Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Domino dominates Deadpool 2!

Posted: August 2, 2017 in Comics, Movies
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Last week (again I’m great with the breaking news aren’t I? Haha) Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds revealed the FIRST look at actress Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) as the mutant Domino. Of course X-Men fans will know her as time traveller Cable’s partner in crime and often time member of X-Force. Domino uses her abilities to manipulate events around her to her favour, which must come in handy in those life and death situations as she kicks a tremendous amount of arse! I haven’t seen Atlanta (yet) but I hear it’s great and I think Beetz looks great as Domino.

My fear for the sequel is it goes bigger than the first flick and ends up a bloated mess and honestly I can’t wait to be proven wrong on that assumption. What I would love is to see another action packed and lean adventure clocking in at just 95 minutes or so but the film is not being made just for me so here’s hoping whatever the end result is it’s a winner.

Deadpool 2 is directed by David Leitch (John Wick) and sees the return of Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Leslie Uggams and pretty much everyone else who survived the first movie. Josh Brolin and Beetz join the series as newcomers Cable and Domino.

You can catch Deadpool 2 next summer.

Wonder Woman (No Spoilers)

Posted: June 12, 2017 in Comics, Movies
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Warner Brothers had a lot riding on the back of Wonder Woman. For one thing the reaction to last years Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad was lukewarm at best. Warner Brothers/DC’s intention is to have their own cinematic universe that can stand proudly next to Marvels MCU and I think it’s fair to say that up to now they haven’t had the best start. For what it’s worth I’ve enjoyed all of the DCEU movies to date but there is no getting around the fact that director Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman is not only the best movie of the DCEU it’s a fantastic movie period.

Gal Gadot, who made her debut in Batman vs. Superman Dawn of Justice as Wonder Woman, is front and centre here. Her debut movie is a showcase for the actresses’ ass kicking capabilities and natural charisma. Gadot gives Diana an innocence and strength that helps to create a great hero for all ages and genders. Her motto is beautiful in it’s simplicity. Wonder Woman will fight for those who can not fight for themselves. It’s Wonder Woman’s clear ideals that help create such a powerful hero.

The only Wonder Woman comics I have read are her appearances in the Justice League through the years. Her solo material is not as known to me so I was excited to learn more about her aside from the fact she is a amazon warrior and really strong. Jenkins lends the film not only a big heart but a great pace (considering the almost two and half hour runtime) and solid action scenes. The use of slow-motion is used to perfection to demonstrate the skill of the amazon warriors and Diana herself in battle. That same skill carries over into the films bigger action sequences during the horrors of World War One.

The film wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve but it never comes across as being cheesy. Instead the messages of the film, Diana’s reactions to the strange and often maddening world of man and the injustices around it come from a place of total honesty. After watching Wonder Woman you will not only wish you lived on the amazon’s paradise island but that you had amazon queens ruling over us. They just get society right.

Gal Gadot is excellent. Chris Pine makes for a solid and charming lead as Col. Steve Trevor, the man who acts as Diana’s guide into the world of man. Pine able to not only hold his own in the action but also in conveying his frustration at how mans world works and knowing all he can do to try and help is do what feels right. The film does a great job at bringing up arguments and debate about how we choose to live as a society and treat one another and those debates are best showcased in the scenes with Diana and Steve. Leading out the cast is an impressive ensemble of support yet the two stand outs for me are the great Robin Wright (House of Cards, Princess Bride) and Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) as Diana’s aunt and mother. Both actresses have links to fantasy classics yet neither of those characters they played then got to get stuck into the action and well…that is not the case here and that is awesome.

Wonder Woman is great. I loved it. It’s not just a really good comic book movie it’s a great movie on it’s own terms. Wonder Woman’s combination of a great cast, crew and director honour the comic legacy and have put out what I am certain will be a film that is talked about in years to come as a great example of the genre and of talent regardless of gender. It has one hell of a positive message too and in todays world that is something that should be celebrated and embraced.

X2: X-Men United

Posted: May 31, 2017 in Comics, Movies
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I saw X2 while I was away at college. Walking out of the cinema me and my buddy turned to one another with the biggest grins. We’d just seen one of the best comic book movies to date in 2003. X2 does everything bigger and better than the first film. The plot is more ambitious, the action much more accomplished and the world is expanded with several new character introductions and expansion for those we already know. Bryan Singer, no doubt about it, knocked his X-Men sequel out of the park and it’s still to this day a fantastic X-Men movie.

The plot of X2 sees the government grow more fearful of mutants after the events of the first film. Col. Stryker (Brian Cox) , a black op’s like agent with ties to Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) uses that fear as an excuse to enforce his own deadly plan to get back at Professor X and mutantkind for his own personal reasons. Stryker sees mutants at best as tools to be used and at worse as deadly threats that must be wiped out. Meanwhile Magneto (Ian McKellen)remains in custody for his extremist actions from the first film but it isn’t long before he once more sets out to fight for the rights of mutants whatever the cost. The writers on X2 do a great job of carving out a strong narrative that not only has to serve many, many characters but expand the scope of the X-Men on screen and it’s a credit to them that they achieve it with X2.

Bryan Singer shows off way more confidence this time around. The opening of the movie features one of the genre’s most celebrated sequences that is still praised today as the teleporter Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) carries out an assassination attempt on the U.S. president. Stryker’s assault on the Xavier Institute is a total blast, you get to see Wolverine let loose, several fan fave mutant cameos  and a variety of cool displays of mutant abilities as the students and staff attempt to hold off the soldiers. One of the best parts of the whole film is a knock out brawl between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu), a character those familiar with the comics will know and their showdown is flat out brutal.  Composer John Ottman delivers a thumping score throughout the whole movie which is simply terrific.

As I said the roster of characters old and new is massive so forgive me for not mentioning everyone save to say all of the actors are great in their roles. Personally I loved that Mystique (Rebecca Romijin) got way more to do. Her character is used really well. Jackman, Stewart, Cox and Mckellen are fantastic as usual. Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey gets her own subplot throughout with major payoff at the end that comic fans will eat up. Nightcrawler and Deathstrike are good but it’s Aaron Stanford as fire manipulator Pyro who makes the biggest impression and his arc is very interesting. Sadly the always good James Marsden gets sent to the bench for most of the film and it’s a shame as he’s a good Cyclops but with a roster this large someone had to suffer.  Halle Berry’s Storm is also given a lot more to do this time out.

X2 has been cited as one of the best comic book movies of all time and I think it can still lay claim to that. It’s easy to forget in this MCU/DCEU age how hard it is to juggle ambition, scope and stakes while attempting to stay true to the source and while the X-Men movies may not always knock it out of the park they manage to do just that when the right care and attention is put into their making and that’s certainly the case with X2. The closing of the movie promised a thrilling third outing for Marvel’s mutants but sadly that would not exactly go as planned. That’s a tale best saved for another time though.


James Gunn does that so rare thing with Guardians of the Galaxy VOL.2 which is create a comic book movie that manages to entertain on the surface but packs one hell of an emotional gut punch. At the forefront of VOL.2. is not action and spectacle (which you will get, so don’t panic) but family. See each member of the Guardians was a loner, adrift from their fractured families only to come together to form one of their own and this theme runs through the core of the second installment of Guardians.

This time out we find Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana)running foul of high priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and her race of genetically engineered people. A bounty is placed on the heads of the Guardians of the Galaxy and a whole host of folks are zeroing in on them. Help comes in the form of Ego (Kurt Russell)who we learn has strong ties to Star-Lord. Along the way the heroes meet new characters such as Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and get reacquainted with old foes Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Yondu (Michael Rooker). If the cast of characters seems stacked that’s because it is but fear not, thanks to a great script and an excellent pace each character gets to shine. That does it for me plot-wise. The less you know the more you’ll enjoy! I’ll say Marvel have taken some hits on their villains in the past but the baddie in Guardians VOL.2. is brilliant.

Apart from the surprisingly emotional story, Guardians of the Galaxy VOL.2 really excels with it’s visuals. Much like it’s predecessor Guardians VOL.2 takes the audience on a truly cosmic adventure and it certainly showed me sights I’d never dreamt imaginable. This is one beautiful looking movie and my hat goes off to all of the people who worked in the art direction and design teams. See I’ve never been a big reader of the cosmic side to the Marvel universe but I can imagine that those who are would feel like they are seeing scenes ripped right out of the comic book pages and brought to life.

Action wise what you get is good but ya know what there’s not THAT much in it! Certainly this movie is not as action packed as the first film but I think that this has been a very deliberate move on Gunn’s part. Instead Guardians VOL.2 is it’s own entity, at times very trippy (Ego’s ship is like some crazy art deco piece come to life!), a movie that pays attention to what it set up previously and delivers pay off. Case in point the attention given to Nebula and Yondu, two characters who easily could have been left out of this adventure and their potential wasted, only to not only return but to be the basis of a lot of the films plot points and pay offs.

This cast is amazing. Gunn delivers a cracking movie with true stakes and honestly I’m way more excited for anything Guardians related than I am Avengers. The soundtrack delivers once again and as you would expect from a Marvel movie there’s a ton of surprises and Easter eggs for your enjoyment. Guardians of the Galaxy VOL.2 is a rare gift and I hope fans appreciate it for the movie it is and not the one they were expecting because this fan would take this over a safer rehash of the first film any day of the week.

MV5BMzY4MzQ1OTU3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTc2OTEwMzE@__V1_SX1503_CR0,0,1503,999_AL_Sony pictures have found a director for their Spider-Man spin-off movie Black Cat/Silver Sable. The talented lady is…Gina Prince-Bythewood. I am not familiar with the directors work but I understand she’s highly regarded with her resume including Beyond The Lights, Love and Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees. The most recent draft of the script was written by Thor: Ragnarok’s Chris Yost although Bythewood is expected to do a re-write of the latest draft.

Look. I am excited for this movie and I have no issue with Sony focusing on solo adventures for Black Cat/Silver Sable and Venom. I’ve heard a ton of “Well if there’s no Spider-Man it just doesn’t make any sense!”. I don’t agree with that. Venom, Silver Sable and Black Cat are all great characters and I’d rather see them get explored on the big screen than ignored. No one knows for sure yet what the Sony/Marvel deal includes. For all we know Tom Holland may be able to appear in these movies or even if he won’t maybe Tom Hardy’s Venom will be Sony’s version of Spider-Man. It just all depends on the execution.

Sony has gone about this the right way so far. Hiring talented writers and directors and then going after the on-screen talent. As for who will play either of the two leading ladies well that’s still to be determined!

Black Cat/Silver Sable (I’m sure they’ll change the title of the movie!) is set to shoot this Autumn with a release set for next year.

Tom Hardy IS Venom!!

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Comics, Movies
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That’s how you get the world hype for a Venom solo movie folks. You hire Tom Hardy. What a casting! Sony Pictures announced yesterday that Hardy will star in their Venom movie which is set to shoot this fall.

Venom, an alien symbiote that takes over it’s host, was created by artist Todd McFarlane and is one of Spider-Man’s most famous villains. Throughout his many incarnations the Venom Symbiote has been both villain and hero and linked to several different hosts.  In Sony Pictures Venom Hardy will take on the role of Venom’s most famous host Eddie Brock.

The solo movie, to be directed by Zombieland and Gangster Squad’s Ruben Fleischer is said to be a R rated horror/sci-fi movie. I can’t wait. This could be amaze.

Mark your calendars for September 19th because that is the day you will be able to play the brand new Capcom/Marvel fighter. The gameplay trailer above shows a host of new characters (well one brand new one if you want to discount returning characters), super moves and what pre-order editions are available.

Already there is a season pass incentive available as is the norm these days which will get you 6 DLC fighters and 6 alternate costumes. No word yet on who the DLC characters will be. Unlike Street Fighter V, MvC: Infinite will launch with a host of modes including Online, Arcade and Story amongst others. That’s good news. Lesson learned as far as Capcom is concerned.

What do you think of the new looks at Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor, Chris, Chun-Li and Ultron in action? I’m excited for this game but let’s be real here; most of us already own the BEST entry in this series which is of course the classic Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I doubt (yet would welcome a surprise) any entry in this series will ever beat the greats of the classic sequel.

Thor: Ragnarok teaser trailer

Posted: April 11, 2017 in Comics, Movies

“We know each other! He’s a friend from work!”

I love the Thor films. I can say safely they’re neck and neck with Guardians as my fave MCU offerings. Ironic as I’ve hardly read any Thor comics (save for when he’s guested) and even less Guardians. Ragnarok will be Thor’s third solo feature film and this time the mayhem and fun is directed by Taika Waititi. Which is great news if you have happened to have seen the directors previous work What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi is wicked talented and has a great sense of humour which is perfectly on display in this first look at Ragnarok.

Look at this footage! Colourful, fun and packed with great effects and laughs. Not to mention this cast and whole host of new characters. Look at these guys and gals! You got Thor and Hulk then new additions Hela, Valkyrie and the one and only Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster. I can not wait to see this movie. As more time passes I’m convinced Marvel should move away from using one film to set up future movies. We know by now that the whole universe is connected, I feel that when they focus more on making one great stand alone movie we get something like this or Guardians.

Thor: Ragnarok hits UK screens October 27th

This movie looks STACKED! There is a lot going on in this teaser with an abundance of characters and action set pieces. Here is where I sit on the film, first up I hope it delivers and it’s at least decent. Yeah it would be great to get an amazing movie but I don’t want to even get my hopes up that high. Just let it be good. One or two of the backgrounds look a bit fake and the CGI on Cyborg isn’t as good as I thought it may be. Yet there’s plenty of time to fix those things and look even if the film does come out and it has some less than great CGI work who cares as long as the rest of the movie delivers right?

For me the standouts are Aquaman and funnily enough Cyborg. All the scenes with those two looked great (some CGI aside). These are the two I am least familiar with out of the Justice League and I look forward to seeing both of these guys get some exploration over the course of the movie. Amber Heard as Mera, the Queen of Atlantis no less, also gets to cameo in this trailer and while I expect she’ll have a small role I still look forward to seeing what she does in the movie.

This is a solid teaser trailer that is hopefully giving us just a glimpse of the fun times ahead when the movie hits screens this November.

Review: Death of Wolverine

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Comics
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I have made no secret of my love of the X-Men. For over twenty years I have followed the uncanny mutants through comics, animated shows, video games and movies. X-Men to this day remains my favourite comic title. Sure the mutants are going through a rough patch at the moment but Marvel looks set to do right by who were once their shining stars with a brand re-launch later this year.

Truth be told I’ve read little of the recent X-Men titles from the past few years since the whole original X-Men team traveling to the future mess. The whole situation just felt as if it needed a cap but it’s still on-going and just has me wondering why? One arc that did catch my attention was Death of Wolverine. Surely this was (and may yet prove to be) a publicity stunt? No way would Marvel kill off one of it’s most popular characters?

Death of Wolverine does not pull it’s punches. The four part series is plotted with surgeon like skill by writer Charles Soule. Wolverine is the target of a manhunt and someone has put a price on his head. It isn’t long before all sorts of trouble and danger zeroes in on him and this is what propels him and us to his fate. Soule weaves a lean tale that touches in on what made Wolverine the character he is today and factors in those smaller more emotional beats that gave him such depth and likability beyond just being some beserker killing machine.

Steve McNiven’s work on the art is solid. The action is clear, the feeling on the characters faces when confronted with an array of emotions from fear, surprise, anger and joy registers. You can see just how beaten up Wolverine is in Death of Wolverine. This is a guy who has given his all time and time again over countless decades and at this stage in his life the guy is just tired. It’s a refreshing look at a hero I see as immortal, almost more than human, to see this is just a guy, sure he has super abilities but at his core this is a man coming to the end of his road.

Going into Death of Wolverine I knew little. I did not know if the title of the comic would follow through or if it would be a big mislead. I’d rather not say what happens and that is why I’ve stayed vague throughout so you can go in and get surprised. If you’ve ever been into the X-Men comics and dropped off in recent years I got to say Death of Wolverine is an essential read. Remaining vague, I can’t wait to see how this finale page gets resolved whether it’s soon or years from now.