Posts Tagged "Review"

I recently received a copy of Nick Cardy's The Artist at War, published by Titan Books in the UK.

For those unfamiliar, Cardy is a Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame inductee who produced iconic Silver Age cover art for DC comics’ titles such as Aquaman, Teen Titans, The Flash, World’s Finest, Superman, Detective Comics and Wonder Woman. After retiring from comics in the 70’s, Cardy moved to commercial art in the form of movie advertising, producing legendary one sheet posters for Apocalypse Now, Sonny Chiba’s The Street Fighter and a little film called STAR WARS!!

The book itself focuses on Nick’s Military career spanning 1943-1945 and collects his entire sketchbook entries along side commentary on the events he witnessed. Generally speaking World War II isn’t a subject I’m particularly fond of, but the lush watercolors and vivid pen and pencil illustrations really drew me in here. There’s some startlingly bleak wartime imagery depicted here within these pages and Nick’s style really does convey an aspect of the time and mood which is difficult to remain unaffected by. Relaxing moments of camaraderie whilst travelling between skirmishes are captured warmly, and scenes of battlefield horrors are portrayed with equal honesty. I enjoyed reading it a lot in all honesty as I found the sketchbook perspective really captivating and interesting. You really do get a sense of the journey Nick went on as a young soldier through his art and experiences.

The book itself is a 200mm X 302mm sturdy hardback edition with lovely gloss pages which present the art clearly for you to enjoy and absorb.

Available from Titan HERE, or Amazon HERE.

If you’d like to win a copy of the book, then simply reblog this post and I’ll select a winner in 7 days using a random generator site. I’ll ship worldwide so best of luck to those interested.

Update: Contest is over, winner has been notified. Thank you.

I just saw Transformers 3: DOTM and it’s a bad, dumb film, but an incredibly fucking awesome movie!! It felt like the weakest of the trilogy, story and script wise, but for mindless, insane visuals it rocked my eyeballs out the back of my head and left me smiling from ear to ear way more than the previous outings.

The action was off the charts compared to the other two, absolutely blew them away in seconds. It does lack the feeling of the first and the second to a degree, but visually it was an orgy of eye candy thats totally worth it. Go see only if you can leave all signs of your brain at the door, seriously, otherwise your wasting your money. If you can do that though, your in for a treat. 

Sentinel Prime by Josh Nizzi

The Green Mile was on TV last night and so, of course, I ended up watching the whole movie. God dammit it is such a good film, if it’s on I have to watch it until it’s over. The film literally gives you no other alternative. I absolutely love it, and yes I always cry,always. Again, no choice in the matter, it’s just gonna happen.

Of course, this also meant that like 3 hours of my evening are just gone. All other plans.., forget em, ain’t happening, you just have to give in to it’s power. So as a result of not going to sleep till around 4am this morning, all plans for today were also kinda out the window as well, leaving me zombified all of Sunday, which is fine.

Such a good film though. It also dawned on me that I watch Green Mile probably once a year without fail, in it’s entirety, without actually owning a copy of my own. I always seem to be in front of the tv at just the right time and it randomly comes on and my evening vanishes. Oh well, until next year Green Mile.

Minimalist Poster by Christian Frarey

Caught Super 8 last night and it was a great flick. To be honest though, it wasn’t brilliant. Too much lens flare and not enough clever storytelling were my main quibbles I guess. It captured the feel of all those old kids adventure movies such as Goonies and E.T. nicely, but something was lacking in my opinion. Plenty of nice tension throughout though so I was enthralled none the less. Don’t let the negatives out way the good either, it was a really good film which I enjoyed immensely in the moment. Afterwards though I just felt like there were only two characters and the rest, while good, didn’t really serve any point or meaning.

I lost the picture reference/artist for the above poster design so hit me up if you know and I’ll add it to the post.

So last night I saw THOR.

Thankfully, it kicked ass so lets get this review done.

Awesome flick folks, awesome. Not “Dark Knight” awesome, but definitely Spiderman and Iron Man awesome. Just a really good solid popcorn, comic book movie that delivers all the goods and leaves you smiling you ass off at the end. There’s solid direction, action, pacing, effects, humour, battles, all that good stuff you want, plus there’s a light hearted charm to the whole thing.

Chris Hemsworth was born to play Thor, and the same can be said about Tom Hiddlestone as Loki. It’s both these performances that make the film believable and enjoyable to a large extent. Hopkins, Portman, Denning, Skarsgard and Elba all do a nice job too. I could have used a little more Warriors Three and Lady Sif if I had too quibble something, but they do what they need too and they do it very well.

Expectedly, the plot is not complicated, but it’s not dumb either and there’s a lot going on in there as well. In fact, there’s far more going on in this film than I think we’ve seen in any other Marvel movie to date. It’s that which impressed me the most I think. They’ve managed to merged Asgardian fantasy lore and Science driven Earth together really well. The balance was perfect as it could have easily been kinda lame and stupid. Viking Gods, Ice Giants, flowing capes and magic hammers are not the easiest things to accept, but the two blended together comfortably and believably and it was that which won me over. 

See, here’s the thing, Marvel have now introduced another world and, in effect, alien Gods to the on screen universe they’ve been trying to create. Now that’s not an easy feat to pull off and thankfully, it works very well and I think they deserve props for that. DC have forever struggled with a way to converge Batman and Superman on screen, because that’s what were all waiting to see right? Well, Marvel can now deliver Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Cap all together and it’ll work effortlessly.

Go see Thor. It’s a flat out great fun flick. I could watch it a few more times yet and that’s always a good sign.

I seem to have watched a shit load of movies these last couple of days so I figured it’s about time I started sticking some reviews back up on this thing.
First up then, Insidious. 
On paper, Insidious should be a good film, and in it’s own way you could argue it is. For me though, there was a lot wrong with it. 
Essentially, the film is a scene for scene remake of Poltergeist so I’m not going to go into the plot too much. If you’ve seen Poltergeist, which I’m sure you have, it’s pretty much the same with one or two minor differences. You’ve got a house, a family, a medium, some ghosts and the ghosts take one of the kids and the family try to get him back.
So the first half of the film was actually pretty good. All standard stuff, but no major fuck ups…yet. There are a few little creepy scares and jumps as the spirits begin to fuck with the residents, but that’s about it. It’s all scene setting stuff to be honest, and it works well for what it is. The family dynamic is enforced and all the actors did a fine job in that respect.
Then something weird happens. A slapstick element is introduced. Now if you’ve just set up the foundation for scares and chills and then you bring in slapstick you kinda just ruined all your hard work. Mood is altered and the comedy is destined to fail. Plus, any subsequent scares after this fact are also ruined as you’ve shifted the mood too much by introducing bungling idiots into the mix in the form of 2 doofus paranormal investigators.
These two guys come in to house to gather evidence so the real medium can assess whether they have a real case or whether they’re just fakers. That in it’s self is kind of a useless premise. What makes it worse is that they are literally played for laughs, and not very good ones either. It’s like a three stoogies element is introduced, I’m not even kidding, and these two fuck wits just stumble around the property trying to capture evidence of ghosts. Furthermore, they come brandishing the most fake ass looking instruments you’ve ever seen. I watch ghost investigating shows on tv and most of them have little box recorders, hand held cameras, etc etc. Not these guys, oh no, they come packing steam punk like cameras with wires and valves all over the place, massive lighting stations and other unrealistic crap that ultimately does nothing. They shit their pants alot, run into walls, run into each other and generally go about ruining what looked like a half decent film. Totally unnecessarily and massively damaging to the authenticity the film makers were aiming for.
Next problem, for me anyway, comes when the actual expert arrives. Again, just like in Poltergeist, the medium is a middle aged, weird woman who informs the family that their lost son’s soul is actually trapped in the limbo dimension and one of them is going to have to go in and find him to lead him back home. Fair enough I though. I was actually kinda getting back into it at this point as I’d hoped we were going to get to see this other realm and the film was going to pick up again. In fact, I’d always kinda wondered about this sort of thing in Poltergeist when they go to get Carol-Ann back. We never really got to see what it was like where she was and it would have been cool too.
So they go in and what do they see… nothing. It’s basically just black empty space for the most part with the odd ghost aimlessly wandering around. Not very impressive at all and it’s here that the second weird thing occurs. The film makers choose to create this weird other world by using lighting, smoke and coloured filters over the cameras??? No cgi at all? I was puzzled. It was like they wanted it to look like it would in a stage production or something. That would work fine in a theatre to a point, but on screen in a cinema auditorium?? Errr no. Not scary, not mood inducing and certainly not tense. It was a bold move, I’ll give them that, but it fails as the mood of the film was already completely broken by unnecessary comedy attempts. The cinematography could have helped bring in some urgency or claustrophobic atmosphere, but it’s all pretty unremarkable and nothing spectacular.
I won’t ruin the ending because, like me, you’ll more than likely call it about 30mins before it happens. It’s blatantly obvious, and they don’t even try to pull a swerve ending to at least leave you some what impressed or satisfied.
It’s worth watching if your curious, but save your money and rent it if you must. If your very easily scared then I’m sure you’ll get what you came for, but if this isn’t your first horror film, it’s more drama/comedy to be honest, then it will probably fall flat for you as well.
I’m not hating, I’m just stating.

I seem to have watched a shit load of movies these last couple of days so I figured it’s about time I started sticking some reviews back up on this thing.

First up then, Insidious

On paper, Insidious should be a good film, and in it’s own way you could argue it is. For me though, there was a lot wrong with it. 

Essentially, the film is a scene for scene remake of Poltergeist so I’m not going to go into the plot too much. If you’ve seen Poltergeist, which I’m sure you have, it’s pretty much the same with one or two minor differences. You’ve got a house, a family, a medium, some ghosts and the ghosts take one of the kids and the family try to get him back.

So the first half of the film was actually pretty good. All standard stuff, but no major fuck ups…yet. There are a few little creepy scares and jumps as the spirits begin to fuck with the residents, but that’s about it. It’s all scene setting stuff to be honest, and it works well for what it is. The family dynamic is enforced and all the actors did a fine job in that respect.

Then something weird happens. A slapstick element is introduced. Now if you’ve just set up the foundation for scares and chills and then you bring in slapstick you kinda just ruined all your hard work. Mood is altered and the comedy is destined to fail. Plus, any subsequent scares after this fact are also ruined as you’ve shifted the mood too much by introducing bungling idiots into the mix in the form of 2 doofus paranormal investigators.

These two guys come in to house to gather evidence so the real medium can assess whether they have a real case or whether they’re just fakers. That in it’s self is kind of a useless premise. What makes it worse is that they are literally played for laughs, and not very good ones either. It’s like a three stoogies element is introduced, I’m not even kidding, and these two fuck wits just stumble around the property trying to capture evidence of ghosts. Furthermore, they come brandishing the most fake ass looking instruments you’ve ever seen. I watch ghost investigating shows on tv and most of them have little box recorders, hand held cameras, etc etc. Not these guys, oh no, they come packing steam punk like cameras with wires and valves all over the place, massive lighting stations and other unrealistic crap that ultimately does nothing. They shit their pants alot, run into walls, run into each other and generally go about ruining what looked like a half decent film. Totally unnecessarily and massively damaging to the authenticity the film makers were aiming for.

Next problem, for me anyway, comes when the actual expert arrives. Again, just like in Poltergeist, the medium is a middle aged, weird woman who informs the family that their lost son’s soul is actually trapped in the limbo dimension and one of them is going to have to go in and find him to lead him back home. Fair enough I though. I was actually kinda getting back into it at this point as I’d hoped we were going to get to see this other realm and the film was going to pick up again. In fact, I’d always kinda wondered about this sort of thing in Poltergeist when they go to get Carol-Ann back. We never really got to see what it was like where she was and it would have been cool too.

So they go in and what do they see… nothing. It’s basically just black empty space for the most part with the odd ghost aimlessly wandering around. Not very impressive at all and it’s here that the second weird thing occurs. The film makers choose to create this weird other world by using lighting, smoke and coloured filters over the cameras??? No cgi at all? I was puzzled. It was like they wanted it to look like it would in a stage production or something. That would work fine in a theatre to a point, but on screen in a cinema auditorium?? Errr no. Not scary, not mood inducing and certainly not tense. It was a bold move, I’ll give them that, but it fails as the mood of the film was already completely broken by unnecessary comedy attempts. The cinematography could have helped bring in some urgency or claustrophobic atmosphere, but it’s all pretty unremarkable and nothing spectacular.

I won’t ruin the ending because, like me, you’ll more than likely call it about 30mins before it happens. It’s blatantly obvious, and they don’t even try to pull a swerve ending to at least leave you some what impressed or satisfied.

It’s worth watching if your curious, but save your money and rent it if you must. If your very easily scared then I’m sure you’ll get what you came for, but if this isn’t your first horror film, it’s more drama/comedy to be honest, then it will probably fall flat for you as well.

I’m not hating, I’m just stating.

So last night I caught Battle: LA and it was a pretty dig-able movie much to my surprise. It was pretty military operations specific, but if you enjoy Call of Duty then this film is that plus aliens basically.

It was good. Wasn’t massively, overtly buff and tough like say Armageddon for example, but it wasn’t too heavy on the realism like say District 9 or Cloverfield either. Solid popcorn flare with some decent pacing, destruction and urgency.

Heroism was the main theme I guess, with some pretty awesome feats of courage, valour and self sacrifice featuring prominantly. Only they weren’t played out like big action sequences, they were played with a more human, realistic edge so they felt like they had more danger and meaning.

I wasn’t expecting much, but I found it quite engaging and it held my attention throughout. Although the scenario of a world invasion has been done to death at this point, the film brought a fresh enough perspective that I found something new in it to enjoy and kept me watching. Nothing amazingly awe inspiring however. The effects are felt minimal to help the integration of realism I guess which in a way was pretty cool. It kept the urgency up.

Basically, Earth gets invaded, military are deployed, they fight learning as they go. There was no big set up that lead into the film or the invaders, and there was no scientists working on a secret device or any of that usual stuff. This was more go in and try to kill them, whatever they are, and rescue anyone you can. Simple really.

It wasn’t hampered by gore or destruction either, but was focused more on the meaning and effects of the lives lost, not how brutal it was.

For me it worked. The soldiers were given enough time and scenes to establish their roles within the squad and the main characters were given back story’s and depth so you could relate to their motivations and choices. It had moments of tension and at times it had heart felt choices. If your in the mood, it’s definitely worth a viewing. Solid popcorn entertainment if that’s what your in the mood for.

Concept Art by Paul Gerrard

wabi-wa-sabi asked:

Sorry about that, when I like a film I go deep into why it rocked. When I don’t like something I tend to just skim it because I don’t like to talk negatively about something if I can help it. There’s way too much of that sort of thing in the world without me adding to it. I prefer to be positive about stuff rather than snark if I can help it.

As you asked though I’ll give you some of my thoughts on the flick. Firstly, the pacing was shot to hell if you ask me. Not necessarily landing that at Snyder’s door step either as I’m sure the studio had a hand in the edit. Everything kept stopping and starting all the time. Slow melodrama about dance, then crazy action, I use the term loosely btw, then back to grim reality without actually ever seeing this amazing dance she supposedly does. Only it wasn’t reality was it, haha, Snyder you trickster you. I felt like he was trying for an inception vibe with that whole reality within reality bit and it just wasn’t happening for me. I realise it’s her imagination, I just thought it was kinda unexplored and used as an excuse to have uber action sequences for no reason.

Next, the action. Again it felt totally disjointed. The samurai enemy’s at the start were insanely fast, yet Baby just seemed to dodge em and fall about really slowly to begin with. It felt like no way would she have been able to dodge those attacks with the speed she was moving at. Maybe there was some deeper meaning to her getting kicked around at the start but I missed it. I had similar gripes about the other action sequences as well to be honest. The steam nazi’s bit in the trenches was a bit by the numbers and I just didn’t feel any of that whole sequence. Same goes for the bady dragon slaying, huh why? The only action bit I really enjoyed was the train carrage robot fight. Granted, there was some nice camera work, cgi and general fancy shit going on in that bit and I enjoyed those few fleeting moments quite a bit. However, there was nothing really new that I hadn’t seen in Chinese or Japanese scifi/kung fu films 10 years ago. Off the top of my head, I don’t know maybe look up The Returner or Fong Sai Yuk 2 for example. All been done before.

The actors, ok well here’s my beef. They were given zero characterisation. They could have been anyone and it would have made no real difference at all. There was very little dialogue in the whole movie and nothing to explain any of the other girl’s motivations or origins for being in the asylum. It just seemed like they could have been played by any actor, male or female, and it wouldn’t have mattered at all.

The guy running the place, was just totally weedy and not at all domineering and the doctor’s terrible accent, was it Russian or something? Anyway, it was horrible and basically wasn’t really necessary either at the end of the day. All that was just too much for me to let slide and just took me out of the moment constantly.

School girl uniform? Why? All seemed like too much style not enough of anything else.

I watched the movie with my girlfriend and although she liked the soundtrack a lot it wasn’t enough for her to enjoy the sequences it was used in either.

Don’t get me wrong either, I’ve loved some of Snyder’s past works 300 and Watchmen especially but this was well below par. Same goes for some of the films style references as well. Big Fan of Alex Pardee’s stuff and Aaron Sim’s concepts, check my tumble for previous posts showing off some of the Sucker Punch Concept art, but it just didn;t work on screen for me.

I gotta go to bed so I’m sorry if this seems a bit rushed or a little vague. I could go on and on, but I’ve said enough for this evening. I hope we can agree to disagree any way and that your cool with with my thought’s. Sorry if I pissed you off or anything and I’m glad if you liked it, but I felt it was horrible.

Thanks for dropping me a message though, always happy to help. Maybe you could explain what you enjoyed about it so I can maybe have a difference perspective to contemplate.

Oh God, I just watched Sucker Punch and now I’m blind. Not by awesomeness though, oh no. No, I’m blind because Zach Snyder just took a massive shit on my face and I think I caught that disease that makes you eyesight permanently disappear. MEDIC!!

Thanks a lot doofus, you pretty much made me hate every awesome concept that exists. Girls, ninjas, guns, awesome action, fast stuff, slow stuff, wicked cool visuals, katanna blades, robots, steam powdered nazi’s, orcs, super powers, explosions, way to go you just destroyed everything I based my being on.

Aptly named movie though, cos now I’m a sucker and I just got punched in the balls. 

Just got done watching “The Warrior’s Way”. I was totally bracing myself for it too suck big time, but you know what, it actually kinda rocked hard. Total guilty pleasure, but there was some quality film making going on in this flick. Great action, but surprisingly a great little story and some decent acting too. I was expecting dumbed down drivel, but I got old school sword play blended with new school tech. 

It got my vote anyway, check it out if your in the mood for cowboys versus ninjas plus a cute baby. Always a winner.

Girls by Joshua Luna.

If you’ve never read anything by the Luna Brothers, please fix that asap and pick up a trade paperback or something. Amazing body of work seriously.

My advice would be to start with The Sword, then onto Girls then maybe Ultra. All are fantastic and destined for screen adaptations I’m sure.

Fight of The Fallen by Daniel Conway. Beautiful concept art for a troubled game.

Bionic Commando was a total guilty pleasure for me when I played it on PS3. The first 3 or 4 levels are a dire mess of junk and virtually unplayable. However, once you’ve braved past those and your annoyance leveles have returned to normal the rest of the game is magnificent and a hell of a lot of fun. I picked it up brand new from HMV for £3 I think so it was an absolute bargain and I still have it.

There are some fantastic free roaming moments which have you swinging from ruined skyscrapers before landing in desolate cityscapes that are simply breathtaking. Plus, there are one or two moments where the vistas on display, coupled with the soothingly atmospheric tunes, really invoked moments of tranquillity and delight in me. Not something you usually expect from an action game.

As I say, most reviewers destroyed this game as it starts so horribly. Poor design, an awful buggy camera and just straight up dumb annoying game play are all present to start. Once your past that though the game’s stunning and by no means is it an easy breeze through either. It is however, very satisfing.

I recommend it whole heartedly. Have patience and perceiver, your efforts are rewarded greatly and you’ll be delighted you did. I was.

Still not sold? Take a look at the art source link and you’ll find location concept art as well. These locations are present in the game and recreated perfectly for your heroic interaction.

I’ve still yet to start my GANTZ review. I fully intend to, but since I saw the movie I was inspired to read all the manga up to date which I now have. It’s pretty complex stuff, kinda twisted too, but so so wicked. I’ll try and dirge something out a.s.a.p.

I watched Tron Legacy last night and I enjoyed it, despite all the negativity which people have heaped on to it. Firstly, it didn’t blow my mind or anything, but there were moments that certainly blew parts of my mind enough that I though, wow that’s cool. I found all the players engaging enough and some of the action or game sequences were simply awesome.
So why the hate people? I don’t get it. Was the trailer just too much awesome that hearts were hyped on it being a game changing flick? The visuals were certainly up to par. The film has it’s faults for sure, cgi Clu for one, but it didn’t effect my enjoyment one bit. I could see what they were trying to do, and sure it fell a little at times, but it was still kinda cool.
Have people just simply forgotten how to enjoy an straight up popcorn flick because our collected geek values have been raised to new levels? Perhaps.
I enjoyed it anyway. I’d be up for watching it again as well at some point, I probably won’t buy it just yet, but I’ll definitely seee it again at some point.  

I watched Tron Legacy last night and I enjoyed it, despite all the negativity which people have heaped on to it. Firstly, it didn’t blow my mind or anything, but there were moments that certainly blew parts of my mind enough that I though, wow that’s cool. I found all the players engaging enough and some of the action or game sequences were simply awesome.

So why the hate people? I don’t get it. Was the trailer just too much awesome that hearts were hyped on it being a game changing flick? The visuals were certainly up to par. The film has it’s faults for sure, cgi Clu for one, but it didn’t effect my enjoyment one bit. I could see what they were trying to do, and sure it fell a little at times, but it was still kinda cool.

Have people just simply forgotten how to enjoy an straight up popcorn flick because our collected geek values have been raised to new levels? Perhaps.

I enjoyed it anyway. I’d be up for watching it again as well at some point, I probably won’t buy it just yet, but I’ll definitely seee it again at some point.