Tag Archives: dc comics

Review: Man of Steel – in which Superman Returns… to the silver screen

Just saw Man of Steel, it’s Warner Brothers/DC Comics trying to revive the Superman film franchise again.  This time we have Zack Snyder directing with Christopher Nolan at the helm/producer, Henry Cavill as the titular character, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and so on.  It’s a Superman movie, Superman does super things against evil and injustice, this case, the already alien looking Michael Shannon as General Zod.

The good; unlike comic book movies, a lot of the movie the hero is spent in civilian clothing as his alter ego/normal self.  Henry Cavill spends a good ninety percent of the movie in the Superman uniform.  That’s what we’ve been missing in these latest superhero movies, not enough of the hero in costume (Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises…).

After Superman Returns, we finally get Superman returning to the big screen.  Superman punches, flies and punches while flying, action and explosions galore, why did it take so long to get here?!

Henry Cavill as Superman – this guy gets it.

Hans Zimmer’s scores are great.

The story, without spoilers, is great, it matches to visuals and it just as strong, they compliment each other beautifully.

The bad; I have to put something here… let’s see… let’s see.  Superman’s costume is too dark, I really do miss the red trunks, Lois isn’t dark haired…

But in all seriousness the action scenes are rather lack luster, it’s nothing new, which is maybe what they’re going for?  But I wanted better coverage and choreography in the fight scenes.  Too many close ups and shakey cam, it’s something modern cinema suffers too much from.

Hans Zimmer’s scores, I know I put this above, but I’m of the school that superheroes should have a catchy theme.  We all can hum the John Williams Superman theme, and the Danny Elfman Batman theme, and let’s not forget the Spider-Man cartoon theme or the nana-nana-nana- Batmannnnn theme.  So what’s Christian Bale’s Batman theme?  “wrrrrrrrooooooooooooommm.”  Listen to the themes of today, can you hum them?

Overall – go see this movie in the theatre, I really really enjoyed this, and this is coming from me, a die hard Superman fan.  When I saw the first trailer I was doubtful, but then that third trailer came out, and I was sold.  From the get-go I wanted to be wrong, and I’m glad that I was… Man of Steel delivers in every way possible.

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).

The Dark Knight Rises

Just saw The Dark Knight Rises. It’s about Bruce Wayne and his one man war on crime. This time it’s eight years after the last movie, The Dark Knight, Bruce’s body is worn down (like an athlete) and so is his faith in people. There’s a plot to destroy Wayne Enterprises and Gotham, which bring both Bruce and Batman out of “retirement.”

The good; the movie is about three hours long, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It had me pretty much on the seat of my pants the entire time, beautifully edited.

The acting is great. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle, love me some Anne Hathaway. Much like Charlize Theron in Prometheus, Anne Hathaway’s in that catsuit most of the time, no complaints there.
Gary Oldman as the ever faithful Gordon.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Blake.  Tom Hardy as Bane.  Michael Caine as Alfred the father-figure.  Everyone delivers a wonderful performance.

The Bat, flying thing, what’s great about these movies is the science and logic behind the technology, they make it believable. From the movie physics of the Bat-Pod to the Bat vehicle, I just love it all cause when you watch it move on screen you think, “yeah, that’s how that would move.”

The bad; oddly enough, I do have some complaints. There wasn’t enough Batman, when you’re watching the movie you don’t really notice this, but thinking back, Bruce Wayne is Batman in the end of the first act, and then at the of the third act, I kinda wanted more Batman-time… on screen that is.
Bane’s voice – in the comic books he’s supposed to be Latin-American, I don’t know what accent he has in the movie, but it’s obviously dubbed and very stage present-ish.  In a shot where he’s in the far background of the scene his voice is still coming in very present at the center channel, that bugged me.

*SPOLIER* When Bane breaks Batman’s back, it doesn’t take him long to recover, there could’ve been more passage of time at this point. His back goes from a vertebrae protrusion to doing push ups and scaling the wall to freedom.

*SPOILER* The ending, very easy, almost too easy, and predictable. Much like Nolan’s previous movie Inception, this one ends in a montage and we’re given information visually. Alfred is away on holiday and sees Bruce just like he’d imagined years and years before Batman showed up, he’s sitting at a table with Selina. I wonder how it would’ve been if they’d taken the ambiguity of Inception’s ending and applied it to The Dark Knight? Leaving us with Alfred’s forming smile instead of cutting to Bruce at the table? And then to have Blake’s character’s real name be Robin? That almost felt like the studio pushed that onto the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that the cowl and mantle would be passed along, but why dumb it down?

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, despite the criticisms I state above. I guess I’m so critical of this new film because I extremely enjoyed the previous films
Definitely worth watching on the big screen, and what a way to end a trilogy.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

The Green Lantern: The Animated Series debuted this weekend.  For those who are unfamiliar with the Tales of the Green Lantern, here’s a short snap shot – fearless test pilot Hal Jordan is chosen by the ring of a dying Green Lantern to be the first human inducted in to the Green Lantern Corps.  The Corps is comprised of beings throughout the universe that are chosen because they have the ability to overcome great fear.  They maintain order in their sector of the galaxy, in short, intergalactic cops.  The Guardians of the Universe are their “bosses” who are the oldest beings in creation, and have designed the GL Ring to be the most powerful weapon in the universe.  It allows its bearer to create anything that their mind can will in to existence.

Here’s the short of what happened in the hour long pilot episode; Hal (voiced by Josh keaton) is testing a jet for Ferris Aircraft when an earthquake happens, he loses the jet to save a train.  Carol Ferris gets mad at him, he promises to make it up to her with a dinner date, but then his ring calls him to OA.  Hal transforms in to Green Lantern and is space bound.  He’s being reprimanded by the Guardian council when a GL Ring flies in, it’s the ring of a now dead Frontier Lantern.  Who are they?  The Guardians give a quick explanation and dismiss the hearing.  Ganthet shows Kilowog (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) and Hal this experimental spaceship that’s got artificial intelligence and a power battery.  Hal and Kilowog then “borrow” the ship and go in search of what killed the Frontier Lantern.

They discover that there are Red Lanterns and they combat them while saving Shyir Rev (voiced by Kurtwood Smith), another Frontier Lantern, from certain death.  Returning the wounded Shyir to his home planet they’ve accidentally led the Red Lanterns to this peaceful colony planet.  The Red Lantern leader, Atrocitus (voiced by Jonathan Adams), sends down a probe that will destroy the planet unless the inhabitants hand of the Green Lanterns.  A valiant fight is fought that ends with *SPOILER* Shyir’s death and Kilowog saving the inhabitants.

The AI ship along piloted by Hal and Kilowog have a captured Red Lantern named Razer.  They set out to find more Red Lanterns in the cosmos.

The good; the fight scenes were great, once they started going.  This being mainly a kids’ cartoon, it got a lot more violent that I thought it would.  Much like The Clone Wars of late, so that was surprisingly unexpected.  The sound effects are great and the use of constructs really complimented the excellent sound.  Having Kurtwood Smith voice a GL was a nice treat, almost casting against type for me, but it worked.

Shyir’s death caught me by complete surprise, I mean – it’s a cartoon for kids, they would find a way out, but nope, they didn’t.  And what’s more, they brought in Kilowog’s backstory, which you’d only know from reading the comics.  That was a great emotional moment coupled with a nod to the comics, wonderful.

The action – once the fighting and combat started, they had some nice sequences.

The bad; Hal goes in to space way too quickly, and it seems like the whole series will be space bound.  Which I’m not too keen on.  The whole relate-ability to a character will be gone.  It should be about Hal trying to balance his day job with his romantic interest in Carol coupled with space emergencies and Coast City dangers.

This is just the pilot episode, but it looks like we’re losing the who secret identity thing, which to me is a kid’s fantasy, to be completely passed as having no impact in anything, while actually saving the world.  With the Green Lantern you not only have that but you also have the will to create anything you can imagine, which is essential for growing kids where they play in their imagination almost everyday.

From a production standpoint I see why they went in to space though, space is easy to animate, and when they land in a “combat zone” it’s usually rocks and desert like.  For some reason the animation still looked flat to me, overly simple and not detailed.  Which makes me think that Hal will spend all his time as GL in space fights.

One more thing, and this is way too nitpicky, but they really really simplified Hal’s hair.  Much like Superman, Hal has a certain hair style.  Which makes me think that they’re going for a medium between the comics and Ryan Reynolds

Overall, I will have to give this a couple more episodes before an official verdict is rendered.  But for now, I’m leaning toward passing on this series.  It needs to decide what it wants to be.  Go all the way like Justice League Unlimited with the serious aspects or go for tongue and cheek the way of Batman: The Brave and The Bold.





2011 Long Beach Comic Convention: Talking with Cosplay Fans

Earlier this year, we gave you guys an intimate look at cosplay fans of the Los Angeles Anime Expo. Well, I hope you didn’t think we’d leave you hanging with the Long Beach Comic Convention, because we did it again!

Have a look and discover what cosplay fans are all about as we ask them questions like what makes the Long Beach Comic Convention different from others, why they love the characters they cosplay, how long their customes took to make, why DC Comics doesn’t release as many movies as Marvel, and what they do for a living. Notice how popular steampunk costumes have become?

00:00 The Joker explain who she is and why it’s fun to be crazy. It’s interesting that she references Batman as a creation by Christopher Nolan rather than Bob Kane. She always weighs in on Twilight versus the Avengers. Don’t try to find her online because she’s got tough security settings.
02:10 John Stewart (Justice League Unlimited) loves being one of DC’s first black characters
03:55 Ash Williams (Evil Dead II)
04:58 Bloodsucka Jones gives us the heads up on the convention being a place to pickup girls
05:42 An rebel X-wing pilot talks about George Lucas’ tweaks to the video releases
08:15 An attorney cosplays Superman and talks about the character being inspirational, leading by example, the DC Comics reboot, and why DC Comics hasn’t made as many movies as Marvel Comics
11:05 Wonder Woman
12:23 a storm trooper tries to take down Felix the Cat
12:49 a steampunk couple explains the allure of steampunk and the convenience of the Long Beach Comic Convention being close to home

00:00 Boba Fett, intergalactic booty hunter, talks about why he’s the 1%, all the girls he’s pulling, and gives advice to the president
01:07 An amazing Deadmau5 helmet that took 10 months to make by a film and visual effects student. Follow him on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/pwnch
01:58 A computer science student talks about his original character, Ordo Mando, and the challenges of using fiber glass and resin. He mentions deconstructing the helmet taking awhile due to many screws. Check out the forum that helped him make his costume: http://405th.com/
03:40 An insurance claims negotiator cosplays a dalek from Dr. Who and promotes her fiance’s comic book site: Old Dying Kitty Comics
05:22 Captain America gives advice for the president
06:28 An English major graduate student cosplays Henchman 21 from the Venture Brothers and talks about Long Beach Comic Convention being great for checking out panels
08:01 A human services major student cosplays Lina Inverse from Slayers and gives advice for the president and predicts the outcome of a Jersey Shore versus Twilight fight
10:25 Chun-li from the Anime Expo cosplays Jill Valentine from Resident Evil
11:45 Daft Punk
13:05 A geek squad agent (Best Buy) cosplays a more obscure character, Jared Nomak (Blade 2), and shares his thoughts on Steve Jobs’ legacy

00:00 Steampunk cosplay fan talks about her outfit ingredients: Nerf gun, cookie cutter
01:23 Sexy Colonel Sanders and a KFC chicken drumstick. This was my favorite for sure. There isn’t any explanation needed. I even asked the couple if the idea was ironic. I know fast food always gets a bad rap and I initially suspected the couple might have actually been vegetarian. It turns out they’re just fans of the Colonels wonderful recipe.
02:33 A very nervous John Egbert struggles to answer questions. I guess we caught him off guard.