6 December 2010

Up, up and away Batman!

Superman/Batman Apocalypse – Lauren Montgomery

Now let’s start by my massive addiction to what DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are doing at the moment, taking the best characters from some of the best comics ever made and putting them in short and sweet direct-to-DVD films. It’s a great idea which has really paid off because all of them are being produced at a high standard and with people who really enjoy the franchises; they put their love and effort into each one creating outstanding adaptations. This latest release from the team is considered a sequel to Superman/Batman: Public Enemies in terms of the storyline with “The Girl from Krypton” and the art style is partly based on Michael Turner’s run of comics he did. With the voice actors who portray these mega characters, if you’re a big fan of the movies and cartoon series, you may recognise a couple of the voices, but these aren’t meant to have big stars but instead use voices that best represent the characters. Kevin Conroy has, for many years, been Batman and Bruce Wayne in the way of his voice, and here he isn’t used to the best of his ability heard in other films but he is Batman so you can’t complain. Tim Daly, a relative newcomer to the scene, he does well considering its Superman; it’s a hard voice to pull off.

Following the story of a girl who lands onto Earth, who turns out to be the cousin of the mighty Superman Kora Zor-El, she shows him that she has powers that are better than his which ultimately scares him realising that she may be too unstable for Earth. After she meets Superman, he invests in getting her to meet Batman and Wonder Woman and help her learn the way of the human race and earn humanity, but someone else has a better idea. Darkseid learns of Kora’s power and ability and wishes to use her in becoming the queen of the dark side of the universe. It’s a great little tale of overcoming adversity and the power of women. All of the heroes have a great part to play and they all seem to do what their powers allow them to. The fight at the end with Superman, Supergirl and Darkseid is pretty intense especially if you’re a massive geek like myself.


Simon Childs


The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – David Slade

Jacob, stay!...sit!.....rollover!

Now as vampire films go I am more of a Blade lover than a Twilight lover. I’m no “Twihard”, I don’t drool when Robert Pattinson sparkles or scream every time Taylor Lautner has his top off (which a bunch of girls did in the cinema, no joke). But I have read the books and seen the first two films, all of which are ok-ish, and I’d heard that this third film was supposed to be the best yet, so I kept my hopes up for a decent cinema experience. I was disappointed.

The plot of the film centres on the everyday problem of having to choose between a vampire who wants to marry you and a werewolf who can’t hold is temper. It’s pretty much New Moon apart from the fact that on top of this poor Bella has to deal with the crazy red haired vampire. Who has created a new born army to tear her to shreds. The way the love triangle between Bella, Jacob and Edward was portrayed just infuriated me, lots of close ups of longing looks and moody stand offs. Nothing really seemed to happen, It was the same thing over and over again. Close up, stand-off and annoying inner monologue, just in different settings. It’s not complex in any way, we all now Bella will stick with Edward so it’s just all rather flat. There is finally some excitement with the fight scene between the newborns and the Cullen’s and werewolves but it didn’t last long enough even though the effects were mostly good. But because all the focus is on Bella the threat of the newborns doesn’t really register, you barely notice them as a threat. This isn’t helped with the fact that any scene with them in makes them out to be more of a disorganised rabble than a horrifying army of blood thirsty beasts. Personally I feel the emphasis should have been on the newborns and Victoria the red headed vampire. It would have made for a more exciting and less annoying film. With the amount of cult followers it has this series should be up there with Harry Potter, but so far the Twilight films have just been lacking. At least with this one they have left you wondering what the Volturi are up to and what could happen next, sort of. And Dakota Fanning is quite fun to watch as a sadistic little vampire girl, but she’s barely in the film.

It’s not so much the best Twilight Saga film yet, more the least bad. With the likelihood that the last book is being split into two films I just hope that they actually let something happen, because so far nothing of interest has. Unless you count the young romance, which if you’re anything like me will annoy the heck out of you by the end if this film. If you must watch it, go ahead, but I’d recommend the soundtrack more.


Grace Cowie

Please die Vampire and Werewolf, please!

Well, well, well, look at what we’ve got here, another Twilight film. Coming out on DVD just in time for the holiday season and cleverly marketing to all those tweens out there who love a bit of vampire love and underage romance involving prehistoric monsters like Dracula and a werewolf, the third instalment in the series, perfectly named Eclipse (so emo!) can be called one of the largest makers of young girls scream since Justin Bieber. Featuring those young adults you may know, names like Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, three people who have been thrusted into the limelight under horrible circumstances, now people just can’t get enough of them, peeking into their private life’s and not leaving them alone. I was really sick of the whole coverage of the films and the actors in the films, it was plastered everywhere, does anyone realise there are millions of films out there that are better and need more coverage than this pile of shit?

It’s about some girl who fancies both a vampire and a werewolf like the other films but they are in danger from a war or something and there is this woman on a revenge mission to kill the girl because the vampire loves her. It’s all very stupid and over the top, fights between vampires and werewolves and then fights between the two factions and new vampires. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was really going on because it just seemed like over-the-top nonsense that i wasn’t going to get involved in. It doesn’t excite me, it doesn’t make me think about the characters and how they might be affected by their action. If anything i’m more incline just to listen because the soundtrack is easily the best thing about the whole series. Every movie i listen and not watch and i’m normally happy about this. I really can’t wait for the next one to be released and for the whole thing just to end and people to move on with their lives, but what will happen is that the writer of the whole of this will see that she can’t write anything else and will continue to add to the saga in forms of new books and new spin offs and of course the big studios will continue to pump them out just because they know money is clearly going to be gained.



Simon Childs

A for Awesome, A for Adventure, A for Approval?

The A Team – Joe Carnahan

A REMAKE! WOO! Wait, is it a remake? Or is it an adaptation from the television show finally being made for the big screen but with a completely new cast and team behind it? Been in development since the 90’s, the film is finally released and it seems to have collated all the good parts of the show and made them bigger, better and more badass! The elite team in the A team series as always been the bases for most action films, the type of sequences they created back when it was on TV really changed the action you would see on the small screen. And to move it to the big screen, they had to amplify it by 100 and they do. They deliver on that front without being outlandishly cartoonish like The Losers was, earlier this year. I want to see shit blow up and things to be flying through the air, rockets going off, hand to hand combat, and great plans to get things back, rescue missions and funny little intervals. And The A Team remake holds its own, even if the success wasn’t as big as hoped, it’s still a decent Hollywood action film which has been rarely good this year other than The Expendables.

Going through the team we have: Liam Neeson as Hannibal, the leader of the pack who is great at hatching plans, Bradley Cooper plays Faceman, the face and the looks of the group, the one who always seems to be liked by both men and women and can pretty much get out of any situation he is placed in. Rounding up the group is B.A. Baracus played by Quinton Jackson who you may know from MMA which is a type of fighting which has a massive fan base in the US but not so much over here. And the final member is my favourite, who you might recall from a little film called District 9, Sharlto Copley (“You fuckin’ prawn”) who plays the crazzzzzy Howling Mad Murdock who is the pilot for the group who ultimately is the reason behind the famous quote “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane” from B.A., formerly played by Mr T. The group finds themselves in the middle of a conspiracy where they are found to be wanted criminals even after being a group of soldiers in the force who seem to pull off the best plays to help the government out. But they are soon on the run from the C.I.A who wants them back in prison as soon as possible. Massive car explosions, buildings blowing up, ships crashing, shit going crazy, it’s such a fun film which i never knew i would say.

It’s a decent film that you may enjoy on a Sunday night with nothing on the TV; it’s a great friends and family picture too with different characters probably being liked by the different member of the family.


Simon Childs

I’m gonna splice you silly!

Splice – Vincenzo Natali

The advertisements and publicity for the film is really different from what i actually saw, i was expecting a really fucked up horror film involving a creature that looks disgusting just killing people over and over again. But instead its foundation is from a relationship and a couple wanting to become a family but uses an unconventional method to go about it, through science. The film is presented by Guillermo Del Toro and you can defiantly see the connection between Del Toro and the source material and even the aesthetic of the creature as well, being reminiscent of the creatures found in Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. These creatures will stay in your mind for a little while so watch out for nightmares about them, and considering that this is a commentary on the evolution of science and how this could really happen, it’s very frightening of many levels, not just on a film level.

Starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as Clive and Elsa as the two leads, they bring a great amount of acting talent to a genre which isn’t known for it, and you can tell it makes a massive difference in the outcome. Having decent actors react to what’s happening around them you feel for the characters and you feel a connection which otherwise wouldn’t be there. There’s been many films out this year that have characters die or be hurt in horrific ways but many of those i couldn’t give two shits about, so it’s a nice change to actually care about the people you’re seeing on the screen. Clive and Elsa are genetic engineers who have become successful in splicing animal DNA to create new breeds of animals. After being funded to do the research they want to keep going to the point of splicing human DNA with animal to see the effects; but it ends horribly. They begin testing it and its successful in creating a new breed with it soon grows to look like a human but with animal features such as a tail and super human strength and speed. It soon begins a slippery slope where the creature becomes out of control and start to affect the couple. The steady decline is fascinating and you never know where it might end up next.

One aspect that really freaked me out was having a sex scene between the creature and Adrien Brody’s character which really had me shivering in a disgusted way. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been there but it’s terrifying to have that notion in the film where a man would do that to a creature that fucking disgusting, if anything it shows some great writing to go into that direction. It’s a decent film which does scare but on a more physiological way.


Simon Childs