Notes On A DVD – Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

I don’t get the appeal of Ghost Rider. A skeleton wearing leather with his head on fire riding a motorcycle – I think it might be an American thing, something to do with riding a ‘hog’ on the open road. The first film was not good, with the added yuck factor of an old Nicolas Cage wooing a far too young Eva Mendes, notable only for Cowboy Ghost Rider. The second film is worse, so much so that you retroactively create fond memories of the first film because of it. Neveldine and Taylor direct this (instead of just scripting Jonah […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A DVD: Jonah Hex

Is Jonah Hex one of the worst movies with a decent cast of actors ever? Josh Brolin as Hex, John Malkovitch as Quentin Turnbull (the villain of the piece), the awesome Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett in a straight role (although I do feel sorry for him – he’s a good actor but he’s an electric comedy actor and you always expect him to do something funny when he’s on screen), Michael Shannon, Lance Reddick (Cedric Daniels in The Wire, in a small and thankless role here to show that Hex isn’t a racist despite fighting for the south in the […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: Dredd

‘Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’. That’s the first credit that comes up when the film has finished, before the name of the director or the screenwriter. If I wasn’t smiling before, I was certainly smiling when I saw those words. I don’t remember those words appearing in the credits for Judge Dredd, but I try not to remember too much about that film – I hazily recall the great judge costume and the Lawmaster (the judges’ bike), and the fact that they included lots of elements from the comic books, but a film with Rob Schneider as comic […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: The Dark Knight Rises

Several weeks after the film came out – this is absurdly late to post my thoughts on this film. All the discussion has already occurred, although I avoided it for fear of spoilers, and I have nothing new to add. However, The Dark Knight Rises was such a wonderfully enjoyable film, I had to compile a few notes to honour its achievements. This has been a good year for superhero films: The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have been really good films that honour their comic book roots and have been enjoyable stories, albeit in different ways. The thing […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble)

The content of this blog should indicate that this film was made for someone like me, who loves films and comics (although I’ve never been a huge Avengers fan), so whatever I have to say will come out biased. However, no matter how much I geeked out watching this film and how entertaining and awesome it was (it’s probably the most enjoyable time I’ve had in a cinema since Inception), I hope that this doesn’t invalidate my views. The first thing to say is that it is impressive that this film exists: as a superhero comic book fan, the idea […]

Continue Reading

Actors Who Are Different Characters In Comic Book Film Universes (But Actually Just Marvel)

Comic book companies boast of the large numbers of characters in their universes when trying to sell themselves as franchise opportunities, usually referring to them as assets. With the increase in the number of films based on comic books, and the huge number of actors available to play roles in these films, it’s surprising to see certain actors playing more than their fair share of comic book characters. What adds to the confusion is when the same actor plays two different characters in films adapted from the comic books from the same universe. With Chris Evans, who had played Johnny […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film – Captain America: The First Avenger

It may not be news to you, but I didn’t know that Joe Johnston was won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for his work as part of the team on Raiders of the Lost Ark. This fact certainly explains a lot about the feel of this origin story for Captain America: a serial adventure with a period setting but a modern sensibility. It doesn’t achieve the heights of Raiders, but it’s a lot of fun with the right tone needed for the translation of Marvel’s sensibility towards World War II from comic book to screen. I don’t know if […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: Green Lantern

Pity poor Green Lantern – despite the recent successful revival by Geoff Johns, he’s always been a B-lister; now that he’s in cinemas, it seems that the entire weight of comic book movies is resting on his shoulders and he’s taking the blame for it all. All for a film that isn’t as bad as everyone seems to be saying it is, but which isn’t a good film either. The fact is that the film just sits there, not achieving the enjoyable levels of Iron Man or Thor but not sinking to the awful lows of Steel or Catwoman or Batman and Robin. There […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: X-Men: First Class

It’s been nearly two weeks since I saw X-Men: First Class, which is perhaps an indication of the conflict I’ve had in compiling my thought about it. Part of it is to do with my years of reading the Chris Claremont X-Men, part of it is some parts of the film itself, and another part of it is the general reaction to the film in the press. To sum up, if you don’t want to read my jumbled ramblings: it is a generally good film, with some very good bits, but it’s not great (despite what current X-Factor writer Peter […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A Film: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

I saw The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (or, to use its French title, Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec) on Free Comic Book Day because I thought it was appropriate to see a film based on a comic book. The fact that I had never read the original graphic albums by Jacques Tardi – or, to be honest, even heard of them – didn’t come into it, especially when the film was written and directed by Luc Besson. Besson may have spent the past decade writing/producing slightly racist Euro thrillers starring a famous face, but he is the man who […]

Continue Reading