The Dark Knight Rises

This will be a very brief review.  There’s very little I can say about this film without giving away spoilers.  All I can say is that THIS FILM WAS EPIC!!!!!!!!!

It ended well, for the viewer and the characters.  We got closure, the characters got closure.  The way they ended Batman, if they wanted to, and if done right, they could easily carry on Batman without Christian Bale and his character Bruce Wayne.  Poor Bruce, they really tortured him in these three movies.  The way his story ends, it’s bittersweet, and you don’t want him to come back as Batman.  He has done enough, suffered enough.

When I asked my friend what she thought of Batman, her answer was:  ‘It was long!’ Yes Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is LONG!  But you’re never bored and you’re always kept guessing.  Especially in The Dark Knight Rises, woof so many twists!  Personally, if you haven’t loved the previous two films, invested time in dissecting them and a fan of the comics you won’t really enjoy the third.

So, my opinion on Bane.  Awesome villain, ridiculous accent. I’m sorry, but if you create a character with such a menacing look, that whole face gear, huge hulk look, muscles everywhere, you can’t have this high pitched weird Irish accent. It just doesn’t work. It has to be low, rumbling and deep. Like Darth Vader. I enjoyed the evilness of Bane and his intelligence, and his insanity, it was terrifying.  But ye gads the accent.

I was surprised by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character.  I thought he was going to be a villain!  Well he isn’t, he’s a cop, and a very likable character.

Here’s a little trivia, Christopher Nolan managed to assemble the majority of the Inception cast in this film!  We have Michael Cain, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Miranda Tate, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy.  Also, for Stargate fans, you might spot an evil henchman played by Christopher Judge aka Teal’c.  YAY he finally figured out that he looks better bald!  I loved Teal’c it’s a pity he didn’t get more screen time, even if he just pitched up behind Bane in a couple of scenes looking menacing.  Also if you’re a Criminal Minds fan you may have noticed JJ’s husband, Detective William LaMontagne Jr., aka Josh Stewart as Banes right hand man. >< He is so yummy, pity he didn’t get more dialogue.

Oh my gosh, I haven’t spoken about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/ Catwoman yet! 0_o wow, she was AMAZING!!!  She made the role her own, and was fantastic in it!  I especially loved her shoes!  A very clever accessory. I wanted her to have a whip, the fighting style they gave her was gorgeous, and the movements she made would have been complimented very nicely with a whip!  I liked her chemistry with Batman, I liked her saucy hardboiled attitude, and you could see that very, very, very deep down she had a slightly gooey centre.

I didn’t have much issue with this film, it was a fantastic watch, but there was one piece of logic that really, really irritated me because it was so unrealistic.  It’s the whole situation with Gotham PD.  And that’s all I can say, it’s a clever idea, but a bit unrealistic.

In conclusion: poor Bruce, he went through the ringer.  Bruce Wayne can’t be happy and be Batman, he can’t retire and be happy, he just can’t be happy ever!  I wouldd like to think of The Dark Knight Rises as the Batman ending and closure which the comic series will never have, because a comic series like Batman can never end.  A fantastic ending to an amazing trilogy.

The Amazing Spider-Man

It’s strange, I was so not excited for this remake.  I loved the original Spiderman movies, except the third, I don’t think anybody liked the third. I felt it a bit of insult to remake the film so close to the originals.  What’s next remaking Lord of the Rings? Having said that, I really was pleasantly surprised by this film.  Heck it blew the original out of the water!  I loved this film.  This was a Spiderman movie.  They got it right, well action wise. Not that I’m saying that the action was bad in the original, but they’ve made Spiderman even more flexible. I’ve always imagined Spiderman’s movements with a touch of parkour.

This was the better Spider Man film, but I mean no disrespect to the originals, they were amazing, and proved superhero films could be done and done well. (except for the third film.)

I must admit that it’s irritating that every time they reboot the franchise we have to start with the origin story.  Its getting a bit tired, but Spider Man gave us something a bit fresher, a bit different than the same tired old story that every Spider Man fan knows.  I will be honest, when I saw the first trailer for the film, with Peter wearing his hoody up, I thought ‘Oh goodness they’re making him emo.’  Which Peter can be, often, like every second or so issue, but that’s not really the case.

I like that they seem to be drawing a lot of their subject matter from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series.  I started following later on in the series, but it’s a fantastic read, really well developed characters, really cool revamps of classic and somewhat hammy Spider Man villains and the resurrection of certain ‘dead’ characters.  For example Gwen Stacy. Now I will have to say, I wasn’t very happy with the casting of Gwen Stacy.  I liked Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, don’t get me wrong, but she is far better suited for Mary Jane.  She has a very strong presence, and she has this fantastic sweet yet saucy attitude, which is what Mary Jane is.  In the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series Gwen Stacy is goth!  She is a fantastic character, strong, no-nonsense, kind, she’s even best friends with Mary Jane which is funny since both girls date Peter at different times.  In the Ultimate Spider-Man series it is really funny how well all three of Peter’s girlfriends get along with each other.  The third is Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat, from the Ultimate X-men comic series.  Now she and Peter were a surprising match and she was such a fun character when she joined the main cast in the Spidey series.

Oh man, way off the point.  What I was trying to say is that the Gwen Stacy character could have been so much more than a smart, preppy blonde with access to Oscorp.  The way they created her didn’t have to be what moved the plot along.

As for Peter, daw he’s such a honey.  I loved how Andrew Garfield portrayed Peter, he was a quirky, shy, awkward character.  He felt far more real than Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker, who was far more subdued in his personality, which isn’t Peter Parker.

My favourite awkward scene is when Peter is trying to ask Gwen out. It’s the most disastrous conversation EVER!  Nothing gets said, it’s mumbled, no numbers are exchanged or arrangements made, they’re so nervous that the whole conversation is just trying to get out the line ‘Wanna get together?’  It was so funny.

I found it interesting that this is the first Spiderman film/ cartoon/ comic (that I have read/watched) that doesn’t immediately have Norman Osborn and Harry Osborn.  I wonder who will play Norman Osborn.  I loved Willem Dafoe as the Norman Osborn/ Green Goblin.

I liked that Aunt May and Uncle Ben didn’t look like they were suddenly going to drop dead.  I found the original couple too old.  I guess it made Uncle Ben’s death all the sadder.  I enjoyed Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, but then I have loved Martin Sheen since the West Wing.  I loved him as the President.  So when Uncle Ben dies, this is not a spoiler, everyone knows he dies going in, so when he died, I bawled my eyes out.  Andrew Garfield’s performance also helped.

Apparently there was this huge stink over not using the Spider-Man iconic line ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.’  It is a good motto, but by continually referring to it over and over again for the last fifty years it loses it impact. They didn’t create and exact equivalent of the phrase but Uncle Ben gave a speech with the same message, which made far more impact in the film, than the time honoured classic.

So Amazing Spider-Man is an AMAZING watch. I can’t wait to see what they do with the next movie. Who knows maybe Gwen Stacy will go goth!

On another note go read Ultimate Spider-Man, it’s a fantastic read and a new spin on an iconic Marvel character. I enjoy this series because it is brilliantly written, it has great artists and its’ supporting cast of characters are just as enjoyable as the young Peter Parker. It gets even more enjoyable when Shadowcat, Iceman and the Human Torch join the series.

The Avengers

Only the most anticipated movie EVER! Fans everywhere have been waiting since 2008, when at the end of Iron Man not only did we get Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, but the hint of an Avengers movie! Iron Man was Marvels first movie that was written and produced by them, so fans accepted that if they were going to make such a promise they would try their hardest to ensure that it would happen. Four years later and an Iron Man sequel another Hulk movie, a Thor and a Captain America film with a sneak peak of the Avengers film later, The Avengers was finally released a week earlier world wide than its American release. I don’t know why this appeals to me, it just does.

So we have a star studded cast, an amazing director and the assurance of stellar special effects. So the question is does Avengers do justice to the hype that surrounds it? My answer is: HELL YES AND A BAG OF CHIPS!! It’s been a long time since I went to a film that not only lived up to its hype, but surpassed it! The Avengers hit the spot, with equal blends of action, comedy, suspense and gob-smacking special effects. I guess that’s the only thing that has really been holding back the superheroes movie genre, the special effects, but Iron Man, Thor and X-men movies have proved that they can been done.

I was really worried that the Avengers wasn’t going to live up to the mass amounts of hype started for it until Joss Whedon was brought on board. Then I didn’t have a single worry, why because: JOSS WHEDON IS GOD. Now not only was I getting and Avengers movie I was getting an Avengers movie scripted and directed by Joss Whedon. We know his genius from Buffy, Firefly and Dollhouse, and I’ve read his run on Astonishing X-men and the Buffy Season 8 comic series, so I know that this guy will know how to deal with superheroes.

One thing that really irritated me was the advertising campaign for the Avengers. Ok so here in SA we didn’t really get much of it, but the internet was lit up lit a Christmas tree with all the trailers for America, Russia, Japan, all the TV spots, there was just too much. I didn’t watch any of it, well maybe 4 no 5 of the earlier trailers, but you have to stop at some point before you spoil the movie for yourself. Like I tried very hard not to watch trailers with the alien enemy in them because I wanted to be surprised, I still haven’t managed to figure out who they are. Obviously alien villains I haven’t read. Oh well. BUT I have finally figured out who the villain is that was shown during the credits! Would you like to know?

So I can’t really speak about the film because most of my favourite bits are kind of spoilery. One of my absolute favourite little moments is during the epic battle at the end of the film, between Thor and Hulk, in Grand Central Station. Let me just say, it was taken straight out of the Avengers cartoon series. Which by the way is a fantastic series, brilliant stories and character development, I can’t wait to watch the second season. I also loved the Shield Base. Was such an epic scene to see in live action!

I loved this film; I cannot wait to see what they have planned next! What would really make my day is if Luke Cage and his wife Jessica Drew, Spiderman and Wolverine were on the cast for the next film. This won’t happen because Marvel doesn’t have the film rights for Wolverine. Wolverine and Spiderman on the Avenger’s roster are such fun. Spiderman is such a fan boy, and brings a lot of witty one liner’s that eases the tension. Wolverine is just awesome, and can be quite funny in his own dark and brooding way. Well one can hope and dream.

 

The Dark Knight Rises

WAIT WAS THAT A FLYING BATMOBILE?!?!?!  I quite honestly have no clue what this particular Batman is going to be about!  I’m not an authority on Batman, but from the characters chosen it feels kind of garbled.  Anne Hathaway as Catwoman should be interesting, from what the trailer shows us she’s a lot saner than Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman was, but more vengeful almost, which makes her just as scary.  Which is worse, a slightly insane Catwoman or vengeful and sane Catwoman?

I don’t know who Bane is, what I know about him was gained from the George Clooney Batman & Robin.  This Bane looks less ridiculous, downright Hannibal Lecter in appearance and definitely more brains than the previous Bane.  I’m unsure who Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake is supposed to be.  The character Miranda Tate does ring a bell, but I can’t say who she is.  I’m not about to go and look up their comic book counterparts because I’ll most probably read something that could spoil the movie.

This is the official synopsis for the Dark Knight Rises:

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after having taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.

If they are trying to imitate the chaos and insanity of the Dark Knight I don’t think they’ll succeed.  The Joker, was just absolute chaos, this film looks more like war than chaos.  Not that I’m complaining.  The Dark Knight Rises looks cool.  Can’t wait to see how this goes.

G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation

Unlike many, I really enjoyed the first GI Joe movie.  It was fun, with great action, a little romance, and some corny but fun one liners.  I also have a fan girl crush on Snake Eyes!  I know it doesn’t make much sense to crush over a guy whose face is always covered, but it’s the mystery behind the awesomeness that makes him appealing.  Also, the actor playing him is Ray Park aka Darth Maul, super hot Sith badassness, what’s not to love.  That aside, the sequel looks fun as well.  No surprise Storm Shadow’s alive, the way his death was set up in the first film, it was so obvious he was going to come back.  Plus, with a bod like that, it would be such a waste to kill him off permanently.  From the little we are shown in the trailer, poor old Duke (Channing Tatum) doesn’t live very long.  Now I’m not an authority on the GI Joe comics, I’ve only just started being interested in them, and only because a specific artist I like worked on the series.  The character of Duke is pretty much synonymous with the GI Joe franchise, the same goes for Scarlett (not appearing in this film), Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.  I’m sure there are others, but the GI Joe team is huge, like over 100 characters, but they’re back-up singers.  Without certain characters this film just looks like a Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson film.  Not that I don’t like him, you just don’t kill off Duke.  Not that I’m saying I like Channing Tatum, his acting is like a talking piece of wood!  BUT Bruce Willis playing the Original Joe, and his little quip about his cholesterol, fantastic.  The stunts looks awesome, but what a waste to have a ninja fight hanging on the side of a mountain,  you could pose and frame them far more dramatically on a flat surface, the scene looks a bit, erm, gangly?  Not as graceful as a ninja show down should be.

On another note, the trailer itself isn’t very dynamic.  The first one was quite an exciting, well edited piece, with lots of quick successive shots, and I love the song that was used in it.  This trailer is almost mellow compared to the first movies trailer.  (Actually I’ve just realised that I’ve only seen one version of the first movie trailer, it was the first released and I consider it the best and works well in interesting the viewer).

Still, very excited that there’s a sequel.  Please let it not be in 3D.

GI Joe Rise of the Cobra

Captain America

Super impressive, Captain America is an even blend of action, humour, romance and storyline.  The film keeps you riveted to your seat; it doesn’t lag nor bore you and leaves you feeling satisfied and extremely hyped for the Avengers movie due out next May.

You’d think by now people have learnt to stay until the end of the credits, especially with Marvel/ comic book based movies and especially with the movies leading up to the Avengers movie.  They have been leaving after credit titbits since Iron Man, especially since Iron Man’s titbit was Samuel L.  Jackson’s Nick Fury.  Comic book fans everywhere went ape.

BEWARE SPOILERS AND VAGUE HINTS

Captain America fits in nicely with Iron Man 2 and Thor, with reference to the Stark Expo and the involvement of Howard Stark (Tony’s dad, Dominic Coop was just perfect in the role) and reference to Thor i.e. the Cosmic Cube which was shown at the end credits, pulse the continual reference to Norse mythology plus Red Skulls death.  Think really hard about how Red Skulls death ‘looked’.  Can you really say it was a ‘death’?  Wink nudge.

Now I’m an X-men girl at heart so my Captain America lore isn’t very strong, but it is far less complex.  So according to my spotty knowledge the movie is fairly accurate to the comics, especially the current run on Captain America by Brian Michael Bendis who dealt with the Cosmic Cube.  My only issue is how they dealt with Bucky’s death. Bucky dies with Cap in his last battle against Red Skull before getting frozen in the ice, Bucky saves Cap and dies in a firey explosion and Cap gets frozen in the ice.  The films ultimate battle doesn’t do this, although I was happy to see that Bucky’s fall to doom was over an icy river.  I shall say no more.

I must admit that when Chris Evans signed up to play Captain America I thought it would be an absolute disaster.  Firstly, Chris Evans has already played a Marvel character, the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four.  Secondly, Chris Evans is one of those people who exudes comedy and snarky quips like Ryan Reynolds.  They’re the kind of guys who would find it very difficult to act serious, and the thing about Captain America is that he’s not a funny guy, he has humour but he’s not a naturally funny guy, so you can see I would find it difficult to take him seriously.  I must admit after seeing the trailer, and Chris Evans awesome bod, the shallow side of me kicked in I decided to see if Chris Evans could play serious.  Well he can, he has charm and humour without trying to be funny. He was very natural.  The entire cast was brilliant, none of them bland, and Hugo Weaving is always stunning to watch – good or evil.  Hugo Weavings Red Skull make-up was just AMAZING, who would have thought they could have pulled it off!

I am very happy I didn’t see this movie in 3D, it really didn’t need to be.  3D is just horrid, you experience eye strain, the 3D glasses aren’t made to go over normal glasses, and the colour quality is dimmed by glasses so you struggle to see what little of the image there is.

I must be very truthful, what had me the most excited was that after the credits they played the first trailer for the new Avengers.  I squealed with such glee.  I really want a high quality version to watch over and over again.  Actually if I think about it, I was excited for Captain America long before production on the Avengers even started, and I was extremely satisfied by this film.

X-men First Class

I’m a bit behind on my movie reviews, so I’m working backwards from most recent to oldest.

As I said earlier, I wasn’t very excited about this movie.  I really can’t understand why, usually any remote mention of X-men has me frothing at the mouth.  All I can say is that I got snobbish, which was something I never wanted to happen when it came to movies based on comics.  It’s a common problem with comic fans considering how difficult it is to translate comics to film and make it appear plausible.  In the old days comics just did not translate well to the screen.  It is movies like Iron Man and Thor and the earlier X-men movies that show that we are now capable of creating a realistic environment for our rather ridiculous comic book worlds.

Onto the movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I had to condition my mind a bit before going to see it, I had to remind myself that the X-men movies were creating their own lore and were not directly representing my beloved comics.  With that out of the way I was happy to accept that Mystique was raised by Xavier, that Beast had a crush on Mystique and that Havok, the younger of the Summers brothers would appear in a movie which is set in the Kennedy era and thus making him older than Cyclops in this X-men reality.  Brian Singer is again involved with the X-men franchise, helping to write the script.  While Singer claims that First Class should be viewed as a prequel to X-men, there are some problems with the continuity of First Class other than the whole Summers debacle that makes it difficult to believe.  My major problem is that if Mystique was like a sister to Xavier, especially with the kind of relationship they had in the movie, then there is no way she would have poisoned Cerebro in order to hurt Xavier in the first movie.  In fact Mystique of the movies is warm and cuddly compared to the comics.  My only other qualm with First Class was Emma Frost.  The chick had no curves!  She had no hips and no boobs, what’s the point of having Emma Frost prance around in her underwear if there’s nothing to admire? She was also fairly bland, the Emma Frost I know and love would imbed disturbing images in your head for just thinking that word in her presence!

When I first heard that James McAvoy was going to play a young Charles Xavier I just could not picture it, same with Michael Fassbender playing a young Magneto.  Actually I think it’s difficult for most avid X-Men fans to imagine either character as young, of Xavier with hair for that matter.  I really enjoyed the two, there was good character development although I feel that the relationship between Xavier and Erik (Magneto) needed to be over a couple of years, they have a solid bond in the movie, but it’s too solid for the short time frame the movie is set in (also Xavier and Magneto knew each other for years before they had their big fight in the comics).  The only thing that bothered me (and I wasn’t the only one to notice this), and I really don’t want to mention it because then other people won’t be able to look at the film the same way, was the ‘bromance’ between the two.  Now I may have only noticed this because I’ve read manga that have weird intimate relationship between men.  It bothered me, at one point I wanted to yell at the screen ‘Just kiss already!!’  It was worse than the bromance in Lord of the Rings.

All in all X-men First Class was a brilliant movie; it had a complex and engaging storyline which kept the plot moving forward.  The special effect in this film were brilliant, it seems that filmmakers have finally figured out how to pull off a proper super powered battle.  This film alone gives me great hope for next year’s Avengers movie (even though both films are produced by different companies).  I absolutely loved X-men First Class, especially the guest appearance of Wolverine (the hunky Hugh Jackman), that little scene made me howl with laughter, and even now still brings a naughty giggle (I’m sure someone had been sitting on that idea for years).