Posts Tagged ‘graphic novels’

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More questions for the Cap: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

April 7, 2014

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Well, the new Captain America movie opened here in Jakarta this weekend—Captain America: The Winter Soldier—and, like the first one, it was one of the better Marvel standalone movies. Captain America has proven to be, IMHO, the strongest of the Marvel superheroes. Iron Man, and by extension Tony Stark, is certainly the most fun, but Cap is the most three-dimensional of the lot. Thus far, his movies has felt less like placeholders than the god-awful Thor movies, and serve as the conscience of the Marvel universe. The Winter Soldier isn’t as fleet or breezy as The First Avenger, but it does seem to have something on its mind—a rarity in a spring blockbuster.
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Questioning the Cap: “Captain America: The First Avenger”

April 7, 2014

In anticipation for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I am reposting my review of Captain America: The First Avenger published on August 3rd 2011.


Well, Captain America finally opened here in Bangkok last weekend, and, as promised, it’s another fun addition to what has turned out to be a remarkably solid summer movie season. In case you missed the premise, let me recap: Chris Evans plays a creepy, Gollum-like creature named Steve Rogers who keeps getting turned down for service in The Big One (that’s World War Two to you folks born after 1980). After catching the eye of a kindly German scientist (Stanley Tucci), he becomes a lab rat for an experimental serum that makes him a super-soldier. After an impressive light show, he emerges a primo slab of man-meat. Wackiness ensues. And by “wackiness” I mean, “he wins World War Two” (oh, uh, spoiler alert).
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Dead or alive, you’re going with him: “RoboCop”

February 19, 2014

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I had the knives out for this one as soon as it was announced. I mean, remake RoboCop? Why? Because the last one was so lacking? It wasn’t a good enough movie? I mean, hey, it’s only become a classic, one-of-kind action movie beloved by pretty much everybody. But, yeah, you know those stop-motion ED-209s would look way cooler of they were CGI. And the action sequences were edited to appeal to an audience not hopelessly addled by ADD. So, what the heck—let’s just remake the damn thing. Just start over and maybe we’ll get it right this time. But once I got past the craven rationale for this remake I was able to separate it from the original and set the bar appropriately low. Surprisingly, the new RoboCop—while no classic by any stretch of the imagination—is still a pretty good action flick.
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Going off the rails: “Snowpiercer”

December 10, 2013

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If you dislike winter as much as I do—heralding as I do from a place that transforms into a frozen wasteland seven month out of the year where the wind howls like a soul in purgatory over a landscape of desolate snowdrifts—then the environmental cataclysm that forms the backdrop of the quirky new sci-fi parable Snowpiercer will likely strike a chord. If you’re one of those fortunate people who’ve never experienced sensation of feeling your hair freeze or don’t understand why you’d need to let your car run for a half an hour before driving it into the unforgiving elements…well, then Snowpiercer’s tale of social injustice will probably hook you. Because no matter what climate you were brought up in, no one wants a schoolmarmish Tilda Swinton lecturing you day in and day out.
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If I had a hammer… “Thor: The Dark World”

November 11, 2013

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Oh swell, there’s a new Thor movie. I have to ask, did we need this? I mean, the first Thor was basically just a means to set him up for The Avengers. It was so when he appeared in that movie audiences wouldn’t wonder if they were suddenly watching a gay orgy. The story was pretty uninvolving with almost no stakes, per se, except for a tiny New Mexico town, or if you happened to care about Thor’s home town of pipe-organland. Alas, Marvell isn’t done taking our money and has to set up a separate film franchise, so we get Thor: Dark World.

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Caught in its web: “Earth vs. the Spider”

October 20, 2013

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Well, this is a surprise. No, don’t get all excited—Earth vs. the Spider is not a good movie. It’s actually a pretty ridiculous one in most ways. Still, it’s always refreshing when you stumble across what should be a grade-Z schlockfest, which has, inexplicably, a good deal more on its mind than the titular monster. Such is the case with this film, which takes the title-says-it-all premise of a giant mutated spider attack and turns it into a ruminative neo-noir about modern urban alienation and the pathos of comic book culture. I kid you not.
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Deado on arrival: “R.I.P.D”

September 17, 2013

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Poor Ryan Reynolds. He’s a capable enough actor with solid comedic chops and a ‘40s matinee-idol face and hair. He’s already famous, yet can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to movies. And with RIPD, he, um, he still hasn’t caught one. As a matter of fact, he’s managed to find himself in the center of a gigantic suck to rival that of Green Lantern. I’m beginning to think that Ryan Reynolds is to massive flops what trailer parks are to tornadoes—they don’t cause them, but they sure as hell manage to be in the same proximity of them an awful lot.
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