Notes On A Film: Ant-Man

If you are even slightly pop-culture literate, you’ll know that Ant-Man was going to be directed by Edgar Wright, from a script by him and Joe Cornish; it was a project that Wright had been developing for several years, only to leave at almost the last minute due to ‘creative differences’, to be replaced by the less stylistic Peyton Reed, and with a script polish by star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay (who has written and directed many funny films with Will Ferrell). The question of ‘What if Edgar Wright had directed Ant-Man?’ hovers over the film – like a […]

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Notes On A Film – Avengers: Age Of Ultron

I felt sorry for Joss Whedon, the successful, talented, smart, funny, creatively satisfied man. A little bit. Not only did he have to follow up his own success by writing and directing the sequel to the third largest grossing film so far, but he also had to contend with the myriad of other factors involved in making a blockbuster film with a huge cast with huge stars that is also a lynchpin for the Marvel cinematic universe, the entertainment behemoth that has completely changed the way franchise films operate. And he also has to make a really good film in […]

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Notes On A Film: Guardians Of The Galaxy

[Note to self: moving house, filling it with flat-pack furniture and getting kittens really get in the way of blogging. Apologies for tardiness.] I don’t know if it was because of the cinema I was in (my first visit to Peckhamplex, the independent multiplex located in Peckham, obviously) or it was the film itself, but Guardians Of The Galaxy was the first film I’ve watched in a cinema in a long while where people spontaneously applauded at the end. I think that’s a pretty good indicator of how enjoyable Guardians Of The Galaxy is, how crowd-pleasing it is, how entertaining […]

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Notes On A Film – X-Men: Days Of Future Past

(I saw this film on opening weekend, so this is very late but real life has intruded: we are in the process of trying to buy and sell a house, so at least I have a decent excuse.) I still feel I have to pinch myself sometimes – I’ve been a comic book fan for a while now, but despite The Avengers being one of the most profitable films of recent history, I find it incredible that we’ve got really good films being made that are based on superhero comic books from my youth. Case in point: this film uses […]

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Notes On A Film – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Let’s start with the summary – Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the best second film of the Marvel studio films so far. It is better than Iron Man 2, obviously, and even better than Thor: Dark World. It manages the trick of bringing out what worked well in the comic books (in this case, the modern espionage/conspiracy style of the recent Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting run) with what works best in film, namely massive action mixed with good acting and snappy dialogue. The story is a good, modern-day conspiracy thriller, contrasting the post-Snowden whistleblowing world of the NSA spying on […]

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Notes On A Film – Thor: The Dark World

Do comic book sequels suffer from the problem that the origin story for superheroes is always the most interesting? This is the not necessarily unwanted problem that Marvel Studios now have, after the success of developing the films leading up to The Avengers and beyond. Iron Man 3 tried to close the circle for Tony Stark, but what to do with Thor 2? First, the prologue exposition dump – the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), trying to destroy the universe during a convergence of the Nine Realms long ago using the power of the Aether, stopped […]

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Notes On A Film: The Wolverine

I’m beginning to worry that I keep coming across as a grumpy old fan when reviewing geek-related movies, because lately I seem to be unsatisfied with the results of loose adaptations of existing work, particularly comic books. The Wolverine is very loosely adapted from the mini-series Wolverine, by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and it is a mostly enjoyable piece of cinematic entertainment until the disappointing climax of the film, which leaves you with a feeling of discontentment after all the hard work. If it weren’t for the credits teaser scene (20th Century Fox steal the idea from Marvel Entertainment […]

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Notes On A Film: Iron Man 3

Some ridiculously belated thoughts on Iron Man 3 (or Iron Man Three, as it was titled on the BBFC certificate at the start of the film), two whole months after watching it (in 2D, because I don’t do 3D unless I have to, and I very rarely have to) because I couldn’t quite coalesce my responses to it (unless you count my tweet on the evening after I saw it). Not that this will necessarily read like a coherent, reasoned assessment of my feelings about a movie (I’m really selling this, aren’t I?), but carefully constructed prose is not the […]

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Notes On A Film: Man Of Steel

There has been a lot of response to Man Of Steel, which is to be expected with one of the best known fictional characters in the world and the many different attachments people have to the concept of Superman, so I thought I should add my own – it’s been a week since I’ve seen the movie and it’s taken me that long to compile my thoughts. Herein be spoilers, so fair warning. SPOILER WARNING Despite my love of comic book superheroes, I’m not a huge fan of Superman. This isn’t a slight on the character or the great creators […]

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Notes On A DVD: The Green Hornet

Not strictly a comic book adaptation – Green Hornet originated as a radio series in 1936 (the film states that it was based on the radio series): a newspaper publisher who fights crime as a masked hero by night with assistant Kato. It has had a complicated multi-media life since then: two movie serials in 1940/1941; various comic book series, also starting in 1940, and published at various companies (Harvey Comics, Dell Comics, NOW Comics in the 1990s, and recently Dynamite Entertainment, adapting Kevin Smith’s script that wasn’t used into a maxi-series); some prose fiction books; and, most famously, the […]

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