Archive | Comic Book Movies RSS feed for this section

The Avengers: movie vs comic book

30 Apr



As a reader of almost four decades, I place a great importance on faithfulness to comic book canon. I winced when Spider-Man spun biological webbing instead of from mechanical web shooters. I groaned at an original X-Men lineup that didn’t include Scott, Jean or Warren. I was furious when Galactus appeared as a formless space cloud.

Where The Avengers (and its forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger) differ from other super-hero movies is Marvel’s retention of full creative control. That is, unlike most other films based on comic books where the characters are simply licensed to a film studio, they instead remain in the hands of the comic creators at Marvel themselves.

My expectation is that The Avengers should stay true to the original comic book source material like no other film franchise. So does it deliver?

I answer the obvious questions about how the Avengers movie compares to the original comic book source material in this story written by myself and published in Yahoo! 


The Hottest Super-babes from Movies and TV – Ever!

25 Apr

Whether you’re into Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow (Avengers), Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (The Dark Knight Rises) or Cobie Smulders as SHIELD Agent Maria Hill (Avengers), 2012 has no shortage of hotties in tight superhero outfits. And even before that we’ve been treated to the likes of Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman (Fantastic Four), Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre (Watchmen), Famke Janssen as Jean Grey and Rebecca Romijn as Mystique (X-Men).

Those us who have been following onscreen superheroes for well before the current wave that began with X-Men in 2000 know that the genre is full of beautiful women.

Read my full list of the hottest women who played superheroines, villains or their love interests of all time, published in Yahoo!

Join the Avengers!

14 Apr

SingTel allows you to create your personalized Avengers Priority Card


Get your very own Avengers identity card that grants you access to special offers at retail partners right here in Singapore, including the SingTelShop.

This is for a limited time only so better sign up for one now! Only at SingTel’s Facebook page.

The Avengers opens in Singapore on 1 May 2012.


Avengers Trailer #2

1 Mar

The Avengers opens in Singapore on 1 May 2012.


Green Lantern: the Grumpy Fanboy review

27 Jun

Green Lantern, like many film disappointments of the past – Spider-Man 3, every Highlander sequel, every Alien sequel after the second and, most recently, Green Hornet – has left my fanboy psyche so scarred, I’m going to try to forget I ever saw it.

I really wanted to enjoy Green Lantern. I really did. Not only is Hal Jordan one of my favorite childhood heroes of all time, I also love the lore developed over the years behind the Green Lantern Corps itself. With today’s special effects and the success rate of recent comic book adaptations – Iron Man, the Dark Knight, Thor and X-Men: First Class in particular – this film had every reason to be great.

The film has since been universally reviled by critics. It’s not hard to sum up why: The film never takes itself seriously enough for you to relate to the lead character or feel any emotion at all. (Unless you count the gag reflex an emotion.) You never get a sense of the Green Lantern Corps’ importance or who exactly they guard the universe against. Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds) is passed on the most powerful weapon in the universe by the dying Green Lantern Abin Sur so that he can … well, we’re not sure exactly. Later we see him beat up three thugs and stop a helicopter crash. Could that be it?

For a super-hero film, too much of the story in conveyed through words rather than genuine story-telling. We hear other Green Lanterns saying over and over again what an honor and how rare it is for one to be chosen. But once on the Green Lantern home planet of Oa, his training lasts for all of 15 minutes, after which he says, “I quit” and the rest of the Lanterns appear to reply, “Okay”.

You never get a sense of dread about the looming danger. We hear that an entity called Parallax has destroyed two inhabited worlds and killed four Green Lanterns (including its “greatest warrior, Abin Sur”). Yet when he arrives on earth, Parallax appears little more than a black cloud that breaks windows and flips over a few cars. In the end he is all-too-easily beaten by the rookie Green Lantern. Why a bunch of more seasoned Lanterns were unable to accomplish the same feat is never made clear.

There is no credible transformation for Hal from failure to hero. Green Lanterns become great by overcoming fear, we understand. But since we know from the opening scene that Hal is a test pilot willing to risk stalling the jet engine on his own aircraft in order to achieve victory, conquering fear never appears to be his problem. In the end, what finally allows him to become the courageous hero is a pep talk from his girlfriend, who tells him, “You’re courageous.” Problem solved!

Green Lantern never quite takes off. Its characters are unlikable and its emotional dilemmas are contrived and superficial. The script seemed more preoccupied stringing together wise cracks and satisfying female audiences by showing Ryan Reynolds shirtless. Most unforgivable of all – at least for us grumpy fanboys – are the missed opportunities to provide nods to the source material. Of all the Lanterns in the Corps, only Sinestro, Tomar-Re and Kilowog appear. A few more familiar faces would have been welcome. It’s an adaptation that never gives its  loyal fans any respect nor provides enough opportunities to hook new ones.

Grumpy Fanboy rating: 2/5

Green Lantern is still one of my all-time favorite characters. Fortunately, if you’re looking for more satisfying on-screen incarnations of DC Comics’ emerald guardian, you can always turn to their animated features:

Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)

DC’s first full-length feature film for DVD provides a decent origin story for Hal Jordan. This is what the live-action film should have based its story on.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)

A collection of six stories about the Green Lantern Corps give you a better understanding of the legacy of the universe’s self-appointed police force.

 Justice League TV series (2001-2006)

Although featuring Jon Stewart and not Hal Jordan, this series best portrayed the Green Lantern Corps in all its glory. In particular, check out episodes “Blackest Night (Parts 1 & 2)”, “Hearts & Minds (Parts 1 &2)” and “The Once and Future Thing (Part 2)”, in which Hal makes a cameo appearance.

Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Apart from being an adaptation of Darwyn Cooke’s excellent comic book series, it also offers one of the most compelling Hal Jordan origin stories ever made.

Green Lantern: the Animated Series (scheduled for release in 2013)

Creatively led by Bruce Timm, best known for his work on Justice League, Batman and the Superman animated series), this upcoming series shows a lot of promise. Plus it’s the first among DC’s animated projects to go full CGI. Check out the trailer:


Comic vs Movie: Captain America Trailer

2 Apr

How will the movie Cap differ from the comic book? Grumpy Fanboy goes frame-by-frame on the new Captain America: the First Avenger trailer to see how the film compares to comic book canon.

How frail is the pre-Super Soldier serum Steve Rogers?

Steve Rogers as a 90-pound weakling is disturbingly realistic. It’s amazing how they managed to make Chris Evans look small and frail. Marvel worked with the same special effects wizards that did similar effects in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The scenes showing Steve attempting (and failing) to enlist in the Army should be familiar to most long-time Marvel fans.

Will we see Cap’s sidekick Bucky?

The movie version of James Buchanan Barnes (aka Bucky) is not the camp mascot or teenage sidekick like in the comics. Instead he is the same age as Steve and very much a peer. This scene actually puts Bucky in more of a mentor role to the smaller, less formidable Steve.

Is Operation Rebirth just like in the comics?

For the most part, yes, including the participation of Dr Abraham Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci). One small difference is the link to previous Marvel movies. In particular, Erskine is assisted by Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (aka Iron Man).

Does Cap’s classic costume make an appearance?

Maybe. Apprently Cap’s costume goes through an evolution of sorts, from the more “soldier costume” look to the more functional armored version. In this shot, we get a glimpse of Cap’s blue jersey underneath his army fatigues. Other images from the production also show Capt with his original shield.

How does the Red Skull look?

Just like in the comics! Though as with the previous teaser trailer, we only see his face for a split-second.

Will the Howling Commandos make an appearance and are they led by Nick Fury?

Yes and no. From the trailer, we see that the Howling Commandos are the elite team of soldiers assigned to work with Cap. (Look! There’s Dum Dum Dugan in his bowler hat & moustache.) But unlike the comics, Bucky seems to be taking up the role Fury played. No sign of Samuel L. Jackson, who played Fury in the Iron Man films, in the World War II scenes.

Does Captain America throw his mighty shield?

Hells, yeah! A few fans were concerned that, because previous footage and photos showed cap carrying a gun, he wasn’t going to throw his shield like in the comics. This trailer lays those fears to rest.

Here we see Cap catching his flying shield …

Throwing it …

And we see the shield carom off the walls just like in the comics.

Woohoo! I’m excited. What about you? Captain America opens in Singapore on 4 August 2011. Click here for release dates in your market.


At last! The Captain America full trailer

24 Mar

After all the fan-made trailers, the Super Bowl teaser trailer, the preview trailers (yes, in 2011 we now have adverts that advertise the upcoming advert) … the first full 02:30 trailer of Captain America: The First Avenger is finally here.

I’m excited. Are you? Frame-by-frame feature soon to follow.