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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 36 – Theme Songs In Superhero Films

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, last year I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. As for the latest episode, it was actually done a few weeks ago and the topic was on theme songs in superhero films.

Anyway here’s the episode 36:

In this episode, I cover theme songs in superhero films and their importance not only to the characters they represent but also how they enhance the overall film experience when you have memorable themes. So from the John Williams Superman theme to Danny Elfman’s Spider-Man theme to the recent theme from Batman V Superman/Wonder Woman by Junkie XL, I cover some of the most recognisable and less notable themes that I feel should be talked about. Now I should have uploaded this podcast episode weeks ago but I got super busy and then forgot until now. Scheduling around work has become a tad complicated and tedious. Hopefully, the latest episode will be done soon.

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if you can. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining on future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on August 31, 2017 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Superhero Themes in Film – Do They Still Matter?

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another superhero-related post. This is a subject matter I’ve wanted to talk about for almost two years now, With superheroes being one of the most popular genres of film in modern times, the topic of theme songs have come up in discussions in online videos and comment sections I’ve seen across several websites. And there have been discussions about which popular themes are the best or why newer films don’t try harder with to have more memorable main themes. So with all that in mind I wanted to focus on the subject of superhero themes are whether they still have relevance today.

With superheroes, in most adaptations they have a theme song (sometimes referred to as a main theme) which you associate with the hero as much as you do their name, costume or catchphrase. These themes will either play in the opening or ending credits of a film or TV show or will appear during the film in a heroic/iconic moment.

What Are The Popular Themes?

Batman-and-Superman

Its should come as no suprise that most notable themes come from the most popular superheroes of all time, Batman and Superman. Besides the fact that they’ll be sharing a film next year (which is still strange to wrap my head around), long before their epic meeting, they had separate films with quite iconic themes that can be recognised even by general film fans. The most famous of the two is the “Theme from Superman (Main Title)” from the godly John Williams and the “Batman Theme” from the amazing Danny Elfman. Just have a listen below:

With the Superman theme I think it transcends the film it is part of, this is honestly one of the most recognisable pieces of music in film and you don’t even need a visual aid to know what it is. I think that is the beauty of John Williams; the fact that he can craft such incredibly, uplifting, beastly and memorable music that can stand the test of time. I hate to gush on about this theme, but it honestly gives me goosebumps because it’s that badass.

When it comes to Batman’s theme, it feels approach for the Dark Knight. It is dark, mysterious, its loud and bombastic, yet soft, quiet and it swells and then explodes. I think the reason why this theme is so popular is because it just feels like it belong within the realm of Batman and has the right tone and gives you something fun, atmospheric and really cool. Elfman creates something so special that feels so perfect, but I think why I appreciate this theme so much is because it was the inspiration for the intro theme for Batman: The Animated Series which is still til this day, one of my all-time favourite themes to anything ever.

But the themes don’t end there. Have look below.

Main Theme From The Dark Knight Trilogy

We also have the main theme from The Dark Knight Trilogy too. Now while this film series doesn’t have an official track that says ‘Main Theme’, the song that’s pretty much the key theme throughout this film series is “Molossus” introduced in Batman Begins. That theme is dramatic, aggressive and so intimidating, its like the badass theme to end all badass themes, and Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard did such a good job.

Main Theme From Man of Steel

And then of course there’s the main theme from Man of Steel known as “What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?” This theme is pretty famous because it was in trailers and pretty much helped sell this new incarnation of Superman. I think it may be the most epic superhero theme in existence as its so quiet and calm, and yet it builds and builds and then explodes into this beastly theme that makes you shiver and get all giddy about the epicness you’re listening to. While I didn’t love Man of Steel, I cannot deny the badassery of this theme.

Ignored Main Themes

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Main Theme Spider-Man

Now some may wonder why I’ve put one of the most popular superhero themes in the ignored segment, and it is simple. This theme isn’t talked about or recognised nearly as much as the ones mentioned above. I think it is no mistake that Danny Elfman was brought on to do another superhero theme after what he did with Batman in the late 80’s, here he crafts a theme that is eery, mysterious, heroic and badass. This theme oozes of charisma, beauty and awesomeness in an indescribable manner, and while I prefer the instrumentation of the Spider-Man 2 version, there is no denying the epicness of this song.

Main Theme From The Avengers

Much like Spider-Man’s theme, this theme is pretty awesome and yet doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should. “The Avengers” by Alan Silvestri is the definition of a good theme song. It has a classic sound to it, and it’s so uplifting, magical and heroic, but it is towards the latter half around 1:05 into the song where it turns badass and grows into orchestrated awesomeness. When this theme comes into play in Avengers and the team are seen together for the fist time on-screen it is a special and epic moment and music just elevates it to another level. This track is short but it has a sense of epicness that cannot be denied.

Main Theme From X-Men

While this particular track is pretty long, it has the main theme right at the beginning and towards the very end of the track. John Ottman was the first composer to leave an impression on the X-Men films series and it wasn’t until Henry Jackman came around that I heard another soundtrack that stood out, that being said Ottman’s theme from X-Men 2 still kicks ass. It’s intense, dramatic and awesome, and this theme must be pretty notable as they brought it back for X-Men: Days of Future Past (which made me SO happy).

Main Theme From Iron Man 3

The Iron Man films up until this point hadn’t had an official main theme, but in 2013 we got given “Iron Man 3” by Brian Tyler. Now with Tyler his soundtracks tend to be a bit hit or miss, but this was definitely a hit as he finally gave Iron Man a theme that was dramatic, hard-hitting and epic. The inclusions of the angelic backing vocals and something that sounds like a hammer hitting metal, it is just so beastly. Make no mistake, Iron Man 3 as a film has its problems for sure, but this track really is something special. I will say that I prefer Can You Dig It as it is way more sassy, jazzy and feels like it belongs in a 1960’s spy show.

Main Theme From Ant-Man

Ant-Man may not be universally loved by fans, but I liked it and one of my favourite aspects of the film was the soundtrack by Christophe Beck and “Theme from Ant-Man” is just awesome. This theme is sassy, bombastic and it just has such a nice sense of style and identity. Beck is another one of those composers that’s a bit up and down with his soundtrack compositions but this theme is kick ass.

Main Theme From Batman Forever

I think I may lose a lot of people by including this track, but screw it! Batman Forever may be the starting point for the decline in quality for the Batman films in the 90’s, but Forever, I still kind of like it and the theme song is definitely a big part of that. “Main Titles & Fan Fare” by Elliot Goldenthal has such a sense dramatic flare, charisma, style and its over-the-top but because of the nature of Forever as a film, this theme sounds just right.

So Do Themes Matter?

So now for the big question; do superhero themes matter? I would say yes for sure. It’s always nice to have music to associate with your favourite superheroes and while that’s been available in cartoons and certain live-action shows for a while now, I think it is just as important in films so you have another key aspect that makes your protagonist more memorable. Now for current superhero films they aren’t a requirement as fans and critics aren’t that fussed and will give a pass to a superhero film if the story, characters and presentation are top-notch. That being said, it was around 2012 when some people started saying that the. With big films like Batman V Superman and Captain America: Civil War coming out next year there will need to be theme songs or key tracks in the soundtrack to enhance the action on-screen or I think some fans and critics will feel robbed. And then in the future we’ll see the like of Wonder Woman, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Justice League and Avengers Infinity War parts 1 & 2 and those will be films that will require themes and soundtracks that are interesting, dramatic and memorable or I believe it will be a wasted opportunity.

So that’s my feelings on this subject, hopefully you’ve found this informative and like what I’ve had to say and share. But now I pass it over to you, what do you think of superhero themes in film and do you think they’re still relevant? Please be sure to comment below and let me know. Until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Films, Media, Music

 

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My Thoughts on Gotham So Far

Howdy ladies and gents, with my recent look at how season 2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is going, I thought I would pass continue this semi-review style with another comic book show, Gotham. Now at first I was sceptical about there being a prequel TV to the Batman era of Gotham city, but when the early episodes had positive reviews I thought I’d give it a shot, and I’m glad I did.

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Story

The plot for the show is pretty good as it has a main overarching storyline but also has individual stories that develop the characters and expands the world of Gotham. We get tales of murder, kidnapping, drug-related incidents and corruption with the police, government and criminal underworld and it works well because the stories are pretty interesting and engaging with good dialogue and character moments. The cool thing about this show is that it is a show that exists within the world of Batman, but is able to function without the dark knight himself, instead what we are given in the origin stories of these key characters before they become the iconic people that we all know and love, and while some of these starting points seem a bit bizarre for comic book fans, after a while you start to see certain things unfold that give you an idea of where these characters will go in the future. Another great aspect of Gotham is the fact that it plays out like your typical police drama, it has all the basic codes and conventions, but enough unique plot elements and characters that it works in its own way. The only thing that concerns me is how long will the show be able to function in this pre-Batman era of Gotham before it gets dull? I’m not saying that there aren’t possibilities, but I assume there will have to be some kind of time skip if the show is to continue into a second and/or third season.

Tone

When it comes to the tone of this show it is very mature and doesn’t hide away from the very adult problems that reside within Gotham. You have violence, murder, prostitutes and while it’s not 15 rated material, it definitely feels like it’s edging in that direction. I just like how adult the show is, it doesn’t shy away from the problems within the Gotham city police department, the dodgy feelings with crime bosses and politics, and just one the streets of the city itself.

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Characters

But what is a good story and tone without a good cast? Luckily this show has a great cast and the good thing is that everyone is relevant, but there are certainly some stand-out performances.

Firstly there’s Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like McKenzie as Gordon, but now I really like him. This young version of Gordon is fresh on the scene and believes in justice, however starts to realise that the traditional means of police work does not apply Gotham. What you have to appreciate about this guy is that he’s righteous, tenacious and willing to do whatever it takes to get justice. Someone who is just as impressive is Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, he’s Gordon’s partner, he been in the police game longer than Gordon and is already corrupt. He’s a dodgy detective who has very questionable morals and ethics and doesn’t really adhere to the proper ways of police work, however the guy is really funny and engaging. David Mazouz is decent as Bruce Wayne, in this show we see the early days of Wayne after his parents are murdered and how starts to start conquering fear and getting into detective work. While it is interesting to see this what young Bruce is up to, sometimes I feel like his appearance is shoe-horned in and not as interesting as other character stories. Also Sean Pertwee is a very interesting and different as Alfred Pennyworth, this version of Bruce’s butler has more a cockney accent which was the biggest thing I had to get over, but other than that he’s fine.

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Robin Lord Taylor is the really the star of this show as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot. At first I wasn’t sure if this character would be that engaging but now I LOVE him. He’s an underling with big ambitions and the gift of the gab and slowly but surely starts to show his true nature and my god, the stuff this guy gets up to is nothing short of captivating. He’s smart, cunning and calculated and to see him go from strength to strength is utterly fascinating and it helps that Taylor is such a fine actor. Jada Pinkett Smith is just incredible as Fish Mooney, this is a woman who is as elegant as she is deadly. She’s a powerful woman in the criminal world who has many connections and she works under Don Falcone, however wants to take him out because like more gangsters, she’s greedy. Smith has been in such an engaging role in years, but I’m loving her charisma. John Doman is good as Carmine Falcone, this man is respected but also feared, and has many connections throughout the city. And while he’s old and looking to be taken out by certain other parties, he’s not stupid, he’s pretty cunning and knows how to stay ahead of his enemies. And finally there’s David Zayas who is awesome as Salvatore Maroni, he’s the leader of his own crime family and is an opposing force to Falcone. This is a man who is very funny, larger-than-life and smiley, however he has a big temper, doesn’t like to lose and wants more from the city of Gotham. Camren Bicondova is good as Selina “Cat” Kyle, she witnesses the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne and now has a connection with James Gordon and Wayne manner. Selina, while not the perfected thief, is good at stealing, acrobatics and hiding in plain sight and Bicondova is quite pleasant and amusing in the role. Cory Michael Smith is cool as Edward Nygma, his involvement in the show is small working for the police department as a coroner and forensics operative, but when he is on-screen he’s so fun.

Presentation

One thing that really helps this show is the production values, visually this show depicts Gotham as this dark, dreary and dirty city with a lot of shadows, muted colours and lovely cinematography. This is probably the best-looking version of Gotham City since Tim Burton’s Batman back in 1989, this version of the famous city has a look and style to it that’s unique and feels like a solid adaptation of the comic book source material. One of my main issues with the Christopher Nolan films is that after Batman Begins, Gotham lost its unique style and turned into generic-looking city with no style or substance, but this is not the case with this show, it looks great.

Gotham-character-poster

Conclusion

In conclusion Gotham is some really good stuff. It is a show not bound by its source material and can stand on its own feet with its original stories and nice interpretations of what we’ve come to expect from the Batman mythos. Only time will tell whether this show will be able to keep up this momentum, but so far so good, Can’t wait to see how things turn out at the end of this season.

So have you been watching Gotham and if so what do you think? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Just Announced

Lego-Batman

Good day to you ladies and gents of the internet, today I am here to rely upon you some new video game news that broke just a little while ago. The following information comes from IGN:

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has been announced and will be coming to all major consoles, handhelds, and PC at the beginning of autumn 2014. The announcement was made via the trailer above.

Following on from the events of DC Superheroes, Beyond Gotham follows the Caped Crusader on an intergalactic adventure, which sees him out to prevent Braniac from destroying Earth. To achieve his goal, Brainiac is using the power of the Lantern Rings to miniaturise cities from across the cosmos. To stop him, Batman – along with a host of other DC heroes and villains – must visit different Lantern Worlds to collect the Rings and put an end to Braniac’s scheme.

The game will feature more than 150 unique, unlockable characters from the DC universe. Following on from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Beyond Gotham will use big figures for characters such as Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy. Each character will new gadgets and abilities, with the announcement saying that “the power of the Lantern rigs bring unexpected twists to the classic characters’ personalities.”

Iconic locations will also feature in the sequel, with players able to visit the Hall of Justice, the Justice League Watchtower and the Batcave.

Here’s the trailer:

So here we go again with another Lego Batman game and I can see one of two responses: 1) “Ah, another one? Why?” or 2) “Ah yeah, another Lego Batman, gimme!” Either way it seems like the Lego franchise is moving forward with the next game in its series. So what do I think about this news? I say bring it on. The first two Lego Batman games done extremely well and both introduced new elements into the Lego video game series that became staples for future games to adhere to. Also right now Batman is very hot stuff, he had a pretty big part in The Lego Movie, there’s also been a lot of hype what surrounding Ben Affleck’s Batsuit and then of course you have Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice coming out next year, so now is as good a time as any to announce this next instalment in the franchise. I’ve played the first Lego Batman and I thought it was fun and definitely the best one since the Star Wars games, I never had the chance to pick up the sequel, although the inclusion of the Justice League as playable character definitely makes it a more compelling game to play.

Right now this game is sounding good, being able to use more than 150 characters is an insane and awesome thought to me and being able to visit locations like the Watchtower and Hall of Justice just makes me hyped. Lego Marvel Super Heroes pretty much gave gamers and fanboys alike the most comprehensive and fun Lego video game of the franchise, so to see if that can be topped with this third Batman entry will be interesting. I am hyped and I’m curious to see how the story, hub locations and missions will be handled.

lego fry

As Fry would say: “Shut up and take my money!”

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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Batman vs. Superman’s Batstuit and Batmobile Revealed!

Howdy ladies and gents, again I return to my blog about some news in the world of media that has just broke. Now every once in a while something of some degree of importance drops on the internet that blows the whole thing up and it seems like Zack Snyder has done it again as we have a our first look at not only the new Batmobile but also the new Batsuit.

Check it out below:

first-batman-suit-and-mobile-revealed

So what are my initially impressions? Well it kind of went like this: “Erm, I don’t know how I feel about this… Though one thing is clear, the ears on the cowl are too small!”

I hate to go all fan boy on one single image, but like many other fans across the world I have my idea of what Batman should look like in a live-action film, but obviously I’m not a filmmaker and since everything is constantly being changed and modified for live-action superhero films, it should come as no surprise that there are some changes along the way.

Anyways, let me talk about the Batmobile first and then talk about the suit.

The Look of The Batmobile

In terms of the car, I like it. That little teaser image that got dropped online a few days ago gave us a rough I idea of what to expect and I think everyone’s thoughts were correct; that Batman’s new ride is gonna be a fusion of the Batmobile looks from the Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan films. I think it has a nice, sleek design with an armoured look which is still practical. Stylish and practical is what I’m getting from this image. Now obviously the whole car isn’t shown here but from what I can see it looks pretty nice.

The Look of The Batsuit

Now let’s talk about the bigger aspect of the image, the new look of Batman. Now I love Batman’s costume in general, its cool, badass and unique. In live-action the suit’s only ever looked like the comics once and then was in the fist two Tim Burton films (which the exception of the colour grey). The Dark Knight Trilogy did a decent job with their versions of Batman’s suit but they never did connect with me like other superheroes. So now we have then latest live-action suit and to be honest I’m in two minds about. While it does look cool with the cape and nicely shaped cowl, I’m not keen on the look of the suit and the fact that it doesn’t have that classic look to it. Plus the ears on Batman’s cowl are small, I hate for such a tiny, insignificant and stupid thing to bother me, but it has bothered me since I kid. Batman’s ears just need to be a certain height or I get a bit grumpy. My guess for the look of the suit is that they are adapting it from  Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in which Batman was a bit older, chunkier and sported a new suit and Batmobile. I guess if the filmmakers are going that route with the film and are actually going adapt that story for the sake of this upcoming film then this image makes a lot more sense and if it is their intention then I’m down.

Conclusion

So yeah in conclusion while I’m not over the moon like some fans are on several of the sites I’ve checked today, I’m definitely intrigued by this new imagery and am interested to see what comes next.

So what do you make of this image of Batman’s new suit and vehicle? Are you down with it or do you have something to complaint about? Whatever tour thoughts are leave them in the comments below! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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Random Blog 09: Batman: The Animated Series

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another random blog instalment. Today, like when I did my mini review of Regular Show, I’m going to talk about another badass TV show that I love. Recently I took a trip back into my past to revisit one of my favourite TV shows as a kid, Batman: The Animated Series and now I’m obsessed all over again haha. So talking about on my blog was a given.

Batman_the_Animated_Series_logo

So Batman: The Animated Series, what can be said that hasn’t been said already? It not only was and still is one of the most well-known and highly regarded adaptations of Batman, but it is also one of the most well-known and highly regarded cartoons of all-time and for good reason. The show had some of the best creative staff to create these incredible stories, solid animation, a brilliant soundtrack and some of the best voice actors for their characters and it is insane to think that it still holds up so well after 22 years.

 The art style, animation and that music, good god! Truly one of he best intros to anything ever.

As I said before this was one of my favourite TV shows when I was growing up, I always remembered the beautiful opening, the dark tone and in-depth stories involving the heroes and villains, and even as a child I recognized the show as being very grown-up which made it so much more interesting than a lot of other cartoons. I haven’t watched the show since it stopped airing in the UK well over a decade ago so  imagine my surprise when I started watching it again yesterday it felt like time hadn’t passed at all. So many of these images were fresh in my memory, the music still sounded the same and things I couldn’t understand/pick up on as a kid were so much clearer to me now. I am now in love with this show all over again.

But what makes it so great? There are a ton of things to consider but I’ll try to abbreviate. Firstly there’s the stories. I’ve only seen 12 episodes so far and yet I’ve noticed how much drama and depth there is to the characters and how much material they can squeeze into 22 minute episodes. The show deals with subject matters relating to death, love, addiction, vengeance, guilt and the classic good versus evil. This is a superhero show but it is so much more than that, it feels like it takes a lot of cues from the thriller and horror genres and many episodes feel like crime or gangster stories. All of it is handled in a very mature manner and it is brilliant and just like Adventure Time and Regular Show, this show made references to even more adult material in a way that kept within the boundaries of children’s TV, but older audiences could see what was really going on.

The-Cat-And-The-Claw-Pt-1-batman-the-animated-series-16815880-540-405And then there’s the presentation. Good gravy even though the show started in 1992 it still looks bloody amazing and it surprising to know that Warner Bros. Animation were doing such high quality work so early on in the 90’s. BTAS has a very distinctive look, its painted backgrounds, use of shadow and darken colour scheme give it a unique style. In addition to that I get a lot of 1920’s and 1940’s vibes from the show with the use of gangs and tommy guns, the character designs and car modelling too. Also the animation still looks really good, so fluid and well-crafted. Also the soundtrack is INCREDIBLE, I don’t think there’s been a finer soundtrack crafted for any cartoon show in existence. From the amazing opening theme (which was adapted from Danny Elfman’s 1989 Batman Theme) to the rest of the show, everything is orchestrated and it kicks ass. It is bombastic, heroic, sophisticated and knows the right kind of music to set the right kind of mood. Couple that with excellent storytelling and animation and you have a show that is in a league of its own.

heartofice29I truly believe this to be one of the best cartoons ever in the history of life, it is pitch perfect with next to no flaws bar a few questionable aspects here and there. I’m pretty sure that this show is the reason why I’m a Batman fan in the first place it has done more for me in the last day then anything any of the live-action film will ever do. The voice acting alone gets me all giddy with veteran voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill sounding great in their prime when they first started out as Batman and Joker. especially the Joker I swear is just the most devilishly hilarious psychopathic with the most incredible laughs ever, I love you Mark Hamill!

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In conclusion Batman: The Animated Series is something I fell in love with as a kid and now I love it more than ever. This is the only adaptation of Batman you’ll ever need and I hope some live-action films in the future take note of it. After the 90’s children’s cartoons truly went to shit with a few notable exceptions, however this is one of the shows that is a representation of the quality that good cartoons had back then. This show is dark, mature and smarter than most shows airing these days and it is a shame that standards have fallen so far. If you haven’t seen this amazing show, leave this blog and watch it now. For who have seen it drop your thoughts on it in the comment section below.

And now I leave you this awesome quote from the man himself:

“I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!”

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Ben Affleck to Play Batman in Man of Steel Sequel

So yeah this is probably the biggest news to hit the superhero film scene for a while and while I’m a bit late to this party I still gotta blog about it so let’s get cracking! The following information comes from IGN:

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Ben Affleck is set to star as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, Warner Bros. has announced.

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some” said Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. earlier today. “His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman,” added director Snyder. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

“We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman,” continued Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution President Sue Kroll. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”

Warner Bros. has a longstanding relationship with Affleck. His most recent hit for the studio was 2012’s Argo, which won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. Affleck’s next directorial effort, Live By Night, will also be produced by Warner.

Affleck is no stranger to the superhero gig, having played Daredevil in 20th Century Fox’s 2003 flick of the same name. His will be the fifth big-screen Batman since Michael Keaton donned the cowl in Tim Burton’s 1989 effort.

The Man of Steel sequel, which will likely be called Batman vs Superman, was announced at Comic-Con earlier this year. The film will be penned by Snyder and Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer, and is currently slated to open worldwide on July 17, 2015. The sequel will reunite Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Laurence Fishburne, Amy Adams and Diane Lane.”

Alrighty then so Ben Affleck is going to be the next Batman? Damn, those words just don’t compute in my mind. When I heard from John Campea of AMC Theatres that he thought that Warner Bros and Zack Snyder already had their eyes on an actor for the role of Batman I thought “That’d be impressive but unlikely.” And now here we are with a pretty seasoned actor taking on the role.

So what do I think of this new development? Well I’m kind of in two minds about. Firstly the good:

  • They could have picked a lot worse
  • Ben Affleck definitely has the acting skills necessary to pull off a character like Batman
  • Affleck looks like he could have the Bruce Wayne/Batman look down if the costume people do their work properly
  • This guy has won Oscars and has the right amount of star-power to pull in new casual fans

And now for the bad:

  • His last superhero film, Daredevil sucked and I’m not gonna let that go
  • Having someone like Affleck be directed by a more inferior director like Snyder seems questionable
  • Even though I dunno I would have picked as the next Batman I’m not sure he was the only choice

So yeah I dunno if you agree or disagree with my points, I’m basically just getting my thoughts out there. I am now really interested to see how this ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ thing is gonna play out.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Films, Media

 

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My Thoughts on Man of Steel 2 Announcement With Batman Set to Appear!

Okay. I think this single-handedly is the biggest news to come out of Comic-Con this year. While I’m not over the moon about it, I’ve seen all over the internet, loads of DC fanboys blowing up everywhere. I am of course talking about the fact that in Man of Steel 2 we’re also gonna get Batman in the film too. THIS. IS. BIG. NEWS. Now as I’ve said before on numerous occasions I’m a Marvel fan more so than DC, however Batman and Superman together is a concept that I’m totally up for and would love to see go down in a live-action adaptation… Provided that the filmmakers can create a logical and comprehensive story that would justify them being in the same film together.

Anyways here’s the official article from superherohype for you to wrap your heads around:

“Warner Bros. has just revealed plans for their own DC Cinematic Universe with the announcement of a Man of Steel sequel that will feature none other than Batman! Snyder took the stage at the Warner Bros. panel to announce something and brought up actor Harry Lennix to read a special message.

“I want you to remember, Clark,” Lennix said, “in all the years to come. In all your private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you.”

And with that famous speech from The Dark Knight Returns, Snyder unveiled the logo below. No further details were announced but WB has revealed that Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will return along with the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill.”

man-of-steel-2-logoThere it is, the logo that made loads of comic book fans shit their pants.

Honestly this is good news for DC fans and I am pretty interested to see how this’ll turn out. Because let’s face facts, as good as Man of Steel was, DC and Warner Bros. were still wanting to do Justice League after that in 2015 and logically there is no way that would have worked without easing in another character or two through a second Superman film or one of their own solo films. I guess the big question now is who are DC gonna get to play Batman. We know Christian Bale is out of the question because he officially ruled himself out (though I dunno if that’ll be the case forever), I’m just not sure of any particular actor who could take on the role. I guess I would prefer someone a little under the radar, say like how Henry Cavill wasn’t all that big until he became Superman, so yeah an unknown actor would work just fine for me.

So yeah for once DC are playing it smart and I want to see how these two iconic characters come together, I hope  it’ll be similar to the good stuff I’ve witnessed in Batman: The Animated Series or the Justice League TV series. All I know now is that 2015 is a gonna be a filthy year for films, I dunno if I’ll survive with all this awesomeness going down in the cinema, I might blow up.

So what are your thoughts on this revelation? Drop off in the comments below! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2013 in Films, Media

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: The Dark Knight

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #26 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Okay so today we conclude our review of Batman films with one of the most overrated films in recent history, The Dark Knight.

Now I’m gonna talk about a film I don’t like to discuss with most people. Why? Because everyone bums the hell out of this film like it is the best thing since sliced bread and in my opinion it really isn’t. Fans and critics went made in 2008 when this film released and it has been hailed for changing the comic book superhero genre since. I saw the film when it released and I thought it was good, but not nearly as godly as people made it out to be. Ever since then I’ve watched the film a few times but my views still haven’t changed. So now in 2013 I’m revisiting the film again, has my opinion changed? Read on and find out.

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Taking place after the events in Batman Begins, Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The story was pretty interesting for the most part but not perfect though. I like the way this film continues on from the last with its visual and verbal references, but I also like how the story progresses and gets more complex and higher in stakes. the introduction of the Joker makes for some very dramatic, suspenseful and unpredictable situations that have intriguing results. There’s a lot of interesting themes about corruption, morality, justice and injustice and nature vs. nature, and there’s all beautifully explained in the film. I think one of the reasons I’m not keen on the film is because there’s just a lot of aspects that I don’t care about, when the film isn’t focused on Batman or the Joker, then my interest fades, plus sometimes the film feels long and tedious. I guess the only reason I don’t like this film is because it doesn’t really feel like a comic book film, it feels more like a long thriller film with just a few comic book elements thrown in. And while that may work for most film audiences, for me who is a nerd and a fan of the more comic book side of Batman, this film just feels lacking.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. Christian Bale was still pretty good as Bruce Wayne, I feel like his character went through hell in this film as he had to fight the terrors of Gotham while trying to keep himself intact and eventually get out the crime fighting life and move on with Rachel. But as Batman, Bale was still dodgy. He is intimidating, but his voice is still terrible and over the course of the film gets worse. Michael Caine is still awesome as Alfred, Caine is just a great actor and he shows us his talents as Bruce’s trusted butler who helps Bruce and his alter ego, offering advice and being funny at times.

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But let’s talk about the main reason this film works and that is Heath Ledger as the Joker. This version of the Joker is just a psychopath, he is a nutcase with a twisted sense of humour and morality and he does bad things just to see will happen. I remember seeing this film in the cinema and remembering that this is why I liked the film so much and that rule still applies today. Ledger is just magnetic in this role, every time he’s on-screen all attention is on him and his charisma  and powerful persona makes him amazing to watch. He is crazy and I love it, and while I can’t say it’s my favourite interpretation of the character (That is still Mark Hamill), this in my opinion is way more interesting and captivating than Jack Nicholson’s version.

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Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon is great. Oldman’s role is more expanded than before and we get to see his character pushed to the forefront of the story. Gordon has to deal with his alliance to Batman and Harvey Dent as well as the Joker’s crazy actions. I just love how much more screen time Gordon got and how he ascended to the role as police commissionerAs for Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face I thought he was pretty cool. As Dent Eckhart was nice as the district attorney who really wanted to clean up Gotham and do justice the right way. Eventually Dent gets corrupted and goes on the path of revenge as Two-Face and I liked his interpretation of the character as he was corrupt, on-edge and shell of his former self. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes was nice and I found her version of the character to be more engaging and likeable than Katie Holmes. You could see that even though Rachel had moved on with Harvey Dent, that she still feelings for Bruce and because of his life as Batman it made things a great more complicated. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is still badass, I just like how he keeps supplying Bruce with all his gadgets for his duties as Batman.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation, visually the film is pretty impressive, the cinematography is wonderful, the presentation of the action and Batman’s fight scenes is a hell of a lot better and the editing is much smoother than before. I also like the special effects applied to Aaron Eckhart after he becomes Two Face too. The only  thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that Gotham City lost its visual style from the first film and just adopted a very normal look in this film which I just didn’t agree with. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer it is hella cool. The two basically take the themes from the first film and build upon them while introducing new themes too. The music is loud, dramatic, suspenseful and versatile and it really adds to the scenes where it is used.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. Well since Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe is more realistic, several things were updated or modified to work in the real world. As such many things have a more grounded approach. For example the Joker no longer has bleached skin and instead has paint and scars on his face and Two-Face instead of having acid on his face and a split personality, his face is burnt away in a fire.

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So to conclude The Dark Knight is still a great film and is a wonderful piece of material from director Christopher Nolan. It has a story that has a lot of interesting themes and thriller-esque elements and with a fabulous central performance from Heath Ledger it is a film worth watching. That being said, I still don’t think its the best comic book film ever made, it strays too far from the source material and almost doesn’t feel like a superhero/comic book film at all and there’s just a few small things that I don’t agree with. Now loads of people think I’m crazy because of my views on this film and I’ll continue to fight my corner until the end of time, but as it stands The Dark Knights is awesome, but not as extraordinary as a lot of fans and critics make it out to be.

Rating: 8/10 (A fine Batman film, but not as godly as many make it out to be)

So there’s my review people, only 4 more to go! So have you seen The Dark Knight and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Batman Begins

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #25 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Alrighty then, we’ve talked about both of the Tim Burton Batman films, we’ve also talked about the ONLY Joel Schumacher that matters, so we’re skipping ahead to 2005 with the awesome Batman Begins.

Okay now we’re talking. I remember not being initially interested in this film at all due to its whole dark and realistic approach and lack of traditional Batman comic source material. But then I gave the film a chance around 2 or 3 years later and I found out that I really liked it. The film was definitely different and there were a number of things I wasn’t keen on but otherwise it was a solid film which I appreciated. So its been a while since I’ve seen it last time and now that I’ve watched it again has my opinion changed? Read on to find out.

So the plot in this film tells the origin story of the Bruce Wayne from his fear of bats to the death of his parents to his training with the League of shadows to his eventual transformation into the hero known as Batman. In this film Batman has to deal with the villain Scarecrow and the much larger threat in the form of Ra’s al Ghul and his plot to destroy Gotham City.

The story was pretty cool. Even though I am a very adamant comic book fan, the more realistic, dark and gritty tone really worked thanks to the great script and good direction from Christopher Nolan. Everything works in a more practical and realistic fashion, though there are comic book elements implemented as well and I think they’re incorporated nicely. The reason I liked the story so much was due to Bruce’s origin story, I don’t think there’s been a Batman film to date that’s gone this deep into Batman’s life prior to donning the suit. We get to see his childhood, his training and the creation of his lair, suit, weaponry and so on. I also like the part of the plot involving Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows plan to destroy Gotham, I thought it was pretty cool and hardcore. I think my only issues with the film is the fact that it wasn’t as comic book-esque as I had hoped, Batman is character I’ve always enjoyed in the animated TV shows and to see all of the source material changed and modified to work in the real world just didn’t gel with me at times during this film.

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Now let’s talk about the cast who do a good job at bringing these characters to life for the most part. So let’s start with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I do like Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, I think he gives us the most accurate version of the character from the comics and his journey through this film is pretty cool and much more detailed than any other Batman film before it. However I can’t say that Bale makes a good Batman though. Bale as Batman is just terrible due to one key factor… His voice. I understand that Batman is different from Bruce Wayne and needs a different voice, however Batman in this film sounds insanely stupid! He’s all gruff, gravelly and as a lot of people have been saying online, sounds like he has throat cancer. Though it does make for some unintentionally funny lines of dialogue.

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Then we have Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth. I do love Sir Michael Caine and I think this is the first film where I really became accustomed to him as an actor. Caine’s version of Alfred feels like he has more of a backstory and feels like he has more of an active role in Bruce’s life after he becomes Batman. You can see that Alfred definitely care for Bruce and wants to help him out, but he also isn’t afraid to speak his mind and voice concern when dangerous situations look like they’ll occur. Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes was where I personally found the weak link in the film. Don’t get me wrong she’s not that bad in the film, but she’s not that great either. Dawes is a character made for film and has no relation to the comics and as a love interest for Bruce I just didn’t care because that is the one element in superhero films that I can deal without. Also Gary Oldman as James Gordon was cool, again like Michael Caine’s Alfred I feel like Oldman’s Gordon had a more active role than his predecessor and left a better lasting impression on me. Oldman is a fine actor and while his character isn’t as big as he is in the sequels he’s still pretty cool here.

Then we have our first villain in the form of Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard. Neeson is one of the most awesome actors out there and I loved his character in this film how he becomes Bruce’s mentor only to turn out to be the bad guy later on down the line. You can see that Ducard has much mystery surrounding his character and that as good as he may seem he has ulterior motives and I thought Neeson did great in the role and made the character magnetic on-screen. As for villain number two who was Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow we was different, his character was very clever, questionable and strange and as the Scarecrow he was even funkier using his toxins to make people freak out and hallucinate. But as good as he was I felt like he could have been better and when he is taken out it is done in the most anti climatic way.

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Tom Wilkinson makes for a cool Mafia boss as Carmine Falcone, he’s an intimidating bastard who plays a small part in the larger picture of evil plans going down in the film and Wilkinson was good. And lastly Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox was just the coolest guy ever. He’s a guy that works at Wayne Enterprises but also supplies Bruce with all his gear necessary for his missions. I like the relationship that Bruce and Lucius start in this film and since the character is played by Morgan Freeman you can’t really complain can you?

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice I like look of Gotham City because it is so dark, has great lighting and has a unique colour palette that really helps show off how ugly and distinguishing the city is. I also like a lot of the action sequences in this film, Batman’s attack sequences are nicely pulled off though it is badly shot and edited at times because you can’t really see what’s going on. As for the soundtrack by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer its pretty good, the score that they create while it doesn’t have that same level of epicness and gravitas that Danny Elfman’s scores did back in the Tim Burton’s films, it does have a main theme that sounds pretty beastly and overall the soundtrack amplifies the action in the film very well.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? When it comes to Batman I’ve only read a few comics, most of my knowledge comes from years of watching Batman cartoons and research online. I think everything in this film is modified to work in the real world so characters, vehicles and weapons work in a more practical and realistic manner. There are a few comic book elements retained like the death of Bruce’s parents and his fear of bats and his martial arts skills too. I’m not too familiar with the villains of the films so I can’t talk about them. Other than that everything else is either new or changed for film purposes.

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So to conclude Batman Begins is a pretty cool film. A lot of people these days say that this film is the weakest element in The Dark Knight Trilogy but I think that is unfair as it was the film that created the foundation for the sequels to build on. This film created a new, dark and realistic world for Batman and redefined the character with much stronger storytelling, themes, characters and wonderful presentation. The film does indeed have problems and I don’t love it as much as I did before, but out of all the three Batman origins we’ve had so far this is my favourite and I recommend the film highly.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s dark, gritty and different but it’s still hella good!)

So there’s my review people, and now we’ve reached the FINAL 5 FILMS! WOOOO! So have you seen Batman Begins and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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