Man of Steel

Superman receives the same treatment Spiderman did in Amazing Spiderman.

Let’s start off by saying that this is one noisy movie. As it is, every squeak in a movie is amplified six times when watching in a theatre, but when the original sounds are so loud, the result is two steps short of deafening.

Another thing that must be pointed out is that this movie has one of the most brutal fight scenes I’ve seen in recent superhero movies. As opposed to shooting rockets, or laser beams, these guys are actually trading proper blows. The only movie which comes even remotely close to this kind of action is the Transformers series. And there, it was more or less acceptable, considering that they were, you know, building-sized robots, as opposed human-looking aliens.

The story is pretty similar to Transformers 2, instead with the bad guys trying to shape Earth to match their needs, that is to mould Earth into Krypton II, with no regard to the hapless humans who live there. The distribution of the story-line is lopsided, with maybe 40 minutes going into introduction, back-story, budding romance, discovery of powers, and meeting dad’s hologram. The rest of the 2 hour film is devoted to the aforementioned conflict.

We see Jor-El in a more expanded role than the original series, but the one out of three of the bad guys from Superman II return in a more modern avatar. The other two, Ursa and Non, are replaced by the more brutal Faora and Nam-Ek.

Similar to Amazing Spiderman, the reboot of Superman is a darker version. Superman is far less romantic, and equally less comic. Christopher Reeve’s trademark kiss-curl is non existent. Finally, Superman’s underwear is on the inside now (shock! horror!).

Man of Steel is a great movie, but I’d advise you to watch it at home, where you can control the volume. This is for your own good. If you must watch it a theatre, try and book it for 2D, because there’s no real difference in the two.

Advertisements

Iron Man 3

Awesome, but Iron Man 2 was better

After much waiting, not to mention confusion about the movie’s release date, I finally went and watched Iron Man 3, and came out gravely disappointed. Not because the movie was bad (more on that in a bit), but because I missed the post-credits scene. What’s even worse is that I can’t find it anywhere on the Web. So, whenever you watch the movie – STAY TILL AFTER THE CREDITS! There is a scene hidden there.

Now, onto the movie. It is awesome. There’s no taking away from that. It’s just that, when compared to the other movies, which it inevitably will be – it will always come out the lesser of the four movies.

One of the main reasons for this is the scale of the Avengers. I mean, its more than difficult to top huge alien snake-things destroying New York City, isn’t it? So, what they’ve tried to do is expose a more vulnerable side of Tony Stark, which doesn’t gel with the character as a whole. That said, the sight of forty-two Iron-Men simultaneously blowing up bad guys is a sight to behold, Avengers or no Avengers.

In my mind, the worst justice is given out to the Mandarin, who turns out to be far, far less than he is shown to be, especially in the trailers.

So, go and watch Iron Man 3, enjoy it, watch the post-credits scene, and come home. Follow with intense discussion on how the epic trailer blow the movie out of proportion, and killed the movie before it released – another victim of the expectations of the franchise’s fans.

Couldn’t resist!!

G.I Joe: Retaliation

Entertaining, but nothing spectacular

Let me start by saying that this movie is the ultimate example of the words ‘not bad’. The story isn’t bad, and neither is the acting, screenplay, music, etc. That said, it wasn’t particularly good either.

G.I Joe: Retaliation is the latest movie in the Joe series of movies, with G.I Joe:The Rise of Cobra, being the first. It starts (presumably) a couple of years after the events of the first film. Duke is now the Joe’s leader along with a couple of new squad-mates – Roadblock, Lady Jaye and Flint.Sadly, NONE of the characters from the first film make it tot he second with the exception of Duke, Snake Eyes, Zartan, Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander and Destro (sort of, since the only show him imprisoned). The President has been replaced by Zartan, who has ordered the Joes be wiped out. Understandably, the Joes have to save the world yet again.

The movie as a whole isn’t bad, like I said – but there are lots of inconsistencies between the story of the first and that of the second. First, Storm Shadow returns – after having somehow surviving being stabbed in the chest, electrocuted, and a multi-storey plunge into frigid arctic waters in the first movie.

Then, the no-show of Duke’s team? The Baroness was being purged of nanomites last, so her absence is forgiven but the others? What excuse do they have? Additionally, the entire franchise seems to have moved from the science-fiction war movie, with Cobra having the cool accelerator suits and laser weapons to a more conventional war movie.

A lot of ideas for scenes seem to be poached from other franchises as well, most notable being when Joe (Bruce Willis) begins arming the team by extracting weapons caches from various places in his home – almost exactly like in Don’t Mess With the Zohan. This scene in particular annoys me. I know its meant to be funny, but why stretch the same joke so far?

The characters are all awesome, but here again the character of Lady Jaye could have been used more than just to the seduction of random men. However, in the face of all the mediocrity, the fight scenes shone through and will probably bring in the crowds during its spell in the theaters. All in all, a good movie to watch with frends and a better way to spend a couple of hours.

Ted

Crude humor ………. and not much else.

Before Ted released, I had high hopes for the movie – what could go wrong with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, even if their supporting character was a pot-smoking, foul mouthed bear? As it appears, almost everything.

There is no plot, so to speak and none of the characters are particularly memorable. Maybe I’ve seen Wahlberg in too many action movies, to  be comfortable with him in this weird rom-com

I know there is a teddy bear, but this movie is certainly not for children and should not be watched with one, even by mistake. Jokes are crude and most, if not all fall flat. The only time the movie got interesting was nearing the end and even that died in a couple of minutes. The closing remarks are sort-of funny, and you think more of how the joke is stupid, more than the joke itself.

Personally, I think the people associated with Family Guy should stick to Family Guy and not try other stuff (except you, Mila, you’re awesome!). Go Simpsons!

 

Wreck-It Ralph

Disney-Pixar does it again!

Every time we think Disney’s peaked with an awesome movie, it promptly proves us wrong, with the next few releases. Starting with the classics like Cinderella and Snow White to now Wreck-It Ralph, there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping Disney-Pixar.

With the new release, Disney has recognized a growing audience of movie watchers who are also gaming fanatics and has tried, successfully  to exploit that. Wreck-It Ralph is set in a gaming arcade, and naturally is bursting to the seams with popular video game characters from Bowser and Sonic the Hedgehog, to Pac-Man and his ghosts.

Apart from these, there are a handful of references to gaming seen in the characters and their games. Even if you’re just a casual gamer, you will easily fit in and understand the flow of the movie, not to mention a few gaming themed jokes.

The movie revolves around Wreck-It Ralph,(who has a vague resemblance to the Ben 10 alien Armodrillo), the villain of the popular arcade game Fix-It Felix, Jr.

Unlike most other villains, Ralph is sick of being a bad guy and wants to be accepted by the people of the game, who shun him and hero worship the games’s protagonist Fix-It Felix. He tries entering the game’s 30th anniversary party, but ends up wrecking it, and leaves.

Later, at Tapper’s tavern (another game) he meets a soldier from the FPS, Hero’s Duty ( a not so subtle blend of Mass Effect and Space Marine) who tells him that the game’s winner receives a medal. Ralph decides to enter the game, causing a lot of confusion among the real world gamers as well as the game’s heroine, Sergeant Calhoun. After finally getting his medal, he encounters a Cybug (the game’s villains and a sort of virus) and ends up in an escape pod with, on a crash course to another game, Sugar Rush, a Mario Kart-like video game, with an emphasis on candy and chocolate..

Meanwhile, Felix and the others have a dreaded ‘Out of Order’ sign placed on their console, meaning unplugging and destitution. Felix then teams up with the Sergeant to bring Ralph back.

In Sugar Rush, Ralph meets Venellope von Schweetz, a glitchy character who dreams of racing, despite being shunned by the other racers. What follows is a an unraveling of their world with the candy exterior of Sugar Rush being removed to show a darker underbelly.

The movie runs around two hours and is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, giving other animated releases like Madagascar and Ice Age some serious competition. This movie is not just one for the kids. Watch it if you call yourself a gamer. You won’t be disappointed.

Captain America: The First Avenger

In all honesty, I didn’t know much about Captain America before watching the Avengers. I only watched this in order to get a bit of the back story on him, and having done that, I’m very impressed, more with the Captain’s actual story than with the movie in itself. Since I watched this after the Avengers, this is going to have a lot of comparisons between the two as well as a review.

First of all, it must be said that the Captain got short-changed in the Avengers. His character could have been used far more than the extra it had seemingly been cast as. I enjoyed watching the brotherly relationship between Bucky and Steve, and was extremely surprised to see Howard Stark (Iron Man’s dad) in the movie, as every bit of a casanova that his son grows up to be

.

The story is interesting and concerns, as many movies set in WWII, the Valkyrie – the Nazi super-weapon designed to destroy the allies. In this movie, Johann Schmidt, a Nazi scientist and head of Hydra, the science division is the villain Red Skull. However, don’t expect Avengers-style destruction. This was set in the ’40s – explosions were smaller then.

Personally, the end was far more interesting than the story, as 70 years pass by before the Captain is found. If you’ve seen the Avengers, the rest is history. One thing, Which recently occurred to me is that even though Howard Stark and the Captain were good friends, the Captain and Howard’s son Tony don’t get along so well. Wonder why?

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Another example of don’t mess with the tried-and-tested

Under normal circumstances, Ghost Rider is one of my favorite Marvel heroes. Under “normal” circumstances. I loved the first picture, especially Blackheart, who in my view is one of the greatest movie villains  The plot was good, and the action awesome. Tough formula to get wrong, no? Apparently not.

When Spirit of Vengeance released, I had great hopes for the movie, hoping for something that would parallel or even exceed the lofty benchmarks set by its predecessor. I was mistaken. This movie is one of the worst movies I have ever watched. The plot is terrible, any action very weird, and the characters are really sad. But the worst part is the number of unnecessary changes to the overall story arc as well as to Blaze himself. Small things, like the Rider’s bike to larger things, like the story of how Blaze makes the deal with Satan have been changed without remorse. Johnny Blaze’s character has been rewritten completely from a brooding bad-ass to an entirely different person, who cracks bad jokes and is more like the Joker from Batman than the Ghost Rider. Iconic dialogues like “You. Guilty. Look into my eyes” have been removed. Indeed, the Rider himself barely talks.

 

Please don’t ask about the story. because there isn’t one of any note. And please, take my advice and don’t EVER watch the movie. Its a disgrace to film-making.

The Expendables 2

As promised, I watched ‘The Expendables 2’ soon after my previous post, and it is AWESOME! How couldn’t it be? It could easily have been a hit only by riding on its all-star cast. But thankfully, this isn’t the case with The Expendables 2.

A sequel to a successful movie always has high expectations and this easily surpassed them in the first ten minutes or so. The plot is strictly okay, and often used in other such movies. But the action sequences, and the bro-mance between Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham, as well as the constant back and forth between various teammates sells the movie.

A new character is introduced, a young sniper Billy ‘the Kid’ played by Liam Hemsworth. He is extremely likable and he soon became my favorite  Sadly his role is quite short, if you know what I mean (Spoiler Alert!). Even so, Expendables 2 is a great movie which you can watch over and over again.

Oh, almost forgot to mention, there was a guest appearance by an actor named Chuck Norris. Sound familiar?