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 The President has been replaced by Zartan, who has ordered the Joes be wiped out.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.

Cross- Movie Connections #1

Its been a while since I posted last, almost 6 months, in fact! Sadly, there are periodically recurring events called exams which seem to occur very often in my life at the moment. If not exams then unit tests, and if not those then a project or something worse…

So, in other news I’m going to start a new section in my blog called “Cross-Movie Connections” where I connect two or more movies or movie franchises together. Now, I need you to understand that I’m still new to this quasi-conspiracy theory business, so please don’t tear me apart if a make a particularly bad connection.

So here goes…

Movies linked: Renaissance Man and Shooter


Premise: Haywood changes his name to Robert Swagger, and transfers to the Marines, where he quickly becomes renowned for his sniper skills, despite having a slow start as a double-D in the Army.

Imagination gone wild!

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

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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?

Real Steel

I’d been waiting to see thismovie since I saw a sneak preview of it on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Now, having watched it, I can’t help but feel cheated. Robots beating the crap out of each other, hard to mess up right? Even so, Real Steel seems to be a less than a sum of its parts. Even Hugh Jackman couldn’t really save the movie.

So, the movie is set a couple of years in the future, where robots have replaced humans in the boxing ring, to give the audience ” no holds-barred brutality”. Charlie Kenton is a retired boxer, now robot trainer who is down on luck. Forced to travel from city to city, in search of new fights and to hide from his debt-collectors, he finds himself burdened with his annoying 11-year old son Max. What follows his two hours of emotional garbage, interspersed with a few awesome robot fight scenes.

Hugh Jackman is his normal, awesome best, Evangeline Lily and also delivers an OK performance as Bailey Tallet – Charlie’s friend, mechanic, and an important mother figure to Max. Dakota Goyo annoyed me as he played his semi-Justin Bieber character. The one redeeming fact was the fights, but these were few and far between.

The soundtrack was fantastic and perfectly suited to the the scenes in the movie, with songs by Eminem, and 50 Cent. Special mention must also be given to the Visual Effects team, which made the robots absolutely realistic.

The Dark Knight Rises

As the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy mints money at the box office, most people are of the opinion that Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, might just be overshadowed by Tom Hardy’s brilliant performance as the terrorist Bane in the Dark Knight Rises. A friend of mine remarked that even without the use of most of his face, Tom Hardy has delivered a better performance than most actors can with the use of their entire body, and he’s absolutely right.
The Dark Knight Rises is set eight years after the events of the previous movie, with Gotham seeing her crime rates plummet after the passing of the Dent act, which I quote “gave teeth to the police in their fight.” Peace reigns throughout Gotham, that is until a terrorist Bane appears on the scene, with a sinister plan; and this time Batman is not in shape to fight him..

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Bane is a villian with a difference and is more refined, with an apreciation of art and music, along with the fact that he doen’t kill his thugs outright, but tells him to do something and THEN kills him. Considerate, no? Also there are a few changes to Bane’s appearance, most notable being his mask. Now, it appears more like a respirator than like the luchador-like mask, which he wore in the comics. However Nolan remains true to the character and even includes the iconic “I will break you!!” scene.
Christian Bale reprises his role of Batman/Bruce Wayne and gives a good, if not particularly memorable performance. Catwoman exceeded expectations, both as the character and in Anne Hathaway’s performance. An honourable mention must also be made of Alfred, who plays a more expanded role than in the previous film. Michael Caine portrays the old butler beautifully.

 
The plot can be roughly divided into two sections, pre-interval, which is good, if a little slow and post-interval, which will force you to become one with your seat as ou watch the action. There is also a little twist at the end, although hardcore Batman fans will spot it coming far in advance. The ending is extremely well-done and Nolan does a brilliant job of tying up the loose ends, but leaving enough for fans to hope for a possible sequel. A quick tip, keep an eye on one of the officers of GCPD, Blake, and you won’t be disappointed.

The movie runs a little less than 3 hours, so be aware. But I can assure you, the fast-paced action and ever-thickening plot will leave you wondering where the time went.