Archive for the ‘comic book’ Category

Blu-ray/DVD Review ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’: Face Front!

November 4, 2012

First, know this: I’m a Marvel kid. I even bought The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 off the newsstands when it first arrived in 1962 (having missed Amazing Fantasy No. 15). So I know Spider-Man, and I love Spider-man.

Now, did I love his latest big-screen reboot in The Amazing Spider-Man, new from Columbia on Blu-ray and DVD Friday? (Handsome trailer–with some footage not in the movie–here.)

Well, yes — this is, after all, my childhood hero, here with all the bells and whistles that today’s state of the art effects can provide, and with much improved casting for the title role in Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), in place of the mumbling,  muttering no-show of Tobey Maguire.

In fact, all of the new casting is right-on, from Garfield’s now offscreen girlfriend, Emma Stone, as Peter Parker’s (Spidey’s) stylish onscreen girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, to the gruff and great Denis Leary as her police captain papa, to Welch actor Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, soon to become the lab-coated villain who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man No. 6, The Lizard. (more…)

‘Green Lantern’ Blu-ray/DVD review: Its flaws did not escape my sight

October 14, 2011

First, I should acknowledge that, even as a Marvel kid who grew up giving A’s to the FF, I’m bored now by superheroes. Why? Because they’re so bogus — so nonsensical — so preposterous — so pandering to adolescent male power fantasies. It’s a genre where writers make up powers, and therefore they’re real and compelling, when in fact they’re just show-off gimmicks for bolder comic panels and bigger CG extravaganzas in movies. And I’m just not buying it — not anymore.

I guess that’s why I loved Kick-Ass so much. It had no make-believe  powers, just real people (like Batman) who fought crime because they believed in it — and adored its elan via kick-ass costumes. (more…)

DVD review: Fun-challenged ‘Hancock’ fizzles

November 25, 2008

I grew up on superhero comic books, so I’m stoked by Marvel’s renaissance as a big-screen behemoth, and I was certainly looking forward to Hancock. For one thing, I’m a big admirer of director Peter Berg, whom I got to know during several interviews and while visiting the set of Friday Night Lights (the movie) when it shot at Houston’s Astrodome. He’s a good guy, and I was pulling for him.

But the film, sadly, doesn’t cut it. An uneven melange of splashy CG effects, mundane interpersonal drama, ludicrous small-world coincidences and lame sci-fi plot contrivance, Hancock is largely dour and dull, as it follows an otherworldly superhero (Will Smith) who succumbs to Earth’s alcohol and does more property damage than he does good when he comes to the rescue.

How did he get here? Why doesn’t he try to go home? Why doesn’t he try harder to save himself instead of wreaking havoc? Who knows? The script doesn’t bother to go there.

Coming to Hancock’s rescue is a down-on-his-luck PR guy (Jason Bateman) who wants to reinvent Hancock as a brand, and ostensibly as a fellow being. But hardly anything is said about his severe drinking problem, other than a simplistic just-say-no approach, and it’s galling that such a major malady for many people is brushed across here with no sense of its enormity.

Smith also loses any and all of his sassy, roguish charm as a taciturn drunk whose inner demons never are analyzed, and Charlize Theron, as Bateman’s wife, just gets in the way — especially when an impossible back-story for her is announced. This is also one of those films where rules seem to be made up as the movie goes along, in order to connect too many dots.

I love these actors, just not how they’re used and absued by the script. And Berg’s shaky-cam approach is pointless and annoying. Camera operators are supposed to be professional enough to hold the camera steadily and get the shot, and I’m sure this film’s camera operator was able to do so. But this movie looks like it was shot by someone who  couldn’t get a bead on a barn from 10 feet away.

Wish I could say more in favor of a film whose premise, on the surface, echoes the way Marvel made superheroes more human and “relevant” back in the ’60s. But those superheroes still had some fun. Hancock doesn’t. And neither will you, I’m afraid.

Flame off.