Civilian Steve Rogers wants so badly to help his country in its time of need but due to his many physical limitations he's turned down for military service, that is until he's enlisted into a secret government experiment looking to produce an army of super soldiers. Uncle Sam doesn't get an army, instead he gets a one man army, a man they call Captain America.
Much like Marvel's earlier summer film THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA was no easy film to bring to life for several reasons. Some super heroes handle the leap from page to film quite flawlessly while others require larger amounts of finesse. Cap is one such example, and if you had the misfortune of catching cheese-fest eighties version you'll know why. I've always liked Cap though I've never collected his brand of comics. That said, I came to know him through various cosmic events that rattled the marvel universe, like THE INFINITE GAUNTLET series. In these times of universal need, Cap is always one of Earth's heroes who lead the forces of good and his contribution is always both respected and welcome. On a smaller scale, his leadership of THE AVENGERS is also something of legend. His humble solo missions against the Red Skull are something else entirely.
I've never liked the idea of the Red Skull, to me he's just another Hitler and two Hitlers is one Hitler too many. I'm not a fan of the World War 2 backdrop either, I know it's a necessary way to introduce Cap's character and truth be told, I rather enjoyed this origin story but the fact that it's done through the eyes of the war has never been something I relished. Due to his name, one of Cap's greatest battles on screen was going to be overcoming the costume's cheese factor as well as that of his trusted weapon of choice, his shield. On the one hand, the way they handled his costume was smart, playing it off as a gag gimmick which he later on re-develops. His shield however, is still one of those things you have to just accept without thinking or dwelling on the mechanics of it all. Obviously, there is no metal (otherworldly or no) that makes for boomerang action. Now as far as that goes, I'd have been content with them saying this metal came from Asgard and had the same properties as Thor's hammer, after all his hammer returns to his hand so why not run with that idea. Hell, I'd have been fine with Stark saying he'd somehow manipulated the metal to respond to Cap's DNA or something to that extent, either way would've made the shield one; cooler and two; easier to process as an onlooker.
Hugo Weaving gave a great performance as the Red Skull and likewise Chris Evans' portrayal as Steve Rogers was beyond excellent. Now their rivalry worked on some levels and failed on others. I liked the chemistry between the two of them, particularly that scene when he's rescuing Bucky and the facility is blowing up. The Red Skull has never been my favourite villain but Weaving did bring a certain swagger to the role. That said, for all of Red Skull's limitless intelligence, power, influence, sharp wit and bravado, he and his Hydra enforcers were all made out to be quite the bumbling lackeys. I get that Cap's the man and all, but he literally decimates a handful of facilities, lays a beat down on every soldier that gets in his way (regardless of their high tech weaponry) and all the while he doesn't even break a sweat. Now I know part of this is a jab at Hitler's reign and seeing as how this story is told from America's point of view the German's were bound to be regarded as inferior...still, the ease with which the day was won is quite obviously a deliberate message.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is both another score for Marvel's hero universe as well as another cog in the great Avenger machine which is in full swing and set to blow up theatres next summer. This flick had solid acting, well timed comic relief and a strong hearted hero who is bound to win people over. Everyone who knows Cap's story knew where this film was headed and in that regard, Marvel pulled off a winning origin story. Evan's is the perfect choice and I personally can't wait to see what he does with his team next summer. I enjoyed this film a little more than I expected despite it's faults, but when it comes to bringing Cap to the big screen in style, you can't get much better than this for a valiant first attempt.
I'm going to be honest, I'm not fan of re-boots but SPIDER-MAN was the first comic I ever collected and coincidentally enough, the first issue had Spidey fighting the Lizard, who just happens to be the villain this time around (I feel for Dylan Baker). This looks darker than Raimi's trilogy, which is good. I like Garfield as Parker (didn't care much for McGuire), which is also good, not to mention Emma Stone for Gwen Stacey. I've dared not expect much from this film but something tells me I'm going to love it.
A military helicopter pilot wakes up to find himself communicating with a television screen in what appears to be some sort of underground bunker. He comes to find out that he's part of a government led covert mission to uncover the identity of a terrorist bomber whose eye's set upon Chicago, but soon discovers there's more to this mission than he's being told.
A lot of us who went to HARRY POTTER this weekend got a peek at the new teaser for final Nolan led Bat-flick. Like last time, Nolan's giving us just enough to wet our lips and not a drop more. I can't wait for this movie and am particularly impressed that they brought in Bane. I wrote a C'MON HOLLYWOOD article (check it out here at Joblo.com: http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/cmon-hollywood-218) just after the last Batman came out, before we knew anything about RISES and in this column I cried out for a KNIGHTFALL storyline and then Christopher Nolan answered. I like to think this my doing, and who knows, maybe it is.
Voldemort has the elder wand and time is running out for Harry and his friends. With only three Horcurxes remaining, Harry, Hermione and Ron race against time as Voldemort and his evil minions close in on Hogwarts ready to destroy anyone and anything that stands in the way of the dark lord's vengeance.
With the sixth season of DEXTER right around the corner (and watch for him at Comic Con next week) the anticipation is really starting to build. Last season was alright but I admit that after the ridiculously awesome fourth season it was gonna be hard to top. This season hints at Dex going back to his roots and I'm all for that, not so sure about Tom Hanks' little bro as the season's serial killer but we'll see how that turns out. Here's a taste of things to come.
Supposedly this flick is supposed to be a big deal but it looks like a watered down cross between AVATAR and the NARNIA series to me. Since Disney backed out of the NARNIA world, it doesn't make a lot of sense to head up another similar series but I guess time will tell. I like Taylor Kitsch but I'm not sold on this one yet. I'll be keeping an eye out for the next trailer.
Now they're calling this a prequel/remake of the John Carpenter classic, but if you ask me this looks exactly like the original THE THING only without the badass exploits of Kurt Russell. I do love this concept however so I know I'll be in line to see this bad boy regardless. Two things though; one, I hope they go with an R rating and two, there's no way they'll beat the old poster's look in the cool category.
This looks like one part THE STAND, one part OUTBREAK and one part I AM LEGEND...without the infected monsters. That said, I'm always up for flicks like this, especially when they threw in the Bird Flu angel (that shit still scares me). Stuff like the Bird Flu and SARS are scary and the idea of these viral time bombs evolving to wipe us out isn't so far fetched.
What we have here is a seemingly rushed attempt at a first teaser trailer to compete with the fact that Comic Con will be tossing a few our way as well as HARRY POTTER this weekend. I loved the first film and am excited for this one but the trailer feels off and isn't overly enticing. I can forgive that because a nibble is better than nothing, I just hope the real trailer delivers bigger numbers.
Kyle thinks he's the winning ticket; he's young, good looking, loaded and the most popular face on campus. But his less than stellar attitude crosses the wrong chick for the last time. Cursed, Kyle's boyish good looks go "bye bye" as he's forced to look as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside. Kyle has one year to find true love or be stuck a monster forever.
Griffin Keyes isn't exactly winning with the ladies, and according to his ex-girlfriend it could be because he spends all his time at the zoo. But because Griffin is the best zookeeper his zoo's animals have ever had, they decide to communicate with him (yes, verbally) in hopes of helping him win back his old flame.
This is the true story of the life and troubles of Bill Hicks, a rare and extremely intelligent mind that took the world of stand up comedy by the balls and never let go. His ten closest family members and friends share their most intimate times with him from early in life until just before he passed away joined with footage of the Bill doing what he did best.
Rookie hot shot Johnny Utah is transferred to the FBI's robbery division where he and his partner investigate a theory that notorious bank robbers The Ex-Presidents could in fact be surfers. Johnny soon gets in deep with the natives led by the charismatic thrill seeker Bodhi, and before long the lines between right and wrong get more than a little blurry.
Sure we get an interesting new twist, some familiar faces and Tony "Candyman" Todd himself but I'm still a little annoyed by the fact that the last sequel was indeed supposed to be THE LAST Final Destination film. I guess nothing is ever final in Hollywood though. Truth be told, I'd watch this simply for Tony Todd, he's the man.
Okay, so this is barely a teaser but I'm pumped for season two, especially after getting all the hardcover graphic novels for my birthday. There are some damn cool characters on the verge of being introduced and though the first season went off the reservation a bit when compared to the graphic novels I'm hoping they stay closer to the original story this time around.
Having beat down the Deceptacons twice already, Prime and his crew are helping us out as military liaisons while Sam gets a job in the real world. But before anyone can get too comfortable information about a covert mission on the moon reveals a sinister secret that will put the entire planet at risk.
Trying to sum up the sheer calibre of epic goodness that is GAME OF THRONES in one review is as futile as trying to squeeze one book into a two hour film, but hey, I'll give it my best shot. First and foremost, thank you HBO and thank you Mr. Martin for giving us fans the chance to see this magnificent story and all it's delicious characters on screen. There are so many books out there (especially when it comes to the Fantasy world) that many fans treasure like the rarest of gemstones. For me in particular, I'm a fan of both R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt novels as well Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Raistlin novels, and though both would make for some excellent HBO viewing, I sincerely doubt we'll see it happen on either account. But if anything could pave the way to future hits, it's the popularity of this series, GAME OF THRONES.
As far as the Fantasy genre goes, this is one large step forward, the only real step forward the genre's seen since THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. The story here is rich with intrigue, political drama, supernatural elements and some magic, though in all honesty it's pretty rare. That's okay though as GAME OF THRONES doesn't need to rely on fancy sleight of hand or pretty fireworks to put you under its spell, the characters are intricate, well balanced and fun enough to win you over without all that. Now for the veteran fans of the books, we know a thing or two about George R.R. Martin's character style and his obvious "no one is truly safe" writing tactics. People unfamiliar with the books were in for an emotional roller coaster ride and some may not be particularly happy with the end result, but rest assured this is one (of many) things that elevate Martin's storytelling above the norm and yes, as much as we may curse him at times, this is definitely a good thing.
When it comes down to the cast, I was very impressed. Naturally Sean Bean nailed the role of Eddard Stark but of that, I had no doubts whatsoever. Lena Heady was also a fitting choice for Cercei Lannister. Now it's been about four years since I've read the books but I couldn't help but think Cercei was supposed to play a larger role than she did. Her attitude and wrath are as sharp as I'd envisioned but she felt like a back ground character. Mark Addy's portrayal of Robert Baratheon was marvellous. His emotional lines packed a lot of punch and that scene with him and Cercei being truthful to one another was riveting to say the least. I enjoyed Peter Dinklage as Tyrion and was pleasantly surprised by Nikolaj Coater-Waldau as Jamie Lannister, Emilia Clark as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow. The entire cast worked, don't get me wrong, it would take another two paragraphs to fully convey my impressions so I'm cutting it short but I had nothing to complain about in the casting and acting department.
The pace and plot moved along nicely but as you can imagine with so many characters, the building of tension does take some time. One of my favourite things about the books is that each chapter is labelled by the character's name in which we're seeing the chapter unfold through. Obviously this couldn't be done here but I felt each character was properly attended to and done justice. The dire wolves should have played a larger part in the story but then again, they were a detail I wholeheartedly enjoyed in the novels. It's easier to write about them I suppose, but it's one thing I did feel a little disappointed with. Drogo's army didn't feel as ominous as I'd imagined either, but again, some things are indeed easier to write about. The assassination attempt on Bran, the Bravosi sword practicing sessions and pretty much every scene with Robert Baratheon were some of my personal favourite highlights of the series. Also, The Wall looked phenomenal and the final scene with Daenerys was pure gold.
GAME OF THRONES took the world by storm and couldn't have been done better by anyone other than HBO. The books are written in a very adult tone and thankfully this is exactly how they were portrayed on screen. I read an article by some Los Angeles Times Television Critic, bitching and moaning about female frontal nudity. Her article (what as surprise, she's female) boats about HBO's tendency to show more than what's needed and then sites various shows that she felt were culprits of this foul play (she didn't seem to mind all the male nudity in SPARTACUS though, as that series wasn't mentioned). What a joke. Look, I review films, TV Shows, Games and I write psychological thriller novels and if there's one argument I've fully backed over the years it's this: Life is rated R ladies and gentlemen and to properly (not to mention realistically) portray life in an effective, provocative, believable and entertaining way, you absolutely need that R rating. Staging an all out orgy every ten minutes would be a debatable rating's tactic but no such thing happens here. Sex and violence are part of our every day and to disclose them from a story for any reason is ridiculous. It's a give and take subject to be sure but there's no reason to get into a huff about this show (or any show for that matter) in that regard. GAME OF THRONES left me foaming at the mouth for more (I was hoping for more episodes, twelve at the very least) and I was overjoyed to hear season two got picked up so quickly. I have nothing but high hopes for the future of this series and I think I speak for everyone when I say thank God April first is right around the corner.
Now this is a trailer I've been anxious to see! I love Tom Cruise and I love the MI series so this is double the fun. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of "new territory" being explored but the gang's back, we get Jeremy Renner added to the roster and the action looks sweet as always. Looking forward to this one.
I'm still not sure what to make of this "BLAIR WITCH" in space flick. This is the second trailer I've seen but there's been literally no buzz, marketing or word of mouth surrounding this one. Nothing. It looks remotely interesting but this type of thrill seeker's been done to death so it'll no doubt just end up rental fodder.
Considering how much I loved 300, naturally I'm excited to see what IMMORTALS can bring to the table. Of course, it would've been nice to see them go this route rather than remake CLASH OF THE TITANS but hey, you win some and you lose some. November's still a ways off but this looks like Christmas may be coming early.