Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Batman: Assault On Arkham MOVIE REVIEW

I couldn't think of any headline as of this moment so... Happy Batman Month ? #Batman75 ?

I know everybody's been going crazy over Guardians Of The Galaxy, but don't you worry. My review for that is coming up tomorrow, I just have to get this one done first. Because Batman, that's why. 

Batman Assault On Arkham serves as the fine line that would connect WB Montreal's Batman: Arkahm Origins and Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum, the two entries of the best selling and critically acclaimed Arkham video game franchise.

Let me just say this right off the bat, if you're a parent and you want to celebrate Batman's 75 years of existence by watching this film with your little kids and conservative family members and friends then you might want to reconsider or just watch Son of Batman. You can probably say that the violence maybe just as absurd as Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox's and this most likely the most sexual out of all the DC Animated Movies. Harley has this itch that we got to see scratched, well at least a glimpse of it. 

For the most part this is a Suicide Squad film, with almost 80% of the film focuses on the most dangerous assassins put together as expendable assets to do the governments' dirty work. Deadshot (voiced by Neal McDonough) is the most fleshed out of all the Squad members. Serving as their leader the character has surprising shown strong personality and commanding presence that was rarely explored in every other medium than comics that the character has appeared on. 

Harley Quinn is as adorable, cute and crazy as we remember her. The voice acting of this character still hits the mark even though it's not Tara Strong or Arleen Sorkin. 

Surprisingly, the other Squad members have showed character as well even in a small amount of time. Their's some great chemistry here and there. but at times some do fall under the shadow once their functionality is done. 

For a Batman film, it;s very surprising to see Batman become a supporting character in his own film. He's like Godzilla from this year's Godzilla, his presence is calculated and for the most part his only there when he needs to be. But make no mistake, his gets to kick a lot of asses here and there. 

What I would find off about this film is the tone. It's like the writers and the directors have set two different tones for the Suicide Squad and Batman and they just don't mash as neat as it should. Maybe it's the dubsteb music that didn't help, and I don't hate dubstep. But with an hour and twenty minutes time frame, it's understandable. The action by the way, is so badass. It keeps getting better as the film goes on and it ends with a bang

There are some voice actors from the video games that has returned to reprise their roles in this film and fans of the video game can rejoice by hearing them. The animation is top notch, they did their best to copy Carlos D'Anda's design and to their credit they did a good job on that. 

Batman: Assault On Arkham is unapologetic, energetic and simply a fun roller coaster. A good way to end #Batman75 from DC Animation. 

Suicide Squad
Great supporting characters
The action
Enough Batman

Disjointed tone

Score: B

Batman: Assault On Arkham now available on iTunes. 

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

"5 Seconds Of Summer" Self-Titled-Debut ALBUM REVIEW

Remember the rumors about Harry Styles saying he hopes One Direction to lean towards to a more rock sound in the future? I'm guessing this was the record he had in mind.

To be honest, I have prepared myself to nitpick this record head-to-toe limb-from-limb. The moment i saw them on Channel V I knew this was going to be a band that my sister will like to death. Now that I have heard 5 Seconds Of Summer's self-titled-debut album on Spotify, what happens next isn't exactly what I had in mind. 

I don't know much about this boy band or boys-in-a-band and I'm not going to look them up on Wikipedia, everything I know about them is that they're a group of Australian lads who's only intentions are to make music that are honest and sincere about them and their teenage ways. I honestly don't have any problem with that. Listening to this album kind of breaks my heart though because I had a feeling that this group is being restricted to fully rock out like they really wanted to, and I'll get into that more as we move on with this. 

The first time hear She Looks So Perfect, I was hooked for this bad. I know it's not the best thing to ever come out, but it's the upbeat energy and the all out sincerity of the song that got my attention and the song is very catchy, I'm not going to lie.  

I had a little trouble going into Don't Stop, but I liked it the second time around. It was the song Good Girls that started to cause some minor heartaches within me, you can tell that somewhere in the recording studio theirs a man in a suit and tie telling things to do and what not to do. 

You can tell that this band wanted to follow acts like Boys Like Girls or even blink-182 which is fine, but you can tell by listening to their songs when the band is being manipulated and restricted like Kiss Me, Kiss Me as the song came from two different groups.

And yes, there are songs here that sound like songs from One Direction or even some of their own material. We can argue that because these are just new musicians and they're still learning the ropes and I can see that clearly. But the thing is, trying to manipulate their image to a specific demo-graph  (female pre-teens, mostly) hurts the overall composition of this record. 

But I'll say this, I liked the flow of this record. It knows when to jump hard and it knows when to sit down. When the band is being manipulated, they know how to please the corporate douche-bags. however, whenever they are let loose, they let loose. 

It's very surprising though, cause I happen to appreciate this band more than my sister. Turns out I didn't hate it as much as I expected to. 

Overall, this isn't something that hasn't been done before and there are certainly other acts that have done better. But nonetheless, it's a fun album if you know what you're in to. This band has definitely shown potential, and hopefully they live-up to that in the next record.

Track-by-track thoughts:

She Looks So Perfect - Interesting and catchy.
Don't Stop - Liked it better the second time
Good Girls - Corporate-manipulated song spotted
Kiss Me, Kiss Me - Whoah, a hard track? Not bad.
18 - Yeah, ain't doing it for me. Moving on..
Everything I Didn't Say - My favorite so far.
Beside You - Generic pop punk ballad
End Up Here - What a mess? But at least they're aware of it
Long Way Home - It's good and catchy, but that intro sounds like Empire State Of Mind.
Heartbreak Girl - Typical, but it ain't bad.
Lost Boy - Again, not bad, but typical.
Amnesia - Definitely a good way to end this.

Score: B

5 Seconds Of Summer self-titled-debut album out now.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BATFLECK BEGINS - How He Started and His whereabouts in Man of Steel

Na na na na na na, Batfleck!

At this point everyone is just flippin' over this image because most of us on the internet are not sure how to take it. Loyal believers thinks Batfleck will be the best thing ever, some are skeptical and others are just praying to the demon for this to fail. I'm more on the side of the skeptical ones. Don't get me wrong, I want Batfleck to succeed on this, but I don't want to be disappointed so bad. But this is not why we're here.

Today is Batman Day (July 23) and this is just one of the many ways how I'm celebrating it. As of right now, we know almost nothing about Zack Snyder's much anticipated DC flick Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and his version of Batman, other than the fact he is played by Ben Affleck and that official pic above. 

As a Bat-fan, I'm about to give you a plausible explanation of his origin story and his whereabouts during the events of the film Man Of Steel. 

Now it's easy to point out that since Batfleck resembles Frank Miller's Batman, it's easy to conclude that his origin story might mirror to Miller's epic origin story Batman: Year One, and it's possible since Zack Snyder once consulted Miller for the film project. Easy choice, I call it lazy. If Zack really has the creative chops, he should follow a different path.

As of right now, I really have no idea why DC should still continue their Earth One series. Clearly, it is a universe that is rarely visited for a purpose of telling only epic good stories, and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Batman: Earth One is a case in point. Earth One takes down Bruce Wayne a couple of pegs, putting him in a position where he is still trying to find his place in the world even he is already Batman.

The reason I'd pick this book because this simply diverse and fearless. Making the Bruce Wayne/Batman character more human and a lot easier to kill, considering how this story centers around on his first days as Batman. Without giving away too much, this book plays on the themes of the fault and limitations of a human being, despite his strong dedication to the craft. Read this book as Bruce Wayne does his best to break those boundaries as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. 

But enough of the origin story, we've seen enough of those. Let's answer THE golden question..

Where was Batman during Man Of Steel?

Chances are, Director Zack Snyder and co. already has an answer for that. But I had a specific Batman story in mind that I think would help us answer that.

Batman has failed this city.

Pretty cool cover, eh. That is fantastic artwork made by artist Greg Capullo for writer Scott Snyder's Batman run Zero Year. Funny enough, Zero Year also centers on Bruce Wayne's first adventures as Batman. Starting with his errands with the Red Hood Gang which lead to his transformation as Batman, his first supervillain and climatic event that will define Batman's place in Gotham City. I specifically want to talk about that climatic event.

Without giving away too much, Zero Year Chapter 3: Savage City focuses on Batman's efforts to save Gotham City from a mass flood that desolated Gotham City. Now The Riddler has control of the entire city at has Gotham cut off from the outside world and Batman has to stop The Riddler and bring peace and order back to Gotham. 

That's a really cool premise and believe me it's a really good story, go check it out it's still ongoing. You can probably tell by now where I'm going with this. Batman is occupied in his city, Gotham is cut off from the rest of the world so that basically means no incoming rescue and support operation from the military outside. But what if the US military themselves are occupied? You might ask, with what? Well..

While the US Military is too busy to deal with Kal-El and his unwanted visitors from Krypton, they completely missed out the fact that Gotham City has been erased from the map. But that's not all. What if The Riddler uses General Zod's message to cause more mass paranoia to the citizens of Gotham?

With free rein to everything the comes in and out of the city, The Riddler can simply delay the broadcast of this message and use it as an instrument of chaos. He could simply fabricate the story behind this message, like saying that this was a message that was sent a while back during the flooding and now that Zod has waged war against humanity. Imagine all the stuff Batman has to deal with. This will put him in a position of curiosity and even as far as obsession towards Superman. This will also put him in a unique position as he himself has a past experience of encountering mass destruction that is totally out of hand, but he could reason Superman was to blame for the destruction of Metropolis. This will also give Superman an advantage towards Batman once he finds out the evens of The Riddler's Zero Year. That would be pretty interesting. 

So that's for today, I hope you guys enjoy my review for the Batman Film Anthology (1989-1997) Review & my take on Batfleck's Origins And His Whereabouts During Man Of Steel. Today has been a fun Batman Day for me and I hope it is for you guys as well. Thank you for stopping by and I'll see you guys next time. 

Click HERE to read my Batman Film Anthology Review.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Movies IN ONE GO! - "Batman" Film Anthology (1989-1997)

Welcome to the very first episode of a new monthly segment on this blog where we'll talk about movie franchises IN ONE GO..

Today is officially BATMAN DAY (July 23) and what better way to celebrate than to discuss the movie franchise that defined the term blockbuster and redefined superhero movies both good and bad..

So it turns out back when the first film of the series has yet to start production, there were already several scripts and treatments written that the studio too cheesy and campy. Why so? It was mainly because of the success of the more darker Batman comic books, specifically The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. Director Tim Burton was never really a comic book fan and the casting of comedian Michael Keaton for the lead role has stirred some controversy among fans. See? reactions like these existed even before the internet.

So how did the movie turned out? Well let's find out..

Batman (1989)

You can imagine that the pressure was high on this one, but believe me it did deliver. While it isn't the most quintessential representation of Batman, Director Tim Burton perfectly captures the feel and tone of the Batman comic books at that time. It was dark, brooding, has that twisted feel from every Tim Burton movie, but not too much like you'd expect. Michael Keaton, at that time, was great as Batman. People can argue he didn't have the built, but it was his performance that won the hearts of many to make them believe that he is Batman, and believe me when he is Batman, he IS Batman. Even as Bruce Wayne he did a great job of portraying. But it's undeniable that it was Jack Nicholson's performance as The Joker that dominated this movie, even as far as overshadowing Batman. It was mainly because of how mysteriously Batman was written, keeping his origin story in flashbacks and giving us the impression of the less you know about him, the better. Overall, it was the Batman movie everyone needed and everyone deserved in 1989. Also, that Danny Elfman's score? Stunning and timeless. But please, those Prince songs are just whimsical. 

Score: B

Batman Returns (1992)

Judging by the title, I'm guessing you already have an idea what this movie is about. This film marks as the last time Michael Keaton ever put on the cap and cowl on the big screen, also serving as Director Tim Burton's farewell to the franchise, why? We'll get more into that, or perhaps I should say it right now. This is straight out a Tim Burton movie. From the set pieces, the production value, the performances, the writing, the score, you can definitely tell Burton had more confidence of adapting to his style more in this film than the last one. Everything is just dark, brooding and silly through and through. Even the film terribly slowed down somewhere in the middle. But nevertheless, performances by Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfieffer and Danny DeVito as Batman, Catwoman and Penguin respectively, are all phenomenal. All of them perfectly capturing Tim Burton's vision of those characters, which to me is the downside of those characters. This may not be the least faithful to the comics in the franchise, but when you're someone who knows the Batman mythos from the comics in a heartbeat, chances are, it will be hard for you to swallow this movie. But it's not a bad movie after all, just not the movie you'd expect to love. 

Score: C+

Batman Forever (1995)

Well, as Owl City said once in his..
"..this is the beginning, this isn't the end"
Beginning of what? This franchise' doomsday, that's what. So Michael Keaton's out, what a bummer. Danny Elfman's out, what? C'mon! Tim Burton's out, well maybe this means we'll have a better Batman movie, well sorry to burst your bubbles, the studio hiring Director Joel Schumacher to helm the project should have given it away for you. This is like a Tim Burton movie added with Crayola..

Well not really like that movie, but imagine Batman Returns added with bright majestic colors, both literally and figuratively. This film almost felt like Joel was trying to rip-off Tim Burton and has no idea about Batman except the 60's TV series and just made a very 90's version of it. This movie is like a Batman Saturday morning cartoon with ADHD. The filmmakers of this film must be ashamed that a cartoon (Batman: The Animated Series) is doing an overall better job on telling a quintessential Batman story than they ever did, but considering the fact that this movie is a success at the box office, I don't really think they do. Keaton's replacement Val Kilmer's performance as the Cape Crusader is the best thing about this movie. Everything else is just silly. Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face is dumb, Jim Carrey's The Riddler is silly, Chris O'Donnell's Dick Grayson/Robin is annoying, everything is just off. This is Batman dumb down to fit into the 90's, and believe me that's not the worst. 

Score: E+

Batman & Robin (1997)

It's early in the morning here, you can tell my brain just turned into a mashed potato at this point. So basically that means I am now officially as dumb as this movie. I'm not going from head to toe about this movie, WE ALL KNOW IT'S BAD. So I'm just going to post these two videos I found on YouTube that I thought you'd like to see in light of our topic.

If that's enough for you, good. If not, well here's my quick thoughts.

Director Joel Schumacher was pressured by the studio to make this movie like cooking hot-dog. And, on a perspective this isn't entirely his fault, he was pressured by everyone and in that way he didn't have enough thought process. That act of greediness just exploded into a cinematic atrocity. The story is dumb, the visuals is eye-soar, the acting is just simply hilariously pathetic. This is the definition of rock bottom, and thank goodness Christopher Nolan saved this franchise. But seriously, Bat-nipples? Bat-credit card!? REALLY!?

Score: F

This film franchise has undeniably made a HUGE impact on it's genre. It has covered everything from how to make a good movie to how to make a bad movie. Truly it's out dated, but without these movies Batman would never be the same. 

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes MOVIE REVIEW

Cause talking apes ain't no monkey business.

So it's been a while since we had our last Apes film. While I do agree that MOST of them are great films, the hype of this movie didn't get me too excited to revisit the old movies or even follow every single trailer this movie had. Maybe it's just me who's not a big fan of the franchise, maybe because the franchise as a whole isn't my cup of tea. So by now, you should figure out that this review is coming from someone who is not a big Apes fan. 

Just to let you guys know, I've seen some Apes movies. The first movie, I've seen a long, long long, time ago and I only remember fractions of it. The second I saw was actually Tim Burton's reboot, it was the first Apes film I saw ever. Thankfully I don't remember much about that movie, I remember a scene where Mark Whalberg walks into the Abraham Lincoln statue who's face is replaced with an ape's, then that's about it. The last one, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, however, is undeniably a crafted masterpiece, probably one of my favorite movies of that year. So move on to this latest one, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, what did I think of it? Let me break it down for you. 

The film picks about ten years after the spreading of the Simian Virus or ALZ-113 which occurred during the last moments of the previous film. Since then, a line in the sand was drawn between Ceasar's community of freed apes and the surviving humans, which included; Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), Ellie (Keri Russell), Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee|) among others. 

Like the previous film, this one takes it's time to establish every character that should feel essential to us and the story that would circulate this entire movie. But unlike the previous one, this had to juggle up between the perspective of the apes and the humans, both tries to keep peace and order but certain acts of paranoia from both parties might put these two into war, so it would determine who is the greater and lesser being. 

Andy Serkis returns as our beloved Mo-cap CG Ceasar, who as the film progresses grows a strong connection with Malcolm. At heart both are similar characters and their connection is just too good to be put into words, I mean seriously, go see the movie now, or at least after reading my review.

I'm just gonna get this down right away because as you can tell by now, I'm lost for words for this movie, it is that great. I know I'm watching and invested on an Apes film when I badly need to pee and I've been holding for more that two-hours or even longer. The movie doesn't even feel like it's two-hours long, because you don't get bored by the fact that this movie never runs out of tensions. Plus when it all finally goes down, IT GOES DOWN. Ape versus ape fight, apes charging while riding horses and using two machine guns, humans fighting back with good old machine guns, I mean seriously, what more do you want?

The entire cast is great, though some are underplayed, all are great. The film looks beautiful. From the revealing shots, the CG mo-cap apes, visually this film is flawless, kudos to Director Matt Reeves, CG masters Weta Digital and the rest of the crew. 

Lastly, I have to be honest, this is like the second time I teared up on a summer blockbuster this year. There's just this scene that will punch you right into your heart and it gets you until every every drop of tear falls down into your eye. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. 

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a living proof why there's still hope for reboots. It is THE BEST SCI-FI movie so far, and this one is quite possibly hard to surpass. With it's relevant theme and ground breaking visuals, this has definitely improved from it's predecessor. But I'm pretty sure George Taylor would damn this movie somewhere. 


Breath-taking storySpectacular castGround breaking visualsHyper realistic CG apesThat climax!


A few forced expositionsSome nit-pick that I just did above that would probably won't even matter cause this movie is AWESOME!

 Score: A+

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in theaters now!

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