Review: Batman Returns (1992) (Or…How To Do A Sequel That Breaks The Mould)

“What are you waiting for? The signal!”

Batman Returns was released in cinemas 25 years ago (plus a few days!). So what better time to review what was then only the second superhero sequel out there! Tim Burton was hemmed in by the demands of Warner Bros for Batman (1989). However, for the sequel, Burton had free rein to do what he wanted. There’s no denying he went full-Burton for Batman Returns…which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s the most stylish Batman film thus far. The plot and the pacing are all over the place. Sometimes too much Burton can be a bad thing…But he must be commended for creating a sequel that doesn’t pander to the audience or to studio executives, like most of the superhero sequels we see today. Continue reading

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HAMMY’S TOP 10…COMIC BOOK FILMS!

Wonder Woman is still lighting up the global cinematic box office. Some have claimed it to be one of the greatest comic book films ever. I would disagree with that (click here for my review!), but it’s still a damned good film. However, it got me to thinking…what are my favourite comic book films of all time? That’s a tough one…But I’ve given it a whirl anyway! Of course, comic book films aren’t a genre in themselves, but cover a horde of genres.

However, we all know a comic book film when we see one. And some films surprise us when we find out they were based on a comic book/graphic novel. So here goes nothing! (By the way, a few of these films are sequels…it says a lot that the first, obligatory origin story has been played out to death nowadays. Once that’s out the way, the super-hero sequel can reach for greatness…)

I reckon Wonder Woman would take a place in many people’s Top 10 Comic Book Films…

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Review: The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) (Is Everything Still Awesome?)

the-lego-movie“Now, let’s start the movie”

‘The LEGO Movie’ was a very pleasant surprise. What could have been a by the numbers feature length commercial for a toy turned out to be a hilarious ride that turned its satirical eye to our own society (“Honey, where are my pants?!?!?”). Of course, like every other movie in our age, it was the beginning of a movie franchise. The second movie of the franchise was revealed to be ‘The LEGO Batman Movie.’ LEGO Batman was one of the great characters in ‘The LEGO Movie,’ but would giving him his own spin off work? Yes, it does, but it doesn’t work as well as it’s predecessor. An undeveloped story hinders what could have been ‘The LEGO Movie’s’ equal…but it’s still a very, very funny film. Continue reading

Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) (Are Haters Gonna Hate?)

bvs“Everything’s changed”

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is a mess, let’s get that out of the way with first. It’s three or four films merged into one. Even with its lengthy running time, it feels rushed in many places. It darts from plot to plot and character to character that there’s barely enough time to take in what’s happening. However, in spite of all its flaws (and the mostly negative critical reaction), there is a fairly enjoyable film hidden in among all the clutter. Yes, I am a Batman v Superman defender! It’s not the best comic book ever made, but it isn’t the worst one, either. I’d say I enjoyed it more than ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (as a comparable film). Continue reading

Review: Gotham, Season 2, Episode 2: Knock Knock

gotham(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“You’re part of the great endeavour, the great cleansing”

Well, why didn’t ‘Gotham’ begin its second season with an episode like ‘Knock Knock?’ This was ‘Gotham’ at its best; granted, that doesn’t mean the highest level of quality, but you settle for what you can get in ‘Gotham.’ Although I could have done without the Bruce Wayne/Alfred subplot, which felt like we’d been cheated yet again, the ‘Rise of the Villains’ certainly came to the fore, in an equally entertaining, brutal and shocking manner. At times, the brutality seemed too camp, diffusing the shock factor, but overall it was well done. It felt more like a mid-series cliffhanger than merely the second episode! Let’s hope they don’t peak too soon… Continue reading

Review: Gotham, Season 2, Episode 1: Damned If You Do…(Damned If You Watch This Show!)

gotham(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“Dark days are coming”

Gotham is back on Channel 5! If it was up to me, I wouldn’t watch Gotham. The first season, while containing some good episodes, failed to conjure up much of anything apart from boredom and frustration. However, my fiancée adores it, so in the name of compromise, I continue to watch it! With the subtitle ‘Rise Of The Villains,’ we were promised a great deal…but the first episode of Season 2, ‘Damned If You Do…’ did what Gotham does best: disappoint! One pleasant observation was that it no longer takes itself too seriously, but nothing made a great impression. The writers have not learned any lessons from Season 1. Continue reading

Review: Birdman (2014) (Keaton Returns!)

birdman“How did we end up here?”

I highly anticipated ‘Birdman,’ but failed to catch it at the cinema. So I had to wait until it was released on home video. The extra months of anticipation could have built up the movie to an unimaginable degree in my mind. But after watching it, I can confirm that it fully deserved the Oscar for Best Picture. What I witnessed was not only a masterclass in editing, filming and directing, but a timely and imposing meditation on the great themes of our times (and other times). What is the measure of a man? What defines success? Is show business worth it? And, to paraphrase the title of Raymond Carver’s short story, what do we talk about when we talk about love?  Continue reading

Review: Gotham: Season 1, Episode 16: The Blind Fortune Teller (I Predict Mediocrity…)

Grayson...Grayson...that surname sounds so familiar..
Grayson…Grayson…that surname sounds so familiar..

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you”

I’d like to brag and say ‘I called it!’ when I predicted what the circus would bring after Lee mentioned it in last week’s Gotham (see here for my review!), but anyone with a minimal knowledge about Batman’s sidekick would have also reached the same conclusion. The circus can only mean…the Graysons! Fortunately, we didn’t see Dick Grayson in nappies with an R plastered on them (although I wouldn’t have put it past the people behind Gotham). We didn’t see the future Robin at all. What we did get was another average, over-stuffed episode of Gotham. Continue reading

Review: Gotham: Season 1, Episode 15: The Scarecrow (Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid…Again!)

gotham(SPOLIERS AHEAD)

“I’m dreaming, right?”

One of my problems with last week’s episode was that we didn’t get enough time to spend with the villain, Gerald Crane. What were his motivations? Why did he want cortisol? I was a little hasty in my criticism, as this episode gave us a little more time with Dr. Crane and answers to the above questions. As the title of the episode suggests, we saw the birth of The Scarecrow as well. While not a perfect episode, it was a vast improvement on last week’s one.
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