SUMMER 2013, Comic Movies, Genre Films & Mayhem Oh My!
Summer 2013 had some interesting new comic book film events, some genre films, and a lot of mayhem. Read on for the quick and dirty skinny on this summers interesting moments, and maybe a peak of what's to come.
Iron Man 3: It somewhat took the Spider-Man 3 route of just not giving a crap anymore, at least as far as cannon was involved. Everything in Tony Stark's life was blown up, his Iron Man Armors; hell even Pepper...WHAT!
But the movie was fun, crazy (to put it lightly) and I think a lot of the fans that dislike it are pissed Marvel trolled them into thinking the Mandarin was really badass...True story! I was happy that Mandarin turned out to be fake, because I think he being real would have upset me more. Because he would have been completely uncharacteristic, but Ben Kingsley was still awesome in the role he played. So I say good job Marvel, that was an epic trolling *slow one handed clap* It's still an unbelievably amazing popcorn flick, and that is just fine by me.
Man of Steel: I loved it! The movie opens up the world for DC to again try and create a universe for multiple characters and films. Anything that does that is great in my book. I wrote a ton of material on this already in two separate editorials. Watch it for the fun factor, and be prepared for an almost completely new Superman experience.
If you hated it, just watch this and stop complaining...(*pat's you on your back..."I know buddy, they killed your version of Superman, it will all be alright, there there...")
The Wolverine: I Thoroughly enjoyed this take on the 80's comics with more of Frank Millers handy work. This wasn't simply a great film, it's a great film for leading into (what I am hoping will be) a retcon restoration of the X-Men films. Watch it because Wolverine is awesome, and watch it because the action scenes are excellent. Don't watch if you think, yet again, there will be purity from the comics. It does takes a lot of great items from the comic (in an exacting manner) but gives you a few "WTF" twists. If you can contain some nerd-raging, you should be alright. My one real gripe comes at the end of the film during the climactic fight; on a technicality, not of a comic origin. I won't spoil it. Just keep an eye on his hands, i'm sure you'll eventually catch what bothered me as well...Both Hands. For those that have seen it, it's not the obvious answer.
Pacific Rim: This is a movie that you have to walk into the theater without your big boy pants on, your eyes open, with no expectation, equipped with only your child-like wonder at the ready. This is fun, mindless, guilty pleasure at its best. If you (also) happen to be an anime fan, then this movie will resonate even more for you. In the end, it's Giant Mech's versus Kaiju...Life doesn't get any more simple, ridiculous, or gloriously better all at the same time. I posted a review on my personal blog, feel free to read it.
Josh Wilding, hated this movie! So here's a version you just might like Josh.
Kick Ass 2: Has a few really good scenes that will cause you to let out some hysterical guffaws, an awesome new actress introduction, and we got to see Jim Carrey go nuts (in a really quirky role) that most of us loved. Don't watch this because you think you are getting the same movie as the first. Don't watch because you think it matches the comics, it doesn't really do that. Watch it because it's ridiculously gratuitous violence, with a lot of mindless and guilty pleasure comedy.
R.I.P.D.: I wasn't completely impressed with this film, and I'm still baffled why a studio would try and put $130 Million into a completely obscure comic, instead of going for something much more specific from Dark Horse, like The Goon which had to resort to crowdfunding $400,000 for it's own animated feature (that is a travesty!). R.I.P.D. has some merits, specifically Jeff Bridges as Roy. This is another one that you have to just take your smart caps off and just watch the film for what it is; "MIB 4: I See Dead People Precinct, And The Chic From Weeds Is My New Boss". I won't lie I did enjoy it slightly more when I watched it again...
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox This is among the finest of all the animated features DC has ever put out! With some of the most inspired comic based scenes and battles to date. Watch this because you, like many of us, are all waiting for more DC films. With a few on the way for 2014; this will have to suffice for awhile. I did blog a review for this as I was watching the copy sent to me by DC, I couldn't wait to say something about it, it resonated that well with me. I also couldn't stop raving about one amazingly moving scene at the end of the film, that actually brought a tear to my eye. This is an absolutely must watch, must own for any DC, or Marvel fan.
Superman Unbound: This was an interesting amalgamation of various Brainiac stories into an interesting and new take on that character. A lot of different vocal talent made it a bit weirder to take, and I know that complaining about not having Tim Daly voicing Superman, or missing Kevin Conroy as Batman; can be "fanboyish" in nature. However, 20 years worth of the same voice in my mind, makes it harder to dismiss a completely "Alien" voice in this film. It is good, and worth a peak. You might just like it.
Star Trek: Into Darkness: I love this film, and its predecessor for one reason alone. I get more Star Trek in my life. I've said it before; perfect cast, and perfect depictions for a marvelous reboot. I love the nods and re-imagined versions of the old school scenarios. Like any CBM fan that has to know when to shut off the "It's not exactly like the comics" switch. You can't go in expecting this to really be the original. But you can walk out after and say "Damn! They paid a lot of homage to the source material in a new and invigorating way!" This is the "Greying Fandom" no more, and it's delivered in a way that's not just for the aforementioned no-longer-just-greying fandom...and I love that (even if I'm among those still going grey, shit!)
DragonBallZ: Battle of Gods: Another DBZ movie...O_O Goku gains a new ridiculously loud, transformation into Super Saiyajin God Mode. This hasn't officially arrived here in the states yet, but I've seen it and loved it. But I'm a giant DBZ fan, so perhaps it sucks donkey balls, and I love it because i'm nostalgic. Possible. When it becomes available here in the states, watch it for yourselves and see if you like the new SSJ mode. This will be another guilty pleasure among those that love the old DBZ material.
Red 2: The first one I enjoyed, the second one, even Bruce Willis was complaining "I'm tired of doing the same crap in every movie." Especially after the wake of horrible press his recent Die Hard film gained. This film is at least interesting as a followup because the actors are genuinely just having fun with a cheesy film script. It's funny, and has it's moments. I took my wife to see this, and she loved it, but I was paying her back for coming and watching Pacific Rim. So that was my purpose for this film. I used it to assuage spousal guilt, derp!
Bullet To The Head: I needed a bullet to head after watching this movie. Let me correct my statement, as much as I didn't expect this movie to be anything but a festival of suck and dead brain cells; chalk full of one liners, I truly tried to watch it without my nerd goggles. To elaborate some more, I fell asleep twice in the theater, woke up and realized I missed the film, and had to watch it a third time to get an idea if it had anything worth saving. Nope. Watch it simply to be a completist movie goer that likes Stallone flicks, which I am. I'm sure some of you will like it, but it sinks to a level, for me, that is beyond mindless guilty pleasure, and I leave it at that, because I don't want to insult others that actually might enjoy it. Wasn't my cup of tea (and my tea is pretty damn eclectic).
I Think, Bullet to the Head's final fight scene between Stallone & Momoa really wanted to emulate the fight scene at the end of Streets of Fire just as much as Sam Raimi wanted Willem Dafoe's Goblin to be more like Raven Shaddock from the film...
Oldboy: Based on a Manga by Nobuaki Minegishi If you've seen the Korean version of this film, you might say it has one of the most ridiculous fight scenes ever recorded. Not because of its graceful martial execution, not because Donnie Yen, and Jet Li are walking in the air and flying over bamboo thickets; they're not in it (and they're Chinese not Japanese - my brain is all over the place tonight), and no there's no flying around, it doesn't do any of that...It was simply a crazy gory ass-whooping of epic proportions. The American version is pretty much a carbon copy of the Korean film with a few tweaks and Josh Brolin in what can be argued is the very definition of grizzled, rage-fueled, vengeance porn. While it's not in the Summer, it will be a great film to look forward to coming in October.
Oblivion: Tom Cruise in an interestingly deceptive dystopian future, which is not just a simple popcorn flick. It has a lot of deep routed questions about life, and where one is going. Be it a location, or inward. It doesn't do this with a heavy hand, and the pacing is solid enough that you are enthralled with the world, the simple (but) amazing visuals, and how big the world feels for what is (essentially) only two people on it; or so you think. This combines cerebral with popcorn blockbuster, without having the need to blow something up every second.
Coming Soon! Now That Summer Is Over
Riddick: Go see this tonight! For those that won't be seeing this right away, i'll be writing a review for it in the wee hours of the night. I missed my special screening, boo me.
300: Rise of an Empire: Snyder is getting all kinds of flack for Man of Steel, when 300 releases, any and all issues will more than likely be forgiven, forgotten, and people will wonder why they ever doubted his amazing filmmaking skills. Granted, he is not directing, he wrote and is producing. But I can't watch the trailer without chills. 300 is among my all time favorite films. This one looks to somehow outdo the first.
Thor: The Dark World I think many of us have been waiting very patiently for another stroll through Asgard. The first movie was great, but extremely short for what most of us wanted to get out of Thor's first outing. No matter, Dark World, looks to remedy much of that shortcoming.
The Seventh Son: Another relatively cheesy fantasy film trying to fill the shoes of long gone franchises, in a very haphazard manner. However, this is one is actually not to bad. Jeff Bridges, again, is the best aspect of yet another relatively mediocre film, but you can still have fun watching this movie. Admittedly, I love Julianne Moore, she's a friend of mine, and I can't help but everything she does, so I have that bias. Thinking cap off when watching this one.
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