You guys seem to have opinions about this Batman/Ben Affleck thing.
I know we are supposed to be on hiatus, but then the Internet lit up like a Christmas tree … on fire … doused with gasoline … when news broke that Ben Affleck will play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. Judging from Twitter and Facebook, many, many fanfolk are not feeling this idea. Like, at all. I haven’t seen this kind of social media meltdown since the 2012 Presidential debates.
It’s 2 hours of geeking out on the new Man of Steel film!
I have been pretty tight-lipped about my specific thoughts on Man of Steel. That’s because I was saving it for this very podcast. Last night, Erika and I were guests on Stimulated Boredom. We got on about the brave Lois Lane, a sullen Clark Kent, Christian allegory and the collateral damage of the long-awaited Superman film. We had a ton of fun talking about it and hope you enjoy the show.
But, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, there are massive spoilers in our discussion. Gargantuan. We talk about every scene we can remember in explicit detail. While I really, really want you to listen now – see the film first if you haven’t already. We’ll be here when you get back.
WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens!
I love a good documentary, but none more than Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Last year, Erika and I had the distinct pleasure of viewing this film (and reviewing it), and it moved me beyond words. It says so many of the things I want to say here at this blog about women and comics. For this fangirl, it’s an intelligent, poignant and supremely validating look at the female superheroine and her role in shaping the American woman. It is a must see film for ALL comic book fans. Beyond comic fandom, it will enlighten the friends and families of comic lovers of the power of comics in culture.
WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES will have its television broadcast premiere in the United States on PBS’s Independent Lens series on Monday, April 15, 2013. Check your local listings to confirm the time and date.
Breaking Dawn Part 2? More like Breaking Dawn Part *SOB*!
The first time I read the The Twilight Saga, I devoured it in just a few days. All four books. And when I got to the end of Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book, I cried in spite of the happy ending. I became so enamored with the story that I was sad that it was over.
At the time, the first film had already made it to DVD. The wheels of this massive machine were fully in motion. Knowing that all of the books would eventually be interpreted visually, I couldn’t help but wonder how the characters, scenery, and memorable moments would play out in the movies. But none more than Breaking Dawn. Would the final film be able to capture the essence of that happy (yet sad) ending in the same way? Continue reading “Breaking Dawn Part 2: The End is Nigh”
Imposing in scale and length, The Dark Knight Rises takes viewers on a scenic but meandering journey — two hours and 45 minutes — that can test the limits of patience. But that’s OK. Thanks to some great acting and incredibly satisfying final scenes, these indulgences are easily forgiven. TDKR wraps up Christopher Nolan’s Bat-trilogy with style while offering some honest-to-goodness surprises and moments of pure fan delight.
Whether a Spider-Man film, especially an origin story, is necessary so soon after the last franchise ended is debatable but ultimately irrelevant. Box office take aside, the real test of a film’s legitimacy is its quality. Is the reboot that no one was clamoring for any good?
Yes, it is. The Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t always live up to the title, but it’s an entertaining, likable popcorn movie that is very lucky to have Andrew Garfield in the lead role. Garfield brings an emotional complexity and unexpected edge to this version of an extremely well-known character. His Peter Parker is a good guy and a nerd all right, but he’s got an undercurrent of anger and nervous energy that makes him exciting to watch. The Amazing Spider-Man is also a love story, and a mighty sweet one at that. Continue reading “G3 Review: The Amazing Spider-Man”
With an aesthetic that falls somewhere between Game of Thrones and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman is a grotesque and gorgeous journey from dark to light. The austere imagery of costumes, creatures and landscapes, plus the physical performances, come together to make magic.
A white horse, black oil, a red rose. The snow-covered castle, the dark forest, drops of blood. The brilliant use of color contrast throughout the film is as much of a story as the script. Not only are the colors striking, but so is the breathtaking scenery of coastlines, castle-scapes, and forests.
From the sharp tips of the Evil Queen’s many crowns, down to the dirt in Snow White’s fingernails, the costume design is remarkable. Theron did well enough on her own, but her stunning gowns radiate wicked power and extravagance. Snow White’s tattered revision of the classic Disney costume added a hint of nostalgia while still being something one could flee through the forest in.
This is a fairy tale after all, and overt magic is where Snow White and the Huntsman goes more Wonderland than Westeros. But the overall darkness of the film gives the magical moments that much more of an impact. These moments are welcome bursts of quick pacing. Two hours is a long time to sit through a film where you already know the plot, and you’ve known it since the age of three. While the visual effects lend much to the enjoyment of the film, the performances carry the bulk of that burden. Continue reading “G3 Review: Snow White and the Huntsman”
If and when DC/Warner Bros. finally gets around to making a Justice League movie, it might want to take some notes from across the aisle. Not all of the Marvel movies have been homeruns, but as the first two X-Men movies and X-Men: First Class proved, it is very possible to make a highly satisfying superhero ensemble film. The Avengers is one of them.
Writer-director Joss Whedon swung for the fences, and the result is a consistently fun, exciting action movie that makes the most of a strong cast. The Avengers doesn’t just throw a bunch of comic book characters onto the screen and then blow stuff up real good. Whedon takes care in defining the players and showing how they come together to execute their first mission.
The objective is to take down that villainous Asgardian diva, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who pays S.H.I.E.L.D. an unwelcome visit to steal the Tesseract. The glowing cube is central to his plot to rule humanity via alien invasion, and Nick Fury, played by the stoically cool Samuel L. Jackson, knows he’s going to need more than one big gun to stop him. One by one, the future Avengers begin assembling, but it’s a bumpy ride. Continue reading “G3 Review: The Avengers”
If you have a friend or family member who is baffled by con culture, show them the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentaryComic-Con IV: A Fan’s Hope. With sincerity and affection, it explains to the uninitiated and/or judgmental the world that our crowd knows so well. Alas, we live in a society that interprets wearing a giant, plastic cheese on your head as mere enthusiasm, but regards cosplay as weird. Go figure.
Amid all the geeking out, the movie — filmed at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010 — acknowledges the elephant in the room: Comics have been relegated to the background of a giant convention with “comic” in the name, and that is now largely about mass entertainment. It’s unreal to look at old photos of the first Comic-Con in 1970 and compare those images to the huge scene it is today.
“What are the consequences for women when they are strong, and when they are the central actors of their own lives?”
It isn’t hyperbole to say that every comic book fan should see “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,” the excellent documentary that premeired last month at the South by Southwest Film Festival. But you needn’t own a single comic book to fully enjoy this film. Thought-provoking and frequently moving, “Wonder Women!” examines the history of fictional heroines in popular culture, and how their highs and lows have reflected the lives of real American women since the 1940s. Continue reading “‘Wonder Women’ Documentary is Powerful Viewing”
One of the many uncomfortable things about watching The Hunger Games is that moment when you realize, “I’m watching The Hunger Games.” The story may be fictional, but it’s nonetheless almost physically unsettling to see children on the verge of killing or being killed.
For the five people who haven’t heard of Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular dystopian series of novels, the Hunger Games are annual contests in which 24 young people ages 12 to 18 must battle to the death until only one is left standing. Worse, it’s all packaged as a festive reality show by the wealthy Capitol, which rules the nation of Panem. A few critics have knocked the film version for not having the guts to look this forced savagery in the eye, but I disagree with that assessment. Continue reading “G3 Review: The Hunger Games”
A revealing clip from the fabulous-looking documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, makes a powerful case for the necessity of this film. In a series of street interviews, people of both sexes begin rattling off the names of comic book characters, and not a single female comes up. Not even Wonder Woman.
Wonder Women!, which makes its debut at the South by Southwest film festival next month, could go a long way toward changing that. This buzz-worthy documentary, feauturing interviews with artists and icons like Lynda Carter, Gloria Steinem and Trina Robbins, examines the evolution and history of female heroes in comic books, television and film. Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and produced by Kelcey Edwards, the movie got a huge boost from two successful Kickstarter fundraisers, which made it possible for the movie to be completed and polished for prime time. I’m dying to see it, and based on the response to the fundraising effort, it’s clear that many others are, too.
George Lucas got one thing right: casting Ewan McGregor as young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
If you’re ever in the mood to start an argument, try telling an adult Star Wars fan that the prequels have some redeeming value. No one wants to hear it, and you can count me among the hardcore Star Wars fans who will not be buying a ticket for the re-release of “The Phantom Menace” in 3-D today. (For a longer analysis of that movie’s impact, check out my article on the CNN.com Geek Out! blog.)