An incredibly poorly marketed endeavor - in the UK at least, where all the TV ads were brief and portrayed the film to be little more than your typical boy meets girl rom-com that would do its business by having women who find Bradley Cooper oh-so-dreamy drag their boyfriends to see it, where they would at least be appeased by the sight of the world’s most charming human, Jennifer Lawrence. Oh boy, is Silver Linings Playbook, NOT a romcom.
To my knowledge, they’re the two highest grossing movies of 2012 so far. Both are comic book movies. Both were among the most anticipated movies ever released. For months after the release of the Avengers I read comments on articles about both films stating things along the lines of “just you wait until Dark Knight Rises comes out and mops the floor with Avengers.”
After TDKR came out it seemed people weren’t concerned with how good it was as a film, but rather whether or not it was better than the Avengers. Before I get started I want to state that I don’t think it really matters given they’re going for completely different tones, but it seems everybody has to weigh in on this debate, and running a review blog and all, I figured I’d give my two cents/pence.
MMA has been all the rage for a few years now and naturally many directors have tried to capitalise on that popularity, but they’ve predominantly been straight-to-DVD or limited release projects that were panned or ignored altogether. That was until Warrior came along, a mainstream mixed martial arts movie with a big-time ad campaign. Would it fare any better than its predecessors?
The third and final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman franchise has finally arrived and despite a horrific tragedy overshadowing the premiere, the film is still being met with rave reviews and huge box office takings. But what does lowly old me think about TDKR? Find out!
How I Met Your Mother was once one of my absolute favourite shows. I liked to think I ‘discovered’ it, tuning in every week to its niche time-slot and raving about it, quoting it, sharing it with everyone I could. I bought it on DVD and the guy that sold it to me said “is that Willow from Buffy? She looks hot!”
Fast forward several years and it’s one of the most popular shows around and I’ve stopped watching. Why? We’ll get into that in a bit, but for now, I recently decided to throw in my aforementioned copy of the season 1 DVD and take a trip down memory lane.
As per usual, refer to Project Comic Books if you notice any glaring errors in my description of events.
As the title might suggest, X-Men Schism deals with a split between the remaining X-Men (greatly diminished in number after the events of House of M (review forthcoming)), with the long-time rocky relationship between Cyclops and Wolverine being put under its greatest stress to date, and fundamentally altering the Marvel Universe, specifically mutantkind.
My first step in Project Comic Books was picking up this much talked about crossover event, the eponymous Civil War, which saw almost the entire Marvel Universe divided in half over the issue of superheroes being required to officially register with the government, sacrificing their secret identities and having to answer to a ruling body.
I’d heard about this storyline through the game Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, and working at a store that sold a few comics, I’d seen it sitting there on a shelf and mentioned it to some of my colleagues who said how good it was, so I elected to take the plunge.
Before you watch even a second of Contagion, you can’t help but be impressed. Look at that front cover. Look at the accolades of the cast. 4 Academy Award winners, and another two nominees. And just for good measure, let’s have it directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11) and have Clint Martinez (Drive) do the music. Also, Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant) may not yet be a big name in the world of screenwriting, but he’s definitely one of the names to watch.
Gosh, I got so caught up in all of that back-of-the-box style information that I almost forgot there was a film to review. So what’s the actual film like?
Up until last year, I had never read a comic book in my entire life. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Yet I still labelled myself as somewhat of a nerd, with a working knowledge of all the key heroes. I knew I preferred Marvel to DC. I knew which characters I liked and didn’t like. But how, when I hadn’t ever read a comic?
The first episode was great, but this one was even better. The writing is truly superb, and the atmosphere is ridiculously creepy. So much tension. That’s it, that’s the whole review. Get it now. This series is a very strong Game of the Year contender.
It’s been quite a year for Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, with the continued success of Community, multiple talk-show appearances, a 60-minute stand-up special, and the release of his first major album, Camp, which was critically acclaimed.
So with all eyes on what he’d do next, Gambino began to tease an upcoming mixtape and released a few tracks, but wouldn’t reveal the title. Well now it’s here, and it’s called ROYALTY. But how is it?
Let me preface this by saying that I have only played through one of the possible endings, and I loaded a save from right at the end, and apparently there is a little more content starting from about an hour before then. Also, I was never as dissatisfied with the original endings as some of the very angry young men out there on the internet.
So after the tidal wave of complaints about the brief, confusing and wholly too similar potential endings of Mass Effect 3, Bioware declared they would be releasing this extended cut. The problem is that it took so long to do it that the majority of us (myself included) had completely gotten over any issues we had with the ending and moved on to other games, so no matter what they delivered, it was always going to be too late. It’s also a (free) 2GB download, and that’s no picnic.
Yes, the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy is less than a decade old, with the third installment coming as recently as 2007. Yes this is ‘yet another reboot’ of a popular franchise. But most importantly, yes this was worth rebooting, and yes this is a great film.
Being sandwiched between The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises is going to hurt the film in terms of history, but if nothing else it’s vastly superior to the Maguire trilogy, and that begins and ends with the acting. Sorry, Toby, but Andrew Garfield acted circles around you here, going for a more human, emotional take on the character, with plenty of teary eyed moments and big mood swings. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May provide a great bouncing-off point for Garfield, and his performances alongside Rhys Ifans (Curt Connors/The Lizard) and Dennis Leary (George Stacy) are mature and engaging as well.