Tag Archives: review

The Book of Eli wasn’t totally crap!

I know I’m a few months late to the party on this; but forgive me my cash flow issues and I’ll forgive the turgid half-one you have for “Kick Ass” alright?

I already knew that the “Magic Book” in “The Book of Eli” was “The Bible” and if I’ve spoiled it for ya, oh well.  It’s the Bible (the single most printed volume in human history, or so I’ve been led to believe); and while I accept that post Nuclear War (that’s the catastrophe and spolier number two for this one) the people rose up as one and burned as many religious volumes as they could I can’t get over the possibility that all through the movie there was a member of the Gideons out there in Alaska sitting on a mountain of them giggling to himself.

Face it, excepting the shaky premise surrounding the book in question, the rest of the movie was fairly entertaining save for one point that only made sense at the end of the damn movie.

I spent the first oh, 87% of the  movie scoffing at how the hero was leaving so many women to die or be raped at the hands of road bandits.  How the writers had made this “righteous man” a pitiless road monster who left the semi-helpless to be victims of the miscreant army that roamed the Southland.

Knowing how it all comes out I’m gonna call it okay; dude was the hero but he really couldn’t save them, unless they were his co-star and they REALLY screamed hard.

It sounds worse than it is.

Really.

Also, the “Them” pay-off wasn’t really there.  We get a few furtive “are you one of them” references and it turns out “They” are cannibals and for the most part the most sane people in the damn movie.  Save for the people eatin’ and let’s face it (for those who have seen the whole thing) that scene could have ended in the best barbecue those folks had ever had.

Also, why put a timer on your trap C4 box?

Anyway, was it good?  Yeah, well made, engaging, great score, awesome visuals.  Would I put Mila Kunis in a movie like that?  Sure. Would I dress her up in travel combat gear and send her o hr way?  NO WAY, nuh uh.  What a stupid scene that was.

Check it out, it’s at least a rental for the very first fight scene if for nothing else.

Review: Crossed 9 Limping to the End

Ten Issues of growing dread and uncertainty.

Something like two years of waiting to see what happens; to maybe understand why.

I know we will probably never see a “why” in “The Walking Dead”  because that would mean an ending and why stop riding that cash cow, huh?

At least we knew Crossed would have an ending; and I imagine there are some who read it only to see it end and not be left out when their other (in their minds) more “fucked up” friends finished reading it.  I kept wanting to know where we would be going, I had imagined for a while that the narrator was the kid and that this future history was about how the main character would become one of the crossed and then hunt him.

Instead, when you look at it again through the lens of this issue you see what the crossed is really about.  In every issue we meet a so-called clean person or group who is doing the very thing that the crossed, the MONSTERS are doing.   Cannibal Children, homosexual rape and murder, casual cruelty to the less powerful.  All there for us, and it wasn’t laid bare until the end.  The Crossed is (and always was about “the clean ones)  the Crossed is about the sickness that pervades us and we don’t treat it as such, at least when one of them has that big mark on their face one can easily separate the monsters from the innocents.  By the end though; are there any innocents left?

This last issue caps the Horsecock story and addresses the issue of the Crossed’ level of intelligence, placing them somewhere in the clever toddler level with a mean streak a mile wide and a complex reasoning ability that lets them… I won’t give away more about this issue itself.  I’m kind of glad this is over.

Where Black Gas covered much the same ground in terms of action on the page, Mr. Ennis and Mr. Burrows have attempted; I think, to elevate the message above the medium.  These things exist, they are here already and if you don’t confront them, you are as much to blame as they are themselves.

Review: Walking Dead Issue 70 – Old Rick vs New Rick

It’s been what?  Five years now since Rick was smacked on the head with a shovel while prowling outside his own home.

Did you ever get the idea that Rick died right there an then and the rest of “The Walking Dead” has been some kind of melodramatic Hell? A Purgatory for Rick who woke up after the world had ended but didn’t move on with his family.

I’m beginning to think that if it isn’t; perhaps now it’s time to just end the thing.

All of the twists have been turned; kids have been eaten.  Babies blown to bits by shotguns; rapists roam freely.

If Robert Kirkman hasn’t been describing Hell, he’s bound to be close.

The Walking Dead 70 drops the remaining survivors in what appears to be a safe town; and I say that with all the foreboding we should just expect now.  There is no safe town for Rick and crew, right?  The series can’t possibly just become a day-to-day about surviving comfortably… right?

If this panel doesn’t set off your “Oh shit that kid is getting beat at home alarm” then you haven’t been reading this comic.  Yeah, and uh, that is rick now.  He must be hungry all the time now.

Nothing plot wise goes down in this issue; however as there hasn’t been a real plot since the end of the Governor plot-line why should that matter?  I think I continue to read this comic just to find out what happens in the end.  Please, Rob, End this soon.

Walking Dead 65 – Bring it

WalkingDead65-ComeAloneFinally things look up for Rick and his Crew (except for Dale, he’s boned)

Issue 65 Opens with the Survivors holed up in a church after being attacked from the tree line outside.  Needless to say Rick is pissed off and ready to spit bullets.

Rightly so.  It’s been about 4 weeks maybe 6 since his wife was killed by the governer and his men.  Rick has been on the edge of really dangerous for a while now.

Issue 65 leaves us wondering if maybe he has stepped over the edge, (not really)

WalkingDead65-DaleAndreaIt’s been a while since Dale was bit, shouldn’t he have turned by now?

Speaking of which, if infected meat doesn’t turn you, doesn’t that mean that the “fairly fresh” dead are a good source of iron?

Yum, wandering Long Pig Sashimi!

This is a good issue, but it is over so quickly I’m about ready to chew the pages.

Review: Invincible 65 : Eve lives, someone else died.

Invincible65-Killthemall

When they gave me my powers the installed mental blocks — That’s the only reason that I can’t use my powers on living organic matter. — Atom Eve explains why her powers are not the exact same as Firestorm and totally fails.

The Invincible War has ended and provided a nice narrative device to excuse an art change, a cast change and allow the lead singer of My Chemical Romance a chance to build murder zombies out of a whole raft of super corpses.  Isn’t war grand?

We were left with a dead or dying Atom Eve at the end of 64, I’m gonna spoil this one and say that Eve is still alive.  If this was a spoiler, congratulations, you are a long time Kirkman reader, expecting fully that Mr K would have not only killed Eve but had her cooked and them vomited into her own grave.    I expected it, I was surprised that things didn’t turn out that way, golf clap for Robert Kirkman and Company for the twist.

Everything else, sadly, goes exactly how you expect.  I like Invincible a ton, I don’t stop reading it and buy the big hardbound editions to read over and over, it is THE BEST “young” superhero comic out there.  It hits all the correct notes and gives us enemies we can dig:

Invincible65-Whatdoyouwant

However I keep expecting Mr. K to kill off the main cast and start fresh with Allan the Alien or something.  This might actually be the real appeal of the comic.

Either way. we don’t see much of the world in mourning after a global attack by Invincibites and the Cavity Creeps so we’ll have to wait another issue before we see the global Anit-Invincible movement getting up to steam.  Also, that is Mark claiming that he’s going to go all Dirty Harry some time in the future.  Can’t wait.

Review: The Dark Knight was Rubbish when compared to District 9

If Sharlton Copley is not up for an Oscar for best actor this year I will be very disappointed.  Eric Bana deserved on for his jocular killer in Chopper, Russel Crowe deserved on for his steeley eyed racist in Romper Stomper and Edward Norton deserved on for his Nazi-sympathizing lead in American History X.

As “Wickers” (that’s how I heard it – it’s Wikus)  Sharlton plays the kind of casual racist who seldom gets to be front and center; a man so craven and cowardly that his old bold act is to proclaim that he loves his wife and that he thinks she is an angel.  He casually refers to the Aliens as “The Prawn” in much the same way a southern preacher might put forth “The Negro” circa 1844.  Wickers is weak, obsequious and in love with the limited authority being the boss’ son in law gives him.  He doesn’t appear to seek the lime-light, save for the appreciation of his superiors and as a career bureaucrat he would put Hermes Conrad to shame, going so far as to point out the contraband around him even as he is being helped by the very people he casually dismisses as lower than him.

It is this performance, a real, vivid and at times sympathetic performance around which District 9 is drawn.  The sweaty, craven center of an amazing film tootsie-pop.  He cows to criminals and is easily frightened by the (typical) bald headed psychopath [security officer] who [we learn later] is in it for the killing.    The effects are great, the Aliens alive and interesting and the action sequences are legitimate action sequences, especially the very first bit of surprise action, which I will endeavour not to spoil.

There are two scenes that shine, the first is when Wikus is alone and dealing with his lot in life, the desperation, the need to hide his troubles from his friends and family; the second is the “twist” moment when Wikus is faced with the hard realities of his life and his place in the world.  The entire theatre held their collective breath and my wife was stricken by it, the performance was that powerful, his pleading, his praying his wishes for it to be taken from him.  Breathtakingly real and authentic.

I would hazard to rate this the greatest movie of 2009; greater than any single movie that has arrived this year.   Please, do not pass on a chance to visit a theater and see this movie

Transformers was easy, at least GiJoe would be a challenge

I strongly disliked the Michael Bay “Transformers” movie.  So much so that I didn’t crack the DVD my Mother in Law got me for Xmas.   It’s sitting up on my Random Crap shelf with some tea lights and Mr. Skull.  I hated the way the source material was just “character names, object labels and places” then the rest was just drek.  G.i. Joe:Rise of Cobra may not be the Museum Quality reproduction of the source material that say “Sin City” was; but it’s no Wing Commander (AND I LIKED WING COMMANDER).

They do in fact toss out “Yo, Joe!” on occasion, there is some fist pumping when “good things” happen for the “good guys”.  The Joes are pretty much and inoffensive, well-armed and proactive UN NATO strike team (mostly staffed and led by Americans).  It loses the “American Hero” aspect but gains some credibility, in a “near future” world, post Iraq and Afghanistan, would NATO allow the Americans to concentrate and recruit the best and most quirky soldiers from their ranks?  Probably not, but from a secret base in a Torture friendly nation, sure!

I’m going to try and dance around the movie a bit; as I want to encourage at least one other G.i. Joe fan to see it before the week is out.  I’ll break it down like this; if you liked the Original Mummy and don’t mind a bunch of clunking dialog (“you said that knowing is half the battle”) then this movie is for you.  There’s a couple of really great fight scenes, a great car chase and the “accelerator suits” give some of the best acrobatic run and gun sequences in the movie (they made it awesome, haters)

The concept of how Cobra is coming to “rise” is fairly believable; having the backing of the worlds largest arms manufacturer.  No prizes for guessing his identity.  I walked into the movie knowing who would turn out to be Cobra Commander; but I have to admit that the movie threw me a rope-a-dope on the big reveal, the only early Cobra character left out of this movie was “Major Bludd” who I guess we’ll see in a later movie if this weekend goes well.

I’m struggling with how to portray this movie as a “good” movie without giving away the plot.  Everything that was set up by the general consensus as “this too will suck” really didn’t suck.  It was charming.  The plot is just a way to get from fight A to chase B and on to explosion C.  There are thudding lines like “you and what army?  My ARMY” cue giant vehicle and surrounding allies.   It’s hokey and obvious and that is why it is a positive thing.

This is a movie based upon an unabashed boys toy that was simply a series of flashy space-age weapons with ever-more outrageous features.  This movie accurately captures that idea, super weapons and overpowered soldiers slamming into each other for goals that are outrageous; but not overtly national in their scope.

I strongly recommend this movie; if only for the spectacle and I promise no urine or genital jokes at all.

Harry Potter and the Half-Expected Ending

The Harry Potter Movies have been “growing up” along with my own Daughter, so as they get more complex and dark it’s fine.

Hmmm, what to say?  There were a couple moments that made me go “Ugh” especially when the a little girl is violently assaulted by an invisible “curse” then silently screamed in pain, obvious terrifying pain.  Serious gut pummeling pain.

The Soap Opera parts were fine, kind of silly.

I have only two gripes.

1.  For a good guy, Harry Potter is a dick.  Serious Dick.  His “enemy” is crying and sobbing in the bathroom and Harry busts out the “You’re a dick and deserve your pain” rather than even attempting to rise above the level, not really a “good guy” move.  That’s really how Harry is always written, fairly nice to his friends and a complete dick to anyone he perceives as bad, without any consideration for looking deeper than his own notions.

2.  The ending was abrupt, there was no lead up and no lead in, just boom boom dead.

I know it’s leading to the next story, but with no on-screen examples of how Voldemort is bad (beyond one bridge and one kidnapping and a bit of Children of The Corn tomfoolery) we don’t get the sense that Voldemort is anything more than a really murderous Elvis.

I’d have to say that I enjoyed the flick; but I’d recommend the book as a companion.  Not having read it myself, I am writing this recommendation on faith from the actual fans I work with.

Crossed Six: Geoff's Big Surprise

Two Issues in a row and we haven’t heard from Horsecock again.  All setup no follow through I guess. For Now.

This (like the tepid issue 5) is an other “Humanity” issue; where we get to see the survivors getting along anddealing with one another (as well as the horrors in their past).

Geoff has a big secret
Geoff has a big secret

Geoff, the weepy older man in the group sidelines the team to tell them about growing up gay in a small town where he just wasn’t accepted.  He also tells the people about how he met the crossed for the first time.  I have omitted his big secret.  The mind reels now, doesn’t it?  Is he a cannibal, is he a secret Unitarian?  I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Sea Org.

Not really.

No really, he was a Psilon.

Not Really.

I’d like to say that this moved the plot along, but simple travel and stories of kids being killed (off screen) isn’t really movement.  Two issues of walking, this is turning in to Lord of the rapist and cannibalizing Rings.  But with less hair on the feet I guess.