Category Archives: Superhero

Kick-Ass 2: Red Band Trailer

378px-Kick-Ass2-PosterJeff Wadlow had some big shoes to fill when he agreed to direct Kick-Ass 2. Matthew Vaughn’s box adaptation of the cult comic proved to be a hit with both critics and fans with a sequel always inevitable. The trailer showcases the violent and comedic elements that it’s predecessor enjoyed ensuring that there is a focus on drama also. All the ingredients that made the first one a success seem Continue reading

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News: Jenny Olsen to feature in Man of Steel as new villain is unveiled

jenny-olsenUpcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel has had no shortage of rumours surrounding it, not least the speculation that it may feature a cameo from a certain caped crusader. What has been recently confirmed however is that the character of Jimmy Olsen will not feature, at least not as we know him.  According to IMDB, Rebecca Buller will be playing the part of Jenny Olsen. This doesn’t mean the movie database is correct however the trailer does show Perry White (Laurence Fishburne) fleeing chaos with Buller in tow (pictured).

Like with any change a movie makes from it source material, it’s met with the utmost scrutiny and no doubt Zack Snyder’s casting decisions will be no different. Let’s just hope rumours that Clark Kent will be without his trademark instant disguise remain just that.

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Batman, Superman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Johnathan-gordon-levitt-as-john-blakeIf you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet, chances are you’ve heard what happens at its conclusion. If you haven’t and don’t want to know, you’re probably best not reading any further and staying off the internet until you rectify it.

Despite Christopher Nolan’s insistence that “We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman” it hasn’t stopped the rumours flying about that Joseph Gordon Levitt is taking over the mantle of the Bat. Speculation is rife that the star will be wearing the cowl in the upcoming Justice League film and as a prelude to that, a cameo in Superman: Man of Steel. The man himself Continue reading

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What to look forward to in 2013: Part 2

Django Unchained 

djangoBe honest with yourself, Tarantino hasn’t made a great film in 10 years. Inglourious Basterds was average, Death Proof took itself too seriously and Kill Bill Volume 2 would have worked better if not compared to its thrill packed predecessor. Django Unchained at least shows that the auteur has no plans of mellowing with age. Set during the American civil war about a freed slave, the film has already received much criticism for its racial epithets (which Tarantino has often been criticised for in his work). Boasting a stellar cast including Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and of course Samuel L Jackson, personally I’m hoping for a return to form for Tarantino. Though there are those that’d argue there was never a dip.

 

Pacific Rim 

images-3When mankind finds itself under threat from giant monsters that have appeared through a dimensional portal in the ocean, there’s only thing for it. Build giant robots to kick the living shit out of the threat. I don’t think much more needs to be said for Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming sci-fi effort.

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Thomas’s top 10 of 2012

This list proved harder to cut down than I initially thought. Nonetheless, here’s my top films of 2012. Likely subject to change once discussed with exception of the top three.

Enjoy.

The Muppets

Muppetts

Within five minutes of this film starting I instantly regretted my decision to come see it. My nostalgic memories were being kicked from me as I realised that not only the Muppets themselves had aged badly,

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John’s top ten films of 2012

2012 has been a very good year for films, especially ones that appeal to me. When I compiled my top ten of last year I had maybe thirteen contenders for the list. This year in comparison had about twenty three films that could have easily been in the top ten. The criteria for the list is simple. The film has to be released in the UK in 2012 according to IMDB. It can be either a cinema or ‘video premiere’ release. Unfortunately these rules exclude my favourite film which was the fiftieth anniversary release of Lawrence of Arabia. A classic movie that will be the subject of a piece in the very near future. So, onwards to the list! Continue reading

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Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012)

The Avengers PosterCast your mind back to 2008 and arguably the best of the solo Marvel superhero movies, Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr nailed the character of Tony Stark and people began to believe that super hero films could be cool again. During the movie we were introduced to Agent Coulson and the people he worked for, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, or S.H.I.E.L.D for short. The fanboys had a nice little chuckle to themselves at the nod to the bigger Marvel universe. And then came the little bit after the credits where Samuel L Jackson first appeared as Nick Fury and asks to speak to Tony Stark about something bigger. The fanboys had a full on nerdgasm.

Jump forward to present day and Marvel have brought the Hulk, Thor and Captain America to the silver screen as well as a second outing for Iron Man and introduced more characters in Hawkeye and Black Widow. Now they are all together in what must be one of the most eagerly anticipated cinematic events in years. Frankly, if the fanboy community went doolally at the post credit teaser on Iron Man, I fear lives may be in danger when they watch Marvel Avengers Assemble. Continue reading

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Super (2011)

Shut up, Crime!!

Moviescramble reviews the 2011 masked hero movie Super.

Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson) is a bit of a loser. He works as a cook in a fast food restaurant. The only good thing going for him is his reformed drug addict wife Sarah (Liv Tyler). When she falls back into her old ways of getting totally wasted and ends up leaving Frank to take up with local drug dealer and all round bad Guy Jock (Kevin Bacon) something within Frank breaks. He reasons to himself that in order to get Sarah back he must eradicate the root cause of her problems, namely crime. After the visitation of The Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion), the star of a Christian television series about amoral superhero, Frank decides that he must become a superhero. He visits a local comic store to research superheroes without powers and gets chatting to the store clerk, Libby (Ellen Page). She points him in the right direction. After much deliberation his superhero alter ego is born. The Crimson Bolt. With his weapon of Justice, a wrench, and catch phrase Shut up, Crime!, he ventures out into the seedy crime filled streets to fight evil.  Continue reading

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Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America is the latest in the big superhero franchises to make it to the big screen, and I can safely say it’s up there with the best of them. The Sentinel of Liberty himself is well played by Chris Evans who formerly played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies. Thankfully, this movie is as far from the FF hokum as it can be.

Captain America Poster

This, like many others, is the origin story telling the tale of how skinny little Steve Rogers became the super soldier fighting for truth, justice and the American way. Set during World War II we see a scrawny little Steve Rogers trying (and failing) to get into the army for the fifth time. Brilliantly, Evans head has been CG attached to a weedy little body, and although a little bit strange looking at first it quickly settles into being the norm. In fact, the CG is so well executed when you see him later in the movie in his real life muscled form it at first looks stranger than the weedy version. Continue reading

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1960s Mutation for 2011

Was X-Men: First Class, first class?

The marketing blurb from Twentieth Century Fox tells us “Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-MEN.”

As I detailed previously I am a big fan of the original X-Men cartoon (but have never picked up any of the comics) and now that my kids are a bit bigger it was much easier to get a late night pass to hit the local multiplex to catch the latest incarnation.

The first thing to note is that Bryan Singer is back in the writing credits and his production company (Bad Hat Harry) were again running the show, something that hadn’t been the case for films 3 and 4.  I feel that this shows and the over-arching story is a good one and the screenwriters have done a pretty reasonable job of converting that story into dialogue that is not too cheesy.

So here we have a brand new cast and a jaunt back first to the 1940s (for an almost identical opening sequence to the one in X-Men) and then to the 1960s for the remainder where the plot is set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Michael Vaughn directs well, and the movie feels like both the excellent Kick Ass and Layer Cake that preceded it.

We have mutants new and old but only four of them get any real form of character definition.

The mantle of psychic Charles Xavier has fallen to James McAvoy, who dusts off his posh English accent from Atonement and sets to work first studying and then seeking out and uniting the world’s mutants.  Whilst I liked his Charles I did find that he lacked the right depth of gravitas and I would have hoped that he would have helped Raven more with her issues, rather than seemingly ignoring them, but that is more a criticism of the writing than the actor himself.

Erik (Magneto) is played by Michael Fassbender and much like James McAvoy, he struggles with the emotional depth of his character.  He jumps from ANGRY to HAPPY and back with not much in between.  Still he does ANGRY very well and the rage shown as he hunts down his childhood tormentor and matricidal nemesis is well portrayed.

Old hand, Kevin Bacon plays the villainous Sebastian Shaw, and here is the first problem…  Ham Acting.  Throughout the film, he is bad.  Whether speaking German in the 1940s or speaking Russian or American in the 1960s he is just trying too hard.  Ham Acting in a comic conversion is fine, if you can pull it off like Jack Nicholson in Batman, but get it wrong and you throw the whole genre over to ridicule.

Jennifer Lawrence, who was new to me, plays Raven (Mystique) and we see her struggle with her blue-ness as she grows up an Charles’s adopted sister.  She is credible in the role, but I can see nothing here to suggest how she was nominated for an Oscar in a previous film.

Beyond those four, only Rose Byrne as CIA Agent Moira MacTaggert gets any real opportunity to shine.  Despite the horrendous break from the X-Men canon, switching her from Scottish Geneticist to US CIA Agent (so no need for a bad attempt at a Scottish Accent), she comes across really strongly.  I remember seeing her as one of the few lights to come out of the film Troy, where she played the priestess Briseis, and she continues here to show her quality.  1960s Moira is a much put down (by her misogynistic bosses) agent, aching to prove she is better than any man, as she shows right from the off by stripping down to her skimpies to blend in with the entertainment at the Hellfire Club or interrupting Charles mid chat-up to get him to talk seriously.  The growing affection between her and Charles is downplayed to a comfortable level, leaving the ending rather poignant.

The rest of the ensemble are OK, but the material doesn’t really give them room to show off their talents so most of them just coast through the roles.  I would have liked to see more from (we see plenty of) January Jones as Emma Frost, but her character is underused and there seems to be no reason for her to stay with Shaw.

So is this a good film?  Absolutely, it is better than pure pop-corn fodder and whether you know the future or not it should be a fun romp for anyone who likes the genre.  Comic book purists will no doubt quibble over the inaccuracies but they should have learned by now that what works on the page doesn’t always work on screen, and original X-men characters like Iceman (who the films have already set as a child born in the 1990s) and Miss Marvel add nothing to the plot mix.

If you like the genre you will like this film.  If you are comic book fan-boy then you may want to stay away and go and watch the Green Lantern.

Post Script:  The three trailers before this film were for Green Lantern, Transformers – Dark of the Moon and The Three Musketeers.  They all looked universally awful!  I shudder at the state of the summer blockbuster!  Roll on Harry Potter 7 pt 2!  Jase.

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