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. 🙂

Advertisements

Hero City on Facebook

Hero City on Facebook

Hero City on Facebook

I just stumbled upon this game in the past few days courtesy of a friend and despite it being another one of those build & collect sims that’s all over Facebook I found myself coming back to it time & time again because it’s a game about superheroes.

It’s a pretty simple game to pick up & play and it doesn’t really require a lot of investment of your time. I leave it running at work and I’ve been able to progress at a pretty quick pace because of that. The game’s a good stress reliever and whenever I feel overwhelmed or stumped I’ve been playing a bit of Hero City here and there during office hours (shhhhh… don’t tell my boss).

The game is simple. Just build up your city with various buildings and assemble a league of heroes as your city grows. While you’re at it, you get to send your heroes out into the world to battle crime & evil villains at various hotspots around the world.

Hero City features a few different commodities you need to manage in order to progress in the game:

  1. Energy: Energy allows you to undertake actions which gets replenished over time (similar to Zynga’s Vampire Wars, etc)
  2. Coins: In-game currency that allows you to build new structures &  manufacture items
  3. Atoms: You need this as a sort of raw material that allows you to manufacture items that are needed to construct/upgrade some of your buildings
  4. XP: Experience points are gained that levels up your city; thus allowing you access to new buildings, heroes and new hotspots on the world map to battle crime
  5. Hero XP: Experience points that your heroes gain for every mission they complete (I suppose this makes em’ more powerful)
  6. Manufactured Items: You build various items that are then used to upgrade buildings
  7. Collectibles: Random items that have no use whatsoever at this point in time

The game is still in Beta but it’s pretty fun and the heroes are patterned after established heroes with zany names. If you’re a fan of Marvel & DC Comics I’m sure you’d be able to spot the references.

What’s annoying about Hero City (as it is with any other Facebook game of this nature) is the fact that the gameplay forces you to get/give help to other people. Of course as a Internet professional I recognise this as a brilliant way to grow your user base but nevertheless it’s an annoying feature.

On another note, this is the first game that I’ve seen using Facebook Credits and to access some items in the game you gotta shell out real dough (maybe I’ll give it a try to get a feel of the process involved in purchasing Facebook Credits).

Give Hero City a spin here.

Pro-tip: Some heroes have the ability to generate a radius-based field around their homes that give bonuses to businesses. Position these houses well and the bonuses stack!

Mutants vs. Pandas (A Back to Back Movie Review)

Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2

Po the Panda kicks Professor Charles Xavier’s band of merry mutants a notch this summer. I caught both X-Men: First Class and Kung Fu Panda 2 this week and I really liked the latter a whole lot more. Both movies were decent but Kung Fu Panda 2 was a whole lot more entertaining and left me in stitches last Tuesday.

Jack Black’s a hoot as Po and the makers have really outdone themselves. Kung Fu Panda was good but the sequel is way better. It has the 3 things that I always look for in most of the movies that make the cut:

  1. It was funny.
  2. It had some life lessons.
  3. It had great characters.

I give a hilarious 5 out of 5 to Kung Fu Panda 2 and I think it’d be great in 3D. Maybe I’ll go catch it again if I have some spare time or if I have friends who haven’t yet seen it to go with.

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class is a decent watch. Michael Fassbender as expected was excellent in the role of Magneto and the movie does serve as a lead up to the older X-Men movies; which isn’t a surprise seeing as how Bryan Singer had a part to play in the making of this movie. James McAvoy on the other hand wasn’t that great as a much younger Professor X but then again that’s probably me having a different vision of Xavier from the comic books.

The Cuban Missile Crisis would have made for a great story but somehow the plot failed to deliver. Thankfully January Jones serves as great eye candy as the super sexy Emma Frost (whom I really love in her current comic book incarnation).

January Jones as Emma Frost

January Jones as Emma Frost

X-Men: First Class would kinda disappoint fans of the comic books but then again I’ve got Iron Man as the standard bearer when it comes to comic book flicks. I give X-Men: First Class a so-so 3 out of 5.

Up next: Green Lantern!

Coming Soon! X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: First Class

As a huge fan of the X-Men and having grown up with them as a teen I am pretty stoked with the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie. Hopefully it’d be a return to form for the franchise as the last 2 movies were pretty crappy. X-Men United was a total waste of time and the same goes for Wolverine: Origins. The Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK and mutants.

Magneto

Magneto

What else can we look forward to in the new movie? A young Magneto is worth a visit and featuring him makes the movie a whole lot more interesting. Hopefully the makers would do justice in portraying Xavier’s complex relationship with the his friend & foe. Michael Fassbender certainly looks the part so here’s hoping that he’ll be able to pull it off. I’ve gained a greater respect for the character since my recent acquisition of Magneto Testament and it’d be a blast to see the Master of Magnetism on the side of the angels this time around.

X-Men: First Class opens 2 June.

The Super-Detailed Artwork of Chris Bachalo

I’ve not written about comic books in awhile so here’s a quick look at one my favourite pencillers Chris Bachalo.

Generation X #1

Generation X #1

My very first encounter with Mr. Bachalo’s artwork occurred quite early in my teenaged obsession with comic books and I found myself picking up Generation X #1 as a follow-up to Marvel’s Phalanx Covenant X-Event. I followed the series for quite awhile before abandoning it (budget constraints and a waning interest in comics played a big part in it). At that point in time I’ll have to admit that Mr. Bachalo’s artwork wasn’t that great and my later purchases in college confirmed it (I picked up a trade of Vertigo’s Death) but I followed Generation X religiously due to its connection to the X-books. Bachalo’s style gets a whole lot more exciting and stylised sometime in the late 90’s I think cos’ I remember the art in Generation X evolving a year or two later and the cartoony detailed style that I’ve come to love suddenly burst onto its pages. Just compare the chromium cover from Issue 1 of Generation X to the one below and you’ll see what I mean.

Generation X #21

Generation X #21

What I love most about Chris’ artwork is the fact that there’s so much detail in every panel and he’s got a unique style that’s super stylised. It’s cartoony but there’s enough realism in it to make characters, facial expressions and other detail stand out. The best part about poring through a comic book by Bachalo is the fact that there are a lot of little things that he draws into the background that’s a hoot to pick out. You’ll find cute little frogs in the midst of a fight scene, or little bits of candy lying around… there’s just so much in one panel. It’d be great to own a piece of original Chris Bachalo artwork; heh… I’d frame it somewhere.

Anyways, I’m always on the look out for Chris Bachalo stuff and so far I own quite a few books that feature him either as the permanent penciller or as a guest. Here’s a run down of what I have that you might wanna pick up should you wanna give him a go (hopefully I don’t miss out on anything, I actually had to go through my bookshelf to put this list together):

Marvel Stuff

Curse of the Mutants: Storm and Gambit

Curse of the Mutants: Storm and Gambit

  1. Generation X #1-#26 (Bachalo’s art evolved into an early state of what it is now somewhere during his run on this series)
  2. Generation Next #1 – #4
  3. X-Men: The New Age of Apocalypse
  4. X-Men: Supernovas
  5. X-Men: Messiah Complex
  6. Ultimate War #1=#4
  7. Ultimate X-Men #18 & #19
  8. Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit
  9. X-Men #7-#10 (the current on-going series)
  10. New Avengers: Search for the Sorceror Supreme (more Billy Tan than Bachalo tho’… sigh)

Cliffhanger

  1. Steampunk: Catechism
  2. Steampunk #1-#12

Vertigo

  1. The Witching Hour: Book One
  2. Death: The High Cost of Living

I’m looking forward to his upcoming run on the Avengers. CBR has some unlettered preview art and it all looks good. Check it out here.

Old Man Logan (Comic Book Review)

Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan

This one is a must-read for all Wolverine fans out there. The writing’s great and Mark Millar does a bang-up job depicting a broken Wolverine 50 years in the future. Hawkeye features prominently in the story and it’s pretty cool seeing him old but yet still very much a bad-ass. Steve McNiven’s art in this one is good but not as good as what you’d find in Civil War.

Wolverine & Hawkeye

Wolverine & Hawkeye

“Old Man Logan” is quite an easy read and you’ll find yourself going through the tradepaperback in just under 2 hours I believe. I finished reading the whole thing in 2 sittings and I would have done it in one sitting if not for my lack of rest last Sunday afternoon.

The fun part was seeing “old” versions familiar characters & villains set in the wastelands of America and finding out how things are the way they are as the story unfolds.

Really, really good stuff especially for fans of the Ol’ Canuckle Head. I give “Old Man Logan” a solid 4 stars out of 5.