Tag Archives: comic book movie

Avengers Blu-Ray trailer

2 Jul

 

The trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers Blu-Ray special combo pack is out. I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on it, either. A lot of the footage is familiar but I swear there are parts there I’ve never seen before (and I saw the film three times).

The Avengers in Blu-Ray will be out 25 September 2012.

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The Avengers: movie vs comic book

30 Apr

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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! 

Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn full trailer

12 Jul

 

OK they obviously cranked up the action and merged some storylines. (Tintin first met Captain Haddock in Crab With The Golden Claws, not Unicorn.) But it still looks like a mostly faithful adaptation. It’s certainly on my list of must-see films this year!

 

 

The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn opens in Singapore on 10 November 2011.

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: Thor Trailer #2

19 Feb

What will they change when Thor goes from the page to the big screen? Grumpy Fanboy goes frame-by-frame on the new Thor trailer to see how the film compares to comic book canon.

So let’s answer the questions that really matter to comic book fans!

Is Jane Foster a nurse?

No. In the movie continuity, Jane is apparently a storm-chaser: a scientist who studies tornadoes and storms. In the trailer, we see her with storm-studying equipment and riding around, video camera in hand, with fellow scientists.

Will we see Dr Don Blake?

Probably not. Unlike in the comics, Thor’s mortal identity does not appear smaller or frailer than his godly form. In the trailer we see him land on Earth, identify himself as “Thor” and appear in the rest of the trailer without Blake’s trademark walking stick. But we know his godly powers are absent because he is knocked unconscious by a taser.

How does Thor’s movie costume compare to the comic book version?

When the costume designs for Thor first leaked onto the web, the collective reaction from comic book fans was, “Where’s his helmet?” The good news is, we do see the winged helmet and flowing red cape in the trailer briefly. The bad news is, we don’t see much more of the helmet. The succeeding action scenes show Thor in battle without his helmet.

What about Loki’s costume?

Good news! We see Loki in his trademark color (green) grasping the Gungnir spear. There is also a split-second where we see Loki in his familiar horned helmet.

What does Mjolnir look like?

More good news! The glimpses we get of Thor’s hammer look right out of the comics. Even the inscription – “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor” – appears in the film, although in what appears to be the ancient Norse script. (It was written in English in the comics.)

Is that the Destroyer?

Hells, yeah! The enchanted Destroyer armor looks straight out of the comics, complete with disintegrator beam that fires from his face.

Will we see the Warriors Three?

Yes! And I almost missed this! We got barely a peek at them in previous trailers. In this trailer we see Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim and Volstagg the Voluminous — three beloved characters who are part of Marvel Comics canon but not part of classic Norse mythology — for a split-second.

Does Thor fly?

Apparently not. No footage from the trailer shows Thor “flying” by hurling his hammer and hanging on (as he does in the comics). However …

Does Thor throw his hammer?

Oh yeah! In this latest trailer, we see Thor throwing Mjolnir twice. And we see the hammer do a 180 in mid-air and return to Thor’s hand. Just like in the comics 😉

Thor opens in Singapore on 28 April 2011. To find release dates in other countries, click here.