Category Archives: Comics

Review: Wonder Woman – I wonder why this is so good?

Wonder Woman is finally here. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, its written by Allan Heinberg and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anayain and Lucy Davis. It’s Wonder Woman’s first theatrical film, it’s an origin story that takes place in World War I where Wonder Woman learns the ways of man. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Strange – paging Doctor Strange…

Doctor Strange is the latest Marvel Studios film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s about the character with the same name. It’s directed by Scott Derrickson, who also wrote the film, along with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular character, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton. Doctor Stephen Strange is a brilliant surgeon who learns magic and the mystic arts after a surviving a car accident that ends his career in the medical field. Continue reading

Review: Ant-Man – You’ll believe a man can shrink

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Ant-Man is the latest installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s about Scott Lang as he becomes the new Ant-Man, but his troubled past catches up with him when he plots a heist with an older inventor bent on saving the world from certain destruction, so this time his criminal skills are put to good use.
This film is directed by Peyton Reed with a screenplay from Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd. The film stars Rudd (as Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, Tip Harris, Anthony Mackie, Wood Harris, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, and Michael Douglas.

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Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Summer Has Assembled!

Avengers: Age of Ultron is about our favorite superhero team venturing out on another mission to save the world, in this case, it’s a mechanized creation that that’s highly intelligent, highly resourceful, and highly charismatic. The film is written and directed by the great Joss Wheadon, and stars an all-star cast; Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. It opened at $187.7 million this weekend.

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Review: Daredevil – no Affleck here…

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Daredevil premiered on Netflix last week. Took me a while to get more than one episode in, but I’m liking it. For those who don’t know, Daredevil is about a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox) who lives in Hell’s Kitchen in New York. When he’s not practicing law he’s keeping the city safe by beating up bad guys.

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Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service – tailored suits tailored to good action

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Kingsman: The Secret Service is about a super secret spy group comprised of gentleman whose codenames are that of the Knights of the Roundtable. They’re on a mission to stop Samuel L. Jackson as he lisps his way to mass genocide, throw in slick action sequences and over the top violence with an underdog recruit, and that’s what we have here.

The good; the movie is just fun, it knows what it is and goes with it, meaning, it self references itself and almost winks at the audience. From the opening credits, you know what you’re getting.
The movie is rated R and it really earned a hard R rating. But back to being fun, it’s everything we’ve grown to know about Mark Millar (who wrote the graphic novel the film is based on), he takes a teenage boys’ angst and cathartically channels it through media. Gary “Eggsy” Unwin is recruited by agent Harry Hart to be a Kingsman, Eggsy is the typical teenage male with a chip on his shoulder, but through this training he learns to shot guns and kill the bad guys, what boy doesn’t want that??

Eggsy is played by Taron Egerton, and he does a great job carrying this movie. I’ve never seen Egerton in anything else, to me he’s an unknown, Matthew Vaughn took a gamble casting him in the lead role for this movie, and it paid off.

Harry Hart is played by Colin Firth, a job well done playing the gentleman spy/agent/killer. Mark Strong as a mentor is a nice change of pace, really compliments the who group.

The bad; other than Mark Millar’s creative works being made by the devil spawn that is 20th century fox international distribution management…
There were some bad effects shots. They probably had to trim the budget in certain areas, but it was the small stuff that stuck out. Put aside the over the top violence, I’m talking stuff that you don’t normally take a second glance at, but when done hap-hazardly sticks out. The example that comes to mind is the brick wall in the elevator in to the secret chamber, obvious green screen. And some of the shots when the private plane lands in the mountain headquarters… just odd.

*SPOILERS* Oh and there’s a thing that happens with President Obama in this movie that felt… wrong. I get it that all the world leaders are in on the devious plot, but we should’ve seen some of the others suffering from the same fate. It just didn’t sit with me very well, hahaha, I guess I am patriotic. *END SPOILERS*

I haven’t read the source material, but I was hoping that the movie would be about a group of gentleman secret agents fighting the bad guys in tailored suits, oh well.

Overall, very fun, there hasn’t been a fun secret agent movie in a while. Kingsman does a great job in being meta and calling out that “this isn’t that type of movie,” where villains spout off their entire plan while they have the hero captured. The casting is brilliant. The action is sublime. The suits are tailored.
Oh and there’s a scene at a Kentucky church where things go extremely wrong and agent Hart is in the middle of it, he does something very irredeemable and pays the price. It’s shocking but yet justified, bravo for that.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is a cover to a song we all know, but it’s a great cover.

Review: Big Hero 6 – equals big box office

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Big Hero 6 is the fifty fourth film in the Disney Animated Classics series. It’s inspired by the Marvel Comic of the same name, the film tells the story of a robotics prodigy name Hiro Hamada, who then in turn forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain, who’s responsible for Hiro’s older brother’s death. Simple enough right?

The good; the film is just fun. Disney keeps bringing the quality with the 3D computer animated realm.
Our protagonist Hiro (as voiced by Ryan Potter) has a great, yet familiar, arc as a character. He starts off reckless, then he finds purpose, then loses sight of that purpose, to then only sacrifice of himself in order to save someone else. It’s a very familiar character arc, but it works, and in this case, it works well.

The world building is something that has to be pointed out. The film takes place in the future city of San Fransokyo, the golden gate bridge has Asian inspired arcs, the signage on buildings has Asian writing (like Bladerunner), and there are these blimp like wind generators (I assume they’re wind generators) that are painted like Chinese dragons. There’s no time spent explaining where we are and how this place came to be, we’re just there, and I love it. It made me want to know how this city came about.

T.J. Miller as Fred, the comic relief, is amazing. His timing is wonderful, without being too much, especially his line about his underwear. And wait for the end of the credits for another great scene.

The story here is paramount, Hiro is relate-able and his journey in a sense is our journey. Then you have a great moment in the third act where he has to choose, it’s reminiscent of The Iron Giant and Wreck-It Ralph.

The bad; I honestly can’t put anything here. It more has to do with the film going audience… leave your crying kids at home next time please.

Overall, I had a blast. $56.2 million opening weekend? Looks like everyone else had a blast too. It truly is robot season in the cinemas right now. I challenge you not to love Baymax.
We also get an Asian character for the boy audience to connect with, gotta love it for that too.
The film has a screenplay by Robert L. Baird, Dan Gerson, Jordan Robert, and is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, they previously did The Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan, Meet The Robinsons and Bolt (collectively), can’t wait to see more like Big Hero 6.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy – the end of the summer closes on a high note

Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest Marvel film, this time we’re propelled way in to cosmos instead of New York. It’s about some shady characters that are unwillingly brought together due to a highly coveted orb and certain galactic destruction. They’re then forced into an alliance and have to work together.
Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn, he also co-wrote the script with Nicole Perlman, it stars; Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace,  Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro.

The good; this film is truly inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not in story and plot, but in feeling and tone. It was great to have someone who loves Raiders so much that they wanted to make a film that channeled the spirit of what they felt when they watched that movie. James Gunn does a great job in doing so, the makers of Star Trek: Into Darkness need to take a page from Guardians, we know you like Wraith of Khan, but don’t do your version.

Then the choice of re-recorded music, I love this film’s soundtrack! I actually have most of the songs already, but the use of these “oldies” actually fits in to the movie. From the moment go on that first trailer where Hooked on a Feeling was used, I knew I was going to enjoy this movie, just for the soundtrack alone. Then I learn that the song used in the trailer is actually going to be in the film itself??? That’s unheard of these days, what with marketing lying to us at every corner. The use of the songs in Guardians is evocative of Tarantino’s films (Reservoir Dogs) and Wes Anderson’s films.

I have to mention the camera work and use of CG with practical sets. This film puts anything Michael Bay can throw at us, more specifically our eye balls, to shame! I was so thankful that the action was in focus and there was a sense of geography with what was going on. It’s something that when done right goes unnoticed. But I appreciate the way they covered the action and made it coherent.

The bad;  it ended. I didn’t want it to end.

They didn’t use Spirit in the Sky 😉

Overall, such a fun movie, perfect way to end the summer movies of 2014. This is the way to build a world and introduce us to a variety of characters.
They made use of a mix-tape, which speaks to me, a product of days gone by that’s part of the character and plot, but it’s not hokey. I highly recommend seeing this movie in the theatres, especially if you can get it with Dolby Atmos.

 

 

 

San Diego Comic Con 2014

The last weekend in July has come and gone, and with it another comic con. It seems that comic con time is spent less about seeing cool things and more about waiting in a line to wait in another line.

The weather in San Diego was rather humid, more like Florida than Southern California.

Here are some costumed individuals;

Then I encountered some non-strangers dressed up as well;

Overall, I had a good time, despite the overwhelming amount of people and other negatives I made the most of it. Comic Con is definitely a community experience, to traverse these halls solo isn’t as much fun. And I’m not the only one to feel this way about how this “event” has changed, check this out. Till next year SDCC

Review: R.I.P.D. – Rent In Peace Dudes

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Finally got to see R.I.P.D. last night, luckily it was at the second run theatre.  It’s about a division of dead cops that continue to enforce laws, this time it’s the laws of the universe, keeping the dead out of the world of the living.  Easy enough right?

The good; the movie doesn’t take it self too seriously.  It’s a fun filled action ride.  Lots of humor and great special effects.  The movie reminds me a lot of the first (and best) Men In Black film.  It’s a standard story, rookie cop gets introduced to a new world and is partnered up with a veteran.  Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, coupled with Mary Louise Parker, is where this movie shines.  You can tell they had a lot of fun during the filming.

The bad; it’s nothing new.  I can see why this failed to capture audiences when it came out.  The script is very on the surface, there’s not much to it.  This is a case where the script could’ve used another pass, perhaps subtext and subplots?  The cops have a mission and they complete the mission, which is to save the world.  Perhaps the stakes could’ve been more personal.

Overall definitely worth a rental, a lot of fun, if not to just watch the actors… act with each other.  We get another comic book adaptation, but not one that the mass public would instantly recognize.

2012 Comikaze: Talking With Cosplay Fans (Day 2)

Better late than never!

 

00:00 – The ultimate mashup of Dr. Who, Rainbow Dash, Team Fortress explains why My Little Pony is such a hit. He says it’s a slice of life but can’t seem to describe it.
02:01 – Sonic the Hedgehog loves how much fun and active he is. He’s a gamer and also a grad student. He tells us why he felt a connection with the X-Men
03:52 – two friends cosplay characters from Dynasty Warriors. One’s known for being intelligent and the other is known for being quiet
06:39 – Lucca (Chrono Trigger) doesn’t like making eye contact. She’s behind on comics because her computer is dead. She confesses she got tackled a few times.
08:22 – Catwoman discusses her thoughts on Anne Hatheway portraying her in the latest Batman movie. Harley Quinn is very passionate about her version even though there are many other ones out there.
11:51 – I get severely tongue tied while talking to this Poison Ivy. Try not to laugh
13:39 – Kitty Pryde (X-Men) tells us how she got into comic books because of her dad and talks about being next to Stan Lee
15:41 – Super hero Ariel and Aurora are both big gamers and showing us an interesting take on Disney characters
17:58 – Flame Princess (Adventure Time) is known for her hot temper and shares her secret for a rigid hair look
20:16 – Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) picked this one of the four because he’s smart. Temari (Naruto) is from a sand village and is bad ass. She explains how her fan works and at what point you should be worried for your life. Leonardo is working on some other costumes
23:41 – Stan Lee talks about his latest projects and does some Q&A with the true believers

2012 Comikaze: Talking With Cosplay Fans (Day 1)

We didn’t capture as much footage of last weekend as we had hoped. Sorry guys. There’s no costume contest video 🙁

Check out some interviews with cosplay fans below.

00:00 – Steampunk fans tell us why they love the culture. It’s very accepting but remember to bring some katanas for self-defense

02:03 – Marvel Girl and a gender bender Catwoman. He loves her because she has good taste. Marvel Girl wanted to take a picture with Stan Lee. She wants another X-Men movie done right and Catwoman agrees. Her favorite moment is watching other fans loose their cool while meeting Stan Lee

04:20 – Henchman of the Mighty Monarch (Venture Brothers) are a little older than most of the kids out at Comikaze but they just as much spirit and enthusiasm. They would love to see a movie made or a Dr. Strange.

07:10 – Tifa Lockheart is a standard cosplay character at conventions and this one picked Tifa Lockheart because of peer pressure. She games a lot and hopes to one day work for Disney.

10:02 – This New California Republic Soldier (Fallout) is somewhat obscure but still gets recognized by gamers. He wanted to cosplay a character that was less known and he really pulled it off. He’s studying history but doesn’t know what he’ll do with the degree. His flag doubles up as a signature canvas.

13:10 – The R2D2 couple caught the attention of many people and cameras. All you could hear is “Awwwww”

14:28 – Walter White (Breaking Bad) is a fan of the show and shares with us the secrets to making the meth used in the show (raspberry rock candy)

16:09 – I ran into a lot of memory card issues while recording this interview. What a shame. Suki (Avatar: The Last Airbender) wanted to show her face entirely. She made the costume herself and worked on her costume for months. She liked the costumes of the movie but doesn’t offer any praise for the movie.

18:25 – Steampunk Storm (X-Men) is part of a group of cosplay friends who really turned heads with their rendition of a steampunk X-Men. It’s hard to tell, but she’s a bit older than she looks (came to this country in the 60’s).