My love/hate relationship with Gotham

Gotham

Alright, so let’s get the elephant out of the room quickly. Yes, I’ve been absent and neglecting my obligation to myself to continue writing or posting things to this blog. My bad on that, but I had been feeling less and less of a drive to write, and starting a soul-crushing office job didn’t help. Although with that job now gone, I can move on and get back to writing.

As the title says, I have a love/hate relationship with this show. There are parts I am really liking, especially the way Jim Gordon is being handled, both in terms of his portrayal by Ben McKenzie, and the way he’s being written. Another good point to mention, is the storylines with the mob. Granted yes Penguin is pretty much there for fan-service, but he’s being used effectively for the most part. Harvey Bullock is being used effectively, and the way Donal Logue is playing him is awesome. What I’m being annoyed about is all (Excuse the language here) of Batman’s f***ing rogues gallery keeps showing up, and I’m sorry, but Fox knows jack and sh** about proper execution of fan service and how to properly weave beginnings. Some of the writers should be shot, not killed, just given a reminder about what proper execution of ideas looks like.

Some of the most irritating things that is annoying me about the series is Batman’s Rogues gallery showing WAY too soon in the city. I get in certain cases, like Penguin, where he’s very young and Batman doesn’t tangle with him until he’s probably 40 or so. It’s just that Edward Nygma is technically a very avid technical personality that focuses on well technology. With how young they’re making him seem, he should be in college or university working on a computer sciences degree, not doing forensic work for the GCPD. I’m sorry but there is no justification for having Nygma even in Gotham at this point. Then there’s Harvey Dent, which they’re just barely scraping together enough material to make it even work.

He’s the Assistant DA in Gotham, which to me screams “We desperately want him in the show, even though he’s technically supposed to be in another city or perhaps law school still.” As while Penguin kind of makes sense to have in the mob, the same reasoning can’t be applied to Harvey, as in most storylines for Batman, Harvey is roughly the same age as Bruce. Maybe a smidge over, but by the time Batman shows up in this continuity, Harvey would be pushing his mid to late 40’s before he becomes Two-face. Not to mention is borderline psychotic nature they’ve shown in the show, kind of makes me think they really want him to be two-face much earlier than he’s supposed to.

Another of the Rogues that really doesn’t fit, but they’re trying so hard to keep in, is Selina Kyle. She is on the right path, but she doesn’t need to be in the show. She should be growing up in a different city, as Bruce technically doesn’t meet her until he’s an adult. I really find she just doesn’t fit within the parameters of the show, but being that Fox doesn’t really fit in the picture much either, I can muddle through it as best as they can. Now with Selina mentioned, I have to talk about Ivy. Is it just me, or is Fox really pushing for her to be the kid version of Dr. Pamela Isley? They couldn’t justify putting Pamela in the show, so they called her Ivy Pepper and as a subtle hint to reinforce it, She often wears green and has the usual red hair of Pam Isley.

At least in some cases, the Rogues Gallery is working. As I mentioned with Penguin, so to with Victor Zsasz. He’s still the psychotic killer we all know, granted he prefers a gun and works as a hired hitman/bodyguard for Falcone. Another of the Rogues that I find is being handled at least somewhat well is Scarecrow. They didn’t make it Jonathan, but did tie him to the Scarecrow of this time period, since its loosely centered in the 90’s, even though the cellphones look like they’re from early 2000. Dr. Gerald Crane, Jonathan’s father is taking up the monocle of Scarecrow, and is doing so quite well, and without a fear toxin. Not to mention having being played by Julian Sands is a nice touch.

One thing about the Venom drug being introduced, I find it be a slight cop-out. Granted yes I complain about having too many of Batman’s Rogues showing up, but having Venom in the show with no Bane is kind of pointless. They would’ve been better off-putting an early form of Joker’s laughing gas to get the same if not better point across.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can finally end off this blog/rant I have about the show. I wish they’d focus more on Gordon, his cases and the mob. Leave Batman’s rogues out of it, and the show will do fine. Not to mention they could introduce new villains that Gordon could tackle, that aren’t necessarily from Batman’s rogues gallery. It would give the show new depth and a fresh perspective. Otherwise we’ll end up with Batman when Bruce is 15 and in season 2 or 3 of the show. The whole point of said concept was to have a show without Batman. Again, its kind of why the idea was pitched to DC in the first place. Which makes Arrow and The Flash much better TV show adaptations of their characters to me.

Anyway, with that I’ll sign off. Look forward to some reviews coming of movies I’ve been watching recently, including The Hobbit Part 3.

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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.