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Posts Tagged ‘ Spiderman ’

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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There are a few things that I have found people more sensitive about than the things they loved as a child. If you mention it with kindness their faces will light up and if you speak ill towards it they will be hurt in a special way. We all have that one thing from our childhood that we just love. For me it’s Spider-Man. I unabashedly love Spider-Man. However this does not mean I will always love a Spider-Man film. As much as anything done right in these films is pure ecstasy to me however if something is tackled wrong its a kin to spitting in my mouth and slapping me in the face all at once. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man’s were pretty fun but not what a modern representation of what the character and his villains are. The first in Marc Webb’s series was good despite the hurdles it put in its own way with a needless conspiracy sub plot and a lack luster villain in the Lizard. With that all being said I am delighted to report The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not only the best Spider-Man movie ever. In my humble opinion it is the best super hero film ever and has pipped The Avengers as the best cinema experience I have ever had. Continue reading

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The First Annual Academy Of Super Hero Film Awards

No matter how you feel about it, Thor : The Dark World was the final super hero/comic film in one of the biggest years for super films ever, still not a patch on last year but it was never going to be. Knowing that and seeing as we’re heading into award season I felt that now was the time to take 2013’s best comic films and dole out awards in the same categories as the Academy Awards but limit the field to comic book movies. Please comment below with your criticisms of my picks and feel free to pick your own. Oh and if you can pretend Kevin Smith is hosting it too that would be great.

Best Actor – Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine)

ImageThis was probably the closest call I had to make when compiling my list. On one hand we had Henry Cavill turning in a star making performance in Man of Steel, one which is going to walk him into a lot of high profile movie roles. On the other we had Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey JR and Chris Hemsworth returning to the roles they made famous but in grittier sequels. Even though I feel Cavill is the best acted Superman (not the most iconic yet though), I feel overall Hugh Jackman gave the best performance as a super hero this year. He took all the great features we have loved from his Wolverine over the past 13 years and added new layers of pain, regret and realism. It was his best outing as the razor clawed mutant and was the perfect precursor to the amazing looking X-men : Days Of Future Past. Continue reading

Deadpool Review (Rated 18+)

Not your conventional superhero…

Through the years, licensed games have become something of a tainted chalice in the video game industry. Be they movie tie ins, comic book adaptations etc they have always had that one common trait; they’ve been pure and utter garbage. There has been some diamonds in the rough for sure, but until Batman Arkham Asylum in 2009, things looked like they would never change. Arkham City followed two years later and a half decent Wolverine game appeared in between and for the most part it looks like licensed titles are getting a bit more care and attention (see the last two Transformers titles, the non-movie tie in Spiderman games and more). The latest licensed game to come along then is the curious beast that is Deadpool and to be honest, it’s a tough one to call. Continue reading

The Top Five and Bottom Five Films of 2012

spideyIt’s that time of year again. The time when we all gather around our fireplaces with the people we love, think back over the past year and compile lists of our favourite things throughout the year. While it may take a few more weeks to finish my Top Five Lists of 2012 list one topic I am prepared to talk about is my favourite films of the year. At the same time I am a man who believes that one must acknowledge and learn from their mistakes and this year is anything if not rife with opportunities to learn. As such, I will also be listing what I consider to be the worst films of 2012. Keep in mind, however, that I am only including films I have seen on these lists, so while I’m sure that The Master has some of the best performances of the year and that Life of Pi is stunningly beautiful and life-affirming I can only see so many films in a year. So without further ado I give you my Top Five and Bottom Five Films of 2012

Top Five Films of 2012

5. Skyfall (Sam Mendes)
Well written and wonderfully acted, Skyfall‘s greatest success is its ability to justify the continued existence of James Bond in a world of technology, transparency and Jason Bourne-style action heroes. It is also worth noting that it is the only film released this year entertaining enough to make me feel compelled to go see it a second time.

4. Avengers Assemble (Joss Whedon)

There are films that actively encourage analytical thought. Films that make you want to sit and discuss their content, debating themes and the use of mise-en-scene. Then there are films that exist purely to entertain and Avengers Assemble succeeds in this regard with great aplomb. Action packed, hilarious and exciting in equal measures, this is a film that will keep your attention throughout. Any film in which you can say your favourite part is ‘the bit where Iron Man went into space’ is certainly a film that will entertain.

3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
I feel almost compelled to include a foreign language film in this list lest I fail to get a date to the annual Pretentious Film Critic’s Ball. Thankfully, Holy Motors, Leos Carax’s first feature film in 13 years, is a truly great film that genuinely deserves its spot on this list. One of the most interesting films you will see this year, Holy Motors offers a unique study of modern cinema. This is fuelled in no small part by the wonderful performance, and indeed performances, of Denis Lavant. If you want to see a film this year that not only thinks outside the box but also gazes into the box the whole time then look no further than Holy Motors.

2. Looper (Rian Johnson)

Looper is by no means a perfect film. You can complain about it being overly long or having skittish pacing. That being said, the interesting discourse with the problems of time travel, both physically and ethically, featured in this film is enough to get it a place on this list. This is complemented by the weight of the performances in the film, alongside the world that director Rian Johnson creates, a dystopian future that feels real enough to add tangible weight to the film.

1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Director Wes Anderson really ups his game with what is easily one of his best live-action films. Moonrise Kingdom retains his trademark quirkiness, humour and colourful aesthetics but where the film truly excels is in the way it can melt the heart of even the coldest cynic, creating a sense of humanity that allows you to connect with the characters in a way that Anderson has never really succeeded in in his previous attempts. It is this mixed with the all-around stellar performances by the ensemble cast that bags Moonrise Kingdom the top spot on my Top Five Films of 2012 list.

Bottom Five Films of 2012

5. John Carter (Andrew Stanton)
Why might a film fail financially? It might have characters so ludicrous that the audience can never truly connect with them, it might have an incomprehensible plot that makes the film generally inaccessible to anyone or it might be based on such a niche and poorly written source material that the studio has no desire to adequately market the film. Or perhaps, like John Carter, it falls foul of all these pitfalls. There is a reason why this film is now recognised as the biggest box office flop of all time, and that reason is that John Carter is just a very bad film.

4. Liberal Arts (Josh Radnor)

Liberal Arts is a true example of an emerging subgenre of filmmaking that can best be described as pseudo-intellectual, cliché-ridden indie movie nonsense. While the film clearly thinks it is a lot cleverer and funnier than it actually is I would almost be willing to ignore this were it not for the film’s complete and utter lack of subtlety. Liberal Arts is a film that beats you over the head with its themes until you beg for death and then afterwards asks for a nice pat on the back for being so clever as to have themes in the first place.

3. Ruby Sparks (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)

Listing my complaints about this film would be like just copy and pasting my views on Liberal Arts. The key difference with Ruby Sparks is that it goes out of its way to have a horrendously quirky plot and unlikeable characters while at the same time failing to approach what could have been an interesting subject matter, the ability to exert complete control over your partner, with any degree of tangible depth.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb)

This is a film whose only entertainment value is how laughably bad it is. With the worst use of 3D I have ever been forced to sit through and ridiculous scenes such as the one where Spiderman learns how to use his powers in an afternoon by re-enacting the warehouse dance scene in Footloose, or the overly dramatic slapstick scene involving cranes, the ironically named The Amazing Spider-Man is, simply put, one of the worst superhero films of all time. And yes, that does include Daredevil.

1. About Cherry (Stephen Elliot)

About Cherry is a truly deplorable film. Claiming to tell the tale of a young girl who empowers herself through her involvement with the porn industry I might have been able to buy into this premise had the eponymous Cherry not been portrayed as a hapless child with no autonomy who gets into porn by accident and stays in porn because its simpler than taking control of her own life. The film also features a number of pointless star-studded cameos including a grossly under-used Dev Patel as the voice of reason who is chided by Cherry every time he talks sense and James Franco who, likely in preparation for his role in the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful performs his great disappearing act and just vanishes from the film halfway through. To be honest, however, I doubt you will be able to keep watching the film up until that point.

And with that the year that was 2012 comes to an end, not with a bang but with an exasperated sigh. Now we can start to look forward to 2013, the first year I have been genuinely excited for in a long time. With so many great films to be released I’m not sure what I want to see most of all. Perhaps I should make a list.

-David O’Neill

Batman and Spiderman Battle For Comic Book Movie Supremacy

Summer 2012 in cinema has been as most summers are in recent years, a comic book movie summer. Unlike previous years the comic book movies have either delivered huge as in the case of The Avengers, largely satisfied as in the case of The Amazing Spiderman or if early indication is to be taken seriously outdone its predecessors as in the case of The Dark Knight Rises.

The Avengers at this point has come and gone, a smash hit both critically and commercially, earning $1.4 billion at the box office, Joss Whedon has come good in film which raises the bar action-wise for all comic-book movies.

The Amazing Spiderman is in its first week of general release and has gained a mostly positive reception, many fans and critics praising the acting, specials effects etc. but feel it lacks in originality and an emotional punch, unsurprising given it has only been five years since the previous Spiderman trilogy ended. And despite Spiderman 3 being poorly received critically, Spiderman and in particular Spiderman 2 were critically and commercially lauded.

In fairness to the Amazing Spiderman, the origin story is a difficult place to start and it is a story that can’t really be changed or tinkered with. Spiderman released in 2002 was an origin story and was done well, so it’s unsurprising when one of the charges against the new film is one of “covering old ground”.  The main positives to be taken out of the new film is that the leads are cast right. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have received praise for the chemistry and approach to their roles, and that’s a good starting point.

A running theme in recent years in comic book movies is that the sequel, once the origin has been established, is usually a better film, as in the case of X-Men 2, Spiderman 2 and The Dark Knight. Given the high probability of the Amazing Spiderman doing the business at the box-office and with intentions already being made of doing a trilogy, it should be expected that The Amazing Spiderman two, free of the shackles of the origin story will be a much better film for it.

Once the credits rolled on The Dark Knight there was huge expectation on the shoulders of Christopher Nolan to deliver a similar standard of quality in the third film of his Dark Knight Trilogy. Since its announcement The Dark Knight Rises has been slowly gaining momentum as it approached its July 20th release date.

The film has now been shown to a number of critics in New York and Los Angeles and early indication is that the response to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, having received a standing ovation at its climax with a number of critics openly weeping with joy.

Despite a review embargo being set, snippets of responses have started to filter onto Twitter and online, and the response as seen below speaks for itself;

“Wow. Quite speechless at the moment….”TDKR” was everything I wanted it to be.”

“So much awesome… can’t wait to see it again. And again. And 9 out of 10 for me. I’d put “Amazing Spider-Man” at a 7.5 and “Avengers” at an 8.5.”

“This film was the perfect final chapter in the trilogy.”

“I think Bale gives his best performance as Batman and as Bruce Wayne in this one.”

“ Nolan manages to convey this wild ride into 165 minutes of his best work.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is not only easily the best Batman movie yet, but now one of my favourite movies I’ve ever seen. It was unbelievable!”

“If this does not break the mold and win Best Picture, no comic book movie ever will.”

The most difficult challenge facing The Dark Knight Rises is also something of an advantage over The Amazing Spiderman and to a lesser extent The Avengers is that it is a sequel. The film has a huge challenge to overcome as it will inevitably face comparisons with The Dark Knight.  If it does compare to its predecessor and early indication would suggest that it’s a better film, which will then lead to a huge box-office return estimated to surpass The Dark Knights takings of just over $1 billion.

Due to its content being darker than the more family friendly The Avengers, it will not surpass that films box-office total but could possibly be a real challenge come award seasons something that as early as five years ago would have been unheard of. A comic book movie with widespread mainstream credibility.

Whatever the preference. Weather it’s the Marvel Universe or DC Universe, its unquestionable that summer 2012 will be the last comic-book movie summer.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Only ten years after Toby Maguire brought Spider-Man to life director Marc Webb (500 days of Summer) has not only spun a new story on Spider-Man’s origins but has managed to make a really good film.

Like in all versions Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is bit by a genetically enhanced spider and develops skills any teenage-boy (and girl) would dream of. But this time around his advisory is the one armed scientist Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) who turns into a rampaging mutant lizard after injecting himself with a formula to regenerate DNA. Of course the love story is not forgotten but instead of the normally beautiful but boring Mary-Jane, Parker falls for his high-school classmate the sexy, sassy and smart Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). An extra twist is given when it turns out that her father (Dennis Leary) is the captain of the taskforce trying to put Spider-Man in jail.

Unlike director Sam Raimi ‘s original trilogy, Webb doesn’t rely on action sequences but takes time in developing characters, which gives them more depth. This is most noticeable in Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker, he isn’t just the Hollywood version of a nerd or geek but has a darker side and harder edge to him. And while he is a good guy and tries to do the right thing he is believable still is a teenager trying to figure out life, not just his Spider-Man persona.

And with the charming Emma Stone playing his love-interest Gwen, who already has a crush on him before he turns into a superhero, the relationship is more believable and the chemistry undeniable. Stone is more than just a pretty face or arm-candy but a true partner who will not be sidelined.

Of course there are still some general bases of the story that The Amazing Spider-Man covers, like the killing of Parker’s Uncle Ben, but Martin Sheen’s portrayal of him is edgier and somehow that makes his death even sadder. Sally Field cast as Aunt May is brilliant, she isn’t a caricature but a real person and you can feel her pain and confusion. She is a relatable mother figure and a good solid foundation to help understand Parker’s motivations.

This reboot of Spider-Man is well worth watching and while Webb only uses the 3D effects sparsely throughout the film they tend to stand out more and seem less of a gimmick. This makes The Amazing Spider-Man just as good in two dimensions and overall a better-told story.  It is fast paced and you don’t feel the more than two hours it takes to come to the end.  The film has a sleek slightly futuristic look and feel to it, which makes it all the more enjoyable to watch.

On a side-note it is well worth mentioning that the musical score by James Horner is interesting and exciting. And for all of you, who rush out of the movies once the end credits start to roll, sit tight as you may get a peek at what a sequel could hold.

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