The Woman In Black

Another break, went for a nice vacation over the Victoria Day weekend, camping, some drinking, campfires, all the fun outdoors stuff.

So with the Woman in Black, I had watched it last night with a friend, as I was curious about the movie, as I tend to be with horror movies. This isn’t a bad movie, nor is it a great movie, its in the middle. There were moments in the movie, where I was creeped out a little, but nothing was making me jump out of my seat, as I did with Insidious. This one tries to have a similar circumstance, while being an adaptation of a book. Now I can’t really comment on the comparison between the book and movie, as I have yet to read the book. With the elements of this movie, it could’ve gotten some better jumpscares, but with the way the setup is and the music plays out, you’re almost expecting something to happen when they do, which takes the fun out of it, at least for me. The effects in this movie are pretty good, while the visual style of the movie is something you’d see in a major hit. The atmosphere of the movie draws you in, unfortunately its the pacing and the waiting for answers that kind of take you out of the movie. The music seems to be a crutch in some ways in this film, it kind of spoils the mood in some instances.

Acting, well the acting is done well, we believe the people playing these characters were really in these circumstances, Radcliffe breaking from his Harry Potter role, is good, its not a fantastic movie, and he did well. The others in the movie, only one or two stand out, as the rest while good at their roles, are not major A list actors. Costume design is very fitting of the time, set design fits the role of the creepy, turn of the century style setting. The main let down of the movie, is with a couple of the plot holes I’ve noticed, one of which is Radcliffe’s characters expediency of trying to stop the events from happening before his son arrives to be marked. I would’ve felt more anxious earlier in the plot, but for him, he doesn’t feel it until later, although its understandable that he would’ve only felt it once he realized that children are targetted by the woman in black. I knew before going in, as I had watched a review, peopled liked it, its just not a great movie, like it could’ve been. Some of the creepy moments are all with the woman in black and her victims, the movie does however not make it into a completely happy ending situation, at least not in the normal sense, probably due to the book’s influence there. This movie had potential, and could’ve gone further, its just something that is more of a “meh” experience overall.

So, if you are curious about the movie, its worth a rental atleast, something to check out if you’re bored. Although if you’re looking for a jumpscare fest to really have fun with friends, watch Insidious, its a much better film overall. This movie does appeal to the gothic sense, its just lacking in some major scare tactics, like Insidious has. So, with that, I’ll close this review off.

Also an update, I may not be able to do much in the latter half of June, just because of a move that is happening for me. I’ll try to have a Ghost Rider 2 review up soon, its just having to wait for a DVD/Bluray release.

Marvel’s The Avengers

Hello all, it seems I must be on some sort of monthly beat, sorry about that. Today, yes as the title says, I am reviewing Marvel’s The Avengers.

Marvel's The Avengers

The Avengers Movie Poster

So, to start off, I’ll say that I will try to not spoil the movie if you have not seen it, and if you haven’t, and you’re a Marvel fan, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

Now I didn’t see it in 3D, as I don’t believe it was even filmed in 3D, and the saying goes, don’t bother unless it was filmed in it, everything else is just a post effect layer on top. I’m going to delay things for a little bit, but only just. I say that because I want to convey the 4 trailers I at least remember from the viewing. As I saw the movie on May 5th, and had been playing League Of Legends for 2 days and completely forgot to write this. I’ve got some time now, so I’ll share these with you.

Trailers:

First trailer, The Amazing Spider-man, basically Spider-man 4 (As Sony owns all 6,  yes 6 movies and is intending to do the last 3). Now for those of you who remember, we had Raimi and his good cast for the previous 3 films, with 4 (The Amazing Spider-man), we’re with a brand new cast and crew, as this is a reboot. The reason is Marvel felt that the previous cast and crew had reached the end of their story arc and couldn’t do anything else. So we have this new reboot, which to me is fine, as they are going back to the very beginning and telling Peter’s story in highschool, with his first love, Gwen Stacey. Anyway, the trailer looks good so far, and I’m hoping it will do well, as we could use a fresh perspective on the source material.

Battleship, a movie I’m not looking forward too, at first when I heard they were making this, I figure, ok, if they do it right, it may go well, like the Pirates movies, but unfortunately it’s basically a film promoting the US’s usual flair of someone is attacking us, with sophisticated and advanced weaponry and we’ll just shoot them with our own and supposedly win. The whole idea behind the flick isn’t even true to the spirit of the board game it’s based upon. If you’re going to do a movie based on the board game, follow the mechanics of the said game, it involves 2 commanders, a fleet of ships, and blowing each other up. We don’t need sci-fi shoved into this one. Another Michael Bay inspired movie…

Brave, not a huge loss, another Disney Pixar film, so far looks decent for what it’s going for. Although we’ve seen the basic story before, over and over, and over, and over again. I figure this one will at least entertain children, which usually what Disney is pushing for.

My favourite of these trailers, The Dark Knight Rises. Final trailer for the film, although I found interesting to be shown before a Marvel movie. I dunno, I guess Disney has a lot of ties to Warner Bros. As Disney owns Marvel, and Warner owns DC… Fantastic trailer, I might add, although I had previously seen it online, as I’m a Batman fan. If you haven’t seen the trailer, do so, you can find it on YouTube.

On to the flick, Marvel is so confident on this movie, because it’s an “In House” film, I say that because this movie is solely done by Marvel’s new Studio arm in the film industry. Since their merger with Disney, Marvel’s movie studio has grown, and while it has been tied to other of their films, the primary studios behind them have been third-party. This time around it’s all within Marvel, and that’s a good thing, less chances of disaster, and it god damn well works! This film will blow you away at how good it is, and I was, I was so taken aback that I was shocked that I was watching a Joss Whedon film (Yes, the Buffy/Angel and Firefly Whedon). He does this spot on with his co-writer, Zak Penn (X2: X-men United, X-men 3, Incredible Hulk, Last Action Hero), who he himself has had some hits and misses in his career.

The two of them do a very good balance of action, story, and comedy. The balancing continues with the characters, no central hero, just a group of heroes working together to save the world. What can more comic book fans ask for. This is spot on, the comedy at times can feel a little forced, but its bloody well hilarious! A lot of the humor, is unexpected, and random, very fitting of a time where random and unexpected hijinks happen. There are times where some of the characters have a few quips that you would expect. The action is spot on, can’t be topped with previous team based films. I came into the flick on the fence, as it were, not sure if I would like it, due to Joss Whedon mostly, but the man has proven he can still write and direct with the best of them.

A lot of the action and humor mixes remind me of Serenity, and the camaraderie with crew from Firefly, which I liked in the film and the parts of the series I had watched. This movie blends those elements into what Marvel needed for The Avengers team of today to succeed. Although some of the plot developments I could tell would happen, but at least it wasn’t cliché. Which is good, because too many clichés in a movie will only appeal to children and people looking for something simple, and drive the fans of the comics off. This has enough material in it to keep going, with the setups (which are expected in any science fiction/comic book film), to keep the franchise going.

Some of the scenes you see in the trailer, are only the tip of the iceberg. Those of you who have downloaded the Iron Man Mark VII suit will know, there are 2 suits for Stark to wear, the suit from the previous Iron Man 2 film, with a few upgrades, and the new Mark VII suit, which is insanely fast and armed to take on pretty much anything. We get more character development on the existing Stark character, as well as more development on the rest of the team (Which to be honest was needed on some, like Captain America and Black Widow.)

Now to address the elephant in the room, how did Mark Ruffalo do as Bruce Banner and Hulk? In a word, FANTASTIC. I knew he was a capable actor in previous films, like that of Zodiac, but as Bruce Banner, he excelled. I loved this portrayal of Banner and the Hulk, just like I did with Edward Norton’s version. He made the characters come to life, and fit the dynamic of the film. At times he was able to handle being in a room with others without Hulking out, but during a crisis, his concentration wavers and yes, he does hulk out, at least once unintentionally. Yes Hulk is CGI, but it’s very hard to make Hulk in a realistic light but still be approx. 10 feet tall, so go with it.

Music seemed fitting for the film, at times I hardly noticed it, and was so overwhelmed by the film itself, that I wasn’t concerned with the music. That’s a good mark of a film, not relying on music to help establish mood, setting, theme, etc. If the movie can do that on its own, the music is only an added bonus, although I did want something in the film, and this kind of reminded me of Captain America’s music, by being fairly patriotic in tone.

The movie’s pacing works, it’s a very mid-high range pace, that is fairly consistent in the film. The plot development is also very consistent, very little confusion if at all, you understand who the villain clearly is, and how and why things happen the way they do. Nothing is left out, and nothing is left to question, except a comment towards the end of the film,  but is later answered in the credits.

Setups for sequels, yes there is one key scene in the film, just after the first title sequence in the ending credits where we’re presented with the setup for a possible sequel. After the main credits appear, we have the answer to the comment I mentioned earlier, which is hilarious. So if you want clarity on that comment, be my guest and stay until the end of the credits, if you’re just after the sequel set up, just watch until the end of the first section of credits.

Now that I’ve gotten off of the Avengers high, I can have a moment to talk about Ghost Rider 2, unfortunately I’ll have to wait until DVD release, as I am unable to watch it, at least legitimately at this time. So I will probably have a few more blogs until the other big summer block busters show up. I will probably review Prototype 2, as I’m finished the campaign in it. So yes, games will be appearing soon on my blog, and I will try to have some more comic reviews on here too. Also look for some Television and anime reviews too. For TV, I’ll be reviewing Awake’s season 1, after it finishes. So stay tuned.