Posts tagged ‘comic books’

07/22/2011

The Star-Spangled Man

by wfgodbold

Captain America!

Marvel’s iconic patriotic war-hero super-soldier’s film reboot is quite a ride. We see his origins as a 90-lb weakling (thanks to the miracle of CG; it’s odd looking, but not quite in the uncanny valley), and then his service during WWII, fighting against the villain Red Skull.

Once the origin business is out of the way, the film does pretty well. Steve Rogers becomes a great hero without actually trying to be heroic; he’s just doing what needs to be done.

I thought it was pretty good; even given the slower pacing at the beginning, the latter 3/4 of the film deliver. I’d put it not quite on par with the first Iron Man movie (which set the bar for modern comic book adaptations (of the non uber-serious Batman variety, anyway)).

Oh, be sure you stick around through the end of the credits; like all recent Marvel films, there’s a stinger.

In this case, the stinger is a trailer for The Avengers.

06/12/2011

I’ve played enough Infamous this weekend for a review

by wfgodbold

I’m not generally a sandbox action game fan; I’ve never played more than a few bits and pieces of any of the Grand Theft Auto games.

Infamous is the first I’ve played all the way through. Sure, the game is over two years old, but I had to wait until the price was right.

After downloading the 7+GB game over the PlayStation Network, I played the game this past weekend and got the good ending; I then started over and replayed a third of the game, forcing myself to make the evil choices. I might not be a very good completionist, but I try. Sometimes.

The plot is presented in comic book fashion; instead of game-engine or prerendered cutscenes, the major plot points are presented in a series of comic book style storyboards (with Cole, the protagonist, narrating).

After a bomb goes off in Generic Metropolis™, Cole, bike messenger (unfortunate bomb delivery man) and urban explorer extraordinaire gains electrical superpowers; he can shoot lightning from his hands, leap off tall buildings and land unharmed, and has become incapable of riding inside any vehicle, holding any weapon, and swimming. Apparently the electricity does not behave well with most things.

He fights off gang members, other superpowered people (called conduits), and works with various factions in an effort to discover who was behind the bombing of Empire City. Along the way, he’ll have to decide whether to help the downtrodden non-superpowered peons, or take his rightful place as Emperor Palpatine.

The controls are mostly good; my main gripe is that the jumping is a bit imprecise. Several times I would attempt to jump from a train, only for Cole to grab back on to the side. The controls for the various powers are easy to get down, and while you might end up using one or two more than the rest, they’re all pretty useful (except for the lightning blades; I never used those). I’m a big fan of the grenades.

The story was pretty good, too; there’s a good twist at the end, and I’m curious to see what happens in Infamous 2.

While I don’t regret not playing the game sooner, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the game enough to be interested in the sequel. If that’s not a good review, I don’t know what is.

06/06/2011

I don’t know if I’d say it was a “first class” movie…

by wfgodbold

Even if it is right there in X-Men: First Class’s title.

As far as prequels/reboots go, it wasn’t bad. Since I never read more than a few of the comic books growing up (to my unending shame, I assure you), I didn’t recognize all of the mutants featured, but those that I did were mostly well portrayed.

It was interesting seeing Xavier and Erik’s friendship in their youth, but they did seem to try to cram a few too many origin stories into the film; like my friend Ryan said, if they’d focused on a couple in this film, and then a few more in a sequel, they could’ve gotten two good movies out of it without being as rushed.

That said, it was enjoyable. I’ve seen far worse comic book movies (Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra, both Fantastic Four films (I could go on and on, really)), and it’s really a credit to Marvel’s film studio that we can complain that the X-Men reboot isn’t as good as the Avengers film series is shaping up to be. Instead of whining about how bad the adaption is, we get to whine about how it’s not as good as their other properties!

I will agree with the Gormogons’ Czar of Muscovy; it was nice seeing the US as a force for good (mostly).

The movie makes good use of the single f-bomb allowed (it is rated PG-13, after all), and that line ties with one Erik (Magneto) utters at the climax of the film for the best line (and it really cuts to the heart of why Magneto does what he does, why he believes what he believes, and the lengths to which is he is prepared to go to achieve his goals).

12/13/2010

Thor!

by wfgodbold

The official trailer is out, and it looks awesome!

Marvel studios is doing a good job at churning these movies out every couple years, and they’ve all been pretty good.  Hopefully Thor will continue the trend.

08/28/2010

If you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs the World yet

by wfgodbold

You’re running out of time!  It’s down to two showings a day in the theaters near me, and if it has another lackluster week or two (or even if it doesn’t; it might get axed to make room for The American or some other upcoming movie), you’ll have to wait for it to come out on DVD; that will probably happen around Christmas or so (given typical wait times).

If you like comic books or video games, you should see the movie; it’s based on a comic book and the entire thing is done in the style of a video game.

The real reason you should go see it, though, is much simpler; if you don’t, and it makes only a fraction of what it cost to produce, it makes it less likely that we’ll get similar films in the future, and that would be a damn shame.

Besides, it’s from the Shaun of the Dead (and Hot Fuzz) director!  If that’s not a good enough reason to see it, I don’t know what is.

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