Film Review: 300

(Better late than never – I hope to be more current in my reviews in the near future.) There is a scene in the film Jarhead, a memoir of marine sniper Anthony Swofford during the first Gulf War, where the troops watch Apocalypse Now and get really excited by the helicopter scenes set to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. For men who have enlisted to be soldiers and who are going into battle, these dramatic scenes of war are envigorating and inspiring. Watching 300, I came to believe that the soldiers will now have a new film to whoop and […]

Continue Reading

Film Notes: Constantine

Constantine the movie. I never would have imagined it possible. The background character whose visual was based on Sting and became the street-level magic man of the Vertigo universe is somehow transformed into Action Hero. The filmmakers don’t get it: Constantine is a magical conman, not an action hero – which comics were they reading? Constantine (or JC, as I shall call him from now on) should know all the angles and be working everybody against each other, not having to sort things out and find things out; he should be pulling the strings and have tricks up his sleeve, […]

Continue Reading

Film Review: Sin City

Written by Frank MillerDirected by Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller(Cut & Shot by Robert Rodriguez)Starring a whole load of people, including Mickey Rourke, Elijah Wood, Rutger Hauer, Carla Gugino, Jessica Alba, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Brittany Murphy, Nick Stahl, Powers Boothe, and Bruce Willis This film is the pinnacle of comic book adaptations, because IT IS the comic book in movie form. As someone who has enjoyed the Sin City comics for a while, seeing it on the silver screen alone was an absolute blast, even without the fact that it is […]

Continue Reading

Film Review: Batman Begins

(I think I was the only person in the world who didn’t see Spider-Man 3 at the cinemas over the weekend. So, this means I can’t read most other blogs at the moment, nor can I write a review of the film, for obvious reasons. Therefore, I shall continue my film review catch-up with comic book-related movies. That’s a link, isn’t it?) Batman Begins Taking the classic Batman: Year One story by Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli as its starting point, this is the tale of how Bruce Wayne got his groove back. Having seen his parents killed in front […]

Continue Reading

Film Notes: Road To Perdition

You have to feel a little sorry for someone who wins the Oscar for best director with their first film. What the hell do you do next? Fortunately for us, Sam Mendes decided he wanted to adapt a graphic novel for the screen with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, with great results. Set in Chicago, 1931, Hanks is Mike Sullivan, a hitman for crime boss, John Rooney (Newman), who treats him more like a son, much to the chagrin of his real son, Connor, who is waiting to take over the family business. After a meeting where Connor and Sullivan […]

Continue Reading

Film Notes: Hellboy

Like my other reviews of comic book movies, I should point out my appreciation of the source material. I really enjoy the Hellboy comic – Mike Mignola’s creation is a wonderful idea, the artwork is atmospheric and gothic while still being recognisable as the product of a craftsman, using shadow and line work to express so much, and the stories are a lot of fun, packed with action and folklore tales. So, I was looking forward to this film, especially as it was directed by Guillermo del Toro, who did such a great job with Blade II, and because he […]

Continue Reading

Film Notes: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

(Not all of my reviews are as full as they should be. I’m trying to get all my writing together on this blog, scattered around as it is, so the style of this review might seem different to more recent posts. The theme of this post and the ones over the weekend will be comic book movies.) I am a fan of comic books. I thought you should know this. With respect to the integrity of this review, my natural bias must be admitted. The original limited series (there were six comics that were eventually collected in a trade paperback […]

Continue Reading

Film review: Superman Returns

This isn’t really a review. It’s more of a collection of my thoughts on the film. This film has been reviewed to an incredible degree on the blogosphere, as is appropriate, and I’m writing this over a week after it came out in the UK, not to mention the two weeks before that when it came out in the US. Thus, this is somewhat less structured than normal, with some reflections on the film more than anything else. There will probably be spoilers, but anyone reading this will have seen the film already (if not blogged about it themselves), so […]

Continue Reading

Film review – X-Men: The Last Stand

I try to remain impartial when I see a film, to give an unbiased opinion about the movie (as all reviews are – I can’t really call myself a critic, I just liked the name for the blog). However, try as I might, I really can’t be a completely objective viewer when it comes to the X-Men. They are the reason I got into comics, and the fondness I have for those Claremont-written books I read in my younger years is something I will never lose. (An aside: articles in the press mention Lee and Kirby, but when will they […]

Continue Reading

Film review: Fantastic Four

Confession: I haven’t read any of the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four comics. Sorry. They were made before I was born and the only way to see them is expensively in colour or cheaply in black & white, and I don’t ‘get’ Kirby’s art. This is probably heresy and I apologise, and can only hope that I am still allowed to write about comics on this blog when I haven’t even seen a single issue of what I’ve heard tell is one of the best runs of super-hero comics around. Nevertheless, I have read some FF comics. I’ve […]

Continue Reading