Updates and more Gameplay

So, Tonight’s the night. I’m going to go see Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Although from reviews that I trust, its going to be a murder spree with a lack of a decent plot. Though, until I post a review for it, and give my thoughts on it, here is some gameplay I streamed. I’ve been using Restream lately to mirror everything to Twitch, Youtube and Hitbox. So I’ll have to start updating my images again to contain both hitbox and Twitch. My friend Rob, also known as Johnny Roughneck on Twitch, Youtube and Hitbox and I played some GTA V.

 

Comparison – Total Recall old and new

Ok, so finally here is the Total Recall review, I warn you now, this will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want any, watch the movie first.

Total-Recall1

I decided to make this a comparison, because I watched a review from Doug Walker as The Nostalgia Critic and That SciFi Guy (Leo Thompson). As such, I’m going to illustrate why the original with Schwarzenegger is a much better piece of writing, compared to the new one. I don’t like doing that, but I feel because simply the review of the new one would be kind of considered snobbish, without context of relating it to its predecessor, as some people have not watched the old one. The problems with the old one, are that it has tropes, like many of Arnold’s movies, but its one of the few gems that not only has a fantastic story adapted from Phillip K. Dick’s story “We can remember it for you, wholesale”, but that it’s still a great movie to watch and be entertained.

Being that I enjoy most of Arnold’s movies, I might have a slight skew on this, but its negligible compared to the issues the new movie has. While they removed the tropes that made the old movie cliché in ways, they didn’t give enough depth to specific scenes and characters to let the story develop. They focused on making bigger and better scenes in the movie, and letting the writing slip. This is because, the movie suffers from opposing ideas of 2 different screenwriters. Sometimes this can happen within a movie, where the movie seems like its bi-polar. We start to tread down the path of explanation and exposition, then boom we get whipped back into the other direction to have more action scenes to move the pace along.

This becomes a problem, where there is one pivotal moment in the story, that both movies have. Quaid is presented with the mental conundrum that what he is seeing and doing may not be reality as he knows it. Both times he went to Recall (Rekall in the new one), to have the super spy treatment on Mars. Where things differ between movies is that in Arnold’s movie, we’re actually on Mars and he is being shot at like he’s a super spy, and is having an adventure as per what he paid for at Recall.

So everything is believable including the point in the movie where they have someone try to use psychology to trick Quaid into surrendering. In the old movie, Quaid is able to see through this ploy because if it were merely an illusion and it were in his head, why would the image of someone important, like a doctor with confidence be showing fear in his eyes and sweating visibly? So Quaid rejects the false pretence given to him and kills the man.

In the new one, we have Quaid’s friend being in this role, and its all wasted because Colin Farrell overacts and the friend shows so much confidence and no subtle hint that he’s lying, that we don’t truly know why Quaid rejects his friend’s claims. He just rejects it because that’s what he’s supposed to do, to move the plot along. It’s the problem with remakes, they want to retell the same story, but they miss the point of the way the old movie is written. Similar to how Dick himself wrote in other stories, to give the reader a subtle hint as where the story is heading, and those able to pick up on it, can see WHY people do things.

With that major point being out-of-the-way, I’m going to move on to acting. I find everyone in the movie does an excellent job with what they are given, with a few exceptions. I really don’t like Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid in this movie, I can see why they put him in this role, but when his other self is played by Ethan Hawke; a much better character actor, it makes me want this movie to star him in the leading role. Jessica Biel does a great job for someone whom isn’t totally an action star, granted she did have an action role in Blade Trinity. She did fine with the role she was given, she didn’t really make it her own and roll with it, like in Blade 3, but she didn’t phone it in.

Now we come to the role of Doug’s fake wife in the movie, Lori. Played by the Director’s wife, Kate Beckinsale, I enjoy the character in this movie, I don’t know why they let her keep her accent in the movie, but I guess it’s because she sometimes has trouble with others. Lori to me is better portrayed in Arnold’s Recall, because who wouldn’t want to wake up next to a hot and young Sharon Stone in the morning. Putting that thought aside for a moment, the new version of Lori is fantastic, mainly because she is a combination of 2 characters from the old movie. In the old one we had Michael Ironside as the lead pursuer after Quaid as Richter, the overzealous bad ass. In the new one, Lori is the lead pursuer in charge of taking down Quaid.

They probably changed it because in the old one, Richter had a lackey that was just there, and didn’t really need to be. As such we get someone who’s just as good in the action scenes. I don’t want to bring about a bigger spoiler involving Beckinsale’s Lori that shows up later, I’d rather you find out that yourself. As its one of the few good scenes in the movie. Now onto Cohaagen, this character does go through a change, but it’s a good one. Both Ronny Cox and Bryan Cranston are awesome actors to have as villains, as such in the new movie, Cohaagen has even more moxy compared to Cox’s version. Every movie I see with Cranston, I tend to enjoy, especially if he’s in a major role. I really liked him as the villain in this one.

The only nitpick I have to say about Ronny Cox’s version of Cohaagen, is something that tended to happen to Ronny throughout the years in movies and TV shows… Is that he tends to play the same basic character for every villain and some semi-good characters. So he is a bit typecast in his villains. One of the exceptions is the Beverly Hills Cop movies. Which is for a different type of blog entry. Now with the Leader of the resistance, as this is a revolution sort of story; is played by Bill Nighy, who does a good job, but his character is cut very short in this movie. Even more so than in the old one.

In terms of premise of story basis, both movies are a revolutionary tale, as such the old movie does this better, in that it’s a corporation wanting to cash in on Mars inhabitants needing air. Where as this one is a dystopian plot involving a calamity which makes land valuable with the government, all on earth. Which brings me to 2 major plot devices in this movie, one of which is a glaring plothole the size of… oh I don’t know, say the planet!

This is brought up in other people’s reviews, one of which is Noah Antwiler’s, where there is a giant Elevator through the planet, going right through the Earth’s mantle and core. This isn’t explained in any way, it’s just there, and used as a big plot device later in the movie. The other plot device is related to Doug’s job. In the old one, he was a construction worker so it was short and simple. This one, he’s a technician helping to assemble and inspect robots, that later are found to be an army made for the government (Way to recycle I, Robot’s plot there, guys).

Special Effects: What can I say, it’s basically what I wanted from the trailer that they showed, and since it was Len Wiseman, we had his usual moving camera and stylized vision.

Noteworthy items: In the movies, the company Recall is portrayed differently. In the old one, it’s a very clean, and professional company. In the new one, it’s a black market dealer, played by John Cho, who (to me) does a better sales pitch than the old movie’s sales guy. In the old movie, we had the seedy bar featuring the 3 boob hooker. This one also has said woman, played by a new person this time, and instead of a bar, its outside Rekall, haha. It’s a blatant throwback, but at least its good fan service.

Final Thoughts on the new one: The movie isn’t bad, mostly. It just needed a rewrite by a third screen writer, so he could blend the ideas of both previous screenwriters and give us more depth and exposition where it really needed it. I consider it a good re-hash of the same ideas and elements of the old movie without the tropes and with really nice special effects. Also a couple of twists that weren’t in the old one.

Evil Dead 2013

evil-dead-poster-hi-res

Wow… I’m speechless as to how awesome of a reimagining that this movie is. I am definitely on the Audience’s side on Rotten Tomatoes. Tonight, I saw Evil Dead 2013, and god damn is it awesome. The special effects are something that hollywood has been missing these days in terms of straight up horror flicks. Now, being almost raised on horror flicks, thanks to my sister and her husband, I’m kind of numb to a good chunk of gore and certain themes, but I can be known to have a bit of a jump with movies like Insidious. This movie didn’t rely too heavily on musical queues to drive the horror forward, it takes a page from the old movies and some other where it lets the scene and characters actions dictate how you feel watching it, much like Sinister’s scenes of super 8 footage. While the score is great in the movie, it only picks up in certain parts of the movie, and only serves to enhance what is on-screen. Being a reimagining of events in the original movie “The Evil Dead” of 1981, this movie is straight up horror, not a satirical horror, like Evil Dead 2, which the critics seem to be comparing this one to. I don’t know why they are, it’s almost as if they’ve never seen the original.

The movie did make my adrenaline rush in certain parts, where the horror dials it up, which is normal for me watching a horror movie. Much like it is with most people. There are a few funny moments, especially with the intelligent character, whom seems to be the voice of reason throughout the experience, which is always good. As horror flicks tend to stray off the path of logic and common sense, and have characters doing things only to serve the plot of the movie and therefore turn most people off, because they would think “Why in the hell would they do that?” Well, in this movie, there is one character whom does that, and is probably the weakest of the characters. She has very little depth in the movie and only serves to be there, solely for the purpose of her boyfriend in the movie, who is kind of the parallel to Ash from the original movie.

Without divulging too much detail, I’ll say this about the movies’ plots, they both follow the same basic premise of the horror aspects, but the main reasons for being at the cabin in the first place are where the two films differ. The old one, taking the traditional, vacation approach. Where a group of young adults go into the woods, to party basically. This one is much more of a modern take on why people sometimes go to the woods, isolated from society. Although the vacation approach is still a normal reason for going to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, some people like to do that. With this movie, they go up to the cabin to have one of the people go cold turkey from drugs. Which some people do, when trying to break their habit. Most tend to just go to rehab and be isolated in a safe environment, but under normal circumstances, the cabin works too.

While I only saw the original movies about a week ago, they’re still pretty fresh in my mind, although I had seen a good 40-50% previously of Army Of Darkness, so it kinda played out like I seen previously. Focusing on this movie, its great, we have all the elements of the old flick with some new twists and takes on the characters and lore. The core and heart of the movie is the same, but without setting up too much of a sequel. Although there is already plans to do a sequel, hopefully the producers don’t let the fame go to their heads and keep with the theme of this movie and not go into too much comedy. Although I like the old movies, don’t get me wrong, but since Sam Raimi isn’t in direct control of this new franchise, there’s no guarantee that the sequel will be good. He’s merely just a supporting producer on them, as is Bruce Campbell.

Final thoughts on the movie, I’d give it a solid 10, definitely worth a see, if you’re a fan of the old ones, you won’t be too disappointed, as Ash may not be in this movie, but we do have the elements that made him, while not being an exact copy of him. Throughout the film we get homages, or as we gamers call them, “Easter Eggs” in the movie, giving us subtle hints of “Remember this?” from the old movies, with the chainsaw, and moments happening to reproduce similar results to those of the old movie. One Easter Egg in particular, happens at the end of the movie, after the credits, I won’t say what it is, but any Evil Dead fan will love it.

I’ll close this off for now, but I might post another blog either tonight or tomorrow about another review. I watched the newer Total Recall movie the other day, and I’m going to post on it. I don’t want to say anything on this blog about it. For now, a final thought… Go See This Movie, even if you wait for a Tuesday matinée, go see it, it deserves your money, haha.

Life Of Pi

Sorry for the delay, meant to post this earlier, but night shift takes its toll on me. On with the blog…

Life-of-Pi-poster

Life Of Pi, the movie which beat The Avengers at the Oscars for special effects, and I know why. The movie is very vivid in colour and depth, which enhances the 3D of the movie, even though I didn’t see it in 3D, I can see from the effects, that it would be effective. Although I did see the short a couple of years ago, and the short is in the movie, with an IMAX expansion, so you can see fish popping out of the walls of the screen boundaries. Ang Lee’s usual flair for beauty enhancing vision has been around for a long time, even in the days of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, so it’s almost expected at this point.

If the Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey is to be considered a transcendent human experience from the 1960’s detailing the possible rebirth of humanity (as a species), based on outside influence. While Kubrick’s film is very scientific, it’s still very much fantasy with its elements. Much like Pi’s journey through life, is very down to earth and plausible, it’s still very much fantasy, as we see it. If you’ve seen the movie, you know there are two stories he tells, one of which he shows and one of which of fact, that we don’t necessarily need to hear, but can tell has similar elements to his first story. I consider Life Of Pi a bit like 2001, in the sense that you’re suspending your current standards of what is real, and what is possible, with what you believe can be possible and can be achieved through trials and tribulations one can and possibly endure.

Granted we’ve seen survival stories, like Tom Hanks in Castaway, while that detailed one man’s survival on an island with a ball, Life Of Pi is very much the same sort of idea, except without the island, everything is on a boat in the middle of the pacific, where Pi is surrounded by the remaining animals from his parents’ zoo. Not to mention instead of a plane crash its a shipwreck, but that part is minor in the grand scheme of the plot similarities.

Unlike those movies that are grounded in reality, where we believe what we see, because it’s very plausible, and probable as to what someone would do in those situations. Life Of Pi has all the elements of discovery, loss, reinvention and faith of spirit rolled into one. I say faith of spirit, as Pi’s journey teaches us, that religion can be adopted and melded with others in a newer form of spirituality. I, myself have a similar sort of belief system, while Pi uses the polytheistic system, where all the gods are separate, different people.

Where as mine is much more monotheistic, in the sense that god may have many names, but is really one being just facilitating the needs and functions associated with the religion as people perceive them, at least in the sense of other monotheistic religions, but because I don’t follow any particular religion, I prefer to just have a spectator’s view of the religions as a whole, so certain details will be probably in error or misinterpretation and I apologise for that. I’m not trying to question others faith or start a huge discussion here, this is just what I think on the subject and it’s just one person’s opinion.

Anyway, back to the movie. The cast does an excellent job of making us believe they are who they’re playing. We see all the emotions of the characters exuding through the actors. Ang Lee’s direction is also very noteworthy, nothing is obscured, and nothing left out, we see everything happening to Pi, the only things we don’t see in detail are the computer generated death scenes. There is no blood in the movie, at least in terms of real blood, and very little CG blood. As the colour would mess with the overall beauty of the movie’s more flourescent colour scheme. Which is not a bad thing, considering the only 2 scenes we see such death involve the Tiger anyway, we still feel the emotion from such acts as we’re meant to.

The movie is an awesome fantasy thrill ride, showing faith in one’s beliefs in a positive way. Now whether or not its faithful to its source material is by no means up to me, since I have yet to read its original book. All I do know is, this is a beautiful film, that anyone can see and enjoy. Definitely worth a rental at least, and if you want to buy it, by all means, it’s definitely worth a re-watch. I was pushed into this film by those I work with, they kept going on and on about it, so I took some time out of my day and watched it before going into work again.

Also, I might do A Good Day To Die Hard, but I’m waiting for DVD, as from seeing others reviews, and how bad it’s doing on Rotten Tomatoes, my enthusiasm has left me in terms of how bad it is. So I’ll eventually get to it.

The Dark Knight Rises… and some news.

The Dark Knight Rises

TDKR Poster

Sorry this took me a while to get out, been busy with stuff around the new house and just got back from a convention, which I will talk about in another blog. Not to mention, getting distracted with TV shows returning and catching old favourites, like Digimon Tamers, haha.

So, on the Tuesday after its Premiere, I saw TDKR, and to be honest, now looking back, it’s a great flick, it’s just not what I expected.

Character Portrayals: (Note: Only of those joining the existing cast.)

Bane – Tom Hardy does a fantastic job, he is a very believable Bane, even though it’s not the Bane we know and remember. Despite the voice mask making him sound a little like a dark Sean Connery. He is the embodiment of a Bane-esque terrorist in this movie.

Selina Kyle/Catwoman – Anne Hathaway does an excellent job portraying the character, granted we didn’t see enough of the character itself in the movie, all the parts we did see of her, were excellently portrayed, and all sequences of cat-like agility are spot on.

Blake – Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a very good job in a more serious role than I’ve ever seen him in, besides Inception. If this was not the last of Nolan’s movies, I would’ve loved to see more of this character in future stories. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but Nolan takes back something he said previously. One word for this character which is a spoiler, sorry, Robin.

Miranda – Marion Cotillard plays her character extremely well. I can’t say too much on the character as it would be a spoiler to the movie.

Daggett – Ben Mendelsohn does a great job, his flair makes the character his own, as I’ve seen Daggett in many other Batman stories, as he is a regular in the Batman universe.

Stryver – Burn Gorman, wow what a difference in characters I’ve seen him play previously, especially that of Torchwood. As Stryver, he’s cold, ruthless, almost as if he is a trained assassin, but not quite. As Daggett’s right hand man, he is very much like an assassin by basically carrying out Daggett’s dirty work with underlings and loose ends. Gorman does a fantastic job making the character come out and not just be in the background.

Special Effects – As usual, all the special effects and gadget work are phenomenal with Nolan’s movies, this movie is no different in its execution.

Sound – Effects are done practical, every crunch, every hit is very natural sounding, even if it’s the armour of Batman’s suit, or bullets firing in the sky. Music, as usual with Hans Zimmer, fantastic work, some of my favourite themes and movements from the previous movies, and some new ones to compliment the movie. Granted, not as much quantity of songs as The Dark Knight, as that was a group effort, but still amazing work as always.

Technicals – Editing, Filming, Direction – Nolan does some of his best film work in this flick, however, even though the movie is 2 and a half hours long, it kind of feels it needs more to help explain certain pieces of the story that are missing, more on the story a little later.

Writing/Story – Oh my, this is where the film shows most of its cracks, as much as I love this Batman trilogy, this movie feels as if it was pieced together and needed more movies to finish off the story. It feels short to me, as if the book adaptation will be like the first films book, where there is more explained in the novel. Unlike The Dark Knight, where everything in the movie, is in the novel, with very little added. The story is a bit haphazard in some ways, especially between Miranda and Bruce, and Bane, as much as this Bane is very realistic, it’s not the Bane we know. It also feels as if the story/movie isn’t taking the same risks with characters as previous ones.

Sure Bane is different, but no one else really changes, at least in personality, but you can tell that everyone knows what’s going to happen. Granted yes, I knew beforehand that certain instances would happen at different points in the movie, since I’m such a huge fan of Batman and being a writer, I know plot devices when I see them. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but one of the key plot points is a bomb, yes a bomb. Unlike Joker’s bombs which were common, and very useful, this one just seems like a cop-out in some ways, especially with its disposal.

Batman felt like he was kind of shoed in with the primary calamity, being the bomb, as that device has been used many times before, and made him feel generic. The film to me, is a good, but slightly flawed adaptation of 2 comic lines, The Dark Knight Returns, which for those who don’t know is Frank Miller’s epic where Bruce dawns the cape and cowl after pushing 60, as he feels he’s needed yet again. The other is that of Knightfall, which DC used to “Spoiler” cripple and therefore kill the Bruce Wayne Batman, so that his story could end as the cape crusader and move on with his life, while another could continue his work. A lot of Batman stories go to the Knightfall storyline when talking about Bruce’s end with being Batman.

While at first, the ending would’ve left me sad, to almost shed a tear had it continued down its first path, but the twist while nice to see with this story line, kinda feels as if Nolan wanted to continue, but due to DC wanting to get Justice League Of America started, can’t, which saddens me due to how the movie ends. I won’t spoil it, so you’ll have to go see the movie, as it’s still in Theatres and I expect it to be in there until late August, early September, depending on ticket sales. Also, Nolan even said that he wanted to finish his Batman off, because he didn’t want to include him in JLA, as other sources are saying it was DC not wanting this dark, and realistic Batman being in JLA. Personally  I agree that this Batman wouldn’t fit, especially if they get Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern in the movie, as his movie was a mess, more on that in my review.

Trailers – The Man Of Steel teaser was shown, while it will hopefully do well with Nolan helping on the writing, and Zack Snyder working on the direction, should do well, the film’s cinematography just from the trailer, looks amazing, but because it’s a weird take on Clark’s story, it’ll definitely be different, it almost feels as if they’re trying to make him more realistic, which is fine, but something bugs me about the trailer. Hopefully it does well, as I like Superman, he’s bad ass in the DC Universe Online trailer/intro movie. I’d like to see Nolan and Snyder bring that badassery back to Clark.

With that, I’ll end this off here. Look for my Con Bravo coverage blog later on, *With Photos*. My friend Brent and I went to a convention in Burlington, it has turned into an annual event, as last year, he and I went with a friend to it before.  Also, I’ve been drawn into Game Of Thrones from people who have seen the show and read the books, so look for a future blog about the series, as I get caught up and a separate one on the books, when I get the chance to read them.

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.

Mini Reviews continue after that short break

Sorry about the long pause there, been busy outside of the internet, and on the internet. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of League Of Legends and DC Universe Online. Both of which are pretty good. Here is a few movies I’ve watched lately, one is funny, one is awesome and the other is just a paradox of misgivings.

These movies are 21 Jump Street, The Raid: Redemption, and Immortals.

21JumpstreetRaidImmortals

Posters for 21 Jump Street, The Raid: Redemption and Immortals

21 Jump Street

I was hesitant at first when hearing about how serious the show was compared to how the movie was being treated. Then after watching Brad Jones’ (found at thecinemasnob.com) review video on it, and the news of a previous iteration being shot down by Johnny Depp himself for not being funny, I figured to try it out anyway. As I am new to the continuum that is 21 Jump Street, I found it enjoyable, Hill and Tatum are a good match up, and seeing James Franco’s younger brother Dave was an interesting happenstance. The humor is definitely for older teens and Adults, as some of it is intentional sexual humor and drug content.

The movie itself at times is not taking itself seriously, which is good, because if it did, it probably would’ve been worse. There were times in the movie, where you would think a big action sequence would have a lot of explosions, as any hollywood movie usually is, you get 1, and only 1 in that particular sequence, and while it was likely to happen, all the other times the characters thought an explosion would happen (as in a hollywood movie it usually does), doesn’t. Which is likely due to the reality that the film brings with its action scenes. No overdrawn out dialogue moments with the bad guys, no implausible action scenes, and up to date, comedy.

Seeing Peter DeLuise  and Johnny Depp appear as the previous guys from Jump Street was a nice touch, although you can tell that Depp got his way in terms of his scene. As you may have heard, he had previously stated that he would only do a movie based on the series if it was a comedy and that his character (spoiler) would die. So yes, he did get his way. Apparently Johnny did not enjoy his time on set of the show. The movie is definitely worth your time if you’re new to the series or just didn’t want a serious movie out of it. Those of you who loved the series as it was, may not enjoy this movie, as it is a satire or almost blatant spoof on the series. I enjoyed myself, and would recommend it to those who want a good laugh who don’t mind the sexual and drug related humor.

The Raid: Redemption

What can I say, but a superb action flick with excellent fight choreography. No wire effects, not a ton of dialogue, just white knuckled, bullet grazing, hair-trigger action that is well paced and pretty close to realism as it gets. I do warn you though, if you do not enjoy foreign language films with subtitles, you might not enjoy this as much. The subtitles are quick, so you will have to be a fast reader to understand what’s going on. I don’t recommend for children, just due to the language and hardcore violence. This is definitely a movie for Teens and Adults who enjoy nothing but pure, uncensored action and a story that has elements that we’ve seen before, are put into a good mix and make the film great to watch. Another movie in which I watched Brad Jones’ review first, and saw the Rotten Tomatoes high rating and wanted to see.

Now the music, well suited for the movie and the collaboration between Joseph Trapanese and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The music almost feels as if it’s a combination of Shinoda’s work with Linkin Park and that of Hans Zimmer’s work on the Chris Nolan Batman movies. That’s how good it is, and the movie doesn’t rely heavily on it, as the music is somewhat muted and sometimes has small gaps of very light tones, to let the movie’s own sound and ambiance flow through.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the movie, so I’ll give you a short synopsis that won’t tell too much. Basically a young police officer and his team of SWAT are sent into an apartment building to capture the local mob boss held up in it. The building is maintained as if it’s a fortress with lots of body guards, guns, other weapons to ensure no stranger is left alive. So a very daunting task to say the least.

I recommend this movie to anyone who loves action movies and martial arts films. This is something you should see, it is a limited release but AMC Theatres and the production company are expanding it, so if you have the chance to see it in theatres do so!

Immortals

(Warning, lots of spoilers and grievance ahead).

This movie I was interested in seeing as I enjoyed the production work on 300. However, while the visuals are beautiful, makeup, action, and choreography all fit the style of the movie, the writing and characters within are very 2 dimensional. This film had so much potential to be good, but I’m sorry to say, with the few A list actors in it, the movie fell short in my opinion. I am behind making changes of a story to make it seem more historical and make it somewhat realistic, but its hard to do such things with Mythos. With Greek Mythology, Theseus, the hero is known famously for slaying the Minotaur.

In this, the minotaur isn’t even mentioned by that name, but rather “The beast” and it was just a man in a hand-made bull head mask, which is fine if he’s the final boss of a game or a tournament, but in this movie he’s a small voice in a chorus. Granted he was pretty strong and had a lot of endurance, he is (spoiler) killed off rather soon in the movie, but I guess it was because of Mickey Rourke being the primary villain in the movie. A lot of what happens in the movie with the common man, Theseus and Hyperion, is done very well, especially Rourke’s portrayal of the homicidal King. John Hurt as Zeus’ human self fits the role of narrator and wise man. Stephen Dorff comes out of the woodwork as a supporting actor, and he plays his role perfectly, jovial, sarcastic, and very much like a guy you’d find at a bar eye-ing the beautiful women in the room. His character doesn’t give him much to explore, but he goes with it and makes the character a nice highlight in the movie. The actors at least did their jobs in the respect that they make you believe they are that character. It’s just the writing and story are very thin and diluted.

I can see why the movie’s title is called Immortals, because it has a double meaning, Hyperion was looking for a way to be remembered for all time by being the one who killed the gods and being the most important man in earth’s history, and Theseus being taught that being immortal is being remembered for their deeds, and not glory or simply winning. In terms of the greek gods and goddess, this is where the movie loses me. We are presented with Zeus, the all-powerful ruler of mount Olympus. No lightning, bad sign. Athena, goddess of Wisdom (Or lack there of in this flick), Zeus’s Daughter… (You maybe thinking right now “Wait, What?”) Yes, you heard me right, his daughter.

I was always taught that the Mythos kinda went Zeus is her brother, not father. Yes, all the other gods in this movie are referenced as Zeus’ children, and only one of them is called by a name, Athena. The others we can only assume are who they are based on their weapons and child-like versions of their normal personalities. Poseidon is in this movie, but we don’t know he is for sure, except for the fact he wields a trident. In terms of their fighting abilities, sure they’re badass, but we only see them fight three times, and even then one of which is Zeus punishing one of his own children using a fire-laden chain. The other is against the titans, and they are all the same design, just very dark, almost orc-like creatures that slay people.

What annoys me is the fact the movie completely disregards the titans as being the previous generation of gods to that of Zeus and the others, and just makes them mindless killing machines. I am a fan of mythology, and while I am open to new interpretations on these stories, I kinda wish they would’ve at least followed the stories somewhat and not just pull elements out of a few stories and just shove things in. Like the love story between Theseus and the oracle, this would’ve been something completely different, and it felt forced. I can understand if the supposed sequel that the movie was leading us into doesn’t happen, because unless they find a better writing team, it won’t go anywhere.

Dialogue, some makes sense, some make you wonder if the extras go “Wait, why are we doing this again?” In one scene we see Henry Cavil (Theseus) try to rally the remaining troops to fight Hyperion’s army, in a sequence that they tried to replicate from 300. However, part way through the speech, he kinda loses me. In the beginning of the speech, it goes well and then at the mid-point where he’s supposed to reinforce his position and make people want to fight, its like, “Huh?” This movie is just something to rent with friends and put on in the background of a party and not meant to be taken seriously. For me this is like 2 movies shoved together, one could have been over-the-top in the mythos and been more like the Clash Of The Titans movies of yesteryear. The other a character driven, somewhat historical and realistic piece that would make us think that these stories could have happened. The gods could have been an elite group of people who were basically untouchable and merely referred to as gods among men.

I’m not mad at the movie, just annoyed and dismayed at how wasted of potential it was. So I’ll move on and watch something else, hopefully I’ll have that Ghost Rider 2 review up, as I have not yet seen it and will do so, somehow. I’ll keep you posted, follow my Twitter feed for details.