Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

And the next Bat villain will be...

Image
Right, seeing as The Dark Knight is happily on its way to becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time (if not THEE highest grossing), the question "Will there be a sequel?" is pretty redundant. Of course there will.


What is already prompting discussion though is which villain/s will we be seeing in Batman 3. I direct you to these 2 blog entries, which tackle the issue thoroughly, and present some excellent options:

8 Great Villains We Want in the next Batman Movie
Everybody's Wondering... (Read the comments for the proper discussion)

Here's my 2 cents on the matter:

(Please note that there may be Dark Knight spoilers ahead!)

First of all, given the "realism" of Christopher Nolan's take on the Batman universe, I think we can immediately rule out the villains who actually have super powers and require more of a CGI treatment. This would eliminate one of my personal favourites, the shapeshifter Clayface (the Batman equivalent of Spider-Man's San…

The Dark Knight

Image
Now that’s more like it. Taking a hefty cue in tone and content from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight is much, much better than 2005’s Batman Begins. In fact, The Dark Knight is easily one of the top 5 films of the year so far.


Set shortly after the events of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight kicks off with the Gotham mob under pressure from multiple sides. Batman (Christian Bale) is meddling with their night time operations and during the day they have Gotham’s “White Knight”, new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), to worry about. In desperation they turn to a highly unpredictable criminal mastermind, the Joker (Heath Ledger), to dispatch their enemies.

The result is the most complex and multi-layered superhero film ever made.

Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight is not flawless. Sometimes the plot gets a little over-complicated for its own good, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal, replacing Katie Holmes) is still a “nothing” character, Batman’s voice is way too gr…

Trailer Tuesday: Terminator Salvation

Image
I've spoken a bit before about this upcoming Terminator film - which chronicles the first years of the post-apocalyptic battle between humans and Skynet, with its army of intelligent machines.

Honestly, I was never opposed to the idea of films that dealt specifically with what was only glimpsed and discussed in Terminator 1 and 2. And after Terminator 3's ending, well, this new trilogy seemed like a logical progression. However, I will always be of the opinion that a man vs. machine action film is far more exciting and intriguing when it's set in our present day context, as opposed to against the backdrop of a barren, decimated future (which we've already seen onscreen so many times before).

This said, I thought the teaser trailer above was far better than I thought it would be, with John Connor (Christian Bale) starting to doubt his role in saving humanity. Perhaps in meddling so much with the past, victory is no longer assured.

Although Charlie's Angels director McG…

Cameras, Batman and fish

Image
Just a highlights package of this past weekend's activities:

On Friday I bought my first ever digital camera, a PANASONIC DMC TZ11. It was a "necessity" purchase seeing as my overseas holiday is coming up in just 7 weeks now, and I seriously couldn't keep borrowing cameras for the rest of my life (And yes, I am one of those primitives whose cellphone doesn't have a built-in camera and MP3 player). The Panasonic is perfect for my needs - a top end compact with a massive 10x optical zoom and plenty of features. Now to read the instruction manual...


Saturday involved a post-payday clothes shopping expedition - also in preparation for the holiday. Once again I failed miserably in my attempt to find some new pants and a new pair of takkies (Edgars seriously has the world's most unflattering dressing rooms), but I did pick up some track pants and an attractive fleecy jacket, greatly reduced at the Lizzard surfwear store's closing down sale.

On Saturday evening we …

Today South Africa... like I really needed to remind you

Image
I'm sure I didn't need to remind you of this, but Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight opens in South Africa today.

Currently the world is going ape-shit over the film, which is breaking box office records left, right and centre. All the current achievements are detailed in this Superhero Hype! article, but the most recent, and impressive, is that The Dark Knight is the first film to pull in $200 million domestically (in the US) in under a week. It reached this milestone in just 5 days, in fact, making it the fastest film of all time to do so.

But forget about box office. Ordinary cinema patrons, munching popcorn in the dark, aren't studio accountants. They shouldn't care about numbers. All they should be concerned about is whether the film is any good....

Apparently it is.

The Dark Knight is receiving some SERIOUS LOVE from ordinary movie goers and critics alike. It's sitting at 95% fresh over at Rotten Tomatoes. So beware anyone who vocalises a negative opinion abo…

Greece is the word

Image
When Gladiator was a massive critical and commercial success back in 2000, Hollywood immediately leapt onto the Ancient World bandwagon. The result: Troy, a horrible mutilation of Homer's The Illiad, and Alexander, Oliver Stone's overblown, tedious historial epic. The combined failure of these 2 high profile projects scuttled the slowly re-emerging genre once again.

Any geeks with an interest in the Ancient World had to turn to TV (Rome, The Odyssey) and video games (God of War, Titan Quest) for their fix instead.


Fortunately though, 2007 saw the release of 300, an adaption of Frank Miller's highly stylised take on the Battle of Thermopylae. The film was one of the biggest hits of last year and suddenly Hollywood was interested in all things Ancient again.

For how long is another question, but here's what we have to look forward to over the next few years:

----------------------------------------

Hercules: The Thracian Wars

According to Ain't It Cool News, Peter (Hanc…

RIP Estelle Getty

Image
Estelle Getty, most famous for playing elderly smart mouth Sophia Petrillo (far left of pic) in hit 80's sitcom The Golden Girls, died yesterday at the age of 84. She had been suffering from Lewy Body Dementia for some time, having retired from acting in 2000 because of her failing health. As a result she did not appear in the 2003 Golden Girls reunion show.

Whenever I stumble across Golden Girls reruns these days I imagine trying to pitch that show to 21st Century television executives - a comedy focused on 4 postmenopausal women who share a house in sunny Florida. No one would buy into that concept today. No one would think it could work. Or even be popular.

Times have definitely changed in terms of our pop culture diets.

Here's to the 1980s. And here's to one funny lady. Goodbye Estelle.

Wanted

Image
Going into Wanted, I, well, Wanted to like it. Despite all my reservations, the film was receiving a lot of love from the public, big name critics and my favourite movie bloggers alike. Granted it tended to be qualified praise (“Big and dumb, but perfect blockbuster entertainment!”), but it was enough hype to make me consider that I was being overly critical from the outset. So I entered the cinema with a sprinkling of hope that I would be pleasantly surprised.


And Wanted definitely does have its positives. Director Timur Bekmambetov, responsible for Night Watch, Day Watch and assorted TV commercials, brings a lot of visual and special effects flair to his first English language film. Stand out moments include lead character Wesley’s (James McAvoy) keyboard violence, his panic attack while being abused by his fat cow of a boss, and a running gun battle where Wesley continually has to disarm his opponents to keep firearms in his own hands.

You could also probably say the film is admirabl…

Girlz 'N' Games #31: Screw you, Blizzard!

Image
Alright, I know it's technically impossible to finish World of WarCraft. However, for me, the list of achievements in Panel 1 is pretty much as close as you can get to the "End"... until Wrath of the Litch King comes out later this year. Doh!

Damn you Blizzard, you really are a clever but spiteful drug dealer; stringing me from hit to hit, and always making me come back for more, whatever the cost.

Trailer Tuesday: Watchmen

Image
24/07 EDIT: The YouTube trailer seems to have been pulled down. You can still watch it in high definition streaming format here.


Man, do you have any idea how hard it's been for me to sit on this trailer since it debuted online last Friday?

Watchmen, based on the greatest superhero themed graphic novel of all time (hell, it's even made Time Magazine's Top 100 Novels of All Time), is easily my most highly anticipated film of 2009. And this trailer above just fuel injected my excitement to the next level. I've been on a mild high since Friday about it, and every time I watch the trailer I feel giddy.

And finally I understand the sex appeal of the Silk Spectre!

Anyway, I'm not saying the trailer is perfect - the Martian palace CGI towards the end definitely needs some spit and polish - but otherwise this looks like Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal comics creation brought to life. And the trailer song choice (Smashing Pumpkins' The Beginning is the End is the…

Weekend pop bites

Image
And we're back again... from 2 days of trying to cram in everything I want to do, to 5 days of getting up at 6am so I can stare wistfully out the office window at fresh air and sunshine for 10 hours. Ho hum. I need my holiday now - not in 2 and a bit months' time.

Friday

I actually can't remember what I did on Friday evening. I know that I worked a bit more on the latest Girlz 'N' Games comic (which I'm hoping to have online tomorrow), and definitely didn't play any World of WarCraft. The most I can think is that I dozed off on the couch watching the James Bond movie festival.

Friday and Saturday evening continued the run of Roger Moore movies, which easily mark a low point in the 007 series. And you know you've hit rock bottom when you can start describing Bond films as "the one where they have laser fights in wetsuits in outer space" (Moonraker), and "the one where the Fabrege Egg-loving villain has a river barge rowed by hot female circ…

Fun for Friday

Image
This cartoon, which recently appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, arrived in my email box yesterday and it really tickled my fancy:


And honestly, cartoonist Dana Summers is spot-on. It's all true. Immediately after watching the film we sought out the nearest Toys R Us to see if there were any figurines available. And yes, there were.

Today, South Africa...

Image
... There's absolutely nothing worth getting hyped up about. I have little interest in seeing the 2 high profile movie releases of this weekend:

Journey to the Centre of the Earth:

Look, it'll probably be worthwhile seeking out this fantasy action-adventure in a cinema where it's screening in its intended 3D format. It's sitting at a decent 60% on Rotten Tomatoes so I'm sure this latest adaptation of the classic Jules Verne story is palatable family fare. It just looks, well, too kiddie-fied and generic for me. I'm far more keen for Brendan Fraser's other new release, the third Mummy movie, which is set to debut in a few weeks' time, on 8 August.



The Bank Job:

This one actually looks pretty cool - a gritty English crime thriller inspired by true events. It certainly is a change of pace from all the overly polished American blockbusters on our screens at the moment. Jason Statham and Saffron Burrows star in the film, which centres on the infamous Lloyd'…

A little bit of Harry, a tiny bit of Sherlock for Thursday...

Image
*Sigh* I've decided. Screw any gaming convention or film festival. If I could only go to one geek fest it would have to be the San Diego Comic Con, which kicks off next Thursday. It blows that we don't have anything even close to that in South Africa. Ho hum.

-----------------------

Anyway, the 6th Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrives in South Africa on Friday, 5 December. And last week a fat collective of new pics from the film debuted online. You can view the full set at Movieweb as well as a couple more over at Just Jared.



It all looks great, as expected... apart from the fact that Jim Broadbent appears so damn conventional as new Potions professor Horace Slughorn. Where is the huge gut? Where is the walrus moustache? Where are the over-the-top creature comforts the character loved to wallow in in the book? The film makers have never veered so far from the source material before in terms of bringing a beloved character to life.

Oh, well, at least th…

Tuesday is TV time!

Image
I'm not a big TV fan at all. In fact, I watch very little on the Idiot Box. However, switching between SABC 3 and MNET, Tuesdays now have a pretty sweet line-up, involving the handful of shows that I do actually make time for.

SABC 3, 19:30 - 20:30
Season 10 of The Amazing Race (my all-time favourite reality show) will be finishing next week or so, and will be replaced by Survivor: Fiji, the *gulp* 14th season of the reality show that started the genre craze - for better or worse. Although I was a devoted fan in the beginning, I've kind of lost interest in the format over the past few years. It's likely I'll only be dipping in and out of Fiji this time.


MNET, 21:30 - 22:30

When Rome ended its second and final season, fans were disappointed. Just where were we supposed to get our fix of historical drama liberally spiced with graphic sex, violence, political intrigue, betrayal and sumptuous costuming?

Along came The Tudors, focused on the early reign of Henry VIII. Season 2…

Wall-E

Image
Centred on a lonely little waste disposal robot on an abandoned earth, Wall-E, the latest CGI-animation creation from Pixar and Disney, offers audiences a surprising assortment of pleasures.


For animation fans, the film combines cutting edge 3D animation with an old school approach to storytelling. Easily a third of the film is without dialogue, relying instead on character facial expressions and body language to advance the plot and encourage emotional investment from the audience.

Then there’s the fact that the film comes with a very strong message about living in a disposable, overindulged world. Dreamworks’ Over the Hedge touched on this topic a few years’ back, but Wall-E takes it to a whole new level. You’ll realise this the first time you see what humanity has become after 700 years aboard the completely automated Axiom spaceship.

Wall-E has a lot to say about giving into the temptation to make your life as easy and carefree as possible. Without responsibility, drive and dreams, e…