Marvel Continued

Iron Man – This is actually a good movie! It will always surprise me when any Marvel character is portrayed properly, and kept in tact. Robert Downy Jr. plays Tony Stark flawlessly. Now there is a big reason for that. They happen to be the exact same person. The key being narcissism. Stark is so full of himself and it shows throughout the movie. So with that out of the way, the story works well to show just how Iron Man becomes the hero instead of some guy with lots of money. The movie does a great job of adding a small villain, one who can be defeated by Iron Man and complete the hero as a whole. However, the movie to follow was not as good. At all.

 

The Avengers – Most people have nothing but amazing things to say about this film, while i agree with a majority of the points they make, there are a few key thing that were wrong. Captain America, or rather Chris Evans, is a smear on this new movie. He just doesn’t fit into the leadership role that the Captain is suppose to fill. They make him feel very weak in comparison to Thor or Iron Man or even the hulk, when in any version of Captain America elsewhere from films, he is a wrecking machine and an amazing leader. Chris Evans cant portray the character he needs to be in this film, so for the whole film, he is rather weak and useless. He also has the worst costume i have ever seen in any hero flick, makes him look like Captain Pajama, and it makes his character, again, look weak. Besides him, the rest of the characters were pretty awesome. Especially the Hulk. Mark Ruffalo gives the Hulk performance we have all been waiting for, unknowingly savage, and a soft man created invincible by his other side. Robert Downy Jr. plays a better Iron Man than i have seen before, more narcissistic and playful. The movie really is good, Loki plays a great villain with a bigger villain behind him in mystery, so we are sure to see at least two more films pop out of the Avengers, lets hope they just keep getting better.

-fayyde

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Marvel Movies

The fan base for Marvel is beyond huge, you would have a tough time finding someone who didn’t know who the X-men or Spiderman were. Now you could mention Manhunter from DC and i bet most wont know who he is. This signifies a little that Marvel has a larger following than DC. Myself, will always be a DC fan, in later posts ill explain why. Today i want to explain why Marvel has failed the  public in so many ways when it comes to movies. I remember when the original Spiderman with Toby McGuire arrived on screen, it wasn’t all that bad. I don’t remember much about the movie, but i remember walking out of the theatre with mild joy. Now i fully remember standing in line for three hours waiting to see the midnight launch of Batman Begins, and i remember every bit of that movie. This is what Marvel is good at, making sub par movies with way too much CGI, and not enough time spent on what really matters in the end, good writing and directing. I would mention acting, but i strongly feel that all it takes to become a great actor is to have worked with a great director. So that i’m not bashing Marvel movies in general, because some are decent, ill give a brief explanation of each.

Thor – What a character, the god of thunder, that’s got to be a good film right? no. It was held back by one very important thing, romance. I’m all for romance being in a movie, any movie, but sometimes its too much and this is a perfect example. Natalie Portman is a great actress, she has shown this is many films, but she has become the victim of poor writing time and time again. Her love for Thor in this movie is completely ridiculous and  takes up a good portion of the movie. Thor has known this woman for maybe a couple of days, and already they are love struck. What it boils down to in this movie, is the story should have focused more on Thor, and much much less about his love quest with Natalie’s character, i don’t remember her name because she was very unmemorable. Sadly this movie fell quite short and i hope the next  in the series that arrives next year will be at least slightly better.

Captain America – Oh where to begin with this movie. Its not that i hated it, its that i hate Chris Evans as Captain America, what a mistake. Sure hes in shape and looks pretty good, but he is a type-cast Hollywood flop. He can not act, period. He is also playing two Marvel characters, Johnny Storm and Cap’ America, so that takes away those two from ever meeting on the big screen, which is for the best since the Fantastic Four movies are about as good as my last bowel movement. The writing wasn’t great, but not bad. I honestly and truly believe that if another actor was to have taken on the role of Captain America, and a different, better director stepped in, we would have a great film.

The problem that just seems to arrive in almost every Marvel movie is the lack of humility. These characters are suppose to be human, but due to bad writing and directing, we are left with goofy Marvel. I never wanted to see Marvel become goofy, i wanted so much more from them, and it seems every movie that arrives is still lacking that little something special, and its making a big impact on the way people view Marvel as a whole.

-fayyde

 

More Marvel to come tomorrow.

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Memento

Imagine a life without memories, short term memories. These are the memories that make up almost everything you do, without them you wouldn’t know where you were in the morning or more importantly, who your friends are. Memento takes confusing and puts a whole new meaning to the word. Not that the movie itself is confusing entirely, but the story is meant to confuse and lead you to believe certain things when later in the story they turn out to be false.

This movie by director Christopher Nolan, is about a man named Leonard, who has suffered head trauma during the assault on his wife. Due to his head trauma, he suffers from short term memory loss. Throughout the movie Leonard speaks on the phone with an unknown man, during their conversation, which pop up several times in the movie, he tells a story about a man with the same condition and how it effected his life. The mans name was Sammy Jenkis and was completely disconnected with real human life. No memories to live with, or to remember, just a lost man struggling while his wife try’s to understand his condition. He tells this story so he can believe he is better, smarter than Sammy. To deal with his condition, Leonard takes pictures of people and places, little memento’s if you will. Through his habit, he has formed a semblance of life, but his soul will be empty until he finds the man responsible for killing his wife.

Guy Pierce plays a character of confused revenge, something i am very impressed with due to its complexity. The way the movie has been directed and pieced together is really original and plays along with the story flawlessly. The beginning is the end, and the end the beginning. As the story progresses you see why Leonard took pictures of some things, and why he wrote down certain comments. The movie pieces together like Leonard’s mind. We, as the audience don’t know what happened and why he does what he does, but neither does Leonard. This movie quite literally takes you into the confusion of our protagonist. Everything unfolds as the story progresses and with surprise and shock you start to see the full picture, a real twist. There are lots of directors and writers who love twists, something that changes the status quo, but no one has done it like Christopher Nolan. The twist is exciting and gloomy, making you think about revenge in a whole new light.

There are two main supporting actors in this film, both add amazing challenges for Leonard to take on. His memory loss is nothing to them but a manipulative mind. If Leonard doesn’t get to write something down, it is quite literally lost to him, never to remember or believe happened. But it is through being manipulated that he finally figures out how to seek revenge, and it really couldn’t have come together any better. Having the end at the beginning of the movie was confusing at first, and even gloomy during the middle of the film, but at the end, its nothing but satisfying.

-fayyde

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Brave

This Disney movie is at its core, good. Now that said, there is something wrong with it that i just cant forgive. Its extremely unoriginal, not in concept, but in story. We have all seen a myriad of Disney movies that start off with a protagonist having some trouble, something is wrong in their world that needs to be changed. They seek out a way to fix their problem, usually finding a witch of some sort who gives them a solution, with a price. Usually the price is unknown until the solution kicks in. In Brave, the solution is getting rid of her mother, or changing her. The solution becomes a bigger problem, and through challenges and change in character, the problem reaches its peak, then is resolved. So here is the problem, why on earth would Disney, Pixar no less, decide that their great new movie needed to be so cookie cutter? The story is very linear, and extremely predictable, making it almost boring.

Pixar’s greatest asset, is their ability to make any story real. So why on earth make a movie about a girl with teen troubles who hates her mom? oh and she is Scottish, so that’s new. Don’t get me wrong, its a fun movie. I have just come to expect so much more from the guys who gave us Toy Story, Up, WALL-E and other great movies. Not Cars, really have big problems with that movie, ill share that at a later date. With animation comes the aptitude to do anything, if they can think of a story, they can make it happen. So why are we forced to watch yet another princess movie that really isn’t all that compelling? come on Pixar, i expect better next time.

-fayyde

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Upcoming Reviews

So there are lots of great movies coming out this year, and with my Batman trilogy of reviews i thought i share some upcoming movies i would like to review. Along with a brief description of how i feel about them.

July 27 – The Watch – This movies looks really funny, but trailers can be deceiving. Ben stiller, Vince Vaughn, there are some really great comedic actors in this film, im looking forward to it and this will be the next new movie i review.

August 03 – Total Recall – I was very disappointed when i saw this trailer. First look, i see Colin Farrell, an actor i hope never to see in ANY movie. I don’t think he has ever made a movie better, always worse. Total recall, deserves more than Colin has to offer. On another note it looks like they may never even go to Mars in this iteration, so that sucks too. The funny thing is me and a friend of mine have a bet about this movie. If it is to receive less than 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, then we don’t have to see it. If however it does anything higher than 45%, i will be forced to see Colin Farrell shake his bushy eyebrows all over the screen and attempt to call it “acting”.

August 10 – The Bourne Legacy – I like Matt Damon, hes a good actor who is the victim of mediocre writing. Also, you really are as good as those around you, and in movies like the Bourne trilogy where you wonder why you don’t like them more? its due to poor supporting actors/actresses. So I still have some hope for a new actor in the same setting.

August 17 – The Expendables 2 – Many of you have seen the first in theatres, walked out and said “that was ok, good action, but not much more than that” and you would be right. Although there is another version of the original that very few have seen, and should see. It is the directors cut by Sylvester Stallone himself who saw the movie in theatres and liked it, but didn’t love it. So he set out to make the movie the way it was originally in his head. So when you see the directors cut, you see almost a completely different movie, and its just great. Great music, great scenes that you you wonder how they could have ever taken them out in the first place. This leaves me to wonder just what will happen with the second installment of this franchise. Will it be Stallone sticking to his original plan? or will we all have to wait for the directors cut to see the real deal once again. Guess we can find out soon enough.

So that is the start to 2012’s upcoming movies, ill post more each day to keep you in the loop of exciting movies to come.

-fayyde

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Man of Steel

So i wanted to touch on the new trailer that is only available to those viewing the new Batman movie. Its a short trailer, focusing more on who is making it than actually telling anything about the movie, which is fine. Christopher Nolan is producing it, and Zack Snyder is directing. I like Zack Snyder, but i love Nolan, so it should be interesting to see who has more say in the movies final product.

There is one thing about the trailer that i really liked, it looks like the first movie in what will eventually become a Superman trilogy. The one thing that is very important, that Batman did flawlessly, is make the first movie about Batman. So i hope Superman does the same. No big named villains, just a story about how Superman becomes Superman, with lots of back story. I hope this becomes reality, but we wont know until the next trailer which we probably wont see until December, possibly alongside The Hobbit.

-fayyde

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The Dark Knight Rises

Possible spoilers may be present in this review, so if you don’t want a single thing ruined for you, it may be best to read with caution.

The idea behind acting, is that you become a character entirely. To be a great actor, you let every aspect of who you are as an individual go. So when Christopher Nolan says “action!” to Christian Bale, he becomes Batman, and Tom Hardy becomes Bane. Its rare to see actors take that kind of task on, and it seems everyone was up for it this time around. The way Nolan makes you feel about his characters is at its peak. Batman has never felt so human, with a crisis behind the mask, Bruce must ask himself “will i let the darkness go, can i be Bruce Wayne, and not Batman”. Throughout the film he is troubled by his own mind almost as much as he is by Bane.

Now Bane has to be my all time favorite Batman villain, due to people not knowing much about him. The ones that do know who Bane is, have probably read a comic or two about him and know what he is. The trailer may not give you much, but Bane is essentially the same as Batman, except for key decisions that they both have made in their life. Some decisions lead to crime and villainy, others to justice. The movie does a great job to help you understand Banes point of view, even if its not clean, it at least humanizes his character and can help you understand his motivations. Tom Hardy gives a performance worthy to follow Heath Ledger Joker. Im sure thats what most people, true fans, are worried about, can Tom Hardy follow the Dark Knight. Yes, yes he can. With an Oscar caliber performance, every single time Bane is on screen, the entire audience is watching closer, much closer. He is so compelling and mysterious that you just cant wait to see him back on screen.

The tone of the movie is very sombre, taking something bad and making it worse. There are some points of comic relief that really help to alleviate some of the more gloomy sections of the film. The great thing about this trilogy is the money is spent in all the right places. If you have a large budget, and set out to make the greatest CGI film you have ever seen, skimp some money on the director and actors, but spend millions on CGI, you are left with poor quality. Now if you find balance, and spend some money on CGI, and much more on Actors and a perfect director for your film, then you have something special. Everything that happens in this movie feels real and human. There is no part of it that feels overly CGI or without acting talent at any point. Every character helps to build the story. You have Alfred who brings Batman to his Bruce side, the life he could live without Batman. You have Lucius Fox who is the business side of Batman, helping him stay in the game and keep himself ten steps ahead of everyone else. You also have Commissioner Gordon, who is carrying with him the truth about Harvey Dent and you can see it in his actions that it has been tearing at him like a plague. This is what the movie does to make it all seem real, because its real acting, nothing fake to be found here.

I think i speak for a lot of people when i say that the addition of Catwoman looks like a bad choice. Anne Hathaway took on the role of Selina Kyle perfectly. Not taking a thing away from the movie, but adding a very special character to not only the movie, but special to Batman as a whole. The greatest part about her in this movie, is never, not once saying the name “Catwoman”. She is a master thief who knows very well how to take care of herself. Hathaway does a perfect job of taking the persona of Selina Kyle, the sexy and mysteriously arrogant thief. Yet another character that comes off feeling very human and real. If your worried she is about to ruin your Batman experience, worry no more.

There are a myriad of scenes in this movie that tug at your emotions, leaving you feeling worried and heartbroken at every corner. It is when Batman fights amongst himself for control over who he really is that brings tears to your eyes as you wait for moments to bring a big smile to your face. Alfred has a few scenes where he has the chance to tell Batman what he really feels, and Michael Cane deserves awards for bringing such emotion to a comic book story. There are many monologues in this film, one in perticular by Joseph Gorden-Levitt who plays an up and coming police officer. These monologues are a great way to convey deeper meaning into each character and the story as a whole.

I was worried about how Nolan would end this film, since he has claimed this to be the last in what is now a trilogy. I wont spoil anything, but you sure wont be disappointed. An astonishing ending that really just leaves you wanting more. Even after almost three hours of movie time, i still wanted more, and i think you will too.

-fayyde

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The Dark Knight

Jack Nickleson. The original Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman warned Heath Ledger not to do the role of the Joker. Not heeding his warnings, he went and did the greatest performance i  have ever seen on the big screen from any actor to date. Right at the beginning of the movie, we see the Joker and what kind of tone he is going to set for this film, not entirely sombre, but madness. Robbing a bank is the most typical thing for a villain to do. Take money  from the people and upset the status quo. Now what the Joker does, is turn the robbery against not only the bank, but his fellow criminals. Money is taken, and every robber is assigned to kill another after they finish their respective jobs. As it turns out, he ends up stealing a hefty sum of about 60 million not from the people, but the criminal organizations themselves. The Joker starts the movie off with exactly what it needed; a little anarchy.

Step into Batman’s world next, and we see that he is continuing his mission to control crime and corruption in Gotham. What better way to show that Batman is out in the thick of things, then him beating on drug dealers and a former cast member from the previous film. Who gives a short appearance and is never seen again. Now we see Batman getting tired. Bruce Wayne confides in Alfred that Batman has no limits, and cant ever afford to know them. But Bruce Wayne does, and they are starting to show. It is here that Harvey Dent steps forward. Bruce knows that Batman cant go on forever as the true face of justice, he needs someone to eventually take the reins, but without the mask. Batman seeks council with his trusted friend, Officer Gordon. The man who will always be on Batman’s side, because he knows what Batman is, and what the man under the mask must sacrifice in order to do what he does.

I really like Dents character in this movie, for a couple of reasons. He is Gotham’s white knight, shining in all his glory as he takes on any crime family in open court. He shows that he is not afraid, but that anyone who fears Batman at night, can be very afraid of Dent during the day. Dent also makes a great change in this movie. I remember going into the theatre in great anticipation for Two Face and what they had done with his character. The movie starts, and the acting amazes, making me forget that Harvey Dent was Two Face in the end. He shows such good in him, ultimate good. As Batman says “he was the best of us” and he was, until the Joker got a piece. With Rachel’s death, Harvey goes mad. Everything he ever loved, in one person, taken away from him forever by the Joker. Revenge is all that surrounds him as he goes about his goal of killing every last person who had anything to do with Rachel’s death. The Jokers “ace in the hole”, the White Knight of Gotham, brought down to our level, to madness, corruption and hate. This ultimately leads to his death at the end of the movie where Batman purposely takes the blame for killing Dent and all of  the people he killed along his way to vengeance.

I love monologues, when a character takes time to just talk about a story, event, impending doom or anything they feel someone needs to know in a solo speech. In this movie, the ones im sure stand out to everyone, are the scar stories. The Joker takes time to frighten and terrorize the people of Gotham, even if its one by one. He tells two completely different versions of how he became the mutilated always smiling Joker. Superbly acted is one thing to say about a role, but to call his rendition of the Joker perfect, well if anyone deserves perfect, its him. A lot of credit needs to be given to Christopher Nolan and his brother for writing the most alluring and hypnotizing script that just never fails to impress.

The story itself is perfectly paced, and good writing really helps the message of this movie sink in. Can Batman overcome the psychological aspects of pure good vs pure evil. What do you have to become to fight pure evil? Should you sit there as Bruce did watching people die, trying to save them but in the end falling short. What Batman does in this movie is overcome the evil of the Joker. Forget the characters for a moment and look at how fragile Gotham is. Its people have been ravaged by too many things. That is why Batman is so important to them, in a great many ways. As the movie comes to its close, and Dent is dead on the ground after dropping a good three stories. Police Commissioner Gordon tells his son, and the audience, why Batman has to run. Its all very well said in the movie, but i will repeat it. Batman becomes Gotham’s Dark Knight, not the White Knight that Dent was, but a silent guardian. A creature of Fear that watches over Gotham, becoming everything and anything the city needs him to be. It just so happens that they need Dent to have his reputation kept as the White Knight, not as Two Face. So the lie saves Gotham for the time being. Until Batman is needed again.

-fayyde

 

 

Also, i will be seeing The Dark Knight Rises tomorrow, and will have a review up for it when i get the time. Hopefully tomorrow after the movie, or the following day.

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Update

The comments section and the “about” link are now both working. Feel free to leave a comment anytime!

Also The Dark Knight review will be up a little later today.

-fayyde

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Batman Begins

The thing about a trilogy is you need a good beginning, especially when its about one character in particular; a hero. Writers like to make a hero from the beginning of the movie, never a human first. What is done in Batman Begins, is have a human character who becomes a hero.

In the early parts of this film, Bruce Wayne is a weak individual, he carries the loss of his parents with him in every aspect, it has become his character. After the killer of his parents is released from prison, Bruce plans to shoot him as soon as he is free. When a suprise shooter makes an appearance before Bruce gets his chance, and kills the man responsible for killing his parents. This is Bruce as a character in the early stages of the film. Hes weak, led by revenge and really comes off as a coward. After this, there is a change. It happens when Bruce gets a call from Falconi for a meet and greet, the man responsible for hiring the shooter. It is here that we see Falconi as more than just a man, hes a symbol of fear and power in Gotham. Bruce is just a man. Falconi shows his power, by waving a gun around in his open resturant, with judges and off duty police officers sitting and drinking all around. They are all living in the fear of Falconi and his power. Bruce realizes this, and begins to see things in a whole different light. Realizing that his money or status mean nothing in comparison to and idea. So he sets out on his journey to become more than just a man.

This is where he meets Henri Ducard, an agent of Ra’s al Ghul. The man who will train Bruce. The training scenes are so well done, seeing him struggle with combat, survival and figuring out what it means to himself, to be more. The reason i say “to himself” is because every person has their own meaning of justice, or whats right and wrong. This was Bruce finding his code of honor. It wasn’t until the last scene of his training, when Bruce faces his fear, that he changes as a character. His one fear, bats, put in front of him to face. Ra’s al ghul wants him to overcome his fear, get past it for once and all. But it is here that Batman does not overcome his fear, but becomes it. It is here we see his change from the courageous new Bruce, to the symbol that he wants to be. I truly love how Christopher Nolan works with Christian Bale in showing this change throughout the movie.

What follows is his return to Gotham, not as Bruce Wayne, but Batman. Now he needs to put his training in to practice.The greatest practice of all is taking down Falconi, from detective work to putting the fear in the scum of Gotham. Eventually he must take on his ultimate adversary; The League of Shadows. He does this by adding other characters to the story who help define Batman as a whole. Alfred is played stunningly by Michael Cane, who portrays the last shred of family Bruce really has. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox who takes Batman’s concept, and makes it a reality.

The love interest in this movie is short and sweet, not dominating the story in the least. Rachel played by Katie Holmes, does a great job of not interfering with Batman grow as a character. If anything she helps make sure he still has a very human side.

This is why i loved this movie so much, not the end story about Batman using his new ideal to save Gotham, that’s all well and good. Its the character change that Bruce goes through to become Batman that makes this film incredible. In many other movies involving a super hero, mainly Marvel, you see characters who never get to grow. You see the character in a story, never a story about the character. Other than the new Spiderman, which was awesome.

-fayyde

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