Archive for January, 2011

Animated movie reviews

January 22, 2011

I watched a few animated comic book movies over break (Netflix instant watch, what up), and it’s time for a quick rundown of reviews. Although I might have felt there were some flaws here or there, I mostly came away impressed, particularly as three of my four reviews are from pretty recent films, and there’s certainly been a recent trend to make edgier animated comic movies. As I said when I reviewed Planet Hulk a while back, I think that trend could be a great thing for fans who want to see some of these more adult-aimed stories told, but without having punches pulled for the kiddies.

So read on as I give mini-reviews for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.

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The Dark Knight Rises and X-Men First Class movie news- UPDATED

January 19, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises villains… and their actors… have been announced.

First off, Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle, occasional love interest to Bruce Wayne, but far better known as the thieving supervillainess Catwoman. Then we have Tom Hardy, a.k.a. Eames from Christopher Nolan’s Inception, who will be playing…

BANE. A.k.a. “The Man Who Broke the Bat.”

Catwoman’s a natural addition to Nolan’s Batman films. She’s a great character and an excellent foil for Bruce Wayne and his pointy-eared alter ego. Like Ra’s Al Ghul, the Joker and Two-Face, she represents a facet of the Dark Knight; she leads a normal life by day and a costumed one at night. She could be the perfect woman for Bruce… if she weren’t a thief.

Bane’s inclusion, on the other hand, comes as a bit of a surprise. Like Catwoman, he does mirror Batman: he’s an intelligent strategist and physically fit, but primarily relies on a drug for his strength, instead of rigorous training. However, Bane is still a fairly recent addition to Batman’s rogues gallery and a bit of a divisive character among fans. And in his last film appearance, he was little more than Poison Ivy’s grunting thug. Then again, all the more reason to redeem him in the new franchise, right? 

I can’t complain with the acting choices too much. Hathaway’s capable of some great acting (loved her in Alice in Wonderland) and Tom Hardy was pretty good in Inception. Sure, it’ll be a shame not to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin or Johnny Depp as the Riddler (I think Riddler would have been a perfect villain the GCPD could use to help them hunt down Batman… before turning on them, of course), but hey, there’s always Batman 4. Angelina Jolie might have been interesting as Catwoman, too, though; she’s certainly got the cat eyes going for her. Still, I think Hathaway can pull Selina Kyle off. 

But hey, there’s X-Men movie news, too! Behold a promo from X-Men First Class: http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/18/first-x-men-first-class-image-surfaces-online/

I haven’t been following news on this TOO closely, so this image comes with a few surprises, at least for me. Most of the characters are clad in the classic X-Men blue and gold uniforms, implying that “first class” may be pretty literal. Even Magneto and Professor X (far left and far right) are wearing the blue and gold duds, implying that they’re probably going to be more physically active in the early days of the X-Men than one might expect. Clearly, Magneto and Xavier are on the same side, at this point, and curiously, so is Mystique (not for all long, no doubt!). January Jones’ costume is a clever blend of Emma’s current X-Men costume and the one she wore during her Inner Circle days, while Moira McTaggert’s workman jumpsuit suggests she’s going to be fairly hands-on in helping out the X-Men. I have no idea what Azazel’s doing there, but I hope they make him a much more interesting character than the comic version. Apparently, Beast is the only member of the original five in the X-Men line-up, but we do have Havok in Cyclops’ place and… Angel Salvadore. Seems strange to make such a recent character one of the early X-Men, but it’s actually kind of clever: the original Angel didn’t appear until X3, so why not introduce the other Angel in the prequel? You almost get two founding members that way. 😛

UPDATE: Oh ho, joke’s on me! Apparently that pic wasn’t official, as a few people suggested. so director Matthew Vaughan’s kindly provided us with REAL pictures from the movie, featuring Magneto wearing with his helmet and James McAvoy getting his Xavier on. AintItCoolNews even revealed the teaser poster for the film! Check it all out below:
http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/20/x-men-first-class-director-gets-mad-we-get-magneto-in-his-helmet/

So, what do you think of the casting and character choices for The Dark Knight? Or the X-Men: First Class promo? Sound off in the comments!

Marvel’s new EIC…

January 5, 2011

is Axel Alonso!

Joe Quesada has rapped up his tenure of just over 10 years as editor-in-chief and become the Chief Creative Officer; his new duties will revolve around TV, movies, and online stuff.

Alonso has been an editor for more than 10 years with Marvel, most notably on Spidey and X-Men titles — meaning he’s already had a hand in Marvel’s biggest cash cows.

Other than that, I really know shit about him, and it’s not like Marvel’s press release (linked at top) is too helpful. But I do wish him the best, and applaud the company’s progressive choice in naming someone named Axel to its top editorial job, given the up-and-down past of people named Axel in creative fields.