Archives for posts with tag: movies

ghost-in-the-shell-poster-new-1280-1485383801212_1280w.jpgThere aren’t many anime I gravitate towards.  I generally don’t like the way they’re paced or the tone is inconsistent (super-serious and mature one moment and very childish the next).  I recognize what they do and that many of them do it well.  It’s just simply not my thing.

There are a couple however that I really dig, such as Cowboy Bebop and–as you might have guessed–Ghost in the Shell.  I’ve been excited about seeing this live-action adaptation since I heard of its release and, I’ve gotta say, I thought the movie was really well done.  The action is pretty and fun.  It captures the philosophy of the story without overstaying its welcome.  And, above all, the filmmakers did a great job Westernizing the story without losing any of the essential Ghost in the Shell elements.  It’s a shame that it’s not doing well in the U.S.

If you’re on the fence, get off.  Go see it.

Superheroes in Prose #15 on sale in June!

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Deadpool recently broke an opening weekend record for an R-rated movie.  That firmly puts it in Watchmen territory–not in terms of ticket sales (I don’t think Watchmen performed so well at the box office). I’m talking about the same territory as the comic Watchmen.  The one that ‘grew up’ the medium.  Which is what Deadpool has done for Superhero films.  The movie has firmly drew a line and said, “Hey, this stuff doesn’t have to be all family friendly.”  I can’t help but find it ironic, given that Deadpool and Watchmen are polar opposites from each other … which means they have mature appeal for two totally different reasons.  (In a Deadpool-style aside, I can’t help but wonder what an Alan Moore Deadpool story would be like …)

As far as the movie itself.  What can I say that you haven’t already read somewhere else?  It kicked ass.  It kicked ass even more than the first Kick Ass, and that’s really saying something.  The movie had a unique personality that it never strayed from.  Some critiques have been hammering the movie for its one-note villain.  On the one hand, I can understand the criticism.  On the other, given the villain more screen time would have slowed down Deadpool’s stuff.  And that’s really who I came there to see.

Deadpool is a great movie.  If you’ve read or heard something positive about Deadpool, it’s probably true.  If you’ve heard that it’s crude, vulgar, and slapstick, that’s definitely true.  But the movie has a surprising amount of heart that, at worst, I would say balances out all of the other stuff.  And at best, I would say even heightens it.

Superheroes in Prose #13: A Fabulous Anarchy, on sale March 1st!

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Say what you want about James Cameron’s first two Terminator flicks, but there’s no denying they had a personality.  They were visceral.  Dark.  Clever in their efficient use of action and exposition. And somehow still managed to remain fun.  I went into TG hoping that it would deliver something that was, if not on the same level, at least something approximate.

But from the jump, it’s obvious that TG is a bland take on the same world.  The CGI really overshot itself, often breaking you out of the action instead of pulling you deeper in.  Reese looks like he’s been living at Gold’s Gym instead of in a war-torn hole.   And a lot of the exposition scenes did their job, but they really didn’t do much more. Which doesn’t make them very interesting.

I could go on … but the point is this: the movie really looks like run of the mill science fiction.  It’s not bad.  Just “meh.” And as many people that have had a hand in the franchise at this point, it really makes me wonder if anybody but Cameron himself can successfully deliver something interesting from this world.

Check out TG if you have couple of hours to kill on an okay science fiction film.  But don’t go into it expecting it to have the same sort of personality as Cameron’s movies. Or, really, much of a personality at all.

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If someone had told me, back when The Lord of the Rings flicks came out, that Jackson would later make a Hobbit movie … I would have said, “awesome.”  If somebody told me he was going to split it into three films, I would have said, “huh?”  If somebody told me I wouldn’t even be able to sit through the last film, I would have said, “no way–that’s crazy.”
Well, last night things got crazy.
I only watched half of Battle of the Five Armies.  It was just so … bland.  I really only cared about the Bibo and Gandalf stuff.  As for the other forty-two characters, or whatever, I found myself just mentally checking out.  It really surprised me that I could have gone from caring so much about a world to caring so little–especially since it was from the same director.  The only thing I know to compare it to is the Star Wars prequels.
At least there weren’t any midichlorians.

Superheroes in Prose #12: Days of Future Present on sale this weekend!

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Despite the creative obstacles placed directly in Whedon’s path, he still gave us an Avenger film that absolutely kicked ass.

It’s difficult–really, really difficult–to deliver when you have to give so many characters agency in your story.  And the fact that he pulled it off so well three years ago just made his job more difficult this time, not less.  The pressure of creating something new and awesome is always more difficult right after you’ve created something else new and awesome. But having David Spader play your villain certainly helps.

When I first heard David Spader was playing the voice of Ultron, I got excited.  When I heard he was doing motion capture, I got ridiculously excited.  And you could tell–even through the layers of digital animation–that it was him.  His deliveries–such the unique inflections, that thing he does when he pinches the corner of his mouth inward, or cocks his head to the side–all of that stuff was there.  It gives an eight-foot robot a very interesting personality, which just gives all the other interesting personalities something fun to clash with.

Bottom line: Go see Avengers if you haven’t already. Your day will be better for it.

Superheroes in Prose #11: The Princess of Atlantis on sale in the kindle store now!