Archive | Comic Book Films RSS feed for this section

I, Frankenstein is going to leave a scar

31 Jan

i-frankenstein

It’s alive! Well, it is happy to be breathing at this point because the newest interpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic character has many noticeable imperfections that are going to leave a scar. At times, the film is entertaining, but then it falls into a familiar sounding story line, “There has been a war…” and basically the Frankenstein monster is going to have to choose a side because his soulless body has the potential to change the face of the conflict. The film is on life support because the acting, directing and story telling falls short of the magic Kevin Grevioux’s created in the Underworld franchise. Aaron Eckhart’s stick wielding becomes repetitive and Yvonne Strahovski’s character is asked to make unrealistic leaps in a short amount of time in order to push the story forward. It just doesn’t work. However, this is NOT the worst Frankenstein film I have seen and maybe Grevioux bring it back to life in a sequel.

WORD COUNT 160:
Chuck’s Grade: C-

Adam’s Grade: N/A

THOR: THE DARK WORLD hammers out an unsatisfactory ending

18 Jan

Thor-The-Dark-World

The sequel, Thor: The Dark World finds the title character tackling the all-to-common villain that wants to destroy the entire universe for some illogical reason that is never fully explained and never full thought out. However, it does not matter because Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane (Natalie Portman) are re-united for a meet the parents episode while Loki (Tom Hiddleson) broods in prison for his past offenses. Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is a formidable arch-rival for both Thor and Odin who will ultimately need Loki’s help to confront Malekith. The film is entertaining and I prefer it over the original because the characters are able to delve deeper into their relationships with one another. However, like most Marvel products the ending does not do the rest of the film justice because it hammers out an unsatisfactory ending that cannot control the balance between action and comedy.

WORD COUNT: 147
Chuck’s Grade: B-
Adam’s Grade: N/A

Oblivion is a mixed bag

22 Sep

OBLIVION-FILM

Oblivion is a mixed bag that is going to receive a mixed review from FastForwardFilmReviews.com. On the one hand, Adam found the film to be unoriginal and disappointing on many levels. His major criticism is the story and its predictable twists, as well as the under utilized characters, Malcolm Beach (Morgan Freeman) and Julia Rusakova (Olga Kurylenko). Anytime a film has to rely on flashbacks it is in trouble and Oblivion finds itself pressing rewind in many places. On the other hand, Chuck did not mind the story and doesn’t think it clones other films. Joseph Kosinski’s riffing on common sci-fi subjects is not a big deal. Oblivion is noticeably slow-moving and Chuck agrees with Adam about the supporting cast. However, he did not see the twist coming, which has him liking the film much more than Adam, although Chuck was disappointed with the final product. Both agree the visual effects are amazing and Claudio Miranda’s cinematography is gorgeous.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: C+

Chuck’s Grade: B

Riddick grabs you by the throat…

13 Sep

RIDDICK-FILM

Riddick grabs you by the throat at the beginning of the film and squeezes hard. The special effects and the gritty survival story pulls everyone in right away, until the B-level supporting cast (bounty hunters) shows up and reminds audiences they are watching a sci-fi film closer in quality to Pitch Black than Chronicles. Diesel’s slow delivery and deliberate physicality demonstrates his box office appeal. He has not lost a step, although this version of the title character has an “in the gutter” sense humor that helps keep audiences entertained as he must kill man and beast over and over again. It does get a little repetitive at the end, but Riddick delivers on his promises. This movie does not advertise to be something it is not. Audiences get what they expected and most people leave satisfied and hoping for another film that will feature a climatic showdown between Riddick and Vaako (Karl Urban).

WORD COUNT: 154

Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: N/A

The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high

30 Aug

THE-DARK-KNIGHT-RISES
Everything comes to an end in Christopher Nolan’s ambitious conclusion to his Batman Trilogy. Set eight years after The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a guilt-ridden recluse content with his tarnished reputation. A powerful, new villain, Bane (Tom Hardy) has a complex plan to destroy Gotham.

The Dark Knight Rises is a good film, but not a great film. Nolan tries to do too much with Bane. A “revolution” of convicts running around didn’t work well in the first film and it doesn’t work in this one either. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was brilliantly played, but she became one of Nolan’s unnecessary moving parts, although she contribute in the end; she serves as Batman’s deus ex machina rather than something she can stick her claws in.  The expectations were unreasonably high for the third film, but it cannot be used as an excuse for some basic story problems. The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high.

WORD COUNT: 159

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade for IMAX: B+
Chuck’s Grade for Standard Screen: B-

Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films

28 Aug

BATMAN-BEGINS

Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman character has replaced most audiences’ perception of the caped crusader. Thank goodness because I am tired of campy television references and Tim Burton’s expressionist take on the masked vigilante. Nolan’s first installment provides the origin of Batman and Bruce Wayne’s reluctant journey back to Gotham City. Christian Bale is ideal for the part and the film’s antagonists Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow) and Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard) are equally up to the task. The Scarecrow scares audiences with his ghoulish demeanor while Ducard’s cold-blooded crusade are formidable tactics that keep the film from falling into a one-note action flick. Batman is known for his utility belt and Batmobile. Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) provides the eye-catching vehicles and gadgets that raise the level of action to new heights for a comic-book film. Nolan creates a realistic superhero with human flaws and weaknesses that audiences can’t get enough of. Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films.

WORD COUNT: 158

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: A-

Kick-Ass 2 gets its ass kicked

19 Aug

KICK-ASS-2

The original Kick-Ass surprised audience with its funny story, gratuitous violence, and vulgar language from a cute cast of kids. Three years later, the kids are not as cute and the violence is cartoonish, and the language seems appropriate for your typical high school teenager.

Dave aka Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson) joins forces with a group of costumed vigilantes led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), while Mindy aka Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) attempts to live a normal life. Elsewhere, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), seeks revenge against Kick-Ass.

The film mainly lacks a good story. The script tries to set up emotional moment after another and fails miserably. However, the action is entertaining and like the first film, Hit-Girl steals every scene she is in. Kick-Ass 2 gets its ass kicked by the original because it cannot defeat the expectations of its fans and ends up like most sequels, which is not much.

WORD COUNT: 152

Adam’s Grade: C+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

RED was not on my radar

19 Jul

RED-FILM

I had no expectations when I saw this film in 2010. It was not on my radar. I had never heard of the comic and I had already seen Morgan Freeman work with Bruce Willis in Lucky Number Slevin. I wasn’t that impressed with that film, but I was willing to give RED a chance because it adds Helen Mirren and John Malkovich to the ensemble of Retired, Extremely Dangerous operatives. I must admit the film was funny and the action sequences were entertaining. Action-comedies are Willis’s bread and butter, but watching the other three film icons participate was difficult to accept at first, but once I was able to let go of my prejudices I must admit the film was very funny and the action sequences were entertaining. However, I would not watch choose to watch it again, unless it was on cable late at night. With that said, I will wait for RED2 to hit REDbox.

WORD COUNT: 157

Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: C

Man of Steel fails to be super!

18 Jun

Man-of-Steel

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

The Man of Steel is a re-interpretation of the Superman franchise. Under the guidance of Hollywood’s own superhero, Christopher Nolan produces the latest version by employing screenwriter, David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder to bring this all to familiar story back to life. I am not going to bore you with the story of Jor-El (Russell Crowe), his newborn son, and the Clark family. Henry Cavill’s (Superman) most amazing feat was landing the role in the first place. His past projects and stiff performances were nothing special to warrant the red cape, but his chiseled body and good looks certainly fit the part.

The film’s main strength is Snyder’s ability to deliver thrilling action scenes, but it is the same old story with a predictable ending and one of the most annoying romances in comic book history. Not so super.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: C+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Iron Man (2008) is more American than Captain America himself

5 May

Iron_Man_1

The first installment of the Iron Man trilogy is the best of the Marvel Comic movies.  Director John Favreau uses the most successful ingredients of a Hollywood big budget action film and allows Robert Downey Jr.’s talent to command the attention.  Favreau does most of the exposition before the opening credit are over, which allows him to start the film off on a high note and never look back with a brisk pace that mixes humor, action, and romance together seamlessly. Downey Jr. portrayal of Tony Stark has audiences loving him by the time he mentions the Playboy twins and his note-worthy character flaws are not made into a life-threatening crisis like so many other films in this genre. His fun first, and serious second demeanor in his personal and professional life creates an identity that makes him more American than Captain America himself. Stark Industries and Marvel Cinematic Movies have a promising future with this stylish suit of armor.

WORD COUNT: 160

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: B+