The Dark Knight Rises Review

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How many great third movies are there in trilogies? Only a few spring to mind, and all of them have gone down as legendary in film. Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Lord Of The Rings are some of the few that have succeeded in telling a full, thought provoking and interesting story over three movies. There is a new trilogy in town that stands among the best of them, and it’s name is Batman.

Until I saw Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight was my favorite movie, it was one of the first movies that genuinely blew me away with its melding of acting, directing and huge scope. It provoked me in a way that no movie had done before. I feel that way now just thinking about The Dark Knight Rises. I am proud to say that i was giddy with excitement walking into the theatre and was even more giddy leaving the theatre.

The Dark Knight Rises works great as it’s own movie (as i will elaborate below) but it works much better as the conclusion to a trilogy. Themes and ideas that were set in Batman Begins pay off in huge ways, interactions between characters carry so much meaning as the history between them is so clear. These Batman movies are so different from anything that has come before not just because of the realism or the scope. They excel because  they answer the question of what Batman truly is, what it means to be Batman, and what the real purpose of Batman is. 

As a film by itself, The Dark Knight Rises is undeniably epic, the way that old blockbusters used to be epic, the sheer scale, the number of extras, the Bat. This movie is big in a summer where big is the norm. In my opinion the size and spectacle of the action match and even beat the pure amazingness that is the last half hour of The Avengers. 

Everything has been stepped up in this final installment, the sets are larger, the music is bigger, and the performances have never been better. This is a movie with a large amount of characters, almost all the characters from the previous film are back, while many new characters have been added, yet Christopher Nolan manages to keep everything understandable. There is no character overload as each character is necessary to the story in some way.

I’ll talk about each of the actors in separate bullet points 

  • Tom Hardy gives a magnificent physical and vocal performance as Bane, the character has been modified heavily from the comics to fit the realistic vision of Nolan’s universe. Luckily, none of the key parts of his character have been lost in the translation. Bane is a man leading a revolution by force, and Tom Hardy gives a performance that will be remembered.
  • Joseph Gordon Levitt plays John Blake, a new rookie on the Gotham police force who is many times referred to as a “Hothead” Levitt plays this character as an idealistic believer in the Batman, his journey over the course of the film is staggering to watch and the final discovery of who his character truly is will send many fanboys spines tingling. 
  • Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle, or as many may know her, Catwoman. This is the highlight performance of the film, without a doubt, Hathaway takes a character almost as iconic as Batman and shapes her into a character that is fully formed, she has all the elements that Catwoman requires, the sly playfulness is out in spades, while giving her a realistic background. This is a thief, not a vigilante, she has no interest in helping Batman save the city, all she would like to do is save her own skin.
  • Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman in his best outing to date. This film is far more focused on Bruce than The Dark Knight was, his story comes to a definite conclusion with this and I truly feel that no one could have been a better Batman than Bale. 

The Dark Knight Rises was all that I wanted out of not only the Batman trilogy but just any movie in general and I have no problem at all in giving it this blog’s first 10 out of 10

The Amazing Spider Man-Review

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Yesterday I saw The Amazing Spider-Man and frankly I’m having a hard time getting it out of my head. The film exactly what I wanted from a Spider-Man movie, it had great actors in the lead roles with likeable chemistry, a real tale of heroism, and most of all it had a huge amount of heart. The performances in this film are genuinely great all around, characters who weren’t very fleshed out in the original trilogy like Aunt May and Uncle Ben are given much larger parts that make them more important to us, this is especially important for Uncle Ben as it makes his (Spoilers) death much more important to Peter and subsequently us. The villain, Curt Conners, who is transformed into the lizard via his own doing is well used before the transformation, as Rhys Ifans plays a great father figure to Peter as his science mentor. The CGI used to animate the lizard is a bit off and hard to really feel any genuine emotion or fear. The best two performances in the film however, are undoubtedly Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider Man. Stone gives a character that could’ve turned into another Mary Jane: Basically no character, only a love interest, and turns her into a full fledged character, capable of helping herself and willing to put herself on the line to save not just Peter, but everyone else. Andrew Garfield gives a performance that feels instantly identifiable on many levels. On one, this Peter Parker starts off as someone that many teenagers will be able to relate to, he’s an outsider and a nerd, he keeps to himself. But at the same time, he is never truly defenseless, in the first 10 minutes, he takes multiple hits from a bully to protect a kid from getting hurt, right from the beginning Peter has a bit of hero in him. That’s not to say that Peter is perfect, when he first gets his powers he is motivated only by revenge to find his uncles killer, it takes him a while to truly come into his own as the hero we all know as Spider-Man, but when it finally happens, it’s all the more sweet because it truly feels earned. Garfield really feels like the Peter I know from the comics, unlike Toby Maguire, he really is optimistic and able to crack a few jokes thought the movie, just like Spider-Man would. The real highlight are the scenes the Garfield and Stone share together, they truly have amazing energy together and their relationship feels real, from first contact right until the end. Every interaction with them feels real, and watching them stumble to ask each other out was a very funny interaction. The plot of the film works much better when It’s exploring Peter’s daily life as opposed to his huge battle with the Lizard. It’s not often that the smaller scenes can be more exciting than the action. Not to say the action isn’t good, the fight scenes are all great, some are more iconic thanothers, like the first time Peter discovers his powers in a subway car or the first time he catches a criminal. This review is not at all going to be scored on if I think that this movie is necessary, because in reality what movie is really necessary? It’s a fun movie that has a huge amount of heart and that if you are a true spider man fan you will truly enjoy.

 

9.5/10

A Few Thoughts On Marvel NOW

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Marvel has just announced it’s new initiative to relaunch many of their comics and hopefully draw in new readers. They will relaunch at least one comic each month from  October to February of next year. It’s called Marvel NOW and overall I’m very conflicted. I thought I would talk about the comics they have announced individually and then talk about what I think of the idea in general.

Uncanny Avengers: This is the big flagship comic from Marvel and will be the first comic to be sold. It will feature big characters from both the Avengers and the X-Men fighting the Red Skull. If the creative team for this series hadn’t been announced, I think this comic would’ve been met with far more outrage than it currently is, not to say there isn’t outrage on the internet about this. What gives me hope in this comic is that it is written by Rick Remender and drawn by John Cassaday. Remender writes one of my favorite books, Uncanny X-Force, right now so I do have faith in him as well as his artist, John Cassaday, who drew Astonishing X-Men, my favorite X-Men series. To me, this really depends on the story inside and if they can keep it interesting. With Remender on this book is sure to have great, 3 dimensional characters and interesting, weird stories so I will definitely at least be trying this out.

All New X-Men: First of all I think this is an ironic title as the plot of this “New X-Men” book stars the Original Five X-Men: Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Cyclops, Beast, Angel, and Iceman, coming from around the time was originated, (probably not the 60’s. More likely the ‘80s or 90’s) seeing how the present turned out and trying to change it. To me this feels very weak and a very slippery slope to walk on for writer Brian Bendis. A big selling point is that with this comic brings the return of Jean Grey to Marvel, as she has been dead for a little under a decade. Overall I am not planning on picking up this title when it is released, I assume that if it ends up being good word of mouth will spread, then I’ll pick it up.

The Avengers: Right now this title is being marketed almost entirely by name recognition and it’s writer, Jonathan Hickman. Hickman is known for his current run of Fantastic Four, he has been writing for a couple of years now to huge critical acclaim. I started reading comics too late to get into the run as he seems to be ending it now anyways. If this title brings the same level of plotting, character development, and epic payoff that his Fantastic Four run is so well know for, he can consider my money his.

Overall, anyone could make the connection that this is a reaction do DC’s New 52, but honestly as someone that got into monthly comics about a year ago, I very much like this idea, it would finally allow me to start buying the comics of so many of the heroes and creators that I love so very much. Right now we hardly know anything about this new initiative other than these 3 comics, I am sure we will learn all of the secrets next week at comic con.

Uncanny X Force #26

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Uncanny X Force #26 includes almost evreything I love about this series. It has interesting ideas, fully featured characters with intertwining relationships, and Deadpool used to perfection.

In this issue X-Force (Now only consisting of Wolverine, Deadpool, and Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler) Try to escape from the Omega Clan, the new villains currently torturing them. We also see two stories about Fantomex and Psylocke, the recently departed members. What Rick Remender is doing here is showing us a story that illustrates the idea that these characters are a true family. Everyone knows that no matter how hard you try you can’t truly quit family. X-Force has become a family, they are tied together wether they like it or not. While this issue is mostly used to get the distance the characters from each other, we still get the classic traits of this book, which means Deadpool. I am a life long fan of Deadpool and in my opinion no one is writing him half as good as Rick Remender. What makes Deadpool perfect is that he  isn’t used purely for comedy, he has real value as part of the team. That is illustarted perfectly in this book, as Deadpool comes to the rescue of his teammates while still keeping in touch with his original zany style. Overall, if you enjoy an X-Men book with style, character, and humor, then do not miss this book. Also as an extra to some people, there is no Avengers vs X-Men tie-in to bog it down.

Review: Saga #4

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For those not completely swept away by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staple’s Saga, the premise is this: 2 Lovers (Alana and Marko) from a planet and a moon fall in love during a war between their two species and have a child together. They become fugitives from the law and must avoid the law at all costs to keep their child safe. Along the way they have picked up ghost/babysitter Izabel, who has been guiding them to the rocketship Forrest. This chapter is the best of all 4, while it doesn’t move the story forward much until the last page, we learn more about Marko’s past and get to see the exploits of The Will. Yes, thats The Will with a capital T. The Will was originally assigned to find and kill Marko and Alana but decided that it was not worth his time. However, when he was first hired he was given a card with infinite amounts of money on it, which he intends to use on the planet sextillion. You can tell from the name what type of place this is. What he does on this planet cements him as the most badass character in the comic and has made him my favorite character. What makes this comic stand out is Vuaghn’s writing, which shines in every page. He makes the characters feel real, with history and thought governing everything that they say. This is magnified by the brilliant artwork of Fiona Staples. She gives the characters personality and compliments the script perfectly. The end of this issue suggests that with the next issue we will begin to see some true action. 

I give this issue 9.8 out of 10

The comic is 9.5, with .3 added for the awesome letters column. 

Choose Your Character! a.e. Introductions

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Hi All!

My name is Ben and I would be lying if i told you that this was my first blog. If you just click on my name you’ll see what happened the last time i tried. I intend for this blog to be different though. This blog will more be a general life thing. I think that it will have many reviews of all the stuff that i read and watch and listen to, but there may even be a story in there too, if only i can think of a story worth telling. Fair warning, I’ll probably review things that seem a bit old and dated as I’m only 17 and have a lot to play and watch and read.

This should be fun, the second it stops being fun is the second i delete the blog.

Here’s to fun.

Ben

This blog

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This blog is a bit of an experiment. I know that while writing this absolutely no one will be reading it for some time, but i still feel like writing it. This blog is an experiment to see if i can capture parts of my life and share them online. That means that there will probably be boring stuff. If you don’t like hearing about comics, video games, movies, and music them you should probably get out. Also I may even share some stories from my and my friend’s experiences. Fair warning, i may abandon this within a matter of days and forget about it, so this better be fun. Thats something the I very much want to inject this blog with, fun. If you aren’t having fun reading or writing something than why even do it? In any event I should proably introduce myself. Look for it right above.

Ben