Fences: Film Review


Writer:August Wilson, Director: Denzel Washington, Runtime: 2h19m Full Cast & Crew
“How come you ain’t ever like me?”. What a thing to ask your father, I said to myself. Later, I caught wind of James Earl Jones doing the same scene. As he was in the play version many years ago. Then another video appeared with Leading Male, Denzel Washington, doing his version of the same play. What made it more interesting, was the audience was laughing. I couldn’t help but feel extremely perplexed by how such a scene could come off as comedic. So, I went and what I got was a film so distant to any film I’ve seen like it. Through the guise of spectacular acting, this motion picture felt more like a play than 24 frames rushing past your eyes.

What good editors will tell you, and I’m even sure this a quote from the Godfather’s editor, a cut should feel like a person blinking, more so than a cut for cuts sake. (Post Edit, its from Walter Murch). This was achieved here. The dialogue is so quick and cohesive that you don’t get to notice when the edits actually happen. That’s beautiful work in my eyes.

Denzel, Davis and co. Give such outstanding performances Watching the leads had me in such awe. The first half of the film belongs to Denzel. While the second is a humble share, if not impeccably dominated, by Viola. She steals scenes and she is the best in the business at doing so. I doubt she means to. But her hard work and talent that she’s has had over the years is simply being manifested into her performances. It’s hot actually.. My pick for best supporting actress at this year’s Oscars is without doubt,Stephen Henderson! (Jim Bono Character) He didn’t miss a beat and he had all the right emotion to match with the provided story. His first few scenes with Denzel, made Denzel better by providing someone grounded yet as crazy as Denzel’s character is.

The title is meant as an allegory that both works and doesn’t. Less the latter than the former. There’s so much happening with the people in the story, that the fence is benign. His Wife asks him to build it, however, it’s occurs so quickly, I nearly missed it. Each time it’s mentioned later, I barely cared as there was so much more going on(namely with his brother which had some of Denzel’s best acting for me, it added nothing to the story since there’s so much more happening that he can’t even build the fence. The fence is the least interesting part of the story.  Then you get to The confession and Viola Davis’ third, well-written act & tremendous performance. By that part, you have lost all interest in the fence. Maybe in the play it holds more of a meaningful presence. It then can be argued the cinematography or rather, the medium as a whole caused the fence to fall so far into the background. But that’s neither here nor there. Needless to say, the story being central to the fence is very misleading (even if it is apparent). Allegories shouldn’t be verbal in cinema, they should either be purely visible (through set pieces to cinematography) or simply acted out in body language/ actual deeds. Denzel and co dropped the ball on that in my eyes.

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Denzel deserves a nod for direction I feel as well. His choices with bringing the production to life were spectacular.

Bottomline: If you want to see a film that has tremendous acting and editing, see this one. It deserves all the nominations for those sort of categories. But it certainly doesn’t deserve a win for best picture(the nomination is fair). It should be nominated for set design or production coordination editing and of course any and all for acting.

 

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8.7 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7 out of 10,
  • Acting: 10 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Not a bad pick up if you wish to buy it, but this is more a Netflix stream than anything.

Suicide Squad:Film Review

It’s okay. Definitely not a bad film.


Writer & Director: David AyerFull cast, Run time:2h3m

Let’s first shout out the cinematographer, Roman Vasyanov, involved with making Toronto look nothing like Toronto. As I watched I tried to look for where the CN Tower was much less any other well known spot was and outside from the obvious, it was rather hard to tell.  Mixed in with some post shots of Chicago, it was very well shot. It was hard to tell, at times between studio and city locations. thats always a good thing artistically.

If I’m applauding the cinematic look first that may be a sign.

But it’s not a bad one.

Now for my analysis. Now, when Bruce Timm and crew made the character “Harleen Quinzel”  I don’t believe they had ever intended to be the characterization of what all holloween costumes are for girls these days. Some skimpy clad caricature of something. And the wardrobe head on the film dropped the ball here. Now with things like Hot Topic, she’s all you seemingly see ladies in geekdom dress as. It’s as common as you see black spots on a pavement on a busy city street. The more she has revealed skin, the higher her popularity rose. In a way, she is like many females on social media who show skin to get a lil fame. Now this aside, there are great moments from Margot Robbie that brings the famed and loved take of Harlequin from the animated series. They just come much later in the film than one hopes for. What is most interesting is how well she plays off everyone graciously. The physical contrast to standing next to Killer Croc, Deadshot and the villian witch, while inna some bhatty ridas, and heels, allowed for her character to feel as authentic as she could possibly be at being a bad ass. By the end of the film I was so pleased with how well she acted. But still only for the second half.

The elephant in the room should be seen and spoken about. When he was casted as…….. Deadshot. Nah, The Joker. Jared Leto. Everyone thought he was a great choice, as he’s a sound actor. He has a quality method acting ability. If you doubted the casting, you were always reminded about Heath’s casting for TDK. THEN Mr. Leto’s look as the Joker was released and all geekdom hell broke loose. Needless to say, you either accepted it, or hated it and moved on. I’m definitely the latter. However, is mannerisms as Mr. J were all right. If Mark Hamil is the definitive Joker, then Leto may be the best on screen, (but I still think Heath is best Joker as his take is much deeper and darker a character). But his performance(Leto) in the role he was given was excellent. I don’t like the story’s portrayal, but it is similar to stories of past takes on the Joker being more of a gangster versus just a mad clown. But there is a mad clown for sure. I don’t think he matches up with how we saw Batman, in BVS, but the Batman we see in S.Squad, seems more plausible. But more on that later. The one thing I think people will dislike is his look, and feeling of being too much of a gangster. Mr.Ayer said he

writes with his own life’s diversity in mind.

And that he

“was the only white kid in his neighbourhood.”(-comingsoon.net, S.Squad presser)

so maybe how Joker was written had something to do with that.

Viola Davis. She can act man. SHE CAN REALLY ACT. She was probably the most bad ass of them all. Her screen time is logistically limited but with every frame, she gracefully commands and shares the screen well(Also shout to to the editor(s) who worked on her stuff).
At the younger age of 50(Her birthday is tomorrow) and probably her first ever huge blockbuster, she did an amazing job. I was very proud of her performance. She could quite possibly have the best take of Amanda Waller. She held her own in many ways and seemed is the most authentic to the source material. Apparently she drew from her 8 year old bad-assself.

Smith. He was the one I didn’t think would ever do “another” superhero movie, but alas, here we are. He is just an acting beast. Aside from the Joker, he just almost captivates the screen. Where the Joker shows up and everyone is intrigued, the face and name of Smith does the same, but he has such a character arc, that just makes you appreciate the fact he’s in the film. He has a particular moment when the mission starts and he is essentially a one man army. They all kind of get a moment, but really as the odd man out, he rather owns his the most. All the elements of his character arc are well crafted. Nothing ground breaking, but his arc is definitely a stand out.

Jai Courtney is someone I have a love/hate relationship with. I loved his role in Spartacus, but since, he’s done nothing that has won me over as he did in his Spartacus role. This however, is as close as he’s come since. He comes in as Captain Boomerang. Which was first portrayed by another one of his Spartacus Co-stars on the CW Network’s Arrow/Flash shows. The two are strikingly different. Which isn’t a bad thing but I just couldn’t help but feel his portrayal was just there for comic relief.  Seriously, what was up with that pink unicorn? Mr. Boomerang seemed to have a story that we will see in later movies. Which was cool, but they need to stake a page from Marvel and make their movies a bit more self contained. I wish i could say more about this character but he was one of the under used ones.

The rest f the cast seems to just be skimmed over. Which is logical as it is unfortunate. With all the flashbacks already in the film anymore and it may as well have been Arrow the movie. But I imagine with all the characters who do have a flash back, you’re more than likely going to see them pip uo again in future films.

What I found to be a great addition to the movie was Ben Affleck’s Batman being a hero again. I’m all for Batman being a seasoned hero with a chip on his shoulder, but I want to see why that happens. I want to see some real ground work as to what would make that guy as pissed off as ever. But with the events of BvS now part of the DCEU canon, the only way to go from here is up.  He is just a background character. People will whine about not seeing more of him but I think he was used perfectly. It’s not about him. It’s about (his) villains.

My issues with this movie are these. Whenever they have text on the screen be it for a brief description or a means of letting you know where the story is taking place, it comes across the screen so fast that I heard more than one person say what did that one say? Two people I sat beside even asked me what the very first one said as it was black text over a shadowy area of a screen. That’s just poor editing work.

The seeming disappointing use of characters. Example: Slipknot is in the movie but there really wasn’t a need for it. He was literally there just to prove an unnecessary point so early on. i also feel that the handling of Kitana was a cheap gimmick to wrap up the story. I do like that they tried to give El Diablo some back story but again, came off cheap. His origin is unique to the film, but he is really just Ghost Rider.

The disconnect is there but it’s there to add a layer of perspective. It’s cool and adds to the character of Enchantress, but it was again not necessary.

My biggest issue was it felt too much like X-men: Age of Apocalypse. Centuries old being hates the planet, has to create some stupid metal thing that’s pretty obvious how to take down even tho its the first time anyone has ever seen them.

Lastly, I hated the way the made Killer Croc look. his scales looked more like mini eyeballs than it did scales. but I do applaud them for going practical versus cgi. but maybe if there is a sequel, that will happen. I hope it does. That said, he did as fine a job as one could hope. I will give credit to the application of his costume, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje didn’t look anything like himself on screen.

Bottom Line: It’s a summer popcorn flick that was made to entertain and it does that. there are clear problems; but it’s nothing as bad as the theatrical release of Batman v Superman. There is loads of action sometimes its unnecessary, other times you wish it went on a bit longer. you leave the theatre wishing they included just a wee bit more of the Joker.

I’m proud this was Filmed mostly if not entirely in Toronto.

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  • Overall rating of the movie: 5.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? See it on a cheap day, but you really could just wait for the blu ray.

 

 

 

Captain America: Civil War: Film Review

Shall we begin?


Writer: Christopher Markus,  Stephen McFeely Director: Anthony Russo,  Joe Russo Runtime: 2h27m

Full credits  

There’s really only two ways this film could go down. Good or bad. But right from the start, it was great. But this film had to happen in the manner in which it did. It eventually became an amazing ride regardless of where you stand on the core conflict. The solo cap stories are arguably the better solo films in the Marvel franchise films. This was another great entry and a good way to start phase 3.

It was announced some years ago that this movie would be coming out around this time. Then BvS said it was gonna come out on the same day.. Then the date got moved for BvS to March. And it that was a good thing for BvS. Though the nerd in me wished it happened. two versus movies at the same time.. it would have been awesome to see the tallies. This is a great story because it blatantly shows the moral of the story but in such a woven, multilayered way. Those stories are great… well sometimes. Other times they can end up like Wrath of The Titans.

The moral of this film is that friends, true friends who share a genuine friendship, need to stick together. That’s why it’s important to actually talk and learn who you’re friends are. On one side, Steve’s childhood friend is brought into his crazy world of aliens and double crosses. On the other side you have a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, who honestly just wants to protect the world… and the few people who made him remember he too can have a heart. The film keeps in mind that the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron had to be answered.

The story is a wee bit cliche at times but they do a good job of tying elements together. And a lot of what was shown in the trailers isn’t exactly what you see in the film (love that).

I really like the position they put Rogers in. His emotional values were called into question like never before(on screen). His best friend who in all honesty, is a crook by any means of the word. While he himself is basically a cop. That’s something that gets checked and is essentially the driving story . But Rogers is who he is, and he doesn’t quit. He believes in people. It doesn’t matter what the opinion of others are. He’s gonna do what he feels is right every time. It’s part of the freedom he stands and fights for. This wasn’t so much of an arc like in the comic of the same name for the character. But more a story about who he is. and not a rebirth to a new realization/ideal like in the comics. This was the story of how he saved his friend… plain and simple. Mr. Evans steals the show every time he’s on screen. His acting is only getting better in this role.

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The Stark difference was that, Tony just wanted to save the world he really feels guilty about the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Which is great as this allows the events in the film to reflect the comic Civil War with regard to Stark. Mr. Downy Jr. Plays a much more compassionate Stark. There’s a lot more of a need to have the team of (new) Avengers become accountable. Stark sees the problem with the team and he hopes… he genuinely honestly hopes that the dream he sees in AoU is something he can prevent.  This new regulation seems like the gateway to such a ambitious goal. By far his standout scene is the forth wall breaking introduction to Spider-man as a character. as an actor however, I was rather moved by how he plays his first scene, and most of the third act. I felt his position in the same way as I didn’t while reading comic version to this story.

The new comer. Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man. Marvel shocked fans when they announced he was gonna be in his teens. It paid off. There was a great dynamic in him being the younger one. It a works for a better and more complete perspective for both the audience and story. I don’t want to ruin anything but he is most definitely gonna be seen as the best spider-man/Peter parker to date. His voice alone gets you as a guy who would sound like spider-man at that age. my only issue, was how much cgi they seemingly used on the Spidey half of the character. say what you will about the Raimi, Webb directed films, but they used as much practical as they could in their films. and they were better for it.

My man, Black Panther.  My only issue with his portrayal was how his accent sounded. I didn’t entirely believe it. He sounded more like as middle eastern man than one from Africa. Black Panthers as a character beyond bad ass. Chadwick Boseman acted that very well in my personal opinion. He is an “under the radarcharacter but I’m 100% positive he just elevated him with his portrayal. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

The best thing about this film was how they handled each character. Everyone gets screen time. And everyone gets a moment to shine. As much as AoU did this…. it really didn’t.  That said, getting rid of some of the additional characters in the manner they did was a misstep. But it gels nicely with the over all story. The introduction to the teams was well handled and felt somewhat similar to the way bit happens in the comics.

Where I would like to praise this movie, is for constantly pushing the boundaries of what choreographed fight and action sequences should look like. The stuff in this film was jaw dropping.

My issues were the obvious. It’s a little long. At some point you forget it’s a movie that features heroes and then you’re wondering just why are they still fighting like this. They  sorta skimmed over the point of the Civil War (the registration act) within reason to the main story where the secondary tale took more precedence (the fight with Cap, Bucky, Stark). I hope it gets further addressed in subsequent films in phase 3. Also the manner in which they tied it all together felt like a “Martha moment (December, 16th 1991 anyone?). Lastly the post credit scenes weren’t as fun as they have been. My core issue is this is a war. You can’t just NOT have people get killed or harmed severely during a war. I want to say the sole reason why this s the way this film plays out is because of the introduction of Spidey. But who knows why.

This story was going to be ambitious no matter what. The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have the years of history, or characters that the publication has the rights too, at its disposal. various story beats have to be altered but theres still a lot there from the comic… and it has to be recognized as an accomplishment that they create team wrote and directed this gem of a film. it just hurts itself that the risks weren’t as far as they could have been.

This film isn’t flawless. But it’s again a great way to start phase 3. With the Russo Bro’s taking over, The sky is the limit with how far they can go.

Bottom Line: It’s a great film, has a few missteps but for anyone who is a fan of the characters, the story or the brand named Marvel, you won’t talk away disappointed like anyone did who sadly saw BvS. but what it was really missing, what made The comic so great was this: “We’re not fighting for the people anymore…we’re just fighting.” For Cap to say that.. as both a soldier and a guy from a relatively simpler time, was huge. it speaks to the way society is these days with our memes, rallies and slogans that can often seem like they aren’t going anywhere but to a new fight.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worth it to see in theatres, IMAX if possible. I already can’t wait to own the movie.

Batman v superman: Film Review

The world’s finest have finally managed to be on the big screen together. But was it worth the hype?

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Writers: Chris TerrioDavid S. Goyer Director: Zack Snyder 2h 31min Full Credits.

The two most archetype character of the comic medium are together again for the first time on the big screen but I will come out and say it. It was the the story that was in the making since Reeve and Keaton famously took on the roles of the Man from Krypton, and the Knight Of Gotham. Let’s talk about the Batman first.

Affleck was a great take on Batman. Maybe no so much Bruce. I say that as this is probably the first time we have seen a seasoned Batman who in the film is about 50 years in age (certainly in the senior years of his 40s.) All that being said that aspect was fun. Bust as I said in my TDKR review, it limits a character. However in this film, age may as well be an after thought (more on this in a moment). The interesting thing about this Batman. Why so many love him and would foolishly try to have you believe Batman can actually beat Superman, is because he is a man that had the fountain of determination in his caves under his Mansion. He is simply a guy who experienced trauma and vowed to not let it happen to someone else. He’s as good natured as they come. How that translates to being what was written/being the character Snyder envisioned is beyond me. He felt so bastardized by the end it nearly ruined the character/franchise for me. That said there’s several elements Snyder got right. One was his planning. Batman’s supporters will cry to the death that if given the preparation time, he could best everyone (to which I laugh because plans always go accordingly). This Batman, maybe aside from Bale/Nolan’s Batman, is arguably the most meticulous and efficient we have seen the character and arguably the closest we’ve seen just be a good guy. But how he’s bastardized is simply, his vendetta against Superman is undone by himself for allowing just as much, if not more destruction to happen in a populated city. One sad part was the lack there of the character of Gotham. Yes it’s there. But each time Batman has been on screen small or big, Gotham is so very present to help add to the character. Overall I don’t think he did a superb/amazing job acting wise. But he did no wrong. Jeremy Irons and Affleck’s banter as Alfred and Bruce was a welcomed sight. Very much reminded me of Batman the animated series and that’s shows evolution into Justice League… all this said as much as I love how Batman/Affleck is on screen… Killing and all, it’s just not what I waited three years or most of my life for.

Superman… Say what you want about Man of Steel, minus the stupidity behind the death of Jonathan Kent, the film is rather magnificent in many ways. But it’s easy to lose sight of that as many complained about all the destruction in populated areas. Having said that, you’d think Superman would learn from that. The actual physical comic medium aside, any second chapter for any character is all about learning and growth. I’m not saying he has to be sniper efficient. But just less flinging people around and a little bit more respect for human tax dollars (totally kidding with that last bit). But seriously, where was Superman being a hero? Yes he saves the day, but this was such a personal vendetta story that totally disregards the characters foundations. I didn’t feel like I was watching Superman, felt like I was watching Batman audition for the justice league. I get this isn’t a traditional sequel to M.O.S. but this just felt totally off from its predecessor it. Yes Supes was saving the day, but that connection was missing and then when you get to the end, nothing makes any sense for anyone to be where they are. Supes is the most famous immigrant. He and Metropolis represent the hope many have sought for when leaving their respective homes for another. He is both Jesus and Moses of bible/religious lore. that’s his centre (you can argue it if you wish, but its true). The contrast was missing between the two cities which leads to a very much a missed opportunity. My biggest issue was that he didn’t seem to learn about his destruction from M.O.S., but that one aspect is carried on in the comics.

The story is as weak as they come. Some reading hinted that massive rewrites were done. By massive I mean core villains were swapped which may have made more sense overall if they were left in. With the two bread and butter characters from DC you’d think they’d know the type of characters they had. The meaning they both carry just in name should lead to a great story. The psychology behind them both is something that really should have been explored in levels. i.e. Clark vs Bruce, Bruce Vs Superman, Batman, Vs Clark, culminating in an all out brawl. And yes, one clear winner for the sake of all debates. What we got was some story that didn’t lead to much other than the pending Justice League movie. One thing any director who understands film (as a medium) will tell you is that each scene is set up as a container. When you edit it every container is opened and you either take it as is, or you take moments. This film felt like every container was used but without any logic at all. The scenes have no cohesiveness to them. One minute Bruce is kicking ass the other Lois is saving the day for some reason. Most good movies lead the viewer. Go ahead think of a movie you like bet you the story leads you to the next scene. For this I blame direction. But I don’t wish I had Mr Synder’s job here. Unless it was perfect for everyone it was never gonna be great.

my biggest issue was there was too much of an emphasis on Justice League. the Cameo’s by Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg were so unnecessary to the overall story within its contexts. I saw better fan comments that had better ways to introduce these characters. As cool as both Cyborg and Flashes were they were too much in an already messy film character wise. Lex Luthor is the crazy mad scientist of old which I feel isn’t the right way to go. Having him contrast Superman as a villainous human in many ways like Batman (minus the cowl and cape and the obvious heroics) would have been tad better. Laurence Fishburne was more comfortable looking as the Chief, Perry White. I kind of wish they used that to their advantage in this film. Wonder Woman has the best entrance I think any female hero could have hoped for. Her role isn’t as big as I would have liked personally but that isn’t a good or bad thing. I do like wishing I had more sometimes. But considering she is getting a solo movie soon, I can wait to see her in her own element. I just wish I could remember if Ms. Gadot had an accent or if she put one on for her role. In her own way< she does need to bulk up just a bit more to sell the physicalness of her character. But being what t is, its a nice contrast to what she is meant to be. Her size isn’t an issue just my own personal preference for the character is all.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 5.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 4 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? DEFINITELY  see it at home. Wait for the blu-ray as it comes with an additional 30 minutes. Which really is felt throughout in the film. if you are gonna see it in theatres, Imax or nothing. Would recommend “D-box” for it is a long film. be ready to see it more than once for clarity.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Kick-Ass 2: Movie Review

*NOTE*
I will be reviewing the comic soon.

Well after a director change with Jeff Wadlow, the sequel to the Matthew Vaughan directed Kick-Ass 2 is upon us.

I won’t make any comparisons in terms of quality or make any direct links to the comic, but understand that this is one of those films that made the comic book look way better.

My flaw with this film is that it didn’t ever seem to get on with the story. Yes it progresses but it just seems like one big catch up story versus just telling us another day in the life of Kick-Ass.

The theme this time around seemed to be about fitting in and making the hard versus right choices. Not terrible ideas given the source material, and something that so many of us have to deal with, depending on the occasion. They were able to capture that idea very strongly and in the foreground with how Hit-Girl’s story moves along.

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With a slew of new actors and characters, there isn’t much screen time for each new character to really want to care about them. So I would have loved to have seen more stories for Jim Carey’s character. Which reminds me, each character seemed to be more of an origin almost as if to do spinoffs. The two leads give a somewhat decent performance with the slant on hit Girl. Aaron just felt flat and very whiny be it in the script or not, it really just came off as annoying.

The highlight action scene was with Mother Russia early on. She commanded a lot more respect as a character as did the violence and comic book lore fans would live for.

I might be nitpicking but I couldn’t stand that most of the characters kind of just had a totally different costume than from what was in the comics. It’s not far removed but it’s not really any kind of improvement either.

Bottom line: There’s not much to really like with this film, everyone will see it differently. But as far as I’m concerned this was a movie that needed Matthew Vaughan for it to be worth a damn. It’s definitely not worth price of admission. Maybe when I read the comic it will make more sense.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 2 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 3 out of 10,
  • Editing: 5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 2.5 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Download

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Smallville Season 11 #42

Argo:cover

In Antarctica, five researchers are frantically running away from what appears to be some kind of monster.  Out of thin air, arrives Skeets in a fully developed sphere form (season 10 had it as just a voice… budgets are a hell of a thing) informing the researchers that Booster Gold is coming to save them. The researchers insist on having Ted Kord’s “Kid with the bug on his back” a.k.a Blue Beetle, to save them. Suddenly the monster’s presence is upon the group and Booster is off to the rescue. As Booster begins his assault on the monster, his Legion Ring begins to alert him about “Legion Protocol six” before shutting down by noticing he isn’t a Legion member. As he falls, he’s quickly swept into a more hands-on fight with the creature, luckily for him; Blue Beetle arrives and saves the day. As the researchers thank BB, BG talks with Skeets who suggests he sees someone more understanding of this protocol. In the apartment of Clark and Lois, the two are showering and discussing her trip to Africa for her article on the “Angel of the Plateau”. As his protective side begins to take over, Lois reminds him of how Franklin Stern won’t allow him to leave for extended periods of time. She asks if he will be okay though given the most recent loss, he says he’ll hold up. Clark gets an alert about a fire, gives a kiss to Lois and darts off. Sometime later, at the Daily Planet, Cat Grant beckons at the arrival of Clark and shows him to the guest in her office, none other than, BG. The two go to the rooftop where BG hands him the ring and transports them to the 31st century, where a statue of Superman is destroyed and air/space ships own the skies. Clark definitely isn’t in (his) Kansas anymore… To be continued.

I enjoy that they, or just Bryan, are keeping up with the series’ side stories. Even to the minor detail. Having the researchers from Ted Kord, WayneTech and Michael Holt’s companies was a nice nod to ongoing readers. This issue definitely felt like a “next chapter” or phase was really starting. To what end obviously remains to be seen, but Miller seems to really be good at writing the first chapter of arcs. All of them to date have a great balance of character introductions and cliff hanging endings. The manner in which Lois and Clark make up for lost time and push the PG boundary is greatly appreciated to acknowledge the children who might read this and the adults.

jk0002NEW ARTIST ALERT Daniel HDR sounds like a media file name but either way it’s not bad as far as art work goes. It’s still early but it seems pretty dope. I was intrigued by the HDR part, mostly because I love the technique and try to use it when I can. The HDR style is evident as best as one could hope for I’d think for a comic book. It’s not crazy strong but it is there. Given that we’re headed to the 31st century, it’s a nice touch to have a bit of a up to the times style. Its no Steve McNiven or Jim Lee, but given everything it’s a nice step forward in quality, let’s see how long this lasts.

Rating 4.7/5

  • Overall rating of the comic: 4.7 out of 5,
  • Art: 3.3 out of 5,
  • layout: 4 out of 5,
  • True to character dialogue: 4 out of 5,
  • Story: 3.8 out of 5.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful. Enjoy your Week! THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: The “LEW System” – Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Pacific Rim: Movie Review

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Travis Beacham

pacific-rim-187169-1280x1024-0

Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket
Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori
Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler
Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb
Max Martini as Herc Hansen
Robert Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen

This movie isn’t really just for anyone. It’s hard to say I like it. But I know for a fact I like and respect the originality.

This movie honestly reminded me of Escaflowne or even Gundam wing. The same premise of the two mentioned anime’s. Humans piloting giant mech suits to save the freedoms of earth or respective country. And it’s not any different here.

For a movie that looks like it belonged being an independent Asian movie that some North American film industry person came across and decided to release it in N.A., which I think I would have enjoyed more, its still rather impressive in terms of style and the theme of teamwork. The problem with this movie is that it is one of those movies that wanted to have a lot of back story so that you care. I personally didn’t nor really see anything that made me want to. The trailers showed me giant robots… Fighting giant, vicious monsters that reflected creatures here on earth. That’s probably the most stereotypical summer blockbuster movie plot one could ask for. But the writing was so obvious in its approach to the pay off during each individual scene it was just hard to appreciate what was happening. Much less what the writer and director had hoped to accomplish.

(Spoiler at the bottom)

The reason I feel this movie should have been an Asian movie, was because when you get into the Hong Kong dominated scenes I’m kind of just like where are all the Asians. That and the fact this is a movie very close to being a live action Gundum Wing movie. There’s only really one lead Asian in the movie that gets a terrible character to play. Basically… And I’m not making this about race; I just have a problem with making (white) “Americans” the saviours of everyone. Are we still so far removed that we believe unless it’s an Asian-culture-heavy movie (like Ip Man or some Jackie Chan movie) that we can’t have any lead Asian actors?

That being said, everyone but Idris Elba, gave a terrible performance as far as I’m concerned. It was all very stiff. Charlie Hunnam has a cool voice. I could easily see him doing some voice over work. The raspy nature of it just kind of helped to add to his character and acting ability. If ever this was an anime and it came over to North America, I could easily see the voice being similar.

The camera work was pretty decent, given the IMAX scope and 3D effect. I wished that this movie utilized both styles of 3D (depth and popping out). It may have come off poorly in terms of quality, but I’m 98% sure no one walked in expecting anything Oscar worthy. I feel this movie needed a Zack Snyder touch for capturing the action (he’s the single greatest action director out and popular right now… Period) and the talents of ILM (INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC) to really pull off the suits and monsters. Most of the fights happen at night and it just comes off poorly.

Bottom line, All in all it’s a decent film just not sure we got what we intended. For a movie that was giant monsters vs giant robots, we didn’t get that. One of those times where character development wasn’t essential. This movie is a love story that never fully gets there and a movie about trust. You just have to see past the monsters and the kind of poor script.

(SPOILER ALERT: USE YOUR MOUSE TO HIGHLIGHT RIGHT AFTER THIS END BRACKET) Ok.. So at the end it says to travel through the temporal link, you need to have one of the kaiju’s DNA to pass through. Well can someone please explain to me how not one, but two escape pod’s made it back to the surface of our world much less through the portal while a nuclear blast goes off WITH NO KNOWN Kaiju?

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 6.7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 2 out of 10,
  • Acting: 4.5 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? if you see it in Theaters, go on a cheap day. if you wanna buy it get it on blu ray but its probably better you rent this unless you’re a huge anime kind of fan. its great for the kids. Though I would caution real parental guidance.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

This Is The End: Movie Review

Danny McBride: For all we know the f****** Lakers could have just won and that’s the reason all this is happening.

So this movie happened. I laughed but, I’m not sure it’s funny.

Director: Seth Rogen Evan Goldberg Screenplay: Seth Rogen Evan Goldberg Runtime: 106 minutes

Cast:

Sporting a cast that’s beyond crazy in as far as comedic actors go even with the cameos. But I couldn’t take this as more than a high comedy
*****(see bottom of page)*****

I felt like this could have been way funnier than it was but for what it is, it does make you laugh. It has a lot of homosexual comedy which is really only funny in moderation. It’s not ‘Borat bad’ but it catches its coat tails, they just went really into it as far as I’m concerned. It was a bit off putting but for the target audience I’m sure that was a normal thing.

Most comedies suffer from having a very strong focus on the “Moral” of the story come movie’s end, but due to the nature of actors “playing themselves” it doesn’t come off as such a total drag. The highlight with this movie was being that the jokes were still evident with whatever new challenge the gang faced. This isn’t a spoiler but having it set on friendship is a given and it works out nicely to show that most, if not all of these guys really do act like this (to some degree I’m sure). It comes off as believable from their performances.

Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill stole the show for me. Jay and Seth are the stars however. The best cameo was probably Michael Cera who has been M.I.A. from movies in the last little while, now that I think about it. All his scenes were unexpected. If you were however looking for Oscar worthy performances you have come to the wrong movie.

The feel is much akin to “Cabin in the Woods” where it’s a horror movie but makes you laugh. It’s not as witty and well designed as “Cabin” but for what it is, you get scared and you might shed a tear or two. The use of audio for added suspicion, fright and effects was tremendous. I just wish the theatre of choice were better.

Bottom Line: This movie as I said is a high comedy (Think Pineapple Express), I don’t think one would laugh as much while sober versus being intoxicated. With all the homosexual jokes, and randomness I even caught myself asking when is this going to finish. I heard a lot of positive buzz about this movie. Not to say it’s not deserved… but I saw this movie on a Tuesday and it was only $5 bucks.

Stixxclusive Review

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 5.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 6 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,

A high comedy is as it sounds… you have to smoke some weed in order to REALLLLLLLLLLY enjoy this movie… NOTE I DO NOT ENDORSE SMOKING WEED FOR ANYONE WHO ISN’T OF THE RIGHT MIND TO MAKE THAT PERSONAL CHOICE SOLELY ON THEIR OWN. Everything is cool in moderation & responsibly.
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Trailer Park Week 8

The second international trailer for:

The Wolverine

Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world, he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality.
Release Date: July 26, 2013 (3D/2D theaters)
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film
Director: James Mangold

12 Years A Slave

Release Date: October 18, 2013 (limited)
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Steve McQueen
Screenwriter: John Ridley
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam, Bill Camp

Plot Summary: “12 Years a Slave” is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

Savannah

Release Date: August 23, 2013 (limited)
Studio: Ketchup Entertainment
Director: Annette Haywood-Carter
Screenwriter: Annette Haywood-Carter, Kenneth F. Carter
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jaimie Alexander, Bradley Whitford, Sam Shepard, Tracy Walter, Jack McBrayer, Hal Holbrook
Genre: Drama

Plot Summary: “Savannah” is the true story of Ward Allen, a romantic and bombastic character who rejects his plantation heritage for the freedom of life on a river. Ward navigates the change of early 20th century America on the wrong side of the law and society, his long-time friend, a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, at his side. Master of Shakespeare, and the shotgun that provides Savannah’s markets with fowl, Ward fights for his rights as a hunter. His charisma and eloquent rhetoric win the heart of a society woman who defies her father to marry him. An elderly Moultrie tells the story of life on the river with his friend to a little boy, who passes the legendary Ward Allen down to the next generation.

R.I.P.D.

(Out this weekend July 18-19th)

Release Date: July 18, 2013 (3D/2D theaters, p.m. screenings)
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Robert Schwentke
Screenwriter: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Robert Knepper, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Mike O’Malley, Devin Ratray

Plot Summary: Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure “R.I.P.D.” as two cops dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side.

R.E.D. 2

(Out this weekend July 18-19th)

Release Date: July 18, 2013 (p.m. screenings)
Studio: Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate)
Director: Dean Parisot
Screenwriter: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox, Neal McDonough

Plot Summary: In “RED 2,” the high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide sleeper hit, retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the next-generation weapon. The mission takes Frank and his motley crew to Paris, London and Moscow. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, their old-school skills, and each other to rely on as they try to save the world-and stay alive in the process.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Trailer Park Week 6

So this is coming in July!

But seriously!..

The Heat June 28th

Escape Plan

For 80’s and 90’s action fans like myself

Director Mikael Håfström Escape Plan, starring both Action Star Heroes from the 80’s and 90’s, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to break out of prison. Also co-stars Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio and Amy Ryan.
In the October 18 release, one of the world’s foremost authorities on structural security agrees to take on one last job: breaking out of an ultra-secret, high-tech facility called “The Tomb.” Deceived and wrongly imprisoned, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) must recruit fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to help devise a daring, nearly impossible plan to escape from the most protected and fortified prison ever built.

Escape prison, October 18th.

This next one is my favourite for the week

Prisoners

Hits theatres September 20, 2013.

Keller Dover is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His 6-year-old daughter and her young friend are missing, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect’s release. Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The desperate father will do whatever it takes to find the girls, but in doing so, may lose himself, begging the question: When do you cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Man Of Steel: Movie Review

Man of steel

man-of-steel-mondo-4

Were you not entertained?

Henry Cavill
Amy Adams
Michael Shannon
Diane Lane
Russell Crowe
Antje Traue
Harry Lennix
Richard Schiff
Christopher Meloni
Kevin Costner
Ayelet Zurer
Laurence Fishburne
Dylan Sprayberry
Cooper Timberline
Richard Cetrone
Tor-An

(There’s actually a lot of actors and characters from Smallville which Zack is a major fan of.)
The last time we saw Superman it was on “Smallville” on tv, then before that in “Superman Returns” Now he is the Man of steel brought to you by Zack Snyder and Executively produced by Chris “The Dark Knight” Nolan.

Superman represents many things and those elements are very well explored here. He’s the ultimate immigrant, hero/saviour, “American” and the greatest symbol of hope (to be better) we humans can create. From the early stages on Krypton the “Hope” is the focus of this movie, but not the Theme.  It’s actually a little hard to say EXACTLY what the theme is.  The tone and feel of the movie is much like the show Arrow. If you watch Arrow then you kinda understand. It’s actually surprised me how engaging it was for a movie that was 2.5 hours in length.

Only three colours used
Only three colours used

Art direction isn’t something I touch too much on for my reviews. But this movie had GREAT art direction. In past Superman movies it was very much about ice and crystals but now with M.O.S. they legit took on the steel aspect. From homes, to technology, even the suits of Kryptonians (I still don’t like the look of Superman’s costume, invulnerable people don’t need armour). It lends to the point that this isn’t anything related to the Reeves/Routh Era of Superman Movies.

Michael Shannon as Zod was amazing. I loved his character right to the bitter end. Zod was a calm Nazi in Reeves’ Superman 2, here he’s very much a man on a mission to save what he loves. He has a real conflict and has only one absolute solution. Conflicts and hardships always make characters interesting, and hero’s are apparently defined by who they face.

This brings me to Henry’s Cavali’s portrayal of Clark Superman. The Story of his character aside (I have mixed feelings with it) he does superman justice. In Smallville we watched Superman become Superman and as well as the disguise of Clark.

This was kind of the same idea. IT’S NOT THE SAME STORY AS SMALLVILLE but just the idea. It’s kind of more like how “Superman: Earth One” makes Superman become Superman via forceful desperation.

There’s an inherited value/moral of doing and being good from Jor-El – who by the way, Russel Crowe, did an amazing job as well. The story allowed for a more explained fall of Krypton, Jor-El and Zod’s relationship and just how much like Clark, Jor-El is and vice versa (the son becomes the father, and the father the son).  Amy Adams playing Lois was very much a strong woman through and through. Her look was solid, and she didn’t entirely come off as just a damsel in distress. She got the essence of the character down minus the red hair.

Hans Zimmer does an incredible job. He’s no John Williams but that’s OK. This is the new era of Superman movies. So there SHOULD be a new sound. Hans Zimmer does just that. Personally I didn’t hear a catchy Superman song like in past motion media depictions. But thanks to the new sound, it carried the movie along nicely. It added more desperation to scenes that were dire to the story as conflicts arose. It sounds amazing and just made all the action scenes epic… and there are a lot of them. Hans is the man.

Zack Snyder does WICKED ACTION SEQUENCES look at all his previous work. All badass. He may not get the greatest from his actors but honestly, he had a great cast with experience to do anything. The fight scenes were nothing we’ve seen before. They were creative, they had a lot of the different powers Kryptonians have under our yellow sun, and they were more realistic than what was in Superman 2, in terms of exposing a weakness. The angles are great and even though it’s in 3D, in IMAX, and all intense, it was easy and clear to watch. You see everything, which is SO GREAT! The latter half of the movie is basically strictly action and it’s all just as beautiful. The action is what makes it worth watching in IMAX.

man-of-steel-poster-2

Bottom line: This is now my favourite superman movie. It’s hard to say that it’s better than Superman: The Movie but it’s not meant to be. The freedom of creating a new reality is promising. Rumour has it this is the seed to a Justice League movie. The ending fight is the strongest point. the only issue I didn’t like is that there wasn’t entirely a complete reason as to why he became Superman or no real lesson taught prior getting his costume. Lastly DONT BE THAT PERSON to say this is better or worse than Avengers  They’re TOTALLY different (but Avengers is a more complete movie). There  – not really spoiled.

(MAN OF STEEL Easter Eggs and DC Comics References You May Have Missed)RATINGS!!!!

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9.5 out of 10,

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW