Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Movie Review - Iron Man 2

Movie Title
Iron Man 2
Action, Comic Adaptation

With his identity as Iron Man known to the world, TonyStark is pressured by the government to share his technology. Senator Stern (Garry Shandling), demands that Stark release the technology for military application. Stark refuses, claiming that others are years away from successfully recreating the Iron Man Armour technology. In truth, Stark fears the technology would fall into the wrong hands.

Stark is soon proven wrong as Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), son of Tony's inventor father's (Howward Stark) old partner, Anton Vanko, had duplicated the technology and built his own arc reactor suit with whip-like energy weapons as Whiplash. Whiplash soon appears at the Circuit de Monaco and attacks Stark. This is because Ivan blames the Starks for his family's downfall and seeks revenge. Stark's Rival weapons manufacturer, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) breaks Vanko out of prison to offer him a chance to destroy Stark as partners.

Meanwhile, Stark is slowly being poisoned by his arc reactor's palladium core and all attempts to find a solution and cure have failed. During what he thought was going to be his final birthday party, wearing the Iron Man armour,Stark was getting out of hand and Lt Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) was forced to put on an older version of the armour to put Starkin his place. Rhodes eventually surrendered his armour to his military bosses who then let Justin Hammer "develop"it into a War Machine for the military. However, Stark soon finds an ally in Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) of SHIELD, who had planted an agent (the Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson) within Stark Industries to keep an eye on Stark. Fury had given Stark key info that alloed him to develop his own solution & cure. Thus, the Iron Man Mark IV armour with a triangle instead of a round chest cavity.

However, not all is well again as Justin Hammer now had dozens of War Drones based on the Iron Man armour handed to him by Rhodey, modified and remote controlled by Whiplash. War Machine is also contrlled by Whiplash. Hence, while Iron Man provides the frontline distraction, Black Widow goes to the back office to free Rhodey from Whiplash's control. Needless to say, both the Iron Men are free to destroy Hammer's War Drones. They even defeat Whiplash.

In the final scene, we see Stark declare his affections, albeit reluctantly, for Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

For those who have NOT watched the movie yet, OR those who intend to watch it again, do stay until AFTER the creditshave finished for another teaser - SHIELD discovers the hammer of Thor in New Mexico!

Robert Downey Jr is Robert Downey Jr regardless of the role he plays - be it Sherlock Holmes or Tony Stark - cocky, insufferable but charming, vulnerable and endering nonetheless (which is why the ladies looove him).
Sam Rockwell is just as enjoyable on screen thus rivalling Downey Jr in grabbing the viewers' attention as a quirky and slightly off-kilter "villain". Much better than how Max was protrayed in the Losers.
Johansson, on the other hand, had a light as fluff role as the Black Widow but offers no less equally fan pleasing screen time for the boys!
Rourke was of course enjoying his role so much it was bordering a scary performance. That's method acting. Apparently he actually put himself into a Russian prison in his research to play the role of Ivan Vanko! Talk about dedication!

Director Jon Favreau also seemed to be having a ball playing Happy Hogan!

Comic fans would really enjoy this one as there are lots of drool inducing easter eggs scattered throughout the movie - eg:
- the appearance of Captan America's Shield in Tony's lab as he was developing the Mark IV armour
- when Tony was read the assessment for his eligibilty for the Avengers Initiative, there was a map of the world in the background indicating the various possible Avengers members (ie: in the Atlantic Ocean - Namor, in Africa - Black Panther, Northern Europe - Thor, etc)
- the appearance of Olivia Munn - a favorite hottie among comic fanboys
- the cameo from Stan "the Man" Lee, mistaken by Stark as Larry King

It's a really fun flick with enough good stuff thrown in that even non-fans would find themselves enjoying it.


Get the DVD here at 31% OFF!
Iron Man 2 (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Movie Review - Daybreakers

Movie Title
Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

This really sucks - BUT in a good way!

The year is 2019, ten years after a single bat bite triggered a viral epidemic that transformed the bulk of the world's population into undead bloodsuckers.

As the human population nears extinction,their food supplies are also dwindling.With and rationing being the norm, the vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out.

Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke), a blood researcher working for a company that farms human blood under the leadership of Charles Bromley (Sam Neill). Edward is sympathetic to humans and was working at a feverish pace in hopes to finding a sustainable solution, but his views on finding a solution changed when he met Elvis (Willem Dafoe), who managed to transform back to being a human.

What follows is an interesting juxtapose of corporate expedience versus a personal struggle to retain one's humanity (or what's left of it), as brother is pitted against brother (Edward & brother Frankie Dalton) and father against child (Charles Bromley & still human daughter, hottie Alison Bromley, whom we last saw in Transformers 2 as the Pretender Alice.

The ending here is clearly a set-up for future instalments for the franchise.

Sam Neill is a natural at being evil. In fact, except for Bicentennial Man & the Jurassic Park movies, I do not recall any movie that I had watched where he was not evil. Totally belieavable.Ethan Hawke did pertty good as the scientist who struggledto save not just the vampires & human race, but himself as well. Willem Dafoe was his usual intensebut slightly over the top self and that annoys me as usual.

Unlike the weak and limpy Twilight New Moon (OK,Twilight fans, don't hate me for telling the truth),Daybreakers demonstrates how a great vampire flick is and should be done - by adding a fresh & unique twist (albeit entering the borders of the Sci-Fi genre) to an old and familiar concept of vampires, with hints of Blade (Vampire vs Vampire).The is no shortage of vampiric activities (such as vampiric feeding frenzies and the burning in daylightaction) or straight up action. Especially in the final battle at Charles Bromley's corporate building. It is a little reminiscent of the Matrix office invasion sequences. It's pretty entertaining stuff. I'd safely say this would end up as the best vampire movie for 2010 (eventho' I know Twilight Eclipse is just around the corner.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Comic Heroes who don't look like Heroes (DC)

Continuing what I started with a few heroes from the Marvel stable, we now moveon to their DC counterparts:

There are so far 2 versions Firestorm, but both were prominent members of the Justice League. Firestorm looks kind of scary because of his partially invisible but flaming head and glowing eyes!

Swamp Thing
One of the universe's elementals, he being the earth/plant elemental, it thought it was a human (Alec Holland) that was transformed into a swamp monster. If you see him for real, I can bet you will lose your last meal.

Both Ragman & Blue Devil recently belonged to a group of supernatural/magic-based heroes called the Shadowpact (along with other heroes such as Detective Chimp, Enchantress, Nightmaster, Nightshade, Warlock's Daughter & Zauriel).

Rory Regan is the latest in a long line of redeemers who use the "Great Collector Artifact" to fight evil. He looks like something that came out from someone's bad dream

Blue Devil
Daniel Cassidy was a former Hollywood stuntman cursed by the demon Nebiros. So now he looks like, as has namesake, a blue hued devil, complete with horns, a tail and trident!
Kid Devil (or Red Devil)
A one time member of the Titans, was tricked by the demon Neron's (What! Another one?) demon stick and thus was transformed into a demonic looking young man (actually, I would've thought he was Trigon's kid instead.).
Jack Ryder, a result of a freak (aren't they always?) chance by a combination of stem cell therapy and medical nanotechnology developed by a scientist who injected this technology into Ryder to prevent it from falling into the bad guys' hands. He looks like an even more demented version of the Joker - A freakish grin, green hair, half naked and has a red hairy "cape".
I had saved the creepiest one for last:
Simon Dark
Created from the bodies of 20 boys by a desperate medical genius who turned to a dark cult to help stop the dark cult itself (the irony!). This one gives even me the creeps by just looking at him. Simon wins hands down as the scariest looking hero by a mile!
But of course I shan't leave out the guy who's getting his very own movie this summer
Jonah Hex
Almost looking like Batman's foe Twoface, this gunslinging Bounty-Hunter from the old west has 1/2 a face so badly scarred, only his momma could love.