, just picture this, a God among men trying to protect a world that equally loves and despises him. Imagine the psychological implications, imagine the mise en scene of a collaboration between Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. 
Just maybe...

I hope this helped anyone who knows me understand why I feel the way I do about this film, and I hope this was enjoyable to the people who bother to read this. Cheers. Bring on 2013 and The Man of Steel.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Godspeed Bryan.

Over the past couple weeks I have been shown more and more interesting tid bits about the upcoming sequel to X-Men First Class and you know what, I slowly became excited about this new film. Bryan Singer was coming back, most of the cast from pretty much every film(except for Halle Berry thank God) are returning, and they've chosen one of the most iconic story-lines for the X-Men as the plot.




A well done X-Men film, with a well fleshed out cast that we all know and love, with a plot that includes time travel, mutant hating robots and a director at the helm that we all know makes great X-Men films. Please Bryan don't fuck up, please.


Another Lightning adventure.....yay.

So another year and another sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, this time however they've changed it up, by not called it Final Fantasy XIII-3 but instead calling it....Lightning Returns:Final Fantasy I cannot describe how much I wish they'd just bring Final Fantasy Versus XIII to the console world. C'mon Square Enix remember when you were cool, remember when you were Square, wonderful, beautiful Square and you brought out games like Final Fantasy VII.....I miss that beauty.

Monday, 3 December 2012

News that Dwarfs all other news

I'm probably jumping the gun, but I don't care . I may get to meet one of the cast members of  The Hobbit, the man, the vampire, the Dwarf Kili, our very own Aidan Turner. It'll be interesting to hear from one of the cast members how it was taking part in cinematic history. To be part of a franchise where the fourth film will be fantastic, you know who I am talking about, Mr.Jones(cough).  In the end fingers are crossed that I get the opportunity to interview a star officially and formally.

These guys have a lot to answer for;                                                                                                               

Iron Man 3 Villian

James Badge Dale who is the third, yes third, villian of Iron Man 3 has been chatting about the role of the 'muscle' in Iron Man 3 along with Ben Kingsley, the 'mouth piece' and Guy Pearse the 'brain'. It's interesting....if they pull it off. I mean I will never forget the horrors that I was subjected to by Spiderman 3 and X-Men 3. I will never forget that dance!? I hope that Marvel can learn where Fox faltered.....After Avengers I am optimistic, if it was directly after Iron Man 2, i'd be worried but not now and not with Shane Black at the helm.

So lets hope Iron Man 3 is more this;

And less this;

Lord of the Rings marathon

I'm thinking now, as a way to celebrate the release of the upcoming beauty that is The Hobbit I am going to watch all the extended editions of the original trilogy. I'm excited, genuinely excited for The Hobbit. Cannot wait to see what Peter Jackson pulls out this time around. I'd love to know if anyone else is going to do the same thing as me.