Advert

Apr 162014
 

ASM2Wolvie

SPIDER-MAN VS X-MEN

Super-heroes are massive. Especially Marvel super-heroes. Both Fox’s X-Men and Sony’s Spider-Man franchises have been incredibly lucrative: X-Men has grossed $1,065,460,187 and Spider-Man, $1,375,853,166. And this May, the two franchises go head to head, who will come out tops? Our bet is on X-Men: Days of Future Past (which opens in Singapore on 22nd May). The star power on the movie will more or less guarantee box office success, and based on the final trailer below, might have a good story behind it as well.

Continue reading »

Mar 282014
 

WinterSoldier01

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
(Directed by Anthony & James Russo. Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford & Sebastian Stan)

Finally, a Phase 2 Marvel movie knocks one out of the park! Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World had not quite hit the heights of Avengers and thus it was left to Captain America: The Winter Soldier to deliver the goods.

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT!

 FILM  Comments Off
Mar 252014
 

Billed as the biggest superhero movie ever produced, Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past packs two generations of X-Men in a loose adaptation of Uncanny X-Men #141-142 (1980). Based on the two trailers already seen and the previous X-movies, it’s obvious that changes to the original stories is a given. The most one can hope for is that director Bryan Singer keeps faith with the core of the original stories, does not include too many lame characters (like X-Men: The Last Stand) and keeps the plot convolution to a bare minimum. Here’s the latest trailer for your viewing pleasure.

Opens 22nd May.

GEEK OUT!

 BOOK, COMICS  Comments Off
Feb 242014
 

A book about superheroes from one of the most iconoclastic of comic book writers, Grant Morrison. To sum it up, Morrison provides an analysis of over 70 years of the superhero mythos whilst at the same time dovetailing the subject matter into some kind of meta-autobiography.

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT!

 FILM  Comments Off
Feb 192014
 

To be honest, I was less than impressed when Marvel Studio first announced its intention to make a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The original concept art that accompanied the press release (above) certainly did not help the cause. The main concern was Rocket Raccoon (an intelligent, anthropomorphic raccoon, who is an expert marksman and master tactician!) and the feeling that if the film-makers got Rocket wrong in making him believable, then that would destroy the movie’s credibility.

Of course, so far Marvel Studios have not failed to deliver with each of its films and in bringing in James Gunn (Slither, Super) to helm the first movie adaptation of Marvel’s outer space characters, it revealed an intention to tap into the director’s distinctive quirky style. And this is clearly evident from the first full trailer which presents a comic tone that works very well. I especially like the way that everyone makes fun of Star-Lord’s name.

And… Rocket looks awesome. Take a look!

Guardians of the Galaxy opens on 1st August. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bastita, Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel.

GEEK OUT!

 COMICS, FILM  Comments Off
Feb 152014
 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR

I suppose I am a bit late to DC’s New 52 concept which rebooted the company’s entire superhero line but the very idea repulsed me back then, so you will forgive me if I decided not to indulge when it all went down in 2011. The direct-to-video animated movie, Justice League: War, represents the first movie adaptation of the New 52 series (in particular, Justice League) and thus, I thought it would be an appropriate time to give my 2cts worth on this latest reboot.

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT!

 COMICS  Comments Off
Jan 022014
 

JUPITER’S LEGACY

Most PoP visitors will be aware of my ambivalence towards contemporary superhero comics. But every now and then, a series will appear that promises an intriguing take on the much maligned ‘genre’. Writer Mark Millar is a fairly big shot in the world of superhero comics and the Scot is best known for his work in The Authority and The Ultimates (not to mention Kick-Ass). Artist Frank Quitely has made his name working mainly with Grant Morrison on well-received titles like The New X-Men, All-Star Superman and We3. Last time these well-regarded creators worked together was on the aforementioned The Authority but this time, this creator-owned property gives them both a chance to let loose on the superhero mythos to fairly good effect.

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT!

 COMICS  Comments Off
Jan 012014
 

Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

Reminiscing. About superhero comic books from the 1980s. Those were the days! *Sigh*

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT!

 FILM  Comments Off
Dec 052013
 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer is here and guess what? The movie looks like Spider-Man 3 – y’know three villains overkill. Mm. Hopefully, it will make more sense than Spider-Man 3 did. Note: that last sequence really looks like a video game. Ugh.

What did you think of the trailer?

GEEK OUT!

 FILM  Comments Off
Aug 282013
 

KICK ASS 2

I ain’t gonna sugar coat it – there is no justification for this pointless sequel, except the studio’s blind greed. I loved the first Kick Ass, I found it inventive, invigorating and highly entertaining with Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl the icing on the proverbial cake.

Everything about this sequel is just wrong – not least the entire cliched sequence where Mindy MacCready (Hit Girl’s alter ego) attempts to lead a normal life and leaves her vigilante lifestyle behind. And when even scenes with Moretz are not able to satisfy, then it’s clear that the movie is in trouble!

There is nothing remotely interesting about the plot –  predictable and unimaginative – it plods along at a didactic pace that threatened to induce sleep once or twice. Even Jim Carrey’s Captain Stars and Stripes is unable to inject any real humour into the proceedings.

By the time, the movie arrives at its inevitable denouement – the big battle between super-heroes and super-villains – one is simply past caring – there is hardly any depth of characterization that would encourage the audience to invest any concern regarding the ultimate fates of the characters.

Avoid.

Seriously.

TRAILERS

Gravity (Opens on 3rd October)

Mexican Alfonso Cuaron earned his reputation as a leading cutting edge director with Children of Men, th etrailer for the upcoming Gravity (starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock) certainly looks pretty enough but somehow Bullock’s cries for help is difficult to reconcile with a seriously cool flick. I am hoping that there’s more to the movie than the trailer suggests.

Ender’s Game (Opens on 7th November)

Orson Scott Card’s epic tale of gifted children recruited to fight an alien invasion of Earth finally hits the screen with controversy over Card’s anti-gay opinions threatening overshadow the merits of the movie itself. The trailer looks intriguing enough though…

… still there’s more …

GEEK OUT!

 FILM  Comments Off
Aug 092013
 

Super-hero movies. Once upon a time the very idea was a joke. The only successful super-hero movies (Batman, Superman) were the exclusion domain of DC. How that has changed! Marvel characters have become immensely popular with movie fans since the first X-Men movie and this was further escalated by Marvel themselves entering the fray with the first Iron Man movie. With The Avengers generating over a billion dollars at the box office, Marvel licensees like SONY and Fox are dead set on holding on to its prized franchises.

Continue reading »

Jun 142013
 

Reboot. Re-imagination. Re-telling.

In geek movie franchises (scifi, fantasy or superhero), going back to the beginning to re-introduce a iconic character is virtually unavoidable nowadays. In Batman Begins (2005), Christopher Nolan (director/co-screenwriter) and David S Goyer (co-screenwriter) succeeded in re-vitalizing the Dark Knight after the critical failure of Batman & Robin (1997). This success was due to Nolan’s approach to portray Batman as realistically as possible (within the context of a superhero movie) and Nolan and Goyer would bring the franchise to greater heights with Dark Knight (2008) and Dark Knight Rises (2012).

It was therefore natural for Warner Bros and DC Comics to look to Nolan and Goyer to do the same for Superman. By all accounts, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006) was a massive flop and Warner Bros was keen to turn it all around for Superman with Man of Steel. Adding director Zack Snyder (300 and Watchmen) to the mix, Nolan and Goyer applied the Dark Knight approach to Superman.

And it works.

With nods to numerous scifi movies of the recent past (MatrixIndependence Day) and a healthy referencing of the first two Christopher Reeve Superman movies, Man of Steel is,without doubt, one of the best superhero movies ever made and provides a solid platform for Warner Bros to build up the DC Universe from its foundation.

So many high points – the brilliant cast, the thought-provoking themes, the appropriate flashback sequences, the astounding art direction, the sensational special effects and dynamic film score – but the best part of all was that Snyder, Nolan and Goyer chose not to pander to the comic book audience only but instilled a science-fictional tread that ran right through the well-written plot narrative.

Highly recommended.

Man of Steel is now showing at a cinema near you.

May 012013
 

Iron Man 2 was only half a movie, in my humble opinion. The first half was quick-paced and exhilarating but then the wheels came off and the movie came to a tired conclusion. The sequel did well at the box office but one sensed that director Jon Favreau had lost interested in the franchise that he had kickstarted. So when it came to talk about the third Iron Man movie, Favreau passed and Shane Black came onboard.

Continue reading »

Dec 142012
 

As regular PoP readers will be aware, I was less than impressed with the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine – it was simply a bad movie and totally wasted the opportunity to develop one of the most interesting Marvel characters. But of course, due to the movie’s immense success, a sequel was always going to be on the cards. According to reports, the James Mangold-helmed The Wolverine is based on the classic Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which is set in Japan. Looking at the new poster (above), it’s clear that a strong Milleresque vibe has been assimilated to appease and excite comic book fans. To be honest, I have low expectations (I still believe that Hugh Jackman is totally wrong for Wolverine but that’s another story) but it’s wait and see for the time being…

The Wolverine will be released on 24th July 2013.

Official Site

Oct 162012
 

Well, it’s all over the interweb so it must be true. Disney will release Ant-Man on Nov 5th, 2015. Directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), the movie has been in development hell for the longest time and so this is exciting news indeed! However, considering that this release date is after that of Avengers 2 raises the important question of whether Ant-Man and Wasp will be in the Avengers sequel. I certainly hope so!

Oct 152012
 

I was rather intrigued by the pilot of the Arrow TV series, based on DC Comic’s Green Arrow. It appears that the producers are intent on making the series as grim, gritty and realistic as possible whilst being true to the DC Universe in which Oliver Queen/Green Arrow inhabits. IGN revealed this exclusive first look at one of DC’s favorite villains- Deathstroke – and it’s encouraging to see the character’s mask accurately depicted as well. Very promising!

 

Jul 202012
 

Batman Begins was – after the risible Batman Forever and Batman & Robin – a shot in the arm for the Batman movie franchise and the superhero film genre. Director Christopher Nolan together with writers Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer presented Batman in a more realistic and darker tone. Batman Begins was a critical and commercial success and paved the way for the even greater things to come.

Continue reading »

Jul 132012
 

We are a week away from the movie event of the year – forget about The AvengersThe Dark Knight Rises is the real deal! Four years ago, after watching The Dark Knight, this is what I wrote.

“One imagines that it would be difficult for director Christopher Nolan to follow this wonderful movie achievement but it will be intriguing to see him try.”

Continue reading »

Jun 252012
 

EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING

When I arrived at Lido 5 ten minutes late due to some unnecessary administrative hassle, the film had just begun and whilst I was struggling to find my seat, I missed a scene between a very young Peter Parker and his father Richard. Great start! BUT once I settled down in my seat, the story of awkward, geeky teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) began to unfold before my eyes. Very soon, his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) were introduced, in addition to the gorgeous Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and I bought it lock stock and barrel!!!

Continue reading »

Jun 202012
 

With each new trailer of The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan has revealed more and more of his epic vision for this final chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy. This final (?) trailer is probably the best yet with enough reveals to send shivers down your spine but still with so much held back to keep one in eager anticipation of the power and glory to come. Certainly all bets are off on whether The Dark Knight Rises will be the best superhero movie ever… was there any doubt??

 

Jun 192012
 

When I first heard that SONY Pictures had put a stop to developing Spider-Man 4 with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire and decided instead to reboot the franchise completely with The Amazing Spider-Man I was skeptical about the idea as it had only been a decade since Raimi’s Spider-Man and I thought that it was much too soon (as did many many other geeks).

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT! SUPER

 FILM  Comments Off
Jun 032012
 

 

Super is a low budget indie film that never got the same kind of attention that similar super-hero themed movie Kick-Ass got. The parallels are somewhat superficial – both movies are about ordinary folk who put on costumes to fight crime but they are stand-alone films in their own right. I loved Kick Ass (read my review) and as much as I wanted to like Super (it’s got Ellen Page!), it’s just too much of a narrative and conceptual mess to truly fully enjoy.

Continue reading »

GEEK OUT! AKAN DATANG*

 FILM  Comments Off
May 122012
 

With the resounding box office success of The Avengers, the summer blockbuster season has gotten off to the perfect start. To date, the Joss Whedon-helmed superhero movie spectacular has already grossed over US$800 million worldwide and there appears no reason to suppose that it will not surpass the billion dollar mark.

With science-fiction and fantasy themed movies capturing the imagination of the movie-going public, let’s take stock of what is the come in the months ahead and let’s speculate upon how well (or poorly – remember John Carter?) they will be received.

Continue reading »