Archive for April, 2008

Batman: Gotham Knight

Posted in Nifty Stuff on April 27, 2008 by B33

Batman: Gotham Knight is a collection of six animated films tied together that explain the timespan between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Each story has a separate style in both animation and story that reflect the director in animation that worked on it. Essentially, it’s the same thing that was done with The Matrix for the Animatrix. The DVD hits stores on July 8th, 2008. It has been rated PG-13 for “stylized violence, including some bloody images.”

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A Story of Two Sides

Posted in Short Story on April 26, 2008 by B33
Allow me to tell a story of two sides… One side wants to be done with it all… The pain, the confusion, the depression… To hell with all of it… The other side wants to hold in there because there is still some hope. The first curses the other side for being a fool and falling for something it knew wasn’t permanent. The second ignores the first side’s blatant outlook on life. The first side laughs at the notion of love and happiness. The second side simply comments on the weather and how pleasant it appears. The first side, confused, asks the relevance of the weather. The second is merely trying to get their mind off of things… To reflect and enjoy life for what is worth despite feeling like everything has changed… The first side says to let go and leave the past behind. What’s done is done. The second believes that the past should not be forgotten so easily. It’s not easy to let go… The first side scoffs and wonders why the sides as a whole had hope in humanity to begin with. The second chuckles and comments how humanity is a vital part of the world. To give up hope on mankind would be the equivalent of giving up hope on the world… The first side then demands whether or not it should be a part of the world. Maybe it should just end things now and withdraw itself. The second, who had been rather cool and collected up until now, suddenly erupts and yells at the first side for being so foolish. Life is too precious to squander. This is not the end of the world. There’s still hope while there’s still life… We are not meant to be in the league of a God… The first side wonders if God even exists to begin with. It makes notions that we are all alone. That there’s nothing else…. The second side suggests the meaning of life is the quality of it. Whether or not it can be enjoyed by the individual who possesses the life… And what about a God the first side questions? Whether there is a God can not be determined at the state humanity resides in the second side calmly replies… The two sides pause in silence for a moment and reflect… The only way to get out of this pit is to work together and pull each other out as a whole says the first side in anger…. The second side does not reply… We are either in the pit or out of it together… Time will go on, regardless if it slows down based on your judgment. Life goes on and the World keeps on turning… Regardless of pain or death… The second side agrees but counters “I’m not ready to leave this pit quite yet”. The first side demands to know why the second side is so adamant about love, the past, and humanity… The second side replies “At the end of the day, at least I could say I loved and tried to understand this mad world we reside in.” The first side is silent for a few moments then says “Are we insane?”. The second side chuckles and says “We are simply one personality conflicted on thoughts and ideals”. The two sides sit within the pit and reflect upon what has been said… Wondering if things will ever change and the various conflicts within both need to face at one point and time… Both then agree that nothing else can be done and only time can help things now… Only time will tell…

First Impressions: The Incredible Hulk

Posted in First Impressions with tags on April 17, 2008 by B33

One of the blockbusters hitting this Summer amongst the crap load piled up already is The Incredible Hulk, which is a reboot to the lackluster and poorly produced installment in 2003. Nothing against Ang Lee, but that was not The Hulk fans know and enjoy seeing adventures of. Can’t exactly hate him for trying but it’s hard to defend the film when the expression “Hulk Dogs” keeps repeating itself in your mind over and over again… At any rate, this latest installment brings The Hulk back to his roots in the television series and comic books. It features the characters we all know of but with new faces in each role that are far better suited. Edward Norton, Tim Roth, Liv Tyler, and William Hurt are the principal cast this time around. Just hearing Edward Norton (Fight Club) and Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction) in the same sentence alone will automatically make this film better than the past installment we’d all rather not talk about.

Storywise, if you grew up watching the television series or reading the comic books you’ll be more familiar with this take. The Abomination is the main villain and the Army is after Bruce Banner just like in the television series. Bruce Banner doesn’t wish to have the Hulk locked up within him, military wants to use him as a weapon, etc. Edward Norton is Bruce Banner and Tim Roth is The Abomination. The Hulk appears within the first 3 minutes of the film and a fight clocked at more than 20 minutes between The Hulk and The Abomination caps off the finale of the film. All-and-all, I’m impressed. I highly enjoyed the television series and this film appears to be heavily influenced by the success the series had. The film is about the struggle within Bruce Banner but implements the Hulk much more and doesn’t seem to mind pulling out all the stops to tell it’s own story.

On the effects side, Rythm & Hues was hired this time around. My thoughts? Not the best of choices. Their track record isn’t highly impressive but it is acceptable. I would have much rather seen WETA tackle the project but their not the cheapest studio on the block and were more than likely not within the capabilities of the budget. And Marvel nor Universal Studios want to dump a lot of money into a film that has a high chance of failing if it can’t convince it’s audience that it differs from its predecessor… Regardless, the trailer released the first glimpse we received of the Hulk and the Abomination. The Hulk looks like the comic book version and I give a lot of props to the creative efforts put forth to keep him more in tune with what we grew up with and what is realistic in terms of the source material and film it’s being displayed through. The Abomination has been altered greatly from his comic book counterpart. I really don’t mind since he wouldn’t translate well in the realm of 3D, but fanboys will more than likely find it just another thing to aimlessly bicker about.

I’d like to take some time to address some criticisms and backlash against the film at it’s current state. First off, The Hulks design. Many seem to disprove of the character appearing the size he does. Pick up the comic book some time. They’ve actually sized the character down from his comic book counterpart. The TV series really couldn’t make the character as large as the source material due to lack of technology and effects advancements at the time. The Hulk is supposed to be large to reflect the monstrosity and strength of the character in question. Bickering won’t change the facts of that matter… The next would be the effects. Until you see the final film, don’t bitch and go on about the CGI implemented. It’s all unfinished at this stage and still needs fine tuning and polish. I don’t care how unrealistic some of the lighting is or how some of the animation is still rough. Anything looks better than the Hulk Dog sequence which was a real abomination and black mark to the film series… And lastly, for those who say this sequel/reboot is unnecessary… Re-watch Ang Lee’s Hulk. Which was your favorite aspect of the film; the poor creative choices, the 40 minutes it took for The Hulk to appear, the piss poor villain, or the Hulk Dogs that were as unnecessary as they were terribly animated? Ang Lee’s Hulk was not a “misunderstood masterpiece”. Grindhouse was a “misunderstood” masterpiece. Nothing personal against those who enjoyed Ang Lee’s take. It was severely flawed and differed too much from the source material for it to be enjoyable in my opinion…

It’s been 5 years and Marvel saw potential in bringing life back to the series. A sequel was in the works but dropped due to the poor creative decisions and reception the last film received. I’ve actually been hoping for this to happen. The Hulk character has always caught my attention because of how real the character was and how the main character really didn’t want the power granted to him to begin with. We all have inner rage within us and The Hulk presents a amplified version of someone who struggles to fight the beast within. It’s a different take on the super hero genre that you really don’t see every day. And the television series further amplified the character by having Bruce Banner travel around as a loner observing and helping others with the monster he fights every day.

Overall, I think there are some good creative choices. While the trailer didn’t completely qualm my doubts of this project turning out to be yet another poor endeavor; I can see Marvel and Universal Studios having a better installment on their hands in terms of reception and box office sales if the film will is correctly executed, marketed, and the computer generated imagery is polished in time for the release. Though I’d have to say the marketing has been terrible thus far. I don’t know why, but I’ve noticed a majority of Universals films tend to receive poor marketing. Either their hoping word of mouth is good or their planning on amping up the amount of marketing within a close time span of the films release to take the cheap way out and not build momentum. We have less than two months till this film hits theaters and the official poster is just hitting theaters now. The only form of coverage is the trailer that premiered on MTV and was aired on a couple network for a small interval of time. Other then that there isn’t really anything else out there that indicates the existence of this film. Unless Universal wants this film to get lost in the sea of Summer blockbusters more measures need to be taken… Will this film surpass it’s predecessor? Will Universal actually market the damn thing? And will that rumored crossover with Iron Man that all various news sites out there are covering because they have nothing better to report on actually take place? Only time will tell…