Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 24

Image
Just one more sleep...

Wishing all my blog readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. No matter your faith, I hope you have an enjoyable day and a well-deserved, rejuvenating rest.


[Source]

Monday Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (HFR 3D)

Image
And so it begins… An epic 18-month, 9 hour cinematic adventure as audiences return to JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth, with The Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson once again leading us through this vast fantasy world. The Hobbit Part 1 of 3 is a journey definitely worth taking on the big screen but it’s also not without flaws – the chief being that the film feels its full 170 minute running time. Jackson frequently subjects viewers to unnecessary material that would honestly be better saved for an Extended Cut DVD.


Anyway, on to the chief question: What is the brand spanking new format of HFR (Higher Frame Rate) 3D like? After all, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film to be released in 48 frames per second, as opposed to the standard 24 fps. Well, the effect is not dissimilar to the often hated True Motion setting on many HD TVs. And ultimately I think it will be a matter of individual taste how easily you accept/cope with it.

The most important thing to note is that…

Monday movie review: Rise of the Guardians (3D)

Image
Before The Avengers (my review) was released, probably the greatest concern was that, with a cast of multiple heroes – all of whom have strong, distinct personalities – the film would feel over-stuffed and too busy. Somehow, writer-director Joss Whedon managed to hurdle that trap. The makers of Rise of the Guardians, however, are less fortunate.


It’s not there’s little to recommend about the latest effort from DreamWorks Animation. Rise of the Guardians is easily the most beautiful CGI-animated film of the year, with rich colours and vivid world creation that demonstrates incredible attention to detail (just examine Jack Frost’s hoodie for a moment). Although the film’s 3D isn’t exceptional, it certainly adds to the visual richness. It’s just that plot-wise, Rise of the Guardians feels like it contains enough content for a trilogy at least. And the film is only 97 minutes long.

Based on the children’s book series by William Joyce – who was heavily involved in the making of the film – …

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 23

Image
Getting in the peaceful spirit today with the Green Lantern Corps.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 22

Image
Just a few more days to go, and hopefully all the office Christmas parties are over. Here several high profile members of the Marvel crowd celebrate.


Movies out for the festive break

Image
Today begins the Christmas holidays for many South Africans and I too will be taking a break from blogging for the next week or so (starting Tuesday). For this reason, here are all the new releases opening at local cinemas before the end of 2012. See you in the New Year.

Friday, 21 December

Life of Pi:
Visionary director Ang Lee brings Yann Martel's "unfilmable" fantasy adventure novel to the big screen in spectacular 3D (and 2D) style. Suraj Sharma stars as a young man who survives a shipwreck but finds himself adrift on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal tiger.

A commercial and critical hit, Life of Pi has been racking up awards - most recently 3 Golden Globe nominations, including one for Best Picture. My full review will be posted soon but my feelings towards the film are mirrored in Kervyn's review at TheMovies.co.za. In short, the film is the most beautiful 3D movie to date but it falls a bit short in terms of emotional and philosophical impact.  89% Fresh on…

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 21

Image
Let's take a step away from superheroes today, and instead enjoy some festive cheer with one of the world's most beloved comic characters - Tintin.



Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 20

Image
Ah, the holidays! When that desire to reconnect with family and friends can sometime backfire horribly - as a combination of end-of-year frenzy and close quarters quickly fray tempers.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 19

Image
Ah, the holidays! A great opportunity to devote more time to your (often neglected) social life, and reconnect with old friends and family...


Cast your vote (for me) for the SA Blog Awards 2012

Image
It's a very strange time of year to be running this annual "fun" competition seeing as many people are already on Christmas vacation or distracted by the festive season's various demands.

Still, if you would be so kind as to vote for this blog in the Entertainment/Lifestyle category of the 2012 SA Blog Awards, it would be much appreciated. To do so, simply click on the Vote button below.

Some other basic rules:

You can only vote for one blog per category.Voters will be sent a confirmation email which they will have to respond to in order to confirm their vote.You can vote from anywhere in the world.Voting closes on 28 December 2012.

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 18

Image
And here's a sister post to yesterday's kiss under the mistletoe. Bruce Timm's man-hating Poison Ivy and abusive relationship poster girl Harley Quinn have certainly had a more suggestive relationship once they made the leap from small screen to printed page (check this out as an example).

They're always marvelous fun together though.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 17

Image
It doesn't quite compare to the famous movie kiss, but here's Spider-Man pulling mistletoe moves on Mary Jane Watson.


[Source]

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 16

Image
Not to be outdone by Superman yesterday, Thor pops up in pretty much the exact same setting.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 15

Image
Alex Ross's painterly Superman adds some spectacle to Metropolis's Christmas celebrations...


Movies releasing today: Hobbits, Anti-heroes and Man-hoes

Image
Actually, 2 of the weekend's 3 new releases have been screening in South African cinemas since Wednesday. However, if you've been saving up your movie viewing for the long weekend, or, even better, the start of your Christmas holidays, here are the latest additions to the local cinema circuit.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
Load up that backpack with supplies. Make sure you have enough pipe weed... because we're trekking through Middle-earth again. Based on J. R. R. Tolkien's classic fantasy adventure, The Hobbit (Part 1 of 3) is basically a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It centres on hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who, in his youth, is chosen by wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to join a band of dwarves who want to reclaim their treasure from Smaug the Dragon. Peter Jackson is back in the director's chair, and the movie is stuffed with characters familiar and new. Look out for the returning likes of Cate Blanchett,Christopher Lee,Hu…

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 14

Image
Superheroes at play! Some fun in the snow today with The Avengers... some of whom seem more stressed than others.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 13

Image
Ah, maybe this will finally cheer him up?

Girlz 'N' Games comic #107: Mount up!

Image
Originally posted on my web comic, Girlz 'N' Games.
You're either on the WoWcrack, or off it... So far, surprisingly, I've managed to stay clean post-Cataclysm, and avoid the temptation of the cute but deadly warrior bears that are so central to the latest expansion.

Anyway, I imagine the situation depicted in this comic isn't that different from the decades-old Disney dilemma of having Pluto and Goofy inhabiting the same universe.

-----

If you got a kick out of this Girlz 'N' Games comic, please "Like" the Girlz 'N' Games Facebook page.

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 12

Image
Seriously? Is Batman even capable of smiling? Does nothing make him happy?


[Edit: Source - Thanks, Matt and Michael.]

Trailer Tuesday: Flight

Image
Finally! After tinkering around with motion-capture animation for the past decade - and creeping out a lot of people with his "Uncanny Valley" creations (The Polar Express, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol), Robert Zemeckis is back on live-action filmmaking turf... with R-rated drama Flight.

Denzel Washington - who we know pretty much never makes an awful film - stars in this tale of an airline captain who successfully pulls off an impossible crash landing, saving the lives of everyone on board. This turns him into a hero. Unfortunately, his actions also put a spotlight on his secret struggle with alcoholism and destructive behaviour. John Goodman, Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood also star.


Granted Zemeckis's recent foray into animation hasn't been as successful as his other big screen efforts, but one quick glance at his filmography reminds you that he's a master of making escapist blockbuster entertainment for grown-ups.

Flight released in North America back in early…

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 11

Image
May you find what (or who) you want under the Christmas tree this year...


[Source]

The little known zombie delights of Dead Set

Image
Every so often you stumble on a piece of pop culture that has managed to escape your notice for years, despite being absolutely fantastic.

Case in point: Dead Set, a 2008 British miniseries, which I only discovered this weekend... and which, I'm assuming, is also largely unknown outside the UK.


Predating The Walking Dead by 2 years, Dead Set is a Zombie Apocalypse tale that consists of 5 episodes - each about 25 minutes long, with the exception of the 1-hour pilot.

Basically the standalone show chronicles what happens when a zombie plague coincides with Eviction Night at the Big Brother house. Now you don't need to have watched the UK Big Brother to grasp the concept. The formula of this particular reality show has been repeated around the world to such an extent that I'm sure most people will be familiar with the show elements (e.g. diary room, housemate tasks) even if they don't know the specifics of the UK version (who the host is, for example). That's far less…

Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 10

Image
Throughout my childhood, every Christmas I would receive a Beano or Dandy annual. I hope I'm not the only child of British descent for whom this was pretty much an institution?



Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 9

Image
Lest we forget that comics are not just about burly men, and svelte women, in tights... Here's over 70 years of love triangle for you.


Comic book countdown to Christmas: Day 8

Image
Happy start of Hanukkah!

Movies Out Today: Fairy Tale Avengers, Sassy Singing Heroines and an Oscar winner

Image
Three new movies hit South African cinemas today, offering something for pretty much the whole family.

Rise of the Guardians:
To coincide with the start of the Summer school holidays, there's this animated adventure. Screening in 2D and 3D, Rise of the Guardians is based on the book series by William Joyce. Basically it's the fairy tale Avengers, with all those icons of childhood belief - Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Sandman, Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) - recruiting Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to stop the Boogeyman (Jude Law). Trailer Tuesday profile here.

Obviously intended to kickstart a profitable new franchise for DreamWorks Animation, Rise of the Guardians does or doesn't deliver on its potential, depending on which reviews you read. Some critics have celebrated it as a visual feast full of wonder and heart. Others have dismissed it as a cluttered, manic mess with a dull plot.  73% Fresh on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.



Pitch Perf…