Tag Archives: Comics

Venom, American movie (2018)

I think it’s a safe bet to say that even if you don’t like comic books, everyone has probably heard of the name Spiderman. One of the most popular comic book characters ever created, he has been webslinging his way throughout hundreds of comics as far back as 1962. Every superhero of course also needs some foes to fight, and Spiderman is definitely not an exception to that rule. Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Vulture are just a few of the names that our friendly neighbourhood spider has had to face over the years. However, there will always be an enemy that is just a little bit more memorable than all of the others combined. And for Spiderman that foe was introduced way back in 1988: Venom. This horrific looking character became an instant fan favorite, and fans were overjoyed to hear that he would be making an appearance in the Spiderman 3 movie from 2007 starring Tobey Maguire. Sadly the movie wasn’t very good and Venom himself was woefully underused. Okay, enough with the history lessons. This year Venom has finally gotten his own movie, weirdly enough with his nemesis Spiderman being absent. So can a movie like this work like that? Well, the short answer is: yes, it most certainly can.

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Sometimes you just need to have a civilised talk to work things out.

Eddie Brock is an investigative journalist that seems to have it made. He is soon to marry the love of his life Anne Weying, and he has a job that seems to be going very well for him. As is usally the case when things go well, it’s all about to come crashing down on him. The Life Foundation, a bio-engineering corporation that Anne works for, has been conducting experiments with something they have found in outer space. It’s CEO, a man named Carlton Drake seems to be a very benovelent man, but this is all a front. Eddie has become very suspicious of him especially when he is approached by one of the employees of the company, Dora Skirth. She tells Eddie about the experiments that have been going on and helps him enter the building one evening to find proof. However, while investigating, the hapless journalist inadvertently becomes infected by a parasitic lifeform. Not just any lifeform though, but one that gives him powers that have never before been seen on Earth. It has yet to be determined if the entity that calls itself Venom is a friend or a foe though. Meanwhile Carlton Drake will stop at nothing to get his lifeform back, no matter who will die in the process….

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This is exactly the reason why you should always wait for your turn at the counter.

I’m seriously beginning to hate the critics these days. This movie has been torn to shreds by pretty much every single one of them and I have to wonder if some of them have even seen the movie. I said it quite recently in a review for Skyscraper I think that in general the critics have made it a sport to trash films that only offer fun. The problem is though that when people start to read those “reviews” their mindset is already influenced and some might even avoid going to the film altogether. Which would be a real shame as Venom is simply put a really fun film.While it’s certainly not perfect, it doesn’t deserve all the bashing that is currently directed at it by the so called experts. Eddie Brock is played by one of my favorite actors from the current era, Tom Hardy. He is a man who can pretty much handle every role they throw at him. In this film, he plays a character that is a bit of a loser for lack of a better word, but still comes out on top by becoming a (anti-) hero. I wouldn’t say it’s his best performance if I’m honest, but still he looks like he had a lot of fun in playing the role.

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Honestly he really is a nice guy once you get to know him.

But besides playing the role of Eddie, he also performs the voice of the alien symbiote Venom. The scenes where he is having discussions with himself and his alien alter ego provided some of the funniest moments in this movie. I love it when Venom just wants to go all out and eat people, but Brock tries to reason with this monster. It was surprising to me that this film contained a lot of (dark) humor. I honestly did not expect to find that in this movie, but it really worked. The rest of the actors in this film just simply don’t have very memorable parts. Michelle Williams who is always an accomplished actress plays the love interest of Eddie. But her role was to small for her to be able to really shine. The relatively unknown actor Riz Ahmed was cast as the villain Carlton Drake but I honestly didn’t find his role very impressive. It was too flat to really have that evil edge so to speak. Then again that also could have something to do with the script which wasn’t one of the strongest ones I have seen in these type of films.

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Talk to the hand…..

However the action and CGI sequences more than made up for this. When you first see the full Venom suit make an appearance it is really an extraordinary sight. It serves as a welcome reminder to see how much computer generated special effects have really progressed. The film was a bit slow in the first half hour or so, but then kicks into full gear, and I really found myself entertained for most of it’s runtime. Another complaint I have heard a number of times is that this movie didn’t get an R-rating. Granted Venom’s character certainly is violent, and the film had most of that violence shown off screen, but that didn’t mean that the movie was any worse because of that. So in the end Venom is another example of how the critics again rather unfairly treated this film as total garbage. It’s not the best superhero movie ever made, nor is it perfect, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable film that’s well worth seeing in the theatres. In other words, don’t always believe everything people write (including this post). Just go and see it with an open mind, and form your own opinion on it. You might be very surprised…

I give Venom a 8 out of 10 score.

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Suicide Squad, American movie (2016)

I don’t think that I am the only one when I say that I sometimes like a good bad guy even more than a hero. And if I am the only one that says that, well then I guess I must be weirder than I thought. Anyways all crazyness aside, I just love a good villain. And in comics we certainly have a host of those. Even better, we don’t just call them villains, some we even call SUPER-villains. But are all of these so called bad guys, really bad? While some certainly are pure evil and have no real redeeming qualities, there are also those that have a moral code that we might even identify with. Let’s also not forget those that are, pardon my french, just bat shit crazy. As I tend to sometimes be a little bit crazy myself, I usually enjoy those the most. So, at some point someone thought it would be a good idea to make a comic that teams up some of the major bad hombres in the DC comics universe and let them save the world. In the history of terrible ideas, that one really seems to be at the number one spot right? Well…no. Because it worked and of course it’s no surprise that at some point a movie was made too.

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I could make a really bad caption here, but I guess I’d better not.

Suicide Squad takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. The world is left without it’s greatest hero, and humans try to do what humans do best: they try to find a suitable replacement. Because really what if the next Superman/woman, turns out to be not such a benevolent being? Intelligence officer Amanda Waller has an idea that at first seems totally nuts, but might just be the key to protecting the Earth from new threats. Codenamed Task Force X, it’s a team comprised of some of the worst criminals that are contained in the Belle Reve Special Security Barracks. Chief amongst these are hitman Floyd Lawton also known as Deadshot and the totally insane Harley Quinn. But of course it wil not really come as a surprise that they are not jumping at a chance to become heroes. Nonetheless when an ancient threat appears in the form of the evil witch known as the Enchantress, the team is sent on it’s first mission. A mission where the stakes are very high. How high you say? Well how about the continued survival of the entire human race?

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I’ve been thinking of dying my hair green as well. It seems to be all the rage these days.

This movie is already almost two years old, and I have only just seen it. Yup. I know, that is just crazy, really what am I doing with my life. Okay enough jokers, erm jokes. Let’s dive into my thoughts on this film. It’s hard not to compare a movie like this to The Avengers. The only difference being that in this film we don’t have superheroes teaming up, but a bunch of bad guys. That we don’t know much about. And that is one of the biggest problems this movie has. When the first Avengers film came out, we already were introduced to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Here though, we get  a bunch of characters that people who like comics might certainly be familiar with. But the regular audience probably doesn’t know much about them. And they are thrown at you with an incredible speed in the beginning of the film. That in itself would not necessarily be a bad thing. But some just had too little back story to really form an attachment to them. Sure, they look cool, but still it wouldn’t have hurt to maybe find out a little bit more about them.

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Why are you looking at me like that girl?

Luckily though, there are two characters that really carry the movie. It has to be said, Will Smith playing Deadshot does a phenomenal job with this role. He really steps up to the plate in bringing to life a character that is supposedly evil, but honestly really isn’t. It’s one of those truly anti-hero type of characters, who does everything for his daughter, and that you just want to see come out on top. And then there is Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. She is absolutely amazing. Harley is portrayed as a seductive, sexy, complete whackjob of a woman. However she is probably the most human character out of this entire ensemble. Her love for the Joker (In this film played by a criminally underused Jared Leto), drives her forward. Don’t underestimate her though, because she is lethal as hell as she shows in many of the films most badass scenes. The rest of the squad is comprised out of a lot of cool characters that I would loved to have getten to know better, but alas, that was not to be.

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Yep…she is looking at you. Best not look back, that might not end well for ya.

Suicide Squad doesn’t really feel like a movie to me. It has some great ideas, and there are definitely a couple of scenes that were fun to see, but it just almost felt like I was watching a bunch of clips woven together. The storyline, such as it is, is just really thin. We have a threat that just doesn’t feel like much of one, simply because it lacks enough background to really feel dangerous. The film is mostly comprised of a two hour long, cgi filled, shoot-em up. The saving grace of this movie really are the terrific performances by Smith and Robbie. Those two alone make the movie still worthwhile to watch. This film really could have been gold. It has a great premise, with a bunch of fun characters, but it ultimately falls short. So, once again DC unfortunately fails to really go to war with their biggest rival Marvel. But then again, who is keeping score anyway. Ultimately, it’s still a movie worth seeing at least once. Just don’t expect to see anything earthshattering here.

I give Suicide Squad a 6 out of 10 score.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, American movie (2018)

One of my favorite parts of going to a movie theatre, besides eating snacks, is the previews. It’s always exciting to see new and interesting trailers for movies that will be coming out later in the year. However these days, trailers have changed a lot from what they were years ago. While the main purpose of one is of course getting you excited for an upcoming film, nowadays I think that trailers quite often just give away too much. Sometimes whole plotpoints are revealed, and at times this certainly make me regret looking at one in the first place. Now I know what you are going to say: Why watch them then? I think that is a very good question. A good trailer for me, is one that shows you scenes to give you enough of a tease to look forward to a film, while at the same time holding back enough to not ruin the movie itself. It’s an art that not every one seems to have mastered. So why bring this up right now? Well, I will answer that with another question. What if a trailer shows you the entire film in a little over two minutes? Don’t think that can be done? Think again!

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Wait….wasn’t this movie called Ant-man? This looks more like Giant-man!

With all the succes Marvel has had it gave the studio free rein to experiment with characters that are not as well known to the moviegoing audience. Three years ago we got Ant-man, a film that I went to the theatres for with little to no expectations. It ended up being a very nice and lighthearted film, with a lot of humor, some great special effects and a terrific lead in the form of Paul Rudd who played the role of Scott Lang. After this year’s incredible Avengers Infinity War movie (yes I know I still haven’t written a review for that one yet lol), the question on everybody’s mind was: where was Ant-man? Erm, well on some people’s minds anyway. Ant-man and the Wasp answers that question, at least sort of. In any case, we again meet up with Scott Lang, who has been under house arrest and is very close to the end of his sentence. He is trying to be a better father for his daughter, and it seems he is succeeding on that part.

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That’s more like it. Was getting confused there for a second!

But of course eventually, as it always does, bad stuff starts to happen again. His former love interest Hope, has been trying to find a way together with her father to bring back her mother who disappeared into the quantum realm several years ago. But wait, wasn’t she supposed to be dead? Well…yes, but after having Scott return from that place where nobody is supposed to return from, it gave Hope some much needed erm…hope. Of course, our favorite mini sized hero eventually gets dragged into this, and just in time as well, as a new player appears on the scene in the form of Ghost. While in the middle of a deal for trying to obtain an important piece of technology in order to gain access to the quantum realm, Hope gets attacked by this mysterious figure. Just who is Ghost, and what is he or she trying to accomplish? Whatever it might be, it seems to tie in directly to Hope’s mother…

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Is it just me, or does this seem like a character that looks like it walked away out of an anime?

Now, I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned the fact that a full movie can be shown in a trailer. Antman and the Wasp’s trailer accomplished it. There was nothing, and I really mean nothing, in this movie that was a surprise. The trailer really shows you everything, and there wasn’t a single scene in the film that showed me something that I wasn’t expecting. I really thought this was maybe just me, but a friend of mine who had also seen the movie, said the exact same thing. And even well known You Tuber Tyrone Magnus (If you don’t know him yet, go check him out. He has over 1.2 million subscribers, and is totally awesome), made a video review pointing this out. Now I don’t exactly know what this says about the movie itself though. Sure the trailer maybe showed too much, but thinking back on it, I don’t know how they could have done it in any other way. As really there wasn’t anything else worth showing to tease the movie going audience into seeing this film.

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I guess they both smell really bad as they both have masks on. 

Does this mean that this is a bad film though? Well….for one thing this is a comedy movie. And as many of you know I’m not a fan of those. Where the first movie really had some delightful comedic moments, it also had a serious edge to it, and the comedy served simply to lighten the mood. Here it was the other way around: it was full on comedy mode, with jokes that sometimes worked, but also a lot of times fell flat. Without spoiling too much, the humor also felt out of place especially when you find out the nature of this film’s villain. And to be honest, that “villain” wasn’t the best we have seen in a Marvel movie. After all the darkness of Infinity War I can understand that Marvel wanted something lighter to follow in the wake of that movie. But I don’t know if this film completely succeeded at that. But it has to be said, it really isn’t a bad movie, as there is also enough to enjoy.

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I’m as shocked as you are about the final score: Are you crazy?!

Paul Rudd certainly once again serves up the magic as he really brings to life his character in the best way possible. He really does a great job to show he is a father who would do anything for his daughter, and his on screen chemistry with Evangeline Lily who plays Hope aka the Wasp, is also a delight to see. Michael Douglas is always a solid actor, and I really liked the way he evolved his character of Hank Pym into a more symphatetic and likeable one. Criminally underused was actress Michelle Pfeiffer who just had a very small part in the film. I really would have loved to see more of this incredible actress, but sadly that was not to be. Oh well…there is probably always the inevitable sequel. The action scenes and special effects were great, but there certainly weren’t many of them. This is a small movie for Marvel standards, and one that seems befitting to the size of it’s main character. Overall, I was disappointed by this one. But it could be I was just expecting too much or the trailer just ruined it for me. While I was still entertained by the film, it had just too little to offer to make this one of the better Marvel films. If you like comedies, you can add another point to the overall rating below.

I give Ant-man and the Wasp a 6 out of 10 score.

He-man and the Masters of the Universe: Mini Comic Collection (2015)

I grew up in the 80’s and for me that was a time that I remember fondly for two things: saturday morning cartoons, and the wonderful toys that these cartoons got their inspiration from. When I was a kid I used to get up at about 7 o’clock in the morning on saturday, turn on the tv to Sky Channel and there it was: the program that set my young eyes alight: Fun Factory. For the first two hours or so, Fun Factory was okayish. But things became really interesting when the “big three” came on: M.A.S.K., He-man and Transformers. Ahhh..to think back on those days, even though they are so many years ago (jeezzzzz I really AM getting old), just brings a smile to my face. When you look at the cartoons from this era and compare them to the golden oldies from the 80’s one can only say that they just don’t make them like they used too. I was and still am a huge Transformers fan (like many kids back in those days). But one of the biggest rivals of Transformers, a dude with a big sword called He-man, honestly failed to impress me. I never bought a He-man toy, and I really did not enjoy the cartoon as much.

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This is a pretty big book alright.

Now, thirty years later, I came into posession of the complete series of He-man and the Masters of the Universe on dvd. And…I am loving it. For some reason I have found a new appreciation of the cartoon, but that is a story for another day. As is most often the case when I all of a sudden have a new obsession, I want to find out more about it. And that brings me to this incredible tome that was released a few years back by Dark Horse comics. He-man and the Masters of the Universe Mini Comic Collection reproduces the comics that came with the toys. Well as I was never interested in the toys in the first place I did not even know of the existence of these comics until I read about this book. The first thing you will notice is how thick this book is (and for that matter how much it weighs). With a massive 1232 pages it will take you a while to get through it all. So what exactly does this book offer you?

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Gotta love that retro comic book style.

This being a comic collection it will not come as a huge surprise when I tell you this humongous book contains comics, and a lot of them. Nearly 70 comics in total are collected here, ranging from the orginal 1982 toylines of He-man and his sister She-ra to a shortlived comic run that should have served as a revival for the series but never quite took off. Besides the comics themselves it also contains a wealth of background info on the series,  which includes interviews with some of the writers and pencilers that created these works of art. And I do mean art. As you might have noticed from a couple of the shots I have included in this post, there was some major talent involved when you like at the drawings alone. I love the oldschool style of some of these comics, and for anyone who grew up with comics in the 80’s it’s hard to not smile at the nostalgic feel of it all. At the start of this run, you could hardly speak of comics as they were more stories that were accompanied by pictures. Later the series evolved and became more traditional looking comics.

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The early comics could not really be called comics in the traditional sense of the word.

The art is good, but how are the stories themselves? Well, they range from totally awesome to downright sucky, if you will pardon my French. But overall though most of the comics are pretty cool. It’s classic good vs evil type of storytelling where He-man fights against his nemesis the evil lord Skeletor and his henchmen. A fun fact to know is that one of the comics was written by Robert Kirkman. If that name doesn’t ring a bell he is the creator of a little known comicbook/tv series called The Walking Dead. This being a kid show, are these comics any fun to read when you are an adult? Well, quite frankly yes. He-man always has been a series that targeted an audience of 12 years and older (and ofcourse younger children still watched it anyway because it was cool to do so), and as such some of the stories and comics depict some pretty gruesome creatures and situations. In fact one of the covers of these comics caused quite a big disturbance at the time of it’s release because it was very brutal and had parents all over the world in uproar.

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Gee, I wonder why parents got upset by this cover?

This book is absolutely amazing. If you have a warm heart towards 80’s cartoons, or a love for oldschool type comics, this is a collection that you just have to pick up. It isn’t even a very expensive book, and for the amount of stuff it contains it is well worth the price. It gives a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of these mini-comics and the amount of work that went into creating these. Even if you have never heard of He-man it’s worth checking it out, especially if you like fantasy type storytelling combined with some of the best art possible. Even though not all of the comics are of the same quality, you will get enough of a kick out of these to make you enjoy it, and forget about some of the lesser comics. In other words go and relive your childhood if you grew up with these cartoons, and buy this book. I promise you, you will not regret it. By the power of Grayskull: I HAVE THE POWERRRRRR!!!!!!

I give He-man the Masters of the Universe mini comic collection a 9 out of 10 score.

Deadpool, American movie (2016) : A special Valentine’s Day movie review (sort of…)

Today it’s Valentine’s Day. You know that special day where you are doing extra sweet things for the one you love, making him or her feel extra warm and fuzzy inside. Where you go out for that romantic boatride, that lovely candle light dinner or that extra cuddle. In short it’s the day that is filled with romance. Yes people I am a romantic guy at heart. But for us singles it’s that one day that comes back every year and makes that feeling of still being alone extra tough. (Yes, let’s hear those sad violins now). Seriously people, don’t feel bad for me or show any kind of pity. It’s all right. I’m happy for everyone that is lucky enough to spent this day with their soulmate. So what better way for me to bring that feeling of romance right to you, by giving you this special Valentine’s Day review. And it just can’t get any more romantic than this. What we have here is a movie that is about a man who will do anything for the woman he loves. Including slicing and dicing up people that stand in his way when he wants to achieve that goal. Erm….yes this is a romance movie, I guarantee it.

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Awww….reading a love letter. See, I told you this was a romantic movie.

Meet Wade Wilson. He is a dishonarably discharged ex-special forces operative that now works in New York as a mercenary. But then it happens. He meets the escort Vanessa, and sparks begin to fly. Romance blossoms, clothes come off and go flying in all kinds of different directions, and generally it seems like they are a match made in heaven. But just when they are about to tie the knot, tragedy strikes. Wade gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, and their lives are turned upside down. Eventually Wilson decides he doesn’t want to expose Vanessa to see him slowly dying, and leaves. When a mysterious recruiter approaches him and tells him there might be a way to cure his disease, Wade is at first very skeptical. But in the end he relents, especially as this might be a chance for him to be with his true love again. He meets up with a man named Ajax, who has an experimental serum that can awaken latent mutant genes. But there is a catch to this. In order to make it work, Wade has to undergo truly horrible and very sadistic forms of torture.

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Oh yeah. There are X-men in this film too. Here’s one that’s out walking his poo(d)l(e).

Every day it becomes worse, but eventually while nearly getting asphyxiated, an incredible healing power is activated. Now he is able to cure any kind of wound, even loss of limbs. It leaves him horribly disfigured however and almost completely unrecognisable. Now, Wade is out for revenge, and wants to get back at the man who did all this to him. And thus Deadpool is born, the “Merc with a mouth”. Wade’s only mission is to find a way to reverse the process, and get back to Vanessa. But this is easier said than done, especially as the man known as Ajax is not only hard to catch, but also has his own plans for Deadpool. And those plans are to completely destroy him, no questions asked…..Yes people, this may sound like it’s just another superhero movie. But I can assure you that it’s not. It’s so much more. Deadpool is absolutely freaking hilarious. It is a brutal R-rated movie that has more F-bombs in it than one might hear in a single week. But oh my god is this movie a lot of fun.

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This is one of those staring contests. The one who laughs first gets to punch the other.

One only has to take a look at the marketing campaign for this movie before it came out to see how different this one is. The movie banner that is above this post, made it look like a Valentine’s movie, and just the perfect love story to enjoy with your loved one on that special day. And I imagine that a lot of people even fell for it. To tell you the truth though, it really is a romance story at it’s core. Deadpool even says so in the beginning of the film. (But then later he changes his mind by saying it’s a horror). Wade’s love for Vanessa is real, and their relationship is definitely at the heart of this film. But that’s where it pretty much stops. This movie really deserves it’s R-rating. Body parts that go flying all over the place, blood, gore, nudity, foul language, it’s all included in here for your viewing pleasure. And I do say pleasure, because everything is just so completely over the top, that it’s pretty much impossible not to laugh at this. It completely rewrites the superhero genre, and gives us an anti-superhero by making Deadpool one of the most hilarious comic book characters ever created.

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This guy has terrible bed side manners.

All credits for this have to go to actor Ryan Reynolds. He already played the character once before in the first X-men origins movie: Wolverine. That however was a completely different take on the character, and could not be more dissimilar from what we see in this film. Ryan lives and breathes this character. His often completely crazy one liners, lewd comments and even moments when he talks to us as a movie audience are worth it alone to see this film for. But on the action front it’s a joy to watch as well. Gory fight sequences, gunbattles and chase scenes are all executed to perfection. The film did not even have a very huge budget, but they made it look as if it did. So was there anything negative to report about this film? Well honestly, I don’t know. Not every joke works I guess, but that is something that is very common to comedy. That’s always personal. But other than that, I would have to go do some nitpicking which I am not going to do.

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Pop goes the Deadpool.

Deadpool is a film that is so unique in the superhero genre, that it just simply doesn’t feel like a superhero movie. If you are easily offended by cursing or gore, than I guess you had best not watch this. But if you don’t mind that, this is a film that is just a hilarious rollercoaster ride from start to finish. And of course a perfect film to watch on Valentine’s Day. And I say: why not? It always seems that it is automatically assumed that every girl loves chickflicks or cheesy romance films. And before you start accusing me,  of course there is nothing wrong with that (remember you are talking to the guy who watched Titanic nine times in the cinema). But if you like to see a different and quite hilarious take on a romantic film, this is the one you want to check out. For all of you that are in love, I wish you a heartfelt beautiful Valentine’s Day. And for all of you that are single, hey…don’t give up. True love can be found everywhere….just ask Deadpool.

I give Deadpool a 9 out of 10 score.

 

Special Features Presents: Happy New Year & Blogging Resolutions

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first post of the new year. I wish each and every one of you that is reading this, especially all of you that are following my blog, a very happy new year. Last year was a rough year for a lot of people, and I truly hope that 2018 is going to bring only good and warm things for all of you and your loved ones. And of course a new year brings the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. Well, I know a lot of people make these, but I never quite believed in them. So, I thought that this year I would call them Blogging Resolutions, as I will be spending a lot of time this year on my blog and all of your blogs as well. But let’s translate this into what this post is actually about: pretty much all the things you can look forward to (or at least I hope you will be looking forward to it lol), on my blog in this year. As I mentioned in my final post last year, I want to bring a bit more structure into my blog.

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Yup….a bit more structure can definitely be good at times 😅

That doesn’t mean I am going to be focussing on only one thing. This is still a multi-topic blog and that won’t change. What I do plan on doing is at least cover every main theme of my blog (Movies, Anime, Books, TV-series and Korean Dramaseries) with at least one post each month. In that way everyone should at least get coverage of one of the things they like viewing/reading the most. That said I also plan on having theme months. Which means that each month I will be focussing on one topic of my blog more than the others. Lastly, I have a few new features that I hope to add as well, but you can find more details about that below. As with all things in life, and as most of you also know, there is always the aspect of real life hiding in the shadows. Which means that plans can always change because of events that happen in the real world that are beyond your control. But that said, where would we be without any sort of plans? So without further ado, lets get cracking and see what 2018 is going to bring!

Movies

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Well, it goes without saying that my movie reviews will of course return for the next year. If there would ever come a year that I don’t watch any movies, I have probably been replaced with an evil clone body. In 2018 we will get an enormous amount of different films that I am looking forward to very much. One of the biggest events will of course be Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War. With the largest superhero cast ever created for the big screen, this movie is set to take over the box office by storm. But there are more things to look forward to. The inevitable sequels such as Jurrasic World Fallen Kingdom, Pacific Rim:Uprising, The Equalizer II and a new Predator movie will hopefully bring us more of the same goodness that we loved in the originals. But three films I’m particularly looking forward to seeing are Meg (Jason Statham taking on a huge pre-historic shark), Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg’s new film, that looks like a geek’s dream come true) and Alita Battle Angel (the live action version of my favorite manga). These, and probably many others, are all going to make an appearance at some point on my blog.

Anime

imageLast year I started for the first time with watching seasonal anime (I usually only watched shows that were already completed), and it was something I enjoyed very much. The main reason for this being I could exchange thoughts on episodes right after they showed. It goes without saying that I will continue that in this year. Attack on Titan season 3, and hopefully the third season for Sword Art Online are definitely the two shows that I’m looking forward to the most. But of course, as I am pretty much behind on almost every anime in existence, there are some older shows that will get their reviews as well here. First up is the long overdue Girls und Panzer (and what a wonderful surprise that turned out to be), but you can also expect reviews for  Ganz, Psycho Pass season 2, Tokyo Ghoul and many others both old and new. I also hope to attend Animecon 2018, where I will give you a full report of that incredibly wonderful event just like I did last year.

Books

imageLike anime I have a list of books that I still need to read that will probably be enough to build a skyscraper of a 1000 floors with. But I love reading, and I definitely want to get to that part of my many hobbies a lot more this year. I own every Karin Slaughter book that has been published to date, but have yet to read her final three offerings. She is just about the only writer that I read that doesn’t write about science fiction and fantasy. The Warhammer 40000 universe has always held me interest and I plan on reading the twelve part novel series The Beast Arises in it’s entirety this year. Besides fiction I also love reading making of books on movies, and you can expect reviews for a few of those as well, including Big Trouble in Little China, Ghost in the Shell and Bladerunner 2049. And then there are of course comics and manga, which I’m sure will also get hit with my hard hitting reviews (ahum….right…moving on).

Tv series

imageThe world of television changes each year. New shows keep being added and quite honestly it’s become pretty much impossible to follow every show. But I’m pretty sure that I will in all likelyhood be able to discover some new shows this year along the way. But that’s not to say the old favorites are going anywhere. One review you can definitely expect from me is the eight season of The Walking Dead, that no matter what anybody says I still love to death. The second season of the science fiction series The Expanse is also still on my review list as well as Homeland season 6, Lethal Weapon season 2, and 24 Legacy. If all goes well, and this is a big if, I also hope to revisit one of my favorite alltime science fiction series Babylon 5. An amazing and truly highly underrated gem that some of you might never have even heard of.

Korean dramas

imageI love watching Korean dramas but one of my biggest problems with them, is that so many of the cool ones aren’t available for me to watch. Luckily Netflix is beginning to get a few of these as well now, which is awesome. Two of the dramas that I failed to complete last year are Pinocchio and Missing Nine. I hope that if all goes well, these will be featured on my blog in january. Two of the dramas that Netflix have on offer are Black and Stranger. I have already progressed about halfway with Stranger, and I’m really looking forward to Black. The story for that about a grim reaper that tries to uncover a serial murder mystery while at the same time falling in love with a mortal woman, sounds intriguing to say the least. I can’t wait to get started on that one. But I’m pretty sure that new shows will also enter my to watch list, as just with regular tv series, Korean Dramas continue being developed as well.

The New Stuff

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Can you please stop talking now?

For those of you that have made it to the end of this post, I thank you for your patience. I know this post is pretty long, but I am almost done. (What do you mean you don’t believe me?) So, as I mentioned I also have a few new features planned for my blog. Curious about what they are? Well, here they come:

  • Bloggers in the spotlight: Last year the number of new bloggers I have met were astounding. Some of them have become great friends, not to mention the ones that I already knew. As I am running a multi-topic blog I plan on doing a monthly post that will cover 3-4 bloggers that either write about anime, movies or books in order to put them in the spotlight. I have always said that the most wonderful thing about blogging is exchanging thoughts and meeting new people, and this is my way of showing my appreciation for that.
  • Competition time: My blog is starting to creep slowly towards the magical number of 1000 followers. I honestly still can’t believe this, but I really could not have done this without all your terrific support and love. That’s why I want to give back some of that love to all of you. As soon as I will hit the 1000th follower I’m going to run a competition giving you a chance to win some (hopefully) amazing prices. More on that later in the year.
  • The monthly choice: Starting in February, depending on the theme of that particular month, I want to give you all a chance to present me with a suggestion for a review I should be doing. I will choose one of these suggestions completely at random and the blogger who “wins ” will of course get an honorable mention.

Phew…..this was one heck of a long post, and to think that the year has only just started! Hopefully, despite it’s length, you still enjoyed reading this one. Let me know what you think of all these plans and what you are excited about the most in the comments section (or if you don’t like anything that was mentioned here, feel free to let me know as well lol). As always, thank you for reading, and let’s make 2018 a wonderful year!

Thor:Ragnarok, American movie (2017)

Well, I could of course start this review with saying how Marvel is on a roll, the enormous amount of movies they are releasing, blah blah blah….been there, done that. There have been enough discussions on those subjects, and quite frankly I am not going to be lured into them again. Erm…I guess I just did that anyway. Sorry. Let’s talk about Thor though. The God of Thunder was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2011. Played by actor Chris Hemsworth, Thor for me personally was always a bit of a dull character. They tried to give him some funny lines, added a touch of humour in his movies, but ultimately he was just way too serious most of the time. That’s not to say that I did not enjoy his films, or in any way want to say that Hemsworth’s performance isn’t good, but so far he has been one of my least favorite Marvel characters. And now we have the third movie. With the subtitle Ragnarok, which in Norse mythology signals the end of the world, will this third film change my opinion of this guy? The answer to this question might come as a surprise….

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Seriously lady, get a haircut. Look at Thor, he did right?

Where has Thor been for the past two years? Well, let’s just say he has been out in the universe searching for some Infinity Stones, and finally ended up as a prisoner of a rather nasty demon called Surtur. Eventually Thor escapes and finds his way back to Asgard. Not a moment too soon it seems, as his brother Loki is up to his old tricks again, impersonating his father Odin and ruling over Asgard in his stead. But it seems Loki is the least of Thor’s problems. Unbeknownst to both brothers, Odin had a firstborn daughter called Hela. She is better known as the Goddess of Death though, and she is about to emerge from the prison she has been kept in for a very long time. Hellbent on revenge, the people of Asgard are about to face their greatest challenge yet. It would seem that Thor is greatly outmatched this time, and he will have to rely on some very unusual allies to take on Hela. One of them is his untrustworthy brother, but the other one is an Avenger that has been out of the game for quite a while. A lean, green and very mean fighting machine also known as The Hulk….

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And now for the weather report….rain with a slight chance of lightning.

I have never taken any drugs in my life, nor do I plan on doing that anytime soon thank you very much. But I could imagine that a few of the scenes in this film would certainly feel a bit like you have just been on one of the best psychedelic trips ever. Because really, there is so much weirdness in this film, that you have to wonder what kind of drugs they have been taking. And just in case that you might take this the wrong way, that is actually a good thing. This movie has a completely different tone than the previous two Thor movies. The serious settings of those are instead replaced by a fun filled extravaganza filled with all manner of colourful and bright scenes, humour and just well…fun. We have a Thor that really seems almost like a completely different character. He is cracking jokes like there is no tomorrow, and for the most part, they work as well. It obviously also takes a bit getting used to that, as you don’t expect that from him.

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Yes, we get to see Thor smiling in this film…it still needs a bit of work though.

This new movie introduces a couple of new characters. Let’s start with the villain first, because hey that’s always cool. Hela is played by actress Cate Blanchett, and she manages to create one of the best adversaries in the Marvel universe to date. It’s clear that Cate was having a blast playing this character. Blanchett is evil, seductive, and utterly convincing in her role as the Goddess of Death. Some of the best scenes in the movie were the ones with her and Thor. But the side of good also get’s a woman on their side in the form of a former Valkyrie. She is played by actress Tessa Thompson and is an absolute delight. It’s wonderful to see a lighthearted but at the same time tough as nails woman joining the established group, and she fits in perfectly. Lastly we have Jeff Goldblum, that portrays a rather dubious and shady Grandmaster who is in charge of the planet Thor eventually ends up on. Goldblum plays a very different role than what we are used to from him, and his character is deliciously evil but just in a very fun way.

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This is what therapy sessions for superheroes look like.

The movie has even more new characters than the ones I just described, but I don’t want to spoil everything here. And obviously I do not have to say how awesome Tom Hiddleston is as Loki, because you all already know that. The movie contains a ton of action, as you would expect and most of these scenes are pretty awesome. One of the highlights has got to be the gladiator fight between Thor and The Hulk. To say more about it would be a disservice, but suffice it to say it’s an incredibly fun scene. I have been using the word fun quite a number of times now in this review, and that is pretty much the one word that I would use to describe this movie: fun! Sure, one could argue that the movie is again pretty long, and could have used a bit of trimming. I could also say that not every joke works, and it’s also a pretty radical change that takes a bit to get used to if you prepared yourself for a movie more along the lines of the other two installments. At the end of the day though Thor Ragnarok is a great addition to the Marvel films, and one that definitely deserves a trip to the cinema.

I give Thor: Ragnarok a 8 out of 10 score.

Special Features presents: First full length The Punisher tv series trailer

Netflix has been expanding their list of Marvel tv series quite steadily. It all started with Daredevil back in 2015, and since then they have rounded out their universe with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the most recent one The Defenders. In season 2 of Daredevil a character was introduced that made an enormous impression on pretty much everyone. That character was Frank Castle aka The Punisher. Played by Jon Bernthal, who most people probably recognise as Shane from the Walking Dead, he single handedly created the best live action Punisher to date. It was pretty much inevitable that he would get his own series. In fact there were so many people that wanted this to happen, that it would have been weird if they would not have listened to the fans.

And listen they did as the first season of The Punisher will be making it’s debut later this year. Today the first full length trailer for the series was released, and I can honestly say that I was completely blown away by this. In fact I dare say that this is without a doubt the best trailer that I have seen for the entire year. The trailer is accompanied by the terrific song One by Metallica, and to say more about it is to spoil your fun. I have included the trailer for your viewing pleasure down below. Enjoy it, and please let me know what you think about it in the comments section. I would love to hear your thoughts about this one.

Spider-Man Homecoming, American movie (2017)

Spiderman, Spiderman..Does whatever a spider can. Spins a web any size…erm, sorry about that. This song has been stuck in my head for quite a while now. Can’t imagine why, but it might have something to do with the newest Spiderman movie. Yes our friendly neighbourhood spider is back in action. When I first heard of this project my reaction was one of complete and utter shock. I really thought Marvel (or Sony in this case), had lost their minds for doing yet another reboot of this beloved character. But luckily Spiderman Homecoming doesn’t waste it’s time with yet another retelling of Spiderman’s origin. No it pretty much picks up straight after the events of the third Captain America movie, and it has resulted in one of Spidey’s best movie adventures to date.

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Because of budget constraints Iron Man only has his helmet on for this movie. 

Peter Parker is very excited. After helping out Tony Stark with the fight against Captain America, he is expecting a call anytime now to join the Avengers. Yes…any time now….but the weeks pass by and the phone doesn’t ring. Peter meanwhile goes back to school and slips into his every day boring and, quite frankly, pretty geeky life. In his after school hours, he fights local crime in the guise of his alter ego Spiderman. But then one night he comes across a bunch of thieves that are robbing an ATM with some pretty hightech weaponry. While he succeeds in foiling the robbery, the thieves do manage to escape. Peter decides to find out where the weapons are coming from. Spiderman soon becomes the target of the nefarious arms dealer named Vulture, who is none to happy with Peter interfering with his business. With nobody to help him out, young Parker might have bitten off a little bit more than he can chew. But it might also be his best chance to prove what it really means to be a hero….

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This is not a good movie if you have a fear of heights. 

If I could use just one word to describe this movie it would be the word fun. This movie breathes out a very happy atmosphere right from the start, and doesn’t let up once during it’s two hour plus runtime. For starters there is a lot of humor in this film. While I am not a really big fan of comedies, it just works very well for this movie. There is always room for a great oneliner during a fight, or just some comedic banter in other situations. While the Marvel films were never as dark as their DC counterparts, there were certainly a few that did adress a few darker moments in the Marvel Universe. Here though, that never happens, and while I certainly would not label this one as a comedy, it is truly one of the most lighthearted Marvel films to date.

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This is the part where we find out Spidey is Iron Man’s son….erm, no not really. 

The cast is another reason to go and see this film. Tom Holland’s brief appearance in Captain America Civil War already made an impression, but here he really gets to shine. I can say without a doubt that he is certainly the best actor to have put on the Spiderman costume to date. He has a natural charm and wit about him, and that works very well for this character. Michael Keaton who plays the Vulture, manages to portray a villain that is very human. Yes, he is the bad guy, but it’s not a bad guy that you can’t relate to, or is necessarily very evil. He’s just a man that will do anything to provide protection for his family, and Keaton’s performance is simply outstanding in the way he manages to get that across to the moviegoing audience. And then ofcourse there is Robert Downey jr. as Tony Stark, a role he has played to perfection for the past decade. Even though he appears in only a few brief scenes, they are very important in the development of Peter Parker’s character.

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I’m Batman….whoops wrong movie. 

The story for the film, while it won’t win any Oscars, is good enough to entertain, and provides a decent enough platform for the film’s action sequences. As with every Marvel film, the special effects are fantastic. Without giving away any spoilers, the ferry scene is especially cool, and showcases how much Hollywood has grown in providing very believable CGI. I can honestly say that this was a highly entertaining entry into the Marvel cinematic universe. I keep being amazed at the level of quality that Marvel keeps providing for their movies. I have yet to see a truly horrible Marvel film and with so many movies that will still be coming out in the years to come, I can only hope they manage to maintain this. If you love superhero movies, than this is definitely one you don’t want to miss. It is a fun, lighthearted film, that will let you leave the cinema with a big smile on your face. And that really is all you need, right?

I give Spider-Man Homecoming a 9 out of 10 score.

Alita Last Order Omnibus vol.1, A Japanese manga book (2011)

The Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita, or Gunnm as it is known in Japan, has been praised by none other than director James Cameron. He is a huge fan of this manga, and has been wanting to direct a live action movie based on it for quite some time now. I doubt it will ever get to see the light of day though, as it has been announced so many times that is almost becoming laughable. For those of you unfamiliair with the original manga let me tell you quickly what the story is about.

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Battle Angel Alita is set in a post apocalyptic future and is centered around the character of Alita, a female cyborg. She was originally found in a junkyard, robbed of all her memories. The cybernetics doctor who finds Alita, decides to rebuild her, and when she awakens she discovers that there is actually one thing she does remember. It is the ancient legendary martial art of Panzer Kunst. With this deadly skill she eventually takes on the profession of  bounty hunter. The world she lives in is an interesting and very unique one. The floating city of Tiphares is the cause of a massive scrapheap on the surface which surrounds the aptly named city of Scrapyard. As the city of Tiphares is off limits to surface dwellers, they are forced to make a living amongst the junk, a very hard life indeed.

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Alita Last Order continues the storyline of the original manga, but does pretty much ignore the original ending, or so I have heard. While I did read a few chapters of the first Battle Angel Alita series, I have never completed it. But so far I have been able to follow the storyline along just fine without all the knowledge of the original manga. Alita Last Order starts off with the resurrection of Alita by her enemy/ally Desty Nova. Their relationship has always been a complex one, and it continues to be so in the new series. The story this time takes place on Tiphares, on which quite a number of things have changed. The city has turned into complete chaos, and numerous rebellions are underway. Amidst the chaos Alita tries to find out what happened to her old friend Lou, but at the same she also searches for more answers to her own forgotten past. Both things are incredibly hard to do, as Alita is about to find out…

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While I still prefer anime to manga, this series was just to good to resist. I fell in love with the character of Alita quite a few years ago, when I first laid eyes on her in the original manga. While visiting Animecon 2017 last month, I was amazed to find out that the series had continued in this new form, and as such I bought all five omnibus editions. The first installment certainly did not disappoint. The art for this is absolutely breathtaking, and at times I just kept staring at certain panels to admire them. Alita contains enough action to keep your attention throughout the entire 650 page count, but the story itself also is worth every minute of your time. The theme that keeps returning the most is the question of what it is like to be human. But even though that has been featured so many times in other media, Alita turns it upside down, and still manages to be original too. I simply have nothing negative to say about this series. If you love dystopian post apocalyptic science fiction stories, featuring great art, and enough action to leave you gasping at air, I highly recommend you check this manga out.

I give Alita Last Order Omnibus Volume 1 a 9 out of 10 score.