TRAILER: Silent Hill: Revelation

The first SILENT HILL was flawed but creepy when it wanted to be. This time around the visuals look stunning, but I'm a little confused about the storyline. I thought the mother and daughter didn't make it back the first time, yet here Sean Bean is with a daughter on the run. At least she's got Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to help her out in her travels. It'll be a good enough Halloween flick, but I hold no illusions in the way of this being anything but forgettable.

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TRAILER: The Walking Dead S3

I'm a HUGE fan of the graphic novels and I enjoy the show for what it is--a re-imagining of sorts. Love seeing Michonne enter the fray that's for sure, but as much as the producers are swearing by The Governor being "not watered down and true to graphic novels", I'm definitely not feeling that vibe from this trailer. Hopefully I'm wrong and they're just giving us a small taste of misdirection here. Other than that, it looks bang on.

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TRAILER: Man of Steel

I'll be the first to agree with anyone that says Superman's origin story has been done to death, and what I was really hoping for from this movie was something fresh considering SMALLVILLE all but covered many of the themes for Superman. I believe in Zack Snyder, so I'm holding on to hope. This teaser is one of two, both are identical except for who's narrating them, this one being the better in my opinion.

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REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises

"A fitting end, but one that will cause debate."

Eight years have passed since Batman took the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes and although Gotham has enjoyed peace, the weight of this lie has taken a toll, especially on Bruce Wayne who has all but become a ghost.  A new enemy rises forcing Bruce to once again become Batman, but Bane is much more than he appears, a hard truth that will cost Bruce Wayne dearly.

I saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES three nights ago and I just couldn't write a review for it until now.  I don't know if it was because watching a three hour movie at midnight takes a greater toll on the mind, if the the fact that it was the final one is getting me down, or if it's because of the horrendous shooting that took place at one of the screenings (my heartfelt condolences go out to all families involved in this truly terrible situation).  I just don't know, but for some reason I'm not as pumped as I hoped I'd be.

On the positive end of things Nolan is a genius and proves yet again that he's the defining force that's upped the ante in the comic book film universe.  Hands down brother, you know what you're doing and there's none better (I will say Zack Snyder's definitely second on the list).  Christian Bale brings a layered pathos to Bruce Wayne's character that's unmatched by anyone else to take on the cape and cowl over the years.  This film in particular places Bruce Wayne on the journey of journeys.  If you thought BATMAN BEGINS put him through hell, think again.  That was a day at the park by comparison.  How'd Tom Hardy fare as Bane?  Pretty damn good considering.  For a guy in a mask (I still say he looks like Reptile from Mortal Kombat), Hardy had to focus on facial expressions, eye contact and multi-toned dialogue.  Not an easy feat, but he nailed it.  Not to mention his hand to hand combat is pretty damn impressive as well.

The greatest thing about this film is the dedication it has to the trilogy, offering handfuls of breadcrumbs which connect a series of dots we didn't know where there.  There were cool cameos (I won't ruin them) and a tight storyline involving Bane's origins.  Now as for Bane, I wasn't thrilled about him being portrayed as a glorified terrorist, but it did make sense in Nolan's universe.  I loved the Bane from KNIGHTFALL, and though we didn't get that mirrored storyline here, they did pay a good deal of homage with plenty of winks in that direction.  Anne Hathaway was a decent enough Catwoman, but I'm on the fence about whether or not she needed to be there.  Marion Cotillard's character falls into the same category.  Yes, when you take a step back and examine all the moving parts of the film, they do make sense, but my point is simply this, it could've worked just as well without them (I loved JGL's presence in the film, he added some depth to the police force and that's about all I can say).

Michael Caine's Alfred is also my favorite of any actor to tackle the role, but I have to say I was extremely let down by a decision the character makes that simply felt "un-Alfred like".  I won't get into it (you'll know), but I'm just not buying it.  Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman were a little underused (Freeman especially), which ties into my main problem with the film, the lack of Batman.  Now I know there's a process to the specific journey Bruce Wayne has to take, but come on people, this is a Batman movie and we get next to no Batman.  I loved the added toys the first two films kept throwing at us, but all that is gone this time around with the exception of the "Bat".  It was impressive, don't get me wrong, but not enough.  I hate to sound like I'm knit picking here, but this was a three hour movie and it felt like it, whereas THE AVENGERS flew by like the wind.  I'm not trying to compare the films themselves because they're two separate entities, but if you're going to plant people in seats for three hours you should be damn sure you're pacing is aces.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is everything I would expect from a Nolan led Batman film and more.  Don't let my picking at it fool you, I loved it, but as with all trilogy endings, there's an air of sadness that comes with the realization that it's never going to be this good again, because I seriously don't believe it will be.  I'd like to see Bale in the role of Batman should a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie be in the pipeline, but that opens up a debate in itself.  I'm not stoked to see this film a second time like I usually am when I watch a comic book themed movie, rather I think this film's strength will be in the re-watching of all three films back to back (something I am looking forward to doing).  Christopher Nolan has shown the world just how complex, creative, intelligent and thoroughly engaging comic book characters can be with the right actors and scripts and I can only hope that this bar will remain raised in the coming years.  Will we see Batman again?  I have no doubt.  Will he ever be seen in such a spectacular fashion again?  Probably not.  "Often imitated, but never duplicated" is the phrase that comes to mind.  That said, I'm just thankful Christopher Nolan decided to take on this project, because we fans are all the better for it.  It's been one hell of a ride.

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TRAILER: The Vampire Diaries S4

In the wake of TRUE BLOOD's first season (which was epic), I was unsure as to how I'd take this show. I love vampire shows, but TWILIGHT made me second guess a lot of things. That said, I've really grown to love these characters and absolutely can't wait for more. Last season's finale was awesome and this season looks to be more of the same.

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TRAILER: Spartacus War of the Damned

Who'd have thought the STARZ series SPARTACUS would be so epic as to get four seasons? We all know the story and no doubt were forced to watch the original in school, but this is something exceedingly different. I've loved this series from day one (rest in peace Andy, you're missed) so it's bitter sweet to know this will be the final season. One thing's for certain though, it's going out with a loud roar. We will be amused.

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TRAILER: The Imposter

The best kind of fiction is the stuff that looks real and this flick looks like a documentary with loads of layers, twists and revelations. I'm loving this in every way and can't wait to see it.

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TRAILER: Mortal Kombat Legacy S2

The first season of MORTAL KOMBAT LEGACY turned a lot of heads and revitalized the world of Mortal Kombat in a huge way. On the flip side, just when things were getting good and everyone was gearing up for the tournament it ended...without the tournament. Thankfully season 2 is a go and a tournament we shall have. It's the best news I've heard all day.

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TRAILER: Resident Evil: Damnation

Who here loved the animated RESIDENT EVIL flick DEGENERATION that came out a few years back? I know I did. The Milla films are okay, but getting down to the root of evil with Leon Kennedy is much more satisfying. Leon's back and looking like he's got his hands full. This only fuels my anticipation for RESIDENT EVIL 6 (the game) and I suppose the new Milla one looks good too. DAMNATION however, is a must see for RE fans and after watching the trailer you'll see why.

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Thomas Jane's New Punisher short film

PUNISHER may be a hit and miss discussion at most round tables, but I loved it from start to finish. I'm not sure if it was seeing Marvel's take on an R rated film, the acting or simply Jane's ability to pull us into the character. I hated that they dumped him for the second film (it was an atrocity anyway), but this is something beautiful coming from a dude who loves the genre and the hero. I can't say I totally dug the premise for HUNG (as a guy it's hard to get into), but the man's got talent and class so here's to him keeping the dream alive and hopefully it pays off.

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REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man

"Easily the best SPIDER-MAN film to date."

By now we all know the story of Peter Parker--bitten by a radioactive spider and so on--so there's really no need to get into all of that.  Director Marc Webb takes a different route than Sam Raimi did (a wondrous step in the right direction if you ask me) and the result is a darker, grittier SPIDER-MAN who in turn lands closer to the comic books root of the character we all know and love.  I know, I know, it sucks that we get a rebooted origin story, but it's not as hard to sit through as you might think.  The real question is: does it work?  And yes folks, like the title boats, this SPIDER-MAN is quite amazing.

I grew up collecting Spider-Man comics, and coincidentally the first issue I ever bought was THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 313 which features the Lizard.  Truth be known, I never really cared much for Curt Connors and his one armed man whining, but that's mostly due to the fact that, in the comics, he's a mindless beast which really hurts the one-on-one time most people enjoy through hero/villain banter.  In this film however, the good news is that they take the Lizard back to his original cartoon roots (yes, that, terribly old cartoon).  Webb and company did their homework because a talking Lizard is far more engaging than a mute one.  Now in the area of CGI, well, sure he doesn't look one hundred percent real, but it's well done and although he does look like a Goomba from the atrocious SUPER MARIO movie, in his defense, he also looks very similar to his old-school cartoon counterpart which in my book earns him some points.

The heart and soul of this film goes to Andrew Garfield as he mastered the roles of both a troubled and angry Peter Parker as well as a duty bound and heroic Spider-Man.  Garfield's love of the character and source material makes him the perfect choice; you see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice and feel it in his actions.  This guy was destined to play this role.  Emma Stone rocks as Gwen Stacy, her personality and girl next door "wow factor" are enough to charm the pants off anyone.  I never liked the relationship between Tobey Maguire's Peter and Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, it felt forced and cold at the best of times and it in no way was reminiscent of the comics.  There probably wasn't many people more stoked than me when the news of Maguire's SPIDER-MAN hitting the big screen came a calling (trust me, I watched that damn trailer a least a hundred times).  Hell, I still remember that false trailer from back in the day with Spider-Man and Doc Ock battling it out on the wing of an airplane.  I loved the fact that Spidey came to the big screen and Raimi's trilogy will always have a special place in my heart (granted part 3's special place is closer to my colon), but I was hopeful that this film would do things right and it did on so many levels.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is everything a summer superhero blockbuster should be and then some.  The tone is being labelled "Nolan-esque" and so what if it is, the man revolutionized the way we view comic book films and should be proud to have had the influence he has on the genre.  Some people think it's too dark for Spidey but I disagree.  Peter Parker's life is not sunshine and rainbows, he's getting kicked in the face at every turn and no matter how hard he tries his loved ones always get hurt because of it.  It's not easy being Spider-Man and sometimes it's downright gloomy.  I'm happy to see this acknowledged here, as well as, a more down to earth and practical venue when it comes to his gear.  Peter built his web shooters in the comics (a real sore spot for fan boys in regards to the Raimi films) and honestly, though it's not a huge deal, it's still nice to see them present it in the right fashion.  Also, Garfield's acrobatic skills pay off here as well, making Spidey's dexterity look phenomenal in every way possible.  I also loved the realism as far as web swinging was concerned; no more spinning web lines into "the sky" and swinging nonchalantly.  Here, he's actually swinging from tangible surfaces or not at all.  Physics 1, Ridiculousness 0.  I can't and won't compare this to THE AVENGERS or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as they're all their own beasts, but I'll say this for sure, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a superb entry in this wondrous franchise and promises many a grand adventure to come.

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TRAILER: Jack Reacher

I love Tom Cruise and to hell with anyone who doesn't. I don't care how messed up his social life is, what Gods he prays to or how excited he gets when he's on Oprah because behind the camera this man's a true genius who loves his job and gets it done time and time again. That aside, this is Tom Cruise kicking ass and taking names and that's worth the price of admission for me right there. Count me in!

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TRAILER: Looper

Love the concept, love the actors, love the formula. This is what high concept action thrillers should be, end of story. Sometimes we get one of these a year, but more often than not we get one every three to five years. I'm hoping this is the one to brag about.

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TRAILER: The Man With The Iron Fists

I'm not entirely sure where this idea came from, but judging by RZA's "real life" performance in CALIFORNICATION this season, I'm assuming this came after a long night of boozing and weed smoking. Either way, I'm loving it. There's a ton of things going on here with themes ranging from KILL BILL to CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON and there ain't nothing wrong with that!

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