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Well, I went and saw Doctor Strange, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Not exactly the comic book version, but pretty close in many ways. I loved: the cloak of levitation (best character in the film); the astral traveling and fighting (always happening in the comics); references to The Living Tribunal and other characters and objects found in the comics; the mirror dimension (just glad I didn't see this in 3D); and wushu/magic in general. The only thing that really grated on me was Cumberbatch's fake American accent. They could have made him a British Doctor practicing in New York, and it wouldn't have changed the story much.


The mirror dimension, while visually inspired by Inception is clearly also inspired by Mirrors (2008). Either way it's a good idea and not only explains why no one sees all these magical battles take place, but has its roots (as does the Dark Dimension) in classic Steve Ditko artwork. Things were always in strange alignments with pathways -of-no-visible-support going every which way, like (spoiled for BIGNESS)...


No Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, yet, but the ending is clearly setting things up for two films.

I found the casting interesting. Benedict Cumberbatch of course gained fame by playing Sherlock homes and I have to wonder if the address of the New York sanctum - 177A Bleecker Street - is a sly reference to 221b Baker St? When his character makes a major mistake and admits to it, I felt like shouting "No Shit Sherlock?!" Tilda Swinton plays the Ancient One, which might seem a major departure from the comics, but she played a near immortal Orlando in the film of the same name, so I think it's good casting. Wong is actually played by an actor whose surname is Wong! I know Chiwetel Ejiofor mainly from the film Serenity where he plays the Operative of the central alliance, who is also an assassin, and who totally (at least until the end of the film) believed in the morality of his cause. His character in this film, Mordo was one of Strange's main antagonists in the early comics, and I can see lots of the Operative reflected in this version of Mordo.

A good film for me, and far better than Civil War.

S vs B

Mar. 29th, 2016 04:24 pm
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Saw SUPERMAN AND BATS BELT SIX TYPES OF CRAP OUT EACH OTHER VS BATMAN today. Saw the film. I can understand why people hated it, because it's NOT the universe they see in the comics. I thought it was an "OK film, for Zac Snyder, but that's not great praise from me. he pinched stuff from the Excalibur, as well as other films. I do like the version of Alfred in this, and Ms Prince is a passable Wonder Woman, if under developed.

Lex, I'm not so sure about. The Batman in this film could easily take on Iron Man from the Marvel films and WIN, but the Tony Starke character in this film is really Lex Luthor. Quote of the film:

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imageI just watched Ghost World again, after a gap of about 5 years. This time around I'd just read the complete Ghost World which collected all the strips, and also had additional stuff including the original script of the film. And I found it a very difficult film to watch.

The pacing is extremely slow and with it's like watching a train wreck in slow motion (especially the version I watched which was 137 minutes over the theatrical release of 111 minutes). Rebecca gets demoted to a supporting character (and seems very dull) and Seymour, I think perhaps Seymour (who was barely in the comic) should have been a main character, but in a different film. Of course the comic was episodic in nature rather than a continuous story, so they did well to adapt this at all. Perhaps though that's why Josh was demoted to a minor character and Seymour replaces him and Rebecca in many scenes.

I went over to the IMDB board for the film and it's evident that many misunderstood the ending, thinking that Enid died or committed suicide. But the film (much more than the comics) is about that period between being a teenager and becoming an adult.

It's funny thinking about where the two main actors after the film. Scarlett Johansson's (Rebecca) career took off after this with over 30 films to her credit (think Black Widow) but Thora Birch (Enid) has only done 12 films since. Steve Buscemi (Seymour) being a character actor has done 50+ films. Not that the number of films counts for everything, but to me it shows an interesting balance and a period of transition for them, much like the characters in the film.


Ant Man

Aug. 9th, 2015 10:40 am
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I finally saw ANT MAN yesterday. I liked how, though the AVENGERS series of films is mostly based on the ULTIMATE version of the Marvel universe, this one is more based on the original MU. It's about (mostly) the second Ant Man rather than the first. But at the same time lots of elements, like Yellow Jacket, come from that and are reused in different ways (in the comics YJ was an alternate persona of Hank Pym, who had "emotional issues". There's a number of clever references, like one to "Tales to Astonish" which was the comic Ant Man first appeared in!


Also, there's the standard Stan Lee cameo (but you have to really watch) and not one but two teasers at the end (the second not only links into the film but obviously into Avengers: Civil War).

Like a lot of others I know, I liked this film. In the comics Ant man always seemed to be a "steal" of DC's The Atom, but here he seems to be his own man. Mind you I was always a fan of The Atom - and disappointed that he first appears as an Iron Man clone in the last season of Arrow. Maybe the success of this film will mean we'll see Ray Palmer using that dwarf star remnant properly now!
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I was watching this film while I was drawing comics. The video cut off the TV recording just after she meets her ex so I didn't know how it ended and got on Youtube to see the last 5 minutes. Despite the time paradox, it made me cry. Brings up so much feelings of loneliness.


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Felt the imagery fitted really neatly with this song.

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I watched Where Eagles Dare on TV while I drew comics yesterday afternoon. Perfect Saturday afternoon film for that. But anyway, while I was watching I was wondering just how many Nazis they killed. I checked Youtube and guess what - someone's already figured it out.See if you can guess how many before (and if) you watch the video clip (no embedding on it, so follow the link). Here's a clue, it is under 200!

And if that's not silly enough, this is!



Dr. Z

Feb. 12th, 2011 05:01 pm
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I just watched Doctor Zhivago on GEM. It ran (with commercials) for about 4 hours.

The weird thing is that I remember a different film. Wasn't there a scene where they're in a carriage being chased by wolves (to mention at least one scene that wasn't in it)? Time and memory I guess. Bits of it are rather odd - There's a scene where we never see a character who is talking to the title character, and another scene where his half-brother is doing a voice over explaining what was said, while what was said is actually muted. Also, while all the newspapers and banners appear to be in Russian, Dr Z starts writing his famous poems in English. How odd.

Anyway, it's main purpose was to give me a focus while I do nothing much at all, and in that it succeeded. I miss the "Saturday Afternoon" epic which one would watch in the background while one was doing something else. The digital channels seem to be reviving that. Certainly while I've been feeling off, and my hands and fingers feel stiff and bloated (rheumatism I think), it's a bit of a blessing.
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Sunday afternoon I saw the silliest Western ever on local TV - McKenna's Gold. The following video pretty much sums up the film:

This is a Western that ought to have everything: amazing vistas; larger than life characters; Indians; the Cavalry; a US Marshall and a Mexican bandit; and a treasure worth dying for. It looks as if it should have been a Spaghetti Western and probably would have made more sense had it been. Unfortunately the nearest comparison is more like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. It's really hard to understand just what the director was trying to do in this film.

The huge cast seems to exist just to give most of the actors cameos in the film. No sooner are most introduced (and some with extended explanations of who they are and why they're here) than they are killed one way or another. Omar Sharif is utterly unconvincing as a Mexican, and Gregory Peck seems to have phoned in his performance (which puts his performance as General MacArthur in the 1977 film in a good light). It does have Julie Newmar in a nude scene, and Ted Cassidy as a psycho Apache, so there are some redeeming features.

Also, the plot doesn't make a great deal of sense. The ending is contrived and not really explained well - the special effects have aged horribly over the 40 years since this was made. Also, any films that requires a voice over to explain the plot or the characters motives all the time, can't be that good at telling and explaining things naturally.

A pity. because as a "Saturday/Sunday Afternoon film" on TV (to be watched while you're doing something else) it's not bad! In fact, so bad it's good.

And the ending makes no sense. go figure!

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I was really taken with these two tracks from the film Cold Mountain:


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Had a bit to drink last night. Not feeling quite right in the head. I was going to stay home today but I think I need to go see a film. I was going to see The Lovely Bones but the only local sessions playing are 7pm or later. Instead, I think I'll see Bran Nue Dae which is an all singing, all dancing film and missionaries oppressing indigenous folk in my home state.
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I saw this as my "boxing day film" and thouroughly enjoyed it. the following video reviews the film in a witty and accurate manner:

Avatar 3D

Dec. 18th, 2009 12:05 am
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Saw this in 3D today - has my thumbs up!
The 3D works (even with my vision) and the story, although predictable (I'd figured out the ending by about 20 minutes into the film) was nonetheless very enjoyable and touched me deeply in several scenes.

Longer comments  )

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EQUALIZER star EDWARD WOODWARD died in hospital yesterday at the age of 79. The much-loved veteran had been suffering from a variety of illnesses, including pneumonia.

I first came across EW in the series Callan, a gritty series about a hitman for British Counter Intelligence. Of the films that he appeared in the one that made the biggest impression on me was The Wicker Man (1973) where he plays the central and crucial role (the film worked because he was in it, the remake was crap).

Most folk probably know him from The Equalizer where he played Robert McCall, but he also appeared in La Femme Nikita where he played Mr. Jones.

Read more:

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I saw this film again on DVD after maybe 21 years...
...very sad in many ways.
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I saw this film on the way home after a trip to Sydney. I was run-down, slightly feverish and head-achy, but none of that interfered with my enjoyment of the film.

I'd actually forgotten that the film'd been released but when I saw the choices available it was the logical choice. I missed 1 minute of the opening credits but for once that wasn't a crucial thing. This being a Terry Gilliam film, you know it's going to be a) fantastic in a classic sense, b) complicated with many red herrings and original characters, and c) something you can watch more than once.

I was not disappointed. It took a while before I followed what was happening and that's part of the charm of this film. The story (really a parable or allegory) is built up in layers and seemed to me perfectly cast (even allowing for Ledger's "ring-ins" after his untimely death). I particularly like the play between Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and Mr Nick (Tom Waits). I found it interesting to see the visual influences in this film as well. The fantasy segments all have the mark of the director's animation days with Monty Python. There's also a Harry Potter influence in that Parnassus's wagon/theatre looks like something from one of those films, and Parnassus himself reminded me strongly of a drunk Dumbledore.

But this is not a film for everyone. The ending is not a Hollywood style "happy ending" by any means, but one that reflects on the nature of life. Anyone expecting this film to be a bit of "holiday entertainment" will be sorely disappointed, as the plot is not as predictable and the clichés used in the film aren't the sort you usually see.

A top film.


Sep. 20th, 2009 10:11 am
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The film Surrogates is due to be released here on the 24th. I'm intrigued by this because it seems to be a "reverse second life" and "reverse matrix". Rather than have one's avatar in a virtual world, in this film one has one's avatar in the real world! See the trailer below:

I can't help but feeling that ultimately this would defeat the point of having an avatar or surrogate. After all, if you can project your consciousness into a robotic puppet and stay home, why would there still be public transport and commuting (which can be seen in the trailer). Why not have one surrogate at work, which lives in storage when not activated, and others elsewhere? Also such a development would be mostly for the rich or middle classes. It seems hard to image folk on the poverty line bothering with such.

I wonder if other issues will come out in this. Will the final appearance of surrogates have any relevance to their owner's appearance at all? Shall have to wait and see.

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That would have to be the most recent Wolverine film. Thoroughly enjoyed it as the plot was just like the comics it was based on, and full of the sort of mindless violence that follows the main character about. Before that I almost saw Twilight, but good sense prevailed (and I waited until I could borrow the DVD from the local library for free).


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