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Monthly Archives: May 2012

My love for The Avengers continues!

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post. Today I thought I’d just make a quick post about my love for The Avengers film.

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Now I made it no secret before this film came out that I was absolutely hyped to an extreme level and then after I saw The Avengers I think I automatically blew up XD If you didn’t read my review you can check it out here! Now it’s been several weeks since the last time I saw the film and that was ONLY my second time! So after around 3-4 weeks I finally got back into the Cineworld in my home town and got to watch the film with my best friend and man… IT STILL KICKS LOADS OF ASS! Now while a lot of the original magic of the film has gone from the first times I saw it, The Avengers is still a great film to watch, it has action, it has drama, character development and it all works in a cohesive manner, I just love it!

I’m surprised that so many of the scenes that I had watched two times before still rocked my socks a third time round. Every character gets their moment in the sun and I guess that’s what I really love, whether it be in the small intimate conversation scenes to the big fight sequences, every character matters, has relevance and advances the plot too. There’s just so much to taken in and enjoy, from Tony Stark squaring up to Steve Rogers because of their different ideals to seeing Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation of Bruce Banner and the Hulk, then there’s the small scenes with Black Window and Hawkeye or the chaotic nature of Loki that works in many dark and twisted ways. Everything just works on a level of awesomeness that hasn’t been present in many other Marvel films until now. I think a lot of that has to do with the dialogue and character interaction and that comes from the script and screenplay done by director Joss Whedon and co-writer Zak Penn. The writing is snappy, tight, smart and relatable. Ah The Avengers, it’s good for casual audience goers and it’s good for people who love films too, but in truth it’s all about the nerds. This film was made for the comic book fans and as I said in my review before, there’s only things in this film that fans of the source material will pick up on and be able to appreciate, especially when it comes to the post-credit endings! The Avengers starts off the summer film season in a fabulous way and sets the standard for all other films coming out this year! As for me I’m probably going to watch this film another 2 or 3 times as I can’t get enough of this Marvel madness!

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AND IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE AVENGERS YET, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?! GO OUT AND WATCH IT NOW!!! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Films, Life, Media

 

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Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012: The Dark Knight Rises

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another instalment of Films I’m Looking Forward to in 2012. And today’s post will be on what could be described as the most anticipated film of not only the summer, but of the whole year; The Dark Knight Rises.

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Now is there really any need for me to talk about how big this film is? Do I really need to try and convince you as a person to see this film? Chances are you already know about The Dark Knight Rises and are ridiculously hyped for it. But there are a number of people in the world that aren’t that well-informed or in some strange cases may not even care about this upcoming Batman film, so for those people this blog post is gonna be about the info surrounding the film, why I’m hyped for it and why you should see it when it comes out in July.

Now TDKR is the third installment in the series of Batman films directed by the awesomeness that’s Christopher Nolan (director of Memento, The Prestige & Inception). First we had Batman Begins in 2005, which was the first Batman film since the disgusting piece of work that was Batman & Robin from 1997. Luckily Batman Begins was a solid film that was dark, gritty and make Batman seem pretty cool again. That film also introduced us to a more realistic take on the superhero genre, Nolan’s take on Batman was more like a realistic thriller with superhero elements attached to it in my opinion. While Batman Begins was good, it did have it’s fair share of problems like: Christian Bale’s raspy Batman voice, horribly messy fight scenes, the tumbler and the poor use of the villain Scarecrow. Overall though Batman Begins was very successful both financially and critically and the fans became obsessed and wanted another one…

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The film that started this crazy train of Batman madness. A good entry to this Batman trilogy.

So then wait three years down the line, it’s 2008 and we were given what many comic book fans and critics consider to be the best comic book film in existence, The Dark Knight. Before this film came out, the hype for TDK was insane. No seriously it was like the world was going to blow up. The stakes were higher, the scale was bigger and most importantly we had Batman’s best and most recognisable villain in there too, The Joker. The marketing for this film was very well crafted. The viral campaigns were so stylish and the trailers for the film looked insane and was so much deeper, creepier, darker and more realistic than ever. Unfortunately actor Heath Ledger who portrayed the Joker in the film died 6 months prior to the film’s release which shocked man people around the world, that in turn did make more people pay attention to the film due to the media’s coverage of Mr. Ledger’s death and how he was attached to TDK. So anyways The Dark Knight eventually came out in July 2008 and it blew up at the cinema. It was the hottest film of that summer and of that year. It was a hell of a lot better than Batman Begins, there was deeper character development, better fight scenes, wonderful cinematography, a fabulous soundtrack and an incredibly dense and interesting story. Though the best part of the film really was the Joker, he really just stole show in the film. Heath Ledger gave us a dark, twisted and chaotic version of the character who took inspiration from the comics while still offering up something new. Every scene he was in was incredible. It truly was Heath Ledger’s best performance in my opinion. The film blew up as the box office and broke so many damn records, some of which have yet to be broken to this day. For me TDK is a great film, though it’s a tad overhyped for my liking. Some things were still off for me like: Bale’s gruff and raspy Batman voice,  the film’s pace sort of dragged at times and the realistic setting as good as it was it started to feel less like a Batman film and more of a realistic thriller with Batman characters lurking around in it. And I also thought that TDK lacked a bit of the charm that came with Batman Begins too. But that’s just my opinion.

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The film that’s seen by many as the best superhero film in existence.

So after the success of The Dark Knight how do you follow that up? By being Christopher Nolan and busting out another film in 2012, that’s how! After TDK many fans of the film wondered how would one honestly follow-up a film like that when you’ve used the most iconic villain and put Bruce Wayne/Batman through a great deal of pain already. Well, somehow the production moved ahead, we found out that the two main new characters would be Bane and Catwoman and Chris Nolan teamed up with several of his previous collaborators in order to craft what would be his final Batman film.

Now I ain’t gonna lie ladies and gents, as much as I like Batman and have a great love for the many animated TV shows over the years, I can’t say that much of a big Batman fan overall. Technically speaking I’m a Marvel fan, more so than DC. So when it comes to big superhero films I know everything when it comes to Marvel and then casually look at DC-based stuff. So in turn that’s why I’ve been more interested in The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, and that’s also the reason why’s there’s much more information on those films then the amount of TDKR.

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Anyways now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what’s the story of this film gonna be? Well it apparently takes place 8 years after TDK and it seems like Gotham City has been in a state of peace for a while, that is until two new villains show up on the scene in the shape of Bane and Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman). Batman must then come back into action and save the city from being destroyed. To be honest from what’s been shown in the full-length trailers, this film looks like it’s going to be big and on a much bigger scale than the previous film. I thought that The Dark Knight was the height of epicness that could be reached in Nolan’s Batman films and yet here we see in this film that the stakes are higher, the level of destruction going on is insane and it seems like Batman might actually be defeated or even worse… Killed. I found it interesting back in the early casting days that a few members from Inception was gonna be joining the cast of TDKR in the form of Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And since we’re on the subject of casting I guess now would be as a good a time as any to talk about the cast of this film.

So let’s start with Tom Hardy as Bane because I’m always more interested in the villains then I am in Batman. Now I remembered when he was signed on to the big bad villain role and most of us who had watched either Inception or Bronson knew what the deal was with Hardy so we knew we had a good actor at the ready. Now when the first few pictures came out, a good number of fans were complaining that he was too small and that he needed to look more in-lin with the comic book material. Though you’d think a lot of them would have learned that Chris Nolan’s Batman world is much more realistic than those of the conventional comic book movies so there are bound to be liberties taken with character design. And let’s remember that a great deal of stuff from Nolan’s Batman films only bare small resemblance to their source material. But anyway moving on, I remember when the first trailer came out and Bane’s voice was soooooo muffled and I had to listen really carefully to understand him and that was a major factor with all the people who saw that 6-minute preview of the film back in December. Luckily by the time the latest trailer came out Bane was as clear as day and he looked and sounded like a badass. He just seems like a big badass man of destruction. Not only is he more than a match for Batman himself, but he also seems like a calculated man ready to bring a new type of chaos in a different way from the Joker.

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Now let’s take about Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Okay we’ve seen him in the previous two films and he’s a been through a lot, but in this film Bruce/Batman looks like he’ll be put through hell and back physically and mentally. I’m just curious to see what’s been going on in Bruce’s life in the 8 years between the last film and this one. And I also wanna see how the story develops his character too. Compared to a lot of other superhero films, Bale’s version of Bruce Wayne/Batman I’m not overally interested in, he’s alright and I’m sure there are people who love it but for me there’s never been a point where I’ve been attached to his character.

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Okay now let’s move onto Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I think it’s fair to say that when Ms. Hathaway was cast as Catwoman a lot of people weren’t too keen on her. I mean she’s hot, that’s a fact. But outside of that not many of her films have ever been amazing and she’s not really the first actress you think of to take on the character as interesting and as complex as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. But most us trusted Chris Nolan’s judgment as he’s never made a film where the cast didn’t work in his favour. The first screenshots we got of her were interesting, but lacking the more ‘cat-like’ aspects of the costume which lead a lot of fans to go into frenzy about it, complaining in many of the forums I passed through. Other people just thought she looked hot in leather and never questioned anything else about her haha. Eventually we did see the full uniform and she indeed have the cat ears and to be honest that’s all I needed. In the trailers she seems very suspicious, provocative and acrobatic; all the key aspects hat Catwoman requires, so I am curious to see what Anne Hathaway does with the role and hopefully she’ll do her comic book character justice.

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Now I know that there are many other additional cast members that’ll be part of this film, but to be honest I’m only mainly interested in a few specific people outside of Batman, Bane and Catwoman. Like Alfred, I love Michael Caine in these Batman films and I believe him to be one of the key aspects of what makes Nolan’s films work, he is the reliable butler always supplying helpful information and supporting Bruce throughout all of his endeavours. I’m also curious to see what’s been going with Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and I also want to know what the significance of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character as John Blake. Outside of characters I’m looking forward to some absurdly cool scenes of destruction and cool spectacle. I also am ready for another kick ass soundtrack from Hans Zimmer who I swear is a composer of music who can never do wrong! I’m also curious to see how the character dynamic will work between Batman and Catwoman. The key thing that has my interest in the fight between Batman and Bane, finally we’re going to get a big one-on-one fight with Batman and another enemy which is totally necessary in my opinion. I just want to see Bane break Batman! 😀 We haven’t seen a proper representation of all of Batman’s martial arts skills and how he’d use them along with his gadgets in a fight. Fights in Batman films seem to lack style, choreography and that ‘cool’ effect you’d get the X-Men or Spider-Man films which excel in their fight sequences (sure they have super powers but they are still done well and that’s what counts).

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In conclusion The Dark Knight Rises is looking like an epic conclusion to the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Its got action, drama, atmosphere and so much more. Any fan of Batman or Christopher Nolan shouldn’t miss out on this film. It really is one of the biggest films of 2012, people have been patiently waiting for the arrival of this film, but now that it’s so close fan are starting to blow up. This film along with The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Hobbit is in the list of the most anticipated film of the year. Now The Avengers already started off the summer film season with a bang and has proven to be a success with fans and critics. It has now set the standard for good films this year, it’s also broken loads of records financially and has now become the 5th highest grossing film of all time! So TDKR has some pretty big shoes to fill, however if history is anything to go by, then by the time we get to July 20th the Batman fans will come in great numbers and destroy Marvel like they did in 2008. However times are different and The Avengers is no simple comic book film, it is the definition of the ultimate comic film and has been anticipated for 4 years (even more for comic book fans of the older generation). Either way I know TDKR is gonna be a big deal this summer and I’ll be there to see what the deal is. 🙂

If you still need convincing of the awesomeness of this film watch this trailer:

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Films, Media

 

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The First Trailer For Skyfall

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the web, just thought I’d drop by and do a blog post on the first trailer for the new James Bond film, entitled, Skyfall. If you haven’t seen the trailer watch it below:

Now I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been waiting for a trailer for this film for ages! I have been following this film since the time it was still known as Bond 23, when MGM was having its financial issues back in 2010 and then when production finally got off of the ground last year and everything that followed. So then in October last year we got the name of the film and in recent times there’s been video blogs of the behind-the-scenes action going on in Skyfall and it all seems sooooooooooooo cool. and just the other day we got the first official poster…

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Looking fabulous, very classic, very stylish.

But now we finally have a trailer and it’s frigging awesome! It is technically just a teaser trailer, but I think it’s totally great. What we get here is an interesting interrogation scene with Bond as he’s asked a series of questions, at first it’s just the audio from their voices over other footage on-screen, but then the scene is intercut with other footage. And afterwards what we get is some shots of beautiful scenery, action, explosions and some lady time with Bond. This trailer gives a lot of the codes and conventions that come with a Bond film; we get suspense, action, chase sequences, explosions, love scenes and most importantly mystery. What this trailer does best is leave you asking many questions about what will follow. I also like how the James Bond theme song was incorporated into the trailer ever so slightly with a more electronic sound to it. For me it was lovely. Also as I mentioned before there is some lovely scenery in this film, the cinematography looks incredible from the footage that this trailer provides especially the shots from China, they look insane! The overall look of this film has a very classic Bond feel to them, but it also has the look of the modern-styled Bond films too. I’ve watch the trailer like 3 times already and I’m stupidly hyped for this now. The Avengers started off the “Awesome films of 2012” train and Skyfall looks like it will follow-up that awesome train after the summer’s over. If this trailer is anything to go by, then the end result for this Bond film will be bloody awesome! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Lazy Times and Lazy Blogging

Howdy to all who read my blogs, basically today’s blog post about how my laziness and my blogging inconsistency in recent times and the reason behind it… But let’s be blunt here, I’ve gotten lazy. Period.

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Now this is a pretty good example of how lazy I have gotten in recent times.

In the last month my commitment to my blogging hasn’t been as strong, so that’s why I have only mainly done one or two uploads very sparsely over the space of several days rather than doing one every two or three days. Some days I’d swing by WordPress and I’d want to blog but then just say to myself “I can’t be arsed.” And in truth that’s just the way I’ve felt for a while. I was just feeling super lazy and felt no obligation to write anything even though I had so many topics and drafted and ready to publish. Though laziness has not been the only thing stopping me from blogging.

On top of my lack of blog time I have had a lot of uni work to take care of in the last 3 weeks. There has been a good few deadlines that have needed to be met and most of them have involved essays and after all of that bloody typing I was doing I really wasn’t keen on coming back here to do the same thing. I’m sure you can understand that 🙂 University has been a tedious process in the last few weeks and the assignment have drained all of the fun from my body so when it would to blogging, the inspiration wouldn’t be there. Oh speaking of uni I’m done! Yeah I just finished my first year and I am loving the freedom. I don’t have to wake up early anymore, I don’t feel guilty when I’m doing anything other than my work and I don’t have to be anywhere of any degree of importance. It’s a fabulous feeling… However that freedom comes at a cost. Now that I don’t have uni to keep my schedule in check I have nothing to do and it sucks. It normally means I’m just hanging around my flat being bored as hell. Now I would do something outside if there was things to do around here that wouldn’t cost me money. The only to do is go out and party and while I would love to do that, I am not financially in a position to do that all the time. Which leads me into another point; I need a job. I’m constantly looking and yet I get no response and it’s a very tedious process, but it needs to be done so I can have some stability XD

In the end I would love for it to be the summer and just chill the hell out with no problems in my mind.

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Just like Calvin & Hobbes here I would love to chill somewhere with a smile on my face, totally carefree.

Eventually I’ll wait for days like these to come when the summer rolls around. For now I have many things to sort out. Firstly I really want to get Sonic 4: Episode 2, I have heard such a mixed response about the game and I just want to get a hold of it and tamper with it for myself. Like watching The Avengers again. Unfortunately I have still only seen it twice and it breaks my heart. I should have seen it at least another 2 times since about 3 weeks ago. I don’t think I’ll be getting around to it until I go back home next week. I just home it’ll be in the cinema for that long or I will cry 😦 And speaking next week… THE MCM LONDON EXPO IS AROUND THE CORNER!  Yes, indeed it’s almost Expo time again. This convention is a place I have been attending for the last 4 years and while I am regretfully only going for one day this May, I will be doing the full adventure in October, that much I can promise! But for now I can’t wait to meet up with my best friend Chris and be able to do this whole Expo experience again.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Life

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 8 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the eighth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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Okay so here we are at the eighth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, nearly ten episodes in now and it is by this point in a lot of TV shows where one can determine whether a show is good or not. And holy man, after seeing the latest episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man I just have this to say… I seriously think there is no hope for this show. The latest episode entitled ‘Back in Black’ (like the AC/DC song and album but nowhere near as cool) has to be the worst episode so far and its mainly due to how disappointed I was with the way the narrative and the characters were used. The episode was completely lackluster and shows why The Spectacular Spider-Man show was far superior in every way.

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Oh yeah, Venom’s back and looks much more in line with the comics, however he’s nowhere near as cool as he should be.

So the story in this episode is as follows:

“When the terrifying Venom returns, Spider-Man (who has come down with a cold at the time) tries to stop the villain and save Harry Osborn (who has become the host of Venom after trapping its fragment). Spider-Man must decide if he can trust his new teammates with the shocking truth about Venom before asking for their help.”

So yeah following the events of the fourth episode Venom returns, though his initial return is very different; he appears on the scene as the black-suited Spider-Man (like Symbiote Spidey from the comics). And yeah goes around saving the day in a very heroic way while showing off at the same time. Naturally suspicious that Venom’s back  Peter goes off on his own to discover the truth of the situation, while that’s happening New York seems to have fallen in love with the new Spider-Man and forgot all about the original one. At one point while in school, Harry goes to talk to Peter privately and he seems in a super happy mood (I wonder why? *sarcasm*), it is at this point that we learn that Harry is indeed the new black-suited Spider-Man (wow, who didn’t see that coming? *sarcasm*). Harry seems to have found a way to control it through a switch on his watch, but naturally Peter tries to warn him off it saying that it’s dangerous, but Harry doesn’t take his advice and gets a bit aggressive as he leaves. It is at that point when Peter knows something’s wrong. Eventually Harry become corrupt with power and Venom eventually takes over and starts attacking the innocent, so then it’s up to Peter to fight Venom and save Harry.

Okay let me just get this out of the way, I didn’t like the story in this episode at all. I wasn’t overly keen on the way Venom was introduced into this show, it just seemed to early and there wasn’t much justification for his existence other than the fact that he’s a major Spidey villain and the fact that he’d look cool. But in this episode they went with that silly possible storyline at the end of episode four; the fact that Harry could become the new Venom. I didn’t like that idea and when I saw a new Spider-Man running around it only took me a few seconds to guess who the person was behind the mask. I really didn’t like how they introduced the black-suited Spider-Man, that is one of the most iconic and coolest traits for Spidey and for it to be on anyone other than Peter Parker, that doesn’t sit well with me. Then we find the black-suit transform back into a more familiar face, Venom who is as big and nasty-looking as he should be (though a little too chunky in some cases). Also I can’t belief how single-minded the people in this show are, they all seem to think immediately that the black suit Spidey is a completely different one from the original, not one person questions the possibly that black suit Spidey and regular Spidey might actually be the same. I mean sure they aren’t in this case, but still, logic people! And another thing, how does everybody automatically convert to being black suit Spidey fans, besides the fact that it’s a new look there’s no justification for it, it’s just absurd how the thinking patterns of these people work in my opinion.

This story overall just felt bland, uninteresting and unappealing. This show has so much potential, yet it chooses to waste it on lackluster storylines with bad dialogue, actions with no proper consequences and child-like humour which is not funny nor is remotely good. And speaking of jokes, I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it again… THE HUMOUR IN THIS SHOW SUCKS BIG TIME! I really can’t believe how unfunny as Spider-Man show can be, but the writers of this cartoon clearly show it can be possible, and it’s all down to Spider-Man himself. Everything that Peter/Spidey says is pure foolishness, it’s not witty, it’s not well-timed, it’s just poor, it’s pre-school humour. Now I know there are some people over ten years old that enjoy this kind of humour, but for Spidey fans we know that the writing in this show could be so much better.

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Peter/Spidey with a cold in an episode. Not a good idea, never again!

When it comes to the characters, oh good gravy they break my heart. Peter/Spidey as always virtually useless. He makes stupid jokes, never really has a smart moment (unlike his comic book origins suggest) and he seems so dumb. In this episode he has a cold and it makes him even more annoying than usual and there’s this reoccurring joke where people keep telling Spidey to ‘Vampire sneeze’ and there’s all these other cold-related jokes too, it gets really old really fast! There’s one point where he runs out of web while pursuing Venom I think and just flutters around as he plummets to the ground. Now a normal Spider-Man would have packed extra web cartridges (it’s been done in every animated show), but oh no, not in the Ultimate Spider-Man, this Spidey is just content is being as useless as possible. There’s also one point where Peter imagines what would happen if he revealed his secret identity and the short comedic scenes that followed made me cringe. Then there’s Harry Osborn, I’m glad he’s been given a more substantial part in the show, but there is barely any of Harry’s classic mannerisms that make him such an interesting character. He just seems like he wants to be the best at everything and it doesn’t come across in a good way in this show, he just seemed to annoy me a lot. White Tiger, Nova, Iron Fist and Power Man take a backseat in this episode and I can say about that is, yay! Epic win” 😀 Everybody else in the episode are just there, Norman Osborn is still a man of power who neglects his son and constantly wants a new version of Venom developed. While Doc Ock still just sits in front of his computer screens monitoring and experimenting. You know, the same old stuff. Though I don’t like how Doc Ock is still just a lackey hiding in the dark basement working under Norman Osborn, he’s meant to be a super villain and yet he seems like nothing more than a sneaky lab assistant, just plain old boring.

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As usual the real standout point of the show is the animation. As usual the art is good and the animation is as fluid as ever. As Venom#s second appearance in this show, I thought this version of him was more in line with the comics and the stuff seen in Spider-Man: The Animated Seriesand The Spectacular Spider-Man, though he was a fair bit bulky and reminded me more of the Mac Gargan versin of Venom in terms of size. The final fight between Spidey and Venom was good, there was dynamic stuff done here, but the fight was nowhere near as creative or exciting as The Spectacular Spider-Man.

In conclusion this episode was pretty poor and it is making question why I am still watching this show. I’ve given it eight chances already and all I’ve got is okay to sub par episodes that taint the Spider-Man name. Now it may seem like all I’ve done is rant in this review and to some degree yes I have and it is for good reason. I have seen Spider-Man at his best and comes in the shape of both Spider-Man: The Animated Series and The Spectacular Spider-Man, both shows are creative, impressive and area MILES better than this show will ever be. I remember when people used to hate on The Spectacular Spider-Man for its approch to the Spider-Man mythos and yet it the source material justice when compared to Ultimate Spider-Man. So you may ask if I hate this show so much, then why am I still watching it? Well its simply because it’s Spider-Man and because part of me hopes that this show will eventually get it’s act together and actually become something worthy of watching. But for now it looks like the Ultimate Spider-Man should just be shut down. Spider-Man and his fans deserve better.

Rating: 5/10

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Sonic 4: Episode 2 Launch Trailer

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another blog post. Today’s blog post will be on the latest and probably last trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, take a look below:

Now it has been quite some time since the last Sonic-related blog post, even though there was a few updates here and there from loads of screenshots to the information about the beta build of the game being leaked and available to those able to grab it quick enough. But to be honest I was hoping for a bit more substantial news to blog about, that and the fact that I’ve been feeling a tad lazy in recent times lol. But anyways now it’s time to talk about this new trailer and man, it’s completely nostalgic! A massive trip down memory lane yo 😀

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In this launch trailer for Sonic 4: Episode 2 we finally see the final zone, which is the classic Wing Fortress Zone from Sonic 2. Now before this trailer had come out, a good few months ago I had heard in an interview with a Sega representative that the final zone would be a level from the past, though I was curious to know what place would be. So now that I see that its Wing Fortress Zone I’m really interested to see what they’ll do with it. From the trailer it looks like they’s combined Wing Fortress Zone with elements of Sky Chase Zone too and I also can see some references to Sonic 3 & Knuckles where Sonic & Tails are travelling those rings like in Death Egg Zone. And that HD makeover of the level, wow, it looks insane. The levels have been reimagined and redesigned, but still retaining that original nostalgic feel looks fabulous. We also get to see a lot of other features like two of the boss fights, more Sonic & Tails teamwork and areas of the game where it takes advantage of that 2.5D visuals and let’s Sonic move form the foreground  to the background. And overall everything looks lovely and I’m totally hyped for the game.

And the last thing to mention in the lock-on feature, just around 3/4s into the trailer we see some small footage of Metal Sonic traversing through those older Sonic 4: Episode 1 levels. It is a neat concept and if Metal’s gameplay is different from Sonic’s then it may be worth a play, though as an overall additional feature it really isn’t that special and the trailer really tries to sell it to you, like you NEED it! But in truth you don’t really lol. Here’s some new pictures released today of Metal Sonic in action;

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So overall I think I have to say that I am very much excited for Sonic 4: Episode 2 and I’ll be interested to see what the reviewers say about this title. If it isn’t better than Episode 1 (which I’m sure it will be) then I’ll be pissed, but I am sure that Sega know better than that (they better). I think it comes out over here in the UK tomorrow I think I will obtain it very soon.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Media, Video Games

 

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Jack White Blunderbuss Album Review

Okay ladies and gentlemen I’ve never attempted to review an album before, but today I feel like there is an album that really does deserve my time and needs me to talk about it. So today I will be reviewing the solo album by Jack White entitled Blunderbuss.

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Now long before this album had come out there was a lot of talk and a lot of hype about Jack White’s debut solo album. For many people across the world (me included), we really wanted to see what White would do with his own solo album and what sort of musical direction it would take. Now we all know Jack White and his musical career that spans many years doing various different projects over the course of time, he is mainly known for his work in The White Stripes with Meg White, but he is also known for his work with his other bands The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, both are equally as good bands and all have different and varying sounds, but the end result is always lovely. And if you’ve followed Jack White’s career very closely then you would have known about his work  contributing songs to film soundtracks from the lovely work he did in Cold Mountain to his duet with Alicia Keys in the main theme for the 22nd James Bond film, Quantum of Solace. He is a very busy man, just like Damon Albarn (Blur & Gorillaz) or Dave Grohl (Nirvana & Foo Fighters), but now we finally have a solo album that truly let’s know what kind of musician Jack White is and I have to say… The album is fabulous.

Blunderbuss is a truly wonderful piece of work and really is different to a lot of White’s previous work, but at the same time it is familiar and has a sound that will captivate your eyes  from start to finish. Now as I said before there is a familiar sound to this album and that is because there are certain tracks that I am sure that fans of White’s previous work will pick up on, some songs sound like they have a White Stripes influence or a sounds similar to the Raconteurs or Dead Weather. But one should not coming into this album expecting more of the same sort of work that Jack White has produced in the past. This is truly a different kind of beast altogether. Jack White happens take on several different genres of music for his solo album, jumping from rock to blues to country to folk, and it is impressive how he moves from genre to genre and still makes all of the songs sound cohesive. Going to listen to this album the first time I had an idea of what to expect, but what my eyes got was a totally unexpected experience. Blunderbuss really is an album that encompasses Jack White’s musical career, but this time we get to truly hear the sound of the kind of music he really wants to make when isn’t part of his other bands. White takes his musical talents to new heights and it is incredible how much depth and enjoyment one can get out of this album. There is an emotional depth to this album which really hits home if you listen to the album carefully, things get dark, moody, but also happy, cheery and reflective and it works very well over the course of the entire album. The use of instruments are really interesting, especially the appearance of the piano which works incredibly well on this album. One other thing to note is Jack White’s vocals, they are totally on form here. They are high and low and you can really hear a lot of the power behind his vocals when he sings. I only listened to the album for the first time last week, but I have found myself drawn to Blunderbuss as it is an album that has an addictive nature to it.

Love Interruption is just the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness on the Blunderbuss album.

After my first listen I thought the album was okay, I like about half of the songs. But then upon listening to the album a week later I found myself liking a few more tracks than before and enjoying the album overall. I think it was down to the fact that I took the time to really listen to the lyrics and feel out the instrumental elements of album. I think my favourite song on the album is Love Interruption. When I first heard that song back in March this year I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but now I can’t get of it. It’s simple in construction, but brilliant at the same time. Jack White and Ruby Amanfu’s vocals work so well together along with the guitars and the clarinet. It’s just so good. The opening track “Missing Pieces” is a great start and it feels a little similar to White’s other work with the White Stripes or Raconteurs and from that point the album just ascends into greatness. The title track “Blunderbuss” was one of the most unexpected tracks on the album for me because it was so different from what I was used to, but it sounds so calm and soothing that you can’t help but love it and get lost in its jolly rhythm. There are also a number of other standout tracks like “Sixteen Saltines”, “Freedom at 21”, “I’m Shakin'” and “Take Me with You When You Go”  just to name a few. But the song that I think is the best track on the album has to be “Hypocritical Kiss”. It is simply incredible, beautiful and lovely. I fell in love with this track on my second time listening to this album. The is just an incredibly nostalgic sound to the song and hit connected with me on a personal level both in a beautiful and melancholy way too. I think it’s my new favourite track on the album because I’ve had on repeat while writing this review haha 😀

Overall I think Blunderbuss is an incredible debut album by Jack White, for those who have truly wanted to know the type of music that Jack White could produce on his own this is the album for you. Now I do have to say that those looking for another White Stripes, Raconteurs or Dead Weather styled album will be disappointed, but if you go into the album with an open mind I m sure the sounds will captivate you mind, body and soul with its beautiful lyrics, wonderful use of different instruments and music genres and Jack Whites great vocals. I highly recommend this album to anyone who appreciates music because this album is just pure fun 🙂

Rating: 9/10

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Stuck in the world of boredom…

Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to another blog post about me and my issues with boredom. I hate to keep making blogs about how bored I am, but in the end this all I can think of doing when I’m mega bored, I blog, it’s just the way I function.

I don’t know how this happens to me so often, it just seems like there are days where nothing happens or I just can’t sem to find something to preoccupy my time so then I become consumed by boredom. It’s actually incredible considering that I am in a city like Sheffield with so much to do and yet I still find a way to be stuck inside bored as hell. It happens for days on end. Sometimes I’ll get up and not feel like doing anything even though there’s tons of stuff to use at my disposal. I have 2 video game consoles with loads of games, I also have loads of DVDs to watch and then there’s all the stuff I said I’d review for YouTube too… And yet I don’t feel compelled to do any of it. I just sit in my chair spinning around or watching videos on YouTube or just staring into space or just taking random naps in the daytime. I just can’t function without something more substantial going on. If I had a job or had to go into uni I’d at least have something to do, I would gladly give up my free time for something that requires me to leave my flat. But alas things aren’t as easy. Technically speaking I’ve finished my first year of uni so I have no reason to go back until September and on the job front I’m on a constant watch for a job and yet I can’t see anything so that sucks.

I also have no incentive to go outside because most days its raining and I dunno what it is about rainy days in Sheffield but for some reason it just makes me all moody and depressed (still dunno why!). Plus I’m not in the mood to get wet either. Today I am currently watching a Resident Evil LP on YouTube and in between that I am listening to music and right now I have the song “Level” by The Raconteurs on repeat coz its a great song that kicks ass! I have uni work that needs to be done but I feel no need to start it because I am not in that working frame of mind yet, plus I really can’t be arsed and I know I can get it done before the deadline anyway. I am also a tad annoyed that my flatmate has gone off to the cinema to watch The Avengers for the third time WITHOUT ME! 😦 This is an incident that I shall not forget very easily yo. So yeah with all of those things in mind I am in a bit of a funk at the moment, though given a bit of time I’m assuming that things will sort themselves out. I just need the summertime to kick in and I’ll be as a right as rain 😀

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Soon enough that’ll be me in the summertime, I can’t wait!

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Life

 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 7 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the seventh episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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So here we are with another episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man and to be honest it isn’t as good as last week’s one, but it still works on a few levels mainly because of the appearance of the Hulk and some much-needed Spidey and MJ time.

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One of the key aspects that make this episode work, HULK SMASH!

So what’s the story in this episode well it goes a little something like this:

Spider-Man finally agrees to a video interview with Mary Jane, and she gets the exclusive scoop when she records Spider-Man and Hulk in an all-out battle against Zzzax throughout Manhattan.”

And to be honest the story is alright at best, it mainly works because of these following things:

  • The interaction between Spider-Man and MJ
  • MJ’s constant need to the ultimate news story by running around to be where the action is
  • The appearance of Hulk (Of course!)

This episode was all about Mary Jane attempting to get the ultimate news story about Spider-Man for the Daily Bugle and it is interesting to see an episode focused on her. Because up until now we’d only seen snippets of her character in small conversations with her and Peter, also it was intriguing to her how much a her character had changed from the basic conventional stuff we’d seen in previous comics and TV shows. I don’t know why, but this episode just came across as a little tame and lacking in epicness, with all the stuff that went down in this episode you’d think it’d make for a more exciting episode, but alas that wasn’t the case with episode 7. The only good thing about it was that there was some development for Peter and MJ and we also get to see more of MJ in this show and see where her character is going in the long run.

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In the character department it was another Peter Parker-based episode so there was only so many people to focus on. The main people in this episode was Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson and the Hulk, with some additional supporting cast making an appearance. Let’s start with the main character of this episode, Mary Jane Watson. As I said before her character has changed a great degree from the basic conventional stuff we’re used to, in earlier episodes it did take some time to process that she was the aspiring journalist complete with the character and everything, but now I’ve sort of adjusted to the idea. It does make her character more relevant and important, though the way she kept running towards danger just for the ultimate story kind of annoyed me with the way Spider-Man had to keep running to safe her from danger. And talking about Spider-Man, he isn’t much different from the stuff we’ve seen already. He still makes bad jokes, says something smart and then offsets it with a stupid comment and still seems to lack that “proper Spider-Man” quality that has come with previous animated shows and more importantly the comics. He’s not super mega smart, his level of fighting skill isn’t as creative as it should be and as a superhero he seems so clueless and constantly needs the obvious pointed out to him. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

And lastly we talk about the main attraction, the Hulk! Now when I heard he was going to be in this episode I was totally excited. I was still on an Avengers high after seeing the movie so seeing him in this new show was bound to make me happy, however his appearance in this episode wasn’t as spectacular as I would have hoped. This Hulk came across as a tad dumb and used a very limited vocabulary and while that’s nothing we haven’t seen before in comics or other animated adaptations I guess I am used to seeing a much smarter Hulk like the one in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes or the live action Avengers film. But he does do some good in the episode, he was be, load and proud and smashed everything, he also seemed to have some good banter with Spidey offering up some good moments of humour too.

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When it comes to the presentation, as I have said before the Ultimate Spider-Man can deliver. There was also an interesting style that this episode happened to take by using the whole behind-the-camera perspective (thanks to the story being from Mary Jane’s perspective behind her camera). I have only seen this style of presentation done on the odd occasion in cartoons, but not for an extended duration of time like in this show and for the most part it works okay, though it can be tedious at times. Other than that the animation is completely fluid, slick and full of character and motion. The action is done pretty well from all of the destruction to the intricate details of the fight scenes and overall the art style still holds up well here. Though if I had one complaint it would have to be on the look of the Hulk. It’s particularly bad or anything, but personally I think he looked a little off. In The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes they got the overall look of the Hulk down to a tee, though he was lacking n definition (probably though the art style of show). But in this show he seemed a bit small, too detailed in muscle definition and lacking in body mass. After seeing the 90s Hulk show and the latest Avengers film I have a particular way I would like Hulk to look and I guess that’s just me nitpicking, but that’s the way I feel haha 😀 But overall with the introduction of the Hulk, the Ultimate Spider-Man benefits in the action department.

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In the end while this episode did have some genuinely nice moments, overall was just okay and again nothing out of the ordinary. I have seen scenarios and plots similar to this in other superhero shows over the many years I have been watching them and it has been done better. The inclusion of Hulk was nice and it was great to see another Peter Parker-based episode especially with his screen time with Mary Jane. But alas the Ultimate Spider-Man has a long way to go before it truly becomes anything worth shouting about.

Rating: 6.5

 
 

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Ultimate Spider-Man Episode 6 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m going to be giving you my review of the sixth episode of the Ultimate Spider-Man.

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So after two disappointing episodes I really didn’t have much hope for this show, but to my surprise episode 6 was actually good. It wasn’t perfect by any means and has a long way to go before it actually starts to impress me like The Spectacular Spider-Man or Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but it has to be noted that this is the best episode since the series premiere yo.

So what’s the story this time around? Well it goes a little something like this: “Taskmaster goes undercover and infiltrates Peter’s school to seek out Spider-Man. Peter and White Tiger must put their differences aside and work together in order to save their friends from a foe capable of duplicating their physical fighting skills.”

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The story in this episode was good because it was a little more grounded and in line with what I would expect from the comics, at least from the Spider-Man perspective. I like how Doc Ock is still hiring people to go after Spider-Man, plus it’s nice to see a villain with a little back story which adds a lot more weight to Taskmaster and makes him more memorable than the other forgettable enemies that Spidey and co have gone up against before. The story was also good for pairing up Peter and White Tiger. Both of them are on opposite ends of the spectrum and never seem to stop squabbling, but in this episode they were forced to work together and it was great to see them actually move past their petty differences and work together. It really helped moved this episode along. However outside of those specific points the story wasn’t anything incredible, it was fairly simple and the execution good have been better if the writing was a sharper and witty and not so childish.

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When it comes to characters there’s only three main people who matter; Spider-Man, White Tiger and Taskmaster. Everyone else irrelevant. Well technically some of the supporting do have some moments in the episode but they really do pale in comparison to the main three people in this plot. So let’s start with Peter/Spidey, he was alright. He’s still as silly as ever, but in this episode he did show off some level of creativity which was great and so Spider-Man-esque, however as usual for every smart thing Spidey does it is offset but some stupid jokes or action which is poorly timed. Now White Tiger, up until now she has been one of the most annoying characters because of her know-it-all attitude and her constant moaning at Peter for not following S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol and training and blah blah blah. and even though she did a fair amount of that in this episode, she actually was helpful and in a few ways a little sexy too (I don’t why she just was!). My only gripe is that at one point she references a quote from Men In Black and it didn’t go down well for me. I won’t say what it is, but for me that kind of line only works when it comes from Will Smith. Fact. And when it comes to Taskmaster he was pretty cool, best villain that Spidey has come up against so far. He is cool, calm and collected and his ability to mimic his opponents moves makes him a formidable enemy. He seems smart and that was illustrated well throughout the episode up until near the end where he seemed to get a bit sloppy in my opinion.

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In terms of the other cast, while Iron Fist has some screen time he takes a backseat to the rest of the action. Luke Cage is barely even in the episode. Nova, well he isn’t there at all which in my opinion is a great thing! Agent Coulson was nice in the episode though at little underused and put in some silly situations thanks to the writers of the show. Harry was there but barely used and Flash Thompson was actually jokes in this episode, at one point he was trying to look cool in front of Spider-Man but it totally wasn’t work and the reason it made me laugh was due to the fact that it’s in Flash’s nature to do things like that. so props to Flash he was actually decent for once. Oh, one other person that has to be mentioned is Stan Lee, he role as the janitor was great, while it’s not his best part, he had some very nice moments that the comic book fans will like.

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When it comes to the visual presentation there still a level of quality that doesn’t stop. Again as I have said before, well this show looks the part and has the highest quality of any Spider-Man animated TV show it has yet to show me anything truly amazing or spectacular. The Spectacular Spider-Man was all about style and quality and it delivered some of the most dynamic action sequences and fight scenes that Spider-Man has ever seen, it was all about choreography and it excelled in it. Even the 90s Spider-Man show had some impressive scenes when it came to the fight scenes. Unfortunately the Ultimate Spider-Man seems quite content with just giving us nice-looking action and fight scenes, but nothing that truly blows us away. The Ultimate Spider-Man has yet to impress me in the animation department.

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While the Ultimate Spider-Man is still rough around the edges, it still has quality buried within its off-putting exterior. The choice of storyline, use of characters and animation was pretty good this time round and for the first time the was some ACTUAL character development! This episode also had some nice references to the comic titles The Amazing Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, which I thought was a nice touch though wasted on a show like this. So there may actually be hope for this show yet.

Rating: 7/10

 
 

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