Tag Archives: comic movies

Review: The Martian

I’ve always hated when people say that the book is better than the movie. It doesn’t seem to matter how good the movie actually is, people always find some reason to complain. Maybe they left something out, or perhaps a scene was changed or god only know what else. Never mind the fact that they managed to work anywhere from thirty to twelve hundred pages into a roughly two hour movie. Please, feel free to ignore that crucial little detail. Having said all of that, I can’t think of any movie that is a better adaptation of a book than The Martian.

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Filed under Andrew Hales, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews

Editorial | A Highly Anticipated Movie: X-men Days of Future Past

It really is too bad that X-Men: Days of Future Past will not be released in theaters until next year.  Since the “future” part of those days takes place in 2013 (impossibly far away from the year it was written), there would have been some satisfaction in seeing the movie be released this year.  However, Marvel fans will have to wait until May of 2014 to see this visual masterpiece on the big screen.  In preparation, I read the comic books on which the movie is based and I have some thoughts on what I am excited to see as well as some things that should be made clearer in the movie than they are in the books.

The first big difference between books and movies is that comic books are released much more quickly than movies.  This allows for more continuity in the books and keeps them from having to explain and re-explain relationships and back stories.  Because of this difference, and because certain things were not explained well in X-Men: The Last Stand, I am hoping for a little more clarification on certain storylines.

A little more of this, please!

For instance, I really want more screen time for Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin (Sprite and Colossus).  The comics in the DoFP saga do not really explain much about their history, except, of course, to mention that they are married in the future.  The few sparks of romantic in me would like to see some of their love story.

I did not originally like Ellen Page’s Kitty Pryde, but she has grown on me and I am excited to see more from her.  She is one of the most important characters in the DoFP storyline.  In the X-men movies, her character really wasn’t fleshed out very much.  In fact, I didn’t even realize that Ellen Page was playing Kitty Pryde until halfway through X-Men: The Last Stand.  This was mostly due to the fact that Last Stand Kitty seemed much more interested in Bobby Drake (Iceman) than she was in Colossus.

I am also excited to see more of the Uncanny X-men who have grown on me, such as Storm and even Nightcrawler (although he still creeps me out a little).  I am curious whether Ben Foster will be asked to reprise his role as the Angel.  He was a very minor character in Last Stand and I felt no real connection to him, so it would not bother me at all if that part were recast for Days of Future Past.

The Sentinels are another highly anticipated plot feature, of course.  Even more fabulous is the announcement that one of my favorite actors, Peter Dinklage, will be playing their creator, Bolivar Trask.

See the resemblance?

Although the Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver do not appear in the comics for the DoFP story, I am excited to see them on the screen for the first time.  Scarlet Witch has one of the coolest super powers that Marvel has ever dreamed up, and I am eager to see how that is translated into film.

Of course, I am also looking forward to seeing my very favorite X-man, and giant crush again also.  Hank McCoy will always be my not-so-secret love.  However, I am sad to see the Kelsey Grammar is not playing the Beast again this time.  My fingers are crossed that Nicholas Hoult will do an equally amazing job.

There are a few things I am not looking forward to seeing, however.  Jennifer Lawrence does not play a convincing Mystique, and I really wish she had been recast.  She was one of the most disappointing performances in X-men: First Class.  Fortunately, Mystique IS a shape-shifter, so perhaps we will not have to look at Lawrence all that much.

I also am not a fan of Anna Paquin’s Rogue.  Come to think of it, these actresses look and act a lot alike.  Perhaps they’re just not my type.

All in all, May 2014 cannot come soon enough for me!  In the meantime, I’ll just have to break out Andrew’s list of things to do while I wait.  Also, I will be enjoying tomorrow evening’s 8/7 pm premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.

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Filed under Comics, Editorial, Tracy Gronewold

Editorial | The Batman is Dead, Long Live the Batman

So you may have heard the news… there’s a new Batman in town.  Ben Affleck, of mixed Hollywood reviews, has been signed to play the caped crusader in the sequel to Man of Steel, which will feature both Batman AND Superman.

The internet reaction to Affleck’s casting has almost been visceral.  Twitter was aflame for most of the first day with angry fans declaiming the franchise.  Honestly, I see their point.  Affleck’s breakout starring role was in a movie he co-wrote with his best friend.  It would make sense that he would seamlessly morph into his character in Good Will Hunting, since the movie takes place in Affleck’s hometown of Boston, and features the places and social norms with which he grew up.

After the 1997 instant hit, however, Affleck’s career became a series of boring (and sometimes nameless) roles in ridiculous movies—and yes, I include Pearl Harbor among those.  In 2003, the actor spandexed up for the first time in the title role of Daredevil.  The movie did pretty well at the box office, but tanked in critic and viewer reviews.  His performance in this last superhero movie seems to be the main talking point for Batfleck haters.

To be completely fair, the early 2000’s were not kind to superhero movies of any kind.  Does anyone remember the first X-Men movie from 2000?  Hulk, which came out the same year as Daredevil?  Still, although there were other terrible comic book movies in that half of the decade, Daredevil was still a pretty awful representation.

While I don’t actually see any fans of the decision, a few people have actually tried to defend the move, citing Affleck’s recent move to the director’s chair with movies like The Town.  Here, I again have to point out first that The Town  would have made a TERRIBLE comic movie, and that it was also set in Boston—Affleck’s home town.

I find it telling that typing the words “Ben Affleck batman” into Google gives me 106,000,000 hits, and the headlines read:

Ben Affleck’s So-So Batman” (Daily Beast)

3 Out of 3 Former Batmen Agree: Ben Affleck Will be Fine” (Wired)

Matt Damon Defends Ben Affleck’s Batman: ‘You Know He’s Not Playing King Lear” (Huffington Post)

Matt Damon is secretly hoping to be cast as Robin…

Even those defending the casting decision point out that Affleck will be ok.  They say that the franchise will be fine.  Life will continue on.  No waves will be made.  Affleck will not do anything amazing with Batman, but neither will he destroy the movies.

Ultimately, I think that this is the best that any DC comic fan is going to be able to look forward to in the next few Batman movies.  To be perfectly blunt, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight brought an unparalleled level of brilliance to Batman.  Until his spectacular three-movie feat, DC’s comic movies have been mediocre at best.  With his departure, Batman will subside back to what it was before him.

Do you agree with the Warner Bros. decision?  Let us know in the comments!

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Filed under Editorial, Movies, Tracy Gronewold