Friday 14 December 2012

Man of Steel Trailer

It's finally here, the Man of Steel trailer and I know you all have probably seen it a million times already, but I wanted to give my two cents on it and what this new Superman film means to me. First off, let's check out this stupendous trailer... If you've already seen it, feel free to just skip ahead, I am late to this party after all.

Wow! First, the music is haunting and epic, a hero's call to adventure. This step here is what Marvel fails to grasp with their movies. Their movies are awesome, fun and I adore them. Will watch them over and over, but this right here, this music lets us know that we are going to watch a myth unfold, something that will inspire and stir the soul. Melodramatic, maybe, but think about the Marvel trailers with their hard rock scores, their driving beats. It says roller coaster thrill ride, screaming through the skies at Mach 3. It does not say legend in the way this does. I was immediately put into the mind of Gladiator, not Angus Young and martial arts films.

Then we have Henry Cavill, our new incarnation of Clark Kent, the latest to don the mantle of the icon that is Superman. From what I see here, he takes up the torch left by the Superman of my heart, Christopher Reeve, and goes forward, seeming to make the role his own. The expression in his eyes, his movements, he is far removed and above the nice, but ultimately flat performance of Brandon Routh.

Finally, there is no comic relief here,  no cartoonish Kevin Spacey Lex Luthor. With Michael Shannon as General Zod in this clip along with the military, the arrest, that brief holding of hands with Lois, the incredible Amy Adams, this is going to be a mythic journey that will see Superman break then come back stronger. I also love the scenes from his childhood, how Mr. Kent, Kevin Costner, tells Clark that he maybe should have let those kids die. This is a father in a raw moment wanting to protect his child no matter what.

I was so moved by this trailer and it brought me right back to that stirring of the heart that I got when I first saw Christopher Reeve oh so long ago. I can't wait for this movie. What did you all think?

Tuesday 4 September 2012

RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

I was shocked and saddened to learn that awesome actor, Michael Clarke Duncan, passed away Monday morning, September 3, at the age of 54. He'd been hospitalized since July 13 with a heart ailment. With over 90 film, television and voice credits to his name, the former bodyguard turned actor was perhaps best known for his roles in The Green Mile, The Scorpion King, Daredevil, Sin City, Planet of the Apes and Armageddon.

Monday 30 July 2012

Fast And Furious 6 News

 I loved last year's Fast Five, it was a full throttle epic with hot cars and hot men, but I am on fire for Fast and Furious 6. We are getting some scintillating new cast members and an even bigger story. Joining Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are former original cast mate and Machete Kills star Michelle Rodriguez reprising her role of Dom's girl, Letty. Seems the rumors of her demise were greatly exaggerated according to the after credits of Fast Five. Check it.

If that isn't enough amp your interest, Gina Carano, former MMA fighter and star of the killer flick Haywire joins the fray as well as British hottie Clara Paget, star of St. Trinian's II and Johnny English Reborn. They are both set to play some badass bitches. Also joining this killer cast is gorgeous The Raven star Luke Evans and Indonesian martial arts master and actor, Joe Taslim of The Raid. Rounding out this film is Tyrese Gibson who returns as Roman Pearce.

Fast and Furious 6 is directed by Justin Lin and due to hit theaters on May 24 of 2013.

Saturday 28 July 2012

The First Catwoman: Julie Newmar

In light of the smash hit The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway as the newest incarnation of the villainous Catwoman, I thought you all might a like stroll down memory lane with the elegant Julie Newmar, who first portrayed Catwoman on the old Batman television series from 1966-68. Here she is with Michael Yo, giving us some insights into working with Adam West and what she thinks of the new Nolan films.

I adored Julie as well as the equally marvelous Eartha Kitt. They both embodied the slinky, sexy gracefulness of Catwoman as she was originally imagined.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Epic Conclusion To The Superhero Trilogy

The Dark Knight Rises opens eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, in spectacular fashion with a jaw-dropping jailbreak at 30,000 feet. Super villain Bane crashes a plane and kills CIA agents along with one of his own,  all to obtain the services of one Russian scientist, who had eluded him.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er Gotham,  they are celebrating Harvey Dent Day (WTF?). It would appear that the Powers The Be in Gotham have created themselves a gigantic bull shit sandwich and are gnoshing with relish at the seemingly perfect world they have fashioned out of lies and corruption. Underhanded dealings are all good when you put the "bad" guys away. In this New World Order, Batman is still Gotham's Most Wanted and everything else, including the League of Shadows, is second banana. Bruce has hung up his suit, mothballed the Bat Mobile and sealed the Bat Cave. He resides at Wayne Manor, a broken, grieving man who is just counting the ticks of the clock until he can either end his misery or find another outlet.

His big depressive brood comes to a halt when Selina Kyle shakes his ass up by stealing his fingerprints and helping herself to his mother's pearls. More scales are ripped away by police officer John Blake, who proceeds to tell him that the orphanage supported by Wayne Industries is no longer receiving aid. Suddenly there just might be some purpose to his existence again. While Bruce finally ditches his pity party, Commissioner Gordon is injured in a seeming random crime gone wrong whereby he discovers a strange underground army forming. Evil is afoot in Gotham and there's going to be hell to pay times ten. It's Batman time.

Oh Dark Knight Rises, how do I love thee? I was strapped in and ready for action from the opening seconds and was impressed to nth degree. Nolan's gritty, relentlessly dark story is perfect for this conclusion. Bruce is the Dark Knight, he's not Spider-man. You want hopeful, fun, go watch Spidey and Lizard man one more time. This is pure doom, gloom and then some. As it should be. There were some slow, lighter scenes, Nolan teasing us for sure, but they were all drama heavy and necessary to the plot. Speaking of... All the twists and threads were mind-blowing and a bit hard to keep track of at times, but ultimately it was okay as everything made sense by the end. I thought Nolan used all the characters effectively, doling out their secrets in small doses for just the right impact There a couple of times I was left looking like a slack-jawed yokel. 

The f/x were dazzling. Not as many as in The Dark Knight, but not necessary for this film. They were just plain cool and hard core, especially the plane escape at the start and the collapse of the football field as poor Hines Ward is returning the kickoff.  Wally Pfister's cinematography is fantastic, allowing the architecture and vibe of Pittsburgh to shine through just like Chicago in the first two.

Image from Ron Phillips

As far as acting. we of course, got the goods from Christian, Morgan, Michael and Gary. They delivered their usual outstanding performances, though I found myself wanting a little more screen time with Lucius. However, Anne Hathaway blew me out of the water as Selina Kyle aka Cat Woman. Holy smokes did she deliver for the ladies and completely erase that rubber-suited slut bag performance by Halle Berry. She was smart, tough, and fast on her feet...In a word, badass. I'm sorry I ever doubted her because she needs her own movie right now. And there was my lovely Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the honest, eager cop John Blake. What a raw, earnest performance. He was a real hero, right up there with Batman. Tom Hardy gave a Herculean effort as Bane, he was scary, enigmatic and brilliant. Did not match the psychosis of Heath Ledger as The Joker, but he was terrifying. And for the critics who kept complaining that Bane and Batman were indecipherable, what movie were you watching? I understood every syllable they uttered. When a movie is this good, though, they need to nit pick.

Nolan totally pulled out all the stops on The Dark Knight Rises. It is an impressive, high-octane, grim action flick that delivers in every way. Is it better than The Dark Knight? No. The story this time was less about Batman and more about drawing closure. In that regard it's like the other third films in the great trilogies out there where the second film is always the best. Empire Strikes Back is better than Return of the Jedi and The Two Towers is better than Return of the King...You get the picture. This is a stellar conclusion to an epic trilogy, though,  and I can't wait to see it again. And again.


The end has many people agog, believing that what Alfred sees at the end is truth because well, the whole autopilot thing. And you know that Nolan loves to mess with our minds and keep us guessing. However, I don't think so. It is an illusion, a dream of Alfred's like the others . Bruce is dead. D-E-A-D. And not metaphorically, either. Why? Well, he's been basically on suicide watch since his parents were killed, but most especially since Rachel. Wayne has never been a happy man, it's not in his DNA. The only thing that gave him purpose was vengeance and that has been eating away at him. He's tired.

Furthermore, Bruce/Batman was stabbed mortally by Miranda aka Talia al Ghul. I thought the Batsuit was supposed to stop knives, but we all saw it go in and her twist it. So yeah, he's bleeding out. He got up, though, and pulled it together adrenaline style one last time for Gotham, like Maximus did for Rome in Gladiator. .Miranda's "keep him alive" was akin to Commodus' "bind him, so no one sees the wound."Anything else would be poor contrivance on the part of the writers and lessons the overall impact. The entire trilogy was geared towards the death of Batman. The Dark Knight had to die for a new one to rise to take his place. Bruce Wayne and his Batman are ash city with no happily ever after. Go ahead and call me brutal, say I'm wrong, but that's what I choose to believe. Some characters, like some people just don't get that happily ever after. They were born to pain and darkness. Period. End of story. It's the way the world works. Then again, there's always reincarnation...

Saturday 21 July 2012

Hell To Yeah! Man of Steel Teaser Trailer

Here it is my peeps, the official teaser trailer for next summer's most anticipated film, Man of Steel. I so cannot wait for this one.
Looks fantastic, but it also looks like Superman is having some issues about who he is. What do you think? I love the music, the voice over and that glimpse of the blazing jet Superman leaving contrails in the sky. It should be epic.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man

I'll be the first to admit that I was prepared to thoroughly hate this film for several reasons. ONE: It's only been handful of years since Raimi's last Spider Man film. TWO: I got the impression that Marvel was trying to win over the Twilight crowd by hiring R-Patts twin, Andrew Garfield. And THREE: Hollywood and Marvel wanted to take Peter right back to high school and start over with his origin story AGAIN. Never mind that Peter has been an adult in his comics and cartoons for like three decades. Anyway...

So it was with a sense of deep-seated skepticism that I entered the theater on Sunday to see The Amazing Spider-Man. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Garfield pulled off the loveable dork that is Peter Parker very well. He imbued his Parker with a sense of awkwardness and vulnerability, yet captured that inner steel core that makes Peter rise to heroic heights once he gets his spidey powers. He has fun with his new-found powers, has those moments of WTFery as he discovers he can climb walls and oh yeah, that his hands now stick to things. Like ladies blouses. A side note: poor Tia Texada, gone from badass TV cop to subway eye candy.

Director Marc Webb certainly amped up Spidey's story, showing us a bit more about Peter's parents and utilizing some wonderful f/x that had my jaw agape a few times. He also fleshed out Uncle Ben and Aunt May a bit more with the incredible Sally Field and Martin Sheen in the respective roles. And I love, LOVE the fact that he dumped that eternal screaming damsel in distress, Mary Jane Watson, in favor of the smart, thinks-on-her-feet, Gwen Stacy, played by the awesome Emma Stone. For the first time I was not seized with the impulse to backhand Peter's love interest into next week. Props, Mr. Webb for giving Peter an actual partner and not some pretty toy who is basically good for nothing.

Rhys Ifans gave a great performance as Dr. Connors, the brilliant scientist turned super villain, who once worked with Peter's father. He showed us Connors' torment over the loss of his arm and his desire to help others while also giving us the arrogance that gets magnified when he injects himself with the serum. I also enjoyed Dennis Leary as Captain Stacy, a realistic hard ass unlike the comedic J. Jonah Jamison.

Okay, now we come to the not so good, the writing. What do you call having Peter's father be the scientist who develops the spider that bites Peter? Contrivance. In all capital letters. I mean, really? That's just lazy writing. You can play with the source material to a certain degree, but this is messing with the very heart of the story. And what happened to the Big Secrets of Richard Parker's past, the plot point that drove the trailer fever? A lot was left out or quickly glossed over until the Easter egg after the first credits. The writers were apparently already anticipating sequels. I hate when they save everything for sequels. Use your imagination more. And I'm also disappointed that they left out the immortal Spider-Man line "With great power comes great responsibility." How can you leave out THE line every one knows and loves from the comics?

The Amazing Spider-Man is a good summer action flick that I enjoyed and will see again. Not in the movies though. I'm saving for multiple trips to see The Dark Knight Rises.