Friday, May 30, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 does whatever a Spider can. But not much else.

The more time there is between now and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, the more I find wrong with it. But nothing more so than Spider-Man 3. For all the minor things the two predecessors got wrong, the third film just went whole hog and fucked up everything, with the minor exception of Sandman. Venom was wasted, and Harry as Goblin was rubbish. Then Sony rebooted the series, and Amazing Spider-Man seemed to be on a much better track. Except we had to watch that bloody spider biting Peter again.

So it's quite shocking that the very next film, Amazing Spider-Man 2, makes a lot of the same mistakes as Spider-Man 3. Oh it doesn't do anything so bad as the dance number, and the one thing Mark Webb's second foray has going for it is that it absolutely nails Peter and Gwen, and is possibly the greatest live-action portrayal of Spider-Man in existence. This little Spider-Fan may have incredibly geeked out at just how Spidey moved during combat and quipped the whole time. But it does get the villains completely wrong again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

X-Men Days of Future Past is hopefully a shade of things to come

No proper X-Men Days of Future Past review from me. I watched it in an extremely tired frame of mind after my flatmate's rather drunken surprise birthday party. However, I'm going old school and just summing up my thoughts instead.

Mainly that Days of Future Past was rather brilliant. I was pretty worried about it because of the number of mutants that were said to be featuring, but Brian Singer does what he did so well back for X1 and 2, and that's keep the story focus very much on the core characters. In fact with only five characters sharing the limelight this feels like one of the tightest X-films ever.

McAvoy was amazing, his first scene was utterly tremendous. I'm glad Apocalypse will be based in the 80s and we get him back for more. So was Quicksilver, I expected him to be the worst, especially with that costume, but the opposite was true. For me, Joss Whedon and Avengers had the upper hand when it came to Pietro Maximoff, but now they have a lot to live up to.

There is one slight problem. The future timeline is made clear to be a result of all the movies we've seen to date, yet the film clearly states that Mystique is captured by the US Government in 1973 moments after killing Trask. So how was Mystique running around in X's 1-3? From the explanation we got of how the Sentinels operate they killed over two decades before? Big plot hole in a very minor line of dialogue. I can only assume that it was a quick change for ease of filming that no one caught the ramifications of.

Also Kitty's ability to project people into the past was never explained, but then that would mean introducing yet another telepath, and since it was Kitty sent backwards in the comics, I can forgive the mistake for homage.

Oh and if the Stryker at the end was Mystique, does that mean new timeline Wolverine is left with bone claws?

Days of Future Past is good. Almost First Class good, but not quite. It's up there, probably above both of Singer's previous two films. It does what Avengers did so well and no one else seems to have nailed, which is use everything before it to feel like a proper universe. Bring on Apocalypse.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Arrow Hits The Target With Its Second Season

Agents of SHIELD wasn't the only comics based TV series to finish its season last week, as Arrow pulled the curtain on its second, with a rather explosive ending. Also this season saw it take a much more obvious step towards it's superhero source material than the more crime drama filled debut. Mostly because of the villain Deathstroke.

As soon as Slade Wilson was introduced I was intrigued. We'd already met Deathstroke, yet here was the man behind the mask as a separate identity. It seemed like only a matter of time before he swapped sides. Yet he was originally presented as the man who made Oliver Queen into the man who donned the hood. And they eventually became brothers-in-arms. It got to a point where the two facing off against each other was unthinkable.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Season 1 comes to a close in an epic way

It has come to my attention that I haven't wrote a blog on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since the upheaval post The Winter Soldier, which is shocking, because it finally turned the show into something amazing.

I'd stuck with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. simply because I'm a comic nerd and it had ties to the films Marvel are putting out. But one movie completely turned the show on its head. The big reveal that Hydra has long operated within the confines of S.H.I.E.L.D. changed the landscape of the entire Marvel cinematic universe, but it was really felt by the show that is actually all about that very organisation.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth

Being as the version I watched featured a 'Dalek Invasion of Earth' title card complete with appearing text and wobbly flying saucers that looked straight out of a b-movie I figured this might just be the hokey type of 60s sci-fi I promised myself I wouldn't let bother me. The Daleks flying saucers see their introduction here, and to say they're hokey is an understatement. Obviously I'm used to the design now, having seen numerous redesigns to make them look better. But here they are at their worst. The first shot of them is bobbing along on a string, and it brings to mind every joke about old science fiction ever made.

However, apart from the spaceships and a monster that appears for ten minutes in the closing parts, this isn't that hokey a story at all. In fact it's fairly horrific, with a pretty damn high body count and tension filled street chases. Not to mention the rather strong imagery of Daleks patrolling around London. I mean the opening shot of the entire serial is a man staggering alone, screaming, and then drowning himself in a river in front of a sign that says body dumping isn't allowed. Doctor Who isn't holding back on the darkness here.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse gets unbroken

Finally it feels like a Broken Sword game. This is very much a continuation of the first part of The Serpent's Curse, properly digging into the history of the Gnostics and the usual jet setting the series is known for. It's everything I hoped for. Yet at the same time everything I feared when Revolution cut it down the middle.

This second part seems short too, which is part of the problem Revolution have created by splitting it in half. I know they wanted to make their original release date, and Double Fine did it so it made it 'okay', and they probably needed the cash injection, but releasing in halves has severely reduced my enjoyment of The Serpent's Curse. The first half felt not Broken Sword enough staying too much with the modern crime, while the second doesn't feel long enough. Put them together and I can see the whole package being up there with The Smoking Mirror, but having played them as two games I've got too much of a disconnect.

Monday, May 05, 2014

From Dusk till Dawn: The 7 Hour shift

I love From Dusk Till Dawn. The original Tarantino/Rodriguez team-up movie. Tarantino wrote it. Rodriguez directed it. For me it's a classic. The shift that for half the film you think you're watching a typical Tarantino crime drama only for vampires to appear out of nowhere and it turn into a monster flick. Genius left turn.

But I was kinda surprised to see it had rebooted it as a TV series. Didn't it really work in that form? Did it even need it? What if it was some shoddy remake by people who got hold of the franchise? After all, the sequels weren't meant to be much cop. Turns out that wasn't that much of a worry, because it was Robert Rodriguez that was in charge here and he's made it much more of his thing that the original.

Friday, May 02, 2014

No proper post today

Morning. It's Friday, which I always promised myself would be the main update post, with the Monday one being the one to fall over if I needed to. And I've failed. I've got a few different blogs percolating right now, and none of them are ready, except for more Doctor Who, and I don't want to flood this place with that.

Obviously one of the percolating blogs is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the epic Turn, Turn, Turn episode. S.H.I.E.L.D. has seriously upped its game post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but I didn't find time to write about it until a few episodes had aired, and because we're only two episodes away from the end, I figured I'd do it as one big column. Otherwise Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will take this place over nearly as much as Doctor Who has.