Freaking out about Sci-fi & Moives

Archive for May, 2012

Marvels: The Avengers, Film Review

This movie is the dream of ever fan of comic books. Who has been waiting to see the greatest team-up of superheroes. Now Marvel has put their greatest team-up from the pages of the comics to the big screen with the Marvel’s The Avengers.
Marvel’s The Avengers is not your typical comic book movie, it the work of half a decade of movie-making. Spanning five different films that introduce us to the characters, stories and worlds of Marvel’s shard movie universe.

Those not familiar with writer/director Joss Whedon, would wonder if this was the right man for the job? But if they where to see his body of work, which goes from some of the biggest cult movies (Toy Story, Alien Resurrection, Serenity and a load of un-credited rewrites.) to some of the biggest TV shows. (Rosanne, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angle, Firefly and Dollhouse) They would know that no other person would be right for the job and that Joss Whedon is the only choice.
Given that Marvel’s The Avengers is such a big project and would have some much hype, Joss Whedon would have to deliver big otherwise the he would be leached by angry comic fans.
The question is, has he delivered?
The simple answer is yes, and it delivers on every front and then some. But that is not to say that the film is perfect. Marvel’s The Avengers does have it flaws.

We are thrust right into the story picking up from the end of Thor, left off by learning just what has happened to Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), after his fall into the abyss. We find Loki holed up in a strange netherworld, hosted by a dark and mysterious “ally” who promises him re-entry to Earth and an alien army in exchange for securing the “Tesseract”. The Cosmic cube seen in Captain America.
Loki is armed with a new weapon that can fire energy and brainwash unwilling subjects, with that Loki heads for Earth.
The only thing standing in the way of Loki is S.H.I.EL.D leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the various superheroes included in his “Avengers Initiative”. Fury has manages to get Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and spies Black Widow (scarlet Johansson) Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and not forgetting the God of Thunder himself Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

Before Fury’s new super team can find a balance, Loki starts to get into their heads sewing seeds of doubt, distrust, anger and conflict. Earth’s mightiest heroes have to put their differences aside in time to protect the planet.

The Avengers is very much a Joss Whedon product and is much better off for it.
Whedon was chosen to head this project primarily for his love of comic books and pop culture. He also had a very successful run as a writer on the comic book Astonishing X-Men. Because of this it is very clear that he is tune with each of the characters and is able to bring them together and work on the big screen. He has also accomplished the feat of tying all the plot threads of the solo films together into a coherent story, while briefly acknowledging the whereabouts of certain supporting characters. Without allowing them to strangle this team-based story.

Joss Whendon love of snappy dialogue is on full display, and an experience to see.
This brings a lot of humour to the film, such as Tony Stark and Dr. Banner talking high-science dialect that no one else in the room can understand. There is also a lot of on screen humour with things going on in the background and foreground. But that not to say that the film is all light and fun. Whendon can bring the serious and heavy moments when it needed.

The Avengers is an action packed rollercoaster of a film starting right off with Loki arriving at a S.H.I.E.L.D Base, leading all the way to the climatic final battle with Loki army Invading New York. Given Marvel has given us some underwhelming climaxes; you could worry that this would be the same. Luckily this is not the case and it is one of the best climaxes in years. By the time it is all over you will be exhausted by the combination of iconic comic book imagery and impressive big screen eye-candy.

Each characters gets there moment to shine, however Hawkeye is a little left out of this, but that is understandable given his roll in the film. With each character getting their moments they all grew a little more. Joss Whendon has stated that when the film come to DVD & Bluray, there will be an extra 30mins added to the film, which will given more time to each character, but without taking anything way from the flow of the story. (Whendon has been on recorded that they filmed over three and half hours of story, which was requested by the studio to be cut down to two and half hours for the cinema realise of the film.)

The special effects in the movie are top of the line and we finally get a Hulk that looks like the actor playing him. Mark Ruffalo film all the Hulk scene wearing a motion capture suit, this is the same technology that was used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The aliens where done very well though I don’t recognize them from any of the aliens I have read in Marvels Comics.
There have been many different version of S.H.I.EL.D Helicarrier in print and on the small screen. The one is the Avengers is the most realistic I have seen to date and looks really impressive. Even though you know it coming, as soon as it lifts out of the water you feel the same amazement that Captain America feels.

As for what version of the film to see, I would go with the 2D version. The Avengers was conversion into 3D after the film had been edited together. From experience films not filmed in 3D have not been worth paying the extra cost.

Marvel started one of the most ambitious film projects with Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk which has concluded with the Avengers. It could have all blown up in their face. But it was well worth a try and they have done a fantastic job.
It has shown that if DC comics where ever to make a JLA film this is the way to do it.
With the Avengers now on the big screen, Marvels is not giving up on the film universe as Iron Man 3, Captain America 2 and Thor 2 are all in per-production.
There are even rumours that Samuel L. Jackson will get is own solo outing as Nick Fury. No doubt that each of these films will have story thread that will once again lead into The Avengers 2.
It is unfortunate that the X-Men and Spider-Man will not be part of this Marvel film universe, as the film right are currently sitting with other studios, but once these contracts run out. Marvel will no doubt bring them into their film universe.
I have to say that this is one of the best Comic book movies I have seen in years.
There is no doubt that the Avengers get five out five star rating.


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Loki: Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I shall not be bullied…
[Hulk flattens Loki with repeated smashes into the floor]
The Hulk: Puny god

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The Return of Deckard in Blade Runner 2?

With Prometheus hitting the big screens this week in the UK. Ridley Scott has been discussing his return to another franchise – namely Blade Runner.

He didn’t give much away, but speaking to The Independent, he did say that there might be a place for Harrison Ford in the proposed sequel. “I don’t think it’ll be Harry [starring]” he explained. “But I’ve got to have him in it somewhere. That’d be amusing.”

If Harrison Ford is to return as Deckard in the sequal, will it mean that one of the biggest questions in film will be finally answered.
Is Deckard a skinjob or Human?
Time Will only tell.


Akira Class, Part 25. Hull Panels on Sacuer

I have not had much time to work on the Akira this week. (The Sun has finally decided to come out in the UK.)
So here is another small update.
I have cut in panels for the top and bottom of the saucer. This took a lot less time than normal, reason for this that I have found a new technique that worked very well.

With the panels now done, I need to re-cut in the windows. I will lose one or two, due some of the panel edge lines. I also need to rebuild the life pods as there was some issue with them before.
I also need to re-build the thrusters around the edge of the saucer so this matches the rest on the ship. I also need to add details into the trench around the side.


Project London

Project London is a live action film that has been made using a little or no budget.
All the VFX work done on this film has all been done in Blender.

The first teaser trailer was realised a few years ago and could be seen on You Tube and Blender.org.
No realise date has been given, but has been slated for some time this year.
I believe that it will be realised on the Net, so will most likely be on You Tube. As soon as it available I will post it up here.

In the mean time, here is the Trailer for the film.


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You can learn more about Project London form their official Web Site here.
http://www.projectlondon.net/


Ultimate Spider-Man, The Animated Series. Review

Ultimate Spider-Man is the latest Spider-Man animation series.
The show is loosely based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic from Marvel Comics.
It is produced and written by Brian Michael Bendis, who is also the lead writer on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic.

The show starts one year after Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell) has become Spider-Man, up until this point he has been on his own and become J. Jonah Jameson (J.K Simmons has reprised the role from the Sam Raimi films) public enemy number one. After a battle with another masked villain and part of a block in downtown New York has been destroyed. Spider-Man is approached by Nick Fury head of SHIELD.
He is offering to teach Spider-Man to be a better fighter and become an Ultimate Spider-Man and maybe one day joins the ranks of the Avengers.
Spider-Man turns him down, but in case Spider-Man changes his mind Nick gives him an upgrade on his Web Shooters.

A little while later Peter decides to take up Nick Fury offer and boards the SHIELD Helicarrier. Here Fury informs Spider-Man that he will be training with other Teenage super heroes. These heroes are Power Man, Iron Fist, White Tiger and Nova.
Spidy not sure at first as he is use to working alone, but Fury explains that they have little experience in the field and he can teach them about it.

The shows format is a different enemy of the week; however with the exception of the new team Spider-Man is training with there will be a guest-starring with different characters and will be partially based on Bendis’ comics while the rest will be original material, such as the origins of some heroes and villains.
There is also a secondary story line running though each episode that will be episodic. This will most likely be the concluded in the final episode of the season.
The show has been ordered for 26 episodes.

Is the show any good?
In one word Yes! It is actually very good and my kids love it.
It has all the messages that should be there teaching kid about responsibility and team work. However there is one thing that bug me about the show and that is Parker is constantly breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. This is something that does not happen in any comic lines and not really in line with the character. This is something you would expect form DeadPool.

But apart from that it is enjoyable. I would say that it just not as good as the 1994 animated series. It does have the qualities to be a great show and well worth taking a look.

Here is a list of the cast and the characters they play.

Drake Bell – Spider-Man/Peter Parker
Ogie Banks – Power Man/Luke Cage
Greg Cipes – Iron Fist/Daniel “Danny” Rand
Caitlyn Taylor Love – White Tiger/Ava Ayala
Logan Miller – Nova/Sam Alexander
Matt Lanter – Harry Osborn, Eugene “Flash” Thompson, Klaw/Ulysses Klaw, Venom
Misty Lee – Aunt May Parker
Tara Strong – Mary Jane Watson, Thundra
J. K. Simmons – J. Jonah Jameson
Kevin Michael Richardson – Joseph “Robbie” Robertson, unnamed Wrecking Crew member
Tom Kenny – Doctor Octopus/Otto Octavius, Wizard/Bentley Whittman
Chi McBride – Nick Fury, Principal
Clark Gregg – Agent/Principal Phil Coulson
Troy Baker – Loki
Steven Blum – Wolverine/James “Logan” Howlett
Clancy Brown – Taskmaster/Tony Masters
Stan Lee – Stan the Janitor
Maurice LaMarche – Doctor Doom/Victor Von Doom
Phil LaMarr – JARVIS
Peter Lurie – Sabretooth/Victor Creed
Adrian Pasdar – Iron Man/Anthony “Tony” Stark
Rob Paulsen – Batroc the Leaper/Georges Batroc
Dwight Schultz – Mesmero
Keith Szarabajka – Living Laser/Arthur Parks
Fred Tatasciore – The Hulk
Steven Weber – Norman Osborn, Trapster/Peter Petruski
Travis Willingham – Thor

Ultimate Spider-Man is currently airing on Disney XD.


New Dark Knight Rises Poster

Warner Bros. has released an all-new poster for the finale Christopher Nolan Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises.
The Poster contiunes the look from the perviews posters for Batman Begins & The Dark Knight
You can check it out below.


Skyfall Teaser Trailer

This was shown on BBC Breakfast this morning, but fortunatly I was on my way to work when they showed it.
However it is now avaiable on-line. It took me a little while to find a HD copy that would be played outside of the UK, but I finally did so here it is.

Enjoy.

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Skyfall is due out in the UK in October and the rest of the World in November.
As soon as the Full trailer is out, I will post that up as well.