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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?

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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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Gal Gadot Cast as Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman!

Howdy ladies and gents, time for some superhero-related film news and after several uninteresting new stories I FINALLY have something to talk about! For the longest time DC and Warner Bros. have been hinting about new Justice League elements being added to the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film and now it seems like after all the rumours, something has come out as concrete. The following information comes from superherohype:

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“Warner Bros. has announced this morning that Gal Gadot, most well known for appearing in the “Fast & Furious” films, has landed the role of Wonder Woman/Diane Prince in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

In a statement, Zack Snyder stated: “Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.”

Batman vs. Superman will feature the return of Henry Cavill as Superman, facing off against Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Also starring Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne, the Zack Snyder-directed Batman vs. Superman hits theaters on July 17, 2015.”

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Well damn! Did not see this coming at all. I thought DC and Warner Bros. were still too afraid to venture outside of their boundaries with Batman and Superman films, but now they’re ACTUALLY doing it. These studio people and filmmakers are actually taking the first steps towards creating their own cinematic universe of DC characters. Now we finally have someone cast as Wonder Woman, and how do we feel about this? Erm, I’m not quite sure.

To be honest I am happy that at least ONE member of the JLA is finally making their film debut and it is great that is such an important female figure like Wonder Woman. But at the same the time it does raise some questions like 1) How much involvement will she have in this new film? And 2) Will she be fully introduced with a backstory or will she just be dropped in?

Also there is the choice of actress. Now Gal Gadot, she is a gorgeous woman, no doubt about that, Gadot has an incredibly beautiful face and a slender body. However I’m not sure if she is WW material. I mean I’ve only known her from the Fast & Furious series and she’s alright in those films, but I’ve not really seen her in much else to judge her acting skills. Also no offence to her but she is very on the slim side, anyone that knows WW knows that she is a strong and firm-bodied woman with tone and muscle too and in order to embody this role, Gadot is seriously gonna have to put on some weight and gym it up to the maximum. And lastly does Gadot have combat experience? Besides some of the action bits in the F&F films, I’ve never seen her in any proper fighting or combat-based stuff. WW is all about the combat, hand-to-hand combat and being able to move around with all the superhuman strength and agility. I hope Gadot will get some proper training and learn to fight hardcore, Gina Carano style and then some.

Overall while I’m glad they cast someone as WW, at the same time I’m not sure Gadot is the right choice. Hey I’m not hating, just expressing my opinion. I’m still kind of sad that Jaimie Alexander won’t be taking up the role because I think she has the screen presence, action experience and acting talent to pull off such a role. However I’m happy for Gadot and I hope she will do okay.

So now onto you people of the internet, what do you think of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman? Are you down with her in the role or did you hope for someone else? Whatever your thoughts, drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on December 4, 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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Man of Steel Video Review

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Alrighty then well Man of Steel is out and I’ve already done my written review a little while ago. But in case you’re not keen on reading I’ve done a video review for you lot to have a look at if you’re interested. Please check it out as I would like a few more views please! 🙂

Here’s the link below:

So what did you think of Man of Steel? Do you agree with me or think I am mental for my score? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I’ll see ya one the next film review yo! 😀

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

 

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Man of Steel Review

Okay then, now it’s time review what is probably the biggest film of the year, Man of Steel. There has been a lot of hype and marketing promotions going around to make sue that people know that this film is coming out. It has been suggested many moons ago that this would be the film of the year. So now that I’ve seen it, is Man of Steel the triumphant return of Superman? Well I can say that this is finest Superman film that’s come to exist since the original 1978 film.

The premise for this film is as follows:

“Clark Kent is a humanoid alien who after being transported to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton, was adopted as a child by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Raised with the values of his adoptive parents, he feels alienated because of his unique super powers and struggles to find his own place in life. When the world is attacked, he becomes the hero named Superman to protect Earth and its people.”

The story in this film definitely was different. In comparison to the previous Superman films it is a lot more serious, realistic and modernized from the original source material. We get to see more of Krypton, learn Zod and his crew and have more for Superman do too. The film’s overall narrative works though it doesn’t always feel cohesive at points. This film finds a way to tells Clark’s story through flashbacks and for the most part it works, though sometimes it doesn’t work as effectively. In truth I found the first half of the film not as interesting as the second half, some points just felt like they dragged or didn’t properly connect, but eventually the film finds its feet and gets really cool especially towards the end.

Also for those who have seen Superman 1 & 2, you’ll notice the similarities to the previous films and how some of these story elements or characters have been updated/changed for this film. Some of it works a lot better in this film whereas some of it works in the classic films instead. I can’t go into spoilers so watch the film and then you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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When it comes to the characters of the film the cast do a great job of bringing these characters to life.

Let’s start with Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman/Kal-El (he has many names lol). Cavill shows that he has true star power as he gives us probably our best version of Superman. I like how this version of the character is conflicted, isolated and a little more serious and had a good sense of justice too. I guess my only nitpick would be that Cavill was a little too serious and wasn’t too jolly and that’s something I missed from the Reeve version of the character. Then there’s Amy Adams as Lois Lane, I like Adams as an actress and I thought she was good in the film, all I need to say really. Now to talk about Michael Shannon as General Zod. I really was looking forward to seeing Shannon in this film because I’m a massive fa of his and while he was good in the film, I guess he wasn’t as epic as I thought he’d be (believe me he can be even more intense than this.

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Russell Crowe as Jor-El was definitely different and had a more active role than Marlon Brando back in the old films, I did like this version of the character Crowe did it was cool. Also Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Jonathan and Martha Kent were awesome, I loved their portrayals of the characters, they were active in Clark’s life and offered some great advice and life lessons for him and I felt like this was the best version of the characters I’ve seen so far. Laurence Fishburne was as Perry White but I wish I’d seen much more of him. Antje Traue as Faora, one of Zod’s followers, she was pretty badass in the film but I didn’t really care for her character as much as Superman and Zod. And lastly Ayelet Zurer as Lara Lor-Van was lovely as Kal-El’s mother, she had a much more active role than the actress in the first film and I liked how this film made her feel a lot more relevant.

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When it comes to the presentation I can easily say that it’s the BEST aspect of the film. This film looks amazing, the cinematography is great, the look and style of the film was nice and the CGI was great. The visual feats crafted in this film was nothing short of amazing. This film finally gave us a film where Superman looks and feels like Superman. His powers were beastly and really came to life in this film in ways the previous films couldn’t do (like Superman’s laser eyes, they were perfect in this film). Plus we get to see Superman fight people IN ACTUAL COMBAT AND IT WAS BADASS. The scenes were intense, epic in scale and great to watch. As for the soundtrack, it was handled by the brilliant Hans Zimmer and I really liked it. Obviously it was a tough challenge to follow-up the iconic score and themes created by John Williams, but Zimmer does a great job at giving us some beautiful and dramatic that sometimes sounds similar to Inception on occasions too.

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In conclusion Man of Steel wasn’t a disappointment by any means, I guess I just expected more because of the critics who hyped this film up to the heavens. I had absurdly high expectations and I guess some of them weren’t met. That being said, Man of Steel is the definitely a good modernized and dramatic take on the classic character and its also most action-packed DC film I’ve seen for a while now. While I’ll probably have to see the film again before I can truly tell whether I love it or not, most people will fall in love with it straight away. Go check this film out, it’s finally a Superman film that works in the present realm of superhero films.

Rating: 7/10 (The most epic Superman film that’s come into existence)

So what did you think of Man of Steel? Did it met your expectations or were you let down? Do you agree with me or think I am mental for my score? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and I’ll see ya one the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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My Beef With Superman

Hello people of the north, south, east and west. Time for me to voice my opinion though my blog again and see what kind of response I’ll get haha. No but seriously this is a blog post I’ve been meaning to put up for a while now and I feel like now is the best time considering the fact that Man of Steel is just on the horizon.

Now as you may have seen on this blog I haven’t posted nearly as much Man of Steel news as I have for say Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy and so on. This not only because I am a Marvel fanboy but it is also because I don’t really care for Superman. In truth I just don’t like him all that much. Now before his legion of fans come to crucify me I feel the need to explain why I feel this way and clarify a few things.

Superman posing

You know it hasn’t always been this way, there was a point when I actually used to love Superman. Let’s rewind back to the 90s when I was a kid. Back then I used to be obsessed with the guy, I wouldn’t say it was as hardcore as Spider-Man or Batman, but I liked Superman because of all his fancy powers. Especially because he had one major advantage when it came to all other superheroes… He could fly. That has been and always be my favourite super power if I were to ever have one. I am obsessed with the concept of flight and Superman had that. That’s why I loved him as a kid.

I think my first experience of Superman was with the 1978 film and possibly a viewing of the sequel that I saw on TV a few times (both films I reviewed recently by the way). I guess they really captured my imagination. But I think it was the Superman: The Animated Series that I really started to dig Superman, I’ve always been a fan of good animated TV shows and this was a pretty cool one to accompany Batman: The Animated Series. Add to that I used to watch a lot of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (yes I admit it) even though it used focus more the relationship between Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane, it was still pretty nice and had a cool TV theme tune. And eventually with the Justice League cartoon series my interest in Superman continued into my teens.

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This series was the reason I was mainly interested in Superman in the first place.

Then of course Superman Returns came out in 2006 and it was meant to be the big awesome return of Superman in the cinema, but in the end it wasn’t exactly the big triumphant return that the filmmakers were hoping for. And I think it was in my late teens when I came to the realisation that Superman isn’t all that cool. Don’t get me wrong, he does have a hell of a lot of powers and he can fly, but it was just too powerful for my liking. He was basically a god with a small weakness in the form of Kryptonite. The more I thought about it the more I just started to think that he just wasn’t all that interesting, and when compared to a lot of superheroes on the Marvel side of things Superman was just too out there for me. Eventually I just stopped caring altogether.

So now we’re in 2013 and we have the release of Man of Steel, the next big Superman film from Warner Bros. and DC Comics. They’ve taken a good few liberties and made a much more realistic version of the character and I’m not sure how I’m feeling about this film. I am basically in two minds about it. Part of me really wants this film to be totally badass and really blow me away in a way that just no other comic book film has done before. But at the same time there’s a lot of changes to the source material and I’m really not a fan of the is dark, grounded, realistic approach that the Christopher Nolan Batman films have administered on some comic book films and their audience. Somewhere in the back of my mind I don’t want this film to succeed just so Warner Bros. and DC can fail and rework their strategy for the future films. I know that’s a cruel thing to say but hey I have some cruel tendencies.

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This film will seriously have to be the best thing ever in the history of life in order to impress me.

Anyways to conclude, Superman is a superhero I have lost a lot of love for and it kind of bugs me that people go on about him like he’s the best thing ever. I mean sure everyone has a right to their own opinions, but I don’t care for the guy and I’m waiting to find something that to convince me otherwise. Hopefully Man of Steel will be the film to sway my opinion.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Films, Media, Television

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Superman Returns

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #9 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. Now we’re gonna skip ahead by a few decades to 2006 with the last Superman film in the form of Superman Returns.

I remember seeing this film in the cinema back in 2006 and thinking it was really good, but I was 16 and very foolish and I think I was getting over the heartache that I got from X-Men 3 so this film sort eased the pain. But after repeat viewings over the years on TV, the film actually got worse and worse and I really started to hate it. So has that changed in 2013? Let’s have a look in this review shall we?

In terms of the plot well Superman Returns sort of tries to fit itself into the old Superman film continuity by including Superman 1 & 2 but ignoring films 3 and 4. In this film it tells the story of  Superman returning to Earth after a five-year absence. He finds that his love interest Lois Lane has moved on with her life, and that his arch-enemy Lex Luthor is plotting a scheme that will destroy the world, starting with the United States.

This film had some potential, I like the concept of Superman leaving and having to reestablish his connections with his family and friends, especially Lois Lane. The problem here is that execution of the story is a bit messy, since this film tries to fit into Superman 1 & 2 there’s a lot of inconsistencies and plot holes that arise that tamper with the overall story. Add to that Lex Luthor is attempting an evil scheme that’s very similar to what he did in the first Superman film. And speaking of the first Superman film, there are a lot of homages/references to the first two films to the point where its a little more annoying than it is necessary.

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Now let’s talk about the cast and let’s start with Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman. Routh certainly looked the part and looked nice as a modern version of the Christopher Reeve character, Routh was obviously an unknown actor at this time and this film made his career big in the future. I think he did okay as both Clark and Superman, however I wasn’t sure if he had the same level of screen presence that Reeve had back in the day. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane: A reporter who works with Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, and former lover of Superman. Also forget about Superman, Lois Lane is the invincible one. Did you see her in that plane sequence? She flew all over the place, getting smacked about and yet she was completely fine when Superman saved and landed the plane. And what about that bit in the sinking boat when she gets decked in the head by that heavy door? HER NECK SHOULD HAVE BEEN BROKEN OR SOMETHING. Yet she just gets knocked unconscious, so unnatural and unrealistic. I don’t understand.

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As for Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor he was honestly the best person in this film. I guess that’s a given because Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey after all, but yeah I loved his version of Lex, he’s still incredibly vain but is much more serious and makes for a much more interesting version of the character when compared to Gene Hackman. Also Parker Posey as Kitty Kowalski was okay as Lex Luthor’s henchwoman, she was pretty, the problem was that she was so annoying and high-pitched in her voice that I couldn’t stand it. And then there’s James Marsden as Richard White. I forget he’s the nephew of Perry White and fiancé to Lois Lane, to me he’s still Cyclops from X-Men just without his sunglasses. I basically don’t care about his character because he gets in the way of Superman and Lois romance.

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I also want to mention Frank Langella as Daily Planet editor Perry White, he was very good and had the same amount of charisma that  Jackie Cooper did back in the older films. Also Sam Huntington makes for a Jimmy Olsen and Tristan Lake Leabu as Jason White, the son of Lois Lane and Superman is just there. I’m not too keen on child actors and this kid is not really terrible nor is he amazing, he’s just there. And lastly from beyond the grave Marlon Brando reappears as Jor-El which is a nice reference to the past.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is pretty damn good, I mean when compared to the old Superman films it’s a hell of a better. This was the film that finally gave us a proper good-looking film with updated CGI, convincing fight sequences and nice action scenes. The two best scenes in the sequence when Superman saves the plane and when people are shooting Superman and that bullet hits eye and bounces off. Unfortunately these moments are few and far between and these are the best points in the film because the scenes of characters talking and developing the story aren’t all that interesting. As for the soundtrack by John Ottman is nice, Ottman’s rendition of the classic Superman theme by John Williams is faithful and sounds pretty epic, as for the rest of the soundtrack it works in places but it’s not one I’ll remember any time soon.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my knowledge of the Superman comics is pretty much non-existent, so again I can’t really answer this department.

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So to conclude Superman Returns is just a disappointing film especially since its coming from director Bryan Singer who gave us two good X-Men films prior to this. There was potential for this film to be brilliant and it had some nice ideas, but the execution was off, with numerous problems and plot holes this film just wasn’t the Superman film that fans were hoping for.

Rating: 6/10 (Oh this film just hurts me, disappointed is the word of the day)

So there’s my review people, only 21 more to go. So have you seen Superman Returns 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 9, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Superman 2

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #8/9 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. Technically I’m a day late so please forgive me, anyways now we’re gonna continue the old Superman film reviews with Superman 2.

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Now this is a film that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the whole way through or at all during my childhood. While watching it again recently bits and pieces I’m sure I recall from years ago but I just couldn’t remember anything in a cohesive manner. Anyways let’s review Superman 2 in the here and now.

In terms of the plot it picks up after the last film. After a lengthy set of recap scenes we move onto this film where three criminals from the planet Krypton are released from the Phantom Zone by a nuclear explosion in space. They descend upon Earth where they could finally rule. Superman, meanwhile, is in love with Lois Lane, who finds out who he really is. Lex Luthor escapes from prison and is determined to destroy Superman by joining forces with the three criminals.

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In truth the plot in this film is a little simpler than the last film and is easier to follow with a lot less inconsistencies due to random time-skips. One of the issues I had with Superman was that a lot of Superman’s childhood, teenage years and transformation into an adult was skipped over in a very messy fashion. In this film things are more straightforward, though there are a few questions that need answering in the form of plot holes and scenes that were probably cut in the theatrical release that’s probably available in the director’s cut version.

There’s also some really weird/random scenes in the film like this scene where Zod, Ursa and Nun and blowing wind into the turn and there’s a guy in a telephone box who’s talking to someone. The telephone box falls over and this man is on the ground and yet he continues to talk like nothing’s wrong. What the fuck was that about? So random. Also this is another thing I forgot to mention in the last film but I’ve noticed in two Superman films now where kids get told off or hit by their parents. In the first film a girl is hit by her mum after she tells her that Superman saved her cat and the second occasion was in this film where the boys who fell off Niagara Falls and is saved by Superman is then taken away by his mother in an angry fashion. Man, what is up with these abusive parents?

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman, Reeve is still just as good as ever, giving a great performance as the superhero and his human persona. Also Margot Kidder as Lois Lane was wonderful, I really feel like her character reached a new level in this film with a lot of dramatic and romantic elements going on with her character.

Now let’s talk about Terence Stamp as General Zod. I’d always heard about how iconic and epic this character was in this film and what I saw was not what I expected. Terence Stamp is a great actor and for the most part he’s pretty cool, he has great dialogue and doesn’t give a fuck about anyone as long as he’s ruling over people. Though for a villain he really does go a little overboard, the whole “kneel before Zod” thing is a bit extreme and turns into something funny rather than something intimidating. Then there’s Sarah Douglas as Ursa, firstly she was incredibly good-looking and totally hot. Outside of that Douglas was great as Zod’s second-in-command. And Jack O’Halloran as Non was great. While he was super strong he was also a beastly brute and had some great moments. but O’Halloran worked best in scenes of comedy where he got easily distracted or did childish things making his funny little grunting noises.

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As for Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor I feel like his performance was good though I feel like this film would have been better without his character. Every time he showed up I just wanted to see what was going on with Zod and his lot instead. Also one thing that amazed me was how perspective Lex Luthor was, he seemed to have an answer for everything, I know he’s supposed be smart but he seems to have too much knowledge.

And lastly it was good to see the return of Jackie Cooper, Marc McClure, Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine as Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, Otis and Eve Teschmacher.

Now let’s talk about the presentation. In truth it hasn’t changed that much since the last film, it’s around the same as the last film. Some of the flying sequences look like they were reused from the last film which I can understand why but I still consider it a bit lazy. As for the soundtrack, this time round it was handled by Ken Thorne with the themes by John Williams still being used and you can definitely tell. This soundtrack really lacks the impact and style that the Williams score had, straight from the beginning with the Superman theme sounding remarkably weaker. Though I do have to give him props from including the song “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band, its one of my favourite songs ever! 🙂

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well as I said before my knowledge about the Superman comics is just completely lacking so I can’t really answer this department.

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So to conclude Superman 2 is good film, however I don’t think it has the same kind of impact that the first film did. While this film certainly has good few elements that make it superior to the previous, its heavier emphasis on humour, the campy nature of the film and its numerous inconsistencies keep it from being better.

Rating: 7.5/10 (This film is good but is bogged by inconsistencies)

So there’s my review people, only 22 more to go. So have you seen Superman 2 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 9, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Superman

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #7 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. So with Man of Steel on the horizon we might as well start talking about the old Superman films so let’s go back to 1978 with Superman.

Okay now we’re really at the beginning. This film I’ve watched a few times since I was a kid and have always sort of had a sort spot for even though it was a lot older than most films that I watched in the 90s. But after watching it recently this is the first time I’ve gotten to watch it clearly from start to finish so I can remember everything. Anyways let’s talk about the plot.

So the plot in Superman involves Kal-El, an infant child that’s sent to Earth by his parents due to the impending destruction of his planet Krypton. On Earth Kal-El is found by an elderly couple and is raised under the name Clark Kent, eventually Clark learns of his abilities and how they must be used for good. After becoming an adult Clark becomes a reporter for the Daily Planet in Metropolis, though in moments of danger he wishes to his superhero state as Superman. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor, the world’s greatest criminal mind, is plotting the greatest real estate swindle of all time.

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When it comes to the cast they’re all very good. Let’s start with Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman. Simply point Reeve was awesome. While not as muscular as the comics, Reeve had the Clark Kent and Superman looks done to tee and he also had the acting talent to portray both characters too. Clark is such a pushover and is very clumsy and it kind of bothers me that it’s all an act when no one’s around, but when Kal-El is Superman he is heroic, brave and charismatic, I love it. As for Margot Kidder as Lois Lane she was great. While she sounded a bit strange when she screamed on occasion, Kidder was a lovely Lois Lane who ignored Clark but became completely infatuated with Superman. Kidder and Reeve have good screen time together and that flying sequence was nice too.

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Now let’s talk about Marlon Brando as Jor-El. Brando was pretty epic as Superman’s biological father, Jor-El seemed like a man of great knowledge and wisdom and he also cared for his son deeply and I liked Brando’s handling of the character. Okay let’s move onto the villain of the film in the shape of Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. Gene Hackman is one of the best actors ever and there’s not a film I haven’t liked him in yet and that holds true to this film as well. As Lex Luthor Hackman gives a great performance as this evil scientist who is self-obsessed, cruel and funny at the same time. Then there’s Ned Beatty as Otis, he was simply incredible as Lex Luthor’s bumbling henchman. He was the definition of stupid and Beatty played that role so well, I found him to be hilarious for the most part. And Valerie Perrine as Eve Teschmacher is good too. Besides looking incredibly hot, Perrine plays a character that doesn’t agree with Lex’s evil deeds but probably stays with him for the money.

And lastly I liked seeing Terence Stamp as General Zod, it was just nice to see that his character had relevance in this film and set up a precursor to the next film in the series.

Now let’s talk about the presentation. Firstly this film was made in the 1970s, this was the point before special effects had become the really big thing that was perfected the Star Wars films and then adopted by other films in the 1980s. So what we have here is a lot of chroma keying, models and wire work going into this, now depending on how old you are you’ll either appreciate the films effects for its time or just laugh and make fun of how old it is. For me I can say for its time Superman is good, a lot of the flying sequences are a bit make cringe a little bit but otherwise its all good. But what really stands out is the soundtrack by John Williams. This man is a GOD when it comes to scoring music for films and his themes for most film have gone on to be legendary throughout the years and his score for Superman is no different. The theme song alone is incredible, as soon as you hear it in the film you know what the deal is. The Superman theme is the definition of iconic and awesomeness. The rest of the score is epic, lovely and lends itself well to most situations and it also happens to have a few songs that sound very similar to the Star Wars films.

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And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well my knowledge of Superman came from the films and 90s animated TV show so I’m not overly sure. But I do know that the beginning is true in terms of Kal-El being sent away to Earth before the destruction of Krypton, then there’s Clark learning about his powers as a teenager, the whole fortress of solitude and Superman’s abilities. All of that seemed about right but again I’ve never read the Superman comics but as far as I know most of the comic book elements remain true obviously with some changes here and there.

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So to conclude, even though Superman has aged a great deal since its day, the film still has its heart in the right place and captures all key elements of what makes the character so iconic and popular. Sure its old but it is in a lot of ways a classic and it technically was the first mainstream film adapted from the comics that started the superhero genre. I know most people will probably forget this film and move straight towards Man of Steel but I’d say give this film a try, it is a classic for a reason.

Rating: 8/10 (Even though time has passed this film is still very good!)

So there’s my review people, only 23 more to go. So have you seen Superman 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 7, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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