Tag Archives: Superheroes

Why I have hope for the Green Lantern movie

12 Apr

Answer = the new extended trailer.

Where the original trailer came off as cheesy, predictable, and hinted at the possibility of a badly animated super(skinny)suit, this trailer looks… epic.

It’s funny (his attempt at an oath actually made me laugh) and yet properly dramatic (the actual oath sounded almost inspirational).

It has snippets of exciting action scenes (explosions and fights and spaceships) and looks beautiful (aliens and settings that actually look cool).

Watching this trailer actually makes me want to go see this movie!

(I mean, I would have watched it anyway because it is a superhero and there’s no way I could say no to anything involving superheros, but now I’m way more likely to go see it in theatres)

Shut up, Crime (and read this)

6 Apr

Yeah, I watched Super last week, but couldn’t bring myself to write a review: it’s good, but not really my sense of humour. Luckily, I went with a friend (who shall be known on this blog as SparklyCupcake, for now) and she wrote it for me.

It’s not that I’m slacking…it’s an optimal delegation of work. 🙂

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Have you ever dreamed of being a superhero? Of gliding through clouds like the man of steel, or smashing through walls like his green-skinned counterpart? Their tales are fantastic and larger than life and understandably alluring. After all, who wouldn’t want a utility-belt full of crime-fighting wonders?

If you ask me, that list of people is a lot longer than it should be. To borrow an oft-quoted phrase from a movie that frequents late-nights on cable channels: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

And I’m not entirely convinced that most people who dream of karate-chopping faceless thugs who steal old ladies’ purses could shoulder that responsibility. The dark knight may possess the gritty resolve to hide in the shadows until he’s convinced that the men he’s observing on the seedy docks of the outer city deserve it, but most of us aren’t so blessed.

Maybe like Frank D’Arbo, your patience will be tested by a couple who cuts in front of you at the movie theater. Peter Parker may have looked the other way but Frank (aptly portrayed by Rainn Wilson) feels the need to unleash the justice of his trusty wrench across their faces until their bloody penance streams down their faces. This is why you should watch this movie, not just to cast doubt on the fantasies you’ve been nurturing since childhood, but because it’s destined to be a cult classic.

"That'll do."

The director said he wrote the script many years ago but didn’t want to move ahead with the project until he found the right person to play Frank. But it’s hard to believe that the role wasn’t written with Rainn in mind: Frank completely embodies the earnest eccentricity that has made his Office character a household name. An introverted fry cook, Frank creates his superhero persona Crimson Bolt after avision strengthens his resolve to rescue his wife (Liv Tyler).

"Beware crime."

After he decides to fight evil, with his wife’s drug-dealing boyfriend at the top of the list, Crimson Bolt and his wrench begin to terrorize pedophiles and thieves across the city. Frank’s calm and self-aware narration provides a jarring contrast to the celebratory gore that is frequently splashed acrossthe screen. That’s the beauty of this movie though; it’s able to seamlessly encompass the extremes of slapstick comedy and heartbreaking loss without losing the audience. Although some of the violence isclearly gratuitous and you occasionally wonder if you can really root for a character like Frank, his single-minded determination to save his fallen angel keeps you loyal until the end.

"Come here. I want to try something."

Out of all the characters, Liv Tyler’s Sarah, was probably the least explored. Throughout the movie we’re reminded that she’s in need of rescue both from herself and those around her, but we’re not givenmuch else to work with. Perhaps it fit the movie’s purposes to have a stereotypical damsel in distress toembolden the hero. Or maybe we weren’t supposed to think about Sarah as much as we were supposedto focus on what Frank was driven to do for her.

Ellen Page’s character Boltie, the Crimson Bolt’s ‘kid sidekick’, isn’t as easy to quantify. A fumbling twenty-something with a superhero fetish, she immediately attaches herself to Frank upon learning his secret identity. Like many of us would be, she isn’t content waiting for crime to happen and is perfectly comfortable with brutally punishing the people she thinks deserve it. Her enthusiasm for explosives taking down bad guys is an odd match for her childlike energy and junior-high vernacular, butit’s just another example of the contrasts this story thrives off of. Her excitement is infectious, her transgressions are oddly forgivable, and she was easily my favorite character after Frank.

"What are those?" "Pipe bombs. I'm not sure I'm doing it right."

To briefly tie up some loose threads, there are many other things that made me love this movie. I haven’t seen a lot of Kevin Bacon flicks but this movie has made a fan out of me. He brought an undeniable swagger and complexity to a character that could have easily been a two-dimensional villain,like a modern-day Bowser. Also, it was evident that the soundtrack was carefully chosen and I think they generally made great decisions both with the titles and their placement. And finally, despite it all, this movie made me want to be a superhero. Apparently all it takes is the decision to fight evil and a bloody wrench.

No Ordinary TV Show

24 Feb

I wasn’t too excited about this show at the start because, from the trailers I’d seen, it looked like a cheesier, live-action version of The Incredibles. However, now that I’m watching it, it’s not as bad as I was expecting.

Although it’s fairly predictable, it feels kinda like the later seasons of Heroes:  the premise makes it interesting enough to watch… although that could just be because I’ll watch anything with superheroes.

I like that each of their superpowers arguably corresponds to an issue they had, rather than just being randomly assigned. It reminds me of Misfits, which, as everyone knows, is awesome and anything that harkens back to it gains some redeeming value.

Jim, the husband, gets super strength, after it’s mentioned that he’s getting old and threw out his back earlier. Steph’s the career-oriented wife who’s always too busy for everything, so she gets super speed. Daphne, the teenage girl who’s worried about what the world thinks about her, gets to be a mind reader. JJ, the son who was about to be put in remedial classes, gets to be a genius.

Interesting factoid to notice: the kids’ powers keep evolving and developing, almost as though the powers grow because they’re still growing, while the parents’ powers have stayed fairly stable.

Why I continue to watch: The kids totally have supervillain powers (Ex: Daphne can now control people’s minds as well as read them). It would be AMAZING if the show chose to delve into their fall into the dark side. Probably not going to happen because it is an ABC(Family) show, but still…one can hope.

I enjoy the sidekicks (who actually think of themselves as sidekicks!) on this show a lot more than I like the main characters though. The wife’s comic-book-geek lab tech friend, Katie, is by far my favourite. Her romance with evil-guy-turned-good-because-he-loves-her is cheesy, but if there was a Katie-the-Sidekick show, I’d watch it. Her hair falls in perfect bouncy curls ALL THE TIME. That would be her superpower.

I especially love that, when first testing the wife’s superspeed, Katie asks all the questions comic book geeks have always wanted to know about how it actually works. (“How does your body cut through the wind shear? Why doesn’t the Coulumb friction singe your clothes? Are you generating some kind of charged plasma field from the kinetic energy? Is that why incoming debris isn’t sandblasting off your corneas?”)

The show’s trying to deal with the ramifications of being a superhero, and almost succeeds. It’s still fun to watch it try.

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Examples of times this show has been amusing:

Steph: “Say them. Say my three favourite words.”

Jim: “You were right.”

~

Jim: “So that’s it? I’ve got to lie, everyday, for the rest of my life?”

George: “I’m a lawyer. Trust me, you get used to it.”

~

Katie: “Complicated? Inception made more sense.”

 

The Cape: Campy Champion-y

25 Jan

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer (which I don’t think shows how good the show actually is, but will still give you an idea of what you’re in for):

 

Reasons I like this show so far:

It’s fun! The entire show, from the basic premise of superhero with magical cape powers to execution of the plotline, edges on the ridiculous. But it’s just on the edge. As of the three episodes I’ve seen, it walks the fine line of enjoyable goofiness and has yet to fall into the trap of being an absurd farce. I think it’s the perfect level of campy, as long as you approach it with that in mind.

It’s a comic book, no really. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about this show that makes it feel like watching a live-action comic book. It’s great! I think it’s the fact that everything’s just slightly overacted: enough so it’s thematic, but not so much that it’s annoying or too cheesy. And the background music is always perfect: slightly cartoony but subtle enough not to be noticed all the time.

It’s straightforward: Don’t know if it was my familiarity with the actor, or the fact that he’s the only British guy in the show, but I knew the identity of the ‘masked villain Chess’ (which is a cool name without being too ridiculous) within the first five minutes of the pilot. You were obviously meant to.

Honestly, I didn’t mind. After suffering through shows like The Event and Flash Forward, where the mystery and confusion of not knowing anything just blurs into tedium, I like having things laid out for me so openly. Plus, it adds to the feel that it’s an old-school comic, where bad guys were bad guys and good guys were good guys and you enjoyed watching them duke it out.
And, it’s not so predictable that it’s boring though, which is trap No Ordinary Family tends to fall into.

It’s got great names: Love that the Big Brother figure is Orwell. I’m sure everyone got the literary reference, but it makes the English major in me happy.

Also, Carnival of Crime! I mean, come on. It’s brilliant and alliterative and fun all in one title. And they robbed banks in circus costumes, with a dwarf and using an ice-cream truck and a raccoon. It’s hard not to love it.

It’s unexpectedly witty: Do we think the raccoon acted alone?”

 

Superheroes in Art

17 Jan

Art with a capital A, too.

With graphic novels gaining literary appreciation, why shouldn’t comic book art gain the same respect?
Honestly though, I’m not all that convinced about the general public’s ability to make that cognitive leap without some help, and I think I’ve found just the way to do that. Meshing comic book superheroes with more classic art might make it easier for people to appreciate comic art on its own.

Check out Superhero ModRen 1 and Superhero ModRen 2 . They’re Photoshop competitions where people have combined superheroes with fine art and some are pretty amazing.
(Admittedly, a lot do look just like bad Photoshop, but others are impressive.)

These are some of my favourites:

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