Tag Archives: FILM REVIEW

FILM REVIEW: EXCALIBUR (1981)

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I have watched the film Excalibur several times recently and I must say that it is one of my all-time favorite interpretations of Arthurian Legend. I like it so much that whenever I watch animated children films of Arthurian Legend, such as Quest for Camelot or The Sword in the Stone, I would imagine the battle scenes and music from Excalibur. I also like this version of Merlin because he is wise yet eccentric. This was also when I found Patrick Stewart as a serious fighter since he was smacking around other guys in armor. The battle scenes in this film were very physical with chests being cleaved with battle axes, men getting maimed by swords, and even a guy being run through with a flaming spear! Overall, if you are as much of a fan of Arthurian Legend as I am, I would highly recommend this film. “ONE LAND, ONE KING!!!”

FILM REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

I saw Captain America: Civil War yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It does raise the issue of how the superhero community would be affected by politics. Also, both Captain America’s faction and Iron Man’s faction each had compelling arguments towards government regulation of superhuman activity and it was difficult to see who was right and who was wrong, which made the film all the more suspenseful. I’m just glad Captain America lived because I was afraid that if the film was anything like its comic book namesake, then Captain America would die, but I am pleased that Captain America lived. Captain America is my favorite Avenger and it would have broken my heart if he died. I liked this version of Spider-Man because he was a 15 year old kid who wanted to impress his idols and prove his worth as a superhero even though he was easily the youngest and least experienced superhero in the whole film. In addition, the film had a sad note to it because from a moral perspective the supervillain had won because he had turned the Avengers against each other, which essentially made the team fail as an organization. Still, I look forward to seeing how these superhuman regulations will influence future films especially since Doctor Strange is coming this November. Based on the trailer, it looks like Doctor Strange comes into contact with magic that warps the very fabric of our reality, which is too big for government regulations to handles. I will have to just wait and see how the Marvel Universe unfolds in the future. This was a very satisfactory birthday film!

CHARACTER REVIEW: REY (STAR WARS)

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As a devout Star Wars fanboy, I thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens, especially the female lead Rey. Some fans call her a Mary Sue because she became too formidable too quickly as a character, but I disagree with this belief. The reason for this is because there have been countless examples of Star Wars characters who rapidly develop their capabilities due to their connection to the Force.

For example, after Revan had his memories and power wiped away, he quickly regained his power to the point in which he could defeat the Sith Lord Darth Malak. The most well-known example is Luke Skywalker, who instinctively destroyed the first Death Star after first discovering his connection to the Force and later defeated Darth Vader after four years of minimal training. A third example is Ezra Bridger from Star Wars Rebels, who was a fast learner and grew into a relatively formidable Force-user with a connection to both the light and dark sides of the Force all within only two years of training.

With this thought in mind, Rey is no different than any of these examples. During his conversation with Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke mentioned an “awakening” in the Force. My belief is that Rey was the source of this “awakening” because it seems her potential in the Force is so great that it caused turbulence within the Force. Because of this powerful connection to the Force, it would make sense that Rey would develop swiftly as a Force-user just as Revan, Luke, and Ezra did. In terms of lightsaber skills, she has spent her whole life living on a lawless planet where everyday is a fight for survival. This, combined with her Force-enhanced senses and reflexes would explain how she was able to best a wounded Kylo Ren.

In terms of character, I like how her personality is similar to Luke Skywalker’s in that she is brave and compassionate, but also brash and reckless. I look forward to how her training with Luke Skywalker will change her as both a character and as a Force-user.

FILM REVIEW: BATMAN V SUPERMAN

I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and I have mixed feelings regarding the film. Part of me liked the multiple references that were made, but another part of me felt that it had no cohesive story. I enjoyed the special effects, acting, and references, but there the story was flawed beyond belief. What the so-called “writers” did to this film was attempt to mesh together references from multiple comic book arcs (which it relied too heavily on), but failed to create a story with any originality. I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I could have easily written a better storyline than the so-called “writers” who made this film.

If this was the best the so-called “writers” could come up with for a DC universe cross-over, then I am both concerned and scared of how the upcoming Justice League films will turn out. The Justice League are among the most iconic superheroes in fiction and they deserve a proper sendoff, which was more than the so-called “writers” could provide for the DC Comics Trinity. What makes me more concerned is the upcoming Suicide Squad film and whether or not it will be better than Batman v Superman. While Jared Leto’s version of the Joker is overflowing with potential, I wonder if the story will be better than Batman v Superman.

While there were some elements to this film that were worthwhile, the overall film was disappointing. If my Young Guardians Series was made into films of this caliber, I would be apocalyptically cross. However, the choice of seeing this film is entirely up to you.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN PREDICTIONS

As opening day to Batman v Superman draws closer, I make predictions of what I might expect to see based on what I saw in the trailers. To begin with, I noticed several references to either The Death of Superman and The Dark Knight Returns. With The Dark Knight Returns references, I saw Batman wear the same mechanized suit he used to fight Superman in the graphic novel. With The Death of Superman references, I saw Doomsday appear in the trailers and he is famous for being the only individual who killed Superman without the use of Kryptonite.

While contemplating the outcome of Batman’s fight with Superman, I predict Batman might win because in The Dark Knight Returns, Batman was able to defeat Superman with a combination of a mechanized suit and synthetic Kryptonite. On the other hand, if Batman did not discover Kryptonite in the film’s universe then Superman might win. It could go either way depending on which way the filmmakers take it.

With Superman’s fight with Doomsday, I have multiple predictions. In The Death of Superman, Doomsday could hold his own against the Justice League and Superman literally with one arm tied behind his back. When Superman fought Doomsday alone, Superman was pushed to his limit and they killed each other in a draw. Since Superman will be fighting Doomsday alongside Wonder Woman and Batman, this could be a reference to Doomsday’s ability to fight multiple superheroes simultaneously. As for the outcome of this fight, because Doomsday is capable of killing Superman without Kryptonite I believe something bad will happen to Superman. Because there is a Justice League film planned, I seriously doubt Superman will die. Instead, I think Superman’s fight with Doomsday will result in him being near-death and have a lengthy recovery.

As for Kryptonite, even though there is no direct reference to remnants of Krypton landing on Earth, I think I know how Kryptonite will appear in Batman v Superman. In Man of Steel, General Zod and his followers attempted to terraform Earth into a New Krypton. Even though General Zod failed to completely terraform Earth into Krypton, the parts he did terraform are bound to have Kryptonite deposits in them. This would explain how Lex Luthor and possibly Batman got their hands on Kryptonite, which would put Superman in serious trouble.

A lot of people do not like the idea of Ben Affleck being Batman, but I have seen hints of his performance in the trailers and clips and I see some promise. I admit that when Affleck portrayed Daredevil, I was less than impressed, but he is a much more experienced and refined actor since then so it is too soon to judge him. From what I saw in the trailers and clips, it was as though they literally cast Bruce Wayne to play Batman. They even said that when Affleck has the suit on, his voice will be altered by a synthesizer like Green Arrow’s was in Arrow. This version of Batman is an experienced crime fighter with two decades of experience under his utility belt, which would make him darker, more jaded, and more brutal than the Batman we usually know and love. I look forward to how Ben Affleck portrays the Dark Knight.

Another actor some people have doubts about is Jesse Eisenberg, who will be playing Lex Luthor: “greatest criminal mind of our time!” Some people say his portrayal will be too cartoonish, but I believe there is method to Luthor’s madness for acting like that. A true sociopath would put on a facade that would fool even the most astute individuals like Batman. I think the cartoonish expressions Eisenberg’s Luthor did in the trailers were references to Gene Hackman’s Luthor. Also, I believe that at some point in the film, we will see the true megalomaniacal persona of Lex Luthor. Because the character is traditionally bald, I think Eisenberg’s Luthor will lose his hair at some point.

I look forward to the film and I plan to see it immediately after class on Friday. MAY JUSTICE PREVAIL!!!

CHARACTER REVIEW: KYLO REN

 

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When I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening night, I was very interested in the character Kylo Ren. In terms of personality, Kylo Ren is very much like his grandfather Anakin Skywalker AKA Darth Vader in that he is psychologically torn and conflicted between both the light and dark sides of the Force. A lot of people say that he is a weak character, but I disagree with this argument. He has demonstrated considerable Force potential by stopping a laser blast in midair, which was something even Darth Vader could not do. Also, everyone saw how much firepower Chewbacca’s rifle had and the fact that Kylo Ren could take a shot that strong and still be able to fight is impressive. Due to his ragged appearance, lack of emotional discipline, and unstable lightsaber, I believe Kylo Ren has received only basic training both as a Jedi and as a dark side practitioner. My guess is Supreme Leader Snoke only taught Kylo Ren basic dark side techniques and was not ready to invest all of his knowledge and power in him until Kylo Ren proved his commitment to the dark side. Since Supreme Leader Snoke said he was going to complete Kylo Ren’s training, I suspect that Kylo Ren will be more refined, more powerful, and more dangerous than he was before. Also, everyone might find him irredeemable now, but let’s not forget that Darth Vader did terrible things as well and he found redemption in the end so let’s not count Kylo Ren out of redemption just yet. With this in mind, I cannot wait for Episode VIII!

FILM REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

I have completed something that has always been on my bucket list, going to a midnight premiere of a Star Wars film! Even better, my family and I stood at the very front of the line, which made the experience complete! As for the film itself, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was anything and everything I had hoped for and more! Because I am a devout fanboy, I noticed a number of references to the original Expanded Universe that Disney scrapped. The film was pure nostalgia, reminding me of the original trilogy in countless ways. I look forward to Episode VIII, which is one and a half years away, which will be an eternity for me because I am starving for more Star Wars. When I saw the original cast appear, I cheered maniacally with the rest of the audience. Also, there will be plot twists that you will never see coming and the villain Kylo Ren is probably the most conflicted Star Wars villain since Darth Vader himself. I recommend this film to anyone even if you are not a Star Wars fan. It will blow you away! May the Force be with you, always.

FILM REVIEW: BIRDMAN OR THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE

Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Zach Galifianakis, Birdman depicts the point of view of an actor who used to play a superhero and attempted to move on to Broadway. I enjoyed the humor in this film and in some cases I could connect with Michael Keaton character. In particular, I sometimes fantasize on having superpowers myself just as Michael Keaton’s character imagined having telekinesis or flight. I also enjoyed the concept of a washed up Hollywood actor who was desperate for a comeback. If this was a boxing film, it would be fair to say that Birdman is a Cinderella story for an actor. In addition, it was rather scary on how the film depicted the demanding and competing nature of Broadway theatre. As a former theatre actor, I could relate to this as well. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a story about an underdog who is attempting to beat the odds while wrestling with his own personal demons.

TRAILER REVIEW: BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE

I watched the trailer for the sequel to the Man of Steel film and I must say that I am completely excited for it to be released. I enjoyed the epic vibe I got just from watching the trailer as well as examining the overall atmosphere. In addition, I am glad that they will be including references from many Batman and Superman comics. For example, I enjoyed the references from The Dark Knight Returns in which Batman battles Superman with a powered exoskeleton as well as a glimpse of Batman in the same pose he was in on The Dark Knight Returns cover. Also, I noticed a grim hint from Batman: A Death in the Family in which Robin’s suit is on display with a message from the Joker, which could indicate that the Robin who used the suit was the second Robin, Jason Todd AKA Red Hood. I know many people are not pleased with Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor, but I believe it is too soon to judge him. Jesse Eisenberg already had practice being an arrogant, genius, billionaire in The Social Network so I think he’s more than prepared to tackle the role of Lex Luthor. In addition, I know some people do not like the idea of Ben Affleck being Batman and I did not like his performance as Daredevil, but he is a much more experienced actor now and I am confident he will get it right. Overall, I look forward to see what this film has to offer.

FILM REVIEW: ANT-MAN

I must say that I am pleased with how the new Ant-Man film turned out. In particular, I am glad it stayed faithful with the comics with Hank Pym being the first Ant-Man and Scott Lang being the second Ant-Man. Even before I saw the film, I often wondered what it would be like to be the size of an ant while maintaining the physical strength of a normal-sized human. I also enjoyed how the supervillain is a polar opposite of the superhero since they have the same powers, but have different mindsets. The film also possessed clever humor and masterfully portrayed the archetype of the unlikely hero. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a film that illustrates how far someone would go to seek redemption.