Archive for November, 2009

11/25/09 Reviews

November 30, 2009

Hello, loyal readers! November is almost over; man, 2009 is really flying by. But the month ended on a strong note, highlighted by major developments in the event that has dominated the comic book landscape over the second half of 2009: Blackest Night.

Reviewed this week (shorter reviews again, but still footloose and spoiler free):

Blackest Night #5 (of 8 )

Green Lantern # 48

Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 (of 7)

Justice Society of America #33

Uncanny X-Men #517

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Holiday musing: Batman Forever

November 29, 2009

Good morniiiiiiiiiing, Eat More Comics! Hope you all had a dandy Thanksgiving and are recovering from your overeating and overexposure to relatives. We’re refining our early Christmas present for you — an Eat More Comics message board!! For now, take a trip back in time and think about the comic-book movie I just finished watching on TV on a lazy Sunday morning: Batman Forever.

Back in 1995, the third Batman movie came out — the fourth if you count the old Adam West movie (which I do). Gone were both the director and star of Batman and Batman Returns, as Tim Burton and Michael Keaton were replaced by Joel Schumaker and Val Kilmer, respectively.

People don’t seem to think much about Batman Forever. The Keaton/Burton movies are well-remembered for relaunching a franchise and for notable performances from Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Walken. The fourth movie after the relaunch, Batman and Robin, with George Clooney as Batman, is also well remembered, albeit mostly for killing the franchise for nearly a decade before Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale brought it back. But Batman Forever gets lost in the shuffle a little bit. For my part, I used to remember it as a somewhat flawed but pretty decent movie. Of course, I hadn’t seen it since I was a kid.

Well, after watching the film for the first time in many years, I’ve changed my mind: it’s terrible. Really, it’s pretty awful. Still not as bad as Batman and Robin, but closer than you might think. Burton’s goal had been to create a darker vision of Batman; Schumaker’s goal seemed to be to put all the campiness and corniness back in. It’s rather astounding how many bad lines there are; even more impressive is how much bad acting there is.

The bad acting is especially bizarre because most the actors in the movie are very talented. Val Kilmer (Batman) has admittedly done several bad movies, but he was great in The Doors and especially Tombstone. Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face) and Nicole Kidman (Dr. Chase Meridian, the love interest) have each won an Oscar. Chris O’Donnell (Robin) disappeared for a while, but he was good in The Chamber. And of course, there’s Jim Carrey (the Riddler), one of the most famous comedic actors of my generation, who has made his career largely by overacting and being generally goofy (for lack of a better word).

Yet not one of them really gives a *good* performance. I’m not sure any of them can be entirely blamed, either, given the script. Kilmer isn’t necessarily bad, but he comes across as too stiff and unemotional. Kidman’s character just seems so pointless that it’s hard for her to make anything out of the role. Jones arguably gives one of the worst acting performances of his career, but again, blame the plot for much of it: there’s zero depth to the terribly written Two-Face character, so Jones has to play him as just another lunatic psycho, which he pulls off poorly. O’Donnell isn’t bad at action or light-hearted moments, but when he tries for emotional reaction, he comes up empty.

And then there’s Carrey, who is both the best and worst part of the movie. At times, he tries way too hard, and his “antics” are hard to even watch. Other times, his … well, exuberant acting plays well into the craze of the Riddler, and he’s a quite enjoyable villain.

To be fair to Batman Forever, even the fairly highly regarded Burton/Keaton movies don’t hold up too well when viewed today. I watched Batman about a year ago, also for the first time in years, and what passed for “dark” in 1989 felt slightly lame today, especially compared to Nolan’s Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Batman Returns holds up a little better, but mostly because of Keaton, Pfeiffer, and Walken; DeVito and the Penguin are rather mediocre, in my opinion.

It’ll be interesting to see how Nolan’s third Bat film shakes out, especially because, by all accounts, he’ll use the Riddler. Coming off The Dark Knight, the second-highest grossing film of all time (and to most if not all of us, the greatest comic book movie ever), there will be a lot of pressure to live up to that success. Although the movie is definitely a “go,” it’s still being planned/written. From the last report I saw — an interview with Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) — they hadn’t decided for sure whether to recast the Joker after Heath Ledger’s death, but it sounded like they were leaning toward leaving Joker out, probably a good choice. Since Ledger’s performance, which won him a posthumous Oscar, is widely regarded as the best villainous performance ever, there will also be a lot of pressure on whomever plays the Riddler — not to mention on Nolan and his co-writer, David S. Goyer, to write Riddler the right way.

And when they’re making those determinations, hopefully they’ll think about Batman Forever, which offers a few good, and a lot of bad, examples.

What to buy: November 25, 2009

November 23, 2009

Don’t head out for Thanksgiving until you pick up the last batch of new November comics. As mom always said, no turkey until you read your comic books!

On a serious note, a very Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Eat More Comics!

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11/11/09 and 11/18/09 Reviews

November 23, 2009

I mentioned it in a comment on another post, but just so everyone knows: I’m going to be a little less active between now and near Christmas as I get ready for finals. I won’t be disappearing, but my posts will be a little shorter, as you’re about to see, and there may be some gaps between my visits, as you’ve seen the past week. But my diminished role should just allow Goki and Lia to get extra attention for the reviews they’re about to post very soon. 😉

Without further ado, reviewed these weeks:

11/11/09

Batman #693

Batman and Robin #6

Booster Gold #26

Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #1 (of 6)

Dark X-Men #1

Fables #90

Green Lantern Corps #42

Red Robin #6

Strange #1 (of 4)

11/18/09

Black Knight #1 (one-shot)

Dark Avengers #11

Flash: Rebirth #5 (of 6)

Incredible Hulk #604

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What to Buy: Weekly Recommendations for November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

The “filling in for David and/or Spiff” edition! But first, a little something for Green Lantern fans who may not visit comic stores often (I’m looking at you, Barnes & Noble people!): all this month, comic stores are giving out Lantern power rings! Not just Green Lantern ones, but Sinestro Corps (yellow), Star Sapphire (violet), Blue Lantern, Indigo Lantern, Red Lantern, Orange Lantern and even Black Lantern rings! Now, supposedly, you get these rings by purchasing certain DC Comics, e.g. you get a Sinestro Corps ring if you buy Doom Patrol #4. However, you should ask your comic store folks about it: I know some are giving out the rings alone for $4, while others (like my own) are wise enough to make the rings free with ANY purchase.

Anyway, let’s begin:

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Look! News!

November 12, 2009

Some fun stuff around the Interwebz to hold you over until we post more new stuff (and unveil our message board!):

Bendis answers your questions on Twitter. Maybe this thing isn’t so bad after all…

-Dan Didio gives you a tour of the DC offices. And answers your questions. Dan is a generous man.

-Check out all of Marvel’s SIEGE images. I swear the shadowy figure in this one is Beak (Barnell Bohusk) with a sword.

Two-Face is showing up in this week’s Batman: Brave and the Bold. So is Doctor Fate.

Smallville’s getting its own TV movie (well, two-hour long episode), penned by the mighty Geoff Johns and guest-starring the Justice Society… as well as Amanda Waller. By the way, you’ll never guess who’s playing the live version of the Wall (hint: “Across 110th Street…”).

Marvel Studios names its new co-president. I swear, I’m never going to get used to seeing the Marvel and Disney logos together like that…

Brian K. Vaughan talks The Escapists (which just got reprinted in softcover) and leaving Lost. BKV’s the man; I’ve got to buy more Ex Machina trades. Oh, and The Escapists, d’urh.

-Hey kids! Dr. Horrible’s getting his own comic! By Zack Whedon! I love Dr. Horrible. If you haven’t watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog yet, you owe it to yourself.

Mmk, we’re done. Happy reading!

What to buy: Nov. 11, 2009

November 9, 2009

BIG week of comics coming up on Wednesday as we move into the middle of November. Take a look and share what you will be buying.

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IT HAS ARRIVED.

November 8, 2009

Well gang, this is it. After nearly two years of Grointasticness and sporadic updates, it’s time to finally put Goki’s Giving Groin back where it belongs:

In my pants.

Fear not, dear readers! This is NOT the end of the blog. However, this IS the beginning of the much-heralded changes to our lovely Inter-home. We begin with a name change: Goki’s Giving Groin will from this day forward be known as…

EAT MORE COMICS.

Delicious, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we’re still going to cover non-comic book related topics, as well. Yet if you look at the blog’s output, you’ll see that we’ve clearly talked about comics more than anything else. Not to mention that our old name probably isn’t too SFW. So now you can surf our blog without worrying about getting fired! Or sent to detention, for all you young scholars out there.

But wait! There’s more! In addition to changing our name, we are also starting… a message board! This’ll allow us to cover more topics at once, as well as increase interactivity with our readership (and each other). More importantly, it will allow you, the reader, the chance to come up with topics of your own. Can you feel the power?! Just don’t get carried away; we’d still be in charge, after all 😉

Expect the blog and the message board to have a symbiotic relationship (or symbiosis, if you prefer). We’ll link to popular message board topics on the blog and vice versa, and if we want to cover a message board topic in more depth, we’ll probably post on the blog. That said, expect blog posts and message board posts to be any length; we’re not letting format dictate how long our posts are going to be.

We’ll be posting the link to the message board some time this week, so stay tuned and save your appetites!

10/28 & 11/4/09 Reviews

November 6, 2009
Forgive my absence the past week and a half. I didn’t get the last week of October’s new comics until this Wednesday, so I’m just going to lump the two weeks together for one massive reviews post. Reviewed this week:

Batman #692

Blackest Night #4 (of 8 )

Captain America: Reborn #4 (of 5)

Dark Reign: The List — Wolverine #1

Green Lantern #47

Jack of Fables #39

Justice Society of America #32

The Torch #3 (of 8 )

X-Factor #50

Only Captain America and The Torch were new this week; the others are from Oct. 28. Maybe a good thing I got both weeks at once, or it would be a small list.

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