The Dark Knight Rises (Movie Review)

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

Ka-Pow! Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated closure to his Batman saga is a great one but personally it wasn’t as mind-blowing for me because I couldn’t help but reference Heath Ledger’s performance in the last movie. The cast does a stellar job here but not one of them could stand up to the The Joker; who is hands down one of the greatest villains to grace the silver screen.

The Dark Knight Rises is still a great watch nevertheless because the events of the movie are pretty epic and it raises a lot of questions about morality & sacrifice. Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, the latest Batman flick is a thinking man’s superhero movie and a whole lot more realistic in its setting which I didn’t enjoy as much cos’ it kinda depressed me a little.

The entire cast holds their own here. Christian Bale does a decent third outing as Bruce Wayne but I felt that his supporting cast really outshone him throughout most of the movie. Tom Hardy makes for a super-menacing Bane whilst Anne Hathaway really stole the show in exquisite manner as Catwoman. Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserves a special mention too as rookie cop John Blake.

Christopher Nolan has given us a satisfying ending to his trilogy of Batman movies and I’m pretty sure most fans will not be disappointed by this one.

I give The Dark Knight Rises a back-breaking 4.5 out of 5.

Advertisements

The Amazing Spider-Man (Movie Review)

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

I know, I know…. I’ve not been blogging in ages and well life’s just happening and I guess I’ve just been living life rather than writing about it. Anyways, on with the review. The Amazing Spider-Man was… AMAZING!

Being a comic book fanboy I really think that Marc Webb has captured the essence of what Spider-Man is. Andrew Garfield looks the part and his build is perfect especially when he’s in costume. The sarcastic one-liners are great and while the character has an edgy feel to it; you still get that sense that Spidey’s a kid who is figuring things out in his life.

The cast does a great job and Rhys Ifans makes for a great Doc Connors albeit a different kind of Doc Connors compared to the comic books. The best part about it all is that Emma Stone makes for a great Gwen Stacy and a way better love interest compared to MJ in the previous movies. The chemistry is palpable which gives girlfriends in tow something to chew on besides the super-heroics.

The story’s not too complicated so I wouldn’t give this one awards for plot but it does get the job done & there’s enough left unresolved to pique audiences for the sequel.

I give The Amazing Spider-Man a Spider-Sensing 5 out of 5. Just don’t watch it in 3D. 🙂

Superman: Red Son (Comic Book Review)

Red Son

Red Son

Here I am awake on a Saturday morning and with no inspiration to write about anything meaningful I’ve decided to write a review on one of my favourite Superman books; Superman: Red Son!

Originally published in 2003, Superman: Red Son is part of DC’s Elseworlds series of books that takes a different spin on their characters by re-imagining them in alternate universes. The most interesting thing about Red Son is the fact that Mark Millar re-imagines Supes as a Soviet hero and a Communist and yet he still manages to retain the heart of what makes Superman super. It’s pure genius!

Red Son seems to be simple on the outside but once you get into its pages there’s loads to explore. Mark Millar brilliantly writes in deeper themes such as capitalism vs. communism and also the decay of the U.S. into the story; all the while using Superman as a vehicle to explore these issues.The best part about it all that even in such an alien setting, Superman still stands out as the hero that he is.

If you’re a huge DC fan it’s a real thrill to catch Red Son incarnations of fan favourites such as Batman, Wonder Woman & Hal Jordan as Green Lantern (or more accurately a member of the Green Lantern Marine Corps, heh). Red Son is made even more super with its attention to details such as this.

Batman, Wonder Woman & Green Lantern

Batman, Wonder Woman & Green Lantern

Dave Johnson & Killian Plunkett’s art is pretty amazing too. Somehow the art evokes a 1950’s to 1970’s kind of feel yet it retains a modern take on things too. The Red Son version of Batman is totally awesome especially with his militarisque outfit and ushanka cap that’s part of his costume. Hal Jordan’s character design is pretty awesome too.

I give Superman: Red Son nothing less than a glowing RED 5 out of 5. No comic book fan should miss out on this brilliant book. I just loaned it out to one of my colleagues whom I’m indoctrinating into the world of comic books so let’s see what he has to say once he’s done with it.

Quick GL Fact #4: The Villains

I don’t know very much about GL’s villains so I’m just gonna highlight some of my favourites in this post. Hold on to your seats as we come to Green Lantern villain #1!

Sinestro

Sinestro

Sinestro

The Yin to Hal Jordan’s Yang. Sinestro is probably Green Lantern’s number #1 foe. Wielder of the Yellow Light of Fear; this ex-Lantern even has his own Corps named after him. Sinestro is a pretty complex villain and weird as it may sound despite his actions he still somehow believes very much in what the Green Lantern Corps stands for.

Parallax

Parallax

Parallax

The entity of Fear was introduced a couple of years ago and was the reason for Hal Jordan’s fall from grace. In the comic books he looks a whole lot more fearsome and a lot more dangerous. Hal Jordan would never have been able to defeat him the way he did in the movies.

The Manhunters

The Manhunters

The Manhunters

Originally created by the Guardians, the Manhunters hate their replacements with a vengeance. In the DCU, these guys somehow are led by the Cyborg Superman; Hank Henshaw… I don’t even know how that happened. Heh… that must mean I’d need to look up a Wiki somewhere on the subject.

Atrocitus

Atrocitus

Atrocitus

The head honcho of the Red Lanterns is one to watch out for. Filled with rage; this fearsome alien had a hand in bringing about the death of Abin Sur (I think) and is the founder of the Red Lantern Corps based on the planet Ysmault.

These four are worth a mention. Like I said I don’t know much about Green Lantern’s other villains as I only just recently started following him especially the earth-bound ones. Heh. But of course an intergalactic cop should have intergalactic foes so nuff’ said.

If you’re really keen to find what other villains that the Corps has; you can find a full list here.

Quick GL Fact #3: The Guardians of the Universe

Guardians of the Universe

Guardians of the Universe

The blue-skinned dwarfs known as The Guardians of the Universe are the founders of the Green Lantern Corps. Immortal; these aliens created the Corps to combat evil and to bring order to the universe. Strange as it may sound, these god-like beings have chosen to reject all emotion in order to be better in their self-appointed role as Guardians (boy, am I thankful that God isn’t like that).

Based on the Planet Oa, the Guardians guide the Corps through the writings of the Book of Oa which is sorta like a Bible or rulebook that they follow. Unfortunately, unlike the Bible, the Book of Oa is subject to change; as demonstrated by the Guardians rewriting or taking out bits that they disagree with at critical points. Heh… for immortals these guys are pretty fickle.

These guys have god-like powers to match but still they do have some weaknesses; one of them being the very rejection of emotions that causes them to make choices that even members of the Corps would disagree with. The Guardians can be very cold & calculating which is pretty much their biggest flaw as immortals. Anyways, I’m not gonna go into too much detail about the Guardians so for those of you who’d like to know more about them there’s a great Wikia entry here.

One of the more prominent members of The Guardians would be Ganthet (I don’t think I spotted him in the movie); so it’d be great to see something done with him in the sequel that’s sure to come.

I’m glad that they are taking things slow with the movie as there’s a lot of richness contained within the comic books. They’ve set enough up in the movie to allow for more exposition in a future film.

So there you go, the Guardians of the Universe; the founders and leaders of the Green Lantern Corps.

Quick GL Fact #2: The Power Ring

Power Ring

Power Ring

Today we’re gonna be talking about the source of a Green Lantern’s power; the Power Ring. All Green Lanterns harness the Green Light of Will through their Power Rings. A Green Lantern’s Power Ring gives them the following abilities:

  • The power of flight
  • Go on the offensive by firing blasts of concussive force
  • Create a force field of sorts that allows them to breathe in space & protects them
  • And this is the kicker, a Power Ring lets Green Lanterns create physical constructs of anything they can imagine
Power Battery

Power Battery

Power Rings needs to be charged on a daily basis by a Power Battery that draws its power from the Central Power Battery that is housed on the Planet OA. The Central Power Battery draws and collects willpower from sentient beings throughout the universe. Willpower is the source of a Green Lantern’s power and a Power Ring allows them to channel that power through their own willpower. Power Rings get discharged through use hence the need to constantly recharge them through a Lantern’s Power Battery.

If you read enough Green Lantern books you’ll discover that there are other rings out there that harness power from an emotional spectrum with the Green Light of Willpower being the most powerful (apparently).

You can read more about the emotional spectrum that’s becoming central to the Green Lantern universe here.

Quick GL Fact #1: The Green Lantern Corps

The Green Lantern Corps

The Green Lantern Corps

As a precursor to the movie, I’m launching a series on background information to the Green Lantern movie that just opened here in Malaysian shores last night.

Fact #1: There’s more than one Green Lantern in the universe; in fact there are 3,600 Green Lanterns who originate from thousands of worlds. 1 Green Lantern protects a sector of space containing a host of planets. For e.g. Earth sits in Sector 2814 and Hal Jordan would be responsible for all the planets in our system. That’s a lot of worlds to protect…

The movie bases this fact on the original Corps structure from the 80’s and 90’s I believe. The current incarnation of the Green Lantern Corps in the DCU features 2 Green Lanterns who partner each other to protect & defend their sectors. I guess it’d have been crazy to design 7,200 different aliens for the movie so it’s quite an amazing sight to see the Corps in all its glory on celluloid.

Think of the Green Lantern Corps as an intergalactic peace-keeping & police force and that pretty much sums up the organisation. So yep… look out for lots of interesting & diverse aliens if you get the chance to catch Green Lantern on the big-screen.

Of special note would be these iconic characters whom play a huge part in making the comic books rich:

  • Abin Sur: Even though he’s dead his legacy shapes Hal Jordan in many ways
  • Sinestro: This guy here is an essential character in the Green Lantern mythos
  • Kilowog: This huge alien trains every Green Lantern recruit
  • Tomar-Re: If I’m not wrong, this bird/fish-like alien was one of the first few Corps members to welcome Hal Jordan into their ranks; sadly he’s dead now in the DCU

Stay tuned for more Quick GL Facts in the coming days. I’ll try to put up one fact a day so as not to overload ya’ll!